toni hamel

Dreamlike drawings by Italian-born, Toronto-based artist Toni Hamel. Her description of this series is lovely, so I’ll hand it over to Toni:

The land of Id (2015-2016) : In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the Id refers to the component of our psyche responsible for our most primitive impulses and drives. It is an egocentric, all-consuming urge to satisfy our immediate needs and desires  without any consideration for possible consequences or repercussions.

Such theory perfectly describes our contemporary attitude toward our surroundings.  Continuing my discourse on human behaviour, The land of Id focuses on humanity’s relationship with the natural environment offering two alternative yet equally interesting points of view. If on one hand it confronts us with the disastrous results of our ill-conceived rapport with nature, on the other it offers some levity and  food for thought. The land of Id becomes a topsy-turvy world filled with tension and instability, where everything appears possible yet nothing is what it seems. Through symbolism and satire, The Land of Id eventually alerts us about the dangerous effects of our exploitative behaviours.

Fantastic.





fiona rae

Ok yes, normally I’m a sucker for bright colors, but – oh my goodness – these greyscale paintings {oil and acrylic on canvas} take my breath away. This is the work of Hong Kong born, London based artist Fiona Rae – granted, she creates absolutely beautiful work using insanely colorful palettes too, but there is something truly poetic about the simple complexity of these B&W beauties.





mariadela araujo

Ooooh! This is an absolutely gorgeous, and gigantic, weaving by Venezuelan artist Mariadela Araujo. She  studied fashion in Rome and weaving in Barcelona {where she now lives}. Speaking of Barcelona, that’s where this beautiful piece of work was installed … at Luiza, a restaurant on Las Ramblas in Barcelona. I’m not 100% sure that it’s still there, but the menu looks pretty good so no harm in swinging by to check if you happen to be in the neighborhood! Happy Monday.

ps. Mariadela also makes/sells smaller pieces, you know, in case you don’t have this kind of room to spare in your house! Check out her online shop.





“finding wildness”

From being the daughter of a pastor in a rural town of 700 people, to a full-time abstract painter in downtown Toronto. Yes, Janna Watson is my guest today… I’ve been trying to get her on for months and months and months, so I’m thrilled that this finally happened. Listen right up there under “I woke up in a dry fountain and ice light”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of Janna’s red paintings! I don’t know what it is about her red pieces, but they grab me every single time:

Ok. I see a tree in that last one. Maybe it’s the essence of the tree her grandfather pointed out. I tried to include a few shots to show scale, because 2D jpgs just don’t do Janna’s work justice.

Here are a few more… lots of gradient backgrounds, insanely beautiful color combinations, and lovely lines made with pastels:

Oh my word. I love all of them so, so much.

Next… Watson Soule. This is what happens when you bring art into your home, but instead of hanging it on the wall, you put it on the floor:

So cool. That’s Janna on the left (Watson), and Nico on the right (Soule).

Ok, and this just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t include a few behind the scenes shots. I was lucky enough to pop into her Toronto studio earlier today, and first things first, I could not believe how big her brushes are:

Giant brushstrokes, a lovely studio space, and an up-close shot of a ‘work in progress’.

Now, I forgot to get exact examples of the red + grey + white combo that Janna mentioned, but I’m guessing a few of these pieces use that magical recipe:

Maybe? Either way… so beautiful!!!

And finally, a few shots from our visit this morning (note the super cute little painting shoes she wears while working):

And there we are… we did the selfie! Also, the couch. It was the first amazing thing I saw as I walked in, and yes, her grandfather designed it! Love. Thank you so much to Janna for doing this with me (and letting me into her studio today!); thanks to Saatchi Art and Create Magazine for supporting the episode; and huge thanks to you for listening! There will be more Art For Your Ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bau-Xi Gallery, Toronto/Vancouver
  2. Kenise Barnes Fine Art, New York
  3. Watson Soule
  4. OCADU

 





kirsten sims

Ahhh, so dreamy. South African artist/illustrator Kirsten Sims paints all sorts of things {for personal shows and for commercial clients}, but it’s her dusk-meets-nighttime work that takes my breath away. Don’t you want to go on a vacation now? Warm African nights, starry skies, and deep navy blue in every direction. Happy Friday.

ps. I wrote about Kirsten in 2013, and as you can see from that post, I loved her nighttime paintings back then too! The heart wants what the heart wants.





donald martiny

Polymer and dispersed pigment on aluminum … aka GIGANTIC / JUICY brushstrokes that float on the wall! Sigh. I’ve written about the work of American artist Donald Martiny before, but it only takes one sighting on Instagram for my heart to start racing again…. and voila, moments later, there’s another post written! I use thick strokes of paint in my collages too, but damn, I wish I thought of this. Gorgeous, tactile, HUGE.





chloe hedden

Ahhhh, take a deep breath… I can almost smell these gorgeous flora-filled paintings by American artist Chloe Hedden! A very up close and personal view of roses, peonies, and more. Gorgeous, and exactly what I need during this never-ending winter.





claudia fontes

Absolutely magical work that I really want to touch, but I won’t. Maybe. This is the work of sculptor Claudia Fontes … she was born in Argentina, but has been living in London for the past decade. Wait, this is starting to sound familiar … hold the phone … she’s the artist who created the insane sculpture, titled “The Horse Problem”, for the Argentina Pavilion at the Venice Biennale last summer! This was my favorite installation at the Arsenale. It was truly breathtaking… the work, the space, the grandeur of it all:

Stun. Ning.

ps. I’m heading back to Venice this June (11th – 16th) to be one of several instructors during the “Contemporary Art Week” at the European Cultural Academy. There are handful of spots left, so sign up soon if you’re interested!





tina berning has a shop!

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Oh, yes! For years, I’ve been madly in love with the daily drawings of German artist Tina Berning. That said, there was no easy way to buy one of those lovely, layered, mysterious pieces … until now! That’s right, Tina has finally set up an online shop. She has a selection of originals available {the first four in this post are just some of my faves}, but that’s not all… she has also done a limited edition print run on five of her pieces {the final five beauties above. ps. I got the bottom-most image, titled “Undo” ♥ } Pop over there soon because they are going fast.

ps. Tina was my podcast guest on episode no.68… such a good one! Look/listen right here.





“stuff like that and quilts, ya know”

On fire, indeed! That’s a detail of a quilt… a  QUILT, by Minneapolis based artist {and hilarious story teller} Terrence Payne. I had him on the podcast almost 70 episodes ago, but when I discovered that he’d put his oil pastels down for a moment, and traded them in for a sewing machine, well, I had to have him back on. AND, I had dinner with him when I was in Wisconsin last fall, and I laughed so hard I almost broke something. He has some stories, let’s just say that. Quick warning though, there is swearing in this episode, so if you have kids around you may want to pop in some headphones instead. Seriously. I was going to bleep him, but it took away from the insanity of his stories. You’ll see what I mean. Anyway, back to ART! You can listen right up there under the close-up of one of Terrence’s fire quilts, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a refresher from episode no.71 … a few of my favorites! I love his large-scale oil pastel drawings, especially the text pieces:

BOOM!

Ok, that of course leads into why we’re here today. This pentagram drawing is one that Terrence is known for, and then look what I caught a glimpse of while scrolling through Instagram:

What!? A quilt version of the drawing!? I thought someone had paid an homage to him… nope, TERRENCE MADE A QUILT.

Well, he got hooked and is currently working on 12 quilts for an opening at his gallery, Rosalux, at the beginning of May. Here’s where he is so far:

His drawings in textile form! I thought this was his first foray into the world of fabric stores etc, but no. Here is a 2008 installation that he did with fellow Minneapolis-based artist Amy Rice. It was titled, “Nest : An Exhibition of Living” and took place in a very cool lookin’ house:

Ahhh, I wish this was still around so I could live in it. Beautiful.

Also beautiful, Terrence’s “knots”… both the original pastel drawing AND the wallpaper version by Hygge & West:

So pretty. {I have a chunk of this framed in my studio}.

Ok, and another interior collaboration… Terrence Payne + Target:

Again, gorgeous! Quite amazing how he can blend his work about “dystopian societies” so beautifully with commercial projects!

Oh, and I just had to throw this in, because at the end of the day, I was super proud of this show! This is a little peek into “Open Door 13” that I was invited to curate at Rosalux Gallery in December 2017:

Seriously, that dog. But wait, there’s one more dog you need to meet:

Oh, Dottie! So sweet. And Terrence, hard at work… someone should make him a quilt to lie on too. Thanks so much to Terrence for doing this with me {again}, and for telling me all of the stuff and things! Huge 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. Rosalux Gallery, Minneapolis
  2. Terrence on Instagram
  3. Amy Rice, Artist
  4. Ben Venom, Artist
  5. Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis
  6. Tonya Corkey, Episode no.75
  7. Hygge & West (Wallpaper Co.)