Meet the Artists of Disrupted Realism: Part 1

Disrupted Realism curated by John Seed opens at Principle Gallery Alexandria on September 17th! The show will consist of fourteen artists and today we’re going to introduce five of the participating artists: Mia Bergeron, Daniel Bilodeau, Michelle Condrat, Valerio D’Ospina, and Joshua Flint.

Click here to view the entire exhibition! If you’re on a mobile device, click here.

Mia Bergeron
Mia Bergeron Vessel 43 x 48, oil on panel

“My paintings depict the introspective wandering of my eyes and mind.”

Mia Bergeron, pg. 119, Disrupted Realism: Paintings of a Distracted World
Mia Bergeron Hesitation 14 x 11, oil on panel

John Seed: How and why does your work disrupt or deviate from traditional realism?

Mia: Traditional realism today seems to uphold clarity as one of its main strategies for engaging viewers. Realism also seems to value just how much it can say, often focusing on technique to portray a vision or story. I believe my work deviates from this idea in that I often seek to camouflage the details and story, sometimes obliterating them altogether. My goal is rarely to simply employ technique or achieve clarity. For me, painting is a strange back and forth – a conversation – in which the work in progress sometimes tells me what needs to be said and what needs to go unsaid.

Daniel Bilodeau
Daniel Bilodeau Mister X 12×12, acrylic and oil on panel

“I think of my work as a place where I can allow the polarities of painting to come out and play in unison.”

Daniel Bilodeau, pg. 76, Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World
Daniel Bilodeau Shifting Painting (After Bronzino) 30 x 24,
oil & string on board

John Seed: How and why does your work disrupt or deviate from traditional realism?

Daniel: First I’d say that a love of the medium and a love for color and design are central to my process. What the works are “about” is based in the pure satisfaction I derive from the act of creating art. Realism is just a tool to make the dance of painting subtler by calling on me to observe the visual world closely. Painting is a dance – an interplay between soft and hard, open and closed, muted and saturated, light and dark- and the natural extension of the dichotomies into smooth versus textured, illusory versus abstract, and deliberate versus spontaneous.

As a material narrative forms in each work, the developing image generates questions about human identity. I become conscious that I am creating a portrait of a person shaped by their culture, time, family, and country; a likeness painted in detail and specificity. The closed passages of realism give way to abstraction, suggesting the shifting psychological variations of selfhood. As I progress, gravity, liquidity, and the addition of new forms will change the work. If I can set nature’s forces in motion with a little interference, the result seems to speak of the ineffable – adding the ultimate attribute to self.

Michelle Condrat
Michelle Condrat Reflections from Above 24 x 36, oil on board
Artist Statement

I like to paint subjects that have caught my eye or have given me a little spark of emotion, whether it’s a subtle shadow on a rock, giving it a blue glow, or the light between the shaking leaves in the breeze. Life is full of these little moments that can pass us by so quickly, which is why I feel the need to try and capture as many of them as I can. Because these moments are alive and real, I try to give my paintings a life of their own. I paint them in a way that expresses motion and movement, along with vibrant colors and blended strokes. I want people to be aware of all the little things that make up our beautiful and wonderful world, and I hope that when people see my art, it can remind them of this, and help them to soak it all in.

Michelle Condrat Autumn Flirtation 16 x 12, oil on board
Valerio D’Ospina
Valerio D’Ospina BLT Ride 18 x 48, oil on panel

“I try to endow my large oil paintings with dramatic movement and a life of their own.”

Valerio D’Ospina, pg. 19, Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World
Valerio D’Ospina L’Inferno di Dante 32 x 48, oil on panel

John Seed: How and why does your work disrupt or deviate from traditional realism?

Valerio: My painting process is not premeditated; the velocity of my brushstrokes has to ignite a conflict with my brain time to process which color to use and how to define shapes and values, my hand has already marked the canvas with a series of gestural and abstract strokes. These marks will eventually merge together in the eyes of the observer, forming an apparent realistic image at a certain distance that will disrupt as the observer moves closer to the painting. In this sense, my work is never finished until the perception of the observer comes into to play to complete it. Each individual has a different way of perceiving the work, so the final image they interpret is always personal.

I paint memories of things and not the things themselves. I see my memories as undefined blurred images, in which only the details that are most relevant to me are vaguely defined.

Joshua Flint
Joshua Flint Flushed & Flamelike Themselves 68 x 58, oil on canvas
Artist Statement

My work is based on images curated from many sources such as digitized museum archives, vintage shops, and social media platforms. The paintings fluctuate between the familiar and the unknown while simultaneously including the past and present. By rearranging the hierarchy of elements the paintings become fictions that allow countless interpretations. Layered into works are references to liminality, ecological issues, neuroscience, psychological states, and the history of painting, among others.

The images sourced from out-of-date materials hold a special fascination. Much like observing the ruins of an old, grand building or a church in a state of decay, the characters and objects that populate his paintings are employed to create a sense of ephemerality, imbuing the work with a kind of fascination and disquiet, over the passage of time. Used in this way they serve as reminders that cutting edge trends and novelty will evolve into new iterations or be abandoned altogether. Using these sources for my paintings allows a certain distance to reinterpret as I see fit. I can see this person or place in a photograph but know nothing about what is going on beyond those paper borders. That ambiguity, between the seen and unseen, between the real and the imaginary, is where my paintings live.

Save the Date!

Please email any inquiries to or reach out to request the exhibition preview. Follow along on the blog and social media as we prepare for the opening of Disrupted Realism! We hope you can join us for the reception on September 17th 6-8:30pm.

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