Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Can't Wait to See This - Alice in Wonderland

The isle of Manhattan is all aflutter over Tim Burton these days. He currently has a very popular exhibit at MOMA, and I've also started seeing these posters for his take on Alice and Wonderland all over the city. These aren't just your ordinary paste-ups. They are actually lit from behind making them even more brilliant and attractive to passers-by.

Some other visual stunners I have lined up are Pan's Labyrinth and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Stay tuned for subsequent reviews.

UPDATE: Last evening (2/27/10) I watched Pan's Labyrinth and didn't really care for it at all. This "fairytale for adults" was violent with horrific imagery; not the imagery I thought I saw during the trailer. My least favorite part was also the most visually interesting. The scene depicted a sumptuous banquet with a figure who put its eyeballs into the palms of its clawed hands to see. Let's hope the other film is better.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated...

That's right! Someone out there likes me....they really, really like me! Ok, I'll stop with the Oscar cliches'. But really, I am very happy to be part of this first-ever virtual award on the highly-esteemed Poppytalk Blog.

If you're reading this, and you like what you see in my artwork, please vote for me by going here.

Voting ends tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27th (midnight). Thank you in advance!
xoxo ♥

(January 27, 2010 10 p.m.)
UPDATE: With just two hours to go, I am currently in second place. Thanks to some good friends who have stood behind me on this project and have truly helped me by bothering everyone in their contact lists, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. I can only hope to be the winner when I wake up tomorrow. Then, during all the thank you's of my acceptance speech, I can say (sorry, just one more Oscar reference) "ohhhhhhh.....who else am I forgetting?" and then walk off the stage with my hands folded in a prayer-like fashion as I bow to the crowd full of my adoring fans.

...and now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Is It Fashion Week Already?

No, not quite. But yesterday, I had the pleasure of hosting a fashion photo shoot for Mimi (stylist) and Jmzs (photographer/dj) of Plaztik Mag in my art studio. They arrived with a mammoth suitcase of clothes and another giant duffle bag for lighting equipment. Then, the model, Apryl, and her mom arrived in a taxi. After a quick coffee run, the hair and makeup artist arrived too. Yes, my little Brooklyn apartment was a beehive of activity, and I could barely contain my excitement. For the shoot, Mimi pulled some incredible one-of-a-kind clothes from The Blonds. Everyone got right to work. The kitchen and bathroom was the styling and wardrobe area, and my art studio was the staging area for looks #1 and #2 (out of four).
Apryl is a rising star in the fashion industry who moves gracefully and almost without direction. In a couple of weeks, she'll be off to Tokyo. She was a quiet teenager (only 16!) from the Midwest who likes to paint and draw too, so the concept of today's photo shoot was an authentic one. Her mom showed us some of her work consisting of anime' characters, various portraits, and a twist on the usual painting of a still life- a bowl of rotting fruit. They were all quite good!

I met Mimi a few years ago when we were both standing in line hoping to crash a fashion show at Bryant Park. I'm accustomed to people of the art and gallery world who put on airs here in the big city, so I barely noticed it when I started meeting people and experiencing it in the fashion world. When I met Mimi several years ago, she wasn't like the others and was refreshingly down-to-earth. We've been friends ever since, and she even sends me on Fashion Week assignments to contribute photos to her blog.

The issues (or videos) that she and Jmzs have been doing lately are really incredible. Their artistic perspective and aesthetic brings back a grittines back to New York that has been missing since the Giuliani era. With chain stores now on every corner, I only mean that as the highest of compliments. These episodes evoke the feelings of the early 80's, and of being a teenager in my room looking at Interview Magazine. In those days, I really wanted to be in the New York of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. Well, I'm here now, but all of that is gone.

Here's a sneak peek of their next "issue" which will be out in mid-February. Stay tuned! As for me, I can hardly wait to see the end result.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Missing Those Carefree Student Days

Now that the holidays are over, and we are back to the daily grind, the daily grind sometimes just feels like exactly that- a complete and total overly-scheduled grind. This past week, as I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the subway to come and whisk me home after a long day, I was lamenting not being a carefree student any longer. I miss the days of meeting new people, being around friends all the time, not having a regimented schedule, and studying abroad. Don't get me wrong, I do not miss the days of writing papers, the pressure of procrastination, and assignments that caused me to stay up all night.

During the summer just before my third and final year at graduate school (as a double major) I went on the most amazing program to Venice, Italy. I had already caught the travel bug many years before, so finishing up some needed credits was as great an excuse as any to get on a plane again. That summer, I met lifelong friends (both American and Italian), and got to know the labyrinthine city so very well. Even though the program was geared towards the study of art history, painting classes were also held in the Giudecca. I completed my assignments on site- some of the most incredible vistas that Europe has to offer. Here are some of my pieces from that magical summer of 1997.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recurring Themes

While painting my new series on old book pages, I have been making repeat patterns by slightly varying the shape and color of each piece. I have been looking at them and creating them as individual pieces, but as I was putting them in preservative covers, I started layout out similar works together. I didn't realize I had so many "themes"! Now, back to work...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Beginnings - Fractal Geometry

Every January, I think about where my art will go this year and what I've done so far. Every so often, I think to myself, "How did I get here?" My art story is a long and winding road with many, many stops along the way. My creative tendencies started before I was in kindergarten, but more on that later....

I started college with every intention of going to medical school. After all, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I was really good at removing the white part of bacon or any fat on my plate before it would ever pass my lips; almost surgeon-like. With this quality of separating the edible from the fat, along with a steady hand, I naively felt confident in that I already had one advantage over the rest of my classmates.

As a break from all of the hardcore science classes, I broke up my schedule with some kind of an art class every semester. This class always felt like a huge relief, and as if I were going back to my roots. Painting class always felt so easy by comparison. At some point, we had to create a series of pieces with a theme, and my dad informed me about this relatively new discovery (1975) in the world of mathematics- fractals. As timing would have it, there happened to be a very big article about fractals in his new National Geographic. As I looked at the article, I saw a distinct relationship to nature, and found the vivid colors endlessly fascinating. I created a series of works based on the various fractal types, and also worked with a mathematics professor to understand how certain math functions created the archetypal shapes. Here are a few of my early paintings from those days in 1993.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Origins of the Small Paintings on Book Pages

I never liked making small paintings. I've always been the sort of painter who needs to work large; like 5x7, or 6x9, as in feet. I always like to put my whole body into the creation of a work, and have it almost swallow me in its scale. I've just always felt more expressive working this way. Other New York artists I know (and family members) always laugh at me, saying that if I keep making incredibly large pieces, that one day, the paintings will take up all of what's left of my apartment, and I'll be forced to live in one small corner of it.

Well, the concept of working small never quite set in. It's something I do occasionally to make as gifts for people, or to try again to see if I've finally conquered this problem. The result is almost always, nope.

Last year, when I was cleaning out my studio, I came across a couple of small pieces that I've always loved. Despite their size (5x7- as in inches) I felt that they were pretty successful. They were made with gouache and with the imagery that has come to be my signature vocabulary in almost all of my recent work: biology and science. I never dated them, but I think they're from 2005. For the past two years, I've felt completely overwhelmed with health issues and my day job, that it seems that I just never had time or energy to make my large paintings anymore. I haven't felt the satisfaction of actually completing a significant piece of artwork in quite some time, and this was the whole reason I moved to New York in the first place. I pulled out the paintings (above) and used them as a model for the pieces that I've been doing recently.

These new works are much smaller, but I truly feel a sense of satisfaction in being able to complete several of them over the course of a week. They are a way for me to purge all of the designs and patterns that I see throughout the work week in the subway (and elswhere in the city) and translate them into works of art. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoy making them.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

All In A Day's Work

It was so cold in Brooklyn today (as it was in most of the country), that I thought it might be best to settle in, hibernate, and get down to work. After the long break for the holidays, it was really good to stay home and paint without distractions. Here are four pieces that I created on this cold wintry day. They will be ready for sale here tonight!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New Me

After starting this blog last year, and it having gone absolutely nowhere, I'm trying again. It's a new day! And here's some new work too. What you see here won't exactly be worthy of a Pulitzer, but I hope you'll feel compelled enough to read on and enjoy my latest artworks and random thoughts.