gretchen kelly

These “one-minute-nudes” are the work of Hudson, New York based artist Gretchen Kelly. Now, anyone who’s ever taken a life drawing class will know about these quick exercises… the model changing positions every 60 seconds so you have to work fast and make decisions on the fly. I did hundreds of these in art school. Um, NONE of them looked like this! Elegant lines, washy wonderfulness, and a fabulous celebration of – not only the female form – but also the creative process. Beautiful and confident.

ps. These lovely (affordable) pieces are available  in Gretchen’s shop.

elsa mora

Gasp! Delicate, bizarre, and beautifully made … yep, that describes the work of Cuban born, US based artist Elsa Mora. Elsa does all sorts of things – from ceramics to painting – but she is also a master of paper! These images are just a small sampling of her series, titled “One Hundred and One Notions”. I’ll hand it over to Elsa for the explanation:

“This series is about perception, and it consists of one hundred and one small paper sculptures, each of them representing a mental disorder. Along the process of creating these pieces, I did research about the different mental disorders, some of which I had never heard of. For example, Fregoli delusion is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. This installation is an homage to the human mind and the endless ways in which it expresses itself. It is about the darkness, light, and mysteries of our human condition.” 

Beautiful. And in case you’re wondering, Fregoli Delusion is the peanut-looking piece up there!

ps. Elsa, her work, and her story are in the follow-up / evolution to A BIG IMPORTANT ART BOOK, which will be released in the Fall of 2019!

tiny art show

Gah! Tiny art, tiny treats, tiny ropes while you wait in, well, a really BIG line! Yes, this is a brilliant idea called tiny art show … and I love it more than a tiny bit. I’ll let the mastermind behind this hilariously wonderful event, Utah based artist McKay Lenker Bayer, explain the ins and outs:
tiny art show is a community art project that installs miniature art shows in unexpected places. Each miniature exhibition features a different local artist in a new location. You might stumble upon one in a dressing room at a boutique or in a storage closet in your favorite bookstore. The art can be no larger than 3x3in, and it hangs just a few inches off the ground. These shows maybe be small, but they have the quality and talent of any art exhibition. Each show is complete with an artist statement, mini booklets about the show, and magnify glasses.
Each tiny show starts off with an opening reception, where anywhere between 200-500 people wait in line to check out the tiny art, meet the artist, and snack on miniature treats. Since this project began in October of 2018, every single one of our eight shows have sold out.
tiny art show aims to make viewing and collecting local art more fun and accessible. We also hope to bring a little magic and childlike wonder to everyday life.”
Nailed it. So, where will the next tiny art show pop up? It’s you, Los Angeles! On March 30th tiny art show is coming your way… follow tiny art show on Instagram to find out who, what, and where.
*photos found on their Instagram feed, taken by various people 

patrick pietropoli

Oh my word… she’s looking into my soul. This is the beautiful and surreal work of Parisian born, New York based artist Patrick Pietropoli. His latest show, titled ‘Coincidences’ , opens this Saturday March 23 at Hugo Galerie in New York. Here are their words about Patrick and his work:

“Pietropoli was a teacher of political studies for several years before becoming a professional artist. Trained as both a painter and a sculptor, his oil paintings on linen have both an antique feel and a very contemporary freeness. Drawing inspiration from the style of old masters such as Titian and Velasquez, Pietropoli creates grand figural compositions and cityscapes. With small amounts of paint and restricted palette, he brings an intimate texture and space to his paintings. His nudes capture a moment in time where he defines the relationship between form and freedom.”

The show runs until April 21, 2019.

chad wys

Be still my crystal-loving heart! I have written about American artist Chad Wys a bunch of times over the years, but how on earth did I miss these rock-covered beauties from 2014? All of this work is from Chad’s ongoing “ready made” series in which he adds his own contemporary touch to relics from the past … and the thrift shop. LOVE!

wang & söderström

Okay, I need to touch all of these things… shiny, smooth, spiky, ALL OF IT. These bizarre still-life vignettes are the work of Wang & Söderström, a collaborative duo made up of Swedish spatial and furniture designer Anny Wang and architect Tim Söderström. They do all sorts of fabulous projects together, and strive to “create mind tickling and unexpected experiences through materiality and technology”. Nailed it. Here is a description of one of their still-life series:

“‘Common Odd Things’ is a still life series that aim to stretch the boundaries between the familiar and the unreal. The organic sculptures are created by the artist duo Wang & Söderström through digital data to physical form by 3D printing. They are made in various biodegradable PLA blends, such as wood, stone and glossy plastic, which creates different textures and appearance that is often found in Wang & Söderström 3D rendered work.

The objects have been brought together in different set designs and captured by photographer Mishael Phillip, who focus on boosting the surrealness yet keeping details to reveal the sense of the real world.

The title, ‘Common Odd Things’, invites to explore the work from your own perspective. The contradictory words ’common’ and ‘odd’ is a play of how things can carry familiarities at the same time feel bizarre and alienated. Things can look like an object from your dinner table or a sex toy. Or perhaps a creature, something alive. What makes them common and what makes them odd, is through the individual eyes.”  Photos by Mishael Phillip

masako miki

Gasp! I love everything about this… lips on legs and play-dough like shapes on a grand scale? Yes, yes, YES. I wrote about the fabulous work of Japanese born, San Francisco based artist Masako Miki way back in 2013 and in 2011, but my goodness, the evolution of her work is astounding! If you happen to be in the Bay Area, she has a gorgeous show installed at BAMPFA – Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive – right now (install shot above). Here are a few words about “MATRIX 273”:

 “Her current work is “inspired by the idea of animism from the Shinto belief of yaoyorozu no kami [eight million gods] who are both good and evil with a wide range of personalities.” In defining this world of shifting boundaries, Miki creates larger-than-life-size, felt-covered forms drawn from the Japanese folk belief in yokai [shape-shifters] who can disguise themselves in any number of different forms. Miki creates the semi-abstract, sculptural forms utilizing brilliant colors and sets them into a magical environment suggesting another reality. The installation moves from the three-dimensional forms to abstract images on the floor and walls, conveying a sense of expanding boundaries.”

The show will be open until April 28, 2019. Happy Monday.

ik lab : tulum

Um, yes, I need to go here immediately! This insanely beautiful, treehouse-looking fantasy is an art gallery in Mexico. That’s right, I said galleryIK LAB, is a piece of art in itself {which, btw, was originally co-initiated by Santiago Rumney Guggenheim, the great grandson of Peggy Guggenheim} … okay, this just keeps getting better! Seriously, if you go to Tulum take a break from yoga on the beach, and GO HERE. IK LAB Tulum – along with its sister site, IK LAB Uh May – is a holistic center for human vision and evolution created in the jungle of Tulum by Roth (Eduardo Neira), social entrepreneur and founder of Azulik.

pekka niittyvirta & timo aho

This gave me chills. Can you guess what that blinding band of light represents?

“The installation explores the the catastrophic impact of our relationship with nature and its long term effects. The work provokes a dialogue on how the rising sea levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants and land usage in the future.

This is specifically relevant in the low lying island archipelago of Uist in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, and in particular to Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in Lochmaddy where the installation is situated. The centre cannot develop on its existing site due to predicted storm surge sea levels.”

This powerful light installation, titled “Lines (57° 59′ N, 7° 16’W)”, is a collaboration between Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta & Timo Aho for Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

{via designboom}

susannah montague

If it’s possible, Canadian artist Susannah Montague, has taken Dutch vanitas to an entirely new and disturbing level! I’ve written about Susannah a few times already {plus, she’s one of the artists featured in my upcoming book}, so I happen to know that a lot of her work revolves around her twins and the struggle she faced trying to bring them into the world. Her detailed, meaning-packed work is stunning, but even more so in person… AND if you happen to live anywhere near Calgary Alberta you could see these bizarre, flower-covered delights this weekend! Her latest show, titled “Lucid Dreams” , opens this Saturday {March 16, from 2-4 pm} at Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art. Here is Susannah’s statement about the show:

“… The inspiration comes from mysticism and esotericism which touches on daydreams and the fantastical elements that haunt our nights. Within the eerie beauty of these ceramic sculptures is an exploration of the intersection between dreams and reality – at the same time, fusing innocence and corruption in the flowers, dolls, lizards, toys and skulls that fervidly explode in these contemporary baroque compositions, asking us to revel in the beauty of the absurd.”

I have to share a story Susannah told me about the final piece above … “The piece with the gold halo is my daughter. She was born “unresponsive”. The necklace – with the arms – is from Mexican religious iconography which symbolizes “embrace and touch”, because after 36 hours of labour, I fought to keep my twins together, close with me and out of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by doing “Kangaroo care”. The artichoke at the core has a heart, symbolizing love – and, throughout history, artichokes have represented hope, peace and a successful future.”   I’m not crying, you’re crying. A beautiful story from a beautiful person {And, I’ve met her twins. They are creative, kind and amazing … just like their mama.} 

*photos by Lilly Louise Photography