David Nielsen at TEW Galleries

Good Luck Horse

Good Luck Horse

Art, by its nature, is creative, individual and personal. It is also, undeniably universal and while there is a fluid crossover between many genres and types of art in which both distinctive differences and subtle shared characteristics manifest, it is the particularity of an artist’s expression of visual language which brings life and energy to a painting or sculpture.

David Nielsen’s visual iconography sources itself in what we might call the ‘beginnings of ourselves.’ His subject matter is that of our human race from the beginning times – animals as symbols of our spirit and psyche, in much the same sense as we see this in ancient cave art ¬– forms simplified and made pure by the removal of individuality in favor of the essential essence of the creature depicted.

Frog with a Heart

Frog with a Heart

Nielsen takes this one step further; by ‘paving’ and segmenting the surface, he creates a feeling of reverence for mother earth. We are all familiar with images of what the earth looks like when it is dry, what happens to a river bed with low water and hot sun, and we know, on a deep spiritual level, that water is the source of life and that animals give us the gift of our continued existence. His paintings celebrate these “big” concepts while still allowing us to look at the work on a much more manageable scale emotionally.

By not using traditional, single point perspective, Nielsen’s forms are allowed to become blocky, thus taking yet another step away from a more obvious representational style. Color is bright, boldly heraldic and very conscious. It takes subjects that are familiar and places them in a modernist space that can be both playful and assertive. By portraying his animal subjects: frogs, fish, geese, turtles, elephants, bulls, bears, moose and dogs, to name a few, in a manner which tends to the Shamanistic, Nielsen has chosen to straddle both the visual and spiritual worlds.

Underpinning the theoretical and visual aspects of Nielsen’s art are years of education and the pursuit of professional experience. He holds an MFA from Florida State University; has an extensive biography and has worked in both the design and art gallery worlds for many years.

Jules Bekker, gallery director
TEW Galleries

Rimi Yang & Yasharel Manzy

Rimi Yang

Rimi Yang


Anyone who knows me well knows that I am very opinionated. I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far in the art business without believing in what I see and think and having the willingness to put myself on the line for it. I recently felt it was time to combine my opinions with my writing, which I’ve been seriously working on for the last five years, to make videos about some of our artists.  As our next show, opening on December 2, is for Rimi Yang and Yasharel Manzy, I’m in the process of creating one for them so stay tuned for an update.

Artists evolve in two ways: they focus on refinement and subtlety or they make noticeable, sometimes dramatic, shifts in what they’re doing. Our upcoming show reflects both, with Rimi shifting and Yasharel refining, and though Rimi’s imagery is familiar, you’ll note a marked change in how she is applying the paint, handling the backgrounds and the overall construction of her paintings. On the other hand Yasharel’s paintings appear little altered. But with closer inspection you’ll see that his landscapes have a greater spiritual quality because he has fused the color and forms into a more seamless expression.

Yasharel Manzy

Yasharel Manzy

My strong opinions extend to almost everything I care about, and it is certainly true with politics. During the election I alternately expressed my admiration for both President-elect Trump and Hillary Clinton just as I expressed grave concerns about each. Now that the voting is behind us it’s time to let President-elect Trump see what he can do to usher in a better America, a more peaceful world and, with a push from us, hopefully a cleaner environment. As artists take social shifts very seriously I have no doubt that this augurs for some very interesting times in the cultural arena! More important, however, is what you and I do to make our country better. Going forward let’s not forget to question our beliefs, get involved and ultimately hold our leaders accountable.

Rimi and Yasharel will both be present at the Opening Reception on December 2 and I hope that we’ll see you. As always I also hope that you will make TEW Galleries your first stop when looking to acquire art. If I don’t see you beforehand, have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year.

Timothy Tew
TEW Galleries — One of Atlanta’s Leading Contemporary Fine Art Galleries since 1987

Timothy Tew speaks about Paul Fenniak, Charles Keiger, Mario Soria and Dorian Vallejo

“The Painted Figure”

Our next show, The Painted Figure, is somewhat a departure for TEW Galleries.  It is a departure because the imagery is spelled out in exacting detail, a style we don’t often get to exhibit.  It is also a departure because it will be headlined by one of the finest figure painters working today, Paul Fenniak.  Speaking of Fenniak’s work, art critic Ken Johnson wrote in the New York Times: “…there is a genuinely haunting, cinematic monumentality.  It reminds one that the narrative as well as painterly possibilities of traditional, figurative representation are still far from exhausted.”   At the same time, The Painted Figure is what we do best.  The pictures are of superb quality; the artists have an amazing grasp of color and the work is full of feeling and discernment.  No less than Paul Fenniak, the show will also feature the whimsical and thought provoking Americana narratives of Charles Keiger, an artist we have represented since 1989, the surrealist paintings of Mario Soria, a Barcelona based artist that combines history and fantasy, and works from Dorian Vallejo, a painter who uses the dreamlike spectacle of female beauty as a metaphor for contemplation.

Paul Fenniak  "Cold Front", oil on canvas, 54" x 48"

Paul Fenniak “Cold Front”, oil on canvas, 54″ x 48″

The role of the figure in art has been one of constant evolution.  While the Egyptians used it to represent their belief in a mystical reality, the Greeks used the figure to symbolize their cult of man and his powers of imagination.  Much later, the church used the figure to spread christianity.  As the first artist to put lifelike emotions on human faces, Giotto transformed painting in the 13th century; then in the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci revolutionized painting again with his startling, three-dimensional realism.  Artists today are very different from their forebears.  Using new media and making work that is often conceptual, political, confrontational or simply fashionable, the contemporary art world is mostly focused on a select avant-garde.  Despite this, figure painting, plunged as it is in history, is still loved, made and collected.  It is also being pursued by a large number of young artists.  However, only a handful will ever excel.  This is because a figure painter must possess a rare set of talents: insight into man’s psychological condition; mastery of painting techniques that have all but been lost; patience to spend countless hours completing highly detailed pictures and talent to create images that connect with the viewer.  Add these up and it’s easy to understand why so few painters ever master the form.

Charles Keiger "Old Soul"

Charles Keiger “Old Soul”

As owner of TEW Galleries, I have one principal desire and it has guided me since 1987.  This is to exhibit the finest, most sensitive and creative artists I can find and offer their work to collectors.  Today, artists are reinvigorating figure painting and I am very pleased to exhibit four of them in our next show.  The Painted Figure opens Friday, October 21 and will be on view for a month.  I hope you will attend.

Timothy Tew
TEW Galleries – One of Atlanta’s Leading Contemporary Fine Art Galleries since 1987.