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Highlights from Direct Art Volume 20

On The Cover: Aldo Lira

      My paintings are narratives that depict encounters between the everyday world of human existence and that of the numinous or spiritual world that intersects with it. The imagery found in my paintings has been drawn from a number of sources: descriptions of encounters with celestial beings found in mythology, folklore and those found within the context of spiritual/religious experiences, as well as more contemporary accounts of near-death experiences and encounters with supposed alien intelligences. I have also sought out theoretical aspects of contemporary biophysics and quantum physics that seem to offer some possible explanations for these phenomena.

Aldo Lira, Strange Gifts II Oil on linen 20” x 24”


Hot and Cold 2007 72”x 112” Mixed media on panel

Ira Upin

        Life itself, if you stop and think, is essentially something we do to keep ourselves busy between birth and death. The inbetween is the variable from one person to the next. Are you decent, are you compassionate, do you seek truth and a clear understanding of reality? Those are the questions I ponder to justify my life and what I do with my time.


 Dancing While Asleep (detail), Clay, Mixed media, 76” x 26” x 24”

Eric Phagan

        I have always been interested in the unusualness of the objects that surrounded me, an unusualness that is not commonly seen as beauty. People (as objects), places, dreams, and memories, grow in beauty as they develop characteristics of time or age, and this progress captures my imagination.


Last Call, Colored pencil on Dura-Lar film, 8.5” x 12”

Joseph Crone

       My intention is to explore, through hyperrealistic drawing, the cinematic narratives and defining visual styles associated with classic Film Noir. Putting an emphasis on low-key lighting, plot and mood, each suspended moment is then uniquely scripted and captured through the camera’s eye. From here I render the previously filmed still by using colored pencil on frosted Dura-Lar film, a lithographic technique that I have adapted and fine-tuned over the past few years. The smooth, semi-transparent quality of the Dura-Lar enables the colored pencil to achieve not only a wide range of textural detail, but also higher levels of contrast and saturation often seen in early cinema.



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