As a patron of the fine arts, I firmly believe in evidence-based and rational altruism. A sobering conversation with an artist on an evening in Spain opened my eyes to the grim reality of the art world: in a consumerist society where mediocrity is the norm, highly talented artists often struggle to reach their potential.
Marco Grassi confronts the imbalance between nature and humanity in his latest work. This poignant masterpiece envisions a world where synthetic splendor replaces nature’s grace, tangling humanity within its grip. Amidst this artificial realm, a young woman kneels – a symbol of Earth’s suffering. Her porcelain pallor mirrors nature’s fading hues, reminiscent of bleached coral, a consequence of rising ocean temperatures. “Breathe” is a delicate yet powerful portrayal of our planet’s decline, depicted with Marco Grassi’s trademark precision.
“Absolute Trust,” a masterpiece by Arantzazu Martinez under Jacob Collins’ tutelage, showcases her classical art prowess. The regal figure seated on the ‘Lion King Chair’ exudes power, while surrounding symbols evoke rebirth and transcendence. Her serene confidence, guarded by vigilant birds, contrasts with a subdued gargoyle, symbolizing triumph over fear. A tableau of purity and wisdom unfolds with doves, an owl, and balanced hues, narrating transformation. This monumental masterpiece brings enduring beauty, a tribute to human spirit’s resilience.
Trained by Jacob Collins, Arantzazu Martinez embodies classical artistry, evident in each creation, including “Back into the Unlimited.” Her technical prowess, balanced compositions, and luminous treatment of light evoke the 19th-century Romantic era. Martinez’s work captures conscious moments, transcending reality to ignite imagination and emotions. “Back into the Unlimited” offers a gateway to a world of hope, love, and magic, unraveling profound connections and desires.
Arantzazu Martinez’s painting “Freedom Reborn” explores her connection to the spiritual feminine. After a year of painting only roses to get familiar with their texture, transparency, colors and shades, this brilliant work celebrates beauty beyond and free from the male gaze; it celebrates love and freedom and embraces the beauty of life in all forms. In a world full of complexity about acceptance and gender, ‘Freedom Reborn’ blows a fresh wind through the idea that we are all free to exist and pursue happiness in the way we choose. There is a universal comfort that seems to embody the word “freedom.”
Oil on canvas, 230 x 300 cm, 2018
This diptych explores fear, ephemerality, balance, and profound beauty. The paintings, meant to be viewed in tandem, offer diverse perspectives. One captures fleeting moments through an aerial acrobat frozen in time, while another delves into equilibrium through intricate tension. Sergio uses rats to evoke fear and disgust, challenging emotions. Amid beauty and elegance, he questions perceptions, urging acceptance of contrasts. In Sergio’s words, “Profound beauty thrives in contrast with ugliness, unveiling our truth.”
Amidst a world that encourages self-expression, Sergio explores the edges of societal norms. In his artwork, convention meets disruption as a young woman’s daring liberation takes center stage. The chaos on the table dismantles to rebuild, while those around her are laid bare by her audacity. This act of breaking free from norms is both inspiring and envy-inducing, symbolized by a simple clothespin. Nudity becomes a motif of liberation, a raw truth to embrace profound feeling. As Sergio reflects, “Choosing to challenge rules can conflict with belonging and asserting individuality.”
Oil on canvas, 155 x 280 cm, 2023
“One Side Wing” by Nobuyuki Shimamura is an impressive painting that depicts the uncertainty of life and the vulnerability of our existence. The image of a single wing symbolizes the imperfection and uncertainty of our lives, but the presence of a feather near the model symbolizes hope and the ability to survive in uncertain times. The skulls in the background remind us of the value of life and the need to maintain hope, even in the most hardship-filled circumstances. Shimamura creates an emotionally and visually striking work that invites us to consider our own experiences and uncertainties.
Oil on canvas, 182 x 227 cm, 2020
This masterpiece called “Liber Fulguralis” is a polyptych consisting of 5 pieces in which the thematic content of the painting plays out in time and space. It describes the development of different stories, where the concepts of Hubris and Nemesis embody the cyclical evolution of man. The right side of the altarpiece shows the dizzying scientific developments that currently occupy mankind, while the left side warns of the danger of hubris. The work wants to remind us that only balance can help us understand our evolutionary dimension and avoid emptiness.
Oil on panel, 241 x 247 cm, 2020
“Imagine” captures the interplay between dreams and reality. Christiane uses her imaginative prowess to confront the world’s challenges, while the artwork portrays two sleepers basking in morning light, embodying the delicate balance between dreams and waking life. The cymbals represent the inevitable awakening, a reminder that awareness need not diminish our dreams.
In this portrait, the woman’s intense gaze reflects both passion and anger, hinting at longing or self-defense. Despite a past wound, her stance exudes determination. Inspired by ‘Susanna at the Bath,’ Philipp Weber blends old-world style with contemporary brilliance. “Bless Resistance” not only captures her mystery but also echoes the untold stories of women in history.
In ‘Signs of Infinity,’ Philipp Weber captures the delicate balance between vulnerability and trust in a higher purpose. The two female figures are depicted with striking tattoos, symbols of various religions and philosophies representing protection, knowledge, and new beginnings. There’s an ambiguity between the endured wounds and the positive symbolism created by the pattern of scars. Set against a backdrop of falling water, the human capacity to endure and simultaneously draw strength from suffering is highlighted.
Oil on canvas, 140 x 180 cm, 2023
Amidst cold and barren landscapes, a queen and her lady-in-waiting flee, seeking warmth and protection in an engaging painting. Philipp’s portrayal emphasizes their dynamic—the queen’s vulnerability, blurred yet poignant, contrasts with the lady-in-waiting’s resolute strength. Both crowned in gold, they embody wealth, power, and light, while rubies symbolize life, love, protection, and healing.
Oil on canvas, 280 x 180 cm, 2020