Posts tagged Wood
Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter earned his BFA from Memphis College of Art and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduating Cranbrook, Slaughter was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant. He has also received the Louisiana Division of the Arts Career Enhancement Grant (2012). Slaughter has exhibited widely throughout the US in both solo and group exhibitions. His work has been published in Fresh Paint and in New American Paintings magazine three times. In 2017, Slaughter was awarded the Louisiana Prize from South Arts and received the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation residency. In 2018, had a solo show at Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans and attended Hambidge Residency in Georgia. In 2019 he will attend the Crosstown Arts Residency in Memphis and Joan Mitchell Residency in New Orleans.  He currently lives in Ruston, LA, and is Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana Tech University. 


I am interested in the sending and receiving of information.  I wonder how a simple conversation is absorbed between people, how they’re connected, and what the conversational wavelengths would look like. The main idea is to create abstractions from conversations if you could see sound waves from analog and digital devices passing through and around people. I imagine it to be very chaotic, yet beautiful.

My work is purposefully busy in reference to the busy-ness in our lives. Our thoughts are busy, and I’ve long been interested in what a thought process looks like in the brain, imagining firings of color and structure. I see my works as explosions of thoughts, snippets of conversations, weavings of words and lyrics – a visualization of communication.

The iconic speech bubble is a confined space that conveys communication. I am using a similarly contained white space of the panel to insert colored bursts with embedded depictions of this information. While I work, I pick through mentally archived phrases and dwell on them, building them in layers of paint and wood. Silence and pauses are important to me as well, evidenced by the negative space.

Discovering Elements of Reality: Interview with Senem Oezdogan

Senem Oezdogan is a Brooklyn based artist and is currently working on paintings and wall-based rope and wood constructions.

Her goal is to make work that is an invitation to observe the world through form and color. To discover elements of reality — depth, flatness, tension, structure, color and time — she uses materials that are accessible and tactile and combines them into an arrangement of shapes and compositions that feel complete and harmonious. Her rope and wood constructions emphasize elements of the work that are not just about pure geometry but also about preserving a textural quality that conveys the softness of fabric or tapestry.


Tell us about your artistic background. When did you decide to pursue this path?

I always knew that I would work in the creative field and really enjoyed exploring various aspects of it–design, illustration, and painting. Looking at it now, all of the steps in the past have served as a foundation for the work I’m doing today. Prior to studying Design & Illustration at FIT in New York, I have also worked at several galleries in Germany and New York. Those were great opportunities to meet other artists, go on studio visits, work on fairs and just get an overall idea of how the art world works.


 How do you come up with the shapes and geometry in each piece? What inspires your paintings?

Even though I am not a figurative painter there are a lot of references to figures, nature, and architecture in my work. I draw a lot of inspiration from my surroundings – the city, my relationships and other interactions I have with people. We move through our days and see so much–people are on the move, objects are moving, moods are changing. 

I’m translating these fragments into extremely simple forms and I’m interested in how primary structures can be visualized. Combining all of these elements into compositions that feel complete is the challenge and beauty of abstract art. It forces me to constantly reevaluate my artistic vocabulary when creating meaningful work that communicates emotional depth. Each piece is an invitation to observe and investigate the choices that have been made. A lot of the work is intuitive but I always ask the same questions: How does one form, relate to another? Does it touch, exclude, or frame it? Where is the visual tension? The shapes on the canvas seem like cutouts – in a way you get the feeling that they can be shuffled around and that the images are not static. 


How do your rope and wood construction pieces relate to your paintings? How are they different?

Developing the fiber works took a while. I wanted to make wall based fiber art that could be created without having to use a loom. I was looking for ways to approach the pieces more like paintings with the freedom to work from all sides. I started to experiment with paper – when I wanted to go up in scale I needed more durable materials and started to work with wood and rope.

The rope work is more physical and at times it feels like building a sculpture. The wrapping of the rope and the time it takes for the image to emerge gives the work a physical and temporal experience. It’s a slow process and it can take days for a form to take shape whereas on the canvas I can do that quickly and see the results instantly. There is a sense of instant gratification when painting.


Name a few artists that influenced your work.

The Bauhaus was a huge influence and still is – architecture, product design, textiles there are so many great things. Especially Klee’s theories on art and design – not to imitate nature and objects but to observe the process that shaped/created them. It is a fascinating way to look at our surrounding, study form and shape and a reminder not to be too literal when using visual language. I’m also a huge fan of Sean Scully’s work, Ellsworth Kelly, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Alexander Calder, as well as Friedel Dzubas and Ray Parker.


Describe your process. How do you prepare for each piece? 

Half of my sketchbooks are filled with text and the other half with drawings. Most of the time I will write out what a painting should look like or how I imagine several shapes next to each other. I also make collages with torn and cutout paper to create relationships in color and form. When the relationship of elements becomes more than the individual parts, and the shapes move across the surface, everything finds its place.
Once I move to the canvas I usually have a clear idea about how I want to place elements and the colors I’m going to use. The sketches and collages are very loose and I leave a lot of room for experimentation. Working on the canvas is the opposite—it is a very controlled environment.
What are you currently working on and excited about in your studio practice?

I’m currently working on a new series of gradient paintings. I had previously worked on a gradient series inspired by the dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. The new paintings are a variation of that technique – while the earlier work was a visualization of movement – the new work is about the interaction of light/dark and sound/silence.
This work has been exciting in many ways - finding the right balance in color, refining the technique, and working on a larger scale.


Share a piece of advice that helped you in your artistic journey so far.

Just keep working - there are always ideas that work and some that don't but it is important to work your way through it and see how far you can push your ideas.

Interview: LEGIONS EXHIBITION at James Oliver Gallery

Opening Saturday, August 26th: LEGIONS, featuring Michele Kishita, Christopher Wood and Perry Felix Designs: David Markham-Gessner & David Krevolin. Legions is an exhibit that thrusts a formation of three artists with separate yet unifying approaches in their work. The forge of commonality is their unbounding sense of global universality in a huge nod for mother nature.  Works exhibited here illustrate many facets of our instinctual visions notated in their respective mediums, both imagined and captured.



6-10 PM

AUG 26 - SEPT 30

Christopher T. Wood

Christopher T. Wood

What is the inspiration and concept behind the work included in this exhibition?

Christopher T. Wood:  Daydrawing is a long-term project that began on January 1, 2016. I create daily drawings, the accumulation of which expand into a broader endeavor in the form of a hyperobject. ‘Hyperobject’ is a term coined by Timothy Morton to describe entities we can experience directly but are so distributed in space and in time that they cannot be said to exist anywhere in particular.

aydrawing, in 9 x 12 inch fragments, is both already complete and will never be completed. It is both local and becoming increasingly dispersed as the fragments drift away from one another through digital publication, collection and gallery shows. It is of critical importance to understand Daydrawing as a single object, continuously in creation and existing in many locations at once. The piece’s audience currently enjoys the work through tiny digital representations on Instagram (@christophertwood), as entire months in the artist's studio, and in small groups in galleries and public and private collections around the world.

he surface of each Daydrawing fragment engages an interplay with a range of values and textures achieved with graphite. The imagery builds on existing narratives within Daydrawing and draws influence from subjects ranging from tales of hubris in politics to natural phenomena and chance events at many scales – from the cellular to the galactic. I want the panels to conjure a sort of half-remembered dreamscape.

Perry Felix Designs

Perry Felix Designs

Perry Felix Design: (PFD) is driven to create work that explores raw materials and how the characteristics of each work in concert to create a beautiful object.  The meditative beauty of wood in combination with the dynamic patterns of wood grain juxtaposed by frames and supports of steel. We highlight the interesting detail by meticulously finishing the wood, often maintaining a live, uncut edge. Gouges, cracks and imperfections, natural irregularities, are highlighted with inlays of brass, bronze, aluminum, and gold. The wood is beautiful choose because of its irregular grain, holes, and cracks - Wabi-Sabi the perfection in imperfection. These features are all the physical reminisce of traumatic periods in the life of the tree. Exploring the relationship between our materials we gained a greater understanding of their similarities. Both wood and metal are ‘living' and evolving. Both expand and contract, absorb moisture and both share a relationship with fire. Metals are forged in flame while forests cycle by natural wildfire.  The engineered steel is the skin, the slab of wood the body.  The arrangement is allegorical of our bodies:  physical and spiritual.  Their construction and experience are meditative.  The intersection of mined and forged metals with organically extracted minerals is our archeological exploration of the physical and emotional human bodies.  The intersection of the tangible and intangible organism.

Exposed and encapsulated, bark skin and metal framed armor.  imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete The disorder is encapsulated in an attempt to extract order.

iving relic.  Hundreds of years of geology, ethnography, and botany. While seemingly preserved, they continue to change.  And just as they were grown, mined, harvested, refined, dried, smelted, milled, formed, fabricated, and sealed, so will they rust, decay, discolor, and decompose.  

Michele Kishita

Michele Kishita

Michele Kishita: My work is a dialogue between the wooden surfaces on which I paint and the trees from which those panels were built. By transforming a tree’s rounded mass into flat, rectangular sheets, man imposes control over nature with straight lines and angles. Despite the tree’s new shape, the undulations of what it once was emerge from the boxy surface. The panels are a record of man’s relationship with nature while also highlighting life's central interconnectedness. The measure of a tree’s growth and the amount of water taken annually, is evident in the wood grain’s concentric circles; thus, the history of the landscape is contained within the tree itself. In my paintings, I strive to tease out the landscape that is inherently a part of each panel, while expressing the visual contrast and harmony where man-made structures and nature intersect.

The way the work evolved for this exhibition surprised me. I’m beginning to realize that I am a project-based artist, and that it’s difficult for me to make new pieces for an exhibition without considering the space. As I was sitting in the Gallery, I kept thinking about the windows and how much light they let into the room, and I was also thinking about the other artists’ works - Christopher’s drawings are black and grey and delicate, while the Davids’ wood pieces embrace the natural color and shape of the wood itself. So, in response to their work and the space, I decided to limit the colors of my paintings from the typical bright chromatic palette to black, white, and grey, along with gold leaf. The landscapes in this exhibition are reminiscent of fragmented memories that have accumulated over the years, blips on the screen of consciousness, which are triggered by everyday sensory experiences.

Christopher T. Wood:

Christopher T. Wood:

What do you hope the viewers take away from your pieces in the show as well as the experience as a whole?

Christopher T. Wood: I want people to have a sense of keyhole views into an alternate universe.

Perry Felix Design: In the moment you come upon this work, meditate on your origins, your experience of time, your skin, your spine, your armor, your origins, growth and eventual return from whence you came.

Michele Kishita: I always want the viewer to see that the surface of the work is just as important as the painting itself and to discover the literal, metaphorical, and visual layers of connection between man and nature.   

On the outset, each artist’s work is very different from each other, both in materials and approach, but I would like the viewer to walk away from the exhibition seeing our similarities and how the individual bodies are working together as one.

Perry Felix Design

Perry Felix Design

Tell us about your creative process. How does each piece come to life from references to execution.

Christopher T. Wood: he Daydrawing process begins with the creation of a new work on paper each day – and the hyperobject emerges as each drawing is released into the world, resulting in a diaristic, many-paneled entity that stretches through time, space, and beyond our capacity to observe.

Perry Felix Design: We take much time in the selection process. What materials and how to use them and they work together to that the pieces become the whole. We learn by making, Each piece is the same but different. It becomes meditative. While working our minds wander. We work on numerous piece at a time. Each piece going through the the same process at the same time.  

Michele Kishita: Each painting depends entirely on the wood grain for its subject and composition. When the wood grain is particularly beautiful, I either highlight it by painting within the grain lines or I leave it completely unpainted in the most significantly distinct areas. The way that I treat the “man-made” aspects of the work is intuitive and unconsciously calls on my everyday experiences in the urban and natural landscapes.

Christopher T. Wood

Christopher T. Wood

What is your background in the arts? Give us a little bit of history behind your work.

Christopher T. Wood: ormal training includes a BFA in Illustration and an MFA in Painting. Recent studio work is influenced by traveling artist residencies, art conservation, pataphysical investigations, and the concept of hyperobjects.

Michele Kishita:  have my BFA and MFA in painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an AST in graphic design. I am also a Japanese print consultant, assisting auction houses and collectors. My work is influenced by Hiroshige and Hokusai’s depictions of water, my childhood in rural Pennsylvania and Arizona, and my travels domestically throughout the States and abroad to Japan, Peru, and the UAE.  

Pete Hoffecker Mejia

Born in Bogota, Colombia, of Indigenous descent, yet raised in the United States, Pete Hoffecker Mejía’s work assembles indigenous patterns of the Americas, retail and home décor motif, and Modernist geometric abstraction, to explore the intersection of contrasting cultural influence, the mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of ‘otherness’. 

The often colorful, found item and wooden structures investigate the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement, while also looking at global cultural interaction and the continuing impacts of colonialization. 

He received a Bachelor in studio art from the University of Memphis and is currently at Indiana University where he is an associate instructor while pursuing an MFA in Sculpture.


Born in Bogotá, Colombia, of indigenous ancestry, adopted by a multi-racial family and raised in the United States, I have naturally been consumed with issues of culture and identity. This interest in identity is intertwined with the interrogation of seemingly monolithic histories, and the mediation of relational self. 

Pulling from a background in carpentry and store display; architectural framing and merchandising techniques merge with a decidedly modernist formal language. The combined interests in indigenous art, geometric abstraction, and representations of ‘otherness’ in consumer culture are assembled to explore the intersection of disparate cultural influence. The amalgamation of these elements works towards creating a subtext which explores global cultural interaction, mediation of identity, and conflation and caricature in the representation of otherness. 

A special attention to the pattern is iterated throughout the work. This is enhanced by an exaggerated, and almost plastic, a color palette which permeates, yet is softened, and offset by the natural character of the wood. The works adhere to, and at times disrupts the grid. The use of layering and multiplicity is employed to create a fragmented totality. The composite structure acknowledges derivation from indigenous visual sources, while also remaining strongly suggestive of Modernist geometric abstraction, retail clothing, and faux indigenous home décor motif. It also becomes a record of blurred references and codified symbols alluding to fragmented and conflated histories. 

Combining these traditions that share visual similarities, but are culturally dissimilar, and forging congruous and incongruous connections between them, allows me to identify and give identity to my own perceptual bearing. This also allows me to make work that explores the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement while touching on our complicity in the conflated representations of ‘otherness’ in mass culture. 

It permits me to create a critical space to examine art, culture and the boundaries between them.

Michele Kishita

Michele Kishita is a Philadelphia-based artist who grew up in the vastly different landscapes of rural Central Pennsylvania and the Arizona desert. She uses colors found in nature that are not typically associated with “natural” colors and focuses on water as her primary subject. Kishita lived in Japan and spent time as a Japanese print specialist and consultant, authenticating, translating, and appraising woodblock prints for auction houses and collectors. Her paintings are strongly influenced by the graphic, stylized quality of Hiroshige and Hokusai, as well as the compositions of ukiyo-e. Kishita’s paintings are in a number of private/corporate collections and shown extensively on the East Coast. She has been published in Fresh Paint Magazine and The Artist Catalogue, as well as several literary journals, and was selected to exhibit at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates, which ran concurrent with the Sharjah Biennial. Kishita received both her BFA and MFA in painting from the University of the Arts.


My work is a dialogue between the wooden surfaces on which I paint and the trees from which those panels were built. By transforming a tree’s rounded mass into flat, rectangular sheets, man imposes control over nature with straight lines and angles. Despite the tree’s new shape, the undulations of what it once was emerge from the boxy surface. The panels are a record of man’s relationship with nature while also highlighting life's central interconnectedness. The measure of a tree’s growth and the amount of water taken annually, is evident in the wood grain’s concentric circles; thus, the history of the landscape is contained within the tree itself. In my work, I strive to tease out the landscape that is inherently a part of each panel, while expressing the visual contrast and harmony where man-made structures and nature intersect.