Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gifted Art

New Jersey based artist, Bob Matarangelo is this week's guest blogger for our Artist as Collector Series.

Over the years I have accumulated more than a fair share of artwork from students, friends and collaborators. Some were gifts, others purchased, and still others part of an exchange. Each holds a personal back story, in addition to its aesthetic qualities, so choosing one is never easy.

I have decided to post about an untitled diptych given to me by Ric Haynes from Quincy, Massachusetts. Ric was my best friend in graduate school as we matriculated towards our MFAs at Vermont College, both of us in middle age.

Ric's process incorporateds a thickly brushed application of oil paint leaving an impasto trail, like the frosting on a Wayne Thiebaud cake.  His characters are benign monsters lumbering through a barren pastel world, while captured in an iconic Robert Crumb gesture. Their draw lies in that tenuous space between comic and horror, like Grimm Brothers Fair Tales. They are loaded with personal references but their secrets are not easily accessed.  These images are the unique product of Ric's most inner creative being.  In fact, it is Ric we see hanging on the wall, but in a Shamanistic, shape shifting form.

Ric is also a poet, printmaker, watercolorist, and a very accomplished artbook maker, with his work in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Bob Matarangelo is an artist working in digital video, animation, painting and sculpture. He is also a teaching artist and has created and collaborated on many public murals in New Jersey.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Case You're Wondering

In case you're wondering...
A view of the space... we had a great turnout...
I pulled out my camera after most had left

How my  opening at Alfa Art Gallery went last Friday.... OR
How I find the different artists to participate in my weekly Artist as Collector Series, this post is for you.
My work hung at Alfa Art Gallery
as part of the New Brunswick Art Salon Fall 2012
It was exciting for me to see how my sculptures and the drawings created from the shadows of the nets informed and related to each other in the gallery space.  I received wonderful feedback and came away feeling energized to continue exploring this series of nets- how they hang and the shadow drawings and paintings.
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It was also so wonderful to see so many family and friends- many who I had not seen in years, and others who took a break from dealing with the recent implications and devastation from Sandy.

Ethan Sherman's work at Alfa Art Gallery

I also met new artists- one of whom, Ethan Sherman was last Sunday's guest blogger for my Artist as Collector Series.  Ethan's paintings remind me remotely of Howard Hodgkin's work of whom I am a huge fan. I love Ethan's use of materials, the surface and the paint and how there is a pared down approach to his work.

My husband Scott was really drawn to the work of Dion Hitchings so you may soon find a post about Dion's work in our collection!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back into the Sphere of Contemporary Culture

New Jersey based painter Ethan Sherman is this week's guest artist for our Artist as Collector Series.
Acrylic, oil and spray paint on wood
16" x 13"

I recently acquired "Smooth" by my good friend Nick Repasy at an art auction during an opening reception at the Mason Gross School of the Arts.  I have a cyclical understanding of it because I was present when Nick purchased the printed portrait on wood from a second hand store. The process of taking a painting that somebody else made, owned, sold (or donated), and then re-making it can be seen as an amalgamation of numerous contemporary and historical metaphors for society and culture as a whole. 

The artist began with a black and white image; a dated portrait of a youth and time long gone. Color is a primary "update" for nostalgic media and the soft grain of spray paint on the image is reminiscent of hand-colored photographs from the turn of the century.  When addressing a found object, in this case a finished painting, one runs the gamut of formal and symbolic ideas already present in the work. The haze initiates a divide between the figure, foreground and background while simultaneously placing all of the formal considerations of the work on the same plane. This brings the viewer to consider the textural application of the acrylic and oil paints and their formal or subjective qualities. Spray paint is the strongest medium that suggests a delinquent approach to painting and materials, especially when used to extenuate a stylistically classical portrait.

This work recycles a once relevant image back into the sphere of contemporary culture for digestion by an audience that is subject to an infinite amount of personal and social ideologies. 

The most interesting part of the work to me is its inherent simplicity. It now hangs in my studio. 
Ethan Sherman's work currently
at New Brunswick Art Salon Fall 2012
Alfa Art Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Immersed in Art

Immersed, 2011
Graphite, acrylic, spray paint and collage on paper
32" x 40"

I have been spending alot of time lately at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, and loving every minute of it.  After 7 weeks of intensive training, I conducted my evaluation tour last week for some of the staff members.  Based around the theme Sense of Place I selected 3 works from the galleries; Suntek Chung's 3 photographs from the Young Country Exhibition, Joe Girandola's Duct Tape drawing of Stonehenge, and Alison Stigora's Natural Forces installation.  Three very differnt ways of creating and constructing a sense of place, Chung's work examines identity and cultural stereotypes, Girandola constructs architectural and cultural icons in decay, and Stigora's installation transforms the gallery in an awe inspiring natural environment. All three are theatrical in a very different way.

Monday was the Guide Luncheon welcoming new and thanking veteran guides.  Pema Domingo- Barker, Director of Education at the Queens Museum of Art was the guest speaker.  I learned that Queens is the most culturally diverse population IN THE WORLD (did I hear that right?) and to reflect the population some amazing programs have been designed to integrate, educate, and support the community.

And tomorrow is Surviving the Art World: A Practical Approach, an opportunity to have work viewed by 5 or 6 different curators and get much needed feedback. I understand it will kind of be like "speed dating" as those of us who have signed up cycle through the various curators and take from it what we will.  I have prepared my power point presentation, my artist statement and updated my resume.  Should be very interesting... and hopefully, not too intimidating. But what the heck....

Have you every done anything like this? I'd love to hear about your experiences and what you came away with.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Year of Art in our Collections

It's a year this month since I began the Artist as Collector Series on this blog.  It is a great way to learn about new artists and see what inspires everyone. Personally, I am passionate about art. I love making it, being around it, and connecting with other artists and art lovers (if you are reading this, then count yourself among them.)  My home is filled with art- my own, friends', and work I have picked up in my travels, near and far.

Frida and milagros in Pegge Hopper's kitchen

This series is one way to share this passion, introduce people (myself included) to new art and new artists and see why and what makes someone want to have a piece of someone's work in their home or collection.

Many of the artists I knew and several I met through Alyson Stanfield's blog and workshops. Some were introduced by a guest blogger who wrote about a piece in their collection and then that artist became a guest blogger.  It's a great way to Pay it Forward, and a lot of fun along the way- kind of like Art Tag- and the best part, everyone wins!

Many of the selected pieces have been the work of teachers or mentors. Other's a student of theirs, or the work of a family member. A few have never met the artist whose work they wrote about but nonethless, felt a kinship.

The work has been purchased, traded, gifted or found. All are treasures.

I guess that's the point of all this... living with art inspires us, makes us feel happy, connected, joyful, and can reminds us of what it possible.
So if you have not contributed yet, please join in... and if you have, thank you for being a part of this.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Painterly Print: Monoprint Workshop

Here are some shots from my Painterly Print: Monoprint Workshop at Delaware College of Art & Design this past Sunday. The monoprint process is the most direct and spontaneous of methods of printmaking.  

Photos by Jessica Sturgis,
Director of Communications
Delaware College of Art and Design
A Creative Partnership of Pratt and the Corcoran

Working with a variety of textures the students experimented with color and process and enjoying fun surprises along the way.

Love these papers that one student brought from India.

Meeting new wonderful and creative people is always a bonus in a workshop

A workshop is a great way to make time for yourself!

Monoprints by DCAD student Joel Turner
The print on the left was the first run, printed on Rives BFK White,
the one on the right is the "ghost" print- we ran the plate through the
press a second time without adding any ink.
Printed on Rives BFK Buff.

Look for my Monoprint and Book Arts Workshop in the Winter Catalogue at Delaware College of Art & Design in their Continuing Ed Program.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just one of those things about Art!

Texas based artist, Cynthia Alderete is this week's guest blogger for the Artist as Collector Series.
Acid tint/ Lithograph
I first met Sydney Cross, a Professor at Clemson University, when I signed up for her workshop at Frogman’s Print Workshop at the University of South Dakota in 2000.
Failing terribly (4 tries with her assistants) at her Acid Tinting techniques, we finally gave up and laughed about it.    Just one of those things about art!

We became friends that year and and spend time catching up at various art conferences. We have also participated in many portfolio exchanges together. Brain Storm is one of my favorite pieces from one such portfolio.

Sydney still teaches at Clemson’s and offers workshops throughout the US. 

Cynthia Alderete is a fine artist, printmaker and educator who lives and works in the Hill Country outside of Austin, Texas.  Cynthia and I met at Santa Reparata Graphic Art Centre (now called the Santa Reparate International School of Art) in Florence, Italy many years ago.  There is something about printmakers and friendship that transcends time and miles!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stay Tuned

Lower Manhattan
Hurricane Sandy's Wrath
Hurricane Sandy is not responsible for the delay in today's Artist as Collector post... incompatible files, time zone changes and well, life is... so stay tuned tomorrow for Cynthia Alderete's post.