A New Orleans native, contemporary artist Gina Higgins was raised in the Hollywood Hills of LA, and graduated from the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Art. The daughter of two artists, she grew up with a keen appreciation for art, cinema, literature, and avant-garde filmmaking, but started her career as a fashion illustrator for Liz Claiborne, Etienne Aigner, and Alexander McQueen, among others. In 2011 she turned her passion for film noir into a unique painting style she terms “American Noir.” The works are large acrylics on canvas. Realistic figures of men and women, some shadowed with beautifully rendered lights and darks, create a dramatic and mysterious feel to these paintings. They make you feel as if you’ve just walked into the middle of a noir movie scene.
Perhaps the most interesting part about this artist is that she paints completely at night using halogen lamps. Custom blending gesso, using her hands equally with her brushes, and creating without sketches are all in a night’s work for this ambitious female artist. The pieces are inspired by music and often named for movie titles and song lyrics. Unique as well, is that there are few female painters boldly stepping into a territory so long dominated by noir favorites Jack Vettriano and Rob Hefferan.
Gina’s paintings have been exhibited throughout the west coast and in the UK. Her show last January at Richard Danskin Galleries in Palm Desert, held in honor of the film festival, drew collectors from across the globe.
Graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Carrie Graber has an impressive career that spans over 15 years. Inspired by the Dutch painter Vermeer, Carrie’s paintings feature figures in familiar environments. The paintings can be described as contemplative and peaceful. Focusing on capturing beauty in simplicity, she uses a warm palate that invites you into her paintings only to transform you to a different place and time, as scenes of men and women go about their daily lives, set against interior backdrops that often contain a tinge of retro modern furniture.
While she is primarily a figurative painter, Carrie recently produced a series of non-figurative works focusing on 60’s California modern architecture, including the well-known “Stahl House.” She has also just produced her first wine label design for Neeta Mittal and LXV, a boutique winery that features the work of original artists.
This past February Carrie exhibited her paintings at an exhibition in Palm Springs, CA called, “Modern Love.” The exhibit was held at Images By Gideon Fine Art Gallery, featured her work along with Snake Jagger, and was organized in tribute to “Modernism Week.” The exhibit sponsored contributions to preserve threatened historic buildings and to raise awareness of mid century architecture.
Carrie has been a favorite of the decorative art scene for the past decade. Offering both originals and limited-edition prints, her work can be found in numerous galleries throughout the country.
This article was written by Joshua Homme
Joshua is a musician, blogger, art patron and occasional DJ, from Echo Park California.