Laslo Sergiu is a Romanian artist fond of interspersing his largely grey-scale paintings with bursts of vivid neon color. In Family Portrait, the artist paints in monochrome an image of a parent hugging a child, behind rainbow-colored bands reminiscent of blinds on a window. Interestingly, while the features of the child’s face are seen, the parent’s face has been smoothed flat into featureless gray. Instead, it is the parent’s grasping hands which are most prominent. The effect is somewhat ominous, however the child’s expression, and the bright colors of the stripes, seem to allay any suspicion of a darker subtext.
A woman wearing a bright red shirt, sits, her legs tucked and crossed beneath her in this figurative abstract painting by Iranian Canadian painter Majid Eskandari. The details of the woman’s face has been replaced by non-representational overlapping strokes of vibrant color. The intense red color of her shirt, and the tone of her flesh is set against a sedate and more uniformly painted background: a light blue wall, and grey floor.
By obscuring the woman’s face, the artist frustrates our natural tendency to read the face to inform our interpretation of the mood of a figurative painting (a technique that seems quite popular among a number of contemporary artists, Hanna Ilczyszyn to take just one example). Instead, we rely on the cheerful colors, and the apparent youth and beauty of the figure’s form.
In this still life painting by figurative painter Paulina Swietliczko, herring are painted laying flat on a surface, perhaps a piece of butcher paper on a table, in an appealing jumble; one fish lies in a direction unlike the other.. The fish are painted in blue, purple, and black, with a painterly emphasis on their color and texture.
In this series of three paintings by artist Jae Schalekamp, moonlit scenes of a city street have been painted, perhaps out of the artist’s own window. A fog-like grey pervades the paintings so that nothing is seen with clear definition, though one sees that there are buildings with lit windows across an empty street. In two of the paintings, a tree branch or trunk painted in black is in the foreground, not only emphasizing that it is night time, but also giving these a dynamism that is perhaps missing from the third painting in the series.