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Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 1

by Christopher Hutchinson

 

The American artist Ellen Gallagher is admired to the point of reverence on the other side of the Atlantic. Her distinctive combination of politics and prettiness has been catnip for collectors and critics alike these last 20 years. For the latter, there is always so much to talk about – her range of references from Moby Dick and Sol LeWitt to Black Power and Detroit techno, her trademark restyling of 50s ads and 60s sci-fi movies, her evident if excessively elusive intellectualism – all appealingly couched, to collectors, in the delicate aesthetic of her paintings and prints.

It is worth knowing about this high regard when visiting Gallagher’s retrospective at Tate Modern. It helps to explain the sheer scale of the event: almost 100 works, many of them multi-part, accompanied by a catalogue of eulogies by some of America’s finest art writers, and all kicked off by a gigantic blown-up reprise of Man Ray’s famous photograph of Matisse sketching an odalisque in harem pants on a couch with Gallagher’s own face pasted on to the model and Sigmund Freud in the role of Matisse.https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/05/ellen-gallagher-axme-tate-review

 

 

Note1-Painter & Videographer

This investigation comes about after an Atlanta,GA based non-profit Smoke School of Art’s weekly homework assignment and is primarily based on the “Brilliant Ideas” video and the well written review of her retrospective by Laura Cummings. Cummings does an excellent job of sifting through the multiple layers of sentiment and projections heaped unto this mediocre artist that validates Gallagher as the “most recognized African American painter since the nineties”. These notes take the well-articulated points by Cummings and the fodder present in Gallagher’s dialogue and points out the inadequacies that are consistent through Gallagher’s career.

Gallagher’s work makes one think fondly on the kitsch-laiden work of Romare Bearden. Once again this cut and paste mediocre practice of collage is proven to be the breeding ground of knick knack collectibles.

The gridded, collaged canvases of Gallagher’s ’90s works deal in eyes and lips borrowed from American minstrelsy, repeated as patterns across canvas http://waaaat.welovead.com/upload/rss_download/20130622/600_0/201306220003272123.jpg

 

The gridded collage above, Gallagher’s breakthrough piece, is an indicator of her true interest which has nothing to do with painting. No painter’s painter would be satisfied with this attempt at painting. Collage does not operate on the interest of painters who enjoy painting. So why does Gallagher retain “reverence” status as a painter? Cummings answers this question with nods to minimalist artists such as Agnes Martin’s still abstract grid paintings. It is a stretch of the imagination to include this comparison as valid because the success of Martin’s work is due to the primacy of paint. Martin would never cut and paste these transitions.

That distinction may not seem like much of a distinction but Martin never felt the need to move to the violent act of cutting a canvas to apply such a coarse transition as Gallagher. When an artist feels the need to abandon the primacy of a medium to plop down texture it is an indicator of lack of mastery. It is an indicator of an obvious inadequacy. This inadequacy then begs to be overlooked relying heavily on sentiment and the projection of others to overcome it. Without mentioning “minstrels” are these paintings good? No.

 

Minimalism

  1. A school of abstract painting and sculpture that emphasizes extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity, and anonymity of style. Also called ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, rejective art.
  2. Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.
  3. Music A style of music marked by extreme simplification of rhythms, patterns, and harmonies, prolonged chordal or melodic repetitions, and often a trancelike effect. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Minimalist+art

Gallagher’s rough application is an aversion to minimalist practice, an aversion to Martin, Lewitt, and many others. Again, this comparison to these amount to nothing more than name dropping to force a conversation that is not there. Minimalist seeks to reduce and subtract mediums and ideas to its purest form. Gallagher’s laborious, often clumsy steps, amount to a contrived additive process where emphasis is placed on the quantity of labor not an interest in a stringent pursuit in her praxis.

Note 2.5-sentiment

Prior knowledge for this show. An entire gallery, for instance, is hung with numerous editions of what appear to be pretty much the same work: sheets of lined exercise paper glued to canvases, sometimes lacquered, sometimes painted fetching colours and sometimes featuring racial caricatures of big lips and bug-eyes. These mouths and eyes are always tiny and sometimes so faint as to be spectral, which carries its own meaning. Gallagher describes them as “the disembodied ephemera of minstrelsy”.https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/05/ellen-gallagher-axme-tate-review

Cumming’s articulates the above observation of Gallagher’s well. If Gallagher’s work requires prior knowledge of all sorts turns out to be a requisite to be received, then how can she be a great artist? A great resource maybe, like the Dewey decimal system–a way to access library books on several unrelated topics that have minute correlations to each other. Research should be a prominent part of every artist’s practice, but if it is a requirement for the viewer to do the same then that artist has not communicated properly, or it so generic and populous that everyone can create their own narrative. The sprinkling of buzzwords that are racially charged with advertising amounts those unimaginative juxtapositions of surrealists who exploited the indigenous primitive imagery to access their subconscious. This type of practice is just lazy.

 

This essay continues next month with “Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 2.”

 

Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Abstract Freedom

by Petra Lea

Waterfall

Silence Again

Enchanted Forest

The Ascent

Substratum

Still Life With Glass

Blind Ambition

Sight Unseen

 

Artist: Petra Lea

I am a professional artist based in the UK at The Electric Picture House Artists Cooperative. I exhibit throughout the UK and USA including New York, London and Oxford. My artworks are housed in collections in the UK and USA. I have also had my artwork published in magazines, including Rapsodia Independent Literary Review based in Italy and Capitol No in Switzerland.

I am a member of Collagistes Collective, an international group of collage artists. I am represented by The August Agency in New York and the Artbank in China.

I participate in an average of ten exhibitions per year, these include group and solo exhibitions.

Weblinks:

http://lelu-designs.mysupadupa.com/

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/petraleaart/

https://www.instagram.com/petralea_art/

https://twitter.com/PetraLeaArt

 

 

A Foot in Two Worlds

by Lynn Price

‘Pages of a Landscape’. 2017 Paper, stitch installation.

Pages of a Landscape paper stitch installation 1

Pages of a Landscape paper stitch installation 2

Pages of a Landscape paper stitch installation 3

Pages of a Landscape paper stitch installation 4

Pages of a Landscape paper stitch installation 5

 

‘Fragments of a Landscape’.  Paper, stitch, wax, wall-piece. The Nelson Regional Award, Changing Threads Contemporary Fibre Awards 2017.

Fragments of a Landscape Detail Paper stitch wax

 

‘Unknown Territory’.  A 25 piece, paper, stitch wax installation. The images depict ‘openings’ representing metaphorical windows into the unknown, designed to evoke a feeling reminiscent of a first encounter with somewhere unfamiliar and new. Winner of Dame Suzie Moncrieff Judges Award, Changing Threads Contemporary Fibre Awards 2016.

Unknown Territory paper stitch wax 1

Unknown Territory paper stitch wax 2

Unknown Territory paper stitch wax 3

Unknown Territory paper stitch wax 4

Unknown Territory paper stitch wax 5

 

‘When I Think of Home’ 2015. Machine embroidery, glass, wax installation.

When I think of Home II (1)

When I think of Home II Detail (2)

When I think of Home II Detail (3)

 

Artist: Lynn Price

I’m an English artist, from semi-rural Derbyshire, living and working in New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. I graduated with a BA Hons degree in Ceramics and Glass in 1984 and have been apprenticed trained in Siena, Italy during 1995. Since emigrating to NZ in 2006 I have found that living with a foot in two worlds offers endless scope for creative expression. Drawing was an integral part of my art training and I frequently feel the need to express my ideas through mark-making. I work in both glass and mixed media.

Uprooting myself from my homeland, took some courage, energy and faith in the future. As an artist, the experience also makes for complex influences that, willy-nilly, manifest in one’s work.

‘the power of a place where formative experiences helped shape identity lives on, a power more remarkable since it relies not on physical presence but only the act of remembering’.   John Percival, Return Migration in Later Life

From a migrant’s perspective, this quote resonates deeply for me. Through my art practice I address memory and nostalgic association with the landscape I call ‘home’, yet it references a narrative that can be read as personal or generic. I’m interested in the fact that we are able to bring associations to places and landscapes which, through memory, hold a resonance throughout our lives.

As I revisit these themes, memories ‘fine tune’, shift and idealise and I’m always surprised at how entangled I become in both the depth of the memory and the emotive response to it.

www.lynnprice.co.nz

www.instagram.com/lynnpriceart

www.facebook.com/lynnprice.nz

Lynn welcomes commissions and her studio is open by appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tame Goose Never Goes Wild

by Wal Keck

A ragtag bunch of statements that between them might be relevant:

Then

John Renshaw taught me (and others):

“You can tame a wild goose, but a tame goose never goes wild,” he said. “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to bring it under control.”

He looked at work and said “You were coming out from under the table and ‘oooooh,’ you’ve banged your head”

and walked away.

Another time he looked and said “You’re skating, lad. Skating. Oo – Thin ice”

and walked away.

All was metaphor and all, eventually, sank home.

He took some of the students, who had spent the previous two weeks in the printmaking department, outside to the yard and had them build a large framework, to which they were instructed to attach their previous two weeks’ work. He then set about setting fire to the frame, instructing the students to grab a piece of A1 paper and to start to draw as their efforts went up in smoke. Most students grabbed their work off the frame and ran. Those that grabbed their paper and drew, went on.

He talked in terms of mark making. He talked of lines. He talked of it all being about space. He packed us off to look at Velázquez.

He taught us to avoid being precious, to be prepared to overwork a picture to derive more from it. The next picture was the thing.

At the end of the year he brought in some of his own work. I was surprised, given the sort of things he encouraged us to do, at how small the paintings were. I said, “I thought they would be big paintings?” He said “They are big paintings, lad, they are big paintings.”

Now

I look at the work I produce 33 years later and wonder where, in all of the excessively tight control that an I-Pad gives me, lie the ripples of those lessons?

Process

My involvement with the process and its impact upon me are still what interest me most.

Working digitally, it is always possible to retreat in time and to follow a different seam.

I have always in my mind, somewhere, the thought that this is all leading up to “The Picture,” the image that, for me, stands head and shoulders above all others. The product of all of it. The outcome. The result. I hope that I never produce “The Picture” as it ends there.

Potential

I’ve always been more thrilled by potential than realization.

Looking

The images are subservient to the act of looking.

I cannot look at an image as well as I look through the process of cutting, reassembling and/or erasing that image.

I recall J.G. Ballard saying that he did not want his children to read his books as it was too intimate a relationship for them to have with him.

When I am erasing areas of old paintings it can also feel too intimate. I enter a room in the National Gallery and seeing one of ‘my’ renaissance paintings across the room, blush slightly with the feeling that others know.

Momentum

At full tilt I feel that were I to lay upon the cold wet morning grass then I would sizzle.

The loss of momentum brings the leaden drag of gravity.

Images

The images are diary entries that trigger a recollection of an experience and/or a sequence of thoughts.

Sometimes they are markers, or signposts, of another seam of ideas, sometimes of dead ends.

Mining

Like a hunter, I track images to use. I gather them together and then mine them until I have extracted all that I can currently use.

The potential of a newly struck seam can take years off.

Inevitably the slagheaps pile up around me, making it difficult to find anything and to choose only 15 images.

N.B. No canaries were harmed in the production of the work.

It is all just the act of looking and of being engaged with a process.

It is all process and the impact of the process on the act of looking.

I am not focussed on the images. They interest me, but not as much as the process and the act of looking that they involve.

I see my work as debris, as fall out from my involvement with a process. The pictures were always subservient to the process and the act of looking.

 

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wal-keck-self-portraitArtist: Wal Keck

See more of his work on Instagram: wal616.

 

 

 

 

 

Imperfect Beauty

by Thomas Donaldson

thomas-donaldson-1-head-and-torso-study

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thomas-donaldson-3-portrait-study

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thomas-donaldson-5-figure-study-mixed-media-on-paper-56x38cm

thomas-donaldson-6-head-study-oil-on-canvas-120x120cm

thomas-donaldson-7-standing-figure-oil-on-canvas-100x80cm

thomas-donaldson-8-heads-with-grey-oil-on-paper-38x38cm

thomas-donaldson-9-head-study-ink-watercolour-and-acrylic-on-paper-27x18cm

thomas-donaldson-10-head-in-pink-oil-on-paper-38x38cm

thomas-donaldson-11-head-study-oil-on-canvas-120x120cm

thomas-donaldson-12-standing-figure-sara-mixed-media-on-paper-56x38cm

thomas-donaldson-studio-shot-dec-2016

 

thomas-donaldson-bio-picArtist: Thomas Donaldson

Thomas is an English figurative painter and Lecturer based in Asia. He received his Master’s degree from Newcastle University in 2000 and since then has taken part in numerous exhibitions globally. His visceral works depict the portrait/nude which has been a traditional subject within the history of painting, which is easily recognizable and has been painted over and over again. This familiarity with the subject and the ideal of beauty in an increasingly over photo-shopped media allows Thomas to develop the process of painting through abstraction, mark making and impasto and at the end of the process still have something that remains familiar although imperfect and slightly awkward.

Website: http://www.thomasdonaldson.biz

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/thomas.donaldson.art

Instagram   https://www.instagram.com/thomasdonaldsonart/

Twitter       https://twitter.com/thomasdonaldson

Pinterest     https://www.pinterest.com/thomasdonaldson/

Tumblr       http://thomasdonaldsonart.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Romare Bearden & Kitsch

by Christopher Hutchinson

Romare Bearden is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. He depicted aspects of black culture in a Cubist style….Born in North Carolina, he landed in New York City and studied with George Grosz. His early paintings were realistic with religous themes. Later, his works depict aspects of family culture in a semiabstract collage and Cubist style. He was also a songwriter and designed sets for the Alvin Ailey Company. http://www.biography.com/people/romare-bearden-40540#synopsis

 

Collage

col·lage noun 1. a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing. https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

Romare Bearden has left a significant mark on the African American art community many years after he has gone. He is the most prolific semi-abstract collage artist to be recognized in the realm of art. His influence cannot be easily dismissed. This article will attempt to do just that.

Being the most prolific semi-abstract artist means absolutely nothing in the pursuit of art. Anyone can manufacture a ton of crap, but production is not the sum of what makes a great artist. If production alone were the criteria to be successful many artists would have met and exceed Bearden’s position in the “Black canon.” This article questions his status as the major influencer he is to the African American art community.

There is an argument that Bearden is in many ways the first abstract art introduced to the African American art community. That is simply not the case. Harlem Renaissance artists like Aaron Douglas’ s cubism preceded Bearden by decades and is certainly more an artist. The collage practice period is a gross attempt at creativity. To cut and paste imagery is an ugly mode of praxis.

Any artist who likes the foundation of the arts (drawing, painting, and 3-D works) could never appreciate such a practice void of artistry. Collage as a medium is an offense to these foundations. If this is an artist’s entry point these artists eventually will need to return to those foundations. Bearden’s accomplishment is the fact that he produced this collage farce for his entire career repeatedly with little to no change. The fact that he could dredge through this monotonous cutting and gluing speaks to a kind of attrition that has not to do with art, rather a kind of masochism.

 

Kitsch

Kitsch noun 1. art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way: “the lava lamp is an example of sixties kitsch” adjective 1. considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way: “the front room is stuffed with kitsch knickknacks, little glass and gilt ornaments”https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

Kitsch is a more appropriate discussion for Bearden’s prolific production. Knickknacks of African American culture scrapbooked on a large rectangle for consumption. The Harlem renaissance was not Kitsch. They were interested in realism. They used analytic and synthetic cubism to access an abstract realism. Those artists used their art to literally build a vernacular of tangible African American history not to be scrapbooked, rather a present lived moment. Bearden’s work subverts and erases the very foundation the Harlem renaissance built and reduced it to a postcard.

 

Bearden is used as a model for many artists to aspire to, and many artists succumb to his success as the rubric of their own practice. Many “Black galleries” are saturated with this dated knickknack art that only succeeds as a poor copy of an original consumable. These artists that choose to pick up the mantle of Bearden waste their lives never developing work for themselves. Why do “Black galleries” and collectors support this obvious cliché as the pinnacle of African American contribution? Especially when Bearden himself credits European study as his major source of influence, not the “Black canon.”

 

Collections
By Maynard Eaton

Jerry Thomas Jr. and Alan Avery may have engineered Atlanta’s single most significant black art exhibition ever this past weekend. Their unprecedented collaboration produced an historic cultural event for dozens of the city’s Who’s Who art aristocrats to admire and purchase rare original works by Romare Bearden, America’s preeminent African American artist.

The Lamp, by Romare Bearden

The Lamp, by Romare Bearden

“We are the first two art dealers – regardless of color – that have collaborated,” says Alan Avery, owner of the Alan Avery Art Company in Buckhead. “It doesn’t happen in Atlanta. But, I think it is even more significant that we are from different races and that we come from different backgrounds, but that we are collaborating for the strength of Atlanta, the Atlanta art scene and the Atlanta collector base.”

“Bearden is one of the all-time great artists,” adds Jerry Thomas, the owner and highly regarded impresario of Jerry Thomas Arts. “He would not only enjoy the prices that his works are bringing but also the mixed audience of both blacks and whites. I think that would have been very important to him. What makes it ever more significant is the collaboration between me and Alan Avery. Hopefully this will not only be the beginning of such collaborations, but will set a new mold for the country in terms of blacks and whites working together to produce more shows.”

Bearden’s work now commands a hefty price tag, with the pieces on display at Alan Avery’s gallery ranging from $40,000 to $400,000. It was an uptown show for an upscale cross-section of Atlanta’s elite, and the metro area’s sophisticated art connoisseurs. They didn’t blink at the prices. Six of Bearden’s prize pieces were sold the first day, and the exhibition continues through January. http://saportareport.com/romare-bearden-exhibition-the-tipping-point-of-atlantas-black-arts-renaissance/

From a financial standpoint $400,000 is a great investment, but at what cost. To train the next generation to replicate this means of production is appalling. An artist in 2017 doing a copy of Bearden, believing it to be a true representation of the African American community is beyond delusional yet many Black artists are doing just that. The stagnation located in the African American art community can be placed squarely at the feet of these collectors and galleries that praise the romanticized kitsch element present in all of Bearden’s production. There are many artists within the “Black canon” which would be more suitable as an entry point for African American artists.

 

Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Dark Side on the Inside

by David Feingold

jeanette by David Feingold

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david-feingold-1Artist: David Feingold

Over four decades ago, at 16 years of age, I was hit by a car as a pedestrian. It was a hit-and-run which had significant neurological and emotional consequences. A closed head injury resulted in temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. 

My artwork consists of imagery that connects with thoughts and feelings born out of my lived experience with bipolar disorder. In addition to the classic difficulties associated with a mood disorder—major depression and mania, and personal, familial and social disruption, an additional level of emotional pain lies beneath the surface.  I refer to this pain as the “Impaired Self,” as described in my 2013 Disability Studies doctoral dissertation.

The Impaired Self is that part of a psychiatric illness that we must deal with over and above our usual mental illness-related challenges on a daily basis. Specifically, I am referring to society’s destructive contribution of stigma, harsh judgement, discrimination, rejection, fear, avoidance, and alienation.

My images are a chronological, visual shorthand of the struggle in living with mental illness as opposed to art that is created for strictly for beauty and aesthetic appreciation. These largely dark and looming images do not need artist interpretations or to be understood or justified. Rather, they benefit from the observer having an open mind and interest in experiencing vicariously, what I and others like myself experience at a visceral level.

For the observer, these images can facilitate an expanded awareness as to the pain associated with the bipolar experience, in addition to generating greater acceptance, understanding and empathy.

Although my artwork is digital, I use rudimentary graphic editing programs to create a painterly quality that has taken me a number of years to perfect. Completion of an image can take anywhere from hours to days, to weeks, often going through numerous transformations, modifications and refinements.  Quite often, the final image can bear little or no resemblance to  the beginning stages.

www.feinart.me

 

 

The Paths Converge

by Margaret Lipsey

Coco

Coco

Holidays

Holidays

Spring Dance

Spring Dance

The Blues

The Blues

Tools

Tools

Birds

Birds

Diversity

Diversity

Imagination

Imagination

Aspirations of Unanimity

Aspirations of Unanimity

Grey Area

Grey Area

Catching Waves

Catching Waves

Changes in Soil

Changes in Soil

Rain

Rain

The Journey

The Journey

untitled_margaretlipsey

 

margaret-lipseyArtist: Margaret Lipsey

My practice began in starts and stops. In the winter of 2000 while attending culinary school, I decided one day to purchase acrylic paints, brushes, and canvases and see what happened. I played in the medium for a month or so before moving onto another creative outlet. Being a chef for the following 15 years didn’t leave much time for a hobby but acrylics would sneak back in for a couple weeks at a time throughout that period.

I began exploring two divergent paths in the summer of 2015. On one I found grace and strength; women demanding to be seen, giving pause to those who passed. They have power beyond the canvas. they delve into our being and reflect what we want to see in ourselves. This path is inspiring as an artist. These women are apart from me but they influence who I am. They take me to the realm of realistic fantasy; beyond my normal but not outside of my reach.

The other path is much more reflective. The abstracts are pieces of myself coming out into the world. These are an intuitive release that I only come to recognize upon completion of the work. My abstract pieces allow me to travel deeper into my beliefs and my thoughts. One canvas is composed of a hundred thoughts thereby becoming a novel to be read and reread. They are as varied as my thoughts but collections slowly reveal themselves the longer I participate in their creation. I see these paintings as true reflections of who I am as an artist; a constant balancing game between light and dark, heavy intentional strokes and arbitrary spots, there is movement and action.

The deeper my practice the more I realize that those two paths reference and connect in ways I could not have seen. The freedom of exploring creativity only connects me more soundly to my path of self awareness and the two paths converge to both broaden and concentrate my work.

I began to sell professionally in the fall of 2015 and painting became my full time vocation in the summer of 2016.

My studio is in my home in Saint Lambert, Quebec.

Instagram – @pistache_and_rose
Twitter – @mlipseyart

 
 
 

Die Schönheit des Banalen (The Beauty of the Trivial)

by Stephan Brenn

Art Tel Aviv

Art Tel Aviv

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drahtinstallation-six-eleven-von-stephan-brenn

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stephan-brenn-by-smilla-dankert

Photo by Smilla Dankert

Artist: Stephan Brenn

Stephan Brenn is collecting, observing, exploring. He is an explo­rer of the unseen. There are unwanted, wasted and leftover objects, fascinating him.

His work is based on found material, shown as ready made–wire drawing, light projection on house walls and YLOP light-photography.

Stephan Brenn (1961) born in Heidelberg, lives and works in Berlin. Founder of the “museum für verwandte Kunst,” Cologne. His work was shown in the museum für konkrete Kunst – Ingolstadt, luminale – Frankfurt, raum für zeitgenössische kunst – Zürich, contemporary art ruhr – Essen, art tel aviv – Tel Aviv, museum schnütgen – Cologne, museum marta – Herford, preview berlin art fair – Berlin…..

 

Der berliner künstler stephan brenn, geboren 1961 in heidelberg arbeitet aktuell an drahtinstallationen, lichtinstallationen, anweisungsprojekten und fotoprojekten.

Realisierungen: teufelsberg-berlin; preview berlin art fair-berlin; museum marta-herford; contemporary art ruhr-zeche zollverein essen; art tel aviv-tel aviv; luminale-frankfurt; museum schnütgen-köln; museum für konkrete kunst-ingolstadt; lichtturm-solingen; hörder burg-dortmund; museum schloß burgk-burgk; herz jesu kirche-köln; spichernhöfe-köln; reinraum-düsseldorf; museum für verwandte kunst-köln; kunstverein projektraum bahnhof 25-kleve; raum für zeitgenössische kunst-zürich; POSITIONS BERLIN ART FAIR-berlin; german consulate general-new york city; bedsitter art fair-wien; LAGEEGAL-berlin…….

https://www.brenn-projects.com

http://www.stephan-brenn.de

https://www.instagram.com/brenn_projects

https://www.facebook.com/stephan.brenn

 

Stephan Brenn sammelt, beobachtet, erforscht, macht Kunst. Er ist ein Entdecker und Sichtbarmacher von Dingen, die eigentlich schon für immer verschwunden waren. Seine Fundstücke erzählen Geschichten über den Ort von dem sie stammen und über eine Gesellschaft, die Wegwerfgesellschaft genannt wird. Es sind ungewollte, überflüssige und übrig gebliebene Objekte, die in ihrer ursprünglichen Gestalt deformiert wurden. Sie haben Zufallsformen angenommen, die per se jedoch auch logischen Gesetzten folgen. Im Nutzungsprozess werden ihre Gebrauchsformen umgeformt, dekonstruiert. Die Deformation löst sie aus ihrem Funktionszusammenhang und macht sie wieder zu Rohmaterialien der Industriegesellschaft. Gleichzeitig visualisieren sie die Magie ihres Verwandlungsprozesses vom funktionalen Gegenstand zum achtlos weggeworfenem und doch unbewusst gestalteten ästhetischen Objekt. Stephan Brenn öffnet die Augen für die Schönheit des Banalen, indem er minimal eingreift. Er arrangiert, ordnet an, komponiert und unterstreicht die Charakteristik der Zufallsformen, indem er sie zu einem Dialog untereinander führt. Durch die geometrischen Formen Kreis und Rechteck, zu denen er seine Fundstücke komponiert, gibt Stephan Brenn den Objekten eine neue, rein ästhetische Aura. Die Drahtzeichnungen spiegeln also einen doppelten Formprozess wider. Im ersten Schritt werden die Dinge durch ihre industrie-kulturelle Verwendung deformiert und der Aura ihrer Nützlichkeit beraubt, dann im künstlerischen Prozess der Auswahl und Kombination behutsam zu einer neuen Form zusammengeführt, sodass sie im Schutz der selbstverständlichen geometrischen Metaform ihren ganz individuellen ästhetischen Reiz entfalten können.

tobias hoffmann

museumsleiter museum für konkrete kunst ingolstadt

 

 

So Close, So Far

by pastiche.in

My surreal world

My surreal world

Welcome to my surreal world. It’s not an effort, it’s a way of life. It is personal, it is intellectual, it is romantic and most of all, it is real.

 

Shaded

Shaded

All of us trying to forget someone. But I know I won’t be able to forget, I can only forgive.

 

Round and Round

Round and Round

Follow me down to the valley bellow. Moonlight is bleeding, out of your soul.

 

Let's go on an adventure

Let’s go on an adventure

Please, take risks.

Fear keeps us focused on our past or worried about the future. If we can just learn to overcome our fear, we can realise that right now, we are okay.

At this moment, you can hear the voices and see the beautiful faces of our loved ones. But that’s not it. Life has much deeper meaning to itself and we must fulfil it. That can only be done by breaking the limits of human imagination, by doing the impossible. You won’t know until you try.

 

Bubble Galaxy

Bubble Galaxy

Never underestimate yourself. Every idea or a thought you get is worth a lot. People often think it’s not good enough and drop it but just give it some time and take it forward. You never know what’s worth what.

 

Unconditional

Unconditional

I will love you like I love the colour blue.

 

Don't hold me back

Don’t hold me back

But, even if you colour them with beautiful feelings, they’ll still cry and they’ll still smile.

 

Coloured Hands

Coloured Hands

Yes, I’ve been failed a couple of times. There were situations where I felt this is just unreal and everything was falling apart. What do you do during these times?

Some people survive and talk about it. Some survive and go unnoticed. Some survive, heal and create.
I survived and inspired myself. Looking back tells me, I found parts of me that I thought never existed. Now, I just grow. The notion of getting better each day inspires me and I vow to help myself love life.

Remember, the pain you suffer is never wasted.

 

Looking for alternate place

Looking for alternate place

Everyone’s talking about escaping. Always thinking. Always dreaming.

 

How can I make it possible

How can I make it possible

So close, yet so far.

 

Inseparable

Inseparable

You can be the ocean, I’ll be the shore.

 

Why

Why

The burden is real, isn’t it?

 

Crooked you

Crooked you

Home? What does it mean? It’s different for different people.It might be a place, a thing, a moment to re-live, a feeling.

For me, it is a person.

 

Blurred lines

Blurred lines

Miles apart
they sat down near a window
face against the glass
He exhaled. She knew it was him.
Never knew the names
only the eyes.
He was a clown, she had cancer,
she never cried around him
he never wore a mask.
They stared at each other
infinity in the eyes
they both saw a never-ending path
they both found destiny.
Then came the day
he was left alone but in abundance
like a shattered piece of glass
with a less comforting silence.
Rest of the life he wrote his heart out
on a paper in his diary.
It was his imagination
and her love.
And every time it rained
each conversation a paperboat
floated away with a secret tale.

 

Desert divers

Desert divers

The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves by just standing up.

It then turns to one of those upsetting moments when you lose respect for someone you really cared.

 

People ruin everything

People ruin everything

One of the things I recently realised is that, people ruin beautiful things.
Travel, love, inspire, experience and tell nobody.
People expect.
People judge.
People kill happiness.

 

Materialistic Society

Materialistic Society

Digital lie.
People matter.
Talk to each other.
Look in the eyes instead of looking at the texts and mails.
Hold hands instead of holding phones.
Gather more moments and less pictures of those moments that you just wasted taking a picture.
Use the digital generation for what they are supposed to but don’t let it consume you.
Don’t forget that we live in a physical world where people, emotions and feelings matter.
Embrace them. Would you?

 

Smoke on the universe

Smoke on the universe

The planet is fine.
The people are fucked.

 

Words

Words

Can you see your days blighted by darkness?
Is it true you beat your fists on the floor?
Stuck in a world of isolation
While the ivy grows over the door – Pink Floyd( Lost for words)

 

Small world

Small world

Let’s celebrate the light and the space. We often underestimate them.

 

Artist: pastiche.in

I’m a Digital Artist from India, currently studying Architecture at Oxford School of Architecture. I make surreal collages to communicate ideas and emotions and I think that I’ve found a way for my brain to have orgasms.

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