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jessica brilli

Oh! Now if these don’t say HAPPY 4th of JULY to all of my American friends, well, I just don’t know what does! These paintings are part of the latest series by Massachusetts based artist Jessica Brilli, which happen to be in a show titled very appropriately, “Holiday”. The show opens this Friday {July 7, 7-9pm}, at Kobalt Gallery in Provincetown. It’s only up until July 13 so go to the opening if you can! Happy holiday : )





jessica brilli

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jessicabrilli2

Ah! So cool… see, it pays to stalk, I mean follow, artists that you love on social media! These paintings are from the latest, vintage inspired, series by Massachusetts based painter Jessica Brilli – and because I follow her on Facebook and Instagram I have slowly watched this car, and its driveway, go from an under-painted sketch to the final piece. I love getting a glimpse into an artist’s process… it’s like a little peek behind the magic curtain!





jessica brilli… again

I wrote about the lovely, vintage-looking work of American painter Jessica Brilli a couple of years ago. It was all old-school cameras and classic typewriters in that post, today however… it’s about clocks. And radios. And clock-radios. Love, love, love! {And oh, her palettes… I cannot get over her palettes!}

{Check out her upcoming show, Jessica Brilli: “New Work” …Walker Cunningham Gallery from March 15 – April 12, in Sudbury, MA}





i’m jealous of jessica brilli

…snap snap snap tappity tap… yep, I want to take pretty pictures, and then write a short novel to accompany them! Luckily, American artist Jessica Brilli has me covered! Lovely, very sweet, nostalgic paintings. Sigh.





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.





andrew mcintosh

I always wondered what was in those old, falling down buildings… famous works of art! This is the beautifully painted / brilliant work of Scottish born, London based painter Andrew McIntosh. All of these gorgeous paintings are part of his latest show, titled ‘I Saw This Coming’, that opens this Thursday. And, as artists, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the description:

“In this new body of work, McIntosh re-contextualises derelict buildings in South East London and the surrounding areas while drawing on his ongoing interest in the political dispute between artists and the inevitable developments of the property market.” 

 

So smart! The opening reception is this Thursday, March 7th from 6-8pm at bo.lee Gallery, London {222 Rye Lane}

 





kathryn macnaughton

Acrylic and oil on canvas. Yes, they’re paintings, and no, they’re not digital. Crazy. This is the latest work from Canadian artist Kathryn MacNaughton. I wrote about her in 2010 {whoa}, and I loved what she was doing back then, but this latest work… well, it made me gasp out loud. She is a brilliant artist who constantly pushes her work to new and wonderful places. Clearly.

This body of Kathryn’s work is available via Bau-Xi Gallery {Toronto and Vancouver}





“infinite passion”

Yayoi Kusama. Can you imagine, not only meeting her, but getting to spend time with her – over years – while making a documentary about her incredible life? Well, that is exactly what my guest did. American filmmaker Heather Lenz first fell in love with the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama years ago during art school … and in 2018 she watched her film, Kusama Infinity, premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. AMAZING. It is such a beautiful movie on so many levels. Kusama is now 89, and I think it’s beyond fantastic that Heather was able to document this very important artist’s life in person. Just imagine, Heather got to sit with Kusama … watching her work, asking her questions, listening to stories about her time in New York, Japan, Venice and more. You can listen right up there under Kusama in her fabulous red wig, or subscribe on iTunes.

Heather did a wonderful job of telling Kusama’s story, from childhood until now. Here are just a few images that take us through this fascinating life:

Ah, yes … Kusama’s early paintings, the dizzying infinity net paintings, and literally boatloads of soft sculptures.

And then, of course, her very famous dots:

… and she’s still doing them today. In fact, she’s probably putting dots on something right this very second!

There are so many gorgeous images in the film too. These are two of my favorites, from Kusama’s early days in New York:

Gah! So stylish.

Ok, this might be one of my favorite Kusama adventures. This is when she showed up to the 1966 Venice Biennale, uninvited, and created her installation titled “Narcissus Garden”:

After she got in trouble for selling her orbs to visitors, she laid amongst them in a red unitard knowing full well the press would cover such a beautiful spectacle. She was right.

Skip ahead almost thirty years, and here we are in Venice again. This time it’s 1993 and Kusama was invited to represent Japan at the Biennale… this was hugely important for two reasons. One, she was the first woman to represent Japan, and two, in previous years Japan typically sent several artists, not just one:

Her exhibition included a range of work including a mirror room, small yellow pumpkin sculptures, and more. But this was not the first or last of Kusama’s spectacular infinity rooms:

So brilliant, and ridiculously beautiful.

Speaking of which, this is the woman we’ve been talking to. The tenacious and passionate Heather Lenz:

Inspiring and unbelievably determined … both of them! If you can see this film, please see it. We only touched on a fraction of the stories … there is so much MORE. Huge thanks to Heather for her dedication and unrelenting passion that was required to make this wonderful piece of art history come to life… I think she and Kusama have a lot in common when it comes to forging ahead no matter what. Thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thank YOU for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Kusama Infinity Movie Trailer
  2. Where to see the film : US website Everywhere else website
  3. Kusama Infinity Movie on Instagram
  4. Heather on Instagram
  5. Bontoc Eulogy {film}

ps. The official trailer … it’s soooo good!





sandra eterovic … RIP

I am absolutely brokenhearted to be writing this post. I just found out that Australian / Croatian artist Sandra Eterovic has passed away suddenly. I don’t know how or why, what or when… but I do know that the world is now short one amazing person, and one incredibly talented artist. I didn’t know what else to do, so I immediately wrote this post. I wanted to share her work and her story. I am so happy that I had her on my podcast, not only because I got to know her better and could call her a friend, but because now this artist’s story is documented. Look and listen to episode no.66 to get to know this lovely person a little better. I’ve also included her words, from her Etsy shop, which beautifully describe her life and work. Until we meet again, Sandra. I am so sad that you are no longer with us.

“I was born in Melbourne and have always lived here, but I am lucky to have travelled to many places. As a child, I spent several summer months in my parents’ hometown of Pucisca, which is on a beautiful island off the coast of Croatia. I vividly recall widows in black dresses with tiny floral patterns, unfamiliar packaging in the supermarket and the quaint kitchen in my grandmother’s house; these things have informed my aesthetic immeasurably.

I studied art history at university but decided that I preferred to make art. After a couple of years at a TAFE college experimenting with ceramics and illustration, I landed a job in the fashion industry diligently redrawing Taz the Devil and Mickey Mouse in humorous poses for boxer shorts. This led to work as a surface designer for t-shirt prints, fabrics, bed linen, accessories and occasionally even toys. Late in 2010, I decided to leave my job at Seed Heritage to devote myself to making my own work. I also take on freelance illustration and other projects.

I am a homebody. I enjoy hanging pictures, arranging flowers, moving my tchotchkes around or replacing the colourful fabrics that I use as curtains and cushion covers. I also love to read about food, experiment with new recipes and then share them with friends. When it’s warm enough, I like to read in the back yard or a nearby park. I am trying to educate myself about gardening. 

My inspiration comes from vintage books, toys, and games. The island that my parents are from. My 1970s childhood. Strange and funny old people on the tram. A day of exploration at the library. The huge number of wonderful artists local to Melbourne but also the thousands I have discovered online. What a world! Everyone and everything around me is potential inspiration. Who knows what will be next? It’s that surprising element that makes creating so exciting.

I love handmade. Handmade things carry life itself in their consideration, imperfection and uniqueness. They deserve to be cherished forever and are the exact opposite to the piles of discarded televisions that seem to be proliferating in our streets right now.

I come from a family which rarely puts its feet up. My mother always sewed and knitted our clothes, and to this day bakes bread and cooks the most incredible meals. My father trained as a fine stonemason and is a great gardener and winemaker. My brother is a brilliant designer, craftsman and motorbike restorer. To be constantly making or fixing something is as normal as breathing for us.

I feel much more comfortable with the term “maker” than the term “artist,” which I suspect has to do with both of the B.S.-intolerant cultures that I am from. I have always loved making things, from clothing for my dolls, writing and illustrating pretend magazines, to playing cooking show host while helping Mum chop vegetables. Designing at a computer screen eight hours a day for 15 years was never going to feel right for me, and now I can’t believe I persisted for that long.

For years, I have been keeping notebooks in which I sketch or paste images that I admire or which might trigger an idea. Strange phrases pop up in my head, and I note those too. My ideas are often like a jigsaw puzzle that is waiting for the missing piece. I rarely get ideas by spontaneously playing with materials because unfortunately I rarely allow myself time for that.

I find every studio I visit interesting, but if I had the opportunity to go back in time I cannot think of anything more exciting than to watch Michelangelo run his atelier, Leonardo come up with his brilliant inventions or Rubens paint an enormous canvas alongside his apprentices. Not only would it be enormous fun, it might call into question the modern concept of what an ‘artist’ actually is.

I own my paternal grandmother’s wooden tatting tools, which are carved with decorations and worn with use. I have no idea how tatting is done, so for me they are magical because they hold the secret of a dying art and the culture of a very different time and place. I also own a traditional bright blue stonemason’s outfit that my maternal grandfather never wore and kept especially for me, as he understood my interest in workwear.

To get out of a creative rut, I might bury my head in a new book or magazine at the library, go to an exhibition or walk down a street that I have rarely visited. I have vowed that on my next spare day I will go to the main railway station, board the next train, get off at whichever suburb has the least familiar name and explore it.

In ten years time I would like to be living in a peaceful and beautiful home by the sea, with a wonderful family knowing that there is a bunch of things out there in the world that are loved and that I am proud to have designed and/or made. And to be able to afford a holiday almost every year to explore a country that I have never been to would be wonderful.” ~ Sandra Eterovic, 2012 

Bio photo by David Patston




elyse dodge & david pirrie

Take a loooong deeeeep breath, because there’s nothin’ like a little fresh mountain air! These paintings are the work of Canadian artists David Pirrie {the dots & floating peaks}, and Elyse Dodge {the triangles}. I have loved both of them for ages, and thankfully Ian Tan – of Ian Tan Gallery – has brilliantly paired them up for this two-person show.“This Mountain Home” opens TOMORROW afternoon from 2-4pm. Grab yourself a coffee, stroll down South Granville, and pop in to see the show {ps.Elyse and David will both be there}. Happy Friday.