ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 46-47

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
orking in soft pastels on paper,
David Costello
creates works in
which his strong eye for color, light and composition combines
with an ability to depict scenes that have an air of both peacefulness
and mystery. A career in the graphic arts has given Costello a finely
developed skill at making clear, dynamic images. Strong arcs of
movement define his compositions, giving each work a powerful,
controlled energy. But that energy is only a small part of what makes
his works compelling. “My work flows out of time spent in stillness
and silence,” he says, and that contemplative sense is as strong a
component of his work as is its power.
The artist’s skill at handling color also contributes to the effect of his
images. Dark and light shades are played off of each other, adding
to the dynamism of his work. And his ability to recreate the effect
of light in pastels results in scenes that are permeated with a glow
that seems to come from within their subjects. This lends his work a
spiritual aura, and that is one of the artist’s main goals. “A successful
work of art,” he notes “is one that draws from the spiritual and in turn
touches the spirit within the observer.”
The Portal Pastel on Paper 43” x 32”
David Costello
nfluenced by science, a quest for God, and the undersea wonders
surrounding the Barrier Islands of Louisiana,
Brady Steward
works bring a water-like fluidity to biological and environmental
subjects. Steward sculpts glass with a spontaneity that draws on
primal instincts. He strives to give each piece a unique voice, one that
can affect the consciousness and spirituality of the viewer, a voice
whose meaning may emerge only years later. His compositions lean
toward the abstract, allowing the mind to wander into the ethereal
and igniting the imagination with a narrative that can be deeply
Some of Steward’s works are self-proclaimed as serendipitous,
expressions that found their form and meaning as if guided by
some unseen will of their own. Each is imbued with a power to
register in the viewer’s subconscious. Many pieces fully exploit a
prism of colors that dance in the medium as if alive. Others draw on
the monochromatic to reveal shapes that congeal, their narrative
meaning suspended, leaving the viewer to complete the expression.
His mixed media works are playful, inviting and tactile compositions,
driven by geometries both conventional and unconventional. Yet
without hesitation, every work reflects a skill and mastery of the
chosen medium.
Ice Moon Series (Life Under the Ice Pack)
Glass 23.5” x 12” x 10”
Brady Steward
eavily influenced by the untamed Namibian
Marcus Viljoen
has always been
enamored by photography. A conceptualist who
employs a myriad of photographic processes and
techniques, Viljoen’s images convey memories
once perceived but now lost. Using hundreds
of layered images, his sculpted, mixed media
works create rich textures that speak to the
temporal links between society and landscape.
His use of cut paper, altered magazines and
weaved photographs create a metaphor for our
understanding of abstract media and society. Each
landscape boldly exceeds convention, portraying
the stark Namibian landscape with a hyper-realism
that verges on the subliminal.
Viljoen’s media composites reflect a dignity and
respect for the land. Each piece exceeds the limits
and barriers imposed by two-dimensions, creating the tactility of three-dimensional expression. Through movement and
distortion, these timeless images succeed in taking viewers into the wondrous realm of pristine Africa. Upon reflection,
each photograph lingers in the mind, challenging us to grasp its initially elusive intent, connecting us to something primal,
making us aware of who we are. In this respect, Viljoen is clearly sui generis.
Marcus Viljoen
Fernando Braune
ernando Braune
’s beautiful digital photography
brings together kaleidoscopic color effects
and an almost hallucinatory layering of images to
create a new world, full of what he calls “mystery
and magic.” Braune photographs everyday street
scenes on a personal scale. Rather than a line of
cars stretching down a block, he presents a detailed
look at the way one car is angled at the curb just so,
with a nearby figure casually draping his arm over
a bench – in other words, what one would see with
one’s own eyes. In this way, his camera stands in for
the audience and becomes our own first-person
But Braune takes these familiar viewpoints and
builds them into something more. Several individual
scenes are collaged together, to create a constantly-
moving snapshot of a moment in time. Then Braune adds vivid, surreal color in a variety of different media – watercolor,
pastel, crayon – by hand to the photographs, which are all shot in black and white. Finally, the image is digitized and flattened
out to create a final piece of direct graphic boldness.
Braune was born in Brazil and today lives in Rio de Janeiro.
Labuto I Photograph on Hahnemühle Paper 27.5” x 39.5”
Sesriem Mixed Media on Paper 16” x 31”
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