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Collage

Nancy Callahan

House+Detail+for+webNancy Callahan is a visual artist who works in a variety of mediums. She is known for her screen prints, drawings, and installations as well as her work in the field of artist’s books.

She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and has taught well-over a hundred workshops on innovative book structures. Her work is housed in many permanent collections throughout the United States and Europe including Yale University, Vassar College, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, University of Indiana at Bloomington, University of Michigan University of Delaware, Library of Congress, Rochester Institute of Technology, Wesleyan University Virginia Commonwealth University, Women’s Studio Workshop Saint Stephen Museum, Hungary, Bucknell University, SUNY Albany, and Harvard University.


Erro

The acclaimed artist Erró (b. 1932) is considered one of the leading figures in European Pop-Art. During his long and successful career he has delved into diverse subjects in his paintings, often using an overflow of images to reflect on contemporary society of consumption, in addition to references to various political current issues.

From early on Erró was inspired by technology and science, creating works where the human and the mechanic are combined. In particular he examined how technology invades the body and how the human body adapts to the machine. The images offer questions concerning the borderlines between human beings and technology. Are these borderlines perhaps no longer there when human existence is tied to the mechanic and the very identity a collage of various technological creations, an hyperreal presence in social media, drugs cooked up in laboratories, smart-gadgets assembled in factories, the trace of chips in credit cards. The human being has become a cyborg, whether we like it or not.

The exhibition Cyborg gathers together artworks that reflect these ideas in various ways. The word is a combination, a collage of the words ‘cybernetics’ and ‘organism’. In 1960, when scientist were thinking up a new type of astronaut, the phrase ‘cybernetic organism’ was considered cumbersome. As a result it was shortened, cut and pasted into one handy word, ‘cy-borg’. At the same time these scientist where working on the technology behind the cyborg, Erró was working on art works focusing on the interaction between machines and people, often by creating a collage with people – usually women – and various machines.

The collage is very well suited to the cyborg, as the cyborgs very existence is dependent on compositions and excess. The cyborg is always a collage of some kind, de-formed and a combination of diverse images from art and toys. Even though it is already here, it is still being created and is continually changing. Many of the pieces are already here, but they keep being arranged in new ways – in addition new pieces are continually made.

Erró is an artist of the collage. Combinations characterize his work, and collages are the raw materials behind his paintings. The collages bring together different and similar objects and are always marked by an excess of some kind. Excess is also a symptom of the cyborg, it is always too much, something added, de-formed, integrated and transformed. The cyborg‘s collage shows us the familiar in a new light and makes it unfamiliar, until we grow used to it – or not.

Erro


Valerie Meotti

Valerie MeottiWorking in a range of disciplines, Valerie Meotti strives to give her art immediacy and understandability.

She explained, "Painting and creating visual art has been my passion for most of my life. My motives are not to send a message but to be felt. What one takes from my imagery is yours alone. I have a difficult time explaining why I create but I can tell you how. I have never felt I was a catalyst trying to reveal a profound message. 

I am not a singular artist in that I can not settle on one technique of expression. I enjoy having the versatility and knowledge to explore and experiment.  Watercolors are my base of operations, the one thing I rely on most. My unique digital transfer technique utilizes my graphic capability but lets me develop it freely like a painting, using both my major influences.  With this I cross over into collage components developing most of my mixed media works. Oil painting, I am new to but I love the color and luminescence that can be achieved.  I will continue my learning. Ceramics are mainly for the quirky characters I developed called Pistachio People and I still illustrate the little guys. I believe they can be in a successful mass market someday.  Someday I will achieve the independence to sustain my art. Just looking for some glimpse of encouragement."

 

Claudio Parentela

CLAUDIO PARENTELAClaudio Parentela is an illustrator, painter, photographer, mail artist, cartoonist, collagist, journalist free lancer. He has been active for many years in the international underground scene and has collaborated with many zines,magazines of contemporary art,literary and of comics in Italy and in the world. His work can be categorized as street art but with a variety of mediums. He describes his illustration style as,"anarchic, cool, conceptual, twisted, schizophrenic, obsessive, and chaotic."

"I feel completely absolutely free only when I’m amongst my 'artistic things' and in my studio, with my photos, my papers, my colours, my glue, my scissors, my ropes, tapes, plastics, all my 1000 things I found around in the city. It’s been difficult to arrive here where I’m now but it’s a wonderful continuous magical journey, every moment and every day," he says.

What advice would you give to other artists?
To be and to continue to be, and try to be themselves. It’s so important, and then to have fun to have fun to have fun.

 


Nathaniel Quinn

Nathaniel Mary Quinn is one of the best portrait painters working today and the competition is steep.

The outsize number of black artists now working in the portrait genre awakens the art world with vital new means of representation. It makes sense that artists who have been kept on the margins of the mainstream art world for centuries might emerge with the idea of visibility front and center. Without a definitive canonical art history of Black self-representation, there are fewer conventions for the work to adhere to. Much of this output feels urgent and compelling, either expanding the language of figure painting or, in the case of Nathaniel Mary Quinn, using collage-like compositions to address the dynamic clamor of contemporary life.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn (b. 1977) is a Brooklyn-based artist who grew up in Chicago.

On Instagram, Quinn’s images look like collages. In real life they also look like collages. But they aren’t. The viewer strains to translate the illusionistic mark making created with charcoal, pastel, oil stick, and gouache on paper. The result lies somewhere between human and machine made with his compositions running both hot and cold. Quinn withholds evidence of the hand, releasing the means of his trompe l’oeil trickery to viewers willing to lean in and decode the marks. The controlled surfaces, sourced from picture clippings, ooze and flow in cut-and-paste, smeary amalgamations. One senses Quinn’s Chicago origins in noticing homologies with Ed Paschke’s irradiated, blurred figures and the general free-wheeling cultural appropriation of the Imagist group. From Dadaist collage to Romare Bearden and African American quilts, Quinn joins those who believe that reality might best be recognized by its disjunctions, patchwork sensations, and complex social strata, rather than by insistent, single-point perspectives.

Quinn’s subjects are based on memories of people he has known. His mother, Mary, appears in “Bring Yo’ Big Teeth Ass Here!,” (2017), with a pig nose and square, squat body, staring out of the picture. Quinn notes that this is a tribute to her love of pork hocks and ears. Mary, who was influential and supportive, died when Quinn was 15 and living away at a boarding school. He subsequently adopted her name. “My mother had never had an education, so this meant she would have her name on every diploma I received,” said Quinn in a 2018 British Vogue article. Her name appears on his 2000 BFA degree from Wabash College, Indiana and his 2002 MFA degree from New York University. His parents did not read or write and no one else in his family had ever attended college.

Other characters are recollected from the neighborhood of his youth, the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, built in 1962 to be the largest public housing development in the country with 28 buildings and more than 4,000 units. Gangs and drug dealers, including Quinn’s four brothers who had dropped out of school, ruled the terrain. One of the strongest paintings in the show, “Junebug,” (2015), is a portrait of Quinn’s uncle, a drug dealer. “He was a walking Christmas tree,” Quinn recalled. “He had nice clothes, gold chains.” Quinn only met him once because his mother tried to avoid men like him having any influence on her son. The portrait is a gleaming, joyous celebration of Junebug’s self-styled swagger against a gentle, star-flecked gray background. Multiple, pieced-together bits of eyes, ears, patterns and textures form a formal head and shoulders view held together by a large gold nose ring that is both slick and outrageous. One edge of the image’s border is ragged to interrupt the otherwise smooth, round-cornered perfection of the piece. If the Dutch Baroque artist Frans Hals walked into the room, I imagine he would fall to his knees in admiration of where Quinn has taken the notion of “likeness”: a blend of artifice and recollection. Human beings are compilations of inherited and adopted identities, of place and circumstance, luck and genetics, real messes of the vulnerable and volatile percolating within societal restraints. Quinn gets this down on paper. [“Discord in perfect harmony,”] is how one curator aptly described his style. What simmers under the human surface becomes the surface in Quinn’s work. The sensations are unsorted but adhere with compassion.

Quinn’s process begins with a vision: “maybe from the universe or from God,” he says in an interview published in the exhibition catalog. “I have a visceral, physical response to each vision, which means that I want to create it.” He then looks to magazines and the internet for source material. He may find a mouth or an eye and work from there. When he starts to draw he creates one segment of the composition and then covers it with paper before he moves to the next section. This technique ensures more pronounced seams and jagged transitions. He doesn’t want the compositions to fully settle. A controlled chaos of shape and pattern keeps them stirring. He tries to protect his process, he says, “from the pollution of my mind,” meaning he doesn’t want logic or predictability to interrupt. There are no preliminary sketches.

Charles was the brother who convinced his mom that Quinn’s pencil drawings on their apartment walls, made when he was five years old, were actually good. His mom encouraged his artwork after that. Eventually a teacher helped him obtain a scholarship to a private high school in Indiana. One month after moving there, his mother died. When he later returned home for Thanksgiving, the family apartment had been abandoned. He never saw his father and brothers again until Charles recently resurfaced after hearing Nathaniel on the radio. That all of Quinn’s portraits are composites that emerge through intuition and chance encounters with images that trigger recollections makes sense.

 


Kate Carvellas

20170516010439-All_Things_Bright_and_Beautiful"My work rises to the surface of my mind from deep within my sub-conscious.  It is intuitive and rather compulsive.  It is an attempt to make sense of the chaos that I experience in my mind and the world. Art allows me to explore what often feels frightening and overwhelming in a way that makes it visible, but also safe.  Transforming it into something tangible.  My artwork simultaneously expresses joy and angt; two states of being that I hold simultaneously.  Much of my work explores this dichotomy: chaos vs order, spontenaouty vs precision.  Trying to make order out of chaos."

Creating intensely personal, vivid artworks from assemblages to abstract paintings, mixed media work, to sculptures, artist Kate Carvellas finds great beauty in the every day. Whether she’s creating mixed media work that springs up form her subconscious or working with found objects to shape assemblages that turn discarded materials into something that vibrates with new life, she’s moved to make the simple profound.

With bright-hued abstract paintings both delicate and bold and sculptural works that seem pulled from a rich inner-world, Carvellas says her work is “an essential and intensely personal part of my life.  It explores and expresses the inner workings of my mind and heart in a way that words cannot.” It is the artist’s hope that those viewing her work will find it resonates on an intellectual, emotional, or spiritual level.  

Artist Bio 

In 2004 Kate began creating two-dimensional thematic montages using imagery from various magazines and clip art sources. With further exploration she began to pursue a different direction, creating, original, three dimensional collages.  In 2007 she began exploring the creative world of mixed media and assemblage and fell in love with both of these media.

12 years ago her work was made entirely of borrowed images and objects.  Through the years, she slowly began leaving her own marks on the work.  Starting out with light pencil markings to more visible lines and shapes.  As her confidence grew, so did the strength of her marks and brush strokes.  While she is still deeply enjoying creating assemblages out of found objects, shes now creates abstract paintings made entirely from her own hand.  These painting, at first, sprang straight from her subconscious.  She has also been using her own photographs as the springboard for her abstract paintings.  Abstracting reality. 

Her newest work has, in a sense, brought her full-circle.  She is now creating abstract works that combine painting, found objects and whatever else she finds that will fullfill her vision for the work.  She is thrilled about this new direction.

 


Virginia Rose Torrence

Rose ceramicsVirginia Rose Torrence’s mosaics are constructed entirely from found objects, principally the content of several bins of hoarded ceramic shards saved over the course of three decades by an adjunct ceramics professor at Marygrove College, where Crissman just finished his term as a professor (due to the closure of the undergraduate program).

“I’ve been working there all summer,” said Torrence, “because it’s a really beautiful space and because the whole upstairs was abandoned, and we got to do whatever we wanted. I was on a walk and I all of a sudden just realized that that was amazing free material.” The resulting body of work playfully reframes elements of classic portraiture and Dutch still life painting, drawing together figurative and abstract compositions that level the hierarchy between fine art and literal trash, including fruit rinds and bottle shards found on the her weekly walks at the nearby Belle Isle Park.

“I’m encapsulating all those materials under one skin of plastic — and that’s a really satisfying action, to stop the decay of something, and try to unify them and bring them all into the same space,” said Torrence. The image of a once-living fruit incorporated into a tile mosaic is jarring and, just as the symbology of Dutch still life presented notions of desire and memento mori, these ceramics subtly struggle with the ultimate futility of art to stop time, try as it might.


Theresa Friess

Theresa friessTheresa Friess creates beauty from discarded objects. Her works are a compilation of everyday objects arranged to offer the viewer a compendium of surfaces, colors and shapes.

Friess works in Bushwick Brooklyn where she participates in Bushwick Open Studio.


Brandi Martin

Brandi Martin Brandi Martin uses poetry to inform her art. She says, "The slurry grammar of the social networking used to bother me. But soon I found myself wanting to do the same. Why? I found that complete thoughts were drained of emotion. Phrased like evocative definitions of an unnamed something, in the voice of the second person, this shredding of language denies the academic third person; it feels visceral.  

I tried diagramming it old school style. Breaking it up and rebuilding it again felt educational and metaphorical at the same time. 

The ongoing nature of how we change language as it changes us. The fixed rules are actually temporal, and it’s our play with language as it flows past us that really remakes it.  A few words on a card cut off from a sentence is poignant, it could end any way, we easily insert our lives into just three words. Less gives more. The fragmented sentences and phrases in my works are not broken instead of whole, they are open instead of closed. Every day we break the authority of text- and the shards aren’t the waste; they are how we enter into the conversation."

Brandi Martin's research-based practice delves into the the quiet crises of analysis and translation. Her work challenges the authority of any singular medium or moment by transparently layering imagery, media, and time. 

Martin classifies these works as ‘metacognitive objects’. Connections and conflicts between self-referential elements create a rich friction for extended engagement, highlighting the viewers’ own thought processes. 

Inspired by the poetry and mechanics of instructional methods, as well as the evocative qualities of found objects, Martin's most recent work refers to the photographic canon, the use of second person voice as applied to art, the poetics of broken language in ‘memes’, and searching out the indexical trace in the mundane.

Brandi Martin holds an MFA From the School of Visual arts in NYC. She makes sculpture, video, images and installations that struggle to resolve conflicting narratives. Brandi lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She is the recipient of residency awards in Gorna Lipitsa, Bulgaria (funded by the Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Arts Programme of the EEA) and The Bridgeguard Residency between the Mária Valéria bridge between Štúrovo, Slovakia, and Esztergom, Hungary (funded by the Štefan and Viera Frühauf Endowment Fund).  


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.