Tag Archive | Artist

Coney Art Walls 2016: A Different View

Coney Art Walls 2016 Signage
All Photos By Gail

Geoffrey and I went out to Coney Island equipped with a minor agenda that included eating at Wahlburgers (disappointing), attending a concert at the new amphitheater (nice venue, underwhelming artist) and visiting the new-for-2016 Coney Art Walls. We saw the Art Walls Last Summer and they were amazing! Unfortunately, when we tried to enter the space this past weekend, we were told that they were closed for a private party, and that we could pay $15 if we wanted to gain admittance to see them, and also be subjected to what sounded like the worst music ever in the universe of all time. We declined. “Come back tomorrow,” we were told, but that wasn’t going to happen when a 90-minmute subway ride is involved.

Marie Roberts
Art By Marie Roberts

So, what I decided to do was take some photos of the walls that surround the exterior border of the Art Wall Pavilion (or whatever they call it) and also shove my camera between gaps in the chain link fence to get some other crappy shots. Because it was overcast and rainy out, so not great picture-taking weather anyway. You’re welcome.

John Ahearn, Haze Tribute to MCA
Foreground by John Ahearn, Background, A Tribute to MCA By Haze

New artists participating in the 2016 Art Walls include Nina Chanel Abney, John Ahearn, Timothy Curtis, D*Face, Jessica Diamond, Tristan Eaton, Gaia, Eric Haze, Icy & Sot, London Police, Nychos, Pose, Stephen Powers, Tats Cru, and Sam Vernon. Returning artists who created new works are Lady Aiko, Mister Cartoon, Crash, Daze, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Marie Roberts.

D*Face
Art By D*Face

Tristan Eaton
Art By Tristan Eaton

A few of the 2015 Walls are still on display, including those by Buff Monster, Eine, Ron English, How & Nosm, IRAK, Kashink, Lady Pink, Miss Van, RETNA, eL Seed and Sheryo & Yok. You can see some of those in last year’s post at This Link! There are also three community walls.

Nychos
Nychos After Dark: Dissected Ronald McDonald

The Coney Art Walls are located at on Stillwell Avenue (right behind Nathan’s) at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY 11224.

Cyclops Mermaid

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Eye on Design: Graphic Designer and Art Director Robin Hercia

Love the One Your with Poster
Love the One You’re With Poster By Robin Hercia (All Images Courtesy of the Artist)

To build a livelihood at the juncture where fine art and design merge, Robin Hercia drew on her experience as a multidisciplinary artist, tapped into her intuitive sense of how to individually serve each client, and sought to infuse appropriate projects with an essence of earth-based and eastern spiritual practices to establish a truly unique, bespoke approach to brand identity, graphic design and art direction. Based in Los Angeles, AWMYL is Hercia’s design studio, where she creates exciting graphic, surface, and printed product design specializing in, but not limited to, brand identities and products for clients working in the arenas of wellness, healing, yoga and mysticism.

Coming from a fine art background, the talented designer has an extensive resume of diverse works that include painting, screen-printing and installation. Her artwork (created under the name Robin Redd) has been exhibited in Canada, Europe and the US, including events such as 2009’s Aqua Art Fair in Miami, and Scope Miami Beach in 2013.

Collaboration with Jon Todd
El Campeon Grande (Collaboration with Jon Todd, Aqua Art Fair Miami 2009)

Message In a Bottle
Installation series for Message in a Bottle Exhibition Curated by Lori Zimmer (Scope Miami Beach 2013)

Air14 Multi-use Geodesic Dome
AIR14 Installation (Wynwood at Art Basel 2014)

Her project AIR14, a multi-use Geodesic Dome, was also featured in The Art of Cardboard: Big Ideas for Creativity, Collaboration, Storytelling, and Reuse by Lori Zimmer.

Screen Print with Eyes and Rabbits
Above and Below, Havemeyer, Spray Paint, Screen Print, and Hand Embellished, SMASH Toronto

Screen Print with Rabbits

In 2012, Hercia relocated from Toronto to Southern California, opening AWMYL in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in the spring of 2015. She initially works with imagery and materials that are analog and tangible in origin, and later transitions artwork for further manipulation digitally. The same personal interest in spirituality that inspires her fine artwork also informs her design practice at AWMYL. “I’ve spent years studying alternative or earth-based spiritual practices, such as Wicca, paganism, voodou, Golden Dawn, Theosophy, Buddhism, and Native American traditions, among others,” Hercia explains.

Tarot Poster
Poster for Redondo Beach Tarot Card Reader Joseph Lennon McCord (a.k.a. Joe Daddy)

“These studies are referenced in my work in obvious ways via graphics and imagery,” she continues, “but also subtly, in regards to what materials are used to create the image. I make a lot of my own dyes, pigments and inks from natural sources, which correspond, via assorted spiritual practices, to what the piece is about. For example, the indigo plant produces a blue color that is associated with Saturn, and it’s used to conjure protection, discipline, organization, and focus. In practice, if I’m creating a piece of art that reflects these qualities, or working on a design for a client who is, say, a healer or energy worker, then I’ll use an ink made from indigo to create that work. In the end, it means that the ink I’m dipping my pen into was designed to energetically attract the objective of that business.

Tony G Yoga Elemental Cards
Elemental Cards for Yoga Instructor, Tony G

AWMYL’s brand identity products include custom fabric and wallpaper design, signage, print materials (business cards, letterhead, posters) and anything else that the client requests. She’s even designed a set of divination cards for an international yoga instructor. “I work with graphic design, and that’s mostly what people see me doing right now, but behind the scenes I’m working with textiles, metal, and interior design. I have an upcoming contract with a new school, Dev Mason, which is a totally cool web development school. I’ll be creating not only their brand identity, but also working on custom elements for the interiors of their five campuses, and designing the entire space. It’s my first time acting as Art Director at this scale and I’m really thrilled about it!”

Love the One Youre With Postcards

Hercia also follows her own muse to create original projects just for the joy of it – her Love The One You’re With posters and postcards being an example. Hercia’s attraction to creating letterforms and fonts began in early childhood, while playing with Letraset transfer-sheet lettering, and 1970s-era design books. “I creatively re-drew the letters I saw in different variations,” she remembers. “When all you have to work with are letters and images, type is a very important component of graphic design. Creating custom letters, or altering letters to suit the application, is an integral technique in creating a feel and look. It’s a primary part of what I have to work with as a designer.”

Love The One You’re With is an original typeface that I designed using ancient calligraphic tools and techniques, modeled after a traditional, hand-tooled font,” Hercia explains. While adhering to a general set of rules, each letter of the series contains a characteristic that is unique. Love The One Your With is an exploration in mark making – with a calligraphic foundation, it combines decorative elements in both practical and non-practical application, based on a set of rules, depending on the geometry and construction of individual letters. The letterforms also explore the juxtaposition between extreme thick and thin strokes within the construct of each particular letter, as well as in relation to neighboring units.

The result is a typeface whose ornamentation isn’t necessarily obvious, but which alludes to mythological symbolism and alchemy, and maintains unexpected organic elements with some intrigue and surprise – encouraging the viewer to take time to observe each letter on its own as it is expressly unique from each of the others, in addition to seeing the written text as a whole. Curator and author Lori Zimmer recently commented that her impression of Hercia’s typeface work is that “it evokes a vintage tarot feel” – so the intention definitely translates to the end product.

Created with calligraphy pens and India ink on a Didot typeface foundation, the Love The One You’re With posters are printed digitally, while the postcards are printed using a Risograph printer, yielding very similar results to that of screen-printing. “I’m hoping to get those letters into a format that can be purchased and used by anyone,” says Hercia. “I’ve used it on a few client projects, and while it’s a highly decorative typeface, it certainly works well on particular applications.”

Design is a multifaceted discipline, and Hercia is extremely hands-on. “I’ve had extensive experience with all types of design, including textiles, screen printing, weaving, embroidery, ceramics, wood working, knitting/crochet, calligraphy, marbling, macrame, woven beadwork, photography, etc. I grasp new skills easily, so if I can visualize something for a particular client, I can physically make it. For example, in the outdoor portion of my studio, I create my own gritty textures that get scanned and used digitally in graphic projects using plants and dirt placed on photosensitive papers and films.”

Her creative input doesn’t stop once the design is completed. Hercia goes as far as making custom calligraphy pens from various found materials, used along with her homemade inks and pigments, to channel the spirit of the project. She’ll create a texture that makes a surface look antique, rather than downloading a pattern online that could be accessed and used anybody. “These might be elements that people will miss visually,” she says, “but I know it’s there.” Ultimately, AMWYL’s approach creates work that stands out in a sea of computer-designed graphics.

With interests in so many aspects of design, Hercia is building a design empire. AWMYL has an expanding clientele in the wellness industry including yoga teachers and tarot readers, and she is currently creating the identity for Mindful Mamas (mindfulmamas.com), an online source for everything from yoga and meditation to education and community support; all content relating to healthy, happy mothers.

Robin Hercia’s intuitive and informed, personalized art direction makes AWYML a go-to resource for a company’s brand identity and graphic design requirements. “Often, graphic design is created with the Helvetica font and lots of white space,” she concludes. “I wanted to make decorative objects, but with a completely different feel. I’ve been drawing letters since I was 5 or 6 and I’ve accumulated eight years of design education. My professional experience includes commercial textile design, operating my own screen printing studio, designing a line of knitwear, and working in fashion for Betsey Johnson. After 36 years of creative observation and involvement, I know that I look at things in a very different way than most people.”

Like AWMYL on FaceBook at This Link. Visit the website at AWMYL Dot Com.

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Modern Art Monday: Robert Bechtle, ’61 Pontiac

'61 Pontiac
Photo By Gail

With their Photorealism, Robert Bechtle’s works capture the essence of modern, postwar American culture. The manicured lawns bathed in sunlight, the well-kept houses, the kids, the cars…all of suburbia’s manifestations are explored and exploited in his works. He elevates the mundane and commonplace to something more, an anonymous yet intimate view of ourselves. It is important to remember that his works are not photographs. They are masterfully painted pieces that are touched by the artist’s ideas, vision, hand, and point of view. A photograph captures what is there before us. Bechtle takes that moment and paints it as he sees it, not merely as the camera saw it. Like the Impressionists, he shows a fleeting glimpse of daily life, touched by transient light. Painting from photographs allows Bechtle to fully examine and capture that single moment in all its infinite detail. He then interprets the moment by selecting the details that he will paint. The overall flatness of many of his pieces creates a feeling of loneliness and emptiness amidst the picture-perfect settings.

In Bechtle’s oil painting ’61 Pontiac (1968-69) the family at the center of the image is the artist’s own. Standing beside his wife, with their two small children, they are the picture of familial complacency. They fully inhabit their own world, which is visible from where they stand. The house, the yard, the station wagon – this is their domain. Their pose amidst this seems almost uncomfortable, as if they want to move but are plagued with inertia. The field of view is devoid of anything other than the family and its possessions. The painting has a flatness accentuated by the fact that all fields of the painting are in focus, unlike with a photograph where depth of field creates some areas that are more crisp than others. It is as if there is no delineation or value given to any subject in the painting—the lawn is as much a star of this work as is the car or the blonde children.

Robert Bechtle plays on American desires and dreams, poking dead-pan fun at the ultimate banality and emptiness of achieving those dreams. The stark reality of his work is that it says as much about Americans’ feelings of alienation as it does about the ongoing quest for the American Dream.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.

Let’s Go: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at MOMA!

MOMA Sculpture Garden
All Photos By Gail

Summer doesn’t last forever, especially in NYC, so why not plan to enjoy the nice weather while we have it by spending as much time outside in beautiful places as possible? Just do it!

Moma Sculpture Garden Fountain

Maybe you are already a huge fan of Art, but weren’t aware that the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has a gorgeous, landscaped sculpture garden that provides a relaxing oasis in the center of Manhattan. It’s only open when the weather is nice, so you need to go now.

Skyscraper Vertical View
This is Your Vertical View While Seated Near the Fountain Pictured Directly Above

The Sculpture Garden is named for Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, an American socialite and philanthropist who was the wife of financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. Mrs. Rockefeller was known for being the driving force behind MOMA’s creation. It is nice that they named the sculpture garden for her.

IMG_2274
The Garden Has a Few Bubbling Fountains Like This One

There is lots of seating and shady areas, and they even have a bar where you can buy a coffee or a drink. Here is some of the art that you can see in the garden right now.

Alexander Calder Sandys Butterfly

This sculpture by Alexander Calder is called Sandy’s Butterfly, and it has a mobile feature at the top. Calder, who went by the nickname Sandy, was most famous for his mobiles.

Alexander Calder Sandys Butterfly

Anthony Caro Midday

This one is called Midday and is by British sculptor Anthony Caro, who passed away in 2013.

Anthony Caro Midday

As you can imagine, children are very attracted to these brightly colored objects, although climbing on the art is not allowed — both for the safety of the children and the preservation of the art.

Ellsworth Kelly Green Blue
Green Blue

Ellsworth Kelly’s work is associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting, and Minimalism, and he was one of the most famous American artists of all time when he passed away on December 27, 2015 at the age of 92. I love his work.

Signage

 

KwangHo Shin There Is No Title at Unix Gallery

Untitled
Untitled Being (All Photos By Gail)

Unix Gallery is currently hosting a solo exhibition by Korean artist KwangHo Shin –“제목이 없는 존재” — which literally translates to “There is no Title.” Shin’s latest series of work features new oil paintings that challenge the notion of identity and interactivity between people. Painting in the new environment of New York City, Shin features new tones and color combinations that directly reflect the artist’s experience with his new surroundings. The result of this is a seductive enigma, an amalgamation of specificity and obscurity, anxiety and humor; all with Shin’s expressive strokes that articulate the eponymous notion of “제목이 없는 존재,” the devoid identity, the ‘untitled being.’

Untitled Being Laying Down

Evoking themes of Abstract Expressionism, Shin employs intense and vibrant colors to depict the individualistic expression of emotion and a sense of self. He applies charcoal and oils in thick brushstrokes to distort and exaggerate the subject’s facial features. His technique confronts the viewer with an emotional impact, effecting our understanding of the human form. Channeling a more figurative mode with Untitled 16NY09, the artist melds layers of pinks and purples with white to create an explosion of ephemeral flesh. The use of softer pastels leaves a more gentle effect offset by rich siennas and flesh tones.

Installation View

Colorful and faceless paintings brilliantly capture the complexity of human emotions. The subjects range from individual models, noted international celebrities, and self-portraits. Untitled 16NY16 expresses Shin’s natural inclination to represent his subjects’ personalities and innate nature; even his own. “I don’t see anything,” the artist ruminates on his source material, “but it is also a self-portrait. When I am painting I don’t exactly plan what colors I will use to paint.” Here, Shin is able to clear his mind and evoke his full creative psyche.

Painting Surface Texture Detail

“During the painting process I change my ideas and feelings many times. I just focus on that feeling; that moment…I put the totality of my energy into that feeling so that when a work is complete I feel peaceful.” Whether it is the external pose of the subject or the unique color combinations, abstraction or layered texture, the portraiture of KwangHo Shin is able to document the psychological changes and clashes that arise in us all.

KwangHo Shin’s There is No Title will be on Exhibit Through July 30th, 2016 at Unix Gallery, Located at 532 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Untitled Being

Sunset in My Heart By Mr., at Lehmann Maupin

Gallery with Crowd
The Joint Was Jumpin’ at Lehmann Maupin for the Opening of Sunset in My Heart (All Photos By Gail)

Fans of this rad blog may already be familiar with Japanese artist Mr. from This Exhibit — which was way back in 2012, but seems like it was just yesterday! Mr.’s latest exhibit, up now at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, is called Sunset in My Heart, and it features a new series of vibrant Manga paintings that still embrace the Superflat style, and yet break new aesthetic ground for this enigmatic artist.

As It Was That Day, 2016
As It Was That Day, 2016

For Sunset in My Heart, Mr. has returned to his expressive and experimental roots as a young artist, incorporating abstract elements like graffiti, and using distressed and sullied canvases. Mr. prepares the canvases by burning them, walking over them, and leaving them on his studio floor to collect dirt and debris. This new treatment of the canvas is directly connected to the artist’s early interest in the 1960s Italian art movement Arte Povera that inspired his first manga paintings he produced on store receipts, takeout menus, and other scraps of transactional detritus.

Pinkish Gold, 2016
Pinkish Gold, 2016

These recent works reflect the artist’s intensely personal reinterpretation of popular visual culture and the increasingly mediated ways we engage with one another. Mr.’s oeuvre has elevated anime and manga subculture by embracing its cultural significance rather than critiquing its frivolity. In addition to painstakingly recreating the tantalizing graphics and slick finish of manga comic book characters, Mr. physically becomes the characters through cosplay performances — dressing up as fictional characters — at his openings and events.

Time Gently Passing, 2016
Time Gently Passing, 2016

This recent body of work reflects Mr.’s impulse to push the seemingly kitschy nature of these imaginary realms into a gritty and abstract painting style in order to explore personal, global, and environmental themes of destruction. While the manga-style characters continue to appear in Mr.’s work, their significance has shifted from playing up lolicon—the fetishization of young, fictional female characters—toward a more platonic realm, known as moe, or love for an icon that does not carry sexual associations.

Small Fairies Have Arrived, 2016
Small Fairies Have Arrived, 2016

These new characters represent positive beacons of strength that overcome all adversity. This reflects the artist’s creative impetus to embrace pleasure and beauty in diverse forms, instead of giving in to the personal and national despair that emerges after catastrophic loss and destruction, as it has in Japan since 2011. The title, Sunset in My Heart, reflects the simultaneous yet conflicting feelings of melancholy and hope, which also encompass the complicated nature of the human condition.

California, 2016
California, 2016

Party View

Upon entering the final gallery room, we were surprised and delighted to see, through doors opening onto a rear patio, that there was a party going on!

Festival Scene

With colorful paper lanterns, folks dressed in kimonos; balloon animals, Japanese posters and very interesting music,  the energetic vibe was certainly comparable to the wild shenanigans we enjoyed at the opening reception for this This Exhibit, which is to say that it was just insane. We learned that this party was designed to recreate a Japanese summer festival! Here are some photos of the festivities!

Mr. Party

Posters like these covered the walls and even the ground, so that fans would feel fully transported to another place, far  far away.

Kiddy Pool with Balls

Here is an inflatable kiddie pool filed with colorful balls. We are not sure if we were supposed to take one of these balls as a souvenir, or if they were just part of the art. Should we have taken one? Probably.

Karaoke

We gently pushed our way to the front of he crowd to see that Mr. was there;  dressed as a Japanese school girl, inspired directly by one of his paintings, and performing Japanese Pop Song Karaoke. Here, he takes a dramatic pause mid-song to roll on the ground.

Mr. Sings Hotel California

Here, he performs “Hotel California” by The Eagles. There is an MC on his right, who is interpreting the scene. Art!

Mr. Paints Face

Suddenly, Mr. decided to cover his face with dark blue paint. Perhaps this was an indication that he was feeling melancholy.

Japanese Chef

There was also a chef making a variety of  delicious dumplings  for the hungry crowd. These had shrimp in them. Yummy!

Mr.’s Sunset in My Heart will be on Exhibit Through August 12th, 2016, at Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Paper Lanterns

School’s Out Summer Group Exhibit at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series
Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series (All Photos By Gail)

School’s Out Bitches, and the Mike Weiss Gallery has a new group exhibition that captures summer’s sense of freedom – of playfully breaking from the ordinary and letting the imagination run wild. The show, which is, fittingly, also called School’s Out, includes works by gallery favorites like Deborah Brown, Thrush Holmes, Jerry Kearns, and Liao Yibai. We saw it on opening night, which ended up being the most crowded Thursday night in the Chelsea Gallery District that we have yet seen! It was just a crazy night, and lots of fun.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series

The only bummer of the evening is that I had forgotten my camera at home, and so was forced to shoot all photos with (gasp) an iPad — which is less than optimal when dealing with a very crowded gallery and very big pieces of art. A perfect example is the fact that I had to shoot this Thrush Holmes piece in multiple parts to really show it off without a bunch of people taking selfies in front of it getting in the way.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 1
Landscape Series, Continued

But I love Thrush Holmes’ work — and you should as well — so why not cut it up into as many detail shots as possible, is what I say. Yes, more Thrush Holmes!

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 3

The panels of Holme’s take on the tradtional landscape painting are realized in shimmering neon fixtures and crude oil stick, each work containing the rudimentary elements of landscape – foreground, background, and horizon.  His work reminds me of cross between Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 5

Deborah Brown, Erda
Deborah Brown, Erda

I only got one semi-usable shot of Deborah Brown’s blatantly Picasso-esque oil paintings, because of people and their damn smart phones, which they must look at while standing directly in front of the art.

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Jerry Kearns, The Big Dipper

Jerry Kearns is awesome and we’ve loved many of his previous exhibits at Mike Weiss. Here is what the Gallery says about the painting above, which I believe is called The Big Dipper:
Jerry Kearns’ multilayered “psychological pop” painting presents a panoramic view of modern culture with a very specific set of images. While the work seems ripe for a narrative interpretation, it is difficult to pinpoint if any relationships actually exist between each element. There is something disconcerting and dangerous about the Kearns’ entropic amalgam of characters – one in which square double-cheeseburgers, a levitating gun, and toucans play as prominent a role as the bikini-clad women and a joker-headed bodybuilder.” That’s right: Awesome.

IMG_3217

Jerry also painted these little hummingbirds, or whatever, on the walls around the gallery.

Liao Yibai, Panda Step, 2013
Liao Yibai, Panda Step

Liao Yibai’s intricately hand-welded stainless steel sculptures focus on the tangled social, political, and cultural state of modern-day China. Straddling a line between flippancy and seriousness, the dynamic figures merge the insider’s and outsider’s view — pandas and dragons tie together the artist’s own experience growing up in China and, at the same time, play with the Western (mis)conceptions of China he has experienced while living in the United States.

Liao Yibai, Wrong Food, 2013
Liao Yibai, Wrong Food

This is a pretty cool-looking sculpture of a snail. I wish I had gotten a better photo.

School’s Out! will be on Exhibit Through August 6th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Schools Out Signage

Thrush Holmes, Balcony
Thrush Holmes, Balcony

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