suyao tian


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Okay, now that is inspiring… creating stunning artworks with a little assistant at your ankles! This is the absolutely dreamy work of Minneapolis based artist Suyao Tian. Sigh. I want to wander around in all of these magical worlds… I bet it would smell like flowers and taste like candy! That said, I did read this little snippet via the Soo Visual Arts Center“As a child, she was often caught collecting small bugs in jars and would talk to these creatures since she didn’t have siblings. These childhood creatures have become symbols and language that she uses in her watercolor paintings.” Hm, so maybe I wouldn’t taste stuff… just in case they’re bugs, not candy! Here is Suyao’s artist statement:

“My creative process is to extract the fragments of memory and separate, reorganize and integrate them. This process is my communication with them, and a process of self- release and expression. These peculiar images often appear in my memory, dreams and subconscious imaginations, so I use abstraction to catch a moment, feeling, and unclear form when they appear in my mind. I use bright colors to celebrate my freedom. The title is the moment in time when I start creating, these moments have transformed my mind through beauty or ugliness I put into my work, that becomes my identity to speak out to the world.”

Beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, to buy Suyao’s work please email her here: {ps. I found her work through SooVAC, a gorgeous gallery in Minneapolis.}

teresa watson

Weird ‘n wonderful! Those are the two words that always come to mind when I see the work of California based artist Teresa Watson. Bits of conversations, social observations, and I’m pretty sure the occasional odd thought that magically pops into her creative brain serve as the inspiration behind all of her kitsch-meets-folk / outsider artwork {how’s that for a description?}. All of that to say, I LOVE IT ALL. Oh, and if her last name seems familiar, her sister is LA based artist Esther Pearl Watson… yep, this family is jam-packed with artistic talent!

Some of Teresa’s work is available through Webb Gallery in Texas.

chila burman

Yep, I think we’re a bit of “a mess” at the moment. A self-described Punjabi Liverpudlian {ie., born in Liverpool, to parents from India}, UK based artist Chila Burman pays homage to both these backgrounds in all of her wonderful work. I could go on and on about the many things she creates {by pointing you to this great video from 2018}, but today I have to talk about “Remembering A Brave New World”. Stunning! This year marks the 4th annual Winter Commission at Tate Britain, and yes, Chila is this year’s artist… and oh my word, look what she did!? Here’s the description from the gallery:

TATE BRITAIN WINTER COMMISSION: “This magnificent installation, remembering a brave new world, combines Hindu mythology, Bollywood imagery, colonial history and personal memories. Inspired by the artist’s childhood visits to the Blackpool illuminations and her family’s ice-cream van, Burman covers the façade of Tate Britain with vinyl, bling and neon. She changes the figure of Britannia, a symbol of British imperialism, into Kali, the Hindu goddess of liberation and power. The many illuminated deities, shapes and words are joined by Lakshmibai, the Rani (queen) of Jhansi. Lakshmibai was a fierce female warrior in India’s resistance to British colonial rule in the 19th century.

Burman is celebrated internationally for her radical feminist practice, spanning printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film. Her Punjabi and Liverpudlian heritage enrich her self-expressive work. Burman mashes up stereotypes to create new identities, beyond the limitations imposed on South Asian women in a British cultural context.

The commission opened to coincide Diwali, the Festival of Light. It is a celebration of new beginnings, the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. remembering a brave new world takes inspiration from the luminous struggles and victories of the past to offer hope for a brighter future.”

Yes, yes, yesssss. Every detail in this piece has meaning, some of which are explained in this interview Chila did with dezeen last week. My favorite tidbit is the ice cream van, a nod to her father who drove one when first arriving in England. Love. Yet another fabulous thing about this installation? Even though the gallery is closed because of COVID, you can see this beauty without going in! Chila’s work will adorn the facade until January 31, 2021.

hilary swingle

These paintings {oil on aluminum!?} are the most recent work by American artist Hilary Swingle. I’ve always had a thing for female portraiture, and lately I’ve been all about hyper-real bows so, clearly, these gorgeous pieces are working for me! Now, as joyful as those ribbons are, you might notice the subjects are not happy at all. Here’s why:

“Hilary Swingle was brought up in a home which didn’t celebrate holidays. These oil paintings explore the threads between her social anxiety and the exclusion from these festivities while in her youth. The bows symbolize anxiety and inflict an irrational weight on her subjects.”

Beautiful and powerful, much like the artist herself.

{Found via Ashley Longshore … she just bought one of Hilary’s pieces. Smart move.}

marela zacarias


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I mean, what is even happening here!? Fabric caught in the wind, yet frozen in time? Yep. These jaw-dropping pieces are the work of Marela Zacarias, an artist currently based between Brooklyn, Seattle, and Mexico City. Okay, I already know you’re thinking… ‘but what? how did she?’… because that’s exactly what I was thinking! Here’s the answer:

“Working with a labor – and research- intensive process merging sculpture with painting, Marela Zacarías moulds window screen and plaster to fabricate undulating forms with the quality of fabric, bodies filled with movement and expressive quality. The sculptures’ surfaces are populated by socially committed geometric abstractions––shapes and patterns born from the artist’s study of the history and specificity of the site of work.”

Brilliant, thoughtful, and beautifully executed. If you want to see Marela in action, there’s a great video from a couple of years ago on Art21watch it right here. Happy Monday.

{Thanks to @melaart for pointing me to this artist’s work. Images via Marela’s site, her Instagram, and Sapar Contemporary, NYC.}

“just be wonderful”

From childhood stories of beached whales to having her work acquired by MoMA, New York based artist Petah Coyne and I cover it all! To say that this episode has been a game-changer for my own artwork would be a massive understatement. This amazing woman lit a fire under me, and I have a sneaking suspicion she’s going to do the same thing to you! Listen right up there underneath Petah installing her work at Galerie Lelong in New York, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts / Spotify.

First up, here are the images I posted the first time I wrote about Petah a couple of months ago:

The peacocks! I mean, I am in awe. Again.

This is “Dante’s Daphne”. Petah and I didn’t talk about it, but she mentions it in the fabulous video she did with SFMoMA so I thought I’d pop in here for you to see:

Sigh. The detail she puts into each piece astounds me.

Oooh, and this… this is the piece MoMA acquired {that was one of my favorite stories from this episode!}:

I’d love to stand under this beauty so that I could just really, really LOOK.

So yes, Petah often works with found objects and wax, but just look at these absolutely stunning glass pieces:

Gasp! I saw these at “Glasstress” in Venice a few years ago, but didn’t realize who the artist was. When I started down the ‘Petah Coyne rabbit hole’ before I wrote about her last month, I came across these images and realized I actually have seen her work in person! They were breathtaking. Clearly.

Next, I had to include some of Petah’s photography. These are more recent than the photos she showed “at a bank in Dayton”… I believe these are from the late 1990’s – early 2000’s:

Aren’t they gorgeous? See, everything Petah does has a bit of magic to it!

And finally, let’s finish up with a whole bunch of birds:

Love, love, love! I cannot even begin to express how much this episode meant to me and the progression of my own artwork. Thank you so much to Petah for being so warm, generous, brilliant and wise; and of course, thank YOU for listening. There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend.

Other Links:

  1. Petah on Instagram
  2. Galerie Lelong & Co, NYC
  3. SVA (School of Visual Art, NYC)
  4. Alice Aycock, Artist
  5. Donna Dennis, Artist
  6. Jodi Pinto, Artist
  7. Kenji Fujita, Artist
  8. Daisy Patton, Artist
  9. SFMoMA video with Petah {so good!}
  10. New York Times – Art section
  11. Whitney Museum of American Art
  12. The Brooklyn Museum
  13. MoMA
  14. Toby Lewis, Collector
  15. Strand Book Store, NYC
  16. Chanel
  17. My latest work


kirstin lamb

“Wall and Floor”. She’s not kidding, and that work in progress studio shot above is cold hard proof! Yep, Rhode Island based artist Kirstin Lamb has been painting the bits and pieces that serve as inspiration around her studio… both on her wall, and on her floor. From pages ripped out of old books to found cross-stitch works {gah – gorgeous!}, Kirstin considers each one even the blue tape anchoring them in place – as visual treasures. Here are a couple of snippets from Kirstin’s artist statement about this latest work:

“In my studio I hang a range of objects on the wall and arrange things on the floor. Documenting the changing arrangement of objects and ephemera in my studio is a portrait of a moment in time for my creativity. The pictures function as images of a studio, but also a kind of curation of my wall of inspiration, love, compulsion, collections  … I feel a need to lionize the project of all artists, especially at a moment of great precarity and conflict. My love of studio as a refuge, bunker, or some might say dubious ivory tower, is equally tempered by what I feel is an interest in the concrete way studios suggest individual and collective wishes and dreams. Why make now? It is a quiet stubborn optimism that keeps a maker making, and I wish to depict that, to share and spur my peers on as much as image my own creative endeavor.”

Beautiful. “Wall and Floor” can be seen at Periphery Space @ Paper Nautilus, both in person {Wayland Square, Providence, RI} or online, from now until January 3rd, 2021. Happy Friday!

porky hefer

Looooooove! South African artist & designer Porky Hefer creates everything from public sculpture to furniture design… LIKE THESE AMAZING CHAIRS! His work often makes a statement about environmental issues (just ask Leonardo DiCaprio), and that giant Buttpuss – yes, you read that correctly – is no different. This piece is part of his major new collection, “Plastocene: Marine Mutants From a Disposable World”. This work will be making its debut at the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) Triennial 2020 in Melbourne, opening on December 19th, 2020. Here are his words about this latest work:

“Our plastics are filling the oceans and heavy pollutants are changing the pH of our seas. While thousands of species die off, unable to adapt to the rapid changes in their environments, others begin to transmutate. Here, we see the earliest indications of the PLASTOCENE, a new era defined by organismal adaptation to the endless abundance of plastics and pollutants accumulating in our environment. The collection of 5 large-scale handmade environments, including Buttpuss, a 14 metre-wide octopus clad with giant hand-felted cigarette butts, are an example of the types of creatures that shall inherit the earth. Transitional forms that exemplify the fruits of the fossil-fuel consuming and the never-ending hunger for convenience and hyper-efficiency of the ANTHROPOCENE.”

Bravo! Now, how do I get myself to Australia in time to sit inside the majestic Buttpuss?

silvia levenson

Bio: 1957 Born, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 1981 She moved to Italy. This is the most to-the-point artist bio I’ve ever seen, and I love it! Yep, that is exactly what Silvia Levenson did and, as far as I can tell, she’s been creating artwork since forever. Silvia has made so many breathtaking works over the years – from colorful glass clothing to thorn-covered teapots – but her “Strange Little Girls” series grabbed me immediately. How could it not… I can totally relate! Here’s a description about this work from her Instagram feed:

“As a child you have to be good and smile so as not ruin the family photo album irreparably. Living up to these expectations is difficult : I refuse thinking to the childhood as the “Golden Age”to be looked back with nostalgia … Here, my Strange Little Girls, living in an era where the edge between dreams and reality is very evanescent. It doesn’t matter if we are rabbit, crow, fox, wolf or sheep, it is an age that will mark us forever.”

Love. ps. I also love that image from this past summer of Silvia, in her studio, working on a head for yet another ‘strange little girl’.

ashley amery

Ahhhh, as soon as we can travel again, I’m booking a flight into all of these wondrous paintings! Fragrant flowers, cool waterfalls, and magical underwater worlds… yes please! This is the work {gouache on paper} of London based, American artist Ashley Amery. Here are her words about these dreamy, detailed worlds:

“My art practice is based upon drawing and pattern making as a way to investigate form, depth and spatial representation. The process of revisiting a painting many times over the course of weeks, months, or even years, is essential to the way these paintings develop. The resulting images are as much a tracing out of time and visual thinking as they are pictures that reference the outside world. Beginning from the smallest marks, and using the simple materials of water-based paints and inks on paper, these works grow into complexity gradually, reflecting the very processes of nature they depict, often changing directions throughout the course of their evolution. Imagined shapes from memories and impressions of nature form an all-over landscape that speaks to this process of slow growth, wandering pathways, and multiple layers.

I am interested in the way memory informs image making. I draw from a personal stock of impressions to make sense of them through painting. My early years as a child spent in South America and Southern California feed into my use of bold colour, as well as subjects that centre around water and the ocean.”

Beautiful! Ashley’s work is available through Rebecca Hossack Gallery {ps. She has a solo show opening at their London gallery – and online – in the new year: January 30th – February 27th 2021