Shuai Xu

"I integrate these sources of inspiration into my works by thinking about dreams, starry sky, reality and nothingness, combined with Chinese cultural elements, like Ching. I hope to explore my own world more deeply while expanding outward. Every one of us is familiar with dreams."

Redemption between black holes Ⅰ - Mixed media 15 x 15 x 2.5 in.

Artist and curator, Shuai Xu graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, China, and a classical oil painting studio in 2018. Currently, he is studying in the Art Department of Claremont Graduate University in the United States. Xu's work focuses on the invisible world, and a lot of inspiration comes from his dreams. He has been concerned with topics such as the universe, individuals and nature for a long time.

"My current works focus on the invisible world, and much of my inspiration comes from my dreams. I am interested in humanity’s relationship to the cosmos, particularly as it plays out here on Earth; especially the relationship between individuals and nature. I hope to explore my inner world more deeply while expanding outward, to engage society and beyond. 

My current works are built on my understanding of these historical works and my dreams, both of which have passed and both of which I explore while awake, assessing and analyzing them rationally and consciously. The dream world is an invisible world, but we cannot deny its existence. I proceed by “plagiarizing” scenes from my dreams, incorporating them into my work and giving them three-dimensional form in physical reality. 

However, this does not mean that every one of my paintings comes directly from my dreams. I will record the content of my dreams, and get inspired by my dreams, and connect with the real world through the dreams. When I finished my work, the work may be different from my original dream scene, and I added my thinking in the real world to the work. 

But it is undeniable that the initial motivation that prompted me to create these works came from my dreams. So I think dreams are very important to me. Sometimes, my paintings lead me to create land art. Because painting can create unlimited imagination in a limited space, I can freely conceive the land art scene in my mind through painting. Painting is like a draft of land art to me. My land art uses the land as a canvas to form a visually vast landscape, so as to explore the relationship between human beings and nature, and even between human beings and the universe. Whether it is dreams or cosmic space, we can call it the invisible world. This invisible world is often overlooked by society at large but it is the focus of my work."

Redeeming the black holes 7 - Oil on canvas 24 x 36 in.
Redeeming the black holes 8 - Oil on canvas 64 x 57 in.
Redemption between black holes Ⅱ - Digital media
Redemption between black holes Ⅲ - Painting 66 x 64 x 1.5 in.
Redeeming the black holes 9 - Acrylic on canvas 30 x 40 in.
Redeeming the black holes 10 - Oil on canvas 60 x 65 in.
Redemption between black holes Ⅴ - Land art
Redemption between black holes Ⅳ - Painting, 20 x 30 x 1.5 in.
Redeeming the black holes 6 - Land art Variable size

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Lukas Kandl

“Ce qui m’importe c’est de montrer des tableaux devant lesquels le spectateur attentif va s’installer, entrer en communion, faire sa propre promenade de rêve éveillé et s’habiller, ne serait-ce que pour un moment, d’une sensation rare, inhabituelle.”

“What matters to me is to show paintings in front of which the attentive spectator will settle down, enter into communion, take his own waking dream walk and dress, if only for a moment, in a rare, unusual sensation.”

Belphégor (La Fontaine Livre 12, Fable 27) - Oil on canvas 195 x 130 cm

Born in Prague, Czech Republic, in 1944, Lukas Kandl graduated from the Prague Academy of Fine Arts and now lives in France. From 2002 to 2020, Lukas lead the “Visionirique-étrange” group of the Salon Comparaisons which exhibited every year in the Grand Palais in Paris. In 2006, Kandl led the creation of the international movement “Libellule, Contemporary Renaissance”. Ever since, he has given an annual theme and format to the artists of Libellule and launched a new collection.

The group started the first show in the Grand Palais in Paris at the “Art Capital fair – salon Comparaisons” and then the collection was circulated worldwide.

In 2020, Kandl began a large Libellule project, titled "Tribute to La Fontaine"; to have all the La Fontaine fables reinterpreted by the Libellule artists (246 fables) ready for the 400th anniversary of this great poet (08/07/1621). The project was done on time and shown in three different locations in 2021. The project was published in three volumes which included all texts and images.

"On January 2016, I realized my 1000th painting. As I loved the La Fontaine Fables project so much, I decided to reinterpret all the La Fontaine's Fables by myself. My goal is to have a book edited with my interpretation of the 246 fables for my 80th birthday."

Lukas Kandl has a notable career spanning 80 solo shows and participation in more than 500  group exhibits. The recipient of numerous awards, including the Golden Palm in the Art Festival in Brussels (Belgium), the prize of the national council at the International Prize of Monte-Carlo (Monaco), First Place Award at the Art Festival of Osaka (Japan) as well as a  Prize by the European Foundation. Lukas Kandl has been elected as a member of the exclusive Copley Society in Boston (U.S.A.) and promoted Commander in orders of the European Star, as well as Chevalier du Tastevin at the Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy (France). In June 2019, Kandl received the Gold Medal of the A.S.L. “Arts Sciences and Letters” Academy.

Les Animaux malades de la peste (La Fontaine Livre 7, Fable 1) - Oil on canvas 170 x 245 cm
Vertumnus couronné (Tribute to Arcimboldo) - Oil on canvas 195 x 130 cm
Gardien d'un inaccessible trésor - Oil on canvas 180 x 300 cm
Cheval à la rose magique - Oil on canvas 80 x 60 cm

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Petra Knezic

"The core of my art process is the transformation of any given situation that occupies my mind, with all its colours, into the basic molecules, the building bricks. There are so many issues that cannot be settled because of their density, without being analysed and understood. I draw them."

Dial.Up or Peter Pan's Crocodile - Ink on paper 180 x 80 cm (70.86 x 31.5 in.)

Petra Knezic is a self-taught artist from Slovenia that focuses on ink art. She uses precise technical pens (isographs) with drawing ink, that let her create very detailed drawings on paper or canvas, for the sake of exploring an idea with the smallest line.

Her art is based on creating stories, using empty-faced, gridded people (Soulies) or skeletons, to invite the viewer to mentally collage their person into the drawing and experience it for themselves. She seldom steps out of the black and white variations as she sees her love of ink as an upgrade from previously used pencil and charcoal and a possibility to strip down a situation into its building bricks.

Petra has been published in international art magazines around the world and has been awarded the first Leonardo da Vinci Award - The Universal Artist in Florence, Italy as well as the Canaletto Prize for outstanding work in her art career in Mira (Venice), Italy. She has been published as one of the ten finalists in the abstract and experimental art issue of the leading art magazine International Artist Magazine. She has also been distinguished as one of the 20 jury-selected artists in the CCBA International Milano Art Competition, finishing 2016 with an international group exhibition at the Bakery Pavilion and later the Art Passage gallery in the heart of Milano, Italy. Since then, Petra has focused on only one collection, the "Grids and Bricks - Underwater" works, which she completed in 2018.

Density, the Angler Fish - Ink on paper 76 x 56 cm (30 x 22 in.)
Punky, the Balloon Fish - Ink on paper 56 x 76 cm (22 x 30 in.)
0 100 0 0 : Magenta - Ink on paper 51 x 80 cm (20.1 x 31.5 in.)
RED: waR lovE blooD - Ink on paper 140 x 100 cm (55.1 x 39.3 in.)

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Mayuko Ono Gray

"Reflecting a life which is both culturally Japanese and American, my graphite drawings hybridize influences from traditional Japanese calligraphy combined with Western drawing practices and aesthetics."

出会いは別れのはじめ_Hello is the Beginning of Good-bye - Graphite on paper 102 x 64 in.

Mayuko Ono Gray is a Houston, Texas-based artist whose main medium is graphite drawing. Born in Gifu, Japan, she was trained in traditional Japanese calligraphy in her young childhood and later in her teenage years, she was trained in classical Western drawing.

After graduating from high school in Japan, Mayuko moved to the U.S. She earned her MFA in Painting from the University of Houston in 2007.

Her works are represented by Hooks-Epstein galleries in Houston, TX and Galeria 910 in Oaxaca, Mexico, and her works have been exhibited internationally in Tokyo, Japan, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Rome, Italy.

見て分からんものは聞いても分からん_Bubbles - Graphite on paper 63 x 123 in.
芸術は長く人生は短し_Art is long, Life is short (George) - Graphite on paper 41 x 65 in.
目に入れても痛くない_Cat with feather - Graphite on paper 41 x 61 in.
笑う門には福来たる_Fortune Cookies - Graphite on paper 41 x 61.5 in.

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Boris Marinin

Contemporary multidisciplinary artist, curator and creative director.

Multidisciplinary artist and curator Boris Marinin born in 1987 in the city of Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to Israel in 1997. Marinin holds a BFA in Screen Arts and MFA at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. His artistic process is influenced mainly by self-study, the practice of frustration, and psychoanalytic analysis. Artists Judith Sasportas, Joseph Beuys, Matthew Barney, and the musical genre Black Metal, inspired artistic decisions and are an integral part of his developmental process.

"Digital art is finally made itself into a unique object. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique and distinct cryptocurrency assets. Each NFT is unique, with distinguishing metadata and identification codes. NFTs are certificates of authenticity, using a string of characters to prove ownership and legitimacy.

Making my bubble series I use the technic of Physically based rendering (PBR). A computer graphics approach that seeks to render images in a way that models the flow of light in the real world. This object is made with mathematical rules, just like a mathematical golden ratio of nature. It is as material as a rock or a tree. By making this object into NFT, it gained the singular plural meaning of object of cognitive capitalism. But it lost the magic of transcendence.

My Bubbles are gods and entities, once, and still today, believed to be real and transcendent. They are not only objects that are subjects of perception. Virtual reality states that the objects that surround us are only screens that project their essence. In my Bubble series, the objects are the main subject matter. This stems from the search for meaning. The circular motion of meaning is created by human perception and continues to a sharing motion of the objects around us. The objects exist in their own right and by the association between them, and they are real as long as we believe our perception.”

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Lannie Hart

"My work examines the perception of women in contemporary society as informed by their portrayal in history and myth. My figurative sculpture, installation and painting embrace ornate found object assemblage as I work to merge the past with the present."

ST. LUCIA - Brass, steel, polymer clay, glass eyes, pigment, patina and found objects. 38 x 18 x 27 in.

New York area artist Lannie Hart, is a sculptor, painter and installation artist with a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Hart had her first solo show in 1982 at Julie Artisan Gallery, NYC. She was published in 'Art to Wear' and is in the permanent collection of Julie Schaffler Dale. Other solo shows were at SOHO 20 NYC, Azarian McCullough Sparkill, NY and Gallery Broadfoot & Broadfoot Booton, NJ. She has also shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond VA, Katonah Museum, Katonah, NY, AIR Gallery Brooklyn, NY, Jim Kempner Gallery NYC, Westbeth Gallery NYC and many others.

In 2012 and 2018, Lannie Hart's sculptures won first prize and were acquired by Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY for their permanent collection. Hart won a $10,000 grant in 2015 from Historic Hudson Valley for a sculpture in Van Courtlandt Manor, Croton-On-Hudson, NY. Hart was a member of SOHO20 for 7 years and is a current member of Sculptors Guild since 2012 where she was VP of Publications.

ADAM & EVE - Oil on canvas with collage, fabricated brass and aluminum frame with found objects 49 x 45 in.
BIRTH OF EVE - Water fountain and brass mobiles: powder coated steel, bronze, brass, water, pebbles, rock and found objects. Installation size varies Sculpture 63 x 29 x 49 in.
THE LOVERS - Two pedestal sculptures that fit together. Bronze, brass, polymer clay, wood, gold foil, black marker and found objects 71 x 25 x 9.5 in.
THE ANNUNCIATION - Oil on canvas, collaged brass leaf, fabricated brass frame and found objects

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Hildegard Christina Risse

"I studied for four years at a private art academy in Düsseldorf with diploma, and then for three years at a private art academy in Kolbermoor near Munich with Prof. Markus Lüpertz and became a masterclass graduate with diploma."

Letter to a far away love - Mixed media on canvas 70 x 70 cm

German artist, Hildegard Christina Risse paints mostly in an abstract expressionist style but also works figuratively. A freelance painter, she maintains her studio in  Düsseldorf and actively exhibits in Europe and the USA. In January of 2021, Risse was interview by Paul Zimmerman, published in Spotlight Magazine. You can see more of her artwork on Instagram @hildegardchristinarisse and Saatchi Online.

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas 90 x 110 cm
Untitled - Mixed media on canvas 80 x 100 cm
Untitled - Mixed media on canvas 90 x 110 cm
Untitled - Acrylic on canvas 90 x 110 cm

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Carol A. Hanna

"Songs of the Birds: I have endeavored to interpret the songs of birds using a visual language that represents the color of the birds and the notes of their songs. Rhythms, pitch, softness or loudness of voice are represented by the color patterns. The airbrush picks up the shimmering color."

Endangered Song - Acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 in.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Carol lived in the Ann Arbor area for most of her adult life.  She has received both BFA and MA degrees and attended various schools including Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan and Washtenaw Community College.


Solo Exhibitions

2013 Gifts of Art, University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI.

2012 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, Songs of the Birds, Ithaca NY.

2011 Riverside Arts Center Gallery, Ypsilanti, MI.

2010 Eastern Michigan University, Ypslianti, MI.


Select Group Exhibitions

2020 Manhattan Arts International, “Her Story” 2020-2021, Online Exhibition, Manhattan Arts

2017 Masur Museum, Monroe, LA

2016 Color, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, NY, NY.

2015  Our Town Art Show & Sale, Birmingham, MI.

2014 Statewide Fine Art Competition, Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson, MI.

          EMU Art Alumni Exhibition, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI.

          Detroit Artists Market Biannual All Media Exhibition, Detroit Artists Market, MI.

2013 Choreography of the Cranes, Shafer Memorial Gallery, Great Bend, KS.

           Summer Invitational Exhibition, Art Essex Gallery, Essex, CT.

           94th Annual Toledo Area Artists Exhibition, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo OH.

            Working It Out, The Painting Center, New York, NY.

2012 Birren National Color Award Show, Stamford Art Association, Stamford Connecticut,

          Detroit, Mid-America College Art Association, Wayne State University

          The Kresage Foundation, Detroit, MI

American Robin Flight and Song - Acrylic and resin on canvas 32 x 40 in.
Red-Backed Dark-Eyed Junco - Acrylic ink on clayboard 18 x 24 in
American Robin - Acrylic ink on clayboard 14 x 18 in.
Pine Grosbeak female Song - Acrylic on canvas 32 x 48 in.

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Marc Bowditch

Born 1967, Johannesburg, South Africa

Lives in: Berlin, Germany

Describe your art in 3 words: Pigment on velvet

See More Work: | #goodbrush1

My artwork is primarily executed in watercolour. At present, my work is dedicated to sculptural combination pieces made with watercolour on paper. These paintings are built from an assemblage of smaller works which are cut, folded and connected to make the final piece.

What themes does your work involve?
My primary interest is to see how far I can push the technique of watercolour. Watercolour suffers from limited expression as a medium for contemporary art. Its greater possibilities are still being explored and it is more than an outdoor sketching tool. Traditional uses of its transparency, delicacy, light, scale etc. often hold it back, when one could consider instead how its power could hold the space of a room. In all, through my work I aspire to “lift” this timidly used medium to a bolder and broader expression that could hold its own with other mediums.
Describe your creative process.
A composition, its shapes and forms, is quickly sketched out and then drawn carefully to scale on the computer. This becomes an accurate template to build a painting. When it comes to each painted element, other than horizontal bands of colour, there are no rules. I immerse myself for days creating colours upon colours, whatever comes to mind - colour flow is loose, spontaneous and intuitive, meandering through darks and lights, earthy, ethereal, cold and warm tones. I explore the elementary qualities unique to watercolour - texture, sediment differences, water tension, colour strength and its unique ethereal transparency resulting in an incomparable light reflection. Then I turn back to the template, with as few preconceptions as possible, to find where the two can meet.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I paint because for so many years everything I did kept me away. Now I feel fortunate to finally commit to my vocation. I have a good studio practice. I work as long and as hard as I can. It is in the doing that leads to discovery and inspiration. At present, only a small amount of the things I encounter, whether online or in galleries and museums, filter through into the work. As I progress, this will change of course.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art hits you in the gut. Whether for boldness of colour, composition, idea or beauty. There is no getting away from it and it stays with you. It can be a very personal experience, however some paintings strike broadly many different people capturing and communicating with Zeitgeist.
What is the role of the artist today?
An artist's role is to give - through their work - an indelible sense of ourselves.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


Born 1965, Bulgaria

Lives in: Msida, Malta

Describe your art in 3 words: Sound of colours

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"From ancient times to this day, people have used various signs and symbols to convey ideas, communicate with each other, and express their thoughts, feelings and emotions. Emotions are the foundation of art. Artists use colours and form to create their own language and that language sometimes tells us stories but other times just makes us happy without stories and lessons."

What themes does your work involve?
Most of my artworks are abstract and they are not related to specific themes or ideas. In the past, I have worked on themes that have been interesting to me but currently, I am fully dedicated to abstract art. Abstract painting gives me unlimited freedom to create my own language of symbolic forms. I perceive myself as a jazz musician during improvisation. I let my hands and imagination compose on the top of the canvas until it reverberates with beautiful music.
Describe your creative process.
It is a kind of a stream of information that passes through me as if through a portal. When the portal is open for me, I start to create. The information flows, time is not enough, and I often paint several pictures simultaneously. I never force the moment or the nature of the process. I let the pictures happen and resonate. When I work I aim to combine colours and nuances which ''love each other'' in such a way that the painting would echo beautifully. Another feature of my creative process is the unlimited freedom that abstract painting gives me. There are various techniques and materials I use to create my own world of forms and colours without any restrictions. I like that my canvas is rich in layers and textures. I love multi-layered painting filled with texture.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I wouldn't say that an artist or a style has influenced me. I am an intuitive artist and for me, the discovery of abstract art turned out on it's own. Why do I make art? My feeling is that I was born to do that.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I believe that art is all about love and emotions. I have always been very happy the audience at my exhibitions makes associations and comments on what they see in my works. The fact that my work evokes emotions and imaginations of the audience means that my paintings are alife, influential and filled with energy.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist is to give people those emotions they need. My desire is for my audience to feel the positive energies and emotions in my paintings and to feel entertained as I was feeling when I was working on them. I know that not everyone is familiar with abstract art, so I just simply explain how my paintings ''come to life''. When I give the people an example of composing music I think they begin to understand the essence of the abstract painting better. I wish my artworks meet a wider audience. Each of my art pieces has its own life and the artist's studio is just the beginning. I have always been very happy when a work of mine finds the right person to love it and it reciprocates this love.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist