Naomi Yasuda creates mesmerizing nail designs that use color as a starting point. She often tops these tiny paintings with beads and ornaments, transforming nails from flat canvases into sculptural works of art. She grew up watching her grandmother, a kimono tailor, make garments from intricately patterned fabrics. The designs shown here, created for Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, are inspired by those traditional Japanese patterns.
Matt Lipps’ work combines elements of collage, constructed still life, and appropriated imagery, into a wholly new and original form.
His recent work “Library” is based on images from Time-Life’s 1970s seventeen volume set of books called “Library of Photography”, Lipps cuts out and assembles selected images into groups that echo the themes of the different volumes – Photographing Children, The Camera, Travel Photography, Special Problems, etc.. Mounted and arranged on shelves in front of vivid color backgrounds, the figures become players in a story that is both a tribute to the heyday of analog photography and an accomplished vision of the possibilities that the digital age has opened up to artists.
The colorful backgrounds of the series come from 35mm photographs taken by Lipps when he was a student and their warm emotional color and abstract feeling contrasts dramatically with the coolly objective black and white figures and forms selected by Lipps from the “Library” books.
Combining authored and appropriated photographs Lipps sets up a tension between the subjective and objective uses of the medium offering both an intriguing and fresh perspective on the history of the medium and history itself.
Matt Lipps received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Most recently his work has been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, FOAM (Foto Museum of Amsterdam), and is currently on view at Pier 24 in San Francisco. His work is in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Pilara Foundation/Pier 24. He is Assistant Professor of Art at San Francisco State University. Lipp's work can currently also be seen at Art in General and in the group show "Under Construction - New Positions in American Photography" at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.
Mark Seidenfeld is an artistic polymath, working in paint, collage, sculpture and photography. But it is his photography that mesmerizes.Work from around the world capture a dramatic essence and beauty from even the most disturbing and exotic subjects.
He says, "I am a storyteller by nature. My work is the way I move forward, with each new artwork being the culmination of every artistic gesture, experiment, and statement that I had made previously. For me, creative expression is the path into the future. Not only does a deeply rooted place of clarity enable me to create these works, but they, in turn, open new doors of perception for me. The process of creating each one is a transformation accelerator, taking my understanding to both new heights and new depths. So I am hooked on the act of creation, which is a rocketship, taking me on a journey into the universe that lies beyond the waking mind. These artworks are my philosophy in action."
Whether one categorizes Michael Mapes as a mosaic artist, assemblage artist or reconstructionist, what remains when viewing his work is his sense of artistic destiny created from smalll shards, detritis, bit of photographs and other assorted found items.
His latest series of work is inspired by Dutch Master portraiture. In a method consistent with earlier work, subjects are examined through a pseudo scientific method specifically working with materials and processes signifying entomological, biological and forensic science.
"My work suggests the meta-relationship of the subject content, which is to say, it creates a dimensional collage of a painting of a person. In doing so, I consider ways in which to reconstruct the original subject to suggest new meanings. Along with thousands of dissected photos of the original painting, I add a mix of other contrived materials ranging from hair samples to recent photos to costume jewelry. The finished “collections” become dimensional collages within the realm of contemporary portraiture of 17th century subjects."
The result is grand art based on microscopic elements.
Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Stephanie Hirsch's canvases are literally 'illuminated' with phrases of enlightenment and hope. Continuing her personal investigations into individual development through text, Hirsch ups the ante by removing the "easy access" of familiar graphic elements inspired by iconic punk-rock album covers and adding a recognizable figurative element. The use of the figurative element humanizes her compositions and is based upon self-portraits driven by her fascination on the whole social media "selfie" craze. Wanting to delve deeper into how "selfies" create an image of how we want to be portrayed in the world rather than who we actually are, she shot her "selfies" while saying and feeling the emotional content in the compositions. Hirsch states, "I was also inspired by Cindy Sherman's work titled 'Aging Socialite.' Sherman perfectly executed the daunting look in the eyes that spoke of insecurity and fear of a life no longer lived. My fear of just existing while living promoted my 'selfie' study as well. I am also profoundly influenced by Barbara Kruger whose text based work questions autonomy and desire, which I yearn and struggle for within myself."
The journey of how Hirsch struggles with her external and internal self creates a unique entry point for the artwork. The viewer can identify and reflect upon their own personal experiences by simply reading the words and connecting with the visage. This simple, yet profound shift creates the intimate and introspective underpinning to the work allowing the viewer to oscillate between the beauty of the materials and the message implied. Using insights like "I'd Rather Die on My Feet than Live on My Knees," "I Was Not Built to Break," "We All Find Our Way," and "It's Never Too Late," Hirsch weaves a story of overcoming one's personal adversity and building an inner spirituality that hopefully filters out into the world.
Stephanie Hirsch has shown in exhibitions in New York, the Hamptons, Miami and San Francisco. She was a featured artist in Miami Design District's Art Walk (2012) and showcased in the Mercedes Benz VIP lounge at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week (2012). Hirsch was among 30 artists commissioned to create a unique commemorative crown for display in Harrods (London) in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (2012). Hirsch is the founder of Inca resort wear and author of "Mother Nurture," published by William Morrow (2008). She lives and works in New York City.
Jim Prez's 'book-tures' (sculptures comprised of a book base with found objects artfully fastened atop) make inspired use of thrift store bric-a-brac and second-hand books.
What is your background in art-making?
I have been making things since grade school but very early on I took to photography and worked on making photographs for many years. I don't have an art degree from college but I did get an MFA in Photographic Studies from Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. Much of my background in art comes from looking at books from libraries in the various cities that I have lived in. I have tried to make at least one thing every day since 1977.
What was the inspiration for the idea of creating these booktures?
I was visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art and noticed that there were more people waiting in line to have their pictures taken with the Rocky Statue than were going to the museum. I figured that I could make more interesting works for people to visit and be photograhed in front of than the Rocky bronze so I started working on maquettes for monumental sculptures. The "booktures" came directly from that idea.
Who are some of your artistic (or other) influences?
I try not to be influenced by other artists' work but I surely do love looking at other artists' work. There are so many that it would be difficult to name them all. Of course I would have to list Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Mitchell, Georgia O'Keefe, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Howard Finster, James Castle and Richard Tuttle. I have been fascinated by the work of Suzanne Goldenberg for the past few years. Her work is pure magic. I love artists who make work but aren't concerned with selling, showing or getting reviewed. Work that comes from the heart and soul.
Does the title of the book play any role in what gets put on top of it?
The title of the book rarely plays a role in the book. I wish I was smarter and more clever in that regard. The book, however, is the point of departure for the work. I play off its shape, size and color.
Where do you find your found art?
I spent a year looking for the raw materials, for my booktures, in thrift stores, junk stores, and at the Salvation Army, garage sales, church sales, library sales, stoop sales and on the street.
I also visited the Strand two or three times a week during that year. I took another two years to assemble and photograph the booktures. There are approximately 250 of them. I stopped making them but did make three new ones for the Mulberry Library show.
Obviously your work includes books—was this your motivation for displaying work in libraries?
Yes, absolutely. The library is free and open to all. I like that idea very much!
Where else do you show your work?
I show my work in galleries, museums, artist spaces and on the street.
I like to post things on Facebook also. Printed Matter has been selling my bookverks since 1988. I will have had 25 years of bookmaking and finished my 500th book by the year's end. (2013)
A pop-cultural connoisseur with a magpie’s eye for what shimmers and shines, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt has been using plastic wrap, reflective foil, colored beads, pipe cleaners, glitter, staples and photographs for more than 40 years to create shrines to saints, sacred and secular, emblematic of queer identity. He includes himself among the elect in an early collage titled “Twinky as a Prima Ballerina (Self-Portrait),” completed in 1969, the year of the Stonewall Rebellion, in which he participated.
Lanigan-Schmidt began by exhibiting his art in his own apartment; an early major exhibit in 1969 was titled The Sacristy of the Hamptons. Another home exhibit was titled The Summer Palace of Czarina Tatlina. In these early home exhibits, and also in at least one later recreation of an early exhibit, he guided visitors through the exhibit in drag in character as art collector Ethel Dull.
While Lanigan Schmidt's art is not widely known, he has received critical acclaim.
Reasons for Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt's art not reaching a wider audience totally elude me. This is major, major work, reflecting and augmenting today's dialogue in a unique and commanding voice. Many artists, including a generation of Lanigan-Schmidt's students, have been repeatedly amazed, inspired and guided by its panache, rapier-sharp wit, subversiveness and opulent beauty.
Christian Rosa, born 1982 in Sao Paolo, has been active and living in Vienna, Austria, since graduating from Akademie der bildenden Künste (2007–2012) where he studied under Daniel Richter.
Christian Rosa is an artist who works across media but collage and painting are at the center of his practice. Rosa employs an approach to painting that reduces decision making to the limitations of his physical actions. There is an ongoing struggle to unlearn and rediscover, in which each piece is like a moment isolated from an ever-changing surface. Through this process, Rosa deconstructs, reconfigures and explores the future possibilities of the moment of failure.
Christian Rosa is one of the prominent young artists working in Vienna whose energy and practice have an important role in the growing scene in which he is involved. Rosa not only exhibits as an artist but curates and organises exhibitions, events, screenings and publications. Recent exhibitions that Christian Rosa has exhibited in includes: ReMap, Athens; Brucennial 2012, New York; NeoSI: neue Situationistische Internationale, Kunstraum Schattendorf, DE; Blind Sculpture, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; and Vienna Biennale 2010, Künstlerhaus, Vienna.
Artist Maria Creyts creates extraordinarily long photos depicting subjects she designs from textiles. Her works are concerned with hand-sewn garments as subjects in same-scale photography. Large photo compositions and the clothing subjects themselves are often exhibited together with the matching image and subject just out of view of each other. Complete ensembles suspended on hangers seem like mysterious gallery goers whose boldly patterned dress outshines the individual to the point that we do not see him or her at all.
In 2012 the artist focused on custom clothing design while preparing an African-themed fashion collection for Kansas City’s West 18th Street Fashion Show. Through this, she acquired further skill in sewing and explored how clothing design and construction could help in planning a purpose for her sewn subjects beyond the photo shoot.
During December and January 2011-2012, Creyts spent time learning batik techniques in Nigeria under artist Niké Davies Okundaye with the goal of introducing the artist’s own hand into her photo friezes through designing fabrics for photography subjects. For the menswear ensemble she photoed, Creyts used hot wax to draw and print imagery on 7 yards of seersucker. The motif used unites the amusing story of her visit to an African palace with traditional Nigerian stencil designs that portray a European royal couple.
About the artist
Maria Creyts is a graduate of Yale University School of Art and her studio, ESTUDIO mariaurora, is in Kansas City, Missouri. The artist’s photo friezes have stretched over walls at the Visual Arts Gallery of the University of Lagos, Nigeria (2012), Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City (2011), and Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico (2010). In "Panoramic Patterns” (Kansas City Star, 4/21/2011), critic Dana Self described the artist as "...a curious media traveler, someone who refuses to let a material’s limitations or its nature stand in the way of her inquisitiveness.” artist website: http://mariaurora.net
George Hugnet was awriter but might be best known for his hauntngly beautiful and erotic photomontage. Hugnet was a French graphic artist but was also active as a poet, writer, art historian, graphic artist, bookbinding designer, critic and film director. Hugnet was a figure in the Dada movement and Surrealism.
A series of works collected under the title, he Love Life of the Spumifers, or La Vie Amoureuse des Spumifères, combines Surrealist poetry's fascination with l'amour and Dada's tendency towards deliberate grammatical spontaneity and absurdity. Words like bowoodling, friskadoodling and labamaraminating are concocted by Hugnet to describe the seductive strategies of his imaginary creatures. Each text is dedicated to a different creature, describing how it woos, teases, gropes and molests its intended love conquest. Each Spumifer is illustrated by a gouache "beast," which is added to an early Twentieth Century vintage "French" photo postcard. The mellifluously painted monsters slyly slither around the bare flesh of the pictured "mademoiselle," nibbling and tickling, arousing her sexual desire. Hugnet's illustrations seduce the viewer, parodying the human pursuit of love and lovemaking through these adorable grotesques.