medium /// photography

ole marius joergensen

“Icy Blondes” is a series by Norwegian photographer Ole Marius Joergensen… yes, photographer. Did you think these were paintings? Me too. In this series, his bizarre, narrative, painterly photographs capture what appear to be some very intense cinematic moments inspired by Hitchcock’s femme fatales:

“The well-know US film critic Roger Ebert observed that Alfred Hitchcock’s leading ladies, ‘reflected the same qualities over and over again. They were blonde. They were icy and remote. They were imprisoned in costumes that subtly combined fashion and fetishism. They mesmerized the men, who often had physical or psychological handicaps.”

Well, beware the icy blonde, I guess. Happy Monday.

lorraine o’grady

This is a peek into “Miscegenated Family Album” by Lorraine O’Grady. She chose 16 diptychs {7 shown here} from 65 image pairs of slides – comparing her sister Devonia, Nefertiti, and their families – that she had projected behind a performance piece she did in 1980. Lorraine retired the performance in 1988, but luckily she allowed the work to live on through this gorgeous album that she assembled in 1994. Amazing. But wait, I can’t stop there… I have to include her insanely inspiring bio too:

Born in Boston in 1934 to West Indian parents, O’Grady came to art late. Mlle Bourgeoise Noire and Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline in 1980 were her first public art works. After majoring in economics and Spanish literature at Wellesley, she studied in the fiction program of the Iowa Writers Workshop and had several careers: as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. government, a literary and commercial translator with her own agency, and for a time as a rock critic for The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Ultimately, this broad background contributed to a distanced and critical view of the art world when she entered it and to an unusually eclectic attitude toward art-making. In O’Grady’s work, the idea tends to come first, and then a medium is employed to best execute it. The work’s intellectual content is rigorous and political, but its form is often characterized by heightened beauty and elegance.

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.

“never say never”

I literally have no idea where to start this week. When your guest is a photographer, filmmaker, installation artist, curator, maker, and general renaissance woman it’s hard to find a place to jump in… so we started at the beginning and covered a fraction of the projects that this woman has been involved with. Yep, I’m talking to American artist, curator etc., Faythe Levine. Listen right up there under that very wise photograph, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, a few of her photographs, as Faythe always documents where life takes her:

Ahhhh, dreamy. Up next, a project that if you haven’t seen, you should … her film, followed by a book of the same title, “Handmade Nation”:

It’s so good, and it really is a like a time capsule from those early maker days when everything DIY exploded! Ok, next amazing project. “Sign Painters”, once again a documentary and book:

Faythe and Sam Macon did such a beautiful job on this film. If you haven’t seen it, see it!

Next, the most recent book Faythe put together… an unpublished play written by her friend Merril Mushroom. The play, and now the book, is titled “Bar Dykes”:

There are so many of Faythe’s projects to cover (and we haven’t even discussed the tip of the iceberg?!), but I didn’t want to miss this… Art vs. Craft, a juried show that she organized and ran for ten years (2003-2013) in Milwaukee:

Don’t you want to jump into that photo and do some art shopping!? Me too. And finally, a few very cool photos to go with Faythe’s very cool story… tattoos and new gold tooth included:

Babe. Thank you so much to Faythe for taking a break from her new 9 to 5 life as Assistant Curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center to talk to me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Etsy
  2. Renegade Craft Fair
  3. Faythe on Instagram


thirza schaap

“Plastic Ocean” is, unfortunately, an ongoing series by Thirza Schaap. While her compositions and palettes are beautiful, her supplies are tragic. Here is her statement about this important project:

“As a child, I would walk over beaches and through fields and forests to collect beautiful shells, shimmering stones, feathers and funnily shaped branches. Much later, after I had moved from Holland to South Africa, I found myself doing the same thing. Only to discover, that I started filling my pockets with trash instead of treasure. Plastic from the Ocean – colourful and beautiful in its own tragic way. 

‘Plastic Ocean’ is an art project, which I started to create awareness around pollution to try and prevent (or at least reduce) the use of plastic. In making artistic sculptures out of the objects I find, I try to evoke an emotional response  from my audience by creating a contradiction – a clash between initial aesthetic attraction and after a second look : repulsion and the realisation of the tragedy  trash causes. Our beaches are covered in plastic confetti and there really is nothing to celebrate.”


ps. You can follow along on Thirza’s Instagram feed. Again, beautiful and tragic all in one breath.

sarah elise abramson

Love, love, love! This is the work of Los Angeles based photographer Sarah Elise Abramson, and FYI, the final image above is self portrait of Sarah… x3. Her portfolio is full of gorgeous, bizarre, glitter covered goodness but her Instagram feed… ooh, I could spend all day there! I love the peek behind the scenes (ie the photo of Sarah above), and outtakes from her weird and wonderful shoots. LOVE.

yuni kim lang

“Comfort Hair”… Wow. This is the stunning work of Korean born, US based artist Yuni Kim Lang. This gorgeous series is referencing Korean gache, wigs that women of high society used to wear… and the bigger, heavier, and more adorned the better – obviously! Now, I’m sure you’re wondering if this is actual human hair :

[Lang] … creates sculptures, photographs and wearable art that explores themes of weight, mass, accumulation, hair and cultural identity. She creates sculptures out of rope and synthetic materials where it transcends its materiality and become bodily. She is fascinated by what people give power and meaning to, along with our obsession with adornment. 

Ah-ha! It is in fact synthetic rope that she buys from the hardware store and then manipulates until it becomes a braided, shiny, glorious – and unbelievably HEAVY – piece of art. LOVE!

romina ressia

Past and present, fashion and fine art, classic and contemporary. These are the gorgeous works of Argentinian photographer Romina Ressia. I have to admit… she had me at bubblegum. I found her work via Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh. Here is their description of her background and work:

“The inspiration for these unusual portraits stems from Romina’s fascination with the fashion photography which had always drawn her attention, but her work departs from the usual fare and enters a different space altogether.

There is an element of surrealism to her pictures which combine unique artifacts to present a personal reflection upon advancing technologies and cultural movements set against images of classical beauty in painterly-lit backgrounds.”


josh huxham

Oh. I have a physical reaction to this series by UK based artist Josh Huxham. In particular, the image of the pilot and the plane. My grandfather was a pilot in WW II, and in his later years his memory started to fail … unless you asked him about flying and then he could tell you everything! So many detailed stories about training, and friends, and meeting my grandmother on a weekend leave at the beach. These quiet yet powerful images feel like identities, lost stories, and memories all rolled into one beautiful photograph. Here are Josh’s words on this graduate project {yes, he’s only just recently graduated from the Plymouth College of Art}, titled “Silence” …

‘Silence’ explores the re-construction of the family photograph. By using various techniques to re-print, re-age and re-construct previously scanned photographs from his family archive, Josh’s work aims to connect with those closest to him through visual language. By constructing these surreal handmade photographs, Josh’s inner thoughts and emotions towards a family space he feels lost within are passed on to the viewer. Exploring this media continues to allow Josh to be vocal through the visual.

Beautiful. And now I miss my grandparents more than usual.

anne ten donkelaar

Oh my goodness. This is the latest breathtaking work from Dutch artist Anne Ten Donkelaar. I’ve written about her insanely beautiful and intricate botanical collages before but, as you can see, her work has taken a slightly new, slightly wetter direction! Enter “Underwater Ballet”…

“A choreography for flowers, dancing on the subtile sounds of air bubbles. Floating gracefully around in the cold water. 
A silent image of a spirited dance.”

Sigh… absolutely beautiful.

ps. The Cold Press will be exhibiting new work by Anne ten Donkelaar at the London Design Festival, this weekend from 21-24 September 2017. Find them at the London Design Fair, Truman Brewery, London. Stand – E1