More of Adam Donaldson Powell’s Abstractions: portraiture, figurative paintings and nature paintings.

Many abstract artists have taken portraiture and figurative art to the unrecognisable, for example Pablo Picasso. In my abstract figurative and abstract nature paintings I have always attempted to combine the abstract with the semi-realistic. This in order to lend an anchor to the minimum of the known and then to invite the viewer to explore the subjective and psychological elements which actually represent a more accurate picture of the entity at several moments and over time, rather than a frozen “painted photograph” showing one moment in time. I often use myself and others as “models” for these abstract portraits and figurative works. Sometimes these “models” are used in a context which may be in relationship to how I see or experience them personally, but often there is actually no connection to the theme of the painting. All portraits are derived and developed from photographs I possess.

HERE ARE A FEW OF MY ABSTRACT PORTRAITS AND FIGURATIVE PAINTINGS:

“Model”: Adam Donaldson Powell.

“Entre Nous et Eux”, oil on canvas, 90×65 cm. is about keeping a frozen smile and trying to remain “politically correct” in a Western world that is literally under “cultural attack” by the sheer numbers of refugees and immigrants, and further complicated by European countries’ relative naivité and unpreparedness for multiculturism. It is therefore that the background resembles the Norwegian, Czech, Russian, French, Dutch, British, US etc. flags with the red, white and blue colours … but which are are increasingly inundated with falling leaves which eventually become lively foreign objects, cultures, traditions, religions etc. — and all the while with more and more persons competing for celebrity, money, resources, ideologies and power etc. It symbolises an irreversible shift in cultural and social values and traditions, and the tensions churning and burning underneath. It is about the new “n-word” which is socially and legally forbidden to express in public forums. The penalty is being stamped as “a racist”, and prosecution.

“Wanted: for breaking the rules of Art and Writing!”, self-portrait, 65×90 cm., oil on canvas, 2018

“Self-portrait, Vibing the Green Aura of Creativity and Love”, oil on canvas, 56×46 cm., 2018.
“Straight to Hell” — Mapplethorpe in triptych, oil on canvas, 2018.

STRAIGHT TO HELL — MAPPLETHORPE IN TRIPTYCH.

I decided that it was best to depict Mapplethorpe in an Expressionist style – and almost like a charcoal and chalk painting. This because the style fits the era when he was growing up, but also to convey technique-wise the brutal simplicity of his art photography. His photographic portraits were perhaps designed to challenge the traditional “high art” status dominance of painted portraits. Mapplethorpe is often quoted as having said: “People don’t have time to wait for somebody to paint their portraits anymore. The money is in photography”. The wisdom of my choice of painting style is perhaps most apparent in the center panel, which deals with his internal perceptions of himself, and where the spectator’s eye goes straight to the majestic Cala Lily – The flower of Death – of which Mapplethorpe was so keen. The contrast provided by  the single flower that is so calm and majestic is so powerful that the drama of the expressionist style is immediately reset — in a single glance. This artwork is rife with symbolism. The panels are meant to recall gay jerk-off magazines from the ’50s and ’60s, and thus the reference to “la main gauche” (the left hand). Mapplethorpe created magnificent classy/artistic porn: sexually provocative, statuesque bodybuilders (predominant in the gay mags of his era), celebrity porn (the masturbation of striving for fame in one’s own lifetime and beyond), sensual portraits of flowers etc.

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“Straight to Hell — Mapplethorpe in triptych”, Adam Donaldson Powell, oil on canvas, 2018. Keywords: Mapplethorpe, tabloid (lurid, sensational) art, guns as penises, penises as guns, splattered blood, blood stains, sex, AIDS, crosses, Calla lily (flower of Death), sado-masochism, fetish, narcissism, pecs and nipples, the body as a living sculpture, perfection vs. the glory of the imperfect, Don Herron’s iconic Tubshot photo. Each panel measures 40 x 50 cm.

NB. Yes, I address Mapplethorpe’s obsession with Black men and their bodies / genitals by featuring Mapplethorpe himself in mirror image — as both Caucasian and Negroid. In this way his desire to completely embody and define ultimate personification of sexuality will finally be complete. The iconic Don Herron Tubshots photo of Mapplethorpe was chosen as my model because I actually met Mapplethorpe at his loft when Don and I delivered the photograph to him. This triptych is my “tribute” to both Don Herron and Robert Mapplethorpe

“Model”: Tor (in memoriam).

“Tor (on the other side of the veil), oil on canvas, 50×50 cm.”

“Model”: Rodo.

“Letting go (of love)”, 40×40 cm., oil on canvas is about the process of trying to move on — without a loved one. The memories of that person become blurred, the pain is, romanticised, the sense of betrayal and anger gradually become replaced by arrogant self-pity and then denial that love ever was (in fact) mutual. Solace and personal redemption are found written as graffiti on the wall — in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre: “We are condemned to be free” (here in Spanish: “Estamos condenados a ser libres”).
“Talking heads / Social media”, 65 x 90 cm., oil on canvas, 2018, is all about “the buzz” (slander and gossip, #hatersgonnahate, #lookatme etc.) in black and white.
“Faceless animus” (65 x 90 cm., oil on canvas, 2018) asks us how well we really know another person, and how much we really want to know — the stereotypical or racial countenance … or the faceless animus that lies behind it?

“Le jeune homme et la mort”, 65×90 cm., oil on canvas. This is my re-interpretation of Cocteau’s idea for the famous ballet. See my notes about this HERE!

“Model”: my nephew Austin.

“Portrait of Austin”, 100 x 100 cm., oil on canvas was made some years ago when he was an infant and further developed into my perception of him as a young teenager — based upon his physical characteristics and personality. It is my way of looking into the future based upon my perceptions of the present.

 

 

“Hands”, 30×30 cm., oil, gold foil and charcoal on cardboard, 2017. “Hands”: Disposable art – fighting against the wear and tear of age, physicality, and the urges to hold on vs. to eventually let go.

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HERE ARE A FEW OF MY ABSTRACT NATURE PAINTINGS:

“Y yo pienso aun en ti”, oil on canvas, 100×100 cm.

«Lone moose in sunset», oil on canvas, 65×90 cm., 2018.

painting_in_progress1

“Tribute to Mars: The Great Source and Center”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.

“Nightfall – with Winter giving way to Spring”, 50×50 cm., 2017.

“Aged stone” (Oil on styrofoam).

“Eclipse”/craquelure, oil on canvas, 40×40 cm.

«Sunrise in early Spring», oil on canvas, 65×90 cm., 2018.

“Seascape I” (original of a series), oil on canvas, 120×120 cm.”

Spring Snow

“Tribute to Yukio Mishima: Spring Snow”, oil on canvas, 50×50 cm.”

Autumn foliage (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
“Autumn foliage” (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
First frost.
“First frost” (Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.)
Dusk (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
“Dusk” (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
Sunlight through the forest (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
“Sunlight through the forest” (Oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm.)
Vortex (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.)
“Vortex” (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.)
Red on red - Luck is fleeting, (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.)
“Red on red – Luck is fleeting”, (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.)
Nocturne (Oil on canvas).
“Nocturne” (Oil on canvas).
White night no. 2 (Oil on canvas).
“White night no. 2” (Oil on canvas).
Tears -- walking through the forest, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.
“Tears — walking through the forest”, (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm.)
White night no. 1
“White night no. 1”, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm.
avalanche
“Avalanche”, oil on canvas, 80 x 80 cm.

ghosts2

“Ghosts no. 2 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018

ghosts1

“Ghosts no. 1 — Climate change sucks the life out of Spring”, 15×15 cm., oil on canvas, 2018

Beetlemania / Bugging out! (Oil on canvas, 30x30 cm x two paintings)
“Beetlemania / Bugging out!” (Oil on canvas, 30×30 cm x two paintings.)

All works by Adam Donaldson Powell.

SEE MORE OF MY RECENT OIL PAINTINGS AT:

MY SAATCHI ONLINE SITE (oil paintings)

One Comment on “More of Adam Donaldson Powell’s Abstractions: portraiture, figurative paintings and nature paintings.

  1. Good afternoon Adam.

    I would very much love to have the opportunity to talk to you about your work especially your poetry.

    Many thanks,

    AnneMarie

    Like

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