realism

Painting

Vignette: Devan Horton


“By questioning and altering our perceptions of beauty, these works open our minds to accept the nontraditional.” – Devan Horton


"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Puff Ball Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

The closer we look at nature, the more it can seem alien to us. The word mushroom conjures up a simple shape, earthy in texture and pungent in aroma, with little or no color, yet Devan Horton’s paintings present a range of beauty and organic form far away from that cliché.

“Nature has always inspired my work in both concept and form, therefore the majority of my pieces are environmentally centered and are about naturally occurring phenomena and behaviors. With that said, the direction of my work has seen an evolution. Where the focus was once on live subjects such as swarms of animals, insects, and plants in order to portray an active idea, I slowly transitioned into making work about dead matter and elimination.”

Horton refers to her subject here as “dead matter,” yet there is such vibrant life in these images. However inert the reality, the artist’s viewpoint imbues the organic forms with the same living pulse that she explored in her previous work.

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Orange and Blue Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Pink and Green Mushrooms" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

“Today, my work discusses themes of rebirth by portraying new life growing from the source of fallen trees. Pulchritudinous is a series of fungi paintings that displays the sheer variety of species and beautiful patterns that hail solely from our local area. Fungus has never been revered for being beautiful, but by taking a closer look at these magnificent recyclers, the viewer is forced to see the intricate patterns and wide spectrum of color that was there all along. Even the word Pulchritudinous is an ugly term at first sight, but quite literally means “something of great physical beauty”. By playing with techniques that make objects appear more attractive, all of my work revolves around a change in perspective by viewing that which we look at negatively in a new light.”

Horton currently has solo exhibition at Perennial Gallery, 625 Madison Ave, Covington, Kentucky, through August 20, 2017

Age: 23
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Education: BFA, Painting, Northern Kentucky University, 2016; while in school participated in a study abroad to Rome and Florence Italy.
Website: http://www.devanhorton.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hortondevan/

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Split Gill Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 |  BUY NOW

"Turkey Mushroom" by Devan Horton, 24 x 24in, oil on panel (2017), $800 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting

Vignette: Jordan Lance Morgan

Artist, Jordan Lance Morgan in front of his painting "Rising and Setting"

Artist, Jordan Lance Morgan in front of his painting "Rising and Setting"

Jordan Lance Morgan describes himself as a figurative painter, and he seems concentrated on the head and face. Yet, his work doesn’t feel as if a limitation has been imposed on the artist and his themes, and Morgan imbues his work with a powerful sense of narrative. His subjects are captured indoors, but there is little evidence of a typical studio environment: the lighting is muted and the surroundings feel urban and dank, as if we have wandered into an abandoned basement.

“I am a figurative painter with an emphasis on portraiture, symbolism and storytelling,” explains Morgan. “While my work reflects a desire for realism, my main concern is to emphasize tension between the illusion of volume and flatness within the picture plane. Beyond this formal interest, I am heavily influenced by early American art, historical iconography, military and political history.”

"Black Bile" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 6x8in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Black Bile" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 6x8in, oil on linen on board (2015)

The allusions to history were once overt in Morgan’s work – portraits of individuals in military uniform that were strictly formal in their composition, but in these recent paintings, the references are more elusive: a Phrygian cap, an early 20th century German army helmet, and…could that be Benjamin Franklin in the dour, oversize portrait, “Rising and Setting”, or are we just meant to ponder the identity? In any event, the image is startling in its immediacy, demanding attention from the viewer and displaying a sure psychological understanding.

“I paint and draw to understand people. Aesthetically I am constantly changing how to produce a portrait. My ambition is to connect myself and the viewer with history and the people who made it.”

Morgan certainly seems in control of his medium and the expression of his themes, yet we catch him here in a moment of crucial development, an emerging artists who is ready to launch.

Hometown: Goshen, Kentucky
Age: 28
Education: BFA, University of Louisville, 2012, Lou, KY; MFA, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 2016, Philadelphia, PA
Website: http://www.jordanlancemorgan.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/Jordanlancemorgan

"Phrygian" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 24x24in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Phrygian" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 24x24in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Ray" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Ray" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on linen on board (2015)

"Rising or Setting" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 64x64in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Rising or Setting" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 64x64in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Appeal to Heaven" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on board (2016)

"Appeal to Heaven" by Jordan Lance Morgan, 12x9in, oil on board (2016)

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: Elsie Harris

Elsie Harris in her studio. Photo by Ayla Christman.

Elsie Harris in her studio. Photo by Ayla Christman.

People born and raised in Appalachia often speak of a connection with the land that sounds unique to that experience. Certainly they have no monopoly on such appreciation for nature, and the pastoral figures in the biographies of a wide variety of artists, but the eastern region that stretch from the Southern Tier of New York to northern Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia has a cultural identification with environment that sets it apart from other areas.

Elsie Harris is one such artist. Claiming a life-long connection to the land: “As a child I would wander into the woods and sit on a hilltop to innately be a part of it…mountains, rocks, creeks and hillside ridges. It is where I find both joy and serenity,” she sketches areas that attract her attention, and translates those studies onto canvas, using heightened color to capture the experience of being on the site. This emphasis on subjective emotion places her firmly in the expressionist camp, yet there remains some degree of attachment to the realism, and a sense of place.

"Radiance" by Elsie Harris, 32x40in, acrylic on canvas, $1100 |  BUY NOW

"Radiance" by Elsie Harris, 32x40in, acrylic on canvas, $1100 | BUY NOW

“My intention then was to push the edges, processes and limits of realism with color, configuration and composition while still being faithful to an original image. For me it is a magical intimacy – a spiritual consciousness – one with nature – that is the message in my work.”

You can currently find Harris’s work in two Kentucky galleries: CRAFT(s) Gallery, 572 South Fourth Street, Louisville, and Art of Danville Gallery, 413 West Main Street, Danville. 

Harris' work is seen in many corporate acquisitions and personal collections both here and abroad. Her paintings have also been included in various juried and invitational exhibits across the nation, and she has been commissioned to produce paintings and graphics for numerous organizations. She has worked as a graphic artist with Kentucky Educational Television, and has been involved in an administration capability with many arts organizations and agencies in Kentucky.

"Falling Tree" by Elsie Harris, 30x32in, acrylic on canvas, $760 |  BUY NOW

"Falling Tree" by Elsie Harris, 30x32in, acrylic on canvas, $760 | BUY NOW

Exhibits - Invitational:
Hunt Morgan House: Art Connects, Lexington, KY, 2016
KY Crafted: Breeders Cup Exhibition, Lexington, KY, 2015
Coop; Sale: Group Exhibit and sale, 2015
Grid: Creativity by the Square Foot, New Editions Gallery, Lexington, KY, 2015
Gallery on Main, Richmond, KY, 2014
KY Guild of Artist/Craftsmen, Berea, KY, 2014
LexArts, ArtsPlace Gallery, Lexington, KY, 2014

Recent Exhibits:
At the Rivers Bend, Evansville Museum, 2016
OH + 5 2016, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH, 2016
Visions at the Capital Fifty/50, 2016
2016 Horizon: Contemporary Landscape exhibition, 2016
Appalachian Artist Guild National Juried Show, Blue Ridge, GA, 2011, 2014
OH+5, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH, 2013, 2015

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Education: BA, Fine Art, University of Kentucky; AA, Fine Art, Sullins Junior College
Website: http://www.elsieharris.com

"Whispering Hills" by Elsie Harris, 30x32in, acrylic on canvas, $850 |  BUY NOW

"Whispering Hills" by Elsie Harris, 30x32in, acrylic on canvas, $850 | BUY NOW

"Sunshine In" by Elsie Harris, 30x40in, acrylic on canvas, $1050 |  BUY NOW

"Sunshine In" by Elsie Harris, 30x40in, acrylic on canvas, $1050 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 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.