francesca cramer

Seriously, that horse is the best… I feel happier just looking at her. This is the work of UK based {I think?} artist Francesca Cramer. Yes, we’ve seen embroidery on vintage postcards before, but there’s something so lovely about Francesca’s whimsical work. The ivy, the mossy cottage roof … and I mentioned how much I love that little horse, right? Happy Friday.

ps. I’m in San Francisco for my book tour right now, and I’ll be talking, Q&A’ing and signing books at Hashimoto Contemporary tomorrow afternoon from 2-4pm. AND, Seonna Hong will be there with me! She has a solo show at Hashimoto right now and she also happens to be one of the artists in the book… win win!

courtney mattison

Gasp! This insanely beautiful glazed stoneware / porcelain installation is the work of Los Angeles based artist Courtney Mattison. It’s titled “Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” and has just become part of the permanent collection of the US Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, Art in Embassies, US Department of State. Here is part of Courtney’s powerful artist statement:

“Like cities, coral reefs pulse in a frenzy of activity. Residents of these diverse habitats find food, shelter and mates within their structures. Weary travelers find respite in their outcroppings—oases from the open sea. From the tiniest snapping shrimp to the largest whale shark, coral reefs are sanctuaries for life’s exuberance. In reefs as in cities, each individual plays a role that can affect how the ecosystem functions. The key to success is finding harmony in heterogeneity—unity in diversity. Yet today, reefs face unprecedented threats from human impacts. ‘Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)’ pays homage to Indonesia’s coral reefs and the value they provide to Indonesians and the world while highlighting the threat of climate change and coral bleaching. I hope that the idea of creating such a monumental, intricately hand-detailed ceramic sculptural installation inspires a sense of excitement in viewers about the connections we share to coral reefs while empowering individuals and policymakers to act to conserve.”


{Images by Amanda Brooks for Art in Embassies}

brooks salzwedel

Sooooo, these are all drawings. DRAW. INGS. Graphite, ink, tape, oil pastel, resin, mylar … and I’m sure I missed something on that list! This is the ethereal work of LA based artist Brooks Salzwedel. I’ve written about Brooks before, and even had him on the podcast {episode no.42}, but he’s got a new show opening TONIGHT at Foley Gallery in New York, so clearly I had to put up another post! The ‘Dusk and Dawn’ opening will be held during the First Annual LES ArtWalk and will be on view from October 17th to November 25th, 2018.  Oh and if you’d like to meet him, Brooks will be at the opening reception … 59 Orchard Street, New York 6-8pm. Go if you can, and tell him I say HI!

il lee

Ball. Point. Pen. Insane. This is the mesmerizing work of Korean born, New York based artist Il Lee. I’ve written about him before, but I just saw that there is a show currently hanging at Art Projects International in New York, titled Il Lee The 90s

“Focusing on works by Il Lee from the 1990s, this exhibition brings together select breakthrough black ballpoint ink on paper works that first introduced the energetic, exhilarating mark-making which remains characteristic of his later signature works.”

The show will be up until October 27, 2018. Go!

gio swaby

Gasp! This is the beautiful, labor-intensive mixed media work of Bahamian artist {now based in Vancouver} Gio Swaby. I was already in love with her thread and pattern-rich portraits, but I had oh so many questions. And then voila, this excerpt from an interview she did last year with SAD Magazine, answered everything:

“I was thrust into this very small minority, that really forced me to reflect on myself, my physical appearance, what people think, feel, experience, when they interact with me, how am I perceived in public spaces, and a lot of that – a lot of the interaction I have with strangers in Vancouver – is about my hair. Hair has always been important to me, as a black woman. I think for most black women, hair is a big deal – it requires or receives the most maintenance.  [which is why she chooses her medium]  … traditionally thought of as domesticity, or female-centered activities like sewing, or crocheting and knitting relates very heavily in my work – the passing down of tradition. That’s also echoed in the theme of hair and hair care, black women passing that tradition on to one another through generations. That’s why the medium of thread and fabric was so fitting. Using the thread versus pen or charcoal, communicates to the viewer a sense of labour, a sense of process, time, and length. It’s fairly painstaking, you look at it and feel that a lot has gone into creating the work, a lot of time, a lot of energy – and also a lot of love and care.” 

So, so, so much love and care. Happy Monday.

“there’s no time to be shy”

There’s no time to be shy … that’s for sure! It’s also the mantra that has made Montreal based, Kazakhstan born artist Ola Volo a full time artist. Now, we’ve known each other for a while as friends, but honestly I don’t know all of her behind-the-scenes stories. Thank goodness I have a podcast to take my friendships to new levels! You can listen right up there under Ola in her spray paint mask, or subscribe on iTunes.

Let’s start with a key ingredient in all of Ola’s work… her love of cultural patterns and icons:

So gorgeous! Ola has totally embraced all of the cultures she grew up with – Russian, Polish, Kazakh and Canadian – to create her own visual language… a language that allows her to tell all sorts of stories!

So, how did she become a mural artist? This was the very first one. The project that made her google “what is mural”:

Um, I think she figured it out! This was the wall at Hootsuite in Vancouver that started the crazy mural ball rolling for her. Well, that and Ola’s fake it till ya make it attitude.

Oooh, and here’s the Starbucks in New York that basically got transformed into “Ola’s World”:

How cool is that? If you happen to be in New York pop in … 21st & 5th Ave. Yep, 5th Avenue, baby!

Oh yes, and also cool… a collaboration with Louis Vuitton:

So great, right!? Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of that fabulous LV party she went to in Toronto, but we can use our imaginations.

Next up, her solo show that just happened in Vancouver, titled “King Queen Lovers Fool”. This time she was working mainly on canvas, not just walls:

Okay, she had to get one wall in there. Fair enough!

And finally, proof that Ola is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing:

Love. Thank you so much to Ola for this amazing, warm, and super fun chat; Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Thrive {ps. they’re accepting new members}
  2. Emily Carr University of Art + Design
  3. Bitch Magazine
  4. Skylight Books {my book event in LA on Oct 27th}


martha rich : new show

“I think this installation is going to be one of my weirdest.” ~ Martha Rich

Ha! And that’s just one of the reasons to love her. Yep, Philadelphia based artist Martha Rich has hung whole bunch {220 to be exact} of her hilarious, powerful, random, kinda weird speech bubbles for her latest show. “Nude Neighbor” opens tomorrow night, October 13th from 6-9 pm, at Showboat Gallery in Los Angeles. These hand-cut / hand-painted beauties – from “foxy” and “fly”, to “i can’t watch another mopey white guy movie” – are priced $25 and up! Cash and carry, first come, first serve… ie., get down there at 6pm SHARP! Oh, and one more reason to love Martha … a portion of sales will go to the Downtown Women’s Shelter. Happy Friday.

julia faber

Oil paint and ink drawing on canvas. True story. Sigh. What a stunning combination … and a combination that, I will admit, made me do more than a few double-takes! Also, those icebergs? So, so, beautiful. This is the work of Austrian artist Julia Faber, and this is an excerpt about her work written by Susanne Neuburger, and translated by Lauren Cooke:

“Sustained by the intensity and impeccability of hyperrealistic painting, Julia Faber’s work often takes us into a grotesque and surreal world. However, perfection and discipline, pushing the limits of norms and taboos, are also Faber’s main theme, unless mythology or other historical hints play a vital role. These references are always balanced with the present, as generally a combination of old and new provides a kind of bracket for Faber’s work. This also includes the important element of drawing counteracting her often dense oil painting, as well as an archive of texts and documents which are not only important research material but also integrated into her works.” 

kate hughes

Etching on lingerie … swoooooon. This is the delicate work of Australian artist Kate Hughes. I’m going to pass it over to Kate for the description / explanation:

“My practice is multidisciplinary working with textiles, etching, and photography, often in combination. Seductive and feminine the imagery of delicate landscapes and laces is overlaid on the imperfections of the body, it’s flesh and warmth, creating a new girly wilderness. Attachment to place is an ongoing theme that I have explored in my work through the depiction of landscapes using craft techniques … Exquisitely detailed etched landscapes emphasise naturalistic and historic views of wilderness spaces. The greyscale palette and traditional media give a sense of authenticity and documentary truth that is broken by the very personal form of underwear. I’m interested in how art and craft transform place into home, creating an intimacy of space.”

alejandra atarés

Oooh,  “JARDINES, CACTUS Y FLORES”. Gorgeous! I’ve written about her paintings before {women facing away from the viewer}, but this is the most recent work of Spanish artist Alejandra Atarés. Those tiles, the flowers, and my goodness… those electric color palettes! These are just a few paintings destined for her soon-to-open show at Victor Lope Gallery in Barcelona tomorrow… Wednesday, October 10th at 7pm. Also, a few shots so you can see the scale of these botanical beauties {and a lovely bio shot of Alejandra by Santiago Garcés}: