From September, we will be showing new works from Guy Denning and John Wentz at Pretty Portal.
In their works the artists concentrate on showing people. With their very different painting technique, they manage to combine detailed depiction as well as diffusion and dissolution in an unmistakable manner. John Wentz, who primarily paints in oil, shows parts of his portraits in photorealistic style, while other parts are roughly sketched with a broad brushstroke. Guy Denning, who primarily uses the materials charcoal and chalk, is a master in showing the expression and emotions of his protagonists with just a few strokes precisely and sensitively.
Both artists show people of today. These are, on the one hand, self-promoters who, in self-created isolation, endeavor to match the illusion of a social (media) community. People who are ready to transform their personality until the loss of self-awareness.
On the other hand, characters full of self-confidence, who represent, in an anticipated, almost intoxicating connection with the universe, strength and independence. Dancing on the volcano, Dancing with themselves.
DANCING WITH MYSELF
showing works from
Opening reception 27.09. 7 – 10 pm
Show 27.09. – 31.10.
MO – FR 11am-7pm
and by appointment
John Wentz is a contemporary painter whose work is an exploration of process and technique. Working within the classical idiom of the human figure, his goal is to reduce and simplify the image to it’s core fundamentals: composition, color, and mark making. Paint application and brush strokes are broad and simplified as a means to connect and convey these ideas to the viewer in a way that only painting can.
John was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His interest in art began at the age of 6 when he first discovered Batman and Spiderman comic books. After years of copying comics panel by panel he worked in the commercial arts as a muralist, billboard creator and freelance illustrator. After learning to paint by doing airbrushed billboards, he decided to pursue Fine Art and work in oils. Since then, he has had 3 solo exhibitions in San Francisco and numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. His works have appeared in many publications and have won multiple awards.
„Urban art is not a new phenomenon. People have been declaring their presence, their humour, their fears and their anger in the streets for as long as there have been streets for it to be seen in. It’s the most democratic form of art; it’s a medium that is available to any that feel the need to use it. With the acceptance and celebration of graffiti culture in the twentieth century it has come to a point where it is now sited behind the streets, in fashionable galleries. Yes, fashions change, but don’t ever think that the graffiti will fade away. That particular writing has always been on the wall.“ – Guy Denning
Guy Denning’s work combines a traditional painterly style with a contemporary, punk-inspired, twist of embedded collaged and stenciled text. This aesthetic, blended with a political narrative, has found Denning a loyal audience in the collectors of urban art.
Guy Denning was born in North Somerset in 1965. He has been obsessed with visual art since childhood and started painting in oils at the age of eleven after receiving a set of old paints from a relative that had grown bored with them. Through the 1980s he was repeatedly unsuccessful in his applications to study painting at degree level but continued painting whilst studying art history with the Open University and learning painting technique from older painters he knew in the west of England. From 1992, he exhibited across Britain. Since 2007 he has also exhibited in the United States of America, Germany, Italy and France. His paintings have been shown in numerous solo and mixed exhibitions. His work is held in several public collections, including the Politics Department of Bristol University, the Political Science Department at Galway University and the MAGI’900 Museum of Contemporary Art, Bologna.
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