Kloosterboer on Anything but the Figure

Anything but the Figure

Curated by Jan Nelson, Intro by Lorena Kloosterboer

When Didi Menendez, the publisher of PoetsArtists Magazine, invited Jan Anders Nelson to curate his own special edition, he decided the premise would be based on his personal experience in regards to juried competitions. As a thriving multidisciplinary artist—Nelson’s work includes painting, drawing, and photography—he knows how agonizing the guesswork can be when deciding on which artworks to submit while blindly guessing the values and intentions of the curator or jury. Both real and perceived criticism as well as inclusion and rejection can deeply affect the artist’s frame of mind and their sense of competence. Consequently, he chose to avoid giving too many directions by posing only the slightest of guidelines.

 Don Eddy -  It Turns to Gold   Nelson states, “Don's work is not just technically brilliant, but exemplifies for me how an artist can strip away the external pressures and forces that push or pull the artist away from their own truth. He is brutally honest in his self-exploration.”

Don Eddy - It Turns to Gold

Nelson states, “Don's work is not just technically brilliant, but exemplifies for me how an artist can strip away the external pressures and forces that push or pull the artist away from their own truth. He is brutally honest in his self-exploration.”

In his call for submissions Nelson stated, “I want to see what you treasure as your best example of your creative spark. I do not care when it was produced or what medium was used. I have no theme for you to filter with, no unifying structure defined for your consideration and only one caveat given to me by the publisher: No artwork dealing with the human figure.”

 

 Gemma Di Grazia -  Grape Expectations   Nelson states, “Gemma uses vivid color and soft pastels to create remarkable beauty. The scale and intensity of her work is compelling to me. Her consummate use of color shows her passion for nature.”

Gemma Di Grazia - Grape Expectations

Nelson states, “Gemma uses vivid color and soft pastels to create remarkable beauty. The scale and intensity of her work is compelling to me. Her consummate use of color shows her passion for nature.”

In essence, Nelson didn’t want artwork especially made to fit the call—quite the contrary, he requested artists present their uniquely personal and most favorite artworks. As a result, this singular edition highlights entirely fresh content and subject matter, given that PoetsArtists generally focusses on realist art charting the human figure. It has turned into a beautiful and unexpected survey of an extensive variety of artworks within the realm of Anything but the Figure.

 Yvonne Melchers -  Room With A View - Autumn in Venice   Nelson states, “What a lovely painting! The brushstrokes and colors are reminiscent of Impressionist works like those of Renoir in the 1880s.”

Yvonne Melchers - Room With A View - Autumn in Venice

Nelson states, “What a lovely painting! The brushstrokes and colors are reminiscent of Impressionist works like those of Renoir in the 1880s.”

Anything but the Figure showcases stilllifes, landscapes, cityscapes, fantasyscapes, interiors, nature, wildlife, and close-ups of objects and foods. It is a medley of subject matter in a wide array of expressions ranging from highly precise rendering to spontaneous looseness, and from energizing abstraction to bold childlike interpretation—all seemingly disparate yet following a unique visual thread illustrating Nelson’s distinctive take on the very best work 28 artists and five poets have to offer.

 Nadine Robbins -  Erotic Ocean   Nelson states, “Nadine’s passion is visibly expressed through paint, manifest in every subject she chooses to portray. I delight in exploring her work up close.”

Nadine Robbins - Erotic Ocean

Nelson states, “Nadine’s passion is visibly expressed through paint, manifest in every subject she chooses to portray. I delight in exploring her work up close.”

 In contrast to the majority of other art projects in which the selection process remains a mystery to the participating artist, this one is explained by presenting the reasoning and thought process behind the final choices. In this publication Nelson briefly delineates his views, feelings, and insights into each piece in Anything but the Figure.

 Cheryl Kelley -  White Crow   Nelson states, “Cheryl has enjoyed substantial recognition as a contemporary realist, using cars as a channel to explore reflections—metaphors for her own inner search. While she continues to work in this line of subject matter, her newest paintings are deep explorations of a more mystical journey, of shamanism and deep spirituality.”

Cheryl Kelley - White Crow

Nelson states, “Cheryl has enjoyed substantial recognition as a contemporary realist, using cars as a channel to explore reflections—metaphors for her own inner search. While she continues to work in this line of subject matter, her newest paintings are deep explorations of a more mystical journey, of shamanism and deep spirituality.”


Written by Lorena Kloosterboer, realist artist & author © Antwerp, September 2018


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