About the Exhibit - My Heart is like Paper: Let the Old Ways Die
During Armory Week of 2019, Arcmanoro Niles had his second exhibit at Rachel Uffner Gallery in the lower east side, titled - My Heart is like Paper: Let the Old Ways Die.
“Niles presents a series of paintings which carefully observe how those around him deal with heartbreak and disappointment. Each considers how trauma and loss can consequentially linger within us, reverberating throughout life and affecting our relationships and interactions.” - Rachel Uffner (source)
“Ultimately interested in personal journeys, Niles questions how and why people become the way they are. The narratives that play out here examine coping mechanisms and how people do the best they can with the tools and outlets available to them at different stages in life.” - Rachel Uffner (source)
As all successful artists must, Niles has successfully learned how to break away from his classical training in order to create new and fresh techniques that result in these amazing, almost haunting artworks.
“A traditionally trained painter, Niles is heavily influenced by art history, specifically history painting and portraiture. The poses of his characters and attention to light call to mind classical compositions yet Niles disrupts these standards by using a highly saturated color palette over orange and blue grounds. Niles has removed neutral colors, blacks, whites, and browns from his palette in order to demonstrate the complex skin tones of his subjects while adding a noble glow.” - Rachel Uffner (source)
“I always think about what’s going to be the brightest or what’s going to reflect the most in a painting, and how that is going to make a viewer move around,” he explains. “I’m most interested in how to organize the light in a work. People say Delacroix was a colorist and Caravaggio’s work was more tonal, but I don’t want to compromise either of those in my work.” - Arcmanoro Niles (source)
Niles has a unique process of using acrylic and oil (and even glitter) on the same painting, with a method dubbed ‘indirect painting.’
“Layering. Mixing optically. Painting it in different stages. Going back and painting a color and seeing how the color on top interacts with what’s underneath. Direct is mixing all of the colors on the palette. You always do a mixture of both but I lean more heavily towards indirect painting because each part is built in steps. And I like each step to be visible at the end.” - Arcmanoro Niles (source)
About the Artist - Arcmanoro Niles
Arcmanoro Niles was born and raised in Washington D.C. and now lives and works in New York, NY.
“Niles continues to draw inspiration from his upbringing and his portraits are based on family members, friends, or the artist himself.” - Rachel Uffner (source)
He earned a BFA from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, an MFA from New York Academy of Art, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.