Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chris Gilmour - One Man's Trash....

Hi everyone,

It has been awhile! Today's entry is about a young English sculpture named, Chris Gilmour who takes recycling to a whole new level.

Each of the objects pictured below is made of cardboard.

British artist, Chris Gilmour, chooses images and objects that evoke memories and emotions to create his intricately folded and glued cardboard sculptures. He chooses cardboard that “isn’t too clean” because he wants viewers to see what the material really is. Early in his career, he used only new cardboard and people would often think it was the real object that had simply been covered with paper or cardboard and painted.

The only materials he uses are cardboard, glue and an Exact-o knife or scissors.

Chris’ penchant for using recycled cardboard comes from a desire to take control of the waste and objects that surround human beings on a daily basis. He enjoys the immediate accessibility of cardboard and is attracted to his historical void that is associated with sculptures that are made from traditional materials. He says that he does notice packaging when he makes a purchase and attempts not to leave too large a big carbon footprint.

He is influenced by the work of sculptor, Anish Kapoor, Tom Friedman and Andy Goldsworthy who share similar views about the environment.

Chris views his wheelchair piece as his most important because of the ways in which the viewer interacts with it and brings its own story into the piece.

The artist feels that consumerism has shaped even our personalities in ways that cause us to buy things in order to shape our identities. His work is in protestation of that observation.

Chris Gilmore is currently working on a new show that features a life sized Aston Martin automobile. He strives for accuracy even in the interiors of his works that the viewers cannot see. Each detail of the Aston Martin, down to the last spark plug is being recreated.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Real Flair for Mosaics - Flair Robinson

Flair Robinson

It is hard to look at Flair Robinson’s mosaic art without imagining cheerful music playing in the background. Her images seem full of energy, and are quite easy to imagine merrily gyrating and flexing to the beat of some imaginary song. She is a true colorist in every sense of the word. Her color choices are dazzling and her designs sizzle.

Vincent's Choice

Sometimes, she includes texts in her compositions. She is primarily a self-taught mixed media and assemblage artist and educator who has taken college-level design, mixed media and mural-making courses, the latter of which were taught by renown muralist, Tracy Montminy at the University of Missouri (Columbia). For awhile, she lived in New York, where she studied filmmaking . Like myself, Flair has a propensity toward utilizing re-purposed materials in her art. She also uses hand-cut glass and ceramic tile.

Thor's Chair

Of late, Flair has begun the transformation from creating utilitarian art pieces to works that stand on their own as fine art. She does this in a studio in the small town of Teluride, Colorado, which she shares with a photography studio. She is represented by the Wildcat Studios Gallery conveniently located just downstairs. If you find yourself in the Telluride area, stop in at 224 East Colorado Avenue. (Hours Monday-Saturday 11:00AM -5:00 PM) Her good friends, Tanya and Stacy Smith own the gallery and have utilized Flair’s artistic expertise on a number of projects.

If Only

Flair draws inspiration from a variety of sources, all unusual….all fun. She sees a roadside attraction and borrows from that. She looks at advertisements from the 1940’s and ‘50’s and gets ideas there. Even vintage fabrics can inspire her work. Flair collects American and Latin American folk art and Visionary art that she feels greatly influences her own artistic vision.

Summer Night

Flairs love of art is evident in many ways, one of which includes her practice of driving 130 miles, round-trip, to buy the grout and other art supplies that she doesn’t have shipped to her directly. (She has her ceramic tile sent all the way from the Netherlands!)

New York City

Flair Robinson is unstoppable and believes that we can all teach ourselves to do virtually anything….and ya know, I think she’s absolutely right!

Click HERE to hear a podcast featuring Flair herself!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Waltzing Mithila

Sky, Earth and Water
Monalisa Jha

I am forever searching for simple designs to incorporate into my mosaic or other mixed media work. Of late, I have been attracted to the indigenous art of the Mithila people, one of the ancient traditional arts of North India.

Dulari Devi

Mathili art was originally practiced by women on the interior walls of their homes. Popular legend dates the beginning of this art form to at least 5,000 years ago when, at the marriage of Sita and Rama, her father King Janak decreed that everyone should paint their homes with gods and goddesses to celebrate the happy occasion. (We should do that here in America!)

Women's Plight
Rani Jha

In the late 1960s Mathili artists began painting on paper as a means of earning a living. This soon led to experimentation and an expansion of the subject matters. Generally, this type of art captures the everyday lives, the rituals, festivals, social lives of Mathili people. The growing interest in this folk art form also encouraged some men begin to practice what was traditionally considered a women's art. Today, the art flourishes in the villages around the rural town of Madhubani in north India.

Pond Life
Pinki Kumeri

Women Mithila painters outnumber men by a large margin. Hindu gods and goddesses are still common subjects, but the repertoire now also includes popular stories, legends, local and even international events, autobiographies, and contemporary social and political issues.

The First Time to Market - and she is nervous
Pratik Prabhakar

The internet, television and other media that lend a hand in the globalization of art has done much to aid in the popularity of Mithlian folk art. Today, once can find it on hand made Lokta papers and on hand made cotton clothing. Contemporary Mathlia artists have begun to use modern brushes and acrylic paints as opposed to the ancient, home made inks of old. With the new media exposure, market value for Mithili art has been increasing steadily. Fortunately, a growing number of women artists are able to earn decent a income from it, not to mention the rich cultural addition it lends to Northern India.

At the Pond in the Rain
Kiran Jha

At this time, Norbertallen Gallery in downtown Los Angeles is planning an Mithila Art in an exhibit called, “ An Indian Survey of Mithila Art”. It will run from July 8th through August 31.
Animals in the Forest
Laxmi Devl

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I have corrected the link to Christine Moss' web site, but for those of you who receive this via email, the url is:


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Joyful Mosaics of Christine Moss

My blog seems to generate a lot of fan mail, for some reason. I find reading these emails a great way to meet people and to be introduced to new artists, one of whom is mixed media artist, Christine Moss.

Christine’s mosaics are created with a view toward uplifting the spirits of those who view them. Through her art she strives to convey joy (hence her studio name, “Joyful Mosaics”) and to connect with that which is Divine. She is mindful of the time it takes to create a mosaic and of the experiences of time expenditure, patience and positive energy that a good piece of art entails. . Her art seems to be as much about the discipline and appreciation for the technique as it is about the finished work.

“When I create mosaics, I am searching for a certain quality of light, texture and color. I am after dream-like realness; that moment when you first wake up and are aware of your surroundings but are still within your dream.
Christine Moss

Christine Moss considers mosaic to be a rewarding medium from the very beginning when she sets out to find the perfect tessarae to express what she wishes to convey. She loves the tactile experience of cutting and arranging each piece and working the soft granular grout between the spaces and pays close attention to replicating and transforming the shapes found in nature into her own joyful signature artwork.

A recent resident of Woodstock, NY, Christine creates her mosaics on the main street at the edge of town where she reserves a work space in the back room for painting, grouting and sculptural pursuits. She claims the move has helped broaden her artistic horizons. However, she hasn’t always worked in a dedicated studio.

“When I lived in Jersey City, I worked out of the kitchen and the living room, wherever there was enough open space and light to see. I had a system of trays and panels that I worked from. Glass was everywhere. It was an organized chaos, not something I could really share with others.”

Christine teaches workshops and enjoys sharing the creative process with her students who range from senior citizens in the Big Apple and Jersey City, to public school children in Newark where she was an Artist in Residence at the Newark Museum.

She is a member of the Visionary Artists Collective at Varga Gallery and sells mosaic jewelry at the gift shop for the Brydcliff Artists Guild. She also sells her work on Etsy. She has built a number of large installations and is available for commissioned work.

Later this month, Christine will participate in the NY Faerie Festival where she will offer not only her mosaics, but a variety of other types of art work including sculptural forms, and jewelry that she makes from found sticks, woven with ribbons, leaves and feathers and embellished with wires and stones.

Please visit Christine Moss’ Joyful Mosaic web site: HERE

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Help for Haiti's Art

The January 12th earthquake in Haiti was not only devastating to the people there, it also reeked havoc on the island's cultural treasures. Subsequently, the Smithsonian has organized a team of cultural organizations to help the Haitian government assess, recover and restore Haiti’s cultural materials. Lead by Haiti's Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Haitian President's Commission for Reconstruction, the 7500 sq. foot building in Port-au-Prince that once housed the United Nations Development Program will be leased by the Smithsonian. The three-story building will serve as a temporary conservation site where objects retrieved from the rubble can be assessed, conserved and stored. It will also be the training center for Haitians who will be taking over this conservation effort in the future.

The “Smithsonian Institution–Haiti Cultural Recovery Project” is conducted in partnership with the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with assistance from several other federal agencies—National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is also supported by contributions from The Broadway League, the international trade association for Broadway and the Broadway community. The U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the protection of cultural property affected by conflict or natural disasters, is involved in the project as is the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Local Haitian cultural organizations and a number of international organizations will also be involved in the effort.

The rainy season in Haiti has already begun, and the hurricane season is on its way. Much of Haiti’s endangered cultural heritage is in destroyed buildings and is at risk of permanent destruction.

“The highest priority of the Haitian government and the international humanitarian communities has rightly been to save lives and provide food, water, medical care and shelter,” said Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture at the Smithsonian. “However, Haiti’s rich culture, which goes back five centuries, is also in danger and we have the expertise to help preserve that heritage.”
The long-term goal, according to Kurin, is to “rescue, recover and help restore Haitian art work, artifacts and archives damaged by the earthquake.”

The artifacts recovered and eventually conserved may include building features such as stained glass and historic murals as well as paper documents, photographs, artifacts and some of the 9,000 paintings from the Nader Museum, now in ruins from the quake.

“With this unprecedented inter-agency effort involving the major federal cultural institutions and the private sector, we express our collective belief that in times of great tragedy it is essential to help a country preserve and protect its cultural legacy for future generations,” said Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

In 2004, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, under the direction of Kurin, highlighted the country in the program Haiti: Freedom and Creativity from the Mountains to the Sea, which featured more than 100 traditional Haitian artists and crafts people, performers, cooks, writers, researchers and cultural experts in performances, demonstrations, workshops and concerts. That collaboration with Haitian cultural leaders resulted in an ongoing relationship with the Smithsonian.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Kurt Cobain exhibit in Seattle

Grunge music is about as universally synonymous with modern-day Seattle as Starbucks and Microsoft, and no band symbolizes this movement more readily than Nirvana. The late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain is easily the most recognizable icon from this period, famous for his heart wrenching lyrics, aggressive left-handed guitar playing, scraggly blond locks and premature demise. On view at the Seattle Art Museum from May 13 through September 6, 2010, the exhibition Kurt will reveal the extent to which his music and biography continue to exert a strong pull on our collective consciousness.

Please click HERE if you can't see the above-video.

Known as "Kurt," the SAM event "will explore the ways in which the grunge movement's most iconic figure continues to influence modern artists from a multitude of disciplines," according to an announcement by Darling. The curator also said that the exhibit "asks viewers to question why and how Kurt Cobain came to mean so much to a generation."

Alice Wheeler's photograph of Kurt Cobain at MTV's "Live and Loud" at Pier 63 in Seattle, 1993.

To be clear: This is not a display of Nirvana ephemera, guitars, CD covers, or the yellow gown Cobain wore on MTV. It's an exhibition of drawings, paintings, photographs, installations, and mixed-media works by artists — including Elizabeth Peyton, Douglas Gordon, and Daniel Guzman, as well as Northwest artists such as Scott Fife, Jeffry Mitchell, Jessica Jackson Hutchins — who are making some provocative, nuanced stuff right now.

All of the works of art began with some kind of connection with Cobain. Some of these connections are immediately, almost painfully, direct, as in Alice Wheeler's color-saturated photograph of Cobain in Seattle in 1993. Cobain is pale and scruffy beneath cherry-red sunglasses and multicolored tinsel garlands; the image captures Cobain's tendency to play with glamor and image, along with an underlying frailty.

Some of the works of art become more conceptually abstract, as in Gretchen Bennett's color pencil drawings. Bennett, who recently relocated from New York to Seattle, creates work out of a wide range of materials and often thinks about how environment, landscape and climate affect what can be produced. She was drawn to Cobain's story and "how Nirvana emanated from this landscape," but she was interested in taking a more "non-iconic, everyday approach." She searched YouTube for homemade videos of Nirvana in concert and isolated certain moments of gesture and lighting when Cobain became visually obliterated or pixelated. She further transformed these images by turning them into color pencil drawings that have a sweet ordinariness to them, despite all of the complex implications of mediation and image dissemination.

Might be worth the trip to the Emerald City to check it out.

Friday, April 30, 2010

From Obama to Oh, Wow! Alexa Meade

If you happen to be in NYC between now and May 8, you won’t want to miss Alexa Meade’s exhibit at Postmaster’s Gallery. From her political experiences, former Obama campaign staffer, Meade, theorizes, that “experiences cannot always be interpreted at face value; seeing is not necessarily believing,”.

The twenty three year old Vassar grad expresses herself in a truly unique, thought-provoking manner with her reverse trompe l’oeil series. To create it, she developed a technique that makes 3-D space look flat, “blurring the lines between illusion and reality.”

Meade states, "I paint representational portraits directly on top of the people I am representing. The models are transformed into embodiments of the artist's interpretation of their essence. When captured on film, the living, breathing people underneath the paint disappear, overshadowed by the masks of themselves."

Dan Zak of the Washington Post writes, “Meade uses a brush. She paints skin on skin, lips on lips and eyebrows on eyebrows, and the insides of nostrils, using her own mixture of nontoxic paints and unspecified ingredients. Her subjects must sit still for multiple hours as she follows the natural contours of their faces, varying brushstroke and color to exhume their inner essence. When she's done, they appear banished to two-dimensionality, yet they also seem fuller, more dynamic. She then sets her subjects in an installation, or photographs them. There are no touch-ups or special effects beyond acrylic on flesh and the initial complacency of the observer.”

When I wrote to Alexa to ask her permission to write this entry about her, she referred me to the entry about her in Wikipedia, which she described as, "very accurate". I quote this entry about her:

Recent critical acclaim for Meade's work has been positive, with critics alluding to her innovations to the genre of portraiture and the ability of her work to speak to an international audience. Magdalena Sawon, owner of the Postmasters Gallery in New York, NY, recently said in reference to Meade's work, "A portrait is something that's been with us for 3,000 years--that's not an easy genre to move forward...This is a valid and very interesting contribution to the portrait genre." Christian Furr, a world renowned painter who selected Meade for an exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London, spoke of the international possibilities of her art. "She's going to create quite a stir in this country," Furr, a UK national, said. "People are fascinated by playing with viewpoints, and she's taking it one step further than trompe l'oeil. I was blown away by it."

(So was I!)

Stacy Alexander