A Review of Painter Hannah Yata

Hannah Yata is an up and coming surrealist painter.  And when I say up and coming, I mean it.  I was reading up on her today, expecting to find out that she has a lifelong career under her belt, and surprisingly I found out that she is still working on her undergraduate degree in Fine Art.  Her paintings are quickly becoming the “the talk of the town.”  I have come across dozens of her paintings online,  however, I will be discussing and referencing two of my favorites today.

I am definitely not here to dissect the symbolism of her artwork.  I read up on Hannah a little, and she clearly has a lot of symbolism attached to these paintings (as many great painters do) I’m also not trying to devalue her statement.  But these paintings have such an alluring, graceful quality, which is the real reason I fell in love with her paintings.  And sometimes, it feels good to love a painting just because it’s beautiful, and it makes you feel good.   It’s not the symbolism that captured me, it’s the whimsical quality and surrealism.  Some of her paintings may even be considered bizarre and have obvious psychedelic characteristics.

surrealism, painter, oil, Hannah Yata, surrealism
Painting by: Hannah Yata

This untitled piece is the first one I will be talking about.  It is definitely one of my favorite Yata paintings.  As an artist, even as a blogger, I struggle with titles.  There is so much pressure associated with a title.  Art is subjective to the viewer and there shouldn’t ‘really’ be a wrong answer when expressing how art makes you feel.  Which is why I can appreciate when artists use “Untitled” for their artwork.  because it gives me even more freedom when interpreting their art.

The concept here is so cool!  It reminds me of the film “Spirited Away,”  which takes place in a fantasy world that is so dynamic and imaginative.  Hayao  Miyazaki, the creator of Spirited Away,  is a legend because of the quality of his imagination.  Yata’s painting embraces a fantasy world, and the whole painting resembles similar elements of Miyazaki’s work.  She painted the hands beautifully, which is an accomplishment all on it’s own.  When I look at the jelly fish, for some reason, I feel these are giant animals, as opposed to normal sized jellyfish.

When I first saw this painting I thought to myself, “I must know more about this world.”   The colors of the painting are earthy, but still so vivid.  The way Hannah paints with color is so pure.  Her lights and darks are very realistic and colorful, never grey or muddied up.    I do not know when she painted this, but I would predict this piece is part of her earlier work, compared to some of her other paintings.

This next painting is done in a slightly different way that looks very polished.  At first glance I thought this might be digital art.  The reason I say that, is because the vividness of the colors, the crisp lines, and the detail is something I do not see often in an oil painting,unless it is done by one of the masters.

portrait, painting, original, amazing
Monarch 18
by: Hannah Yata
Oil on linen

Her style is unique and clearly original, but the way she paints skin tones and realism reminds me of world famous artists like John Singer Sargent or even the current artist Marvin Mattelson.  Marvin is now a professor at the School of Visual Arts.  He paints very traditional style paintings, but occasionally does some awesome surrealist stuff.

This painting also looks very real.  It is even more vibrant than the previous untitled piece.  Everything about this painting is spot on.  There is a lot of depth and action happening in this painting. It almost looks as though one of the fish is trying to eat the butterfly.   I don’t really know what is going on with the fish’s eyes, but I like it, it is true to the nature of surrealism.  I find myself simultaneously saying “how beautiful,” and, “What the hell.”  I often look at art and think, this is unique and beautiful but do I want it hanging in my house?  Well, let me tell you that with Yata’s paintings, they truly are an inspiration and I hope, at the least, I can one day own a print of this painting.  Her work is amazing.  

Here are a couple websites where you can find several Yata paintings.




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