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Artist Crush: Alexandra Duprez

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Paintings by French artist Alexandra Duprez.

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BSDA Artist Interview: Ellen Siebers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Siebers is now exhibiting six of her paintings on Buy Some Damn Art.

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The Awk The Orchard

KATE: There’s a great deal of talk about the art scene in Bushwick. Living in Brooklyn and having exhibited in multiple shows in Bushwick what would you say about all the hype? Is Bushwick really the pulse point of new art?

ELLEN: I think the best part of what’s going on in Bushwick is that it is a supportive community for artists. If I’ve learned anything about living as a professional artist, it is that good things usually happen (shows, getting work) by your artist friends talking about you and your work to others. That is all to say that your community is extremely important and Bushwick is a place that these crucial friendships are given the chance to flourish. There’s so much energy in Bushwick right now. However, I hope there isn’t a singular pulse point for new art. This idea of living and working in the NYC area as an artist has lived for so long, and while it is still important and a great place to be, I have just as many artist friends living elsewhere who are contributing in an equal capacity. We constantly need to rethink models/ways of how to exist as professional artists.

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Armlessness II

KATE: Is Brooklyn still (one of) the best place to live and work as an artist?

ELLEN: I think the best place to live and work as an artist can only be defined by each individual artist, and their needs for making the best work that they can. It is one of the best places, but there have to be so many places of equal importance for different reasons.

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Cross Leg Cross Tack

KATE: You paint on marble ground. What exactly is that and why do you chose this material?

ELLEN: Marble ground or a marble gesso is a traditional way of making a painting ground, but it behaves very differently than the gesso that can be purchased at the store. It is made out of a binder (rabbit skin glue, PVA) and marble dust. It has to be poured upon a rigid surface, like plywood, because it would crack if put upon canvas.

I struggled with grounds for a long time before finding this surface. I always loved the absorbency and quality of paper, and the acrylic gessos were too resistant for my taste. This ground soaks up paint very quickly in the first few layers and has a beautiful matte surface, much like paper. It can also take a lot of abuse, which is good because I often sand off layers of paint with a hand sander and start over. It is both delicate and sturdy, which would seem impossible but I feel I need both qualities in a surface.

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Blanketed

KATE: Tell us about the works in this show. Where do these visual themes come from?

ELLEN: These works in the show are recent, from the last year or so. During that time I had moved from Wisconsin to Brooklyn which really exposed a lot of my ties to Midwestern terrestrial forms and experiences. I spent a lot of time taking in imagery in my surroundings and comparing that to memories of where I grew up. That being said, I don’t feel that the paintings are overwhelmingly nostalgic. I more have a sincere interest in trying to document this type of experience that I’m sure others experience as well. The paintings are an attempt to recall these experiences and document them the best that I can without the assistance of things like photography.

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A Lesson In Water

KATE: What is most inspiring to you right now – either in your art practice or life in general?

ELLEN: Two specific things I am finding really inspiring are the Shakers, and Blinky Palermo. Their specific spiritual tendencies are really interesting to me. I am trying to navigate through things very slowly and be as sponge-like as possible, and I find a lot of material through that daily exercise.

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Artist Crush: Molly Martin

Monday, September 15, 2014

Artwork by UK freelance illustrator Molly Martin

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Cynthia Ona Innis: Shift

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beautiful, ethereal paintings by Bay Area artist Cynthia Ona Innis at Traywick Contemporary.

“In her latest body of work Cynthia Ona Innis explores environmental transitions and shifting terrains above and below the surface, from the geysers of Iceland to the fault lines of our own Eastern Sierras. Icy Nordic lakes and the scorched deserts of California become ethereal abstractions, investigating the power and possibilities of an environment that is constantly evolving.”

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BSDA ARTIST INTERVIEW: Liza Lacroix

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Liza Lacroix is a Brooklyn-based artist from Montreal whose art is now exhibiting on Buy Some Damn Art. Her paintings are lush tempestuous explorations of gesture and abstraction and remind me of one of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt, and his protégé Egon Schiele.

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Untitled (10)

KATE: There is so much drama and emotion in your artwork despite the fact that it is abstract. Where does that energy come from and how do you express it so well in your paintings?

LIZA: I’ve always been attracted to works of art that have a dramatic and intense energy. I’m also a very dramatic and emotional person in general in my daily life so I guess that just translates naturally into the paintings.

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KATE: These paintings, especially Untitled 8, 9, and 10, remind me of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. There are hints of a body, a head, a dress or a hat, but the rest is obscured by dramatic, ethereal detail. Have you noticed the similarity?

LIZA: Yes, definitely! I’m a big fan of Egon Schiele especially the way he manipulates paint. I also love how Klimt simplifies certain areas into large shapes filled with pattern. I’m interested in abstracting the figure to a certain point where you’re no longer really able to see a full figure but still completely feel it’s presence.

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Untitled  (8)

KATE: Your earlier works clearly evolved from traditional portraiture. How has your art progressed to this current state of abstraction and expressionism.

LIZA: I’ve recently been working on two separate series. Large paintings on canvas that lend themselves more to the traditional practice of portraiture since they have dark gradient backgrounds, and the ones here are a result of working on paper and much smaller dimensions. Naturally the work became more abstract because of the material and size limitations. I’m a strong believer in not forcing or battling with paint to much. Accidents are always very welcomed.

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KATE: Making art can be very solitary and elusive. How do you stay motivated when things are slow?

LIZA: I’m really competitive. I try to attend a lot of art openings which usually gives me a kick in the butt to get back to the studio and work harder.

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KATE: What is the most exciting thing in your art practice (or life) right now?

LIZA: I’m getting ready to go on a trip to Trinidad this winter with my partner and back to Europe for a big trip in the spring.

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