andrea d’aquino, ruth asawa and a GIVEAWAY

Love, love, looooooove! An artist I love, telling the story of another artist I love… could Monday get any better?  This is the latest book by New York based mixed media artist/illustrator Andrea D’Aquino. It’s titled A LIFE MADE BY HAND. THE STORY OF RUTH ASAWA” and it is so, so, so lovely! This beautifully illustrated, very sweet storybook about an important Japanese American artist will be on shelves this September, but you can preorder it right this very minute. You could also leave a comment below because I’m GIVING AWAY ONE COPY of this beauty to one of you beauties! I’ll draw one name this Friday August 23rd and, yes, everyone from everywhere is eligible because that’s how I roll. Happy Monday.

julie cockburn

Embroidery {and on two of the boys, inkjet as well} on found images. Oh, the work of London based artist Julie Cockburn. LOVE. After my post on Tom Butler’s gouache paintings earlier this week, I got a bunch of comments asking if I knew Julie’s work. I do, and I love it! I’ve already written about her, but when I checked the post it was WAY back in 2012!? Well, that’s far too long! Stunning compositions, gorgeous palette choices, and insane stitching skills. Again, LOVE. Happy Friday.

joris kuipers

Oh, so much fantasticness. I’m referring to the entire portfolio of Rotterdam based artist Joris Kuipers. After much debate {with myself} I ended up deciding to feature this installation, titled “Suspended relief 004”, that he displayed at Object Rotterdam in 2018. Breathtaking, no?

“Kuipers’ work consists room-filling installations, wall reliefs, sculptures and works on paper. Characteristic of his work is the layered structure of two-dimensional elements … Crystallization and fanning out, concentration and flow, presence and absence, are his current thinking and working framework.”

Exactly! “… installations, wall reliefs, sculptures and works on paper”. Please go look at his recent wall reliefs because they are GORGEOUS!

carrie pearce

Ah yes, I am intrigued… and let’s be honest … a little bit scared. This is the work of American painter Carrie Pearce. Where do these beautiful yet unsettling narratives come from? I’ll let Carrie take it from here:

I Make Shit Up, Is That Too Harsh? – An artist statement by Carrie Pearce

The underpinning of my work is the story. I guess you could say I am a “Story Painter of Half-truths”. I aim to create an image that has never been seen through Imaginary Realism. I enjoy digging stories out of my brain and creating a new world on the plane of two-dimensional panel.

Everything has a story, Every person, animal and object came from somewhere and carries it’s history like a ghost. Perhaps, this is why I am drawn to the haunting, turn of the century photos for my subjects. Where did you come from? What became of you? What do you want to be when you grow up? They rarely answer…

My enjoyment in the creation of art lies in the making of…“making shit up”. (BTW I am tired of being PC) So, You will see people, wildlife, and still-life paintings aimed to entertain you and convey events real or imagined through images, improvisation and embellishment.

Not too harsh at all. Keep making that shit up, Carrie!

tom butler

GOUACHE. He did this with gouache!? These are a few recent pieces from UK based artist Tom Butler. His delicate, tiny, wispy brushstrokes transform these proper subjects, on their vintage Albumen prints, into hair-covered wonders {that I’m quite sure Diane Arbus would love to photograph}. I found Tom’s beautifully bizarre work through Charlie Smith London.

ariel lee

Aaaaaand I’ve been transported to the desert… ok, except for that lovely mountain lake, but I had to include it! This is the vibrant work of California based painter Ariel Lee. These gouache on paper pieces (!?) are currently part of a two-person show (with ceramicist Maria Paz) at Hey There Projects in Joshua Tree, CA. The show, titled ‘Further Than I Can See’, runs until September 13, 2019.

christina bothwell

Gasp! This is the strange and stunning work of American sculptor Christina Bothwell. She studied painting at art school, but ultimately found herself drawn to glass and clay… so she taught herself how to do it. So inspiring! Here is part of her artist statement:

“Since I was very young, I have been fascinated with the concept of the Soul… the idea that the physical body represents only a small part of our beingness. I am always interested in trying to express the that we are more than just our bodies, and my ongoing spiritual interests and pursuits have run parallel to the narrative in my pieces … I am drawn to the processes of birth, death, and renewal. What lies below the surface fascinates me and I try to capture the qualities of the “unseen” that express the sense of wonder that I feel in my daily existence. I am attracted to glass because it can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, it offers an inner space and transmits light.”

It certainly does! And speaking of renewal, almost exactly one year ago, Christina’s studio burned to the ground. She lost everything… not only all of her equipment and supplies, but a huge amount of the work she’d created over the past twenty years. Devastating. That said, I’m happy to report that she and her husband Robert D. Bender (also a fabulous glass artist who she often collaborates with), have picked up the pieces and are forging ahead. Again, so inspiring. ps. Don’t be distracted by sweet Gosle in the video… she’s just there to give feedback if Christina needs it.

luba zygarewicz

This is “RISORGERE” (meaning, to rise again). It was created by New Orleans based installation artist Luba Zygarewicz while she was at Chalk Hill Artist Residency in Healdsburg, California. Here are Luba’s words on this very moving installation:

“[RISORGERE] is comprised of hundreds of remnants from the Sonoma Fires of 2017, which I collected at a Fire Debris Site in Windsor, CA. These vestiges are organized and woven together into columns to create groupings symbolizing different “areas of a house or belongings”.   The perpendicular structures are strung together horizontally to create a cohesive structure that is suspended with some pieces just above the ground.

Undergirding the structure, much like an offering, lay hundreds of pieces of melted glass salvaged from the fires. The glass pieces are arranged from light to dark and stand as symbols of the frailty of life, while serving as reminders of strength and resilience.  

While sifting and digging at the salvage yard, I felt a strong sense that each piece I found represented a person’s life, and possibly their dream of a house, car, phone, baseball bat, etc. I also imagined how those affected by the fires had searched and dug for things they could recognize and reclaim. This process of gathering was a heart wrenching experience. Back at the studio, after cleaning each piece, I set out to arrange them in a way that created a narrative by finding common elements among a disparity of objects. The symmetrical lines from the vineyards in Sonoma County inspired the overall visual design.

I am deeply honored to be considered to have this work on display as an homage to the many individuals and families who have risen again, and have rebuilt their lives one piece at the time.”

Beautiful. And sad. And hopeful.

jennifer nehrbass

Gasp! These oil paintings are the latest work of American painter Jennifer Nehrbass. I wrote about her collage-like paintings a few years ago, but when I stumbled across her most recent series, titled “Pioneer Project”, well, this post wrote itself. Hyper-real portraits living harmoniously with flat geometrics, colorful gradients, all on large-scale canvas (48″x30″) … LOVE!

summer mixer : group show

I don’t usually suffer from FOMO, but I definitely wish I could see this show in New York! Summer Mixer, at Joshua Liner Gallery, features the work of some of my favorite artists… from Arno Beck‘s typewriter landscapes, Jen Stark‘s dizzying pieces, the gorgeous abstracts of Kathryn Macnaughton, and Mark Wagner‘s cut up cash to the colorful sculptures of Stephen OrmandyTerri Loewenthal‘s vibrant photographs, and – of course – brand new funny and fantastic text paintings by Wayne White. WHAT? How can I possibly be missing this!? If you, however, happen to be in New York, you don’t have to miss it. Summer Mixer runs until August 23, 2019.