RIKKI NIEHAUS Swedish Landscapes
Rikki Niehaus is a figurative painter and portraitist who works in oil on canvas. In her ongoing series, “Swedish Landscapes”, has executed a collection of portraits posed inside the home-interiors of an IKEA store. This collection of oil paintings may seem benign, but they are in fact eerily engaging and humorously critical. Rikki states: “Painting is, for me, a direct connection to the past, a chance to ‘time-travel’ and relate immediately to the whole of artistic tradition that preceded me.” Often Niehaus will compose her paintings in conversation with an iconic painting in the canon of Western Art history. The series serves not only as a critique of consumer culture, but as a mirror to its artificiality and the illusions that we accept and desire, as reality.
SIMON BERSON Brain Candy
MARTIN BRUINSMA Noir
In these paintings, Martin Bruinsma has adopted the visual aesthetic of classic Film Noir, staging shadowed scenes with mysterious subjects. Bruinsma is careful to establish his paintings and drawings as situated in a time separate from our own. Their dreamlike quality and painterly ambiguity establish them not as recordings of historical events, but as a 20th century mythology with persisting relevance. Bruinsma explores expressions of masculinity and power. His subjects’ body language suggests that these are ideals whose embodiment can have dangerous results.
Simon Berson creates fantastical collages, and begins with his sketchbook. He draws soft and swooping organic forms colored in with looping strokes of colored pencil. Once finished, he selects drawings to cut out. Berson supported his family by working as a technical writer and illustrator. He still finds himself fascinated by images of technology, and subscribes to a variety of trade magazines. These offer him the mechanical imagery that Berson cuts out to combine with his drawings, and achieve an unexpected effect. Berson’s chief objective is to “make the mind wonder and wander.”