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  • Damian Loeb

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Damian Loeb American Artist: b. 1970. Damian Loeb is an American painter and photographer. Loeb's early works were based on collages culled from varied sources, including advertisements, magazines, television, and books. The resulting paintings depict unsettling scenes rendered in a highly representational, seamlessly multi-layered composition. The atmosphere in the finished works expresses a dreamlike and surreal state, as if painted from an emotional memory. They allude to the work of John William Waterhouse or Andrew Wyeth, with surreal components plucked from postmodern culture. After the appropriation series, Loeb embarked on a series of paintings based on stills from classic horror and science fiction films. To create these works, he captured and digitally combined multiple stills which were then rendered as large oil paintings. Many of the works take the form of extreme landscapes up to 14 feet long, engulfing one's field of view and reproducing the atmospheric elements of the scene without the use of recognizable or iconic signifiers. In September 2008 Loeb showed two new series of work at the Acquavella Galleries in New York. These included several large paintings which bore a striking resemblance to film stills, but were all based on the artist's own personal photographs. The tightly rendered paintings evoked the iconic narrative images embedded in the collective unconscious, illustrating the overlap between our memories of images from contemporary cinema and our ‘real world’ experiences. In the second series of paintings, Loeb delved into the dark psychology of memory and emotion. These more loosely rendered pieces addressed psychological themes such as perception, distortion, fear, and fantasy in the form of small landscapes. In May 2011, Damian Loeb debuted a new series of figurative paintings at Acquavella Galleries titled Verschränkung and the Uncertainty Principle. The show consists of eight paintings based on a series of images he took of his wife Zoya over the past seven years. The title references paradoxes in quantum physics, wherein subject and object are rendered indistinguishable, (Verschränkung) and that the act of observation affects the object being observed (the Uncertainty Principle). The theory is used as a metaphor to examine the false barrier of safety imagined by observers and their culpable connection to the objects being scrutinized; as well as between artist and muse. The paintings are reminiscent of Old Master portraits, though their apparent spontaneity belies the amount of work needed to create each, in the use of chiaroscuro, glazing, and classic composition. In February of 2014 Damian Loeb exhibited sixteen new paintings at Acquavella Galleries in New York. The exhibition was titled Sol d, after an obscure cataloging term for Earth. The paintings shown varied in scale from large six foot by six foot compositions to smaller, more intimate oil studies. All were composed in a square format and depicted the moon, star-fields, the sun, atmospheric cloudscapes and terrains. The paintings offer a romantic parallel to the first-hand exploration of nature with charged remixes of picture postcard landscapes that challenge the perception of ocular space.

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