mando marie

To say that I have loved the work of Mando Marie since the moment I started this blog would be spot on … right down to the minute, in fact. Today, February 22nd, marks NINE YEARS since I launched the very first post as “The Jealous Curator”. Nine years? Insane. There were a handful of artists whose work I was obsessed with back then … oh who am I kidding, I still am! One of them was of course, American painter/street artist Mando Marie. I even managed to get her on the podcast not too long ago! Another artist I have always loved? American folk/street artist Margaret Kilgallen … so imagine my delight when I found the piece at the bottom of this post … one of Mando’s girls reading Margaret Kilgallen’s book, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Perfect to mark the anniversary of this beautiful, crazy, artsy ride that I’ve been on for almost a decade. Thank you all so much for coming along with me! Sharing the work of amazing artists from all over the world brings me pure joy – whether it’s through the blog, Instagram, my books, or the podcast. Here’s to the first nine years, and hopefully decades more to come.

nora fok

Oh my word … this is the fantastical work of UK based Nora Fok {ps. that’s Nora in the photos too}. All of her gorgeous wearable art is made by hand, using only simple tools and her her own unique processes. Modern materials like nylon are manipulated with age-old techniques like knitting and weaving to create these beauties. She works from her home on the sunny south east coast of England, inspired by nature and the world around her:

Nora is fascinated by different aspects of nature, structure, systems and order, and the mysteries and magic which she sets out to capture in her work. They are often quite complicated requiring many hours, days or weeks to produce and she has the necessary dedication to see her ideas through. She likes to draw attention to the very ordinary to make something special by presenting it in her own way. Her approach is not scientific; she combines her discoveries intuitively with her personal technical skills to produce her unique pieces.

{via Hi-Fructose}

sonya clark

Sugar flowers and cotton pods ; gold rings and sugar ; handmade bagasse paper ; sterling silver rings, cotton, hair and cast sugar ; money and sugar. Oh my goodness, these sugar pieces by American artist Sonya Clark are beautiful and, oh, so brilliant. Here are some of Sonya’s words about this work:

“In 1870 my African great grandmother married my Scottish great grandfather and began a family in Jamaica at a time when sugarcane was more valuable than the people who cultivated the cash crop. As my forebears negotiated race and commodity in this hemisphere, across the ocean European gentry flaunted sugar-rotted teeth as the status symbol their slave trade wealth. Generations later in my family that ranges in every skin shade and hair texture, an aunt defined race this way: “You cannot tell if someone is black by skin color but by hair texture.”  Her tangled race construction was explained to me as she was braiding the legacy of sugarcane production onto my head.  She, like most Jamaicans, referred to my hairdo, as canerows not cornrows.  …  Some objects presented here are subtle … others are more overt: gold and silver rings set with sugar “diamonds”, cotton, and human hair or an unraveled Confederate battle flag that somehow remains intact despite being deconstructed. Some are visceral: edible cotton flowers made from sugar, images of brown sugar that call the tongue and reflect the viewer, and Lincoln encrusted in rock candy five-dollar bill.”

Love! Sonya’s site is filled with all sorts of amazingness, so pop over and have a closer look.

joana vasconcelos

‘Prolific’ does not even begin to describe Paris born, Lisbon based artist Joana Vasconcelos. She’s been making work since the 90’s, so choosing what to feature was tricky. That said, I love these crazy sculptures. You can see the joy in every single one of them! So much color, attention to detail, gorgeous composition, and her materials lists – well – that’s just something else altogether. The last piece featured here is titled “Kilimanjaro” and the description reads as follows: Stainless steel sink, handmade woolen crochet, ornaments, polyester  ♥


venice… REGISTRATION for june 2018 is open!

CALLING ALL ARTISTS & ART LOVERS… I’m going back to Venice, wanna come with me?! Yes, the European Cultural Academy has invited me back to be one of several instructors during their “Contemporary Art Week” course, which runs the week of June 11 – 17th, 2018. Being there last year still feels like a bit of a dream… so much watermelon gelato. I’ve rounded up a bunch of the photos I took in August so you can see what your week in this unbelievable city will look like. First, the ECA classrooms are not just classrooms, they are centuries-old palazzos in the heart of Venice:

Insane, no? Also insane… ALL. OF. THE. ART. One of my favorite shows was “Glasstress”. Here’s a peek:

Well, this year the class will be going on a little field trip. We will be taking a “taxi” … aka gorgeous boat, to Murano, the island home of glass art. We’ll meet the curator of Glasstress, and visit the studios of working glass artists. See, there are a lot of “pinch me” moments that happen here! Oooh, and another one? We’ll be visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It is fabulous, as was she:

Right? Peggy knew how to collect art, AND how to live in Venice. Sigh.

Now, if you’re going to come with me, you should know that there will be a lot of coffee {ps. I found out the hard way that one must NEVER order a latte after 12pm. I was called a “barbarian’}:

… yes, I drank macchiatos {acceptable after 12pm} and I even tried painting with them. Worked like a charm, although also barbaric I’m quite sure.

Now, not only will we soul search, push ourselves in our creative pursuits, learn about art, see Venice, drink coffee … there will also be a lot of ridiculously picturesque photo ops:

Just trying to keep up with Peggy Guggenheim in that last shot! When in Venice, right? Hope to see you in June… there are only 20 spots in total {some of which have already been filled}, so if you want to attend the ECA’s contemporary art week {June 11 – 17, 2018}, visit their site to read all of the ins and outs, and APPLY SOON!

ps. Here is a little instagram video I took on one of our boat rides that helps sum up the magic that is Venice:



“a gift”

Oh, yes! Greece-born, California-based artist Eugenia Loli is on the podcast! I have adored her work for so long and now that I know her story, I’m even more impressed. She went to school for computer science and worked in tech, specializing in backend databases, for years… ah, just like so many other artists… or not. She is completely self-taught and didn’t even start making art until 2011. WHAT!? I had no idea. I also had no idea what led to this major life change, although I had read here and there that an illness was involved. Well, Eugenia and I are covering that and so much more. Have a listen right under “Rising Mountain”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, a few of Eugenia’s collages that I’m sure you’ll recognize:

Yes, yes, yes I love them all. And ok, I’ve written about all of them too. One of the things Eugenia often features in her collages … outer space. I loved her explanation for why and so, of course, I’ve included a few of my favorites here:

That mouth. LOVE.

Now, Eugenia mentioned this piece a couple of times. It’s an important one if you want to understand this artist. “Three Minutes to Nirvana”:

And as she mentioned, she has an in-depth description of this piece so that you can understand where she’s coming from in one fell swoop:

“The structure represents all that we can comprehend while in our human form. It’s also what keeps us within boundaries, limiting our existence, experience and understanding. 

The bottom level is about developing, learning, and trying out various routes. In the process, and among progress, there’s also war and misery (as evident by the fire in the background). The cube in the field is the teaser of the ultimate prize, placed in by the people on the top level (the “Ascended”).

The second level is about expanding our horizons further, making the leap towards an enlightened state. Notice the woman in black, ready to make the leap. The man in the staircase, calls her, trying to keep her back, but it’s too late. She has superseded him. She is intrigued by the possibilities. The man also signifies the various forces that will try to keep humanity back on its journey. Notice that the observable universe is also within the boundaries of the structure.

Two humans are attempting to reach the third level. One is climbing the old fashioned way, and the other one is using (transhuman) technology to get there — both choices are acceptable. At the end of their journey, they won’t be “humans” anymore anyway.
Notice the trophy award in the middle of the third level, right below the angels painting. These two people think that this is the ultimate prize. But that’s just a trap. The third level is the most difficult level towards reaching ascendance, because humans will have to leave behind all their vices, delusions, and personal limitations. Most never manage to do that. Their only enemy in this level is themselves. Notice the human skull, hidden by the flying spaghetti monster-like flower.

At the very top, the Ascended people are waiting for more people to make it to the top. In the whole artwork, they are the only element depicted outside of the structure, able to see the bigger picture. They’re beyond time and space. Notice the planet above their heads, alluding that there may be more levels. Knowledge and wisdom have no limits. There’s always something more to explore, know and live.” ~ Eugenia Loli

Beautiful and surreal!

That piece is one of her most important / favorite personal pieces. I asked her to send me a link to her other personal favorites, the more abstract pieces that don’t seem to sell as well. What? That is crazy to me… just look at these beauties:

That hair, oh my goodness, I love that hair so much.

And finally, here is Eugenia looking particularly cool… drop some outer space into those circular glasses and she’d have a ‘Eugenia Loli artwork’ on her hands. The towel and tote photo is from her Instagram feed … her collages turned into objects, and used at the beach on her last trip home to Greece:

So fun! Thanks to Eugenia for telling me all of her stories … so insightful, honest, and genuine; 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. Eugenia’s blog posts re: creating/selling your collage work
  2. Eugenia’s Online Shop (prints, bags, pillows, towels and more!)
  3. Eugenia on Instagram
  4. David Delruelle, collage artist


dustin yellin

Are you wondering, ” What on earth am I looking at?” That is exactly how I felt last summer when I was lucky enough to see the work of Brooklyn based artist Dustin Yellin in Venice. Well, they are collages within several layers of glass… seriously. A few of his mind-blowing works were part of the Glasstress 2017 show and they were absolutely breathtaking. I’m not sure how many times I walked around each one of them, marveling at the multi-layered, glassy goodness. The detail is insane … hence the many, many close-ups in this post. That said, I know that flat images absolutely do not do Dustin’s work justice, so you have to watch this video to see him in action. It’s from a gorgeous series he did with the New York City Ballet. Beautiful craziness that you have to see to believe. Enjoy…

ps. Speaking of Venice… I’m going back to be one of the instructors at the ECA (European Cultural Academy) during their contemporary art week in June! June 11 – 17th to be exact. There are a limited number of spots for students, so if you’re interested pop over to their site for details. Hope to see you in Venice!

sara khan

Whoa. Ok, clearly I had to include all of those closeups because, well, these details are fantastic! Flowers, figures, narratives… it’s all happening! This is the work of Sara Khan. She was born in England, raised in Pakistan, and now lives in Vancouver… that’s the super quick version of her life story. Now, how about the story behind these beautifully bizarre watercolor paintings from her series titled “Ubiquitous Follies”:

I am interested in the repulsion and beauty found in ordinary spaces and situations, and question the normalcy of the seemingly mundane matters in life. For example; how a man inside a woman leads to the birth of another human; turning the woman into a mound of soil in which a human germinates like a plant from a seed, and in the process disfigures the woman to the limits of possibility.

It is in dealing with these observations that I draw them out, to find a place for things that are neither here nor there. Slowly laying out translucent layers of watercolour, I work toward pronouncing some areas, while covering others entirely, almost decoratively as if to say “you didn’t belong, but now you do, or you did belong and now you don’t.” I leave some questions to chance, answer others more definitively, hovering somewhere between restraint and complete spontaneity. The idea is to develop a space or landscape with both extremes in it; the abhorrent and the fantastic. Coexisting to form one complete picture; thriving in the gray areas, it’s a subtle dance between “is it” and “is it not”. ~ Sara Khan, 2017

Whoa, again.

tracey emin

Ahhh, the passionate and painful ups and downs of love. This is the neon work of British artist Tracey Emin. Her portfolio is full of paintings, drawings, installations, needlework and, of course, these romantic / heart-breaking / hilarious / very personal neon pieces. This is just a teeny teeny tiny snapshot of the neon work she’s created over the years, but I thought they nicely covered the range of emotions from “I forever belong to you” to “Sorry, flowers die” …

“Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration … Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.”

Yes, that they are. Happy Valentine’s Day… or not.

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