Plant #11-7, 2011 - Justin Canha
About the Work
About Plant #11-7
Instead, the energy ...Read More
Instead, the energy found in the growing, living specimens, most of which are carnivorous plants, gives the work a visceral quality. Canha's mark making simulates the varied physical textures of the plants: sometimes smooth and shiny, at times slender as a delicate stalk, other times rough and colorful. Each sensuous form captivates the viewer and unsuspecting prey.
Canha's plants are a noteworthy departure from his previous charcoal and pastel drawings in both subject and style. Usually drawn in black and white, his earlier work depicts people, as well as wolves and other animals, often in a setting. Canha's recent works embody a more intense sense of energy, owing to both their strong, vibrant compositions arranged within a shallow space, as well as their challenging, exotic subject matter. Canha so clearly understands each plant, that the portraits feel very empathetic, revealing the true "nature" of their subjects in an honest, unpretentious way that affects the viewer on a very intuitive level. This empathy catches the viewer unaware, as the artist mimics the botanical trap: the violent power of such beautiful plants draws us in.
Press Release courtesy of Ricco/Maresca GalleryRead Less
About the Artist
About Justin Canha
Born in 1989, Canha is the youngest artist represented by Ricco/Maresca. He graduated high school in 2009, and then studied at both the Montclair State College and Bloomfield College. He works part-time as a cake decorator, elementary school art teacher, animator, and illustrator. His work has appeared in several rap videos, documentary films, and children's books. Recently, he has also been commissioned to illustrate a new line of math teaching books for young children on the autistic spectrum called IBET (Integrated Behavioral Experiential Teaching). Aspects of his autistic and artistic life have been described in two recent documentaries, Autism: A Different Way of Communicating and Sidecars.
His work first appeared on the New York art scene in 2005, in the Autism/Aspergers/Art exhibition at Ricco/Maresca Gallery, and since then has been exhibited at The Cooper Union, the Rhode Island School of Design, Pace University, and included in the exhibition Timeless: The Art of Drawing at the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey, 2008. Justin Canha's animations received an honorable mention by Jerry Saltz, who juried the Studio Montclair Exhibit, Taboo, Montclair, NJ, 2005. In August 2006, Justin's artwork was featured in Oprah Magazine.
Courtesy of Ricco/Maresca GalleryRead Less
DescriptionPastel and charcoal on paper.
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