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ARTPICKS | Fall 2015 Edition

My love of ART and culture is intertwined with my desire to better understand the human experience.  Art transmits intimate messages about both the artist and the collector.   In this way, the art and artifacts we surround ourselves with become the secret language of our homes.  By sharing my ArtPicks with you, I am revealing all sorts of details about myself.   This is the main thing to remember when collecting art; it is about expressing your unique soul, not aligning with the hive mind.  

This summer I scouted the globe to find fresh ART- ART that has something interesting to say about the world we live in.  I hope you enjoy my picks.


FIONA MACKAY  "Untitled" 2015

FIONA MACKAY  "Untitled" 2015

Fiona’s recent paintings, made with batik dye and wax on a very thin canvas, capture the yin/yang of creation. The works pulsate with life pulling the viewer into their energetic vortex.  The elegant works have the FEEL of textiles, a feminine realm, while paying homage to abstract painting – traditionally male territory.  Fiona impressively mastered the unpredictable technique of batik wax to create large-scale works that embody the balance between control and letting go. I appreciate Fiona’s commitment to both simplicity and craft. Fiona was born in Aberdeen, UK and studied at Glasgow School of Art Lives.  She currently lives in Brussels and is represented by Klemms in Berlin. 




Osamu’s mesmerizing series “Assembly” is rooted in Japanese philosophy and human theatre.  Is it the individual or group that should be visible?  By dressing schoolgirls in uniforms and setting them against the vastness of nature, Osamu dissolves individual identity. The girls become anonymous, yet the collective strengthen and the world becomes a more beautiful place.  The images capture moods of adventure, curiosity, lightheartedness and a touch of melancholia reflecting the fluctuating tones of the human experience.  Based in Tokyo, Osamu is a widely known for his commercial work while his fine art photography explores his more cerebral musings.  Learn more about his visual storytelling here. 




The warmth and electricity of copper has always held my attention.   Recently, I learned that copper is one of the 7 Noble Metals used by the Ancients and ruled by the planet Venus, as am I.  I also love books, so you can understand my magnetic attraction to Hilal Sami Hilal's works.   His delicate copper sculptures with their page like surfaces visually “read” like books, but fail to fully communicate. Letters float never becoming words, and sentences are nowhere to be seen.  Hilal’s childhood was shaped by the death of his father who’s absence left gaps and holes in his psyche. In these fragile works Hilal recalls the tenuousness of language to communicate our deepest sorrows.  Brazilian based Hilal’s works can be found in the USA at RH Contemporary.


MARIA BERRIO " The Kiss of the Butterfly" 2014

MARIA BERRIO " The Kiss of the Butterfly" 2014

Scouting the globe for extraordinary art brings many delights and a few moments of pure transcendence.  I knew at first glance that I had encountered a highly refined soul when I stumbled on Maria’s dreamy works.  Her intricate collages made with torn bits of Japanese papers, paints, sequins and other daily materials evoke dreams, myths, and fairy tales.  A mediation between the visible and invisible, Maria’s works feel like a love letter to the magical realism character of her motherland, Colombia.  I especially love the interplay between historical, supernatural and romantic elements in her heavily patterned works.  Her lush compositions populated with sacred female figures, animals and flowers, offer a dazzling respite from hard-edged realism.  Now based in Brooklyn, Maria is represented by PRAXIS. 


MICHELE DURAZZI "Was Ist Metaphysik" 2014

MICHELE DURAZZI "Was Ist Metaphysik" 2014

Michele offers a stripped down version of dream-like creation with his “surreal minimalist” series entitled Was ist Metaphysik? The Italian designer and architecture professor creates his pristine images with 3d modeling, animation and renderings.  Large white spaces and blue waters quiet the mind in his futurist cityscapes.  Michele conceived these works to exist at the junction of fiction and fantasy.  While devoid of the messiness of human existence, the abstract surrealist images hint at the beauty of reducing everything to its metaphysical core – energy.  I appreciate the meditative quality of the works and would not mind waking up to them.   Learn more about Michele’s work here.

The works featured herefall in the $5,000 - $25,000 price range and are certainly conversation starters.   Nothing elevates a room like a bold piece of original art in my view.  Reveal yourself with ART.  In the meantime, drop me a line and let me know which artist was your favorite and why.   




The freshness of SPRING makes me feel like a blast of magic is around every corner. Actually, some very exciting creative seeds are blossoming for me with a long-held dream. (Hint:  Could the world finally be ready for a sassy sitcom set in the art world?  Stay tuned…) 

To make room for the new, I have decided to phase out my Personal Curator services for individual purchases effective July 1, 2015.   I will still be available for art advisory projects that have a dedicated budget of at least $100,000. This change only strengthens my mission of unearthing and supporting emerging artistic talent.  Contributing to the economic success of an artist I admire is an important part of my work.  Matching a collector with artist they love my great pleasure.

Searching for a FRESH piece of art?  Drop me a note and lets schedule a consultation here or check out my FREE resources. In either case, remember there is no better way to support the arts than to BUY a work of art. 

To get your visual juices flowing, here are my SPRING 2015 ARTPICKS.


THIS WAY ,    2013    100 x 70 cm on acrylic | Artist: Rahman Hak-Hagir    Photographer   Nicole Monihart

THIS WAY, 2013 100 x 70 cm on acrylic | Artist: Rahman Hak-Hagir    Photographer Nicole Monihart

One of my favorite archetypes in literature is the Trickster - a court jester, a master of disguise and a keen observer of social landscapes. Half Austrian, half Afghani artist Rahman Hak-Hagir  questions conventional thinking in his conceptual performances, documented in photos and video.   In literature, the Trickster serves as a catalyst to move the plot forward.  Rahman’s cleverly constructed performances seek to promote new ways of thinking on the socio-political issues of our time by offering up a mirror.  Rahman, who is the central figure in most of his theatrical performances, displays a sharp ability to distill complex narratives into simple visuals.  Yet, like any good trickster, he challenges status quo with an intellectual wink and an excellent compositional eye. 

A socially conscious artist, Rahman’s recent works comment on conflicting needs between the individual and the collective. He is also a founding member of the international artist collective "The Other Society".  Rahman’s photographs range from the absurd, to the tragic to the curious.   Priced in the $2,500 - $5,000 range, I enthusiastically encourage you to become an early collector of this thinker/trickster.  A full portfolio of images can be found here.  


Kaleidoscope Eyes, 2014 acrylic, fabric, dye and gesso on canvas 78 x 70 inches

Kaleidoscope Eyes, 2014 acrylic, fabric, dye and gesso on canvas 78 x 70 inches

I spent three long days scouting new treasures at 9 different art fairs in Miami last December, and this inventive Brooklyn based artist made my Top 3 FRESH List.  It is impossible not to evoke Matisse’s cutouts and Miro’s tapestries when discussing Jess’s inviting, large canvases (photographs do not do them justice!)   Jess’s process starts by getting down on the floor and intuitively playing with shapes, colors and textures.   Improvisational and intuitive, like jazz, her work is about flow.   Her twist is TEXTURE.  Textiles are cut, washed, glued, sprayed and sewed on her canvases creating harmonious balance through just the right amount of visual tension.  The simplicity of Jess’s works (like Matisse’s and Miro’s) is to my eye a pristine expression of inner joy and confidence.  These works are not about cerebral musings, but embodied enchantment.  The Martos Gallery in NYC opened Jess’s second solo show in February and the show largely sold out.  Prices quoted to me in Miami were between $10,000 - $14,000 per canvas, which I consider a solid investment in both joy and art.


Emmanuel C. Bofala, Tipo Passe   2014    C-print    Paper and image size: 100 x 80cm

Emmanuel C. Bofala, Tipo Passe 2014  C-print  Paper and image size: 100 x 80cm

Despite the fact that I spend way too much time in my analytic mind, when I fall in love with art it is instant.   I fell for Angolan photojournalist Edson Chagas before I knew his name.  The curious portraits in his Tipo Passe series pack a punch visually and intellectually.   As with his Found Not Taken series, his skillfully divorces object from cultural context prompting the viewer to question what they are looking at.  Juxtaposing traditional African masks with contemporary “working man’s” clothing suspend the portrait subjects between two worlds.  I read these staged portraits as speaking to shifting cultural identities in search of the right balance between global and local influences.  A selection from the series represented Angola at the 55th Venice Biennale, winning the Golden Lion for Best National Participation.  The photos are issued in editions of 5, priced at 12,000 euros, and are available through A Palazzo Gallery. 


Census Poster, 2008 Oil on Linen

Census Poster, 2008 Oil on Linen

Art is ultimately about communication and UK based artist Ryan Mosley has plenty to say with his signature flare.  Ryan’s large-scale canvases feel theatrical, populated with a robust cast of invented characters engaged in highly charged encounters.  At first viewing, I called his work Absurdist Folk (you know how we art people LOVE to make up terms) largely due to their carnavalesque narrative.  Interestingly, it turns out Ryan worked as a security guard at The National Gallery and cites Old Masters as an inspiration.  I also learned that Ryan chooses to paint women with the same measurements as the men to treat them all as equals.  Why not?  The works offer up multi-layered narratives on textured surfaces.  Ryan describes them as “giant watercolors” which he builds up through translucent washes, painting color over color to achieve a feel of a dyed canvas.  The works are emotionally expression, visually bold and I love them.  In the U.S., Los Angeles gallerist Suzanne Vielmetter represents Ryan.

Katherine Bernhardt

Lizard Woman   2006    Acrylic on canvas    183 x 213 cm

Lizard Woman 2006  Acrylic on canvas  183 x 213 cm

Another wildly expressive painter, with an obsessive focus on female models featured in glossy magazines, Katherine Bernhardt examines media representations of beauty.    Her women, presented with severe, exaggerated features and emaciated limbs echo the works of Pablo Picasso, who had a love/hate relationship with his female subjects.  Katherine channels her ire at the vacuous media images of women by trying to retrieve their identities by fighting caricature with caricature.  Her paintings are passionate, urgent, sometimes humorous and sometimes dark.  Her fondness for real women, street fashion and North African patterns are evident in her vibrant works.   Katherine’s fresh take on female beauty has caught the attention of fashion insiders.  She has been invited to create shop windows for Channel and Miss Sixty.  Katherine’s work can be found at Saatchi Gallery and Canada Gallery (in NYC).  

As I remind my clients, collecting art is not rocket science, but it does take time to edit down your choices in a sea of visual clutter.  The more you allow your intuition to guide you, the happier you will be.  Appreciating art is a leisure activity; so make sure you are enjoying the process of filling your treasure trove.  I am here to make the process easier.   

 To a spring full of flowers!



@ 2019 Maryna Hrushetska | All rights reserved 


Background Image: AMANDA CURRER