Previous month:
November 2009
Next month:
January 2010

December 2009

Deborah Rustin Cyr

Deborah rustin cyr 
Deborah Rustin Cyr had a tumultuous early adolescence, like the most of us. She was driven to photography and creative sewing and has been honing these skills for 40 years.

Cyr grew up in a small town of northern New England with a storytelling father and a raucously funny, creative mother and if she wasn’t making something she was making something up.
Today Cyr finds her inspiration in a diverse range of places, from New York’s Chinatown, to the back pages of gay-wear catalogues, to family photo albums and even to grandmother’s closet. Her raw materials are both original “found” pieces of cloth and fabrics that she prints herself using digitally manipulated photographs and illustrations.

These are cut, refigured and stitched until characters appear. Opposites are combined, characters are put into unfamiliar settings and scale is varied for no apparent reason. The end result is both funny and poignant.

Artist Statement

I pull my characters from the culture at large, my family and childhood, and from my dreams, waking and sleeping.

Life means fabric and color, creating tension in my work as I combine opposites, putting familiar images in unfamiliar settings, or on unexpected bodies, and varying scale for no apparent good reason.

Though some of my themes are quite dark I try to infuse even these with a touch of irreverent humor. It amuses me to take a traditional woman’s craft technique, sewing, and use it to make contemporary art.

I am honoured to take my place in the long line of women who have expressed themselves with thread.

Louise Bourgeois

Louise bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. She studied art at various schools there, including the Ecole du Louvre, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Léger. In 1938, she emigrated to the United States and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York.

Though her beginnings were as an engraver and painter, by the 1940s she had turned her attention to sculptural work, for which she is now recognized as a twentieth-century leader. Greatly influenced by the influx of European Surrealist artists who immigrated to the United States after World War II, Bourgeois’s early sculpture was composed of groupings of abstract and organic shapes, often carved from wood.

By the 1960s she began to execute her work in rubber, bronze, and stone, and the pieces themselves became larger, more referential to what has become the dominant theme of her work—her childhood. She has famously stated “My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama.” Deeply symbolic, her work uses her relationship with her parents and the role sexuality played in her early family life as a vocabulary in which to understand and remake that history. The anthropomorphic shapes her pieces take—the female and male bodies are continually referenced and remade—are charged with sexuality and innocence and the interplay between the two. Bourgeois’s work is in the collections of most major museums around the world.

Geoffrey Raymond

Geoffrey Raymond specializes in paintings of Wall Street and political icons such as former Bear Stearnes CEO Jimmy Cayne and former NYS governor Eliot Spitzer. Raymond is a painter and, one might also say, a street artist since he displays his work on the streets of New York in the financial district. He also engages audiences on the street to add their comments about these rogues in the borders and frame. Raymond even supplies the magic markers. Employees of the firms depicted get a different color so the casual observer can discern those comments from all the others. The comments around Cayne's portrait? "Shameful, just shameful". I agree.

Geoffrey Raymond Raymond also draws and paints other financial personalities such as CNBC's Maria Bartiromo as a saint. Hmmm. Here is a fascinating video of his process:

Here is a video of his process.

James and Karla Murray

James and Karla Murray are professional photographers and authors who specialize in urban and low-light photography using both film and digital formats. What I like about their work is that they catch an urban moment in time whether it is street art or storefronts. Their work aches with nostalgia on the one hand, and the graceful world of graffiti on the other.

Their latest body of work has been published in “STORE FRONT- The Disappearing Face of New York” (Gingko Press, November 2008). Prestel  published their book, “GRAFFITI MIAMI,”. They also have two best-selling, landmark books on New York City graffiti art, "Broken Windows-Graffiti NYC" (Gingko Press 2002) and "Burning New York" (Gingko Press 2006).

Recent exhibitions include the Brooklyn Historical Society in New York, "Counter/Culture-The Disappearing Face of Brooklyn's Storefronts." Their photographs have been exhibited at The New-York Historical Society in New York City and in galleries throughout the New York metropolitan area and Miami. Their work is housed in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington, D.C. and the New York Public Library. Their photographs and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Peel Magazine, Mass Appeal and Time Out New York. Past clients have included Altoids- The Curiously Strong Mints, Embedded Music artist Bisc1 and Mass Appeal Magazine. There is also a photographic installation currently on extended display in one of the famed art rooms at The Carlton Arms Hotel in New York City located at the corner of East 25th Street and 3rd Avenue. They live in New York City and Miami.

Joshua Zerangue

Joseph Zerangue's work addresses the concept of scale.  He likes to play with this idea of what things exceed scale. What subjects, miniscule or large, lose their spatial relevance? And what is gained lost in the translation of drawing them. These subjects are stuck in a constant state of liminality, existing but not truly comprehensible. He does not attempt to put these objects into perspective for the viewer.  Rather, his intentions are to create a confounding scale that evokes subjects that are both too large and small  to articulate their size.

Chris Roberts-Antieau

Those of us familiar with the cartoons of Roz Chast will greatly appreciate the beauty, with and wisdom of the artwork of Chris Roberts-Antieau. Chris is a self-taught artist from Manchester, Michigan whose fabric art is just like a Chast cartoon as a fabric painting.

To create her tapestries, Chris hunts through old five-and-dimes and country quilt shops to collect a palette of fabrics, cuts her designs freehand and finishes the detail with a sewing machine. Her limited-edition pieces are all under glass in hand-painted wood frames. Her work is featured in prestigious galleries, including the American Visionary Museum. Her work is uniquely wonderful, absolutely her own, and among the nation's best.

Chris Roberts-Antieau1  Chris Roberts-Antieau 2Chris' work can be seen at NYC's Red Truck Gallery.

Ross Bonfanti

Ross Bonfanti combines the disturbing, humorous and beautiful. Producing thought-provoking sculptures and paintings, he brings forth beauty in the humble and the unexpected. Many of his works use elements stemming from a variety of found and urban materials. Cement, wood, and metal, are combined with manufactured goods as diverse as toy parts and broken ceramic figurines.

Ross Bonfanti

Evelyn Hofer

Evelyn hofer
Evelyn Hofer was a passionate portrait photographer. She has photographed famous contemporaries and ordinary people in the Basque region, recently married couples and people on the street. But she can also waited patiently for hours until her frame contains no people at all. Then she added the pure beauty of the countryside or a venerable old building to a stark and timeless composition.

Throughout her long photographic career, Hofer has sought out both motion and stillness and has revealed each in the most diverse moments. Working with a cumbersome four- by five-inch viewfinder camera, Ms. Hofer (pronounced HOE-fer) photographed her subjects on location but favored carefully composed scenes with a still, timeless aura. A flawless technician, much sought after as a teacher by younger photographers, she searched, as she put it, for an “inside value, some interior respect” in the people she photographed, nearly always in black and white.

Her architectural photographs, too, seemed to eliminate the distractions of the here and now. The art critic Hilton Kramer, one of Ms. Hofer’s champions, praised her powers of “pure observation” and her dedication to form. “Somehow she manages to make of the visual rhythms of Manhattan architecture, both new and old, something as distant from the vulgarities of the workaday world as a design by Palladio — and something quite as elegant,” he wrote in a review of her photographs in “Manhattan Now,” a 1974 exhibition at the New-York Historical Society. Ms. Hofer’s studied approach — the gravity and stasis of her portraits owed much to the German photographer August Sander — put her at odds with the candid, on-the-fly photography of contemporaries like Robert Frank. She remained unrecognized by most critics and curators, and never received a museum show in the United States. In 1994 the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, presented a retrospective of her work, called “The Universal Eye.”