Costa-Rican born artist based in Copenhagen, Saborio works in large scale canvases with bright and intense colors that resemble arcane cosmic or microscopic natural patterns. The images on this article were part of his second solo-exhibition in DK, titled “Return to Source”.
Following the proposal of his exhibition title, we at Red Door decided to focus on Returning to the Source in this issue, what with the overwhelming amount of tidal waves headed towards each one of us during this conflicting year, our personal losses and the constant need to clarify and redefine the concepts and purposes of our projects as individuals and as collectives.
There is something deeply enchanting in the work of Pablo Saborío, in the rhythmical movements of color and darkness that spreads through each of his pieces as in a vision or dream state where one can find that timeless moment of reflection and healing needed in moments of confusion and despair.
On his canvases, frequently of big format and in many occasions of non-traditional media for a painter, (such as in his use of glass and acrylic, or LED illumination in his pieces) one finds the work of a dedicated and fervent follower of art… and of a practitioner of unusual techniques to express his inner-search. In his own words:
“These works point towards the origin of all creation, they are here to make us remember the simplicity, symmetry and sweetness of the timeless moment.”
– Where does your art come from?
I have reached a point where I see little difference between what I do and what the universe does. I see my work primarily as a means for the cosmos to express itself.
– What describes your creative process?
After an initial flurry of inspiration where liters of paint are poured onto the surface, I often sit back to watch the paint play with itself. I can contemplate for hours as colors merge or collide, while slowly the geography of the work comes into being. I often feel I am there to witness the work rather than to create it.
– What is the meaning behind ‘Return to Source’?
I have noticed we no longer have experiences. We conceptualize experience; we interpret and define what is happening all the time. Return to Source is a challenge to this mode of existing; a reminder that prior to language and thought, there is awareness. All the works are titled ‘In Silentio’ (in silence). People are invited to experience the art without the aid of concepts or interpretation.
Return to Source featured over 10 new works, including beautiful compositions on glass.
Artist’s comments: “Return to Source is the outcome of living in pure meditation – a return to the intuitive, playful and immediate mode of existing that children and Buddhas exemplify”.
A special thanks to Pablo Saborio for sharing his art, his energy, and his never-ending fountain of inspiration and creativity with us. To learn more, visit his website:
Previous issues below:
Robert Steven Connett
Art on cover: (by Robert Steven Connett).
Robert Steven Connett is a California artist who takes his current inspiration from biological forms — both flora and fauna, micro and macro, land and ocean dwelling — from which he generates new variations, as though he were painting with recombinant DNA. He is a masterful painter of other-worldly creatures harmoniously swimming along in complex dreamscapes. Intricate geometric patterns make up each new species, meticulously painted with illuminated detail.
1. For how long have you been painting, inking, illustrating?
RSC: I have been drawing since I was a kid. My parents used to give me old scraps of paper and ballpoint pens to shut me up. When I went to school, I found that I was a little bit better at drawing than the other children, so that gave me an edge which I capitalized on. Drawing in Kindergarten was the beginning of my art career. I continued to draw as a hobby throughout my adolescence and early adulthood. When I was 27 years old I decided that I would dedicate my evenings to teaching myself how to paint. I always considered my artwork a hobby, be it a serious hobby. (Truth is, I always had a secret dream that I might some day be a full time artist) I did not gather the courage to attempt art as a career until I was 50 years old. I was disenchanted with everything I had accomplished in my life up to that point. I started painting every day, with a serious discipline. I started selling small paintings on Ebay. I purchased a large format printer, and started selling prints. In time, I became more successful. I’m still striving to perfect my work discipline, and probably will until my final day on Earth. I’m exhibiting and selling original works in Galleries and museums. Most important, for the first time in my life, I enjoy what I do for a living.
2. Any artistic influences?
RSC: I have so many artistic influences it is impossible to list them here. I’m constantly combing the planet for new art and artists I have never seen before. Gaining influence and inspiration from other art is part of my creative process. I continue to be greatly influenced by all the artwork that I mentally digest. Of course, other art is not the only thing which influences or inspires me. I find much of my inspiration from nature, and people.
3. What about the shades and tones of your work. Do they hold specific meaning to you, and do they relate to your personal life?
RSC: Your question asks me whether the tonality of my work expresses more than just the technical aspect of the light and dark. Not really. Shades and tones are only a means to an end for me. The technical aspect of my work is secondary to the characters and objects I’m painting. Saying that, I must also say that my craft is very important to me. I try to improve my abilities every time I work. However, It’s always been more about “What I paint” than “how I paint.” My art is more about what you see than ‘the execution’ of what you see. Still, a big part of the excitement and pleasure of what I do is the learning process. Every time I sit at my easel I learn. There is nothing else I have found in life, other than art, which has such infinite possibilities.
4. What’s your creative process like?
RSC: My creative process evolves, and changes with time. Currently, I get up late, around11 AM. I spend the first few hours of my day taking care of the everyday tasks that we all must do. Paying bills, returning phone calls, getting some exercise and the like. When that is done I get to my easel and begin to work on whatever painting I have going. I will usually work through until 8PM. That’s my “First shift.” I work in the quiet, or I listen to recorded books. For some reason, I don’t listen to music while I am panting. I am distracted by music when I work. However, I am not distracted by someone narrating a novel. Consequently I have a very large library of record books. At 8:PM, I take a break for dinner, then go back to work at 10PM, and work my “Second shift” until 2:AM, or sometimes longer. I live my life on a very different clock than most people. I don’t leave my home much. My artworks and my home have become the focus of my world. My home is small, but very beautiful with gardens and ponds. I have original works of art, books, computers, and collections of things that fascinate and inspire me. I live there with my wife and two dogs. an “idyllic” life of seclusion.
5. What are your creative triggers? what inspires you? or… what leads you to make work?
RSC: I’m not that spontaneous. Creating my art is very deliberate. The triggers are simply that creating art is the most fulfilling thing I have ever found to do. All else pales in comparison.
6. What changes, advances or progress have you seen in your work throughout the years?
RSC: Well, of course, since I decided to paint many hours every day my work has steadily gotten technically better. I have become more accustomed to the media, and more masterful, able to express myself more spontaneously. I’ve painted every day for almost 10 years, and my work continues to improve at a surprising rate, even now, after all these years. I am excited to see what the future holds. I think the main change that I see in my subject matter is that I have gotten away from ugliness and turned more toward beauty. I used to feel the need to paint gross, morbid and violent imagery. I think this had to do with a lack of confidence on my part. I think this need I had to paid “dark” subjects was partially an overcompensation for my lack of ability to create something Impactful without relying on the use of gross imagery. (It was also part cathartic of course) I wanted to make an impact and I was afraid I wasn’t good enough to make an impact with beauty. As I improved technically, I became more confident. I found that I could make strong visual statements without resorting to the “dark.” This is more satisfying. Simply put, I think I “grew up” as an artist. I’m still growing. Growing in all directions every time I have the opportunity to practice. Every day I’m feeling more free to express myself using complex beauty, worlds within worlds. Darkness is part of life. However, Now I can express it more objectively in my work.
Born in 1951 in San Francisco, California, Robert Steven Connett began drawing and painting at an early age. He continued to create artwork as a hobby during his adult years. He made a living as an insurance broker in San Francisco for over 20 years. He sold the firm in 1998 at age 47 after his home and personal art collection were destroyed by fire. Connett moved to Los Angeles in 2003 where he began a full time art career at the age of 52.
There are artists out there who eschew traditional approaches to drawing but are nonetheless obsessed with detail as a way express what are often frightening visions of the world in general and humanity in particular. H. R. Giger and Chris Mars spring to mind. Their roots lie in the dreamlike visions of Heironymous Bosch. It is a difficult artistic path. Most who try it fail to develop a unique vision or compelling style and get mired in cliché psychedelia. This kind of work is often driven by direct experiences with drug addiction, insanity or both, which can explain the rarity of finding such artists who also have the discipline to excel. R. S. Connett has become one of those exceptions. – David Carmack Lewis
by Elizabeth Torres
From mermaids riding magical creatures under the ocean to mystical characters that seem to have been pictured in their natural environment, the work of Matt Dangler is filled with magical imagery and colorful, intricate designs. The most hypnotizing effect is created by his brushes, which give the work a gaussian blur and at the same time, gigantic amount of respect to the details. The result, magnificent, dreamy scenarios of imaginary characters that stay in your mind for days after you have seen one of his pieces.
Born in Philadelphia, Dangler graduated in 2006 with a BFA in Illustration from Uarts, Philadelphia PA. Amongst his achievements, one can list only a few to give an idea of his dedication to the arts. Matt Dangler won the Kennedy Award for Representation of the Human Figure, the Roger T. Hane Illustration Prize for outstanding achievement in illustration and for demonstrating the inherent sincerity, intensity, and dedication to illustration, and has been included in Spectrum 14, 15, 17, 18 and 20 annuals for “The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art”. Apart from this, Dangler has been a part of over 30 gallery exhibitions and solo exhibitions and constantly continues to collaborate with other artists and galleries.
The alluring contrast of colors and shadows give his work an intimate, dream-like effect. His brush strokes, which he has described in the past as a “meditative rhythm with no limits”, are constant and delicate, soft and precise, serving as proof to his attention to detail and undoubtedly, to his dedication to the work being created. Each one of his pieces tells the story of a different world, a vision. There is a very passionate artist behind these images, and secrets hidden in every corner of each one of his pieces. The experience of looking at his work leaves those who view it desiring to be able to walk into the canvas, for each image is a window to a world in Dangler’s mind.
There is also plenty of mysticism to be found in his paintings, spirit animals, owls with human heads, aquatic creatures flying, indescribable, magical creatures. They appear to be completely focused on their regular activities and still, somehow suspended in time, waiting for you to see them. Most of his work, created with oils on either panels on canvas, has equally mesmerizing titles, such as “The Violetbacked Verluxian”, “Porctan’s Predicament”, “The Stream of Consciousness” (which is a personal favorite), and “Feeding the Inner Sanctum”. Both the images and the poetic names and stories appearing on his paintings, make of Dangler a unique visionary artist, whose style could also be described as neo-surrealism, magic realism, and sometimes a hint of psychodelic art. Some of his work reminds me in many ways of the work of Leonora Carrington, however, his style and essence are quite original, very playful and extremely delightful to look at. In Matt Dangler I see a master of modern magical surrealism, whose great imagination, dedication and talent will without a doubt take him through great paths in the world of the arts.
Interview with Matt Dangler:
… Every Christmas, when I visit my parents, I see a painted scene of Santa flying in his sled with his L shaped legged reindeers over a house the size of a backyard shed… granted, although the snowflakes are the size of dinner plates, every single one was rendered down to the smallest touch.Even at 6 years of age or so, I had an obsession with detail. So for much of my life I have been playing with paint, but it wasn’t until Junior year of college (2005) that I started painting in Watercolor in any serious fashion. My obsession for Oil painting started shortly after I graduated.
“We will swarm on you like ants”
Ken Wiatrek’s work displays a delicate balance of geometric shapes and contrasting colors; his brush interacting with the surface creates a final effect in both texture and form of a very eloquent, intimate language.
Originally from Texas and residing in Hamburg, Wiatrek mentions geometry, video games, faberge, islamic art, catholic churches, science fiction books, architecture, quilts, crystals and mummies as some of his sources of inspiration.
“A reality- I sit in my studio and look at things and then try to make them look different. More beautiful, but also more ‘fucked up’. I am doing my best to achieve a level of meditative bliss, for lack of a better term, by working on repetitive patterns that ultimately stay with me as I move around the world. At one point I realized that this effect works on others as well; when people look at these things, en masse, they too see this pattern on everything.”
Wiatrek’s description of his creative process reminds me of the concept of binaural tones, its auditory effects in the body caused by specific physical stimuli, which according to Heinrich Wilhelm, who discovered them, could help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. Creativity often comes in more than one form of expression, so the connection between rhythm and repetition seen in his work could also be in part influenced by his long-term involvement with music, having previously been a member of several bands and projects, including Terrible Eagle, Indian Jewelry, Eystek and The Sugar Beats.
The forms and variations of colors that appear in Wiatrek’s works, also make me think of kaleidoscopes and dream-state visions, individually potent and filled with information, but, when stared at long enough as a body of work, it feels as if his pieces could almost come out of the paper and begin dancing rhythmically side by side, as in a sort of trance that reformulates itself into new shapes and geometric codes.
“I guess it’s also about the idea of the relic. This concept that painting is somehow important is a relic of a past thought canon, yet we still do it because we want to make our world better to look at. So in this sense I am literally creating relics. Also, there is the idea that the pattern creates a mental relic that you cannot shake when you spend a lot of time looking at it. It goes with you and as you look at something else, it is still there…Haunting you like a ghost.”
His influences include his mom, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Wyatt Nash, Robert Deeds, Tex Kerschen, Brandon Davis, Neal Gaiman, Julia Viebranz, Gabe Delgado and Barnett Newman.
Wiatrek will be exhibiting at Cardoza Fine Art, Houston, TX, this 28th of March. Upcoming events also include a few group shows over the next months in various places (TBA), and a solo exhibition at Dorothea Schlueter in Hamburg in early 2015.
To see more of his work, visit:
* Special thanks to Ken Wiatrek for providing the images and information included in this article.
See more of Ken’s work at:
Ken Wiatrek’s CV:
Selected Exhibitions- Solo
- Photos That Made Themselves, San Jacinto College (Pasadena, TX) 1996
- If, Then: Current Task, Goldenen Pudel (Hamburg, DE) 2010
- If, Then: (Die) Liberate Binary, Galerie Auf Halb Acht (Hamburg, DE) 2011
- 640 is More than Enough, BowWow (Skive, Denmark) 2011
Selected Exhibitions- Collaborative
- On The Mat- Aurora Picture Show (Houston, TX) 1999
- with Robert Deeds
- 48 Hours of Art and Music Festival, Project Row Houses (Houston, TX) 2004
- with Danny Kerschen
- 1mballo, City Centre Warehouse (Faenza, IT) 2008
- with Rusko
- Advances in Archeology, POW Gallery (Hamburg, Germany) 2009
- with Susanne Fehenberger, Felix Wangerin and Brandon Davis
- Die Reliktion, Golden Pudel Club (Hamburg, Germany) 2009
- with Christiane Blattmann
- with Danny Kerschen
- Enneagram Brazil, Universidad Catholica Pernambuco (Recife, Brazil) 2009
- with Brandon Davis and students
- Enneagram Bolivia, Dikonia Universidad (Santa Cruz, Bolivia) 2009
- with Brandon Davis and students
- Advances in Living Conditions, Dockville Festival (Hamburg, Germany) 2009
- with Susanne Fehenberger and Brandon Davis
- Maschine Eins, Dockville Festival (Hamburg, Germany) 2010
- with Jonathan Gröne, Michael Schieben, and Hakan
- Lairs (Get It), Elektrohaus (Hamburg, Germany) 2011
- with Julia Viebranz
Selected Exhibitions- Group
- Photography Show 1996, Beaumont Art League (Beaumont, TX) 1996
- PostContemporaryPopMovement, CSAW (Houston, TX) 1998
- Photography Show 1998, Beaumont Art League (Beaumont, TX) 1998
- Senior Thesis Exhibition, Dishman Art Gallery (Beaumont, TX) 1998
- New Work, New Artists, River Oaks (Houston, TX) 2001
- Shirts and Skins, CSAW (Houston, TX) 2001
- Wiggley Mop’s Guerilla Room, CSAW (Houston, TX) 2001
- Come Meet Me Here, RAW Space (Houston, TX) 2001
- Eye of the Beholder, OneTen Studios (Houston, TX) 2002
- Hello, My Name Is, OneTen Studios (Houston, TX) 2003
- SPACE, Commerce Street Artist Warehouse (Houston, TX) 2003
- HOME, Commerce Street Artist Warehouse (Houston, TX) 2003
- Trailer Park, Kerschen Trailer (Deer Park, TX) 2003
- Political Poster Show, Project Row Houses (Houston, TX) 2005
- Temporary Contemporary, The Orange Show (Houston, TX) 2005
- Common Thread, Northline Mall (Houston, TX) 2005
- Grand Opening Show, Texas Firehouse (Long Island City, NY) 2006
- Back to School, University of Maine at Augusta (Augusta, ME) 2008
Selected Exhibitions- Group (continued)
- Shit Where You Eat, Texas Firehouse (Long Island City, NY) 2008
- The Illiad AKA Pies vs. Chili, The Space (Long Island City) 2008
- LAmerika, Harburg Exhibition Space (Hamburg, Germany) 2008
- Concentricity, The Space HQ (Long Island City, NY) 2009
- All Aboard Future, Secret Project Robot (Brooklyn, NY) 2009
- Independance Day 2009, Alte Kindl Braurei (Berlin, Germany) 2009
- Family Unit, Elektrohaus (Hamburg, Germany) 2010
- Product of Exchange 1, Alte Kindl Braurei (Berlin, Germany) 2010
- Product of Exchange 2, Texas Firehouse (Long Island City, NY) 2010
- Support Your Local Heroes 3, Galerie Auf Halb Acht (Hamburg, Germany) 2011
- Moraltarantula5, Zollamt (Hamburg, Germany) 2011
- All Dread Set, Cardoza Fine Art (Houston, TX) 2012
- Support Your Local Heroes 4, Galerie Auf Halb Acht (Hamburg, Germany) 2012
- Silence Is A Lie, SEZ (Berlin, Germany) 2012
- Baltic Raw- Open Museum, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg, Germany) 2012
- LAmerika2, Sammlung Falckenberg (Hamburg, Germany) 2012
- All My Clean Friends and Lovers (FandLinU), Perla Moda (Zurich, Switzerland) 2012
- Final Show, Texas Firehouse (Long Island City, NY) 2013
- Trippy Hippy Pastorale (FandLinU), Schloss Karlsdorf (Graz, Austria) 2013
- Cardoza West, Pop Up (Austin, TX) 2014
Selected Grants, Residencies and Awards
- Center For Big Bend Studies Residency (Sul Ross State- Alpine, TX) 2003
- 2004 BBAP XMAS TREE (Buffalo Bayou Art Park- Houston, TX) 2004
- CACHH Grant Recipient (Houston, TX) 2005
- Enneagram of Personality (Recife, Brazil and Santa Cruz, Bolivia) 2009
- Artist in Residence, Krabbesholm (Skive, Denmark) 2011
- Artist in Residence/Guest Instructor, Talent Academy for Art and Design (Holstebro, Denmark) 2012
- Artist in Residence, Islington Mill (Manchester, UK) 2013
Music (Performance and Recording)
- The Sugar Beats 1999- present
- Soviet Army Chorus 2004- 2005
- Indian Jewelry 2004- present
- Eystek 2005- 2007
- Terrible Eagle 2007- present
- Associates Degree, Communications
San Jacinto College (Pasadena, TX) 1995
- Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, Studio Art with Emphasis on Photo and Digital Media
Lamar University (Beaumont, TX) 1998
- Post Baccalaureate MFA Program, Studio Art
University of Houston (Houston, TX) 1999
————- previous issues ———–
GALORE URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL:
Photos by: LINTS
Upon arrival to Copenhagen, I was invited to help decorate the stage of an Urban Arts Festival that was taking place, called Galore.
It was a fantastic and inspiring surprise to arrive to this celebration of music and visual arts, featuring artists invited from all over the world, as well as names from the local scene.
Enjoy this selection of photos, provided for Red Door Magazine by the wonderful Lints.
Henrys Dream is a full-scale interactive performance festival that, over the course of three days (18 – 20 July 2013), will set the scene for a new society and community. The festival will introduce more than 40 international artists to play during the festival’s three days.
The festival area is set to be a parallel universe with its own rules, aesthetics and social patterns. Festival guests will be confronted with new rules, with the purpose of involving them in the festival culture. They will also bear responsibilities that will help strengthen the interactive element of the festival.
The musical parts of Henrys Dream will merge with the performative elements and the installation work. The idea is to challenge both the current performance- and concert setups and create a new way of experiencing the two art forms. The audience will in this format be challenged in relation to their way of perceiving and interacting with the music – and most important in their understanding of how it can be shared.
The festival will be held at secret location. A location within the Copenhagen area will be posted on the tickets from where all guests will be picked up and transported to the festival area in buses. As part of the festival mantra, guests who decide to leave the festival will not be able to return to the festival area.
RED DOOR MAGAZINE, together with our sister project NEVERSTOP, have united forces with HENRY’S DREAM festival.
To begin our collaboration, we prepared this video preview:
(special thanks to our friends at Rock Bottom, Bklyn, NY, for participating in this ritual)
which was followed by this song, created together in the spirit of the festival:
(video by: Harrison Owen. Music by: AXA. In this song: David Flick, Madeleine Kate, Elizabeth Torres & Brandon Davis)
To continue our collaboration, Red Door Magazine will be covering the festival in Copenhagen this July and bringing you interviews, photos and videos of our time together. Stay tuned for much more. In the meantime, follow this fantastic iniciative at:
“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
“In darkness we find light” is a common expression that describes and invokes the strength of human beings, or better yet, living things, when faced with struggle and unsettling circumstances. The greeks used to say that hope was the greatest joke or punishment, as it forced humans to suffer longer. But it’s within that same darkness that great talents and skills are developed, as a form of survival or as a testament to the chaos around and within, building and threading the mechanism of existence.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the invisible contract between chaos and the artist. There is a long history of poets, musicians, painters that provided us with their greatest light during their darkest moments. The stories are no secret and artists like Van Gogh, Piaf, Sylvia Plath, Basquiat, Miguel Piñeros among many more, have left us both with the unbelievable inheritance of life as an explosion made art, and the string of smoke that remains after their departure. Like a skilled acrobat, the artist flirts with these moments of angst, of fear, of ambition, of dellusion, of dispair, many times of hunger and heartbreak, and simultaneously produces the inherent beauty of life as the strongest fire. The result is astonishing, breath-taking, almost alive on its own. The result in the artist, the thick skin, the chaos as a friend, how strong is its force? Is the artist responsible for the chaos? Is the chaos responsible for the results? Is the work diminished, does it lose or gain, weight more or less, depending on the constant metamorphosis of the artist? does it change form continuously? does it maintain its movement, its transformation within the artist? within those who are touched by it? What about within chaos?
Michael Alan’s work can be described with many adjectives: industrious, passionate, modern, precipitated, dedicated. The Village Voice called his lines “thread-like” and “manically impulsive”. The New York Times declared him an art prodigy. He refers to himself as an Alien: “I am Michael Alien, an alien who wants good and to exist with a twist of chaos and a big splash of toxic paint!”. The truth is he is simply a diligent servant of his work, a man consumed by his art. He is also aware of the sacrifices, the board games and the walk needed to let art take you by its hand in these times.
To know that he was born during a black out, that he grew up in Bushwick, Brooklyn and was raised in low-income environments, to know that during one of his performances he suffered neurological damage and had to have spinal surgery, among many other debilitating conditions, to know that his restless work has led him to collaborations with artists such as Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys and Shinji Masuko from The Boredoms, to know that he’s been in over 200 publications (now including this one, thanks to his perseverance), to know that he’s currently organizing a show at his mom’s house, (honoring his upbringing and the constant support of his family), where he will display over 40 books that contain 40 paintings each, around 1000 works… is only to know the silhouette of the messenger. The trace of smoke that the star leaves behind as it continues its path through pitch black nothingness.
But to see his work is to know him. It is chaos, staring back at you. Anything else added to these lines, redundant and mundane fireworks.
Red Door Magazine.
Michael Alan Alien
ASCENSION LORENTE HUGUET
Originally from Navarra, in Spain, the industrial activity in Alabaster within the Navarra Community would allow her to qualify as an Alabaster Technician. However, the decline in this industry and lack of artistry opportunity would mean a turn in her artistic career, which would flourish few years later after moving to England in 2002. Graduated with Hons in Fine Art and with a Master in the Arts, Huguet practice has been focused in post-humanist philosophies, which uses as a point for departure and aesthetic investigation in her work. Talking about her work:
“My work challenges all assumptions about what it means to be human by attacking the thought of a rational view of the world and the myth of progress and evolution. If there is any hope for a better world, this may be an illusion”
Huguet creates work by using different media, though her focus remains in painting. Her life performance piece ‘The Minotaur Woman’ was selected to take part in the Whitstable Biennale in Kent, U.K. in 2010. After graduation, the University awarded her with the Gateway Fund for the innovative The Human-Animal series of work.
Her concern in relation to her practice is to continue developing her ideas faithfully to her beliefs and without being too much influenced by the commercial market.
RED DOOR 9TH ISSUE
Dolls and beings of a hybrid nature, refreshing colors, antropomorphic figures and symbolism are what makes Jennybird’s artwork stand up from the rest. A Young artist from San Francisco (California, USA), her work exposes, in an almost dreamy way, topics such as anger and death, sorrow and fear. The fusion of animal visions, imaginary nature and human objects and limbs makes of her composition a creative reminder of what our minds are truly capable of seeing.
A self-proclaimed night owl, Jennybird Alcantara’s artistic language is also influenced by mythological beings, and what we would call “visual poetry” concepts. I find her work to have some sort of resemblance to that of admired Frida Kahlo, but with a hint of modern styles and dark pop art, which has lately become the people’s favorite in New York and L.A’s galleries.
Jennybird Alcantara’s work has been widely exhibited in the US and Europe, including the Varnish Gallery in San Francisco, Luz de Jesus in L.A, London Miles Gallery, the Sacred Machine Gallery Arizona, and the Pop Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among others. She is currently preparing a new collection of dolls for a fall show at the Poets Gallery in New Orleans.
She states that her work is a reflection or allegory of humanity’s condition, and of love as a main stream of conscience in everything that surrounds us. The beasts in her work aren’t always peaceful. Many of them cry or move away from the viewer, hiding the same fears and connections that we consider weaknesses in our human race. There is much to be said about Jennybird’s work, but let us allow her pieces to speak for themselves.
My paintings have a dream within a dream quality; I think they are best described as allegories on the human condition, more specifically the condition of the heart. That is not say they are merely about love but the heart dominates all and is the companion of kindness cruelness fearfulness as well as bravery and love and whether the figure in the painting is dragging it around on the ground or it has transformed into a roaring beast its ever present in the my works. Through my paintings I contemplate the interconnectedness of opposites as seen through the prism of myth fable and dream. I use the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between, as well as the relationship between the beauty and cruelness of nature, that of the natural world as well as human and animal nature. The anthropomorphic qualities in my characters show the relationship of the central figure to the world she inhabits.
I received my BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and currently reside in San Francisco.
RED DOOR 8TH ISSUE
REBECCA KINSEY – AUSTRALIA
Rebecca Kinsey is an artist, graphic designer, word-nerd, and occasional pirate based in Byron Bay, Australia. She began her career as a graphic designer, graduating from Sydney Graphics College, followed by an internship at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia). Originally a self-taught painter, she has just recently completed a degree in Visual Arts at Southern Cross University, Australia, majoring in painting with minor studies in drawing, screenprinting, papermaking and photography.
Recent explorations have seen her moving away from her signature graphic and illustrative narrative style of painting, and into a more process driven multimedia practice. She has just returned to Australia from a residence at The Art Students League of New York’s Vytlacil Campus.
“i have begun to use video as a central point in my work, as a tool for documenting, making work and as a medium itself… i am inspired by the beauty and the mundane nature of everyday sorts of objects and activities, and have lately been quite taken with the notion of making art whilst doing such activities, in a way that captures something of an experience without impacting the nature of it too much; walking, driving, reading… i have made whole bodies of work whilst doing these things…
my latest work sees me projecting video onto the surfaces upon which i paint and draw… creating abstract multimedia works using the haptic footage that i have collected on my travels as my source material. i am interested in the collision of digital media and the hand made mark, and using this to create my own pathway into abstraction. i am also experimenting with creating video pieces or what i call slow moving paintings out of some of my collected video footage, and these are dream-like video versions of the paintings i’ve been making… ”
RED DOOR – 7TH ISSUE
PING HE – SHANGHAI, CHINA
Teacher, Art Design Institute, Dong Hua University. 1986- now.
SHANGHAI, The People’s Republic of China
Exhibition and Art activities
Nov.2010 Attend collective exhibition in Agora Gallery New York.
Aug.2010 Represent by Agora Gallery New York.
Jul. 2010 Invited to attend Arteage art studio workshop in Spain pavilion at Expo site 2010.
Jun.2010 Attended Chinese/Italian fine art exhibition of contemporary artists.
May.2010 Invited to participate in “visual span” exhibition by Far East Museum of Art, as a guest cut the ribbon for opening ceremony.
Mar.2009 Present group exhibition in Shanghai Big Warehouse Gallery.
Aug.2008 Represent by Shanghai Big Warehouse Gallery.
Nov. 2007 Attending The 11th Shanghai Art Fair 2007.
Nov. 2006 Hold solo exhibition in Shanghai Big Warehouse Gallery in M50.
Oct. 2003 Attended exhibition with a hundred artists home and abroad to Germany.
Dec. 2002 Be invited to attend Shanghai Biennial. Art work: F1 woman.
Sep. 1-29 1999 Be invited by “Stephen Gang Gallery” in New York to attend the group exhibition with the title “Cross cultural voice – Between Memories”, which is for celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Asian American Arts Center.
Aug. 1997 Eight paintings were exhibited in 97 Shanghai Art Fair.
Jan. 1-7 1997 Big Solo Exhibition (over sixty paintings) opened in New Shanghai Library opening ceremony.
Nov. 1996 Three paintings were auctioned in “Sale of Fine Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy” in Hong Kong.
Feb. 1992 Solo Exhibition opened in Shanghai Duo Yun Xuan.
Mar. 1991 Five paintings were showed in the Third Art Exhibition of Shanghai Young Artists.
Jul. 1989 One-piece artwork of fashionable dress was showed in Shanghai Was-Printing Exhibition.
Jan. 1997 *Published 10,000 sets of bookplates in which printed eight painting.
*In “Culture and Recreation” post, introduced paintings of “Yellow Flowers in May”
*The Central National TY station, Beijing and several Shanghai TV Stations reported Ping He’s paintings and interviewed Ping He.
Aug. Sept.1996 In the National Newspaper — “Wen Hui Daily”, published Ping He’s 14 paintings and introduced the style of Ping He’s paintings in serial papers.
Aug. 1996 In “Shanghai Fashion Post” published a critical paper that was “Ping He, Dress and Adornment, and Painting”, and two paintings.
Jul. 1996 In the National Newspaper —- “Jie Fang Daily”, published a critical paper that was “ It describes peace in Ping He’s paintings.
Oct. 1996 In ELLE magazine, introduced Ping He’s style of art, attached three paintings.
In “Xi – Min “ Evening Post” published a critical paper which title was “National Expression in Ping He’s paintings”, and attached a painting of “Mongolia Crown.
Nov. 1996 New Shanghai Library collected The Picture of “Tai Zhen”.
1994 Gained first prize at “The Competition of National Fashion design”
Nov. 1992 Three paintings were auctioned by Shanghai Duo Yun Xuan and Hong Kong Yong Cheng Auction Co. at “Sale of Fine Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy” in Hong Kong.
Feb.1992 Shanghai Duo Yun Xuan collected four paintings.
RED DOOR – 6TH ISSUE
FORTES PAKEONG SEQUEIRA – CHINA
Artist Fortes Pakeong Sequeira was born in Macau in 1978.
He is a graduate in Design from the School of Arts of Macao Polytechnic Institute, where he majored in graphic design. His style of art is a mixture between modern illustration, performance, and of course, highly influenced colors and contrasts that display his knowledge in Graphic Design.
I met Pakeong at the Macau Fringe Festival during its opening festivities ceremony, as he performed sitting next to two guitar players, with his iPad as his only instrument. As the lines began to appear on the plaza of Tsa Seac Square I understood that his drawings were simultaneously being projected on the stage, for all the audience to see… and what an explosion of colors, shapes, contrasts, imaginary figures an movement!
It was a line from Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, played by the two musicians, that showed me the rebellious and daring ability of Pakeong. As the God Loves his Children phrase replayed in my mind, his lines followed the music with mastery and patience, creating a new environment.
As you can see in the pictures below, Pakeong keeps himself busy between art shows, art fairs, installations, performances, and as the bandman of Blademark which is a Macau local canto-metal band. Creativity comes out of his pores with the refreshing quality of someone who loves to create new worlds for the public.
He explains to Red Door Magazine more of his process in this statement: “I started my line drawing when I was a kid, maybe 5 something, I used to make them as black and white, some some of my friends think it’s most like graffiti, but also ask me if my painting is traditional chinese drawing in china? Is it Gong Bi Hua?…actually I don’t really mind about what style is my painting, I’m just doing what I can do!”
Special thanks to: Fortes Pakeong Sequeira.
RED DOOR – 5TH ISSUE
MOLLY CRABAPPLE – NY
The drop hollows the stone – A Friday the 13th with Molly.
Gutta cavat lapidem.
By: Elizabeth Torres.
This past Friday the 13th (August) of 2010 was one that will be tough to beat. After researching to find the perfect artist to feature in our 5th issue of Red Door Magazine, I was able to schedule an interview with the woman the New York Times baptized “A Downtown Phenomenon”, Molly Crabapple. It wasn’t a quick pick. As the director of Red Door Magazine, I get to be picky, bitchy and discerning, but over all things, absolutely demanding when choosing the artist whose work will appear on the cover, and whose story will be presented to you. It’s my responsibility, because I am for the best. It’s an eternal search for world-threaders!!! I not only look for artistic quality, but for a specific drive, a something-else that has led each featured artist to become the inspiration of our readers.
Each one of us defines success in a different way, but no one can deny that there are basic factors that represent it: economic stability, an established name among the field of work, a list of achievements, current projects and upcoming ones, and a cause. or a reason. basically, an eloquate answer to the resounding -Why?- of fans, media and critics alike… and over all things, movement. Because one cannot succeed, or make a difference, or exist, just by sitting still and waiting for life to happen.
So I did my research and invited Red Door’s friend, Lola Bruise, another promising young woman a prolific artist and burlesque dancer of New York City, to play photographer for this interview. I grabbed my red notebook and my pen, she grabbed her thick eyelayes, her suspenders, camera and hat, and we headed to the financial district for our meeting with Molly.
How should I explain our meeting? There is something absolutely intimidating in the eyes of this woman. She just turned 27, for the muses sake! She just turned 27, as in, this past September 13th! (Happy Birthday, by the way). She just turned 27 and is already an internationally renown exhibiting fine artist, a big fish in the artistic community of New York City, a published author, a speaker and an entrepreneur.
Molly Crabapple has earned her success, and she isn’t shy about it either. She considers herself a workaholic, and I can completely relate, because, well, young leaders know exactly what they want, and they don’t let anyone tell them other wise. And artists? same story. It’s perseverance what gets you to completing a painting, finding a style, overcoming your own obstacles, delivering a message.
Just entering her studio is a bit over-whelming. It’s a good experience indeed, but it takes a bit to adjust one’s eyes to the quantity of colors, shapes and characters dancing on the walls. She greeted us in a deliciously-casual dress, and continued to put her make-up on while Lola and I clumsily walked through the studio, almost devouring each piece. Her work is as ambitious as she is. It is an immediate extention of her personality. Very young, very bright, very non-conformist, and definitely detailed. Her fascination with the burlesque and circus scene mixes with her very opinionated, very political and very empowered creative process, to deliver a unique style that has placed her among the top artists of New York’s modern art community.
Molly’s talents are many and they have all been cultivated for several years. She is an illustrator for places like Marvel Comics, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal- as well as Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, The Box, and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.
There are brushes, and pens, and ink, and notebooks, and dresses, and make-up, and photos, all over the place. Papers of many sizes, and dozens of unfinished drawings. A blond, long-haired, equally succesful and equally alive artist is also part of her permanent collection, and he respectfully smiles and sits by the computer during our interview. We’ve invited him to be a featured artist for next year’s Red Door Magazine, so, if you don’t know who I’m talking about right now, I’m not gonna spoil the surprise.
I catch Molly smiling at him with confidence as she continues telling us her story. This is all about her, and I won’t have enough space to tell you all about her anyway. She transports us back in time to the beginning of her career as an artist, when she was just a child, mimicking famous actresses and characters, and always a loyal servant of creativity. Less than five years ago, Molly dropped out of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology to pursue her true passion full time. It wasn’t easy, but her smile reassures me, it was worth it.
She leaned towards her love for artifice, the cabaret settings, the glitter, the circus freaks, and became a fire-thrower, a burlesque dancer, and the creator of her own world. She owes much to this scene, to the rawness and complete honesty of the performers, to the mockery and the alternate reality developed in these shows.
For a while, she earned her money through fetish photoshoots, sometimes nude, which gave her enough money to promote her art, and enough time to focus on creating.
“My time as a burlesque dancer showed me plain women emerging from the club’s dressing room as goddesses. Through paint, feathers and pasties, they made themselves gorgeous. It’s beauty as a garment, a shell, a mask.” She tells us. “But as with any mask, there’s a face underneath. And the face in my work is smirking. For any mask, or mask like society, has a weakness. If you want to crack it, you only have to laugh. Thus, my characters have arched brows and sarcastic smiles. They want to let you in on a secret. It’s all terribly silly, isn’t it?”
Her art, in spite of the bright colors and burlesque scenary, is based on a more classic, victorian-style, and inspired by Pieter Bruegel and Tolouse Lautrec, as well as influenced by the work of Arthur L.Guptill. I’ve heard her name be mentioned in a couple of well-known gallery openings lately, and collectors, I’m sure, are enjoying her prolific career. When she is not traveling for her exhibits and interviews, she is working on The Puppet Makers, a web series for DC Comics, or on the promotion of her book Creator of Scarlett Takes Manhattan.
As if this weren’t enough, she’s also a globetrotting speaker at places like the Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo’s Pixel Art Fair and South by Southwest Interactive, and, surprise, surprise, the creator of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a worldwide movement of alternative drawing salons in over 100 cities.
I am envious of Lola for her lens. For being able to visually capture this moment. I’m sitting in front of a non-stoppable star, and I’m trying my best to take my own mental pictures and to savor each of her words as slowly as I can.
Gutta cavat lapidem is a phrase that I always repeat to myself, when I’m working on my books, on the magazine, or on my latest pieces of art. It means, the drop hollows the stone, and is the most direct metaphor of perseverance I’ve ever heard of. I can certainly say, Molly Crabapple is that drop, and New York City played the role of the stone. It is a skillful, intricate and unconventional game that Molly plays well, and full-time. As she flirts with the art scene of New York city, she develops an empire of creativity and circus freaks, and a very promising collection of art pieces that will certainly continue to pay off for her years of hard work and dedication.
I invite you to visit the official website of Molly Crabapple, wherever you are, and see her work and dedication with your own eyes. There’s a constantly updated blog full of beautiful women, erotic new creations, and exciting new ventures. There’s a portfolio and a press file that is astonishingly professional, and more importantly, there is the face, flesh and bones, daring eyes and powerful smile of a 27 year old woman who remains a child in heart, and, in these times of absurd politics, embarrasing religion issues and recessions, is able to dream and conquer the world, one day at a time.
Special thanks to:Molly Crabapple http://mollycrabapple.com/
Photo by: Lola Bruise and Andrea Piñeros.
RED DOOR – 4TH ISSUE
JASON D’AQUINO – NY
I’ve always considered myself a clumsy person. Stubborn as I am, there are things you have to recognize, no matter how cliché it may sound when one confesses to be that girlfriend who keeps bumping into walls or forgetting to look both sides before crossing the streets. It’s a harsh reality, indeed…It gets worse: I have learned to accept the fact that small and delicate objects, such as needles, piercings, earrings, fine-point pencils and pens, or even nailpolish, become absolutely obsolete in my hands. No, it isn’t something I’m proud of, but I’ve managed to live without learning crochet, and the five years of Art School were survived in spite of my embarrasing print-making skills and watercolors.
This is why my ego is so deliciously hurt when I cross the path of a miniaturist. It is twice as painful, when it comes to an illustrator. I find this to be an art full of fetishes, intricate secret lives and whispers, the patience of a magic card castle builder, the skill of an artisan, the wisdom of an ancient enchanter…or a spider.
Jason D’Aquino is a master of the absurd. His creative process includes collecting antique materials such as 18th century animal-skin vellum, antique ledger pages and the matchbooks you see on this page. None of these pieces have been stained in any way: all the surfaces have naturally aged, and were of little or no value until found by D’Aquino, who adds his inner visions, his tattooing conception of images and his child-like execution of a composition, for a genuine result worthy of high-end galleries and private collections.
Working on these old and delicate materials not only means patience and dedication, it means being absolutely sure of what you already see, before imprinting it on the “canvas”. Erasing much would immediatly destroy the surface, which means plenty of sketching before each of these pieces is created.
Jason D’Aquino says he gets his inspiration from abandoned buildings, some of his own dreams, and even walks to the flea market. His collection on matchbooks came as a desire to easily demonstrate the quality of detail on his works to his viewers, so that people would be able to compare it in scale, to something they easily recognize. Using the matchbooks as reference for the size of his drawings is a very daring thing to do, but Jason manages to do it well. The effect, in the end, is quite astonishing.
Many of his original graphite drawings are political in nature, and others immediatly show us his background as a tattoo artist, due to the shading and outlines typical of this form of art. D’Aquino is the co-owner of Blue Moon Tattoo in Buffalo, New York, and among his upcoming projects, currently prepares a hardbound volume of his work.
When visiting his website, a tiny little spider will crawl accross the screen to welcome you. It reminds me of his hands, the delicate threading of lines and shadows that are executed on his found objects, and transformed into unique art pieces, as fragile, as misterious, and as perfect, as a spiderweb.
Article by: Elizabeth Torres.
Special thanks to: Jason D’Aquino http://jasondaquino.com
RED DOOR – 3RD ISSUE
MORGAN O’HARA – NY
“Movement produces life produces movement. This work began as a search for relationship and meaning”.
– Morgan O’Hara
Installation: Time Lapse: Backstage Transmission. By: Morgan O’Hara.
Location: The Lab Gallery, NYC.
A few days ago one of my close friends and colleagues left the city for good. He packed his brushes, his oil paints, a few sketches on the works, his drawing table and his upcoming projects and headed to Florida, leaving me with just these words: “Elizabeth, New York is a monster. We all arrive with our big egos and expectations, thinking we’ve made it -This is it, the capital of the world!…- then time passes by, and no one notices: NY numbs your limbs, your eyes and your soul…until nothing surprises you. The symptoms aren’t many, but its effects spread fast and one day, you are sitting still, a walking dead, worthless as if the muse had never touched you… what could be worse than realizing that art does not marvel you anymore? If this is the case, run! run! run away from here!”.
I wished him well and slowly whispered one of my favorite poems by Kavafis: …This city will always pursue you.You’ll walk the same streets, grow old in the same neighborhoods, turn gray in these same houses.You’ll always end up in this city. And then, headed out to meet the artist who had the guys at the Lab finding 30 volunteers for her upcoming show. Yes, it’s true that New Yorkers have developed an acute lack of amazement. It’s true that in this city, you can find an”artist” under the shadow of every building, and they will assure you that their stuff is the work of the gods. I, too, often find myself absolutely dissappointed after an entire day of Open studios in either Dumbo, Tribeca, Chelsea, Long Island City, and Hell’s Kitchen, trying to remember ONE PIECE that stuck, with no positive results. This is because many artists are focused on their need to be hype, to be popular, to sell, to sell, to sell, to make it… seldom do you find one absolutely married to art, simply because of its magic, because of the need to create, because it has become their only language.
But this isn’t New York’s fault. It’s humanity’s fault. I’m sure it’s happening in London, in Tokyo, in Berlin, in Madrid and in Bogota with equal strength. This whole globalization sickness has led us to think we have seen it all…
Right before knocking on her door, ten minutes late, as usual, I closed my eyes and asked: New York, Please surprise me.
Her name is Morgan O’Hara. She opens the door slowly and thanks me for being late, adding that she was able to rest five minutes more. Organizing an installation of this size and detail really takes its toll. It’s a sincere comment, and we laugh together. Immediatly, I am pulled to her world of lines, to the delicate abstract figures rushing back and forth as desperate shadows would, aiming to find a new dimension.
There’s pencils by the window. Papers of all sizes spread in the many tables accross the room. There is a fistful of butterflies laying on the table, mixed with little stones and grass; Her childish smile brightens up the room, as she explains that she has just returned from Michoacán, Mexico, where she had spent 5 weeks sketching the migration of the butterflies. The Purépecha Indians (the native people populating most of the Michoacán State) believe that these butterflies are the souls of their dead people arriving to enjoy from the altar and ofrenda, and it feels almost magical to imagine her two hands following this sacred ritual of nature. Yes, I said two hands. New York, once again, has managed to surprise me.
An empowering woman of Irish background, Morgan O’Hara was born in LA and raised in a fishing village in Japan until the age of 14. She speaks 5 languages, has 7 years of psychology, and also studies buddhism, geography and music. Her aikido practices led her to finding balance between the right and the left side of her body to the point where she found it necessary to use both hands when drawing. “It was an organic process”, she adds. Morgan O’Hara spends 10 hours a day creating art. I must correct this paragraph – she spends 10 hours a day looking for the most immediate sign of life: movement. She spends 10 hours a day tracking invisible patterns in real time.
This is the second time that an artist exhibiting at the Lab Gallery is chosen as our featured artist. Her work speaks for itself.
About LIVE TRANSMISSIONS, O’Hara explains that “the best ones occur when the role of observer-participant and participant-observer merge. The drawing on paper remains in life much in the way that a footprint on the beach takes its place. The drawing is a bit more material than a heartbeat but resembles it in its circular flow”.
I am renewed because I see in Morgan the artist that I’m always anxiously looking for. Not the one discussing the latest sold painting for thousands of dollars, nor the celebrity who just began collecting their work. I see passion in her eyes, and the maturity that only a disciplined servant of the muses acquires after years of dedication. For a moment, I understand this is not a coincidence. I have found the time keeper, delicately tracing the foot prints of life on our modern space and time present.
In the wisdom of her lines, the wrinkles of the many characters she researches, are finally tangible. The value of her research goes farther away than modern masterpieces. It is a testimony of the cosmic maps all around us, otherwise impossible to break into. The heavy influence of the Japanese culture reflects in her work so appropriately, that blank spaces become shelters or windows for our eyes to understand the flapping of two tender wings, the movement of a speech, the dance of a shoemaker, or even the reflection of light under water.
O’Hara’s prolific career is not an accident, and she knows it. She speaks of her work with tender respect, as if walking by the hand of a child. She knows it does not belong to her, and the expression of her face as she speaks, tells me that she is alive and willing to be marveled. Morgan O’Hara has been a New Yorker for almost twenty years, traveling back and forth to her studio in Italy. But the babel has won her over, and her upcoming plans include making of New York, her full-time home. Other projects in her agenda, include English national ballet rehearsals and performances in London at the center for Recent Drawing, being artist in residence in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster, tracking movements at the Roger Albert Hall, traveling to Chile and Argentina, a performance at the Photography Association in Japan, Shukugawa, in Southern Japan, a Life Transmission in Vietnam, and returning to Italy to pack her studio and track the movements of steams and forests.
As if all the reasons listed above (in words or in images) were not enough to surprise a New Yorker, Morgan is also linked to the international Jazz and music scene, due to her many collaborations with musicians, including Malcolm Goldstein (violin), Anthony Braxton (reeds), Joe Fonda (bass), Booker T. Williams, Elliott Levin, Ulrich Krieger (saxophones), Lutz Rath (cello), Giuseppe Englert (organ), Maurice de Martin (snare drum), Peter Zummo (trumpet), Dietmar Diesener (trombone), Jon Gibson (clarinet, PVC), Amy Rosen and Armando Cavagnis (mattressmaker).
“Morgan works not simply to forget herself, giving herself completely to the work, but consciously forgetting herself, trusting to her pencil and the lightning-like gesture, procuring from the subconscious the idea and essence of things”.
Former writer and lecturer The Hermitage, Leningrad, The Soviet Union The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The energy surrounding Morgan O’Hara tells me that the muses are loving her company. There are no limits to the fountain of cosmic inspiration to an artist of this level of engagement with the arts. These capsules of existence that bloom from her pencils, are a magnificent proof that life remains in the particles of every second and millimeter. Now we can see it too, for it is encoded in her artwork. Humanity. Action. Celebration. Dimensional measure and pleasure. Transformation. Awareness. Time traveling. New York. These are all synonyms of Morgan O’Hara.
Article By: Elizabeth Torres.
Special thanks to: Morgan O’Hara
RED DOOR – 2ND ISSUE
GRIMANESA AMOROS – PERU/NY
Grimanesa Amoros – La Incubadora
In the 2010 babel that we’ve grown used to loving, seldom do we find a creation that can stops us in our tracks for more than 10 seconds, let alone revive memories of childhood, motherhood, the warmth of birth embraced by the universe, and the coldness of reality when returning to the speed of the city we inhabit, as a window that separates us from the miracle taking place somewhere inside us.
Grimanesa Amorós, is the true representation of a succesful artist. And by success I cannot only mean achieving fame and economic success,for this, among artists, is only the compensation of a more difficult relationship with the task of creating, of attesting to the world around us and attempting to materialize an idea… I say succesful and I talk about that specific and intangible look of fulfillment that can only be seen in artists who have dedicated hours and hours and hours of discipline and sacrifice to their work, and who have therefore, made love to the muses and brought to life magnificent pieces.
A persevering, passionate, strong and empowering woman, Grimanesa spoke to us right before the opening of her exhibit “La Incubadora”, which can still be seen at the Roger Smith Hotel’s space: The Lab Gallery. What she shared with us was so intimate and powerful that we couldn’t find a better person for this month’s featured artist spot:
“La Incubadora” is an installation that fits perfectly in the Lab Gallery, and which features the installation “You cannot feel it, I wish you could”, comprised of eleven “clones” of a new kind of human body: a pregnant female torso with the same male head attached to each of them.
The isolated sensation that takes over the viewer, who is forced to stand outside and go around the “incubator” space, reminds each passerby of the fear of adulthood, of solitude, the nostalgic blurred memories of warm times in the womb. At the same time, the materials with which Grimanesa created each one of these sculptures, a combination of Avaca paper and bee wax, and the masterful use of lights, sand and music to create such an intimate environment, create a delicious confusion that can only be proof of the effect of this fantastic work of art.
The casts were taken from a mold made from the artist’s body one week before she gave birth to her daughter. Grimanesa shared with us that the entire installation idea came to her in the form of a dream, and that she saw each sculpture moving around, having a life of its own. The unique sensations of being a mother, together with the curiosity of her partner, who was curious during the entire pregnancy for his unability to bear a child and his desire to be an equal part of the process, contrast beautifully with the exterior landscape of cars and busy new yorkers, the grey lights of winter and the numbing cold that makes us wish to be one of those casts, or quietly sleeping inside them.
The floor beneath and around the body-casts is covered with soft, pale sand referencing the earth as a foundation for biological manipulation. Renowned musician Meshell Ndegeocello, followed Grimanesa’s magical creating style: She placed her fingers on the sands around these sculptures, and almost as if becoming part of the fairy tale, immediatly told the artist: I got it!, and composed a piece that is now an essential part of the exhibit.
Grimanesa also shared with us during our interview, the importance of her relationship with her partner, the need of balance and fulfillment in order to create, and how this led her to focus full time on the tasks of motherhood after her daughter was born.
One can only help but distinguish the touch of South American art in her work, probably because of the finished look on the surface of the materials, or the combination of the light and the sand, which reminds us of the sea and of our past. Indeed, Grimanesa’s eyes shine immediatly, and with no difficulty she changes her dialogue to Spanish, and proudly says: “Mi esencia es Peruana”. Born and raised in Peru, she currently resides in New York City and often travels back and forth due to her exhibitions.
Amorós utilizes her art as an agent for empowerment to involve viewers from all different backgrounds and communities. She says she does not wish to influence, but to cause a reaction. Among her mentors or artists admired, she mentions Nox Martin, professor at the Art Students League of NY, as well as Miguel Gallo, from Peru, and Jack Lo.
Article by: Elizabeth Torres
Special Thanks to Grimanesa Amoros, and The Lab Gallery.
There’s imminent proof that Diego Latorre (Zaragoza, 1974), has extensive experience as an illustrator and painter, not only by looking at his curriculum vitae, but simply by letting your eyes slide from line to line, following the vertiginous movements, the amazing control of balance and color in each of his pieces.
The innovative style and quality of his work has led him to work for Virgin, Marvel, Upper Deck y DC Comics here in the U.S, and for MTV, Playstation magazine, GQ, Casa Viva, and Zero in Spain, the country where he resides. In addition to keeping his hands (and mind) busy with these big-fish companies, Diego has played several solo exhibitions.
His art, midway between illustration, painting and comics, is close to other authors who have broken molds as Dave McKean and Bill Sienkiewicz. It can now be admired in his latest work “Vision Thing”, his first compilation book, published by Norma Editorial in Eclipse collection.
I’m marveled by his talent, the simplicity/complexity of his work, and overall things, by his human quality. I bumped into his website a few weeks ago when browsing for interesting web designers, and it was as easy as sending him a two-line e-mail to develop a greater admiration, due to his character, and his humble and respectful replies in each of our following conversations. His portfolio promises to aim for the highest stars… His personality, promises to keep him grounded… which is only the perfect combination for immediate success.
Diego Latorre is currently working in a miniseries based on the video-game “Dante’s Inferno, for Wildstorm and EA, which will be presented at the Comicon in San Diego this month. As a random fact, he shared for RedDoor NY that he is also an industrial designer, and that his designs currently appear in the TV Show “Big Brother” (Spain) among other TV shows.
Article by: Elizabeth Torres.
Special thanks to: Diego Latorre.
to learn more about his work, please visit: www.diegolatorre.com