Illustration, Painting

Vignette: Lori Larusso


“I hope to provoke the viewer to consider the contradictions arising from our contemporary fixation with notions of health.“ – Lori Larusso


"Eating Animals (Broccoli Poodle)" by Lori Larusso, 19x10in, acrylic on shaped panel (2016), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Broccoli Poodle)" by Lori Larusso, 19x10in, acrylic on shaped panel (2016), price available on request

Vintage Poster by Unknown Artist

Vintage Poster by Unknown Artist

When you hear the term “political art”, what comes to mind? Campaign and propaganda posters from contentious times; “Buy Bonds” during World War II, “Join The Party” from Europe in the 1930’s - Iconic mileposts of social change. Yet, in the work of Lori Larusso we find social and political statements about food production and distribution in the U.S. that are slick, clean and polished as the height of the form, but placed in a whimsical context that makes the message more approachable; couching the provocative in a comfortable mid-Twentieth Century aesthetic.

“Our unhealthy obsession with healthy food often masks the origins of its production,” explains Larusso. “It also fails to consider who has the financial means and access to consume foods defined as healthy. For those in need of assistance, state bureaucracy determines the affordability and accessibility of staple foods. WIC programs, for example, allow for the purchase of sugary breakfast cereals, while at the same time, refuse to allow for the purchase of organic dairy products and high quality all natural foods. These newest paintings are reflections on the disconnect between the disturbing realities of commercial food production and our often naive assumptions about the pastoral lifestyle of animals raised for consumption. Here, the presentation of the food images, (cagey, but carefully prepared and staged) calls to mind the desire to provide healthful foods for ourselves and families while evoking the contrasting reality, both the abusive treatment of animals in CAFOs and those unable to participate in the health market.”

Larusso's studio

Larusso's studio

The pieces are illustrative and narrative, but Larusso states that, “the tangible quality of finished pieces is tied more directly to a contemporary painting practice.” Digital images of the work don’t clarify that these pieces are acrylic painted on shaped panels, so, as is always the case, a proper reading of the work requires viewing it in person. Larusso’s work can be seen at his moment in three exhibits:

March 3 - April 29 -The Chamber of Golden Light & Eating Animals at James May Gallery: Algoma, WI

February 12 - March 18 - Art and Tart at KMAC Shop; Louisville, KY

January 19 - April 30 - Contemplation Consumed: Artworks by Johanna Goodman, Natsuko Hattori and Lori Larusso, Porter Contemporary; New York, NY

Hometown: Massillon, Ohio
Age: 36
Education: MFA, Interdisciplinary Studies- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) BFA, Studio Art- University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning
Galley Representation: Skidmore Contemporary (Santa Monica, CA), Jordan Faye Contemporary (Baltimore, MD), Porter Contemporary (New York, NY)
Website: www.lorilarusso.com

"Eating Animals (Green Grapes Porcupine)" by Lori Larusso, 18.5x10.5in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Green Grapes Porcupine)" by Lori Larusso, 18.5x10.5in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Banana Dolphins)" by Lori Larusso, 24.5x12in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Banana Dolphins)" by Lori Larusso, 24.5x12in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Cucumber Shamu)" by Lori Larusso, 15x6in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Cucumber Shamu)" by Lori Larusso, 15x6in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Strawberry Mice)" by Lori Larusso, 16x7in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Strawberry Mice)" by Lori Larusso, 16x7in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Waffle Sea Turtle)" by Lori Larusso, 24.5x12in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

"Eating Animals (Waffle Sea Turtle)" by Lori Larusso, 24.5x12in, acrylic on shaped panel (2017), price available on request

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Drawing

Vignette: Helen Payne


“…Our identities and trajectories are shaped by tests and how testing is a reflection of power.” — Helen Payne


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Helen Payne’s ink wash drawings occupy a fluid space between representational and non-representational, ink washes built upon a solid draughtsmenship yet rendered with great immediacy. As if each one took only minutes to complete, the artist working nimbly with her brush with an economy of effort and heightened deliberation.

The drawings are part of a series that attempts to take a fresh perspective on questions if identity and the metrics of human existence. “I work in the studio creating objects and images that help me process and understand how the world works,” explains Payne. “These days, I am thinking about ways we measure and monetize our bodies and minds. My current work, The ABCs of the Weight of Measures, is an installation about how we measure and mismeasure ourselves and how what is the messiest and intensely private is often the focus of measurement. Each letter of the alphabet is the start of an acronym for a common test of human measurement, i.e. A is for APGAR; B is for BMI, and so on. The ABC of the Weight of Measures examines how our identities and trajectories are shaped by tests and how testing is a reflection of power.”

"B is for BMI, Yr width to yr girth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

"B is for BMI, Yr width to yr girth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

Although Payne does not specifically frame the work as self-portrait or autobiography, introspection feels at the root of her observations, although the academic motif enables her to expand the idea to a universal context to which anyone might be able to relate. There is neat balance of the intellectual and populism in the belief that we are only able to understand ourselves through such often arbitrary and artificial constructs. The commentary Payne seems to offering is not necessarily comforting, but it is a healthy challenge to our programmed notions of self.

Hometown: Jamestown, Rhode Island
Education: MFA Candidate at University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 2019;
BA, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 2000;
With additional studies at: The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD, The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK. Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa Institute, Boulder, CO
Website: http://www.helenpayne.us

"E is for EQ, I love you" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"E is for EQ, I love you" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"Title F is for FICO, but I can't pay the rent" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"Title F is for FICO, but I can't pay the rent" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15 | BUY NOW

"A is for APGAR, You were bluish at birth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

"A is for APGAR, You were bluish at birth" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $150 | BUY NOW

"W is WAIS, Wr melting, we two" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15| BUY NOW

"W is WAIS, Wr melting, we two" by Helen Payne, 11x14in, ink on paper (2016) $15| BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Valtcho Tonov


“I believe in the beauty of ordinary subjects.” — Valtcho Tonov


 "Greece" by Valtcho Tonov, 10x20 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in gold plein air style frame)| BUY NOW

 "Greece" by Valtcho Tonov, 10x20 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in gold plein air style frame)| BUY NOW

Artist, Valtcho Tonov

Artist, Valtcho Tonov

Even though Valtcho Tonov has no formal, institutional diploma, through private lessons and countless workshops he has been relentless in pursuing a personal course of study in painting. For many years he practiced painting the figure from life in a class setting and the landscape en plein air.

“As my experience accumulates as an artist during the years I understand that it's important to convey feeling with my art and relate in a profound way to the viewer. I believe in the beauty of ordinary subjects. I consider myself an abstract impressionist, however my style varies depending of my mood and the way I start a new painting.”

"Cherokee Park Path" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

"Cherokee Park Path" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

We see the different moods in “Cherokee Park Path”, which perfectly captures the unique winter light on the snow, everything crisp and clear under the brilliant sun, of how the equine forms in “Southern Horses” seem rooted to the earth as if the are plants awaiting harvest, and is there an image more evocative of moodiness than a view of the skyline distorted as if being witnessed through a rain-streaked window in “Louisville Winter”.

This is what a painter does; working with one of the most plastic and expressive of mediums, the artist is able to communicate a heightened perception of the world, forcing us to look harder at our own environment and the aspects of nature that we too easily take for granted.

"Mc Neely Lake, Louisville" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

"Mc Neely Lake, Louisville" by Valtcho Tonov, 12x16in, oil on linen panel (2016), $700 (comes in plein air style dark frame) | BUY NOW

Tonov is a member of Oil Painters Of America and the Plein Air Painters of Kentucky. After moving to the United States in 2001, he eventually settled in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonov has continued his studies under the tutelage of renowned artists such as John Michael Carter, Phil Starke, and others. He is part of an ongoing uninstructed figurative drawing/painting workshop at Mellwood Art Center in Louisville.

Hometown: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Age: 44
Education: self-taught but studied with John Michael Carter & Phil Starke
Website: http://www.vptart.co

"Louisville Winter" by Valtcho Tonov, 20x24 in, oil on canvas (2017), $900 (not framed, finished sides) | BUY NOW

"Louisville Winter" by Valtcho Tonov, 20x24 in, oil on canvas (2017), $900 (not framed, finished sides) | BUY NOW

"Southern Horses" by Valtcho Tonov, 11x14 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $600 (comes in gold frame) | BUY NOW

"Southern Horses" by Valtcho Tonov, 11x14 in, oil on linen panel (2016), $600 (comes in gold frame) | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.

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Painting

Vignette: Barry Burcaw

Burcaw standing next to one of his sold paintings.

Burcaw standing next to one of his sold paintings.

Geometry is the mathematical method of understanding specific spatial relationships and forms through numbers. Humankind requires it to build the society they occupy, but is also can be applied to less concrete forms, such as the construction of music. In the paintings of Barry Burcaw, architectural vistas are rendering in abstract terms that are schematically precise, but the structures don’t seem bound to bedrock.

The connecting forms could be the levels of skyscrapers stretching out to the far horizon while simultaneously obscuring that line, but Burcaw cites music as an influence as well, so that one is forced to ponder the shapes and forms as elements within a symphony; layers of notes and phrases meticulously constructed on the page in an academic method. Yet, when played, the score lifts away from the cold, analysis of the blueprint to become something that feels organic and heightened. Musical and visual harmony become metaphorical companions as Burcaw’s strategy with color and composition do the same for the viewer.

"Blue Plateaus" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Blue Plateaus" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016)

Burcaw recently exhibited work at Jenkins Eliason Interiors.  He is now preparing to offer a selection of his paintings as giclee reproductions. Burcaw paints on a large scale, and he hopes making them available on a different scale will be a smart marketing choice. “I have realized that if the price of an original isn't a problem the size often is and vice versa.”

Hometown: Palisades, New York
Age: 73
Education: BS in Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport, CT

"Vanishing Point" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $3200 | BUY NOW

"Vanishing Point" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $3200 | BUY NOW

"Global Warming" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $2800 | BUY NOW

"Global Warming" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $2800 | BUY NOW

"Parthenon" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $4500 | BUY NOW

"Parthenon" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $4500 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Debra Lott

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 | BUY NOW

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 | BUY NOW

Lott in her studio.

Lott in her studio.

When painter Debra Lott observes that we live in a, “…world where the virtual and authentic collide and confuse,” the degree of understatement is not meant to be sarcastic, but simply a way to explain the foundation on which she has built her newest work. Self-portrait has not been such an overt theme in her previous work, although she has been focused on a woman’s existence in the contemporary society in a fashion so personal that it nearly passes as the same thing. Such is the nature of art that it always reveals something important about the artist.

Now Lott places herself unmistakably front and center to speak to the narcissistic tendencies of modern communication:

“My inspiration and influences are the popular mass media. This source became the tipping point for my experimentation into painting this series. The absurdity of the media images prompted me to take my work in a new direction. The paintings form satirical statements that incorporate figurative distortion and exaggeration while mocking the media’s use of photo- shopped, erotic, and often implausible poses.”  

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  | BUY NOW

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  | BUY NOW

“My techniques include distortion, elongation, detachment and segmentation. The expressive brushstrokes and fantasy color schemes are symbolic of the theatrical and sensational drama of cultural media. My expressive and quasi abstract style combine color, form and texture to convey the illusion of beauty that is often construed as reality.

“My goal is to move in a direction toward further experimentation and abstraction. I began experimenting with the concept of ‘authentic’ versus ‘virtual’ especially as it applies to cultural media. To communicate this idea of counterfeit, I chose a complementary color scheme and ‘like values’ that allow the subject and background to overlap and create some uncertainty as to what is positive and negative space. My goal was to increase the abstraction of the content and cause the body to become part of the surrounding space.”  

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 | BUY NOW

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 | BUY NOW

Lott presently has 2 pieces in the Owensboro Art Guild 55th Juried Exhibition, up through April 14th, 2017, and a solo show titled, Collections, runs through April 16, 2017 at the Pigment Gallery at Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville. There will be an Artist’s Reception, March 31st 6-9pm

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 | BUY NOW

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 | BUY NOW

Selected Adjudicated Exhibitions:
2018 - Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, OAG 55th Juried Exhibition, Owensboro, KY, February 25-April 14, 2017
2017 - Lexington Art League, Demographically Speaking, A Figurative Exhibition, Lexington, KY, January13-February 12, 2017
2016 - Art Comes Alive 2016, ART Design Consultants Inc. Cincinnati, OH, July 23-August 29, 2016 Figurative Artist of the Year Award
2015 - The Chautauqua National Exhibition, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 1/26/2015-2/20/2015
2013 - The Art at the X National Juried Exhibition, Xavier University, Cincinnati, 'Multicultural Expressions of Faith', Award of Excellence, August 23-October 11, 2013
2010-2013 - National Art Education Women Caucus Juried Art Exhibition, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
2011 - 55th Mid-states Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, December- March 2011
2010 -  Manifest Gallery International Drawing Annual- Exhibition in Print, Cincinnati Ohio, art work selected - Seasons of Grace, Charcoal on Paper
2010   Water Tower Regional, Louisville Visual Art Association, KY, January 24-March 7, 2010
2009   54th Mid-States Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, Dec 7-January 18, 2009.
2007   Mad Art Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, Contemporary Women Artists XIV, International Juried Exhibition, Sept 7-29, 2007, St Louis Chapter of the National Women’s Caucus for the Arts
2006   Kniznick Gallery of the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, Boston, Vital Voices: Women’s Visions, 2006, (National Juried Exhibition in conjunction with National Women’s Caucus for the Arts)

Hometown: Lake Worth, Florida
Age: 65
Education: MAT with a concentration in painting, Florida Atlantic University, a BA in Art Education, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Gallery Representation: PYRO Gallery
Website: http://www.debralott.com/

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 | BUY NOW

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.