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Louise Despont

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Louise Despont’s Pure Potential, exhibited at The Drawing Room, seems to mark a shift for the artist. The large-scale piece, with its reds and greens and blues, and simple geometry form a carpet of abstract pattern reminiscent of Sonia Delauney. Despont’s more complicated works, which I find very compelling, are a bit esoteric. In those other works there is a marked tension between the grids that form the basis of her drawings and the shifting, undulating forms, symbols, and architectural elements. Here there is life, brightness – something many people will delight in. Pure Potential 1-4 also happens to be available as a textile installation by Maharam.

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Natalia Yovane: Medicina Sagrada

Monday, May 16, 2016

Natalia Yovane is a Chilean-born, Brooklyn-based artist and the founder of artpowwow. Her work, Medicina Sagrada, is currently on display at Remedie Herb Shop. Yovane’s drawings have incredible detail, all created with a simple ballpoint pen.

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Buy Some Damn Art(ist) Interview: Marianna Peragallo

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Marianna Peragallo is a Brazilian-American artist whose show on Buy Some Damn Art includes drawings from two of her simple yet mesmerizing series, Two Women and Braids. Below is an interview with the artist about this work and her approach as an artist.

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1. What is your series Two Women about?

“Two Women” was inspired by a mentor of mine, so I thought of this series as an homage to her. Some of my works have the subtext of female relationships with other women or themselves. This piece documents a series of simple but intimate moments between the two women, like film stills. The two women are performing a ritual symbiotically in the first few drawings. They wash and brush their hair side by side and their hair braids together. Then one woman, presumably a more experienced woman, teaches the other to braid her hair. She is then able to do it on her own, and returns the favor to the woman who taught her. So there is an exchange happening between the women, a transfer of knowledge from one to the other. For BSDA we chose 6 drawings from the full series of 12. The last drawing (Two Women 6/6) shows one woman with her hair braided, which signifies the end of that cycle. The last drawing in the full series shows a woman undoing that braid, and re-starting the cycle.

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2. Can you speak to the fact that the figures in your drawings have hair and arms but no faces?

Originally Two Women was a video, but I realized that having all the other visual context was distracting from the core of the work, which is the gesture of the women’s hands and their hair. When we reflect on memories, we often remember in fragments and specific moments. So the omission of their faces and bodies highlights the essential elements of the story.

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3. What is the appeal for you of drawing, simply working with graphite on paper, in an age of so many other forms of media?

Drawing is so timeless, which makes it the best format for my conceptual interests right now. It’s one of the oldest way of communicating and making art, and it’s also very contemporary. Drawing is also such a tremendous pleasure and challenge for me, which is important. For some reason I used to think that I couldn’t draw, and now it’s such a big part of my practice.

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4. You mention the longevity of drawings in your artist statement. Do you imagine your work will be viewed by people a hundred years from now?

That would be amazing! I like the idea of my drawings outliving me. But what I meant in my artist statement is that drawings in earthy materials like graphite and charcoal have a unique dual nature because they are erasable and can be smudged, yet those materials are so archival and can withstand hundreds of years. Surely paper can tear or yellow, and the drawing may fade a bit, but carbon based media is very resilient. Cave paintings, drawings, and letters from centuries ago have taught us so much about the world. It is incredible that they survived to tell the stories of their makers. So the longevity of drawing is more interesting to me as a concept because it creates a parallel between drawing and the function of memory. Memory can become faded, colored, or altered but the essence remains and gets passed on through stories.

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5. You are originally from Brazil, lived in Philadelphia and now Brooklyn. Has location and local culture played into your art?

You are correct, I am from Brazil! My family moved around a lot for my dads job once we came to the states so I’ve lived in Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, upstate New York, Philly, and now New York City. I think my work responds to local cultures in subtle ways, but it’s not a focus. Moving frequently certainly informs my interest in memory, time, and the flexible boundaries of past, present, and future, and the mind’s ability to traverse and compress them. I suppose when you move around a lot, there can be a sense of displacement and nostalgia for people and places that are not a part of your present. Ultimately my recent drawings aim to simultaneously solidify a moment and emphasize the transience of time and memory.

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Miranda Skoczek: Fragments and Fantasy

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

These large-scale paintings are by Melbourne-based artist Miranda Skoczek from her new show Fragments and Fantasy at Arthouse. Contrary to popular belief abstract art is tough to crack. In lieu of subjects or themes, abstract art often relies on the viewer’s familiarity of the canon of Art That Has Come Before, and that can make it a real effort to approach. Furthermore when seemingly everything has already been done or said, the question is, how can artists make abstract art their own?

I love what Arthouse had to say about Miranda’s work: “Skoczek’s paintings are not preoccupied with the web of politics or conceptualism that mires so much contemporary art; rather, they center on the pure physicality and alchemy of painting… ‘Fragments and Fantasy’ represents a fusion of everyday life with whimsy, decoration and symbolism, the works metonymically acting as material fragments of the artist’s mind.”

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BSDA Artist Interview with Jem Magbanua

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Today we have a new show on Buy Some Damn Art of art made by Jem Magbanua who also participated in BSDA’s “Young Artists” show a few years back. Jem lives in Singapore where she also earned her BFA from LASALLE College of the Arts. Magbanua’s work explores ideas of the nature of place, of human beings in place, and of the organic and built structures that shape such being. She feels that the act of drawing allows her to reflect on these ideas, collapsing elements from the physical and imagined into one another.

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And here’s what Jem told us about her art:

Could you tell us about this series?

This body of work comes from two different series from 2014 and 2015.

The Interiors series stemmed out from my interest in domestic spaces as places of refuge. These drawings attempt to capture the various elements that give meaning to a space. It may be in the form of a row of potted plants that line a balcony or the familiar afternoon light that casts a shadow against one’s glass door.

The rest of the works (The Move, (Some) Fragments / I, (Some) Fragments / IV) were inspired by my trip to Kyoto, Japan in 2015. I was drawn to how nature is intrinsic to the Japanese’s everyday existence. Their architecture seamlessly weaves into the natural surroundings as if it, too, sprung from the ground. These drawings contemplate one’s contemporary relationship to landscape and attempt to find a grammar of visual impressions that enable one to understand it.

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Do the landscapes and houses in your work exist in a particular location? 

Yes, the landscape and interior spaces I paint are personal to me for each one is a place I have had the chance to experience, whether it be through simply walking past it or by living in it for a certain period of time. The experience of these spaces becomes intensified in memory when I translate them into drawings.

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How do photography and architecture figure into your work? 

My own practice has always probed and mimicked photographs, not life. I have always appropriated directly from images that move me to create. There’s nothing spectacular about the way I take photographs. I have amassed a collection of haphazardly shot digital photos from my various walks. Yet, however photographically mundane a landscape or interior may be, it has the potential to carry some sort of peculiar charm to it when drawn or painted.

My fascination with urban architecture arose in Singapore when I began to question what it is that influence our notions of “home” and how our cities affect the way we orient ourselves, both physically and in our minds.

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Do you also work as a commercial illustrator? 

Yes, I do. I’m one of the illustrators for a creative digital agency based in Copenhagen, called Spokespeople. At the same time, I do my own freelance illustration projects.

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 What are your favorite sources of inspiration? 

Growing-up in cities such as Singapore and the Philippines, two bustling megalopolises, deeply influence my work. I usually soak up most of my inspiration by simply meandering through these spaces. Additionally, reading through books on landscape architecture, gardens, writings on urban life, and poetry help me piece together new drawings.

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