medium /// contemporary




kirsten beets

Mermaids and unicorns + oil paint on paper … I could not be more in love with the work of South African artist Kirsten Beets. Simple shapes, gorgeous white space, and oh, those lovely little beach-goers! They look like collages, no? I was totally smitten the moment I saw those beautifully painted turquoise shapes, but yes, the unicorn floaties sealed the deal. Happy Friday!

{Be sure to check out her Instagram feed too}





susanna bauer


Collections of connections! Sigh… I am never not in awe of German born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer. If you happen to be in Geneva Switzerland at the moment {lucky you} you can see Susanna’s new solo show, titled “Connections”, opening tonight at Le Salon vert {runs until June 10, 2017}. And, speaking of connections, I had to include part of her artist statement because it’s almost as beautiful as her work:

“There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.”

Lovely, on so many levels.

*photos by art-photographers.co.uk





martine johanna

Electric palettes, beautifully painted faces, and oh, that key line kitty! This is the latest body of work from Amsterdam based artist Martine Johanna. All of these acrylic paintings, are from her latest solo show, titled “SOMETHING’S WRONG”. It opens tomorrow night, Thursday May 4th, in New York at Massey Lyuben Gallery.  The opening reception is from 6-8pm, but if you can’t make it to the party, the show will be up until June 10th… but I’d vote for going to the party!  RSVP :  info@masseylyuben.com





marina dunbar

Oooh, juicy! I just wrote about Belarus-born, US-based artist Marina Dunbar’“Horizon” series a few months ago, but earlier this week she sent me an update … those horizons have now found themselves on wooden circles! I love the rectangles but, I have to say, these circular pieces truly flow! Layers of multicolored resin overlapping to create ocean-like depth… dreamy.





vanessa hogge

Dahlias, chrysanthemums, and hydrangeas, oh my! These lovely porcelain blooms are part of “Wallflowers”, a series by London based ceramicist Vanessa Hogge. The detail is gorgeous, and the reason …  “she takes an instinctive, visceral approach to each piece, painstakingly sculpting every petal and anther by hand so that no two flowers are identical.” Ahhh, hundreds of handmade petals! I wish I had that kind of patience, but, I do not. No, I choose to spend that kind of time staring at work like Vanessa’s. Happy first day of May!





“bit of a pencil snob”

The moral of this episode … show your work to random people in pubs because it could be life changing. London based artist, and self-described ‘pencil snob’, Nettie Wakefield is my insanely talented guest today. Listen right up there under that polka-dotty birthday girl, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, her “Reversed Portrait” series. Absolutely stunning – I cannot imagine getting a pencil to do this. Here are a few of my favorites, and one of them just might be Nettie herself:

Any guesses? Ok, I’ll tell you… that final drawing above is a “reversed self-portrait” of Nettie. Lovely.

Next, “Brandy the Blow up Doll” … she’s lovely too. But in a, hm, different way:

So cool! I love that she pushed herself into the world of sculpture. I’m very curious to see if her sculpture work continues.

Ok, now this is just crazy and surreal. These are a few of the drawings she did at Dismaland. Yes, that’s right… by showing her portfolio to a random guy at a pub, she ended up drawing reversed portraits at Banksy’s Dismaland. What? Who does that happen to? Answer: Nettie.

Unbelievably cool. Speaking of which, look at that close-up?! …… ok, stop looking because I have more to show you. Here’s the piece she did for Context in New York {CONTEXT Art fair NYC / Corey Helford Gallery / Pier 94} :

Sigh. That one might be my favorite reversed portrait in Nettie’s portfolio… well, maybe a close second to Liz:

Yes! This was part of a project in London to honor Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday … and in case you aren’t aware, I  have a strange obsession with images of the Queen. It might be a Canadian thing?

Finally, a lovely photo of Nettie – the front of her, not the back of her head:

Beautiful. Thank you so much to Nettie for telling me her story, and sharing a few chopped out secrets! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and as always thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Nettie on Instagram
  2. Banksy
  3. Dismaland
  4. Shepard Fairey
  5. Art Below

 





sideline collective

Ahhh, what a relief… I can feel my shoulders dropping and my brain relaxing. This series, titled “Nothing In The News”, is the work of Sideline Collective – art by Joseph Ernst. Here’s the description:

“We live in a world of constant sensory overload. 24 hours a day we are bombarded with information in real time by every media outlet and platform competing for our attention, one pop-up notification at a time.

And we play ball. We invest hours on end staring at our mobile devices. We want to know what’s going on, the why and the how. We need to know. But in our perpetual quest to fill every spare minute of our time searching for something meaningful, we learn nothing. We are so busy filling every waking moment with things to watch and do, and learn and listen to, that we have forgotten what it is like to just be. To sit around and think. To switch off and be bored. To daydream.

This project offers a little respite to all this information overload.

Yes, we live in particularly sensitive times. Times where the truth really matters, and where newspapers have a more important role to play in modern democracies than ever before. But for a society addicted to breaking news, gossip, and celebrity status, to Facestagram and Twapchat, the latest trends, and the top tens, to sports punditry, conspiracy theories, cat videos, and ridiculous amounts of porn … for this cultural precipice, we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: “Nothing”. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.”

Aaaand exhale, if only for a moment. Happy Friday.

{These empty newspapers are available, while quantities last, in Sideline’s shop.}





njideka akunyili crosby

Oh, I love these so much. Large-scale, jaw-dropping work that combines collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers – and, of course, I had to include that gorgeous pink portrait too! This is the work of Nigerian-born, Los Angeles based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Here’s a description taken from Victoria Miro {London}, the gallery that represents her work:

“Drawing on art historical, political and personal references, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates densely layered figurative compositions that, precise in style, nonetheless conjure the complexity of contemporary experience. Akunyili Crosby was born in Nigeria, where she lived until the age of sixteen. In 1999 she moved to the United States, where she has remained since that time. Her cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of her birth and to her adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in her work.”

Only in her early 30s, Njideka is having record-breaking success… you know, successes like selling this piece, titled “The Beautyful Ones”, at Christie’s for $3.1 million last month:

GAH!!!!! Congratulations, Njideka!





claire coles

“A contemporary take on chinoiserie wallpapers, producing unique and luxurious embroideries that transform walls into works of art.” Exactly! Oh my word, this is the gorgeous work of London based artist Claire Coles. Could you imagine having your walls covered in this kind of art? Exotic birds, flowers in full bloom, and elegant embroidery living in perfect harmony! Here is a little blurb about her process, materials etc:

“Claire designs and handcrafts couture wallpaper murals and appliqué artworks. Papers, silks and leathers are collaged and freehand embroidered to create a range of decorative surface patterns inspired by flora and fauna. Claire uses the sewing machine as others would use a pen or a pencil in a loose and fluid way, intricately stitching her motifs together. All designs are handmade in her London studio.”

Sigh. Lovely.





amanda marchand

What? Yep, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw this work by Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Marchand. The answer is: photographs, and a dreamy series titled “because the sky”. Sigh… pink skies and black suns, a perfect combination. Happy Tuesday.