Posts in Studio Sundays!
Studio Sunday: Kristen Elizabeth
Elizabeth_Kristen_Studio_02.JPG

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.  

Elizabeth_Kristen_Studio_01.jpg

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!

Studio Sundays: April Zanne Johnson

April Zanne Johnson (b. 1970) is a graduate of Parsons School of Design/The New School for Social Research (1993) and received her M.F.A. at Montclair State University (2013). Her studio is in a rural northwest community in New Jersey.

April's work has been added to the permanent collection of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in Brooklyn, NYC. She has work held by several private collectors in Mexico City, New York City, North Carolina, Los Angeles, London and Australia. (Notable collectors including composer Javier Navarrete & actor Perdita Weeks) Honors include; Best of 2013, Saatchi Art, London U.K., curated by Rebecca Wilson, spotlighted in the series: One to Watch.  April was awarded Herhusid Artist Residency in Iceland. She was the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship Nominee as well as the Nominee for Executive Women of New Jersey Graduate Merit Scholarship Award chosen by the Montclair State University graduate faculty (2012,2013). Inka Essenhigh selected April for the Atlantic Center for the Arts Artist Residency in 2015.  In 2016, April was included as an IASAS Founding Member (International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists and Scientists).

Her work has been featured in numerous publications internationally. 

Statement of Artistic Approach

Zanne Johnson is a visual artist who perceives a combination of translucent color fields and patterns with sound and physical sensation. This creates the base for selected color and form development in the work.  The paintings meld neurological phenomena, biomorphic landscape imagery, perceptions in sexuality and a notion of the absurd.  Organic in form, the surfaces are slick and appear wet. 

Select portfolios contain oil paintings on translucent plexiglass and drafting film that deviate from tradition. They are set to stand off from the wall to allow natural light to interact with surface as a sculptural object.  The intention is to engage with the viewer's own neurological predictive coding, provoke questions and generate communication.

Zanne Johnson’s entire body of work revolves around creating multiple parallel planes existing within our own world and plays with fluctuating size and scale.   Reoccurring themes in the work include neurological predictive coding, technology compared to the biological world, and battles in the microscopic landscape. 

Studio photos by Thyra Johnson-Kelly

Studio Sundays: Chloe York

Abstract painter, Chloe York earned her BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2012. She has displayed her work in over 100 group and solo exhibitions throughout the mid-South and her solo exhibit, Decorators was named one of Memphis’s top ten visual art exhibits for 2013. She currently resides in Birmingham with sculptor, Eric Quick and ferocious daughter, Echo in their shared home and studio.

“My work explores identity, outward appearances, and the manner in which we decorate ourselves.”
— Chloe York

Submit to next week's Studio Sundays feature:

Studio Sundays: Emily Filler

Emily Filler's paintings walk the line between the real and the imaginary.  There is a sense of the familiar but also the feeling that you are falling into a dream - flowers act as a departure point to a world that dissolves into abstraction.

She weaves together painting, printmaking and photography in her ‘painterly collages’, bringing together panels of color, meticulous patterning and floral elements. Dense mark-making contrasts with airy clouds of transparent color and screen-printed florals reveal themselves from behind cut and torn paper and canvas. As these processes and elements interlace, they create a hybrid between representation and abstraction, the natural and supernatural.

Living in downtown Toronto, Filler is often influenced by her ritual walk to the studio, where she observes the landscape shift from bustling city life to contemplative residential neighborhoods. Exploring this contrast, the works playfully collate the images and textures from both worlds.

Emily Filler lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

b. 1982. Ottawa, Canada.

Studio Sundays: Lindsay Hall

A West Coast native, Lindsay Hall is an interdisciplinary artist currently making art in Las Vegas, Nevada. She received a MFA in painting from Indiana University in 2016, as well as a BA in painting and drawing (2012) and a BA in journalism and media studies (2010) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues such as the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the Janet Kurnatowski Gallery (New York), the New Hampshire Institute of Arts, Kent State University (Ohio), Indiana University, the Target Gallery (Virginia), and Fort Works Art (Texas), and is featured in Volume 38 of Studio Visit magazine and Issue 2 of Hiss Mag. She has co-curated group exhibitions in Indiana and New York. Lindsay received the Ilknur P. Ralston Memorial Award in Visual Arts in 2016. She recently completed the Post-Graduate Residency Program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia and is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at Hillyer in Washington, D.C. in February 2019.

Statement

I create colorfully titillating works that engage the notions of pleasure, beauty, and the perverse as they relate to the body, sexuality, and the intimacies and vulnerabilities of human interaction. The resulting pieces and installations fantasize these shared human experiences, often sugarcoating shame and disgust with a provocative playfulness.

The works are sensuous in nature, often provoking haptic responses. Desire and temptation play central roles in experience and interaction. The forms are reminiscent of bodily orifices, luscious fleshy lumps, and confections. Superficially, the pieces serve as eroticized eye candy, but further inspection suggests the layered innuendos and the juicy persuasions.

Studio Sundays: 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 is a Japanese print 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, including Toyota and Kaiser Permanente and have been shown extensively on the East Coast. She has been published in Fresh Paint MagazineThe Artist CatalogueCreate Magazine, as well as several literary journals, and was selected to exhibit at the Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates. Kishita received both her BFA and MFA in painting from the University of the Arts. 

Studio Sundays: Lisa Denyer

Lisa Denyer graduated from Coventry University in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. In 2010 she received second prize in the Gilchrist Fisher Award, held at Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. In 2015 she received first prize in the PS Mirabel Open. Solo presentations include Geode at South Square Gallery, Thornton 2014, Paintings as Objects at PS Mirabel, Manchester 2016, and MM Open Studio at Galerie Martin Mertens, Berlin 2017. Other exhibitions include About Painting at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester 2014, Contemporary British Abstraction at SE9 Container Gallery, London 2015, Sobre fragmentos y materia (two person show) at Kir Royal, Madrid 2017, and Contemporary Masters from Britain at Yantai Art Museum, China 2017. Lisa is based in Berlin.

Artist Statement

My practice looks at the contrast between the slow, considered process of painting against the sensory overload of daily life, and how contemporary painting deals with those polarities. The work relates to the body, the physical world, the transient nature of city living, the virtual, and the relationship we have with the spaces we inhabit.

The compositions are developed using collage, with a visual language of simple shape and line. Geometric elements are tested in variations before the composition is intuitively set in a dialogue with spontaneous, painterly brushstrokes.

My choice of supports reflects the solidity of materials and the objecthood of paintings. The surfaces are dense and weighty and often handmade; heavy plywood, panel, and sandpaper. These materials are selected for their textual qualities and their ability to withstand multiple layers of paint. The handling of paint and the interaction between the medium and the raw surface upon which it is applied is a primary consideration in my practice.

Studio Sundays: Vanessa Lam

Mixed media painter Vanessa Lam creates dialogue between collage and expressive gestural painting. While pursuing a career in health care, she maintained an interest in art that began with studies at the University of British Columbia. Progressing this interest, Lam entered into Continuing Studies at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For the past five years, Vanessa has sold and exhibited her work at artist-run and public galleries both locally and internationally.  She was awarded the Vancouver Regional Award and Grand Prize Award for the 2017 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. Her work was also featured in Create Magazine and Uppercase Magazine. Vanessa Lam was recently an artist-in-residence at Takt Projektraum in Berlin, Germany. She currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Fun Fact: “Rock climbing gave me the foundation to start and sustain my art practice. It helped me develop discipline, persistence and the confidence to push through self-limiting beliefs.”
— Vanessa Lam
Studio Sundays: Jason Bryant

Born in 1976 in Wilson, NC, Jason Bryant now lives and works in New York, City. Bryant graduated from East Carolina University with a BFA and went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art for his MFA in painting.  Bryant moved to New York City soon after and began work with such notable artists as Kehinde Wiley and Bjarne Melgaard.

Heavily influenced by classic film, Bryant begins each painting by researching images from cinematic moments or magazine images of interest to fit various themes exploring loneliness, vulnerability and frailty. Bryant renders each image, at first as a pencil sketch on canvas without the use of projection and then by transforming the image through oil paint into a photo-realistically and beautifully rendered film still. Bryant then incorporates his signature skateboard graphics, a skateboarder himself, or paints in pixilated areas often cropping the eyes or other notable features of each character.

Bryant’s paintings have been exhibited across the United States, Europe and Australia, are represented by galleries in New York, London and the Gold Coast and are collected worldwide. His work has been featured and covered in Juxtapoz Magazine, Thrasher (U.S. and France), NY Arts Magazine, American Artist and Time Out New York.

Statement

A photo, a fingerprint, a signature, and DNA are all methods we use to identify a person, but they are just a means to match a name or face to an individual, not to describe who they are or to translate their identity. For as long as I have been using portraiture as the main focus of my paintings, it is not the identity or recognizable face in which I use to describe my portraits, but more of a blueprint of how I approach portraiture. Many levels go into what makes a person’s portrait. It’s a fabric of many layers, intertwined with a person’s favorite foods, music, and movies. I have used all of these concepts in building my portraits. Stemming from my lifelong love of the cinema, many of the subjects of my paintings are actors and actresses. However, I am not commenting on celebrity or the star system, but I use the celebrity as a hook to bring then viewer in. My work has never focused on the face to describe or examine a portrait. Instead, by cropping or hiding certain features of the face, I add more mystery to the portrait, bringing us to question who we are and what’s beneath the surface.

In my recent series of paintings, I have incorporated my love of skateboarding to explore themes of portraiture. With vibrant visceral iconic skateboard graphics coming from behind or bursting through the elegant black and white images of various actors and actresses, I’ve merged two of the most important parts of my life, skateboarding and art. I use the traditional format of the portrait, to simultaneously, comment on identity and create portraits that mean so much more than just the individual being painted. With most of my paintings, the figure is the focal point, but when all of the elements of the painting come into play, the work really explores the identity of others, not the subject being painted. There is so much to be learned from a person’s portrait, information that goes well beyond the face.

Studio Sundays: Chantal Khoury

Chantal Khoury (b 1986) is originally from New Brunswick, Canada but has been based in Montreal since 2006.  She obtained her BFA with distinction from Concordia University in 2012 and has been developing her practice ever since. Ongoing themes in her work examine the figure within contemporary portraiture, most often through her female characters. In recent years, her interest in memory and group dynamics have lead her work in a narrative direction. Her latest series Home and Haven was exhibited most recently in a solo exhibition at The Belgo Building in Montreal and will travel to Eastern Canada for another solo exhibition in 2018.  She has exhibited widely across Canada, in numerous solo and group exhibitions and her work was part of the 2017 Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed at the Orillia Museum of Art & History. She has worked as an instructor at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery and her work is found in both private and public collections, including the permanent collection of the University of New Brunswick. She is represented by Gallery On Queen in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

My artistic practice works both within and outside the conventional aspects of representational painting and drawing. It is anchored in the realm of figuration and landscape, with an expressionist approach to image-making. During the past several years, an ongoing theme has addressed the female ‘self’, where my characters’ identities are repurposed and re-imagined.

More recently, my interests lie in selective memory as I examine my own childhood, my place in the Lebanese diaspora and my relationship to ‘longing’ within the Canadian landscape; these subjects act as a point of departure.  My work takes on site-specific locations and addresses them through an idyllic lens. My resource material is pulled from found images and family photos while experimentation plays a major role in my process. My current series, Home and Haven explores the effects of selective memory over time by focusing on my own relationship to my childhood in Atlantic Canada. My practice always involves an exploratory approach to colour experimentation and composition, no matter the theme I am working on.

Fun Fact: My resource images are from my father's photos ( he is a photographer) which are already idealized. My works takes the images even further into the ideal and the utopian.

Studio Sundays: Jay Riggio

Jay Riggio, a self-taught visual artist, was born in Long Island, New York in 1978. Utilizing original source material from discarded magazines and books, Riggio’s work brings new life to once forgotten imagery through complex, handcut and pasted, mixed media collages. His works depict dream-inspired stories through unique, surrealistic visual pairings: a reflection of the artists interpretations on life, love, humor and the human condition.

In addition to exhibiting work in galleries around the world, Riggio has done commercial illustrations for brands likeGather JournalThe New York TimesBrooklyn Magazine, Alice McCall, A24 Films and more. 

Jay currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Studio Sundays: Wendy Matenga

Create. This is something Wendy Matenga has always done. She was brought up in a bus that her father renovated so they could be wherever he needed to dredge for gold. If they dwelt in a paddock for a while her mother always planted flowers. This upbringing instilled in her that you could make anything you imagined, and that nature is boundless.

She is now enjoying success as a self-taught artist living in Nelson New Zealand. There are many things that she loves to craft; painting however is her chosen medium to express life. With the support of her husband she has been able to focus on growing herself artistically and develop the technical skills needed to get her thoughts from mind to canvas.

Process

Painterly realism with contemporary twist.

My current body of work focuses on flowers, their fragile nature and the impact that light has on them. I also have a fascination with the term “bouquet” and it’s meaning “a collection of flowers in a creative arrangement” and playing with how far I can push that idea. The works always start with my love of capturing light on their delicate petals with photography, and then I like to push the boundaries of floristry with my paintbrush.

I draw the truth of what I see, as I love the light, but then I never know exactly where the work is going to go. Because accurate rendering still doesn’t capture that feeling you get when you have flowers in your home, or when you have been gifted them by a loved one. I desire to represent the vibrancy it offers, often with patterns or something purely from the imagination. 

Sometimes I will change the proportions of an object because that’s the thing that drawing me in, that’s what needs to be in focus. Illustration is also a part of my artistic process, with paper capturing a notion before the canvas does.

I am still astonished by the kind of people my work draws to me, there is something really special and kind hearted about nature lovers and gardeners. The positivity around this subject matter spurs me on to put more of it in to the world.

Studio Sundays: Geoffrey Stein 

Geoffrey Stein is a recovering lawyer, who has been painting full-time since 2000. He received an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2007. Stein lives and paints in New York City. He is represented by the Minster Gallery in the UK and online at Paraphe.art, SaatchiArt.com and Ugallery.com. 

Statement

I paint to find out what I think about the world; to discover the things I do not have words for. I savor the slips of the hand that express one’s unconscious feelings about the person being painted. I am interested in the conversation between abstraction and realism. I do not want to make an academic copy of the model or a photo realistic illustration. My paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.

Fun fact: "I am a recovering lawyer."

Studio Sundays: Minga Opazo

Minga Opazo currently resides in Ventura, emigrating from Chile a decade ago. Her mixed media work consists mostly of prints and textiles, as well as wood burning, paintings and drawings. Dominga’s greatest inspiration, and often the subject of her art, is the natural world seen through the lens of her childhood. Drawing inspiration from her native Chile and incorporating elements from her new serein coastal home, Dominga is a fine artist and innovator, graduating from UC Berkley in 2016 with a B.A. in Fine Art. 

Statement

Repetition,... of the same movements, and the same set steps..... Repetition is the core of my practice. It begins with an idea followed by experimentation which is then followed by research. From there, the process is narrowed down to a few single movements, repeated until I have created a final piece. The size of the work may vary, the colors and materials may vary, but this basic repetitive process is intrinsic to what I create. This practice reflects my experience growing up in the countryside of Colina, Chile where in local agriculture, I witnessed a poetic repetition of the same actions and interactions with the natural environment. As a child, I admired the meditative and repetitive work that the farmer did in tending to his farmland. I believe that this experience instilled in me the values of discipline and commitment which is such an integral part of my art. 

My work is also influenced by my heritage, my identity, and the natural world as I see it. One of the crucial evolutions of my identity was immigrating to the United States as a non english speaking fifteen year old, which wove together in me the cultures of Chile and the US. As a young adult I still feel very connected to my Chilean roots and as I continue to visit Chile I see more and more of the environmental and social issues affecting the country and how they connect to the rest of the United State and the rest of the world. Much of my work incorporates the intersection between my developed culture, the landscape of my childhood and often the environmental issues tying it all together. 

Most Recently I have been experimenting with outdoor installations and the different challenges and opportunities that come with it. I am inspired to share my work with those that would not normally see or interact with art and I’m interested to see how an audience experiences my art in a non-formal setting outside the white walls of a Gallery space. My latest outdoor installation is made of raw natural fibers from Chile which I’ve woven into found objects in my local environment such as weathered wooden fences. Working outdoors, especially by the seascape, means that these pieces will change, erode and decompose rather quickly, introducing the component of time into my work. Working with outdoor installations has been powerful and motivating and I'm excited to see where it leads.