Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Something new!!

Okay, so I may be abusing this blog a little by posting this but... it's a good way to tell all of you.
So one of my friends recently asked me if I would be an editor for this online art magazine she's starting up called Murmurations. Since this is just starting up, we need artists. So if any of you are interested or know someone who would like to do this, just email murmurationsmagazine@gmail.com. You should include some photos of your best work and maybe try to say something about yourself: name, medium, where you're from, what inspires you, etc. But try to keep it on the shorter sides, no need to write a term paper. Thanks all! :)


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Neo Rausch

Neo Rauch combines sci fi imagery with painting satisfying my love of both of these things. Rauch is a contemporary german artist, and part of the leipzig painters. Rauch incorporates heavy symbolism into his paintings that remind me of renaissance painters in the way the positioning of two things has a certain significance or how he includes a seemingly out of place item to represent a specific meaning. His paintings have an out of the past feel that fits well with his vintage sci fi aesthetic. He is yet another painter who uses narrative in his work, which if you haven't figured out yet, I love.

Eric Fischl

I find Eric Fischl's super sloppy painting style so intriguing that I could look at it for hours. He uses America suburbia as his primary subject matter but it is never a typical suburbn scene; there is always something a little off kilter, even a little disturbing about his paintings. His work is usually, but not always, of a sexual nature, sometimes involving children or adults with children. Yet despite these vaguely incestuous and bizarre and subtle narratives, they don't seem evil. They give more of a feeling of a man exploring his psyche and digging up converging issues of childhood and sexuality. They are gentle and dreamlike. The images are very powerful and engrossing and sometimes funny.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I think this guy's use of size and juxtaposition is really clever. I feel that for those people who are interested in making carved or molded ceramic objects, he could be an inspiration. I love the sense of humor he brings into the staged scenes.

Reception at CSPS?


Gary Hootman has spent the last 27 years well… refining the epic and unpredictable art of wood-fired ceramics. The ancient firing process is an around-the-clock affair sometimes lasting up to six days. It is not for the faint hearted.

Gary built his studio, and the first of his wood-fired kilns, on land owned by his grandmother near Cedar Rapids. When tending the firings became too much for him and his family alone, Gary enlisted other artists for help in exchange for kiln space.

For the last few years, Gary has worked on both sculptural and functional works, and on bringing the two together as a whole. He says his goal is “to make objects that span the history of art forms in a contemporary sense…. The universal is what I continue to strive toward.”

In a 2004 profile of the artist in Ceramics Monthly, James Kasper wrote, “The well from which [Hootman’s] efforts spring is his quest to get at the core of our human response to form, from the Venus of Wildendorf to the ubiquous and humble bowl. His sculptural and functional works attempt to get at this Jungian world within.”

Gary’s works ring with basic, even primitive, shapes and representational elements like a Native American face, botanical finger drawings, and a series of voluptuous Venuses.

What ties everything together is the wood-firing. “Wood firing and my work cannot be separated,” Gary says.

“His glazes are modified after nearly every firing to respond to, and better register the effects of five cords of wood and perhaps six days of firing,“ says Ceramics Monthly. “The 14-day cooling allows dark crystals to form like sparkling snowflakes.”

Gary earned his MFA at the University of Iowa, working in the wood-fired program started there by Chuck Hindes. He has taught ceramics in workshops and at the university level. His rural Swisher operation is known as Clay: It’s in the Hands Studio.


      Helica is a work by Dutch artist Anouk Omlo.  It is said to have been mathematically based the Fibonacci Sequence.  The design was digitally rendered on a computer, but the sculpting and glazing were both done by hand.  The design consists of a repeated shape, which is a narrow pyramid, splitting apart at the point.   Omlo refers to the familiar form of a flower, and uses the mathematics found in nature to dictate the shape.  One of the aspects of the piece that most appeals to me is the glazing.  The darker tone used on the interior of the 'petals' allows for a better sense of depth. 
      In my opinion, this a brilliant piece.

      Antonella Cimatti

      Italian artist Antonella Cimatti mixes the use of intricately crafted ceramic sculpture with strategic use light and shadow, as well as fiber-optics.  She uses two or three of these elements in the display of each of her works.  The way in which the gallery is lit showcases aspects of each piece, or casts a complex network of shadows, it also unifies the space, giving the show in its entirety a feeling that more closely resembles an installation than anything else. This bit of text is a link to an interview with Cimatti as well as some great photos of her work on display.

      I just came across this website (Art House Coop) that does worldwide collaborative art shows online. Anyone can upload images of their art on the day of the exhibition. They have done them on sketchbooks around the world, letters to home, things in jars, etc. There is an upcoming one where you take a photo of something you will eat from a certain time (midnight snacks in some countries, dinner in others.) I'm not sure exactly how the site keeps from crashing, but its pretty awesome and somehow benefits a world hunger organization. Related to ceramics because maybe someone in some country will eat off a wonderfully thrown plate? It could be you!

      Tuesday, February 21, 2012

      Moroccan Doorway

      This image of a Moroccan doorway (or doorways, rather) has a lot of design elements. I find that the arches, small square tiles, the color pattern in the tiles, and even the texture on the stucco wall  work together in interesting ways.

      Monday, February 20, 2012

      Sandy Vitarelli

      Unfortunately, this wonderful artist just passed in the summer of 2010 at the age of 70. Her work is typically characterized by its functionality, bold surface designs story-telling images, and Pacific island motifs.

      Susan Clusener

      Susan Clusener is someone who is deeply inspired by nature (and fruit), and she aims to recreate its beauty in her own way. She may also juts be craving vitamin C. Sorry... bad joke.

      Sunday, February 19, 2012

      The Low Down:Tales from the Margin

      Found Nick Ramey's work online through this gallery, LOVE it. AND, this work is only $3600! :)
      heres the link for the rest of his work:

      Michael Booremans

      This is another painter who creates really psychological work. His paintings are mostly figurative and often have a somewhat unfinished feel to them. It creates a tension between the expressive and naturalistic representation of parts of the work and the sketchier, looser parts. The subjects contain vague and cryptic narratives, as if there is something undefinable happening in the paintings. This aspect, combined with the appearance of body parts being suspended in unidentifiable substances, or beginning to disappear give the paintings mystery and a ghostly quality. He is a contemporary artist, but he paints in a style of the past, making his subjects look slightly eerie and like they belong in another period.

      Gerhard Richter

      Once again, I am fascinated by this artist largely because of his attitude towards art and his way of approaching it. Richter is an artist who seems entirely motivated by self doubt. He will often wipe out entire paintings which he believes to be failures, only to then display the smeared piece anyway. His work ranges broadly in style. He makes extremely detailed and naturalistic still lifes and portraits that look indistinguishable from photographs as well as gigantic, squeegeed abstract works and much more that falls somewhere in between. He has a fascination with the removal of the hand and is fixated on creating work that doesn't show a personal style. His very detailed, photographic paintings have an utterly smooth surface in which finding a single brushstroke, even upon close scrutiny, is almost impossible. He's obviously a total freak and a supreme bad ass.
      This image is very striking in many ways. I like the composition because the diagonals almost form a design, but at the same time it's a real scene. In addition, the bright colors of the tents are in stark contrast to the muted colors of the landscape.

      Thursday, February 16, 2012

      "Abstract Colors" digital painting by Shannon Posedenti

      Wednesday, February 15, 2012

      Sketchbook Project

      So the Brooklyn Art Library in New York came up with this really awesome project called the sketchbook project, and it looks like they started it last year and had just under 10,000 artists mail in their sketchbooks in 2011.  The library tours the sketchbook exhibit to about 14 major cities, and then they catalog them and they are stored permanently for anyone to view at the library.  They have digitized a lot of them, which can be viewed here http://www.arthousecoop.com/library.
      How awesome is this?! The artist Takanori Aiba builds miniature cities within the branches of a bonsai tree. Artists like this are so amazing and patient with their craft!

      Tuesday, February 14, 2012

      Casper David Friedrich (1774-1840)

      Mister Freidrich is currently, what you might refer to as a D.O.W.G. (dead old white guy). He lived in Germany and during his lifetime, the camera started to come into play. You can really see the influence of this new found witchcraft known as photography in his paintings (black and white, photorealistic). I was actually really surprised when I saw one of his paintings in a book and the medium was listed as "oil on canvas"!

      Monday, February 13, 2012

      Warren Mackenzie

      Wisconsin apprentiship

      I have a friend who is doing an apprenticeship in Cambridge, WI. I have included a link to her blog, she posts lovely images of things they are working on.

      I don't really understand this artist's website/start-up business project, but the ceramics are great. Reminds me of what happened today with clay dust on the outside.


      Sunday, February 12, 2012

      Joseph Mallord William Turner

      Venice, Looking East from the Guidecca: Sunrise Venice, Looking East from the Guidecca: Sunrise - Joseph Mallord William Turner - www.william-turner.org

      The Burning of the Houses of the Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834
      The Burning of the Houses of Parliament (1) 1834 - Joseph Mallord William Turner - www.william-turner.org

      Snow Storm, Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps 1812Snow Storm, Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps 1812 - Joseph Mallord William Turner - www.william-turner.org

      Joseph Mallord William Turner was a nineteenth century British landscape painter, and one of my personal favorite artists to have studied, and admire.  Turner's rich color paired with the sublime, overwhelming scenes of nature present works that are a force themselves to be reckoned with.  I have come across several times a story that Turner once had himself strapped to the front of a ship during a storm to experience it first hand; it is unknown whether this is true or not.  He also is well known for his watercolors, which reveal more delicate compositions.  Turner is regarded as a major influence for modernist abstraction works. 

      Romulo Celdran

      I stumbled upon this artist the other day and really enjoyed his work. He basically makes very large versions of everyday objects, including sponges, matches, clothespins, and this pen cap. I love how he emphasizes the little details such as the bite marks on the pen cap, things that on a day to day basis we overlook.

      Iain Baxter&

      I just recently took a trip to the Museum of Contemporary art in Chicago and saw a huge exhibit on Iain Baxter&'s work. The pieces of art that I found facinating were his paintings of landscapes on old television sets. Behind the paint the television screens are on but malfunctioning. Some of the screens have television static, some are jumpy, some have lines moving vertically, but each one mad the landscape painted on seem like it was in motion. Baxter& truely presents a new take on the 'static' image. I thought it was kind of earie with it being completely quite in the gallery except for the sound of staticy TVs.

      Ai Weiwei

      Ai Weiwei, in my opinion, is one of the most important living artists. Not only is his work thoughtful and original, but he is also a prominent advocate for human rights, which is not necessarily an easy thing to be in China.  He has been detained by the government at times, but is still outspoken with his beliefs.
      Above are some photos of his Sunflower Seeds installation from 2010.
      (that link sends you to a mini-documentary on the work)

      Dan Flavin

      Dan Flavin is an artist that very much changed how I thought about art, particularly sculpture.
      He is most known for his works that employ the use of fluorescent tube lighting. Initially viewing his work, I went to the structure of piece - how are the tubes physically composed in relation to one another.  This, however, is secondary compared to how the light they produce interact in space.

      Mark Rothko

      Mark Rothko has been my favorite painter since I was sixteen or seventeen.
      In my opinion, no one conveys emotion through pure abstraction like he does. The softness of his work combined with his eye for color create such interest and depth.
      Above are some of my favorite paintings of his.