medium /// contemporary




mike ryczek

mike_ryczek

Quiet, beautiful, mundane, everyday-ness… that makes my heart skip a beat. This is the work {oil on masonite} of American painter Mike Ryczek. Sigh. Perfect for a Monday.





“a giant game of telephone… with art”

sallytaylor1

In late 2012, I got an email from an American singer/songwriter named Sally Taylor. She was beginning to plan what she described as “a giant game of telephone, but with art”, and could I suggest a few visual artists that might be able to create something based on a piece of music she’d send them… um, YES! It sounded fun, creative, and amazing… and it was! In 2014 Consenses opened to the public in Martha’s Vineyard, and today I get to ask Sally the ins and outs of this giant project. You can listen right up there under lovely Sally, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First things first, we quickly have to talk about her parents, because:

sallytaylor2

Yep, Sally is the daughter of American music icons, Carly Simon and James Taylor. For real. As you can imagine, I had a few questions about that too! She obviously comes from an insanely creative family {her brother Ben is a musician too} which I’m sure fueled this big beautiful project. Speaking of which, here’s a peek behind the doors at Consenses. I wish I’d been there for the opening, but my hope is to be there for the closing this coming August {if you’re anywhere near Martha’s Vineyard you should go!}:

sallytaylor3

Ahhh, so much goodness in one spot! So basically the way it works – there are “chains” of creativity. So a musician writes a piece of music, and an artist would make a painting based on that song. Next, a dancer would create choreography inspired by the visual art. A perfumer could respond to that dance, developing a perfume that would tell the same story, but through scent. This is not one of the official “chains” but it’s a selection of work from Consenses that I LOVE:

sallytaylor4

Amazing. {Did you see Lisa Golightly and Susanna Bauer in there?!} Each chain was then housed in a customized set designed by, you guessed it, a set designer. Seriously, just the coolest project ever. So, what do you do after you create such a cool project? A TEDx Talk, obviously:

sallytaylor5

This is such a great talk… and she looks fabulous to boot! Apparently she only got two lunges into her backstage “get the nerves out workout”, but you’d never be able to tell. She did a wonderful job. Watch here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sung backup vocals on Letterman for my Dad, or hung out with Oprah and Stephen Colbert with my mom… but Sally has:

sallytaylor6

Crazy cool! I loved her story about being on Letterman and her “Jolly Green Giant” outfit! Thank you so much to Sally for generously sharing her funny, insightful stories; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. I cannot believe I’m willingly posting these, but just so you don’t think my description was off… here’s proof. Me. Age 11. Mistaken for a boy. A lot. *note the white California glasses and yellow terry cloth shorts. Yowza:

sallytaylor7

Other links:

  1. Consenses Documentary
  2. Mass MOCA 
  3. Consenses School Project
  4. Oprah clip
  5. Letterman clip

 





naomi okubo

naomi_okubo

Sigh. This is the stunning work of Tokyo based artist Naomi Okubo. I wrote about her a little over two years ago and as you can see by these paintings, I had to write again. These are self-portraits… in plural. Yes, that’s Naomi at her own art show in the two top pieces, titled “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE #1” & “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE #2”. Here is her latest artist statement:

“… The ideas for my work come from an inferiority complex and my experiences in adolescence. As an adolescent, everyone starts to care about how other people think of their appearances. In my personal experiences, when I changed my own image, people changed their attitude toward me. They started to concern me, and our relationship became better. I also realized the power of fashion and the fear of other’s watchful eyes. I have been interested in appearances ever since … Although it seems like a personal issue, it is connected to greater problems and inconsistencies in society.”

Thanks to Period – Art by Women for bringing my attention back to Naomi’s work. Love!





megan hildebrand

meghanhildebrand

Mysterious monsters hanging out in magical forests… ah yes, just another day in the Canadian woods! This is the fantastic work of British Columbia based painter Megan Hildebrand. All of these pieces {acrylic on canvas} are from her series, “Giants”… perhaps that’s because most of these pieces are at least three or four feet, or maybe it’s an ode to those hairy guys living in the trees? Either way, I’m totally in love.





thomas gromas

thomasgromas

Big layered text sculptures… yes… pinch me, I must be dreaming! This is the work of Belgian artist Thomas Gromas. I absolutely love these pieces, not only because they’re beautifully made, but they also come with a message that’s good for all of us to remember:

“…we’re always missing out on something, there’s always something we’re wishing for, we’re always looking for more. There is always a better place, a better thing. These are the themes I pursue; the fake reality , the manipulated environment, the artificial life … The repetition of words/text is a way to emphasize the idea behind it. It reflects the need we have of always wanting more and never being satisfied.”

Yeah. Why do we do that?

{via, and available on, Saatchi Art}





anna mcneil

annamcneil

This is the lovely work of Anna McNeil, a painter born in Scotland, and based just outside of Barcelona. With a few simple brushstrokes, and a beautifully muted color palette she has filled these canvases with goosebump-inducing emotion. Because love is love ♥





kyra schmidt

kyraschmidt

Ah, dreamy. This series, titled “Transcriptions”, is the work of American photographer Kyra Schmidt. I would love to be wandering through the forest, and turn a corner to find pink, nude, and lavender screens floating magically in the air. Ok, that will probably never happen, so I’ll just breathe deeply and look at these pieces. Here are Kyra’s words about this project:

“I collaborate with each environment using sun, rain, and other natural elements to produce views that are outside of our perception, only made visual through camera-less photographic recording processes. These prints are then superimposed with images of the landscapes within which they were created as a way to ground each piece within its origin. The digital “installations” of analogue processes serves as a way to explore how technology aids us in our navigation of the everyday and affects our physical and psychological perception of the world around us.”

Happy Monday.





“cute and poisonous”

kirstinlamb1

Paintings of installations, installations made from paintings, and a painted zebra rug? Yep, it’s safe to say that I’m totally in love with the work of Rhode Island based artist Kirstin Lamb. She has a library of painted “props” that she uses to create her own still life scenes… and a detailed glossary to go with it. Be still my organization-loving heart!  She has a literature degree from Brown, and a painting-focused MFA from RISD. She’s smart, thoughtful, and really into lists … so you know I’m going to love her! You can listen on the player right under that fabulous installation, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright first things first, Kirstin’s still life paintings. This work is inspired by her interest in Dutch Vanitas still life… but with a modern, weird, wonderful twist:

kirstinlamb2

Love! Those were the paintings I wrote about years ago, and yes, I still love them. I think it’s the portraits and cake… and ok, all of that meat too! So from 2D paintings that looked like 3D installations to 3D installations made from 2D paintings:

kirstinlamb3

I cannot get over how much I love this body of work. Paintings as props? So good. I told Kirstin that I really want to curate a show of her work… mainly so that I could pick from her vast library of painted “props” and then sit on the floor amongst them. That would be my happy place. Sigh. Alright, moving on. The evolution continues:

kirstinlamb4

Back to paintings on the wall, but now she’s painting the installations! Hello full circle! She’s creating her own still life set ups by first painting individual paintings, gathering props, setting it all up and then painting the scene. Beautiful, brilliant. So where does all of this magic happen? Take a look:

kirstinlamb5

Wow. I think sitting on her studio floor might be my other happy place. So. Much. Stuff! Thank you so much to Kirstin for talking to me {and inspiring me to index the meaning of everything in my studio}, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening… there will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bunker Projects, Residency
  2. Wassaic Artist Residency
  3. Portia Munson’s Pink Project
  4. “The Art of Teaching Art”
  5. Photography of Kirstin’s work {not studio} by Karen Philippi Photography

 





lauren mclaughlin

laurenmclaughlin

So, I just added a “submit your work” button to my site {look up and to your left}, and boy oh boy am I glad I did! That’s how I got my hands on these collages. They’re part of a series titled, Try Not To Overthink Things Dear’, by Scotland based artist Lauren McLaughlin. Clearly that title spoke to me immediately, as did the story that Lauren sent along with her submission:

“…I’m attaching a few collages from my most recent series titled ‘Try not to overthink things dear’ which were made as a response to the realisation that I was constantly overthinking what I was doing in my practice. After suffering from a creative block and massive confidence crusher of being rejected for several funding applications I decided to stop overthinking and just make…. so I locked myself in my studio for a week with a supply of vintage magazines, books and various cuttings I had collected over the past few months and these were the results.”

Yes, yes… YES!





michelle maguire

MichelleMaguire

Hand-printed images, Great-Aunt Doll, and a beautiful limited edition book titled Salami Dreamin’ – a not-precious artist’s book about family, cured meats, pro sports, and more. Oh. I’m so happy right now. This beautiful ode to Great-Aunt Doll is the work of Ohio based couple Michelle Maguire {images} and Aaron Beck {words}. I know what you’re thinking… Who is this Aunt Doll? I’ll hand it over to Michelle and Aaron:

“Aunt Doll, age 84, has lived in Canton, Ohio, her entire life. She curses, loves cured meats, knows more about the NFL than you do, plays strip mall slot machines with her vegetarian hairdresser of 42 years, isn’t trying to be funny but is, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, and frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread packing on the pounds. Aunt Doll makes the most if it. The gist of her story: enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Cleveland Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren’t here forever.”

Love. So much love. {ps. I included a few one-off prints in there too – something fantastic about screenprints that don’t line up.} Now, if you’re wondering… can I buy this book? What about the prints? Yes, yes you can! Pop over to their shop for all of your Salami Dreamin’ needs.