Meet the Artists of Disrupted Realism: Part 3

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 discuss four of the participating artists: J Louis, Nick Runge, Timothy Robert Smith, and Zack Zdrale.

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

J Louis
J Louis Clarity 30 x 24, oil on cradled linen panel

“I create work that strikes the viewer intensely at first glance through the compositional presentation, unorthodox color, and texture exploration and then slowly reveals graceful feminine depictions in its softness and sensual touches to provide an exceptional, fresh viewing experience.”

J Louis, pg. 32, Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World
J Louis Waves 24 x 36, oil on cradled linen panel

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

J: I paint using color and texture that surrounds the figures, which I feel creates an instant emotional interaction and experience between the viewer and the work of art. When I paint in this style, I highlight the figure and achieve a heightened sense of emotional dialogue. The choices I make with color and texture are meant to transcend time and not associate with any specific place or era. I strive to encourage my viewers to focus on their own personal connection to my subjects during their visual experience. I accomplish this raw emotional relationship through the use of form, color, and texture that goes outside the boundaries of expected traditional realism into a fresh, contemporary, figurative art experience.

Nick Runge
Nick Runge A Fire Apart 36 x 36, oil on canvas

“I paint what I can’t see.”

Nick Runge, pg. 41, Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World
Nick Runge Fleeting Heights 24 x 18, oil on canvas

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

Nick: At first glance, my work might seem to make a mess of realism. Hopefully though, it draws the viewer in with certain color choices and abstract elements to help shape something real in their mind. I want to create the same interest toward a disrupted face or figure that a person might have toward a traditional portrait. Capturing something accurately with exact value and local color is certainly very different from building up the values and form with imagined, saturated colors and broken shapes, but the impact can be the same if the art is intriguing. I want the disruption to make someone “feel” instead of “think.”

Timothy Robert Smith
Timothy Robert Smith Untitled 20 x 20, oil on wood panel

“My paintings are created from observations of the world around us; but not just from my perspective, from all possible perspectives. Set in a fast-moving metropolis, my images explore several vantage points at the same time, fusing together multiple scenes into one kaleidoscopic image. Viewers are looking up, down and all around, seeing as the floor sees, and as the ceiling sees, as the ground sweeps beneath their feet. An urban landscape unfolds into a labyrinth of hidden spatial dimensions; where time, probability, and the diversity of human perception work together to expand our understanding of reality.”

Timothy Robert Smith
Timothy Robert Smith Interception of Frequency 18 x 24, oil on wood panel & acrylic on polytab
Zack Zdrale
Zack Zdrale Repeller 13 x 24, oil on panel

“My works depict the stillness that occurs after an unexpected bang.”

Zack Zdrale, pg. 107, Disrupted Realism: Paintings for a Distracted World
Zack Zdrale Well Riddance 18 x 24, oil on panel

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

Zack: I’ve taken passages of traditionally rendered figures and smashed them, breaking the illusion of form in space. I want to show the paint doing things that only paint can do. I force the paint to conform to my drawing and then allow it to have its own voice.

Save the Date!

Please email any inquiries to or reach out to request the exhibition preview. We hope you can join us for the reception this Friday, September 17th 6-8:30pm.