Juan Davila

Davila’s work I have loved, very confronting, satirical imagery combined with an expressive use of colour while involving comic-strip seperation and masterful figurative depictions leaves me with no further desires.

Stepping from the politics of art to political art is easy for Juan Davila. Arriving in Australia in the wake of the Pinochet coup in Chile, he brought a Latin American understanding of the post-colonial and the fragility of independence in the face of superpower politics. (1)

The Moral Meaning of Wilderness at Monash Univeristy of Modern Art (MUMA)

“The ‘Moral Meaning of Wilderness’ exhibition is a tour of the various approaches to the landscape: ‘plein air’ painting, studio landscape work, sublime landscape, historical evocation of landscape, modernity and the landscape, natural disaster, childhood memory of a landscape, woman in the wilderness. The ‘After Image’ works seem to refer to fantasies, inner space, unnameable objects, microcosm and immense space. Within the representation of “the land” one easily forgets that we are dealing with complexity and a field of projections. The political, the sublime, the moral stance, corporate destruction and the future of our environment come to mind.”

– Juan Davila

Wilderness juan Davila 2010
Wilderness 2010
A man is born without fear 2010 j.d
A Man is Born Without Fear 2010
after image, a man is born without fear 2010 j.d
After Image, A Man is Born Without Fear 2010

“The after-image is a momentary body-memory – not intellectual but bizarrely willed – perhaps a bit like the recollection of a dream or the instant slip that uncannily reveals the unconscious. In monumentalising this trace, Davila delivers us to another ethereal zone: the breath of libido, buffeted by clouds of repression and misty internalised myths. As portraits of evanescent memory, they are wantonly memorable.” (2)

The Studio 1984
The Studio 1984
1988 Pre-Modern Self-Portrait
Pre-Modern Self-Portrait 1988
Bretonism 1989
Bretonism 1989
Commission for the Future 1989
Commission for the Future 1989
indigenous angel qith matisse background 1993
Indigenous Angel with Matisse Background 1993
Carmen Gollardo 2005
Carmen Gollardo 2005

While his paintings have often fractured images into multiple parts, Davila’s work has also consistently drawn upon figurative traditions, from portraiture to narrative tableaux. His subjects are often people of ambiguous gender, mixed race or marginal social status, questioning public attitudes to identity and sexuality. Davila’s more recent series focusing on the treatment of refugees continued this approach, using the human figure to explore the psychology of current events and situations. These works, along with Davila’s recent portraits and studio paintings, also represented a major stylistic shift over the previous decade, while maintaining the artist’s commitment to a socially engaged art. Working in a mode reminiscent of 19th French salon painting, Davila rejected the cool detachment of modernism and postmodernism, infusing his figures with a sense of beauty, intimacy and emotion. (3)

  1. Shane Carmody writes Juan Davila: The Artist as Historian 
  2. Robert Nelson via Art Blart where 2010 images and quote are also sourced
  3. MCA Sydney

Other images from AASD



František Kupka

I just found Kupka from looking at Orphic Cubism of which he was a co-founder and his work makes my eyes want to vomit with joy, like his stuff is so good it makes me furiously happy, which is what seems to happen when I find Eastern European artists that I really like.

Kupka was born in Austria-Hungary 1871, studied in Prague, he painted historical and patriotic themes at this time, afterwards he studied in Vienna where he focused on symbolic and allegorical subjects. He was influenced by the lifestyle of Karl Diefenbach and in 1894 Eastern philosophy became involved in him.

Kupka served as a volunteer in WW1 and was 25 years older than all the other soldiers. Serving with Blaise Cendrars he is mentioned in Le Main Coupée. He left the front due to frostbite of the foot.

Working as an illustrator in Paris where he settled from 1894, he became known for satirical drawings in newspapers and magazines.

He was deeply impressed by the Futurist Manifesto in 1909 and so painted The Piano Keys/Lake (img 2) that same year marking the beginning of his abstract representational style which increased in his work during 1910-1911 in which reflected his theories in motion, colour, and the relationship between music and painting (Orphism).

And his studies go on including completing a book; Creation in the Plastic Arts published in 1923, exhibited widely with the Cubist and other Abstract Art/ists.

František Kupka diagonal planes
Vertical and Diagonal Planes 1913-14
The Piano Keys slash Lake 1909 Kupka
The Piano Keys/Lake 1909
František Kupka the beginning of life
The Beginning of Life c 1900
František Kupka The First Step 1909
The First Step 1909
František Kupka Vertical Planes
Vertical Planes (date unknown)
Study related to “Amphora, Fugue in Two Colors” (Amphora, Fugue à deux couleurs) and “Amphora, Warm Chromatics” (Amorpha, Chromatique chaude) 1911-12 Pastel on Paper
Study related to “Amphora, Fugue in Two Colors” (Amphora, Fugue à deux couleurs) and “Amphora, Warm Chromatics” (Amorpha, Chromatique chaude) 1911-12 Pastel on Paper
Syncopated Accompaniment (staccato) 1928-1930 Frantisek Kupka
Syncopated Accompaniment (staccato) 1928-1930
František Kupka the oval mirror 1911
The Oval Mirror 1911
planes-by-colors-great-nude František Kupka 1909
Planes by Colours Great Nude 1909
sleeping-face-190 František Kupka2
Sleeping Face 1902
water-the-bather 1907 František Kupka
Water the Bather 1907

Sorry the images aren’t in date order -_-

Text adapted from wikipedia. Images from google images google search.

Francisco Vidal

francesco vidas untitled acrylic and collage
Untitled (date unknown) acrylic and collage on canvas
free no.5 oil and acrylic on handmade recycled paper franceisco vidas 2
Free no.16 (2015) oil and acrylic on handmade recycled paper
free no.5 oil and acrylic on handmade recycled paper franceisco vidas
Free no.5 (2015) oil and acrylic on handmade recycled paper

Born in Portugal to Cape Verdean and Angolan parents, Vidal identifies as both African and a product of the diaspora and cultural fusion. Postcolonial personhood is the main focus of his art, which explores themes of creolism, mixed identities, and transcultural currents. Vidal’s drawings, sculptures, and installations are marked by a visual lexicon that builds on Cubist portraits by Pablo Picasso, ethnographic photography, and African fabrics, as well as the bold, calligraphic lines of graffiti and street art. Vidal’s large-scale portraits are composed of layered sheets of paper, highlighting their status as both objects and paintings, and evoking an architectural physicality. Across mediums, Vidal balances technical precision with expressive freedom, creating emotive artworks that are rooted in a will to survive and the acknowledgement of historical traumas.

Images and text from Francisco Vidal on artsy


Star Gossage

Star Gossage Ngati Wai / Ngati Ruanui

Gossage draws inspiration from her ancestral land; the coastal landscape of rural Pakiri, north of Auckland, where her people have resided for centuries and where she currently works and lives. Her paintings reveal the shifting nature of emotion and memory, journeys of loss and endurance and her close relationships to family and her Maori heritage. Gossage produces dreamlike landscapes and figures, often depicted with floral adornments, which are imbued with a personal energy that she draws from her Maori ancestry.

Text by Niagara Galleries

‘Gossage communicates an evolved intuition that is older than her years and in her painting is able to imagine, point to and paint places where dreams and secrets intersect.’ – Ngahiraka Mason, Star Gossage: Tona Whatumanawa Maori

‘Sometimes her fingers become brushes, other times she gathers materials like tar, lime and earth from the family land and mixes these into the paint.’ – Lisa Reihana, Art New Zealand, number 118, 2006

My Aroha, Across the Ocean, to the First People, 2015 star gossage
My Aroha, Across the Ocean, to the First People (2015)
pakiri shells 2015 star gossage
Pakiri shells (2015)
shell study II 2015 star gossage
Shell Study II 2015
seeds of the heart 2 star gossage
Seeds of the Heart II (date unknown, exhibited 2010)
reia 2015 star gossage
Reia (2015)
girl of the sea star gossage 2015
Girl of the Sea (2015)
Matariki star gossage
Matariki (2014)


Interesting to see her pallet change from warm to more cool-er and brighter tones in 2015. So beautiful ◕‿‿◕

All paintings are oil on board

Frida Kahlo

Frida painting The Two Fridas photograph by Nickolas Muray 1939
Frida painting ‘The Two Fridas’ photograph by Nickolas Muray 1939

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

Roots 1943 Frida Khalo
Roots (1943)

“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

self-portrait-along-the-boarder-line-between-mexico-and-the-united-states 1932
Self-Portrait Along the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States (1932)

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”

my-grandparents-my-parents-and-me 1936
My Grandparents My Parents and Me (1936)
self-portrait-as-a-tehuana 1943
Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (1943)

“They are so damn ‘intellectual’ and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore….I [would] rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those ‘artistic’ bitches of Paris.”

nude of eva frederick drawing frida khalo
Nude of Eva Frederick

“You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.”

the abortion drawing frida khalo
The Abortion

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

Fantast drawing Frida Khalo

Paintings, drawings, and quotes by Frida Kahlo. Images sources fridakhalo.org