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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Artsrun Apresyan

Armenian artist
Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts

David Manzur

That is why this solid and lucid position that the artist has attained did not arise by spontaneous generation. In his first exhibitions (1953), his attention to contemporary trends and experimentation was evident, but certain trends, such as dramatization, were recognizable as well, which have persisted as one of the most consistent characteristics of his production. Soon after, certain expressionist and cubist feature rationales could be identified, combined in an original and rather unorthodox manner, which, in turn, would lead to works that could be qualified as abstract expressionism, due to their nature of gestures, their attention to the effects of color, and to the interest expressed by textured surfaces.

Subsequently, Manzur began a close friendship with Naum Gabo, one of the forefathers of the constructivist movement, and, thanks to his influence, Manzur made incursions in a nature of works prepared with synthetic threads, traced with geometric precision and sustained with three-dimensional structures that evoke the “bridges” in the violins (1972). The references to music represent another constant theme in his works, but at that time, the works were essentially abstract, centered on spatial and chromatic problems, albeit evoking lunar beams, a heavenly body, the brushstrokes of which have exercised a constant fascination for the artist.

All of these experiences and developments, within the parameters of modernity, kept nourishing David Manzur conceptually and technically, providing him with experiences and supplying him with arguments which, once assimilated and decanted with his refined sensitivity, allowed him to set the foundations for an attitude and knowledge that are the basis for the domain that nowadays characterizes his painting style, as well as the reflections that support his outlook. In the mid seventies, he returns to the level of prominence he had at first, loaded with teachings, in part, thanks to his incursion into abstraction and convinced that, in the art of creating representations and in organic drawing, one finds not only a manner of expression, the faculties of which to move and excite are timeless and infinite, but also the internal way to express, based on his innate capability of representation, his cultured personality and on account of the visualization of his preoccupations and perceptions.

His creative purposes then change, leaving behind his aim for stylistic innovation, characterized by vanguardism, and seeking, in this change, the sincerity of his statements and, in the symbolism of the images, incorporating the foundations and the objectives of his work. The change in scope and attitude becomes evident as a result of his attention to the works of the grand masters in the history of art, particularly with respect to the execution of the paintings, which gain in precision, the cautious treatment to the most minute of details, as well as in their structure and harmony.

For a certain period of time, Manzur works on still life, where he combines goblets and fruits with musical instruments and musical scores. In the background of these works one can identify geometric considerations, but above all, the convincing representation of the objects, their materials and surfaces and how they behave in the face of light, this representing the main attraction in these still life paintings. He also turns to paintings with mystical themes, in particular La Anunciación (The Annunciation) and Las Transverberaciones de Santa Teresa (The Transverberations of Saint Theresa) (1980-87) and a halo or religiousness, as well as a dreamy atmosphere, start to surround his paintings, in a notoriously progressive manner, complementing the aesthetic intent and the humanistic message that make up their content.

In the most recent years, the artist has concentrated on two large themes: San Sebastián (Saint Sebastian) (1990-97) and San Jorge y el dragón (Saint George and the dragon) (1987-97), on which he works with similar dedication and intensity. In the representation of Saint Sebastian, the young Roman centurion does not appear as he has been represented traditionally, tied to the trunk of a tree, or wounded by arrows, but rather, in Mazur’s rendering, the contortions of his body, his hands taut over his chest, and the expression on his face, in anguish and as if in a trance, leave no doubt whatsoever of his suffering. The Saint is shown in the nude, reiterating the erotic connotations usually associated with his iconography, and highlighting the artist’s command of the representation of the human body. The figure appears on a platform, accompanied by some dead birds, of uncertain symbolism, and before a mountainous Andean landscape, melancholically illuminated by the light of the sun as it is going down at the end of the day.

In the representations of Saint George and the dragon, Manzur evokes and brings together dreams and visions of his childhood. The Saint generally appears riding on a splendid horse, attacking an enemy that is a combination of fowl and a structure with wheels, brandishing his sword, accompanied by a certain female figure, an element that increases the mystery of the scene. The ambiguity of the locations, the contemporary nature of certain characters, and the cruelty of the battle, make up a metaphor on the reality that confronts the observer with the recognition of his participation, either as the hero or as the dragon, in the day-to-day events of his environment.

Eduardo Serrano
Historian and art critic

David Manzur Londoño (n. Neira, Caldas, Colombia; 1929) es un pintor colombiano.

Estudió en la Escuela de Arte Claret en las Palmas, Islas Canarias, en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Bogotá, en el Art Student´s League de Nueva York y en el Instituto Pratt de la misma ciudad. David Manzur es aun más conocido por sus monumentales murales de Bogotá, Cali y Miami. Vive y trabaja en Bogotá.

El pintor ha tratado temas de una amplia diversidad entre los cuales se encuentran el retrato tradicional, el bodegón, los desnudos y demás estudios de la figura humana.

A lo largo de su vida artística el pintor ha mantenido un diálogo con los antiguos maestros europeos, en pinturas en las que reverbera el arte de antigüedad así como la esencia del espíritu moderno con sus nuevas obras.

Las pinturas de Manzur, a menudo parecen representar una escena de algún drama desconocido, cuya acción ha quedado congelada.

David Manzur ha participado en un gran número de exposiciones individuales y colectivas también ha sido merecedor de numerosas distinciones internacionales.

David Manzur transmitió, con religiosa periodicidad, sus más sagrados secretos acerca del proceso creador a su alumno Joaquin Restrepo.

Ha destacado, asimismo, como ilustrador de libros de importantes poetas colombianos, como Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda, Mario Rivero y Sergio Esteban Vélez.


Alex Fishgoyt

Bio - visit artist website please

Christina Forster - Ramos

Christina Ramos’ paintings express her love of people and the world around her. Her use of vibrant color and realistic technique, have made her an award winning artist. A native Californian, Christina uses acrylics in her unique candid portraits. She is the fourth generation in a family of artists and musicians.
Christina's portraits range from romantic, to humorous and include serious subject matter as well. Her paintings of people affected by the AIDS crises and poverty are used to help raise awareness and funding for these important issues.
Her work has been shown in galleries all over the United States including The Salmagundi Club,New York, NY, Legacy Gallery Scottsdale AZ, The Southwest Gallery Dallas TX, The Art League at Hilton Head SC., The Governors Mansion in Jefferson City MO, and The Bosque Conservatory of Art in Clifton TX.
Christina is also a member of The Portrait Society of America, The California Art Club, American Women Artists, Women Painters West, the National Oil & Acrylics Painter’s Society, and the International Society of Acrylic Painters.

Christina is a recent college graduate who got her bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Theatre Performance. She can currently be seen at Glendale Centre Theatre performing in the children's show The LIttle Mermaid as Sandy and Arabelle's understudy. One of her more recent and notable roles was on the Clifford E. White Theatre stage as Logainne from The 25th Annual Putnam County Speling Bee under the direction of the wise and talented Dr. Robert Yowell.

Christina is currently unrepresented.

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an artist. I always drew well, and my father, a third generation artist, encouraged my aspirations. I continued to pursue art throughout high school, but after graduating, I realized that neither my parents nor I could afford a formal art education. So I did what I had to do; I got a job and went to work. Art became a distant memory as I moved on with my life, married, and had four children.

I used my artistic talents around my home—decorating and redecorating—but knew there was always something missing from my life. After a close friend showed me a painting he had done, I decided to once again try my hand at fine art. I had never painted before, so I grabbed the cheapest and most practical thing in the art store, which was acrylic paints (oil paint didn’t make sense with four small kids in the house, and my lack of free time). I did my first painting, and saw that this might be something that would let me express all those creative ideas that had been dormant for the last 10 years.

I continued to paint as often as I could, and tried to increase my knowledge by reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I used experimentation, and trial and error to hone my talents. As my confidence increased, I joined a local art group, and had some success in their shows. Next I began entering competitions that I found in art publications. There too, my success grew. Now after 15 years of painting, I can say that I have shown my work all over the United States and have had many solo exhibitions.

As a figurative realist, I have found myself alone when it comes to the use of acrylic instead of oil paint, but it works best for me. Now go discover the ways to express your creative side that work for you. You may end up with a brush in your hand and a masterpiece on your canvas.

Neilson Carlin

“The function of the artist is to overcome the opacity of human experience – to confront a universe that does often seem baffling and, by judicious selectivity, to reveal its true essence.”
- Ayn Rand

When he was a boy, Neilson Carlin wanted to be Catholic priest – a strange desire for one raised as a Protestant. However, adolescence brought the realization that his true calling was his other great love: painting.

While earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Neilson was fortunate to study with Martha Erlebacher and Renee Foulks, both leading contemporary figure painters. He concluded his formal studies privately at the Aviano Academy of Fine Art under figure painter Michael Aviano. Through Aviano, Neilson traces his instructional lineage directly to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of 19th century France.

Neilson specializes in portrait, figurative and still life painting. He maintains both an active gallery and commission career. His current gallery affiliations are with McBride Gallery in Annapolis, MD, Hardcastle Gallery in Wilmington, DE and The Brush and Palette in Kennett Square, PA. His commissioned work includes portraits and sacred art. Recently, Neilson was one of just four artists from across the country commissioned to complete paintings to adorn the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI. This 14-month project culminated in the execution of four, 11’ x 4.5’ multi-figure paintings of Catholic Saints Gianna Molla, Peregrine Laziosi, Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Father Miguel Pro.

In addition to his gallery painting and commissioned work, he has taught for more than a decade at his school, Studio Rilievo School of Classical Painting in Kennett Square, PA. Through the studio, he is training the next generation of artists and advancing the classical realist tradition.

His work has exhibited at the Arnot Art Museum, the Arts Club of Washington, the Louise Wells Cameron Museum, The Salmagundi Club and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. In 2003, his painting “Transcendence” received First Place in the Still Life category of The Artist’s Magazine’s 20th Annual National Art Competition. In 2004, his painting “Emergence” received Second Place in the Portrait category of The Artist’s Magazine’s 21st Annual National Art Competition. Both paintings were selected from over 12,000 entries nationwide. His work has been published in the Spring 2006 American Artist Drawing Magazine, Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing and How Did you Paint That? :100 Ways to Paint Still Life & Florals. In 2008, Neilson received First Place for his painting “Surrender at Gethsemane” in the Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Competition at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA.

Private study, Michael Aviano, New York, NY
BFA University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Presidential Scholarship

Artist Statement
Although I never made it to the seminary, I am somewhat unconvinced that my choice to become an artist strayed from a type of religious life after all. My cloister is a studio papered with icons of classical paintings and drawings. With reverence, I venerate the great artistic saints such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio. Each day I recite a litany of the principles of drawing, color and composition. Relying on centuries of tradition as my guide, I utilize the wisdom of generations past in adherence to classical painting methods. At the altar of my easel, paint and canvas are the sacraments through which I bring my congregation of viewers into communion with the sublime.


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