painting

OP FIGURATIVE ART + INTERVIEW

by Alex Garant

Toronto artist Alex Garant was cool enough to talk to us about 2019 shows, careers past and finding her voice. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I was in art school over 15 years ago. I experienced pretty much all mediums, acrylic, gouache, mixed media, even 3D mediums like clay and metal. But oils have always been the medium that made me happy or made me feel satisfied. As per what I call OP figurative art, it is a style I developed over the years. For a long time, I was painting more conventional and traditional portraits but I was still on my quest to find my own voice. Once I was able to visually conceptualize what was my deepest inspirations, I completely devoted myself to it. 

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

Art was always part of my life, my mother is an artist and writer, and we spent a lot of time painting and drawing when I was a child. But I did get lost for a few years and tried a few different careers, nanny, flight attendant, makeup artist, marketing, sales executive. I did it all! hahaha but there is never been a morning I didn't wake up thinking I wanted to be an artist.

Who/What inspires your work currently?

I try to shield myself from external inspiration, I do not want to be influenced by other artists on social media or wherever. I try to focus on internal elements as inspiration such as mood, colours I like, a texture I appreciate, etc.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on Youtube/Reddit/TV/Movies…?

OOhh I haven’t had cable in 14 years so I am a huge Netflix fan. I tend to binge on Bob Ross, The Office, Criminal Minds, Black List and cooking shows. 

What do you have going on in 2019?

So much!
UPCOMING  SHOWS

January, University of Texas, Rubin Center for the Visual Arts

Feb 9- March 3, 2019 Solo Show, BeinArt Gallery 

Feb 21-24, The Artist Project, Toronto

April, 8th Annual Supersonic Invitational, Hashimoto Gallery, San Francisco

April, Winderkin, WxW Gallery, www.wowxwow.com

June, Feature show, ArchEnemy Arts Gallery, Philadelphia

June, Painting the Figure Now 2, Wausau Museum Of Contemporary Art

June, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Heron Arts, San Francisco

July, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Red Truck, New Orleans

Sept, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, Vertical Gallery, Chicago

October 31st, Duo Exhibit, Talon Gallery, Portland, Oregon

November 9th, Esprit de Corps  Group Show, Haven x Modern Eden 

Dec, Thinkspace presents 12x12 Showcase, SCOPE Miami

Feb 2020, Feature Show, Haven, New York

SURREAL ART + INTERVIEW

by Sara Birns

We talked to Santa Cruz artist Sara Birns about oil painting, stupid memes and mind versus body. Enjoy!

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How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

My work plays with the physical body and the disconnected mind. Bodies age, mutate, get sick, and decay while our minds would prefer otherwise. I’ve worked with acrylic and water colors, but nothing gives me the realism I love like oil paints. I also use colored pencils when I’m not in my studio, the control I get with them gives me chills.

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to make a lot of money haha. So I went into tech and kept art on the side. I realized that wasn’t going to work for me... so I changed paths. I’m much happier with a small income if it means I can put all my energy into art.

Who/What inspires your work currently?

My mentor Christian Rex van Minnen is a HUGE inspiration. I also get inspired from experiences that make me uncomfortable in life, details of the bodies, and random amazing artists I see on the web or in person.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Google/Reddit...?

Psychedelic philosophers such as John C. Lilly and extremely stupid memes and gifs I find on Instagram. I don’t watch many shows but when I do I watch Tim and Eric, adventure time, and other surreal humor shows.

What do you have going on in 2019?

This year I’m working on mastering the oil painting old masters with the help from my mentor. In the process I’ll be completing a body of work (10-12 pieces) to apply to art residencies.

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