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Guest Foraging for UGallery: Curated Persona: Zombie Attack Survivalist

24 Oct

It’s that time of the month..  for a little guest foraging over on the UGallery blog for my Curated Persona series.  I’m not a fan of super scariness, but I love art that’s just a bit spooky.   Check it out my Curated Persona: Zombie Attack Survivalist post here!

Girl by Ryan Pickart

Guest Foraging for UGallery: Curated Persona: Your Favorite Hipster

26 Sep

Hiya Artsies!  Today I’m doing a little guest foraging over on the UGallery blog for my Curated Persona series.  I’ve put together a collection of UGallery artwork perfect for Your Favorite Hipster.  You know you have one.  Check it out here!

Diver by Daniel Lachman

Friday Finds: Galleries to Love

7 Sep

This whole economic mess has contributed to the loss of countless galleries around the US.  I know first hand what it is like to put blood, sweat and tears into one.  OK, maybe not blood, but plenty of sweat and tears, I assure you! 😉  I’ve heard some folks say that the old gallery model is a thing of the past, gasping for air, dead in the water.  But I believe in galleries!  And today, I’m featuring some brick & mortar galleries that are out there, doing it right.  These folks are hustling, marketing, selling and making magic happen for their artists and communities.  Put ’em on your list to check out, whether you can do so in person or online!

Diehl Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida

Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, Louisiana

Taylor de Cordoba, Culver City, California

**I’m so excited to finally get a chance to visit Taylor de Cordoba and all the other LA area galleries when Mr. Forager & I hit SoCal in October!  Can’t wait to drag him all over Los Angeles.

Diehl Gallery | Florida Mining | Foster/White | Gallery Orange | Taylor de Cordoba

I hope you’ll check out these galleries when you’re in their respective cities– well worth the trip!  You can see more of my favorite artsy spots on my Pinterest board, Artsy’s Guide to Galleries.  Do you have a favorite gallery?  Let me know in the comments below!

Slow Build: Mel McCuddin at Art Spirit Gallery

19 Jul

I can only imagine the courage it takes for an artist to create in front of a group of people.  Heck, even one other person would terrify me.  But at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, ID ( our hometown for just another 6 weeks ), their new featured artist for the month gives a demo on the Saturday following their opening.  It is a fantastic way to gain a real “behind the art” glimpse into the creative process!  I can’t believe it took me this long to attend one, but I’m so glad I did.  The work of Spokane artist Mel McCuddin is striking online, luminous up close, but to see it in progress was truly inspiring.

Matchmaker, oil on canvas, 52×48

Reveries, oil on canvas, 48×44

Each canvas begins as an exercise in Abstract Expressionism– it is all about the paint, texture and color.  Slowly, as formations evolve in clouds, a figure emerges on the surface.

The Old Dog, oil on canvas, 36×40

Black Dirt Farmer, oil on canvas, 48×48

McCuddin thoughtfully builds his layers, alternating patches of light and dark.  Deliberate smudging of large swaths of canvas give way to areas of delicate and careful application.

The Late Bus, oil on canvas, 52×48

His finished works are often left with an eerie glow, giving them a slightly alien quality yet they are approachable and likable.  His subjects stare back at us with curious wisdom.  You can see a slideshow of images of Mel McCuddin in action here ( Artsy Forager now has a YouTube channel! ).  His solo show can be seen at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene until August 4, 2012.  I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area!

Featured image is Three in a Tub, oil on canvas, 48×52.  All images are via The Art Spirit Gallery website.

Emotional Pop: Mark George

10 May

Advertising imagery has become such an integral part of our cultural landscape that products are often instantly recognizable simply by their logos.  Like his Pop Art predecessors before him, Jacksonville, FL artist Mark George takes inspiration from the inescapable world of advertising, putting his own spin on the Mad Men era.

Of course, there are obvious parallels between George’s work and that of Pop Art icon, Roy Lichtenstein.  Yes, the imagery also takes its cues from advertising imagery and comic books.  But where as Lichtenstein enlarged his imagery to the point of replicating in paint the Ben-Day dots that comprised printed materials of the day,  George chooses to flatten out the imagery even further.

The lack of visible brushstrokes and use of smooth, reflective surfaces emphasizes the slick nature of the mid-centuray imagery.  While the severely cropped faces and “torn” edges of his panel suggest that these are relics abandoned to a different kind of future.

But what interest me most is the emotionality to be found in the faces of George’s subjects.  There is a sad, melancholia about the imagery, bordering on the disturbing.  In this respect, his work could be seen as our past looking back upon itself with current eyes, shocked and saddened by what is seen in hindsight.

What do you make of the faces of Mark George’s subjects?  Please visit his website to see more of his work.  If you’re in South Florida, he will be participating in a show, Jet Set Glamour at Harold Golen Gallery in Miami, opening tonight!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Forms in Flux: Victoria Johnson

9 May

There are some artists whose work just sticks with me.  I first saw Seattle artist Victoria Johnson’s work during my art consulting days through art publisher Grand Image.  I loved using Grand Image for unique, stylish, colorful work and Victoria’s paintings definitely hit all those criteria.  So when I spotted a painting of hers leaning against the wall at Lisa Harris Gallery in Seattle– boom!  The love for her work came flooding back to me.

Nereides- Sea Nymphs, pigmented resin on panel, 20×20 ( via Lisa Harris Gallery )

Free-flowing, organic forms drift in and out of her canvases’ planes, creating enticing visual rhythm and movement.

Coast to Coast, pigmented resin on canvas over panel, 48×40 ( via Lisa Harris Gallery )

The placement of shapes lend the idea of landscapes to these abstracts, yet their enigmatic colors and forms keep the work abstract and modern.

Lady of the Lake, pigmented resin on panel, 80×20

A warm palette juxtaposed with muted, more neutral-hued highlights create even more depth and spatial play.

The Echo, pigmented resin on panel, 36×24

Simply Said, pigmented resin on panel, 40×50

To see more of Victoria Johnson’s work, please visit her website.  Thanks to the Lisa Harris Gallery for reminding me of Victoria’s work!

Featured image is Lady of the Lake, pigmented resin on panel, 80×20.  All images are via the artist’s representing Seattle gallery, Lisa Harris Gallery.

The Wild Selves: Anne Siems

24 Apr

As I mentioned before, there were certain shows I knew I wanted to see while we were in Seattle last weekend.  I’ve loved the work of Seattle artist Anne Siems since first seeing it online and was excited to get my chance to see her work up close and personal.  Her solo show, Guidance is showing at Grover Thurston Gallery, just up ( or down? Still don’t have my Seattle geography down pat ) the street from Foster/White, so away we went.

Wolf Girl, acrylic on panel, 48x48

Siems’ inspiration behind the show was the evolution of her daughter from childhood into adolescence and the idea that wild animal spirits may help children navigate their way through this transition.  In each of us there is a wild, animalistic-like spirit that, as we grow up and grow older gets buried under years of suppression and training in proper behavior.

Antler Girl, acrylic on panel, 40x52

In Siems’ work, we see children taking on historically grim expression and formal, constricting garb, reminding us of centuries of children whose innocence is lost all too soon.  Children whose natural wild spirits may fight against the constraints of social tradition and custom.

Bison Boy Drawing, mixed media on paper, 38x50

I was particularly drawn to Bison Boy ( above ), perhaps for the way the figure is isolated starkly against the white paper background.  He has been taken out of his environment, out of his element.  His garments are in the somewhat effeminate style of his era, yet his bison head & skin seem to be reminding us to not forget the wildness within.

George’s favorite work in the show was Lynx Cap ( below ), as this figure retains a sprightly, little girl expression in contrast to the other figures’ more suppressed, even haughty countenances.  She is still an innocent.

Lynx Cap, mixed media on paper with embroidery, 22x30

Guidance Tree, mixed media on panel, 48x48

I could go on and on about these and talk about every one– they are so interesting, visually and spiritually.  If you’d like to see more of Anne Siems’ work, please visit her website.  If you’re in Seattle, I highly recommend a visit to Grover Thurston to see these in person, a truly stunning show.

Featured image is Heart Branches, mixed media on panel, 30×30.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy Spot: Gallery Orange

22 Feb

In the heart of the New Orleans French Quarter, housed in a 200+ year old classic Creole building lives Gallery Orange, a contemporary fine art gallery whose vibe and vision match the freshness of its signature color.

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, exterior

If you’re a regular Artsy Forager reader, you’ve heard of Gallery Orange before.  I first found GO when I discovered the work of Sarah Ashley Longshore, which then led me to Gallery Orange, her exclusive representation in New Orleans.  I found gallery owner Tracy Geilbert’s aesthetic and taste to be quite similar to my own and have been happily watching her list of artists grow and work by those artists flying off the walls!  Tracy’s love of art and enthusiasm for original work is infectious, I’ve never seen a gallery promote their artists harder than she does!

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, interior with works by Sarah Ashley Longshore

Owner Tracy Geilbert was already selling art at a young age, making sketches of Duran Duran, photocopying them and selling the “prints” to her classmates. ( Ah, a fellow 80’s girl! )  Part Dutch and part British, Geilbert studied  art and eventually graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts at The Hague.  Life would eventually take her to post-Katrina New Orleans and, after working for another high-end New Orleans gallery, heeded the call of her heart to open a space of her own.

Gallery Orange, interior, works by Guus Kemp

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, interior, works by Gigi Mills, Carlos Lopez and Jill Ricci

Starting in a tiny 600 square foot space, with only two artists on her roster, Tracy’s hard work and eye for unique talent led to the gallery’s current space on Royal Street where boutique galleries are springing up and blazing new trails on the New Orleans art scene.  Tracy brings her Dutch artistic sensibilities to the gallery, offering only exceptional original work ( no giclees here! ), creative energy galore and a bit of good humor thrown in.  Gallery Orange is all about serious art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, exterior

If you are in New Orleans or planning a visit, do not miss a trip to Gallery Orange!  Delightful, deliciousness awaits you!  You can see a list of upcoming shows at GO on their website— which is newly redesigned, make sure you check it out!

All images are courtesy of Gallery Orange.

Mixing Light Into the Grey

12 Jan

None other a luminary than my husband’s man crush, Eddie Vedder said, “It’s an art to live with pain.. mix the light into the grey.” Although I don’t necessarily subscribe to the notion that all artists must suffer in order to create great work, artists have long had a way of funneling hardships endured into their work.  The result is often something extraordinary.  When diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, Cleveland artist Arabella Proffer channelled the painful endurances of modern medical procedures into research of the remedies of the past.  The result is a new series, The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa, a collection of paintings exploring the medical procedures and superstitions of the past.

Skin of the Fox Cures the Pox, oil on linen, 16x20 ( via Lee Joseph Publicity )

Being in the midst of a Frida Kahlo biography, Arabella’s work immediately struck a chord with me.  But these aren’t remade Kahlos.  There may be a similarity in style and subject, but while Kahlo’s work dealt directly with her own experiences and emotions, Arabella instead chose to portray imaginary female subjects, creating not only a visual representation but a history and backstory for each.

Violets for Heart Veins, oil on linen, 16x20 ( via Lee Joseph Publicity )

From the artist: “After having a section of my leg removed, I began researching medicine from the Middle Ages through the 18th century; this series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My art and interests were in the way society lived in the past, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric — not daily strife. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick, you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment.”

Sawed, oil on linen, 16x20

Black Madonna, oil on linen, 5x7

This series, along with selected works from the Black Madonna series, are now on display in a solo exhibition, Ephemeral Antidotes at Articulated Gallery in San Francisco through February 3rd.  If you’re not in the San Fran area, be sure to check out Arabella Proffer’s website for more of her work.

Featured image is a detail from Violets For Heart Veins, oil on linen, 16×20.  All images are via that artist unless otherwise stated.

Desires Confronted

9 Jan

Confession:  I love fashion magazines.  The beautiful imagery of gorgeous people wearing couture, sporting watches and handbags that cost as much as a car, is like crack to me.  Maybe in the intellectual artsy realm I am not supposed to taken with such trivial and superficial fluff, but I just can’t help it.  Nor can NYC artist Hooper Turner.

High Noon, oil on canvas, 18x24 ( via Skidmore Contemporary )

Turner, whose latest exhibition, Glamorama, opens at Skidmore Contemporary in Santa Montica, CA this Saturday, chooses to focus his fascination and truly study these portraits of consumerism, painting them and in turn, seeing them with new eyes.

The Crusaders, oil on canvas, 30x40

Turner doesn’t take the imagery out of context, like many might, instead the images are unabashedly commercial, some complete with the text juxtaposed over the image, just as it would be in a magazine.  It is in this honest confrontation of our voluntary manipulation by advertisers, creative directors, etc., that his work finds its most poignant power.

Solstice 2005, oil on canvas, 30x36 ( via Skidmore Contemporary )

Spiced Egg Nog Cardigan, oil on canvas, 20x24 ( via Skidmore Contemporary )

Be sure to check out Hooper Turner’s website to see more images of his work.  If you’re in Southern California, make plans to see his show in up close & personal at Skidmore Contemporary Art.

Featured image is Calvin Klein Underwear, oil on canvas, 51×36.  All images are via Skidmore Contemporary’s website.

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