25 JULY 2013 – An exciting blend of styles, the new artist recruits for Guerilla Galleries hail from far and wide, bringing with them a mix of work ranging in subject from celebrity portraits with a twist to fairy tale-esque paintings. All talented and fascinating individuals, these artists each have their own story to tell in the artworks.
Elizabeth Roman (left) demonstrates with pieces such as The Hope Wanted her preoccupation with pertinent political issues such as the right to protest. Born in Peru, Roman speaks of the importance of social criticism, stating: “Painting is not only an object for aesthetic contemplation but also a tool of communication.” Her works are also visually pleasing, using bright colours and bold lines to create a style inspired by street art and Mexican Muralism.
In contrast is the work of Theresa de Swiet. Born to Japanese and Bangladeshi parents, de Swiet is open about her mental health issues, which are a great influence on her artwork. Allowing her imagination and reality to blend, the results are fantastical pieces, such as Kawai, a painting that depicts the constellation of Aquarius in a blue night sky. The title, which translates as ‘cute’ in Japanese, refers to the couple who hold hands on the right hand side of the painting, but other than that, the abstract piece is open to viewer interpretation.
Leanne Broadbent creates similarly magical images, inspired by children’s literature such as that of Lewis Carroll and the Brothers Grimm. Commenting that her work “begins with a playful desire to juxtapose contradictory images of nonsensical themes”, her piece Treacherous Villains depicts the climax of a narrative, as the heroes decide how to save the day. Through using found images, Broadbent arouses feelings of escapism and nostalgia in the viewer.
The artwork of Jay Cuthbertson, on the other hand, is part of the Art Historical tradition of paintings, which focus on the eye as a subject. This is exemplified by his painting The Loneliness of Consciousness. Here, the Yorkshire born artist shows not only his awareness of the isolation of the individual, but his interest in artists from Escher to Magritte. The painting is his comment on the human tendency to obsess over the nuances of life and how the loneliness of this experience can be lifted by communication.
Taking on a more realistic approach is David Vigor, an Enfield-born artist creating celebrity portraits in the hyperrealist style. Having portrayed everyone from Hepburn to Hendrix, his pieces showcase his outstanding ability. Despite managing to depict every minute detail, Vigor still succeeds in capturing something more spiritual about his sitters.
Finally, the last new artist is Alex Becker (above right), a German native. His comment that ‘painting is like dancing, it is imbued with vigour and emotion’ is reflected in his work La Ballerine. The painting, which portrays a series of ballet dancers in motion, is an expressive work capturing the complexity and energetic flow of the sequence. Comparable to artists such as Degas and Matisse, his works are simultaneously highly modern whilst referenced in the past.
Ultimately, Guerilla Galleries six new recruits are all impressive individuals focusing on wide ranging themes. From social criticism to the imagination, these artists are influenced by everything from the past to mental illness. There is no doubt that these are artists who are ready to join the revolution.