The portraits of Spanish artist Jaime Valero are an interesting example of contemporary realism that embodies the duality of simplicity and complexity. Each large-scale painting is pared down to a few basic elements seen throughout all of Jaime Valero’s work: a solitary figure typically from the shoulders up in an aquatic environment. The figures, both male and female, sometimes look out at the viewer, other times they are preoccupied with activity. While the format of each piece is minimal, it’s the painters’ acute observation of the figure that adds layers of densely packed information and visual complexity to the painting.
The paintings of Eloy Morales- large-scale hyperrealistic portraits- are astounding feats of technical skill with an immediate and intense visual impact. While other artists working in hyperrealism may be content to have the technical skill be the overriding concern, these paintings hold the attention with a psychological weight imbued in the subject, often the artist’s own face.
Looking at the work of Jesús Perea, one might assume that the artist producing these limited edition prints would be of the ink-stained hand variety, creating textural, tonal prints in a traditional print making studio. These prints of Jesús, are in fact, wholly digital creations where the artists has mixed scans of different textures, papers, stains etc., and manipulated those elements into elegant abstract compositions before printing.
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter- all tools of the “millennials”, the new generation of young people who have come of age with the power to broadcast their image around the globe with a click of button. Billions of photos recording the minutia and mundanity of their lives circulate on social media, revealing not just a modern youth culture, but a burgeoning aesthetic sense too- the selfies, and arms-length photos of consumption and consumerism, documented and shared.
There are some artists who create paintings that welcome your gaze and invite you to a leisurely moment of contemplation at your own pace. Pleasant, uplifting and decorative, the artist allows the viewer control of the situation. Not so with the work of Dino Valls. These paintings push back hard, and challenge you to meet the gaze of the exquisitely crafted figures of young girls and boys – eyes that dare you to not look away, to instead face the darkness, the disturbing, and the anxious.