Eye Candy

The best kind: good art.

Caveat Lector – I am in no way qualified to talk about art. We’re talking Dunce City. I have only the vaguest notion about styles and such (and much of that I learned from Opifex‘s awesome Ladyguides). I like to say, “I’m no art critic, but I know what I hate,” but only because I love to quote Montgomery Burns. I don’t hate any art. There’s just some I like way more than others.

Here’s three of them, in alphabetical order:

Danny Galieote

You’ve probably seen Danny Galiote’s work, you just may not know it unless you’re an animation credits nerd (I’m willing to bet some of you are). He spent over a dozen years at the Walt Disney Animation Studio, working on movies spanning from The Lion King to The Princess and the Frog.

That’s not what came Tumbling across my dashboard the other day, though. This did:

Clandestine Persuasion: Oil painting on canvas of a woman holding hedge clippers
Clandestine Persuasion Oil on Canvas 40″x40″.
Arcadia Gallery, NY
Image used with permission

You can bet I sat right up when I saw this. I may have even squealed, but if I did, it was drowned out by the roar of wantwantwant.

This is where my ignorance is going to show because I have no idea how to describe this style. I know it’s Contemporary Figurative, but only because that’s how it’s described on Galieote’s Facebook page.

The illustrative realism is striking, the colors are beautiful, and the details are incredible.  I want the painting, the dress, the flowers at her feet. I even want the T-Rex/Godzilla topiary hanging out in the background

If that didn’t tempt you to pull out your wallet, maybe this one will:

Undisclosed Assets: Oil painting of a woman wearing brass knuckles, clenching her fist behind her back
Undisclosed Assets Oil on Canvas 40″x40″.
Arcadia Gallery, NY
Image used with permission

This one isn’t as fanciful (whimsical?) as the previous. There’s not as much going on, but what’s there is just as stunning. Maybe more so? Look at the lace of the shirt, the lines on the hand. Even the snug wrinkles of the skirt are perfection. I don’t so much want the outfit as much as I want to be the person inside it.

If you like these pieces, you’re sure to love the rest of the gallery on his site. Here’s My Number … Asshole should be a big hit with some of you as well. The title alone makes my day.

If you’d like to see even more of Galieote’s work, the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art has a gallery of drawings and paintings.

Daniel Merriam

Social media wins again. I discovered  Daniel Merriam a few years back through a friend’s Facebook share. Although Merriam’s style is Contemporary Surrealism, being the ignorant thing I am, I thought it whimsical fantasy. Whatever you call it, it’s exquisite:

Taming Tamilia: Fanciful painting of a woman with very large pets
Taming Tamilia  by Daniel Merriam (2008). Limited edition 28.75″ x 21.75″. Image used with permission.

I love her expression: It’s regal. It’s knowing. It’s look-at-all-the-fucks-I-give. I love the pets, too, and her hat. And the details on her dress. The details on the details. I wish I had the skill to make this outfit.

The Light House: painting of a house and lighthouse on tiny island surrounded by crashing waves, with a boat in the water in front
The Light House by Daniel Merriam (2004). Limited edition 20″ x 20″. Image used with permission.

Are you surprised this is not layered paper art? I always am. The clouds and waves looks multi-dimensional; they even have their own shadows. Whenever I see it, I want to write a children’s story –something a little steampunky – to match the feel of the waves and the clouds. Or decorate a small daydreaming/reading nook to showcase this piece.

The two Merriam images I’ve chosen use muted/neutral colors, but if you look around his online gallery or Facebook page, you’ll find an abundance of brightness. And if you’re looking to add a piece or two to your walls, a list of authorized galleries can be found here.

Mark Ryden

Pop Surrealism at its finest. I never knew what to call this style, either, but I frequently used the phrase, “Little Golden Books on LSD.” Ryden is another artist you might know without knowing. His work is featured on many album covers for musicians including Michael Jackson (Dangerous), Jack Off Jill (Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers), Tyler, The Creator (Wolf) and Don Tiki (Forbidden Sounds of Don Tiki).

I discovered Mark Ryden a long while ago. It wasn’t social media that brought his eye candy my way, but it was the Internet. I was looking for desktop wallpaper and found a place using several of his pieces. Since they were jerks and gave no credit at all, it took me forever to figure out who the artist was. Since I did, my mission has been to own a piece of his work.

Allegory of the Four Elements, a painting of four girls with animals on their heads having a tea party on a tree stump
Allegory of the Four Elements by Mark Ryden (2006) Oil on canvas. Image used with permission.

There’s something about this piece that makes me happy. Actually, there are several somethings: the details on the stump (the bark, the rings) make me want to touch the picture. The not-quite-expressionless girls. The nest of babies. It’s at once both prosaic and odd, and that combination always gets my love.

Saint Barbie, a painting of a young girl praying to a nude Barbie on a cloud
Saint Barbie by Mark Ryden (1994). Oil on Panel. Image used with permission.

I’m not sure how much social commentary Ryden meant with this piece, but there is plenty.

I love how Barbie’s face looks so sweet at first glance, but on closer examination, you get a sense of mindless mean girl. I really love the hopefulness on the girl’s face (and the tears are perfect). But I think the best part is Ken as a butterfly. Something about that makes me happy.

If you’re looking to add something to your walls (or buy me a present!), you’ll want to visit Porterhouse Art or a select set of art galleries found here. You can also check  out Mark Ryden on Facebook.

Okay, snowflakes, that wraps it up for today. I do hope you’ve enjoyed the eye candy. And (just in case you’re wondering) my birthday is in July …

By Brenda

40-something-something stay home mom, floating somewhere between traditional and strange. I’m addicted to music, making things and my computer.

13 replies on “Eye Candy”

I think that’s one thing all three of the artists have in common — there are so many stunning parts it takes a long time to see it all.

There are some Ryden pieces I’ve been looking at for a few years now and I still keep finding new parts to squeal over.

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