medium /// contemporary




alejandra atarés

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Fancy hair, intricate patterns, and a whole bunch of very dreamy landscapes. These are the gorgeous reverse portraits {self, and others} of Barcelona based artist Alejandra Atarés. I love all of the pieces in this series – yes, editing this post was extremely difficult – but I have to say, that first piece {lavender hair & hot pink jacket complete with bits of shiny glass} is killing me. In a good way. LOVE.





emma mcdowall

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Once upon a time, abstract paintings and concrete fell madly in love! Yep, I’m pretty sure this is the result from the honeymoon. These lovely concrete objects are the work of Scotland based artist Emma McDowall. Beautifully blended candy hues, paired with the rawness of concrete… gorgeous.

{Some of these pieces are available in her VERY AFFORDABLE shop}

 





“lola, don’t be precious”

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VICTORY! It took until episode 50 but I finally convinced peer pressured Irish artist Lola Donoghue into doing the podcast! She was a tough nut to crack, but I eventually wore her down. I so badly wanted to have her on for three reasons… 1. I love her work   2. She is one of the coolest/sweetest people I’ve ever met   3. Her story is ridiculously inspiring. Oh, and 4. Best. Accent. Ever. You can listen right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Here are a few of Lola’s gorgeous abstract paintings to get us started:

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Sigh. Beautiful. Her mark making is so free, and don’t even get me started on her color palette.

I made sure to bring up her home studio, mainly so I could show as many photos as possible of her gorgeous space. Canvases stacked everywhere, and a view of the Irish countryside:

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Oh my goodness. I want to spend an afternoon {or a month} in there! Next up, Lola talked about what a difference this made for her sales. She resisted doing this but thought she’d give it a try… she decided to show her work in room settings so people could understand the scale, and how her work might look in their home. It worked. A lot!

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So smart {she has these for sale as prints on her site, and I have quite a few in my online gallery as well… and if you want an original you have to move fast! They sell before she even finishes them sometimes. Visit her site and sign up for her newsletter to be kept up to date on available originals}. And finally, the speed round… always delivering an interesting gem or two… who just bought four of Lola’s paintings? Yep, Sia:

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Um yeah, I can see why they might have a fondness for each other. Perhaps one of Lola’s paintings will end up in the background of Sia’s next music video… you never know!

Thank you so, so much to Lola. When I say she didn’t want to do this, I mean she REALLY didn’t want to do this. Well, she had absolutely no reason to be nervous, in fact, I think we should all celebrate with some cider and cheese! Thanks also to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and of course, thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  2. Sia

 





tina berning

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Oh. Tina Berning. I wrote about this fabulous Berlin based artist years ago… um, why haven’t I written again!? Well, I am fixing that right now. She creates beautiful illustrations for magazines etc, but her “diary” is what I can’t get enough of. It is filled, and I mean FILLED, with so many beautiful things. Found paper, inky lines, lovely women, strange groups of people that I want to know more about… and I just noticed a bit of embroidery! Sigh. So beautiful. Happy Friday.





erik jones

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This explosion of nostalgia and color is screaming at the sticker-collecting, rainbow-loving twelve year old in me. The absolutely gorgeous figures and stunning compositions are in a mature conversation with the art-loving curator in me. This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Erik Jones, and this is a description from his latest show, “Twenty Sixteen”:

“Jones challenges viewers to see beauty in his chaotic, mixed-media works that merge nude subjects with nonrepresentational, abstract elements. Describing the human figures in his compositions as “aesthetic anchors,” they are the calming foreground upon which bursts of color, stenciled shapes and custom-made stickers create surreal landscapes. Using multiple mediums, such as watercolor, acrylic, colored pencils, wax pastels and oil paint, Jones’ portraits are technically complex and express a heightened sense of realism.”

And also rainbows, unicorns, and orcas! Sorry, that was the twelve-year old again   ♥   

{Just missed this show… damn. “Twenty Sixteen” was at Jonathan LeVine in New York and just came down at the end of April}





tiffanie turner

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May 4, 2016May 29, 2016. That’s how long paper artist Tiffanie Turner will be spending as the fabulous artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco! I had her on the podcast last year, while she was tucked away at another residency in a beautiful barn, and she talked about this… and now it’s finally here! If you’re in San Francisco, you can pop by to see “Nature Constructed”… you can see her giant flowers hung on the walls, watch her working on new pieces, talk about flowers, talk about paper, etc. And if talking’s not enough for you, you can get in on the flowery action:

During her month-long residency, museum visitors are invited to work on a giant communal botanical paper sculpture, learning how to stretch the paper into the proper shape and adhere it to the flower. The first two weeks will be spent creating something vibrant and beautiful, and the last two weeks will focus on taking the piece to a state of decay, inviting visitors to return to the gallery toward the end of the residency to see the piece’s transformation.

Beautiful, on every level. Pop by the museum if you can {tell her I say hi!}, and if you’re too far away then you can follow along on Instagram: #natureconstructedsf





maude white

MAUDEWHITE

Hand. Cut. Paper. Mic drop.

This is the insanely meticulous work of American artist Maude White... I am completely in awe. Yep, she’s giving Mother Nature a run for her money with the delicate detail in these lovely white blooms. Sigh. So good.

{Some of Maude’s work is currently showing in “Bloom”, at Walker Contemporary in Vermont}





“big mouths, ukuleles… but no chins”

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I’m starting to sound like a broken record… today I’m talking to an artist that I’ve loved for ages, have done several projects with, but you guessed it, we’ve never actually spoken. I was so excited to speak to New Hampshire based artist Aris Moore. She’s an amazing artist, a recent MFA grad, a full-time middle school art teacher, and a single mother with twins – phewf. I was so excited, in fact, that I forgot to hit record. Episode 49 and I forget to hit record? Sigh. Anyway, we made a full recovery and also became BFFs in the process. You can listen right up there under the lovely lady in the red blouse, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Now, I always like to start these posts with a few of my favorites. Aris’ sad/beautiful portraits are on that list:

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I love them. So strange. So beautiful, and yes… not a chin in sight. Next, this is some of her older work. These were the pieces I discovered and wrote about way back in 2009. And that bunny block at the top? Yes, that’s the original piece she sent to me, again, in late 2009. It was a major highlight in the first year of being ‘the jealous curator’:

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That bag full of little people is heartbreaking, and I can’t help feeling that it’s my fault. Someone left a very harsh comment on one of my posts about Aris’ work back then, and it really hurt her… to the point where she just wanted to gather up all of her little characters, throw them in a bag, and toss them out. See? Heartbreaking. Well, she didn’t throw them out, but she definitely evolved them. Yet another reason to admire this fabulous artist {because, remember from last week’s episode… “no one can wrestle the pencil out of your hand, you get to keep going in absolute defiance”}. And that’s what Aris did.

This is the collage Aris made for my book, Collage. She used the accordion from the starting image I gave all 30 of the artists, and before you knew it “Joan With Her Castle” was born:

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I love that piece so much…. almost as much as Aris loves drawing mouths:

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She wasn’t kidding! Ooh, next… I love this series so much. Same photograph, oh so many different faces:

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This is what Aris does best as far as I’m concerned. Such emotion-filled, personality-exposing expressions.

Ah, I love this next project too. This is also some of her older work, but she had a little help with these ones. Her daughter August, who was 4 at the time, decided to add some hair to these otherwise hairless ladies:

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Beautiful job, August! A fantastic collaboration.

So, I usually like to include photos of the artist’s studio space, and I absolutely love that Aris’ studio is basically wherever her fancy bag of pencils happens to be. Bookshops, cafes, her living room… her studio is the world:

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How fabulous is that!? Granted, it wouldn’t work as well if she was an oil painter, but it certainly works for her! One of the things she’s been doing “in her studio” lately are these flip books. I love what she talked about re: always having a starting place/never having to look at a completely blank page. Brilliant. I’m going to try this:

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Sigh. So fun. So weird… and let’s be honest, if Aris and I lived in the same town we’d be fun, weird friends in a heartbeat! This is how I felt through the whole episode:

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A brand new soul sister  ♥  Thank you so much to Aris for doing this with me {I’m glad I actually recorded some of it!}, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great BIG thanks to you for listening. If you happen to be over on iTunes, I’d be so grateful for a rating or a review – it helps keep the podcast near the top of the art section, and who doesn’t want to be near the top of the art section!? Ok, there will be more art for your ear next weekend… EPISODE 50 to be exact!

Other links:

  1. Agnes Martin
  2. Esther Pearl Watson’s Comics
  3. Laylah Ali

 





elvira johanna duives

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Tiny, colorful, juicy portraits by Dutch artist Elvira Johanna Duives. Sigh. Love. I’ve written about her drawings before, but just last week she sent me some of her new collage work. My plan had been to write about those… but when I went to her site, well, I found more drawings! I had no power over them, so here they are in all of their bright, vintage, miniature goodness! If you want to see more, and the collages that I’d planned to write about, pop over to her site. Happy Friday.





bhavna mehta

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Beautiful paper cutting, dedicated to a beautiful human. This is the work of Indian born, US based paper cutting artist Bhavna Mehta. These exquisite pieces are from her 2012 series titled, “Malala Yousafzai”. Here, in her words, is the motivation behind this work:

[Malala Yousafzai] has become known around the world for her rigorous activism for children’s rights and education. All her well-wishers are praying for this 14 year old girl who survived an assassination attempt on her life and continues to be an inspiring force. She still faces daunting surgeries and a lengthy recovery period.

My Malala is the heart of our world – her goodness extending to the furthest corners of despair and providing much needed brightness. Books make up an essential part of her environment, reading and learning being a way to break away from whatever cages surround her. She receives her song from the birds and her strength from the tiger.

Beautiful. Powerful. Just like Malala.