John Biebel: Imaginary Portaits and Remembered Cities
Imaginary Portraits and Remembered Cities is an exhibition of new paintings by artist John Biebel that explores the relationship between metropolises and the people that inhabit them. The portraits are intimate variations of the people we see everyday: on subways, waiting in lines, walking past us on the sidewalk. Yet here they are imagined as both commonplace and idealized; bedecked in wreathes of flowers, lost in thought, wearing crowns and horns, or caught between emotional states. Interspersed between them are depictions of urban landscape, also imagined and rebuilt from numerous different cities, conveying the multilayered and additive nature of such spaces. The portraits and landscapes reveal a mythical world that feels somewhat close to our own, but which is enlivened through the wandering mind, where figures blossom out of their humbleness, and cities undulate in shimmering reflections. Biebel uses a wide range of pictorial language in these works, floating between painterly chiaroscuros, to graphic print-like effects, to achieve a state of flux where solid objects seem to be in a state of humming motion. Biebel Studied and earned his BFA from The Cooper Union in New York City, went on to live and work in London, UK and Boston, Massachusetts, where he currently resides. He has exhibited and is included in collections in the US, UK, EU, and Caribbean. His work was included as part of the Athens Bienale (for the FYTA project) in 2013. He also works as a digital user experience designer for a major educational publisher.