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Men Painting Women: The exhibition showcases the work of five award-winning artists

The five men sharing the latest exhibit at the Daytona Beach Art League approach their work from different perspectives.

What they have in common is their object. The show, “Men Painting Women”, brings together five award-winning artists who focus on the female form.

“We are five males who paint with different sensibilities. It makes it interesting, ”said Palm Coast artist Weldon Ryan.

Ormond Beach artist Robert Shirk gathered the artists for the original show in the summer of 2020 at the Orlando Public Library. This is the second version of the show.

The artists, in addition to Ryan and Shirk, are Leonardo Montoya Perez of Fort Lauderdale and Wilson Romero and Herbie Martin, both of Orlando.

“I came across Weldon Ryan’s work at the Flagler County Art League,” Shirk said. “I thought, this guy is great. I met him, we agreed. And while meeting other artists, I have seen that some are really good and, like me, they mostly paint women. I thought it would be great to have our show. “

The exhibition runs until 4 September and includes 25 different paintings of women. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Saturday 20 August from 16:00 to 19:00

“We come to the subject from completely different angles,” Shirk said. “We all do it differently”.

“While meeting other artists, I have seen that some are really good and, like me, they mostly paint women. I thought it would be great to have our show. We come to the subject from completely different angles. We all do it differently ”.

– ROBERT SHIRK

Martin, for example, is a professional photographer who literally paints women. He paints his models, photographs them, photoshop the canvas prints and paints on the canvas to create a final piece. The artist’s reception will include a model painted on the body.

“In my world, every piece I make is poetry,” says Martin on Shirk’s website promoting the exhibition. “That’s how I see women, and that’s why I create pieces about women.”

Montoya’s Diva collection features actresses and artists from Yalitza Aparicio and Lupita Amondi Nyong’o to Frida Kahlo, Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn.

Wilson Romero’s art is reminiscent of 19th-century Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, but he says his greatest influence was his mother.

“Wilson Romero is simply an incredible artist,” said Shirk. “When I looked around to get my feet wet in the art scene (in central Florida), he was one of the first artists to take off my socks. Wilson’s work is very detailed, very romantic, very stylized in his own way ”.

Shirk is a neo-pointellist painter who creates his pieces on multiple sheets of layered plexiglass.

“The effect creates a three-dimensional kinetic paint that moves and changes as the viewer’s perspective changes,” he said. “If you look at my paintings closely, one layer could be red, the underlying layer could be blue. It gives the painting much more complexity ”.

“Leonardo and I both paint in oils, we are both realists and we are both colorists. The themes of him are really exciting. Mine are based on the Caribbean diaspora, the customs, the lifestyles, the excitement that goes with the Carnival. I like to paint women in their most joyful state ”.

– WELDON RYAN

Ryan was a detective and forensic artist in the New York City Police Department until his retirement in 2004. He was born in Trinidad, which may explain his attraction to the Caribbean Carnival.

“I’ve been to every Carnival in Florida: Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa,” he said.

He photographs women at festivals and creates his paintings from photos. Ryan’s wife, Richlin Burnett-Ryan, is also an artist. Women are the custodians of the art world right now, she said.

“Women are at the forefront today. They are aggressively saying, ‘Here we are,’ “Ryan said.

His painting “Ammo Galore” depicts a costumed woman wearing a bandolier of bullets around her shoulders and head. “She Describes power and strength,” she says.

Ryan said his art and Montoya’s have most of the similarities between the five artists.

“Leonardo and I both paint in oils, we are both realists and we are both colorists,” he said. “The themes of him are really exciting. Mine are based on the Caribbean diaspora, the customs, the lifestyles, the excitement that goes with the Carnival. I like to paint women in their most joyful state ”.

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