medium /// contemporary




“free to be”

Well, that painting basically covers everything I had on my list of questions for British artist Pippa Young. Flat bonnet-ish hats, thin red lines {which are paint, not thread btw}, weird plastic-looking stuff wrapping her subjects – what’s it all about, because I need to know! Thankfully, she told me. We talked about being free to do whatever we like, late starts, and how I can get myself to Cornwall because, clearly, it’s a creative wonderland filled with amazing artists! Have a listen right under “Self-Doubt” – how perfect is that? – or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, some of the paintings I wrote about years ago when I first stumbled upon Pippa’s lovely/weird work:

After doing this interview, I’m pretty sure that’s Pippa’s son in, at least, the last painting above. These works also give you a little peek into the “hats” / “bonnets” I brought up right off the top. Next on my list of “what’s this about?”… tiny, delicate, beautifully painted red lines:

Gasp! Pippa told me she doesn’t do those lines freehand, she “uses masking tape”. Oh okay, super easy then. WHAT?! So precisely perfect! She explained that these tethering red lines were inspired by “The Goldfinch” – a book written by Donna Tartt, inspired by a 1654 painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius … now that’s a lot of inspiration. Pippa’s final painting above is, in fact, titled “Goldfinch I”. FYI… this is the cover of the book, and the painting:

Lovely. Next on my list of questions… the plastic trash bags?

Yep, there’s that plastic bag “baby” we were talking about. Her work is so gorgeous … the combination of the detailed plastic texture, with the flat hats and dresses on the girls? LOVE. It is so obvious {now} that Pippa was a graphic designer for such a long time … beautiful compositions, photographic qualities combined with flat graphic elements, and oh, that negative space. It’s all just too good.

And, ah yes, her “interventions”. I already loved them to begin with, and then to find out that these are not found images, but actually members of Pippa’s family, well, that pushed me over the edge:

Ghostly, beautiful, kinda weird… fantastic! And finally, Pippa in her studio:

Gorgeous! Quite handy to have a talented photographer brother to take cool in-studio shots, no? Thank you so much to Pippa for taking time out of her recharging break to talk to me; thanks to Saatchi Art and Create! Magazine for supporting the episode; and thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Charlotte Keates, Episode No.107
  2. Lisa Wright, Episode No.122
  3. Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh
  4. Michaël Borremans, Belgian artist
  5. Pippa on Instagram

 





lorraine o’grady

This is a peek into “Miscegenated Family Album” by Lorraine O’Grady. She chose 16 diptychs {7 shown here} from 65 image pairs of slides – comparing her sister Devonia, Nefertiti, and their families – that she had projected behind a performance piece she did in 1980. Lorraine retired the performance in 1988, but luckily she allowed the work to live on through this gorgeous album that she assembled in 1994. Amazing. But wait, I can’t stop there… I have to include her insanely inspiring bio too:

Born in Boston in 1934 to West Indian parents, O’Grady came to art late. Mlle Bourgeoise Noire and Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline in 1980 were her first public art works. After majoring in economics and Spanish literature at Wellesley, she studied in the fiction program of the Iowa Writers Workshop and had several careers: as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. government, a literary and commercial translator with her own agency, and for a time as a rock critic for The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Ultimately, this broad background contributed to a distanced and critical view of the art world when she entered it and to an unusually eclectic attitude toward art-making. In O’Grady’s work, the idea tends to come first, and then a medium is employed to best execute it. The work’s intellectual content is rigorous and political, but its form is often characterized by heightened beauty and elegance.





mando marie

To say that I have loved the work of Mando Marie since the moment I started this blog would be spot on … right down to the minute, in fact. Today, February 22nd, marks NINE YEARS since I launched the very first post as “The Jealous Curator”. Nine years? Insane. There were a handful of artists whose work I was obsessed with back then … oh who am I kidding, I still am! One of them was of course, American painter/street artist Mando Marie. I even managed to get her on the podcast not too long ago! Another artist I have always loved? American folk/street artist Margaret Kilgallen … so imagine my delight when I found the piece at the bottom of this post … one of Mando’s girls reading Margaret Kilgallen’s book, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Perfect to mark the anniversary of this beautiful, crazy, artsy ride that I’ve been on for almost a decade. Thank you all so much for coming along with me! Sharing the work of amazing artists from all over the world brings me pure joy – whether it’s through the blog, Instagram, my books, or the podcast. Here’s to the first nine years, and hopefully decades more to come.





nora fok

Oh my word … this is the fantastical work of UK based Nora Fok {ps. that’s Nora in the photos too}. All of her gorgeous wearable art is made by hand, using only simple tools and her her own unique processes. Modern materials like nylon are manipulated with age-old techniques like knitting and weaving to create these beauties. She works from her home on the sunny south east coast of England, inspired by nature and the world around her:

Nora is fascinated by different aspects of nature, structure, systems and order, and the mysteries and magic which she sets out to capture in her work. They are often quite complicated requiring many hours, days or weeks to produce and she has the necessary dedication to see her ideas through. She likes to draw attention to the very ordinary to make something special by presenting it in her own way. Her approach is not scientific; she combines her discoveries intuitively with her personal technical skills to produce her unique pieces.

{via Hi-Fructose}





sonya clark

Sugar flowers and cotton pods ; gold rings and sugar ; handmade bagasse paper ; sterling silver rings, cotton, hair and cast sugar ; money and sugar. Oh my goodness, these sugar pieces by American artist Sonya Clark are beautiful and, oh, so brilliant. Here are some of Sonya’s words about this work:

“In 1870 my African great grandmother married my Scottish great grandfather and began a family in Jamaica at a time when sugarcane was more valuable than the people who cultivated the cash crop. As my forebears negotiated race and commodity in this hemisphere, across the ocean European gentry flaunted sugar-rotted teeth as the status symbol their slave trade wealth. Generations later in my family that ranges in every skin shade and hair texture, an aunt defined race this way: “You cannot tell if someone is black by skin color but by hair texture.”  Her tangled race construction was explained to me as she was braiding the legacy of sugarcane production onto my head.  She, like most Jamaicans, referred to my hairdo, as canerows not cornrows.  …  Some objects presented here are subtle … others are more overt: gold and silver rings set with sugar “diamonds”, cotton, and human hair or an unraveled Confederate battle flag that somehow remains intact despite being deconstructed. Some are visceral: edible cotton flowers made from sugar, images of brown sugar that call the tongue and reflect the viewer, and Lincoln encrusted in rock candy five-dollar bill.”

Love! Sonya’s site is filled with all sorts of amazingness, so pop over and have a closer look.





joana vasconcelos

‘Prolific’ does not even begin to describe Paris born, Lisbon based artist Joana Vasconcelos. She’s been making work since the 90’s, so choosing what to feature was tricky. That said, I love these crazy sculptures. You can see the joy in every single one of them! So much color, attention to detail, gorgeous composition, and her materials lists – well – that’s just something else altogether. The last piece featured here is titled “Kilimanjaro” and the description reads as follows: Stainless steel sink, handmade woolen crochet, ornaments, polyester  ♥

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venice… REGISTRATION for june 2018 is open!

CALLING ALL ARTISTS & ART LOVERS… I’m going back to Venice, wanna come with me?! Yes, the European Cultural Academy has invited me back to be one of several instructors during their “Contemporary Art Week” course, which runs the week of June 11 – 17th, 2018. Being there last year still feels like a bit of a dream… so much watermelon gelato. I’ve rounded up a bunch of the photos I took in August so you can see what your week in this unbelievable city will look like. First, the ECA classrooms are not just classrooms, they are centuries-old palazzos in the heart of Venice:

Insane, no? Also insane… ALL. OF. THE. ART. One of my favorite shows was “Glasstress”. Here’s a peek:

Well, this year the class will be going on a little field trip. We will be taking a “taxi” … aka gorgeous boat, to Murano, the island home of glass art. We’ll meet the curator of Glasstress, and visit the studios of working glass artists. See, there are a lot of “pinch me” moments that happen here! Oooh, and another one? We’ll be visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It is fabulous, as was she:

Right? Peggy knew how to collect art, AND how to live in Venice. Sigh.

Now, if you’re going to come with me, you should know that there will be a lot of coffee {ps. I found out the hard way that one must NEVER order a latte after 12pm. I was called a “barbarian’}:

… yes, I drank macchiatos {acceptable after 12pm} and I even tried painting with them. Worked like a charm, although also barbaric I’m quite sure.

Now, not only will we soul search, push ourselves in our creative pursuits, learn about art, see Venice, drink coffee … there will also be a lot of ridiculously picturesque photo ops:

Just trying to keep up with Peggy Guggenheim in that last shot! When in Venice, right? Hope to see you in June… there are only 20 spots in total {some of which have already been filled}, so if you want to attend the ECA’s contemporary art week {June 11 – 17, 2018}, visit their site to read all of the ins and outs, and APPLY SOON!

ps. Here is a little instagram video I took on one of our boat rides that helps sum up the magic that is Venice:

Bellissima!

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dustin yellin

Are you wondering, ” What on earth am I looking at?” That is exactly how I felt last summer when I was lucky enough to see the work of Brooklyn based artist Dustin Yellin in Venice. Well, they are collages within several layers of glass… seriously. A few of his mind-blowing works were part of the Glasstress 2017 show and they were absolutely breathtaking. I’m not sure how many times I walked around each one of them, marveling at the multi-layered, glassy goodness. The detail is insane … hence the many, many close-ups in this post. That said, I know that flat images absolutely do not do Dustin’s work justice, so you have to watch this video to see him in action. It’s from a gorgeous series he did with the New York City Ballet. Beautiful craziness that you have to see to believe. Enjoy…

ps. Speaking of Venice… I’m going back to be one of the instructors at the ECA (European Cultural Academy) during their contemporary art week in June! June 11 – 17th to be exact. There are a limited number of spots for students, so if you’re interested pop over to their site for details. Hope to see you in Venice!





sara khan


Whoa. Ok, clearly I had to include all of those closeups because, well, these details are fantastic! Flowers, figures, narratives… it’s all happening! This is the work of Sara Khan. She was born in England, raised in Pakistan, and now lives in Vancouver… that’s the super quick version of her life story. Now, how about the story behind these beautifully bizarre watercolor paintings from her series titled “Ubiquitous Follies”:

I am interested in the repulsion and beauty found in ordinary spaces and situations, and question the normalcy of the seemingly mundane matters in life. For example; how a man inside a woman leads to the birth of another human; turning the woman into a mound of soil in which a human germinates like a plant from a seed, and in the process disfigures the woman to the limits of possibility.

It is in dealing with these observations that I draw them out, to find a place for things that are neither here nor there. Slowly laying out translucent layers of watercolour, I work toward pronouncing some areas, while covering others entirely, almost decoratively as if to say “you didn’t belong, but now you do, or you did belong and now you don’t.” I leave some questions to chance, answer others more definitively, hovering somewhere between restraint and complete spontaneity. The idea is to develop a space or landscape with both extremes in it; the abhorrent and the fantastic. Coexisting to form one complete picture; thriving in the gray areas, it’s a subtle dance between “is it” and “is it not”. ~ Sara Khan, 2017

Whoa, again.





tracey emin

Ahhh, the passionate and painful ups and downs of love. This is the neon work of British artist Tracey Emin. Her portfolio is full of paintings, drawings, installations, needlework and, of course, these romantic / heart-breaking / hilarious / very personal neon pieces. This is just a teeny teeny tiny snapshot of the neon work she’s created over the years, but I thought they nicely covered the range of emotions from “I forever belong to you” to “Sorry, flowers die” …

“Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration … Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.”

Yes, that they are. Happy Valentine’s Day… or not.