Category archives: Visual Arts

  • “Bound and Unbound” which is currently on right now at the Brooklyn Museum is the first ever retrospective of artist Judith Scott. The show is curated by Catherine J. Morris of the Sackler Gallery and Matthew Higgs director of White Columns Gallery. Drawing from her seventeen-year art making practice, the show features over forty sculptures and drawings that span Scott’s career. Many of the works in the show are objects that have been wrapped with various pieces of yarn, fabric and other materials that Scott worked with. The bundled package-like-sculptures sit on low display structures throughout the two rooms of the gallery’s space. Born in 1943, with Down Syndrome, Judith Scott would go onto become an internationally recognized fibers artist. Scott spent the first thirty-five years of her life living in a institution geared towards individuals with disabilities. In 1987, she was introduced to the through her twin sister and legal guardian, Joyce Scott which helped to put her on a creative path. The CGAC was founded in 1974 in Oakland, California by artist Florence Ludnis-Katz and her husband psychologists Elias Katz. CGAC is still active today and offers art based programs and residencies to individuals with physical and mental disabilities. The time that Scott spent at CGAC would not only greatly change the way in which she would be able to communicate but also allowed her to grow as a person and artist. Scott was also famously featured on the cover of academic writer a[...]
  • Recently, a publicist at CLD PR in Los Angeles sent me information about Nicoli, an upmarket accessories label based in United Arab Emirates that is expanding their international reach from Singapore to Hollywood red carpets.  I liked the beautiful, intricate designs and wanted to introduce you, dear reader, to one of their creations, The Snake Clutch. As the company describes: The world of Nicoli is not just exclusive, it is elegant, unique with a touch whimsical. Created as the perfect accessory to life's most beautiful, luxurious and memorable moments, Hollywood glamour and Italian styling is behind, and can be seen in everything we do; from our exquisite handcrafted evening handbags, purses and clutches to our glamorous diamanté embellished shoes. The Nicoli brand was founded in 2004 by Khurram Rafique and is proud to be an integral part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for the U.A.E. to lead the world in the global luxury goods market. Discover more about Nicoli Shoes and find out more about the creation of The Snake Clutch after the jump. Jacqueline Colette Prosper, @yummicoco Inspiration: As you may know, new and refreshing takes on animal prints have been spotted all over the Fall catwalks and you could say that it is a go-to style that can forever live in a woman’s wardrobe. Our team always endeavors to keep up with and stay ahead of the latest trends, colours and styles [...]
  • “Beauty is intimately engaged with darkness, with chaos, with destruction. From the depths of darkness, beauty transforms and transcends.” Thus Lily Yeh explains the philosophy of her art, through which she has engaged denizens of traumatized communities and impoverished areas all over the world for nearly three decades. The Chinese-born, Philadelphia-based artist runs the nonprofit Barefoot Artists (“recognizing that creativity and beauty are powerful agents for healing and change”) and is the subject of new film The Barefoot Artist, co-directed by documentarian Glenn Holsten and her son, Daniel Traub, a photographer and cinematographer. (The two previously collaborated on OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie, among other projects.) The film combines two threads: first, it’s the story of Yeh’s development as an artist and her work with various communities. There’s footage of the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia, which Yeh created out of an abandoned lot; her transformation of a garbage/hospital dump in Korogocho, Kenya, into a vibrant environment of communally-produced murals and sculptures; and, most poignant, scenes of a genocide survivors camp in Rugerero, Rwanda. There we witness deadened souls who have suffered unbearable loss come alive by telling their stories through drawing and painting, under Lily’s tutelage. The film’s second thread is Yeh’s exploration of her family, including a hidden side. [...]
  • Opened in the summer of 2013, Garis & Hahn gallery is one of the newest exhibition spaces that has popped up along the Bowery in recent memory. The gallery's most recent undertaking, a group exhibition entitled “Notes on Undoing” features the work of eleven artists and was curated by Branka Benčić. It is the first survey of contemporary Croatian art that has occurred at the the gallery and brings together eleven different artists including: Eškinja, Vlatka Horvat, Igor Grubic, Tina Gverović, Zlatko Kopljar,Dino Zrnec, Marko Tadić,Damir Ocko,Hrvoje Slovenc,Viktor Popović and Ljiljana Mihaljević. A major theme that the show tackles is unraveling the way in which the viewer perceives the artist and the symbiotic relationship that is created when looking at work. These multiple perspectives are informed by the way in which each artist approaches the work and the conceptual projects they are engaging in. The press release for the show states, ”some show an interest in the experience of how the body or object relates to its environment.” As the title suggest, there is an element of this exhibition that is attempting undo the myth of the artist and the artistic process from various vantage points. This very sentiment is taken up in each of the pieces within the exhibition. The work in “Notes on Undoing” is diverse and spans the conceptually gambit ranging from sculpture to performance. The exhibition takes up the two floors of the gallery's space. On the first floor there [...]
  • Though only in its fifth year, DOC NYC seems like a city institution already. The annual event, which ran from November 13 through 20, has become the largest documentary film festival in the country. This year’s DOC NYC encompassed 153 films and events, ranging from screenings of classic docs (Hoop Dreams) and high-profile films (Citizenfour) to premieres from first-time feature filmmakers (Opposite Field, Vessel, many, many others). There were also educational panels and master classes (Finish Your Doc) for aspiring auteurs. Opening Night Film was David Thorpe's funny, poignant Do I Sound Gay?; Closing Night Film was The Yes Men Are Revolting, which chronicles the prankster-activists' past five years, directed by Laura Nix and The Yes Men. DOC NYC is a testament to the ever-growing popularity of documentaries, due to a number of reasons including an increase in movie outlets, the stylistic crossover between narrative fiction and non-fiction films, and accessibility of digital technology, now that practically everyone can make movies. (Imagine the various permutations that would exist of 1970 classic Gimme Shelter, had Altamont audiences owned smartphones.) Festival screenings took place at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, IFC Center and SVA Theatre; in many cases filmmakers were present to introduce their work and answer questions afterward. Every sort of documentary was represented, broken down into categories including American Perspectives, International Perspectives, Cente[...]
  • This week, as Kim Kardashian's Paper Magazine cover attempts to #BreakTheInternet with her booty, I chat with Brooklynite Amber Jimenez Garcia, creative director and designer of Ambit NYC, about another kind of booty---the baby shoe variety. Her label, known for locally-produced, handmade designs, using quality materials, is currently undergoing an evolution with the birth of Jimenez Garcia's son. The designer has found that incorporating her little one into her career plans is helping her to find her balance as a first-time mother and designer. Discover more about her new venture after the jump. -Jacqueline Colette Prosper, @yummicoco  Inspiration: Some of the reasons why moccasins appealed to me for him: The shoes are soft so he can feel the ground, and they don't interfere with his balance. The bottoms are suede, which is better than keeping him in socks because they are more sticky, and have more movement in them. My son is learning to walk, and moccasins are really easy and functional. I had some leather, and thought, I can do that. Once I started, it became more complicated than that, because you have to think in a different way [when designing for a baby]. I'm used to making adult things. [In this instance] I had to think, considering what would be good for a baby, which I had never really done. Challenge: I didn't study shoemaking, I studied clothing. I've always been interested in making adult shoes but it feels a little inaccessible, because i[...]
  • The word “sweet” has appeared in almost every description of Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks), the feature debut from Brazilian director Daniel Ribeiro. (He used it himself during our conversation.) That might be off-putting to some, especially when describing a coming-of-age story with a blind protagonist. But Ribeiro’s film isn’t all sentimentality and charm. His main character, Leonardo (beautifully portrayed by Ghilherme Lobo), while very likeable, is also stubborn, as are most teens. He also happens to be gay, something he discovers when he falls in love for the first time, with the new boy at school (Fabio Audi). There’s also jealousy (via Leo’s best friend Giovana, played by Tess Amorim), bullying and parental friction, all handled with admirable restraint. The movie is a poignant, low-key drama from a filmmaker who describes himself as an activist. His first short was 2007’s Café com Leite (You, Me and Him); The Way He Looks is an elaboration on his 2010 short Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho (I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone) — which also starred Lobo, Audi and Amorim. Recently I spoke via Skype with Ribeiro, who was in his hometown of São Paulo, taking a break from his travels for international screenings and promotional duties. Your film opened in April in Brazil and has been screening all over the world; do you get the same sort of feedback from people everywhere? Yeah, it’s interesting; the reaction is usually the same, because it is such a [...]
  • I am delighted to be blogging (every 8th and 25th of the month) about film for Art for Progress. The organization/site’s dual mission – supporting emerging artists and arts education – is an admirable one, especially given the stratospheric real estate prices in New York and other cities that have traditionally incubated arts scenes, and the deep cuts in pubic school arts education. The ever-escalating mainstream media coverage of celebrity-driven — as opposed to talent-driven — arts and entertainment doesn't help the current climate. Fortunately, blogs such as this exist! In the past 20-or-so years of writing about movies for a variety of print and digital outlets, I’ve covered everything from major Hollywood releases to little-heralded films, interviewed (i.e., was allotted 15 phone minutes with) major movie stars and had long, insightful conversations with extremely independent filmmakers. It’s all been good, but I especially relish writing about lesser-known films and their creators; it’s always satisfying to encounter a fresh cinematic voice and easy to get caught up in the excitement of the filmmakers themselves. That's mainly the stuff I plan to cover here. The Heart Machine, which received a lot of positive attention at this year’s SXSW Festival, is the first feature from writer/director Zachary Wigon, who used Kickstarter to help fund it. A 2008 graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Wigon has a background in film journalism. While at school he started[...]
  • Alan Lupiani has been a involved in the New York art scene since 1996.  In this time, he has built an impressive resume of exhibitions that he has participated in and curated himself. Lupiani, a graduate of Binghamton University, earning a BA Studio Art 1988, would go onto receive his MBA in Arts Administration from the same institution in 1991. While Lupiani is a trained painter, his most recent work questions the conceptual bonds between painting and performance based work. In 2007, he launched his own LIVE Internet show entitled, “Dear Immaculately Groomed Italian Guy.” The show was successful in that it attracted as many as 10,000 viewers per episode. Lupiani produced approximately fifteen live episodes. Each episode utilized a similar format: cooking dinner for a guest in his apartment, while taking Skype calls from a global audience base. He also presented previously recorded clips with his guest at various locations around New York City. Lupiani recruited the individuals he hosted through the “Gigs” section of Craig's List. These meetings via Craig's List created the vibe of chance intimacy which resulted in provocative, comedic interactions. Currently Lupiani “utilizes painting as a metaphor to deconstruct various “situations” which he discovers through the internet, pop culture, and his personal biography. This approach to painting involves picking words and images that Lupiani responds to on a daily basis. He then manipulates the images in Photoshop, prints [...]
  • Art for Progress (AFP) is pleased to announce a group exhibition of new works by artists from New York City, Los Angeles, Spain and Israel. The show entitled “Déjà vu” will run from October 30th to November 12th, 2014 at NOoSPHERE Arts in New York City, and the opening reception will take place on October 30th from 6 to 10 PM. The exhibition will include a variety of mediums, from painting to sculpture, which tackle the theme of déjà vu. The term can be described as “a feeling of having already experienced the present situation” or “a tedious familiarity.”It first appeared in a 1928 text entitled a Text for Psychology. Since then, the topic of déjà vu has been addressed from the big screen to Sci-Fi novels. It is a concept and sensation that has captivated audiences for generations and in this exhibit AFP hopes to push the boundaries of this. For this show, the concept of déjà vu has been explored from several vantage points, from ideas of storytelling to an affective feeling. This exhibition is seeking to both comment on this topic and try to rethink the way in which it has been socioculturally situated. Déjà vu has come to occupy a very specific place within popular culture and this exhibition aims to build on that while also carving out new meaning for it. Fourteen artists will be featured in the show: Rocco Alberico, Ted Barr, Bill Claps, Lance Dehne, Tony DiBella, Essam, gilf!, Diane LaRaja, Lichiban, Sona Mirzaei, Carol Nussbaum, Juan Manuel Pajares, Jeanne Wilkinson[...]