Month: June 2012

Meet the Artist – Kay Ruane

posted by – 06/30/12 @ 4:20pm

We’ve all had the experience of feeling the disconnect of being part of one world but feeling isolated from another, perhaps when traveling abroad or even just exploring an area of our own city where the signs begin to change language. Though this foreign world may seem daunting to us, there always seems to be a lingering desire to feel connected to it. This “longing to be a part of a different physical reality and the culture it embodies” is what Chicago-native Kay Ruane tries to express in her graphite drawings on view in our latest exhibit The New Real opening next week.

Kay’s greyscale drawings are punctuated with pops of vibrant color on carefully selected details which tie into the overall theme of each piece. The intense details can sometimes overtake the drawings themselves, but they are often what draw the viewer in and pique his or her curiosity about the fantastical scenes. Though Kay models the female figures in her drawings on herself, she strives to not only explore her own identity and relationships with the world but those of the figures, who have their own identities distinct from herself. The mystical worlds she creates are easy to get lost in and wonder about, and the viewer is free to assemble his own ideas about each work’s different meanings. Though the dreamlike and ethereal qualities of her pieces provoke the imagination, they still manage to remain quite relatable, as if they were one’s own daydreams. Join us to view Kay’s work in person at our six-person exhibit The New Real opening on July 7th.


Kay Ruane, Wildfire

The Collector’s High

posted by – 06/28/12 @ 3:00pm

Though recent articles in publications like the NYT Magazine have emphasized the financial dynamics of art collecting and selling, according to the Economist it seems that pure enjoyment and a genuine interest in the artwork is still the greatest motivation for art collecting. Though it can be easy to dismiss the seemingly financially motivated movements of the high-end art market, the intense attachment that collectors feel to their collections and the excitement they feel when they acquire a longed-after piece are far greater motivators than investing. Whether in the competitive environment of an Art Basel fair or at a local gallery, experienced collectors and novices alike both tend to be guided by their emotions, which fuel the direction of their growing collections.

Some collectors even describe buying art as experiencing a sort of high – taking a part in this new community provides a sense of exhilaration and vibrancy. So, instead of heading to the gym next time to raise your endorphins level, why not pop into a gallery or an art fair and see if emotion inspires you to begin creating your own collection? We mentioned earlier this week that just gazing at a painting can increase bloodflow in the brain, and advancing to the “collector’s high” certainly seems like a logical next step!


Art Basel Fair



Meet the Artist- Danny Heller

posted by – 06/27/12 @ 2:52pm

Born in Northridge, CA and growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Danny Heller is an artist whose work has been deeply affected and influenced by the environment in which he was raised. His paintings not only reflect the aesthetic of Southern California’s architecture and design elements; they are a tribute to the history of the inventively and elegantly designed structures that are unique to the region.  Cars that have remained important to the area for decades, throughout the eras in which his parents and grandparents lived, also inform Heller’s work.

Thinking of himself as a sort of documentarian that attempts to capture the essence of a region by depicting significant cultural structures and objects, Heller creates paintings that utilize realism to describe elements of the spirit of Southern California. When viewing his work it is instantly apparent to the viewer that he has a great admiration for his subjects. Although he is painting inanimate objects imposed into the natural landscape, there is no sense of tension between the subjects and the environment. Heller is portraying how these cultural objects not only belong within the natural backdrop—they complement one another wonderfully. Danny’s work along with other artists that work in the style of realism will be up at Tinney Contemporary from July 7th to August 18th.



Art Therapy

posted by – 06/26/12 @ 3:21pm

When looking at a work of art, one often has an immediate reaction to the piece, perhaps a sense of pleasure and calm, or even disgust and confusion. Sometimes the reasons for a positive reaction can be hard to explain. According to a recent scientific study performed on guinea pigs, when shown an artwork considered conventionally beautiful, blood flow was increased in a certain part of the brain by almost 10% – the same reaction that occurs when one looks at a loved one. Classic landscapes and portraits by artists such as Constable, Ingres and Reni produced the most pleasurable feelings in the study’s guinea pig viewers, while more grotesque pieces by Hieronymous Bosch, which served as the “ugly” end of the spectrum of paintings produced the smallest increases in bloodflow.

Though opinions of beauty are obviously quite subjective (and most certainly in the art world), the same positive reaction in the brain occurred in an MRI study conducted with humans. Paintings considered by the viewers to be the most pleasing once again evoked a set of responses in the same area of the brain. So whether you prefer the calmness of something like Monet’s Impression Sunrise or are more engaged by something more frenetic like the works of Bosch, the positive impact of the art can’t be denied. While I find an immediate beauty and sereness in several of our current artist John Folsom’s landscapes such as Shaker Frontier IV, who’s to say that this would produce the same reaction in everyone? Either way, anyone can improve his or her day just by looking at a piece of art they enjoy – it’s science!


Eric Zener at Tinney Contemporary

posted by – 06/19/12 @ 2:25pm

Eric Zener, an artist working within realism who will be showing work next month at Tinney Contemporary, creates large paintings that begin with photographs he takes. Although the painting is not by any means a replication of the photograph, the pictures are a starting point for his imagery. As he states in a quote on his website, he begins his work through inspiration from reality, from something that actually exists and transforms it into its most perfect state.

Zener’s images depict states of being that are both unreal and illusionary but still attainable. He is depicting a flawless moment—which we often forget is achievable—but then realize in viewing his work that to reach such a state of being, of pure contentment, is within the realms possibility.  Zener’s work portrays how we can find states of being that are perfect, and that perhaps these moments exist when we border on the line between two separate worlds. A lot of his work illustrates people underwater floating, and people who have just entered or come out of water. Although these images of humans going into, leaving, or existing in a different atmosphere could be a metaphor for the experience of entering new states of being—unworldly states of being—the act of submerging oneself into water is rich with emotional and mental implications in itself. How do we feel when we are unable to breath? Why can this be one of the most calming as well as one of the most anxiety-ridden experiences? Do we change when we submerge ourselves in water? Zener’s work is rich with layers that cause the viewer to be visually stunned and psychologically enthralled. His work will be up for the month of July at Tinney Contemporary along with other artists working in the style of realism. Hope to see you at the opening, July 7th!




John Folsom and the Artistic Process

posted by – 06/12/12 @ 1:29pm


Artists seek and find inspiration in varying ways. From stumbling upon it in daily life to in depth analysis of subjects that arose the artist’s curiosity, the practice of research and discovery is an essential process to many artists when developing concepts communicated in the work.

John Folsom’s method of informing his work combines spontaneous discovery with historical research. His current exhibition at Tinney Contemporary entitled “Andoyne Frontiers” consists of work that is aesthetically informed by the landscape of the historically preserved Shaker Village near Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The ideas behind the work touch upon Folsom’s research of 20th century Shakers and how their culture reflects the simplicity of the environment they lived in.

The name of the show is a product of John’s creative process that involves critical inquiry, intuition, and making connections. Although Anodyne is used today to describe something that does not provoke contention or dispute, it was once a term used to describe analgesic medicines.

Is it not fascinating how an artist associates different ideas and images in his or her mind? How he or she may integrate dissimilar parts of their world of thought to produce something that is uniquely theirs? The artistic process, a process that is intended to help both artist and viewer further their understanding of the world, is wildly interesting and complex. John Folsom’s current exhibition at Tinney Contemporary certainly prompts anyone viewing the work to wonder how and why the artist made the decisions he did.