Artist Y.R. Egon Translates Longing Into Paintings

Y. R. Egon (Ruchira Amare) cuts a stylish, erudite figure.

Based in Brooklyn, NY, the artist arrived on the New York scene from her native Mumbai with an artistic and creative practice balancing influences from Europe and her native India. Her creative leanings are underpinned by a formidable education background in Engineering and Fashion Design. Learning under established Mumbai-based artists while concurrently pursuing a degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai, Egon distills a wide range of influences into her impressionist, yet geometrically balanced, paintings. The artist holds a Fashion Design degree from the Parsons School of Design.

The artist sat down with ANTE. to discuss themes running through her work and what’s upcoming for her on the heels of exhibitions at Dacia Gallery, Six Summit Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center and The Greenpoint Gallery.

Painter Y R Egon

ANTE.: Your work shows formal qualities linking to modernist greats such as Piet Mondrian. Do you see your practice as continuing a dialogue with modern abstract artists from the mid-20th century? 

Y.R.: I agree – yes. I have always followed Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Mark Rothko and Wassily Kandinsky. As Mondrian once said, “Abstract art is not the creation of another reality but the true vision of reality.” I try to have my own language and to express my emotions through my paintings.

ANTE.: Color and shape are important aspects in your paintings. How has your approach in forming connections between color and shape evolved from your studies to the present moment?

Y.R.: I have always cherished the emotion that comes out of nostalgia and longing for the past. I attempt to capture and preserve these emotions through my paintings. Over time I realized that there is a word for this behaviour in Finnish; that word is ‘kaiho,’ meaning a hopeless longing in which one feels incomplete and yearns for something unattainable or extremely difficult and tedious to attain. I use colour and shape and geometric-like patterns which are not truly geometric: these (patterns) have evolved over time and show some traces of reality.

ANTE.: Your formative education in art occurred when you were learning from painters based in India. How do you see your work forming a bridge between the Indian art canon and the Western art canon?

Y.R.: I did not have a formal art education but I studied under great and successful artists in India. I learnt many techniques from them that helped me translate and formulate my ideas using the medium of painting. I try to use my knowledge, my ideas, my inspirations and life experiences to formulate my thoughts. In the process, unintentionally I end up using different techniques and practices that span both the Indian and the Western art canon.

ANTE.: As a full-time artist, you are dedicated to painting and making art constantly; what are some of your goals in terms of exhibiting your paintings? Do you have a dream gallery you’d like to show with and/or museum or similar venue to show your work?

Y.R.: Being an ambitious artist, my goal is to better my art practice and art technique, evolve as a person through enriched life experience and to then translate that into my art and paintings. I fell in love with Gallery Perrotin the first time I went there to check out a show. The space is beautiful and dreamy. My artworks have a lot of colour but come out of the concept of dreams and it would be a dream to be able to exhibit at this space.

Lost Journey, Y.R. Egon Gouache on paper, 16″ x 20″, 2019

ANTE.: You are a poet and have trained as an engineer, alongside your work as an artist and fashion designer. How do you unite all of these disparate elements in your painting? Has it shaped how you approach art-making?

Y.R.: Yes, I studied Engineering and graduated from the University of Mumbai. I write poems but only to express my ideas through another medium. I studied Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. I am in process of launching some garments/apparel that are inspired from my paintings from the ‘kaiho’ collection. Hence, I feel that even though they all are separate fields, it all boils down to an expression of ideas as they come together in a product or in works of art. I try to carry the same romantic feeling and emotion in all my works including my fashion illustrations. I specifically use watercolours for these, and in my next series of paintings, I plan to experiment more with watercolour in order to capture the haziness of the lost memories.

ANTE.: How has working in fashion impacted your work as a painter? Do you work with a variety of materials as a result? 

Y.R.: As a fashion designer, I stand by the principles of creative construction and sustainability. I use only natural fabrics and natural dyeing on them. I also use fabric as a medium to paint and specifically natural dyed fabric which is dyed with the colours made from plants such as logwood, madder and flowers such as marigold and berries as well. I also plan to make my own natural pigments from these plants and flowers and natural materials to paint on stretched fabrics such as cotton and silk.

ANTE.: More specifically, does your work as a painter shift in scale due to your background in the fashion industry?

Y.R.: I actually am not that experimental or easily accepting to change. Hence, I try to usually paint in a certain style and on a certain size as well. But again, the scale changes a bit when it is translated on apparel or fabric paintings.

Colorful Houses, Y.R. Egon Gouache on paper, 16″ x 20″, 2019

ANTE.: You’re now based in Brooklyn, NY, and have exhibited with The Greenpoint Gallery and Dacia Gallery. How does living in NYC impact your practice as an artist?

Y.R.: NYC is very dynamic and inspirational, Brooklyn specifically is the epicentre for the modern, contemporary and experimental art that is not commercial. I recently exhibited at the ‘Space 776’ as a part of their Bushwick open studios which was covered by Hyperallergic magazine! I find Brooklyn as a very important factor of my stay in the city and is very inspirational and also motivational to see and meet other artists and their work. I have exhibited at various galleries in Manhattan and Brooklyn and that serves as a booster for myself and my art practice.

America’s Diverse Social Tapestry Shines with “IN/FLUX” on view at Pelham Art Center

by Elizabeth Barenis

 

On view at Pelham Art Center through November 2nd, “IN/FLUX” – co-curated by PAC Director Charlotte Mouquin and Gallery Advisory Board Member Victoria Rolett – features works by compelling contemporary artists wielding their perspectives on immigration as expressed through various mediums. Ranging from photography to painting, installation art to collage, artists on view don’t shy away from aspects of immigration – positive and negative – that have shaped the scope of their respective artistic practices. Artists on view include Corina S. Alvarezdelugo, Selin Balci, Nicky Enright, Jenny Polak, Alejandra Hernandez, David Rios Ferreira, Omid Shekari, Ruben Natal San Miguel, Natalia Nakazawa and Victoria-Idongesit Udondian. The works exude a sense that the wider narrative diversity brings to the table creates a more intriguing contemporary art experience.

The Republic of Unknown Territory by Victoria-Idongesit Udondian for IN/FLUX

Visitors to this unique survey exhibition are greeted at the entrance by sounds of immigrants reflecting on their experiences as captured by Victoria-Idongesit Udondian for her installation, “The Republic of Unknown Territory.” Various articles of clothing are scattered throughout the space, suspended in hidden narratives that allude to both the absence and presence of their owners.

Engaged with the macro, rather than micro, elements of immigration, artist Natalia Nakazawa creates a map of woven threads manifesting the journeys that immigrants have taken to start new lives for themselves in their chosen homes. Denoting trade and travel along immigrant pathways, Nakazawa creates her works by incorporating participation into her process. Similarly engaged with fabrics and mixed materials, this work contrasts with Udondian’s installation in its bird’s-eye view of the effects which immigration exerts on an international scale.

Our Stories of Migration tapestry by Natalia Nakazawa for IN/FLUX

Ferreira’s pop-infused postcolonial drawings peel apart the layers of mythology and truth that comprise each immigrant’s personal history as well as society’s response to immigration. The colorful hues spanning intricate drawings in Ferreira’s works speak to an overarching, allegorical immigrant experience: a wider narrative that embraces aspects of varying sociopolitical relationships and international transportation.

Similarly engaged with maps, travel and transportation, Corina S. Alvarezdelugo’s collage works meld imagery unpacking the emotional weight of what lays near and far, subjects both intimate and remote.

David Rios Ferreira with his Drawings for the opening of IN/FLUX

 

Corina S. Alvarezdelugo’s Pangaea for IN/FLUX

On view at Pelham Art Center from September 20-November 2nd, “IN/FLUX” will host a variety of immigration-themed programming over the course of its time at the Center. These events include:

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba celebration with BombaYo! – Sunday, Sept. 22nd 2-4pm
Diwali the Hindu festival of lights – Sunday, Oct. 6th 2-4pm
Mexican Day of the Dead – Sunday, Oct. 27th 2-4pm
There will be additional performance art during ArtsFest weekend Oct. 4-6th

Jay Milder’s “Unblotting the Rainbow” Hosts Official Opening Sept 27

Friday, September 27th marks the grand opening celebration of painter Jay Milder’s formidable “Unblotting the Rainbow”, curated by Adam Zucker and on view at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum through Nov 10, 2019.

“Animistic Ark” (2015) Jay Milder

 

“Unblotting the Rainbow” marks a pivotal moment in Milder’s career: the painter, already a household name in Brazil, has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Casa de Mexico in Havana, Cuba in May 2020.

Born in Omaha, Milder exploded onto the scene alongside contemporaries Red Grooms and Claes Oldenberg, and his experimental approach to painting – focused through his intense reflections on spiritual mysticism – informing his changing artistic vision. At times abstract while adopting a scale of figurative elements over the years, the artist relies on elements such as Kabbalah and numerology to inform his compositions. A keen balance of formal qualities imbues his practice with a meditative presence. Works on view in “Unblotting the Rainbow” chart the artist’s continual progress from his roots as an emerging artist in the 1950s through today. As curator Adam Zucker notes, “(the exhibit) focus(es)…on his use of painterly Expressionism as a means to address physical and spiritual themes affecting the human condition. For Milder, it’s a return to exhibiting in Provincetown, a community that had a tremendous impact on his career.” The artist began an ongoing relationship with the Provincetown area in the late 1950s, maintaining links to the area and experiencing formative days and months learning from others in the close knit community. A homecoming of sorts for the artist, Milder continues to push artistic boundaries while maintaining his place as a premiere artist advancing American modern expressionism.

Noah’s Ark #1 (2002) Jay Milder


Along with an opening to the public on Friday, August 27 from 8 pm on, the artist will also be giving a talk on Sunday, August 29 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum from 1 pm. See the PAAM’s website for more details: https://www.paam.org/exhibitions/jay-milder-unblotting-the-rainbow/

Closing Party: Pat McCarthy’s NikNak’s City Cart @ ENTRANCE

by Mark Eisendrath

 

While remaining on view through August 11, Thursday August 8 marks the closing celebration for artist Pat McCarthy’s NikNak’s City Cart at ENTRANCE gallery, 48 Ludlow St. 

Works on view by Pat McCarthy on ENTRANCE gallery main floor, “Pages 1-9” (Xerox on paper, stainless steel)

From 6 pm on, the artist will be celebrating this body of work – influenced by Gordon Matta-Clark and the Rivington School – at ENTRANCE gallery, created in homage to the recent loss of his dachsund, Nik Nak (Naknikiya, or “hot dog” in Hebrew). This “hot dog” cart project also references the artist’s ongoing work with pigeons, merging the organic and the artificial in mixed-media, multidisciplinary constructions on view at the gallery’s upstairs and downstairs project space. The project itself has incorporated participatory art elements, with a final sculpture culminating from the various drawings contributed by participants outlining the monuments and edifices of New York City’s streets – a city that pigeons know all too well.

NikNak’s City Cart in situ in front of ENTRANCE

“…we’ll demolish the cart on the street and with the materials (the beautiful quilted stainless
steel) I’ll craft a model of the city, based on the community’s designs,” notes McCarthy. August 8th starting at 6 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to witness this new model of the City as transformed from the original presentation of the hot dog cart on the street in front of ENTRANCE. The artist himself will be on hand along with gallery directors to explain and walk guests through works on view as part of the project.

Views of NikNak’s City Cart transforming, ENTRANCE gallery (48 Ludlow)

NikNak’s City Cart evinces a type of experimentation and open source community participation that the Lower East Side has sorely been missing. Don’t skip out on a chance to witness the final sculpture marking the evolution of Pat McCarthy’s NikNak’s City Cart Thursday August 8th, 2019 from 6 pm and catch the full exhibit before its end on August 11th at ENTRANCE, 48 Ludlow Street!

 

Hurrah! For the Future of Public, Interactive Art

On view through May 22nd at the NYCxDESIGN Design Pavilion in Times Square, a public art initiative stands out from the pack. Created through a partnership between students at the Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland and the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute, the project – “Hurrah!” – marks a creative, innovative approach to US-Polish relations through public participation. “Hurrah!” consists of large-scale vertical tubes that form a public installation – a xylophone for visitors to interact with, that – upon visitors striking the sculpture in a percussive form – plays well-known Polish birthday and anniversary song, “Sto Lat.” The aesthetics of the public design initiative itself reference both the beauty of Polish landscape and the verticality of midtown Manhattan, where the project is situated.

Hurrah! installation shot, Design Pavilion, Strzeminski Academy x Pratt Institute for NYCxDESIGN

Polish Cultural Institute of New York Director Anna Domanska comments on the partnership of this endeavor, “The idea of the installation arose from reflections on how we could celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the USA and Poland in a way that would be interesting and inspiring today. We wanted to talk about the union of Poles and Americans, not by reviving history, but by establishing a new space for people from both countries to create together. We wanted to commemorate not only the material things expressed in this installation but also newly established relationships that may result in future projects. And, of course, we wanted to give people a moment of fun and joy in experimenting with an unusual art object.” The project welcomes a spirit of public participation and celebration, with the uplifting sounds of “Sto Lat” bringing visitors together to honor the long-lasting relationship that binds together the United States and Poland. Welcoming and joyful, this project speaks to the talented, rising stars of design studying both at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the Strzeminski Academy.

Artist rendering, Hurrah! for NYCxDESIGN Design Pavilion

 

 

The public art design project is on view at the Design Pavilion, NYCxDESIGN through May 22nd! The sculpture can be visited at the showcase which spans the pedestrian plazas between W 42nd-47th and bounded by Broadway and 7th Ave – “Hurrah!” is located within the Design Pavilion, and is sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C.

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!

Treat America Project a Refreshing Survey of Contemporary Artists Across the US

A camouflage-wrapped La-Z-Boy chair languishes on a fishing pier in Virginia. Rows of milk cartons line the refrigerated shelves in a Wisconsin grocery store. Views from across America feature in the photography which forms the basis of the migratory “Treat America Project”, a group exhibit curated by Jon Feinstein of Humble Arts Foundation and Jamie Martinez of The Border project space that features a single artist from each state across America. Featured on the @treatamericaproject Instagram page over the course of 2018, artists will have a chance to see their work shine in person at two spaces in New York City in 2019.

Treat America Project at Foley Gallery, Jan 9 through 13

 

Celebrating the diversity of the United States under a unified banner of creative artistic license, even during an era of stark political division, this wide range of artists – juried by Feinstein and Martinez – have translated their vision of their home states via compelling imagery featured on both the project’s Instagram page, Facebook page and website. The project makes good on its aim to bring art to the service of the greater good: each artist was invited to select a charitable organization, with a portion of proceeds of art print sales going to each cause. An exercise in contemporary art and goodwill, the Treat America project allows a window into this urgent hour of dialogue, exchange and creativity.

View of Oshkosh, Wisconsin for Treat America Project by artist Sherri Nienass Littlefield

 

The Treat America Project will be on view in New York City in two iterations: first at Foley Gallery, 59 Orchard Street NYC (Jan 9-13th, 2019) followed by an exhibit at OSNY Project Space, 417 W. 57th Street NYC (Feb 8-17th). The project is sponsored by Treat Gallery, an online exhibition initiative benefiting a wide array of emerging artists, businesses, communities and charitable organizations since its founding in 2016.

Works by Ruben Natal-San Miguel for Treat America Project, curated by Jamie Martinez and Jon Feinstein

 

Detail from image by Treat America Project artist for Tennessee, Kayla Caron

Feminist Perspectives: Impressions from Pulse Art Fair During Miami Art Week 2018

by Katie Hector

 

Slightly north of the beating heart of Miami Art Week, Pulse Art Fair – anchored at Indian Beach Park, as always – continues to keep art week feeling fresh! ANTE. toured Pulse to pick out the top presentations not-to-be-missed at the 2018 iteration of the fair, open through Dec 9.

NY FEM FACTORY image courtesy Jessica Yatrofsky

NY FEM FACTORY A Tree Grows at Pulse

What happens when a booth is really a tree? NY Fem Factory observed this alternative to a white cube space as an invitation for giving visitors a moment of rest and reflection along with a healthy dose of feminism with their project Pink Privacy. Neon signs created by artist Dana Caputo depict the venus symbol and hang like strange fruit from a sea grape tree. sprouting whimsically from the fair floor. The signs are visually striking and attract attention from across the South Tent, imploring viewers to come a little closer with enticingly soft pink light. Landline phones positioned on glass coffee tables at the base of the tree play pre-recorded voices reciting each individual’s experiences as women. When asked which came first, the tree or the installation, NY FEM FACTORY elaborated on the project. “Originally, we planned on receiving a space with walls where we could create an immersive installation,” observed NY FEM FACTORY artist Jessica Yatrofsky. Pink Privacy represents a cohesive collaboration featuring female-identifying artists who have created a safe space to connect, relate stories, and express creative impulses together as a community.

installation view of Mindy Solomon gallery courtesy the gallery

MINDY SOLOMON GALLERY Florida Vibes

Step into Gallerist Mindy Solomon’s bubbly and colorful world presentation (Booth N-102), which boasts a healthy collection of ceramics and paintings highlighting an innovative array of perspectives. Established in 2009, Mindy Solomon Gallery is palpably integrated into the fabric of the Florida art scene. Where some showings by NY-based galleries cram booths with gaudy saturated palettes, pop imagery, and shiny finishes, Solomon seems right at home on her own turf. As a practicing artist, educator, advocate and collector, Solomon views her gallery as an incubator for dynamic artists who are in the process of establishing their voices. Solomon’s genuine, trained eye seamlessly integrates male and female, national and international, emerging and even established artists all within one cohesive environment. Solomon deftly utilizes color as a unitifing factor as the great equalizer, incorporating a variety of perspectives and striking a balance between artwork, race, and gender. In a gallery world held increasingly more accountable for inclusion, striking a balance between artwork, race, and gender can be a contrived quota – not so at Solomon, who offers what I can only describe as pop sincerity and vibrant, celebratory diversity exuded through a balance of color and form.

Pulse PLAY installation view, courtesy Project for Empty Space

Pulse Play Project For Empty Space The Beauty of Violence

The Project for Empty Space (PES) activates their booth with Pulse Play, screening of video-based work showcasing the perspective five artists from various parts of the world who address the theme, “A Violence”. By relying upon an open call system, Project for Empty Space founders Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol democratize an artist’s chance at showing work during one of the highest profile art events of the year: Pulse Art Fair. By boldly representing video-based work within an art fair dominated by objects, PES upholds their mission to produce instances of social engagement, education, and dialogue through art in order to encourage systemic change and cultural tolerance.

This collection of videos include striking surreal images along with audio cues that reveal how universal the impact of violence is. “So much beauty is born from so much devastating pain. What was particularly important for us in this project was to exemplify a span of subjects that ranged from the personal to the public; it was significant to choose voices that engage in nuanced and complicated understandings of systemic violence and the fallout that comes with it,” noted PES co-directors Wahi and Jampol. Pulse Play offers viewers a moment of philosophical reflection through the storytelling of video and serves as an unexpected humanitarian respite from the fair frenzy.

Ann Lewis, One in Five image courtesy the artist

 

ANN LEWIS One in Five

From afar, Ann Lewis’s booth looks like a minimalist contemplation of space and light immediately conjuring references to the lineage artists such as Eva Hesse and Ruth Asawa. Get a little closer and the hanging garments reveal themselves to be underwear: twenty pieces of underwear, in total. A sharp pang of revulsion floods the body as one can’t help but notice a considerable number of the undergarments are soiled, stained, and ripped. This visceral reaction, a moment of disgust, is something Lewis employs in her work as a means of addressing the topic of rape culture in America. “I created this work during the Brock Turner hearings back in 2016,” Lewis explains. She goes on to explain that the title One in Five directly references a statistic published by the CDC that one in five women will experience sexual abuse in their lifetime. “I base many of my works on accessible data as to give the viewer unencumbered access to the facts of these issues through visual representations.” As a multi-disciplinary artist and activist, Lewis focuses on creating work in public spaces in order to address American identity, power structures, and social justice. Lewis’s work is visually and emotionally striking, yet pensive and refined standing as a powerful statement within the fast paced commercially driven environment.

Knot Expected: Elevating the Everyday with artist Windy Chien image courtesy Sunbrella

Knot Expected: Elevating the Every Day The Odd Couple

The pairing of artist Windy Chien and Sunbrella, an outdoor textile manufacturer, seems like a relatively unlikely duo to find  at Pulse. However this unexpected collaboration offered something that most highbrow commercial booths overlook: the importance of the human touch. For Chien, this is just the latest in a series of collaborative outlets that allow her to express her creative impulses. After stepping away from an executive position at Apple, Chien submerged herself in the ancient, nautical craft of knot making – learning a different knot each day for one year. Her  intense level of intrigue and dedication to a medium which is often only valued for its functionality caught the PR eye of Sunbrella. Large canvas bags containing small bundles of cords in neutral earth tones were positioned in the middle of the booth amidst an installation of various knot types the artist had created. “Would you like to tie a knot?” a Sunbrella representative asked, coaxing my curiosity with an invitation to touch. Within the setting of the art fair, a place that commercially epitomizes the artistic hand the intimacy of touch and the ability to encounter a material is a rare and meaningful experience. Chien’s desire to elevate the mundane knot and share the joy of textiles allowed for a less conceptual and more intimate moment of interaction and storytelling to take place in the most unlikeliest of settings.

Sustainable Art Sweeps Miami Art Week Courtesy Arcadia Earth

Miami Art Week is nothing if not overwhelming: a comprehensive survey of the contemporary art market on an international scale, there is something to distract and enthrall even the most casual visitor. For fans of fashion, fine art and sustainability, however, one exhibit is paramount: RE-THINK, the Arcadia Earth-curated project taking place at Istituto Marangon Miami (IMM). Featuring thrilling installations and immersive art experiences, RE-THINK is a fearless, vibrantly contemporary showcase of artists whose works demonstrate aspects of re-using, re-purposing and upcycling materials.

After a VIP opening December 3rd, the exhibit kicks off Dec 4th and will remain on view through December 16th at 3700 – 3740 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami, Florida. An exhaustive survey of artists including Tamara Kostianovsky, Cindy Roe, Samuelle Green, Etty Yaniv, and more work across recycling and conservation in partnership with Arcadia Earth, Oceanic Global and IMM. These organizations have joined powers in support of these artists to produce sweeping vistas of recycled paper in cave-like rooms and vibrant banquet tableaus crafted with upcycled objects.

Etty Yaniv’s SIRENS, part of RE-THINK

Etty Yaniv‘s installation, “SIRENS”, recreates an ocean wave out of plastics and fragments of artworks that deeply impact visitors to RE-THINK as to the overwhelming sense of the scale pollution plays in our planet’s oceans. Directly in conversation with nature while simultaneously referencing the power and impact of Hokusai’s graphic woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Yaniv produces a powerful composition simultaneously evoking the power of nature and the increasing amount of plastics and other trash and debris comprising the oceans. Created mainly of plastic remnants, for SIRENS at Arcadia Project in Miami Yaniv accentuates the push-and-pull drama extant between nature and man-made artifice, a complex co-existence which has resulted in unprecedented pollution of our oceans and rising sea levels. Balancing the organic and the artificial, Yaniv’s “SIRENS” provides a subtle yet impactful elegy to the power of the Earth’s oceans and our role in creating a new a natural environment, whether for better or for worse. In addition to “SIRENS”, nearby “Manifestation of the Paper Cave 2” by Samuelle Green and “Alchemy” Tamara Kostianovsky align with the exhibition themes of sustainability and environmental protection. Tamara Kostianovsky’s site-specific work  draws attention to the need to up-cycle everyday objects, and eyeing new means of regeneration and sustainability while Samuelle Green’s “cave” creates a visual dialogue with art forms present in the natural world. Overall, these environmentally friendly installations work as a cohesive whole, and are supplemented by mindful panels related to sustainability efforts which take place in the center of these massive art environments.

detail, SIRENS by Etty Yaniv for RE-THINK

Visit RE-THINK soon – before December 16, 2018 at 3700 – 3740 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami – to experience this limited time immersive exhibit thoughtfully highlighting environmental issues and the simple daily solutions available to create a more sustainable planet through augmented reality, experiential installations and curated educational talks and panels.

Installations by – Left to Right – Etty Yaniv, Samuelle Green and Tamara Kostianovsky

 

Installation by Samuelle Green