Adventures of Hoogrrl!

A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.

Browsing Posts published in February, 2007

Laura Bell

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Hydrilla #7, 9″ by 9″, Ink and acrylic on panel, 2007

Laura Bell paints gorgeous floral details in a dreamy color pallette. The wood panel adds depth and texture to the work and the microscopic slide quality reminds me of Beau Chamberlain’s paintings.

“This current work explores the possibilities for disruption and fluctuation that grows out of an orderly strcuture. The images reference the natural, physical world, drawing on forms from deep-sea flora and fauna, microscopic organisms and cellular structures, and cryptogamous plants such as algae, lichens, fungus, and mold. The astonishing and often unsettling beauty found in natural phenomenon is explored through the use of imaginary, hybrid, and existent imagery.

The repeating marks and forms are derived from patterns of reptition found in biological systems, as well as by the regularity and repetition found in computer generated fractals and lace patterns. While the images are built on symmetrical and orderly forms, the drawings evolve and develop into a semi-chaotic tangle of ropey vines, bulbous growths, and spiky creatures. This rampant growth could recall the enchanted, yet sinister world of a child’s fairy tale, the strange and unsettling beauty of deep-sea life, or the mutation of a cellular structure by a virus or disease. The delicate intricacy in the drawn and painted marks lures one in for a more intimate experience, and presents a dream-like, interior world populated by forms that are both familiar and mysterious.”

www.pentimenti.com

Women Who Rock

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Kick off Women’s history month with
Ghetto Rock presents…..

Women Who Rock “Herstory”
a celebration of the strong, beautiful, intelligent female in hip hop

For the month of March on Thursday, Ghetto Rock will be flipping the script and celebrating women in hip hop. We just want to pay tribute to the positive women in hip hop that at times don’t get the props they deserve.

Thursday March 1, 2007
Asylum bar and Grill
2471 18th street NW

Hosted by: Noodles (hollaback 89.3 WPFW)

On the Wonz & Tooz
Phoenix Crane
DJ Feliche
& afroDJiak

With performances by:
Stacy Epps
Gangalee
RhapsodE
Miss Ncognito

Visuals:
Iona Rozeal Brown

Live art exhibition:
Vox Raheli

More info:
www.myspace.com/ikeso
http://ghettorockdc.googlepages.com/womenwhorock
ghettorockdc@gmail.com
Ikeso 202-355-2938

Robots!

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R. Nicholas Kuszyk paints comical silver robots in various stages of destruction. Looking at them, I search for hidden meaning. “Do the robots represent humanity’s fragile spirit? Our malfunctioning emotions?” Maybe. Mostly I like that he has produced thousands of them and they have been priced so that practically anyone can buy them. I bought two at the Fountain art fair for $60 each. Who doesn’t like robots anyway?!

From the NY Press about Kuszyk’s show at McCaig-Welles in 2004:

“Robots have taken over. More than 340 paintings, hung in tight formation, circle the walls of the McCaig- Welles Gallery in Williamsburg. The artist, Nicholas Kuszyk, from Virginia, was still showing his art on the side walks of Soho when he walked into Melissa McCaig- Welles’ Gallery a few months back…. McCaig- Welles took a chance and offered him a solo summer exhibition.

A mere month and a half later, her walls are covered in art. The smaller acrylic paintings, some just three-by-three inches, are done primarily on rough board, with the larger works on stretched canvas. Stylistically, the images are all very similar. The bright backgrounds are generally a single color of yellow, pink, orange, blue or green, while the machines, carefully drafted, are all silver, gray and black.

Kuszyk’s visual consistency creates a narrative. His robots are metaphors, describing actions as ordinary as walking pets and making love. He also depicts paranoid scenes of robots attacked by endless claw arms, intimidated by fat machines and torn apart by little scavengers. The theme of isolation is repeated throughout the series as single robots stand with arms emotionally outstretched or float aimlessly through a candy color sky.

Specializing in neo-graffiti, McCaig- Welles Gallery opened in Williamsburg several years ago. Though this show is a bit of departure, it has allowed her to test fully a new idea- affordable art. Kuszyk’s paintings, ranging from $15 to $1200 with small pieces averaging around $40, had viewer’s personally involved as they considered which works they might acquire. It also brought up a question: Does artistic merit rely on price?

Kuszyk, confident in his talent, believes his art is better off sold than in stores and prices it to sell. As a result, nearly 100 pieces have been purchased thus far.

“When people see a show they like” McCaig- Welles explains, “they want to take something with them.”

Choosing which work to buy encourages self-reflection and gives art lovers with average incomes a chance to experience the process of artistic conservation. After all, what we collect, we also save.

Kuszyk’s straightforward themes and agreeable are akin to Keith Haring’s primitive dancing figures. Like those, Kuszyk’s robots hide complex ideas in their simple imagery. Stacked together in a mass machine humanity, spewing bolts or searching for spare parts, Kuszyk’s comic robots are alive with insight. ”

– Julia Morton

Vices I and Vices II, 2007
16 x 16
Oil on Linen

Edward Del Rosario grew up in St. Louis, a Filipino-American in a sea of suburban whiteness. All of his works are self-portraits and therefore appear to be introspective and self-reflecting. I think when you grow up in a place where you feel outside the mainstream, you tend toward introspection, which appeals to me as a collector and as a human.

The artist’s statement:

Edward Del Rosario brings a Eur-Asian sensibility combined with a hip American take on pop culture to his paintings and drawings. A strictly figurative artist of impeccable technique and style, Del Rosario’s finely detailed and carefully designed works portray contemporary figures in quirky and psychologically provocative situations. The artist isolates his figures, rendered in oil on canvas, against blank backgrounds where they command the viewer’s full attention. His drawings have the simplicity and purity of a Japanese haiku, his paintings the jewel-like finish and intensity of a Memling altarpiece.”

Del Posto

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A few weeks ago, we were dining with our good friends Eric Brown and Kali Bracey at the exquisite 2941 Restaurant when we started bantying about the idea of going to NY together to try Mario Batali’s latest creation, Del Posto. I was already going to be in NY for the art fairs this past weekend so I made dinner reservations for us and a plan emerged. Batali is a culinary genius! Some say it’s “more glitz than gastronomy” but I say it was delicious and the experience of haute cuisine in an Italian restaurant was fun and unique in a really good way.

The five waiters hovering around our table all night made performance art of the food service. Del Posto’s physical space is enormous (4000 square feet!) and gorgeously sumptuous. And to say the food was divine is an understatement. It was an unforgettable meal enhanced by the posse of artists and art lovers who joined us. (Thanks Mendi, Iona, Lisa Marie, Anne, Greg, Doug, and Becky!!)

Friuli Tasting Menu

  • Beet and potato TERRINA – sliced cucumber, horseradish, raisins, orange zest, and rye
  • Warm sliced SPECK – golden polenta, grated ginger, sweet paprika, and chopped chervil

Paired with Tocai Friulano, Bastianich 2004

  • Lidia’s classic JOTA – white kidney beans, creamy potato, cabbage, and smoked pork (this was the best dish of the night!!)
  • Venetian GNOCCHI – radicchio, mustard and poppy seed frico

Paired with Vespa Bianco, Bastianich 2003

  • Carmelized SCALLOP – sweet Maine Diver scallop, young watercrress, and salsa di caffe

Paired with Schiopettino, Dorigo 2005

  • Braised and roasted veal STINCO – sliced veal shank, sauteed cabbage, herbed spatzle, marrow crostino, and squazeto

Paried with Pignolo El Doro, Livon 2003

  • SEMIFREDDO di Torrone – frozen nougat, blood orange gelee, and moscato d’asti meringue
  • Meyer Lemon PALATSCHINKEN – Meyer lemon crepes, chiboust, and sorbet

Paired with Verduzzo Cratis, Scubla 2001

Del Posto

85 Tenth Avenue

212.497.8090

www.delposto.com

Nikki Lee

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The Phillips Collection is hosting a series called Conversations with Artists, which focuses on contemporary photographers. Nikki Lee will be the next featured artist.
From skateboarders to senior citizens, photographer Nikki S. Lee studies various subcultures and ethnic groups, then transforms into a member of each group by adopting its style of dress, gesture, and posture. Snapshots of Lee’s interactions with these groups – while in the appropriate guise – create a fascinating sociological study.
Lee’s projects propose questions regarding identity and social behavior. Do we choose our social groups consciously? How are we identified by other people? Is it possible for us to move between cultures? Lee believes that “essentially life itself is a performance. When we change our clothes to alter our appearance, the real act is the transformation of our way of expression—the outward expression of our psyche.”

I am amazed at the way Nikki Lee assimilates herself so fully that her Korean identity becomes secondary to her role as a skater or rural white American housewife or urban Hispanic. In some images, you don’t even realize she is Asian at all! I suddenly realize my whole life has been performance art!

Phillips Collection
February 28
5:30 PM

I know. No use feeling regret over a bad decision that can’t be undone. But this one is really really bugging me. We had the opportunity to buy this new work by Iona Rozeal Brown and we passed on it for some pretty lame reasons. Of course, once we said no, a more appreciative collector grabbed it right away. Argh!
Video still from “Homo sapiens sapiens complex” by Pipilotti Rist

This is where I’ll be next week:

The Armory Show
February 23-26, 2006
Pier 94 (12th Avenue at 55th Street)
New York City

www.thearmoryshow.com

It’s not as glamorous as Miami Basel has become but it’s sort of the original major art fair and an important stop for contemporary art collectors. It’s also not going to be quite as warm as Miami! I really enjoy the fairs because seeing so much art all at once has helped hone my eye for art. I especially enjoy the sattelite art fairs that have popped up around the major fairs. Not only is the art usually more affordable, it’s an opportunity to discover the next big artist.

When we went to Miami Basel in December, we vowed not to buy anything. It was supposed to be a “learning experience” where we would educate ourselves about the art market. We came home with two major works (the Lisa Stefanelli and the Patrick Wilson). We’ll see what happens in New York . . .

Here’s an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about the Armory Show and the satellite art fair phenomena.

Wall Street Journal
New York Art Fairs, Miami Style
By KELLY CROW

February 16, 2007
Page W3

Collectors of contemporary art have long descended on New York in midwinter to attend one of the world’s pioneering fairs for new art, the Armory Show. Next week, the fair’s warren of 150 gallery booths will again take over a cruise terminal stretching into the Hudson River. But as newer, rival fairs in Miami and London quickly become art-world juggernauts, the Armory Show is aiming to make a bigger splash.

Art Basel Miami Beach’s dozen satellite fairs have proved that there is strength in big numbers of booths when it comes to buzz and profit. So this year, the Armory Show decided to move its date two weeks forward so it could run at the same time as the Art Show, an older fair across town known for selling modern masters to a Park Avenue clientele. The shift appeals to the Art Show, which has worried about what it calls its increasingly “sleepy” reputation.

This year, the two fairs are dovetailing their mailings. So far, 10 dealers have said they’ll have booths in both shows. “By synchronizing us all, we can compete with Miami and the rest,” says Katelijne De Backer, the Armory’s director.

The Armory’s six satellite fairs also adopted the all-for-one collegiality, moving their dates to match. One, Scope, decided to quit leasing space in rough-and-tumble warehouses and picked a place that fits in better with the upscale Armory ambiance: The show put its 65 contemporary galleries in a park pavilion next to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center.
A united front makes sense, fair organizers say, because their audiences have merged. Collectors, especially newcomers, are buying across a broader swath of art styles and periods. Home-design trends advocate mixing in Old Master icons with art-star paintings and spongy, orange Marc Newson chairs.


This anything-goes aesthetic has boosted demand and prices for trophy pieces in recent years, but critics say it also has encouraged mega-fairs to mimic one another’s art offerings. Even the VIP perks are similar. For example, tours of collectors’ homes come standard at major fairs now. But the Armory upped the ante this year by hiring chef Danny Meyer, of New York restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café, to play caterer at its site on Pier 94.

Established fairs still are figuring out how to keep their identity, says Roland Augustine, who oversees the 19-year-old Art Show. Mr. Augustine, who also serves as president of the Art Dealers Association of America, says he’d love to get some of the Armory show’s 50,000 fairgoers — five times his own fair’s foot traffic. He has urged his 70 exhibitors to avoid some of the grab-bag, group show look of some art fairs. Instead, he wants more to focus on one-man shows for artists. The New York alliance also involves a bit of organizational culture clash. The dealers’ association, the type of nonprofit group that ran most fairs of decades past, runs the Art Show, while a profit-making venture runs the Armory.

Mr. Augustine’s fair will hand out 70,000 free “collector’s guides” featuring tips on how to buy, sell and appraise artwork, rather than hand out a catalog like the Armory’s. And he says he may forbid Art Show dealers from exhibiting at next year’s Armory Show, to further strengthen the distinction.

That would be a mistake, says New York contemporary dealer Rachel Lehmann, whose Lehmann Maupin gallery is exhibiting in both shows. She sees the need for today’s dealers to be everywhere at once. Next week, her Armory booth will be showing edgy video art and paintings by upcoming Turkish and Japanese artists, while her Art Show exhibit will feature a solo show of bright abstractions by new Taiwanese artist Suling Wang. She also is keeping her regular gallery in Chelsea open.

The New York fairs’ shifts have provoked other doubts in the art world. Philadelphia art adviser Clayton Press says the spread-out nature of the shows, over several miles, could cause fair fatigue: “It’s asking a lot of consumers to ping-pong all over Manhattan.”

Whitewash

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The artistic dynamic duo of Brad McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry have created a body of work called Whitewash, which investigates the impact of race in America and its effect on intimate relationships through images that reference the Civil Rights movement. I was blown away by these images when I saw them in the artists’ Brooklyn studio a few weeks ago. They are blurred in the way memory can be blurred yet their powerful emotional impact reminds me that the issues that the Civil Rights movement addressed are just as relevant today.
I have also been blown away by this husband-wife collaboration on a personal level. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Brad and Jacquie over the past few months through my involvement in Conjunction Arts, their non-profit dedicated to supporting socially progressive art on the public sphere. They are talented and beautiful and I admire their passion for art and for social change through art.
Whitewash opens at the Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco on March 1.
A preview of the show and book signing will take place at Boyd Level in New York on February 20.

29West Show

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Is anyone going to New York next week for the Armory show? If so, please also stop by the 29West Show, a collaborative art event concocted by three galleries: 31Grand, Irvine Contemporary, and Michael Steinberg Fine Art. They’ll be showing their best artists and hosting a groovy reception Friday night from 7 to midnight.

515 West 29th (2nd floor)
www.29westshow.com