medium /// paper




tiffanie turner

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May 4, 2016May 29, 2016. That’s how long paper artist Tiffanie Turner will be spending as the fabulous artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum in San Francisco! I had her on the podcast last year, while she was tucked away at another residency in a beautiful barn, and she talked about this… and now it’s finally here! If you’re in San Francisco, you can pop by to see “Nature Constructed”… you can see her giant flowers hung on the walls, watch her working on new pieces, talk about flowers, talk about paper, etc. And if talking’s not enough for you, you can get in on the flowery action:

During her month-long residency, museum visitors are invited to work on a giant communal botanical paper sculpture, learning how to stretch the paper into the proper shape and adhere it to the flower. The first two weeks will be spent creating something vibrant and beautiful, and the last two weeks will focus on taking the piece to a state of decay, inviting visitors to return to the gallery toward the end of the residency to see the piece’s transformation.

Beautiful, on every level. Pop by the museum if you can {tell her I say hi!}, and if you’re too far away then you can follow along on Instagram: #natureconstructedsf





maude white

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Hand. Cut. Paper. Mic drop.

This is the insanely meticulous work of American artist Maude White... I am completely in awe. Yep, she’s giving Mother Nature a run for her money with the delicate detail in these lovely white blooms. Sigh. So good.

{Some of Maude’s work is currently showing in “Bloom”, at Walker Contemporary in Vermont}





“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

 





bhavna mehta

BhavnaMehta

Beautiful paper cutting, dedicated to a beautiful human. This is the work of Indian born, US based paper cutting artist Bhavna Mehta. These exquisite pieces are from her 2012 series titled, “Malala Yousafzai”. Here, in her words, is the motivation behind this work:

[Malala Yousafzai] has become known around the world for her rigorous activism for children’s rights and education. All her well-wishers are praying for this 14 year old girl who survived an assassination attempt on her life and continues to be an inspiring force. She still faces daunting surgeries and a lengthy recovery period.

My Malala is the heart of our world – her goodness extending to the furthest corners of despair and providing much needed brightness. Books make up an essential part of her environment, reading and learning being a way to break away from whatever cages surround her. She receives her song from the birds and her strength from the tiger.

Beautiful. Powerful. Just like Malala.





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}





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}





shelley davies

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Gorgeous! These mixed media pieces {painting and paper-cutting} are the work of Canadian artist/illustrator Shelley Davies. I had to double check with her about these covers… were they real New Yorker covers? I know she’s created work for the cover of Uppercase Magazine before, and she had a long career in TV, film, and animation working with some very cool clients/people. Clearly I had to ask. Turns out they weren’t final covers, but the story of their creation is just as cool. This is a chunk of the email Shelley sent back to answer my question:

“My New Yorker covers were made a few years ago for New Yorker art editor Francoise Mouly’s site ‘Blown Covers’, which she started around the time her book of the same name was published. Her office was filled with art from all her illustrators (for any given cover, she sends out a theme and they all deliver an idea or five, she picks one for the cover and then finished art is produced), and she put all the rejects into a book, with anecdotes to go with. On her site, she asked the world at large to submit ideas for her chosen weekly themes, just as her own illustrators do. It was a privilege to get my work in front of the High Priestess of art direction, and she even chose a few of mine to highlight. Alas, no real cover came from it, but I had a ball, I got really good at creating their masthead (every week I cut out a new one, in paper and by hand, life-sized).

Love. Ok, so now the only thing left to do is get Shelley on the real cover… what do you think New Yorker?





“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

 





dan levin

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Wow, these are a big deal. Get it? Because they’re cards. Ok, this is the work of California based Dan Levin. I’ll let him tell you how this happened:

“I had these vintage decks of cards and I was fascinated by the history of them. I started cutting through them, kings’ and queens’ faces, but there was something missing. Almost by accident, I turned a deck upside down and looked at the patterns and said ‘wait a second’.”

Wait a second, indeed! Happy Friday

ps. If you want one of these beauties, visit his shop.





nicki crock

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“Dream House” … indeed! This stunning paper installation {yes, PAPER}, is the latest work from American artist Nicki Crock. I wrote about her series Tessellate in early 2015, but clearly this dreamy installation had to be shown too. Here are her words describing this lovely project:

A dream house is something to aspire to and long for. What better form could a daydream take shape in, than with something that we, as humans, already use to fulfill our imaginations: clouds.

Happy Monday.