Art Rooms 2019
Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Part 3: Returning Favourites
It was a great pleasure to encounter three of my all time favourite Art Rooms exhibitors again at the 2019 event. Links to my reviews on their displays in previous years can be found below, along with links to all the artists featured here.
1. Michelle Loa Kum Cheung (Australia / Based in UK)
I have always been super impressed by Michelle’s art. Her pyrographic creations are extremely delicate and ethereal, despite the bold scorching technique. Her oil paintings on wood with gold leaf are enchanting, and they transport me to lands I could otherwise only dare to imagine. Her colour schemes are delightfully subtle, even understated, and this works perfectly. The wooden bases and the predominance of the circular form provide the finest of surfaces and shapes to convey her images.
In my experience, Michelle’s style is genuinely unique. And I particularly like her own description of her art as
“a veneration of a natural idyllic landscape”.
Michelle draws on the Shan shui artistic theories, showing respect for traditional cultural values and teaching, and seeking the best way to present her own remarkable creative vision.
Michelle Loa Kum Cheung (2019 display)
2. Armando Alemdar Ara (Macedonia / based in the UK)
I first encountered Armando’s art in 2018. Once again, in 2019, I found myself bewitched by his palette, a subtle Renaissance colour scheme, his style, neo-modernism, and his capturing of figures in semi-abstract form. Also by the tender connectivity of his subjects and the sense of movement, graceful and energetic.
Dancers (image via the Art Rooms website)
This time Armando told me the story of Ariadne, the woman who helped Theseus escape from the Minotaur, only to be abandoned by him on an island soon after. I also heard about a positive spin for Icarus. In Armando’s picture, it’s hard to tell whether the boy is ascending or descending. In a line reminiscent of Buzz Lightyear, even falling is a form of flying. In both these classical tales, Armando praised those who greet sorrow and hardship with grace and resilience.
Falling Is Also Flying (image from the artist's website)
Armando Alemdar Ara (2019)
3. Roberto Grosso (Italy)
Roberto and his artwork occupied the first room in the first corridor in the first Art Rooms fair I ever attended, in 2016. I was very happy to join him again in 2019 for his latest display. Once again, Roberto had great pleasure in demonstrating his augmented reality layer technique via his tablet, showing the stages of artistic creation to music. He is a performer, a bit of a showman, and I think that’s wonderful.
Roberto Grosso at the Affordable Art Fair 2019: photo via the artist's website
Brushed metal and metallic paper are his trademark alternative canvases. He combines the abstract with the figurative to stunning effect. Some of his boldest works are built up of composite layers, occasionally in perspex, with splashes of vibrant colour. Red lipstick stands out. The mark of a passionate Italian paying homage to a voluptuous principessa. I imagine!
He Knows Everything (L) and Fell on Black Days (R)
Time to Pretend
© Eddie Hewitt 2019
All photographs in this review (c) Eddie Hewitt, unless specified otherwise
See the Connected Cultures feature: Art Rooms 2019 - The Annual Selection
See the Connected Cultures feature: Art Rooms 2019 - Hard to leave out
Previous Connected Cultures features on Art Rooms Exhibitions:
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2018 here
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2017 here
See the Connected Cultures review of Art Rooms 2016 here