Robert Chamberlain – Boston, Massachusetts

Fountain 10 2014 Porcelain with porcelain decoration  16" x 14.5" x 16"
Fountain 10
2014
Porcelain with porcelain decoration
16″ x 14.5″ x 16″

Briefly describe the work you do.

I am a conceptual artist living and working in Boston, Massachusetts where I recently received my MFA from Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Art. Working across media (photography, performance, ceramics etc.) to express ideas and promote conversation. I tackle projects that channel a contemporary socio-political issues like surveillance, sexuality, and domesticity through a personal lens.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I was raised on the move in a military family moving from Germany, South Carolina, California, Massachusetts, Georgia and again to MA. Studying photography in undergrad was vital in my arts education.  Georgia State University was an amazing place to be educated both with its location inside of Atlanta and its opportunity to study both art and indulge in sociology, rhetoric, history and sciences. My final project was a sixth month performance of identity at my job of the time waiting tables.  The project culminated in a book of documents and images.

It was in undergrad that I dabbled in the ceramics department filling all of my electives with ceramics classes becoming an honorary ceramics major.  It was in graduate school at SMFA/Tufts that I went back to clay and as my thesis “Fill Me Up” a 106 piece ceramic installation.  this set me on my continued exploration of desire through porcelain.

Fountain 04 2014 Porcelain with porcelain decoration  11" x 14" x 15"

Fountain 04
2014
Porcelain with porcelain decoration
11″ x 14″ x 15″

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

 I think the notion that being an artist means you are struggling over a blank canvas all day waiting for inspiration etc…  is a way out dated and antiquated notion.  While I am sure some artists who identify as a painter do spend some time contemplating the empty space on a canvas, I’m sure they are spending other time reading, researching, and critiquing or doing something outside the limits of the traditional studio.  

My practice is studio and equipment specific most of the time, but that is only considering the physical production of objects.  In order to create a body of work a concept will be thoroughly explored and filtered through that artists lens or voice, in my case lately porcelain. I hold my library time, museum visits, lectures to be just as important if not more than time in my ceramic or digital lab. 

I am currently have a studio in the Harvard Ceramics Program where I am an Independent Artist.  Luckily I live in Boston and am able to take advantage of the many many free talks that are always happening. 

Fountain 03 2014 Porcelain with porcelain decoration  15" x 14" x 14"

Fountain 03
2014
Porcelain with porcelain decoration
15″ x 14″ x 14″

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

At this point in my career my schedule seems to be constantly shifting and studio time has to adjust around that, sometimes meaning studio from 7am -11:30  going to work and then returning after to finish.  Currently I am able to have two half days devoted to the studio and try to get there during the week if I can.  (talking of my studio as the place of physical work being made)

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My work has changed a lot in the last five years going from a photography focused practice to one that thinks much more broadly about media.  Context will also continue to shift my work, having recently graduated from grad school I have an extreme cut off to equipment.  Living in Boston is also drastically different in terms of living space than Atlanta, GA.  If my computer of camera brake tomorrow or i brake my leg my practice will shift again.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My family has had a great deal to do with my work and who I am as a person.  My friends and peers are always inspiring me and making me want to push harder and do more!

Chamberlin_365_workinstudio2If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I think to have the sole occupation of artist is something that few people experience.  I am a teacher, barista, server, etc  Once in a while I do like to fantasize about being a doctor, but  I think that has more to do with a Grey’s Anatomy fantasy than an interest in medicine.

Chamberlin_365_Studio

www.robertchamberlin.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.
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Melissa Eder – New York, New York

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Yellow), digital print on metallic paper, 30"x40", 2014

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Yellow), digital print on metallic paper, 30″x40″, 2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

I am interested in exploring ideas related to beauty, popular culture, and kitsch. Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements is a series of photographs taken of floral arrangements that I have created. This series consists of ten 30” x 40” digital photographs printed on metallic paper. Part of my artistic practice is collecting objects to photograph from 99 cents stores. These ‘fake’ flowers used were gathered from various 99 cents stores found throughout New York City and New Jersey. The backdrops are made out of polyester spandex. Creating each picture has been fun. Quite often, I am surprised by how an arrangement translates into a photograph. These photographs challenge notions related to what is natural and artificial, what is considered to be beautiful and what is considered to be tasteful. By using a low tech camera and lighting, I address this concept of high/low art and the idea of the well-crafted photograph.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I have a degree in painting from the Parsons School of Design where I studied with Sean Scully and I have a Master’s degree in combined media from Hunter College where I studied with Robert Morris and Rosalind Krauss. I realize that my work is greatly influenced by Pop Art. Let me explain. When I was about three or four, I went with my family to see a Pop Art survey show at MOMA in 1967. I can recall my parents pointing out a sculpture of French fries and a painting of a piece of cake. When I got back home to New Jersey, I painted a picture of a piece of cake with a cherry on top. I thought it was great that you could look at everything as art. I still believe this notion to a certain degree. Of course, now, I acknowledge the layers of complexities of meaning(s) that create Western culture on both a personal and larger field.

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Purple), digital print on metallic paper, 30"x40", 2014

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Purple), digital print on metallic paper, 30″x40″, 2014

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I have worked collaboratively in the past and can appreciate that type of work. Currently, I am an artist in residence with chashama at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. It’s great to be around such creative energy. Still, I have to say that I have moments when I want to be alone in my studio. I am the proud owner of 3 camping chairs (the ones with the cup holders in them)! I find that when I’m in my studio, I sit on my chair, think, daydream and drink a lot of Diet Coke while imagining what I’ll do next when I get up from my chair!

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

That’s an interesting question. When I was younger, I didn’t think about myself as an artist beyond my own art making process. (Boy, I’m a true narcissist!) I wasn’t super into self-promotion etc. I just wanted to make my art. There is still a part of myself that is encapsulated in that creative bubble. I truly feel connected as a person when I’m involved in my art making process. Now, though, I want to share my work with an audience and see how it fits into a larger global context. I’m a believer in the concept that art is about ideas and that discourse and sharing your work, promoting dialogue etc. about art/culture continues to promote growth in a society. I would now like to thank social media and its part in promoting this exchange of ideas! Thanks to the ‘Interweb’!

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Orange), digital print on metallic paper, 30"x40", 2014

Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements (Orange), digital print on metallic paper, 30″x40″, 2014

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

I am definitely a night owl. I can procrastinate pretty well. If I work late at night, there’s nothing but myself and the wee hours of the morning so I feel like I have to focus. But I will say, if I have a deadline or a show coming up, I’m up early, too.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My work hasn’t changed that much in the last five years. I still scour the 99 cents stores for inspiration. I will say, however, that I’m trying to push myself and take more ‘personal risks’ in my work than I ever before.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

Hands down, my sister Nancy is a huge influence. She’s an art historian and the smartest person I know. I feel like I can discuss my art ideas and all ideas with her. We spend a lot of time together looking at art. I also listen to tons of music. I can name what music has influenced certain work. Right now, I’m totally into Jerry Garcia and can’t stop listening to the Dead. Also, I’m completely obsessed with BRAVO TV and all of the Real Housewives shows!

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I’m an educator. I teach Critical Thinking for the City University of New York at a local community college. I love teaching and the exchange of ideas. Being an artist and an educator is exactly why I value living in a free-thinking society.

About

Head shot EderMelissa Eder is an artist who creates photo-based projects that explore notions related to female identity, popular culture and kitsch. Ms. Eder received her B.F.A. in painting from Parsons School of Design in New York City where she studied with Sean Scully and a M.F.A. in combined media from Hunter College in New York City where she studied with Robert Morris and received a Meritorious Award from the Alumni Association. As a visual artist, her work has been shown nationally and internationally in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York University’s Broadway Windows Gallery, Art in General, the Aperture Foundation, the Parlor Gallery, the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri and in Stadtlengsfeld, Germany where she created a permanent art installation in a former kindergarten. She was an artist-in-residence at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City, the Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, New York and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida as selected by photographer Graciela Iturbide. In 2011, her work was selected by Eric C. Shiner, the director of the Andy Warhol Museum for his curated exhibit on CurateNYC. Her work was also chosen by Sarah Hasted for Photography Now, 2004, for the Photography Quarterly, Woodstock, New York. Her photo book “Can You Dig It? A Chromatic Series of Floral Arrangements” was included in a group show at the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, New York. During the summer of 2014, her work was included in the Aperture Foundation’s Summer Open and was chosen from over 860 applicants. She was selected to design a piano for the public art project for Sing for Hope during the summer of 2013 that was displayed at Lincoln Center. She has received numerous grants including funding from the Puffin Foundation and two Manhattan Community Arts Fund grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work has been reviewed by the New York Times, highlighted in Feature Shoot, Co Design, the Collector Daily and various other publications. She lives in New York City and works in Brooklyn as an artist in residence through the chashama studio residency. She was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on October 8, 1963.

Studio Flowers

Studio Flowers

 

melissaeder.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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Kara Gunter – West Columbia, South Carolina

Family Portrait paper, faux fur, wood, metal chain, found objects 22 x 27 x 5 inches

Family Portrait
paper, faux fur, wood, metal chain, found objects
22 x 27 x 5 inches

Briefly describe the work you do.

My concepts, and sometimes my methods and aesthetic, can vary from one body of work to the next. Generally, however, my concepts deal with the Self—my self, and the archetypal self. My current body of work is about the human animal– a meditation on the modern human—and the things we’ve given up, and the things we’ve gained from being members of a civilized society. Our trappings are absurd, in some cases, but I refrain from judgment, and instead rely on surreal humor to have this discussion with the viewer. I’m a fabricator/maker, and my materials and methods vary from casting to sculpting clay, from wood working to assembling found objects, from sewing to collage.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I was raised in a family who worked with their hands. I’m especially influenced by my grandparents, who valued the industry and practicality of craft. My grandmother taught me how to sew, quilt, and crochet. My grandfather worked with wood, leather, and also quilted. Because of this, I pay special attention to craftsmanship. Something well-made is important to me. When helping my grandmother quilt, sometimes she’d fall very silent, and we’d both work, absorbed in flow of the repetition of stitches. This is state I seek when I work. It’s a form of meditation, and I find is most often in repetitive, and sometimes tedious, processes.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I work almost every day. I also teach. I love teaching, but alas, this doesn’t always leave me with long swaths of time to devote to “being in the studio.” I tend to work whenever the opportunity arises, throughout the day. That means, I keep some work close, and leave the messy stuff (like clay) for the studio space, which is located away from my home. Projects which involve sewing or tediousness are often done in the comfort of my living room. Unfortunately, the byproduct of this is sometimes clutter, but it ensures I’m able to get as much work done as possible.

Becoming Death painted earthenware, wood, fabric, found objects 48 x 12 x 12 inches 2014

Becoming Death
painted earthenware, wood, fabric, found objects
48 x 12 x 12 inches
2014

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I am very introverted, and used to be very shy. Never in a million years, did I think I would be an artist who also teaches. I fell into teaching when a friend asked me to head up an alternative metal-casting jewelry class within the community, right out of undergrad. I thought I was terrible at it, and my voice shook every day we met. My students were older, could see my discomfort and were patient with me. They also loved the course, and wanted more. Teaching was in the back of my head when I started grad school, but it wasn’t something I set out to do.   To my amazement, I found that crafting a lesson plan to teach students about the fundamentals of art, was something I was good at and enjoyed. It never ceases to amaze me that I stand in front of classrooms full of students and teach them how to be artists.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

As I stated above, I keep projects nearby so I can constantly have something to work on. I do work almost every day, though life sometimes does get in the way. When I can devote the entire day to working, I will start in the morning as soon as I can, as I’m usually pretty excited to get going.

detail of Time (is not on our side) (image of skull)

detail of Time (is not on our side)
(image of skull)

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

Five years ago, I finished my masters program. As a student, you have so much feedback which makes the work, oftentimes, stronger. It’s a bit shocking to find yourself in such complete silence when you’ve left school. I’ve struggled with determining on my own, when something works or doesn’t. It’s difficult to always remain objective, and self-doubt can be paralyzing. My work has seen a lot of ups and downs during this time, and I think I’ve occasionally struggled within bodies of work. While, as whole, my art varies in aesthetic from body to body of work (and I’m comfortable with this), I’ve had some issues with remaining cohesive within a particular body. This is symptom of being on my own, I believe, but also in coming into my own and finding my voice. I haven’t always embraced the surreal nature of my work, and I’ve had a reserved and timid approach to getting too “weird”. My grad school and immediate post-grad school work was very controlled and measured. I’ve found myself, lately, on a lot of unfamiliar ground; and sometimes my work can make me very uncomfortable, but I push through it. Overall, I believe I’m growing as an artist and I like where I’m headed. The constant in my work has been the exploration of self.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My grandparents, as I mentioned, are very influential to me. There are teachers, as well, from my past that have had a big impact on me and my work. I think I’m lucky to have had really great teachers who have provided me with a somewhat formal/traditional education, so I feel I have a very strong foundation to build on. I’m also inspired by my husband, composer Tom Dempster. I felt as though I always had a good work ethic, until I saw the amount of time he devotes to writing his music. We’ve been married for a little over a year, and following his example, I’ve stepped up my game and my approach, and subsequently my work has grown in a way I never foresaw.

As a young person and artist, I was often labeled as weird. And being a shy, introverted kid, well, sometimes that label, though worn as a badge now, wasn’t always so easy to shoulder. Especially, when you’re struggling with such profound loneliness and a desire to belong. It’s taken me a long time to fully accept my oddness, and perhaps I’m still in the process of this. Kiki Smith is an artist I continually revisit, when I feel my nerve begin to wane, when I wonder if something is just too strange. In Smith’s work, I find inspiration, a buoy, and fellowship in weirdness.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I do have an occupation outside of being an artist. I’m a teacher! And I enjoy it. My pipedream is to open a school of fine craft in my area, which is not an area that has previously put a lot of importance on the arts. I’d like to change that.

About

365_headshotKara M Gunter was born in 1976 in Lexington, SC.  She earned a BFA in sculpture with an emphasis in small metal works and jewelry in 2000 from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, and continued her education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia earning a MFA in 3-dimensional studies and ceramics in 2009.

Kara has taught at Lander University, South Carolina State University and currently teaches at the University of South Carolina.  She has taught extensively in the community at the Columbia Museum of Art and through residencies at area schools.  Kara writes and acts as assistant visual arts editor for Jasper—The Word on Columbia Arts, a Columbia, SC arts magazine. 

365_me with my work

karagunter.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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Kim Matthews – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Groomer, 2014. Wood and acrylic on hardboard, 4.75 x 9.75 x 3.5" approx.

Groomer, 2014. Wood and acrylic on hardboard, 4.75 x 9.75 x 3.5″ approx.

Briefly describe the work you do.

I’m a consciousness-based sculptor, meaning that in addition to formal concerns, my work deals with the evolution of consciousness. I started this work as a way to understand what was happening as I got deeper into my meditation practice. My goal is to imbue the works with an energetic quality that leads the viewer inward and enables an immersive experience of quietude. “Slow art” is almost as tired and hollow a phrase as “green (fill in the blank)” but I think that intense engagement is critical to understanding ourselves and our world.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

I was born on the Pacific and spent my formative years on the Atlantic. Despite the fact that I’ve been living on the prairie for the past thirty years, the ocean is embedded in my work. I am the youngest of three children and because my siblings were so much older than I, it was like being an only child. I spent a lot of time alone in the woods of Maine and got interested in wildflowers, birds, the natural world in general. The older I get, the more I find that I need that kind of silence and space to think most of the time. I can’t stand the hyperactivity and constant need to be plugged in to electronics that pervades our culture.

I learned how to meditate sixteen years ago, and it brought me back to making art after a very long hiatus and has formed the basis of everything I’ve done since.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I have a conventional studio practice. My studio is in my house, so I can work in the middle of the night if I want to. I read; I look at stuff; I make work. I consider the whole world my studio though—I’m always looking and thinking in terms of my work. There’s no separation between life and work.

Colony II, 2011. canvas, concrete, acrylic media on hardboard, 44 x 44 x 3" approx.

Colony II, 2011. canvas, concrete, acrylic media on hardboard, 44 x 44 x 3″ approx.

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

This is a cliche but I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was in kindergarten or first grade and other kids used to stand around and watch me draw, so I drew not only because it was fun but because I got praise and attention. I had no idea at that time that I would ever take something fun so very seriously, as though it may actually have some chance of changing the world by encouraging others to look within themselves and live more mindfully.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

I have to have a day job to support myself (though I’m currently between assignments). When I’m free, my favorite time to work is definitely beginning in the morning and going all day long, like a 9-to-5. I wish I could do that every day but when I have a job, I’m in the studio after dinner until bedtime. I had to develop a way of working to accommodate the lack of big chunks of free time.

Mahamritunjaya, 2013. Vinyl (pleather) on plastic grid, 44 x 44 x 2" approx.

Mahamritunjaya, 2013. Vinyl (pleather) on plastic grid, 44 x 44 x 2″ approx.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

I adopted a modular, square, monochromatic format about five years ago and started making more reliefs and fewer freestanding works that have gradually become more geometric and less organic. The choice to work with accretion was largely a practical decision based on the amount of time with which I had to work but it’s turned out to be a far richer experience than I could have imagined. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with my current preoccupation with repetition; it’s not showing any signs of subsiding though. I’m going to be studying metal casting this fall and it will be interesting to see what comes out of that.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

My dear friend, the painter John Rummelhoff has been a mentor for a long time. We’re diametrically opposed in terms of our politics, but we have a mutual reverence for technical and conceptual quality and we exchange books and ideas all the time. He makes my frames and boxes. He’s taught me a lot about technique and materials and encouraged me to loosen up and be more experimental (a futile but noble effort!). He also has drafting skills that would move you to tears.

It’s weird; most of my friends are painters. My friend Tina Blondell is a sensitive, very skilled figurative painter in the tradition of great European masters like Caravaggio, but she finds the heroic, extraordinary, and beautiful in everyday people. I met her through my ex-husband when we were dating, and she gave me my first solo show. She’s been the biggest champion of my work and really gets it even though we do very different things. 

More directly influential in terms of my work would be artists like Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, and others: Martin Puryear, Eleanore Mikus, the Zero Group. I’ve also been very interested in Tantric and Neo-Tantric art for the past few years and want to go to India to study. I see my work as devotional art or tools, so the Tantric paintings of Rajasthan (such as those shown several years ago at Feature Gallery in the Tantra Song show) are of particular interest to me.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I support myself as a graphic artist, proofreader, and occasional technical writer, but if I hadn’t been involved in art, I might have gone into science if I were math savvy enough. I’m fascinated by quantum physics and how current developments are demonstrating scientifically what rishis have been saying for hundreds of years.

About

headshotMinneapolis-based Kim Matthews works in a variety of sculptural media ranging from paper to wood, exploiting each medium’s unique properties while utilizing a format of numerous repeated forms often in a square or cubic presentation. The use of accretion to create her works evolved from both practical concerns—the need to be productive with little available studio time—and spiritual ones, as repetition is evocative of the mantra meditation that shapes her daily life.

The recipient of a 2010-2011 Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grant, Ms. Matthews exhibits locally and nationally and has had the honor of exhibiting alongside such notable sculptors as Ferne Jacobs and George Morrison. Her work is currently featured in Focus: Fiber at the Erie Museum of Art, Erie, PA and will be on exhibit in New Fibers at Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, opening on 10/27, as well as in a solo exhibit: Abhyasa: Recent Works by Kim Matthews, at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse opening on Friday, October 17.

detail, Relief for Sohan Qadri, 2013. Acrylic and canvas on hardboard. 12” x 12” x 2.5"  approx.

detail, Relief for Sohan Qadri, 2013. Acrylic and canvas on hardboard. 12” x 12” x 2.5″ approx.

kimmatthewsart.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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Aldobranti Fosco Fornio – Petersfield, Hampshire, UK

where shadows play  #389 medium monochrome large format photograph (8x10), with protective work suits size 16 inches w x 20 inches h year 2014

where shadows play #389
medium monochrome large format photograph (8×10), with protective work suits
size 16 inches w x 20 inches h
year 2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

I am increasingly understanding my process as that of a researcher understanding my world through a drive to make images that I cannot describe in advance – my curiosity about the image , what it will look like , what its affect is &c &c

Much of my work over the last four years has been the study of my shadow, a metaphysical conceit of a separated and independent entity.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

My early graduate and postgraduate degrees were as a Mathematician, this means that Pattern is an immediate stimulus. I was fortunate enough to ride the crest of the computer wave: I had an internship with the guys who put the ArpaNet together and then worked across a fascinating range of emerging ideas with Artificial Intelligence and Parallel Logic Programming for just two – I was always very interested in Language and Symbol.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I tend to move around during the day—the internet has made us all very sedentary in habit. I will spend time with my desktop computer sitting upright in an approved orthopaedic fashion. Then I’ll slump on a sofa with my laptop; back to the darkroom where I must stand and when I begin to flag, then off to the kitchen to cook for us all.

two is company #360 medium: monochrome analog MF photograph, artist draws with laser pointer into mirror size 20inch x 20inch date 2014

two is company #360
medium: monochrome analog MF photograph, artist draws with laser pointer into mirror
size 20inch x 20inch
date 2014

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

As l do more, I believe that networking and supporting other artists is the way to really develop as an artist. You only get so far by looking at the luminaries of the art world – seeing myself as others see me helps me develop far more strongly.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

I think about making art at every turn, I write a great deal in my notebooks and this will emerge in constructed work sooner or later.

jumping shadow #157 medium: MF analog image, with electronic sensor controlled shutter release size: 20inch x 20inch date: 2013

jumping shadow #157
medium: MF analog image, with electronic sensor controlled shutter release
size: 20inch x 20inch
date: 2013

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

I am slowly understanding how my work is about things and not of things. It is less photographic and much more narrative so, I am still making marks by photographic process—the large format work goes on as a meditative process and I recently made a volume of work in the Naked Portrait tradition. It was fun to rise to the challenge of my MA class and make work that stepped outside of the photographic.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

I wouldn’t do any of this without the love and support of my family, of my network and classmates. In particular I support my partner’s projects and then sometimes make work that is quite distinctly orthogonal to clarify my understanding of her work. Having placed all these influences in the present, one of the delights of spending time in academe again was to discover Poussin for myself.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I am not short of other occupations, it is part of being a living artwork process that these other jobs impinge and creatively delay my progress.

About

mugshot+heroicBorn in Boston, Mass. USA. Aldobranti gained a MA Fine Art with Distinction from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton in September 2014. The practice of Aldobranti, a performative name is that of a writer and artist based in the south of England.

wip+120wrappers

aldobranti.eu

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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YK Hong – Brooklyn, New York

As Long As We Have Our Great Leader, We Will Win Wood, acrylic paint, ink 42”x39”x1.5” 2014

As Long As We Have Our Great Leader, We Will Win
Wood, acrylic paint, ink
42”x39”x1.5”
2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

I combine traditional Korean techniques and mediums with contemporary Western themes to tackle issues of race, migration, anti-oppression, consumption and mindfulness. 

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you

as an artist.

I was born in the States, but spent my formative years in Korea, which shaped my idea of multiple cultural and sociopolitical identities, and concepts of home. In Korea, there is an appreciation of the organic material that is intimately tied to everything, which inevitably surfaces in my work. At the same time, I’ve been grounded in the States for the past two decades and that adjustment manifests in my themes throughout.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

Because I incorporate my artwork with every aspect of my life, my activist work, my political work, my social and familial influences, so too has my workspace become integrated into everything I do.

I have a studio off of my apartment but end up using my entire apartment for different moments of the production of my art. In a way my time in my studio is a practice in versatility of location; I have different “stations” in areas of my home where I do specific tasks.

DoJang Series Carved wood, acrylic ink 43”x43”x1” as shown 2010-2012

DoJang Series Carved wood, acrylic ink 43”x43”x1” as shown 2010-2012

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Even though I often use language and text in my work, I find that the underlying intention of the piece translates universally across languages and cultures. With art I can push boundaries and issues are often received with more inhibition in other contexts. I can address issues of racism, commercialism and oppression in a less formal way than I do with my workshops. It adds more dimensionality to modes of communication and relatability.  

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

I work on my art every day throughout the day in small increments. 
Smissiles: Stand Here Wood, acrylic paint, ink 52”x34”x1”, varies 2014

Smissiles: Stand Here
Wood, acrylic paint, ink
52”x34”x1”, varies
2014

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My work changes pretty radically every few years, mostly because of new techniques, experimentation with different mediums and inspirations. The message, however, remains the same; it is about social justice, and transforming our current structures through creative thought.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

I’m inspired by movements, historic and cultural. I’m inspired by traditions of my Korean culture, as well as how tradition clashes or meshes with contemporary culture. I don’t usually specify individuals when I’m asked this question, one, because there are so many, and two, because as with my style of work, the people and pieces that influence me ebb and flow, from person to person.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

Along with being an artist, I already have an occupation of traveling around the world giving trainings on anti-oppression, meaning I talk to people about racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism and more. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years now and it is profoundly tied to my creative work. 

About

headshot_1Born in the States, raised in Korea and based out of Brooklyn, NY, YK uses traditional Korean artistic techniques paired with experimental contemporary methods. She often works in wood, combining its inherent grit with often jarring human elements. She uses text and imagery that are reminiscent of propaganda, to make commentary on its proximity to Western advertising, specifically tackling issues of identity, race, the division of land, migration, mindfulness and conspicuous consumption. 

In addition to being a visual artist, she gives trainings and talks around the country on anti-oppression and mindfulness, and recently gave a TED Talk entitled, “How Having Nothing is Having Everything” talking about her project called 365 Release, where she gave away one thing a day every day for a year to practice letting go and change. 

In the Studio

In the Studio

www.ykhong.com/ykart

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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Virginia Broersma – Long Beach, California

At Home oil on canvas 60 x 48 inches 2014

At Home
oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches
2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

The way I think about my paintings is that I use the vocabulary of the human form – the colors of its flesh, its contortions and protrusions, its extensions,curves and crevices – as the components from which I develop my subjects. I’m interested in how we present the body and the human image when we try to pin it down in a still, two-dimensional image – particularly in painting – and how it becomes more complicated the less straightforward it is.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

Every summer of my childhood, my family would take a long road trip around the US, visiting National Parks, historic landmarks, geologic wonders, distant relatives, and going down countless unknown roads. My parents encouraged exploring, seeing new places and being interested in how people do things differently from me, and this has given me a curiosity and openness to the unfamiliar. I was also always encouraged to pursue the things that interested me – music, reading, writing, art – so I have grown up feeling empowered to go after my inclinations.

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

My studio is definitely the place where I, as an artist,  toil away alone in a room. It’s the space I go to work-  away from everyone else – that is completely governed by me and only me. This is both incredibly electrifying and gives me comfort, which allows it to be a place I look forward to going to. The toiling comes in with the challenges I give myself with the work – I often work on several paintings at once, each with a different problem or approach I am tackling, and usually with a variety of scales. If I ever get stuck or need some time away from a piece, I will always have something else to work on so I can stay productive, while also taking my time.

The Bath oil on canvas 60 x 48 inches 2014

The Bath
oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches
2014

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I’ve always had more roles that interest me than I can actually fill, so I am still working on attaining all I envisioned I would do as an artist.

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?

Right now I have a routine which I’ve found works really well for me. I split my time between my “day job” (which at this point I still need for income) and working in my studio. Luckily I’ve been able to work it out so that I can be in the studio 5+ days a week, for a decent amount of time. I strategically took a day job where it is geographically easier to go to my studio than home so going to the studio after work (and avoiding traffic) is always the better option. I find that I am much more productive if the decision to be at the studio has already been made, and once I’m there I can’t help but want to work. I think a key component of having an art career is making the time in the studio the priority, regardless of being in the mood or how many other things are competing for your attention.

Nocturne oil on canvas 54 x 38 inches 2014

Nocturne
oil on canvas
54 x 38 inches
2014

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

It has changed significantly. When I first became interested in working with the portrait, I headed (no pun intended) in a very representational direction where I relied heavily on photographic references. I think this was an important phase to go through because I gained many skills for capturing an accurate likeness, but I realized the work was lacking in the singularity I could bring to it if I allowed myself to follow my instincts rather than a source. So, my paintings have moved away from specific references to being developed through the undertaking of painting. The forms I am working with now are highly invented.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

Undoubtedly.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I am often occupied by a good book and cup of coffee, so I would take that as an occupation.

About

Broersma headshotVirginia Broersma (b. San Diego, CA) received her BFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA in 2004. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Autonomie in Los Angeles, CA and Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia, IL and group exhibitions at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA and at JAUS, Autonomie, and with 5790projects in Los Angeles, CA. Upcoming exhibitions will include the Yokohama Triennial and  a group show that will be traveling to the Palazzo della Provincia de Frosinone in Italy, the Oceanside Museum of Art and the Riverside Art Museum in Southern California. Broersma has been the recipient of a several grants including funding from the California Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Puffin Foundation and was awarded a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago, IL, which she received in both 2010 and 2011. Broersma currently lives in Long Beach, CA.
Broersma in studio by EMS

Broersma in studio by EMS

virginiabroersma.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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