Tuesday, June 19, 2007

News: Kata Mejia in NY and at RSG

I am please to announce that Philadelphia based/Colombian born performance artist Kata Mejia will be debuting her latest performance/installation "Healing" at NY's LAB Gallery, June 26th-29th.
Here is a bit about Healing...

Healing is a performance-installation which represents a breaking point with life caused by sudden, violent death. Symbolic, ritual actions expressing the pain and chaos this wrenching of life creates will be performed along with those expressing transcendence and healing of the departed soul and the loved ones who remain.

This performance commemorates the first anniversary of the death of the artist’s little brother, who was kidnapped and murdered in Colombia by the FARC terrorist guerrillas.


Kata Mejia is no lightweight performance artist. Her work is raw emotion played without pretense. She attacks her concerns with everything she has: her body, mind and soul. That attack is dramatic, sometimes violent and controversial.

Kata will bring a performance (as yet undecided) to RSG, August 1st-4th. Make sure you get on the mailing list for announcements. This is not to be missed.

If you can't wait, we will be running her video reel covering several previous performances on Saturday night during the Hamada Reception. Or Stop by anytime and ask to see one.


Hiroyuki Hamada opens Saturday

I love Hiroyuki Hamada's work. I am just at a loss for words.
Come see the show, come by on Saturday night and meet him. Have a beer, and just loose yourself in the texture of his surface.

Here is a bit about him....

Hiroyuki Hamada’s 2-D and 3-dimensional work is about communicating, the construction of a language in line, form, color, materials and alteration, sometimes savage, sometimes methodical. It’s a language written over years of doubt, elation, self-abuse, clarity, misunderstanding and happiness.

As a teenager, Hamada was displaced from his suburban Chiba, Japan roots to West Virginia, where his Father worked in the steel industry. He went from being an ordinary, bored kid in a majority to being the minority Asian guy, with little English skills in a remote part of the US. Teenage rebellion and introspection led him to, creating art. He sought refuge in the exploration of imagery. He found communication in line, tone and shape, turning frustration, anger, confusion and desperation into the abstract.

Hamada graduated from the University of Maryland MFA program in 1995 and set off to New York to take a studio. Over the years, he experimented with materials that took him off a 2-dimensional canvas to create the sculptural, 3-dimensional paintings he produces today. Like struggling to find the perfect word, Hamada was constructing painted sentences/objects with layer upon layer of misunderstanding, eventually finding cohesion and a unique voice. His materials, burlap, plaster, oil, enamels, solvents, wax, wood, resin, tar and staples became about finding the solution to what his mind and his eyes were seeing. A process that may take 2-3 years to complete, Hamada carefully explores the surface and how he manipulates it through the drilling of holes and the etching of what could be hundreds of circles.

That's right, he graduated at the U of Maryland.

I hope to see you there.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Artist Pick of the Week::: Antony Micallef

This blog has only been going now for 2 days, so here is a weekly feature you will find posted every Friday or Saturday. I will highlight an artist I have found on one of my mad internet searches. I'll post a couple photos and let you all go check them out. No big review, no critical analysis. Just a starting point for all you to see something new.

This week Antony Micallef

Those of you who may know me know that I adore this painter. He is a nice guy who in the past year has exploded on the art scene in London. His work is highly original. It drops just the right bit of information necessary to be covered in paint, or charcoal, or crayon, or pencil. His images float in a sea of white negative space that is alive with tension.

Antony, based in London, is an illustrator by trade and a painter in reality. His imagery chock full of media references in the way of corporate logos, marries itself to the bodies of babies, children and horrifically disfigured persons with angels wings. Corporate identity is overshadowing individualism in the form of dismemberment and substitution. Antony by no means is a fan of corporate anything.

I tried, and am still trying to get Antony into RSG. He is represented, worldwide by LAZ in London, the same dealer who reps Banksy. Antony told me he is comfortable to not show anywhere else in the world. "My work sells out before the show opens, why would I".

Let's hope he changes his mind.

This just in. I just got an e-mail from Antony, He is having his first major exhibition in LA sometime in September. It is run through his London dealer, the same dealer who reps Banksy. Expect a huge event!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Adventures in Baltimore

I don't know what it is that keeps me looking to Baltimore for artists. It just seems that B-More is a-buzz with amazing painters, photographers and a wonderful collection of artists working in mixed media.

First I signed multi-faceted artist/writer/curator Cara Ober. Cara is now my new best friend. Not only is she a wicked smarty-pants, but she is dialed in to everything and it seems everyone. First thing she did after signing was to send me countless e-mails of people I "had" to look at. I have the tendency to listen to what my artists tell me, and she has a great eye. You will find Elena Volkova and Isabel Manalo on my exhibiting list. Isabel has two paintings in the hallway leading into the space and Elena, whew! Elena set a gallery record for having spent the shortest amount of time on the wall before she was bought by a collector (2 hours). You can see Elena's new "Airscape" in the next show opening on June 23rd.

So. back to Baltimore. The show closing tomorrow "industrials" features Michael Sandstrom and Jackson Martin. Both of them are going to impact the region for years to come and both are in Baltimore. Michael, although off to Berlin on a Fulbright will come back in a year with new insights and Jackson...I am grinning ear to ear as I write this...you keep looking for him here. His ideas and the way he marries the natural and the man made is both provocative and down right cool.

The main reason we see such an amazing collection of artists in B-More is, well, MICA. That, and tons of warehouse space at cheap prices, offer optimal conditions for working. That and a fun nightlife, hell, if it was not for the nasty commute, I'd be there.

So it leads me to my B-more trip this week.

Last week at Anonymous III I saw a painting that I absolutely loved. Tar on Wood panel. A fine line of intricate shapes and designs. I knew it would be sold and it was. I went back after it was closed, jotted down her name and started my search. The next day, I found her, took a look at her website, sent her an e-mail and told her it was a necessity that I meet her ASAP cause the hairs on the back of my head were telling me she is the real deal.

I met Lu Zhang on Tuesday in her way cool apartment in the center of Downtown Baltimore where I was greeted by a 4'x8' work on paper that blew me away. And there was sweet, petite Lu, about as wonderful to talk to as can possibly be. We talked for 2 hours and I look forward to spending some more time talking. You may have read Rachel Beckman's article on the Anonymous III show in thursday's post, she mentions Lu's piece.

Lu Zhang

Baltimore. Who would have guessed it. I thought it was just a place with a cool Aquarium.