I’ve been taking some extra time lately to explore the various art communities on Instagram. And there are a lot of them. Like tons. Because it’s such a visual platform, Instagram attracts a lot of brilliant and creative people. Not just photographers either, but people who are making art in all sorts of mediums. One of these new discoveries that has me totally inspired is Elizabeth Pawle. She is an illustrator and textile artist who sells her work on Etsy. She is crazy talented and makes these epic wall hangings using burlap and embroidery thread. The series is called Scatterings and features beautifully textured abstract patterns in bright neon colors. She uses yarn and wool and all sorts of other fun odds and ends in order to create something both visually stunning and completely unique. I love these. I think they are so cool. The bright pinks and yellows really pop against the beige background and it all fits together into something completely cohesive.
I showed my art to people! This week was the Scripps Student Art Collective’s biannual gallery show. They feature work from students of all five colleges and put on a really good show. Yummy food. Catchy tunes. Talented artists. An all-around jolly good time. Last month I submitted some collages I had been making for my independent study project and they selected me as one of their featured artists. It was exciting and terrifying but I am so glad I did it! Besides, any art show could use a little more 70s soft core porn…
I’ll probably write another post later about this particular project and my exploration of women’s bodies in appropriation art. It’s been kind of an ongoing obsession and is sort of the topic of one of my thesis chapters. So clearly I have a lot to say.
I am such a sucker for impeccably executed mixed media art and vintage ladies advertisements. So my obsession with Kelly O’Connor is not at all surprising. I actually had to check and make sure that I hadn’t already written about her because I’ve been a fan for a while.
Her 2014 exhibition at the David Shelton Gallery is absolutely fantastic. The entire space was transformed into a Wizard of Oz-y masterpiece of whimsical sparkles and pastel colors. Plus the work manages to explore and critique products targeting women’s bodies in a way that feels fresh and interesting. The product studies in particular have me completely awestruck.
She’s Flawless. Her work is flawless. Go look at other things she’s created on her website. And ask her if she wants to be my best friend. because that would be cool.
This is so cool.
I came across this awesome pearl-encrusted canvas on Tumblr (I find all sorts of neat shit on tumblr) and was absolutely captivated. I love how it seems to explode out from the wall but in a way that is completely refined and subdued. Pearls are such an innovative medium to work with and I love how they are used here. I also love how this is a sculpture that is kind of pretending to be a painting.
When I looked further into Paola Pivi and her work, I was surprised to find that nothing else she has been doing lately is nearly this subtle. It’s all bright and big and crazy. Neon colors and strange large-scale installation pieces. Still really cool but really different. I debated splitting this into multiple posts (and maybe I will still write more later) but I thought I should include some of her recent weird stuff.
The Bears: they are massive neon taxidermy bears that have been arranged in little gallery scenes. Yep.
The Machine: This is an installation piece which shoots out money at gallery-goers which is a pretty interesting concept. A little intimidating though…
I’m so glad I came across Paola Pivi and I am definitely going to keep tabs on her to see what she’ll do next. And definitely check out her website. It’s lots of fun.
Okay so if you spend any time at all on Pinterest or Tumblr (or just on the internet in general) then you have probably seen Eugenia Loli’s work. She is a prolific collage artist with a massive digital footprint and has inspired a ton of young artists (including myself) to use vintage photos in new and interesting ways. I would definitely suggest digging around on her Cargo Collective site. There are tons of gems. Gold Digger gets a lot of internet circulation, although my favorite series would have to be Mind Alteration. These images are trippy and strange and absolutely wonderful.
“I consider art as another language”
On her website’s bio page, Andrea Castro describes her art as a conversation between herself and the figures she paints. In her eyes, each portrait represents a character which exists in her imagination and which insists on being painted. Kind of a neat way of thinking about portraiture and about oil painting in general. (Also kind of crazy right?). Castro’s work is quite diverse in tone and style but her aesthetic really shines through in her colorful and slightly surreal works. The gorgeous pastel piece at the top of my post is particularly incredible. I just love the pretty florals and topsy turvy composition. It is titled Sweet Chaotic Memories which seems quite fitting.
In fact all of her pieces have meaningful riddling titles which I appreciate. These paintings are alarming yet captivating and I am totally caught up in them.
Striking. Stunning. I don’t even know what else to say. Let’s just stare at them, shall we?
I am a sucker for interesting textures and abstract paintings in soft pastel palettes. It’s a seriously brilliant combination and one I could stare at endlessly. That’s how I feel about Hilary Harnischfeger’s work. I just want to look at it forever.
When I first came stumbled across her sculptural wall-mounted masterpieces, I was completely floored. She isn’t afraid to really explore the tactility of different mediums and combine them in unexpected ways. If you look at her artist profile on the Saatchi Gallery website, Harnischfeger has a laundry list of materials that she uses to create these multidimensional sculpture/painting hybrids. Paper, ink, mica, fluorite, crushed glass, plaster, pyrite… anything and everything. The effect is pretty mesmerizing.
Something about them reminds me of Dr. Seuss… so so good.
I’m really into collage and mixed media art. It’s hands down my favorite category. Is it indecisive that my favorite artistic medium is mixed media? Probably. Anyway, Elizabeth Amento is doing some really cool stuff with found images. She creates these crazy swirls of color that almost become characters in surreal domestic scenes. The whole thing is set against a stark white background which subverts any of the original image composition. A restrained color palate, beautiful black and white photos, and a sparse canvas, all expertly arranged. I love these.
Check out the rest in her website archives. Plus, she is currently featured in a Frank Juarez Gallery Exhibition, “Art of Collage,” which looks absolutely incredible.
I love that feeling of being completely stopped in my tracks by a work of art, and encountering something with the power to disrupt my life for a minute; to focus my consciousness in a new way. It happens so rarely, but thats what makes it so special. Art is nifty.
So I saw some of Ellen Gallagher’s art on display at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College this past fall. The exhibit featured a number of contemporary women artists and their work in printmaking. There was an entire wall of Gallagher’s works, all framed in a grid, and it had a pretty profound impact on me. I came back to the exhibit several times just to stare at her prints and am totally kicking myself for not taking any pictures. This image from the MOMA’s website is pretty similar though, so you get the idea.
Anyway,these are really cool. They are bright and color blocked with pinks and yellows on newsprint. She uses a lot of different mediums at once and layers them in a really interesting way. Plus, the political message inherent in her work is really powerful. She uses vintage advertisements for beauty products geared towards black men and women, and subverts them with multimedia collage. I’m so glad I remembered this artist’s name, (not hard considering it’s the same as mine) and that I happened to find some of her work online. Ellen Gallagher’s prints embody all the things I love about art. They are aesthetically beautiful and really intellectually stimulating, without being overly complicated or pretentious. Plus I kind of love anything that appropriates vintage ads…
So incredible. That is all. Happy Holidays.