The Chelsea Perspective
Vol. 16, October 2006
T h e C h e l s e a P e r s p e c t i v e
Fr o m Fr e i g h t H a n d l e r s t o Fi n e A r t :
T h e M i g r a t i o n t o C h e l s e a
P r o f i l e s o f C o n t e m p o r a r y A r t a n d A r t i s t s
C H E L S E A A R T M U S E U M
S p e c t r u m
U B L I S H E R
Agora Gallery, Inc.
D I T O R I N
H I E F
Angela Di Bello
I R E C T O R
T A F F
R I T E R S
J. Taylor Basker
Martin A. David
O N T R I B U T I N G
R I T E R S
D I T O R I A L
S S I S T A N T
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From Freight Handlers to Fine Art:
The Migration to Chelsea
The Chelsea Hotel
The Studio Visit - Artist Charles Blake
4 Donna Clovis
5 Masha Kohan
5 Jackie Black
6 Mia Gjerdrum Helgesen
8 Okko Oinenen
9 Toshiko Nishikawa
10 Miklos Sipos
12 Christel Sobke
13 Patricia Clements
14 Melanie Prapopoulos
14 Alicja Cetnarowski
15 Edith Suchodrew
15 Graham Denison
20 Harry Doolittle
22 Kitty van de Rijt
22 Veronica Leiton
23 Michele Kellner
23 Philippe Ringlet
28 Quinn Stilletto
29 Judith Brust
30 Rosa Ruelba
31 Iva Milanova
32 Ellen Marlen Hamre
33 Daphne Stephensen
34 Vesselin Kourtev
35 Berenice Michelow
35 Nelida Kalanj
36 Robert Hinkelman
36 Vincent Maiello
37 Terry Amburgey
38 Corey West
38 Doris Naffah
39 Ta Barabanakova
40 Ernestine Tahedl
41 Christian Brander
42 Helga Kreuzritter
34 Vesselin Kourtev
35 Berenice Michelow
35 Nelida Kalanj
36 Robert Hinkelman
36 Vincent Maiello
37 Terry Amburgey
38 Corey West
38 Doris Naffah
39 Ta Barabanakova
40 Ernestine Tahedl
41 Christian Brander
42 Helga Kreuzritter
43 Heidi Fickinger
43 Caroline Mars
44 Imre G. Kohan
45 Giannis Stratis
46 M. Moneta
47 Helga Windle
47 Anja Schüssler
48 Fiona Viney
48 Marga Duin
49 Sonya Veronica
49 Zeiko Basheleishvili
50 Azita Ganji
50 Marty Maehr
50 Susan Eck
51 Stephen Looney
51 Lional Bedos
51 T. Mikey
52 Alayne Dickey
52 Monika Dery
52 Carolyn Quan
52 Olga Baby
53 Atousa Foroohary
53 Kenji Inoue
53 Leona Whitlow
Prayer for Peace 20” x 16” Photograph
D o n n a C l o v i s
he photo performance explores the “artist’s body as an alternative space,” a concept created by the artist because of rising rents for gallery space and the difficulty of finding alternative spaces in New York. In
“Prayer for Peace”, the performance artist and photographer carefully ties seven different varieties of elaborate knots using thick Naval shipyard rope.The skill of tying such elaborate knots comes from her childhood at Governor’s Island where her father worked with the
Coast Guard and visitors from Korea.
She has combined both knot tying skills into an elaborate collaboration of knots.
After a display of seven knots are completed, she disrobes and poses as a sculpture with the most elaborate knot confining her prayerful hands. The photo performance demonstrates our vulnerability to global war and domestic violence. This is juxtaposed with the hope of the prayerful hands. The final act occurs with the photographer’s camera as she uses the photo release cord below her to take a self-portrait.
Listen! 27.5” x 20” Oil on Canvas
T he paintings of Masha Kohan create worlds where medieval figures stand out in realistic splendor in situations that are allegorical or fantastic. Her painting “Listen!” shows an imposing female figure dressed in medieval costume playing a flute. In the distance is a cloudless sky and the faint outline of hills and valleys. Masha Kohan’s compositional style is similar to that of Medieval and early Renaissance artists who placed dramatic emphasis on the human figure and allowed the background to remain largely unfocused. The woman’s intent gaze is concentrated and powerful. Illustrated in the brilliant depiction of her facial expression and the body’s gesture, it is as if, through her flute, she is luring the unknown into the frame of view. The viewer’s involuntary participation and experience of her movement, an unusual interactive quality to a painting, takes Masha Kohan’s work to the modern edge of contemporary art. Fond of Medieval art and philosophy,
Masha Kohan brings her unique perception to today’s audience, leading us into a scene of mystery and secrecy frozen in time. Before Masha
Kohan began painting, she was a jewelry artist. Her change in medium began when she and her husband, fellow metal and glass designer
Imre G. Kohan, moved from Budapest to the Maltese Islands. Living a mostly hermetic lifestyle on a spellbound Mediterranean Archipelago, rich in cultural heritage, inspired Masha Kohan to change her mode of expression. As her paintings testify, Masha Kohan’s imagination is an incredible tool in her creations and one that will continue to serve her well in any medium.
M i a G j e r d r u m H e l g e s e n
Bridge 20” x 16” Acrylic on Linen
M ia Gjerdrum Helgesen paints abstract works that speak to our most intimate memories and unique experiences. Her paintings blend swaths of bold color with subtle details; each work possesses a strong sense of atmosphere that Gjerdrum Helgesen achieves through the harmonious opposition of abstraction and specificity. A native of Norway,
Gjerdrum Helgesen states that she is inspired by “the changing seasons in Norway… the feeling of blooming summer, the birth of spring and the cold snow falling down on my face.” While nature sparks her creativity, Gjerdrum Helgesen’s works tend toward emotional expression.
She states that her works are about “experiences in life, special moments that take another space in your heart as giving life, death of one you love, love and being loved, sharing…moments with people and being able to see things through someone else’s eyes.” The viewer can see these themes depicted in Gjerdrum Helgesen’s work as a whole and in each individual piece.
“Bridge” is an acrylic relief painting in which two figures appear closely connected.
The design is simple: only two colors—red and white—are used to render this scene. Yet Gjerdrum Helgesen uses so many shades and values within this limited color range that the painting takes on a quality of complexity within its more obvious minimalism. The connection, the “bridge” formed between these two figures is the dramatic moment in the work. The bold, horizontal stripe of red suggests a “blood tie” or
6 ARTisSpectrum an emotionally charged moment of connection. The scene is personal, its movements subtle. The intense reds focused in the center of the painting move outward, becoming fainter as the figures fade into a pale background.
The viewer sees a thematic similarity between “Bridge” and
“Beach.” Gjerdrum Helgesen’s signature style of paint application is repeated, but instead of blending her figures with their environment, they stand out in sharp distinction. Both elements of the painting are in harmony, as the angular forms of the silhouette
Beach 31” x 63” Acrylic on Canvas
of a distant beach are echoed in the precise lines of the figures in the foreground.
This beach scene is formal, yet in its own manner, radically free. There is an echo of Seurat’s famous “Grande Jatte” here in its ordinary subject matter (people enjoying a day at the
park) that nevertheless possesses an extraordinary power. Like Seurat’s figures, Gjerdrum
Helgesen’s are quite formal, even rigid. Yet the technique that she employs here, two colors blended into variation of hues, creates an unexpected effect of nostalgia and elusive emotion in the midst of this stylish scene.
In “Home,” a monochromatic piece, varying hues of black and white are used to create an abstract city scene. The layering of color and placement of objects in space suggests movement in the painting, which is both physical and transcendental. There seem to be memories evoked by this “Home” scene, as images float upwards through the canvas in varying degrees of intensity. Depicting the Nesoya Bridge, the crossing from the main land to the island where the artist has lived most of her life, becomes the symbol of crossing and leaving things behind. The painting calls upon the viewer to explore his or her own feelings regarding space, location and memory. Using sepia tones, Gjerdrum Helgesen does her utmost to evoke the passage of time, of elegance, even the passage of romance that people associate with home.
The bridge in the center of the painting is the unifying feature of the work. The background, with its painterly brushstrokes, conveys movement and dynamism, while the bridge is precisely detailed and focuses the viewer on the tangible. There are fragments of other man-made items here, the identity of which is unknown to the viewer. Lines appear and then vanish into the canvas. Shapes resembling squares, ladders, and pillars appear randomly throughout the painting. This serves to defamiliarize viewers from the function of such objects and reacquaint them with their aesthetic value.
Home 39” x 39 Acrylic on Canvas
Her painting “Spring” is a graphic representation of one of the most romanticized subjects in art. Gjerdrum Helgesen’s representation of springtime is pared down and simple.
The painting’s primary focus is the pale greens, vibrant blues and compelling use of negative space. The color palette is expressive here of rebirth and potential, all the concepts usually associated with spring in popular imagination.
Yet Gjerdrum Helgesen’s use of angles and lines adds a modern edge to the work; the softness of “Spring” is countered by the presence of intricate lines that are crosshatched throughout the painting. The repeating pattern of lines is a theme in these works that keeps them modern and innovative. Gjerdrum
Helgesen references urban life in all of these works through her subtle inclusion of grid patterns, and circular columns. Reducing features of city life such as train tracks, windows, sidewalks, awnings and pillars to their simplest forms grants the viewer an opportunity to see these ordinary objects as subjects of beauty and grace.
Gjerdrum Helgesen’s work is immediately eye-catching; its aesthetic is modern and simplified. Yet our imaginations are captivated by the nuance of her colors, the attitudes of her figures and the subtle emotive quality of her compositions. Mia Gjerdrum Helgesen has studied art at The National School of Communication in Norway and at The Academy of Art in San Francisco. She obtained her Masters in
Spring 20” x 31” Acrylic on Canvas
Visual Arts from The National College of the Arts, Oslo.
Mia Gjerdrum Helgesen also works in graphic design and illustration, illustrating children’s books, as well as working in advertising, a skill that informs her work and adds to its modern appeal. She currently lives at Nesoya and works at her own studio in Asker, Norway, where she exhibits her art extensively.
It is time for stormy weather: The Accident 31.5” x 39.5” Digital C Print
It is time for stormy weather: An Ordinary Evening 31.5” x 39.5” Digital C Print
T he photography of Finnish artist Okko Oinonen present surreal situations and post-apocalyptic visions in a dramatic, hyper-realistic format. His style is instantly accessible, providing a narrative in an allegorical manner akin to the masterful paintings of the Renaissance.
Oinonen often uses humor or irony incorporated with an underlying sinister awareness that all is not as it seems. His photographs are crystal clear and fresh with dark undercurrents and gloomy skies; the background is the stage on which his drama unfolds. The people featured in his works are plastic and insular, somehow unaware of or disinterested in the distressing situation that surrounds them. In explaining his own work, Oinonen states, “Especially I concentrate on the contradiction between the virtual and physical reality, human mannequins in today’s entertainment-culture and the relationship between man and nature.”
A particularly compelling work “An Ordinary Evening” from the series “It is time for stormy weather” explores how the virtual world presented on television is an intoxicating drug that subverts the reality beyond the borders of its screen. The small suburban family sits in front of their television in a warm, comfortable stupor either oblivious or unconcerned by the fire outside that is ravaging their neighborhood.
Oinonen’s image requires no additional commentary; the meaning is operative and clear.
Giant butterﬂy: Scene in the street 31.5” x 39.5” Digital C Print
Oinonen’s photographs have been internationally acclaimed, winning grants and awards and participating in group and solo exhibitions in Finland, Estonia, France, Sweden, Germany, China, Russia and the United States. Oinonen studied photography at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland, and at Den Hague, Holland, and has been an art director in a new media company, thus seeing all sides of the visual culture.
Early on in his creative process, Oinonen visualizes what the final image must be, and changes his style to adapt with the subject matter. Depending on the particular narrative, he may use traditional methods of photography or alter the work using digital manipulation.
“I want to make each photograph perfect,” he states, “even better than reality itself.” Indeed Oinonen’s technical deftness is obvious, no matter how surreal the photograph; the image is seamless, leading the viewer to believe in the veracity of the situation. This is precisely why
Oinonen’s work is so compelling: though it is not us in the photograph, we are quite aware that someday it very well may be.
“I’ve been on
T oshiko Nishikawa’s mixed medium artworks are a synthesis of the palest blues, yellows, pinks, greens and whites, establishing a semblance of playful abstractions, the mood of which represents her worldview.
Her works brim with innocence and positivism, instantly disarming the viewer. “I’ve
a journey, a journey in search of eternal beauty.”
been on a journey,” she states, “a journey in search of eternal beauty.” Indeed, there is a timeless, downward or across muted pastel backgrounds.
Nishikawa’s artwork nods to natural phenomena, recalling clouds, snow and water. Done mostly in small to medium sized formats, layers do not intermix but drip and conceal the colors below. Since beginning her journey as a painter and moving through the various positions and options the art world has to offer, Nishikawa has exhibited widely and has gained recognition in the printed press as well as in organic quality to Nishikawa’s art as streaks of white haze flow the airwaves. She lives and works in New York.
Ms.1010200500 8” x 12” x 1.5” Mixed Media http://www.art-mine.com/ArtistPage/Toshiko_Nishikawa.aspx
Untitled 24” x 48” Baked Dry Pigment, Sand & Acrylic
M i k l o s S i p o s
Untitled 24” x 36” Baked Dry Pigment, Sand & Acrylic
F using sympathetic sand magic and the technologies of polymer chemistry, digital design, and offset printing— the art of Miklos Sipos is truly a grand experiment. Sipos, who earned a Bachelors Degree in Colonial Archeology and minored in Geology, draws a great deal of visual inspiration from “primal matter,” but uses a diverse array of modern technological tools and techniques to “reduce the complexity of nature into basic forms.” Combining his knowledge of polymers—including curing techniques and the use of additives and thickeners, such as sand—with unusual pigment combinations and less known secrets of the palette knife, Sipos has made a science of mixed media expression.
Facilitating communion between viewers and the natural world by artistically representing aspects of its composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape it, Sipos encourages intimacy between humanity and the solid matter of the earth. By synthetically replicating terrestrial patterns, and physically incorporating earthly materials such as beach sand, Sipos’ compositions provide visual
“triggers” which cause one to contemplate not only one’s personal relationship to nature, but highlights a collective need to temper the advancement of technology with a healthy respect for the bedrock that supports us. Using genuine beach sand from
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, as a kind of totemic substance,
Sipos reinforces positive associa-
Miklos Sipos gives us a glimpse of a more balanced world—a world in which technology is no longer at odds with nature but in cooperation with it
tions between his audience and the seaside, evoking pleasant nostalgia in those who have visited the area. However, cognizant of the fact that it is the mind and not the eyes that interpret electrical impulses into meaningful patterns, Sipos aims to elicit feeling through visual and emotional cues rather than imposing specific meaning. Similarly, Sipos prefers to leave some pieces untitled so as not to narrow the viewer’s context, or diminish the viewer’s ability to experience his art more fully.
Allowing color, texture and materials to “speak” on behalf of his imagination, Sipos transmits a brief history of the planet and a unique appreciation of the many unsung marvels of its continental crust. Recalling rock strata, river silt, sandy stretches, lava beds, reptilian skin, and petrified wood,
Sipos’ abstract pictorial images succeed in magnifying the microcosmic beauties of the earth’s surface. Harmoniously integrating terrene aesthetics and high-tech methodologies,
Miklos Sipos gives us a glimpse of a more balanced world—a world in which technology is no longer at odds with nature but in cooperation with it, a world in which art is one of many ways to explore our perceptions of it.
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Tree Carpentry 39” x 39” Acrylic on Canvas
N atural realms and themes created in a surrealist mode are found throughout the works of Christel Sobke. She has photographed, created collages, paintings, sculptures and
‘These works are fascinating to explore; the viewer must rove the canvas to make sense of the scenario’
digital works on the seemingly boundless subject of nature.
Sobke has explored her muse from many different angles.
Early on in her career she began experimenting with macro-photography to create abstractions of bark by enlarging the scale to show the minute shapes and textures. Sobke has also completed a series of landscapes, focusing on orchids and brilliant autumnal foliage, as well as a series of collages that feature endangered species. Not to be confined by her native European landscape,
Sobke worked on digitally manipulated photographs of street scenes in New York and a tropical-themed series in 1996.
Lately Sobke’s interests have turned to surrealism, at first taking the form of poetic landscapes and more recently exploring the combination of nature and industry.
These works are fascinating to explore; the viewer must rove the canvas to make sense of the scenario being presented. In “Tree Foundry,” a painting set in a cavernous warehouse, the drama unfolds as indifferent, faceless armature work amongst steel beams, wires and other nameless machinery of Sobke’s invention.
Interestingly, the machines work not to produce consumer goods or other products, but to create a vessel of nature itself.
Within the shadowy confines of the factory these instruments of production work in accord to mold a leaf, inject it with lifeblood and hang it up to dry in endless repetition. Ironically, the factory is devoid of any human intervention or hint of a natural setting; an artificial intelligence operates beyond our field of vision. The style of painting is without extravagance, being both flat and functional, qualities here combined with mystery and nuance are reminiscent of Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte.
Sobke originally studied psychology and German and
English literature, but altered her course of study to focus on art. She attended the FHS in Krefeld to become qualified to teach, but retained her passion for art throughout her studies. Since 1982, Sobke has worked as a freelance artist exploring a variety of media with which to perfect her artistic vision of nature.
Tree Foundry 47” x 31.5” Acrylic on Canvas
St. Tropez from Balcony 41” x 34” Pastel
African Violets on Patterned Cloth 22” x 23” Pastel
P atricia Clements was raised among the distinctive hills and coastlines of Sussex, England. Her work bears not only the mark of a lifelong intimacy with nature, but also the influence of the French Impressionists spirited love affair with color. Her vivid lilies, poinsettias and irises lunge up and outward, while in
“African Violets on Patterned Cloth” the snug flowers, vase and background are painted with the same sensitivity to palette as her sprawling fields of sunflowers. The sensory life, intimately woven in with her skill at composition, counts for all in Clements’ work.
Her most recent works have been exploring the vibrant moods conjured by the light of the French Riviera. A canopy of trees over Saint-Tropez guides one’s gaze between a midnight-blue sea and the town’s streets, which thrust diagonally toward us. Clements has also done studies of nudes in pastels on blue or brown, where the moment between artist and model is captured with a lively yet controlled hand.
In addition to her paintings and pastels, Patricia Clements offers limited edition high quality giclée prints of select works. She is a member of The Society of Woman Painters and in June 2006 that organization awarded her The St. Cuthberts
Mill Award, presented by Princess Michael of Kent, for Best
Painting on Paper.
Jug with Tulips, Dark Blue 28” x 21” Pastel
� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �
Alicja creates her one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures through a process based on the lost wax technique. Born in Poland and educated at the University of Fine Arts in Warsaw,
Cetnarowski has developed a fascination for the interaction between the soft contours of the human natural world. “The human body is the most beautiful and inspiring object for sculpture,” Cetnarowski declares.
Her figures are presented without an environment but rather as an extension of it. A torso folds and splits, an arm is transformed into a craggy outcropping of slate, hair cascades down like a rolling brook. The color of the metals that she uses, especially bronze, further asserts he connection with her terrestrial muses.
Cetnarowski’s sculpture evokes a sense of serenity and a longing for a realization of a more natural existence. Cetnarowski lives and works in Canada
Mystic Grotto 35” x 35” Digital C Print
L atvian artist Edith Suchodrew possesses a spirit of invention and exploration in the field of art. Her artistic progression has seen watercolor and oil paintings, etchings and lithographs, animation, illustration, and graphic design. She has taught art and organized more than 60 of her own exhibitions.
This hard-working artist found her unique vision by responding to the voice of nature through her study of landscapes and scenes of woodlands. Suchodrew has studied ancient cultures, both near and far, and explores themes of joy and tragedy in her art, but it is through the medium of “computer graphic painting,” that her artistic vision finds full realization.
The radiant “Mystic Grotto” employs polished computer graphics containing brilliant color and light. This is a joyous reverie of neon pinks, deep blues and sinuous forms all radiating from a gleaming central star. A host of natural phenomena are suggested in the image, yet it remains altogether abstract and open to viewer interpretation.
Suchodrew’s characteristic use of color and form expresses hope and triumph. Other works are more representational, yet remain nearly architectural in form suggesting an influence from
Buddhist mandalas. Her work is highly sought after, having participated in more than 310 exhibitions, Suchodrew’s work can be found in a variety of museums and private collections. Suchodrew lives and works in Aachen, Germany.
FROM FREIGHT HANDLERS TO
THE MIGRATION TO
C H E L S E A
Article and Photographs By Donna L. Clovis
O nce an industrial section of cold cement warehouses and rusting rail yards with a flurry of yellow taxicabs passing through, Chelsea now sparkles with art galleries, trendy new restaurants and its first expensive residential explosion. The conversion has been gradual with an unusual symbiotic relationship between the industrial and the art mart.
The photography gallery of Yossi
Milo exists upstairs from a taxi garage. The
PaceWildenstein’s Minimalist mausoleum on
West 25th is down the street from old artist’s coops. Elite art collectors rub shoulders with auto mechanics as they walk through the streets. But despite this unusual relationship, after more than ten years of growth, the
Chelsea neighborhood possesses more than
250 galleries that extend from West 13th to
West 29th Streets and from 10th Avenue to the West Side Highway in Manhattan, about twice the amount of galleries SoHo had in the early 1990’s.
The migration to Chelsea is a large scale New York City event that has never happened before. All species of art galleries exist in Chelsea in different stages of development.
Its crop of galleries consists of parallel realities catering to different audiences and markets from the avant-garde to the academic.
With art from places as far as India and as close as Williamsburg, Chelsea reflects contemporary art’s global marketplace.
“Chelsea is now the dominant marketplace for art culture in New York,” said
Renee Vara, an Adjunct Professor at New
York University and Lecturer at Guggenheim
Museum, where she teaches art history, art theory, and museum studies, and is a private independent curator and art historian. “It offers efficiency and a separate enclave with a collective and attractive element.”
The breakthrough into Chelsea began in 1988 with the opening of the Dia Foundation, now Dia Center for the Arts. This cultural pioneer set up camp in a vicinity where spaces were large and rents were cheap. By late 1994, Matthew Marks, then a young Upper East Side dealer, expanded to West 22nd
Street and started the “art party scene” in the new neighborhood. At the time, it was impossible to predict how Chelsea would be transformed or how fast changes would happen.
Paula Cooper arrived in 1996.
Cooper had opened SoHo’s first art gallery in 1968 and then joined about 15 other art dealers and moved to far west Chelsea. The space in Chelsea opened in an old garage on
West 21st Street, between 10th and 11th avenues. Because of Cooper’s prominence in the art world and her role in developing SoHo, many art and real estate entrepreneurs took her move as a sign that the neighborhood west of 10th Avenue and bound by 20th and 26th streets was about to be transformed.
The transformation of Chelsea was the answer for rents that had spiralled out of control in SoHo. With most galleries renting and not owning their spaces in SoHo, galleries sought out new ventures in other territories where rents were cheaper or the option of owning a building was presented. The idea of Chelsea was ripe for its time when the art world was ready to break old traditions with
SoHo. They found them in Chelsea.
As Chelsea dominated the art scene, Mary Boone signaled another stage in her personal evolution as a dealer by establishing a Chelsea branch of her high profile gallery. Gluckman Mayner Architects created a dramatic Chelsea gallery for Boone. Richard Gluckman’s association with Boone dates back to her days on West Broadway. He also designed her gallery at 745 Fifth Avenue.
is now the marketplace for art culture
Boone opened her first space in SoHo on
Broadway in 1979 moving into the same building that housed Leo Castelli and
Ileana Sonnabend’s legendary galleries. Boone later looked for space on 57th
Street in the traditional neighborhood of the
New York art world.
The layout and details of the Chelsea gallery originated from the design of her uptown space. The architect created a powerful juxtaposition between the details associated with his work and the rugged quality of original wood trusses and wood plank ceiling, which are exposed arcing over the space. The floors are steel-troweled concrete slab, which mimics the floor treatment uptown. And the facade’s storefront of translucent glass reminds one of Gluckman’s design at Boone’s West
Broadway gallery. In Chelsea, all three rooms receive natural light by way of the translucent storefront windows in the reception area and through a small central skylight in the rear.
The 12-ft.-wide main exhibition area contains a translucent skylight that traverses the entire length of the 24-ft.-high display wall. Spotlights provide additional lighting.
As the Chelsea area continued to transform, people moved into the area’s first pricey loft conversion on West 22nd Street.
Savanna Partners, a young real estate devel opment firm, bought that property at a July
1994 auction for $3 million. Because of zoning requirements, it took Savanna Partners one and a half years to get approvals, even though there was very little manufacturing activity and little hope for any more industrial growth.
Today, Savanna builds huge lofts and rents the street-level spaces to galleries and restaurants. Not far to the south, on
17th Street, World Wide Holdings Corp.
does something similar, and the Meatpacking
District of the far west Village has practically disappeared as old warehouses are beingturned into apartments.
Among Chelsea gallery spaces are other SoHo exiles like John Weber, Barbara
Gladstone, Metro Pictures, 303 Gallery, Bose
Pacia Gallery, and Agora Gallery.
“Chelsea affords you access to critics and curators that make the rounds regularly to look at galleries,” said Dr. Steve
Pacia, co-founder and co-partner with Dr
Arani Bose of the Bose Pacia Gallery on
West 26th Street.
Bose Pacia Gallery, established in
1994 in SoHo, was the first gallery in the
West specializing in contemporary art from
South Asia. During the last ten years, Bose
Pacia has held over 30 exhibitions and is internationally regarded for promoting the
South Asian avant-garde. Visual artists from
South Asia work within a unique space that is informed by many cultures, languages and religions. Bose Pacia fosters an active discourse between these artists and the international art community by featuring exhibitions that contextualize contemporary art from this geographic region within its rich artistic traditions and current social tensions.
Established in 1984 in SoHo by a fine artist, Agora Gallery more than doubled its space when it moved to Chelsea in 2003. A gallery without borders,
Agora was one of the pioneer galleries providing representation to both national and international artists.
Recent interviews by its director,
Angela Di Bello, in Business News Weekend
(NBC) Hellenic Public Radio, and the Wall
Street Journal have brought additional attention and visitors to Chelsea.
The New Museum also left SoHo for an interim spot in Chelsea but has closed its doors, with the exception of its bookstore space at the Chelsea Art Museum, for a year and a half until the construction of its much anticipated new building on the Bowery is opened. Designed by the acclaimed Tokyo based company of Sejima and Nishizawa/SA-
NAA, the new 60,000 square foot, seven-story New Museum will be the first art museum building constructed in downtown Manhattan in over a century.
“The New Museum has always made a significant contribution to all of its neighborhoods from SoHo to Chelsea said Henry
Buhl, collector of photography of hands and hand sculpture who serves on the Board of the New Museum.
And some left spaces in Williamsburg and other locations in Manhattan to settle in Chelsea like Bellwether and Aperture.
“We wanted to be located in the epicenter of New York’s vibrant art photography scene,” said Andrea Smith, Director of Communications for the Aperture Foundation,
“We want to make Aperture the destination for great photography.”
The Aperture Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to promoting photography was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange,
Barbara Morgan, and Minor White, historian Beaumont Newhall, and writer/curator
Nancy Newhall. The Foundation publishes a periodical four times a year called Aperture magazine. The Aperture Foundation also published books, limited-edition photographs, and portfolios. They provide artist lectures, panel discussions and a traveling exhibitions program that presents diverse exhibitions at major museums and cultural institutions throughout the world.
But the Chelsea area has also attracted newbies and foreigners opening for the first time, as well as some dealers who are reopening galleries. Many of these, such as
Bill Maynes and Stefan Stux, have moved into gallery buildings where small, cheap spaces were readily available.
The activity in Chelsea is an example of how the art scene has splintered in
New York. For many years, gallery owners located on the Upper East Side and on 57th
Street. And SoHo’s boundaries stretched south as some galleries have moved to the area just above Canal Street. Even downtown has tried to reinvent itself as a more artistic environment.
And not since the 1980’s have so many galleries had multiple spaces with most of the additional locations in Chelsea. For some galleries, one Chelsea location is not enough. Paula Cooper has two spaces. Matthew Marks, has three. Perry Rubenstein, a private dealer, opened two galleries at once.
And Gagosian’s huge 24th Street space is equal to three separate galleries. Even the
Wrong Gallery, Chelsea’s smallest art gallery, has two spaces. David Zwirner, on 19th
Street, and Barbara Gladstone, on 24th Street added penthouses to their locations.
“What has happened in Chelsea is great,” said Gerald Peters, owner and founder of the Gerald Peters Gallery who has three gallery spaces: one on the Upper East Side of New York, one in Dallas, Texas, and one in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When asked why he did not move to Chelsea, Peters said, “My focus is on traditional painting, and to a lesser extent on contemporary art.”
In Chelsea, phases of growth are born swiftly and simultaneously in a pioneer frontier fashion. While glass-fronted galleries grow, deluxe rentals materialize like a mirages before our eyes. But as a result of fast paced growth in Chelsea, anti-Chelsea sentiment has risen. Some say Chelsea is too big, too commercial, and too homogenous. And while Chelsea exemplifies the main pulse of art thought as many have flocked to this dominant marketplace, others have looked for and maintained project spaces in SoHo, the Lower
East Side, and Chinatown.
Guild & Greyshkul, founded in
2003 in SoHo by Anya Kielar, Sara Van-
DerBeek, and Johannes VanDerBeek, has remained in SoHo. Originally located at 22
Wooster Street, the former American Fine
Arts, Guild & Greyshkul grew out of the founders’ desire to create a vital gallery within a historic space. And Renee Vara established
Vara Fine Arts in SoHo and moved into the
Water D’Maria Earth Room Building on 141
Wooster Street for both nostalgic and practical reasons. Although she does business in Chelsea, the focus of her business is with collectors on the Upper East Side and project spaces in the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Her current location allows mobility to all areas of her business. Vara sponsors “Nights of Dialogue” with panels and performances about art.
These Ekphrastic Evenings are a new series of interviews, talks and open conversations to revive forums for open dialogues on art and visual culture in a non-partisan environment. The first several evenings were private and successful, among those filled to capacity was a public interview with historical artist,
“It’s a decision of difference” said,
Renee Vara. “SoHo is a cross-space, a weird metaphorical place of sorts that has art history looming like a specter of the past as we have moved into a ‘monetized’ moment in the art world.”
Chelsea will never be SoHo with its 19th-century cast-iron buildings and small streets where galleries co-existed with artist’s studios, restaurants, and stores with connections to most subway lines in the city.
But nowadays, Chelsea is the current bustling stage for contemporary art in the world as it continues to give birth to more and more galleries.
“I feel that my outside the grid environment serves the viewer more time to look at the work and perhaps digest it instead of being inundated with far too much information as is the case of Chelsea,” said Lisa Kirk, co-founder with Joe Latimore of Legion at
Sensei, a gallery and incidental space located on Kenmare Street on the border of New York
City’s Nolita and Chinatown.
“And honestly, I just like Chinatown. And I dig the space,” said Victoria Donner, who just founded and opened the V&A
Gallery on Mott Street, “It was a gut thing.”
But what is the next edge of the art world in New York? Are SoHo amd the Lower
East side points of difference? Is there still a notion of alternative space in New York? Do we need them? Do we believe in them anymore? Will rents and prices of Chelsea continue to rise and price out galleries again?
These thoughts are pondered by those who are perched on the edge of their seats waiting and watching for the next move in New York
City’s artistic playground of real estate space.
In the meantime, yellow taxis slow and turn cautiously down Chelsea streets and come to a halt at dusk. From a taxi emerges a tall man with a gleaming forehead dressed in a black suit. He steps out of the taxi with a woman in a black cocktail dress draped in curtains of black hair. As they mount the stairs in the front of the door of a gallery space, they wait. The streets fill with people. Between the silence of the notes in chatter about art, there is the melodic music of a mechanic’s drill. It is 6:00. Let the exhibitions begin!
BIG SPACE, SMALL SPACE:
A M U S E U M , A B O X
C helsea hosts galleries with a diversity of proportions.
The Cheslea Art Museum is a contemporary space about 30,000 square feet located in a renovated historic building in the heart of Chelsea on West 22nd Street, opposite the Chelsea Piers.
The Chelsea Art Museum is committed to an exploration of “art within a context.”
This approach favors a program of exhibitions that reflects contemporary human experience across a spectrum of cultural, social, environmental, and geographical contexts. The exhibitions are supported by a series of related cultural events and educational programs.
Co-founder and president, Dorothea Keeser, describes the curatorial vision as, “a commitment to art as a living entity that reacts and interacts with us and changes the way one continues to live one’s daily life.”
In collaboration with a network of museums, galleries, and other visual arts institutions, the Chelsea Art Museum seeks to present important, but relatively unexplored dimensions of 20th and 21st century art. Its focus is upon artists that have been less exposed in the United States than in their home countries. The Chelsea Art Museum also places prominent importance on exhibiting young American artists. A new series entitled
“Insight” features artists who have not yet enjoyed their own solo shows in a New York
Museum. The museum presents film, performances, artist talks, and round-table discussions that look to foster cross culural and interdisciplinary debate.
“My work here allows me to really pursue fresh insights and push the thresholds of exhibition practice,” said Manon Slome,
Chief Curator for the Chelsea Art Museum,
“Here I work with important societal themes, combine new and more well known artists in often unexpected ways.”
Slome has been Chief Curator of the
Chelsea Art Museum since its inauguration in
November 2001. For several years prior, she worked as curator for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York. She is recipient of the Whitney Museum’s Helena Rubenstein
Foundation Curatorial Fellowship. As an independent curator, she has organized exhibitions in New York, London, Hong Kong, and has served as art advisor for private and public collections throughout the United States.
The museum is also home of the
Jean Miotte Foundation, an organization dedicated to archiving, preserving, presenting, and making available for exhibition the works of Jean Miotte. Rotating selections of Miotte’s work are shown on a regular basis.
On the other hand, Chelsea continues to attract small, grass-roots galleries. A few blocks away from the Chelsea Art Museum, lies a much smaller gallery space about the size of a box called, White Box. The gallery offers an “alternative space” within Chelsea on West 26th Street. The non-profit organization shows contemporary art in the context the show first hand inside the box. In the meantime, crowds stood and sat on the Chelsea street watching a performance art piece by dancers and listening to the entertaining voice of an opera singer before a band arrived to play inside the box with the exhibition later in the evening.
The exhibition was a multimedia sculpture installation and post-emotional habitat conjured by artists Jeremy Lovitt and Isac
Sprachman. In their first collaboration, the artists exploit video and construction materials
Clockwise from top left: White Box; The Chelsea Art Museum; Staircase in the Chelsea Art Museum; onlookers at the White Box
of socially relevant issues and its vision is to act as a counter to the surrounding environment seeking to advance a creative difference.
Exhibitions range from mid-career, emerging, and under represented artists with international programs from guest scholars and curators from around the world.
“The space at White Box in Chelsea is a creative alternative,” said Juan Puntes, co-owner and founder of White Box.
A recent summer exhibition,
APOCOCROPOLIS, curated by Jason Goodman at White Box, could be seen from the sidewalk through the window of White Box.
The crowd waited in anticipation of viewing to erect a monolith which salutes the notion that “enough is never enough” or “what have
I done to deserve this?”
The materials of the monumental art-altar, metal studs and sheet rock, are the same materials used to create the temporary interior partitions so common of the buildings of the Chelsea art gallery district. Quick and cheap to erect, quick and cheap to tear down, and put in the dumpster with the ever shifting sands of the real estate market manipulations.
The materials comment on the forcefully unavoidable cyclical migration of artistic centers at once regaling the viewer with a new sensation of archeological discovery.
Reﬂecting Mandala #10 24” x 36” Mixed Media
What’s in a Name?
The name Doolittle can conjure up contrasting personalities—the fictional doctor with the ability to converse with animals, as well as the famed pilot Jimmy Doolittle, who led America’s first air strike against Japan during World War II. Artist Harry Doolittle’s life incorporates both the mystical and actual characteristics of his two better-known namesakes.
No, Harry doesn’t claim to have the gift of an animal whisperer, able to dialogue with non-human creatures, but he does acknowledge receiving whispered instructions in a dream to create artworks that apply glass to canvass. Dr. Dolittle has given joy to generations of children. Harry Doolittle contributed to giving an equivalent joy to a generation of Baby Boomers by working on two of the most popular, landmark children’s television programs of the 1950’s, The Howdy
Doody Show and Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
And yes, like Jimmy Doolittle, Harry was also a warrior in
World War II. He piloted a Patrol Torpedo boat in the South Pacific, just like President John F. Kennedy, who’s famed P.T. 109 was rammed and sunk by an enemy ship. It turns out Harry Doolittle was just one digit away from disaster. He skippered P.T. 108.
Words for Sale
Over the span of four decades, Doolittle channeled his creativity through a conscious manipulation of language, a far cry from the
20 ARTisSpectrum subconscious images that would later encourage him to replace words in favor of a visual syntax. Harry worked as a copywriter for some of
America’s leading advertising agencies. His gift for choosing the most convincing words in service to sell merchandise and ideas landed him in Johannesburg as the creative director for an American based ad agency. He used his language skills to persuade people to think and respond in a specific way by promoting a perception of the personal benefits they would derive from purchasing his products.
Doolittle moved from using words to sell commodities to using words to monitor the success or failure of media manipulation of the public. For six and a half years he worked as a managing editor for two magazines pertaining to radio and television ratings. This consummate wordsmith began to paint in 1969, but didn’t exhibit for nearly a decade.
Words Create Problems
While living in Africa, Doolittle married Misook, an Asian artist and clothing designer who vigorously supported Harry’s avocation as a painter. After a lifetime of creatively employing language to promote and persuade others, Harry Doolittle concluded that, “words create problems.” He considers words as the primary ingredient in the spreading of “disharmony and dissonance.” Disharmony and dissonance are musically based negative terms, carefully chosen by
Doolittle, who once played the violin. He has rejected written language as the vehicle for his participation in a universal culture he believes should be rooted in spirituality, balance, peace and beauty.
Doolittle began painting in 1969 while a creative director at one of America’s leading advertising agencies in America. Creating visual art during this period in his life heralded a time of clashing perceptions and priorities. After all, Doolittle was a highly respected wordsmith selling American ideas, ideals and products on foreign soil while at the same time spilling out a unique vision on canvas that wasn’t at all concerned with selling, but sharing. This self-taught artist offered up his colorful, mixed-media images that were rooted in the whimsical, the decorative and meditative at galleries in America and South Africa.
Doolittle’s artwork is free of narrative and language. Its ethereal dream inspired and inspiring abstractions are not connected in any way to the concrete, and thus offers communication that stands in exact opposition to the deployment of words. His unique symmetry of acrylics, glass, aluminum, and brass leaf creates richly textured scintillant compositions noted for their playful, yet disciplined approach to color and shape. He notes that his singularity of design stems from the subconscious use of a technique he has developed over the past four decades. The mandala is a circle or wheel symbolizing an enlightened being’s compassion and love for sentient beings. It is dedicated to peace and physical balance, both for the individual and for the world.
Mandala Visual Music
According to mythologist Joseph Campbell, mandalas are ritual geometric designs that symbolize the universe. In Eastern religions they are also considered an aid to meditation. Doolittle’s mandalas take the shape of circles, an image his unconscious received in a series of non-narrative dreams. The peace he received from these images, along with whispered admonishments to share them with others, emotionally connected him to a spirituality that was devoid of any horrors. These circles and orbs became the reverberation of a dominant theme that was always dreamed of in color.
It is probably no coincidence that many of Doolittle’s circular mandalas often remind one of a music cd or an album’s turntable-
-- a metaphoric musical sphere of visual melody that offers up the same layered quality found in a musical note. His paintings hang like music on a wall, his mandala spheres taking on the function of an album turntable because the paintings can be alternatively turned, spun and placed in any direction---vertically, horizontally, up, down, left, right-- in order to achieve individual viewer balance and harmony.
Because Doolittle encourages the proactive choice of positioning the paintings according to personal tastes and moods, the viewer can assume the role of conductor by orchestrating these spheres into fresh and unique journeys. Thus, the owner of a Harry Doolittle canvas has the potential to create a “new music” with each turn of the canvas and subsequent viewing.
Yin & Yang, Yang & Yin 24” x 36” Mixed Media
Four Reﬂecting Mandalas #1 24” x 36” Mixed Media Flight #2 24” x 36” Mixed Media http://www.art-mine.com/ArtistPage/Harry_C._Doolittle.aspx
Kitty va n d e
R i j t
T he tantalizing works of Dutch artist Kitty van de Rijt feature sinuous curves found in the female form and brushwork that recalls the worn stucco exterior of an ageing Italian villa. It is the textural quality of her work that immediately draws one in for a closer look. Colors blend together in misty reverie as faceless figures come forth and recede. In van de Rijt’s work,
“Feel the Rhythm,” a lone female figure stands resolutely, a snake coiled round her torso, both forms ushering forth from a melodic haze of oranges and reds, blues and violets. The striking symbols of woman and snake create a sense of mystery, yet their meaning is not absolute, but open to a variety of interpretations. It is this dialogue between the art and the viewer in combination with a tactile approach that makes van de Rijt’s work so enchanting.
Born in 1960 and raised in the town of Veldhoven, it was only about fifteen years ago that van de Rijt began taking art lessons. Not long after this time, while developing her unique style, the instructor recommended that she exhibit her art. Van de Rijt developed a preference for painting with acrylics on linen, as well as sculpting in bronze, wood and stone.
Though rarely delineating the human face, van de Rijt nonetheless speaks volumes through her art. “In my work,” she explains, “I am communicating with the viewer and the world at large.” It is in fact the remote and detached nature of her figures and absence of details in their environment that make the work so compelling, and in turn timeless. Van de Rijt’s work has generated extensive interest while being exhibited in the
Netherlands and abroad.
Feel the Rhythm 74” x 31” Acrylic on Linen
Ve ro n i c a L e i to n
L ike an impression of the sea and sky at dawn, where horizons do not exist and all is misty, the fluid, impressionistic abstracts of Veronica Leiton seep into the viewer’s subconscious to leave their message of profundity and tranquility.
Leiton’s art is a pictorial transliteration of poetry to image. Often, the inspiration for these evocative works is a poem or a fragment of written text. She is affected by her love of the sea and she travels through the world of color with an aqueous palette of watery hues, intertwining shades of blues and greens in lyrical combinations to communicate her vision, which has the mystery of deep, quiet oceans. She mixes different materials, textures, rhythms and veils to her oils on canvas or paper to introduce a note of unpredictability to the fantasy worlds she creates in free-flowing brushstrokes. Leiton’s paintings have to be viewed at leisure—the viewer taking the time so necessary to understand the message—because each piece is a world composed of micro-worlds, spaces that are transformed into different spaces, creating a new reality of serenity and infinity.The artist lives and works in Mexico, a country surrounded on either side by the sea.
Breve Navagacion en Pie Quebrado 22” x 28” Oil http://www.art-mine.com/ArtistPage/Veronica_Leiton.aspx
M i c h e l e
Ke l l n e r
T he American artist Michele Kellner uses photography to explore the world around us, providing a lens through which the everyday appears extraordinary. With a careful eye for detail,
Kellner captures in black and white the multiple reflections found on store windows, passersby, merchandise and the streetscape all superimposed upon a single pane. The resulting photographs make up her series “Through the Glass Lightly: Reflections on
Storefronts,” an array of intriguing images in which buildings become nebulous shadows, trees transform into prismatic webs, mannequins and people collide. Occasionally Kellner herself appears in the photograph, emerging like an apparition from the surrounding silhouettes. In most cases, the light—whether reflecting upon or shining through the large window—distorts the scene, creating a thought-provoking record of a moment in time. Through these unique visions, Kellner conveys a sophisticated philosophy regarding the plurality of life; she states, “We all have our own, rather narrow view of the world. I want to broaden that outlook to show that there are several truths happening at the same time—all the time.” Thus, with intention, Kellner’s art mirrors reality and, in the process, prompts us to question reality’s very nature.
A Study in Black and White, NYC, 2005; ‘Reﬂections on Storefronts’
25” x 24” Photographic Print
Le Flou S’installe 51” x 39” Oil on Wood
P h i l i p p e
R i n g l et
B elgium’s Philippe Ringlet has painted for more than fifteen years, but kept his work relatively private until 2002. Since then, his French and Swiss exhibitions have found commercial and critical success.
The French word flou translates as ‘soft focus’ or ‘haziness,’ and this ambiguity fits the mood of Ringlet’s “Le Flou
S’installe. Its pitcher and plates seem to glow from within, suggesting not so much cleanliness as an otherworldly feel. Elsewhere, the strong, simmering tones of orange and banana-yellow evoke the sensuality and eventual decay of ripe fruit (which, tellingly, does not appear on the table itself). Here, Ringlet pays sly homage to the still-life masterpieces of his Flemish forebears. Yet, the feral quality of one corner’s dark circular brushstrokes recalls Abstract
Expressionism, and its emphasis on revealing what the psyche hides. Is Ringlet’s table the unifying site of abundance that our culture celebrates, or the place where a family’s darkest secrets will be revealed? Ringlet’s “soft focus” is not a blurring of hard truths; his ‘haziness’ is not muddled purpose. Rather, the flou of
“Le Flou S’installe” acknowledges the unavoidable uncertainty found in daily life.
T here has always been an ongoing romance between art and Chelsea. The Chelsea
Hotel, one of Manhattan’s few bohemian hot spots, maintains its existence as a famous landmark inhabited by artists, writers, and musicians. At various times, it was home to
William S. Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Janis
Joplin, and Sid Vicious. The hotel on West
23rd Street continues to be a place for artistic convergence. The lobby looks like a nostalgic art museum. From sculptures seemingly suspended in mid-air to paintings exhibited in all thoroughfares, the artistic ambiance perpetuates the past.
Earliest residents include Charles
Melville Dewey in 1885, Rufus Zogbaum, an artist who later covered the Spanish-American
War for Harper’s Magazine, and Henry Abbey, a theatrical producer. The Chelsea has been visited by actresses Sarah Bernhardt and
Lillian Russell and the writers Mark Twain and O Henry in 1907. Suzanne La Follette, an early feminist who wrote on conservative issues, spent many years living at the Chelsea Hotel writing and editing magazines such as The Nation, The American Mercury and
The Freeman. She also wrote several books including Concerning Women, which came out in 1926 and pressed for the civil rights of women, and Art in America, a 1929 work that traced American artistic development from
In the 1930s, Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can’t
Go Home Again at the hotel. Artist John Sloan lived there and Edgar Lee Masters made it his permanent home. Dylan Thomas and Brendan Behan also came to the Chelsea. James T.
Farrell and Nelson Algren passed through as well. Andy Warhol filmed Chelsea Girls there.
And it was at the Chelsea Hotel that Arthur C.
Clarke and Stanley Kubrick wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Among other Chelsea Hotel inhabitants are the writer Jakov Lind and the composer Virgil Thomson, who has made the hotel his home for
40 years. Brazilian photographer,
Claudio Edinger first visited the Chelsea Hotel in 1976. A few weeks later, he moved in to stay and took pictures of the residents. Eighty portraits along with an introduction by Pete Hamill were gathered into the book, Chelsea
Hotel, published by Abbeville Press.
And as Pete Hamill noted, “Still they come, full of hope or despair, to make the Chelsea their home.”
The idea of the Chelsea Hotel originated with Philip Hubert, a
French-born architect with the firm,
Hubert & Pirsson. Hubert is credited with originating the co-op in New
York as well as the duplex apartment concept. The original Chelsea Hotel had a barbershop, restaurant, topfloor artists’ studios, a roof garden, maid service, and about 100 apartments with 70 owned by stockholders and about 30 rented. In 1885, many apartments were owned by tradesmen and suppliers on the project who were persuaded to take them in lieu of money. The apartments cost from $7,000 to $12,000 each. A floor plan in the hotel collection of the library of the
New-York Historical Society is close to the original design. It shows a long, east-west hallway running from end to end serving about 10 apartments per floor, most with two bedrooms.
During that time period,
23rd Street was the prototype thoroughfare of American Broadway Theater. Like Bowery and 14th Street before it, this era would soon pass. But in the late 19th century, Chelsea was the center for theater entertainment with the Opera House Palace, Pike’s
Opera House, and Proctor’s Vaudeville Theater daily shows.
Changes occurred in Chelsea with the opening of The Empire,
Broadway’s first uptown theater near
40th Street. The migration and establishment of theater took several years, but the social landscape of Chelsea was soon altered. Stripped of the glamourous theater audiences, 23rd
Street became a location for industrial commerce. Financial panics of 1893 and 1903 combined with the rising costs of urban life, bankrupted the
Chelsea cooperative and forced the relocation of its original inhabitants.
By 1905, the Chelsea cooperative was sold and reorganized as a hotel.
The Chelsea Hotel began a different era of occupants ranging from writers to artists and urban transients, including Dee Dee Ramone who lived at the hotel on and off since 1974. He wrote the songs for Ramones and accomplished the best work at the hotel because it was quiet and the walls were thick. His book called, “How I
Survived the Ramones,” tells the story of the band. Today, recent residents include Sally Singer, the fashion news editor at Vogue magazine, and her husband, Joseph O’Neill, an Irish novelist and lawyer, who are raising their three sons in an eighth-floor suite.
The current Chelsea has 250 units of one to four rooms. Three-quarters of the rooms are occupied by long-term residents. The others are transient rooms. Many suites retain their Victorian layouts and spectacular carved working marble fireplaces. The suites are furnished in an artistic exhibition of styles. Some have the decor of the
1950s with tube steel dinette sets, others show large carved Victorian dressers with light fixtures like modern art.
The wide hallways with windows at each end remind one of Renaissance
Italy with its small back streets. The two-part manager’s office was carved out of the original Ladies’ Reception room on the ground floor. Ceiling murals shadow old bookcases full of
Chelsea history. There is a high, open staircase behind the check-in desk.
Rising ten floors to a spacious skylight, it is paired with a complicated
Victorian iron railing. Like the rest of the hotel, it is decorated with the artwork of present and past tenants.
It is a lively old haunt that continues to echo eternal artistic excellence.
There are plaques mounted in front of the Chelsea Hotel dedicated to deceased artists who once lived here:
Thomas Wolfe, Brendan Behan,
These days, for about 250 dollars per night, one can get a room in the historic Hotel Chelsea on West 23rd
Street. All rooms include cable television, shower, bathroom, and bellman service with local restaurants willing to deliver food directly to your hotel room.
The migration of a multitude of art galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood have added to the Chelsea Hotel’s history, charm, and vibrancy. The romance with art in Chelsea continues. People who come here live and love life creatively.
The Studio Visit
This feature will explore the connection between the artist’s work and the tangible domain of his or her immediate environment, whether that domain be a small inner city space, a floor through loft, or a studio tucked away in the basement of a beachfront property. An exploration will be undertaken seeking to understand the elements contributing to the inspiration of their work.
T he painter Charles Blake lives in
Oak Beach, Long Island, a narrow, isolated strip of beach property that is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Fire Island Inlet. His view, from the back side of the refurbished two-story house is spectacular. The inlet is located not more than 100 feet from his back door. Juniper trees, tall grass, and newly planted bamboo adorn the surroundings and graciously yield to the cool breeze that wafts from the direction of the unspoiled, blue water.
I asked Charles about his workday. How does he access the creative process, and carry the torch of inspiration with him to his studio? There was no hesitation in his answer, as he described early morning walks along the narrow pathway, through the thick shrubs that lead to the waters edge. “Here I clear my mind of everything, I listen to what is inside and around me.
Here I find my balance, as it were”.
Around him Charles finds a pulse in the gentle pounding of water, the salty ocean air, and in the tall reeds that brush against each other with the repetitive rhythm of motion and sound.
The pathway in the back of the house meanders to the right where tomatoes hang over the wooden structure that prevents them from touching the ground. All around us the sweet scent of basil fills the air as Charles tends to his second passion, gardening. The director of design and on air promotion for NBC Television for 12 years, Charles is now devoting virtually all of his time to painting, organizing exhibitions, his house, gardening and watching over his two cats who watch him, from every window of the house, as he walks around his property.
As Charles approaches the house, a rush of emotion fills his mind as he steps into the studio, where in the act of painting, he will re-discover who he is today. He will sit at the sundrenched table that is crammed with glass jars filled to the brim with paintbrushes, and half squeezed tubes of acrylics. He will walk to the left wall where a stack of stretched canvases act as reassurance that there, in this space, he will confront the very nature of his own reality.
A dozen or so mixed media, figurative paintings overlap and occupy nearly every corner of the studio. Many of the highly structured and textured surfaces contain symbols of Blake’s physical environment with metal reeds, chains and found objects that incessantly enforce verve and veracity. Paintings of men, women and children, some of whom are dressed in turn of the century clothing, gaze out; each is poised in a staged narrative that engages the viewer with a haunting, enigmatic longing; providing a poignant window into the very meaning of their existence.
- Angela Di Bello
Q u i n n
S t i l l et to
Broadway in the Rain 41” x 42” Oil on Canvas
Einstein 62” x 43” Oil on Canvas
Q uinn Stilletto lives in a world of swirling colors that sometimes seem to be embedded in his canvases and sometimes seem to be floating around him in the air. His expressionist visions can portray what has been called diverse layers of consciousness. Stilletto’s control of these layers and colors is such that he is equally at home presenting a non-objective painting as he is with guiding his strokes of color into the form of a portrait. For example, in his work titled
“Einstein,” a textured, somber colored canvas gives way to an assault of yellow brushstrokes until the familiar face of the genius theoretician,
Einstein, stares out at us.
It’s appropriate for Quinn Stilletto to take a thinker such as
Einstein as a subject for visual exploration. Stilletto’s own work springs from a well of thought and contemplation. The artist is deeply involved in an intertwined flow of intellect and spirit. His earliest path was pointed towards the priesthood. He decided after some years that he could also serve those around him with his art and his activism. He dedicates some part of his art and his energy towards helping people—particularly artists—who have been affected by the AIDS epidemic.
British-born artist Stilletto speaks of the art as an intrinsic part of his faith and his spiritual practices. In fact, he says he feels that
“The artist does not create, only God creates.” Stilletto sees himself as a kind of conduit for the creativity that flows from outside the normal human experience. He refers to the “infused faith” model described by Thomas Aquinas. Philosophical concepts are central to Stilletto’s world. He speaks of his world as a fantasy world in which beliefs are fluid. “Truth is unstable, it’s built upon sand,” he says.
Stilletto moved with his family from his London birthplace to New York during the 1950s, and finally settled in Ohio, It was in the arts community of Cleveland where Stilletto found himself most at home. Although his paintings, photographs, and sculptures are at the center of his participation in that community, Stilletto’s life has many facets. He owns a design firm that successfully tackles projects as diverse as designing ladies’ active wear, doing architectural design, and presenting a line of pop culture themed garments under the “Unwanted Children” brand label.
Stilletto’s works have been exhibited in a variety of group shows from Kansas City to New York. He also had one man shows at
Cleveland’s Barth Gallery, Pentagon Gallery, The Kelly Randall Gallery, The Greg Martin Gallery and Novo Metro.
Spirit Guide #11 29” x 61” Oil Monoprint
T he process of monoprinting works well for veteran artist Judith
Brust. Masonite plates are inked and then manipulated with drawing, painting, rubbing and the addition of found objects, fabper, perhaps only once, but more often several times, as images build up. Each new layer both obscures and reveals pieces of the one that came before it, stringing together moments of experience, loss and memory. Working intently for short bursts of time, Brust allows the works to unfold as they will, intentionality giving way to random color and imagery, the conscious and the unconscious hand of the artist.
Brust’s Spirit Guide series, more than 20 monoprints made minds us of what we already know – that living is both profoundly beautiful and meaningful – and also painful and finite. We suffer as much as we experience joy and actualization. Danger encroaches at every turn. But she holds out to us that we are not alone.
The work begs for our commitment of time and attention.
What is calm and soothing to look at is also awash with meaning. Birds, the spirit guides whose wings will enfold and comfort us, are watchful and protective as we make our way past sharp fences that snag, and through the litter, muck and pollution of this postmodern world in which we live. Even the birds are troubled, banding together and pooling their strengths, but pointing the way with outstretched wing.
man scale pieces address our exterior world, drawing us into color and beautiful danger, enfolding us in wings. Small intimate pieces mirror the inner world, where true growth and change are possible.
Stoic, beautiful birds again offer aid on our private journey from ity, the artist helping to point the way.
Mystery also lives amid this series, encouraging us to ponder what we do not and cannot know. Studying and living with
Brust’s pieces raises more questions than answers. One think about the divine, grace, purpose and hope. We are engaged in this quest, as she is.
bany and has exhibited extensively along the East coast for many ter NY, Nantucket and Captiva.
Spirit Guide #6 61” x 29” Oil Monoprint
This exhibition is organized by Centro Cultural
Eduardo León Jimenes (Santiago, Dominican
Republic) and presented and coordinated in
New York by El Museo del Barrio
September 29, 2006–January 21, 2007
Lead support provided by
Also on view through January 21, 2007:
This Skin I’m In: Contemporary
Dominican Art from El Museo del Barrio’s
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street
New York, NY 10029
212 831 7272 www.elmuseo.org
Jacinto Domínguez, Perico ripiao, n.d. (detail) Oil on canvas. 36” x 30”.
Collection Juan R. Jorge García and Family
F anciful and imaginative, the paintings of tention with pure charm. Drawing on mythical tales and modern astronomy for inspiration,
Rueda creates a timeless vision of two classical characters. Her painting “Venus Meets
Mercury” was inspired by an astronomical tially informed by the fantastic imagination of painters like Marc Chagall, who is similarly ings of Mercury and Venus are stylized; both figures thoroughly embody their roles of god/ goddess. Yet a touch of whimsy elevates the work beyond the norm through Rueda’s unexpectedly thick and painterly style and her dramatic use of color contrasts.
Her paintings are rendered with sophistication and skill, but tion is what sets Rueda’s body of work apart. Her creative perspective is strong and her imagination is a lucid tool. The viewer of Rosalba
Rueda’s work is granted access to this world of fancy and can remain
Venus Meets Mercury 18” x 24” Oil on Canvas
suspended there for as long as he likes.
Rosalba Rueda is originally from Colombia. Though she has painted for most of her life, Rueda began to dedicate herself exclusively to painting ten years ago. She has taken part in several group exhibitions in Chicago, where she currently lives and works.
G erman artist Iva Milanova displayed her talent as a child in
Bulgaria. Her parents are artists, and her grandmother was a weaver. This early experience is reflected in her art. She learned how to weave, dye and mix colors, which brings to her painting a rich textured quality. Her use of color recreates the intensity of skeins of yarn, wet and freshly dyed. Her father created art with metal and plastics, and her mother designed contemporary jewelry. This immersion in art made it as natural for her to paint as it is for a child to play. She produced her first aquarelle at age
10. Her talent was noticed by fashion companies who hired her nova admission to the Bulgarian School of Art in Sofia, where she enrolled as a special student, still in high school. Later as an adult, she studied in Germany.
The depth of her art stems from the tradition of icons that must be more than a skillful rendering of a subject, but rather a sacred window into spiritual realities. Madonnas possess a hypnotic quality that uses an artist’s skill as a tool to transcend
‘Her use of color recreates the intensity of skeins of yarn, wet and freshly dyed.’
the material world. Milanova’s portraits possess this quality.
The “Woman With Turquoise
Flower” has intense eyes directed towards another world, away from the viewer. These eyes are skewed, with the same lack of attention to anatomical detail as African ancestor figures. The nose is schematized and pale, - a chord of dramatic contrast to the bright red notes of color too high on her cheeks, biguous face is a large, dark hat whose carnelian brim acts as a halo. The turquoise flower juts improbably into the face and hat, floating with no logical support – an iconostasis, a veil, between the viewer and subject. Is this woman a saint, clown or whore?
The impasto gold brush strokes describe a garment with an upside-down dark cross at the improbably narrow neck beneath the flower - suggesting a liturgical vestment . Completing this quasisacred space are the pale yellow brushstrokes in the background, man expressionism, with multivalent levels of meaning.
Her painting “Jealousy” inserts strong black and white painted drawing into rich colors. A menacing bull, evocative of
Picasso, emerges from repetitive spirals and lines emoting brute animal strength and passion. Milanova’s textile background enables her to handle complex shapes with clarity and force. Her academic studies in ancient archeology and Byzantine art combine in her work to create compelling imageries, that unfold and draw the viewer into the work, to probe further Milanovas’s
Woman with a Turquoise Flower 35” x 31” Oil on Canvas
Jealousy 31” x 35” Oil on Canvas
F dique has generated an impressive body of artwork that includes traits are colorful, playful interpretations that often invoke the cubist tradition. Bold black lines demarcate both sections of his painting and sections of his subjects, which suggest both depth and texture. His subjects emerge from the canvas as colorful patchwork quilts or paper maché composites.
Saddique’s portraits are arguably his most evocative works.
To the sides of his subject’s head, Saddique will often include crossthropomorphic shapes. Some viewers, for example, might discern an elephant’s face and trunk flanking Nadia’s face in his portrait of the same name. Interestingly—perhaps even tellingly—Saddique’s own portrait and that of his wife are strikingly different than his other portraits. The former are virtually black-and-white compositions. The faces of Saddique and his wife resemble white mannequin heads faintly tinged by yellows and reds. They are as works in progress or model faces to be molded sometime later into something new.
Saddique’s works can be found in private collections in varistan. Saddique lives and works in London and Pakistan.
Head of Naz 15” x 11” Pastel on Paper www.eyeoftheart.com
Did You Hear? 12.5” x 6” Acrylic and Mixed Media
P resenting reductionist essentials with a dash of humor, Norweigan artist Ellen Marlen
Hamre reveals both the essence of her art and her philosophy of life: where there is order, there is simplicity; where there is simplicity, there is joy. Emphasizing freshness and spontaneity over detail, Hamre clearly uses line, color, and motif as principal means of expression, but it is her sprightly characters that steal the show. Cartoonishly stylized and utterly original, topsy-turvy female figures cocooned in tube-like dresses spring from unexpected angles, peek coyly around corners, but more often than not assert themselves ing optimism and palpable joy, fiery hues of hair burst from their heads like wild crowns, sweep implausibly to the side, or lift impossibly skyward in total defiance of gravity.
Characterized by these signature figures and rectilinear patterns which form the basic structure of her compositions, Hamre gives the impression that each painting is a fragment of a larger work, a continuing story. Working primarily in acrylic but also in watercolor, Hamre infuses basic forms with rhythm and personality, using bold color as well as vertical and horizontal lines to support, accent and frame these vibrant projections of her own enthusiasm.
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M I N U T E S F R O M
T H E B E A C H
M I L E S F R O M
C O N V E N T I O N A L
501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park
Boca Raton, FL
Lifeguard Chair with Two Bathers (detail), 1982-83.
Marilyn (detail), 1964, Robert B. Mayer Family Collection, Chicago.
Three White Monkeys in the Jungle 24” x 30” Oil on Canvas
T he peaceful coloring and imagery displayed in Daphne
Stephenson’s artwork permeate visual serenity. Her gentle gles or bold shapes, just an aesthetically beautiful interpretation of life. She creates as if she has taken life’s hardening qualities and blurred them to appear more like a dream.
Stephenson’s choice of colors also aid her style of blissfulness. Her colors are soothing and welcoming, bringing a slight brightness to the scene and gently highlighting her shapes. The use of subtle colors enhances the scene she is creating on her canvas and gently awakens her images.
Even though Stephenson emphasizes specific strokes of the paint, she arranges them with space allowing the shapes to breathe instead of looking cramped. With all the activity that is occurring on the canvas, the space between the images bring a hovering effect, which doesn’t translate into chaotic busyness but more like an airy bustle. Her style of spatial symmetry, soothing color palette and rounded images, are elements that fuse together to reveal her artistic statement. She paints with the intention of creating an escape from life’s pressures and ne Stephenson has exhibited at The Royal Summer Exhibition
Piccadilly, London and is the Chairman of the Association of
Ve s s e l i n
Ko u r tev
A Tale about Scheherazad 22” x 30” Watercolor on Handmade Paper
T hrough rich oils and textured watercolors, Vesselin Kourtev paints compositions ripe with associations of both allegory and mysticism.
His works are suffused with light and pastels; his colors saturate the entirety of each work. Kourtev’s abstract, ethereal backgrounds allow a different section of the collage, disconnected from the other. This truncation creates a mood of isolation and strange loneliness within the painting. The King and Sheherazad eye each other from their separate patches of color, illustrating the tenuous nature of their relationship the faces of his carefully drawn figures to stand out in sharp, detailed contrast. Kourtev, however, does not limit the emotional content of his before Sheherazade has won back her life. paintings to a one-dimensional idea. Though his body of work has a ates the viewer’s imagination. Where the “Sheherazad” picture may distinct and repeating style, each painting tells the viewer a different story and shares a different idea. Kourtev’s ideas are not only about illustrate unexpected and dangerous connection, “Origin” generates the mechanics of art (though he makes a lot of creative statements on the subject) but are also about the past, present and future of our human memory and psyche.
“A Tale of Sheherazad” gives a modern vantage point to the tale about the murderous king who intends to kill his bride on their tel colors that blend easily into one another. The two elderly figures in the center seem to emerge, ghost-like from the amorphous beauty of the landscape. Next to them is a pristine egg, symbolizing potential and new life. The interplay of color and light creates an atmosphere of fluidity that nicely compliments this vision of connection. wedding night. Sheherazad saves her life by telling him a tale that lasts a thousand and one nights, thereby winning his heart. Though
Kourtev uses watercolor and pencil in this work, he creates the illusion of a collage loosely held together. Each character in the story occupies
Vesselin Kourtev is originally from Bulgaria. He obtained his degree at the University of Veliko Turnovo in Fine Arts in 1985. His rope and in the U.S. He currently lives in New Jersey.
Thoughts about Origin 29” x 24” Oil on Canvas
T he painting of Berenice Michelow, intensely personal and alive with vibrant humanity, is very deeply rooted in the artist’s upbringing. During her childhood tinctly aware of the racial struggle and turmoil within the state, and from this tension she derives much of her subject matter. But she wisely chooses to present a positive social commentary, portraying the strength of the black community and the familial sense of interconnectivity that now emerges in today’s free South Africa.
The faces of her figures radiate warmth and reveal the artist’s deep, personal attachment to the subject: these are not just pictures on a canvas, but representations of complex personalities and relationships. “Sibusisu with
Cars” is part of a series dedicated to the new South
Africa. The single figure, a young boy, addresses the viewer directly with a complex expression; in his hand he holds the controls to a skeletal toy car, which seems to represent the infrastructure of the burgeoning nation. Through light, form, and symbol, Michelow makes it clear that Sibusisu stands as the future of his national heritage.
Michelow is a highly celebrated artist with paraiso Biennale and placements in prestigious private collections. She began her work in abstraction and has since moved to more naturalistic forms, citing a growing political awareness as the cause of this shift. The paintings make it clear that her subjects are heartfelt; the realization of this personal connection makes the work so much stronger.
B e r e n i c e
M i c h e l ow
Sibusicu with Cars 48” x 60” Oil on Canvas
Nymph in Movement 29.5” x 22” Pastel on Paper
I lanj creates a faceless woman entangled in roots or other sinewy connectors that resemble, overall, an intricate neural network. Yet the union between the woman and her surroundings is seamless; the roots are a part or extension of the woman’s own body. The interconnections between humans and nature are an important sensitivity Kalanj explores in the many works she has undertaken over the past 25 years. In “Dancing Fishes,” the connection between human-made processes—in this case, art itself—and nature is even more apparent. Carrying the spontaneity of a sketch, it remains in the middle of the process of creation and at the same time is in a state of completion. lanj has had approximately 50 solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions throughout Europe and the world. Her highest honor may have come during the early 1990s when, as civil war raged in then
Yugoslavia, Kalanj was called upon by the Presidency of Croatia’s
Constitutional Court to exhibit her work for a gathering of foreign delstitutional Court to exhibit her work under their patronage. Kalanj lives and works in Rijeka in northwestern Croatia, the city in which she previously studied at the Academy of Fine Art. She is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists (the HDLU) and the Society of
Artists in Croatia (LIKUM).
R obert Hinkelman constructs breathtaking landscape paintings of vibrant, majestic, natural vistas. These spacious, breathing landscapes show nature in all its wonderful splendor. Haunting, rocky shorelines, burning deserts, snow filled mountains, everglade jungles, glorious sunsets, and barren seascapes.
Hinkelman’s painting career began as a creative outlet and partial cure for cabin fever.
“From the beginning, I have been drawn to nature’s infinite moods and displays. Look at the ocean and feel its relentless energy. Contrast that to the gentle flow of a stream and the serene, colorful autumn forests and mountains. Feel the bite of the winter wind over the snow. Then, when light creates breathtaking effects, the brush moves effortlessly.”
Hinkelman has analyzed the painting mas-
Moonlight on MV’s South Beach 24” x 36” Acrylic on Canvas
scapes, skyscapes, birds of prey—how best to bring the right form, light and color to canvas jumpstarts and sustains my creativity. A memory returns of a warm, misty early morning as the sun rises to light the sky.” Expressive form, vibrant color chock full of personality, and stoic temperament abound.
T he abstract works of Vincenzo Maiello serve as emblematic forms to express his personal heritage and the study of his beloved Italy.
Maiello’s work is rich and tactile, done with sweeping gestures and the expert movements of his palette knife. His imagery is not fashioned with complete abstraction, insofar as they relay a distinct impression of his subject. For instance, a series of works completed in reference laneum and Pompeii, contain overt references to billowing smoke and the flowing of molten lava. The exquisitely painted “Venetian Canal” is an impressionistic scene fashioned to capture the aura of Venice or to convey my message,” Maiello states, “while evoking the viewer’s own visual interpretation.” Other Italian icons and scenes have been influential to the major works in his oeuvre, including pizza, gondolas,
Venetian Glass, and Tuscan vistas.
Maiello is a lifelong artist who spent time painting and studying in Venice and Florence, then returned to the United States to further explore the possibilities of his style through multi-media and collage. Maiello is a member of the International Society of Acrylic cross, Georgia.
Venetian Canal 42” x 32” Acrylic on Canvas
Nature’s Art 24” x 20” Giclee Print
Te r r y A m b u r g ey
T erry Amburgey’s photography reveals the extraordinary in the or-
Yet, his story is open-ended, and left for each viewer to interpret for ment and light. His photographs create startling and fresh images of
He is also adept at exploiting the dramatic qualities of black and white photography, creating rich textured surfaces and dense contively dramatic style. His complex and compelling images can evoke a broad range of responses. Even though the subject matter may at positions have a monumental effect in black and white, in the tradition times be ambiguous, the visual effect is direct and clear. He presents of great photographers of landscape such as Ansel Adams.
rative brings us to an intense new level of appreciation for the visual beauty that sur-
Amburgey lives in Long Island, New York. His easy accessibility to the ocean and the beach enabled him to produce an extraordinary series of photorounds us.
His interests range from the microcosmic to the macgraphs that study the intersection of sand, sea and sky under rocosmic. Close up studies of subjects that could be biological, botanical or inert are all treated with intense attention to extraordinary patterns of form and color. What you are actually looking at becomes irrelevant apocalyptic lighting that is only possible when you are on location and able to capture an extraordinary visual moment.
Amburgey’s photographs, Giclee prints, at times appear to render solid matter confronting the visual story created by the total abstract effect.
His exquisite broad vista landscapes place nature in the
Early 20” x 16” Giclee Print
into atmospheric or nearly liquid states.
Amburgey’s spectacular imagery is well context of the cosmos. A mountain, a tree, the sea, or the sky become more than themselves in his photographs. They act as a link to the of his images, providing a dramatic narrative, a distinctive story that history of the planet, a glimpse into the universe. Amburgey creates served by Giclee technology that amplifies the color and crisp detail becomes unique for each viewer. a mood and conveys the immensity of the experience of nature. This approach is also applied to his inventive cityscapes that explore move-
D oris Naffah’s mixed media is swarmed with an array of activity, imagery, brilliant colors and sociological commentary. Within a thick cotton piece of paper, she is able to expose her artistic talent and influences with strength and a bold voice.
The vivid lights and colors of the Caribbean have inspired
Naffah to delve into a diverse color palette. Her colors carry the weight of nature’s vibrancy, connecting her images with her social observations. Along with her colorful taste, she uses her medium to explore her fascination with human behavior and faces. She wanders into the human relationship with nature, life cycles and the world.
The everyday decisions and moments intrigue her curiosity and are displayed in her artwork.
Naffah’s style of depicting a multitude of underlying commentary and busyness is one of the qualities that sets her high amongst her peers. Even her decision to work with mixed media as her medium adds to her experienced talent. She uses the millenary Javanese Batik technique, which is a dye-resisting process. She also adds her own touch by working with beeswax, dyes, colored pencils, acrylics and watercolors on a thick heavy cotton paper.
These remarkable couplings of technique and personal style are what make Naffah a riveting contemporary artist. Her talent is loud and strong and her work brings an outlet to a new reality.
Survivors 30.5” x 23” Batik and Mixed Media on Paper
T he human condition and its surrounding environs, from the deeply spiritual connections between people to the profoundly simple objects of everyday life, are the inspiration for painter Ta Barbanakova.
Her awareness and attention to the smallest nuances in her day-to-day ventures provide her with the matter upon which her paintings are founded. “A Stroll” is an example of how observing someone in their daily routine may provoke a connection between the artist and her subject. The decadent use of color and paint in this work dazzle the eye while the subject, a woman walking her dog through the park, subdues the soul and offer her audience a simple slice-of-life.
Barbanakova’s style is supremely painterly, objects emerge from the heavy strokes as impressions. The details are in the feelings evoked from the scene. The woman walks with a serene expression tly upon the figure; the caress of nature is a blessing of the simple life. “My paintings are my thoughts,” she explains, “my childhood memories that are calling me back, new experiences and my dreams that drive me forward.”
Barbanakova, in her search to portray the human condition, has explored the use of metaphor and personification. “In Full Sail” is highly successful work, painted with her signature impasto technique, relating the excitement and wonder of embarking upon life’s journey. age, and floating amongst the waves is a colorful house placed in a sailboat. The image is teeming with joy and excitement as the unruly waters reflect the brilliant hues of the early morning sky and the windows of the house radiate the warm glow from within.
Typical of her works, “In Full
Sail” suggests a number of different readings; here the idea and location of home is not gnantly left out of the work is a beginning or an end, suggesting that upon this voyage, as in life, there is no destination but only the journey.
Barbanakova was born in Krasnodar, Russia in
1975. She earned her MFA at the Kuban State University and has focused on her career as an artist since 1997. She has exhibited widely throughout Germany and Russia, and continues to gain recognition, recently acquiring representation in the United States. Ta
Barbanakova lives and works in Voronezh, Russia.
A Stroll 28” x 30” Oil on Canvas
In Full Sail 20” x 24” Oil on Canvas
E r n e s t i n e Ta h e d l
Arioso 48” x 70” Acrylic on Canvas
S pirituality and serenity are integral to my work,” states Austrianborn painter Ernestine Tahedl. For the viewer of Tahedl, serenity ment of the natural world at its gentlest and most inviting, she evokes emotion and romanticism through her painterly style and rich colors.
Tahedl’s landscapes have both an ephemeral and a tactile quality. Her use of light renders the composition seemingly weightless, while her bold brushwork adds sensuality.
Her piece “Arioso,” a three-paneled piece, speaks to her vision of serenity. Muted shades of blue fill the viewer’s eye, while touches of red bloom on this still body of water. On the side of the painting, sunlight dances brilliantly on the water, capturing the exquisite moment in the afternoon when the sun sinks towards evening.
“Concerto Pastoral,” a two-sided, four-paneled piece, is a ter, “Concerto Pastoral” is a bolder, more distinctly Impressionistic composition. Side 1 emphasizes luxuriant blues and wine-dark reds.
The contrast is distinct between these color groups, yet Tahedl erases the line distinguishing between an object and its reflection. This fusion adds a fluid, growing quality to the painting, complimented by the quiet emotional candor of the work as a whole. This expressive quality is continued on Side 2 of the piece, where blue and red is repeated, this time with the emphasis on the red and gold tones of the scene.
The mood of Side 2 is subdued; the bold blues have ceded to the warm-toned richness that comes with a later hour in the day. Tahedl’s
65” x 80”
Acrylic on Wood
attention to the subtle and delicate shifts in the natural world ask the viewer to participate in a similar kind of graceful appreciation of color and light. As Tahedl states, “Color, to me, is light.”
Ernestine Tahedl received her Master’s Degree in Fine Art from the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts. Tahedl holds awards for her work from Austria, Canada and Japan. Her work is owned both publicly and privately and she has been exhibiting her work extensively throughout the world for over thirty years. Ernestine Tahedl currently lives and works in Ontario, Canada.
Concerto Pastorale, Side #2
T he paintings of Christian Brandner represent the unconscious mind liberated through imagination, taking the viewer into a universe of personal visions and feelings where the everyday, rational world blends with alternate realities.
Brandner goes deep into the wellspring of his inspiration and comes up with a free association of human and abstract forms to create a balanced world in a chaotic universe that transcends the mundane and exists on a plane somewhere between reality and a dream.
He uses a muted palette that can go from cool color schemes of blues and umbers to warm oranges and browns mixed with resins and heightened with gold or silver leaf to represent the sometimes startling, dreamlike images. Birth is
Painting #77377, Triptych 62” x 78” Oil and Gold Leaf on Canvas
Christian Brandner lives and works in New York, where he has developed a successful career collaborating with interior designers and architects while developing his own personal vision. sion leads him to create images of sensual, soft and exquisite female torsos intermingled with embryos floating in their own universe, tied to nowhere by twisting umbilical cords, or human forms floating in space like the celestial bodies that surround them.
Agora 23” x 32” Mixed Media
The Crowd 22” x 31” Mixed Media
T hrough her aggressive experimentations with materials, Helga
Kreuzritter has developed a language with which to speak on a multitude of topics ranging from politics to the dueling powers abandoned. It is a stark image, with a cold otherworldly light cast down upon the forsaken structures, desiccated by the forces of nature and of man and nature.
“Nature has a very mighty and merciless companion: time. time. “The entire sophisticated array of housing, storage buildings, meeting place (“agora”) does no longer fulfill its function,” Kreuzritter
It plays against man,” she explains. “Many of my artworks illustrate ing man’s artificial constructions.” this fact, and they show how perishable man’s efforts are in the long explains, “simply because nature did capture back the land, devastat-
“The Crowd” is a work of similar textural quality, but more run.” An aesthetic commonality in her works is the lack of clean, highly polished material so prized in architecture, automobiles and consumer goods. The forms and figures in her work seem aged and weatherworn and even when metals are used they do not carry sheen but reveal the rust of time.
The breadth of her inventiveness is astonishing as she creates material associations based on the topic of each individual piece. Born in Germany in 1937 and educated
cropping and seem to howl and moan. They are spirits or perhaps the voice of nature itself exclaiming its contempt, anguish
‘Nature has a very mighty and merciless time
It plays against man’
Kreuzritter possesses an arsenal of techniques for which to transmit diverse commentary to her audience.
Evocative materials such as barbed wire, clothes hangers and chains find their way into her work. Some of her images are done in relief and painted over with gouache or watercolor, while others incorporate collage in drawing, painting and sculpture at the Art career in the arts. She has exhibited widely in Europe, including ritter flows easily from two-dimensional to three-dimensional works, the famous Gallery Kandinsky in Vienna, and has recently begun drawing, sculpting wood, painting or assembling found objects.
to exhibit in New York.
“Agora” at first glance appears to be the dry expanse of barren lands on a dead planet, however upon further inspection the circular gathering of tooth-like forms appears to be man-made, yet
Her work is not easy to categorize stylistically, this may be attributed to the expansive nature of her interests and her creative ingenuity. Helga Kreuzritter lives and works in Stade, Germany.
H e i d i
F i c k i n g e r
T he black and white, large format photographs of Heidi Fickinger are moody, sensual, and utterly majestic. Fickinger, who grew up moving between the city and a log cabin in the wilderness, is interested in depicting natural and man-made landscapes as well as those that combine both.
ple, shows where her sensibilities lie. This image is an example of her favorite theme, where she explores the fine line between nature and human modifications to it.
Here, the viewer is confronted with a field used by humans for their needs and then deserted once no longer useful. As if in an ironic sign of abandonment, crippled grapevine stakes fill the field like crosses in an Old World, weedy cemetery.
Many of Fickinger’s other photographs also evoke the lonely beauty of mountains, deserts, empty garage floors, and old bridges.
The stark contrast between light and dark adds to the sense of the unknown, the dramatic, the tragic.
Yet, the wide perspective and the open spaces she depicts also tell of the beauty that surrounds us both at home and in the wild.
Fickinger has exhibited her photographs in many juried and international shows from California to New York.
Abandoned Grape Field #1 14” x 11” Silver Gelatin Print
C a ro l i n e
M a r s
T for 10 years, living in Japan and Hong Kong, immersing herself in
Earth 12” x 12” Acrylic on Canvas
nese washipaper, and Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging that emphasizes form and balance. Her time in Hong Kong was spent practicing Chinese painting and calligraphy, meanwhile giving workshops of the techniques that she learned in Japan.
The Eastern influence on her visual art has been profound; harmony and balance are key ingredients to her work and life’s philosophy. Her work “Earth” displays her interest in the ability of abstraction to express the timeless and elemental. Here we have a sphere, made up of interlocking stone-colored shapes, at once recalling plate tectonics and the unity of a planet. The empty, black background only further establishes the singularity of this solitary orb, yet there is an internal accord and harmony, a cornerstone of
Eastern philosophy. This work speaks beautifully, without words or overt representation. Upon her return to her homeland in 2002,
Mars’ work was displayed in various solo exhibitions. She lives and works in the Netherlands.
Wayward Bound alias Dandelion ‘05 47” x 39” Acrylic on Canvas
A Portrait of an artist … in pursuit of waywardness :
A R E L
I T T
Is a notorious moonshiner
& retrorunner thru time ...
unbuttoning the past with offbeat methods
, he distilles history’s indigestible events , thus laying down an all-time valid guidance on how to stay out of reach
& keep out of range .
So obviously , …(NeO-)DaDa or rather
DEONADA is still alive !
Image gallery & all about Witt’s alter ego
Silberstein can be retrieved from: www.wittbeat.com
Color the Town Beautiful 22” x 48” Stained Glass and Mirror
I m r e G . Ko h a n
W orking in glass, Imre G. Kohan is a master of mosaics. His de signs are filled with sparkling color that astounds with its sheer, delicate beauty. Yet the work is also unified, with clean lines and spare ored glass seems to be creating the design of a town even as the viewer gazes at it. The spatial relationships in the work reveal the care with which the piece was created. The topic of the work is almost whimsical, ideology because of its constructivism, clearness and rationalism.” The viewer can see this influence in his work “Color the Town Beautiful.”
Kohan studied advertising and industrial design in Stuttgart, Germany.
He worked in advertising and design until 1997, and in 2004 he and
This mosaic, made of mirror and stained glass, is a work that demands his wife, fellow artist Masha Kohan, moved to the Maltese Islands. Imre meticulous craftsmanship, yet Imre G. Kohan has conveyed an unmis G. Kohan now devotes himself full time to his artistry.
G i a n n i s
S t r a t i s
D eep in allegory and intense emotion, the paintings of Giannis
Stratis speak of possession and nature, and the history of human ambition. Disturbed by cataclysmic advances in technology—such as the atomic bomb—and by the ever-mounting Western penchant for getting and spending, Stratis creates canvases that expose the impact of these driving forces. “I see man directly absorbed and divided by his material values,” Stratis states, “Too weak to react in his positive and human development.” Stratis’ counterpoints to these destructive urges are nature and spirituality; the works ultimately reveal his optimism that these elements will eventually triumph. “Blossom After Nuclear
Disaster,” a work of passionate reds and earth tones, illustrates this positive rebirth.
Though Stratis’ work is largely expressive rather than literal, a portion of Stratis’ catalogue can be read as a text to reveal a recurring theme. Two works, “King Minos—Amorgos Island” and “The Red gible emotion, and speak to the essential hopelessness of the ingrained human desire to possess all that we see.
“King Minos—Amorgos” references in its title a Greek island
The Red Legend of Porto Leone 35” x 31” Oil on Wood
ing, the dominating, humanized mountainside stares out of the picture plane with a glazed, gluttonously sated expression; it cradles a pristine, white church. The work’s palette, specifically the white of the building and the blue of the background, immediately identifies the landscape with its location, and the architecture of the tiny church is positively scape looms ominously above the iconic building, but the personified form’s expression is comical.
“The Red Legend of Porto Leone” refers to the medieval port of Athens, now known as Pireaus. The talismanic figure in the painting, replete with abstract, natural forms, addresses the viewer with a quixotic expression. The aggressive reds and yellows of the palette put forth an
Greek. It is at once a powerful and light-hearted painting: the land attitude that the visage of the figure cannot match. It appears that the form cannot live up to its ambition; this lopsided relationship is the primary source of tension in the painting.
Futility is a central element to
King Minos - Amorgos Island 16” x 20” Mixed Media on Canvas
end.” In each canvas we see elements of aggression and force, which are then contradicted. We are left with a satirical, empty display of power and a mischievous pantheism in which ill-tempered spirits, embodied in things, strike out with dull claws. “Porto Leone” begins with an angry palette and ends in an ambiguous expression; the conquest of Amorgos ends in a mild case of indigestion. And in the latter, the triumphal force is the spirituality of the clean, white church. All the conceits and preoccupations of Man fall away in the end, and the positive element, the simple spirit of the place, ultimately triumphs.
Stratis’ works illustrate societal problems through a complex, historical discussion of the desires and urges of mankind. We are presented, quite literally, with the ugly face of our natural impulses, which direct us toward disaster. In each work we are left with a hard kernel of optimism, like a seed that survives our terrible human follies, and blossoms.
Hudson Valley Triptych 60” x 96” Acrylic
T he paintings of M. Moneta weave together interesting and visually arresting images of the natural world within a civilized context. Moneta is described as an artist “inspired by architecture, gardens and human interaction.” These elements are evident in her work “Hudson Valley Triptych.”
This painting presents a view of a cultivated landscape man figures in the landscape, though the well-manicured lawn and the vase of flowers in the foreground suggest their presence. Her gardens exude a wild charm; her colors are warm and vibrant. There is intensity to the hues Moneta chooses for her greens and yellows, creating a feeling of lush growth in the landscape.
Moneta’s clean lines and careful detail add a sophisticated balance to the composition. The work has an architectural quality to it in the meticulous details of the rows of grass in the lawn and particularly in the wooden
‘...the natural world is revealed in pleasing simplicity, balanced by the elegant framework of human artistry’
panel of the frame, which puts the entire landscape in context. Her piece possesses a calming symmetry; the natural world is revealed in pleasing simplicity, balanced by the elegant framework of human artistry.
M. Moneta was born in Germany and has been painting professionally for over twenty years. She currently lives and works in New York.
Overgrown 58” x 34” Acrylic
T he expressionist paintings of Helga Windle present a realm in which reality and imagination meet. A native of Iceland and a resident of New Zealand, Windle draws upon these draies, and moving water are transformed from precise natural objects into pliant, fluid, vibrant figures that speak of their former selves in abstracted terms. These organic forms imbue the composition with an almost mystical aura, no doubt a reflection of the artist’s desire to depict “the physical and spiritual world as one.” This is accomplished through the use of rich color and bold lines rendered with brush strokes sometimes intense, other times diffusive. The resulting images appear to be bathed in natural light, illuminated by the bright rays of the sun or the shining glow of the moon. ing,” Windle offers a simplified and magical world in which a wispy soul glides beneath a stylized palm tree while a crescent moon presides above. The scene is one of muted detail and metaphysical strength, evocative of indigenous animistic sentiments. Infused with such energy, Windle’s work highlights the relationship between the corporeal and the ethereal.
Sometimes I Think I’m Only Dreaming 80” x 50” Oil on Canvas
The Arrival 19.5” x 27.5” Chalk and Graphite on Paper
D emonstrating, in tangible form, how individuals create and reinforce their own reality through the activity of interpretation, Anja Schüssler’s enigmatic images are like mirrors, subtly and exactly responsive to the mind-set of the viewer. Encouraging each individual to “experience his own fear, become aware of his own desire” and “find his own truth” in her paintings—as well as in the world at large—Schüssler implicitly guides her audience to examine responses to her art in light of their own interior realities and outward projections. Like Narcissus enraptured by his own reflection, the viewer is confronted by an emotionally compelling yet insoluble visual riddle, as in “The Arrival”.
Here, a faceless female figure in bestial pose, uncannily reminiscent of William Blake’s Nebuchadnezzar, seeps inexplicable blackness from her face and palms. What one sees in this intentional void might well be the true ‘mirror image’ of the self, a tion of soft colors, and strong, inky contour lines, Schüssler highlights the binary nature of ordinary consciousness and the duality of existence. Casting models as no less than archetypal forces, she attempts to reconcile the rational and intuitive, the seen and the unseen, the sacred and profane—through mythic representations of human paradox and contradiction. Like medieval scribes who believed that gazing into a mirror as they wrote would ensure “that their sight may not be dimmed”, German artist, Anja
Schüssler, uses the mirror of her own perception to alight dim corridors of consciousness where truths may be obscured but exist nonetheless. Visionary artist and skilled engraver of handcarved cameos, Anja Schüssler currently lives and works in Idar-
Oberstein, Germany, famous for it’s design and manufacturing of precious stones and jewelry.
B work may have a profound transformative effect on the mood of a room. Her works are decidedly fun while confronting the viewer with radiant colors and delightful subjects, often animals, peering out from the work to meet the viewer’s gaze directly.
Viney paints in high contrast with flat applications of color; it is a style that contains childlike idealism while representing sophisticated ideas with artistic prowess. Currently, Viney chooses to work with two separate mediums, which consequently involve two divergent approaches to her art. “My watercolors cross all the boundaries of conventional techniques, they are free flowing images born entirely from my imagination,” she explains. “In contrast I have developed a range gan painting at the age of twenty-two, highly experimental and unafraid to try different subjects and media. She then traveled abroad, living for a time in New York and Argentina. While overseas, she was greatly influenced by her experiences and by the fantastic colors she encountered in North and South America. Upon Viney’s return to England, she was met with enthusiastic interest in her art; she exhibited heavily and completed numerous commissioned works. Viney lives and works in England.
Cow Splat 36” x 36” Mixed Media
T he work of Marga Duin, a native of
Zandvoort, one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands, correspondingly reflects a fascination with light and omous, being either abstractions of the sea or gestural drawings of the human
Radiance 40” x 60” Acrylic on Canvas
stractions feature forceful yet luminous color application and are largely geometric, whereas the graceful contours of her female nudes rise and fall, flowing like water. The quality of her nudes is interesting; she selects parts of the figure to render, then stops and chooses another selection of the body to delineate in a neighboring area of the image. Sweeping swaths of color are then applied to bring the divergent sections together, eliminating any conflicting sense of fragmentation.
The exuberance and light of the sea finds its way into “Radiance,” a work that exhibits Duin’s characteristic expressive stroke while bined with wistful strokes that allow the central masses of color to cede into one another. The visual effect is strong; one can sense an ocean breeze flowing in from the waters onto and over the comparatively unforgiving coast.
Soul and Spirit Creations 39” x 87” Acrylic on Canvas
R sis’ images are inspired by the deeply felt emotion accompanying are the proud, powerful and uncannily numinous sovereigns of Toulumsis’ works. The result of 30 years of self-exploration, Toulumsis’ tional and implied (the cross, the gentle cloud formations of heavenly paintings delve into the philosophical search for meaning in life, meaning in death, and truths about the corporeal and spiritual human. Born altitudes, the radiant crown reminiscent of the Virgin of Guadalupe), in Mexico City, Toulumsis developed his technical rendering skills lumsis’ distinctive, stylized portraiture generally depicts the female as while studying architecture. He has exhibited his work both in Mexico and the United States.
the central figure in the process of life, as the stewardess of birth and creation. Groups of heavenly matrons, often surrealistic in semblance,
A rtist Allyson Norwood Bush describes her work as, “an exposition on people and relationships.” A response to the everyday of American living in the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, her work focuses on the afflictions of the modern individual. Feelings of isolation and reflection on identity shadow the cast of characters she presents the viewer. Most affected by ‘the feminine experience’ and women’s negotiation of culturally defined gender roles, her subjects are most often tion amidst life’s hurried pace, she balances these topics of intense emotional content with a lighthearted style characterized by loose brushstrokes and whimsical line enhanced by an expressionist palette. Bush approaches each piece as a work in progress, never clearly knowing its significance until its evolution is complete. Her wish is for her art to be approachable, understandable, and egalitarian. With what may be remnants of her graduate training in Art Therapy, her artwork promotes self-evaluation centered on achieving a healthier spirit. The overarching theme of her oeuvre is best classified as one of eternal optimism.
Having overcome many an obstacle herself, Bush’s life and work are truly inspirational. As part of her own therapeutic routine, Allyson Norwood Bush works with the homeless as well as those living with HIV and mental illness. She currently resides in suburban Mendham, New Jersey.
Mil in Sun 9” x 12” Acrylic on Board
S usan Eck’s paintings depict the simple and the commonplace: an ordinary landscape or seascape, a flower or a wheat field. Yet her paintings seek human emotion in nature, and reflect it back to the viewer—an especially extraordinary and powerful
Fantasy Forest 36” x 24”
Oil on Canvas
mand of brushwork and will often contrast short brushstrokes with long ones, replicating the variety and complexity found in nature.
Eck’s nature paintings pay great attention to planes and horizons, be they formed by a skyline, a waterline, ings, however, Eck takes her viewers’ attention in different directions. Her paint washes, drips, and congeals in various vertical orientations in her mixed media composition called
“Upward Explosion,” while lavenders that swirl and vibrate from the center of “Flowing” are mesmerizing yet soothing. “Wheat” might be her most daring painting to date, as it draws the eye in various directions; suggests several plains or horizons; and blurs the boundary between abstract and natural forms.
Eck’s work has been displayed in both solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles at Infusion Gallery and in Toronto and throughout greater Ontario. The author of four books of poetry, Eck is also an accomplished poet and lyricist. She has won several awards for her tional Library of Poetry.
E xalting hills, mountains, flowers, and trees in joyful swathes of color, Marty Maehr captures the
T he figures of artist L’OR’s vibrant pas tels would be at home in Gauguin’s tropical paintings, but L’OR has much energizing spirit of Nature in both recognizable forms and geometric abstractions. Giving his creative instincts free reign at the onset of his creative process, a deeply felt surge of inspiration initially manifests as a single point, line or arc of expression—out of which submore than portraiture in mind. Depicted for us with pastels on canvas or velvet, her subjects, suspended in motions of desire in all its variations, inhabit a vivid dreamscape. Abstract swirls evolve into flora, and reveal their universality sequent lines, shapes or colors against backgrounds of lush crimson, jade, or cerulean.
The longing to merge pervades
L’OR’s work. Working with her models
Broken Mirror 48” x 36”
Oil on Masonite
tional understanding of perspective and spatial cues, Maehr allows his intuition to guide a seemingly random arrangement of basic planes
My Soul Mate 43” x 24”
Pastel on Canvas
is an intimate collaboration, the creative process becomes much more than an exploration of the lone artistic self. The until overwhelming impressions of color interrupt the developing structure. Though this vaguely cubist interpenetration of forms gives Maehr’s work continuity and complex prismatic dimension, it is through color that Maehr’s paintings begin to “breathe” and acquire an autonomous life. Seized by a single note of color or a particular color combination, Maehr animates his subjects als, and between the artist and her techments when pastel touches surface, “the emotions we try sometimes so hopelessly to hide.” Thus, L’OR tells us, is our humanity recovered, in the idyllic medium of art.
L’OR maps tropical zones of universal longing usually left tone by tone, facet by facet, achieving nearly psychedelic levels of vibrancy. Like Kandinsky who famously wrote ‘Color is the keyboard, markable for the emotions they evoke. Her artistic process is a fertile the eyes are the hammer, the soul is the piano with the strings’, Maehr ground upon which she creates mythic, yet psychologically resonant harnesses powers inherent in the visible spectrum to convey a sense of figures. Exhibited widely in the United States, L’OR lives in Quebec, harmony and resonant beauty. where she shows much of her work and is a signature member of the
Pastel Society of Eastern Canada.
W hen I look at a blank, white canvas my mind sees endless creative possibilities,” so says bright, young visual artist Stephen Looney.
He believes that keeping the viewer entranced, as if they are somehow a part of the work in front of them, is what art is all about. Looney’s
Greed 20” x 20” Digital Print
powerful, sometimes disturbing images have an almost Surrealist feel to them, the mood being set by the palette of dark, strong colors and the carefully thought out juxtaposition of familiar images in incongruous relationships to create strange, unfamiliar abstractions.
sification: it challenges our perception and keeps the viewer guessing, compelling spectators of this parallel universe to find their own meaning, as so aptly illustrated in the work entitled “Greed.” In this piece, the familiar U.S. Dollar sign is taken, twisted and intertwined with threateningly sharp, linear forms, reminiscent of a wild animal’s teeth. The resulting image becomes alien, unfamiliar, but as such an appropriate symbolic visual.
The promising young artist is just 22 years old. His ambitious goals include owning his own art gallery so that he can give talented young artists the opportunity of showing their work.
L ionel Bedos provides us not only with electrifying canvases, but also with a new style: Post-Fauvism.
Bedos is at the vanguard of a burgeoning movement in the arts which derives forms abstractly based in the animal world. His paintings are rife with vigorous, disembodied nudes and animals that appear to have crawled, swam, or flown directly out of the artist’s psyche. It is a style of inspiration and whimsical creativity with a historical eye to
Fish Ball 24” x 20”
Oil on Canvas
the vibrant colors of Matisse and the unique forms of Picasso.
“Fish Ball” is an example of Bedos’ animalistic painting, showcasing line melting to form and back again al ambiguity, with blank stare and flattened body, while painterly strokes explode like fireworks about the creature. Contained entirely within the framework of the canvas, the animal appears captured for our benefit and violently contained within the picture plane. It is a work of energy, of contrast, and of strength.
Despite his scholarly training in the arts, Bedos cites an emotional need to paint as his inspiration. A single glance at his canvases reveals and celebrates his genuine enthusiasm.
C aptivated by mysterious depths and tidal rhythms, Alayne Dickey credits water as her pri-
I n 2002, after a dazzling twentyyear career in commercial arts specializing in the music industry,
Carolyn Quan turned her creative ingly inspired by her seaencircled native terrain off the northern coast of spired by her love of nature and humanity, Quan seeks to realize her spiritual worldview through ing abstractions allude to water’s visible reality, but speak symbolically of archetypes and things pri-
Bring Deeps 36” x 36”
Mixed Media on Canvas
mordial. Intuitively guided, yet systematic and deliberate in her painting process,
Dickey begins with a low-dimensional springboard layer that guides tions of foundational applications to remain visible while building up density and texture in other sections of a composition, Dickey creates a sense of depth, dimension and satisfying aesthetic value. Anchored in tenebrous murk evoctive of river bottoms and sea beds, cumulative
Victorian Angel 40” x 32”
reer, which included designing album covers for popular musicians, has clearly been influential to her fine arts style. Her deeply moving piece, “Victorian Angel” features a central, translucent female figure with her back turned towards the viewer. The scene is mysterious and otherworldly as black skies, smoky clouds and tall, flowing grass enclose upon the figure. As the title suggests, the woman is clothed in a Victorian-era dress that seems to transform to feathers and wings before our very eyes. Background and foreground are confounded through the manipulation of opacity, giving the image a ghostly quality. phasizing water’s behavior and attributes as opposed to merely imitating its appearance, Alayne expresses water as a visual sensation and emotional experience. Achieving complexity through suggestive layers,
Dickey draws her audience to contemplative pools of varying depths, where feeling is implicit and metaphors abound.
ity and all of the divine beauty that God has created on this earth, I feel that it is my duty to share this inspiration with others though my art and creative vision.” After spending eleven years in New York City, Quan moved to Maui, Hawaii to focus on her personal artistic vision. She has recently opened her own gallery in Maui, and continues to achieve international recognition.
T he unique style of talented Russian artist Olga Baby possesses the harmony of linear construction, rhythm and vibrant color of a Japanese woodblock print. Her imaginative, asymmetric compositions capture the spirit and
Jazz 55” x 70”
Acrylic and India Ink on Canvas
emotion of her artistic fantasy – constantly searching and changing and as wide as her extensive travels across the globe.
Her imagery shows freshness and innocence, admirably portrayed in the drawing entitled “Jazz.” In this work Baby mixes color and pattern with purity of line to convey her unique mix of the imaginary and the real. Baby draws in black ink on white cartridge paper tionally large areas of vivid primary colors and patterns. At first glance her work has a decorative quality, but like the Japanese masters, who balanced heaven, earth and humankind in their harmonious images,
Baby’s work goes deeper.
phy of Ikebana, and the influences are evident throughout her works which exude joie de vivre, spontaneity and a positive energy that comes from the artist’s personal way of looking at the world.
I n the face of frantic technological advancement and the ever-escalating complexities of modern life, Atousa
Foroohary gives her audience respite in virgin forestscapes, quiet streams, park-like set-
W hether working in watercolor, acrylic, or collage, Leona
Whitlow is unafraid to use the whole palette, creating works that are full of vigor and whimsy. Her paintings, some completely abstract and others containing recognizable figurative ele-
Gift 48” x 48”
Oil on Canvas
tings, and affectionate portraiture. Eschewing cold abstraction and high concept in favor of realistic and natural representations of people, places and objects, Foroohary reminds viewers that unparalleled beauty is abundantly present in ordinary, observable reality.
Though she clearly favors realism, Foroohary’s work is fluid ments, inadvertently emphasize movement – a natural choice for Whitlow, who was once a classical ballet dance teacher and an expressive therapist.
In the “The Gathering,” as in many of her other works, Whitlow creates
The Gathering 32” x 28”
Acrylic on Canvas
a sense of movement and rhythm by using quick brushstrokes, aggressive colors, and her signature black lines that often outline the elements of the painting.
With the exception of several landscapes, the action in her tail replication. Encompassing a spectrum of expression ranging from photographic accuracy to impressionistic and symbolistic work, it is position full of the comings and goings of people. Yet the abstract the philosophical vein of Monet, Foroohary believes color can be used to draw forth the essence of a character or scene, radically enhancing one’s appreciation of illusionistic space. Using what she calls the
“miracle of color” to communicate the ineffable, Foroohary’s hands are her bridge between the apparent and the supersensible. Balancing faithful representation with lively surface textures, Atousa Foroohary’s art casts discernible reality in a friendly, natural light. sionality adds to the overall intensity of Whitlow’s works and helps the viewer focus on the subtle details of form.
Whitlow has studied with several artists, has won awards in juried art shows, held solo exhibitions of her works, and now serves on the Board of Gold Coast Watercolor Society.
T he Japanese Heritage of Kenji
Inoue is evident throughout the works of this young artist.
Pure color is the subject of the abstract paintings – color used with a passionate sensuality reminiscent of the ancient Japanese
Ukiyo-E woodcut prints. Inoue paints with the force of an impetuous young culture—reds and blues in wild abandon, uninhibited brushstrokes—his abstract compositions are a painterly exploration into the winds of freedom. These works go beyond
Supersonic! Go, Go Kenji 46” x 36”
Oil on Canvas
simple experimentation with color. The abstract shapes and forms evoke strange landscapes
– sometimes lunar, sometimes underwater, and sometimes wild wilderduces familiar shapes such as triangles or rectangles that form a cool, negative space of white nested in a sea of intense red or deep indigo blue. We cannot look impassively upon this wave of pure color blowing in our field of vision. Momentarily, we get drawn into the painting in front of us, our perception and our imagination running free.
Kenji Inoue lives and works in Japan. He has a degree in illustration from the Tokyo Communications and Arts Professional
G aining much of her
T he abstract and the symbolic inspiration from music, collide with great effect in the the work of Sonya Veronica is mixed media works of Slovenian correspondingly lyrical in form artist Spela Cvetko. Classically and content. Seeking immediacy trained in Slovenian schools, free from representational
Cvetko frequently addresses the content, Veronica’s work speaks subject of inspiration and attempts volumes through her inspired to divine the source of an artist’s abstract harmonies. Her unique creativity in her “Returning language is conveyed through
Journey” series. Each of these her choice of color, texture, works features a shimmering,
C’est la Vie 36” x 36”
Acrylic on Canvas
and the gesture of her style, radiating core juxtaposed against a which she alters to suit each particular subject. Stylistically,
Veronica’s works range from
York. Veronica lives and works in Melbourne.
Returning Journey 40” x 36”
Mixed Meida on Canvas
chaotic background. Within each core, we see two abstract shapes— derived from spearheads—which being painterly, feathery and light, to employing bold washes of color appear to be rips in the canvas seemingly poured down the canvas in a brilliant waterfall. A bold streak through which one can glimpse another world. “They are the passage,” of yellow courses down the middle of “C’est La Vie,” surrounded by
Cvetko explains; “The door between the worlds. [They] are expressing reds, deep and cool on the right, warm and vibrant to the left. As the message that nobody is alone.” The violence of these abstract works in classical music, Veronica’s work suggests an emotional response is striking: color and form clash throughout the canvas, and meaning without words or representational content; the art speaks directly to the rises from the conflict. spirit without an intermediary vernacular. For the audience each work
Cvetko’s personal symbolism gives rise to the dualism of is a transcendental experience. Veronica, in the spirit of Mark Rothko, artistic intent and individual interpretation. A viewer divines much evokes an emotional content through color and a tangential affiliation from the statements in the works imbued by the artist, but then with form. adds his or her own critical viewpoint to the reading of the painting.
Veronica’s primary choice of medium is painting, though
Through this ambiguity, Cvetko forces us to confront the source of she works with photography and digital media as well maintaining our own inspiration; we are inspired by her own investigation into her distinctive style throughout. Veronica has exhibited widely in the workings of her thought process, and are invited to investigate
Melbourne, Victoria, and has recently gained international interest in our personal methods. In this way, Spela Cvetko allows her her art, exhibiting in California and acquiring representation in New work to become our own.
I n the paintings of Patricia
Brintle, one would expect to see a reflection of the turbulent world events she has experienced. Emigrating from Haiti in 1964, Brintle arrived to the United States in the midst of one of the nation’s greatest periods
The Dance of Life 27.5” x 39.5”
Acrylic on Panel
of turmoil. But like Henri
Matisse, the great French master whose work her art evokes, Brintle expresses in her paintings the serene, utopic ideal that can exist only in the creativity of an artist. She celebrates the beauty of the natural world by portraying subjects such as flora and the human form, while consistently illuminating these tableaux with natural sunlight at its most dramatic moments.
Brintle’s figures have an iconic nature to them, which allow
T he soul of Georgian painter Zeiko
Basheleishvili cries out to her audience through her magnificent, musical compositions of lyrical color.
Like the Fauvists, or early Cubists, the artist uses color to communicate
Circles of Life 56” x 40”
Oil on Canvas
tion of light and dark and the fluidity of forms seem like a pictorial portrayal of an opus by Stravinsky. She depicts her dreams and imagination in a symphony of blues and browns, purples and pastels that burst out of the canvas with the emotional force of the Russian spring.
With all the drama of an early
20th Century opera, Zeiko reduces forms down to their basic core. She of Life,” the rhythm of these idealized forms cause them to represent, as the title implies, the complex and joyous dance of human experience.
The work then takes on a new dimension, standing as a statement of graceful optimism regarding the world about us.
a dream may trigger an emotion that results in a painting.” These paintings, based in emotion, resist the strain of a traumatic world and provide a counterpoint to pessimistic realities. They are a note of hopeful optimism, and a shimmering display of beauty. ments, avoiding mundane detail and giving the neo-classical works a surreal quality. As the plot unfolds, the veneer is stripped away and gia. Her works have been featured in exhibitions across Russia and Eastern Europe.
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KAOS NUCLEARE, 1987
Torn Posters on Zinc, overpainted
100 x 150 cm
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