New York, NY
This story was featured in the December 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2013 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
The casual observer may think that every figurative painting Jeremy Lipking creates is about a certain individual. But often the work is more about a particular color harmony or a composition the artist is interested in exploring. “I am often using the subject as a vehicle for this kind of artistic exploration, recording my contemporary world through these explorations and themes,” Lipking says. “My whole philosophy is that I like to have the craft that the 19th-century painters had as far as drawing and technical skill goes, but I still want to paint something that is new and contemporary.”
This month Arcadia Contemporary presents 20 new works by the Southern California artist in a show opening with a reception on December 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. At 38, Lipking has already garnered a number of awards and accolades for his work from prestigious shows such as the California Art Club’s Gold Medal Juried Exhibition and the Portrait Society of America’s competitions. He is known for his elegant, ethereal style in paintings that often feature his wife, Danielle, or his daughter, Skylar. In this current show, about half of the paintings portray Skylar and a few works also include his son, Jacob.
Lipking says that there is always at least one new thing he is experimenting with in each work he creates, and the works in this show are no exception. “In this group of paintings, which are almost exclusively outdoor figures, I thought a lot about what makes a composition good or pleasing to the eye and also about which path through the painting the viewer’s eye should travel as it moves around the composition,” he says.
Another element in this new body of work is the painter’s use of color. Lip-king says his artistic mission for this show was to ensure that each painting had its own unique color harmony. One of the key things about painting outdoors, he explains, is that environments have their own color ranges, depending on the time of day. “I began mixing colors for each painting like I was learning to mix paint for the first time,” Lipking says. “What I mean by that is I didn’t have any conventional formulas for mixing up flesh tones. If the skin appeared green, then I mixed the color using green paint.”
Lipking’s work is sometimes compared to paintings by John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, and Anders Zorn. Michael Zakian, director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, calls Lipking’s style and aesthetic “paradoxical” because it is realistic and softly rendered at the same time. “Lipking’s skill lies in his ability to probe in and around his subject,” Zakian says. “With a highly sensitive eye, he sees nuances of value and hue that the camera and most people can never see. More incredibly, he is able to translate his highly nuanced vision into a painted image.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
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