medium /// sculpture




chiaozza chapel

A chapel to celebrate shape and color? I’m in! “Chiaozza Chapel” is the latest work by Chiaozza – the collaborative artistic team of Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao. Oh, and ps. it opens TONIGHT at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn:

“Historically a chapel is a non-religious place of worship and contemplation; a small, non-conforming annex to common and prevalent modes of spiritual practice. The Chiaozza Chapel, installed within Cooler Gallery, is an intimate sanctuary celebrating color, light, and form. Five painted wooden wall works fill the 6- by 7-foot gallery. The formal compositions reference natural and metaphysical concepts such as horizons, atmosphere, time, landscape, and ritual. Repetitive motifs such as grids, diagonals, and arcs augment the visual vibration of the room.

In Chiaozza’s work, color is a vessel for experience. Matte opaque pigment blurs the presence of the sculpture’s surface and its surroundings, emphasizing the interaction of color and space. Light bounces off the painted wooden planks, creating reflected chambers of color that animate the air around and within each piece.”

Amen! Go tonight … Cooler Gallery, 22 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn 7 ~ 10pm





amy joy watson

Oh my goodness, yes. This is an installation by Australian artist Amy Joy Watson. I’ve written about her sculptures twice before {2014, 2011} but I just came across this public installation … and yes, I love it! Plywood, acrylic paint, colored rope, and stainless steel cables come together to create“Celestial Bodies”. Gorgeous! This work is now a permanent public artwork at the Australian Catholic University in the Daniel Mannix Building, Melbourne. Stunning.

*Photos by Lisbeth Grosmann




spencer merolla

A pop-up art “bakery”… but wait… do not eat these grey treats! They aren’t made of sugar and spice, they’re made of ash from burned coal. “Coal Comforts” is the work of Brooklyn based artist Spencer Merolla. What is it about, you ask?

“This is about climate change. Coal power has never been “clean” and continuing to mine and burn it causes irreparable harm to frontline communities and accelerates climate change. The current administration wants to prop up this outmoded industry without regard to the known consequences. As we have seen, nostalgia is a powerful tool—it can make what is familiar seem wholesome and innocuous, as “American as apple pie.” But like the sweet treats we might find in an old-fashioned bakery, a little dirty energy might look like a harmless enough indulgence, but our global consumption patterns will be our undoing. Put simply, we can’t have our cake and eat it too.”

Brilliant! And, even more exciting, most of these pieces are actually for sale in her online bakery, so pop over and pick up a coal cake today! *25% of the proceeds from these sales will be donated to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 





li hongbo

Oh, the things Chinese artist Li Hongbo can do with paper!? In 2014 I wrote about his marble busts that are in fact paper, and today… guns that become flowers. Now, I’m a little late to the game on this one, as “Oceans of Flowers” was exhibited for the first time a few years ago. Most recently it was shown at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing last June … I don’t know where it might show up next, but watch for it! Two thousand rainbow-hued paper weapons – from machine guns to hand guns – that unfold into beautiful paper flowers. Stunning.

{images via}





“on the brink”

When you’re an artist just starting out, and you can’t afford supplies… what do you do? Yep, just pick them up off the ground! That’s how Pittsburgh based artist Seth Clark got started on his absolutely mind-blowing collages. I wrote about him way back in 2011 and now, in 2018, I finally got to ask him all of my questions! Where does he get all of this stuff, is his studio like an episode of Hoarders, did he build awesome (while incredibly unsafe) tree houses when he was a kid? I got answers for everything! Listen right up there under that gorgeous / derelict collage, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a bunch of Seth’s collages. Yes, collages… what!?

Bits and pieces of all sorts of things from paper to actual shingles … LOVE.

Ok, so this is the window mountain thing I was talking about that Seth didn’t fully know what I was referring to… that’s because it was actually a work-in-progress shot! The final ended up becoming a piece titled “Hive”:

Yeah. Now THAT is a hive! Stunning.

Next, this is the collaboration Seth did with glass artist, Jason Forck:

Perhaps one of the most amazing collaborations I’ve ever seen! They truly figured out how to blend their artistic skills and talents to create something beautiful. I hope they get the chance to keep working together … LARGE SCALE.

Next, a few of Seth’s sculptures that you can look into/through, and one that’s had a sledge hammer taken to it:

‘On the brink’, indeed. I don’t fully believe him when he says he’s not very handy, but anyway.

And look at this! A peek into Seth’s studio:

Ok, yes… this is crazy. I don’t care, I still want to poke around in there for an afternoon just to see what I could find on the floor! Given that Seth has so many things coming up (links to all below), I’m so thankful that he took a bit of time out to do the podcast; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Terry Boyd, Artist
  2. RISD
  3. Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh
  4. Pittsburgh Glass Center
  5. Jason Forck, Artist
  6. Nicole Ryan, Artist
  7. Paradigm Gallery, Philadelphia
  8. Radiant Hall (the studios where Seth works)
  9. Janet Echelman, Artist
  10. Gallery Bom, Boston (March 2, Seth’s Solo Show)
  11. Art on Paper, NY (March 8-11)
  12. Architectural Digest Show, NY (March 22 – 25)

 





“ugly beautiful”

Drips, spikes, blobs, sploots and sparkly crystals. Yep, that can only l mean one thing… I got Texas based artist Dan Lam on the podcast! She {yes, Dan is a woman and we’ll get to that right off the top} is amazingly talented, hilarious, and just as sweet as her gorgeous color palette. Listen right up there under that iridescent beauty, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, these were the spiky, gum-like “blobs” I wrote about a few years ago:

Yum! Well, those guys evolved into these guys, aka “drips”:

Gorgeous, and how insanely beautiful are Dan’s color choices? And her newest evolution, which might be potentially known as a “sploot”:

LOVE! But wait, there’s more! Here’s the video of the sprinkle-covered sploot that over 15 MILLION (!!!!) people liked on Instagram:

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Don’t you want to poke that? Me too. Now these bad boys… oh, I just want to watch them dance in the sunlight all day long:

 

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Gasp! That video! These Swarovski crystal covered drips are gorgeous, but still photos just don’t do them justice.

And finally, at the very end of the episode Dan mentioned that she was going on a winter holiday to several national parks in Utah… apparently she brought a few friends along for the ride:

How fantastic is that!? Sigh. Thanks so much to Dan for talking to me about all things ugly beautiful; 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. Dan on Instagram (@sopopomo)
  2. Left Field Gallery
  3. Spoke Gallery – SF & NY
  4. The Hole, NYC

 





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}





“yak friends”

Pink cashmere, cable knit covered deer. Sigh. I have loved the artwork of American artist Rachel Denny since way back in 2009, but today is the first time we’ve ever spoken! I had A LOT of questions, and she had lots of answers. One thing that became very clear very quickly – she is one handy woman! She works with so many materials and does it with ease. Also, she owns four yaks. I realize I sounded like a bit of a Facebook stalker during this episode, but just wait until you scroll down to see not only her gorgeous work, but also photos of her yaks playing hide n seek and tag! Now I want yaks. Anyway, listen right up under those lovely pink bucks, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, of course, her knit-covered deer trophies:

Ah, and there’s my Rosie – so gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous, here’s a peek into Rachel’s studio:

Amazing, yes? There’s the chenille covered moose commission she mentioned, and I’ve also included the turquoise angora-covered rabbit we talked about. Seriously, it’s just all too good.

Also, still living in her studio, this big beautiful blue buck:

Isn’t that beautiful and heartbreaking all at once? Also beautiful – her most recent commission, made for Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler BC. The first shot is in her studio, the second photo shows the deer in their new home:

LOVE!!!

Ok, and the flattened penny horse that I brought up about 1000 times (?), along with proof of her handiness when using any and all material – from pennies to matches to resin to tiny bits of mirror:

Whoa. That snake. Gorgeous, but if I saw him in my yard I would lose my mind. Here are a few things Rachel sees in her yard every day… YAKS!

Stunning. And there’s the belt bull we were talking about. Isn’t he majestic? The amount of work she puts into each piece is just mind blowing.

Alright, now here’s the non-art related reason for following along so closely on Rachel’s Facebook page! Look at these hairy beauties:

Oh my word, Tsampa in full-on frolic mode! I could look at that photo all day… he’s so happy! And finally, like so many artists, Rachel takes photos of her work, but rarely herself. I did find one, and I have a feeling this is what she looks like most of the time anyway:

Yep, covered in animals! Thanks to Rachel for figuring out Skype so we could chat; 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. Vernissage Gallery, Portland {her show is up until Dec 30th}
  2. Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto
  3. Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA
  4. Nanaimo bar recipe! Mmmmm

 





barbara segal

STONE. Handbags and Jackets carved from STONE. Stunning. This is the work of American artist Barbara Segal. How, when and where did she learn how to turn pink Oynx into a Chanel bag? Here is just a small chunk of her story:

In 1972, while a student at Pratt Institute, NY, Segal resolved to spend both her junior and senior years at the distinguished École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A), Paris, to study stone carving with teachers like René Collamarini with whom she later exhibited at the Musée Rodin. Segal then moved to Italy where she spent time over the next four years in both Pietrasanta and Carrara working at the Studio Sem, the Fonderia Luigi Tommasi and SGF Studio Scultura. She returned to New York City in the late-70s knowing she could create whatever she chose in stone. America’s evolving culture with its pop and fashion icons would prove a continuing source of inspiration.  However, to this day, what Segal chooses to create is personal; her creations provide insight into her passions, struggles and quirky wit.

And with a bio like that, I have to include a photo of Barbara in action:

Whoa.





natalie baxter

What do you do when your artwork causes crazy people to come out of the woodwork? Turn their horrible online comments into soft sculptures, of course! Oh, how I love this new series, titled ALT CAPS, by New York based artist Natalie Baxter. I had her on the podcast last January to talk about her droopy Warm Guns and tassel-covered Bloated Flags, and she admitted both series get some pretty nasty comments from time to time. Well, instead of allowing those rude words to stop her, Natalie decided to spend a good part of 2017 turning those trolly words into a whole new series … brilliant and hilarious. Mic drop.

ps. Natalie is another of the contemporary artists featured in my upcoming book. Seriously, with work like this, how could she not be!?