ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
69
R
aúl Lara Naranjo
started out working in oils, developing
his style through reading, studying and “painting many
hours in front of countless canvases.” The result of those
explorations is a body of work that combines a strong eye
for balance and composition with a unique approach to
texture and color. Citing influences that run from Caravaggio
to the contemporary Spanish abstract painter Miquel
Barceló, he creates images that bring those influences into
his own distinctive world. His paintings combine elements
of classical painting and abstraction, bringing that mixture
to life with the innovative use of a variety of media.
The artist’s works begin as image transfers applied to the
canvas. He then creates what he calls “crumpled paper
reliefs” of those transfers, painting over them with oils,
acrylics, pastels and various inks. The interaction between
the underlying images he uses and the textures he places
over them result in multi-layered works that have a vivid
sense of conflict and energy. But that energy is tempered
with a subtle color palette that brings the delicate shades
of frescoes to mind. That special mix of the current and
the classic lets the freshness of his observations of modern life come through while also placing them in a refined, yet
compelling, setting.
Protesta Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas 59” x 59”
Raúl Lara Naranjo
I
nspired by ancient events, historical figures, and the impact of other
eras on our own,
Josyane Martinez
paints the past in a defiantly
contemporary way. Martinez paints in oil with a gentle realist technique,
framing her subjects at middle distance and editing out extraneous
background detail. Her work is not about tricky artistic flourishes, but
rather action, pure and simple — what is happening in the painting,
who is doing it, and what it means for the viewer looking at the canvas
today. Martinez’s works are pure expressions of cause and effect.
Though she has depicted everything fromAl Capone’s gang, to the Kaaba
in Mecca, to the pyramids of Egypt, one of Martinez’s most enduring
subjects is Nostradamus, in whom she became interested while growing
up in the town where he once lived. With deftness and a deceptive
simplicity of composition, Martinez shows the self-proclaimed prophet
beside a painterly split-screen that literally compresses time, an act in
which the audience itself engages each time the work is viewed. One of
her paintings featuring Nostradamus was accepted by the Museum of
Nostradamus.
Martinez was born in Algeria, of French and Spanish origin, and currently
lives in Senegal. She describes her style as an “eloquent surrealism,” with
a nod to trompe-l’oeil.
Hommage à Dali Oil on Canvas 51” x 35.5”
Josyane Martinez
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