medium /// contemporary

mark todd

FAKE RECORDS! Oh my word I love them so much. Glossy paint on cut wood, and some of the best titles in town! I was lucky enough to see this series, by LA based artist/illustrator Mark Todd, in progress. I stopped by Mark’s studio when I visited LA in February, and fell madly in love with his totally fake record collection… or maybe it was ‘Nick Sweet’ and his mustache that made my heart race {although, I have a feeling he’d really mess things up}. All of these pieces are currently hanging in, “DON’T GO TO HELL WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE” at the Webb Gallery in Texas. The show just opened yesterday and will be up until June 2, 2017. Go if you can because the photos do not do these hit records justice!

“humor, how-tos, and hindsight”

So, if you listen to my podcast, you know I’ve got a soft spot for funny art… combine that with hand-lettering, gouache, and some tacky cats and I’m all IN. I discovered the wonderfully kitschy work of Melbourne based artist Anna Hoyle last spring. Her paintings of book covers are hilarious and beautiful and I had to find out how and why she makes them. There also appeared to be a major detour in style and career around 2005 so I wanted to ask about that too, and I did. Listen right up there under that little hound with bad hair, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of my faves:

So much LOVE!

Now, here are her ink drawings from 2000-2005 that she was showing quite a lot. Gorgeous but so different than her work now:

She mentioned adding a bit of color when she started getting tired of black and white only, but it wasn’t enough for her. Enter her stacks of books painted in bright, beautiful gouache:

Oh, those little legs! And yes, this work finally allowed her to bring her sign painting skills into her fine art work. A few “sluggish frumps”, “Painting à la mode”, and of course, “Painting is for Pussies”.

Here are a few of her totally fictional, totally fabulous book covers … price tags and all:


Gah! I love everything, especially that last one! We talked a bit about why she loves books, but she sent me a follow-up email to explain it further, so I’ve included that here:

“I chose to paint books because they are gorgeous objects, but more importantly, they have this threatened and precarious quality in the digital age. I like to paint ‘how to’ and ‘why’ research kinda books because they are the very books that no one really turns to in the age of youtube/google … but, the whole point of my books are that they are about ridiculous, absurd subjects to research anyway.” 

Speaking of which…

Ha! Yes! Anna says she has plans for this jailed kale, so we’ll have to keep an eye on her shop!

During the Not-So-Speedy Speed Round™, I asked her if she was a “cat person” or a “dog person”… she answered “dog person”, but you can see why I wouldn’t be certain either way:

Kitschy cats and lots o’ hounds… her birds are fantastic too!

And finally, I asked if she could send me a few images from her childhood drawings, and what she dug up was hilarious! Turns out, Anna’s been “taking the piss” out of old advertisements, playing with funny text, and using bright colors longer than she realized:

“Beauty without the Beast” … HAHAHA! Sigh. Such a perfect way to wrap up this episode. Thank you so much to Anna for sharing her story {and seriously, how is she not already a full time illustrator!? Agencies, brands, etc… CALL. HER.} Thank you as always to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and BIG thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Anna’s Print Shop
  2. Maira Kalman
  3. “Middlesex” by Jeffery Eugenides
  4. Thea Astley, Australian writer

maz dixon

Do you love spray tans, red swimsuits, and giant pineapples? Well then have I got an artist for you! These mixed media collages are the work of Australian artist Maz Dixon. I wrote about her paintings, also featuring large fruit, waaaay back in 2013... 4 years without mentioning big pineapples? That just seems much too long. Oh, and if you happen to be in Sydney, keep your eyes open for Maz’s Bondi wall mural

When you see the big pineapple, you’ll know you’ve found the right spot! Happy Friday!

alexandra levasseur

Sigh. So hauntingly beautiful. I wrote about Montreal based artist Alexandra Levasseur just over four years ago, and yesterday I came across the final piece above on Thrive Studio’s Instagram feed. I may have gasped out loud when I saw that pierced apple. Sigh… again.

brian fitzgerald

“Bounce Bounce” … the accidental epic adventure of a super cute bug. This is the work of Irish artist / illustrator Brian Fitzgerald. I love his illustration style, but what I love even more is this email he sent me a few days ago:

… I’d like to share a little on the inner critic. In 2013 it was at its worst and I was about to give up on illustration having been one for forever. I spotted a Competition called the Silent Book Contest in Italy and decided to give illustrating one last go. I did however make some rules for myself before starting and stuck by them all the way. One of them was that Brian the child should write the story and Brian the adult wasn’t allowed to make any changes no matter what. I wrote the story that day and in the evening Brian the adult started to pick flaws in the story. Thanks to the rule, I never allowed Brian the adult to impose and I went ahead and won the Silent Book 2014 in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I guess my bully is Brian the adult and my creative is Brian the child. They get along thanks to the success and teamwork. Thanks for reading … Brian (the child)

I’m so glad that “Brian the adult” figured that out… and ended up on his very own epic adventure!

{And in case you’re wondering, “Can I buy this beautiful book!?” … yes, yes you can: buy it right here}

lucila biscione

Bunnies in hot air balloons, girls on stilts, and a few creatures I could only hope to see in my dreams. Weird ‘n wonderful worlds created with layers of very carefully cut paper, ink and graphite. This is the magical work of Argentina-born, Berlin-based artist Lucila Biscione. Love.

lucia dill

A few years ago I accidentally saw the work of California based artist Lucia Dill. I was walking through the studios at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and peeked into her space. Chairs, everywhere! Well, I just popped by her site today and was thrilled to find even more! She uses folding chairs to “convey relationships, interactions, and body language” often observing people in coffee shops and cafes. As a huge fan of eavesdropping in cafes, I wonder if those lovely tags reference what Lucia may have overheard, or if it’s the positioning of the chairs after the coffee drinkers have gone home that inspires an imagined conversation. Hm. {Lucia, if you read this, let us know!}

{Some of this work is available in her shop}

“an opportunistic optimist”

This post is filled to the brim with so much amazing work, AND such an interesting back story! From a dairy farm, to art school, to working in flooded basements to selling huge installations in New York. Yep, Molly Hatch has seen it all. Of course, so has Molly Hatch Studio. That’s right, she has a few lives happening at once. No.1 commercial artist designing ceramics for companies like Anthropologie, The Land of Nod, Target … No.2 Fine artist creating huge, detailed, amazing installation work … No.3 Mother to a sweet six year old girl. I’m not sure when she sleeps, but she claims she does. You can listen right up there under Molly installing one of her ‘plates as paintings’ pieces,  or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of her pieces that you might recognize {and that Mick might like, since they’re blue!}

Ahh, the teacup mug. And that vase… I need that vase!

Next, stepping back a tiny bit, these were a few of the pieces in her show at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia a year after completing her MFA {2010}:

Ah, yes… back where it all began!

So during that time there was a lot of hard work, and not a lot of money. I loved this story… not the poor part, but the hard work part… oh, and that very well-timed email she got from Anthropologie. She’s been working with them for years now, and here are a few of my recent faves:

Clearly, I’m going to need that unicorn mug. And the dachshund.

So, from functional pieces that can be found on shelves in lovely stores around the world, to breathtaking installation art that hangs in galleries and museums around the world. This is the piece she was talking about that is permanently installed in the lobby of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta:

Ooh, I would love to see that in person!

Now, If you happen to be in New York you could pop by Todd Merrill Studio, the gallery Molly’s been working with for the last few years. Here are just some of her insane fine art pieces:


Right?! Oh my word – so much talent in one person.

And finally, you’ll be happy to know that Molly’s no longer working in a flooded apartment basement {wearing rain boots with her supplies in tubs}, now she works HERE:

What the wha! Gorgeous and so well-deserved. Here’s to being an “opportunistic optimist”, and saying yes to all of the amazing things that come along with that outlook. Thank you so much to Molly for sharing her story – the good, the bad, the hustle, all of it. Thank you as always 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. Molly Hatch Instagram / Molly Hatch Studio Instagram
  2. RISD
  3. Museum School, Boston
  4. Kathy King, Ceramics 
  5. Miranda Thomas, Pottery
  6. Michael Cardew / Ara Cardu
  7. Rebecca Louise Law episode
  8. University of Colorado 
  9. Betty Woodman
  10. Beth Lipman
  11. Bennington Art Museum
  12. Land of Nod, Molly’s collection
  13. Studio images via Molly’s home tour on Apartment Therapy


casey gray

I had to include that studio shot so that you’d believe me when I told you these are paintings … aerosol paint and laborious, hand cut masking techniques making paint feel almost digital. Amazing. This is the work of  San Francisco based artist Casey Gray, and here’s why he does what he does the way he does it:

In the internet-age of cultural production, collections of mass objects can often stand in for genuine individuality. As images stream in and out of our news feeds, mobile apps, and internet searches, we are granted access to an unprecedented array of content divorced from its context or origin. Individual images become malleable and interchangeable within this visual framework. Casey Gray is interested in how people process and manage this visual overload. He aims to create work that explores and emphasizes the collision of visual experiences inherent to the contemporary landscape, and in the process find a deeper understanding of himself.

If you happen to be in San Francisco, Casey has a solo show, titled “Double Knotted”opening at Hashimoto Contemporary tomorrow night – April 1 from 6pm – 9pm {runs until April 22}.

marina siero

You’d think that Barcelona based artist Marina Siero would describer herself as a collage artist given these gorgeous pieces, but no, she is a filmmaker … who happens to also do collage. COLLAGE THAT I LOVE! Speaking of love, this piece titled “Feminismo”:

Hell, yes.