Inspired By The Greats, Artist Spotlight Part 2

Nataliya Shlomenko

“Pair of Dogs” inspired by John Sargent Noble
“City Scene” inspired by Jeremy Mann
“Rhythm” inspired by Kazimir Malevich

Artist Statement:

Nataliya Shlomenko a local artist based in Seattle Wa, where she also works as an art instructor. An architect by education, she studied painting for two years in Rome, Italy. Nataliya took part in the art events Art Prize Michigan and Steamposium Seattle WA. Her style is the representational impressionism.

More of Nataliya’s work can be seen HERE

Tom Rosenthal

“Love/Ai” inspired by Robert Indiana
“Home/Jia” inspired by Robert Indiana

Artist Statement:

Though I’ve had formal training in advertising art and graphic design (Pratt Institute BFA Graphic Design), I have never worked steadily in that field. I was never attracted to the sales aspect of the discipline, but rather, I was fascinated by the formal, compositional aspects. Especially the use of typography, words as images.
Over the years, though I have worked in various fields, (most recently home renovation), I’ve continued to make (and sometimes show/sell) visual art rooted in graphic design and typography/text manipulation.
Words and letterforms make very effective art building blocks because of two main attributes:
1. Their formal qualities, the way they divide space, create dynamic negative space. Letterforms have intrinsic balance of positive/negative space and effective typographic design uses this to its fullest.
2. Communication, clarity of statement. There are few faster ways to make a statement or express a point than simply spelling it out.
For these reasons I have always been inspired by and felt a kinship to Robert Indiana. Although there is little variation in his typographic choices (mostly stencil derived lettering similar to the Clarendon typeface), he was a pioneer in the use of letterforms, advertising and graphic design principles to make fine art.
When I began to learn Chinese, (working with Chinese immigrant labor in the construction and carpentry fields) I was very excited to be able to add a whole new arsenal of design elements to my work, Chinese characters.
The ideographic nature of written Chinese can make for fast communication of simple ideas as a single character, rather than being merely a sound component, is a complete abstract concept. Chinese characters also have their own balance and variation of positive and negative space.
Robert Indiana made work that used Chinese characters late in his career but little where they interacted directly with western characters, rather they were either on their own, or with English captions.
Some of my most recent work explores what happens when both writing systems are used simultaneously, interactively as design elements.
This is partly inspired by fifteen years of working with Chinese immigrants and learning Chinese language.