Paper Artist Hillary Mégroz Translates Nature Into Paper

Founder and creator, Hillary Mégroz, is a self-taught paper artist and design professional living in Brooklyn. Best known for her paper perennials, Hillary’s handmade paper creations tailor individual experiences’ that literally last a lifetime!

For the past 12-years, Hillary worked in the NYC media industry, beginning her career at Meredith Publishing, and has included executive marketing & creative roles at MTV, NBC, and DailyMail.com. Most recently, along with partner Charles Pastore, Hillary founded UNRULY Collective, a Bushwick-based art collective.

What are five hashtags that describe your work?

#creations #paper #flowers #handmade #nyc

What is your artist origin story?

I have always been a super creative person and lover of DIY, but the inspiration for my paper flowers came from a dream (TRUE story). At the time I was living in the East Village and dreamt I decorated Tompkins Square Park with giant paper flowers–prior to this, I had never made a paper flower in my life. When I woke up, I emailed everyone I knew and told them to start saving tissue paper for me, and the rest is history :).

What is your favorite medium right now and why do you love it?

I love working with paper- since there are SO many kinds of paper, as well as techniques I have yet to discover, the possibilities are endlessly enticing. Also, there are very few artists who specialize in paper flowers, so it’s exciting to be part of a small art movement where original innovation is still very possible.

What is on the horizon for your work in the next year?

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by very talented artists, so I am really looking forward to upcoming collaborations. Whether its weaving my flowers into a performance at UNRULY or collaborating on a mossy paper-flower wall for a bedroom tree-house, I can only hope for great growth in my work.

How has being in Bushwick influenced your work?

It is especially inspiring to be surrounded by SO many artists in Bushwick! The street art is incredibly powerful and the vibrant colors are definitely reflected in my flowers.

What Bushwick artists do you admire and why?

Anton Vitkovskiy (Bushwick Artist, currently showing at UNRULY Collective)
I have never met an artist more dedicated and passionate about his craft- I have had the pleasure of working with Anton and watching him work and it’s truly magnificent. His incredibly huge body of work, combined with this raw talent and extreme dedication are truly something to admire and strive after.

Tell us your most memorable exchange during Bushwick Open Studios.

This is my first experience with Bushwick Open Studios, so I don’t have any memories, YET.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

DEAD: Andy Warhol, Hill Rebay, Caravaggio
ALIVE: Lady Gaga, Barbra Walters, Hillary Clinton
Ideally, it would be a group dinner for both the living & the dead 🙂

In a parallel universe, if you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you be doing?

Since I know so little about the finance world (I don’t have a numbers brain!), I always thought it would be fun, just for the day, to work at a big, shiny Wall Street firm- as a badass, designer pantsuit-wearing, stats & coding genius, eat-men-for-breakfast, super power-chick kind of way. I am sure this is the LEAST likely answer you will get to this question 🙂

Was there something you want to share that was not asked?

I am super excited to be participating for the first time and can’t wait to meet fellow artists, art lovers, and Bushwick neighbors!!!

You can learn more about Hillary Megroz here.


As part of the Arts in Bushwick activities and events, like Community Day and Bushwick Open Studios, we are showcasing the many artists participating.

Bushwick Artist Jose Buzzi: Underground Techno

What is your artist origin story?

Bushwick-born and Ridgewood-raised, Buzzi is a techno producer and turntablist. His techno compositions utilize analog and digital synthesizing technologies, while exploring the perceptual representation of space through sound, and mysterious innovative gates. His work mainly features vintage drum machine samples. Buzzi’s productions and performances have been related to a 90’s high tempo techno sound. He has been contributing to the underground techno music scene since 2013, performing at Bossa Nova Civic Club and Halycon In the course of 5 years, he has worked on musical projects with talented artists and respected labels, such as Kleinfeld, Krames, Tomas Kunkel, Afterwave Records, and Nervous Records.

Jose Buzzi’s production and performance display the dark, uplifting, playful, and hypnotizing side of his character. Listen to Black Waters produced by Afterwave Records:

What is your favorite medium right now and why do you love it?

Working on music. Techno is a futuristic, unknown, innovating, and fearless sound. As an art form, Techno can open and take your mind to places you’ve never been. Techno can make you look at architecture and your surroundings in a different way. It can alter your subway ride experience to work depending on how fast the subway is going. Speed is reflection of the sound because the sounds can be either hard and aggressive or lush and blissful. Techno is a spiritual experience; almost like participating in prayer at church or hearing Buddhist chants resonate through your chest. It allows you to release built up stress you might be carrying from your ordinary life; your stressful relationship; your mundane job. A techno-inspired “party” (whether solo, or in a club) is where you can share, release, and/or exchange those feelings through dance. The physical part is so important to this sound and is rudimentary.

What is on the horizon for your work in the next year?

Buzzi is now working on a new EP for Terminator Records and Nervous Records.

How has being in Bushwick influenced your work?

I used to hate techno when I was younger because hip-hop music was mostly what I was exposed to. Growing up in Bushwick, I felt like techno music was uncool or not masculine enough. However, one day that sound made me feel free. I didn’t understand what I was feeling but I knew it felt right. Sort of like love. This was when I realized sound was much more than a sonic thing or an image thing.

What Bushwick artists do you admire and why?

Me. I didn’t end up in jail or dead.

Tell us your most memorable exchange during Bushwick Open Studios.

Watching the youth make music, create art, and exchange ideas.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

My aunt. We would make each other laugh all the time.

In a parallel universe, if you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you be doing?

Walking around naked and taking care of the planet.


As part of the Arts in Bushwick activities and events, like Community Day and Bushwick Open Studios, we are showcasing the many artists participating.

Here Art, There Art, Everywhere Art, “Art Talk” with Ethan Minsker

text by Veronica Dakota and Willow Goldstein

Art Talk: Bushwick Open Studios by Ethan Minsker

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to witness an event through someone else’s eyes? With his video Art Talk: Bushwick Open Studios, jack-of-many-trades artist Ethan Minsker allows us to experience Bushwick Open Studios 2015 from the vantage point of a first-time visitor—his own. Accompanied by his daughter, Minsker not only shows us the works of the various artists he visited, but also allows us to feel the wonder that entering someone’s usually private space can afford, enabling what Minsker describes as a “personal connection with strangers.” He adds, “It takes a lot of guts to not just show your work, but let me into your home. Not that I am messy or anything, but you know what I mean.” Sure we do, but see for yourself: Art Talk is a portal to the “good vibe” of BOS15.

 

 

###

Ethan Minsker’s descriptors include writer, filmmaker, artist, fanzine publisher, and creator and editor-in-chief of Psycho Moto Zine, which has been in publication since 1988. Minsker is a founding member of the Antagonist Movement, an East Village/LES-based group of artists, writers, and musicians that promotes lesser-known works by up-and-coming talent. This group was recently featured in his newest film, Self Medicated: a film about art, a documentary on the struggles artists face to stay happy. Self Medicated won the DIY award at the 2014 RxSM Film Festival.Self Medicated: A Film about Art by Ethan Minskerfree screening of Self Medicated: a film about art is taking place on June 26, 7PM, at Howl Happening Space (6 East 1st Street) in Manhattan. Minsker will be on site, handing out free fanzines

Production Meets Consumption in Film Series at Lot 45

by Nekoro Gomes

image

Announcement from press release; image copyright Bushwick Co-Op Film Series

 

As the inaugural film in the Bushwick Food Co-Op Film Series at Lot 45, The Beekeeper was a logical choice. Bees are associated with springtime, and in the midst of what seems like a bitter and unrelenting winter, a bee sting for a couple warm sunny days seems more than fair. Curated by Lauren Bennett, the documentary follows a frenetic season in New York City’s
DIY beekeeping community and provides a fascinating glimpse into the
different personalities drawn to the practice.

image

Still from The Beekeeper; photo by Nekoro Gomes

 

In the film’s different portrayals of aspiring and experienced beekeepers, from a former exterminator to a sedentary librarian, The Beekeeper provides a concise travelogue documenting a community of agricultural artisans who take to the practice for a sense of connection to a
natural world that can be hard to find in our concrete jungle. The film
opens with two juxtaposed montages that highlight the fervor that New
York City’s many transplants bring to any endeavor. As Andrew Cote, the
head of the New York City Beekeepers Association, parades his hives for
the New York tabloids on top of the genteel Waldorf-Astoria, James
Cowell of Otter Creek, Pennsylvania, is seen packaging his own brood for
relocation to the five boroughs.

The film was shot and produced by Bushwick filmmaker Jill Bauerle along with director Susan Sfarra. The reasons to focus on such an
esoteric, not to mention downright scary, subset of the city’s
agricultural community soon become clear. As Sfarra notes, “Why are people, even people
in cities, drawn to beekeeping? The beekeepers we met were interested in
making some extra money, in getting in touch with nature, or simply
interested in learning more
about the science of beekeeping.”

 

Andrew Cote provides the documentary’s major through-line. Yielding a compelling presence, Cote is shown quizzing Hasidic Jewish students on kosher food, using a police surveillance crane to take down a troublesome hive, and later dropping terrific throwaway lines such as “I don’t want any old
queens.” With just the right mix of sanctimony and sincerity, Cote is a
delightful tour guide through the city’s beekeeping ecosystem. For Cote, a fourth-generation beekeeper, the practice was one of the few ways for him to be close to his father, but as Beekeeping for Dummies’ author Howland Blackiston notes, the practice is also attractive because it “helps New Yorkers become cognizant of the fact that they are
deeply connected to the natural world.”

image

Illustration from press release for The Beekeeper; image copyright Bushwick Co-Op Film Series

 

Yes, you will see plenty of bee
stings in The Beekeeper, and the different ways people get them—climbing
a tree to collect a hive or just before they’re able to get their bee
masks on—are a little cringe worthy. “A surprise though was how many
beekeepers mentioned the calming effect of bees. There is something
calm, peaceful, orderly about bees that
people are drawn to, something that we would like to see in ourselves.”
The most interesting aspects of the film, however, are the different
anecdotes that demonstrate the extent to which our ecosystem impacts these insects, ways significantly more chilling than anything they could do to us.

 

Witnessing experienced beekeepers hold up handfuls of dead bees at the tops of
condo developments, or watching beekeepers trying to introduce “foreign”
queens to a new hive in the hope of trying to produce a new
honey-making colony, you get a perverse look at the extent to which
profit motives have vastly unforeseen consequences. A reality not helped
by a $20 mark-up on bottles of city (versus country) honey. “Several films
already have explored well the large-scale issues around bee health as
it relates to commercial beekeeping. Yet, there hasn’t been a film that
looks at beekeeping in our communities,” Sfarra notes.

image

Film Screening at Lot 45; photo by Nekoro Gomes

 

The relationship between humans and bees finds echoes with that between humans and humans, forming one of the films most interesting narrative
cruxes. The different rivalries on the “proper” ways to be a beekeeper
come into sharp focus as the documentary moves along. The film’s climax
comes when Cote rushes to the scene to help police safely transport bees
away from a beekeeping “slumlord” with more hives than coding
regulations allow. The kicker, however, is that Cote had not only seen
this beekeeper’s hives at an earlier point in the film, he was actually
behind the whistle-blower phone call. Sipping on a wonderfully made spiced-honey and gin cocktail made by Lot 45 especially for the documentary screening, you can’t help but come away with an understanding that sweet things don’t always come from an agricultural process that’s particularly nice.

###

A trailer and outtakes from the film are available on the film’s website, with the documentary now available on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, PlayStation, VUDU, Xbox, and YouTube Movies

 

The Bushwick Co-Op film series will continue weekly through the coming spring. For more information on screenings, you can like their Facebook page or visit their website. The next screening, Fed Upwill be held at Lot 45 on Wednesday, February 25, at 8PM

Celebrating Creative Entrepreneurs: The Fabricant Way

by Catherine Kirkpatrick

image

Founder& CEO Patrick Chirico and Designer Will Haude of Wrecords By Monkey, with Jennifer Dopazo; photo by Catherine Kirkpatrick

On December 9, 2014, creatives and friends gathered at Fine & Raw to launch The Fabricant Way, a series of Internet
films produced by branding expert Jennifer
Dopazo
. Inspired by a new breed of artisan entrepreneurs, she set out to learn
what makes them tick and to share their ideas with a wider audience. Five episodes, 8-10 minutes long, will be released this year
featuring Lite Brite
Neon Studio
, Fine & Raw
Chocolate
, Mellow Pages Library
& Reading Room
, Wrecords By
Monkey
, and Shag Brooklyn.

image

Illustration for Lite Brite Neon Studio from The Fabricant Way fanzine created by Cristianne Ly

 

Each
film takes the viewer inside the shop and creative process in a way that words and
still images cannot. Though the focus is on business, the creators and their
quirks come vividly to life. Matt Dilling of Lite Brite Neon Studio, like the inventor Guglielmo
Marconi, evinced an early interest in electricity, requesting a “chocolate
outlet cake” for his third birthday. And a laid-back Matt Nelson of Mellow
Pages muses that if “you just say ‘yes’ a lot [of]…good things happen.”

New ways emerge: Traditional business plans take a back
seat to personal vision. Marketing is not a slick ads-on, but a story that flows
organically from the history and craft of each venture. Emphasis is put on the
artist’s way; differences are celebrated, and customers are local, but diverse. All of this matters because people today search brands for signs of a human presence
and evaluate the behavior of a company as they would the behavior of a friend.

image

Illustration for Fine & Raw from The Fabricant Way fanzine created by Cristianne Ly

 

The goal for these entrepreneurs is not to get rich, but
to create. If you honor your vision and work with integrity, success will
follow. And that success is not measured by the number of units sold or market
share, but rather, by how a product enhances the environment or quality of life.
As Daniel Sklaar says, people “don’t need Fine & Raw in their life…they
want Fine & Raw in their life.” There is a sense of passion and free-wheeling creativity—in
the artisans and the interviewer. Dopazo is uniquely qualified to tell their
stories because she possesses their outlook and creativity in no small measure
herself. It takes one to know one.

image

Map illustration from The Fabricant Way fanzine created by Cristianne Ly

 

The road to The Fabricant Way has been long and somewhat winding.It began in Venezuela, where Dopazo was born into a family that revered
skills
and learning. Her father, originally from Spain, always ran his own
business, taking
on whatever task necessary to make it work. This was not lost on his
daughter,
who, at a young age, picked up knitting, pattern making, and painting—a
very
DIY skill set that would align her later with the Maker Movement in
Brooklyn.

 

 

After a stint in business school, Dopazo enrolled in the ProDiseño, a prestigious design school foundedin 1964 by a group of artists that included Gerd Leufert, a member of the
Bauhaus. It was a tough but great program, where everything a student put down
had to have a reason. “Basically,” said Dopazo, “you had to learn to tell a
story.”

 

 

Eight years ago, she came to New York for a Masters in Design
and Technology at Parsons and wound up as an intern for Eyebeam Fellow Michael Mandiberg. He
was another tough but great influence, who integrated skills, background information,
and history into every project. Though Dopazo launched her own design firm, Candelita, in 2010, working with clients such as The New York Times, Nick.com,
and New York Magazine, she loved artist
culture and wanted to reconnect in some way. She also wanted to learn more
about a new, very personal approach to branding she had begun to see in small
creative businesses.

image

Illustration for Mellow Pages from The Fabricant Way fanzine created by Cristianne Ly

 

 

The Fabricant Way took approximately one year to come together in hermind before she began approaching companies. None in Manhattan responded, so she
widened her search, read blogs, and finally “on the hottest day of summer” came
out to Bushwick and did a self-tour. Very quickly she uncovered extensive
networks within the creative community as well as a very different attitude. Businesses
listened and referred her to others they thought might be helpful. She read
more blogs and finalized her plans.

 

In the films, Dopazo captures a new and open spirit.
Boundaries, so clearly drawn in traditional companies between a business and its
customers, blur then break down. For Matt Dilling, “teachers…come to us in the
form of our clients,” and “help change our view on the medium.” Scale, market
share, and wealth are not the ultimate goals, but by-products of an inquiring,
intensively creative way. Inspiration is everywhere; anything is possible.

Although Dopazo intends for this project to be educational, its
deeper value may be historical. Brooklyn has become a creative center much in
the way that Florence was during the Renaissance. But at some point, the artistic
tectonic plates will shift, and the energy will move elsewhere. In addition to each
film, the full audio interview, along with a transcript, photographs, and even
preliminary sketches by Dopazo are available on The Fabricant Way website,
making it a valuable archival source. It is good to know that future generations,
looking back, will be able to see and hear what it was like to live and work in
this very special place at this very special time.

 

###

The Fabricant Way fanzine was created by Cristianne Ly

Confronting Prejudice: Strategies for Women in the Arts

by Catherine Kirkpatrick

 

image

Panelists (left to right) Anki King, Frida Kahlo of Guerrilla Girls, Jenn Dierdorf, Asha Cherian, and Anne Sherwood Pundy; all photos by Catherine Kirkpatrick unless otherwise noted

 

In a world where the new (however that may be defined on any given day) is often pursued like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it is striking how certain issues keep returning to the fore. On November 18, 2014, the Bushwick Art Crit Group sponsored a panel discussion called Marching Forward: Collective Strategies of Women in the Arts. Moderated by BACG Exhibitions Director, Kelsey Shwetz, it included artists Anki King, Jenn Dierdorf, Frida Kahlo of Guerrilla Girls, Asha Cherian, and Anne Sherwood Pundyk.

image

Frida Kahlo of Guerrilla Girls

 

The first topic discussed was the need to redefine success in the art world. Frida Kahlo stated that the highest price paid for a work by a woman artist was less than 10% of the highest price paid for the work by a man artist, raising the question of whether money is always the best measure of success. Anki King wondered about the possibility of other systems of acquisition besides sales, noting perhaps trade. In response, moderator Kelsey Shwetz wondered if these two systems were
mutually exclusive. Thomas Burr Dodd, the owner of Bushwick Fire Proof
where the discussion was held, urged artists to focus less on the
“endgame” of selling and more on the rewards of the creative process and
interaction with their peers. Asha Cherian of Gender Casual talked about the need for women to be bold and think outside traditional boundaries, an ethos Guerrilla Girls, an organization founded by women artists in 1985, has embraced.

image

Moderator Kelsey Shwetz

 

Through eye-catching posters, street projects, and books, Guerrilla Girls has presented hard facts and numbers about women’s lack of presence in the art world, always with a dose of humor. “If you make people laugh, they will listen,” said Frida Kahlo, who appeared in full guerrilla attire (members adopt names and masks as a way to “depersonalize” their message). For one of their projects, they counted the number of nudes of women at the Metropolitan Museum versus the number of paintings by women, and found, not surprisingly, that the former was very large, whereas the latter was very small.

image

Asha Cherian (left) and Frida Kahlo (right) of Guerrilla Girls

 

So dedicated to their roles as “professional complainers,” the art critic Robert Hughes once invited Guerrilla Girls to participate in a documentary, then paid them to go away. But a few weeks later, Hughes publicly acknowledged that there were not enough women in the art
world. Their message had been received. That film also inspired Asha Cherian, who
saw Guerrilla Girls posters growing up. She urged women artists to keep thinking
boldly, saying: “If you can imagine it, sometimes it actually begins to
exist in the world.” Cherian and Pundyk,
who is also a writer, spoke about the importance of using language to
expand the dialogue and market in the art world, wondering if gender
blindness is as pervasive in that realm as race blindness is in life.

image

(Left to right) Jenn Dierdorf, Asha Cherian, and Anne Sherwood Pundyk

 

Shwetz said that the creation of communities of women is very important, and a show of hands by the audience indicated that most women belonged
to such organizations. King said, “Women are very good about
supporting each other.” Dierdorf, who is Co-Director of Development
at the A.I.R. Gallery, the
first gallery run by and for women in the United States, discussed the
importance of such organizations in “perpetuating knowledge and
experience.” Cherian spoke of mentoring, citing the example of Leo Castelli
helping Larry Gagosian. “Networks would go a long way,” she said,
“toward creating an ‘abundance’ concept not a ‘scarcity’ concept.”

image

(Left to right) Anki King, Frida Kahlo of Guerrilla Girls, and Jenn Dierdorf

 

On the topic of global outlook, Frida Kahlo spoke about the terrible
violence against women in many places, asking “Is it our responsibility to
deal with it?” Dierdorf, admitting to being a “pessimist,” said the art
world is a confined space with a limited audience, and prefers the
intimacy of studio visits as a way to exchange ideas. Power
dynamics were also touched upon, with King talking about working “extra
hard” during studio visits to keep things on a businesslike footing
with men. “The only solution I found,” she admitted, “is getting older.”

image

Anki King (left) and Frida Kahlo (right) of Guerrilla Girls

 

All the panelists spoke with quiet passion, reminding us that women’s
rights are human rights. Their art speaks, not to a small niche, but
the entire world. Many perspectives were presented, and by including
Guerrilla Girls, an organization founded in 1985, the panel bridged
generations, especially important at a time when the relevance of feminism
itself is often questioned.

image

Frida Kahlo of Guerrilla Girls

Duplicate Meanings: Finding What Is Lost at Storefront Ten Eyck

by Etty Yaniv 

image

Eros by Mie Yim, 2013; all photos by Etty Yaniv

 

Typically, crowded openings are not an ideal setting for experiencing the artwork on display. Nevertheless, the current show at Storefront Ten Eyck, featuring Elise Siegel’s ceramic busts paired with Mie Yim’s abstracted figure paintings, thrives in a crowded space. As in a theatrical
experience or a ritual ceremony, the visitors’ presence enhances the
psychological tension that these artworks emit.

image

Overview of opening at Storefront Ten Eyck with sculptures by Elise Siegel (front) and paintings by Mie Yim (on walls)

 

Varying in style, scale, and surface, Siegel’s series of ceramic portrait busts are grouped like a chorus in a Greek tragedy or idols in a
prehistoric rite. Handled with expressionistic sensibility, their raw
surfaces convey an urgent sense of emotional flux. Siegel aims to
capture fleeting moments of inner conflict, psychic turbulence, and
emotional uncertainty. The
visceral presence of her clay figurines, particularly as a group,
generates a psychologically
charged encounter for the viewer. Siegel, who lives
and works in New York City, says that she is working with clay precisely because it
is “the most primal, sensuous and sensitive material, recording and responding
to every thought, impulse, and touch.”

image

Visitors at Storefront Ten Eyck with sculptures by Elise Siegel (front) and paintings by Mie Yim (on walls)

 

Fascinated by the transformative nature of human interactions with objects, Siegel compares her
role as a sculptor to that of a puppeteer: “Once the puppet comes alive, it’s
not really clear who’s in charge,” she explains. This process begins with a
size or stylistic trope in mind. As the piece develops, she gets a glimpse
of who the figures might be, not as portraits of specific people, but rather as
distinct imaginary individuals.

image

Visitors contemplating Tequila Hangover by Mie Yim (painting on wall) with sculpture by Elise Siegel (foreground)

 

Siegel
explains that she is particularly drawn to figurative sculptures that humans
have empowered, such as idols, reliquaries, masks, and even toys. “I have taken
formal cues from the abstracted features and exaggerated forms of the amazing
Jomon dogu figures of Neolithic Japan as well as the hollow window eyes of
terracotta Hawaiian funeral figures from the third to sixth century,” she
elaborates.

image

Portrait Bust with Pink Lips by Elise Siegel, 2012

 

Portrait Bust with Pink Lips is one of the most haunting pieces in the series. Covered with matte patina that resembles worn-away skin, with
slightly smeared pink lipstick and closed eyes, this female figurine conveys complex and opposing states of being. “For me, this piece is looking inward,” Siegel reflects.

image

Young Boy Portrait by Elise Siegel

 

Another vulnerable and inner-looking bust in the show is Young Boy Portrait. “His head is a bit too big and he is looking slightly
up at you, expectantly, with raised eyebrows and his cut out eyes allow you to
look right in. His big buttons make him look like a child or a sad clown,” Siegel
says describing the work. This sense of an underlying duplicate meaning is also conveyed through her
technique. Contrary to decorative glazing convention, which traditionally implies
overpainting Majolica glaze with tight patterns, Siegel overpaints her
glaze with copper oxide in a gestural way, allowing it to melt and run.

image

Mongrel by Mie Yim, 2014

 

Similar to Siegel’s method, Mie Yim’s approach is intuitive, experimental,and deeply personal. With a skill and sensibility of an abstract expressionist, Yim begins by pushing paint. She notes, “Shapes
emerge; the doll-like eyes anchor the form and turn into a portrait…If it’s
all going too swimmingly, I have to ruin it, again. In order to find it, you
have to lose it.” This process of building and erasing is evident in her lush
and layered canvases.

image

Cho-cho-san by Mie Yim, 2014

 

As with Siegel’s sculptures, Yim’s paintings convey a sense of fleeting moments, changing moods, and forms in flux. With a winking
nod to traditional Western portraiture, her forms are well defined in
the
foreground, while her saturated palate alludes to “distant cousins of
Hello
Kitty and other Asian pop culture dolls that are having an existential
crisis,”
as she puts it. Yim, a native South Korean who resides in New York,
successfully conveys
in her paintings the intersection between East and West, abstract and
figurative,
cute and aggressive. In other words, “me,” as she sums up.

 

###

Storefront Ten Eyck is located at 324 Ten Eyck Street, with opening hours 1-6PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Exhibition with works by Elise Siegel and Mie Yim open through 22 February

Gesture and Commentary: Recent Gallery Openings

by Etty Yaniv; photos by Etty Yaniv unless otherwise indicated

image

Ellen Hackl Fagan’s studio, in the back of ODETTA Gallery, MoleculesofMusic, 2014, ink, acrylic, graphite on board

Luhring Augustine / Philip Taaffe’s recent large scale paintings seamlessly interweave a myriad of techniques, such as silkscreens, stencils, collage, marbling, and staining. This mélange results in a subtle and rich surface which resembles tapestry or fabric. The color, rhythm and surface in these images create layered patterns, resonating a meditative space in which past and present submerge. The most arresting canvases in this show are grouped on the wall facing the entrance, Nocturne with Architectural Fragments, Imaginary Fountain and Choir.

image

Philip Taaffe’s Nocturne with Architectural Fragments, Imaginary Fountain, Choir (left to right)

Life on Mars / Fran O’Neill’s newest series, painting her way home, features large-scale abstract gestural paintings and smaller scale works on paper that draw on the tradition of abstract expressionism. Filled with gutsy color combinations and bold brush strokes, her imagery conveys a sense of energetic, almost ecstatic immersion in the immediacy, intimacy and physicality of mark making.

imageWarby by Fran O’Neill, courtesy of Life on Mars

Benjamin Pritchard‘s intimately scaled canvases successfully pair with O’Neill’s sensibility. His contained shapes, painted with mostly restrained and contrasting color palettes, evoke an unidentified sign system with a personal bent. The forms both collapse inward and push outward beyond the layered surface, emitting enigmatic psychological vibes.

imageBenjamin Pritchard with his piece 325 (Steffy)

imagePlane Sam by Benjamin Pritchard

Fresh Window / Alexa Hoyer’s documentary photo series depict homemade gun targets used in illegal shooting ranges. These targets, made of movie star pin ups, politicians, severed mannequin parts and discarded consumer objects, punctuate the desolate beauty of Nevada’s desert landscape and create an uncanny sense of displacement mixed with poignant cultural commentary.

imageFrank by Alexa Hoyer, courtesy of Fresh Window

image

Cutout by Alexa Hoyer, courtesy of Fresh Window

Odetta / The artists in PAY TO PLAY, Joe Amrhein, Rico Gatson, William Powhida and Rita Valley, reflect with deadpan humor and cool remove on ethical issues of economics in our society, with a particularly sharp gaze at the art market. Powhida, for example, presents a series of objects fabricated according to different formal strategies accompanied by hand painted certificates, poking fun at the values of these resurgent neo-formalist tropes.

image

Installation view featuring the work of Rico Gatson (Ronald Feldman Fine Arts) and William Powhida (Charlie James Gallery, LA)

image

Some Asset Class Paintings by William Powhida 

Songs for Presidents / James Sheehan‘s exciting new body of meticulous and textured paintings encapsulate a rich universe within a minuscule scale. Sheehan’s imagery centers on artists such as Malevich, Guston and Miro, alluring the viewer to delve in, decipher the visual clues and navigate the space one step at a time. Sheehan assumes the role of a “designated mourner for the painters painter,” as he puts it, by making viewers perceive his devotion to a single canvas.

image

On by James Sheehan

image

The Unimaginable Zero Summer by James Sheehan

###

Luhring Augustine is located at 25 Knickerbocker Avenue. Philip Taaffe is on view until April 26, 2015. 

Life on Mars is located at 56 Bogart Street. Fran O’Neill, with Benjamin Prichard in the Project room is on view until Feb 15th, 2015

Fresh Window is located at 56 Bogart Street. Targets, featuring the work of Alexa Hoyer, is on view until Feb 6, 2015.

Odetta is located at 229 Cook Street. Pay to Play, featuring recent works by Joe Amrhein, Rico Gatson, William Powhida, and Rita Valley is on view until March 8, 2015. 

Songs for Presidents is located at 1673 Gates Avenue. James Sheehan, at the lek, will be on view until Feb 15, 2015.

A Chance to be Seen: Blick in Bushwick

by Etty Yaniv; all photos by Etty Yaniv

image

Opening at ArtHelix

When Aaron Morrill, chairman of the board of Blick Art Materials, approached ArtHelix, a dynamic art gallery in Bushwick, he intended to use the space for a holiday party. Instead, after discussing the idea further they decided that there is no better way to show support for the Blick Art Materials employees than provide them with a sponsored art show at ArtHelix. “Blick’s business is made strong by the creative spirit of their employees, many of whom are themselves passionate and talented artists,” says Jackie Cantwell, the show curator. ArtHelix co-owner Peter Hopkins adds that the show both celebrates the Blick associates hard work and suggests that the company is sympathetic to their struggle of balancing a job with the hope of an art career.

image

Peter Hopkins of ArtHelix and Aaron Morrill of Blick Art Materials

The curatorial process was straightforward: each associate was invited to submit as many works as they liked with the knowledge that only one piece would be accepted. Since Blick has never hosted a curated or professionally hung exhibition before, this initiative enabled the participating artists to experience the process of submission, curation, and presentation in a gallery setting. “It was a great opportunity to treat their work with the respect it deserves while also asking that it be presented and submitted professionally,” emphasizes Cantwell. She explains that work was chosen based on its quality, craftsmanship, presentation, and potential to create some kind of narrative with the other artworks in the show.

image

ArtHelix curator Jackie Cantwell and gallery manager and assistant curator Wilson Duggan

Given the democratic nature of this group show as well as the wide range of work and media, Cantwell and assistant curator Wilson Duggan faced a substantial curatorial challenge. Their placement choices often result in a cohesive space with sufficient breathing space around individual artworks.

image

Pata Llano, I Remember Pangea, 2014

For example, hanging Pata Llano’s white sculpture of linear cubes in the upper corner of the back room creates a subtle white on white effect, activating the tall ceiling, corner, and wall. Liano’s minimalistic sensibility is juxtaposed with Gavin Weir’s flair for the fantastic. With its vibrant colors and meticulous linear rendering, Weir’s imaginative drawing creates a convincing presence, while conveying a surprising dialogue with Liano’s white sculpture across the room.

image

Gavin Weir, La Luz de Alante es la que Alunbra from 2014 (pencil, ink, watercolor on paper)

Similarly in the middle room, Megan Westgate’s two delicate, abstracted and intimately scaled mixed media drawings on paper bounce off Felix Caballero’s bold figurative canvas or Luan Gashi’s semi abstracted image.
image

Megan Westgate, Filthy Rich from 2013 (mixed media)

image

Felix Caballero, Notorious from 2012 (acrylic on canvas)

image

Luan Gashi, Woman 2 from 2014 (acrylic on canvas)

Blick’s sponsored art exhibit initiative is in line with ArtHelix’ vision of showing work by groups of under or unrepresented artists. “The art world has an underside, made up of art handlers, art store employees, and many other sub-groups of those who toil in the art world, but seldom if ever get a chance to be seen as artists in their own right. It was amazing to see the joy and validation that came to the associates by doing this show. We are really proud to have hosted this,” says Hopkins.

image

Sahdir Ellis, Batman: HUSH from 2009 (acrylic on leather)

At the entrance to the back room, a pair of painted sneakers titled Batman: HUSH dominate the space. They are placed on two shelves of slightly different heights. It takes me a minute to recognize Sahdir Ellis, the artist, who is conversing with Peter Hopkins and a group of viewers next to his artwork. “I helped you at the Blick store yesterday,” he reminds me with a smile.

###

Blick in Bushwick is on view until December 21 at ArtHelix, Friday to Sunday from 12pm-6pm. ArtHelix is located at 299 Meserole Street.

Blick in Bushwick featured work by A. Demetrius Felder, Amanda Menezes, Andrew McCoy, Ann Marie Amick, Bryant Castro, Carlos Williams, Chris Gonzalez, Curtis Andrews, Daphane Love, Eleisia Richardson, Felix Caballero, Gavin Weir, James McDonough, Jose Londono, Josephine Tam, Julius Pearson, Karina Antigua, Katarra Peterson, Lance Laurie, Luan Gashi
Macey L. Brady, Mark Fionda, Megan Westgate, Melissa Tolve, Mustafa Allsop,
Pata Llano, Sahdir Ellis, Samantha Philbert, Sara Jean-Baptiste, and Whitney Meredith. The show was curated by Jackie Cantwell and Wilson Duggan.

Marquetry and Moving Images: Julien Gardair

by Stephanie Chan; all photos by Julien Gardair unless otherwise indicated

image

Cutout from the See Through series (2014)

From expansive site-specific installations to coffee table collages, multimedia artist Julien Gardair seems to do it all. His extensive portfolio includes video sculptures, outsize cutouts of free-form felt and asphalt, and innumerable glossy magazines, excavated for color, form and meaning.

image

A La Francaise; Eden Rock gallery, St Barths (2011)

The common theme that runs throughout all his work is that of discovery. “I’m trying to find things that I don’t know,” Gardair explains. “Sometimes you actually discover something that nobody knew. So I try to find ways to make new connections.”

image

C’est Pas L’homme; Caribbean Sea (2010)

Gardair’s work is informed by the various cultures and countries where he has worked and travelled, ranging from his native France to the Middle East. Earlier this year at an art residency in Abu Dhabi, he created a meditative space enclosed by walls of stenciled palm leaf marquetry. Video and sound combined to weave an atmospheric tapestry of contemplation, inviting visitors to stay and open themselves to the experience.

image

Camera Locus 4; Homesession, Barcelona, Spain (2011)

When asked about the various mediums he creates with, Gardair says, “I just go from one to the other, and you learn from each. I have to make them all, you know? It’s just the way it is.”

image

Cutout from the See Through series (2014)

A constant in Gardair’s repertoire seems to be the magazine collages and cutouts that he creates almost endlessly in a stream of consciousness. Each work looks like a miniature archaeological dig, with layers of colors and occasional disjointed objects appearing and disappearing.

image

Cutout from the Between The Lines series (2014)

His work is organic, flowing from one medium to the other as he translates magazine collages to paintings, almost as though conversing with himself. Even leftover magazine pieces are incorporated back into other works of art, repurposed as stencils in his Spray Through series. Motifs and shapes seem to emerge, like glimpses of psyche that may or may not have symbolism. As Gardair says, “At the end of the day, the interpretation is the viewer’s.” The result of Gardair’s self-reflective artwork, then, is almost something of a Rorschach test for the viewers as they find connections and assign meaning to a familiar shape or curve.

image

Tequilamatitale (2014), Photo Credit: Tequila Herradura

Recently, Gardair entered and won second place in the New York division of the Herradura Barrel Art Collection contest. His video installation, a shadow puppet-esque theater staged within a charcoal-lined barrel, called upon mythic imagery of the Aztec goddess Mayahuel. Through abstract imagery, Gardair’s installation also told the history of the city of Tequila and depicted the labor-intensive process of tequila distillation.

image

Camera Locus Lattara; Musee Henri Prades, Lattes, France (2014)

“The great thing about video is that video can integrate anything,” Gardair says. “And you have time with the images, so you can start to articulate very complex content. With space, that adds another layer.”

image

Dear a video sculpture (2014)

image

Dear video still (2014)

###

Julien Gardair’s show, “Before You Go,” is currently on exhibition in a group show at the Jeffrey Meier Gallery, from Oct. 24 to Feb. 2nd, 2015. The gallery is located at 14 Church St, Lambertville, NJ 08530.

Julien Gardair has a piece in “Over the Edge: Paperworks Unbound, Part 2,” a group show at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (WAH) on view until January 4, 2015. WAH is located at 135 Broadway, Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY 11211.

image

Greenouille; La Graineterie, Houilles, France (2010)