Tag Archives: The Art Out There

Bill Frederick

“Two Lane Highway”  ink and watercolor  30″ x 55.5″

“Beach and Vapor Trail”  watercolor  19.5″ x 31″

“Migrating bird”  ink on paper  25″ x 40″

“W.T.’s Gas for Less”  ink on paper  25″ x 40″

“Sinking Ship”  ink on paper  13.25″ x 25″

Photo realism is usually not my cup of tea as the saying goes. I prefer the artifice in art to be apparent, not disguised. But that is a big part of what makes Bill Frederick’s work so astounding. While it may not be obvious from these digital images, the originals disguise nothing of the medium. Up close they are almost gestural with rich washes and broad confident brush work. The details only serve to snap the image together and create the illusion of photographic realism at a distance. Beyond that he has a terrific eye for composition, lighting and drama. While many of his scenes are of the most mundane moments, views from a car window, a random glance down a city sidewalk, etc., he is nonetheless able to capture something of those fleeting moments that strike us in some peculiar but meaningful way, but which we all too quickly flush out of our short term memory. The sinking ship above is an obvious exception. This is certainly not the kind of ordinary scene one might see just any old day. It is a moment of innately heightened drama. But the fact that his other scenes, that objectively are so ordinary, have same kind of cinematic impact speaks volumes about the power of his painting.
You can see more at his website: williamlewisfrederick.com
and there’s more online or in person at Zg Gallery in Chicago.


Amy Casey

“High-rise,” acrylic on panel, 48″ x 36″

“Inner City,” acrylic on panel, 30″ x  30″

 “Lean To,” acrylic on panel, 16″ x 16″

 “Megalopolis,” acrylic on panel, 36″ x 60″
“Distant Lands,” 2 color etching on paper, 8 ¼” x 10″ (signed and numbered edition of 30)

It is rare for me to be able to see artwork that I post here in person. Which is unfortunate. It is often impossible to assess artwork online. Such was the case with Amy Casey’s work which I first posted in July of 2009. As much as I enjoyed the imagery it was simply impossible to appreciate the delicate detail in her originals which I saw recently at Zg Gallery in Chicago. The work is still up for a while if you happen to be in the area. Amy’s work has been exploring the complex web of the urban environment for quite some time. In her earliest pieces buildings still rested upon terra firma though often via rickety stilts. The stilts grew, swayed, tottered and finally collapsed leaving her buildings to fend for themselves in a white void. Now the buildings must rest upon other buildings (like the mythical turtles that were once thought to hold up the earth one imagines it’s nothing but buildings all the way down) or they are bound together by wires, bridges, and brick walls. Trees, grass and rivers no longer exist upon native soil for all of that has vanished. The urban architecture itself provides the only haven for small green places. These are meditations on how cities exist, how they grow and evolve, becoming a life unto themselves until the landscape upon which they once stood is impossible to detect. It is beautiful, humorous, poignant work.
You can look through her work at the galleryy link above or at her website amycaseypainting.com



Life has gotten a little ahead of me. I’ll have new art posted sometime this week. Sorry for the delay. In the mean time here’s some really old art; one of my personal all time favorite images of how life can be both difficult and beautiful all at once. Winter’s over but it stays true all the year ’round. (This is a fairly high resolution image so go ahead, download it and use it).

Hunters In The Snow”  Pieter Bruegel the elder  46″ x 64″ (117 x 162cm) oil on wood panel  1565

By: The Art Out There
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://artoutthere.blogspot.com/2013/05/apologies.html


“Jacqueline and the Dragonfly” oil on panel 24″ x 38″ 2012

“Alex and the Pill Bug” oil on panel 36″ x 24″ 2012

“Alex and the Pill Bug” detail

“Preparation for a Demonstration of a Pick-Axe” oil on panel 13″ x 19″ 2013

“Ghost no. 1″ oil on panel 24″ x 36” 2012

Bijijoo is the presumed pseudonym of an artist in Portland, OR who is apparently obsessed with giant insects, decapitated celebrity heads, and people holding hams, just for starters. Not all of these obsessions are represented here – you’ll just have to look through the rest of his work yourself. He is also, it turns out, a Ph.D. chemist (trained as a biophysicist), and quite possibly a satanist. Oh and a clown and a collector of broken dolls too. This is all as a way of pointing out that his art goes beyond the paintings and strays into areas of conceptualism and avant-garde humor. Have you ever heard of the giant goose that some claim haunts old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest? No? Well you can read all about it here. Did you know an episodes of the TV show “30 Rock” featured characters holding hams, and that the entire concept behind this was unfairly stolen from the mind of bijijoo? No? Well you can follow the course of his litigation here. The world of Bijijoo is a complex cascade of satyrical humor, where nothing is quite what it seems, or perhaps it is but also something more. But in the end it is the paintings, various series that operate around conceptual premises (Presidents holding hams, still lives with celebrity heads, etc.,) that are at the center of his creative enterprise. And the paintings have steadily matured over time allowing his dark humor to haunt the viewer with disturbing realism
visit his website: bijijoo.com.,
And for plenty more go to www.flickr.com/photos/bijijoo


Robert McCauley

“Meanwhile In Another Part of the Forest” 48″ x 36″ oil on canvas on panel 2011

“When Worlds Collide” 48″ x 32″ oil on canvas on panel 2011

“Edge of Town” 48″ x 32″ oil on canvas on panel 2011

“The Discovery of Slowness” 56″ x 38″ oil on canvas on panel 2008

“Don’t Expect Me To Illustrate Your Fears” 30″ x 48″ oil on canvas on canvas 2010

Robert McCauley’s paintings are sometimes cryptic, sometimes comical, but always compelling portraits of wildlife. He often incorporates titles into the work itself, which are suggestive but never simply explanatory, allowing the work to breathe with meaning in the mind of the viewer. This is what art should do; draw you in and direct your attention without telling you precisely what to think. Rather it should prompt you to think. Like the presence of Sputnik in the piece “When Worlds Collide”, it is the unexpected which often has the most powerful impact and can have the knack of interrupting our normal thought processes, forcing us to reevaluate our expectations from an image and impel us to think along new lines. These paintings will linger in my mind long after I stop looking at them. I sincerely hope they have the same effect on you.
You can see more at the artist’s website: mccauleyart.artspan.com



Teatro (theater) Marinoni, Venice 2012

Yespray graffiti Jam, Settimo Torinese, November 2012

Bosnia and Herzogovina, Graffiti Jam, September 2012

Paris, March 2013

Early on in the history of abstract art, painters gave up the illusion of depth and embraced the limitations of two dimensions. At the time it was an innovation, an acknowledgment of truth in art, but it also led eventually to a whole slew of painters who filled entire large canvases with a single undifferentiated shade of a single color. I won’t even name names. But the illusion of three dimensions on a flat surface is just too appealing. It’s a trick. Of course it is. Sometimes it can seem like magic, akin to a woman floating weightlessly over a table upon a stage. The artist here, Manuel Di Rita, from Italy, goes by the name Peeta. He started off as a graffiti artist, and though he also produces works on canvas for galleries along the same lines, it’s the graffiti that appeals to me the most. Perhaps it’s because of the context, in which the illusion, the trick, is augmented by the immediate and undeniable fact of the the flatness of the wall it’s painted on. The dichotomy creates an almost immediate and visceral sense of delight. The work is fun. It needs no explanation. A child can appreciate it as easily as an adult and I mean that in the best possible way.
To see more go to his website: www.peeta.net or to his flickr page.


Matthew Picton

“Dresden – burnt”

“Dresden” – detail


“Dallas” – detail


“Venice” – detail

I love maps. I love art. And so of course I love art maps and map art. Matthew Picton’s work has involved maps for quite some time and his most recent pieces are beautiful sculptures that also incorporate text and sometimes imagery. These city maps portray some cultural or historical aspect of the particular place that will no doubt be familiar to most viewers. Dresden was notoriously fire-bombed in World War II resulting in horrific civilian casualties, and the artist recreates the scene meticulously scorching his model to reflect the scale of the damage. In Dallas John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The artist lines the route of the ill-fated motorcade through the city with images from that very day. His portrait of Venice uses pages from Thomas Mann’s class novel “A Death in Venice” as well as the musical score for an opera based on the book by Benjamin Britten. Each piece is carefully layered with meaning, often referencing painstaking research. These details enrich the work without being required for immediate appreciation. There is something incredibly enticing about the three dimensionality of the maps that would no doubt make one want shift about over them, casting back and forth for different angles that subtly change one’s perspective, and possibly to peer into the narrow roads and alleyways to get glimpses of fragmented words or images. It makes me glad that he provides at least one detail shot of each piece and usually more. There is plenty more of these maps on his website as well as many other bodies of work all worth looking at on his website: matthewpicton.com


Lindsey Carr

Platonic Solids I
The Flower House

“La Bizarre Singerie”

from the artist’s website: Singerie is a French word meaning ‘Monkey Trick’ and refers to a genre depicting monkeys mimicking human behavior – it reached its stylistic epitome during the 18thC in the decorative motifs of the Chinoiserie Rococo period.
The scenes commonly involved monkeys dressed as Mandarins balancing on high wires, serving tea, fishing, playing. It gave such a saccharine and genteel view of human activities for what was to become a bloody century in European history.

Simius Religiosus

There are a few other artist out there who riff on the lush work of John James Audubon and other scientific illustrators of the 18th & 19th century. Justin Gibbens springs to mind. For originality and wit Lindsey Carr’s work is on the same high level. Audubon famously depicted his birds in appropriate botanical settings. Lindsey Carr’s work has animals, plants, insects and others sharing her pictorial space in completely unpredictable, sometimes downright surreal ways. Her work seems to comment on the interplay of species, sometimes meditating on the extraordinary synthesis of life and the wondrous balances of co-evolutionary processes, and then at other times fixating on the grim and brutal struggles between species that constitutes natural selection. Which is fitting. Because neither picture accurately captures the grand scope of nature, nor our fascination with it. But her primary interest may not be the natural world at all. Referencing all manner of cultural and historical practices she holds up the examination of nature as a mirror in which to examine our very strange and mysterious selves. Beyond that the work is quite simply exquisitely conceived and executed. I only wish there was a little more information about some of the pieces sizes and media. The first image here “Platonic Solid I” was posted recently on her blog with the comment that it reflects “A tiny shift in focus”. I’m looking forward to seeing more of that shift! Go check out her website and look at loads more: pickle-town.typepad.com

thanks to the folks at artistaday.com for posting her work.


Z.Z. Wei

“Raven” oil on canvas 48″ x 36″

“Coastal Retreat” oil on canvas 48″ x 36″

Ocean Ahead” oil on canvas 40″ x 30″
“Awaiting Arrivals” oil on canvas 60″ x 40″
“Approaching Storm” oil on canvas 36″ x 48″

Z. Z. Wei came to the pacific northwest of the U.S. from China when he was in his thirties. The landscape he found here so enthralled him that he’s been painting it ever since. These are not landscapes based solely on observation. They are narratives, about nature, memory and yes, nostalgia. His entire approach to painting had clearly been defined before he found the subject matter that would constitute his life’s work. There’s more than a hint of the early twentieth century in it, especially the graphic stylization that vaguely echo American artists like Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. So perhaps it’s not surprising that he fell in love with the American west. The nostalgia might strike some as sentimental, but the emotion is real. The nostalgia conveyed is not for some idealized American past, but rather a more complex brew of love for a landscape by someone who chooses to immerse themselves in it but can never be completely of it. It is the nostalgia of someone who is and always will be very far from home, by choice. While the rewards of a new life in a new place may make the pangs of homesickness bearable, the homesickness nonetheless may linger. Now if all that sounds to you like a load of romantic drivel I suspect you won’t much care for these paintings. All I can say to that is, your loss.
There’s not a whole lot of work to see on the artist’s website: zzweiart.com
Instead take the time to look through his work at Patricia Rovzar Gallery and at Attic Gallery


Rober Sato – new show

“Siege” from the new show “Haunts”

untitled from the new show “Haunts”

“Island” watercolor on arches paper 16″ x 17″ 2011

“Asleep at the Wheel” watercolor on molachi paper 9″ x 9″ 2011

“Ghost Ride” watercolor on molachi paper 35″ x 84″ 2011

I posted some of Robert Sato’s watercolors just one year ago (Sept. 1, 2011), and had almost nothing intelligent to say about the work except that I liked it. Well, I still do. And if I happened to be in L.A., which I’m largely grateful not to be, but if I was, I would most definitely go see his new show “Haunts” (along with artist John Pham) which is currently up at Giant Robot through Sept 26). Robert’s work often depicts conglomerations of objects, flying apart or coming together to form new objects. Individual items are often morphing into other things or are in fact two things at once, or perhaps unrecognizable pieces of a something else altogether. There is no doubt that surrealism is the most useful label here, but there is sometimes a more conscious meaning. The chaos that seems ever present here reflects the chaos of our post-industrial world which has turned out to be just the opposite of industrial age dreams. Hopes for technological solutions to all the world’s woes and an orderly arrangement by human reason have given rise instead to confusion, unpredictability and possibly, in the end, collapse and disintegration. Robert Sato’s vision is not a grim commentary on all this, but rather one of a lively participation in the ensuing anarchy.
Please check out his website: www.robsato.com