We have been riding the wave of the top global art trends, cherry-picking from the best international exponents of Figurativism. We are committed to bring only what is most unique to UK Art Collectors. Here are details on the conceptual framework and the practice of three of our international figurative artists:
Marcelo Amorim: Social Hierarchies in Western Cultures
Marcelo Amorim's work can be seen as a revisiting and an 'acclimatisation' of the work of Gerard Richter. It is possible to note strong connections with Richter's photo-painting and his 'Atlas' project in Amorim's art, but the Brazilian artist uses a process similar to that of the German master's constant encyclopaedic and taxonomic research to investigate his own specific conceptual interest. That is: Amorim - in a manner aligned with Richter's selection for the production of 'Atlas' - chooses and accumulates images from the press, newspapers and book clippings, and other similar online finds to generate an iconography of the forces that have historically shaped the figure of the socially dominant and politically hegemonic White man.
This appropriation is done with the purpose of highlighting that the social hierarchy that perpetuates power in the hands of specific groups is linked to a well-defined panoply of behaviours, moral and ethical codes, and other practices of defining, imposing and sacralising the dominant class, race and gender in the Western political-cultural pyramid.
Contextualised within the highly counter-current and politicised art of Brazil today, Amorim's work represents an original counterpoint to practices that directly explore the theme of social minorities in a country where recent radicalisation to the right has resulted in new waves of racism, homophobia and discrimination against women.
In 2019, Amorim had a solo show at the Museu de Arte de Ribeirão Preto (MARP), and, Zipper Gallery in São Paulo gave him a solo show in 2016. Other highlights in the gallery world were his solo show 'Intervalo' at Jaqueline Martins, and his presence in the group show at Luciana Caravello Arte Contemporânea in Rio de Janeiro (2014). His work has been exhibited at Casa do Brasil in Madrid (2018) and in Brussels (2017), as well as at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati (2017) and at Kunst im Kulturflur in Berlin (2011).
Ricardo Coelho: Celebrity Culture and the Aesthetic of the Body
Ricardo Coelho explores figurativism from the identity perspective. Showing astonishing pictorial skills and exploring the world of celebrity culture, this Brazilian artist has authored portraits of Andy Warhol, Marina Abramovich and Virginia Wolf.
Coelho believes that the aesthetic of the body occupies a predominant place in today’s world. From tabloids to social media and the arts, Celebrity culture is deeply entrenched in the aesthetics of the body. Both the aesthetics of the body and celebrity culture owe much to the classical roots of our Western Culture, and if we really think about it, there is little difference between what today’s celebrities stand for us and what Gods stood for people in Ancient Greece or Rome.
Ricardo Coelho holds a Post-Doctorate from the Unicamp in Brazil, a PhD in Visual Arts from the Institute of Arts at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) (2015), having conducted part of his research at the Universitat de Barcelona (2014), with a sandwich scholarship subsidized by CAPES; a Master in Visual Arts from the Institute of Arts at Unesp (2003) and a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the same institution (1999).
Since 2009, he is a professor at the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Applied Arts of the Federal University of São João del-Rei, in Minas Gerais. He also works as an independent curator, exhibition designer and, as a visual artist, has participated in more than 40 exhibitions of contemporary art and video festivals in spaces such as Casa das Rosas, Centro Cultural São Paulo, Funarte, Fundação Bienal, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, besides having participated in the 2nd Cultural Award Sérgio Mota and the VideoBrasil Festival.
Leena Mertanen: Radical Cultural Hybridity from the Nordics
The art of Leena Mertanen is the quintessential expression of the Nordic countries character: unforgiving in its dark side, strong in its humour, temperamental in its emotions, intricate in its way of exploring human nature, complex in its rendering of personality and personas, primal in its depiction of our drives and desires, sharp whilst it unveils the social domain to the extent of blatantly exposing its most repressed and unspoken corners.
Mertanen is a Finnish artist and her work is the embodiment of the radical cultural hybridity that takes shape through the Nordic reality, climate, societal rationale, and ethical configuration.
Mertanen assigns to her body the task of functioning as a vessel, as a medium, and as a lever firmly fixed in the work and entirely capable of exponentially empower art with the strength and authority of the woman condition. This task was given by Cindy Sherman to her body too, and similarly to this acclaimed representative of the Picture Generation of the 1970s, Mertanen probes the construction of identity, playing with the visual and cultural codes of a highly fragmented 21st century where the boundaries between the cultural codes of art, celebrity, gender and identity politics have been blurred to a new and radical extent.
Leena Mertanen graduated in Fine Art at the Savolinna School in Helsinki and is known as a hard-working perfectionist. This personality trait is reflected in both the impeccable quality of her productions and their subsequent outstanding photographic outcomes. She has attracted interest around the globe from Japan, to the US, Italy and the UK.