Posts tagged Abstract
Steven Edson
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Photography’s ability to capture the nuanced details found within ‘Road Paint’ explores the graphic and almost inadvertent abstract expression found in modern road systems. These symbols placed by various road crews, public works departments, cable, telephone, gas companies, and water departments offer colorful and graphic abstract expressions that most people are barely aware of. As people travel by car, foot or bicycle, these symbols are obscured by the commonplace and go practically unnoticed. Once viewers see the graphic, bold and colorful images of ‘Road Paint,’ it offers a fresh insight into people’s own experience to recognize and appreciate the subtle language of paint on roads in a new and enjoyable way.

I have been shooting still photographs for over 40 years. As both a fine art photographer and as an editorial and corporate photographer my work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, annual reports and various forms of electronic media. I am passionate about using photography to document people, places and objects with the ability to capture the world in such incredible detail and to make photographs that have the capacity to impact people and see the world in new ways.

www.stevenedson.net

Studio Sunday: Seth Remsnyder

We’re so excited to be bringing you a Studio Sunday feature with Seth Remsnyder!

My current body of work is titled: “Signage”. These are paintings on metal pieces like signs. The paintings are non-representational works focused on color, arrangement and movement. Some are placed on sign posts and installed in the public to play off of the signage that covers our communities. The intent of this body of work is to place serious works of visual art in a public context that deals with the concept of taking notice of the world around us. Signage is intended to grab the attention. So is visual art. The difference is often the context. Why do we so often miss what we are supposed to see when we are out in the world? Is the benefit of visual art in the public space the benefit of helping us remember how to see? I propose that it is. My current work aims to play off of the concept of signage to confront the public with visual art work in the public spaces that we traverse and all too often ignore. Perhaps most important is the basic idea that works such as these hold the possibility of brightening the days of the residents of our communities.

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

I became interested in art when I was about 9 or so? I liked to draw well before that but my Mom stashed a little post Impressionism/Impressionism catalogue in her magazine rack and I saw a painting by Vincent van Gogh called “Stairway at Auvers” and I was blown away. I tried to paint a lot after seeing that. I think I know how to say it better now than I could have when I was younger but I looked at “Stairway at Auvers”, it was unreal, almost cartoonish in a very good way, but also, so real, so tangible, and dense that I felt like I was there with him. I never thought a picture could make me feel as strongly as that one did. I still get chills when I look at it. If you’re reading this, look it up.

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We love that your work is so bold and colorful. Can you tell us about what inspires you and what inspired your series of metal painted signs specifically?

Well, van Gogh absolutely drove me to just go after color and to not be afraid of it so I think that was very formative for my approach to a palette... Perception is such an important part of life... attentiveness to what is going on around us or passing us by, and with my current body of work I am really getting a lot of imagination material from horizons that I see. Sunsets and sunrises and the stuff of life that’s kind of all crammed underneath the skyline is what I imagine most when I’m painting the lines in my work. So, if I see a certain gradient in the sky I try to amplify it a little as a backdrop for the lines I’m painting. I also just tend to think in masses of color so sometimes I just spray down a color and stare at it for a while and see what it reminds me of or what other colors it calls to mind. It never ceases to amaze me the way our minds make connections to certain colors. Another inspiration for the motifs, the lines and the compositions I’m making with them, is a sort of visualization of relationships. We travel along through life with other people, cross paths etc. and so I’m often painting two lines at a time together and then basing the rest of a piece off of those interactions. I think that we think of life in a very linear way... I don’t means straightforward, but rather, the concept in general. I think we all tend to see ourselves going through life in a kind of GPS kind of way. We imagine ourselves going places and we think of life as a path and that concept really interests me. I think lines are really an endlessly interesting motif.

What is your process like?

My process has changed a lot with the current work I’m doing. Spray paint and air brush removes a certain kind of control that I had spent a lot of time developing with a brush and I am really enjoying that. It has helped me forget myself in an important way. I was always very emotionally connected to the brush, the romance of an expressionist stroke runs deep with me so detaching myself from the work with spray has helped me think more clearly about my paintings. I’m more in tune with the formal elements now I think. Process is a strange thing... it always has to start with something metaphysical, as in, what got me working on a given day... and then its a matter of either improvising or trying to fulfill a plan. With my public work I’m really focusing on a certain kind of place to put my work. I want them to be in spaces that are easily visible but neglected. We don’t always see what we’re supposed to see when we’re out and about and we could probably go on all day about why that is but this work is meant to just go straight at a solution to that... namely, putting serious paintings in a signage form and trying to snag the eyes of passers by. I pay more attention to my world when I think I might be missing art along the way.

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Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

My current studio is on the first floor of my house. I love it. It’s fairly well lit and my family is around. I don’t need much space right now but I am really grateful for what I have... right now at least it’s more than enough.  Music is important to me, I kind of like everything. I do sometimes like to paint without it because the background noise of my kids watching Scooby Doo Where Are You or the old Batman TV show is such a happy kind prof background noise to me. Or, they’ll get caught up in such a good little kid jam session just playing some imaginary game together, my seven year old daughter playing with my three year old is the sweetest noise I can think of. They’re pretty hilarious too so I just listen to them and laugh while I work. One thing I definitely need is a pot of coffee. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for too many years now and that’s my need I guess.

What is your favorite thing about being an artist?

My favorite thing about being as artist is the way that it has helped me learn to use my eyes. I’ve been really fortunate to pursue my Masters Degree in painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design over the past few years and I think the most important skill I’m leaving there with is a vastly improved ability to take notice of my world, the ability to really use my eyes and take things in. I’m so glad for that. I think it’s also helped me sharpen my memories too. I can remember colors from my childhood better now. I know that sounds strange but I think it’s true.

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Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

The big things going on for me right now: I graduate on Friday, May 31st!! I’ll be in Savannah to walk and get my degree! Who knows, maybe I’ll leave some signage behind too... My thesis exhibition is in Richmond, Virginia on Friday, June 7 at Gallery Edit on Broad Street and I’m excited to install this show. Last but not least, my wife and I added our fourth child to our family at the end of April!  His name is Hank and he’s the sweetest little guy. Mom and baby are both doing well. Oh yeah, getting picked up by PxP of course. Grateful.

Browse Seth’s available works with PxP Contemporary.

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Adolfo Gutierrez
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Salvadoran-American artist, Adolfo Gutierrez (b.1992), creates art that forces its audience to look beyond the lines and colors, in order to break apart the stories told in a language reminiscent of hieroglyphics. These symbols serve as visual metaphors, describing the conflicts occurring in Latin American countries that have caused their citizens to leave their homes, the hardships of departure, the process of migration, and arrival in a new country with different customs and conflicts. It explores the notion of finding a home away from home and the unknown stories of those who have come to the US. His color palette draws on the exteriors of homes found across Latin America and is a reminder of his roots.

www.adolfogutierrez.net

Studio Sunday: Kristen Elizabeth
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We’re bringing back Studio Sundays and this weekend we’re so excited to be introducing you to one of our PxP Contemporary artists, Kristen Elizabeth! Learn more in our interview below and then don’t forget to check our her available works in our premiere exhibition ‘Pilot’, which is currently on view online!

Artist Biography:

Connecticut based artist, Kristen Elizabeth (b.1986) formally educated in Industrial Design, has been developing her unique artistic voice over the past several years. Having grown up on the coast, she is heavily influenced by the sea and the dynamic tension between power and balance that can be observed around us. Her work seeks to draw viewers in through bold movement and a counterbalance of intricate mark making. Her use of a wide variety of materials such as acrylic, graphite, pastel, and more creates a visual statement that can be experienced on multiple levels. In addition to her art, she has been involved in many creative projects including painting a 50ft tall likeness of Lebron James in Harlem's famed Rucker Park, as well as - developed a new logo and fashion illustrations for New York's influential FABB charity event.  Her work has been featured in multiple publications including Create! Magazine, Art Reveal Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.  

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How did you first become interested in art and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for art. I grew up in a creative family and had practicing artists on both my mother & father’s side. I’ve always had a desire to be creative, but felt I had to be practical. Because of this, I majored in product design and was approaching graduation right at the beginning of the recession in 2008. The career and life I had been envisioning for the past four years all but evaporated, but this allowed me freedom from a traditional path and ultimately set me on the course to where I am today. It’s been quite a ride - with both highs and lows. I hope to express this dynamism that is life through my current and future works.

Describe your current studio or working area. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your creative space?

I currently divide my time between my small home studio and a larger studio space where I run my business, a children's art studio called SplatterBox. My space at home is peaceful, harmonious and filled with the books, art, and music I love. That space allows me to focus on smaller more contained works using mostly watercolors and inks. SplatterBox allows me the room to stretch out and work on larger pieces without worrying about making a mess - hence the name SplatterBox. That said, it can be a challenge! It can often be hectic & stressful but it is also highly rewarding. I was able to not only lead a fulfilling path teaching kids but also re-discover my passion for art amongst all the glitter, unicorns, & beautiful mess.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your work.

I really try to absorb my environment. I find the people and places around me to be incredible resources. I’ve found that some series tend to draw from specific experiences, while other inspiration could be found in more ethereal experiences. My ‘Mineral Girl’ series was completely inspired by a trip to the amazing mineral room at the Peabody Museum in New Haven, CT. To contrast that, my ‘Geo Swoosh’ & ‘'The Change’ series took from something much more intuitive and deep within myself. I spent much of my childhood by the sea and observed everything from grey misty mornings to deep dark raging storms. Drawing from these visual memories as well as exploring life experiences I had, helped guide my hand.  You can see this in everything from the large sweeping motions to the tapestry of delicate details and patterns.

What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

The one piece of advice I would give my younger self is DON’T WAIT. On pessimistic days I might see it as time wasted, but I have had a range of other experiences and challenges that inform my art today. That said, I held back from truly jumping into my art career for many years and wish I had started that path sooner. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there, but if you keep delaying and putting it off - you’ll never know what opportunities might come your way.

What are you working on now and for the rest of the year?

Right now I’m coming off of an exciting job working for FABB (The Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball) & can’t seem to stray from creating high contrast fashion illustrations. I’ve found these very cathartic and they allow me to create without the pressure of a series or having any constraints imposed (self or otherwise). I’m happy to say they have enabled me to gain a clear headspace and I now have two new series I’m in the process of designing. Both will be an expansion & evolution of my previous work. As a side note, I have to give a nod to the Podcast - Art & Cocktails - for the invaluable information learned while listening to the episode ‘How To Design A New Series’.

View her collection of available works with PxP Contemporary here!

Emma Hill
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My abstract paintings are spontaneous and intuitive, expressive and emotionally charged. Each picture begins with a single brush stroke, starting a conversation. A streak of turquoise leaps above a squiggle of parchment and lilac beside a glimpse of fluorescent pink. Prussian blue drips like pouring rain and brilliant white miniature dots light up the sky like stars. Gradually layers of colour build phrases of optimism. Inspired by nature, brush strokes grow, constantly explore, entwine, and then separate and die.

Working on a large format enables a sense of freedom, to get lost within the picture. The painting process follows a journey into the unknown. In taking risks and trusting my intuition, I embrace uncertainty and vulnerability, allowing the accidental to become the structural core. Markings are made, painted over, wiped off, and layered over.

Influenced by the sky and the sea, a painting is given meaning and becomes complete by engaging the imagination of the viewer, who recognises something for themselves. In that moment, a glimpse of the figurative or a hint of a memory begins to form, shapeshifting and disappearing deep into the clouds or ocean.

My artwork aims to create paintings to dream into where we can be happy just to be. Constructing an intuitive world to get lost into, somewhere beyond our vision, past the horizon, between the sky and the sea. A place to return and revisit, to explore and rediscover and while immersed, losing and finding yourself for a moment in time.

www.emmahill.co.uk

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The First Love: Interview with Jenni Stringleman
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Interview by Sarah Mills


After twenty years of working in graphic design and animation, Jenni Stringleman has returned to her first love - working in oils.
 
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, she paints contemporary, bright expressionist florals, fresh, abstracted nudes and portraits.
 
“For me, painting is an expression of joy. I simply love the act of applying oils to canvas, and this has lead me to explore a heady mix of thick oils, and semi transparent washes of colour, high detail combined with gestural strokes.”

Jenni's recent pieces focus on the figure drawn from life in charcoal, erased, rotated, and attacked with brayers and solvents with slabs of flat colour finally applied to obscure and reveal. 

Jenni sells and exhibits at Gallery De Novo and Endemic World Gallery in New Zealand, as well as shipping pieces to international collectors.

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You came back to painting after 20 years of working in graphic design and animation, what drew you back to oils?

I painted almost religiously at high school, partly to get out of PhysEd but mainly because I was obsessed with art! At our school, we had hessian or paper stapled to walls and never-ending acrylic paint, and it was heaven. I wanted to be a full-time artist but decided to go for something practical - graphic design. I assumed I’d paint in my own time after work, but I never did! Instead, I worked on a bungee jump for years, in New Zealand and the UK, then painted murals and eventually ended up in graphic design in the City in London. I was having too much fun to remember to paint (or practice the flute, but that’s another story)!

Eventually, after 11 years in London, I returned to New Zealand, got married and retrained in animation which I adored, but after falling pregnant with my eldest daughter, I decided to give up work for a while. I played a domestic goddess for some years, then sadly a friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a year to live. It was absolutely tragic as she was a mum of two, and it made me reassess my life choices. I felt it was too late to retrain as a brain surgeon so instead I decided to jump back into painting to leave a legacy for my two young daughters. It was one of the bravest things I ever did, walking into a painting class under the tutelage of artist Robert Campion, however, he was nurturing and kind and downloaded his years of education and experience into my brain, and from there I had a new career!

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You work with such a wide variety of subjects ranging from florals to portraits to abstract work. What do you see as the connecting factor between all your work?

Yes, I do! I am probably like that as a person. I want to be trying new things, learning, stretching myself. Most people call me a colorist, and I do love color, it’s hugely instinctual for me, I feel what goes where and get great joy from the marks and drips and combinations. My first love in painting is the figure... life drawing, nudes, faces. But my mum asked me to paint hydrangeas for her, and they were my first sales to friends and locals.

The nudes were put on the backburner for a while. The galleries who approached me, came to me for my semi-abstracted florals, so that’s where most of my energy went. I painted a portrait of my daughter just for fun then ended up getting commissioned to paint other kids. I love the opportunity they afford me to sit down for once! I like being challenged to capture the real essence of this child, in a more classic way that will stand the test of time. They take ages, and they give me a break from the physical effort of the large pieces. Last year I studied under Martin Campos, and he inspired me to combine my love of color and paint with my charcoal sketches of the figure. A new aspect to my work developed, and now I think of myself as working happily across these three strands.

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Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

Definitely nature, usually in the small details of plants and the effects of light. Also all of human life. I store away images from magazines and TV, fashion shows, of people on the street. There’s not enough time in my day to paint the things I want to. I screengrab so much of Instagram. Today my art hero Andrew Salgado posted a shot of himself in an orange raincoat against an orange wall, and now that’s all I want to paint! As well as the pieces I sell through galleries, I paint on A3 size Arches paper and that’s where I experiment, and they’re all stacked up in a cupboard! I need to have a sale.

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What is the first thing you do when you sit down to start a new oil painting?

So this depends a little on which one of my themes I’m working on. For the big textured botanical pieces, I almost always start with a fast, loose acrylic underpainting. I stand, listen to podcasts or music, move around and go on instinct. I may use a ref photo but often don’t. I start from a position of wanting to use certain colors or shapes, and this informs what I’m working towards. For the portraits and nudes, I tend to sit at the table and use a desktop easel. The nudes are from life or ref photos, I sketch multiple times in charcoal, rubbing out marks and rotating the support. Eventually, I will introduce a limited palette of oils. With the portraits, I dive in from a ref photo. I don’t grid up or anything. I paint the whole face at once and gradually refine.

Your paintings have a beautiful textural quality to them. What is your process like to achieve that texture?

Thank you! That came about mainly through laziness. I use so much saturated oil color that washing out my brushes each night was doing my head in. I tried a painting knife one day and got hooked! I rarely use a brush now except for the portraits. It helped me simplify, and I love the geometric quality.

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What is your favorite part about working with fluid paints?

Oh, it’s just so fun, it’s exciting. It’s a proper thrill to squeeze paint from a tube, mix it with the knife. With the washy underpainting, I love the unexpected blends. With my oils, I enjoy the thick texture and sheer glazes. The only thing I don’t like is how messy I am. Each tube is lidless, covered in paint, etc.

What advice do you have for our readers who are struggling to change their artistic paths?

My week with Martin Campos did genuinely change my life. I’d say if you can afford it, seek out artists you love and admire and try and study with them. Even a weekend will help! Give yourself permission to play, don’t feel the need to show everything. Expect changes to take time. Your audience may take time to catch up to your new style. Imagine you had a year left, what would you do with it? What is your true passion? But be practical! You need to survive, and there’s no shame in working for money to allow yourself the luxury of time to explore.

Free and Intuitive: Interview with Lauren Mycroft
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Lauren Mycroft is a Canadian painter whose abstract works reference organic shapes using complex layers and staining. Using a contemporary palette and methodical layering technique, Mycroft creates process-driven artwork that feels both fresh and familiar. The compositions are created freely and intuitively, learned through years of practice and formal art training. Inspired by memory of place, Mycroft reflects on our emotional attachment and not specific locales. Through her unique palette and fields of stains, Mycroft offers the viewer a sense of nostalgia and elicits a personal response based on their own experiences with the landscape.

Mycroft studied at Vancouver Island University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and now exhibits regularly on the Canadian West Coast.

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In your artist statement, you talk about how your practice is process driven. How did you develop your process?

My process was developed over years of experimentation and working towards the goal of painting without developing an attachment to the end result. I have always enjoyed painting with a fluid medium. However, something clicked for me when I started working with high flow paints. This new medium caused my process to change dramatically, as I started pouring liquid paint over the canvas rather than applying with a brush.

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What is your favorite part about your intuitive practice?

Painting intuitively as opposed to painting with a specific outcome in mind challenges my need to control small details and allows me to problem solve creatively in the moment. Although it can feel overwhelming approaching a canvas in this way, once I overcome the compositional challenges of a painting, I am far more excited by the result than had I approached it with a predetermined outcome.

You also talk in your statement about being inspired by the memory of the place. When and how did this idea become an inspiration in your work?

The process of painting landscapes is something that has allowed me to reflect upon my childhood, as I moved around a lot in my life. Leaving the imagery abstracted and void of representative details allows the viewer to create their attachment to the work. For me, each piece is very personal; however it is not based on a specific locale, it is more representational of time.

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How does the idea of memory drive and come through in your work?

I would say the idea of memory drives the mood of my work and dictates my color palette and the boldness or softness or a painting. That, combined with the indistinct forms, allow viewers to apply their memory and attachment to a piece which creates a connection for the collector.

Can you tell us a little about your color palette? Is the palette premeditated for each piece or do you work intuitively there as well?

I often start with an idea of a palette or a couple of colors; however, it changes as the painting develops.

Can you share a piece of advice you have received that you think our readers would benefit from hearing?

I don’t remember where I read this, however, the simple, yet powerful statement, “walk towards your fear” has greatly impacted how I approach creating such personal work every day and how I navigate this career. I also have a note on my studio wall reminding myself not to allow the work to become precious; this keeps it fun and experimental and will enable me to make my best work.

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What has been the best part of your artistic career thus far?

I keep surprising myself with what I’m able to accomplish as a self-employed person (even the fact that I’m self-employed is a surprise to me) who is also raising two little humans! There’s a sense of pride and newfound confidence that I’ve acquired with each hurdle I overcome.

Young Shin
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Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Young grew up loving art, spending hours at end drawing and painting, and making and sewing her own dolls and clothes.  After receiving a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Studio/Visual Arts focusing on oil painting, she proceeded to studying law and graduating with a J.D.  However, it was only a matter of time that she returned to her love of art and design, eventually receiving her degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design.  After a stint in a career as a fashion designer in NYC and Chicago, Young spent several years making and selling handmade, hand-painted, and silk-screened clothing and accessory line through her own label. 

 In her body of work, melding her past experiences and passion together, Young combines elements from art, design, and craft.  The distorted and abstracted geometric shapes and layered and uneven textures in her paintings encompass such idea.  Stylistically, applying paper as her main medium and adopting simple geometric shapes as her main form of expression – empirically giving the impression of respite and airiness – Young’s studio practice strives to achieve neo-minimalist aesthetics.  She appreciates the balance between unornamented austerity in the physical form with complex and nuanced nature of the craftsmanship involving layering, molding and sanding paper by hands.  Young resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where she works as a full-time painter.

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Sacred Geometry: Interview with Phyllis Gorsen and Paula Cahill
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Phyllis Gorsen

I have created a series of multi-canvased paintings that describe how we are all connected together by having elements of everyday life in common. I use symbols in both visual and written language as depictions of these commonalities highlighting the connections created by their universality despite varying perceptions. I use a combination of abstraction and representation in the work.These paintings explore connection in two ways: larger multi-canvased compositions that are broad symbolic illustrations of elements of common human experiences, and smaller “couples” paintings that represent two universal elements symbolically paired together in written language. These works are more specific in nature. 
My paintings are intended to move the eye using energetic patterns, movement and vibrancy. My hope is that viewer is captivated by the visual allure of the surface to allow for a slow unveiling of the meaning of the work – which is that we all connected by sharing many of these human experiences.

-Phyllis Gorsen

Tell me about your creative journey so far. 

I have been painting most of my life, primarily figures.  What I loved most about figurative work is that many times it contains the thing that is most basic to all of us. Race, gender identity, religion, etc. inform our experiences and perspectives and thus there are multitudes of viewpoints stemming from that. But, even with these differences, there are overarching similarities that we are share. That is the place that I want to put the emphasis on. As an artist, my work has always been about connection. I try to portray the human aspects that are intrinsic to all people regardless of our differences.  

When I went back to school and got my MFA in 2014 from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, I studied the figurative painters that I loved so much, mainly the Bay Area Figurative Painters like David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. It was then that I started to concentrate on figurative work that captures the patterns of everyday life, but I never made my work autobiographical. I was always much more interested in those spaces that are common to everyone. And although the figure was a catalyst for my work, between the use of color, collage, and pattern, there has always been a strong abstract component. After I graduated, I started to play around in the studio thinking more about the literal interpretation of patterns of everyday life. That’s when I took the turn into geometric abstract work.

As I delved deeper into the abstract elements, both in subject matter and execution, I began portraying components of everyday life in symbolic terms. I created paintings mimetic of the human experience without the use of figures. Most people don’t realize that my paintings contain symbols, I think mostly because I try not to make them too obvious. I prefer a slow unveiling of the meaning behind the work. I do fuse abstraction and representation within many of my paintings as long as I feel they describe the various facets of our commonalities. Some of these elements are recognizable and others are symbolic interpretations of components such as language, technology, nature, culture, etc. Often, I use lines to bridge these symbols together, illustrating how they connect us together. Linguistically, I am exploring the use of symbolism through my titles. These play a critical role in telling the story of each piece and drive the composition of some paintings. All of my work has a high degree of vibrancy and vibration that is a constant within my practice.

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What inspired you to create the work you are including in the exhibition at James Oliver Gallery?


My works in the show contain pieces that are more complex and have various visual components and meanings, as well as paintings that are more distilled and simplified. In addition to the complex paintings that are attached to multiple canvases, I wanted to include paintings that were separate but related. So I have works that are both interconnected such as “Essence and Pursuit” and outwardly connected such as “Of a Circular Nature…”- which are a set of four paintings? It was an exciting exploration in the idea of connection to depict it internally and externally. All of the work is painted on circular canvases or within circular spaces. The circle to me is beautiful in that there are no defined edges. They feel like complete bodies to me and allow me to investigate the idea of connection in a more fluid way.


What are some ongoing themes or ideas you have been exploring within your paintings?

As I mentioned before, I focus on how the commonality of shared patterns connects people together by using symbolism- both abstract and representational. I personally feel that the most powerful works are the ones that combine visceral sensory experiences with fundamental content underneath. I like making the surfaces of my paintings beautiful with the hope that the viewer is enticed enough to uncover the underlying message of human connection. In “Interweave”, the idea was to illustrate that regardless of our differences, people are internally woven together creating a society. In “Interlink #1-12”, the 12 separate canvases each represents a microcosm of a society that is linked to ones surrounding it. In “Essence and Pursuit”, there are eight canvases representing elements of humanity. From the top left panel going across and down, they are: Connection, Essence (red rings emanating outward), diverse populations of people moving together and apart (top middle), Vegetation, Geography, Technology (bottom middle), Knowledge, and Cities.


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What can visitors expect from this exhibition?  

Sacred Geometry describes the patterns found in nature from the most minuscule particles to the greater cosmos. We obviously took on the title of the show “Sacred Geometry” with some poetic license. The idea behind the show was to exhibit work that had geometric abstract elements that also incorporated the meaning behind it.

When you walk into Hot-Bed Gallery, the viewer is immersed in a room of vibrant pattern and color. It really is visually exciting due to the interplay of color and movement from our work. I was really happy to be exhibiting with Paula Cahill because I am an admirer of her work and I felt that our paintings would fit well together. Hopefully, the audience will be seduced by the luminous surfaces to want to know more about the paintings.

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Paula Cahill

Is it possible to pinpoint when straight and curved lines were invented? The contours of ancient rock paintings give us organic lines and line is evident in the motifs of early Greek vessels and Egyptian Funerary art. Renaissance artists were lauded for their invention of perspective, a system contrived of straight lines that extend to infinity. Modernists isolated and formalized gestural line as subject. I strive to extend this conversation by painstakingly mixing and repeatedly laying down up to 100 gradients of color in my attempts to contemporize line.

- Paula Cahill

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Tell me about your creative journey so far. 

I studied figurative painting for many years before transitioning to complex abstract paintings. While in Graduate School, one of my critics looked at my figurative work and told me that if I wanted to paint flesh better, I should paint a fish. So, I did. When he came back, he said: "That's a pretty good fish, you should paint another one." Apparently, my other critics also thought that I should paint fish and they told me so. I never figured out if they thought I painted great fish or lousy flesh, but I kept painting fish. Pretty soon, I became interested in the way fish were moving in my aquarium and I began tracking their movements with line. I used those lines to make my first linear abstract paintings.

Being an abstract painter was like being a kid in a candy store for me. I wanted to experiment and try every type of abstract painting. I experimented for about six years. When I decided to get serious about showing my work, I asked friends for advice. They basically told me that I was a gallerist's nightmare! I needed to settle down to create a cohesive body of work. That's when I returned to the lines and I’ve been developing this body of work for almost two years. I’m glad that I made this commitment because the work has become more precise and complex. I’ve moved beyond fish and have used a variety of catalysts for the paintings. Art historical reference, movement, music, geometry, and memories have all been sources for my paintings.

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What inspired you to create the work you are including in the exhibition at James Oliver Gallery?

To me line is everything! Line is everywhere and it has been with us forever. I often wonder if we can pinpoint when straight and curved lines were invented. The contours of ancient rock paintings give us organic lines and line is evident in the motifs of early Greek vessels and Egyptian Funerary art.Renaissance artists were lauded for their invention of perspective, a system contrived of straight lines that extend to infinity. Modernists isolated and formalized gestural line as a subject. I strive to extend this conversation by painstakingly mixing and repeatedly laying down up to 100 gradients of color in my attempts to contemporize line.

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What can visitors expect from this exhibition?  

My new 2019 paintings will be exhibited for the first time in Sacred Geometry at Hot Bed. Geometry and historical reference are heavily weighted in this work. I think that viewers will be surprised to see some color shifts and compositional changes.

Jenniffer Omaitz
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Jenniffer Omaitz (b. 1979, Cleveland, OH) lives in Kent, OH and works in Kent and Cleveland. She holds an M.F.A. in painting from Kent State University and a B.F.A. in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The Sculpture Center, Cleveland; Sandy Carson Gallery, Denver; and Kent State University, Hinterland, Denver, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. Her work was also featured at the 2010 Biennial of the Americas in Denver, Fresh Paint at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati (2017), CAN Triennial in Cleveland 2018 and recently was awarded a fellowship residency with the Akron Soul Train. 

Statement:

Our urban and geographic environment is in a constant state of transformation. My work explores states of change between order and chaos that relate to the visual experience of environmental shift. Painting and Installation Art are modes of communicating our sensitivity to environmental factors; these practices provide me with a cadence and context through which to express ideas. My installations explore order/chaos theory by invoking abstraction through the juxtaposition of technology, architecture, and nature colliding. Paintings are a meditation on movement, color, permutation, and gesture; boundary coordinates operating between space and color.

My paintings explore ideas of Fold, Gesture and Movement. These are approached in two ongoing series: Solid Movement and Folding Gesture. Solid Movement is an investigation into gesture and its ability to encapsulate time and psyche, fuse internal and external, and record conceptual state changes in solidified form. Folding Gesture explores changes in spatial order that appear fractured or fragmented. These states can remain calm or reconfigure coherence in the painting. I am interested in the connection between a fold as it relates to architecture or design and gesture as it relates to aspects of drawing and 20th century painting. This series struggles to define beauty, exploring abstraction as incident and artifact of the process in which paint is applied, exposing interior and exterior spaces that may not coexist. There is a constant struggle between surface and ground, between paint and the boundaries within the painting. This series of work attempts to unify my sculptural endeavors with my interests in painting.

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Polychromatic Fragmentism: Interview with Riccardo Liotta
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Professionally trained and practicing as an architect, I have also been producing art inspired by physics, mathematics, and geometry, the foundation of my artwork. 

Abstract art is characterized by dynamic, angular geometries, contrasting shapes, overlapping polychromatic polygons, vibrant colors, sharp lines, and graphics elements.

Derived from the application of mathematical formulas and geometric principles, it expresses concepts like speed, movement, and energy, reflecting the changing, unstable characteristics of nature, as well as the fragmentation, uncertainty and undeterminability of life. 

Technically these compositions are influenced by Futurism, Rayonism, Constructivism, and Suprematism, but take inspiration from comics, graphic design, diagrams and photographs of particle collisions and electron microscopy.

Through continuous artistic research and development, and by learning/experimenting with different techniques, methods and tools, the art has evolved, becoming less rigid, less systematic, but more intuitive, gestural, fluid, and it is created by experimenting with figure-ground relationship, proportions, harmony, contrast, overlaps, layers, movement, and by analyzing and altering the behavior of colors, fields, shapes, lines and segments.

All my artwork, despite which diverse approaches it originates from, shares many common stylistic traits and characteristics, and belongs to a broad style I identify as "polychromatic fragmentism".

I find acrylic to be the medium that best expresses my ideas and theories. However, I also work with colored pencils and pastels, pen, markers and collage. I also extensively utilize the computer to generate patterns, shapes and compositions, and to alter/enhance paintings and drawings.

instagram.com/riccardoliotta.art/

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How did your artistic career start?

My career as an artist started in architecture illustration while working on my master in architecture. that is where I started painting and discovered acrylics.for my school projects and my thesis I began producing architectural paintings, but in a very abstract, interpretative way.

From there I transitioned to pure geometric, abstract compositions, gradually abandoning the architecture influence.

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What is your studio practice like?

I am still a practicing architect, so I usually split the day between architecture and art. I typically work on my artwork in the afternoons and evenings. many days, having not much time to devote to an actual canvas or composition, I find myself working on smaller drawings, collages or mixed-media work, or just sketching. quite a bit of time is also spent on just creating and analyzing forms – painted, drawn or cut-out - that will either be used on or as starting points for actual compositions. I also spend a fair amount of time writing about my work process, or to analyze ideas.

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You have such a specific style. How did you develop it?

my architectural thesis project was based on particle physics and quantum mechanics, the concepts of randomness, chance and probability, and the application of these principles to the design methodology. this, along with my interest in mathematics and geometry, led me to develop a series of mathematical/geometrical experiments that generated what I called the “eigencompositions”: analytical, polychromatic abstract compositions consisting of simplified yet very dynamic geometrical shapes, fields, lines and segments, derived from the superposition of different forms generated and arranged systematically by these experiments.

Later on, I started using new mathematical concepts and mechanisms to generate different compositions. I also had different opportunities to learn and experiment with a variety of techniques, methods, and tools that have allowed me - if not forced me - to diversifying my modus operandi and to generate art using new processes, different from the abovementioned systems.

All these approaches, along with continuous artistic research, evolved and developed into what my art is today: less rigid, less systematic, but more intuitive, gestural, fluid, also influenced by comics, graphic design, diagrams and photographs of particle collisions and electron microscopy.

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What has been the most memorable moment of your artistic career thus far?

In recent months, my work is regularly being published in different magazines and catalogs, as well as being recognized by some of the most important art sale and collection sites. being invited by important galleries and art fairs to exhibit with them is also quite rewarding.

What first drew you to working with geometric shapes?

When I started painting, my artwork was related to or influenced by architecture. but my architectural projects were all based on mathematics, geometry and physics. so, directly or indirectly, that is always been the foundation of my work. but I also think it is all simply driven by my innate, genuine interest and fascination with geometry.

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You use such bold colors in your work, how do you choose your palette for each piece?

At the early stages of composition it is very intuitive. typically, I already have a chromatic scheme in mind right from the beginning, derived from magazine clippings, a photograph, comics, graphic design, other artwork, or by simply sketching with color pencils. I then analyze these color combinations as the work progresses, to make sure they are right for the shapes and that they work as a whole, and add smaller amounts of complementary colors as I move along.

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When starting a new piece do you typically have a plan or do you plan as you go?

I always have a plan as the starting point for each work, a way to generate the shapes and the relationships that make the composition.it could be a simple drawing – for example, a sketch of a piece done at a museum – a diagram, or a “spontaneous” assemblage of paper clippings and fragments that form an interesting whole. the main colors are also already loosely established.

As the work develops, through a variety of operations new shapes inevitably appear, some get altered, and others are hidden or eliminated.and so the original plan is constantly being modified until there is only some of it left. it’s a process where I let the composition take its natural course, but still within the parameters of the original plan.

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Colors of Sound by Nicolle Cure

Nicolle Cure is a Colombian-American artist living and working in Miami, FL. She was born and raised in the seaside of Barranquilla, Colombia and moved to the U.S. when she was 17 years old.  Always inspired by art and design, she studied Computer Arts Animation at the Miami Dade College and then obtained a Bachelor of Advertising from the University of Florida. She also holds academic certificates from the Sotheby's Institute of Art.  Her background has allowed her to interact with many aspects of juxtaposed cultures which in turn, encouraged her to create works based on these experiences, world travels, and her own personal emotions. 

Nicolle was selected as the sole recipient of the 'Leaders with Disabilities' Scholarship Award* to attend the Americans for the Arts' 2018 National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Seattle, WA.  Read My Hearing Loss Journal for additional info.


After experiencing sudden unilateral deafness in 2017, I was in extreme pain and isolation. During the first months after losing my hearing, I used to wake up to the sudden sensation that everything around me was spinning (vertigo), this lasted minutes and left my body weak for the rest of the day. In addition, any slight body movement would make me feel dizzy and nauseated. Naturally, I was resting in bed most of the time and I could not do the one thing that gave me joy—painting, my passion. I was extremely depressed as well as anxious, with mood swings. It was difficult to move freely or be in an optimal "state-of-mind", and this was devastating.

HOW THE ‘COLORS OF SOUND’ WAS BORN

One day, something incredible happened; I ironically turned to sound to lift my creative spirit. My partner Felipe, who is a music producer and sound engineer, showed me the range of frequencies that I was no longer able to hear anymore.

It was a bizarre experience to be able to see on a screen the sound waves and frequencies that I could not hear. When I looked at the frequencies, I saw patterns. Seeing the sound allowed me to capture emotions and moods. 

I decided I had to make an effort to go back to my studio in order to create and communicate. This is how the painting collection, “The Colors of Sound,” was born. I used acrylic inks and paint to mimic the energy and movement of the sound waves. I chose vibrant colors to create an uplifting, positive message, or darker colors for a more somber tone. With the paintings I wanted to explore the relationship between sound and life, to consider how we make sense of our surroundings through what we can hear. 







Glowing Auras: Interview with Marit Geraldine Bostad

By Sarah Mills

Through a series of paintings on canvas, Marit Geraldine Bostad investigates the themes that are central to her artistic research, the inner psyche, memories and human interaction. She blends her colours by pouring paint directly onto the canvas using a variety of tools, seldom using the paint brush - to create diverse, versatile effects, resulting in broad expressive strokes whose vibrant color emanates from the surface. As she moves the paint around the canvas, consistent colour blends start to form. These blended gestures become auras that grow and merge with pure colour. Marit Geraldine explores the Nordic Colour tradition in a bold new direction, blending tone to tone pastels with sparks of fluorescent and manifesting her own personal psychic state onto the canvas. She builds up and breaks down the diverse elements of her personal experience and brings them together in a new plastic dimension.

Named one of the “4 must see Artists” at The other Art Fair London in 2017 by Chief Curator of Saatchi Art, Rebecca Wilson, Bostad has exhibited in renowned galleries in Oslo, London, New York and Los Angeles, and recently completed a summer residency at ESKFF MANA Contemporary in New York.

All studio photos: byTXF

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Tell us about your painting process.

I blend my colours by pouring paint directly onto the canvas and using different tools to spread it across the surface, I rarely use a paint brush. This often results in very particular details and broad strokes which are caused by the lightness of my tools. I am always drawn to contrasts, adding layers of paint in disparity with each other to maintain a constant battle on the canvas – searching for the right kind of unbalance; both in gestures, colours and mark making. I am largely influenced by memories, people and situations, whose essence I attempt to preserve on the canvas, translating meaningful experiences into my plastic pictorial expression.

For some time now I have tried to go beyond the conveyance of external emotional reactions to reach deeper into the subconscious, in an attempt to erase the line between the conscious and the unconscious, and allow the canvas to become the tangible manifestation of my inner psyche.

Prior to this I planned my sessions in the studio, I narrowed down what I wanted to focus on, but nowadays my projects focus on complete freedom, the total lack of definition. By allowing myself to embrace the inner world of the subconscious psyche, I hope to reach a new level of interaction, a new source of inspiration, and perhaps a newly refined artistic expression, through continuous exploration of a free expressionistic approach to painting. Instead of using my personal life experiences, I seek inwards, beyond my conscious mind, and use my emotions to guide me, in order to express universal archetypes that transcend the particular conditions of my own life.

This was also the focus of my works executed at my recent residency at ESKFF / Mana Contemporary in NYC where I was so lucky to spend 5 weeks this summer. Saatchi Art blogged about my project.

What is your favourite part about working with fluid paints?

The most inspiring moments are when the paint itself find new ways, takes interesting and unexpected turns across the canvas. At those moments I need to use my intuition, to either follow or reroute. I don´t listen to music when I work, I use silence as a mentor - to enable me to hear my own voice. I am constantly in a dialogue with my material, it is all about give and take.

How did you develop your style as an artist?

I developed my style from an inner urge. I took classes with myself, slowly opening up the door from the inside to the outside. In retrospect, I like to think that I started from the inside and unlearned my way out again.

I was originally an art director, working with visual content in a commercial context, and as such there was always a barrier between me and my material. I was highly influenced by trends and customer’s expectations. I became a robot; always working within limitations. It was from these restrictions that I developed a strong urge to initiate projects for myself. When I got my first big job at a respectable art agency I escaped into painting whenever I had the chance, as a way to unwind and release. My own secret room – where I could freely express myself, away from consumer goods and customer taste.

When ten years later I decided to start as a full-time artist, it changed my life. For the first time, my work was meaningful. Being able to watch people connect to my work also strengthened my own, personal bond with my creations. I experimented constantly, spending thousands of hours in my studio, playing freely with colour, technique, and material. I think I will get old and still feel humble towards my materials. After working as an artist for some years I started to exhibit internationally, and I traveled a lot. I became inspired by so many up and coming artists, I learned that everything is possible as long as you dare to stand out and take some risks.

My style comes from years of studio practice – but also from learning from others. I was confident in my own expression when I sought a new direction and thus I was open for new inspiration. I never changed my style completely, I just added small glimpses of the new. As such I can still recognise myself in my old paintings, there is a certain core of me in it, even though my style has definitively changed over the years, coloured by my technique, rarely using the paint brush. People ask me how long a painting takes to complete. - The work is done when I feel that humble sensation, “did I create this piece?” That is the ultimate sign of a painting being ready to continue the conversation elsewhere.

What is your studio practice like?

I work in a very disciplined and structured way, and as much as I can, which often leads to more practical matters just being set aside. I usually work with several pieces at the same time as I love the possibility of being spontaneous, getting new impulses. I often go back to a piece inspired by something else, a new colour, a new mark. When I have good periods in the studio, I compare it with being addicted to a drug. It is hard to leave, and as soon as I walk out the door I am longing to be back. But interacting with the world outside will make me a better artist in the end. It makes me focused and love what I do even more. So when the alarm clock rings in the studio because I have to pick up my youngest from school, it always makes me smile. What feels like one hour has in fact been a whole day. It never stops overwhelming me…People ask me whether I feel lonely, being in my studio all by myself. But you don´t have to be surrounded with people to have meaningful conversations. It is a different kind of relationship that gives so much back at the end of the day without a word being said.

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You left a career in Art Direction to pursue painting full time, what was that experience like?

Scary and absolutely fantastic. A moment of truth. I have been drawing and painting since I was a child, both my parents were artists so I had creativity solidly rooted in my life. But when they were struggling to make ends meet they had to take on other jobs as well. When I was at the age of making choices at school, planning my future - their voices echoed in my head. “Go for something safe and solid, get a profession where you won´t worry about income,” I remember wondering why adult life had to be about doing the right things. I studied philosophy, psychology, marketing, but had the same empty feeling inside, year after year, I felt that I had chosen wrong. Eventually, I found a school that had some of my creative interests, so I took a Bachelor in Art Direction.

I spent almost ten years working with visual content and design in film and print and traveled the world earning a high income. My work was most often about pushing consumer products out in the world, and living up to others expectations, making something “pretty” or “cool”. During these ten years, I escaped into painting whenever I had a chance. During the weekends, at nights, on holidays. The real moment of truth came after bringing a child into this world. It gave me a new strength, a clearer connection to myself somehow. I finally quit my job, it had almost made me sick. Today I am grateful that creating something from my own inner source was stronger than my fear of failing. I think that it is this that has made my artistic expression strong and rooted, in something real and true.

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Share a piece of advice you have received that you would like to pass along to our readers.

As an artist, I meet so many people giving me feedback on my artwork. Back in 2016, I had a conversation with an art curator, Rebecca Wilson from Saatchi Art, she made me realise that I had my own unique voice. She told me that she had not seen anything like my style before, which made me very happy to hear, of course. Ever since, I have carried her words with me as motivation, a strength on a rainy day. I have worked hard and steadily, always trying to be in contact with myself and with what I really feel, setting aside expectation, perfectionism, and trends, reminding myself that if I stay true to myself I will somehow make the right decisions. Sometimes that means listening to advice from others, and other times it means holding on to something I believe in; a core essence which is about unlearning, finding your own inner voice – a voice which is well hidden amongst the louder echoes of our society.

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What has been the most exciting moment of your art career?

Ohh, that´s a tough one! I have so many great moments… Can I please make a short list: My first solo-show; almost selling out my whole booth at my first art fair in London; managing to stop my crate at the airport when I was returning from New York after a fair because a very good gallery last minute wanted my works and to represent me! My first group show in New York at Madelyn Jordon Fine Art where I was curated in the same show as Gary Komarin; being one of Rebecca Wilsons 4 must-see artists at TOAF London in 2017; getting a phone call from Tonje Buer, curator at Fineart (Norway’s biggest gallery in Oslo); being picked for 2018 EURO ESKFF residency program at MANA Contemporary in New York; getting to work with so many new galleries internationally during 2018; being invited to KHÅK Kunsthall (one of Norway’s most prestigious art associations where I will be having my biggest solo-show ever in late 2019) In addition to that – I have to mention ALL the moments in my studio (at least 5-6 crucial ones), where I have gained precious insight, all of which are an essential part of where I am today both as a person and as an artist.

Annette Hur
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Born in South Korea, Annette Hur lives and works in New York City. Hur has previously shown in solo / group exhibitions at Gavin Brown Enterprise, Times Square Space, Leroy Neiman Gallery, 33 Orchard gallery, Wallach Gallery in New York; Illinois State Museum, Heaven Gallery, Chicago Artists Coalition, Boundary, Sullivan Gallery, Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. Hur’s work was featured in New American Paintings issues 134 & 135, the online art publications: Bad at Sports and Third Coast Review. Hur was a resident of BOLT Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition in 2016-2017, and she holds a BA in Education from Ewha Womans University in South Korea and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Masters of Fine Arts(2019) degree candidate at Columbia University.

Statement 

My artistic pursuits suppressed throughout my young adulthood were reignited as a recovery to domestic violence and depression — both related to the patriarchal environment I was raised in while growing up in Korea. By working with abstraction on large scale oil paintings and Korean silk textiles, I investigate the inherited traditional culture that subconsciously manipulates and subverts female sexuality. Heavily abstracted bodily forms and a palette that mimics the colors of viscera or surface wounds of the body create an atmosphere of tension between the physical body and everyday violence around it. As a result, although the entire image is abstract, hints of fingers, breasts, genitals, wounds, and acts of vomiting or penetration create narratives of unsafe bodily experiences. In my work, I am empowered to express my vulnerability with strength, rejection with acceptance, and to reveal what has been hidden.

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Holly D. Gray
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The role of caregiver, predominately assumed by women, is the inspiration and basis for my artistic practice. While creating my newest works, I was thinking about my role as a female caregiver and what that means to me personally, but also what that might look like for the mothers of medically fragile children that happen to be so similar to myself. With this identity, I was absorbed in the daily labor both physical and emotional for these women.

I tend to collect objects over a measured and set amount of time, and I enjoy giving myself specific time restrictions for my practice. With the specifics of time and volume, my photographs for the One Day Project refers to a 24-hour period of collection from thirteen different mothers and their disabled children, that are located across the United States. The ceramic installation, 52 weeks, is a nod to the weeks of a year and this piece was created by my personal weekly collections as a memorial to the year gone by. 

The subject matter of my work is the daily detritus or waste material that comes with the life of a medically fragile child. The female caregivers, mothers in most cases, fight for these supplies on numerous levels and use this material in hopes that it will be part of the puzzle to keep their child alive one more day. Without these mundane daily rituals, their children and mine would not survive. And with this subject, I’m left to think about the moment to moment that ends up being a tremendous weight in this type of caregiving. 

The materials that I use are rooted in the daily care for children with multiple disabilities. By using photography as a material to transform what would be considered in most cases trash, I’m able to document a moment in time that is fleeting for the families involved. With the use of ceramic sculpture for the installation 52 Weeks, the forms offer a fragility and softness that the source plastics cannot achieve.

There is an elegance in this type of caregiving that most don’t see. There’s a light in its brokenness. After all, this is a parent and child relationship. The images of Light in Nurture reference the collection of source material in a unique way. My intent with these images is to add beauty to the perceived brokenness. Society and politics often view disability as a tragedy or a drain on resources. A life lived atypically is often related to strain and stress, but there is a calmness, strength, grace, and resilience that come from this community of women. For myself, I’ve had the same routine for eleven years with my daughter, so the daily practice of this core group of women is fiercely important to my artwork. 

Best known for her contemporary photography and ceramic sculpture installations, Gray’s materials are chosen and rooted in the act of daily caregiving with a soft female aesthetic. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Holly D. Gray will receive her MFA in May of 2019 from The University of Texas at Arlington.

hollydgray.com