Posts tagged Memory
Paintings of Daily Life by Hiejin Yoo
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Los Angeles-based Hiejin Yoo’s (b. 1987) work will be exhibited at Half Gallery, NY; Paul Kasmin Gallery, NY; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, FL and she has exhibited at ltd Los Angeles, CA; Smart Objects, CA and Nicodim Gallery, CA. Her work is recently included in Hort Family Collection in New York.Yoo earned an M.F.A. at University of California Los Angeles (2018) and a B.A from Seoul Women’s University, and a Post Baccalaureate/B.F.A from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My paintings are an  intimate  journal  and  meditations  on  self-discovery.  They grow from journal entries and the world around me. I keep a brief diary of daily life, and it is  the  everyday,  mundane  things  that  inspire  me  most.  Each painting contains things that remind me of my personal experience and has a story that I want to tell, so I zoom in to the focal point and crop the parts that I don’t need. The traces of my memories show that I have enjoyed a remarkable life. I strive to make each of my paintings a reflection of my perception of the moment.  Since these ordinary moments  have  been  so  strongly etched  on  my  consciousness,  each  moment  of  my  life  becomes  an  event  and  a  personal history  as  soon  as  I  express  my  daily  life  as  a  painting.  The memories are  telling me something about what I remember in my life when I work and interact with them.

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Monochromatic Sculptural Assemblages by Iren Tete
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Iren Tete is Visiting Faculty and Artist in Residence at Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Canada. She graduated in May 2019 with an MFA in Art from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska). Iren attended the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) where she received a BS in Kinesiology and Health Sciences. She equally calls Sofia, Bulgaria and Washington, D.C. home.

Iren has received multiple grants from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that have supported her practice and research. During the summer of 2017 she was able to further her study of Brutalist theory and architecture through a residency at the Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin, Germany. Iren has also completed residencies at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH) and the Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN).


Bridging language and poetic suggestion, my work functions as visual poems of communication. Each element -
                                               a sculptural skein drawing
                                               a precariously balanced structure
                                               a lattice serving as a screen 
– is a stanza, a necessary part to understanding the full sculptural poem. These compositions of repeated elements are driven by my desire to address visual and emotional notions of memory, time, and fragility.

I utilize a primarily monochromatic color palette in my sculptural assemblages. I have established my own peculiar theory of colors that affects my conceptual and formal decisions.

White is emptiness.
        It is a beginning, waiting patiently to uncover the endless possibilities that await it.
Black is strength.
        It’s the end of the day, a journey fulfilled.
Desaturated pinks and yellows suggest the memory of a feeling or thought.
        Bleached by the sun’s rays, the vibrancy of their color is now a memory.

The clay’s color is prominent in compositional elements such as the sculptural knots that I refer to as skeins. The skeins are pink, yellow, black, and white moments that fill the lattices. Their amorphous silhouettes introduce a nonlinear element that challenges the visual cadence of the structured groupings. They are three-dimensional drawings. Drawings of memory. Drawings of time. Their forms are curving, folding, stretching and retreating. I place the skeins one by one in the lattice structures. Although seemingly intuitive, the arrangement is controlled. My specificity when composing elements stems from my desire to control a moment, thought, or memory while accepting the inevitable loss of control that defines existence.

My work is an exploration of possibility and the transformative power of time. My fascination with the malleable nature of memory is translated into vignettes that reside in the liminal space between solidity and fragility. Their rigidity, structure, and stillness is directly linked to my desire to create monolithic forms that seem solid and lasting but that are as susceptible to changing understanding and interpretation as the cultural monuments that mark my upbringing.

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Caitlin McCormack

Caitlin McCormack is a Philadelphia-based fiber artist who works primarily with crocheted cotton thread that is dredged in a mixture of glues, stiffened, and positioned in the form of animal and humanoid skeletons, which are showcased in velvet-lined shadow boxes and under glass display domes. She earned a BFA in Illustration from The University of the Arts in 2010, and originally pursued illustration as a career, but has found her footing, and a sense of fulfillment, in the creation of these sculptures, which convey her thoughts regarding memory, and how the authenticity of a recollection becomes distorted over time.

Caitlin's body of work, which originates as sketches drawn from memory after observing osteological specimens, transforms throughout the process of its construction and becomes a hybrid of recognizable, skeletal forms, and the artist's own visual biases. She has taken part in gallery and museum exhibitions across the US, as well as in Japan, the UK, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands, and receives representation from Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia.


The act of stiffening intricately crocheted cotton string with glue produces material that is structurally similar to delicate bone tissue. The string utilized in this process can be viewed as the basic cellular unit of fabrication, and by utilizing media and practices inherited from my deceased relatives, I aim to generate emblems of my diminishing bloodline, embodied by each organism's skeletal remains.

With a majority of my work, I employ pseudoscientific principles and antiquated methods to generate material, in an attempt to impart a visual indication that something has transpired in a fabricated reality. I aim to construct the likenesses of creatures suspended in a state of perpetual dormancy, by way of crocheting - a practice that is based upon active proliferation. Little by little, this process permits me to construct a very personal taxonomy of creatures symbolizing my memories and experiences.

The material out of which my work is composed acts as an alchemical conduit between the garment and the clothesline; it acknowledges the latter as a symbol of the ancestry and familial bonds which have greatly informed my work. I wish to give the impression that a garment has disintegrated and reformed itself, warped by the passing of time, in the image of a tenacious animal's remains, a reflection on both the persistence of memory and the significance of cloth and thread in the realm of human experience.

Claira Heitzenrater

Claira Heitzenrater (b. 1988) is a contemporary painter living and working in Dubois, Pennsylvania. She holds an MFA in painting from Edinboro University (2016), and a BFA in Studio Art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2012). She was featured in issue 11 of Fresh Paint Magazine, issue 38 of Studio Visit Magazine, and various regional publications. She completed residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and Sparkbox Studio in Ontario, Canada.


One of the great truths in life is that nothing lasts forever. Throughout our lifetime, we are subject to impermanence in myriad ways: death, fleeting moments, and the loss of objects and memories. Even a child, I possessed a heightened awareness of death: the constant reminder of my own transience is both provocative and terrifying. Initially serving as a catalyst for existential anxiety, I utilize that fear to drive my work in hopes of discovering and accepting that I am not meant to exist as a permanent fixture in the world, but rather a temporary impression on its surface. 

In my paintings, I harness this state of flux, employing varying degrees of abstraction and rendering to reinforce absence and presence with my observed forms. I apply and scrape away paint, removing portions of the composition to create “ghosts” within the picture plane, which function as not only a present spirit or manifestation, but also an absent memory. I deliver content to the viewer via the use of surrogates for people, being viewed from an outside perspective, their relationships mimicking that of human interaction. 

The surrogates I place in my paintings are of a domestic nature. I choose domestic objects as they are meant to be handled by human hands in order to function, further promoting their familiarity. These objects flaunt their deterioration from use, supporting the emotionality of each piece.

My current body of work explores impermanence through the alternative avenue of living in the present moment with the constant mantra of "remember that you have to die", the English translation of the phrase “memento mori”. In order to fully accept impermanence, one might choose to fall in love with life itself in order to experience it fully. This group of paintings aims to capture brief moments in time, surrounded in love and warmth, while still employing the ghosts of lives past.

Angie Zielinski

 Originally from St. Louis, Angie Zielinski received her B.F.A. from Millikin University (Illinois), and M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Her work has been shown nationally, including solo exhibitions in Oregon and Ohio, and group shows in Tucson, Raleigh, Detroit, Chicago, and Brooklyn. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.


I am captivated by the power of shiny things and loud noises.  Mesmerized, I find myself wondering how explosions can be celebratory in one instance and devastating in another. My work examines the paradoxical notions of delight and distress.

With careful thought, I connect unrelated moments and memories to create imagined spaces where themes of whimsy, fragility, cause-and-effect, and spectatorship exist. Chain reactions become clear in the work, and delight and distress are conveyed through an abundance of gleaming materials and layered marks.

The tactile qualities and color of the materials I work with attract me initially, but I am also interested in their history, their everyday use, and their connection to my thematic interests. Drawing with thread is decisive—any missteps remain visible. Embroidery is traditionally a quiet activity, yet my imagery combats this calm practice by describing a contagious action, captivity, and explosions in stitched form.


Michael F. Kondel 

I'm painting from a distant memory of growing up on a farm in Michigan, using the barn as a storage unit, so to say. For me the barn provides a rich language visually and conceptually. Texture, colors, and emotions I’ve experienced correlate to and are mapped throughout the architectural structure. This structure allows me to compartmentalize and organize thoughts and actions I remember as I think back and contemplate what they mean to me now. The idea of the barn as a stand in for the body has begun to influence the work. Like a body, I begin to see the barn as a place that harbors birth, stores energy, and holds a history. The barn is where I learned to nurture others and about self-sufficiency; it becomes a symbol of survival to me as I decipher my inherited knowledge that has been passed down through generations of farming. 

Raised on a farm outside of Flint, Michigan, Michael Kondel received his BFA at SUNY Purchase, NY. After working as a Master Printer for seven years, Kondel is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been featured in New American Paintings and has been shown in NY, AZ, MI, PA. 

Lisa Golightly

Lisa Golightly is an artist living in Portland, Oregon. With a BFA in art, her initial focus was photography, the influence of which can be seen in her paintings. Her work revolves around memory and how snapshots shape, influence, change, and even create memory. She works with high gloss paint, using found photos to create work that is both anonymous in nature but also very personal.

Synnöve Seidman

"I was born in Toronto, Canada, a first generation Canadian of Finnish descent. Fortunately I was raised in an artistic and unconventional family. I moved between the city and rural countryside throughout my childhood. After attending a fine arts high school I studied art history and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Afterwards I travelled to Florence Italy to continue studying Italian and art. 

I am fascinated by the restorative power of beauty and it's balm on the anxiety of modern life.  My current work is asking the question, does the natural world embody beautiful ideas? I am exploring shapes and light and their relationship with transition and memory.  Abstract landscapes, city structures and botanical elements find their way into many of my compositions.

I am inspired by nature, it is my cathedral."

A Metaphor For Our Memories: Interview With Mariu F. Lacayo

“The infinite world of possibilities of elementary particles is the basis of human freedom,” says writer Alicia Montesdeoca. In addition, I follow the course of these particles, building the lines of our lives through the emotions attached to the skin, such as my steel and polymer strings, oil, and acrylic on canvas and/or methacrylate. This is the metaphor for the way we pull off memories; I sand off fragments of the overlaying colors, map of multiple experiences that build the crust of our being plotted in this dimension. Contrary to what we believe – that time moves forward – really everything happens in parallel interdimensions, hence the theory of multiverses that I paint, stitch, scrape, sand and chart, weaving, painting and pasting layer over layer. Similarly, our unconscious keeps our every human experience in its dark memory that suddenly jumps into light as the tones of each layer of color that abruptly appear, bringing into light lines that cross over multiple underlying colors, previous experiences learned and inherited. These are my SUPERSTRING MIRRORS, hybridizations, because of their language and symbolism.

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 Briefly tell us about your journey as an artist.

Since I remember, textiles have been an integral part of my life. I started admiring aboriginal textiles when I first got my hands on a Mexican mop. These unbleached cotton fabrics that resist everything and more, and have been part of everyday life in every home in Mesoamerica, symbolize my first contact with textiles and color. So, I started painting them 15 years ago, and then I built an installation with them and then I knitted braids in different fabrics, as models for my paintings and sculptures, before landing into these quantum vibrations that are a hybrid between acrylic painting, spray paint, methacrylate and warps.

The humble swabs were the masters of the weft that I have been retaking with the brush and mixed media these days, introducing myself into the postulates of quantum physics and string theory, which proposes scientifically what the Mayans already said as a motto in their language, IN'LAKESH, meaning "I am you, you are me, we all are One".


How do you feel your cultural upbringing influenced your art?

My artworks are a proposal to learn to live in tolerance and universal acceptance of the Universal tissue we are in charge, and thus improve the quantum maps of the world in which we live. This is also a tribute to my father, a psychiatrist, who taught me to observe my thoughts and emotions, as a whole, and not as isolated events.

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Tell us about your process. How do you come up with each painting? Do you spend a lot of time planning and sketching, or is the process more intuitive?

I get inspired by my love for the invisible world that is happening in parallel to our surroundings. My artwork can be described as an ongoing abstraction of the mysterious worlds of molecular biology and particle physics. My paintings and sculptures and art cubes explore the complexity and appearance of the invisible and unknown to linear reason. I work intuitively and start painting at 3:00 am, feeling that we all are immersed in a vibrational experience.

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I understand that each day is a chance where we all can choose which warp and in what shapes and colors we can knit to live the world we want. Each day is our chance to leave behind our beliefs about ourselves and begin to recreate new experiences in which the different dimensions I represent in my artworks, are in fact the experience of beauty whose reality allows us to immerse ourselves inside.


How do you prevent artistic burnout and get inspired again?

I never get burned out because my thoughts create my actions and words and formulate a vibrational environment in myself and around me that reinforces creativity and the best vibes to feel fulfilled every minute.

Share something important about your work that you want the viewer to be aware of.

My artwork has the purpose of elevating the consciousness of each of you my friends, towards personal satisfaction, inner joy and confidence in yourselves so that each time you observe one of my artworks you can elevate your spirit and your quality of life with a positive vibratory frequency.

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What are you currently working on?

I am working on a variety of different textural sensations in every composition. Many of my patterns are abstract in subject matter though they can echo elements of geometry, stripes, or even florals. I love the way the soft movements break up each art piece and bestow visual interest. Washy colors, soft textures, and subtle tone variations are some of the reasons I work poetry with brushes and acrylic on canvas, methacrylate, steel threads and aluminum sculptures.

Tong Zhang

Tong Zhang's dark watercolor paintings bridge his personal memory with today’s life to raise a question, “what those given moments from daily life could mean?”. After moving to the US from China in 2011, he started to value his memory and devoted to contextualizing the moment of awareness and to revolving the sensation of certain memories through his practice. Tong is the recipient of many awards, including The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant 2017, The Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for Art Grant and George J. Vander Sluis Award. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including Swansea College of Art, United Kingdom; Attleboro Arts Museum, USA; Tucson Museum of Art, USA; CAFA, China. He received a BFA in Printmaking and a MFA in Experimental Art from China and is a MFA candidate in studio art at Syracuse University.


What is the emptiness between physical objects about? Is it really existing or just mentally created inside of mind? If the space exists, how to reach the moment of emptiness? They are like a mysterious energy flowing around me, which makes my ordinary life full of potential of being sublime and opens a new way of looking that triggers a sense of curiosity and wonderment to the real-life. I always have a strong feeling that part of world has opened to me, but I never realize they existed. It is an experience that makes me step outside of lived daily life creating a moment that is both emptiness and awareness. The moment of emptiness is flowing between the physical objects. It is so uncertain that I have to find a way to approach the surface of the mystery. The moment of awareness transforms phenomena into mental energy, in which the normal ways of behaving, rules, laws no longer apply. Lived experience has been shifted to an awareness that the familiar part is disappearing and unknowing is left. I am defined by moments. The daily world to me is saturated with affects, sometimes it might be sufficient to isolate motifs in the everyday that are so basic that they capture the reality of basic emotions. I’m curious what has happened and what I was missing at the moments because I believe there is always a space to realizing the emotional potential

Scott Hunter

Scott Hunter’s paintings are rooted in tradition and constructed with imagination. They are about the arrangement of textures, colors, shapes and figures. Thriving on the anxiety of persistence in solving problems he has created for himself, Scott trusts that the language of the brushstroke, the scratches, drips and arrangement of often disparate images can be coaxed in a certain direction. The destination is an end that speaks to something greater than a deft hand or a beautiful mark – an end that provides a meaningful connection to the mind and spirit. 

Working in both a representational and non-representational manner he produces two distinct bodies of work. Both tend to evoke a specific place or memory. The construction of each resonates with emotional presence and rewards repeated and sustained viewing. 

Scott Hunter studied painting and art history at Boston University. He graduated in 1993 after a classically structured education based on intensive studio training and drawing from life. His related experience includes theatrical set design, illustration, commissioned portraits and wall murals. Scott lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is represented in many private and public collections.

Interview: Linden Eller

Born in 1984, Linden spent her youth in the urban Sonoran desert of Phoenix, Arizona before moving to Southern California to obtain her BA in Studio Art. She’s since lived and worked out of New England, Europe, India, Australia, Samoa, New Zealand, and currently Japan. 

This primary interest in place and self-archival attracted her to the collage medium. Using a combination of found fragments and personal elements, she composes floating abstract shapes sewn together with thread on paper. Her work centers around themes of memory, its process, and the layers of small alterations which happen each time something is recollected. She also aims to communicate the melancholy in unresolved matters, like her brother’s autism, or natural losses. 

Choosing a distinctly pale colour palette together with the use of tracing paper, her pieces attempt to replicate the quiet hazy environment from which a memory is recalled. Blending autobiographical narratives with larger collective subjects such as childhood, longing, and home, Linden thinks of her collages as field recordings from the mind. 

Linden’s work has been mentioned online in Frankie & Yen magazines and been included in numerous publications such as Inside Artists, Making The Cut Vol. 1, Thistle Magazine, Art Ascent, and Lynda Hallinan’s book Jam Sessions. Recent residencies include Tiapapata Art Centre (Samoa), Cowwarr Art Space (Australia), and Tenjinyama Art Studio (Japan).

How does using collage as your medium play into the ideas you try to get across in your art?

Collage is the perfect medium for memory themes as they naturally parallel each other in many ways.  My work isn't just about my own narrative - and thanks to the medium I am using both personal and random components to try and communicate a more collective perspective. These scraps and pieces themselves hold an entire history of their own.  Then altering those pieces and layering them in fragments, I'm able to mimic the actual process of remembering - an incredibly inaccurate, shifting, and multifaceted act. 

When did you decide on the color palette you are currently working in? 

I've never really made a conscious decision as it seems like my colors chose me rather than the other way around.  My palette has always been intuitive and hasn't changed much in the past eight years.  I'm typically inspired by soft pale brights but am beginning to add in some more bold elements when I feel bored with my own color habits!

What is the first thing you do when you sit down to create a collage? 

I start with one piece I'm really excited about and start connecting things from there.  My process is quite subconscious/ instinctive and since this can be difficult to pause, it's not uncommon for me to finish a work in one sitting.

Is there anyone in particular who inspires your work? 

So many!  I'm largely inspired by the abstract expressionist painters of the 40's and 50's as well as many contemporary artists of a similar genre - at the moment Sarah Kelk, Bonnie Grey, and Sander Steins.

You mention your color palette has a lot to do with the idea of memory and the haziness of memory. Are there other aspects of your collages that play with the same ideas?

Definitely.  Building up layers of transparency also help achieve this notion of haziness.  The tracing paper elements act as faders, almost like partially erasing, or forgetting something.  

Melissa Montiel

Melissa Montiel is a Philadelphia artist and gallerist working in a variety of mediums including oils, collage and graphite. In 2002 Montiel studied draftsmanship at the Barnstone Studios in Coplay, PA. In 2007, she received a Certificate in Printmaking at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and BFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, she and her husband opened a tattoo studio and art gallery in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Her work is inspired by time and its affect on memory. Figures fade into the background, gently forming, becoming hazy, distant memory. Utilizing a combination of collage, drawing and painting Montiel creates a haunting atmosphere that evokes feelings of nostalgia.