medium /// mixed media




“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

 





sanda anderlon

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Oh. Yes, yes, yes! I would happily pay a hefty admission fee to get into this insane jungle… clearly, I’d have to buy the week-long pass! So amazing. I’ve written about the large-scale collage work of Croatian artist Sanda Anderlon before – that was a party in a living room – this appears to a be a party in the jungle. Bunnies, chandeliers, hula dancers, and a rollercoaster … because every jungle obviously needs a rollercoaster. LOVE.

{Prints of this beauty are available in her shop}





cheryl sorg

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Um, yes… this is my kind of graffiti! Wait, can I call it that? Street art? Tagging with tape? I don’t know what to call it other than GORGEOUS! I have been carefully stalking, I mean watching, the evolution of California based artist Cheryl Sorg for awhile {hence most of these photos coming from her Instagram feed}. I’ve seen her working on these beautiful, colorful designs made from carefully cut metallic tape, and then just the other day… gasp! There they were on forgotten corners, concrete columns, skateparks, and under bridges. And I repeat… gasp!

ps. these are just her “minis”. Yeah, there are also really BIG ones ♥ 





lauren matsumoto

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Oh. Yes! Painting, drawing, and collage coming together to create the weirdest, most wonderful treetops. This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Lauren Matsumoto… sigh… I’m not really sure what else to say other than roller skates, and cameras, and birds, oh my! ♥ Happy Friday.

{Thanks to Uprise Art for pointing me to Lauren’s work}





joey slaughter

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Work like this makes me wish I could build stuff. These are the colorful, abstract constructions of American artist Joey Slaughter. What do they mean? What are they all about? Here’s his description:

“My paintings and constructions investigate the “look” of digital information as it is transmitted around us, providing an overabundance of stimuli and therefore, distractions. I create abstract works that references conversations, usually a direct communication between two people. I wonder how a simple conversation is absorbed between people, how they’re connected, and what the conversational wavelengths would look like. The main idea is to create abstractions from conversations if you could see sound waves from analogue and digital devices passing through and around people. I imagine it to be very chaotic, yet beautiful.”

Now I wish I knew what my conversations looked like AND that I could build stuff.

{via Fresh Paint Magazine}





lee mckenna

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Oh, I can almost smell these… not the flowers… all of that beautiful old paper! Sigh. These collages by Australian artist Lee McKenna are like found paper treasures. Bits and pieces from various places all coming together to create a new visual story… and seriously, am I the only one who knows exactly what that old paper smells like!? Here, in Lee’s words, is a description of this work:

“My collages embrace the imperfection of old, used, discarded and damaged paper. These papers depict moments in time – often bearing marks and traces of a past life and the human hand. I ‘rescue’ these unwanted fragments, creating layers and building connections into some sort of new, elusive and unpredictable thing. The process is wholly tactile – nothing is digital. I like the restrictions that this creates… the hand-cutting and gluing down, the use of only original papers and ephemera. Elements are added or removed, or covered over and reworked. Ideas and narratives may emerge, but often a series is initiated through the acquisition of a certain type of raw material – an old photo album, a stash of old maps, a pile of old postcards.”

Love.

{Most of this work is available via Boom Gallery, Australia}





“who doesn’t like a dinosaur”

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These are drawings. DRAWINGS. Yep, layers and layers of graphite drawings, and who knows what else, all trapped perfectly in carefully poured resin. I finally get to ask LA based artist Brooks Salzwedel the how, what and why behind his ethereal work. Listen right up there under that dreamy forest, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First of all, a few of my favorites. These are DRAWINGS:

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Oh my goodness. Note the yellowed tape… we talk about that a little later in the episode. Ok, these are the belt buckles that started things for Brooks:

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So cool, and selling out constantly. Not surprising… it’s gorgeous art for your pants!

I loved this next part… it was infectious to hear how excited he was about this residency in Alaska. Clearly “nature boy” was in his element. I found a bunch of great images from this trip in his Instagram feed:

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Ah, so beautiful. The image directly above is of Denali and was taken at 1am! Oh Alaskan nights. And that middle image is the “sideset” sunset he was talking about. I asked if any of those “sidesets” have made it into his work, and indeed they have! Here are a couple of examples:

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Sigh. Dreamy, mysterious, so beautifully done. Ok, now it’s time to look for hidden treasure. In quite a few of his pieces, Brooks will add little details… some with personal meaning, and some just for fun {because who doesn’t like a dinosaur}:

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Ah! I love those so much! The color, the details, the fog… all of it!

Now, as usual, the speed round led to a very interesting little tidbit. Guess who owns three of Brooks’ pieces… yep, the handsome and talented Jon Hamm:

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“Yeah, I own three of them. Jealous?” Yes. Yes, I am Mr.Draper. And lastly, one of my favorite things about talking to these artists … getting a peek into their studios:

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Gorgeous. I can almost smell the graphite and resin from here. Thank you so much to Brooks for downloading Skype just for us, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and as always a HUGE thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. ArtCenter College of Design, LA
  2. Good Eye Gallery, LA
  3. Hammer Museum
  4. Doom Generation 

 





lisa congdon

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Ready to dive in? Me too! “The Joy of Swimming”, by Portland based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon, hits shelves today! Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful hand-lettered quotes, and really interesting facts/stories about all things swimming. Lisa brings passion to everything she does, but this project is near and dear to her heart, because she’s been a swimmer since she was little … see:

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Aw, so cute! Congratulations Lisa… I’m so thrilled that you had a chance to totally jump into this project {see what I did there?}.  If you love swimming – or water, or beautiful artwork, or Lisa – pick up this lovely book. Oh, and Lisa is going on the road with this one so if you want to meet her/have your book signed, you can find her right here:

April 26, 7-9 pm California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
Strand Books (NYC)
May 11, 7-9 pmPowerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 9-10:30 am Creative Mornings (Minneapolis)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland)
May 24 7-9 pmUniversity Bookstore (Seattle)





rachael grant

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Stacks of weird stuff beautifully hand-cut and layered perfectly… yep, that’s my jam! This is the collage work of Tennessee based artist Rachael Grant. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to cut out mushrooms and fish for the rest of the day. Happy Monday.





“organizing the fray”

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I am very excited about this. Vancouver based artist Sarah Gee Miller is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is so talented (and self-taught by the way), incredibly generous, one of the only people I truly feel comfortable talking to about my own work… and she bakes a mean blueberry muffin. Sarah and I cover everything in this interview – from a life-altering accident she was in at 15, to finding her way to an art career decades later. A lot of you have been asking me to make these episodes longer, so Sarah and I just kept talking and talking! I loved every minute of this conversation (but be warned, there are a few bleeped out swear words in there… shocking, I know.) You can listen right up there, under that perfect circular drawing, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s get things started with the first of Sarah’s work that I ever saw… big, beautiful, perfectly-cut circles of paper:

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So gorgeous! Photos don’t do them justice. They’re really big, and really bright, so seeing them in person takes your breath away. Here are the two “city block” pieces she was talking about (there’s a bit of a glare because she had already mounted them/put plexiglass on them before taking the photos):

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Oh. I love them so much. And because I just can’t get enough of her circles, here are a few recent pieces in progress/moments before they were shipped off to shows:

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I love those studio shots… pre-mounting, just hanging out on her sunlit floor. Ok, now, moving on to the drawing machine! Yes, Sarah built her own revolving drawing machine, and luckily for me, she invited me over to try it out:

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So fun! I wish I could take credit for the drawings above, but alas, those ones were created with Sarah’s expert hand. I made a few that were ok… I was just happy to get out of there without being sick (that machine makes you dizzy!). I left there with the pieces I made AND that beautiful piece she gave me as a gift (that now sits above my fireplace beside “Rosie”, my pink doe by Rachel Denny)

Next, the pieces she’s been working on lately. These ones aren’t paper, but styrene (a type of plastic), that she cuts and then paints:

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So much work. So much careful work. We talked about how meticulous her pieces are, and the fact that she works on the floor… both of which sort of blow my mind considering the devastating accident she was in as a teenager. But, she tells me that being on her knees and working on the floor is much more comfortable than standing or sitting. Whatever works, Sarah, whatever works! I think her story is so inspiring. She’s overcome so much, and even though she suffers from chronic pain she is such a joyful person. See…

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Jumping over art and drinking champagne on the floor. That’s how you do it! And finally, in the speed round I asked her to clarify a myth about cats. I think she lied to me though. Note the proof I found on her Instagram feed:

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Ah-ha, I knew it! Cats do lie on your supplies/work! Busted. Oh well, they’re cute so we’ll leave that alone. Thanks so much to Sarah for taking an hour and a half (?!) out of her day to do this with me, 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. Jessica Bell
  2. Ben Skinner
  3. Zoe Pawlak
  4. Wayne White
  5. Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto