February 6, 2020

Brett Stout – Deep, Dark Paintings

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Brett Stout – Deep, Dark Paintings

All images copyright, Brett Stout. *** Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. This is his first feature in The Fictional Café.

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January 8, 2020

Amanda Grafe: The Enlightened Paintbrush

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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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November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

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The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

One of Us    A sucker-punch thought,  we will end.  The assault turns into a cold sweat  from the contours of my couch.    One day we might fight over  the over-due mortgage,  you promised to pay.  The dent in the new hallway’s paint,   I never denied.  Who keeps the dog   when we sell the house?     We fought the morning  a bus crashed into the glass store.  The highway exit was blocked  and first responders’ lights spun.  I read on my phone that no one’s hurt  and we held hands the drive home.  What if we’d decided   to replace the glass in the tv stand  an hour earlier.    The first time I wrote this  you sat next to me on the couch.   TV commentaries must-know insight,  scores on your phone,  notes for a fantasy,  but you…

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November 2, 2019

“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

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“In Thought, Word and Deed,” by Jose Oseguera

By the time Paul and Ariela reached the Caravaggio exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, they decided to stop avoiding the urge to hold hands, and finally interlaced fingers. The tingling sensation first came to him when he handed her the red LACMA sticker, she needed to wear in order to be allowed in all the special exhibits. Paul squeezed her hand as if it would fall out of his if he didn’t. She blushed. He smiled, showing more teeth than he’d intended. Paul was born in Mexico, but was adopted as an infant by white evangelical Christian missionaries who decided to bring him home to Rialto, California along with all the goat’s milk candy they could fit in their luggage. Although his parents had tried to instill as much Hispanic culture in him…

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October 27, 2019

Mind-Melding with Lew Holzman’s Art

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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

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“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

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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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June 19, 2019

A Suspension of Disbelief: Lydia Kinney’s Art

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A Suspension of Disbelief: Lydia Kinney’s Art

Lydia Kinney lives and works in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2014 with a BFA in Painting. Lydia’s work focuses on spatial abstractions, forming tensions of interior/exterior environments. Subjects include windows and pillars into other planes, disintegrating color fields, formally ambiguous confetti, and plays of texture. The Artist’s Statement “My paintings function with haphazard visual structure and a focus on material. The composition is pivoted on stained substrates and poured surfaces. I push the compositions to balance a suspension of disbelief and a tangible acknowledgment of a made object. The dichotomy of drawn and painted treatments takes advantage of the depth and atmosphere implied by wet, amorphous forms and planes. “Rigid lines and shapes encounter these surfaces, holding up, constraining, destabilizing, and contradicting their preceding natural flow. The…

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