Race, gender, terrorism, and economics are all topics that find themselves at the forefront of America’s political climate today. As such, artists also continue to react and interpret their contemporary environment, including Charlotta Janssen and Phillip Thomas, during this April exhibition.
Through their unique techniques and individual styles, artists Charlotta Janssen and Phillip Thomas seek to explore and document “historical moments of struggle towards a post-racial atmosphere,” RJD Gallery reports. On view April 9 through the end of the month, “Barbed Wire & Picket Fences” features a number of multi-media figurative works that often reveal complex and multi-layered narratives.
Thomas, considered a realist by many, is an accomplished draftsman. According to the gallery, “He harnesses the classical approach of the European masters to clothe and critique his contemporary black subjects. The result is portraits that are appealing because of their conventions and familiarity but also repulsive because of their perverse contradictory content.”

Charlotta Janssen, “Intertwined Adam and Eve Leaning on Apple Tree,” iron oxide, acrylic, collage, oil, 60 x 36 in.
(c) RJD Gallery 2016

Speaking of her own work, Janssen writes, “My paintings are a ‘quilted’ Americana: through figurative, I discreetly bring in abstract shapes without interrupting the figurative work — taking place with patches of collage. From a distance they may reminisce of ‘crazy quilts’ or Gee’s Bend quilts, close up though they are clearly figurative.”
Located in Sag Harbor, New York, RJD Gallery will showcase 13 works from Janssen and 16 from Thomas. To learn more, visit RJD Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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