When we launched the gallery over 18 months ago, one of our goals was to make artwork accessible to people who love art. Social media behemoth Instagram has been doing this in spades for years. It has proved to be a hugely successful and vibrant marketplace for artists to promote their creations and for art lovers and collectors to source and enjoy new work. While we have found many of the artists at The Road Gallery through our submissions process, we’ve also had a lot of joy with Instagram. Without it, we wouldn’t have discovered the likes of Taylor Thomas, Melissa Monroe and Matthew Conway.
In celebration and support of the arts, we are giving shout-outs to 10 of our favorite artists, whose work we have discovered through Instagram. They are #freakinawesome.
Holly Andres uses photography to examine the complexities of childhood, the fleeting nature of memory, and female introspection. Typically her images rely on a tension between an apparently approachable subject matter and a darker, sometimes disturbing subtext. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Istanbul, Turkey and Portland, Oregon where she lives and works. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Art in America, Artforum, Exit Magazine, Art News, Modern Painters, Oprah Magazine, Elle Magazine, W, The LA Times, Glamour, Blink and Art Ltd. – which profiled her as one of 15 emerging West Coast artists under the age of 35.
Jesse Bell was born in Marshall, Michigan and received his BA in Visual Arts from Olivet College. Since that time, Bell has been creating work that strives to condense his visual language into two-dimensional imagery. Focusing primarily on the abstraction and interaction of organic shapes in various painting and digital mediums, he employs symbols and detached iconography to create what he refers to as “visual poems”. Bell has shown in numerous group and solo shows throughout the Upper Midwest and currently works and lives, along with his wife, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Jason Craighead is a recognized leader in the North Carolina art scene. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeastern United States, and is included in many private and public collections throughout the United States and internationally. He has been an active participant in the Raleigh arts community for many years. He is a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and chairman of its Art, Education and Collections Committee. He has donated many paintings to charitable art auctions, including the annual Art Papers Auction in Atlanta, and his paintings consistently bring in some of the highest bids. He serves regularly as a juror for art shows throughout North Carolina. Craighead’s process is one of expressive, emotionally charged mark-making that is raw and honest. Working in mixed media, his exploration of space and line is often compared to the expressionistic, gestural painters of the mid-20th century.
Khara Oxier is a self-taught painter living in, and loving southwest Idaho. Oier began painting later in life in an attempt to project herself outside of her traditional household roles. Her work focuses on exploring life through the process of painting; inspired by politics, culture studies, war, separation, homemaking, and social constructs. Her goal is to maintain work that is brutally honest. In this attempt, her work often communicates culturally taboo subjects, demonstrating confusion, isolation, aggression, obsessiveness, and satire. Process is a driving force in her work, creating a dirty, labored, and often overworked feeling. Her goal as an artist is to contemplate complex subject matter, bridge cultural/political gaps, and analyze society (through distorted eyes).
William LaChance is an American painter born in St Louis, MO. He received a BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Indiana University and was artist in residence at The Chautauqua Institution, New York and The Oxbow School, Michigan. LaChance’s works are in the permanent collections of The US Federal Reserve, Lambert St Louis International Airport, The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and Nike Inc. LaChance is currently professor of studio art and art history at a small four year design college in the midwest.
Allison Janae Hamilton is a visual artist based in New York City. Her photographic practice merges the rural landscapes of William Eggleston and Walker Evans, the elegant vignettes of James Van Der Zee, and the unearthly illusions of speculative fiction. Hamilton’s whimsical portraits comment on the haunting gaps within cultural memory and histories, filling these voids with imaginative fantasies pieced together from fairytales, family myths and overheard gossip, superstitions, sermons, archival family photographs, Baptist hymns, and cultural iconicity—a visual take on Audre Lorde’s “biomythography.” In this way, the work draws from the canons of magical realism, southern gothic literature, and the carnivalesque in order to meditate on disruption and magic in the seemingly mundane routines and rituals of rural life.
Gustavo Ortiz is an Argentinian artist who is currently living and working in London, UK. Influenced by colonial art as well as native indigenous artistic practices, his paintings are distinctly Latin American in their hybrid blending of both a European and a South American heritage. Using collage as his primary medium, he combines the whimsical elements of Naïve art with the unexpected juxtapositions of Surrealism, creating an atmosphere of surprise, charm, and simplicity. Populated by disproportionate human figures, animals, and objects that tightly occupy reduced landscapes, his paintings draw on the native myths and legends of Latin America, and the decorative quality and tactile texture of the compositions resonate with traces of indigenous art and craft. The strong use of colour and the patterns of clearly defined shapes afforded by the medium of collage give an air of childlike naivety and understated humour to my paintings which, created in series, offer narratives of the wonder and enchantment of human experience.
Monique Lovering was born in Devon, England. Her family immigrated to Perth, Australia where they lived for several years before moving north to Port Hedland and then settling in New Zealand. Her formative years were spent growing up in Rotorua. After leaving school she traveled to Europe for a year and returned to study art in Brisbane, Australia at the Queensland college of art. She graduated with a major in Graphic Design and went into publishing and had a successful career as an Art Director in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. In the background, she was studying art and following a passion to create her own work. This led her to spending a lot of time traveling in Italy and discovering Palermo in Sicily. So inspired by the energy and history of this island she stayed for short periods working on her work when not in London. She regards this period as the birthplace of her work and from there she has continued to work fully as an artist. She is now based in Sydney.
Steve Salo is a contemporary painter, best known for his emotive portraiture. To see a Steve Salo portrait is to feel. He’s poured his tender heart into it, toiled with the complexities of his mind and expressed his soul with every stroke of the canvas. It can be a painful process and it can be divinely beautiful or somewhere in between. Look closely at a Salo: Is this the artist’s truth, the subject’s truth or your own truth that you are feeling? Salo is an explorer. In creating his paintings, he has extraordinary patience for working things out. Often it is the imagining of a picture that takes the most time; hours, days or weeks of pondering and unravelling as he sits capsuled in his couch in front of the easel. Then, when ready, the painting flows out of him in an inspired frenzy. Other times he might just add a stroke then return to the couch to review the evolving image and plan his next move. The magic moments are when he touches the canvas and the painting “paints itself”.
James Greco is a Brooklyn based painter and sculptor whose work is a continued exploration of improvisational mark making that in turn, develops into a narrative abstraction. The work flows as pure without emotional or intellectual constructs or concepts -the marks leading to the discovery of the picture that lies between the gestural and referential. His work is collected both in Europe and the US. Using traditional oil paints, epoxy resins, house paints and other mixed media, his abstract variations range from small explorations on paper to largescale paintings.