January 8, 2020

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

We’re very pleased to introduce Amanda Grafe, an artist, illustrator and author of four books. A Rhode Island native, she holds a M.S. from Johnson & Wales University. We met Amanda at the Rhode Island Author’s Expo in December and were immediately impressed with her creative work. We hope you will be, too. Artist’s Statement (1): Abstract painting allow rules to be bent in ways other art forms cannot. Sticking mainly with oils, but occasionally incorporating other mediums, has given me a chance to selfishly explore, emotionally mend, deconstruct enigmas, and fight against both societal and personal constructs I feel do not serve humanity.  Generally, I prefer not to title my work. Although titles are useful, I believe they can in some instances confine the viewer’s mind, instructing them as to what they should be…

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October 27, 2019

Mind-Melding with Lew Holzman’s Art

Mind-Melding with Lew Holzman’s Art

We’re pleased to showcase Lew’s unique expression of the intersection of photography and painting once again. His work first appeared here, and was featured again in our just-published anthology, The Strong Stuff: The Best of Fictional Café, 2013-2017. Artist’s Statement There are many beautiful or interesting moments that one can capture but we’ve seen many of them too many times. I always attempt to avoid the clichéd. My work is transformational so that we might look again and see things somehow differently. I am trying to blur the distinction between photography and painting with influences mainly from late 19th and 20th-century art movements including Surrealism, Dadaism, and abstract expressionism. *** I have always created either word images in my poetry or visual images. Digital photography expanded my horizons and my transformations transformed me into a…

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September 21, 2019

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

“My Year in Art,” by Steve Sangapore

After graduating from college in 2013 with a degree in art, I spent the next five years maintaining a sharp focus on honing my craft as a painter. Countless studio hours were matched with even more time pursuing opportunities, schmoozing with gallerists, and making my presence known within Boston’s, and the greater Northeast’s, vibrant art communities. While each year yielded great leaps in my technical dexterity and academic proficiency as a painter, the art was virtually devoid of the most important component that separates art from craft . . . and I just couldn’t see it. Or, perhaps I could see it—I just didn’t want to. The debates between, “what is good art” and “what is or can be art” have been raging on for years – particularly since the mid-19th century with the birth…

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September 1, 2019

William Wolak, Master of Collage

William Wolak, Master of Collage

Bill Wolak has kindly consented to share his masterful collage works with Fictional Cafe, and we’re delighted to bring his work before you. As his collages take different form and shape depending upon his ideas and materials, so it is with his work and creativity. Titles are displayed beneath images. Bill Wolak teaches creative writing at William Paterson University in Paterson, New Jersey. In addition to creating collages, he is a poet and a photographer. He has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Editions. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2017; The 2019 Seattle Erotic Art Festival; Poetic Illusion; The Riverside Gallery, Hackensack, NJ; the 2019 Dirty Show in Detroit; 2018 The Rochester Erotic Arts Festival and The 2018 Montreal Erotic Art Festival.  artist photo courtesy India Times

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July 23, 2019

Metamorphosis: Qinrui Chen’s Surrealistic BioArt

Metamorphosis: Qinrui Chen’s Surrealistic BioArt

Fictional Café is pleased to showcase the creative work of up-and-coming Shanghai artist Qinrui Chen. We believe her education in neuroscience adds a quite a unique perspective to her art. Artist’s Statement – “We can’t talk about surrealism without mentioning realism as a reference, like Godzilla and sci-fi – its distinct character is its ‘size of a building’ and fixation on the deconstruction of ‘office space.’ What makes it surreal but still manages to be meaningful is it brings us to reflect on questions of realism: how do we deal with the inner monster, how to seek the individual dream of a powerful superego in a suppressive social-political environment per Godzilla, or strangely per A Hundred Years of Solitude too (to some extent). “So I find the most realism I can: the medical image of…

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