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Represented Artists

 
 

Gabe Leonard

Gabe Leonard spent his early years in rural Wyoming, sketching wildlife and selling his drawings for one dollar. After earning his BFA from Columbus College in Ohio, Leonard honed his talents on the ultra-competitive Venice Beach boardwalk.

Described as "Johnny Cash meets Quentin Tarantino," Leonard's work possesses an intense cinematic quality combining the gestural brushwork of expressionism with the expert lighting and framing of a Hollywood cinematographer. His oils are cinematic, atmospheric and moody, revolving around outlaws, rugged noir characters to create narratives full of dramatic possibility.

While his subjects and compositions belie a heavy influence of modern and contemporary cinema, Leonard's artistic style is rooted firmly in a European tradition. While he often breaks from academic restrictions with his loose brushwork and characteristic drips, he counts Rembrandt, Mucha, Klimt and Schiele as amongst his influences.

Following a string of sell-out shows and acquisitions by high-profile collectors, Leonard has quickly become one of the most sought-after artists in the world. Recent celebrity collectors include Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Sheen, and Rueben Fleischer. Leonard currently resides in Los Angeles.

 

 

 
   
 

Jon Jaylo

Jon Jaylo's artworks play around a parallel dream world in where everything is floating surreal and dancing in a contained universe inspired by poetry. His technical depictions are often varying in display and style, as if he himself is never content with the present stature of his works. They are constantly evolving in both idea and form, gradually maturing together with the artist himself. Scaling this balance, narrating a massively deep philosophy of thought through a theatrical rendition of intensely brilliant colors that seem to amuse its audience and present a status of intellectual complacency. Like dreams that reflect a reversed mirror of man's desires and fantasies, his works are merely manifestations of knowledge, the metaphysics of his own philosophy, and the resolving of experiences behind and even far beyond it.


In the big picture, the artist's works are masked and laced with a dream-like feel, very inviting, yet when you go inside, there is always a puzzle to be solved. His works are not just depictions of visual aesthetics. They are inspired by dreams, daily occurrences, direct experiences and sometimes the stories of close friends. What captures the viewers attention, is his works that are astounding, contemplative, glimpses into someone else's psyche. This is the wonder of his art, like any good story, he allows everyone to bring his or her own interpretation to the painting. Jon is great at opening up the viewer's 'soul' so to speak.


Jaylo's works are not just depictions of visual aesthetics. His works are a research on life itself and the enigma of thought beneath it.


His works have been displayed at Strychnin Gallery Berlin, in Italy, Korea, USA, Sothebys Auctions at Hongkong & Taiwan, Artesan Gallery Singapore, West Gallery & Ayala Museum Philippines.

 

 

 
   
 

Ross Jaylo

Ross Jaylo, a New York based Filipino Painter and Multi-Media Artist renders onto canvas his conception of an Ideal love. A symbolic and passionate visualization of love that transcends beyond social norms and breaks the illusion that love must heed society's expectation of belief, social status, age, creed, race, gender and stereotypes. Love in its purest form.


At the young age of only 21 Ross has a promising career ahead of him. He has had several solo and group exhibitions throughout the Philippines and has participated in several group shows in the United States. Ross has received several awards including Cocolife "Colors of Life" National Painting Competition Grand Prize in 2006, University of Santo Tomas Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award in 2006, and Maningning Miclat National Painting Competition People's Choice Award in 2007.


Distinction Gallery was honored to host Ross's first United States solo exhibition which sold out in September 2016. His next exhibition is scheduled for September of 2017.

 

 

 
   
 

Scott Rohlfs

The women who populate Scott Rohlfs' acrylic paintings are a fusion of the artist's personal experiences and influences. His women exist in a realm of moody atmospheres, tattoo-inspired couture and pop cultural elements. Rohlfs combines classic realism with an element of distortion when painting, resulting in surreal imagery. The eyes of his subjects are often the focal points of his work, imbued with an arresting quality. Rohlfs describes his figures as, "a reflection of myself and whatever mood I am in at the time."

Rohlfs' produces a great amount of work and has sold hundreds of paintings throughout the US and abroad.

 

 

 
   
 

Kelly Vivanco

Kelly Vivanco, a native to Southern California, earned her BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design. She works with a variety of media to create art with whimsy, nostalgia and a sense of child-like wonder.

Vivanco draws from the real and imagined world to populate her works with a host of playful and curious characters. She takes inspiration from vintage photographs, children's literature and the oddness of her dreams. Vivanco has exhibited in solo and group shows across the U.S. including California Center for the Arts Museum, The Portsmouth Museum of Art, Thinkspace, SURU, Gallery 1988, Subtext, Rotofugi, Flatcolor, 323 East, London Miles, Art Basel and Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts. Her work is collected in the U.S. and abroad; and her daily comic, Patches, has a world-wide following. She currently resides in Escondido, California.

 

 

 
   
 

Victor Roman

Victor Roman's passion for expressing himself through art motivates him to sketch and paint whenever he can. Sometimes, you can find him sketching people on the train or in a casino but on most days, you will find him painting in his studio until the early hours of the morning. Painting in the night after work, shows dedication and after 3 years of study at Palomar College, Victor's talent has grown exponentially.

The emotions that his art evoke have developed in complexity and because of this, the viewer must think twice about what they are looking at to figure out their own interpretation of his art. Art pieces include depictions of artillery, child soldiers and portraits of mankind in various states of mind.

The art is masterfully painted on wood, a feat accomplished by few artists. As this artist's girlfriend and in my experiences as his peer in art classes, I've witnessed Victor draw from life with swift and graceful movements. I have also seen him make a gun drawn on a piece of paper exciting and to witness this phenomenon for yourself just stop by Studio #5. He will be happy to turn up the bass for you on his sound system or play a timeless record on our record player.
Victor has had quite a busy year including producing a label for Blue Moon Beer as one of 20 artists from around the country, creating a mural to be featured at Kaaboo Music and Art Festival, and a feature in Australia based Beautiful Bizarre's On the Rize section.

 

 

 
   
 

Pamela Wilson

Since receiving her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Pamela Wilson has earned a reputation for paintings which transcend the ordinary, and approach a beautifully haunting and isolated sublime. The physical and psychological alienation of her characters has emerged as the hallmark of her work, giving rise to descriptions of her work such as "'lost, odd, mad,' or similar terms denoting something out of alignment with ordinary reality." Wilson chooses to address beauty in her paintings as a psychological moment "revolving around the dark and hilarious absurdities we endure while creating ourselves."

Exhibiting since 1992, Wilson's work has been the subject of eighteen solo shows from New York City to California; and she has exhibited in many museums including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, DC. Her paintings are collected by celebrity patrons including Tom Skerrit, Joe Panteleone, Whoopie Goldberg and Howard Tullman. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA.

 

 

 
   
 

Michael Aaron Williams



My art is a narrative, visual poetry, making a social statement to move the viewer to action or realization. An important part of my work focuses on the street, the place where people live their daily lives. This allows me to interact with an audience on their own turf and observe how they react to the art; it is a social experiment. These open-air installations focus on the ephemeral state of street people and enable the viewer to participate in the outcome of the pieces, whether the viewer leaves or saves them from the street. My goal in depicting street people is to show their beauty and fragility, while bringing their situation into the eyes of the viewer, refusing to let them be forgotten or ignored.

Similar to the outdoor installations, my gallery artwork also focuses on the ephemeral nature of people. Through my paintings and drawings, I attempt to represent the fragile nature of life, purity, and culture. Paint and ink are the vehicles by which movement and conflict are expressed. The beauty and pain of human nature are represented by the creation and deconstruction of the artwork. Rather than wholeness necessitating beauty, I portray the human soul as complete despite the fractures. As such, the artwork becomes more relatable to the viewer and consequently more impacting.

 

 

 
   
 

Heather McKey

HEATHER MCKEY BIOGRAPHY

Heather McKey is a traditional acrylic painter, blending her lifelong love of birds with unexpected and striking features.

These fanciful birds are embellished with a variety of shells and botanicals intermingling with feathers and patterns found in nature. Strange and familiar at the same time, the birds are playful and exotic as they strike a pose in their world of dreamy landscapes and seascapes, peering back at their viewers with large, expressive eyes.

Each of Heather's paintings begin on a raw wood panel, the individual grain pattern inspiring the design composition of the plants, water, sky, and land. Her admiration of Martin Johnson Heade and James Audubon continue to influence her vision through every painting, as well as her deep love of The Hudson River School painters.

Although no formal degree, Heather was professionally trained from an early age through longstanding art mentorships. Her childhood was spent under the instruction of artist Judy Nachazel and her adult study followed under the mentorship of Christopher Polentz. Both have had a profound impact on her imagination, technique, and artistic pursuits.

Every fantasy bird is patiently and thoughtfully planned and painted with sensitive detail. There is something to look at in every square inch of Heather's paintings. After years exhibiting her award-winning colored pencil art, she now works exclusively in acrylic and paints daily in her home studio in North County San Diego where she lives with her husband, Nick. It gives her much joy to create beauty for collectors to enjoy in homes across the world.

Heather is represented by Distinction Gallery in Escondido, California, USA.

 

 

 
   
 

Virginie Mazureau

After a Baccalaureate in Fine Arts and an Interior Designer Degree from ESAG Penninghen in Paris in 1998, my first contract was with an advertising agency to give Malboro Classics flagship stores a total makeover.

A year later, I joined with a lot of pride and motivation L'Oreal, the worldwide group of cosmetics to create artwork at a very intense pace for stands and stores. I rapidly realized that no place was left for what is the most important to me: creativity, imagination and personal accomplishment.

It suddenly clicked. My daughter inspires me and let me spread my wings: going back to childhood was obvious.

Thus in 2006, I swapped my architectural plans to let my paintbrushes express themselves again and to allow my imagination to have free play.

Pigments, acrylics, pastels and collages are some of the techniques I use to create a sophisticated pictorial board to take us to the heart of a poetic and fantaisist story. For fun, I sometimes include real children's drawings or old posters in my paintings for them to get a second wind. I sometimes tweak the traditional angle of some situations, adopting for instance bird's-eye view to give to the whole an unexpected look and feel!

My paintings are picturing animals in weird situations as well as cheecky kids, bringing back childhood memories that we all carry deeply in ourselves.

 

 

 
   
 

Jana Brike

Jana Brike was born in Latvia in 1980. Growing up under Soviet occupation had a profound effect on everything from Brike's work ethic to her subject matter and aesthetic sensibilities. A self-described "reclusive and dreamy child," Brike showed burgeoning talent at a very young age. At ten she was enrolled in Latvia's most prestigious arts elementary school where she spent at least 5 hours of each day painting. By 15 years old she was participating in international exhibitions.

Brike's surreal and haunting imagery is informed by everything from Russian Realism and Soviet animation to her grandmother's religious postcards featuring biblical works of the European masters. Her subject matter is culled from folklore, fairytales and children's book illustrations. The subjects of her oil paintings embody a fantastical quality, illustrating what Brike viewed as the "forbidden...imagery of Western pop culture" which took on a "mystical, almost religious tone for Soviet children."

Brike has exhibited and sold her work in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Finland, Belorussia, Switzerland, Australia and several parts of the United States. She currently lives in Riga, Latvia.

 

 

 
   
 

Casey Weldon

Born in Southern California, Casey Weldon spent the majority of his formative years there graduating from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. After operating a studio out of Las Vegas, Weldon relocated to New York, then California, and now Portland where he works as a full time artist. His fine art, imbued with a sumptuous illustrative quality, is indicative of his profession. Weldon mixes iconography of today and the past to evoke a sense of humor, nostalgia, fantasy and even melancholy within the viewer. His pallet and haunting subjects recall the Surrealist masters like Breton and de Chirico.

Weldon has exhibited and sold his work in galleries across the United States and his pieces now reside in collections across the world.

 

 

 
   
 

Linda Herzog

Dive into the fantasy world of Linda R. Herzog. Linda sees detail visions of her creations in color, movement, and sound in her dreams as she sleeps. With excitement of her visions she often wakes in the middle of the night to do thumbnail sketches of what she believes will be a great painting. She often returns in a half-sleep state and to finish out the details. Linda's childhood is her muse along with the simple things in life. You can see hints of inspiration from several artists that have moved her.

Linda grew up in Utah and always felt an ardent closeness to nature and animals. She was drawing animals in detail at an early age and has never stopped. Her first oil painting was at the age of 9 and knew that was what she always wanted to be doing. Encouraged by her parents in middle school she took adult night oil painting classes with her mother and grandmother. Linda took many art classes in high school. After that Linda is self-taught.

Moving to Southern California in 1986, Linda received inspiration from the ocean and started painting marine life. Then in 1998 found total joy in painting wildlife in a realm of unique unreal settings. Linda calls her paintings "Wildlife Fantasy".

Linda's paintings have been displayed throughout Southern California, Chicago, IL, New York City, Tokyo Japan, and Maui Hawaii. Her paintings were in the Universal feature film "Dragonfly" staring Kevin Costner, and are in the collection of Toyota Corporation. Art Business News showed Linda's work in their "Trendsetters" section of the magazine.

Linda's work is currently at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert, CA, The Distinction Gallery in Escondido, CA and in the four locations of AErena Galleries in Napa, CA.

 

 

 
   
 

Paul Normansell

Normansell was born in 1978 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, into a working class family. He spent most of his schooldays paying little attention to the lessons and more time doodling.

It was at this stage that he began experimenting with circles and dots, which became prominent features in his later work. His art teacher Mrs. Kimble noticed his individual creative talent and quickly took him under her wing.

His keen interest in music was beginning to influence his work, and led to a prolonged phase of 'visual sound' imagery. "The foundation of my work originates from the relationship between art and music. I wanted to try and create a link between color, shape and sound. My abstract paintings are based on color studies exploring how colors can stimulate feelings, emotions within a person, the different meanings each color has, and it's power to evoke a certain response from the viewer."

After completing his 1st Class Honors degree at the Birmingham Institute of Fine Art, Normansell exhibited his work. His first post-graduate collection was immediately sold out even though the prices were extraordinarily high for such a little known artist. A gallery owner spotted his talent and instantly signed him up.

A major step in Paul's artistic evolution was the iconic portrait work, which entered the world of high fashion through on-trend images of ultimate desirability and unattainable perfection. High profile fashion assignments have included a range of portraits of supermodels Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn. The work caught the attention of major fashion brands after appearing in ultra-cool style journals.

GQ Magazine featured Normansell as the 'Man of the Month'. In 2008, Normansell was personally approached by Brandon Flowers, front-man of US rock band The Killers. A fan of Paul's work, Flowers commissioned him to create the cover artwork for their third album 'Day & Age', which is now multi-platinum, selling over 3 million copies to date. Rolling Stone Magazine championed the artwork voting it as the "Best Album Cover of the Year" and MTV voted it as "Best Album Art of the Decade".

In 2010 Normansell was one of the featured in "King of Pop" a book by Lemon. More recently Normansell paired up with Marlow guitars to create a custom Sid and Nancy Electric Guitar. The guitar was featured in both Shortlist and GQ Styles Magazines. Normansell also recently had a full feature article and interview in French People Magazine.

Following a string of sell out shows and media attention Paul has become one of the most sought after contemporary artists, receiving international acclaim and exhibiting as far afield as Japan, the United States and Australia. We are proud to be exhibiting Paul's first solo exhibition in the United States in June of 2015.

 

 

 
   
 

June Stratton

June Stratton
Born 1959, Honolulu, Hawaii
Education
1977-79 College of Fine Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California

June Stratton grew up in and around the Bay Area in Northern California, attending the College of Fine Arts and Crafts in Oakland until 1979. Not satisfied with the painting skills she had been taught, Stratton worked on developing her own technique for the next several years. It was not until she moved to Seattle that she started her professional career in 1989. During this period June primarily worked on western landscapes and was encouraged and influenced by counsel from gallery owners she showed with, notably Kent Lovelace at Stone Press Editions in Seattle and John Pence at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco. During this period her work was acquired by many major collections including Bank of America, US Department of State, The Mayo Clinic and Texaco Incorporated.

In 2001, Stratton's career took a major turn with her move to Atlanta, Georgia. Taking a brief hiatus, including trips to France, she again focused on developing her painting technique and style. Transforming over the next several years, Stratton's work evolved into the current form that is more figure oriented and cinematic in style. Successful solo and group shows in Savannah and Boston's Lanoue Fine Art Gallery confirmed her avuiore. Some of her latest work can be seen in major movie productions, national and international collections including the acclaimed St Regis Hotel art collection.

 

 

 
   
 

Valency Genis


Valency Genis is and amazing sculpture artist that creates hybrid creatures of fancy. Valency Genis hails from the Republic of Cascadia; she entered the world as a 12-pound baby born in Portland, Oregon, and was then raised in Seattle, Washington. She was utterly obsessed with television and video games for most of her life, so it is ironic that a summer spent on Flathead Lake, Montana in an electronics-free log cabin when she was 10 years old would change her life forever. Searching for diversions to alleviate her interminable boredom, she happened upon an old taxidermy shop. A dusty pair of "unborn beavers" caught her eye in the window display, and it forever imprinted on her naive adolescent mind. The stunning array of animals presented in the rustic store drew her in with their beauty, but she was bereaved by their demise... While studying for her BFA at the University of New Mexico, Valency discovered that she had the power to create creatures and control their aesthetics, while minimizing the tragedy associated with taxidermied animals. She takes an almost Dr. Frankenstein-like glee in crafting her unique animals, drawing on influences ranging from Dr. Seuss to Natural History Museum dioramas. Her first solo show, Heterodoxy, was at the John Sommers Gallery (UNM) in November 2011, and it garnered Ms. Genis summa cum laude honors from The UNM Department of Art and Art History (which she proudly added to her summa cum laude baccalaureate honors). She describes her current living situation as "life in a farmhouse" as she raises her 2 teenage sons alongside her husband of 20+ years, Shane, who is a CV-22 Osprey flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force.

 

 

 
   
 

Michael Manares

Michael Manares is a self taught artist based in San Diego, CA. You can say that Michael has been a recognized artist since the age of 5, when he gained local notoriety in his elementary school. His art painting was so excellent that his teacher was thrilled to share this masterpiece with the rest of the school.

As, any artist can attest, art can be a lonely place where it?s tough to make a living. Michael figured this out early on and reluctantly shelved his artistic endeavors right before high school to focus on a more stable career in electronics. But art was always on his mind, thanks in part to his creative talent, which came in handy finding unique solutions to sticky problems.

Then came the opportunity to move from the east coast to southern California, where so much creative talent resides. It was time, he felt, to trade in his engineering skills for a full time artist?s smock and unleash all those creative juices that had been quiescent for so long. His first commercial foray into the artistic world combined his natural talents with his engineering skills, making unique stylistic jewelry. He really enjoyed fashioning innovative pieces using resin/exotic wood and became ever more excited about the range of possibilities resin presented.

This led to a decision to experiment with resin as a medium. The results have been nothing less than spectacular. Constantly innovating, testing, and combining his creative genius with his analytical skills has led to works such that all who view them quickly run out of superlatives. His formal training in computer electronics engineering still partially influences his work; he builds his images with computer software and uses stencils to bring the image to life on canvas. Michael uses multiple layers of resin, paint, ink, dye, and pigment to create a completely unique effect. He also has created a three dimensional technique in his resin art that is truly one-of-kind. Michael's work is all about depth and contrasts: fluid and stable, 2D and 3D, abstraction and reality. His artwork manipulates our visual reality- appearing flat at one moment and bursting into space the next. The variety of textures doesn't just add many dimensions to the more traditional 2D approaches, it puts a whole new perspective on creative expressionism.

Although new to the art world Michael has quickly gained notoriety and success including selling a recent work to Larry Morrand the Tour Manager for Poison. He has two large commission projects in the works, one for a producer and another for a retreat in Tulum.He was recently selected as one of only 8 artists for a major project across the world ? details to be announced soon. Distinction Gallery is thrilled to announce a solo show in May of 2018.

 

 

 
   

Exhibiting Artists

   
   
 

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