- Find new contemporary art, create your own gallery of art - Find new contemporary art, create your own gallery of art

Guest curator: Steven Diamant  
Owner, Arcadia Gallery

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About Steven

Founded in 1998 by Steven Diamant, Arcadia Fine Arts, Inc.’s goal is to feature the finest quality, classically inspired, representational art by internationally reknown artists and emerging talent

The Arcadia Gallery is now internationally known for showcasing acclaimed and distinguished painters, such as Malcolm T. Liepke, Jeremy Lipking, Ron Hicks, and many others. In addition we take great pride in the presentation of emerging artists who are poised to become tomorrow’s master painters.

Steve makes this disclaimer about his selections, “In an effort to dismiss all accusations of “blatant nepotism” I am deliberately NOT going to select any artists that are represented by Arcadia Gallery. (That means YOU, Kunkle, Galieote, Baugh and you other miscreants.)”

Steven's selections


Tokyo, Japan


Seriously, how often do you see an artist who is so easily able to express such gut-wrenching emotion? One of the things I look for as a gallery owner is what I call "a signature style" and Xhxix has it in spades. The singular choice of model type, the brilliant draftsmanship combined with a palette that defies description (well, at least it for does for me, because to use adjectives like "rainbow" and "unexpected" fall far short of trying to explain why and how he uses the palette he does). Look, I try to find artists who can actually create brilliant works with brushes and paints... yeah, "the old fashioned way." But Xhxix is one of the few artists that actually gives me hope that "new technology" can be used in "fine art" way to create gorgeous, emotional works. I know this sounds like a "fan letter" and in a sense it is. This is the way I feel when I see an artist's works that I want to present in the gallery. Skill, emotion and a "contemporary voice" all combined to create something in a way that no one has ever done before.. Xhxix's level of intimacy combined with bold color choices and surrealistic elements in his works, make for an artist who severely disappoints me... only because I can't buy one of his paintings!


Eric Pedersen

Los Angeles, CA


Eric's style of painting perfectly exemplifies what I tell very young artists who are either entering art school or presently enrolled in one... "Before you can blow up the apple, you NEED TO BE ABLE TO KNOW HOW TO DRAW IT!" By that I mean, LEARN YOUR CRAFT... know how to draw WELL and prove that you know about anatomy, perspective and draftsmanship BEFORE you stray away from it with your art! Picasso was a master draftsman BEFORE he went on to explore Cubism and other genres of painting. There are PLENTY of painters out there who create representational work AND IT'S OBVIOUS they have no drafting skills. It's a shame, they know can't draw well, so they deliberately draw poorly in the hopes that some Chelsea dealer is "going to discover them and make them a new art darling." In the case of Eric Pedersen, just look at the drawings on his website and you'll see that he is a brilliant draftsman. But that's just where his works begin. It is his confidence with his skills in anatomy and drawing that, while they may form the "foundation" of his works, he then dismisses all of that and takes his works not one, but thirteen steps further than most figurative painters. His ability to abstract what is necessary to create, dare I say, a "classic portrait" is what makes him unique. His paintings are examples of his ability to "go beyond draftsmanship" to create imposing, ethereal, and emotional works without sacrificing the drawing skills he has honed. Bravo.


Mark Demsteader

Manchester, UK


If any artist wants to learn about creating a "mood" in a painting, look no further than Mark Demsteader's works. His ability to "submerge" the viewer into the emotions of his paintings is astonishing. You don't look at a Demsteader painting... you experience it. His trademark combination of realism and abstraction only go to enhance the emotional content of every painting and drawing that he does. And as much as his technical prowess presents a variety of styles, his images present even more complex display of emotions. His paintings have the ability to elicit a myriad of responses. While some see isolation, others see introspection. While some see hope, others see despair. No two people will walk away from a Demsteader with the same and ideally, isn't that what every artist hopes to achieve?


Pakayla Biehn

San Francisco, CA


If it is possible to "paint a dream" then Pakayla has done it. Her combination of realism and abstraction blending together to create some kind of "romantic surrealism" is both entrancing and disturbing at the same time..and I love it. Clearly tapped into a "feminine mystique," Pakayla's paintings are narrative in their depiction of beauty and choice. Pakayla uses her talents as a painter and in fact, becomes a "psychological journalist"... her subjects seem to be caught in an "ethereal fork in the road." "Do I go one way or the other...and what will the consequences be?" These are choices we need to, have to and get to make every day and not just in terms of physical directions and decisions, but emotional ones as well.


Monica Cook

New York, NY


Under the category of "I don't want to like it, but I do" defiantly stand Monica Cooks paintings. Messy, dirty, challenging... just like life. Her ability to show a "darker" side of what we experience as humans, our frailty, our misgivings and the outcomes of our decisions are all blatantly spelled out for all to see. For Monica, it's not about the "spotlight moments," no, it's about the moments we would rather not let our friends, our lovers, ourselves to see. Yet, there they are. She's a great "technical" painter but that most assuredly is noticed only after we have been confronted by the emotional impact of her work... not that there's anything wrong with that!


Check out some other great guest curators

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Seth Orion Schwaiger

Glasgow, Scotland artist

Shane Fonner

Creative Director, Palmiers du Mal

Kumi Yamashita

New York, NY artist

Joyce Varvatos

Art advisor

Doug Bloodworth

Boca Raton, FL artist

Joshua Liner

Owner, Joshua Liner Gallery

David Kassan

Brooklyn, NY artist

Marjorie Hodges

Co-Founder, Former Director with NC Museum of Art

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