Archives for category: art

Susan Mikula uses expired and aged Polaroid film found at rummage sales to capture images of decimated Americana, ghostly figures, and haunting landscapes.  Like the badly outdated film itself, the images tell a story of the American Dream gone sour.  As her website describes, “Mikula has captured a fading aspect of a bygone era with fading film and an obsolete technology.”  Whether derelict and deserted industrial buildings, docks, or houses, the images all evoke the same feeling of barely remembered, semi-coherent dreams and memories. Mikula’s work is showing in Secretly Seeking at the Curatorium in Hudson, New York.

Susan Mikula

Susan Mikula, desidero 01

Susan Mikula, american vale

Susan Mikula, desidero 44

-Jayme Catalano

I was so honored to be a guest on the What is Art? Blog Talk Radio show recently.  Our topics of conversation included public relations for artists in the digital age, the rise of social media and visual marketing, branding, and advice on raising your profile among galleries, buyers, and the press.  Take half an hour to listen.

-Jayme Catalano

Chris Cunningham has staged the world’s first “Laser Fueled Robo-Sex Ballet,” Jaqapparatus1.  He began his career sculpting prosthetics, contributing to films like Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, and A.I.  He went on to redefine MTV in the 1990s, creating seminal music videos for Bjork, Madonna, and Aphex Twin.  After realizing that creating music videos for other artist’s music could be incredibly limiting, Cunningham began creating his music and accompanying videos, employing all the tricks of the trade he had mastered while working in the special effects industry, an effort which culminated in a series of live audio-visual performances in Japan and Europe.  His first installation, Jaqapparatus1, is currently on exhibition at Audi City London.  Two laser-firing robots engage in a brutal, almost sexual dance on a shadowy, sci-fi set.  Comprised of two Talos motion-controlled camera rigs, Cunningham mounted powerful lasers which the robots use to “attack, repel, and communicate with each other, a kind of duel, a surreal mating display which sees each machine trying to dominate the other.”  Watch the video below for a glimpse of the Robo-Sex Ballet.

VIDEO:  Jaqappartus1 for Audi City London

-Jayme Catalano

Oscar Wilde once said, “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”  He also said, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”  Clearly a bit concerned with imagination or a lack thereof, Oscar Wilde would surely have approved of San Francisco based interior designer Ken Fulk, a man who clearly possesses imagination in spades.  His own loft above his design studio in SoMa is punctuated with unique and tasteful pieces of contemporary and classic fine art, bold colors, and varied texture.  Recently photographed by Philip Harvey for the blog Style Saloniste, the loft is an inspiration to those wishing to avoid the boring, unimaginative, or consistent.  Moreover, it is a veritable pantheon devoted to eclecticism and taste.  For more of Ken Fulk’s designs, visit his website.  For more of Philip Harvey’s photography, click here.

Photography by Philip Harvey. Design by Ken Fulk.

-Jayme Catalano

Photograph by Philip Harvey. Design by Ken Fulk.

Photography by Philip Harvey. Design by Ken Fulk.

Photograph by Philip Harvey. Design by Ken Fulk.

Barcelona based artist Guim Tio Zarraluki distills the complex curves of the human figure into basic, single plane geometry.  His subjects are clown-like, comical yet strangely haunting figures with obscured eyes and lifelike lips against matte backgrounds.  He often paints over magazine editorials and one can see the ghostly outline of  fashion models and text.  He recently released a video illustrating his technique using an image of Paul Newman.  Click here to learn more about the artist.

Guun Tui Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

-Jayme Catalano

The Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota is the physical embodiment of jazz, at least according to its architect Frank Gehry.  A temple to modern architecture and what some may call the Bilbao Effect, the museum is a collection of undulating curves, shiny metal and rivets, a futuristic Ait Benhaddou in a Midwestern oasis.  As Gehry says, “Liquid architecture.  It’s like jazz- you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something.  And I think it’s a way of – for me, it’s a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city.”  He believes, “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  The museum, located on the University of Minnesota campus, is  open Tuesdays through Sundays and admission is always free.  Click here to learn more.

Photo by Philip Harvey. All rights reserved.

Photo by Philip Harvey. All rights reserved.

Photo by Philip Harvey. All rights reserved.

Photo by Philip Harvey. All rights reserved.

To see more work by photographer Philip Harvey, click here.

-Jayme Catalano

Ironically, the popularity of digital apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram have revitalized the near corpse that was instant analog film technology.  Located in Holland, the last remaining Polaroid production plant has been purchased and resuscitated by 10 former employees who shared a passion and a dream to save instant film from extinction.  Calling it the Impossible Project, they prevented 300,000 perfectly functioning cameras from becoming obsolete while inventing and producing totally new instant film for use in traditional Polaroid cameras.  Starting from scratch as Polaroid color dyes are no longer available, the team had one year to devise a functional film system.  Several different silver tone and color films were the result of thousands of laboratory hours and decades of joined experience.  Original Polaroid cameras and Impossible film are available for purchase on the company website and in stores throughout the US.

Flow by JL Pictures

Lunchtime Escapade by Doruk C. Yamac

Happy to be COOL by Ashley D. Saldana

-Jayme Catalano

Artist Jenny Saville, a figurative painter, creates work that explores the grotesque, depicting people in various stages of transformation, injury, malign, and distortion.  Her “Closed Contact” series, created between 1995 and 1996, are graphic self-portraits depicting Saville nude lying on Plexiglass and photographed from below by Glen Luchford.  The resulting images explore concepts of body dimorphism, femininity, obesity, aging, and beauty.  She says, “The images offer, not a story, but an experience that begins in visceral uneasiness and gradually shifts to a haunted serenity.  The discomfort is complicated.  It is triggered partly by our sense of the instantaneous monstrosity of a normal human transformed by the spreading of the shape beyond what we understood as normal.”

Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville

More of Saville’s work can be viewed on the Gagosian Gallery website.

-Jayme Catalano

Nick Cann began his career as a set illustrator at MGM Studios during the Golden Age of cinema, later branching out to set and credit designs for television and film.  Using Sharpie markers and pens, Cann creates whimsical worlds with a unique style reminiscent of Naiad and Walter Einsel or Aubrey Beardsley.  Cann, perfecting his art for more than sixty years, says “I like to draw.  I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  My interests are fantasy people and detailed architectural confections.”    Based in Napa, California, his works are available for sale through his website.

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

-Jayme Catalano

The Art WithOut Labels retail gallery is a hip space filled with the artwork of emerging local and international artists.  Created by artists and designers with developmental and related disabilities, much of the work is slightly irreverent and endearingly whimsical.  Started by the non-profit group Alchemia, AWOL empowers artists and provides an opportunity for the community to recognize and support their astounding talent.  The mission of AWOL is “to create a public venue where the intersection of people, media, and invention help to create a more open and inviting community for all.”  AWOL’s artists are talented and unique and their artwork is a reminder that artistry transcends limitations.

If you would like to inquire about purchasing artwork or donating funds to the non-profit organization, please contact Susan Boyle at (415) 320-2126 or email susan[at]alchemia.org.  You can visit the website here.

Bird on Branch, courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery