Saturday, October 05, 2013

Favorites Of The State Fair Art

October 5, 2013

I have decided which of the paintings I reviewed from the 2013 State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit are the very best. I've narrowed the list down to three works and it was not easy. Out of more than seventeen-hundred pieces of art submitted for this years State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit, only a few hundred made the cut and of those only twenty of them made the cut for my review.

My third place favorite this year is a wonderful painting by Armondo Gutierrez. The painting is aptly titled, "Chicken & Marbles" and is rendered in oil. Mr Gutierrez's painting immediately captures the imagination with its subject matter and does even more when you pause for a moment to appreciate its precision. So faithfully rendered are the objects that the painting does exactly what great trompe l'oeil pieces are designed to do, make you want to reach out and touch it. In its unique way the painting presents its characters as real, but they are not, indeed deceiving the viewers eye. Bravo Mr. Gutierrez for creating art that is finely executed and imaginative.

You can see more work by Armondo Gutierrez at his website:

For my previous review of, "Chicken & Marbles" see:

Choosing between a second and first place is extremely difficult because the order could just as easily be flipped when it comes to the next two pieces. However, it's about making the tough choice and so coming in second is the breakthrough work by St. Paul Artist Joshua Cunningham. 

Cunningham's painting, "February Frost" is an outstanding achievement both in in contextual sense and in the mood it lays bare. I call this a breakthrough piece for Cunningham because he manages to achieve so much in this work. The scene immediately invokes a sense of place and Cunningham expertly captures the subtle colors and accents in the objects. The brush work is confident, yet not so loose that eye has to work hard to find definition. 
While Cunningham has considerable talent for composition and finding just the right moments in his paintings, it's hard to argue, "February Frost" isn't a culmination of perfect and close to perfect elements. Great brush work and a good scene aren't enough by themselves though and Cunningham must know that, because his paintings almost always hit the mark when it comes to invoking a mood. "February Frost" is no different, inviting one appreciative viewer to remark, "It's almost a hundred degrees in here and that painting cools me off".

Joshua Cunningham's work can be seen on his website at: 

My favorite painting of the 2013 State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit is titled, "Antarctica" by Artist and Illustrator Erik Krenz.

I love this painting for its ability to inspire the imagination. When I saw this piece hanging on the wall I was immediately ten years old again. I stood for long moments, staring at this little painting with wonder. Krenz took me to a childhood place filled with possibility and adventure. This small work is like a magical gift that Krenz shared with us and I for one am thankful.

For more of Erik Krenz's work, visit his website at: http://ERIKBKRENZ.COM/home.html

For my previous review of this work, see:

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