Category: Painting

Deborah Brown’s “Things As They Are”

Deborah Brown’s Reprieve from Isolation 

Photography by Stan Narten. Image courtesy of Anna Zorina Gallery, New York.

In her first solo show with Anna Zorina Gallery, Deborah Brown’s “Things As They Are” is a reflection on the world as a whole, not just the state of humanity during COVID-19 quarantine. The exhibition features new paintings that were created over the last year in complete isolation from the world. The show takes place at the 532 West 24th Street from January 7 through February 13, 2020.

The artist has spent the last ten months furiously working on this new grouping of works. Many creatives have spent their quarantine flooding social media with memes and views of their homes, but seasoned painter Brown has done the opposite and created a spectacular exhibition that has transformed the way she creates by looking within herself for inspiration.

The themes in her Anna Zorina debut depict art historical standards of self-portrait, still life, and landscape, but cumulatively, Brown paints a cohesive new body that truly captures the feeling of isolation. Though the drudgery of everyday feeling exactly the same is present, there is a lot of optimism that seems to ground every work. In the stand out work entitled Tiger, the artist depicts herself sitting in a post-modern chair seated with her legs crossed reading an unnamed book. On one side of the figure is a small dog, the other a large tiger sculpture, and the entire scene is draped in shadow and light from a paned window. With a moderately ambiguous space, the artist expresses a lot of what is going on the entire exhibition and in the world around us. There is an overall feeling of isolation, solidarity with the artist’s surroundings, and a very abstract and uncertain understanding into what … Click here to read more

Johan Wahlstrom

Artist Q&A with Johan Wahlstrom

Stockholm-born Johan Wahlstrom is an artist who is making a conscious effort to describe the social and political landscape of our contemporary world. His ironic series Social Life gives a perfect sense both from a conceptual as a formal point of view of this estrangement. He is a magnificent observer of our social lives.

“Turmoil”, urethane and color pigments on canvas, 62 x 54 in | 157 x 137 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Leon Golub

How did you become a professional artist?

I am the 5th generation of artists on my mother’s side and you could say it was in my blood from an early age. I have always loved expressing myself through the arts. It started with painting, went into Rock ‘n’ Roll, and then back to painting.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Today’s society, news, my travels, and people that I meet. I see myself as a journalist portraying what I see and hear through my paintings.

Johan Wahlstrom, self-portrait.

When is a piece finished for you?

That is always a difficult question that I constantly battle with. Normally it is finished when I feel that the painting is talking to me and makes me feel.

What’s different about your current body of work?

Most likely many of my distorted face paintings are less obvious, less in your face, thanks to adding more abstraction. 

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

Moving to New York five years ago certainly affected my career, as did my two man show “From 1960’s Celebrities To Today’s Social Media, From Warhol To Wahlstrom” with Andy Warhol in 2018.  I have also been part of group shows in Europe … Click here to read more

Marina Levitan

Artist Q&A with Marina Levitan

“From My Window”, oil on canvas, 11 x 12 in | 29 x 30 cm, 2020

Why did you become an artist?

I became an artist because from my childhood I was intrigued by intricacies of the form and the color, the poetry of shapes. I could spend hours watching intersections between objects and forms created by different types of light. The flow of my life took me away from painting, although I learned in a art school while attending highschool, after immigration from USSR to Israel I decided to tike more practical path of graphic design but after visiting Italy at 2009 I understood that I have to return to art and took a 4 years masterclass in Jerusalem Studio School as a second education and this decision transformed my life.

How is your work different than everything out there?

I think that drawing is very personal, even intimate not unlike a fingerprint, because it reflects the way the person sees the surrounding world. As every person is unique, also his or her perspective is unique. Our perception of the surrounding is not entirely visual, it is affected by our thoughts and feelings in that single moment of perception. Drawing is trying to capture this single unique moment of our life in the way that over mediums are unable to.

Marina Levitan

What’s different about your current body of work?

My current body of work is different for obvious reasons, that lately my life and surrounding reality has changed drastically, along with my perception of it. Last half a year I’ve barely left home because my family members are in a high risk group. Previously I preferred to draw landscapes and express my perception of nature. Now my body of work is limited to … Click here to read more