Augmented Humanism: The Digital Art of Marjan Moghaddam

Artist Marjan Moghaddam is many things, but bored isn’t one of them. A multi-disciplinary artist whose viral sensations, Glitched Goddesses, are propelling the artist toward phenomenal digital art visibility, Moghaddam is that rare artist whose formal stylings and conceptual acumen are equally stunning. Stemming from an #ArtHack Instagram project which the artist initiated in 2016 to disrupt and democratize the exhibition space, her glitch aesthetic permeates the oscillating female forms depicted in her Glitched Goddesses series. Buzz around the series has reached fever pitch, with over 3 million views of her works combined across Arts in Paris and Facebook. So far, her hacks have engaged in dialogue with exhibitions and events at locations ranging from Miami Art Basel to the Guggenheim, the New Museum and Mary Boone gallery – the last three, it is worth noting, were founded by women. “When my ArtBasel Miami hack went viral on Facebook, that’s when I realized the Internet has matured enough for serious, conceptual, thoughtful digital art to go viral and find an audience, ” Moghaddam explained. She now routinely receives collector inquiries on Instagram for work from her #ArtHack collection due to the ongoing social media demand for digital artworks.

“To See if I Still Feel At The Armory Show 2019” by Marjan Moghaddam, with Tonny Cragg Sculpture at Galerie Thadeus Ropac (image provided courtesy of the artist)

We sat down with the artist in the wake of her recent exhibitions for the Smithsonian and National Cathedral, commissioned by arts nonprofit Halcyon and digital art center Artechouse, for the 2018 #WeThePeople Festival. Moghaddam has also recently shown in high-profile exhibits with the Rowan University Art Gallery and Piramid Sanat Art Center in Istanbul. Discussing her upcoming exhibit, Re-Engineering Humanity, at 836m gallery in San Francisco this March, curated by lady Pheonix of Yes Universe, Moghaddam walked us through some of the key components of her practice, reflecting on what this sudden success means for her as an artist with decades of artistic creation behind her.

“Kavanaugh Haunted my Frieze London #Arthack” by Marjan Moghaddam , with original video taken from @mqtfas (image provided courtesy of the artist)

We kicked things off by questioning Moghaddam about the forms she uses. Why women’s figures, and why the glitch animation format digitally transforming this shiny amorphous substance into different women’s bodies? The artist points to her own evolution as an artist, watching as male artists have continually garnered the lion’s share of market value and attention in the press. She points to recent exhibits of women artists at major institutions – Sarah Lucas at the New Museum, and Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, as evidence that while things are changing, there is still work to be done. “I set this #ArtHack (of these women’s exhibitions) to [the sounds of] PJ Harvey and Bjork screaming out the Rolling Stones’ “No Satisfaction” as a reminder of how far women and especially rebellious and outsider women artists still have left to go, in comparison to their male counterparts,” notes Moghaddam.

“To See if I Still Feel At The Armory Show 2019” by Marjan Moghaddam, Perrotin Gallery (image provided courtesy of the artist)

The artist focuses on women as the subject matter, shifting the lens toward the female gaze by celebrating and extolling the wonders of our own bodies. Extending this concept of equality and equanimity, the artist explains that she engages with advocacy in her artwork, remarking specifically that women deserve representation regardless of their abilities, appearance, age, etc. “The #GlitchedGoddesses glitch the concept that a woman can be a singular form as they shift from heavy to slender, buff, young, old and pregnant, this is how the digital can intervene to expand the conceptual and aesthetic possibilities in art,” she explains. She notes of the #GlitchedGoddesses that although they occur in dialogue with other artists’ work, they don’t solely translate to appropriation art. “Merely hacking is just transgressive, but to do so with social and political activism and as a critical dialogue, becomes transformative,” the artist concludes.

Scholars have taken notice, as these figures were were recently presented at Colloque international Jeptav2019 conference on Art, Intelligence, and Intuition. An Iranian-born creative living and working in the United States, political and social freedom have remained a mainstay in Moghaddam’s artistic practice. Last September, the artist embedded an angry Kavanaugh talking head, in a Vagina Vedanta from Happy Happy Leaf artist Rae-Yen Song for her Frieze London 2018 #ArtHack, in what she views as a type of collectively sourced artistic imagination on social media feeds. This expanded view of collaboration and intervention re-examines methods by which artists can engage both the art world and society on the whole in reckoning with the lack of women’s art being represented at major art world fairs and market events. 

“#GlitchGoddess with a Fractal Niche”, Print triggered- Augmented Reality app with Chronometric Digital sculpture, on exhibit at Enamored Armor, Rowan University Art Gallery “#GlitchGoddess with a Fractal Niche”, Print triggered- Augmented Reality app with Chronometric Digital sculpture by Marjan Moghaddam, on exhibit at Enamored Armor, Rowan University Art Gallery (image provided courtesy of the artist)

Moghaddam has never been someone to stay inside the box or play by the rules; since her early days as an artist on wildly creative scene at the Pyramid Club in the 1980s, where she also exhibited her very first computer animations (she remarks that these were created on a Commodore 64). In the 1990s, Moghaddam became the featured artist for the launch of DOTCOM Gallery and International Forum for the Digital Arts – the very first commercial NY art gallery based entirely on the Internet (Archived on Rhizome.org), with GIF animations of her 3D CG avatar and fractals. As a rebel and an artist, her work has often been positioned on the fringe: a place that has served to her advantage in the viral digital space that is social media. She cites various factors that have continually worked against her since she relocated to New York, to where she currently lives and works in Brooklyn. “Being a woman, doing cutting edge and disruptive technology art, being an immigrant from Iran, and not being wealthy or having any proximity to wealth and privilege [do seem to work against me],” reflects Moghaddam. She continues,  “I also think my rebellious nature is another strike against me, since that is usually celebrated in men but not women. But these barriers have also fed my practice and forced me to forge my own path.” Because of this persistence, her early virtual reality installation “The Box” went straight from Soho galleries to Internet pioneer Josh Harris’ executive office at Jupiter Communications, in what was then the heart of NYC’s 1990s Silicon Alley in the early internet era. Tech and art both find a voice in Moghaddam’s work, and her continued attention and acceptance from the tech community indicate how her work also embraces philosophies which are relevant outside of just the fine art community. 

The artist may march to the beat of her own drum but her work is firmly rooted in art theory and social critique. She cites influential post-war philosophers as crucial to her development of the #ArtHacks as a body of work. “A few [philosophers] that I would list are Norbert Weiner, Baudrillard, Sloterdijk and even Foucault whose ‘art of the museum spaces’ I have cited with my #ArtHacks as part of my art of the social media space.” Embedding these concepts within the depth and breadth of her digital artistic practice has proven critical to connecting with a new generation who is eager for art that speaks to their social moment, and teaches something of value through cutting-edge technological methods.

Additionally, her signature style and aesthetic innovation, a practice that she has termed Chronometric Sculpture, blends the ideals of sculpture with the aesthetics of animation. Social media has continually uplifted her work to viral status: as of 2019, her work is even shared by various digeratis and Futurists on Linkedin as a starting point on discussions about the future of art.

Previously her Baisser at Mary Boone in Glassish and Waxish had garnered over 2 million views on a single Instagram post, and another 1.7 million views on a Facebook post.

Autonomous, location-based, Chronometric Sculpture, Augmented Reality app by Marjan Moghaddam on exhibit at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, Washington DC (image provided courtesy of the artist)

With a multi-disciplinary practice spanning digital art, animation, painting, sculpture, and augmented and virtual reality among other disparate creative pursuits, Moghaddam is an unstoppable force in contemporary art, adapting to new formats and carving new paths ahead at the advent of cutting-edge technologies. In addition to “Re-engineering Humanity,” on view through Spring/Summer of 2019 at 836m gallery in San Francisco, the artist also has new animations available now on the Noow.art digital art collection platform, and an upcoming exhibition at Art Jed gallery. Future projects include another commissioned, site-specific public Augmented Reality art project with City Unseen projects, so stay tuned – knowing Marjan Moghaddam there is plenty more where that came from!

Bold Tones Define “Self Alive” at The Yard South Williamsburg

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” 

In an era of dissonance, “Self Alive” brings the wisdom of self-awareness to bear, playing witness to a whirlwind of textures and hues. Featuring the work of artists Katie Hector, Tomo Mori and Jean Rim,
“Self Alive” remains on view through Spring 2019 at The Yard, South Williamsburg. Drawing from themes of self-expression, “Self Alive” explores the beauty we can bring into the world through our relationships with those around us as expressed in a variety of artistic mediums. The exhibit is curated by Deborah Oster Pannell, curator at The Yard South Williamsburg, whose curatorial perspective is informed by decades of experience as a writer, editor, performer, director and producer. She has curated and performed at KGB Bar, Animamus Art Salon, Shag, Green Oasis Community Garden, Chinatown Soup, The Red Room at KGB, UNDER St. Marks Theater and JCC Harlem. Pannell currently works at C24 gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan.

“Nexus”, Tomo Mori for The Yard’s “Self Alive”

Artist Jean Rim connects disparate aspects of her Korean-American identity through her practice. She draws links to different layers of her identity with intricate patterns of shimmering, geometric compositions. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Rim currently works in Brooklyn, NY and exhibits in South Korea and the United States. Her vibrant juxtaposition of line and color form exuberant compositions accessible to everyone, regardless of cultural background. These bright, rhythmic abstractions speak in a universal language that both astonishes and delights.

The diverse works of Tomo Mori reveal a thoughtful and labor-intensive process. Sculptural forms emerge from accumulations of discarded clothing, making reference to her labor as an artist and a mother. Hailing from Osaka, Japan, Mori studied both Western and Japanese traditional painting and drawing. Her rope installation works make explicit the important links connecting us all as human beings, across cultures, countries and social constructs.

Katie Hector, “FOMO Banner II” at “Self Alive” at The Yard

 

Katie Hector‘s work explores the inherent anxiety of modern-day life in her “FOMO” series, on view in part in “Self Alive”. An artist, curator and writer, Hector is also Founder and Co-Director of Sine Gallery. Based in New York, she received her BFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has participated in numerous international exhibitions and received numerous scholarships and accolades. The “FOMO” series as a whole is based around abstracted ovals, which could reference eyes or vision. In a world in which vision is constantly facing distraction and disassociation, the self can feel distant or insecure. Hector’s abstractions aggregate multiple layers of color and painterly gesture, hinting at the social anxiety and chaos that engulfs us all.

Rooted in the search for a higher self-awareness, the meditative and enticing artworks on view in “Self Alive”  reveal a survey of contemporary color and material palettes. An incisive look into unique artists’ practices, they also comprehensively reveal a society fearlessly searching for truth in every direction.

“Self Alive” is on view through May 4, 2019 at The Yard, South Williamsburg.

 

Irreverent Gestures: The Work of Ivan Lardschneider

Ivan Lardschneider isn’t afraid to play with toys.
“Untitled”, Ivan Lardschneider. Courtesy the artist.
Imbuing his work with references to playthings and just a hint of pre-pubescent immaturity, Lardschneider’s pointed yet playful approach proves remarkably efficacious: a concise survey incorporating the objects from our youth. The emotions and nostalgia these objects portend frame a potent look into the human psyche as found through the artist’s oeuvre. His sculptures, simple in form yet trenchant in their observation, form a lexicon of emotion and vulnerability.
“Untitled”, Ivan Lardschneider. Courtesy the artist.
Recalling Pop Artists such as Andy Warhol and Michelangelo Pistoletto along with the stylized figuration of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, Lardscheider hones in on his singular style with a simplified color palette and straightforward textures. Figures are marked by their stillness or incorporate simple gestures into their pose that reveal an underlying simplicity. Poses are childlike, silly yet wise, operating with an innocent and guileless logic all their own. Witty, provocative and poignant, Lardschneider distills the essence of both animate and inanimate forms into intuitive compositions both humorous and thought-provoking.
“Untitled”, Ivan Lardschneider. Courtesy the artist.
Ivan Lardschneider is based in Italy and his work is represented by Armanda Gori gallery, and his work has been exhibited in New York, NY at Galleria Ca’ d’Oro. His work has been featured in D/Railed Magazine, Wall Street International, and more. More examples of his work can be found on his website and on Instagram. 

Fresh Approaches Feature At Spring/Break 2019

Every year during Armory Fair week, a refreshing breeze traipses down the avenues, blowing past the piers from its irreverent, unsanctimonious perch. This breath of fresh air originates at Spring/Break Art Show, where emerging gallerists, independent curators and contemporary artists present installations and exhibitions centered around a proposed theme. This year’s theme, FACT AND FICTION, goes as far as to feature artist residencies and nonprofits – expanding the platform to emerging artistic voices from their “Suites” section to other presentations amassing considerably larger square footage. Situated for 2019 at 866 UN Plaza, floor 2, the fair – on view through Monday, March 11 – presents a thoughtful re-contextualization of societal constructs by channeling and filtering them through a subversive, and at times perverse, lens. Best of all, there is plenty of space for exhibits to sprawl, taking on meanings in relation to one another that were unintended even by the curators themselves!

Real Fairy Tale by Lulu Meng and Naomi Okubo, for Spring/Break Art Show 2019

For this year’s iteration, standout presentations center around revealing and concealing information, allowing fairgoers access to alternative viewpoints to their own, and imagining a world differing vastly from our current version.

For starters, Lulu Meng and Naomi Okubo‘s “Real Fairy Tale”(S8) provides a poignant and tech-loaded exploration of femininity as prescribed by the Walt Disney world princess trope. Placing identity within – and in direct contrast to – fairy tale figures such as Snow White and Cinderella allows the artists to examine their own identities while provoking visitors to reconsider theirs. Particularly rooted in a deeper exploration of feminism, ethnicity and privilege, this clever and touching re-imagination of Disney princesses touches a deep cultural nerve.

Roxanne Jackson’s “Third Eye Fuck (Devil’s Card)” for Spiritual Art Advisory

In “Spiritual Art Advisory”(E25), contemporary culture’s penchant for tarot is taken all the way to its logical conclusion in the form of an art exhibit in which each piece represents one of the 22 Major Arcana cards in the tarot deck. Curated by Sarah Potter and Caroline Larsen, the exhibit displays a wide array of artists – Roxanne Jackson‘s sculpture stuns – and proposes a reconsideration of the intersection existing between spirituality and art.

Artist and curator Vanessa Albury’s Coral Projects (E33) is presented with Albury and Tamara Weg leading the booth’s curation. Featuring artwork reflecting the diminishing state of our ocean due to climate change, works of art include a fish bowl sculpture (including fish upon purchase!) by Albury, which is on view along with sculptures reminiscent of coral. The presentation also introduces a public art project, to be installed off the coast of Jamaica: consisting of sculptures placed underwater near the shore, the project will hopefully lead to more coral growth in this tourist-prone area.

There is much to see – don’t miss the last two days, March 10&11, to check out Spring/Break’s multitude of artistic offerings at 866 UN Plaza! Tickets at the Spring/Break Art Show website.

“Taped Shut” by Rachel Lee Hovnavian, presented by Jenny Mushkin-Goldman and Jessica Davidson (E8)

 

work by Jen Dwyer as part of Anna Cone’s “A World All Her Own” (E31)
INLIQUID’s presentation for Spring/Break Art Show featuring work by Christina Massey (S9)

Delight Prevails at Patty Horing’s Underdressed, Anna Zorina Gallery

by Bob Clyatt

Sheer visual pleasure would have been reason enough to visit Patty Horing’s new show Underdressed at Anna Zorina’s delightful new ground floor space on 24th St in Chelsea.  But there was much more awaiting viewers there in these large figurative canvases and smaller drawings.  Horing brings a novelist’s sensibility to these sensitive contextual portraits, allowing us to enter into a relationship with these fully formed characters: neighbors down the hall with the cat, the woman in your reading group or the happy biracial couple celebrating their new baby. Today’s Edith Wharton, armed with a brush rather than pen, Horing shows us how we live, what we care about, and who we are today with humor and psychological depth.

AZ#1359 (PH) Beach Defense
“Beach Defense” 2018, Oil on linen. Copyright, PATTY HORING, Photography: Stan Narten Courtesy Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City.

A decade of embracing Horing’s work has led to the joys of tracing various influences in her work. It is a pleasure to watch her practice mature over time, her New York Academy training prominent in this new body of work. These paintings display the increased confidence of perspective, line and brushwork as well as in this increased foray into nudity.  Horing completed her MFA in 2015, but continues working the same vein of largely frontal, full-body portraiture and character study that she’s been pursuing all along.

Horing’s work situates itself in dialogue with prominent artists such as Eric Fischl, David Hockney during the 1960’s Los Angeles period,  Alice Neel, and Lucien Freud, among others.  Figures in these works confront viewers directly, almost always peering right at us. They are at ease in their homes or personal spaces.  Spaces are claimed by these subjects, indicated by the personal touches in each artwork ranging from a jar of Aquaphor on the nightstand, velvet upholstery, embroidery on the bed quilt, or rattan on the floor covering.  These details situate the subjects in times and spaces that we recognize.  We also feel as though we know the people in Horing’s paintings, or at least we imagine we do – whether the teenager slouched on the sofa with a game controller, tween girls texting, or a couple at the kitchen table, intimate moments feel inclusive to a devoted audience encountering this body of work.

“Betty’s Grandparents” (2018), oil on linen. Copyright, PATTY HORING, Photography: Stan Narten Courtesy Anna Zorina Gallery, New York City.

 

Since moving from Westchester County to New York, Horing’s treatment of interiors has changed – tall Tribeca windows and loft floors replace the wallpaper patterns and upholstery of suburbia. The figures depicted are also different, but the time is always unmistakably situated within the now.  The nudity in this series is also worth delving into, in part since the garments subjects wore in Horing’s previous work often functioned as nuanced identifiers of social cues and status to viewers who have absorbed lots of fashion-industry imagery.  Horing encountered many nude models in her years at the New York Academy – a part of that classical training once again gaining currency in art schools, which may account for all this undressing. In this series, people are depicted naked or half-naked, allowing us to contemplate their bodies as the vehicles they get around in: familiar, lumpy or bluish, saggy in places.  These subjects are certainly not in any way idealized; yet, still somehow perfect.  Their nakedness serves to bring them even closer to us, allowing a lapse into their vulnerability and inviting us to see them as normal people like ourselves.

In the end I think that is reason enough for this work to matter to us.  “Simply Connect” may be the best advice we’ll be giving each other in the years ahead.  With so many things that divide us, finding simple, wholesome, human ways to reach out to another, to allow ourselves to be touched by another may just become the next great front in the Resistance.  Horing’s work can give us a head start.

Underdressed, a solo exhibition of Patty Horing’s works at Anna Zorina gallery, featured at 523 W 24th Street through late February 2019.

 

 

Art Zoo Highlights: Art World Highlights, Zona Mexico, Frida in Brooklyn & More

Making Sense of the Art Zoo

The art world calendar is kicking into high gear- but don’t fret, we’ve pulled together a guide to help you navigate the zoo that is local and international art events happening from Feb 6-10. Call it an extended weekend survey. Take a look at the below, in NYC and beyond!

ZONAMACO Mèxico Arte Contemporaneo 2018 (courtesy ATP Diary: http://atpdiary.com/zonamaco-new-proposal-interview-with-humberto-moro/ )

Mexico: Art Rising

This week in the zoo that is the art world, Mexico takes front and center as ZONAMACO Mexico opens in Ciudad Mexico (on view through Feb 10). Featuring the best and brightest in emerging talent, ZONAMACO Mexico is rapidly rising as a reliable barometer for art world trends and artists to watch on the international stage (with a focus, of course, on talent engaging with Latin America.)

Details on ZONAMACO Mexico here.

Meanwhile, Frida Kahlo opens at the Brooklyn Museum on Frida(y), Feb 8 (yuk yuk). The retrospective marks a watershed moment for Kahlo, who went back and forth from Mexico to New York City during periods as an emerging artist. Tickets for the first few opening days caught fire – watch this space for our ANTE. review in mid-Feb!

Tickets for Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving here. 

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving – image courtesy Brooklyn Museum

Meanwhile, Back in New York

Don’t fret if you’re stuck in the City this week without tickets to Frida – or even if you managed to snag some, know that there is plenty to occupy your time!

Starting on Thursday, 2/7 MIRROR|MIRROR hosts an artist reception from 6-8 pm (RSVP is required, info@latchkeygallery.com). Featuring February James and Shona McAndrews, the exhibit is organized by LatchKey Gallery in collaboration with Select World’s S 12 Studio. On view by appointment through February 15, 2019, MIRROR|MIRROR explores two artists whose depiction of women offer a counter narrative to beauty norms and standards.

Erin Ko & Jamie Martinez, Neo Kingdom, 2017, screenshot of VR artwork for Speculative Cultures, Parsons

Thursday also marks the opening of the intriguing new media exhibit, Speculative Cultures: A Virtual Reality Exhibition. 

Located at the prestigious Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery (Sheila C. Johnson Design Center / 2 W 13th St, NYC), the opening reception for the exhibit takes place Thursday, 2/7 from 6-8 pm and will be attended by the exhibiting artists including The artists in this exhibition include Morehshin Allahyari (IR/US), Scott Benesiinaabandan (CA), Matias Brunacci,  Yu Hong(CN), Francois Knoetze (ZA) and Erin Ko (US) & Jamie Martinez (CO/US) in a joint project, who – intriguingly – create a journey to the afterlife inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Solenoid Respirator Instr/augment for 205 Hudson’s Re-Figuring the Future –  Photo: Sophia Barr Hayne & Lee Blalock

Friday belongs to the Outer Boros, with openings taking place at the NARS Foundation, Bronx River Art Center, SOHO20 and more. For those in Manhattan looking to stick close to home, there’s an opening at 205 Hudson: Re-Figuring the Future, as part of Hunter College Art Galleries, that looks promising.

Saturday and Sunday are dominated by talks and performances, with Saturday hosting the bulk of the fare.

Saturday 2/9 events include at artist talk at Lesley Heller Gallery in conjunction with Jim Osman’s The Walnut Series at 2:30 PM.

DUMBO plays host to Smack Mellon‘s artist talk, “Bonnie Collura: Prince & Rachelle Mozman Solano: Metamorphosis of Failure”: free & taking place from 4-5pm, while over in Long Island City, Queens, SculptureCenter hosts viewings into the Late Night of current exhibiting artist Banu Cennetoğlu’s Moving Image Work (RSVP required; entry from 6-10 pm with event ending midnight).

While Sunday is a mostly slow day, there is an intriguing, Chinese New Year-appropriate event at Pearl River Mart featuring a performance by Arlan Huang & Mee Mee Chin: “Cantonese Opera Makeup” for “Closing Distances”, free 1-3 pm at Pearl River Mart Gallery.

 

Enjoy your long, extended-art-weekend in NYC and beyond!

Unity Earth: Liftoff Invites the World To Come Together on Feb 2, 2019

On the afternoon of Saturday, Feb 2nd, United Palace theater will host Unity Earth: Liftoff, a creative performance event supporting world peace. The stunning, interdisciplinary range of performances – helmed by Creative Director Rhiannon Catalyst – features legendary talents Akim Funk Buddha and Kristin Hoffmann, as well as international talent including British Reggae legend Pato Baton, and Chinese chanting artist Mystic Voice. Part of United Nation’s World Interfaith Harmony Week, Unity Earth at United Palace (4140 Broadway at 175th St.), Sat 2/2 from 3-6:30 pm, will both stun and delight audiences.
The impressive vaulted hallways of United Palace in Washington Heights
Unity Earth is an ongoing, multi-year initiative to present engaging, interdisciplinary events to promote world peace on an international scale. Catalyst, the event’s Creative Director, has produced events ranging from Figment Festival to Creative Tech Week and the Winter Music Conference. Her experience lends an eclectic, mesmerizing eye to the potential for creative wonder to promote intercultural understanding and respect.
Promoting messages from social justice and environmental awareness to healing and artistic expression, Unity Earth: Liftoff this Saturday, February 2nd will bring a portal of wonder to anyone open to the siren’s call.
Tickets available for $20:

The Thrill of Trill Matrix at The Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente Soto Vélez Center

Occasionally an art exhibit meets a space perfectly suited to its concept;  this is happily the case with Trill Matrixon view through Jan 19th at the Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente Soto Vélez Center. Trill Matrix, conceived as a site-specific exhibit for the Center, is curated by artist Elizabeth Riley and features works by contemporary artists Nancy Baker, Jaynie Crimmins, Christina Massey, Elizabeth Riley, Christine Romanell, Linda K. Schmidt and Etty Yaniv. These artists frequently exhibit collectively: while each is firmly rooted in their own unique artistic practice, their dialogues and discussion form interstices linking the works on view in Trill Matrix. Showcasing a blend of sculpture, mixed media, and installation works, Trill Matrix showcases ways in which contemporary art can tease our senses. From texture to color, volume to light, Trill Matrix teases aspects of reality into new, uncharted territory for all who visit. On view at the The Abrazo Interno Gallery (107 Suffolk Street) through January 19, make sure to visit during the show’s final days – if you can, catch the closing party on Sat, 1/19! Free and open to the public – come and celebrate art while also celebrating the network of women artists behind the works, a perfect way to close out the Women’s March events in NYC!

 

christina_massey_crafty collusion 2
Christina Massey, “Crafty Collusion 2” on view in Trill Matrix.

 

elizabeth-riley_prototype-2-canopy_detail (1)
Elizabeth Riley, “Prototype 2 – Canopy” on view in Trill Matrix.

In Trill Matrix, “trill” alludes to a moment in hip-hop culture where the words “true” and “real” blended together to suggest authenticity and cultural ascendancy. Playing off this idea of reconciling two distinct words, artists on view in the exhibit remix disparate mediums to form new hybrids. Strips of fabric gathered together form a soft-sculpture-turned-light-installation, while works composed of glass and aluminum fragments hold court with another work re-claiming electronic wires and plastic into a single immersive sculpture. The network these works forms invites closer inspection, often bringing the visitor to realize a greater understanding of the beauty that lies in waste.

Christina Massey is one of the exhibiting artists whose works present the meeting point of upcycled materials and careful composition. The artist’s Crafty Collusions series brings together fragments from upcycled craft beer cans with a blend of other materials, cleverly juxtaposing the male-dominated industry of craft beer with the “femininity” of crafting. Massey reflected on the work involved in bridging the gaps while making mixed media artworks. “The materials in themselves bring certain complications, where one material doesn’t easily adhere to another,” noted Massey. “A certain amount of experimentation has to be done to find the right glues, mixture of paint, thickness of thread, etc., but I love that experimentation, that’s where you discover new things that maybe you didn’t realize were a possibility. That can be very freeing…  just allowing yourself to manipulate, play and learn, admitting that the material is going to have a certain mind of its own.”

Elizabeth Riley‘s artwork, “Prototype 2 – Canopy”, slows down new media by imprinting video stills onto paper and fusing these frozen scenes with aluminum, paint and duralar, a form of acetate. Fusing different modes of representation and interpretation, Riley questions our subjective experience of reality – whether through new means of looking and questioning or by forcing the viewer to re-think what they are observing in her mixed-media works.

Artist Jaynie Crimmins similarly plays with both ideas around reality depicted through material and notions attached to craft. The artist shreds promotional mail she receives – catalogs, flyers, etc – into minute pieces that she then re-arranges into abstract geometric compositions. Reminiscent of the cardinal directions and visually capturing a format found in the most ancient cultures, Crimmins compiles works with muted color tones and fantastic textures to witness that one woman’s trash can become the world’s treasure.

jaynie-crimmins_a-field-guide-to-getting-lost-#7
Jaynie Crimmins, “A Field Guide to Getting Lost#7” on view in Trill Matrix.
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Linda K. Schmidt, “Panels 50+51+52+53” on view in Trill Matrix.

Linda K. Schmidt‘s work embodies another style of geometric abstraction, with strips of semi-sheer fabrics in block colors meticulously arranged to form striped patterns. Evoking stained glass windows or dress-making patterns, Schmidt brings color field painting and craft together in one transcendental visual form. Suspended from the floor, larger than life size, these installations induce a sense of wonder in visitors encountering her installations at Trill Matrix.

Works by Nancy Baker display a skillful assimilation of sublimation into striking visual compositions. Recalling networks of neurons, or perhaps a private eye’s visuals connecting elements of an investigation,  Baker’s installation for Trill Matrix ventures as many layers deep as the visitor is willing to explore. A New Yorker by birth, Baker also plays off the idea of linked infrastructure such as that found in the NYC subway; yet, her compositions incorporate found language indicating our current social anxiety and uncertainty.

 

Nancy Baker, “Shredded Cold Victory” (detail image), on view in Trill Matrix.
Christine Romanell, “Dah Noqte” on view in Trill Matrix.

Artist Etty Yaniv plays with color and texture to reference abstracted nature through sublimely arranging upcycled materials into organic, yet repetitive, patterns. Blending networks of cords and cables into fragments of materials from discarded paintings and used plastic, Yaniv draws out the inherent beauty of detritus. Her work plays with notions related to unity and disparity, tracing harmony and dissonance through her playful use of scale and masterful composition.

Christine Romanell‘s work brings mathematical formulae and data analysis into the visual arts sphere. Applying color to patterns derived through mathematical equations, yet identifying where math also traverses organic and non-repetitive functions, Romanell’s installations make visual the corners of rationale and analysis where making sense begins to break down: with beautiful results.

Don’t miss the final days of Trill Matrix! Make sure to witness for yourself this stunning survey of the possibilities present within a mindful collection of connected yet disparate mixed media artistic practices.

Akumal Arts Festival Kicks Off in Akumal, Mexico

Klonism, for Akumal Arts Festival in Akumal Pueblo, Mexico

Akumal Arts Festival kicks off Friday, Nov 9 in Akumal, Mexico. Situated on the Yucatán between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Akumal is a long-standing diver’s paradise turned conservation area, with pristine white beaches flanking the beach-comber. With a dedicated local community, Akumal residents – with the guidance of Executive Producer Jennifer Smith (of Tortuga Escondida fame) & team – have pulled together Akumal Arts Fest. With a dedicated team of volunteers and staff, the arts fest welcomes over 70 urban artists from near and far to infuse Akumal’s streets with bright colors, detailed figures and incredible geometric design. With a line-up including artists Funqest, Davel, Rif Raf Giraffe, TooFly, Iena Cruz, Ivan Roque, and PawSki, among others, the 3-day festival kicks off a colorful new Akumal.

Ivan Roque for Akumal Arts Festival

Mayan culture permeates Akumal and the surrounding area, a locale held sacred by the Mayan people, and Akumal Arts Fest fully embraces this heritage. Honoring the legends of the past while welcoming contemporary artistic expression, Akumal Arts Fest meets at the boundary between past and future, firmly embracing the present and centered around community engagement.

Funqest (left) and Nate Dee (right) for Akumal Arts Festival in Akumal Pueblo

Activities over the course of the festival include street tours, art demonstrations, live painting, dance and martial arts. Everything kicks off at 5 pm on Friday, November 9 with activities interspersed throughout the weekend as per below. Public events will be held in the Akumal Pueblo, the Paseo de Akumal, at the park, bandstand, and
community center. Artists’ works adorn the town’s iconic overpass bridge, various municipal buildings, the park, and local schools. When Akumal Arts Festival concludes, the art will remain on view in Akumal for the foreseeable future.