Blog

Category

  • Alex Chitty

    Despite what some may think, there are always new and interesting art happenings occuring in this fair city of Austin, TX. Perhaps it's due to the influx of bright and chirpy young folks that come to central Texas to study at any number of the higher education palaces that dot the area. Perhaps it's something else entirely, but I certainly love when I get to witness new energy and ambition go into operating a space dedicated to exploring contemporary art and artists and the conversation that surrounds that process. A new little house gallery just opened up called Permanent.Collection and I am so happy that they did because at their inaugural show I was introduced to the work of Chicago-based artist, Alex Chitty.

    Walking into Permanent.Collection I was immediately drawn to a collection of intimate, hand manipulated collaged photographs that were pinned to the back wall of the tiny living room gallery space. I spent a lot of time observing Chitty's manipulation of the photographic surface and soon found myself dreaming of owning my very own so I would never have to say goodbye. As stated in a recent article about her on Make.Space.net, "over the last couple years her work has gone from collages and prints to flat cut paper and paper sculpturally attached to the wall to vitrine-like sculptures. The work seems to confound the definition of what is flat and what is dimensional – a piece of paper can be a sculpture and a sculpture can collapse into a layered plane as the viewer looks through it."

    I am pretty smitten and enjoy the playful and unprecious approach that remains underlying in each work that I've seen, no matter the medium. I find great affinity to her unabashed need to collect images and objects, even if the direct purpose for having them is unknown for months or years or maybe never. I can equally relate to the neatly stacked islands of chaos that can be found in her studio as a result of her collecting. I invite you to take a peek at her body of work and get all wrapped up into it like I have!

  • #UATakeover

    This past Friday I had the distinct pleasure of taking over the @UpriseArtNYC Instagram, inundating their fine followers with pictures from a day in the life of me! It was super great to get to share my process through pictures and just in case you don't follow @UpriseArtNYC (and you should!), I am posting them up here for you to take a peek at. This winter will have be hunkered down close to my studio's space heater while I prepare for a show this coming January and adding new inventory to both Uprise and LEIF. Enjoy these pics and stay warm wherever you are! 

    I am over-the-moon excited to share my little corner of the world with you and to give you a peek into my studio practice here in the heart of Texas. This is where the magic happens! I’ve been in this little garage space for the past 9 years and its secluded location along a tree-lined street in East Austin suits my process perfectly. 

    Taking a quick spin around the place, you’ll notice my surplus of old books and magazines stacked and stored in every nook. These forgotten anthologies are usually scooped up at thrift stores and estate sales, but one or two are gifts from my sweet friends who can easily bet that I will use the heck out of them, giving their out of date pages new life through my collaged paintings.

    As I snip photographic surfaces and over-saturated illustrations found inside their pages, I can’t help but clip out the silly little images that make me laugh along the way. This one was taken out of a 1967 Time Life book titled TIME and describes a very serious study on snails and magnetism.

    Focusing on painting during my time as a student, I’ve always been drawn to the viscosity and material nature of paint. Pushing the pigment around and watching it react to the pressure of my hand or the texture of a certain kind of paper, never ceases to amaze me. It’s a ritual I gladly perform and include in each of my artworks. 

    Sandwiched between swaths of paint and found images, you’ll find pieces of brightly colored paper sourced from different corners of the world. Over the last 10 years, I’ve voraciously collected sheets and samples of all kinds, attracted mostly to those in unusual colors, ones with rough and irregular surfaces and have recently begun to start my own collection of hand-dyed papers from traditions I learned during my Arquetopia residency last year in Oaxaca.Looking over maps of memory is a current favorite of mine that I created especially for Uprise’s inventory at the most recent Affordable Art Fair NYC. For me, the repeated act of layering is a meditation on shape and form. What spurs me to keep repeating these assemblages of material are that each construction is a puzzle where color, form and texture are constantly in rotation with different results. I am particularly satisfied with how the sharp cuts of pink and nude paper transition to the more gestural application of acid green paint. 

    Inspiration for color and shape come from having wide-open eyes as I move throughout my daily routine. I’m can honestly say I am equally fascinated by the organic contour lines of my own hand, as I am by the bright and gleaming colors of this painted mural I pass everyday on the way to work. You never know where the vision for the next composition is going to come from! Speaking of work, most of the time the creative balance between studio time and office feels very natural and rhythmic. Making artwork, creating programming at the University of Texas’s Visual Arts Center or collaborating with my peers in our collectively run art space MASS Gallery are very similar practices. I absolutely love being a leader in the visual arts and my experience as an arts administrator gives me access to the back end of making creative projects happen through imaginative problem solving. Plus, with these guys at MASS it’s hard to not have a good time!

    Being exposed to so many artists regularly, I find it impossible to not want to support them in other ways and have a burgeoning collection of paintings and objects from makers that grows each year. Here is a sweet painting by my friend Sam Sanford, a little stone and wood totem by Chantal Wnuk, a bright neon Chiaozza sculpture I picked up on my recent trip to NYC, and a lovely clay figurine by Irma García Blanco from my travels to Sta. Maria Atzompa. Collecting art is not only a joy for me, but knowing that I help sustain an artist’s practice makes it so much more awesome.

    Well, there you have it! A little window into my life in Austin, TX! Thank you for all your enthusiasm and kind words, I am so happy to be a part of the Uprise Art family and look forward to all the ways I will grow with their support and encouragement. If you are ever in the Lone Star State, please come say hi! Huge THANK YOU to the incredibly talented Courtney Chavanell for her photo assist on some of these, a real gem that girl!

  • golden city

    The sun moves so differently through the sky these days and suddenly, as August moves into November, everything is golden and glowing. Long live fall, where open car windows bellow melancholy songs like these.

    Categories

  • Malin Gabriella Nordin

    If one called painting by its name, Malin Gabriella Nordin would probably have it
    respond with the voice of rocks: of stones that fluently speak their own language
    of shapes and ciphers and glow with multiple colours in the dark. Nordin gives
    abstract forms a unique presence that is subtly spooky, animated by the silent
    laughter of beings from other dimensions. – Jan Verwoert, 2013

    As fall sets in and our summer sun gazing comes to an end, I have found myself looking towards the ground, hunting for pebbles, fallen leaves and seed and nuts that have tumbled to the ground marking the change in season. Perhaps it's because of this transition that I am drawn to the work of Swedish artist Malin Gabriella Nordin and all its organic regalia. An artist after my own heart, Nordin utilizes found images to inspire her collages, many of which are centered around color, form and surface. 

    I am particulary drawn to how she jumps in scale to create these friendly-looking wooden sculptures that isolate her two-dimensional biomorphic shapes and brings to life in human scale. It is this physical encounter that she explores in her artist book Private Language, where the above excerpt was plucked from by critic and curator Jan Verwoert. I'm hooked on Nordin's work and I was so excited to see that she has a limited edition of prints available from Little Paper Planes, too!

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Pedro Almodóvar!

    Pedro himself looking dashing here in his 1984 film, "¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer ésto?" // "What have I done to deserve this?". Happy 65th birthday, you look AMAZING!

  • as promised...

    Check out these gorgeous pics of my upriseXnorwood installation by photographer Sam Teich, courtesy of Uprise Art. Wish this place was closer than NYC so I could hang out and look at all the beautiful artwork on a regular basis! Speaking of NYC, this week is the Affordable Art Fair and my work will be up there at Uprise's booth B-1! If you're in the area, pop over and say hello to the Uprise team for me.

  • upriseXnorwood

    Dan Graham on the rooftop of The Met

    This past week I whisked myself off to New York City for a quick and busy trip to create a site-specific installation for Uprise Art at the Norwood Club in Chelsea. So much fun to get to stretch out in the beautiful architecture of the early Victorian architecture of Norwood. My first installation work in another state and certainly my first install in a house listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

    At The Norwood

    While in the city we stayed with my good friend Jamie Isenstein, whose work we had at the Visual Arts Center back in 2012 and who was kind enough to host us, even though she is working hot & heavy on her upcoming solo show at Andrew Kreps gallery coming this Spring.

    Jamie Isenstien blending in at The New Museum

    We didn't have much time to explore the city, but we certianly ate our fill of deliciousness at Despaña, Ippudo (barely any line because of the NY "heatwave while we were there!) and had time to wander around aimlessly at The Met. We even made it to Rockaway, my very first East Coast beach experience, and don't even get me started on what we ate there! My favorite shopping this time around was at the MOCIUN store, where I splurged and bought a little sculpture created by the artist duo CHIAOZZA who I have a crazy crush on.

    All in all, despite the sweltering heat and having to carry a really heavy box of art supplies to the FedEx store, I had an amazing time with an AMAZING host (both Uprise & Jamie!) and I can't wait to come back and visit The Norwood to sip on a cocktail while I admire my work and all the other talented artists on view. If you are in the area, the show will be up for a whole year so pop on over!

  • echoes of summer

    I have been absolutely slammed this summer and while I usually get to make awesome bouncy summery mixtapes of my own, I have been relying on the kindness (and good taste!) of strangers! Though can a blog that you frequent weekly, if not daily, really be a stranger?!

    I don't have to tell you how INCREDIBLE the folks at the LA-based blog Aquarium Drunkard are, but their playlists sourced from guest DJs from all over the world never cease to impress me. In fact, I owe 1/2 my music collection to tunes they've turned me on to!

    So instead of sharing my own compilation, I thought I'd turn you on to this incredible two hour journey that AQ contributor Chad DePasquale has created so eloquently entitled BLUE AUGUST MOON. Some of my favorite cuts are Irma Thomas's Ruler of my Heart, Eunice Collins's At the Hotel and the well timed Stockhausen spoken qoute, “We are Changed”.

    So what are you waiting for here is the download link and please please PLEASE do yourself a favor and take a leap over to AQ's website for more clever mixtapes!

    Blue August Moon.mp3

    Categories

  • bosom buddies

    Nestled sweetly amongst my FRIENDSHIPS page, you will find loads of artists and partners in crime that I have had the pleasure of knowing, working with and sharing a laugh or two with...or three or four, or perhaps even almost stopped breathing because I was laughing so hard.

    One such favorite of mine is Ariel Evans, a PhD Candidate in Art History at The University of Texas and editor of Pastelegram magazine based out of Austin, TX. Though started in central Texas, the online and print publication is concerned with issues globally and historically through the exploration of archives and the artistic processall while having a killer sense of humor. If you thought Art Historians were no fun, let the team behind Pastelegram prove you wrong. Below you'll find a few of my best-loved projects, but I highly urge you to exhaust their cleverly built website for all kinds of treasures!

    Pastelegram’s title comes from a list of possible car names by the poet Marianne Moore. The auto that Ford later christened the “Edsel” might have been called “Bullet Cloisoné,” “Varsity Stroke,” “Utopian Turtletop,” “Thunder Crester” or “ Pastelegram” (among other possibilities). As the name for an art magazine, it intentionally withholds meaning: there is a story but it is one that you must find in the archive of someone else. 

    Essentially, Pastelegram is a method for examining contemporary visual work, a method that involves looking at the varied sources that affected the work’s ultimate creation. It is reading around a work by looking at its archive rather than reading an authority’s interpretation about the work.

    We publish a print annual and an array of internet projects. Through our experimental and innovative format, we encourage serious engagements with living artists and art writers from diverse audiences. Pastelegram’s focus is artists’ archives, which we explore through commissioning new works from living art workers (for either print or online publication) as well as maintaining several online collections of artistic working materials, such as sketches, architectural renderings and book collections. 

    ONLINE ISSUE 6
    Hot Ballotage

    This is a partial record of the closet in Chuck Ramirez’ home office in San Antonio, Texas, which also functioned as a studio until his untimely death in 2010. In it, the artist stored artwork, keepsakes and snapshots dating back to his high school years. Ramirez’ home is now a living archive, and the site of the Casa Chuck Arts Residency, an international invitational program for curators and writers. 

    The images in this group are unedited, downloaded directly from my phone, and selected from an archive of over 3000 such photographs taken during the course of slightly over two years.
  • Perfect Strangers

    I have recently been working on fluffing up my resume with exciting forthcoming projects and the insertion of a beefier new publications section that will include DRUMROLL please...the exciting new book I'm in coming soon to bookstores!

    This September the book Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform will be available to the public and I am super giddy to get my hands on one. Thanks to Danielle Krysa aka The Jealous Curator for all her hard work and her unwavering support for all of us Collage artists, but especially thank you for keeping us all up-to-date on the soon to be available new book that we've made together. Until its arrival, I've been working on my website and resume to reflect all the exciting things to come. During this time of clerical upkeep, I have apprehensively searched the internet, trepidatiously googling my own name to see what pops up. With amazement and a little embarassment, I have found lovely little blog posts from all over the world written with such genuine affection and admiration, that after a few I had to take a break for fear of taking myself and the internet too seriously. 

    One such blog post that the creators Ariel Torres and Sean Collins were so kind to email me about was especially beautiful. Their newly launched site CHROMATIC WATCH is just getting off the ground and has a poetic take on artists and their work. I especially loved their use of "sun, fruit, face" as descriptive words for my paintings. Thank you to Danielle, Ariel and Sean for making me and so many other artists feel so great about the work that we do! It's amazing how excellent people like you, perfect strangers often times only held together by only the portal of the computer screen, could care so much about making a connection through art.

  • fat old sun

    It is studio time all the time and the heat is beginning to go to my head as I gear up for some exciting September projects. What's a girl to do but crank up the stereo, stand in front of the oscillating fan and work!

  • FLATLAND + NEW FRIENDS

    I loved my recent trip to San Antonio and had such a terrific time meeting so many new friends and talented artists from Texas, Mexico and South America. Curator Patty Ortiz put together a wonderful group show and it was great to get to talk about ideas and processes that each of us shared in some way or another. Among the 10 artists currently on view as part of FLATLAND, I was super happy to meet Panama City based artist Cisco Merel, who told me all about living in Berlin and his recent show in Guatamala and how he manages his studio practice no matter where his travels take him. 

    I also loved meeting Mexico City based artist Ricardo Rendón and realizing we knew people in common and he gave me the scoop on the best paper store in D.F!

    All in all, it was the perfect summer break to get to visit a city so close to me in Austin, but still so different and new. If you happen to be in San Antonio in the next few months, I recommend taking a swim at San Pedro Springs Park, San Antonio’s oldest designated park, eating tacos at Taco Taco Cafe, having a drink at OCHO and yes, please pop over and see all our work now on view through October 11!

  • UPLIFT

    Wanderlust has set in this summer and I couldn't help writing all about it for Uprise's blog UPLIFT! Learn about how my travels to Oaxaca last summer influenced the small batch of work for Uprise's The Shop and where I hope to travel to soon!

  • FLATLAND

    I'll be hitting San Antonio, Texas next week to install two wall installations for a group exhibition entitled FLATLAND. Described by the curator as "presenting artists at the intersection of cultural form, process and meaning in this emerging flat world", I am interested in seeing how the work of the 10 exhibiting artists pulls together in her vision. If you are in the area, the work will be up at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center July 11 through October 11, 2014. It'll be nice to stretch my legs out of the studio and make something BIG! Stay tuned to see how it goes!

    Categories

  • ECHO ECHO

    As a person interested in many things I have difficulty focusing
    I love the blurry and banal
    Folk signage: KEYS CUT HERE
    Old traditions of fine craftsmanship
    The spontaneity of a child’s scribble
    I believe in the phonetics of materials and the grammar of space
    I’m interested in the invisible systems of the everyday
    Twisting a joke out of the mundane
    Simple ideas
    Tactility
    The subjectivity of words
    Perception and the complexity of the human eye
    Loops, self-referentiality, pangrams
    Ridiculous self-imposed constraints 
    Collecting, archiving, processing, filtering, editing
    Patterns and the quest to discover them
    Puzzles, magic
    The rich history embodied in a rusty tool, or threadbare quilt
    Skipping while frowning
    Recognizing social and urban phenomena
    The peculiarities of human behavior
    Pointing at things
    Directing attention to something easily missed
    Grouping like things together (or unlike things)
    Bouncing things against each other
    Shifting focus and contexts to widen Art’s lens
    Littoral spaces
    Absurdity. Nonsense
    The drive to relate to things
    Missing the exit
    Doing the The Hokey-Pokey to the Macarena song
    Doing the Macarena to the Bird dance song
    Hope and Humiliation
    Affinity toward all colours known and unknown
    Colouring outside and reading between

    -Ben Skinner

    I'm currently infatuated with the work of Vancouver-based artist, Ben Skinner, ever since I stumbled upon his work via The Jealous Curator. I also really love his artist statement (above) which reminds me of the LIKES/DISLIKES project I was just a part of. I have been saving my pennies to get one of his sculptures from his recent body of work SAME SAME, an ongoing series of brick sets made of plaster and in wildly delicious marbled hues with phrases like CHOP CHOP, KISS KISS, NO NO and other playful colloquialisms. These works alongside paintings, drawings and installations are currently on view at Vancouver's Back Gallery Project.

  • LIKES / DISLIKES

    On Licorice, Bach, Jews and Penknives

    Things I like: fires, Venice, tequila, sunsets, babies, silent films, heights, coarse salt, top hats, large long- haired dogs, ship models, cinnamon, goose down quilts, pocket watches, the smell of newly mown grass, linen, Bach, Louis XIII furniture, sushi, microscopes, large rooms, boots, drinking water, maple sugar candy.

    Things I dislike: sleeping in an apartment alone, cold weather, couples, football games, swimming, anchovies, mustaches, cats, umbrellas, being photographed, the taste of licorice, washing my hair (or having it washed), wearing a wristwatch, giving a lecture, cigars, writing letters, taking showers, Robert Frost, German food.

    Things I like: ivory, sweaters, architectural drawings, urinating, pizza (the Roman bread), staying in hotels, paper clips, the color blue, leather belts, making lists, wagon-lits, paying bills, caves, watching ice-skating, asking questions, taking taxis, Benin art, green apples, office furniture, Jews, eucalyptus trees, penknives, aphorisms, hands.

    Things I dislike: television, baked beans, hirsute men, paperback books, standing, card games, dirty or disorderly apartments, flat pillows, being in the sun, Ezra Pound, freckles, violence in movies, having drops put in my eyes, meatloaf, painted nails, suicide, licking envelopes, ketchup, traversins [“bolsters”], nose drops, Coca-Cola, alcoholics, taking photographs.

    This material is excerpted and adapted from the forthcoming book “As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980,” by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.


    About a month ago the divine Leigh Patterson, editor of SYNONYM and contributor to Alldayeveryday, asked me to participate in an ongoing feature called Likes/Dislikes. For this series Patterson, "asks interesting individuals to create two lists: one of their likes, one of dislikes. The feature is based on two things: an excerpt from Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 and another from Roland Barthes’ autobiography (trans. Richard Howard, 1977)." At first approach this project seemed completely daunting since I do not fancy myself a list maker or collector of thoughts in this fashion, however as I thought about it more and more it was remarkable how things just popped into my brain into groupings because of Patterson's prompt.

    Even before the invitation, I have long thought that categorizing items was a very human quality, perhaps a strange survival technique in some way. How many selections do you make in a day based on what you enjoy and what you'd rather not experience? Is this safe, is this dangerous? Does this feel good, does this make me feel bad? As a visual artist, I find myself asking all kinds of questions and striving to find a harmonious balance in the choices that I make. Much of it is instinctual and always seems very personally distinct, but variable and capricious, too. In creating my lists for Alldayeveryday I often felt compelled to include gratuitous conditions to certain likes or dislikes, and then quickly realized that I had to commit without apology to this list. I hope that the readers understand the exercise and that these collections of items or sensations are certainly truths, but can't be perceived as permanent since nothing certainly is.

    So here it is folks, a list of likes and dislikes from me created on May 18, 2014 at approximately 6:02 pm. I look through them now and see some reign true today, but then some don't. Thanks to Leigh for thinking of me for this project, it was so much fun and delivered so much insight!

    As a note: the awesome print above of Susan Sontag is part of the incredible pinup writer collection that Erik Heywood creates for his Oakland book store called BOOK/SHOP. Sontag is PINUP NO. 4 and is available now in their shop, but you can also get your hands on one by emailing them at info@book---shop.com.

  • Little Paper Planes

    Beyond elated to have an exclusive collection of prints now available at one of my favorite shops, San Francisco's Little Paper Planes. Working with Kelly Lynn Jones, LPP founder, and her team has been wonderful and while I have been approached several times about translating my original works into prints, I never even remotely considered it until Kelly sent me an email outlining their Artist of the Month print project.

    Little Paper Planes is a company founded in December of 2004 by Kelly Lynn Jones and started off initially as an online shop. With this shop Jones sought to create a platform from which she and her friends, who had just graduated from art school, could present and sell their work to a wider audience. However, as the number of artist-participants grew over time, it became clear that Little Paper Planes had grown up to become a broad-ranging community, composed of both the circle of artists themselves, as well the people who love and support their art. It seemed the natural progression of this growing inertia was to facilitate dialogues and awareness around Contemporary art between both the artists and public alike.

    Little Paper Planes assists artists in their careers through print editions, publishing, curatorial and licensing projects. As of May 2013, LPP opened a physical location in San Francisco which has enabled the company to provide more opportunities in the space including lectures, events, exhibitions and workshops. With the new space LPP started LPP+ Residency which functions as a rotating work space for a diverse group of artists, designers, collectives, and curators to engage with the public.


    I have long lusted after their diverse inventory and incredible roster of artists and am proud to be representing the month of June! Check out their shop online or in person and collect a print or two. They are all so affordable why not make it three! Oh, and I did an interview with Maggie Haas, LPP Featured Artist Editor and San Francisco-based artist, that dives into some of my recent revelations on my practice.

  • FRESH BATCH

    A sweet collection of new work hit Uprise Art's The Shop today and all were inspired by the juicy colors of a hot summer ahead! I can't say enough wonderful things about working with these ladies, so please send them your support and check out their brilliant roster of talent. I dare you to find something that doesn't strike your fancy!

    Categories

  • Barbara Walters

    Barbara Walters retires today from the tiny screen and ends a long and fabulous career in television that began over 50 years ago in 1962. ABC News put together a terrific slide show capturing Ms. Walters at her classiest! 

    Her retirement reminds me of watching 20/20 as a little girl being both frightened and fascinated at the variety of people she was getting indepth interviews on. It also reminds me of the ineffable Gilda Radner as Baba Wawa :)

  • Harper's Bazaar

    Just got back to Austin from a whirlwind trip to NYC for work! I had the most amazing lox and bagel washed down with a beet and lemon shrub at Russ & Daughters, blissed out in the sound landscape of La Monte Young's Dream House and finally got to meet the lovely ladies behind Uprise Art! I was so pleased to get an email today from Christina Lawrence, Uprise's Curatorial Coordinator, about a post that founder & CEO Tze Chun wrote for Harper's Bazaar! Big projects are in store for me and these terrific women, so stay tuned!

    Categories