medium /// embroidery




gao rong

Gasp! It’s like spirograph come to life … with thread! This is the dizzying work of Chinese artist Gao Rong. A lot of her work involves “assimilating entire replicas of cars, tables, washing machines and other household objects in fabrics”, but this 2016 series took her in a more circular direction:

“A new direction in her oeuvre is an expansion of her fine embroidery practice, where she weaves abstract shapes across wooden hoop frames, looking at the intersections between domestic and public spaces. These works premiered in her second solo show in the U.S., “The Simple Line,” at Klein Sun Gallery.” 

Beautiful, right? Well, just wait until you see these beauties installed:

You’re welcome ♥





“where our happiness lives”

The title of this episode sort of says it all. Following what excites you / what makes you happy, will create work that excites you / makes you happy… and for Los Angeles based artist Michelle Kingdom, that happens to be telling stories with thread. I already admired her work so much, but finding out that she’s not only a well-known contemporary artist whose work is shown in galleries all over the world, Michelle is ALSO a full-time preschool teacher and the mother of a teenage daughter?! Well, the admiration went through the roof! When does she sleep? Apparently, she doesn’t. Listen right up there under “Life Will Divide Us”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, just a whole bunch of Michelle’s work that I love… plus closeups, because who doesn’t wanna see closeups!?:

Yep. Those stitches, the stories, all of the stuff. Love.

Next up, this is the benefit of following Michelle on Instagram… you get to see everything that goes into each meticulous piece:

Seriously, I don’t know how she has the patience to do this kind of work… but I’m really happy she does!

You know who else is happy? Pillow Talk, the band that used “What Is Done Cannot Be Undone” for the cover of their latest album:

So. Cool.

Also cool {and admittedly a personal dream of mine}, a full feature in Hi-Fructose Magazine:

Gah! Ridiculously cool.

Now, I think this is so important to show, and so great that Michelle has these pieces on her website. These are some of her older works – the pieces she mentioned that were stitched onto little bits of silk and other random fabric {and shown to no one for years}:

Oh, so fascinating to see where she began her artistic journey, and my goodness, how far she’s come!

And finally, I obviously had to include the red Mary-Janes, and maybe just a couple of photos of Michelle in action too:

Love love love. Gigantic thanks to Michelle for taking time away from her insanely busy life to talk to me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode {FYI: Saatchi’s hosting “The Other Art Fair” in LA this weekend so check it out if you’re in town}; and big old thanks to you for listening. There will be more Art For Your Ear next Saturday.

ps. Also, a super huge gigantic THANK YOU to my amazing husband/producer, Greg, who edited this podcast from a hotel room in Toronto so there’d be an episode this weekend! xoxo

Other links:

  1. Michelle’s show in New York at Foley Gallery, April 4 – May 13
  2. Michelle on Instagram

 





ying chew

In. Awe. This is the elegant, meticulous, and kind of haunting work {hand embroidery, petit point on cotton} of Australia-based artist Ying Chew. All of these lovely faces look like they have stories to tell … and quite a few secrets to keep. Beautiful.





diane meyer

Yes, fine, I am absolutely dating myself by loving these pieces so much. In fact that could very well be my first grade class {ok, it’s not, but it totally could be}. This is the work of Los Angeles based artist Diane Meyer. I wrote about her in 2013 but this ongoing series, titled “TIME SPENT THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE FORGOTTEN”, is just too good not to follow-up on…

“In the series, cross stitch embroidery has been sewn directly into family photographs. The images are broken down and reformed through the embroidery into a hand-sewn pixel structure. As areas of the image are concealed by the embroidery, small, seemingly trivial details emerge while the larger picture and context are erased. I am interested in the disjunct between actual experience and photographic representation and photography’s ability to supplant memory. By borrowing the visual language of digital imaging with an analog process, a connection is made between forgetting and digital file corruption. The tactility of the pieces also references the growing trend of photos remaining primarily digital- stored on cell phones and hard drives, but rarely printed out into a tangible object.”

Brilliant, nostalgic, lovely. I have to go find my Raggedy Ann doll now.





danielle clough

“What a Racket” … yes! This is a series by South African artist Danielle Clough. I love the work, but I think the statement that she’s posted along side these flower-covered tennis rackets might be the best thing ever:

“WHAT A RACKET – Does this count as being interested in sport?” ~ Danielle Clough

HA! Hilarious and beautiful… a perfect combination. Some of Danielle’s work is part of group show that opens TOMORROW NIGHT in Philadelphia. Paradigm Gallery and HAHA Magazine bring you “Deemed A Canvas”. The show opens Friday January 26th, 5:30 – 10pm at Paradigm {746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor – Philadelphia, PA} *Other participating artists: Kaplan Bunce, Danielle Clough, Ellen Greene, My Dog Sighs, Bunnie Reiss, Brooks Salzwedel, Suzanna Scott, Ruby Silvious, and Jasjyot Singh Hans.





ulla-stina wikander

Discarded household items covered lovingly in discarded cross-stitch embroideries. LOVE. This is the work of Swedish artist Ulla-Stina Wikander, and this is her story behind this body of work:

”For more then 10 years I have collected cross-stitch embroideries and today I have quite a big collection with over 100 different designs. These embroideries have mostly been made by women and is seen as kitsch and regarded pretty worthless. I think that sometimes they are really beautiful and I want to bring them back to life. In 2012 I started to cover ordinary household things from the 70s, like a sewing machine, vaccuum cleaner, electric mixer etc. I find it interesting to see how these objects transforms in a new context; the obsolete, the things we do not want any longer, the old and forgotten things. I give them a second life and although I cut the embroideries into pieces, I still think they look very beautiful, when the objects has been ”dressed up”. 

Perfect.

{found via Create Magazine’s Instagram feed}





“restless curiosity”

Portraits, embroidery, and street art… well that’s one of the best combinations I’ve ever seen! I am thrilled that I got to talk to Mexican artist Victoria Villasana. She truly is full of restless curiosity – a creative person her entire life, searching for the work that felt right to her. Yep, she found it! We’re talking about design, fashion, motherhood, perseverance and whether or not we care about Prince Harry getting engaged. You can listen right up there under those colorful yarn tears, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, some of her street art pieces in and around London, including odes to Mohammad Ali and David Bowie:

YES! Yarn… on the street. How would these beauties not catch your eye?!

Next, this is the collaboration she did with fashion photographer Dario Vazquez and Spanish street artist Misterpiro, London 2015:

Seriously. So, so good.

Ok, here’s what she’s been putting up in Mexico since she returned home over a year ago:

Oooh, I love the tiny ones. That said, she also does some very big work. Here are a few examples of her pieces that hang on walls inside, and note the scale of some of them:

Um, yeah, I had to include that last amazing piece… those orange glasses? The scale? LOVE. That is actor Luis Gerardo Méndez standing literally in the middle of Victoria’s installation of Mexican movie director Guillermo del Toro at WeWork in Mexico City. Unbelievably cool… as is Victoria:

One more thing I had to do… finish things off with this Shakespearean luchador. I just found it on her Instagram feed and thought it was a perfect combo of the places she’s called home … to date. She may have to add Japan to that list one day! Thank you so much to Victoria for talking to me (and agreeing to be in my new book!); thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Pablo Delgado, Mexican street artist
  2. TED Talks
  3. Victoria’s Instagram feed

 





victoria villasana

… but wait, there’s more! Embroidery work in the street? Oh YES!

Gorgeous. This is the embroidery infused work of Mexican artist Victoria Villasana. If you recognize her name it’s probably because she was a prolific street artist for a decade in London, known for “her rebellious femininity and cross-cultural imagery.” Embroidery on the street and in the gallery? Yes, yes, a thousand times YES. Colorful, powerful, and beautifully executed.

{via Patternbank}





jane denton … and a give-away!

… and the winner is… Ngaio Blackwood! Thanks so much to everyone who entered, and of course thanks to Jane for being so generous!

………………………………………

Ooooh, brand new EMBROIDERY work by New Zealand based artist Jane Denton. Yep, I had to put that in caps so you’d realize this is in fact EMBROIDERY, not graphic prints. I’ve written about her before {and she was on the podcast}, and her colors were much brighter back then. These dreamy, quiet, barely there beauties are my new faves! Now, are you thinking to yourself, “wait, isn’t the first photo in this post the same as the last photo?” Why, yes, yes it is. That’s because Jane would like to give that piece to one of you! Oh Kiwis, they’re so sweet. Just leave a comment below and I’ll select one winner on Monday October 23rd. Good luck, and happy weekend!





sarah detweiler

In case you’re wondering, yes, those geometric bits are embroidery surrounding those beautiful washy women… GAH! So beautiful. This is the work of American artist Sarah Detweiler. Some of her pieces are available in her Etsy shop. After you pop over there, I’d highly recommend following her on Instagram. Gorgeous finished pieces, works in progress, and lovely little videos of both. Dreamy.