14 posts categorized "Artist Profiles"

November 19, 2014

Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing a public kiss, naked.. Is this Art or just bad Taste?

Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing, an oh too public kiss, naked..on a Billboard size image?   Is this Art or just bad taste? Really for a straight Gagosian Artist, this is the best you can do, "Sweet Liberty"?

Well.. Maybe MAO is just a total prude being honest. But, am I the only person who thinks, some artists, should probably learn to paint better keep their clothes on if they want attention by the art world ?

There's almost nothing original about doing this,  it's been done more tastefully so many times before. Like here, here and here, just to name a few.

In this Post-Gay world.. does anyone even care? If a Gay Tree Falls in the disco, no one even hears it. As an art gay mao-self, I'm a bit sadened by this PDA,  aka.. Public Display for Attention!

 And... Please... Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy try going to a gym puting some clothes on for your next exhibition!

Well, anyway,  just click here to see the story and the pathetic photos. 

Dan-Colen-Kalup-Linzy-kissTwo Artists Kiss in the Buff on London Bridge



Artists Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy shake up the narrative of romance

November 5 is a national holiday in the UK, commemorating Guy Fawks' failed attack on the Parliament House, in London. But today, the British capital became the stage of a different kind of celebration.

Displayed as a billboard-size image, the picture of Brooklyn-based artists Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing a kiss, naked, in front of the Statue of Liberty, was unveiled on the city's London Bridge. "We feel it is our birthright to love without oppression or racism, things that have historically separated us," commented the two artists. "I think Kalup and I had a synchronised, inspired moment," Colen added. 

The work, entitled "Sweet Liberty", hopes to disrupt familiar issues of identity politics and instead represent romance in its rawest, most rudimentary form.

November 14, 2014

Artist Keltie Ferris... Painting Breaks the $100,000 Mark!

So for all those fans of amazing women contemporary painters.. you had good reason to celebrate last night.  At the Christies Afternoon sale yesterday, one of the US young women painters crossed a major hurdle. The $100,000 mark for a secondary market painting! WOW.. and it couldn't happen to a nicer more talented gal.

Congrats to Keltie Ferris.. he paintings have been an impressive few years of powerful color expressions. She's had some strong success in the gallery and museum world, but yesterday who entered an eleite club of young living artists selling for over $100,000. It's a group generally reserved for only hot young ego maniacs guy painters.. so it's refreshing to see Keltie's success!

This are the lot details at Christies:

Lot Description

Keltie Ferris (b. 1977)
oil, acrylic, oil pastel and spray paint on canvas
80 x 80 in. (203.2 x 203.2 cm.)
Executed in 2011.


Horton Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2011


London, Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America Today, May-September 2014.



She was born in Louisville, KY, 1977, so not even 40 yet! 
She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY 

More details about Keltie can be found here..


and at her NYC gallery... Mitchell-Innes Nash.. http://www.miandn.com/artists/keltie-ferris/works/1/

A Big MAO Congrats to Keltie Ferris! We can't wait to see more of your paintings!

May 13, 2010

Ryan Humphrey's New Show, with a work in the coming DPA Charity Auction!

Artist Ryan Humphrey's New Show at DCKT Conemporary Gallery is his best work to date, and he's even got one of his works coming up at Monday's DPA Re:FORM Charity Auction!

So, you might remember Ryan.. as the precocious Bad Boy Contemporary Artist who was featured on the first tragic season of America's Top Design Reality TV Show.

If you have a chance, be sure to stop into see Ryan Humphrey's newest show "Early American" at the DCKT Contemporary Gallery on the Lower East Side. It's an amazing installation of high art meets new american hip-hop design with a bit of Witty car culture thrown into the mix. Each piece in the show will leave you with a smirk on your face, and you might even get a giggle out of it.  but over all MAO left the gallery thinking, Ryan has found his true artistic voice, and he probably has produced his best work to date for this show.

Here's a short part from the official gallery Press Release..

Early American, RYAN HUMPHREY’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. HUMPHREY explores duality through an altered, customized version of an 18th century American interior. The installation hijacks the format of a formal and affluent interior, infusing it with cast-offs and objects more likely found in a rural garage than an antique shop. Class and taste are called into question and the hierarchy of materials associated with social stratification is discarded.

We particularly loved Ryan's painting, "UnderTow, 2010."  (photo #1) Which we were told was made from 100% old NY City 1970's Black and White Junked Police Cars. It's just a wonderful appropriation of the Ryan_Humphrey_UnderTow_2010 famous Hokusai, "The Great Wave of Kanagawa", of the 1820's.

So, if like MAO, you're a Ryan Humphrey Fan, then you have a great chance to get one of his cool works for a songat this Monday night's Drug Policy Alliance's Re:FORM Charity Auction at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery.

Ryan has donated this mutli-image 2 panel work.. tying in his Evil Knievel Bad Boy Biker, with a whole lot of Art History. it just resulted in a  wonderful and Witty work.


(Photo #2, Ryan Humphrey |Hearts of Darkness 2, 2009|Mixed media on fabric, linen, and canvas |2 panels, each 20 1/4 x 15 inches|Courtesy of the artist and DCKT Contemporary, Inc., New York| Estimated retail value: $3,500 )

Even if you're not a in the know, hip Ryan Humphrey Fan.. at the DPA event

there are also some great donations from a number of super star artist to consider.. Kara Walker, Donald Beachler, Fred Tomaseli, John Waters, William Wegman, and Ross Bleckner. So, there's still time for you to place absentee bids here...

See you all at Sikkema Jenkins on Monday Night!


April 08, 2010

Artist Spencer Finch to Speak (Parsons Lecture Series) at The Aperture Foundation

Artist Spencer Finch to Speak at The Aperture Foundation (in cooperation with Parsons New School for Design) at 6:30pm on April 20th.

Some of the best things in Life are Free.. and as far as the art world goes.. this is one of those events.

Spencer_Finch_2009_Venice_biennale2 We've been a long time fan of Spencer Finch and his super Witty sensory perception art creations.

(Photo #1, Images taken of the 2009 Venice Biennale room featuring 2 Spencer Finch artworks, Moonlight (Glass Window) and Moondust (light Sculpture))

If you've been on the New High Line Park in NYC.. you've no doubt marveled at Spencer Finch's Creative Time sponsored "The River That Runs Both Ways" (aka.. The English translation for the Native Indian name "Hudson") work, which looks like a huge stained glass wIndow installation at 15th Street and 9th Ave. In MAO's not sohumble opinnion, it is possibly one of the most perfect public art works we've seen in years!

So here's you chance to meet and listen to the brilliant mind who created this amazing public artwork...  

Here's the note from the official press release..

Aperture and the Photography Program in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design present a talk with Brooklyn-based artist Spencer Finch. In his renderings of light and color, Finch unites scientific method with a poetic sensibility as he explores the mechanics and mysteries of perception. Working with a variety of media, the artist examines how people experience, remember, and represent an array of visual and sensory phenomena through a studied investigation of his own observations of subjects ranging from the color palette of his dreams to a Monument Valley sunset. Finch is interested in the physical, cultural, and psychological factors that shape perception, examining the effect of light on an object's color, the boundaries of the human field of vision, and the influence of language, memory, and the subconscious.

Spencer Finchwas born in 1962 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Hamilton College, and Doshisha University in Kyoto, and has exhibited internationally. Finch had a major solo exhibition, What Time is it on the Sun?, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, which was accompanied by a monograph with essays by Susan Cross and Daniel Birnbaum. His recent solo exhibition, As if the Sea Should Part and Show a Further Sea, was exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, in 2009. Finch was also included in the Making Worldsexhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale, and has a solo exhibition forthcoming at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in September 2010. His work is held in important museum collections, including those of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and Guggenheim Museum, New York

So the lecture starts at 6:30pm.. I'd suggest you get there early.. cause everyone MAO knows will be there...to oooh.. and ahhh.. over Spencer Finch and his amazing art!

Artist Talk with Spencer Finch
Parsons Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
6:30 pm


Aperture Gallery & Bookstore
547 West 27 Street, 4th floor
New York, New York

April 06, 2010

Last Chance to see.. Ruben Natal-San Miguel's "NY, NY Concrete Jungle" Show!

This is your last chance to see.. Ruben Natal-San Miguel's "NY, NY Concrete Jungle" show at +Kris Graves Projects!

The show closes on April 10th, and the gallery is at 111 Front Street, Suite 225, Brooklyn, NY Miguel-Duo_once_upon_a_time_Harlem_2007 11201. Plus, this show was curated by photography great, and MAO favorite, Matthew Pillsbury.

OK.. We know.. going all the way out to Brooklyn is not going to happena small hassle. But, you will not be sorry. This is one show not to miss. Many of you might know Ruben Natal-San Miguel from his hyperprolific art blog, "ArtMostFierce." But beside being an obsessed contemporary photo collector, Ruben is also quite a skilled street photographer. The show, his first solo project, and is packed full of strong hit you right where you live images. It is NY street grit and glam at it's best. (Photo #1, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, "Duo- Once Upon a Time, Harlem, 2007," C-Print)

If you like the work of photographer Zoe Strauss, you've got to see this show.

Miguel-Apollo_MJ_Memorial_Harlem_09 Here's a small overreaching thoughtful note from the show's press release...

Like Ruben's Philadelphia friend and influence, photographer Zoe Strauss, he elevates these "UNSEEN" people and places with poetic vision, working to create an endearing meaningful life lesson of what it's like when the human spirit makes the best of what others may consider to be so little. This photographic project captures the beauty and struggle of everyday life which resonates as a social document of our time, and as a sheer and powerful visual art" - Mike Hoeh

The show includes a total portfolio of intriguing images, taken on the streets of Harlem over the last 5 years.

(Photo #2, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Apollo M.J. Memorial Harlem 2009, C-Pint)

So the show is only up for a few more days.. so get out your subway maps.. and check it out the show.

October 23, 2009

Edward Burtynsky Photos.. Defied Recession Gravity

Edward Burtynsky Photos.. Defied Recession Gravity.

For those long time MAO readers.. it will come to no surprise that MAO is an avid fan of Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky. Yes.. we know.. Edward's work is big, colorful, over-hyped, straightforward, expensive, often pretty, very "corporate", safe, etc.. just about everything most fine art photography scholars and contemporary art snobs love to poke fun of.. but yes.. MAO loves his images.

But.. here's a little secret.. The auction world LOVES Burtynsky Too!!

So while photo auction results have been poor.. some artist's works are still breaking records. 

Check out this outcome from last week's October 15th, Phillips Photography Auction Sale in London..


Lot #88

Edward_Burtynsky_Oxford_tire_pile_1999Edward Burtynsky

Oxford Tire Pile #1, Westley, California, 1999
Colour coupler print. 68.6 x 86.4 cm. (27 x 34 in).  Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 1/10 on a label affixed to the reverse of the mount.

ESTIMATE £7,000-9,000

Actual Realized Total Sale Price including Auction House Premium

£30,000....Or... Approx $ 49,200 !!!

PROVENANCE Acquired directly from the artist

EXHIBITED Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, touring exhibition, including National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 31 January – 4 May, 2003 and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, 7 October 2005 – 15 January, 2006 (each another example exhibited)

LITERATURE Yale University Press, Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, 2003, p. 112; Steidl, China: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, 2005, p. 18


OK.. so just a few MAO stupid thoughts about this photo and these auction results...

  1. Wow..It's a pretty cool photo
  2. This was not the largest size print this image comes in.
  3. $49,200 is a ridiculous huge number.. to pay for a living photographer's image
  4. Why was the auction presale estimate so low? Like how clueless were the stupid people at Phillips?
  5. One high auction result does not mean too much, it may have been just 2 hedge fund guys with little wankers huge egos trying to out do each other
  6. Other Burtynsky images have also done well before.. but nothing quite like this.
  7. The image was in the recent Brooklyn Museum Show
  8. God Damn that a lot of tires!!
  9. Up until a few weeks ago..You could probably have bought this photo from one of the too many 7 Official Burtynsky Dealers around the world for only $25,000
  10. There are 9 More of these photos out there in this size.. plus at least 3 (or maybe 6) more in the larger print size.. plus some artist proofs floating around..plus he could always print more..
  11. MAO owns one of these phoos that he really should consider selling soon!! that should probably come out of cold storage.
  12. Who'd want to hang this depressing image on the wall in their home?
  13. Burtynsky is a great photographer and history will show him as one of the most important from our generation
  14. There are several better Burtynsky images in the MAO Collection..and we need to call Phillips our insurance company ASAP.

Well.. So...what do you think?

FYI.. For those who don't know.. there's a new Burtynsky Show "OIL" at the Corcoran Gallery Of Art in Washington DC, he also has a new great book Edward Burtynsky: Oilpublished by Steidl.

Plus there are NYC and  Toronto Gallery shows which just opened up. It's the Nicholas Metivier Galleryin Toronto, and in NYC, it's in the old Charles Cowles Gallery (R.I.P.) Space on 24th street at the newly relocated & renamed  Hasted Hunt Gallery Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery..The show in NYC is up until November 28th.

August 19, 2008

Ryan James MacFarland, a young photographer worth checking out

Ryan James MacFarland, a young photographer worth checking out.

Ryan_James_macfarland If you like the work of Ryan McGinley or even 2008 Whitney Biennial star Melanie Schiff, you should take a look at the work of this still wet behind the lens recent NYU graduate.

Ryan James MacFarland has a small solo show up at the tiny emerging  MERGE gallery on west 20th street.

And you can see more of his work on this website.

This 2006 graduate, Ryan James MacFarland, worked briefly for photographer Ryan McGinley, and you can see he learned quite a bit from his boss. His use of light, water and his focus on today's youth culture lifestyle is all somewhat similar to McGinley's.

(Photo #1, Ryan James MacFarland, Suspended, 36 x 24, c-print)

Ryan_James_MacFarland_gaelan2 The works in the show range in size from 36" x 20" to small 8" x 10".. it's nice to see a photographer not caught up in the bigger is better circus. It's also nice to see a young photographer's work priced accordingly.. some of these images start as cheap as $350.

(Photo #2, Ryan James MacFarland, Greece, c-print)

The show, titled, "almost", is at Merge Gallery and is running from July 17 through August 30, 2008.

If you have some time to spend in Chelsea.. it's worth checking out.

March 19, 2008

Artist Interview - Josh Azzarella - Part 1

So, you may not know the work of Video/Photographer/New Media Artist Josh Azzarella yet.. but you will!! Trust MAO! You will be hearing a lot more about this young artist..
First off..  Josh has the honor of being the first big solo show for the grand re-opening of the latest established Chelsea gallery high rent-refugee to move to the more hip and happening Lower East Side. See DCKT moves to LES.. Show opens March 20th.

Secondly.. We at MAO have been a fan from the first day we saw Josh's work. We find it bold and innovative. Josh has integrated new technology (digital video and photography) with our image obsessed culture to ask historically thought provoking questions. He's created new video and stills from well known subject matter, hence the new images are all somewhat familiar.. but they leave the viewer asking the question.. What if ??

(photo #1,     Untitled #15 (Tank Man) 2006, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", note.. here's the Pre-Josh original Column of Tanks vs. Man at Tiananmen Square press image, more details here)

Thirdly.. Josh is a blogger. and all new young smart ambitious enterprising artists have blogs..

Josh_azzarela_untitled_28_ce_133_bFourthly.. Josh won the 2006 Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and most NYC collectors still have yet to discover his work and his prices are still very affordable!

(Photo #2, Untitled #28 (CE 133-B), 2006, archival digital c-print, 30 x 20"..
Note.. here's the pre-Josh Lee Harvey Oswald photo)

so now that MAO's got your attention.. here's the first half of a Q&A with artist Josh Azzarella...

MAO : Hey Josh, So, why did you become an Artist?

JA :    I don't feel as if I consciously chose to do this. For various reasons, other career paths didn't work out, and one day I picked up a camera and started making photographs around town.    Next thing I knew, I had completed an undergrad art program and was on my way to grad school.

MAO : So, many of your works involve altering (or re-writing) recent American history.

Why did you make these works, and not something else?

JA : In early 2000, I began looking at the breakdown of technology and communication. I was watching videos online (several years before YouTube) and they would stutter, stammer and, more frequently Josh_azzarella_untitled_33_balconythan not, simply quit playing. Sometimes, during or after the initial failure, I would think I saw movement in the image but wasn't sure and worked to try and detect any change in frames. This led me to question how slowly a moving image could move before it's no longer a moving image.

(Photo #3, Untitled #33 (Balcony), 2007, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30"..
Note.. here's the original pre-Josh image from the 1972 Munich Olympics Terror Massacre)   

But simply slowing down a piece of footage via software or hardware isn't the solution, as it makes the movement very obvious – when the frames do progress, they jerk from one to the next. This led me to develop a system of manipulation that involves layering, varying opacity, offsetting and recursive frames. This system yields a slow moving, undulating piece of footage. Initially, I made several small tests, and within 6 months had created the first piece, Untitled #3 (B.B.).

Concurrently, I was interested in personal memory, collective memory and cachectic energy, mostly due to the constant replaying of 9/11 images and the removal of the World Trade Center from contexts such as movies, etc. Add these interests up and the results are Untitled #3, 4, 34, 36 and 45 - works in which a recognizable piece of footage is rendered unrecognizable and new as a result of the obfuscation process. As I was completing the second obfuscated piece I realized what was happening and wanted to make work that didn't obscure the source imagery but altered it, which leads to #6 and the rest of the work. . 

MAO : You've been working with still photography, Video, and the creative use of new age computer technology... If you had to, how would you currently classify yourself as an artist..? Video, Photographer, digital, or something else? Do you see staying with this media for the rest of your career?

JA : Classification is a daunting task. It's a task I've never set out to accomplish. So to that end, when Josh_azzarella_untitled_13_ahsf_2asked this question, I point to a passage written about the work when it was at Lawrimore Project in  Seattle. The passage is contained within an article where Elizabeth Bryant uses the term "post-medium" to describe both the work and my practice. I feel this term gets pretty close to how I feel about the medium as a tool and not the focus of the work itself.

(Photo #4, Untitled #13 (AHSF), 2006, archival digital c-print, edition of 7 + 3 AP, 20 x 30".. Note, here's the initial press photo the image is based on from Abu Ghraib - Iraq US POWs torture)

As for the future, I don't foresee any change in media primarily because I have the next group of works tentatively plotted out and they take me through 2010-2012. However, if the work necessitates a change then yes, of course, but there aren't many things I'm interested in making that I can't in some way generate from in front of my laptop.

MAO : So far, which artists has been the biggest influence on you and your art work?

JA : I can’t really identify one person, however I find myself looking time and time again at the work of Gerhard Richter, Robert Frank, Sherrie Levine, Walker Evans, Michal Rovner, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Eugene Atget, Sharon Lockhart, John Gerrard, Susan Sontag, Rineke Dijkstra, John F. Simon Jr. and Shirin Neshat.

OK.. Stay Tuned my little MAO-ettes.. Part II of the Josh Azzarella interview will be posted tomorrow..

December 09, 2007

A few things we learned at Art Basel Miami Beach!

Well.. besides learning where to get the best Mojito in North America..

A few things about artists we love, that we learned while getting shit faced drunk at Art Basel Miami Beach 2007..

1. Photographer Nikki S. Lee has just stepped up to the Big Time, and will now be represented by the contemporary art  powerhouse Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

2. Photographer Phillip Lorca DiCorcia has also left the incredibly unfriendly people at Pace/McGill to go to the David Zwirner Gallery.

3. Painter Chris Dorland will have his next show at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago.  Rhona had several of Chris Dorland works in their Booth at ABMB. 

4. Ellen Harvey,

5. Mika Rottenberg, and

6. Photographer Melanie Schiff were all chosen for the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

7. Photographer David Hillard does actually claim to know Bernard Toale..even though David never seems to show up where Bernie thinks David should be!

Congrats to all the artists above.. we at MAO are so deeply happy to see these artists success and have their prices go up and up get the public recognition they all so rightfully Installationview01_ellen_harveydeserve! It's all Good! Congrats to all!

(photo of an Ellen Harvey installation of several Invisible Self Portrait paintings, 2007)

September 17, 2007

Jennifer Bartlett's Amagansett Drawings at The Drawing Room, East Hampton

September is our favorite time to be in East Hampton. Most of the hordes of nasty tourists summer people have left for NYC, and the town begins to return back to a charming country village.

This year there are also some impressive art shows. Our first pick... is Jennifer Bartlett's Amagansett Drawings at The Drawing Room, East Hampton. 


These are a total Wow! We've always loved Jennifer's work, but these pastel works are beautiful, sophisticated, and with just enough of a hint of her signature style by this Modern Art Master.

You may have missed the shows review in this weekend's Sunday New York Times since it was only in the Long Island Section.. but  Benjamin Genocchio's article is right on, and well worth a read.

There was also a review in the East Hampton Star by Isabel Carmichael.

Sadly the gallery, The Drawing Room, is one of our favorite out there in the Hamptooooons.. but, it doesn't have a very complete website. Maybe some MAO readers might give gallery owner Emily Goldstein a call and offer to help them out... cause they seem to be a bit web-technically challenged out there!!

FYI.. All the works in the show were sold in the first day or 2, and only 2 images are even on the gallery website. So don't just take MAO's word on this show.. go see them for yourself!!

November 30, 2006

Interview with Painter Chris Dorland

It's one year since we first saw the impressive work of young painter Chris Dorland down at ~Scope Miami'05.  He truly made a big splash with his hyper-acid color utopian paintings among collectors during Art Basel. Chris_dorland_untitled_green_1 Within months his paintings immediately become impossible difficult to come by.  Now, Chris has a new show opening in LA next week, but he was kind enough to give some of his NY City Art fans a sneak preview. (Photo #1, Chris Dorland, Untitled (Green), 2006, Oil on linen 32"x48") In fact, I hear the LA show is already 100% sold out well before these painting are ever getting put up on those wrong west coast gallery walls!! 

We had a chance to chat with Chris, so here's part 1 of a brief MAO Interview :

MAO Q1: Why did you decide to become an Artist? When the painter Paul Delaroche saw the first daguerreotype in 1839, he famously exclaimed, "From today, painting is dead!"  So, with such a huge expansion of art into new media, why choose "traditional" brush, oil, and canvas?

C. DORLAND A1: Ironically as a kid I always thought I'd be a lawyer. My whole family did. Not that there was much pressure, but I was really into rhetoric and it just made sense. My parents were both bohemians and I didn’t want to be anything like them. By age 8, I was an aspiring yuppy. In my early teens I got into graffiti. That was my first real passion. That and skateboarding, but I was much better at graffiti. Until that time I had never been particularly artistic. But I’d always liked to solve problems.

At any rate, I found graffiti really poetic and I loved roaming the city by myself at night. That’s where I developed an intimate relationship to the urban environment. The first couple of years I did it mostly in isolation. When I finally began to meet other writers I was disappointed. Their intentions were ultimately unsophisticated. The street poet veneer wore thin quickly and the magic died for me. Plus I was tired of getting arrested. All my friends were into one subculture or another. The club scene was a pretty big deal. I felt like the whole youth thing had run its course. So I decided to become an artist.

As for painting being dead, I instinctively knew that was bullshit. My Mom had a copy of Art After Modernism lying around the house. The first art essay I ever read was “Last Exit: Painting” by Tom Lawson. I was 18 years old. The only thing I took away from it was, I should be a neo-expressionist painter. I had completely misunderstood the thesis.

MAO Q2 : Photorealists artists like Chuck Close and Richard Estes focus the real subject of their paintings on the way in which they've interpreted photographs. Many MAO readers are Art photographers, photography dealers, and photo collectors. Can you explain how and why you use photography in creating your paintings? How does the use of photography, and the classic "photographic eye"  affect your work?

C. DORLAND A2: I'm really a closet photorealist. It’s my favorite kind of painting but hard to pull off successfully. To make a painting by copying a photograph is a completely literal act. It’s a totally Johnsian impulse. That’s where Richter comes from. So does Andy. I’m a very straightforward and literal person so it appeals to my sensibility.

Chris_dorland_what_dies_for_me_to_live With my work I aim to get many of the preliminary decisions like composition and color figured out on the computer. I think painting is like robbing a bank. The faster I can get the job done, the greater the success. I don’t like to waste time unnecessarily. (Photo #2, Chris Dorland, What dies for me to live, 2006
oil on linen,56"x72

I do most of the plotting and figuring out beforehand on the computer. My process is getting more and more layered. There are many steps that involve scanning, printing and drawing. I usually make five to ten versions of each painting on the computer. Once I’m done, I select the print I like best. Only then do I get around to the actual painting. From then on the only thing I care about is the energy of the object I’m working on. For me painting is an act of translation and reconstruction.

Ultimately I’m interested in modernity. In the ways modern technologies affect the way we see the world. Making paintings that are generated from photographic sources is a modern way of considering the world.

MAO Q3 : Ever since photography, painters had to react to it. The Modernist movements in 20th-century painting has frequently been thought of as a reaction to the increasing possibilities of photography. Today, Gerhard Richter works from snapshots, while Marilyn Minter takes her own stylized color photographs, but both have frequently used images from their life experience.  Where do you get your initial photographic source material and why did you choose these utopian landscapes?

C. DORLAND A3: In a way this picks up on my last answer. I knew from the very beginning that my work was going to deal with photography and film. My generation, those of us who were kids in the eighties, all tend to be concerned, in some way or another, with the blurring of reality and virtuality. I’ve been conscious of this blur since I was very young.

I grew up on movies like Robocop, Running Man and Total Recall.  They were packaged like sci-fi action flicks but those movies all had somewhat profound political reflections on the future. They were my first contact with cyber punk. Electronic music was a continuation of that. So was J.G Ballard. His books gave me the conviction to visualize what I was thinking.

The first fair painting I made was in 2001 and I just sort of fell on the source. It was based on a photo of the “Firestone Pavilion” from New York’s 1939 worlds fair. I thought it was amusing because at the time Firestone was being sued. The company had knowingly sold faulty tires after calculating the lawsuits would be cheaper than a recall.

The juxtaposition of the lawsuit, which was unfolding in real time, alongside the nostalgic old picture of the pavilion made fireworks go off. I saw the gap between the utopian promise that capitalism had so successfully sold to North America after World War II and the destructive drive for profit that capitalism now represents. (photo #3, Chris Dorland, Untitled (burning dome), 2006
ink/enamel/photcollage on paper,40"x50

Chris_dorland_untitled_burning_done Also at the time I was going to SUNY Purchase. The Purchase campus was meant be the great SUNY art school. Philip Johnson designed it. The model was first exhibited at MOMA in the seventies. Architecturally that campus was a total train wreck. The irony didn’t go unnoticed.

MAO Q4: The last few years, a great deal of attention has been given to the Leipzig School painters. Have these artists had any influenced on your work? If not these artists, are there any who've been a big influence?

C. DORLAND A4: This sounds a bit ridiculous because of the age gap and success differential, but I always thought of Neo Rauch as a peer. I first saw his work in 2002 and by that time my ideas were already in place. My only thought was that we were both working with similar subject matter.

A few years later the whole Leipzig thing happened I realized there was whole lot of them. Like clowns coming out of a VW. At that point I knew that it was a completely academic impulse that came from a European tradition of painting and drawing. I’ve never thought of any of them since. Conceptually I feel much closer to artists like Kelly Walker, Wade Guyton or Sean Paul.

My artistic roots are Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol. That’s it. Malcolm Morley and David Deutsch were also important to me. I met Malcolm a number of times under unusual circumstances. He was quite mean to me in fact. But his cruelty was inspiring. It made me work harder.

...More from Chris Dorland, Part 2 Tomorrow..

May 23, 2006

Loretta Lux, Photo Art Super Star to Stay, or Over Priced Flash in the Pan??

Happy Tuesday MAO readers.. So.. I'm hearing from several of my NYC photo/art crazy obsessed friends.. Don't miss the new Loretta Lux, completely new "Sold Out," show at the Yossi Milo Gallery!!

The_waitinggirl_lorettaluxIt's her second solo show, and its up till June 24th. Here is one of Loretta Lux newest classically disturbing works. "The Waiting Girl", Ilfochrome Print, 2006.

For those totally clueless who are not familiar with Loretta Lux, these are combination works of photography, painting and digital software manipulation. One expert,in American Photo determined her technique as "Gaussian Blur, Unsharp Masking, and Level Controls from Photoshop"

Her work has been hotly trashed, & praised debated in envious art circles..But the question remains..Loretta Lux, is it Photography, or Contemporary Art??  Is she an Art Genius or a passing fad? Is her haunting Child images a MUST HAVE for any serious modern collection or a total waste of money? Her work is reported in Yossi's press release to be currently included in many high profile museum collections, though I have yet to see it on display at a US museum.

As for me.. I hated reacted strongly to her work when I first saw it, I think it's scary,creepy somewhat original, but felt it was a total rip off a bit expensive. They typically cost about $25k+ for the larger prints 20x20 inches, edition of 7, and around $9k+ for the 11x11inch edition of 20, which I thought high for such a brand spanking new artist.  Doing the simple math, this values each image Loretta creates at about $350,000 in total. Which, I'd guess, probably puts her in the top 15% of all living producing contemporary artists today. Is this reasonable??  It's also been curious to see her work come up so soon at auction several times in the last 2 years. Are art insiders flipping these over hyped works for a quick buck before it crashes?   But so far, they've always been selling at auction for at least 90% of the current retail price and sometimes way higher.

Well.. MAO readers.. So.. Clearly I have no idea why so many lemmings people are paying so much for collecting these.. What do you think?

May 04, 2006

A night of Mark Bradford and Dana Schutz

Can Life get any better..??? Two Hot Artists in one night!

Mark_bradfordLast night Mark Bradford (Photo #1) gave a very candid and insightful lecture at the Whitney.
As part of the Whitney Biennial artist lecture program, Mark talked in depth about  his work currently in this years show, as well about his many other projects.

In the Biennial, Mark Bradford's two large scale somewhat abstract paper collage work (Photo #2 Los Moscos 2004) which he frequently refers to as "Paintings" are his renderings of urban maps. Filled with interesting commentary on  economic and social context within urban American culture, these landscapes are rich in details from his life in inner city LA.  Mark is a very dynamic and entertaining speaker,
Bradford_losmoscos and we look forward to seeing what comes next for the rising art star. His recent selection to represent the US at the San Paolo Biennial, and his win this week of the 2006 Bucksbaum Award (the last winner was Raymond Pettibon) certainly places Mark Bradford as one of the few artists from this years Whitney Biennial with, most likely, a brighter future ahead of him. It couldn't happen to a nicer girlfriend guy, Congratulations Mark! I hope your new found exposure doesn't change you.

Speaking of Over Exposure!! Can you say.... Dana Schutz!!  So, after attending the lecture I headed downtown to civilization my favorite NYC haunt.. Strand Books!

Dana_schutz There are several new publication I was looking for.. but much to my shock.. I found it's not just the NYC collectors and ArtInfo.com which have gone Young Artist Crazy.  But it would seem the entire art book publishing industry as well!! Sitting right next to the new Jasper Johns: Catenary book, believe it or not, was the very young, 2002 Columbia MFA Grad super hot Dana Schutz new artist monograph!

Dana Schutz :Paintings 2002 - 2005, published by D.A.P, Distributed Art Publishers, www.artbook.com, in 2006 for her recent show at the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University. I guess the show ran from Jan 19th to April 9, 2006. The book includes an essay by Katy Siegel and a conversation between Dana Schutz and Raphaela Platow the shows curator. It also has no less than 46 plates of her paintings.. hmm.. But, at her age, what was there to curate? Could she have possibly painted any more art works?  Well..needles to say.. I had to buy a copy! After all.. She's Dana Schutz! Be sure to pick up yours soon.. it's bound to sell out fast!

Also.. if you've not done so yet.. be sure to place your bet in our May Monthly Art Quiz!

December 03, 2005

Chris Dorland @ Scope Miami

Chris Dorland, originally uploaded by Bromirski.

I Found this Photo on flickr.
Artist Chris Dorland standing with 2 of his great paintings.