"My grandfather wasn’t a big farmer, but his small garden in Kentucky was a miracle. There was rhubarb, corn, and peppers a-plenty, but mostly I remember the tomatoes. He bred his own, saving the seeds of the best specimens every year. By the time he was getting well into life, his tomatoes were outlandishly proportioned, irregular in shape, and incredibly delicious.
I thought about his garden when I saw the latest paintings by Mia Brownell, in her show Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting. It is currently on view at Juniata College Museum of Art in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
Brownell has been painting what she calls “molecular still lives” for over a decade. She begins most works with a base of abstract, swirling forms inspired by the structures of proteins, and then adds foods typically seen in traditional still lives. Grapes are a favorite of hers, as their orb-like shape lends a cellular look. Brownell strives to raise awareness and evoke primal questions about our food supply, from how it is grown and how it functions in our bodies, to how it impacts society."
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"Few genres are more popular with artists than the still life – for obvious reasons. When you’re starting out, struggling to master your craft and make ends meet, half a cantaloupe is not going to demand a model’s fee or get huffy if you ask for a certain pose. Nor is a peach going to exclaim, “You made me look fat.”
But the still life engages even the most successful of artists, because it offers challenges to painterly technique as well as a richness of iconography. Small wonder, then, that the still life has been with us since ancient times and continues to resonate today."
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"For more than two years, Valeri Larko has been working on a series of paintings of an old meatpacking plant in the Bronx.
The ‘Ferris Stahl-Meyer building, on Boone Avenue, captivates her for its history, the surrounding neighborhood and, most of all, the changing array of murals, tags and other graffiti on its exterior—a less well-known version of 5 Pointz, another street-art canvas located in Long Island City.
'It’s like a secret in plain sight,” Ms. Larko said. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows about it. People who are really into graffiti know that there’s this amazing building here in the Bronx. But the bigger world doesn’t know about it.' " Click here to keep reading.
"The expressive oil paintings of Russian born and Philadelphia based artist Alex Kanevsky, long admired by artists we cover, are based simply on his observations of others. (We can thank Andrew Hem for pointing us to Kanevsky’s latest work.) Kanevky’s style is a mix of figurative with cubist-like marks by his palette knife. His relaxed figures break apart into geometrical gestures that imply their movement through the space. It’s as if he painted these scenes with his brush set on a slow shutter speed. Kanevsky credits a range of aesthetically different artists as inspiration, from Van Gogh, Cezanne, Mondrian, Rothko, Kline, to Freud, the list goes on. Yet all of their influences can be found in his paintings one way or another. We can see Van Gogh’s thickly applied strokes and Cezanne’s sense of repetition."
"Abandoned factories, salvage yards, graffiti-covered buildings standing neglected for years — these are the sights that warm Valeri Larko's heart.
In fact, one of her recent projects found her spending more time standing alongside the old Eastchester Barge Canal, behind the Fairway market in Pelham Manor, than she did inside the actual store. It's all part of being a painter of urban and industrial landscapes — a passion that has consumed the New Rochelle artist for 28 years. "I really love what I do," says Larko. "The world does not need another painter of barns." Lately, she has focused largely on the Bronx. And even though she lives in Westchester, Larko's dedication to the borough led to her selection for "The Bronx Artist Documentary Project," a collaborative effort that showcases artists at work in the Bronx, captured by local photographers. The exhibit, a project of the Bronx Artists Collective, will open in September (http://www.bronxartistdocproject.org/)." Click here to keep reading.
"Young master photographer and printer Michael Massaia's Deep in a Dream series has until now shown us images of Central Park made in the wee-est hours of the night. Sometimes up to the top of his waders in the lake, or being cruised by guys, chattered to by rats or growled at by dogs, the long-exposure photographs he takes are finessed to within an inch of their beautiful lives in his homemade darkroom where he spends days mixing chemicals to outstanding effect. His prints need to be seen to be believed." Click here to keep reading.
"Central Park at night is filled with a quiet mystery. Giant trees with tangled tree branches take on a spooky personality, dark shadows cast across the landscape, and a rare stillness can be seen throughout the park. Photographer Michael Massaia ventures out at night to capture this tranquility in his series, entitled Deep In a Dream—Central Park.
The powerfully captivating series of large format, black and white images produces a haunting sensation across a typically vibrant and crowded New York City landmark. "Capturing the park between the hours of 2 am and 6 am was my attempt to capture the city in its most haunting, desolate, and inviting moments," explains Massaia.
Beautiful light illuminates the natural and man-made details throughout the park and watery reflections blur the lines between fact and fiction. In the darkness, grass, bushes, trees, water and buildings merge together into intriguing compositions filled with textures."
Alex Kanevsky's "Beautiful and Profound Paintings" featured in American Art Collector Magazine's June 2014 Issue.
"J. Cacciola Gallery of New York and Dublin's BlueLeaf Gallery present a selection of new works in 'Art Miami' in December. Supported by Culture Ireland, the galleries will display the artists Tom, Climent, Marty Kelly, Suzy O'Mullane, Cian McLoughlin and Alex Kanevsky who are known for their issue-based works, in a variety of media. Alex Kanevsky uses realist colour and draftsmanship but distorts the image through mark-making. Marty Kelly's recent series was part of a trans-media interpretation of the book The Last of the Name by Charles McGlinchey and draws on the book's imagery - stone walls, the parish characters and ceilis. Suzy O' Mullane's figurative works contain powerful, yet restrained mark-making while Tom Climent's paintings and sculptures focus on the creation of space and the boundaries between abstraction and representation."
"While Mia Brownell’s paintings may recall classical Vanitas, her food-based compositions invoke contemporary food politics. A critic of the food industrial complex, Brownell creates a juxtaposition between the natural and artificial, modeling her opulent still lifes after molecular structures. Her depictions of shiny apples, bead-like caviar and juicy grapes look almost too good to be edible, hence the title of her upcoming traveling solo show, “Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting.” The exhibition, featuring new work, will premier at J. Cacciola Gallery in New York on January 9, followed by the opening of a ten-year survey of Brownell’s paintings (2003-2013) at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey on January 12. In 2014, the exhibition will be shown at Juniata College Museum of Art in Pennsylvania and the Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut."
2013's Most Striking Fine Art Photography
"Michael Massaia is a true artisan, mixing his own chemicals, building his own cameras, making long, night-time exposures and producing incredible hand-made prints. He had been photographing Jersey Shore amusement parks for several years, and after Hurricane Sandy he returned to record some of the aftermath. This melancholy yet lyrical photograph is of the Casino Pier’s Star Jet roller coaster after it was propelled into the ocean at Seaside Heights, New Jersey."
"The Blue Leaf Gallery in Dublin has formed a partnership with the well-known New York J. Cacciola Gallery. Blue Leaf provides a platform for emerging, mid-career and established artists, both Irish and international at its Dublin location and in project spaces in Dublin, London and the US. Both galleries hope this partnership will position them to more fully engage in the international art market. Artists will have greater opportunity for exposure, both in the US and Europe and collectors will benefit from an array of global talent."
"Marty Kelly, a Donegal based painter from Carndonagh is currently showing art in New York. Tri is the pioneering international collaboration between J Cacciola gallery in New York and Dublin's Blueleaf gallery and is curated by Ciara Gibbons. The exhibition explores the differences and interconnections of 3 artists working in Ireland today. Tom Climent, Suzy O’Mullane and Marty Kelly who are all highly respected figurative artists from Ireland. For the three artists their work emanates from the figure, whether they refer to the art historical markers or whether they use the figure to illustrate ideas, moods or concept." Click here to keep reading.
"Currently showing her first solo exhibition with J. Cacciola Gallery in New York City, titled "Birds, Beasts & Flowers: New Paintings by Rebecca Saylor Sack," the artist presents a tribute to both the traditional still life genre and the timeless memento mori theme. Yes, behind all the wonderfully juicy color and skillful rendering are remnants of decay -- bones and disorienting debris that are a reminder of our mortality. The artist also explores the idea of fiction and fantasy in this body of work, specifically sci-fi themes of imaginative settings, futuristic worlds, and deconstructed realities. Sack paints these daring displays of stillness and chaos directly from life, usually in one sitting, and likes to employ a multi-layered approach to create thick, lively passages of paint." Click here to keep reading.
New body of work, birds beasts, flowers featured on BOOOOOOOM
Featured article and cover in French magazine, Miroir de L'Art.
"Witty, complex, transformational, hybrid, poetic, mythic, China’s art is a brilliant example of that questing, inquisitive art-brain that is constantly juxtaposing words, worlds, and techniques and coming up with THE NEW."
On his series, "Seeing the Black Dog":
When Massaia, who suffers from insomnia, learned of the peculiar phrase “seeing the black dog,” he realized it referred to the same ebb of energy and haze he experiences.
“Sleeplessness is one of the problems I’ve had in life; it’s where the connection for the series lay,” he says.
“You can be quite productive when you don’t sleep for four days,” jokes Massaia, who manages his irregular rest well and used it to his advantage by making all of the exposures between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m."
..."And then there is Mia Brownwell’s Still Life with First Fruit, a double helix strand of DNA composed of juicy red apples and slender strands of white snakes twisting and turning through sprocket gears. Her painting brings into question the conflict of good and evil and whether we are born with both traits and what influences our inner workings to bring out either a sacred heart emitting light or a shadowy heart of darkness."
Larko has completed copious studies of production plants and industrial structures and spent more than five years painting twisted jumbles of wreckage at an active Hackettstown salvage yard. Scenery that most people consider eyesores, Larko invests with a radiant dignity.
“These paintings took on a life of their own,” she recalled. “They changed from fairly straightforward depictions of mountains of junk to large abstract close-ups of crushed debris.”
From a preliminary ink sketch to careful compositional study to months spent painting the final piece, Larko immerses herself in a locale by working exclusively on site.
“Painting on location is a crucial part of my process,” she said. “I find out a lot of information by talking to people who work or reside there, which gives a richness of experience to the painting.”
Trevor Young featured in Issue No. 106 of New American Paintings
"Jane Lafarge Hamill's exhibition, "Emoticon" consisted of mostly half-length portraits, some depicted frontally, others painted in profile or from behind. This installation was dazzling and kaleidoscopic. Hamill was able to express her ideas about the limits of expression by abstracting the portrait. As such, her pictures share an emotional distance with the expressive short-hand of the emoticon. The faces of many of the figures were absent, painted out, or otherwise obfuscated. While the emoticon commonly provides context or tone for quickly written communication, it also creates a cool and ironic detachment from its original expression. Similarly, rather than describing a straightforward countenance, Hamill's canvases find an emotional intensity in a style of painting that nearly obliterates any facial indication. . . "
"Being an artist, I am not really in the business of making a product. Like everyone else, I have my own unique view of the world. As an artist I try to arrive at the extreme clarity of that view and then try to find visual means, capable of expressing this clarity. So, if my work has any recognizable traits, they are mostly a byproduct of always trying to be very clear and concise about my personal view of the world. You know, if you always trying to climb the same mountain, you will eventually be known as a guy who is always climbing that mountain." Click here to continue reading.
"China and Harvey are old friends, too, and that comes through, intense, intelligent conversation between friends. They take, as their starting point, a phrase from Richard Wilbur — confounders of category — which they both read in Julie Larios’s essay on riddles; and this conversation is all about confounding categories, crossing boundaries, connecting things that are not connected except in the minds of the artists, about play and the dramatic tensions inherent in confounded categories..." Click here to keep reading.
"In looking at the intelligent, thought-provoking paintings in Hamill’s Emoticon exhibition, I see a slight satire of these societal trends, but I also sense a suggested alternative. Whether she is focused on a particular mood of human expression, an iconic image or logo adopted by an athletic figure, or the intersection of inordinate ideas and concepts, the artist seems to be showing us where our attention and devotion divide. In many ways it’s as if she’s trying to refocus that attention, with a complete understanding of how fragmented it has become. She obliterates faces, blurs lines, and shakes up the stylistic status quo to show us that one can never fully define or capture human emotion or existence — because it lives and moves and breathes, unlike our static online counterparts." Continue Reading.
Massaia’s photographs are both formal and expressive, most often sharing a non-empathetic view of the subject matter in the photograph. Self taught and extremely well versed in the science of photography, Michael Massaia—thoughtful, conf ident and inventive—makes his photographs while most folks are asleep. Usually out with his camera between the hours of 2:00 am and 4:00 am (before the sun rises) most people attempting a creative endeavor would be trying to stay awake with coffee. Instead Massaia is wide-awake, solitary but not lonely, not far from home in Suburban New Jersey.
"Artist Caitlin Hurd‘s new exhibit, Difference and Disorder, runs from February 14th to March 2nd, and it’s going to be worth seeing. These paintings are concerned with those moments in each of our lives that seem suspended in time, disconnected, wherein the mind exists somewhere else. Hurd herself experienced this in a near-fatal car wreck, and through this new series she examines, as she puts it, 'The dark beauty that we all notice from time to time.'"
"Her pictures of hulking storage tanks, defaced factories, blackened trestles and rusted gantries are technically landscapes; but the structures’ sad, slow slip from icons of power and progress to tattered elders left to rot gives them the poignancy of portraits. On one level, Larko’s subjects are symbols of industrial exploitation—of workers, resources, the environment. Yet far from kicking them when they’re down, she embraces them as emblems of the human condition." Click here to keep reading.
"Caitlin Hurd’s paintings are self-described ‘suspended-in-time’ moments; domestic objects and lost children float and sink into unblemished, green landscapes. With technical assuredness Hurd tackles personal uncertainty; these pictures represent the mind’s departure after surviving a traumatic event. In her case, Hurd channels her experience of surviving being hit by a car through her characters’ relationship to the landscape."
"This haunting image sums up for me not just the many tragedies Sandy wrought but also the way that the best photography can transform reality into art." - Miriam Leuchter, Editor - In - Chief of American Photo Magazine
"Frohsin's number series came about as the result of an invitation. Asked to prepare for a 2012 "Portrait Show" at Fort Mason, Frohsin balked at the idea of portraits of people: "I wanted to make portraits of ideas," she recalls. Frohsin began with a portrait of her favorite number -- 21 -- and the series took off from there in non-sequential fashion. When developing the number paintings Frohsin generally has an association or personal connection in mind. For example, she thinks of 21 as being 'somehow black and white perfect: It gives me comfort.'"
Das Musikmagazin -
Do you own a basic principle or a quotation?
I try not to- I find quotations that you hold on to like fortune cookies- are a little empty. You get to know them so well, they become ubiquitous. And principles become rules. Which one should never have. And if you have them, you should break them, because you probably have them because someone else imposed them on you, or you are just forming habits. And that’s no fun at all.
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"Part of what draws me to the the face is the personality and psyche and the person inside. It' sa real challenge to get something that feels like it's living and real while using materials in a sparing way."
"DNA and protein forms, they’re very potent signifiers to us culturally, especially the image of DNA we’re all so familiar with now. DNA suggests the scientist’s ability to control nature and there’s something really cool and fascinating about that. At the same time it’s really kind of frightening. And I’m drawn to that polarity. I’m also drawn to the formal aspects, the visual aspects of proteins. Their shapes are decadent, exquisite and elaborate."
"These are intimate paintings, not large in scale, and done with a fluid, elegant brush, creating a smooth texture for canvases of modulated luminous color...They call to mind philosopher Martin Buber's famous essay, "I and Thou," in which he postulated the concept of "Dialogical Encounter." In these paintings by Fouvry, we are dealing with a painter whose committed encounters with her subjects evokes in turn the viewer's resonant response."
"Nick’s diverse range of work varies from poignant self-portraits, thought-provoking paintings, experimental ‘inventories’ of dripped paint arranged in grids, stunning landscapes, and portraits painted on recycled Plexiglas, that were once used as mixing-palettes. The portraits are what Nick is most drawn to, 'I think it has to do a lot with loss and wanting to hold onto things, people really—not necessarily that I have lost…it’s just you want to grasp onto the really good people in your life and the friends that you have―and celebrate life and the human spirit.'" Read the entire article here.
"It is heartening to see such work done by a young photographer who has taken the time to master old processes and has the visual sense to use them both appropriately and well."
"His explorations of nature 'distills and renders the result of refined attention with a consistently exquisite eye and truly exceptional mastery of composition, color, and varied media,' praises art advisor Robert Moeller, former director of the Duke University Art Museum."
"Ellen Wagener is an outstanding landscapist in colored chalks, whose work repays a closer look. Wagener's drawing of a hillside is full of stern fact, as Ruskin would say, and we cannot help but be impressed. Her command of eye and hand is a marvel, and to see the complicated branches and shadows caught in a thousand instantaneous touches is to have a new revelation of the magical power of sheer technique. "
"At close quarters, McIntosh's deep affection for abstract is apparent, as well as his profound interest in the interplay of color and formal concerns and how they interact with the idea of image."
"Young embraces modern society’s ability to get gas, cash, food and directions without personal interaction. 'If we were to walk into certain places, we might be uncomfortable if there’s nobody there. But non-places, what’s so beautiful about them is you just pull up, nobody there ... We just get our gas and we leave.'" Continue reading here.
"Many of Kanevsky's works-done in oil on panel or linen-present light fluctuating across skin, bringing the flesh to life. New Hampshire Bather (2009) is remarkable for the fluid manner in which the artist renders its floating female body and amorphous tonalities of sky and water. Immersion seems to be Kanevsky's metaphor for a world in perpetual flux."
"It is with that seven-year-old's sense of wonder and easy awe that Pierce now sees nature. Her landscapes, focusing primarily on the sky, hit on our universal experiences of looking up, of watching with amazement as nature's fury unfolds before us. As with a child's perspective, we are held, wrapped in a blanket of color, protected from the four winds, and the crackles of fire-starting lightening."
"Brownell’s nature has been "modernized" and demystified, in that its genetic and cellular basis have been spelled out scientifically, but it remains mysterious -- even absurdly miraculous -- for it continues to produce, with patient inevitability, the fruits of life. But they may be artificial fruit, however real they look: They may be hard to digest because they may have been engineered into existence. "
"..It is a bit odd to hear that a single body of work could be equally influenced by architecture and organic forms simultaneously. However, this is precisely what Joan Winter's sculptures and prints effortlessly achieve...Space is an evident concern tin the three-dimentional works, but it is employed in a slightly different was in the prints as well; the layering of imagery and the variations in tones imply illusionistic space informed by an understanding of light and shadows."
...Imagery appears to flow from Kanevsky’s hand with such ease that we never suspect him of using the camera, although perhaps he does.
He faces the unusual problem of making his work look contemporary, or at least modern; that is, troubled by the pretenses to truth that its gifted realism generates with seeming effortlessness...
"Shelley Adler's larger-than-life profile portrait seems to stand above the fray at the MoCCA like a beacon of intelligence and consummate skill. Painting with its deep roots in the past, can still take our breath away, a charged site where physical material and intellectual intent magically fuse. Coming upon her painting here was like finding a luminous angel adrift in the aisled of Honest Ed's"
"Whether sculpting in wood or cast resin, creating multiple layered intaglio prints or print-makings, Winter's work in each medium asks its own questions and finds its own solutions; her transitions from three dimensions to two, and back again, is artistic shapeshifting with an uncommon gracefulness."
"Alex Kanevsky paints subjects other than nudes, but nudes are what he does best. He depicts them in a strange and disturbing manner so that his images have a ghostly intensity. In this show...he continued to blur the line between photography and paintings, rendering figures in a style that might be described as impressionist realism. ...They tantalize the viewer with the suggestion of a hidden narrative, which they, in turn, elaborate."