dan gunn

Ahhh, sipping coffee in the studio while admiring these colorful, patterned blankets draped on hooks. Or not. They’re wood… flat, hard, unable to flow! And if you want to get really specific, here’s the materials list: Dye, UV absorbent lacquer, on plywood with nylon cord and wire {no cloth!}. Oh my word, this is the fabulous work of Chicago based artist and educator Dan Gunn. Some of his work is included in “The Shallow Act of Seeing” currently showing – until May 16th – at John Michael Kohler Arts Center {Sheboygan, WI}. “Pushing against the very qualities that define their medium, artists Dan Gunn, Bayne Peterson, and Rachel Beach defy the physical rigidity of wood and confound expectations of its use.”  They sure do! Happy Friday.

woody de othello

Okay, it’s a three-way tie between the scrambled pink phone, the giant yellow fan, and the nose light. So. Good. This is the weird and wonderful ceramic work of Haitian born, Miami based artist Woody De Othello. Here’s a description of his work via Jessica Silverman Gallery:

During his childhood, Othello saw these household objects as intimate presences, used to alter physical states and offer temporary comfort. Moreover, born and raised in Miami to a family of Haitian descent, the artist was enamored by the power of ceramic pots used to contain and overcome negative energy and bad spirits.

Using a hand-building technique called “slab construction,” Othello builds his ceramic sculptures up about six inches at a time. “The clay takes over; it has a mind of its own,” he explains. “It is a conversation and there is always space for me to react.” Othello pushes the forms up to a point where they are near collapse, working the unfired clay to a point of precariousness, giving each piece a psychological weight, a sense of movement and individual emotion. The glazes are then layered with many pieces being fired multiple times to achieve the depth of color and texture that Othello desires.

‘The clay takes over’ … love, love, love!

*Bio photo via Cultured Mag by Aubrey Mayer

gerard mas

Beautifully made work that also makes you laugh? LOVE! This is the gorgeous/cheeky work Barcelona based artist Gerard Mas. After scrolling through his portfolio, it appears that Gerard sculpts in any medium he can get his very talented hands on … from wood and alabaster, to clay and in this case, resin.

Gerard Mas is a Spanish artist (Sant Feliu de Guixols, 1976) who approaches his sculptures with an exceptional sense of humor. The statues resemble busts from the 15th century Florentine period, but in the very contemporary vision of Mas. With his sculptures he creates a dialogue between tradition and modernity. Mas is particularly interested in the visual image and less in its historical meaning, perhaps as a paradigm of our current society in which image increasingly replaces content.

Although his work shows a great aesthetic affinity with the traditional – which is also evident in the use of his favorite materials: marble, alabaster, wood and resin – changing the invisible code of ethics is an important key in the artist’s process. The sculptures of the ‘Dama’ series are a good example of absurd and grotesque combinations.

The women’s faces are sweet and charming, soft and delicate, often with a pearly white skin that implies innocence, but at the same time, for example, a cheeky, inflated gum ball breaks through the illusion and idealistic perfection of her beauty, as in the ‘Dama del Chicle’ busts , and a surprising shock effect is created. ~ via Absolute Art Gallery, Belgium

The sunburn is my fave… or the bubblegum… ooh, or the nose-picker. Tough call.

sarah ball

Ahhh, I will never ever get tired of seeing portraits painted by UK based artist Sarah Ball. These are few of her recent paintings from 2020, and just like every other post I’ve written about her {2013 and 2015}, I’m smitten. Such quiet softness, both in technique and mood. Here is a description of her work via Stephen Friedman Gallery:

“Sarah Ball’s meticulously rendered portraits explore themes of gender and identity. Demonstrating an acute sensitivity to the psyche of her subjects, she emphasises physical characteristics that define how we outwardly portray ourselves to the world.

Ball uses source material such as newspaper cuttings, archival photographs and social media to inform her portraits. Often depicting people who celebrate self-expression and contest traditional binary norms, Ball highlights physiognomy, hairstyles, clothes, jewellery and make-up that reveal the idiosyncrasies of her anonymous, often unknowing sitters. Set against flat planes of colour and confined within closely cropped compositions, the artist lends the people within her work a surreal, timeless quality by denying the viewer any form of narrative about their identity.”

Beautiful. Follow Sarah on Instagram, and find her available work at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.

jennifer l. mohr

Annnnnnd, exhale. Maybe it’s because my backyard is covered in snow at the moment, but I can almost smell these these candy-colored grasses as they sway gently in the warm summer air. Ahhhh, maybe one more deep cleansing breath for good measure. These are a few of the most recent paintings {acrylic on canvas} by Canadian artist Jennifer L. Mohr and, as you can probably tell, I love all of them! The scale, the palettes, the quiet landscape that begs us to slow down:

“I was grown from the prairie and everything in my creative practice leads back to those roots.  As a child, growing up on a grain farm in the vast grasslands of Saskatchewan, I spent much of my time wandering outside alone, quiet, observant, and introspective.  Those formative moments fueled in me a deep identity-connection with the landscape and everything within it.  During those years, I also formed a proud identity as an artist, influenced by the somewhat unconventional cultural experiences provided to me by my family, which allowed me to feel unique in our conservative rural community.  The concept of place-identity first began to influence my artwork as early as my fledgling oil painting practice at the age of 8.

In my current creative pursuits, I continue to be drawn to the subject of the prairie and my relationship to that landscape.  My feelings of belonging and oneness with the prairie environment are reflected back to me in the artistic process.  In my artwork, I translate my observations of the landscape into inventive color, reactive mark-making, and expressive energy in an attempt to portray the magic of reciprocity between my identity, the landscape, and my art.” 

Sigh. Happy Monday.

ps. Follow Jen on Instagram to see all of her gorgeous #WIPs and inspiration photos, and you can buy her originals here, and her prints here.

“create your own magic”

That stunning work is titled “Rest In Peace”. It is a life-sized, Baroque-inspired gown… made of PAPER. I know. It’s too much to wrap your head around, which exactly why I knew I had to have it’s creator on the podcast. Haitian born, New York based artist Fabiola Jean-Louis answered alllllll of my questions on today’s episode. So. Many. Questions. In between explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind her exquisite work, I also found out that she graduated from the same high school as Basquiat, was almost a doctor, and is a mother of five. Yep. You can listen right up there under “Rest in Peace”, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify {and, you know, feel free to leave a lovely review while you’re there!}

First, since I don’t have images from her pre-med days, I’ll go as far back as her Polaroids… which by the way are MAGIC:

Self. Taught. Polaroids {and Photoshop} were how she got her instant gratification, but somewhere along the way her photographs got, well, much less instant! Here are just some of the pieces from “Rewriting History”. Brace yourself, because the level of detail is insane:

Gasp! Paper dresses, dollhouses, props and  yes, those lovely paper shoes! The final composition above is “Marie Antoinette is Dead”, the piece Fabiola talked about regarding the first pair of paper shoes she ever made… see them poking out from under that gorgeous blue paper dress? So much work for the tiniest little glimpse {that’s why I’ve included them on their own as well… they need their moment in the spotlight!}

Alright, and here are the paper gowns from “Rewriting History” when they’re displayed on their own:

I mean, come on. STUN. NING.

Ooh, and some of her latest work… the altar/shrine!

Look at that detail! When her father said “the magic is in the details”, Fabiola was obviously really listening.

And finally, a photo of this artist / rewriter of history / mother of five… plus, a quick “day in the life” video she posted not too long ago:

Sigh. So beautiful. All of it. Also, I want to squeeze her ridiculously cute baby! Thank you so much to Fabiola for taking time out of her busy life to be on the podcast, and thank YOU for listening. Stay tuned on info about the podcast network I’m joining {with Andy J. Pizza}, and for details about joining my new club: “The NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH ART Society”… it’s gonna be good! ~ Danielle xo

Other links:

  1. Fabiola on Instagram
  2. High School of Fashion Industries
  3. Isabella Gardner Museum, Boston
  4. “Black Art : In the Absence of Light” {we talked about this new documentary after we stopped recording, but we both love it and think you should go watch it! It’s on HBOMax}


kevin foote

Quiet, soft and a little bit sad, no?. This is the ethereal work of Wisconsin based painter Kevin Foote. I saw that lovely fawn about to have a nap {48″ x 32″ mixed media on canvas} scroll by in my feed, and that was that… I was down the rabbit hole. Those palettes, the emotion in all of his subjects, and – of course – that crow. Love. Happy Friday.

Kevin is represented by Arcadia Contemporary, NYC, and they have a virtual show OPENING TOMORROW! You can also follow him on Instagram: @bitter_buff_alo

agnes hansella

I don’t know which noise to make first!? *Sigh* because of how beautiful and magical Bali is, or *Gasp!* over this insane installation! This is the jaw-dropping work of Jakarta based artist Agnes Hansella aka @macrame_id. Giant macrame made with thick rope, twisted and tied to reveal the “Sunset”, “Mountain” and “Ocean”. Each large-scale piece was on the corresponding side of the building, beautifully reflecting the area surrounding Locca Beach House Bali. Here are Agnes’ words about the project:

The project involves 8 people including me, to knot a 16mm manila rope to the roof construction.
We finished 3 enormous pieces during 12 days of work. With the height from bottom to top measures 766cm, this enormous piece is fun and challenging for me to work with. With macrame, sometimes we can’t plan the whole thing in one go. The ropes have their own nature and we are the ones to follow. The design keeps evolving every time a knot was made. {Thankfully, I made it in time to finish all three just before the coronavirus outbreak in Indonesia.} This project is commissioned by Flowerbloom Studio.”

See? Sigh and Gasp are both required. Oh great, and now I want to go back to Bali. Someday.

{via Colossal}

benny dröscher

Sigh. I want to lie under these magical trees, looking up at birds and feathers and flowers and, well, whatever else might be floating by… mushrooms, shells, scribbles of color. This is the work of Copenhagen based artist Benny Dröscher. He has worked in all sorts of mediums from 3D to 2D. I’m pretty sure these are acrylic paintings… or lithographs? Or some kind of fabulous combo? Here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter because I’m madly in love with them either way.

ps. Last week I wrote about Swiss artist Mathilde Tinturier’s lovely  mobiles, and someone said ‘they look like a Benny Dröscher painting.’ That person was right!

andrea alonge

The exploration of “movement through space and time using textiles as a drawing tool, creating labor-intensive meditative works that recall natural wonders, landscape, and psychedelic visions, exploring relationships, touch, intimacy, and tactility.” Yes, please! This is the colorful, meticulous, I-wanna-touch-it work of American artist Andrea Alonge. Her recent artist statement is a beautiful look at where most of us are at this very moment:

“Our lives are colored with human interactions and relationships. We build lines of intimacy with each other and our environments. We hope to see ourselves reflected, catch a glimpse of a familiarity that spurs us to bridge the distance between us. In a time of digital interactions and a need for physical distance, our concept of distance becomes heightened yet blurry – we see and interact with each other and our environments through a screen. Sharing a physical space is something we all crave, yet out of necessity we are forced to translate the experience of the physical into the digital. We are finding our way through the unknown, the compulsion to touch, the need to meet even if in a truncated form, and the balance between isolation and socialization. We are more aware of the physical presence of others, the distance between us, and the subtle ways we have to communicate care for others because of the danger of getting too physically close. Our environments and nature have become solace, we can still touch the trees and the sand and the water. Our bodies are grounded in different relational indicators, and our intimacy now takes a different form. If we’re lucky, we still have someone we can touch and receive the chemical and tactile stimuli so necessary for our sense of well-being. A thought that comforts me is the idea of our connections to everything through our chemical makeup – we are made up of the water, and the same elements as the stars and the trees, and the air that we breathe, and our universal consciousness. We are all touching. We will touch forever.” 

Sigh. I needed to hear that.