As I consider all the interesting local artists I have encountered lately, one in particular comes to mind. I ran into her last night at an event for the Woodstock Land Conservancy and so I would like to briefly speak of her work today.
Carla Shapiro lives and works in Chichester, NY. I was exposed to her through CPW in which she has been involved on a number of levels- she has received a fellowship in 2003 and most recently she was featured in Landscape Forever an exhibition curated by Dion Ogust. After meeting her several times and speaking to her about her passion for teaching, we decided to host a workshop in the summer of 2010 in which she will instruct called "Portraits: On location". This workshop will help students to get a creative portrait (for assignment or project) on a location in a short period of time. The class will visit a nursing home and each student will be assigned an individual to photograph. Carla has been photographing the aging body for many years so this location suits her well. I think this will be an incredibly informative workshop.
Carla's work is about connecting to the world around her on a deep and meaningful level. May it be people or places, her images demonstrate a compassion and understanding of the cycle of life. By using experimental techniques such as toy cameras, she is able to add a layer of mystique to her images and is able to express this warmth without the expected cliches. Carla's images are complicated and peaceful all at once- which is such a realistic viewpoint.
Take a look at Carla's website here to get a more comprehensive view of her work and have a Happy Sunday!
Don't judge a book by its cover- bla bla bla. Forget that! This book sold me with its cover. Colorful, whimsical and intriguing- I need it! Add Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage, 2009 (Art Institute of Chicago) to your booklist too.
This book has inspired an exhibition at the Metrapolitan Museum of Art in NYC until early May. See more images and read more about the exhibit here. I cannot wait to see it.
Copies of Playing with Pictures can be found at the Met store here.
Whitney Biennial 2010 is upon us and I would like to share the work of artist Curtis Mann, who will be featured this year.
Curtis Mann's work is so intriguing to me. It is my understanding that he uses found imagery and enlarges them to produce a new image. He then uses bleach to erase some of the image and essentially create a completely new one. For one of his projects he used images which originated at sites of conflict such as Gaza, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon etc. which were found on photo-sharing websites such as Flickr.
This process enables him to change the way in which we read and interpret these scenes. I see fragments of a place, of people and have to approach the image with my senses fully aware to decipher what it is I am looking at.
I was exposed to Curtis' work through Jen Bekman and bought a piece through the wonderful 20x200 print program (the image below). I was intrigued by the transformation these images had gone through. They seemed so personal- as if they originated from his own personal family photo collection- and when I found out they were not, I was very surprised.
See Curtis' perspective on art, life etc... on his blog featured here. Or check him out at the Whitney Biennial which is on view until May 30th.
Today's post is about Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard (Steidl & Partners, 2009). Did you know Walker collected postcards on his many travels? Even long before his photography became part of his professional life, he was building quite the inventory of the travel cards.
In the end he accumulated over 9000 cards. There was an exhibition at the Met last year highlighting some of the most interesting.
Buy the book here.
Challenge #1: So many artists, so few spaces to show work.
Challenge #2: Such a limited audience go to see art in person
Challenge #3: contemporary work is not always meant to be hung on white walls
Solution: alternative venues.
not such a new concept, but an exciting one none the less.
alt. spaces for exhibiting art has been explored as long as art has been made (non profits to coffee shops to sides of buildings etc...).
as artists, we have so many wonderful organizations accessible to us who are coming up with new and different ways to bring art to the people.
here a just a few examples of the many institutions, organizations, individuals and publications working to create new ways to get work out into the world and expand the
Humble Arts Foundation: is a non-profit organization that is committed to supporting and promoting the work of new art photographers. The New York-based nonprofit serves the international art community by way of exhibition and publishing opportunities, limited-edition print sales, twice–annual artists grants, and various special curatorial projects.
Founded in 2005 by amani olu and Jon Feinstein, Humble has been a pioneering hub for showcasing new fine art photography, and has served as a resource for collectors, galleries, museums, curators, photo editors, and bloggers internationally.
One of the many wonderful exhibitions affiliated with Humble is 31 Women in Photography at Affirmation Arts which is coming up in early March and is co-curated by Charlotte Cotton and Jon Feinstein.
Humble has a very open submission policy - worth checking out.
At each Slideluck Potshow event, the slideshow exhibition is preceded by a potluck-style dinner. Attendees bring food and drink, as the evening begins with two hours of dining on the home-cooked delights of the participants, while drinking and mingling. The potluck gives presenting artists and event attendees the opportunity to interact with each other in an informal atmosphere that encourages dialogue about the artwork to be exhibited.
Slideluck Potshow was founded by advertising and editorial photographer, Casey Kelbaugh, in 2000.
You can even find recipes for the potluck here.
Keep an eye out for Slideluck Potshow Woodstock coming July 17th!!!! Submissions will be due mid-June.
Visura Magazine: an on-line, invitation only magazine featuring personal projects selected by the artists. The goal of this magazine is to be true to the artist's voices.
A very passionate group of people run this online publication- and work very hard to keep each issue coming out.
Some artists featured in the latest issue #7 are Larry Fink, Donna Ferrato, Jeff Jacobson and many others.
Every issue includes a "Visura spotlight" which highlights a student or emerging photographer.
Since I was in high school, photographs depicting the cultural American landscape was something that intrigued me and Stephen Shore's work was very much a part of that genre. His unfiltered, comical, and poetic look at the 20th century landscape represented everything that i understood about the world. The most visible landscape photographic work, to me as a young person, was Ansel Adams...and his landscape pictures are lovely and in some circumstances they are even breathtaking- but they were not from the world I saw in front of me. I believed that there were more metaphorical layers to the landscape than I was seeing in the art historical context- and it was not until i was exposed to contemporary work like Shore- Owens- Sternfeld-Klett etc... that landscape photography truly began speak to me.
Shore has a really interesting history. He started making pictures so young and found an audience for them very quickly. As a young person he hung out with Warhol and took many images of that scene (see below). There are several beautiful portraits in this series but my favorites are the environmental portraits which show the factory in all its glory.
Warhol with 'Silver Clouds' in Factory
Black and white photograph
19 x 12 3/4 inches
edition of 8
all content copyright 303 Gallery, New York, 2010Stephen Shore's book Uncommon Places is in my opinion one of the most important photo book ever created. Mostly because it gave the next generation of artists the ok to creatively explore our society's cliches, contradictions, weirdness, sprawl and all the ugly that oozes to the surface of our landscape. It is not going to produce a perfect Ansel Adams- but it will create a new kind of beautiful. One that comes only with individual perspective and freedom. One that exists to explore instead of simply satisfy. Shore is like the Dean Moriarty of the art world- on the bus and ready to go.
Never have I considered the possibility of being able to make a living from my art. Truth be told, I still can not grasp that idea. People who are able to do that are amazing to me- or they have big trust funds- either/or, it seems far from my reach. Despite these feelings, I have been contemplating ways to make it happen for myself. I know that I am in love with what I do- and have been since I was 14 years old- and yet the concept of having a career as an artist is overwhelming to me. I know that in order to attempt it, you have to put yourself out in the world in the most vulnerable way possible. Sure, I am as stubborn as it gets but rejection is scary. And maybe that is just it- making a living in the arts but not through my art is safe. I get to be around what I love but I do not have to risk so much in order to do it.
Being part of the NYFA MARK program I am starting to learn about different strategies to succeeding as an artist. First, of course, you have to determine what success is for you. Harder question than you might realize. I ask myself it and I come up with a different answer every time. So many definitions of success run through my head: Being happy-supporting myself-getting gallery representation-exhibiting often-having a lot of studio time-etc....
I found out about the amazing story of Carmen Herrera through the reading material given to me through this program. She is one of those rare examples of someone whose passion for art finally paid off with "success". Not until she was in her 90's were her paintings "discovered" by the art world. Because the art world often focuses on the trends rather than art as a whole- her work did not find its relevance until recently (you can see one of her images above). She was supported by her husband for most of her life and was able to be a studio artist because as she put it, "she had to".
This story is almost too romantic for my taste, but i am inspired. Mostly, I am happy for Carmen who deserves to be recognized in this way.
You can view the NY Times picture slide show here.
i hope everyone is having a nice winter day- staying warm and being inspired.
The exciting news is Michael will be returning to teach in 2010 for a 3-day workshop called Blackening your Fingertips: Wet Plate Collodion! He is incredibly talented and is a great person to learn this unique process from. No question- it is hard work- but when you start making plates on the second day you will be so inspired.
Curious about who else might be teaching this summer? The schedule will be on-line in early March so sign up for CPW's email list to be notified. I promise- it is a killer line-up with new faces and class topics....
I may be busy today, but I am still excited about my sunday local artists ramble...
This ramble highlights the artist George Quasha who lives and works in Barrytown, NY. He is one of those rare and versatile artists who has mastered several creative mediums in order to express his point of view. His sculpture, video, 2D and written word all share a common language throughout Quasha's life work. It is the language of the uncertain- the spontaneous moment- the balance between control and chaos.
Along with his wife, Susan, he founded Station Hill Press, which has specialized in publishing art, poetry, and philosophy, with titles ranging from presentations of work by performance artist Gary Hill to novels by French thinker Maurice Blanchot.
View his website here for more info.
I discovered Quasha's sculptural rocks at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz around the time i returned tot he valley in 2007 (see sculpture image above). I was taken back by the balance he was able to construct. He had pushed these elements to the absolute farthest they could be pushed before collapse. What a beautiful metaphor for so many things in our world.
I then heard about this video piece:
From his website:
art is develops an open-ended video art work in portraiture that registers artists in the act of saying what art is. It is presented as a continuous series of speaking faces viewed up close, one at a time, with no overlaps or special effects, filmed “on site” under many circumstances. One unadorned face at a time fills the image area, and the image frame is contained within the face, thus reversing conventional portraiture. The framing effectively removes most social indicators (hair style, clothing, context, etc.). While many famous artists are included, they are mixed with lesser known ones. Identification of the artist is indicated only at the end of each "speaking portrait" in o rder to keep the viewer's attention focused on the act of saying what art is rather thank on the identity of the speaker.
A preview of his video piece "Art is: speaking portraits" can be seen here.
Quasha's work challenges his viewers to trust what we see and hear and feel-
he is a lovely representation of our valley.
all images are of work by George Quasha.
Imagine having a locally made farm fresh 5-course meal out in open, fresh air?
That is the mission of the wonderful group of chefs, community activists and foodies involved in the group: Outstanding in the Field.
Their wonderful blog, which can be viewed here, follows their travels and has great photographic documentation of the varied seating arrangements and meals prepared specially for each location.
Yes, I did say travels. Outstanding in the Field is nothing short of a rock band of foodies traveling the country and staging these elaborate local meals at different farms. When you sign up for a dinner (which is not cheap and is priced from $180-$200) you get a 5-course "family-style" meal with wine pairings, all gratuities, and a tour of the farm that the dinner is presented at. And, you cant forget the atmosphere. Included in your dinner is the rare and unique experience of eating out in the open, on the land where it all begins, where the seed is planted and life emerges...
It is mentioned on their website that this may not be suitable for people with food allergies.
Keep in mind-the dinners sell out. Their website indicates that sign-up begins on the first day of spring (so cute). If you need more direct info you can view their website here. And guess what kids...they even have a few NYC locations!!! Yumm!
No more I tell ya! I am back to being a blogging regular. And with that statement I bring back the "my sunday local artist ramble". In the name of Woodstock's Levon Helm (yes, from the Band), who produces his own ramble aka the Midnight Ramble, I will highlight on my blog Carbon Copy a local artist that I admire every Sunday- hence the name "my sunday local artist ramble". There are so many incredible artists residing in the Hudson Valley region and beyond- some of my past rambles have included the work by Craig Barber, Judy Pfaff, Tatana Kellner, and Laura Moriarty to name a few.
Now that the logistics and excuses have been ironed out, this sunday I would like to present the work of Albany-area artist Jeri Eisenberg.
I first saw Jeri's work in Woodstock at BMG Galerie. These out of focus views of corners and crevices of the landscape on large panels of Japanese paper and thinly coated in encaustic had immediately grabbed my attention. Their majestic quality and delicate nature made them easy on the eyes- yet the disrupted view made from the lens and the use of several panels to create one image forced something deeper and more emotional. They are dream-like and visually unclear- but they make sense and are reconstructed in my mind into a familiar view.
These fractions of a "view" equate to something more than themselves....
from Jeri's beautiful Artist Statement:
I feel no need to seek out grand vistas or exotic locales, majestic mountain ranges or rushing rivers. It's the common wooded landscape of my day to day life that captures my attention. Many of the images in my current work are from areas close to my home; others are from farther flung places, but places that I just happen to be for one prosaic reason or another. They are places that are generally more ordinary than spectacular.
By photographing the treed landscape with a purposefully oversized pinhole or a radically defocused lens, however, I capture it as it is not often seen. The images are firmly grounded in the natural world, a particular place, a particular season, a particular time. But by obscuring detail, only the strongest brush strokes emerge: the images become sketches with light, literally and figuratively. They tend to float between there and not there, to dissolve into abstraction and reconfigure themselves back into recognizable form.
I began this series when my father, then 83, started loosing both his sight and his memory. Strangely, the work has been comforting. Beauty, though fleeting and fragmentary, seems to console me.
You can also see Jeri's beautiful work at the Albany Center Gallery on view until Feb. 27 with 2 other artists. If you cannot make it out there, check out the Carrie Haddad Gallery or Galerie BMG website.