To Nemo, the art institutions of his native Moldova presented a stale and uninteresting prospect. Rather than pursue a formal art education he chose instead to travel and experiment with new and innovative art techniques.
“My goal as an artist is to be free”, he says. “I want to be free to develop new techniques and investigate new subjects.”
His interest in multi-media art allows him to bring vastly different elements together as he constructs his very imaginative cityscapes.
Multi-media and mixed media are terms that have to be used when examining Nemo’s art. He can and often does work in a very traditional style. Using both oils and acrylics he creates paintings with a plein-air feel. He is able to capture the light and feel of a place and impart that feeling to the viewer.
Nemo is also constantly investigating and developing new techniques. His international cityscape series is an innovative style combining photography, printing and painting. Through printing and subsequent pasting of his photographs; he then paints with acrylics and glazes to construct a fused and somewhat surreal vision of different cities. The charm and mood of famous cities are combined to create a dreamlike memory of time and space.
Victor Colesnicenco grew up in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova. This Eastern European nation is known for its rich artistic heritage. Nemo, as he is known to his friends, remembers being fascinated by the carvings and other craftworks that surrounded him. In particular, he loved paintings and from an early age he was determined to become an artist.
Nemo began intense inquiry into the style and techniques of the famous painters. He was particularly impressed by the work of Ivan Shishkin and Salvador Dali. He enrolled in art school but did not enjoy the strict academic style of the Russian based academy. Knowing that a standard education was not for him, he abandoned it to pursue training on his own. His talent quickly flourished and soon he was organizing large outdoor art fairs to show his work and that of other young artists.
This point in his life, Nemo enlisted in the Soviet Army where he served for two years. After completing his tour, his motivation to become a professional artist was rediscovered. Together with a good friend he started a business restoring works of art and painting murals in churches. The reemergence of religious freedom in the post-Soviet era offered many opportunities for their business to flourish.
Moving from city to towns throughout the countryside inspired a desire for further travel and Nemo took an opportunity to immigrate to Canada. His family decided to settle just north of Toronto, Ontario. To Nemo, Canada is a gateway to the world. From his new home he is able to freely explore places all over the globe.
The prevalent theme in Nemo’s work is travel and the discovery of the beauty and excitement of new places. He sometimes paints natural depictions of scenic locales or he fuses varying cities to create his own unique cityscapes. His fused or constructed cities seem to offer the viewer the opportunity to visit many places at once.
It is not surprising that when he’s not painting, Nemo enjoys many outdoor activities; especially fishing and cycling. His work is widely collected and is represented in galleries throughout Canada and the United States.
Orlando was born in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, South America in 1946 into a family of twelve. He has lived and worked in the United States for more than three decades, dividing his time between California, Florida, and Hawaii. Creating images drawn from his psyche, his deftly drawn forms radiate an uncanny aura and sensual richness which appeal to our deepest level of consciousness. His recurring themes of personal growth, education, family, spirituality, his love of music as well as the exploration of life itself attest to his belief in the educational and healing powers of art.
In works that transcend all barriers, Orlando Agudelo-Botero gives form to his inner-most feelings and insights with manifestations that are not meant to be merely visually pleasing, but to engage the viewer, to inspire and to provoke a dialogue concerning humanity’s evolution and our place in the universe.
Orlando Agudelo-Botero was the recipient of the White House Hispanic Heritage Award in the Arts, and contributed as a Trustee of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. For the past four years his artwork has inspired the sets of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony. Heroic-sized, 28-foot recreations of his artwork were created for the stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and was broadcast nationally by NBC. His work is held in many important collections, both private and public, and his art is exhibited world-wide.
Henry Asencio artwork combines figurative drama with spontaneous abstract backgrounds. His signature use of color, form, and texture coalesce to reveal a contemporary dialogue between the material and the spiritual–the artist, his subject and his subconscious visions derived therein. Agitated by extreme texture and intentional use of color, Henry Asencio unravels an unspoken narrative replete with seemingly incongruent, yet harmonious ideals of quietude and fascinations of that which intensifies the moment.
Asencio’s unique combination of color, texture, and exquisite form mirrors a state of awareness that serves to reveal his true intentions. Through caution and reserve the artist invites the viewer into this fictitious space in time to enjoy the splendor of the unknown.
Symbolic of the approach to his art, the mystique of the female form builds the structure of each new painting. Henry Asencio’s use of color sets the mood and a fury of texture creates an urgency to elicit heart-felt emotion.
Abstraction of subconscious thought and reality entwine to tell the artist’s story. Freedom from responsibility, protection from the negative forces that can hold one captive…escapism…for the artist and viewer it is the ultimate intention in his evocative work of art.
To Pietro Adamo, art is ultimately about expression. It is his way of liberating all his ideas and feelings. To realize this expression he has developed the careful and sophisticated language of his paintings.
“I am once again reminded of the delicate balance of all things great and small. Color and texture from nature and simple iconography from my ancestry combine to form the language of my art.”
His work is also very much an execution of action. He loves the charge of creating a piece, working the mediums into unique textures and compositions. Only when the statement is sustained can he step away and leave the painting.
“Painting”, he says, “is very much about the process of discovering problems and then solving them.”
Through years of studying and teaching art, Adamo has uncovered much about technique and style. Always experimenting and expanding his knowledge he still has respect for the traditional methods.
Adamo uses modeling pastes and various gel mediums combined with silica sand to create the unique textured qualities within his pieces. He has at times even incorporated a stucco plaster. He begins by creating the texture of the work, and then layers the acrylic ground color on top. He sands the work, paints an additional color layer, and then sands again. He uses conte crayons and different oil veneers and washes for highlight and accents. His work is deliberate and tedious at times, the color sophisticated and passionate. This classic combination results in wonderfully fresh yet solid paintings.
Adamo has a lasting fascination with architecture. His camera is always ready. Adamo shoots inspiring buildings and other structures. He then makes silk screens from details of his favorites and weaves them into his compositions as a substructure for the painting or they are layered into the fabric of his surfaces.
Pietro Adamo was born in Toronto, Canada in 1955. He enrolled in the Fine Art and Art History program at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. After graduation, he took a position teaching art at the Chaminade College School in Toronto. While there he helped establish a strong visual arts department, one which saw many of his students go on to become prominent architects, designers, illustrators and fine artists. During his two decades of teaching Adamo continued to paint, and in that time executed several private and public commissions of his work.
The paintings of Adamo are a celebration of the artists admiration for the unpredictable and inexhaustible record of life. He abandons the conventional renderings of geometric forms through his textured surfaces and rough contours.
Adamo draws influence from artists of all periods and from the world around him. Travel is an important source of inspiration; especially trips to Italy, his ancestral homeland. During these extended stays Adamo is able to explore monumental art and architecture as well as the small details of the rural landscape.
Adamo’s career as an artist has been a journey of continuous exploration and growth. His paintings on paper and canvas have a constant audience. He has also released a highly successful series of hand pulled prints and posters. Today his works can be found in galleries throughout Canada, Europe and the United States.
Michael Flohr paints in a style called urban impressionism. His atmospheric street scenes are brilliantly composed with bold color applications and fascinating narrative lines. Flohr grew up in Lakeside, California, a rural area outside San Diego where his parents owned an auto repair business. At a young age it was found he suffered from dyslexia. As a result, his parents arranged tutoring consisting of math, reading, and best of all, art classes, where he excelled.
Michael Flohr attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, experimenting with all disciplines and styles. In his final year he was accepted into the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators, joining such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. He took his degree in 2000. Three of his student works were selected for exhibition at San Francisco’s M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park, the city’s oldest public art museum.
After graduation, Michael Flohr traveled extensively in Europe. In Rome, a candlelit exhibition of Monet’s work left a lasting impression. He also studied the work of Manet, Pisarro, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
Back home he synthesized all this powerful input into his own unique style. Flohr’s style has been described as a combination of avant-garde, abstract expressionism and impressionism. “I love the colors of Cezanne,” says Flohr, who also favors pure pigment straight from the tube.
He can be seen around town in nightclubs, bars and cafes, sketchbook in hand, capturing the shifting colors and dynamics of people as they mingle and interact. “I do not work with models. I prefer to sketch ‘in the moment’ as a scene unfolds…” reports Flohr. The artist has recently been commissioned to create an album cover for jazz/swing musician David Patrone, a uniquely apt collaboration.
The abstract art of Antonio Dojer is a reflection of the economically tumultuous and culturally explosive 1970’s Cuba of his youth. What he remembers most of that time is that his countrymen somehow managed to maintain faith in spite of their adversity. Dojer observed a powerful resilience within the human soul that drives people to rise above their constraints. With the collapse of Communism, Cuba’s challenges increased as health care and food became more difficult to secure. These difficulties only served to sharpen Dojer’s skills and enhance his sensitivity.
As the quality of life in Havana diminished, Dojer increasingly focused his energy in two creative directions: drawing and dance. These forms of expression proved to be a natural outlet for the emotional trials of his environment. Dojer pursued his art through high school, ultimately earning the Artistic Award for Creative Excellence in a district-wide competition. He went on to study at the San Alejandro School of Art, where he firmly decided upon art as a life-long career.
As soon as Dojer completed the challenge of graduate school with a Masters of Fine Art degree, his thirst for new facets of artistic expression urged him to move beyond the restrictive Cuban political structure. Although a difficult process with significant personal costs, Dojer made his way to the United States in 1990 and established himself as a permanent resident. Since then, Dojer’s artwork has evolved both technically and thematically, though he carries much of his native experience with him. Working in series, Dojer applies stylistic variations to each painting, ranging from whimsical to brooding. His work may include mixed media, deep color treatments, bright splashes or sensual shades, but always projects the human spirit with broad, bold strokes. With strong colors and defined shapes, he creates a sense of passion and rhythm hovering before a background reminiscent of the urban landscape of his youth.
Dojer once faced certain restrictions that inhibited his ability to express himself, here in the United States he has found himself creating with boundless, voracious energy. He has exhibited his work all across the country.
Vincent George grew up in Newburgh, New York. From very early childhood, Vincent George expressed himself via strategically placed comical doodles that brought penalty to his brothers’ laughter and also charcoal on grocery store paper bags. The hours spent using these unlikely tools would begin to shape the seasoned artist at an early age. Often bringing a sketchbook on his hikes, it was not long before sketching began to take precedence over the outdoor activity itself; even drawing portraits of athletes as he grew an increasing interest in sports. Attempting the first face at age 8 and perfecting it by age 12, he would later go on to win first place in a Georgia state-wide art contest 3 years in a row starting in 6th grade. Creating works of art became George’s top priority by 17, and it was during this time period that he was able to scrounge up a few art-related projects, including the occasional mural and private portrait commission.
He pursued this passion while continuing education in Film at the Savannah College of Art & Design, then later Communications Design and Illustration at The Pratt Institute. He found himself immediately swept up by his surroundings, exhilarated by the uniqueness of the Brooklyn, New York campus’s landscape. It was here, within the glazed memories of late night/early morning exploring that the artist would later draw his inspiration for his well known City Lights series.
Since his independence in adulthood, Vincent George had spent most of his time delving into the world with new, inquisitive eyes. Within works like “An Enlightening” and “Compromise”, his quest of ‘seeking your own truth’ is evident and presented in a way that compels the viewer to retell known fairy tales in a more thought-provoking light. He has approached the art practice with a renewed concept of what can be used to compose fine work; his most eye-opening artistry involving the use of fire and gunpowder. Torch is his realism-style fine art series done entirely by free-hand blowtorch on wood in a technique coined Pyrography. This innovate style lends contribution to Vincent George’s inspiration of the four elements of earth as well as the artist’s foundation of embracing unity. To this effect, it exudes a message that life may introduce anomalies you’re not accustomed to but they’re just as beautiful in their own unique design. Of this George sites, “The great thing about humanity is that we’re all different but we’re all the same. Find balance when you look at yourself.” His variety of cutting edge techniques offer further dimension of emotion and exposure into the aura of the subject matter. He currently looks to become more active in causes while utilizing his talent, including one of his most ironic and iconic works: his Torch portrait of Smokey the Bear entitled “Only you…”
Born to Uzbekistan in 1963, Cecil K got an immediate start on understanding various cultures. Being of Turkish descent, he came to speak both Turkish and Uzbek as he attended high school then an art university from 1978 to 1982. While he was in college he created a drawing called The Horse and he received the best grade possible, inspiring the artist to pursue his natural talent. From that day on sketching with pencil became one of his favorite ways to express himself. It would be a few years of technical jobs in the army and then in a metal factory before he would be able to refocus the majority of his mind’s eye on the arts.
When the Soviet Union fell, he moved from Uzbekistan to Russia, he was unable to pursue an artistic career due to a lack of work available so he escaped to a simpler life working on farms and orchards. Drawn into the demanding lifestyle of a farmer, he made a living selling goods and on the side he worked with a partner to create advertising for local companies. The creativity of advertising unearthed his love of painting and he reunited with his natural passion and talent. After traveling to Antalya, Turkey in 1998 he came across an opportunity to open a studio and teach art as well as refine his own technique; an enlivening break that he took advantage of with great enthusiasm. It was during this time that Cecil K sold his first artwork; an oil painting on canvas of the old downtown of Antalya and got the first taste of what an artistic career would be like. Because he wasn’t a Turkish citizen, he had to go back to Russia in 2005 but – by April – political problems in Russia forced him to emigrate to the United States.
With this drastic transition Cecil K found himself painting more regularly and with a greater emotional depth than ever before. He began painting with acrylics to achieve his signature bright colors. In lieu of his inspiration from great artists he created series such as Ode to Monet and Tango. Landscapes began an open, empty mind and the artist was guided where the painting wanted him to go. He would start by choosing the colors and shapes of colors and just feel where the painting is going. Armed with nothing but a pallet knife and the seven base colors, he is able to create very recognizable art work that portrays great emotion and in any color imaginable.
His work can be found internationally and across the United States in galleries as well as within residences of private collectors.
Torabi was born in 1980 in Iran and began painting at very early age. After finishing high school, he attended Fine Art University where he studied art as well as traditional and classical Persian and Azari music.
He had his first solo show in 2003 followed by various award winning shows throughout Iran spanning over several years. His primary mediums were oils and pen-and-ink. One particular show of interest was his show called “Bread for Life” which took him to the Netherlands and into Armenia.
Torabi longed to share his passion and techniques. Back in Iran, he began teaching oil painting in his atelier and on weekends he played music. His life exuded the arts both visual and performance. As a professionally trained classical singer, he formed an orchestral band, which toured throughout Armenia and Iran. A concert in Karaj, Iran resulted in his arrest and that of the entire orchestration. He and the company were forbidden by the government to be active in any artistic or musical appearances. In order to pursue his career and life in the arts, he relocated to Turkey.
While in Turkey, he embraced his new found freedom to express himself as an artist and to experiment in different techniques and subject matter. The focus of his first exhibition in Turkey was black India ink drawings. This show was the start of a new era for him – a rebirth. Torabi soon was awarded a teaching position in Turkey and taught many different mediums such as oil, acrylic, and his most revered India ink. Life in Turkey embraced and encouraged all that he loved; however, with his dream to paint in the United States still before him, he actively pursued a cross-continental move.
In 2012 with the help of the United Nation’s artistic freedom refugee program, he was able to move to the United States of America. He soon found his place for the arts within the U.S. Currently residing in Georgia, Torabi continues to paint portraits, landscapes, and figuratives while experimenting in abstraction. His desire to grow, explore, and expand as an artist keeps his mind and heart focused on his craft. He also continues to play music and sing with a group of musicians.