Digging Into the Interdisciplinary Practice of Roni Sherman Ramos

“I always think that my work speaks for itself, because I’m really a traditional painter.” -Roni Sherman Ramos

It’s morning, and shafts of light are pouring in through the windows of Ramos’ Brooklyn studio. Paintings on canvas jostle for attention with nearby works on paper, while ceramic works fill the remaning space. I carefully step through the space, afraid to awaken the spirits seemingly captured in Ramos’ elevated works: nighttime scenes – or are they abstractions with flecks of bright light winding through them? – share a wall with vibrant ochre red compositions that seem to leap for joy at being created. Ramos is studious – rarely a season goes by when she’s not pursuing professional development to deepen her understanding of her artistic practice. She is also reflective and thoughtful, ruminating on the painters and other interdisciplinary artists she has taken absorbed wisdom from. We spoke in November 2019 as she was celebrating the results of a recent trip to the kiln, diving into both her paintings – where her traditional roots lie as an artist – along with her work in the expanded field.

“Reflections” Roni Sherman Ramos, 36×36″ oil on linen

Roni Sherman Ramos: Even though my work is abstract, there are always elements viewers can understand…from a representational standpoint. People are always seeking familiar things in artworks – especially if they are abstract (works). I like to give viewers the freedom to find a mountain, or a face… before recently, I wasn’t even titling my work so that it could speak for itself. I’ve come to realize my work is rooted in nature and rooted in the land, and it has elements of land-driven [representation]… so I’m now calling these paintings abstract landscapes. Now, I’m embracing this impulse toward nature: it looks like nature to me, there’s no denying it.

ANTE. Mag: That’s a big leap!

RSR: Right, I’ve always tried to disguise this impulse before. I can deny it, and put lines through it or..

AM: …cover it in markings or…

RSR: …right or cover these in markings, or disguise it. But it remains. My process is a process of destroying, and re-inventing and resurrecting, as Amy Sillman says. I work in layers – sanding, scraping, destroying and then building [the work] up again and finding things from the past that rise to the surface, then making new marks.  What I strive toward is making sure there are a variety of marks: places where the eye can rest, and places where color leads the eye…agitation is present on other areas of the canvas. Tension and relationships are built through marks across the canvas. I include impasto as well in my works.  There’s always contrast – my work includes defined shapes and diffused shapes. Textures are also very important to me.

“Earth Wind Fire” Roni Sherman Ramos, 24×18″ oil on linen

AM: Can you walk us through your process? Some of the recent works from this Fall have almost an action-painting sensibility, showing brushstrokes and emblazoned areas of texture and scratches…

RSR: Marks and mark-making are both important parts of my practice. Texture as I mentioned is very important. I also love the work of Jackie Saccoccio, I’m a fan of her paint-drip heavy style and sometimes incorporate a similar sensibility but not always.

AM: Is there a new direction you’ve embarked on lately in your work? 

RSR: Lately with my oil paints I’ve incorporated using a heat gun into my process, using the heat gun on the freshly painted coat of oil on linen and exposing a bit of the layers below. This adds areas that build that feeling of agitation, I’ve learned to be careful when I use it as it takes a light touch.

AM: Is this the first time you’ve used the heat gun in your process?

RSR: I’ve used it before to dry water-based mediums, but this is the first time I’ve used it in my oils.

AM: Tell us about the works we are seeing here (featured in this article): are these all recent works? Say from the past two years?

RSR: These are all recent works, but honestly my paintings take a long time to make. Often I think I have control over the process, but eventually I realize the process has control over me. This is just what happens organically: you don’t always know what will happen or how you’ll do something that you’ll like

AM: So is this freeing for you or is it nerve wracking?

RSR: I like the serendipity of it, to a certain degree. Sometimes it’s disappointing but that’s ok, I know I can keep on going but it can take months until I see what I like. I always have more than one work in progress at any given time.

-ANTE. Mag

 

Damien Davis Empowers Discourse at LatchKey Gallery’s UNTITLED (Booth A7)

Foregrounding the artist’s upcoming pivotal show with the enduring, emblematic Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, NY, “Collapse: Black Wall Street Study” by Damien Davis marks the artist’s inaugural solo showing with LatchKey Gallery at UNTITLED (Miami Beach – Beach @ 12th) and a powerful investigation of materiality and conceptual rigor. The artist’s research-based practice upends conventional understandings of African-American history, revealing the narratives commonly buried under the surface. “Collapse: Black Wall Street Study” is on view for the duration of UNTITLED at Booth A7 (Dec 4-8, 2019.)

 

Above details from Damien Davis’ “Pre-Check (Blackamoors Collage #280)” Laser-cut plexiglas and stainless steel hardware, 14x10x2″

Davis’ works embrace a keen grasp of formal composition, embedding careful details into meticulously cut plexiglas shapes attached using metal fasteners. These industrial materials allude to the lexicon of labor intrinsically tied into entrenched views of African-American history, outmoded means of regarding black Americans still haunting our contemporary society. Davis draws from a pared-down color palette and specific, enduring iconography intrinsic to both the Black and Southern vernaculars – images that question where these two identities overlap, as well as their points of divergence. Davis himself speaks of discrete images – separate and distinct – that define his installations, drawing each element into conversation with an overarching whole, yet making distinct boundaries palpable for these works on view at UNTITLED – and later the Weeksville site.

LatchKey Gallery presents this new series by Damien Davis which visually investigates the murder of a minimum of three hundred black residents of Greenwood, Oklahoma in the early 1920s. As we near the hundredth anniversary of this massacre, COLLAPSE: Black Wall Street Study seeks to create new means of entering into a dialogue on the progress that has (or has not) been made with regards to civil rights, representation, visibility, and reparations for descendants of former slaves. Davis does not shy away from the tough conversations, yet invites others to respond authentically and inquisitively to his work. The artist will host an on-site activation of his work every day during the UNTITLED show hours at 4 pm exactly, while the artist will be in conversation with curators Natalya Mills and Larry Ossei-Mensah on Dec 6 at 2 pm.

Damien Davis, “Muddy (Blackamoors Collage #301″ Laser-cut plexiglas and stainless steel hardware, 12.5x10x2”

Damien Davis is a Brooklyn-based artist. Born in Crowley, LA and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Davis centers his practice in historical representations of blackness by unpacking the visual language of various cultures. The artist investigates how these societies code and decode representations of race through craft, design and digital modes of production. Davis has shown at The Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, and Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling among others. He has also presented solo exhibitions in Philadelphia and Seattle, as well as Reading Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia, and his work has been included in group exhibitions across the US as well as in Hiroshima, Japan and Florence, Italy.

 

Damien Davis, “Homegoing Letters (Blackamoors Collage #282″ Laser-cut plexiglas and stainless steel hardware, 10.5×12.5×2”

For further information, please contact Amanda Uribe or Natalie Kates at info@latchkeygallery.com.

 

The Oracle Alights: New Visions from Julia Sinelnikova at Miami’s Satellite Art Fair

Disorienting twinkling lights move through sinuous sculptural forms. Sparkling silver surfaces spin, bouncing beams of light in patterns like a disco ball.
The Oracle (AKA Julia Sinelnikova) always has new adventures in wait for visitors encountering her newest holographic sculptures, and this Dec 4-8 at Satellite Art Show Miami event will be no different. Installations and performances will supplement brand new hand-cut holographic sculptures, on view in The Oracle’s Satellite Art Show in Miami, Florida.
Julia Sinelnikova AKA the Oracle at Satellite Art Show Brooklyn

Coming off the heels of a successful presentation at Satellite Art Show in Brooklyn, NY – Sinelnikova’s installation images made the cover page of Artnet and was listed as a top NYC art event – the next phase of the artist’s sculptures will take viewers on a mystical multi-dimensional adventure. Taking cues from her existing Fairy Organ series along with her recent “Sky Shard” installation in Gilbertsville, NY, The Oracle creates new pathways of holographic art experiences for visitors to Satellite Art Show Miami, unleashing unique new experiences for those encountering Sinelnikova’s work for the first time or for the fiftieth time.

 

Julia Sinelnikova AKA the Oracle at Satellite Art Show Brooklyn
Outdoor sculpture “Sky Shard” (45ft x 15ft x 18ft) photos by Thomas Stuart Hall. On permanent view at Gilbertsville Expressive Movement NY.

The Oracle’s sculptures have been exhibited at Satellite Art Show along with upstate NY, Lazy Susan Gallery in lower Manhattan, and in Brooklyn sponsored by the NYC Parks Dept. Her work engages with the female sorceress and the feminine gaze within the framework of the cyber anime dreamscapes. Sinelnikova’s practices engages with escapist tendencies in AR/VR and her immersive contemporary art installations hold different meanings for every visitor: a place of dreams, hallucination and fulfillment.

Holographic Sculpture from The Oracle’s “Fairy Organ” series
2019 portrait of The Oracle by Yvette Tang at the artist’s studio

 

On view Dec 4-8, 2019 in Miami, FL at Satellite Art Show (2210 North Miami Court), The Oracle’s next holographic sculptures, installations and performances are a must-see for Miami-bound art lovers!

AHA Fine Art Brings Bold Forms to CONTEXT Miami

Embracing a range of artistic mediums, from sculpture and tapestry to painting and mixed media, AHA Fine Art’s Booth C8 at Miami’s CONTEXT art fair holds promise as a bright spot in the firmament of Miami Art Week. On view from Dec 3-8, 2019, CONTEXT is located in downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay and features art dealers displaying work by promising contemporary artists. AHA Fine Art will feature nine artists whose style spans a wide range of mediums and conceptual approaches, bringing together Vincent Arcilesi, Alex Callender, John Defeo, Jen Dwyer, India Evans, Rachel Grobstein, Nola Romano, Arlene Rush and Andrea von Bujdoss.

Rachel Grobstein and Jen Dwyer mine the existing visual language of sculpture ranging from vernacular to Neoclassical. Grobstein’s sculptures incorporate everyday objects at miniature scale, inviting visitors to intimately experience these presumed precious objects. Her carefully encyclopedic approach gestures toward the archival styles of Camille Henrot, among others, while maintaing a distinct aesthetic. Dwyer’s boundary-pushing artwork advances contemporary ceramics at the crossroads of ancient and modern, Orient and Occident. The artist recently completed her MFA, and has pursued various opportunities to study ceramics in China, Vermont and Upstate New York – all of which have steered and developed her work, which exudes a sophisticated yet subversive approach.

“Roadside Memorial”, Rachel Grobstein, on view at AHA Fine Art Booth C8 – Context Art Miami
“Venus Vase”, Jen Dwyer, on view at AHA Fine Art Booth C8 – Context Art Miami

 

Arlene Rush (featured photo) also approaches her practice with a subversive, conceptual mindset. The interdisciplinary artist dives into a treasure trove of kitsch and classical elements for her installation work, which both criticizes and soberly comments on contemporary economic and social values, inviting visitors to form their own opinions on the meanings inherent to systems which govern us.

At CONTEXT, AHA Fine Art also presents paintings by landscape and figurative artists that present something for everyone: lovers of fresh, contemporary color and classic, clean line. Alex Callender’s paintings invite wonder and dreamy speculation, embracing classical figuration and engulfing them in bright pastel shades. Her work combines beauty and critical art historical studies. John Defeo’s neo-impressionist landscapes present figures in moody environs, while the powerful scale of Vincent Arcilesi’s landscape paintings evince a technical precision carefully balanced with a harmony of line and color.

“Untitled – Yellow” Alex Callender, on view at AHA Fine Art Booth C8 – Context Art Miami
“Trees of Charlevoix”, Vincent Arcilesi, on view at AHA Fine Art Booth C8 – Context Art Miami
“Nightswimming”, John Defeo, on view at AHA Fine Art Booth C8 – Context Art Miami

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the diverse range of artworks on view at AHA Fine Art’s C8 booth at CONTEXT Art Miami. On view December 3-8, 2019 in downtown Miami, the fair offers a view onto artists on the rise today – and AHA Fine Art presents some of the most talented rising voices on the art scene today.

Life Living Life Photography Exhibit, In the Giving Spirit, Supports Ghana Make a Difference

With an opening reception held on Tuesday, Nov 26 from 6:30-9 pm, “Life Living Life,” will debut exhilirating international photography by father-son duo Dr. Alan Sloyer and Michael Sloyer. The pop-up exhibit, located at 498 Broome Street, will be open for visitors from 10am to 7pm daily and features photography for sale, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting international nonprofit Ghana Make a Difference. 
Please RSVP to attend the opening evening festivities on Tuesday, Nov 26 from 6:30-9 pm, featuring sriking photography, music, and refreshments provided by Wine Dog Imports and Four Fox Saké.  This is the artists’ premiere dual exhibition in New York City, with photographs on view reflecting the rich diversity of human culture and natural environments in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and beyond.
Above/Below: Snowfall (New York City) by Michael Sloyer and Lavender Fields (France) by Alan Sloyer both on view for “Life Living Life”, Nov 26-Dec 8 at 498 Broome

Emphasizing the indigenous beauty scattered the world over, the Sloyers reveal the stunning links between disparate cities, regions and continents in quiet moments of contemplation. These compelling photographs delicately weave together the narratives that form everyday life for residents of diverse areas of the globe.”Life Living Life” is the rare exhibit which celebrates our communal unity and diversity through the medium of photography.

Michael Sloyer is a Tokyo and New York-based photographer dedicated to making the world a better place through his photography. By capturing humanity and the natural environment through a fuller range of available light, Sloyer’s photographs provide insight into the emotional essence distilled in the moment. These considerations elevate the viewer’s experience from simple observation to a more sensual and introspective reflection. Michael also takes great interest in spontaneous street portraiture. From stoop-sitting elders in Old Havana, to shoemakers in the bazaars of Istanbul and children running through the streets of Old Delhi, Michael seeks to capture “life living life.”

Dr. Alan Sloyer is an award-winning, New York-based photographer who specializes in travel, landscape, and street photography. Alan took up traveling early, and his parents always preached that “travel is the best education.” Alan’s photos have appeared in many publications including the New York Times, New England Journal of Medicine, Chronos, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Shutterbug Magazine. One of his photos was also selected by Nikon for its holiday card for North and South America. Alan has been fortunate to travel around the world to unique destinations and has experienced adventures in more than 70 countries

Above/Below: Cistern Basilica (Istanbul) and Commuter Train (Sri Lanka) by Michael Sloyer both on view for “Life Living Life”, Nov 26-Dec 8 at 498 Broome

On view from Nov 26 – Dec 8, 2019, “Life Living Life” is an exhibit that captures the beauty latent in both the everyday and the exotic – all in the name of benefiting those in Ghana who are most in need. Come to the opening reception on Nov 26 at 498 Broome Street from 6:30-9 pm to witness this stunning survey of humanity in person!

Ghana Make a Difference (GMAD) is a US registered 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to sustainably improving the lives of the children of Ghana by providing shelter, job training, education, and medical care. GMAD’s philosophy is centered around preserving families and providing a path to self-reliance for the people it serves.

Phos Hilaron Brings a New Religion to the Heartland

On first impression, Ventiko’s Phos Hilaron: From the Masses Rise the Saints installation transports visitors to an altered state of Indiana. On view at Schwitzer Gallery, CCIC, 1125 East Brookside Avenue, Indianapolis, IN through November 29, the project draws from religious source imagery to transport viewers to an art experience for the masses. 

Phos Hilaron Altar View: Installation View at Schwitzer Gallery, CCIC, Indianapolis, IN
Phos Hilaron Altar View: Installation View at Schwitzer Gallery, CCIC, Indianapolis, IN

Corn hangs suspended from the ceiling, forcing the viewer through – all the while upending expectations the viewer may have of Indiana and its people. Once through the corn, the viewer is confronted with a scene reminiscent of a sacred Roman Catholic grotto. Candles are arranged delicately on an altar, draped with dark velvet and gold trim, and sacred relics used in the photographs on the same candles are displayed alongside them. As Santa Geri Berry, the Patron Saint of Inquiring Minds notes, “transported through the lines upside-down corn stalks and feeling immersed in them reinforced associations with the harvest, suggesting a very different sort of sacred realm, just as the Saints are very different from any usual idea of a Saint and a very different image of people from Indiana. I couldn’t help making a connection with Sukkot; it was like an altar in a Sukkah: a bringing together of a Jewish space with a Catholic type practice.” 

The references are intentional. Ventiko, the artist who organized Phos Hilaron for this Indianapolis iteration of the project, grew up Jewish in Indianapolis and first made a Sukkah out of corn stalks with her temple youth group when she was in high school. Returning to Indianapolis to expand upon Phos Hilaron: From the Masses Rise the Saints, this iteration focuses not just on the beauty of difference and individuality, but emphasizes homogeneity is not harmony: rather, that harmony is respect and inclusion of all. (The first iteration debuted at Chinatown Soup in Manhattan during the first 100 days of the Trump administration and featured a cross section of 100 urban creatives.) Over a four week period Ventiko photographed 59 ‘Saints’ from Indianapolis in intimately customized sets, helping them visualize their ‘Saint’ concept. The entire project was a collaboration between the artist and the Saint. The mythology of the Saint and the vision of the artist culminated in the installation, and also resulted a more intimate piece: a book. Organizing artist Ventiko reflects on her gratitude that so many creatives were excited to participate in this version of the project. “I am grateful to have been blessed by the beauty and power of so many wonderful Saints,” reflects the artist.

 

Artists who participated in the project have expressed the impact of their encounters with the artist as she was setting up the project. Santa Akilah, The Patron Saint of Patience, remarked, “When I first went to the photo shoot I didn’t know what to expect. As soon she started taking pictures I felt so comfortable and safe. She was able to capture my inner goddess in the picture.” Ventiko herself comments on this process of photographing her “Patron Saints”: “I see myself as a catalyst for the exaltation of the beauty of difference and elevation of the preciousness of individuality rather than one constructing or constricting the identity of any ‘Saint’ or person. It is a respect for difference, including freedom of thought, as well as idiosyncrasies that will ultimately lead to the unification of the human race and foster in a time when we all can work towards solving our global crises rather than consistently focusing on pettiness and being manipulated by propaganda.”

The project is successful on many levels, as reflected in these personal and meaningful reflections from participants. By opening up new avenues of communications for creatives in the Heartland, Phos Hilaron functions as a grassroots confirmation of the talent present in the vibrant city of Indianapolis. Bringing community together and thwarting expectations that outsiders may have of the area captures the double success of both re-affirming and introducing local talent to each other and to a wider audience.  “From day one, I knew this cutting edge, contemporary photography installation would take Indianapolis by storm. After hearing the various layers Phos Hilaron presented in NY and adding special dimensions for the Indianapolis chapter, I envisioned a communal based project that would uplift an entire state,” remarks Tony Quintana, The Patron Saint of Growth. Others including curator Maria Behringer have commented on the measure of warmth and acceptance this project has brought into their life. “Ventiko’s concept of community and inclusivity surrounding her Phos Hilaron project is exactly why we wanted to collaborate and bring her exhibition to Indianapolis. Her strong work ethic and creative process can easily be seen through her photography and the final Altar itself. We completely trusted her vision through the entire process. We are extremely grateful to have collaborated with her.”

Patron Saint of Inquiring Minds, Santa Geri Beri, part of Phos Hilaron on view in Indianapolis, IN

To make this project a reality Ventiko collaborated with the Indianapolis-based curators Quintana-Behringer. Ventiko’s studio was in the CCIC building (https://circlecityind.com/), a creative hub in downtown Indianapolis where Quintana-Behringer are located. Santo Aaron, The Patron Saint of Technodeath describes working with Ventiko: “It was serendipity how we met. The chance encounter of coming into a space and meeting another creative that was on the hustle and making something huge and fantastic honestly inspired us at Soundspace to do better. Instead of this being an empty office having Ventiko here made it feel more like a home.” Two weeks into the project Soundspace (https://sndspc.com/) moved in to share the space which is Soundspace Beta and soul connections flourished. Ventiko looks forward to expanding the exhibition to London in 2020 as there are many more Saints to canonize their, bringing the project to a new community ready to embrace their inner Sainthood. 

 

 

 

Excitement Mounts for Pelham Art Center’s Studio Café on November 16, 2019

Saturday, November 16 marks an exciting day for guests to Pelham Art Center: the center’s annual Fall fundraiser, Studio Café, offers a smorgasbord of wonderful activities for attendees. From 7 pm on, Pelham Art Center (155 Fifth Ave, Pelham, NY) will play host to delightful artists, musicians, local food + drink treats and even the launch of new exhibit: “Collectibles”, featuring works priced to sell at under $2500 by artists Laurence Belotti, Capucine Bourcart, Alvin Clayton,  Bob Clyatt, Mayuko Fujino, Maizianne, RC Hagans, Eileen Karakashian, Doug Newton and Alexis Trice. Studio Café offers a chance for visitors to experience all that Pelham Art Center has to offer while supporting the center’s education and community programs. With general admission (entry from 7 pm) available for a reasonable $95 and VIP advance 6 pm entry priced at $145, your ticket to arts access is on sale now. An online auction – live now! – also offers the opportunity to secure limited editions and unique works by distinguished artists with all proceeds benefiting the Center.

Auction artwork available for purchase by artist Ann Lewis – Proceeds support Pelham Art Center

Community members come together around the meaningful art experiences offered by the Pelham Art Center for this fundraiser event, with event co-chairs Michelle Acosta and Julie Cepler leading the way! Live art demos will be helmed by notable teaching artists Donna Ross and Frank Guida, with live music by jazz musicians Dan Haedicke (DH4 Music) and vocalist Sarah Rayani. Later in the evening, DJ Lightbolt (aka renowned artist Nicky Enright) will bring guests to their feet with some fun and funky beats.

 

Artwork by notable artists such as Ruben Natal San Miguel, whose work will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, is included alongside other established artists Shepard Fairey, Ann Lewis, Kate Fauvell, Katy Garry, David Kramer and more in this exclusive Fall fundraiser auction.

 

In addition to the fundraiser’s impressive auction offerings, special 1’x1′ $250 artworks specially made for the event by distinguished artists Arlene Rush, Susan Saas, Kate Fauvell, Charlotte Mouquin, Gabriel Shuldiner and more will be available exclusively to event attendees. Craft brew will be provided by Wolf + Warrior and delicious culinary treats by Caffe Regatta, Canita Lobos, Elia Taverna, Manor Market, Pelham Pizza, Rockwells, and many more. What are you waiting for?  Tickets available now for this exclusive annual event.

 

Auction artwork available for purchase by artist Christina Massey – Proceeds support Pelham Art Center