amber cowan

Gasp! Vintage glass made new again by Philadelphia based artist Amber Cowan. I wrote about Amber’s stunning work just over three years ago and I was thrilled to see that her beautiful work has continued. Each of these pieces comes with their own origin story. For example, the blue piece was made “using a barrel of vintage Fenton Art Glass cullet in the color Sky. It features an original swan creamer and sugar set buried deep in a seabed of glass. It also includes Avon bubble bath decanters pouring out a flow of multicolored ocean bubbles.” And the story connected to the white piece above might be my favorite:

“The fable of the lion and the fox is about how the more often you face your fears the sooner you come to live with them in harmony. This piece was made from flame-worked milk glass. The lion and the fox were pressed glass candy dishes from the Westmoreland Glass Company. The Pennsylvania company was founded in 1889 and was in business through the mid 1980’s.”

Face your fears, live with them in harmony. Yes.





“suitcase full of shards”

Imagine if you will, a little girl growing up in a kibbutz in Israel who now travels the world – her suitcase filled with tiny hammers and shards of colorful ceramics. Well, no need to imagine because I’ve got her on the podcast! Yep, today I’m talking to Israeli artist Zemer Peled … from the big island of Hawaii. She’s there working on a commission for a private collector, before she jets off to France for a residency in Limoges. Sigh. Alrighty, you can listen right up there underneath that beautiful spiky thing, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, Zemer in action. Hammers, shards, goggles… because, safety first:

🔨Just another day at the studio 🔨

A post shared by Zemer Peled (@zemerpeled) on


Isn’t that video meditative? But sharp! Ok, next… these are Zemer’s flowers that I wrote about a couple of years ago. You’ll notice they start in blue and white, thanks to her interest in Japanese ceramics, and then slowly evolve into some crazy shapes and exotic color combos:

I mean, come on! GORGEOUS! The detail is astounding, and her patience is awe-inspiring. Well we’re not done yet… the evolution continued from there! Her flowers started growing and twisting, and some might even say, they began to dance:

Truly amazing. So. Many. Shards.

Next, her colors! She did start with blue and white as I mentioned above, but much like her colorful personality, Zemer’s work is now filled with a rainbow of beautifully broken bits:

Ahhhh, and yes, those are the flower photos she took while in Hawaii. I see many future pieces & palettes that will be inspired by those beauties! {ps. about half way through the images above you’ll see the floral piece she was working on in Hawaii… partly hidden behind some perfectly coordinated local flora.}

Zemer’s work is beautiful, but let’s not forget THE DANGER. I asked if she ever cuts herself. Her response.. ‘Oh, all the time! :

Bleeding fingers and giant kilns… be safe Zemer, be safe {you have to be healthy when you marry your mystery Canadian!} Thanks so much to Zemer for talking to me instead of going to the beach, and thanks as always to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode. Now, next week is the last week in Art For Your Ear’s Season 1, but I’ve got a fun plan for the summer until September when Season 2 starts. I’ll give you all of the details next week! Thanks for listening, there will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Royal College of Art, London
  2. Archie Bray Foundation, Montana
  3. Bernardaud, Limoges France
  4. Amanda Smith episode
  5. Banff Centre, Canada

 





kirsten beets

Mermaids and unicorns + oil paint on paper … I could not be more in love with the work of South African artist Kirsten Beets. Simple shapes, gorgeous white space, and oh, those lovely little beach-goers! They look like collages, no? I was totally smitten the moment I saw those beautifully painted turquoise shapes, but yes, the unicorn floaties sealed the deal. Happy Friday!

{Be sure to check out her Instagram feed too}





susanna bauer


Collections of connections! Sigh… I am never not in awe of German born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer. If you happen to be in Geneva Switzerland at the moment {lucky you} you can see Susanna’s new solo show, titled “Connections”, opening tonight at Le Salon vert {runs until June 10, 2017}. And, speaking of connections, I had to include part of her artist statement because it’s almost as beautiful as her work:

“There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.”

Lovely, on so many levels.

*photos by art-photographers.co.uk





martine johanna

Electric palettes, beautifully painted faces, and oh, that key line kitty! This is the latest body of work from Amsterdam based artist Martine Johanna. All of these acrylic paintings, are from her latest solo show, titled “SOMETHING’S WRONG”. It opens tomorrow night, Thursday May 4th, in New York at Massey Lyuben Gallery.  The opening reception is from 6-8pm, but if you can’t make it to the party, the show will be up until June 10th… but I’d vote for going to the party!  RSVP :  info@masseylyuben.com





marina dunbar

Oooh, juicy! I just wrote about Belarus-born, US-based artist Marina Dunbar’“Horizon” series a few months ago, but earlier this week she sent me an update … those horizons have now found themselves on wooden circles! I love the rectangles but, I have to say, these circular pieces truly flow! Layers of multicolored resin overlapping to create ocean-like depth… dreamy.





vanessa hogge

Dahlias, chrysanthemums, and hydrangeas, oh my! These lovely porcelain blooms are part of “Wallflowers”, a series by London based ceramicist Vanessa Hogge. The detail is gorgeous, and the reason …  “she takes an instinctive, visceral approach to each piece, painstakingly sculpting every petal and anther by hand so that no two flowers are identical.” Ahhh, hundreds of handmade petals! I wish I had that kind of patience, but, I do not. No, I choose to spend that kind of time staring at work like Vanessa’s. Happy first day of May!





“bit of a pencil snob”

The moral of this episode … show your work to random people in pubs because it could be life changing. London based artist, and self-described ‘pencil snob’, Nettie Wakefield is my insanely talented guest today. Listen right up there under that polka-dotty birthday girl, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, her “Reversed Portrait” series. Absolutely stunning – I cannot imagine getting a pencil to do this. Here are a few of my favorites, and one of them just might be Nettie herself:

Any guesses? Ok, I’ll tell you… that final drawing above is a “reversed self-portrait” of Nettie. Lovely.

Next, “Brandy the Blow up Doll” … she’s lovely too. But in a, hm, different way:

So cool! I love that she pushed herself into the world of sculpture. I’m very curious to see if her sculpture work continues.

Ok, now this is just crazy and surreal. These are a few of the drawings she did at Dismaland. Yes, that’s right… by showing her portfolio to a random guy at a pub, she ended up drawing reversed portraits at Banksy’s Dismaland. What? Who does that happen to? Answer: Nettie.

Unbelievably cool. Speaking of which, look at that close-up?! …… ok, stop looking because I have more to show you. Here’s the piece she did for Context in New York {CONTEXT Art fair NYC / Corey Helford Gallery / Pier 94} :

Sigh. That one might be my favorite reversed portrait in Nettie’s portfolio… well, maybe a close second to Liz:

Yes! This was part of a project in London to honor Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday … and in case you aren’t aware, I  have a strange obsession with images of the Queen. It might be a Canadian thing?

Finally, a lovely photo of Nettie – the front of her, not the back of her head:

Beautiful. Thank you so much to Nettie for telling me her story, and sharing a few chopped out secrets! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and as always thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Nettie on Instagram
  2. Banksy
  3. Dismaland
  4. Shepard Fairey
  5. Art Below

 





sideline collective

Ahhh, what a relief… I can feel my shoulders dropping and my brain relaxing. This series, titled “Nothing In The News”, is the work of Sideline Collective – art by Joseph Ernst. Here’s the description:

“We live in a world of constant sensory overload. 24 hours a day we are bombarded with information in real time by every media outlet and platform competing for our attention, one pop-up notification at a time.

And we play ball. We invest hours on end staring at our mobile devices. We want to know what’s going on, the why and the how. We need to know. But in our perpetual quest to fill every spare minute of our time searching for something meaningful, we learn nothing. We are so busy filling every waking moment with things to watch and do, and learn and listen to, that we have forgotten what it is like to just be. To sit around and think. To switch off and be bored. To daydream.

This project offers a little respite to all this information overload.

Yes, we live in particularly sensitive times. Times where the truth really matters, and where newspapers have a more important role to play in modern democracies than ever before. But for a society addicted to breaking news, gossip, and celebrity status, to Facestagram and Twapchat, the latest trends, and the top tens, to sports punditry, conspiracy theories, cat videos, and ridiculous amounts of porn … for this cultural precipice, we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: “Nothing”. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.”

Aaaand exhale, if only for a moment. Happy Friday.

{These empty newspapers are available, while quantities last, in Sideline’s shop.}





njideka akunyili crosby

Oh, I love these so much. Large-scale, jaw-dropping work that combines collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers – and, of course, I had to include that gorgeous pink portrait too! This is the work of Nigerian-born, Los Angeles based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Here’s a description taken from Victoria Miro {London}, the gallery that represents her work:

“Drawing on art historical, political and personal references, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates densely layered figurative compositions that, precise in style, nonetheless conjure the complexity of contemporary experience. Akunyili Crosby was born in Nigeria, where she lived until the age of sixteen. In 1999 she moved to the United States, where she has remained since that time. Her cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of her birth and to her adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in her work.”

Only in her early 30s, Njideka is having record-breaking success… you know, successes like selling this piece, titled “The Beautyful Ones”, at Christie’s for $3.1 million last month:

GAH!!!!! Congratulations, Njideka!