Capacity of Color – Class Curated Art Show at PAFA

During the spring semester of 2019 I was enrolled in a class called Exhibitions & Curatorial Visions taught by artist Alexis Granwell. Our assignment was to come up with an art show concept, put out a call for art, curate and install in PAFA’s Anne Bryan Gallery.

We chose the broad theme of color, choosing to privilege this element over all others and titled it Capacity of Color. Every student in the class took on a specific job that goes into throwing a successful art show. I did most of the advertisement collateral: art show flyer, instagram images, press release design and so on.

Capacity of Color was an overall cohesive and successful exhibition. The space, a basement gallery with low ceilings and no natural light, was used effectively. The low placement of many of the displayed sculptures, cleverly created an intimacy between the viewer and art. Other installations, like Suji Kanneganti and Jessica Aquino’s fabric pieces, flowed from floor to ceiling to create an effective upward flow, leading the eye from the floor pieces to the two-dimensional works on the walls.

There was a large number of small pieces in the show, stand alone and in groupings. I believe, if installed in a standard way, the pieces would have been overwhelmed, but instead, they were staggered which helped make a more interesting space and saved each piece from being swallowed by the white walls and basement shadows.

There were a few pieces in the show that I did not feel played well with the rest of the show, and if I was able to change things, I would have left some works out and instead juried other submissions in. I believe that the less representational works were, the more they fit into the overall exhibition.

I learned a lot from the experience and will jump at chances to curate in the future.

The Capacity of Color is a student-curated
exhibition of sculpture, site-specific installation,
painting, drawing, printmaking, and works on paper
from the Brodsky Center Archive. This exhibition deals
with 2D and 3D work that communicates the language
of color in terms of the optical, the symbolic, the
aggressive, the delicate, and the tactile. This grouping
of work pushes the boundaries of the capacity of color
in an expansive and exciting way.

Exhibiting Artists:
Alicia Greco – Ashley Garner – Bernadette Colburn
Bryon Kim – Claire Tenhula – Emma Keller – Iris Padilla
Isabelle Schipper – Jessica Aquino – JP Calabro
Kelly Micca – Kemeys Goethe – Kiki Smith – Nasir Young
Neill Catanguy – Rebecca Giles – Sally Richards
Shane Lowder – Suji Kanneganti – Jiatong Tian

Art in Asheville – ALLIGOODART

My plan for a while has been to blog about local art I find in Asheville, and not just from white walled exhibitions. There is a lot going on here. Most businesses seem to try to incorporate local art into their decor. Below are some pieces I’ve seen on display at Harvest Records, a local indie record shop near my place in West Asheville. It took me a while to figure out who the artist was. There wasn’t any attribution tags below the works which was a bit frustrating. Maybe if I was truly a local I’d already know who she was. I stumbled across her work looking at other local profiles on instagram. She goes by Alligoodart and you can see more of her work on her instagram feed. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume her name is Alli Good.

It’s interesting to me that I immediately had the gut assumption that this work was created by a man. The grotesque stylization and bright, acidic colors are things I associate with male artists. It reminded me of work by Ryan HeshkaTravis Lampe, and Gary Basemen, but then I realized another artist it reminded me of was Camilla Rose Garcia, a woman, not exactly of course, but they are all in the same extended family. The detail on the turtle necks, painted patterns of strawberries and cherries, should have clued me into the work being created by a woman. I remember growing up wearing such things usually paired with too tight corduroy pants.

In the end though, it doesn’t matter what the gender of the artist it. It’s just interesting to examine your immediate assumptions about anything.

Please check out her instagram feed. She seems to update it very frequently with not just paintings, but tons of ink drawings. Hooray for gross art! Our bodies are itchy and prickly vehicles that makes all sorts of funky fluids and noises. Girls are especially under pressure to deal with monthly weirdness all while expected to pretend our bods are fragrant and soft spring meadows. Okay, I’m being silly, but it’s true. I just like art created by girls that pokes fun at bodies.

Numerology Art Show in Norfolk, VA

This coming saturday I will have artwork displayed in a local art show hosted by Alchemy NFK in the proposed arts district section of downtown Norfolk.

The Pilotonline did a little preview write up of the show and interview with me. Read it here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013
7:00pm

FREE & OPEN TO EVERYONE between 7pm-9pm but a $5 donation is suggested. Refreshments and Food will be available.
————————————————————–
+ HAUNTING IN DAYLIGHT + MIKE CANN + ELIZABETH LEVESQUE + MARTIN JENKINS + JACK VANDYKE + DZAET + NICK JUBLOU + MSYiii + BEN & CANDACE + ARIA MAISEY + ALEX BRANNIN + SCOT CLARK + FABIAN’S FINEST 

Musical Selections by SHANDROID x WESLEY BUNCH x
K\/DET plus an interactive set by Logan Laurent & Rex Bonney

Live Performance Art by
BESTIAL MOUTHS (Los Angeles)
LITTLE BLACK RAIN CLOUDS (Richmond)
ARMS BIZARRE (Norfolk)
SCOUGHS (Uranus)
ALICIA LUMA as “OUR LADY OF VARIOUS SORROWS”
————————————————————–
Man’s insistent captivation with spiritualism and the incorporeal determinations of our fate are explored in this group artistic endeavor. 13 selected pieces each by a different artist on 7.13.13 explore our infatuation with the spiritual world and it’s anthropomorphic manifestation of the forces for good and evil in our mythology and every day lives.

ALL AGES // 9pm-2am // $7

HEADER/FLYER PHOTOGRAPHY by José Alberto Martinez 

Brought to you by
TIDEWATER ARTS OUTREACH // ALCHEMY NFK // LAFAYETTE PRINTING COMPANY
and Generous Help from our Community Sponsors
Folk City Tattoo
757 Creative Space
Ten ToP
Anthems of the Undesirable 

Sound by BEARD Audio https://www.facebook.com/BeardAudio
Lights & Visuals by IRONCLAD

June Art Shows 2013

I’m proud to announce my step son and his girlfriend’s two person show to be held Saturday June 1st at Grow Interactive. It is their senior art show for the Governor’s School of the Arts. Virginia will have her paintings and illustrations displayed and Ian will be showing his animated movies.

I am also going to have my piece Psychic Device on display at the second Speaking in Tongues show at Black Vulture Gallery in Philadelphia this June 7th.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES II

Black Vulture Gallery proudly hosts the Opening Reception of “Speaking in Tongues II”, a group show of the wicked and the weird in a terrifyingly tasteful display of some of the best artists in Philly as well as from afar. Curated by BUDDY NESTOR!!

live music by::

KRACKASS 

and 

DECAP ATTAK
^^ https://www.facebook.com/pages/DECAP-ATTAK/109494529099561

A raging good time with killer artwork, kicking off summer right!!

Refreshments by the ever delicious and creative brewers at Barry’s Homebrew Outlet!!!!

PREPARING TO SAY GOODBYE TO NORFOLK PT. 2

As I prepare to depart from Norfolk I’ve decided to try to attend as many local events as possible, which sounds easy and simple but with all the errands and chores I need to accomplish before leaving for NC, combined with my shyness, it has been a bit of a task.

This past weekend Norfolk embraced Team Better Block and decided to transform a dilapidated section of Downtown Norfolk into a temporary arts district, an important move while the proposed Norfolk Arts District is being reviewed by the powers that be.

Read more about the event at AltDaily. There is a lot more to see and talk about then my little snippet here.

One of the more promising exhibits was Alchemy NFK. The hope is that the building will become a permanent facility, housing gallery/shop space and working studios. This is important because while as fun Better Block was and appeared, it is temporary. The test is to see what sticks, what Norfolk will allow to flower, what will receive consistent support from the city and citizens. Part of me feels a bit wistful about leaving at a time when things suddenly seem to be happening…but honestly, I’m not sure what will happen with Norfolk, and I am solitary, therefore making me not even likely to be much of a help to the community even if I did remain. I hope this next year will make me a better and more useful person. Perhaps I can return in the future and be a better part of the community.

Wall of Litho Prints by Heather Bryant, Sculpture by Diana Caramat, Paintings by Kelly Herring.

Check out the food trucks in the background!

I’ve been walking a lot, hoping to find things I’ve been too busy or self absorbed to notice or appreciate. I’m sad to be leaving Norfolk during Spring. I love the way Ghent residents live on their porches and let their gardens run wild. I love the variety of buildings and walkability of the neighborhood.

On my walk home from the Better Block event I found a hidden gallery full of early 19th century paintings, very much mariner themed, but it was nice to find something new very close to the proposed arts district. There is going to have to be variety to maintain sustainability…

Kellam Galleries was a neat secret space. I took some photos while inside, but the only thing that matters is this painting of a mermaid fighting a black belt in karate. It is called Karate-do, by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. and can be yours for $14,000.00!

PREPARING TO SAY GOODBYE TO NORFOLK PT. 1

As I prepare for my trip to Asheville I’ve been working to create a cache of reference material for me to draw in my fresh new moleskine…the whole point of this year is to draw, refine my drafting skills, refrain from painting till my foundations are stronger and hope that in the end I learn more than I already know and can become a better painter as a result.

I’ve been setting up still life compositions in my shadow box and photographing those, hoping to come up with something interesting, dynamic and steps beyond my past paintings while still building on a theme.

But my main love is portraiture, so I’ve enlisted some local artists into posing for me. Of course, drawing from life would be ideal, but currently not convenient. I’m just glad I have such interesting friends willing to pose for me, and it’s been a nice way to see people before leaving while still getting tasks taken care of.

I first fetched metal smith and ODU instructor Jane Ritchie from her studio in Norfolk, then was lucky to have Mallory Jarrell stop by my place after hanging a show at local boutique Kitsch. You should definitely click on their names and check out their work. It’s nice to see such diverse work being done around here.

I then actually made the effort(I am a recluse) to go check out a show happening at Fawn Street Studios and was glad I did. I hadn’t known about the studios and warehouse till recently. I hope they have more shows there and put the space to good use. Below are pictures from the event, Peanut Butter Fluxxx. I especially liked the work in the second from the bottoms photo, all done by artist Will Clark.

Art of the Scam

The topic of art theft has come up A LOT lately. This past Art Basel in Miami Jason Levesque walked into a gallery space in the SCOPE tent and came face to face with artwork straight up traced from old photographs of his and North Carolina photographer Marie Killen, by ‘painter’ Josafat Miranda.

In Jason’s own words…

Walking around Art Basel, this weekend I came across a few pieces in the Scope show that looked pretty familiar. There was a sampling of 3 pieces presented by the Robert Fontaine Gallery all by the same artist. I recognized my photography in two of them and the third was a copy of my good friend Marie Killen’s photo. When i got home a quick google search reveled that nearly his entire body of work was comprised of other peoples photography. No credits were given, though that wouldn’t have put the artist in the clear. Josafat Miranda hadn’t bothered to change the composition or content in any appreciable way, even though that too would not have put him in the clear.
For me, photography was a hobby, something I did for fun. But it was art. These weren’t candids, they were carefully composed, edited photos. The model traveled, did her makeup and helped style the shoot. Put simply, it was a collaborative artistic endeavor by me and the model Tracy P.

Marie Killen is a wildly talented photographer living in North Carolina. Photography is her passion and craft and she does it extremely well. In my opinion she’s one of the best photographers in her genre. Her shoots require far more work and planning than mine ever did. She’s developed, through hard work and practice, a recognizable style.
What Josafat Miranda has done here reveals a total disrespect for photography as an art form. He’s quickly and with very little creative alteration, harvested the yield of someone else’s hard work. What makes a painting strong, isn’t just the brush strokes and the rendering method, more, much more, than that is the composition, the subject matter and the hundreds of creative decisions that go into making an original piece of art.

Jason Levesque, Stuntkid.com

While the whole situation has been anxiety inducing, I’ve somewhat enjoyed the internet conversation this issue has generated Enjoyed AND been baffled by it. It hasn’t been a good experience for Jason, mainly because he didn’t wish to start a witch hunt, but at the same time it’s important to point out wrong actions. Especially if it can be turned into a teaching moment. 

Some may see it as free advertising for Jason, and I suppose to some degree that’s true, but it certainly wasn’t the best kind of exposure. Josafat Miranda traced Jason’s photographs…and that’s what the articles are about. Jason is mainly an illustrator, so he was receiving attention to work that he no longer makes.

He also is one of the most empathetic people I know, and he was concerned about the amount of angry attention Josafat Miranda was receiving. What Miranda did was wrong, but Jason had no desire for the man to suffer unreasonably…yet when you read Miranda’s response in the Daily Mail article you see the strain, but you also see the disconnect with reality. He doesn’t appear to be sorry for what he’s done.

You can read more about the incident at the below links. The below links also show the original works next to the copied versions.

Miami New Times

Daily Mail

HyperAllergic

You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice

The above incident happened in muggy Miami, but it was talked about a lot locally. I doubt that many in our local ‘art scene’ were completely unaware of it. So you’d think…you’d think that local ‘artist’ Rashidi Barrett would have watched that scenario unfold quietly, stealthily hide his own traced works and taken it as a lesson that he was luckily able to learn privately.
(edited to add that in the AltDaily article Barrett claims not to have known about the Miami incident, IMO that is possible but not probable considering the massive and local internet reaction)

Of course things didn’t work out that way. You can read more about the situation in the links below. They sum it up better than I can. The entire thing is incredibly awkward. It’s like an excruciatingly embarrassing episode of Parks & Recreation, and I need to run away from the television.

Old South High

Pilot Online

Alt Daily

Read the comments on all articles linked above. They range from rabid outrage to apologetic. It is amazing and often demoralizing to get a look at how others view this kind of grifting.

I feel that both incidents are a result of several things: the acclaim by those not visually literate, some success too soon, a need for attention and approval greater than the need for the basis being rooted in honesty and earned skill.

I also think art classes should talk about these issues more often, at the very least encouraging discussion about the differences between appropriation and theft or whether there is one at all. I certainly believe there is. An homage is not one if no one knows about it. The copying artist chooses not to reveal their sources or inspiration. I don’t believe school being better about talking about these subjects would prevent it. I don’t believe either Miranda or Barrett took art classes, but I think it would foster art scenes more capable of having an intelligent discussion about it or even more likely to spot possible fraud.

What I find interesting is that both Miranda and Barrett were able to find fans and patrons. I realize this part of my rant could be put down to taste, but I feel strongly about it. Neither, in my opinion, seem to display much skill. (There is a lot of work out in the world that I wouldn’t hang on my wall, but I can recognize the skill and creativity behind it and appreciate it.) There is a disconnect between their mark making, subjects and materials. I can’t explain it very well, but it confuses me when others claim that both are talented…projecting an image you never sketched on a canvas and tracing them awkwardly is not a display of technical skill or creativity. What others see as talent in working artists is the result of hundreds of hours of practice, anguish and struggle.

I realize it’s important to nurture and support fledgling artists, but that doesn’t mean treating them(I’m not excluding myself from this) as genius’ right out of the gate. 

The art world is huge, but the internet is making it smaller. Copying anothers work to learn is an accepted and admirable way to learn. Almost every artist has done it at some point. Representing it only as your own creation is not part of that path.

Whether the above issues are legal or not is not part of my point, and I’m not interested in arguing about that aspect. 

Just because something may be legal, or even normal, does not make those actions ethical or honorable.

Ugh, general overall ickiness!