Best in Show (Traditional) – Brian McClear - "Justine" – oil on canvas
Brian McClear is a contemporary representational artist with a passion for the interplay between form and texture and how things fit together. Working primarily in oil, his paintings present a balance and solidity that invites interpretation.
Ink & Oil: Once relegated to sailors, combat veterans, and the counter culture, tattoos have become ubiquitous. Whether to commemorate a life event, to satisfy an impulse, to make a bold statement, or as a private talisman, the reasons for getting a tattoo are as varied as the people themselves.
This series of portraits explores men and women of all ages and walks of life that have chosen this form of self-expression. Free spirits. Police officers. Bikers. Musicians. Preachers. Punks. Veterans. These portraits seek to capture a gesture and mood that provide additional insights into the subject’s personality beyond their art. Simply put canvases of people who are themselves canvases.
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Brian Cann - "Networking #3" – digital photography
Brian Cann is a photographer, teacher and writer living in Stuttgart, Germany, specializing in portrait, editorial, fitness, event and art-nude photography.
He taught math at school and university. Studied photography. Stopped. Started again, motivated by early retirement and his wife. An early specialization in the studio slowly shifted to outside images. Portraits of athletes, many of them masters, morphed into figure studies and explorations in erotic and fetish photography, often with the same models: typically strong, fit, and older. His goal is to produce non-exploitative, authentic portraits that stay away from cliché and in which his models are co-creators, collaborators in a process.
His work has appeared in IoN magazine and 'Mein heimliches Auge' and others, and he has been featured in juried exhibitions in the USA, Scotland, Hungary, France, Montenegro, and Germany.
He is originally from the UK, now living in Germany, with his American wife and kids.
Best in Show (3 Dimensional) - Naihui Chen – “Angel” – copper
Biography: Chen Naihui is a Chinese artist. He graduated from the Art School of Guangdong University of Finance and Economics in 2015, and is currently engaged in sculpture art creation. He is also a member and director of Beijing Bauhaus Art Academy.
He completed some public art sculpture creations with his mentor by chance in 2017. It was because of this accidental opportunity that he was deeply inspired. Chen hopes that his works can interact and communicate with the audience and truly have a dialogue from the heart.
Artist Statement: This work, “Angel” reminds me of the sea. It is a kind of eternity, a kind of peace from the heart, and a kind of longing. The inspiration for the work comes from thinking about life and the inner desire for freedom. Even with the body and wings of an angel, it stops flying. Like a body with a heavy responsibility, the half-squinted eyes are depressed, and the heart is full of fear. It expresses the individual under the bondage of social pressure. This endless sense of oppression is everywhere, as if every urbanite can see his own shadow here trying to find freedom in hiding himself.
The work is made of copper. I hope that the material will reflect the richness of life in the work, and I will still maintain my desire for the future despite my hard work. I use dark colors, which can make the shape appear clearly and give people a deep feeling; it is like time stops at that moment.
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