December 5, 2012
Hurricanes, looming layoffs, power outtages, deaths, lectures, awards … and a partridge in a pear tree!
That was my November.
First, the bad news…
Although we fared well here in Sunset Park through Hurricane Sandy, the basement of my studio was not so lucky. According to some accounts, there was at least 5 feet of water here in Industry City. Fortunately, we only sprung a minor leak in the ceiling and all of our work was fine. The downside is the 110-year-old buildings were without power and heat for at least a week-and-a-half, so we were unable to work during that time. I suppose it was nice to take a break, but it's good to be back.
My Grandpa, Marvin LeRoy Noyce, passed away on Thanksgiving morning, so I recently made the trek back to Utah to pay my respects. Although it was sad to see him go, it was great to see some of the family I haven't seen for at least 5 years. They're a good lot and wish I could see more of them.
As some of you may have heard, Newsweek is ceasing its print publication at the end of this month (grab your copies while you can!) and going all-digital. This is good news for the iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices, but only time will tell whether the model will be sustainable. My hope is that Newsweek is pioneering this brave new world of digital media and will do very well. Of course, with the elimination of the print magazaine also means that layoffs are coming for the editorial side. This is all coming at the same time that Rupert Murdoch's iPad publication, The Daily, announced that they will be folding their digital product on Dec. 15. Sounds like scary, uncertain times to be in this industry, but we journalists have been weathering this atmosphere well before the economic downturn. We're a hardy bunch!
Now onto the good news…
While the print side is dismal, the iPad is definitely looking up. Our iPad app was rated #2 print magazine app by iMonitor, an independent agency that surveyed over 8,000 in iTunes' Newsstand. Their criteria was based on design, interactivity, content, ease of use, among other things. Congrats to all that helped put this great product together, including Melissa Lafsky, Dirk Barnett, Erick Fletes, Lindsay Ballant, Joyce Tang, and Jason Arias. Well done!
I was recently invited to lecture at Pratt Institute for a good friend of mine, Dr. Chris Alen Sula, for a course on interactive design. I discussed some best practices, including how to think about design within the context of digital media; planning for the iPad, iPhone and desktop; and gave a few examples of work that has pushed the boundaries of the new media. Afterward, I critiqued their projects and gave them some insight in terms of next steps. If you want to see how it went, you can download a PDF of the design course lecture (1.8MB).
In other news, Katya and I will be kicking off our studio open house session with a little party, some music and maybe some dancing. With any luck, I'll have an interactive project up-and-running to show off, some paintings from my Cloud Watching series, and Katya will most likely have some of her newer stuff up as well. Should be a lot of fun!
In the interim, here's a sneak peek at our new space:
October 2, 2012
Sometimes there's no greater feeling than receiving that "You've been approved!" message, especially here in New York where essentially everything is unattainable.
Katya and I were delighted when we received that message after applying for a studio space at The Terminal, about a half a block down from my old space at NARS.
Katya has slowly been growing out of her space and I've been looking for a larger one with a window — gawd forbid I actually see some sunlight!
After looking around for what seemed like an eternity, we came up with little that was in our price range or would be a step up from what I already had. There was also a strong desire to stay in Sunset Park — commuting to work AND to the studio seemed like a bit of a chore. Plus, there's some interesting things happening in this neighborhood now that weren't happening when I moved here 8 years ago. Events like Brooklyn Fashion Week, Sunset Park Artists Alliance, the plethora of new studio spaces and new restaurants opening periodically. Things are changing, though not in the blink of an eye like the rest of the city.
When we saw the space advertised, I kinda thought it was too good to be true for the price they were asking. Most spaces at that size with a window were a good deal more expensive, and some even more-so with fewer ammenities. Plus, IT'S NICE! But when I discovered that it met our criteria, we pounced on it right away and signed the lease.
In addition to being an incubator for all things creative in our world, we'll also start to host smaller gatherings and events in the space, including meet-and-greets, critiques, establish an informal show space, and create an environment that's just a great space to hang out. I feel like our lives are so full of stress as-is, this will be a good space to unwind with fellow artists and creative people.
Katya's also got a show coming up titled "Polymorph" at Kerry Jones' Greenpoint boutique, The One Well. She'll be showing works from her latest series and collaborating with our longtime friend, Verrinia Amatulli. Can't wait to see the results!
It's been a while since my last update, I realize this. It's not to say that nothing much has happened in the past several months — on the contrary! Too much has been going on. I think it's time to get an intern to help with all the administrative work!
Despite the fact that these were created seperately, they work pretty well as a small grid, and have a nice flow between paintings.
The "Cloud Watching" series has been going very well. You can see the culmination of the past several months in this shot taken during GO Brooklyn Museum Open Studios weekend.
Working on the iPad for Newsweek has inspired me to take my art in bold new directions. With the help of the Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox, I'm trying my hand at coding Java (yeah, THAT coding). I have to say, it's been quite a challenge, but I enjoy a good mind-numbing experience! I'm convinced that the end results will be so spectacular and the payoff will ultimately be worth it. I'll air my results when I'm at a good place with the work.
I'm sure it doesn't sound all that impressive to someone who builds websites for a living, but coming from me, the guy who resisted coding for many, many years because of the rigidity of the language and visually unfriendly nature, this is a HUGE deal. Katya thinks I'm nuts.
In other news, I recently was approached by the curators of Artsicle, a new online art project that aims to tap the middle class art market by renting insead of selling. Proceeds even go toward the eventual purchase of the work. Part of my problem with art is its pandering to the upper class and its relative exclusivity in terms of who sees and buys the work. You can rent some of my work for as little as $25 per month, which is pretty do-able — even for us cash-strapped folks.
So what's next? Well, I'm back to selling my work all by my lonesome, which is actually for the best. I'll be dipping my toes in art marketing, finding a new home for the "Cloud" series, updating this blog a little more often, buying a projector, and (hopefully) attending more shows. Look forward to seeing your work soon!
Three words have been omnipresent during the month of April:
As I mentioned in the last entry, I was asked by TNC Gallery director, Peter J. Ketchum, to curate "POW: Pop Now" for the gallery's April/May lineup. After four months of planning, coordinating, designing, mailing and sponsoring, the show finally came to pass, and what a success! In addition to a smashing turnout from friends and family of our 10 brilliant artists, we sold a bunch of works the first night, we got a great listing on ArtCat and even some press from the Daily News! Not too shabby for my curatorial debut!
Check out this slideshow from the day of the opening
Here's the official press release.
Regarding future works, I think I'll probably stay down this current path, finish off these last couple new, smaller works, and try my hand at some interactive work. Wish me luck!
I look back at the past year with fond recollection. With multiple fairs, numerous sales and representation with Mindy Solomon under my belt, 2011 treated me well. But resting on my laurels isn't exactly in my nature. To kick stagnation, I will be exploring fundamental changes in the way I think about art and art-making in 2012. It's an exciting way to approach the work.
My "Cloud Watching" series, now in its second year, has taken a dramatic shift in the past several months. Most notably, the works have been scaled down by over 60 percent, effectively forging a more intimate setting for the development of intricate pattern and form. The new works also have a clear delineation between the clearly defined set of characters earlier in the series. Rather than rendering emotionally-charged objects, the newest works are deliberately neutral so the viewer can respond to form on a more primal level.
In other news, I've been asked by TNC Gallery director Peter Ketchum to curate a show in the spring — a first for me. Tentatively titled "POW: Pop Now", this groundbreaking show will explore new directions in the Pop movement — 50 years after its inception. The show will explain why Pop has maintained such a stronghold in the American visual lexicon and how contemporary artists have adapted the style to incorporate a more personal narrative, rather than a pure exposé of popular culture.
"POW" will feature 10 artists from around the country, including video artist Forest Allread (Washington, DC); painter José Arenas (Brooklyn); painter/graphic designer Dan Christofferson (Salt Lake); fiber artist Boo Davis (Seattle); photographer Felix Flores (Salt Lake); painter/sculptor Erin Rachel Hudak (Brooklyn); painter Jacqueline Levine (Washington, DC); photographer Alfie Lee (Brooklyn); mixed media artist Dafna Steinberg (Washington, DC); and fiber artist Katya Usvitsky (Brooklyn). The show opens Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Please see my website and TNC Gallery for more details in the coming months.
In other firsts, I'm in the developmental stages of adding new media/interactive art to the list of artistic ventures. After the success of designing/art directing Newsweek's iPad app, already #6 on iTunes newsstand chart, I've been inspired to take my "Cloud Watching" series to new directions. Stay tuned as the project progresses.
Nov. 3, 2011
What a year 2011 has been — and it's not even over! It seems I never have a moment to spare, with multiple art fairs, exhibitions, seminars, grant writing, new series, networking and openings biding for my time. You name it, I've done it this past 10 months.
First and foremost, I was recently signed on as a full-time represented artist with Mindy Solomon Gallery of St. Petersburg, FL. Solomon has already exhibited my work at Texas Contemporary in Houston and will do so again at Scope Art Show during Art Basel weekend in Miami. For those of you who aren't familiar, Art Basel is one of the most important events for contemporary art. Some of the biggest, brightest and most influential works are sold during the weekend of December 3. It's also a hotbed for gallerist, curators, and artists to network and reveal the great things that are happening in art right now. If you happen to be in the area for the fair, please stop by and see the latest from my "Cloud Watching" series, pictured above. If you aren't going, you might want to consider — what better way to escape the doldrums of December than warm climes and culture?
In addition to Scope and Texas Contemporary, I also exhibited at the (e)merge Art Fair in Washington, D.C. this past October. In its first year, (e)merge is a prestigious event dedicated to nurturing unrepresented artists from around the country. I met Solomon during the 4 day event where she was promoting the photography of Becky Flanders. Other noteworthy participants included collector Mera Rubell, Matthew Higgs from White Columns in New York, and curator Kristen Hileman from the Baltimore Museum of Art.
This December, two of my paintings will be featured in Fall/Winter edition of Studio Visit Magazine, the sister publication to New American Paintings. Also coming out in December, my work will be featured in the Korean edition of the lifestyle magazine Dazed & Confused for their article tentatively titled "100 People." The piece will mention 100 people around the world to watch in the new year.
In other news, my Cloud Watching series is coming along quite well. In addition to the latest piece shown above, new works are moving in the direction of abstracted realism and are producing some exciting results that feel both true to my original vision and original rich in content.
That's all for now. You can check out my news section for more detail on the above.
Thanks for your interest!
Sept. 27, 2011
So much exciting news to report! During my exhibition at (e)merge Art Fair in Washington, I met Mindy Solomon, a gallerist working out of St. Petersburg, FL. She and I spoke for a little while about the fair, the iPad, her exhibition of photographs by Becky Flanders and some of my work. One thing lead to another, and now I'm currently being represented by her gallery. While she specializes in ceramics and sculpture, she represents a good deal of painters and continues to push the work of emerging and mid-career artists.
Solomon will be exhibiting pieces from my Cloud Watching Series around the country and currently has my work at the Texas Contemporary art fair in Houston. Exhibitors are primarily from around the U.S., but there are a few international galleries as well. The show continues through October 23.
December should be an exciting month for my art as well. With any luck, my work will be seen during Art Basel weekend at SCOPE art fair in Miami — also under the representation of Solomon. Seen by many as one of the most important weekends for art, Art Basel attracts collectors, curators, gallerists and creative people from around the world to see the progress of all things art.
With regard to current projects, I just finished yet another piece from the Cloud Watching Series. Image to be posted soon. I also just started on another piece of the same genre and dimensions, this time with a slightly more muted palette. When that's finished, I plan to work scale down slightly and tackle square surfaces no larger than 16 inches wide. These pieces will most likely be exhibited in a small grid to create a cohesive mini-series within the Cloud set. This should be a bit of a challenge for me, since I rarely work smaller than 48 inches. I think it's good to push your boundaries from time-to-time.
In other good news, my special lady friend, Kayta Usvitsky, currently has works from her NOthing series at SET Gallery in Brooklyn. In addition to Katya's wonderfully tactile sculptures, the show, "Moving Forward", features paintings by Jason (Illya) Reyen; sculpture by Ed Herman; and video by Mandy Morrison. "Moving Forward" has been well-received and she even sold a piece this week! Congratulations, Katya!
October 21, 2011
I've just returned to Brooklyn from the (e)merge Art Fair in Washington — what an experience! During the 3-day event, I met many talented artists, curators and gallerists from across the globe who gathered to promote emerging art in D.C. and environs.
Events were held in the Capitol Skyline Hotel, the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, the National Gallery contemporary wing, and the private homes of collectors in the area. The event was such a big deal that 4 spinoff events were held, including the spirited SubMerge festival.
Artists had wide-ranging projects, including Matias Cuevas, an Argentinian-born, Washington-based artist who creates beautiful color spaces (Cuevas shared a space with me in the Lapidus Cafe); Jeremy Haik, a Brooklyn-based photographer who scans ultra high resolution images of antique books; Forest Allread, a Washington-area multi-media artist whose work focuses on issues of race in popular culture; DC sculptor, Sam Scharf, whose work wrapped the entrance of the Capitol Skyline Hotel; and J.J. McCracken, a Maryland-based performance artist who created a powerful, 6-hour-long piece on water poverty (admittedly, I didn't stay for the duration!).
During the opening reception, the hotel was buzzing with members from the press, collectors and other power players in the DC art scene. World-renowned collector Mera Rubell was ever-present through the festival and even Chelsea Clinton showed up!
Here's some of the press that the event received. Check out the mention in the Washington Post for my "Cloud Watching" series!
Sept. 19, 2011
Just in time for spooky Halloween festivities, NARS foundation will be featuring a painting of mine, "Mustard Ribs," for their annual fall exhibition group show, playfully titled "Bridges, Trees, Skulls, Pies & Other Treasure Trails." Should be a motley crew of work, and I expect the same high caliber of work as in group shows past.
Bridges, Trees, Skulls, Pies & Other Treasure Trails
Oct. 1-23, 2011
Saturday, Oct. 1, 6-9pm
New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation is proud to present its annual fall exhibition of thirty-five NARS studio artists. Jose Arenas, Patricia Ayres, Gennadi Barbush, Michael Paul Britto, Richard Castellana, Justin Davis, Scott Geyer, Betty Hart, Griselda M. Healy, Cosme Herrera, France Hilbert, Aaron Hillebrand, Erin Rachel Hudak, Mikhail Iliatov, Ellen Coleman Izzo, Rachel Kahn, Kyung Han Kim, Hiromitsu Kuroo, Roberta Lawson, Marisa Manso, Bari Mohammed Daniel Morgan, Hyo Jeong Nam, Patty Neal, Tempest NeuCollins, Kevin Noble, Sean Noyce, Maia Cruz Palileo, Blithe Riley, Mason Saltarrelli, Steev Scott, Michael Solomon, Marisa Tesauro, Elizabeth Velazquez, and Townsend West.
"Bridges, Trees, Skulls, Pies & other Treasure Trails" will include prints, collages, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs that explore a wide range of subject matters and styles. From delicate geometric abstractions that examine the purity of form to explosive expressions of color that strive to strike a balance between emotion and intellect, the audience will be able to enjoy a treasure hunt through the winding hallways and the gallery space in search of their perfect treasure. Some will marvel at the meticulous rendering of the hair and expression of the brow while others find delight in the gestural strokes and splatters. From abandoned buildings and fences to tranquil bodies of water to intriguing fables and stories to delicious pies, the exhibition will surely delight those who dare to venture down the halls of the NARS Foundation.
Brooklyn, NY 11232
For further information please visit NARS Foundation
Aug. 17, 2011
EMERGE ART FAIR This September, I'll be in the prestigious (e)merge Art Fair in Washington, D.C. The event is very special in that it caters specifically to artists who are unrepresented by a gallery, and is curated by the likes of Matthew Higgs of White Columns Gallery in New York; Kristen Hileman, curator of the Baltimore Museum of Art; Mera Rubell of the prestigious Rubell family of art collectors; Collector Manuel de Santaren; and the ever helpful Jamie Smith and Leigh Connor. Please see below for official press release.
Washington, DC (March 4, 2011) – (e)merge, a new, vetted art fair focused on emerging artists and galleries with emerging art, announces it is now accepting applications from galleries, nonprofits and artists without gallery representation. The Fair will take place September 22-25, 2011 at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, DC. When visiting the Web site artists, gallerists, curators, arts professionals, or collectors who work with or support emerging art, can identify their city to create a marker on the world map. The populated map will be on view online and at the Fair. A picture of the world community of emerging art will be created as colleagues from Baltimore to Brasilia to Beijing put themselves on the map.
(e)merge will feature international galleries and nonprofits along with artist, curator and collector panel discussions, tours, and performances. Artists currently without gallery representation will have the opportunity to exhibit their vetted works at no charge throughout the hotel grounds and in the hotel itself.
Vetting committees are being formed to select a mix of galleries and to select artists. Confirmed Committee Members include:
"I'll be looking for artists' work that presents a unique, thoughtfully-developed and provocative vision,” said Kristen Hileman, Curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art. “While the strongest artistic voices do respond to today's culture, work that distinguishes itself cannot be pigeonholed into trends of the moment, rather it leads us to see the world in new ways. That's what I look forward to viewing and championing in the jurying process."
The (e)merge art fair will take place within blocks of the National Mall, home to internationally renowned cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and many Smithsonian museums. “Washington, DC is a natural base for this art fair,” said Helen Allen, one of the Fair’s three organizers. “The city’s museums are among the world’s best and most visited, and it has a vibrant artist and gallery scene. According to recently released business reports, the DC area comprises some of the nation’s wealthiest communities, a highly educated populace and strong job and housing markets.”
Along with Ms. Allen, founder and former executive director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, (e)merge is being organized by Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith, co-founders of Conner Contemporary Art, in Washington, DC.
STUDIO VISIT MAGAZINE Coming in late October, I'll be featured in Studio Visit Magazine, the sister publication to the prestigious New American Paintings magazine. The works are a curated collection of works that are printed quarterly and will be distributed to galleries, curators, critics and the bookstores across the country. Check it out when you get a chance.