Posts tagged Drawing
Spotlight: Stencil Exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary
Eelus

Eelus

April 6th - April 27th, 2019

NEW YORK CITY - Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Spotlight: Stencil, a group exhibition surveying contemporary stencil art. The exhibition features an international roster of artists who push the boundaries of the medium both inside and outside the studio.

Eelus is a UK based mural artist and screen printer. An early member of the street-art bastion Pictures on Walls, Eelus is a contemporary of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Hush, and many more working in stencils.

Jana & JS are an Austro-French duo whose work merge their shared passion for photography and urban environments. Inspired by the city, its architecture and inhabitants, their work focuses on urban landscapes, portraits and details of architecture.

Joe Lurato,

Joe Lurato,

Joe Iurato is a multidisciplinary artist whose works are built on a foundation of stencils and aerosol. Falling somewhere in between simplistic and photorealistic, his multi-layer stencils offer a distinctly clean and illustrative aesthetic.

Mando Marie

Mando Marie

Mando Marie is known for her graphic work, which uses images of tales and repetition of motifs to inform the compositions of her paintings. Her works play with elements of both the spooky and nostalgia.

OakOak is an anonymous artist who transforms everyday objects, utilizing them for his cleverly placed imagery, creating works that are a combination of humor and urban poetry.

Oak Oak

Oak Oak

Penny finds inspiration in everyday objects and often overlooked ephemera, but currency is the most prominent recurring theme in his work. He has received global critical acclaim for his hand cut, extremely detailed stencil work.

This exhibition will be on view through Saturday, April 27th. A limited edition 7-layer screen print titled Red Dress by Eelus is scheduled to be released in conjunction with the exhibition and will be available in person at the opening. For more information, additional images, or exclusive content, please email nyc@hashimotocontemporary.com

Jackie Leishman
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Leishman grew up in Georgia, moving to the Los Angeles area after completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Originally trained as a photographer, she now works in collage.  Her work investigates the interrelationship between painting, drawing, and collage. 

 She has shown her work nationally, won awards, and taught photography and fine art at universities in Utah and California. She has participated in art residencies at The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN and PressWorks in Claremont, CA. She was most recently commissioned by Emily Henderson Designs, and was exhibited in the Downtown LA Arts District, had a solo show in Utah, “If We Ever Wake At All”, and continues to participate in the ever-evolving art collaboration, “The Fourth Artist.” 

Statement

The world is collage to me. What happens at the edges and among the layers, where two different materials or ideas meet — that’s where I’m drawn. I have bins and bins of paper and scraps in my studio. It is important to my process that I not use virgin working materials but rather fragments of older work and found materials. Something from something. Beauty from ashes. It’s also important for me to show the sometimes-raw joints, the roughness of their coming together, to be candid about the process of layering and to leave the hand of the artist apparent. 

The push and pull between two ideas intrigues me most: the animating tensions between destruction and creation, expansion and contraction, and explosion and implosion. These ideas are embodied in the wilderness. The only constant in the wild is that it will change, that an element can and will be both violent and passive, opposites held in a balance. In a world that is increasingly contentious, the need to feel peace within the chaos becomes more desperate. By drawing, painting and collaging, I seek to find an equivalent to the peace found in wild places. 

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Erin Holscher Almazan
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Erin Holscher Almazan is an Associate Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.  Erin is a native of North Dakota. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from Minnesota State University Moorhead and her MFA in Printmaking from Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York. She has completed two printmaking residencies at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. Erin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been included in exhibitions in connection with the Southern Graphics Printmaking Council and the Mid-America Print Council. Erin is also an active member of the Dayton art and printmaking community.  She resides in Dayton with her husband and two sons. 

Statement

My work is a direct and emotional response to identity; I am continually fascinated and perplexed by my roles and relationships. Through my work, I reflect on a malleable identity shaped not only by our own shifting environments, but also by nature, nurture, inheritance, and history. I draw, print and paint to fluidly move with and investigate form and edge and to achieve a range of gestural lines and marks. I strive to communicate acceptance, ambivalence, struggle, empathy, and connectivity, and to convey the duality embedded within our identity.

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Creating Environments Through Drawing with Anastasia Parmson
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 Anastasia Parmson is an Estonian artist with Siberian roots and a French education. She is currently living and working in New Zealand.

Parmson’s drawing career began from early childhood. It is during her MFA studies at Strasbourg University that she began pushing the limits of drawing by combining it with other mediums such as video projection, sculpture, ready-made and poetry, winning awards for animation and drawing installation.

In 2010  she served onboard a marine conservation vessel in Antarctic waters. The voyage resulted in a series of light box drawings titled Ship Life. These were the focal point of Parmson’s first solo show at Rundum Artist-Run Space in Tallinn, Estonia.

In 2017 Parmson created a public art installation for Kilometre of Sculpture festival at Tallinn Art Week, drawing a 200m (656ft) long line through the heart of her hometown.

Her latest project – a site specific installation Untitled (my space at may space) for Out of Line exhibition at MAY SPACE gallery in Sydney – is the next step toward Parmson’s vision of creating a whole world in drawing.

These milestones have helped Anastasia define her artistic practice and inspire curiosity toward new unexpected possibilities to innovate contemporary drawing as a medium. In future projects she intends to expand drawing into large scale installations with video mapping as well as virtual- and augmented reality.

Statement

My work has been strongly influenced by childhood obsessions of Dysney comics and coloring books. Traveling a lot and living in several countries around the world has meant that I am constantly looking for belonging while inevitably remaining an outsider. Drawing has been my way of creating pockets of familiarity and intimacy in a world of strange and unknown, like tracing my place in the world.

Stripping everything down to the line - that is the most basic form of every drawing. I want to take drawing past its conventional two-dimensional format by combining it with other mediums such as sculpture and ready-made, video, performance and poetry, social media and augmented reality. I want it to be not just seen – but experienced. I dream of creating a whole environment in drawing; something people can walk through, exist in and interact with.

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When did you first start experimenting with the idea of experiencing and interacting with a drawing? What sparked that idea?

My first experiments began in university during my Master’s degree studies. Learning about contemporary art and what was popular in the art world left me feeling like drawing as a medium was somehow not “enough”. I experimented with video art, installation and performance. But when the time came to pick my Master’s curriculum I discovered that the only class taught by my favorite tutor was a graphics module. That scared me a lot! This tutor had become my mentor and pusher of boundaries and as a painter himself, he always had the toughest questions and harshest critiques for students working with painting and drawing. At first, it was difficult, drawing felt too limited and too traditional to think outside the box. So I began considering mixing it with other mediums and slowly I was able to imagine drawing become so much more than marks on paper. Since then it has kept proliferating in my mind: my artistic practice cannot keep up with my vision of what drawing can be.

What was your experience like shifting from drawing in a more traditional way of creating installations?

Growing up, drawing had always been my “thing”. Then in my first years at university, I completely neglected it because I discovered that all of my favorite contemporary artists were making big shiny work, conceptual installations, and sensory environments. I can still remember the lightbulb moment when I realized I could marry drawing with video and installation art. It was pure joy and felt like I had found my artistic voice. I could at last combine the craft that had shaped my past with the scale and feel of art that had so much inspired me and what I was striving for.

Based on your artist statement travel has played a big part in your life, how has traveling so much affected your art making?

On the one hand, there are the constraints of time, space and available tools, which largely dictated what I could and could not do for many years. I spent a lot of time on a boat where the only medium readily available was photography, so I documented my encounters. This provided a lot of material and inspiration for when I turned to digital drawing (and mixing drawing with photography). It was easy to pack a graphic tablet and take my work with me wherever I went.

On the other hand, there are the personal and cultural effects of moving countries and living in different parts of the world. It is difficult to put into words but it has been an important theme in my work. My Master’s thesis was about the “in-between” – the ever precarious space in which one is divided but at the same time made whole by cultural differences, language barriers, and patriotic loyalties. For me the lines I draw between dark and light areas of an image or an object are like borders: they link parts of an image together just as much as they separate. Art has been my way to work through the enormous experiences of travel, the friendships lost due to distance and it has served as a comfort in times when I was yet again starting as a stranger in a new place.

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What is your first step when starting a drawing that is going to combine more than one medium?

There are many ways to begin. When working on a site-specific project or for a particular event/purpose I start by looking at the existing space and use any constraints as my initial framework. Sometimes I have to ask myself how to simplify everything down to just one line and then build onto that.

Most often though I have these big visions rattling around in my head for a long time before I figure out a way to make something of them. For example, the body of work I am putting together right now has been gestating for years. It’s only in the past 18 months that I have been able to have space, the tools and the confidence to start bringing these visions into reality.

How has your artistic style changed throughout your career?

My visual style - or my handwriting so to speak - has been pretty consistent so far. It’s mainly my tools and materials that have changed over time. I think the greatest shifts have been in how and why I begin a project. In university years I was able to work a lot more conceptually - starting with a personal struggle or revelation and building an artwork around that. Then during many travels and changes, my inspiration came mostly from outside – from objects, places, and people I came across on my journey. And now it’s slowly changing again toward a more reflective and personal expression.

Do you have advice for our readers who would like to take their drawings off the drawing pad?

Begin to draw a line, when you reach the edge of the pad – keep going! Think big but simplify to the max. Try all the tools, surfaces and mediums you are drawn to or feel intimidated by. Regardless of how big and “unfeasible” your idea seems, try to make a prototype out of what you have at hand or can afford. There are so many ways to push the limits of art today: digital tools, virtual reality, 3D printing, street art… Or why not use mediums such as sound, fabric, social media or food to DRAW people together!? There is no limit.

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Has creating installations changed the way you view drawing as a medium?

Yes! I have this huge passion for drawing now because there are no limits to it as far as I can see. I just love how simple lines can be so all-encompassing, I am obsessed with it.

Making digital drawing also brought a big shift in perspective for me. A few years ago I visited a large contemporary drawing fair in Paris, hoping to see how digital art was faring in the art world. It shocked me to find that a vast majority of work there was charcoal, pencil or ballpoint pen on paper. I only found one digital piece in the whole fair – and it looked like a pencil drawing on paper. That experience opened my eyes to what the art world at the time deemed acceptable as drawing. This notion had influenced me in my early years as a student, limiting my ideas of drawing as primarily a tool for preparation and practice. And so I believe it’s important that more artists use the most contemporary mediums and unusual tools available to make art and expand the notion of what a simple line of drawing could be.

Petites Luxures
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NEW YORK CITY - Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Petites Luxures in Big Apple, a solo exhibition by French illustrator Petites Luxures. Petites Luxures in Big Apple will be the artists inaugural solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary, in which he explores themes of sexuality and intimacy through his signature minimalist style.

Through the use of minimal mark making focusing on the simplicity of fluid lines, Petites Luxure’s work delves into the intimacy of human relationships and love. French phrases and humorous witticism’s act as clues
to the often seemingly unfinished scenes, leaving the viewer to imagine the rest of the story. From a pair of hands unbuckling a belt to innumerable hands intertwined and entangled across bodies, the images culminate in a delicate and playful portrayal of desire and lust.

For Petites Luxures in the Big Apple, the artist will be exhibiting over 25 new ink on paper drawings, and will be exhibiting mixed media sculptural works and installations for the first time ever.

About the exhibition, Petites Luxures states, “Whatever the medium is, the purpose is always to play with the viewer’s eye, to make the spectator search for the rest of the story and to create playful and interactive erotic scenes.”

Please join us Saturday, January 5 from 6pm - 8pm for the opening reception of Petites Luxures In Big Apple. The artist will be in attendance. A limited edition archival pigment print of L’Éventail is scheduled to be released in conjunction with the exhibition and will be available in person at the opening.

This exhibition will be on view through Saturday, January 26, 2019. For more information, additional images, or exclusive content, please email us at nyc@hashimotocontemporary.com

Daria Aksenova

Daria Aksenova is best known for her suspended paper dreamscape-like narrative compositions in ink. In the heart of Houston’s newly renovated creative studios, she displays a unique treasure of imagination. The current focus of her work takes on the creation of dynamic movement in a static medium, as a self-taught artist, drawing from her past experience with the fashion and film industries. It is her intent that cinematographic storytelling arises from the layers and complexity of the composition. These pull in both the eye and mind, presenting a space and opportunity for the imagination to wander into a deep narrative that can only be experienced first-hand.

Daria Aksenova uses ink, as it is an unforgiving medium that precludes editing and demands precision. Individual elements are then hand-cut with a scalpel and suspended against each other until the desired depth is achieved. Her technique demands a steady hand and unfailing commitment, often requiring over a hundred hours of dedication and intimacy with each piece.

The subject matter is chosen by a fascination with mythology and folklore. Her pieces evoke a dreamscape-like narrative to serve as a vehicle to transport the viewer back to past, more carefree times, outside the limitations of the everyday world.

Natalie Dark

Born in Miami, FL, Natalie Dark works in a variety of mediums, though her current work is made exclusively in colored pencil. Natalie's attention to detail and precision requires a certain level of mindfulness, which lends itself to rich color and visual depth that results in finished pieces reminiscent of oil paintings created by 17th-century Dutch Masters.

As a theme, mindfulness is woven throughout her body of work in direct response to her environment and reflections on personal identity and cultural experience. As a Cuban-American woman in today's political climate, colored pencil provides a sense of stability and grounding that is necessary when living in a world that is in a constant state of flux.

Follow her on Instagram: @nataliedarkart.

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Artist Statement

"Camino Oscuro," (or "Dark Journey," in English) is a foray into Natalie's experience as a newly married, Hispanic woman, who has lost a sense of obvious cultural identity in exchanging her maiden name, Delgado, for the more Americanized Dark.

Her subject matter is purposefully inviting, familiar, and comforting. It provides the viewer with an instant connection and, therefore, an opportunity for further exploration. It is a democratizing experience, where a seductive and comforting exterior hides a world of complexity, a history unexplored or understood by the viewer.

Art on Paper in Brussels

We were so excited to be given the opportunity to visit Art on Paper [in collaboration with BOZAR] a small, international drawing-focused art fair in Brussels last week. Besides the fact that it highlights a specific medium - one which can be defined broadly due to its potential to be used in a seemingly infinite amount of ways - the fair is unique in that each gallery's booth presents one solo exhibition rather than a group show of their roster of artists. Below you'll find a few of our favorites!

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From the Art on Paper press release:

The line, to infinity. As everyone knows, drawing is first and foremost a line, potentially infinite. This line evolves and expands over time. In 2018, Art on Paper grows and doubles in size. Since its inception, Art on Paper has been emphasizing the variety and diversity of contemporary approaches to drawing through artist solo shows. This is the main principle of the show, it is THE specificity renewed every year: one booth, one gallery, one artist. Thus, for 5 days, 50 Belgian and international galleries are investing BOZAR exhibition spaces to offer, in the heart of Brussels, 50 SOLO SHOWS from established and emerging artists: the best of contemporary drawing. Building on the success of its latest editions, Art on Paper is setting itself up this year in the prestigious "Ravenstein Circuit", always in collaboration with BOZAR, and has new parallel projects to reflect the most current creation and the most experimental practices in terms of drawing.

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1. Gamaliel Rodríguez at ATM Galería

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5. Serena Fineschi at Montoro 12 Contemporary Art

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6. Anneke Eussen at Tatjana Pieters

Katie Evans

Katie graduated from Flagler College in the fall of 2015 with a BFA in Fine Art and a BA in Graphic Design. After school she continued working at a design studio in the area. When she's not making art she enjoys practicing yoga, exploring Florida's state parks, and thrifting for objects that will inspire her next drawing. To stay up to date with Katie's latest drawings and see work in progress, follow her on instagram: @kevans_art

At first glance the women in my work may appear meek and docile, lying lifeless or staring blankly into space. The seemingly submissive poses they hold become performances of endurance as they firmly resist their environment. They are immersed within themselves, possessing a quiet, reserved power.

Reconstructing Experiences: Interview with Lisa Wicka

Lisa Wicka received her BFA from the University of Central Florida, and MFA from Purdue University. Her work has shown both national and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, and is in many public and private collections. She actively participates in artist residencies around the world including Sparkbox Studios (Canada), Ålgården Workshop (Sweden) and Officina Stamperia del Notaio (Sicily). Her experiences traveling and living throughout the US have greatly inspired her practice. Wicka currently resides in Marinette, WI where she is the Assistant professor of Art at the UW Colleges. 

Statement

We live in the spaces... 

between past and present, 

between empty and occupied, 

between mind and body, 

between physical and virtual, 

between tangible and lost, 

between loneliness and love, 

between exposed and hidden. 

Through the breakdown and rebuilding of the in-between, my work mimics the everyday navigation of these realms. Temporary moments of clarity come together and fall apart, creating a self in motion, evolving through experience, place, failures and successes. My work is a surface where this dialogue becomes visible explorations of my surroundings and my identity, a surrogate self with limitless possibilities. 

Often referencing architectural spaces, wallpapers, and raw materials, my work brings into question the solidity and accuracy of things we hold true. Printmaking, drawing, and mixed media methods allow me to acknowledge my experiences, dissect them, and reconstruct them into something concrete, if only for a moment. 

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Interview by Sarah Mills

What are you currently working on? 

I am currently working on a new series of work Along the Way while continuing to work on my series, Focus. Along the Way is made up of fragments that incorporate patterns, textures, and in most cases, some little legs interacting with the construction. Focus is a series I started a few years ago, where I build miniature abstracted domestic spaces and photograph them in various locations. These photos then become a part of an interactive piece that invites the viewer to have their own intimate experience. (See short video clip.)

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What is the inspiration behind your current series? 

In my artist statement, I talk about my work as a surface where the dialogue between my surroundings and myself can take place, as if a surrogate form. With this new work, I am reflecting on transitional spaces, and how one functions in them. These spaces are in-betweens, such as trains, cars, etc… but I also draw connections to the space that exists on our digital platforms. Both types of space feel heavy and physical; they take up space and time and are often occupied, but at the same time can be lonely. This new series is about existing within them, recognizing their rules and limitations, and finding yourself (even if only temporarily) in those moments. A number of things have brought me to this series, but primarily it stems from my last three years in a fairly remote location in the Midwest. This being my first location post grad school, I went from having a network of artists, friends, and resources within my reach to having a lot of physical distance from these things. I am learning to rely more on communications online, staying up-to-date through Facebook, and other resources, and traveling whenever I can. This means that I am mostly isolated, with bursts of New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago, where I try to soak up as much of my surroundings as much as possible, as if I could store it like a camel. This approach has given me the time to reflect on both ends of this experience and evaluate this balance that we all try to create in one way or another.

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Tell us about your process when you start a new piece. 

At this point, very rarely am I starting a piece totally from scratch; I have built up a large collection of screen printed patterns, monoprints, drawings, wood shapes, etc. and they often make their way into my work. The patterns I create are often reflections of past experiences or are reminiscent of an existing pattern from my everyday. I work like a collage artist, so for the most part when I am drawing or printing my patterns, I am creating flat sheets that will be cut up, folded, layered along the way. My sketchbook is filled with shapes and notes more than anything, and I can pretty confidently say I never know what the piece is really going to look like when I start it. I have found this way of working allows the more controlling side of me to have a say in the creation of the individual collage pieces, then I rely on experimentation and instinct when I start to combine things together. I intentionally make room for happy accidents, which sounds strange, but that is the place where the good stuff happens.

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In your artist statement you talk a lot about how your surroundings and identity influence your work. Can you talk about some of the biggest influences in your life?

I think moving around and traveling has had such an impact on my work and my life. I have experienced small towns, big cities, and some in-between, and finding who I am in those places has challenged me to questions what is important to me: what to keep, and what to let go. For me, embracing the uncomfortable has offered me the opportunity to try new things, meet new people, sometimes fail, but learn more about myself along the way. I can see the fluidity in which I change from place to place, recognizing changes in career, age, and priorities. But each location also offers me the opportunity to try something new. This playfulness allows me to find new parts of myself and has become a very important part of my process. I work hard to keep embracing the uncomfortable in my practice; it is where I am the most vulnerable and honest.

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What advice would you give to artists looking to find their voice and technique? How did it happen for you? 

That is a big question! I think my suggestion would be to experiment and do what keeps you engaged. It took me a lot of work, writing, reflecting, and bad art to really start to feel solid about what I was doing. I thought for a long time that once I “figured it out” then I would be stuck in it, which scared me a little. For me, I have found a way of working that lets me move, experiment, twist and turn, while still staying true to what is important to me. Once I got to that point, I felt so much better because at the end of the day, if you are not interested in what you are doing, why would anyone else be? My way of working constantly gives me to new problems to solve, and I enjoy figuring them out.

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You work in multiple different mediums, is there a medium you are most drawn to? Why?

 Printmaking plays a large role in my work by allowing me to create multiple versions of the same image. I enjoy the spontaneity that arises through the print process. I can change colors, use painterly approaches and embrace the unexpected results that will later often get cut up, and mix and match with other images and materials. Outside of the process of printmaking, I enjoy working with materials that have a physicality to them and they often include some sort of building materials such as wood, house paint, or enamel, mixed with delicate materials, such as paper, gold leaf, wax, etc. The combination of these materials can feel solid and temporary at the same time. It is important to me that my work feels as if it is in motion, possibly coming together, or falling apart, and my choice of materials help to reinforce this concept.

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Because you use many different mediums, your series are all pretty unique. Is there one body of work that you are the most fond of? Why? 

This is a complicated question. Although some series may look unique, they are very closely related. Some are a response to a particular time or location, while an ongoing series can show the growth within a particular idea. I can appreciate both ways of working; I do feel I need to have some more spontaneous work along with the controlled because they reinforce each other. An example of this would be In-between series, which was made during the time I began the Focus series. Although this work does not look too similar, In-between allowed me to explore shape and space in a way that can be seen in the Focus series. There are also some repeated patterns between the two.

Sergio Barrale

Sergio Barrale has been featured in Hi-Fructose magazine vol. 41, Juxtapoz, SUPERSONIC, American Art Collector magazine, as well as been shown in Mesa Contemporary Museum of Art and Honolulu Museum of Art. Renowned art critic, Donald Kuspit, has compared Sergio's work as being linked to Goya and Redon.

Statement

I work 250 hours on each large-scale drawing. I destroy around 500 pencils with each large work. When I am gone, my work will live on. I may not be immortal, but my artwork and my message will be, in that way I make work for future people. That’s my mission: carry the light.

Elizabeth Bergeland

Elizabeth Bergeland was born in the least-populous state of Wyoming in 1983 and raised in Denver, Colorado. Elizabeth received her BFA in painting alongside Anthropology from the University of Colorado in 2006. She worked as a designer in fashion, as well as editorial styling, and later shifted her career to producing art full time. Working primarily in oils, watercolor, and pencil, she currently lives and works in Philadelphia. She is the illustrator of Being Edie is Hard Today, her first children’s book with publisher Little, Brown is due out in 2019.

Statement

My work always seems to find its beginning and end at our one shared end (which is also possibly a beginning): death. The fact that this is the only shared experience every living thing will have constantly informs my work. The great theme that everything we are, and everything we make, can only exist for a moment at best, is such a hopeful and also sad truth! Equal/opposite ever-existing paradoxes that cause a near constant flux in our life template fascinate me: ever-changing perceptions of how we identify good or bad in our lives, finding when we are whole and when are when half, and the process of our beliefs and constructs being unraveled and then reconstructed. It seems our existence is always in a place where two completely opposite, but equally true statements can and do exist side by side. I love to pair real and unreal elements in my drawings and paintings. Lifelike renderings, paired with very flat illustrative or graphic imagery. Bright colors amid blank space.

Art for catharsis, man.

Natural Habitat at Spoke NYC

Dual artist exhibition by Jeremy & Jayde Fish

Opening Reception: June 2nd, 6 - 8pm
On view: June 2nd - 23rd, 2018.

Spoke NYC is pleased to present Natural Habitat, a dual person exhibition by San Francisco-based artists Jeremy and Jayde Fish. Natural Habitat will be their inaugural exhibition at Spoke NYC, in which they both look towards the past and present to draw inspiration from their lineage of artisanal histories, memories and interpersonal relationships.

Jeremy Fish’s body of work draws inspiration from his ancestors, looking to the master craftsmen and creatives in his family. Notably, Fish’s great grandfather, was the personal tailor to Theodore
Roosevelt, making both his matrimonial and burial suits. As an homage to his kin, Jeremy Fish has created a series of pen and ink drawings in his signature vintage anthropomorphic style, working in a limited palette of black, white, yellow and sepia. Each drawing is like a snapshot or portrait which tells a story about the artist’s love for his wife Jayde Fish, their cat Mrs. Irbis Brown Fish and the various artistic branches of his mother’s Italian family tree.

Jayde Fish’s work references memories of her past as well as stories of adventures that she has taken along the way. Her grandmother was an embroiderer and quilt maker, and instilled a deep appreciation for intricate detail. This influence is readily apparent in Jayde Fish’s ink drawings, who uses meticulous line work to create complex cage like animals and structures. The artist’s highly stylized environments appear to be from an alternate realm full of surreal adventures featuring unicorns, aliens and elaborate fashion.

Additionally, the artists will be exhibiting his-and-hers pajamas, slippers, bags and additional accessories, as well as a sitting area, allowing the viewer to daydream what a typical day in the artists stylized world is like.

Please join us Saturday, June 2nd from 6 - 8pm for the opening reception of Natural Habitat. The artists will be in attendance. Brand new limited edition letterpress prints will be available in person at the opening.

For more information, or additional images, please email us at nyc@spoke-art.com.

Bodily Experiences: Interview with Sara Anstis

Sara Anstis was raised on a small island off the Canadian west coast and draws and lives wherever she finds good light. Her investigations take place at various sites, and with different social groups. Discomfort and bodily experiences cause her work to evolve through drawings and installations that question the image of the body and the desiring look. 

She is currently completing the postgraduate drawing year at the Royal Drawing School in London.

www.saraanstis.com

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You were born in Sweden, grew up on an island off the Canadian coast, and now live in London studying at The Royal Drawing School. How has living in these very different environments influenced your artistic approach or outlook?

I grew up on Salt Spring Island, which is a small and very creative community. I haven’t been back there since my father died, and in my mind, it remains the idyllic space I roamed barefoot as a teenager. I think it has been the most important and formative environment for me artistically.

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Although much of your work is rendered in graphite charcoal, your more recent work has adopted the use of color as well as elements of further abstraction. Tell us about this development. What inspired you to diverge in style as well as palette?

I change the medium I work with to fit the subject of my work. Right now, I am looking at male bodies performing survival tasks in the contested location of “wilderness” and trying to figure out my attraction to survivalism reality television shows. Using color became essential as I realized that color forms a large part of this attraction; the surrounding greens of plants is what gives these bodies a soft bed to lie on. In Bluets the author, Maggie Nelson, tries to map her fixation with the color blue and its connection to her sexuality, her melancholy, and the female gaze, through poetic writing. Through drawing, I am attempting something similar, to speak of how these notions merge with my greens. I’m also putting together a publication with writings from seven artists, which is a re-imagining of a classic wilderness survival guide.

The figures in your drawings are often layered, overlapped, or twisted, transforming into different modes of being. Can you tell us about the highly psychological effect these bodily distortions create in your compositions?

The outlines of our bodies are deceptive. Skin is porous and many foreign organisms live inside us. In Vibrant Matter, Jane Bennett talks about skin as “a superficial indication of where an organism ends and its environment begins” – this is something I think about in relation to my figures melting into each other and sometimes their surroundings. Drawing other bodies, from life and from photographs, also has to do with merging and becoming part of; in the act of drawing, something is exchanged, which changes both the drawer and the observed subject. I often draw the body of the lover, whose skin is a surface on which I project existential questions and whose presence enhances the horrors of scopophilia, abjection, and domesticity.

Your artist statement states that your work, “question[s] the image of the body.”

Can you discuss this in relation to your most recent drawings?

At the moment, I’m transfixed by images of men alone in nature, particularly in a reality

television about survivalism called Alone. When I first saw an episode, I wasn’t sure why

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I was so attracted to the images it portrayed, so I decided to unpack this attraction. I think it concerns the gender politics around the figure in the landscape, typically a romanticized man or a man in the Romantic tradition seeking out natura naturans, and the eroticism and vulnerability of this figure interlaced with greenery. It also has to do with envy, as

I’m very comfortable with solitude and spending a lot of time outside, and with my connection to the Canadian west coast, which is where the series is filmed.

In my recent drawings, I’ve been getting my ideas from survival courses I’ve taken where we might butcher an animal carcass or build fires with limited tools. My position as an outsider visiting survival groups allows me to examine the contradictions inherent in their activities and the unethical nature of my desire. I want to depict masculinity from a desiring female standpoint, which I find a lack of in the images I’m exposed to.

What has your experience been like working in a creative environment at The Royal Drawing School? Tell us a bit about this program and what it was that drew you to it.

I’m really enjoying it. It’s a one-year postgraduate program during which we draw from observation while developing our studio practices. Often, we are in the life room, but also in Kew Gardens drawing plants, or in different museums in London studying paintings, drawings, and prints. The sensation of being watched while I draw in public places is something I’ve gradually become accustomed to this year. I applied because I wanted to develop my visual language after I finished my MFA in Sweden, as I felt that I knew my work, but I’d lost touch with my materials. We’re working towards three exhibitions that will happen this coming winter at the drawing school in Shoreditch, at Space

Studios in Hackney, and at Christie’s London.

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Is there any specific artist whose work has helped shape your aesthetic? Are there other artists currently working primarily in drawing that inspire you?

I couldn’t say there’s one artist in particular, but right now I am absorbed by Carol Rama, Bronzino, and the 15th century Italian painter Lorenzo Monaco. In terms of drawing artists, my friend Behjat Omer Abdulla never ceases to amaze me. His projects have an incredible sensitivity in how they approach difficult narratives. I saw a talk given by

Catherine Anyango Grünewald recently, and her tactile and painful relationship with

graphite, paper, and erasers really resonated with me. Others include Vanna Bowles,

Alphachanneling, and David Shrigley,

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go next? 

My studio.

Cheryl Sorg

Cheryl Sorg creates with tape—collages, drawings, and wall installations, as well as a street art project, Portals of Hope. Her work is inspired by forms in nature, as well as by stories, particularly stories of change and metamorphosis, and uses color and shine as an antidote to the (abundant) ills of the world. She lives in Encinitas, California with her husband and two kiddos.