My figures are still, icon-like, but often trapped within luxurious, decorative patterns. There are narratives of love, desire, disappointment, cautionary and celebratory going on here; it all depends literally on the viewer's standpoint.
"After having personally practiced shamanism, shamanic healing, and shamanic journeying for more than half a century, I can say that there is nothing I have encountered in reports of the spiritual experiences of saints, prophets, psychedelic drug experimenters, near death survivors, avatars and other mystics that is not commonly experienced when following classic journey methods using a drum." —Michael Harner, The Foundation for Shamnic Studies
To create in light and line, capture emotion as it whispers across a face, energy as it tightens then loosens a body… David Cooper received no formal training in this, but instead gained his technique and sensitive eye through the matter of clocking in hours with his camera. He shows his subjects, the dancers, his proofs, listens carefully to their feedback, and makes whatever adjustments are needed. It’s a simple give-and-take. Generous from both sides. One might even call it a dance.
As award-winning poet Lauren Berry takes us through the after-effects of the sexual trauma experienced by her young narrator, the reader is chilled by the depth of the girl's vulnerability. But then there is another layer which the author weaves in with equally potency: the growing sense that here is a girl who, despite everything, remains the narrator of her own self-identity. Colorful and eccentric and steeped in lush, figurative language, this story, however difficult, is unmistakably her own.
I was in France at the time and I met a young guy in my French class. And he was an ex-child soldier. I saw him as always really sad. You didn't ever see a smile on his face. We'd go for coffee or a drink, and one day I just asked him, "Hey man, why don't you ever smile?" And he just explained to me that his childhood was stolen from him. I told him that if I was a writer I would write something, but I am a painter. So I painted his portrait.
I grew up in Mexico City, where my dad and I bred a collection of close to 70 birds – mostly songbirds. As lovers of both music and nature, this was our way of converging the two ~ and to keep our surroundings as pure as possible while living in the big city. Since then, birds have been a source of inspiration for my paintings.
"I grew up thinking that one ought to paint and draw like a man. Then as I got to know what men and women are like, I thought that really one ought to try to paint like a god. Now I think I ought to paint like a human being." ~ Maria Kreyn
Making a quick dismissal of Valls’ work because it seems a bit kinky and a little disturbing would be to wildly underestimate these paintings, which are much, much, deeper than superficial erotica.
Consider the work of Spanish artist Dino Valls, trained as a surgeon yet who upon graduation made the decision to focus all of his energies on painting. But be forewarned: Valls does not ease into his subjects; he works forcefully and seemingly without fear. Or is it precisely because of personal fears that he makes these incisions?