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Artists G-L

LA2

LA2-paintingBorn and raised in the Lower East Side, Angel Ortiz (also known as LA2), like so many other kids would write on his desks and chairs in school. When his mother put him in the NYC Boys Club, which he loved because of the access to a swimming pool. His friends at the Boys Club were already tagging up in the streets, buses and sanitation trucks when asked him to join them in using the streets as their canvas. After that, Ortiz was tagging non-stop. He became the King of the buses and sanitation trucks. His tags were everywhere, At the age of 14, Ortiz met Keith Haring, an artist from Reading ,PA. Haring was attending The School of Visual Arts and had a studio in the Lower East Side (The Rat Studio). Of all the tags he saw around the city, the "The LA2 tag" stood out to him. He asked around to see if anyone knew whose tag it was and looked for Angel for months before they were finally introduced at Junior High School 22. Here, Haring and other graffiti artists were creating a mural. He asked if anyone knew LA2, to which SOE, Angel's friend responded and said, "I can get him for you." He went to Angel 's house, told him there is a guy with funny shorts and glasses asking for him. When he skeptically went over to the school, Haring could not believe Angel was a kid! They got along right away and loved learning from each other. Ortiz showed Haring some markers tricks- Keith did not know too much about markers, but he was the King with the brushes. It was as if they had always known each other.

Their first collaboration was that first day on a taxi hood in The Rat Studio. LA2 added his tags and crew names and asked Keith if he could add squiggly lines to add energy.  Two weeks later, Haring called Ortiz and told him he had sold the piece and he wanted to collaborate with him.  Tony Shafrazi gave him his first show with their collaborations in the Fluorescent Room.  Keith Haring then asked his mother's permission to take Angel traveling. He wrote a letter to his teacher and at the age of 15 he was exhibiting in Europe. Through Haring, Ortiz met art icons like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton. They exhibited for almost seven years, but continued collaborating till Keith's passing in 1991. 

 

Angel Ortiz lives in NYC and is still creating and exhibiting world wide.  LA2 HAS done work for various museums and programs, such as the Children's Museum of Arts, the Children's Museum of East End, Apple Village Arts and the Renaissance Charter School.  

 

He believes meeting Keith Haring was a blessing for both.  Humbled to this day that it was his tag that caught Keith's eye.


Philip Guston

Philip gustonPhilip Guston ('ust' pronounced like "rust"), born Phillip Goldstein (June 27, 1913 – June 7, 1980), was a Canadian American painter, printmaker, muralist and draughtsman. Early in his five decade career, muralist David Siquieros described him as one of "the most promising painters in either the US or Mexico,"[1] in reference to his antifascist fresco The Struggle Against Terror, which "includes the hooded figures that became a lifelong symbol of bigotry for the artist."[2] "Guston worked in a number of artistic modes, from Renaissance-inspired figuration to formally accomplished abstraction,"[3] and is now regarded one of the "most important, powerful, and influential American painters of the last 100 years."[4] He also frequently depicted racism, antisemitism, fascism and American identity, as well as, especially in his later most cartoonish and mocking work, the banality of evil. In 2013, Guston's painting To Fellini set an auction record at Christie's when it sold for $25.8 million.[5]


Judith Gale

Judith GaleJudith Gale’s artistic drive is inspired by nature, particularly marine life. Her fascination with the complex intricacies and the plethora of shapes and colors found in living things generate her paintings. By enlarging these unique elements of nature on canvas, she aspires to capture peoples’ awareness and appreciation of these spectacular wonders. She hopes her artwork helps to draw the tranquility of the ocean to the world above.

Judith has been actively working with the Molluscan Science Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Maryland focused on the study of mollusks and the preservation of coral reefs. She has been involved in distributing educational material to school aged children all over the world. She hopes that by introducing seashells to children, they will grow to love and value our oceans and help protect them.

This work with seashells shaped her art and influenced the themes of her paintings and photography. A portion of her proceeds are donated to this foundation. Judith Gale grew up in Maryland and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC.


Robert Guillot

Robert-Guillot_-installation-view-4-720x960Robert Guillot is a sculptor with a surrealist edge. His enchantingly odd shapes and forms are enigmatic, enveloping a figurative, bodily essence while drifting into curious abstraction. The collective placement and presentation of these objects creates a specific terrain, a nimbly morphing landscape of accumulated parts. In speaking of his process, Guillot states: “Things arranged, again and again, over and under and in between. Together they create a visual rhythm, and this rhythm is EVERYTHING.”

Robert Guillot was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1953. He studied at the Memphis College of Art and received his MFA at Yale University. Guillot’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Sideshow Gallery (Brooklyn); Jack Shainman Gallery (New York); Magasin 3 (Stockholm, Sweden); and The Stedelijk Museum (Netherlands). Guillot is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1981) and a Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship (1992). Past residencies included Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  Guillot’s work has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, Artforum, The Yale Architecture Journal, The New York Times and The Village Voice.


Janice Jakielski

IMG_4491 IMG_4491 IMG_4491 IMG_4491Janice Jakielski is an artist that transcends her medium of clay. Her porcelain work looks almost like paper using industrial casting methods to create paper-thin sheets of porcelain that she layers, folds and curls to re-imagine historic vessels.

"I create objects of curiosity; beautiful objects to provide focus, retreat and pause in an overwhelming world. Through the use of meticulous detail, familiar forms and uncertain function I coax my audience to draw near, closing the physical gap between viewer and object. In this way the details of my workmanship and the excessive fragility of the porcelain act as a whisper, flirtatiously demanding investigation.

This work began from a place of material exploration. I adapt and re-invent ceramic engineering processes and materials for application in the studio. This experimental approach to ceramics allows me to circumvent the constraints of a conventional clay body. By inventing a new way of casting and manipulating ultra-thin porcelain sheets I am able to create impossible objects. Cut, veneered, twirled and slotted my vessels have a material ambiguity that brings the viewer to a place of sensory uncertainty.

My pieces are inspired by iconic historic vessels. I do not replicate these objects but instead re-imagine them in ways not feasible using traditional ceramics. By removing the interior volume I am able to contemplate these forms divorced from function. They are vessels without voids, containers without containment. I use planes to playfully define, dissect and divide the spaces that they inhabit."

Janice Jakielski was born in a small farm town in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. Jakielski received her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor in Fine Arts from New York State College of Ceramic Art and Design at Alfred University. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally including the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, Houston, TX, The Society of Art and Craft, Boston, MA, Cross MacKenzie Gallery, Washington DC and Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR. Jakielski has participated in numerous residencies such as the Archie Bray Foundation, Roswell Artist in Residency, Djerassi and Millay Colony for the Arts. She is a recent recipient of a 2019 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship. Jakielski currently teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has a studio, laboratory and apiary in Sutton, MA.

 


Richard Kurtz

Richard kurtzOutsider artist Richard Kurtz, is a self-taught, contemporary artist who worked for many years in NYC and is now based in California.His scrappy street-art reminiscent work is painted on a range of materials from hard metal to books to soft canvas.

"Kurtz is a textural adventurer, exploring the surfaces of old bank bags, antique luggage, children’s books — all of it left in his wake stamped with his flat, painterly icons in reds, blacks, and whites: boxing colors, bold and physical. This feisty imagery stands in contrast to the artist’s soft-spoken, meditative personality, making it that much more intriguing,"according to John Martin Tilley

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Celia Gerard

Celia gerardThe shape of Celia Gerard’s studio is akin to an isosceles triangle whose apex has been leveled. It is a slightly irregular shape, but with a door on one end, a window at the other and a set of walls connecting base to foregone-tip, its geometric irregularity recedes beneath the structural logic of a building within which this little polygon fits neatly. When I imagine an image generated by changes in the layout of this building—small studios merging; larger ones being subdivided—I see fluctuating spatial relationships defined within a set of unchanging parameters. Older forms become ghosted beneath newly constructed arrangements that arise as they are needed. There is a natural order that underlies this apparent chaos; the question is how does one find that natural order? How does a person cultivate the ability to see the logical operations that give shade and shape to what may otherwise appear tangled and arbitrary?

Celia Gerard’s artistic practice is grounded in this kind of search and her procedural basis—regimented and systematic—is engineered towards the experience of discovery. In Gerard’s drawings, the process of construction and erasure that ultimately leads to a highly nuanced geometric coordination is made visible. One sees the final composition, and at the same time, the choices by which Gerard arrived there: her destination and journey pressed into a single visual arrangement.

This kind of practice is built on the type of looking that comes naturally to seekers of all variety. It is active and mindful observation, full of intent and near to the experience of contemplation. This way of seeing draws heavily on one’s insight and, by extension, encourages intuitive association. When I give myself over to studying the details of Gerard’s work, to becoming a seeker myself, certain mental operations fire into action. Intuition leads directly to imagination. My sense of wonder is stimulated, but so too is my analytic mind, probing and cataloguing. To my eyes Gerard’s work accomplishes a rare double action. It is developed through steady, calibrated technical decisions that eventually accumulate into an image that speaks to the embrace of understanding arrived at without any need for reason or proof.

Gerard favors very strong paper for her drawings because it needs to withstand a great deal of her touch, which can be as aggressive as it is gentle. Consequentially, they are works of great tactility and sensuality. Her exploration of bronze and ceramics is rooted in the same hands-on curiosity that is the foundation of these drawings. The plate-sized ceramics are each a unique response to the same question: what happens when I try this? They are cast from the same mold but Gerard has used a variety of clay bodies—porcelain, earthenware, T1—and glazed each piece differently. They seem to float on the wall, almost rising against the pull of gravity.

Gerard’s bronze sculptures embody an opposing sensibility; some are dark and heavy, scarred, pockmarked and pitted like the weather-beaten anchor of an old ship. These pieces also bring to mind the slag that remains after a coal fire, or a growth of chaga upon a birch tree. But of course Gerard’s bronzes are not meant to represent any of these things. They are resolutely abstract—like her drawings and ceramics—and in that sense attend to a discourse that long ago departed from the merely representational. It is a discourse between a creator and her material that is concerned with essential formal ideals such as balance, harmony and rhythm. Kandinsky worked in this manner. So did Agnes Martin. These artists sought to express the intrinsic qualities of their art, to create visual structures that would resonate on a level beneath the system of words that comprise our languages. It is not easy. Martin destroyed much of what she made.

It is also easy to be misunderstood: for a long time critics identified Martin’s compositions with rows of crops and textiles—because one can point to a visual resemblance—despite the fact that Martin herself did not make that association. As I walked down the narrow hallway from Gerard’s studio to the elevator, I wondered if I was making a similar mistake, connecting her aesthetic configurations with architectural space. But I wasn’t wrong. Insofar as Gerard’s work achieves a state of equilibrium amidst its many parts, there will always be a congruence between her abstractions and the ideals of constructed space, be it a building, a borough or a city. The danger is thinking that such a relationship in anyway explains the work. It does not. It only proves that her abstractions are very deeply in tune with how we create the places we inhabit.

— Charles M. Schultz

 

Celia Gerard (born 1973) received her BA with Honors in Art and Art History from Colgate University, her MFA in Sculpture from the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting And Sculpture and her EdM from Harvard University. In addition, she studied with Nicolas Carone and Bruce Gagnier at the International School of Art in Umbria, Italy.  One-person exhibitions include Sears-Peyton Gallery; Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson, WY; Mark W. Potter Gallery, Watertown, CT; New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. Group exhibitions include the National Academy Museum; Lori Bookstein Fine Art; Sideshow Gallery; Lohin-Geduld Gallery; I-20 Gallery; Gutman Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Coolidge Center for the Arts, Portsmouth, NH. Publications include ARTnews, CityArts, The Daily Beast, ArtSlant, Parabola and works&conversations. Awards and honors include the S.J. Wallace Truman Fund Award, National Academy Museum; Artist in Residence, New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture; Cathedral of St. John the Divine Sculpture Fellowship; Inaugural Artist in Residence at The Spruceton Inn. Teaching career positions include Bard College, Swarthmore College, Pratt Institute, the New York Studio School, Columbia University and the School of Visual Arts. Gerard lives and works in New York, NY.


The Next Big Art Movement - Mosaics and the Artists Breaking the Mold

By George Tibbett, curator

Perhaps even more exciting than the opening of the anxiously anticipated extension of the Q subway line along 2nd Avenue in Manhattan was the mosaic art in each new station. Many NYC subway stations have some mosaics but these new stations bring it to a new artistic level with artwork by Sarah Sze, Chuck Close and Vik Muniz all translated into large mosaics.

So will this push the art of mosaics into greater acceptance in the established art world?  Mosaics as with ceramics, has long been relegated to crafts rather than fine art. But this may be changing. Established ceramicists, such as Betty Woodman, have had solo shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Emerging ceramicists like Lulu Yee have been the toast of Bushwick Open Studios. So as go ceramics, so go mosaics?

Mosaics should mean more than just a jigsaw puzzle of pieces that form an image. Great mosaic art should expand the range of the medium. Here is a list of the top five ground-breaking mosaic artists working today:

Jorge camposJorge Campos aka Pixel

Pixel, is a Santiago street artist whose mosaic work pixelates cultural heroes such as Nicanor Parra, artists such as Van Gogh, and iconic artwork like from Roy Lichtenstein. Pixel brings his mosaics to the streets where his work blends with other forms of street art for people to enjoy on the streets of Santiago. According to MosaicArtNow, Pixel explains the relationship of his art with the public. He says, “At first, people think they are facing a painting. Approaching and touching, they realize they are in fact facing a mosaic. Then, they wonder if it was really hand made.  They also play with distance to appreciate the work in detail, take photos, and when the image is revealed perfect and detailed on the small screens of their smartphones, they fall for it!”

 

Sonia kingSonia King

Using a range of different materials, King’s mosaics are complex compilations that, as her website states, stimulate the imagination. Some of her work is described as coded messages. She asserts, “These mosaics explore the dynamic tension created when familiar organic shapes can be seen as both macro and micro visions of our landscape. Shapes that are simultaneously at rest and moving, pulling the tesserae together into a complex composition while exploring the interaction of each element and the mystery of the spaces between.”

 

IMG_9330-croppedCharlene Weisler

Weisler describes herself as an urban artist with an interest in decaying and discarded objects. First starting in photography, Weisler was captivated by decaying, peeling and eroding street art. From there, she gravitated to collecting and assembling discarded and broken objects to not only capture their inherent beauty and mystery but also to create new mosaic images. She explains, “My mosaics are often unplanned and are created organically as the pieces come together to tell their story. A broken mug, a piece of shattered plate or a discarded misshapen object are all important elements in my work.”

 

 

 

 

 

Isiaih zagarIsaiah Zagar

Isaiah Zagar might be best known for one of his greatest achievements – The Magic Garden in Philadelphia, which is essentially a full house and side yard of compiled mosaic art.  As described by Lonely Planet, “Think of all the things you have thrown away this week – an old shoe, a broken mirror, a loose button, an empty bottle of wine. Then picture all of it broken apart, artfully cobbled together with quirky objects like antique tiles and hand-carved Mexican dolls, and applied to a wall with cement, clay, paint and glue to form a gloriously colorful mural. This is the work of septuagenarian Philadelphia-born Isaiah Zagar: mosaic artist, world traveler, visionary, dumpster diver.”

 

Domingo zapataDomingo Zapata

Better known as a painter, Zapata had a chance encounter when he walked into Koko Mosaico in Ravenna, Italy.  It was there that he saw the potential of mosaics to translate his paintings into formative artwork. “With these pieces, I wanted to create great contrast and pay tribute to the history of art.  I find taking a painting done in graffiti and recreating it using these ancient techniques helps me to understand the contemporary moment. These works represent to me where we have been and where we are going – they derive their strength from this duality,” he states on MosaicArtNow.


Coille Hooven

Coille HoovenFor over fifty years, Coille Hooven has been working in porcelain and creating psychologically charged sculpture that explores domestic-centered narratives from the kitchen to the bedroom. One of the first ceramists to bring feminist content to clay, Hooven uses porcelain to honor the history of women’s work, confront gendered inequality, and depict the pleasures, fears, and failures of partnering and parenting.

Hooven’s sculptures range from teapots and vessels to figurative busts and dioramas, and they mine the domestic psyche to produce vignettes that resonate with familiarity despite an undisguised use of the fantastical. Developing her own vocabulary of archetypes, she regularly revisits certain creatures and forms: a domestic palette of aprons, pillows, shoes, and pies, as well as a cast of characters that includes mermaids, fish, snakes, and anthropomorphic beasts that appear part-dog, part-horse, and part-human. While these creatures may appear familiar and amiable at first, tension lurks underneath. Recalling fairy tales, fables, and myths, Hooven’s sculptures conjure a vision of the unconscious—both the joy and buoyancy of dreams, as well as the discomfort and despair of anxiety and doubt.

At a recent exhibition at NYC's Museum of Design, Coille Hooven: Tell It By Heart assembles more than thirty years of Hooven’s work. Hooven studied with David Shaner at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and later relocated to Berkeley, California, with her two children. Citing Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson as influential in her decision to move west, Hooven became part of the Bay Area clay community, where she worked independently from academia and forged a career making both functional pottery and ceramic sculpture. In 1979 she became only the second woman to be in residence at the Kohler Co.’s plant in Kohler, Wisconsin, as part of their renowned Arts/Industry residency program. Coille Hooven: Tell It By Heart is curated by Shannon R. Stratton, William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, with the support of Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.

 


Laura Lappi

LappiLaura Lappi works in a wide range of media including installation, sculpture, photography and video. Her work crosses the boundaries between our perception of space and time and between reality and fiction. She is interested in creating bewilderment, uncertainty, unexpected situations and mystery by shifting the form of space and the viewer’s point of view. Emotions such as loneliness and yearning are important concepts within her work.

Lappi's work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows in Europe, US and Asia including AC Institute in New York, Galleri Vest in Reykjavik, Galleri Uusi Kipinä in Lahti, Gallery Titanik in Turku, Kunstpodium T in Tilburg, Gramercy Gallery in New York, Fotogalerie in Rotterdam, Re:Rotterdam International Art Fair in Rotterdam, Twente Biennale 2013 in Enschede, Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm, Access Art in New York and Green Papaya Art Projects in Manila. She has received grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, FRAME (Finnish Fund for Art Exchange) and the Arts Council of Finland.

Laura Lappi lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Asikkala, Finland.