Liza 1 (oil, 34×60) by Francois Chartier
Monkeys, buddhas, potatoes and tanker trucks. Welcome to the November issue of Southwest Art, which hits newsstands across the country soon and features the winners of our 21 Over 31 competition. Here’s a sneak preview and a little backstory.
The editors awarded first prize to North Carolinian Joshua Flint for Edge of Forever, a moody, slice-of-life depiction of Grand Central Station. While we were producing the issue, Josh’s father passed away. Sadly, he never got the chance to tell his dad the piece also made it onto the cover. A few weeks ago, Josh told us that when he was growing up his father subscribed to Southwest Art and it was always on the family’s coffee table. He recalled how his dad loved the West and romanticized the cowboy way of life. “Your publication being in our household and his tremendous support are certainly a few of the reasons why I am an artist today,” Josh says. “The seed was planted long ago, whether I realized it or not. I know he would have been ecstatic seeing my work on the cover and it would have made him very proud. Even though he is not here, I imagine he is somewhere boasting about me.”
A Song for Solanum (pastel, 18×24) by Brian Burt
Canadian Francois Chartier took home second prize for Liza 1 (top), a glistening portrayal of a swimmer torpedoing through a pool. And then there’s the one that always makes me smile—A Song for Solanum (above) by Ohio artist Brian Burt (who’s also garnered some notice from The Artist’s Magazine and The Pastel Journal). In this still life, Mr. Potato Head eyes another potato while wielding a peeler. There’s a recipe for mashed potatoes looming ominously in the background.