2014 Artist Spotlight – Daisy Patton

Title: Untitled (The Librarian) Medium: Mixed media painting Date: 2015 Dimensions: 24"x18"

Title: Untitled (The Librarian)
Medium: Mixed media painting
Date: 2015
Dimensions: 24″x18″

Have there been new developments in your work since your 365 interview?

My interview was in September, which I had mentioned my solo show on the series Forgetting is so long this past December. I’m currently in a group show as part of my residency at RedLine Denver, focusing on play. For that show, I created an entirely new work, So Long, Farewell: Extinction in the Anthropocene Era, which is about extinction due to climate change/human-caused destruction. I’d been thinking a lot about interactivity, audience participation, and art’s role in society (as I mentioned in my interview), so this project was a great opportunity to essentially put that into action. We’ve had some school groups come in and interact with the work, and it’s been enlightening to see some metaphors come out of the act of playing. I can certainly tell that I’ve become bolder in trying out new things and art-making ideas that I would have shied away from before. 

Something that the 365 Artists project has us thinking about is the power of collaboration. Are you involved in any projects with other artists or within your community?

Absolutely! Community engagement is very important to my practice. Part of my role as a resident with RedLine Denver is participating in various programs that focus on that, along with social justice and arts education. This semester, I’m paired with an art teacher as part of the EPIC Arts program, where we residents help guide a class through a social justice-themed work that they’ll show at RedLine at the end of the semester. I’m also volunteering this coming fall for ArtsCorps, where I’ll be mentoring a homeless/transient youth for a year. Beyond that, collaboration is key for a few series I have going right now, includingVenezuelan Sayings, a tumblr illustration blog devoted to visually translating colloquial Venezuelan expressions. Readers have tweeted, emailed, messaged, and more suggesting additional sayings, or dichos, for me to illustrate. I’ve gotten over 37 pages worth just from that back-and-forth alone! I also have an on-going sound project that hinges on participation, specifically of children of absent fathers who share their memories and experiences. This work is called I’m Perfectly Fine Without You, and it’s downloadable for free on iTunes as podcasts (the link is on my website: http://daisypatton.com/im-perfectly-fine-without-you/). I am seeking more participants, for anyone living in the Denver, CO area.

Title: Card detail (Atelopus pulcher), from So Long Farewell: Extinction in the Anthropocene Era Medium: Installation Date: 2015 Dimensions: Cards are 3.5"x3.5"

Title: Card detail (Atelopus pulcher), from So Long Farewell: Extinction in the Anthropocene Era
Medium: Installation
Date: 2015
Dimensions: Cards are 3.5″x3.5″

What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? What do you wish you would have known when you set out on this path?

I think some of the important things that many people don’t realize going into the arts is that you’re going to work—hard. A lot more than people do in office jobs (I’ve had a few so I can say that emphatically!) because there are no holidays, and you’re accountable to yourself. It’s also incredibly rewarding once you’ve figured out your best working method, and most of all, that working even when you don’t feel like it is how some epiphanies appear. I remember reading an artist talk about the “unsexy” reality that he spent about 30% of his time making art, another 30% with social media and the last sending out for exhibitions, proposals, etc. I don’t think that’s common knowledge for those outside the arts, or people first starting in—perseverance is important. The other part is that being an artist means being somewhat sociable, whether you like it or not. Networking, meeting people, whatever you want to call it is crucial for a professional artist. It’s not just creating ties in a selfish way, but rather you learn so much from each person you meet, especially other artists. I like to think of being an artist as being part of a community, and I highly respect other artists and people that are generous with their time and information. There’s this stereotype of the lone artist waiting to be discovered, and frankly that isn’t real and probably never was. I can be quite shy around people I don’t know, but getting out of your comfort zone is something you should be doing anyways if you want to be effective with your work.

Title: So Long, Farewell: Extinction in the Anthropocene Era Medium: Installation, featuring a memory card game (there are 640 cards in total) Date: 2015 Dimensions: variable

Title: So Long, Farewell: Extinction in the Anthropocene Era
Medium: Installation, featuring a memory card game (there are 640 cards in total)
Date: 2015
Dimensions: variable

Are there any upcoming shows or projects that you would like to talk about?

I’m thrilled that the momentum and opportunities from last year have continued into the new year. I’ll be part of a group show this coming summer for emerging artists on the Front Range in Colorado, at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs’ Galleries of Contemporary Art (it’ll be with Forgetting is so long). I have a solo show featuring some photographic work at the Saratoga Library in Saratoga, California this coming September. Also, a proposal that I and two peers put together was accepted for the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA for another group show, also September. So, very busy and exciting! I’ve also started another project, focusing again on hidden history—specifically, the history of forced sterilizations in the United States. Using embroidery, I’ll be creating portraits of some of the victims of this little talked about period of our past (and unfortunately present), as well as text pieces that will quote from the Supreme Court case legalizing forced sterilizations to current day politicians’ comments. It’s a very research-heavy, emotionally tough piece, so par for course in my practice.

Read Daisy Patton’s 365artists365days interview here.

Posted in Artist Spotlight, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Guillermo Aguilar-Huerta – Germany

Vía Láctea Dimensions Variable

Vía Láctea Dimensions Variable

Briefly describe the work you do.

I place my work into the discourse that exists between fashion, industrial design and concrete forms. In my artwork, geometrical abstractions dominate with a variety of exotic color combinations, which are derived from universal and traditional Mexican patterns.I particularly work with geometry because it an endless way to create unique shapes that describe different cultures; Furthermore, I ascribe a major importance to architecture, technological advancement to capture how all these combinations of factors influence our modern society. My compositions are clearly determined by the mixture of both, namely my own and universal pattern creations which are adapted to individual geometrical shapes. Hence, reflecting my viewpoint about life in all its diversity and dynamism.I like to use materials that already had a life such as cardboard, wood and plastic among others.. specially plastic because this material takes around 500 years in nature to complete degrade. I can breathe new life into all those materials. It fascinates me that these forgotten materials can become new paintings and installations in my studio and will last for generations.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I never thought I became an artist actually I should study Economics to carry on my father business in the future… but i was not really good in mathematics i really hate the subject and it was in a summer when I spend three months in Morelia, Michoacán (about 220km west from Mexico City) to study Algebra, the city was so unexpected beautiful and totally inspiring after a couple of weeks I  decide to star painting… after that I returned to Monterrey and i started to study Art History at Tecnológico de Monterrey and interior design I  was not really sure so I try everything finally i decide to study fine arts in my hometown but it was very difficult for me at this time because I used to work in family business, study and I had also my own business.. so it was to much I had no time to have some personal life and hang out with friends also so that was the City rush in my teenage in Monterrey which is the most industrial city Mexico ́s and richest state latin america ́s but also I have spend 3 to 6 months each year of my childhood in Guadalajara which is the second largest city in the Mexican Republic and where my grand parents comes from, so I felt always some kind of hybrid between two big states,with many contrasts between old and modern- hi tech and traditional conservative and open mind etc. A huge cultural differences from each other. All these factors influenced my personality and character some how and in the form to see the life in many ways.

Exhibit view Industrial Series 2 Dimensions Variable @Greusslich Contemporary Berlin 2014

Exhibit view Industrial Series 2 Dimensions Variable @Greusslich Contemporary Berlin 2014

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

Certainly one of the things I enjoy most is spending time in my studio developing new ideas and experimenting with new materials, recycling and reinventing. Recently I moved to a new studio which inaugurated last February 27th and presented my latest project “we are made of stars” from Universal series… chosen and supported by the cultural office of Berliner district Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and the Mexican Embassy in Berlin.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Well 12 years ago I used to paint just oil on canvas and mainly abstract art…. now I don ́t use oil painting any more for many reasons, I prefer to use acrylic colors in my compositions apart from using other supports such as plastic, steel, wood, cardboard and video. Currently trying to develop something more interactive.. maybe with sound or something you can touch and participate as a part of the concept..

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I work every day from Monday to Sunday without limits of time or public holidays, when I’m not creating some new work, installation or editing a video, i do office work, writing letters, sending emails, making phone calls, planning dates, production times, pricing, assembly and disassembly of the following exhibitions and many times I work even when got sick because first of all is the timeliness and quality of my work as a professional.

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

My artworks has considerably changed In the last 5 years… since end 2012 I have been full time develop the Universal Series only, in this series i make site-specific installations recreating galaxies in our universe with geometric shapes made of plastic and cardboard wich has been shown in Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico and soon in London. Now I want to spend a little more time to painting on canvas again developing my Industrial series.

Exhibit view Industrial Series Dimensions Variable @Greusslich Contemporary Berlin 2014

Exhibit view Industrial Series Dimensions Variable @Greusslich Contemporary Berlin 2014

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

At the beginning of my career there have been many artists who have admired so much their work but also some artistic movements guided me in my search for a own style such as Avantgarde and Constructivism among others.. but also architecture, design and fashion take part in my work processes I’ve taken some of all reconfiguring each style and adapting to me, also the mayan cosmovision has been the base of my work practice. I certainly think that all this “Universal” legacies are not only the base but also reflects and echoes in my artwork.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?

Even though my parents are very conservative, they always gave me not only the freedom to choose but supporting my decisions.. before deciding to be plastic artist, I try everything that could like me, one day I ask my dad; how can I be successful like you? what i need to do? is there a recipe? and he ask me you need to works really hard, not only mo to fr.. weak up very early but the most important is you need to have passion for what you do and have to like it a lot” after that I realized

I would have been happy locked in a factory as they would have liked it .. and i need to find that something makes me happy & free. and i found it in Art.’

About

Guillermo Aguilar photoI was Born in Monterrey, Mexico, and grew up between Guadalajara (West Mexico) and Monterrey (North East). My time as an artist in Monterrey was very successful and I knew a wide range of gallery owners and artists, but after a while I began to feel that the art scene was perhaps too conservative for my taste… This prompted a move in 2007 to Berlin where I was quick involved with its vibrant and flourishing contemporary art scene.

Universal  Vía Láctea Fragments@Planetario Alfa de Monterrey, Mexico_2014 Plastic & cardboard  Dimensions Variable

Universal Vía Láctea Fragments@Planetario Alfa de Monterrey, Mexico_2014 Plastic & cardboard Dimensions Variable

gahuert.com

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

Posted in Installation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Valerie Constantino – Sacramento, California

Vulnerable Locations (Jaw, Knee, Heart, Eyes), series-in-progress, crocheted bandages in medicinal herbs, performance documentations, variable dimensions.

Vulnerable Locations (Jaw, Knee, Heart, Eyes), series-in-progress, crocheted bandages in medicinal herbs, performance documentations, variable dimensions.

Briefly describe the work you do. 

My artwork develops through material and media investigations in relation to personal and global concerns. I work in a range of forms including assemblage, installation, performance and writing.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

Seminal studies in textiles and contemporary sculptural forms engendered my interest in the subject of materiality itself. And I began to comprehend matter as mutable and therefore emblematic of the ephemeral and unpredictable nature of life as it is lived.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

My one room dwelling is also my studio. There is little distinction in my days between living and being in the studio. I enjoy this blurred boundary, although there are times when the practicality of eating and sleeping for example, are infiltrated by my studio practices to points of distraction.

Rapture Box, 2012, performance documentation (variable dimensions) and box assemblage, 4 x 16 x 12.”

Rapture Box, 2012, performance documentation (variable dimensions) and box assemblage, 4 x 16 x 12.”

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Administrator.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I find that I work whenever time allows. I do try to make sure that I can be free of other obligations for extended periods of time so that I can allow for a free flow of thought and activity. 

Deference, 2014, photo montage, 10 x 7” and variable.

Deference, 2014, photo montage, 10 x 7” and variable.

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

During the last five years I’ve had less access to technological tools, and so I’ve moved away from those kinds of projects. This is not to say that I have not not remained interested and cognizant of these formats; just that I do not have that hands on capability presently. I have simultaneously worked on more intimate projects while also working collaboratively, which has been a new experience.

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Family and friends have not had much of an impact on my work. Philosophers, writers and other artists most definitely have: Eihei Dogen, Marguerite Duras, Leonora Carrington, Lenore Tawney, Sheila Hicks, Eva Hesse, Julia Kristeva, and many others.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I have not been pulled in other directions. My other interests include philosophy and the physical sciences.

About

vconstantino_headshotValerie Constantino is an visual and literary artist, working with a range of traditional and experimental art forms. Her seminal studies in textiles and mixed media led to broad investigations of materiality and contemporary hybrid forms including film, video and performance. She writes: In consideration of the mutable qualities of natural and synthetic substances, the study of materiality remains for me the most apt poetic agent in relation to human and worldly conditions and the migratory nature of my own being. Constantino maintains an ongoing exhibition record, and an active interdisciplinary practice. She has taught and lectured at a number of academic institutions, most recently at California State University in Sacramento, California where she currently lives and works. 

1_vconstantino_deference

valerieconstantino.net

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

Posted in Installation, mixed media, Performance, Sculpture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Toby Zallman – Chicago, Illinois

Clearing, 2013, Laser print and graphite, 75" x 110"

Clearing, 2013, Laser print and graphite, 75″ x 110″

Briefly describe the work you do. 

I combine unrelated materials to represent dialectical oppositions such as hard/soft, ephemeral/enduring, open/closed and natural/fabricated. Since 2004 I have been using some form of recycled material as the basis for my pieces. The various series juxtapose different combinations of manufactured and/or organic materials. 

Each series has a different focus. The Communications series is a comment on the disconnect between contemporary communications technology and our ability to actually communicate with one another. The Keyboard series utilizes the computer keys to create language which expresses personal content. These “messages from my keyboards” relate to current and past relationships with myself and others. The Computer series reference our technological culture and its impact on our bodies, minds, relationships, and the environment. 

The ubiquitous presence of plastic bags in our lives inspired the most recent work. Their usefulness belies the damage that they wreak on the environment. The bags have a skin-like feel to them and I am intrigued by the way the bags can be transformed and have layers of content added. 

Strata, 2011, Tar paper, pigment, computers, 72” x 120” x 53” (dimensions variable based on installation

Strata, 2011, Tar paper, pigment, computers, 72” x 120” x 53” (dimensions variable based on installation

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I was a painter for many years. The paintings were always constructed and they were coming out further and further from the wall. I decided to stop making paintings and make sculpture. I posed a limitation on myself to create color by the materials I used. My sculptures were always mixed media and I drew from natural, manufactured and found materials. I have always enjoyed combining materials that are at odds with one another.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

For me, being in the studio has always been what my practice is. I love being there. It is the place that I can think, ponder, create, get my hands dirty and generally have activities that are set apart from my everyday life.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Since I generally use non-traditional materials, I find that my work requires more and more investigation into the nature and behaviors of some of my materials. 

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

Because I earn my living as a graphic designer, I work whenever my business work flow allows me to break away and get into my studio. I am fortunate that as a freelancer, my office and studio are in the same space, so it allows a degree of fluidity. I also work on weekends and holidays. Generally once a year I set aside time for a retreat, either in my studio or at a residency.

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

I had been working on 3 series using computer detritus for about 7 years. A few years ago I decided that I did not want to continue on that path until it became a shtick. I started investigating new materials to use. It has been a period of trial and may failures. I have recently been using plastic bags which has led me to do both sculptures and “paintings,” using the plastic bags as color and painting on top. Additionally, I started doing “drawings” which are a combination laser print and drawing.

Unitled PB 3, 2014, Plastic Bags, 27” x 36” x 9”

Unitled PB 3, 2014, Plastic Bags, 27” x 36” x 9”

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

I draw my inspiration from many sources. Other artists have inspired me. The inspiration comes from both their artworks and their dedication to the discipline. Occasionally I will read or see something and a word or an idea will generate visual ideas for me.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I have never really wanted to do anything as my vocation but being an artist. The necessity to have an income has been a major distraction from that pursuit. Recently I have begun taking accordion lessons in order to play klezmer and tango music. It is relaxing and I find having a hobby does not require the focus that being in the studio does.

About

tobyzallman.com

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

Posted in Installation, New Media | Leave a comment

Laurie LeBreton – Chicago, Illinois

Getting to Quiet” - 2012 50 sculptures 3” – 8” tall Handmade abaca paper, mixed media

Getting to Quiet” – 2012
50 sculptures 3” – 8” tall
Handmade abaca paper, mixed media

Briefly describe the work you do. 

I make sculptures with handmade paper. With these sculptures I try to access something beyond our concrete world and to find meaning and comfort through doing so. Sometimes I do this very directly, as in my piece “A Full Taste of Happiness”, an installation of hundreds of Buddha-like sculptures, and at other times indirectly, as in the abstract hanging sculptures I call “Healing Machines.”

For me, paper is the ideal medium to explore these ideas. Paper itself is complex. It is light, responds to movement and appears fragile. As a paper sculptor, I know that it is also pliable, absorbs color beautifully, and is very strong. Abaca, the fiber I use most often, shrinks as it dries, adding the element of chance to all my work. I also enjoy the process of papermaking because of my love of water, for its beauty, sensuality and for its healing qualities.

Working with multiples is a strong component of my work. It is both a metaphor and a strategy. Multiples, especially those with variations, point to the simple yet complicated nature of just about everything. As an artistic strategy, they offer an opportunity for experimentation within a structure, for stillness with many variations. As a visual strategy, they calm a busy eye, with each object informing the others. I often suspend these multiples from the ceiling on fine line. Their movement in response to the movement in the air means that the display itself is impermanent, that it also has many variations.

Healing Machines: Homage to Emery Blagdon, for Pierre” - 2014 40 sculptures approximately 10”x6”x6” Handmade abaca paper, mixed media

Healing Machines: Homage to Emery Blagdon, for Pierre” – 2014
40 sculptures approximately 10”x6”x6”
Handmade abaca paper, mixed media

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I grew up in a household full of wonderful woodcraft made by my father, who never considered himself an artist. I continued in his tradition, making art happily, but very casually. I made mixed media sculptures, incorporating wooden blocks, plastic figures, popsicle sticks, beads and various other offbeat items. While this was long before I knew what an artist’s statement was, I was already working to understand something in my life: loss, the need for protection, the need for community. Like my father, I didn’t consider myself an artist, partly because I was raising a family and working in the nonprofit community on social justice issues at the same time.

In my 40s I was introduced to artists’ books (through my work), and I took my first art classes since elementary school. I loved them, and eventually took a two-week workshop in book binding at the Penland School of Crafts. At Penland I saw that I was much more serious about art than I had realized, that I was in fact an artist. When I was close to retirement I began graduate school in the book and paper art at Columbia College in Chicago. I got my MFA in 2010.

My years making art without formal training (as an outsider artist) allowed me to work unselfconsciously. I developed a rather whimsical style and point of view while confronting serious subjects. During graduate school I learned to articulate this point of view more coherently, and I found a medium that I love, paper sculpture.

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

In fact, I have two studios, both on the North Side of Chicago, where I live. One is for making paper, and one for making sculptures of the paper. Papermaking is very wet, so my papermaking studio is in a basement. The space is dark and damp, but it has the essential, good drainage. My “dry studio” is in a loft building that I share with a other artists. It is a very pleasant space, with high ceilings and good light. I make all my sculptures in the dry studio, although I often read and sketch at home.

I often say that I think with my hands. I make many maquettes until I find one that works. Then I relax into the process of making multiples of a successful one, with the number of multiples as high as 300. In earlier years all of the multiples were very similar. Now I’m more interested in wider variations on a theme.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Sometimes when I’m lugging around heavy buckets of paper pulp or climbing up and down a ladder to install work in a gallery I feel as if I’m working in heavy construction! I never expected that being an artist would be so demanding physically.

I am also surprised that the community organizing skills I learned in my career are very useful in my artist’s life. I helped form an artists’ critique group that meets every month. I’m also active with a local sculpture organization, finding venues for exhibits.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time every day or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I try to set aside two or three full days each week when I can work. I don’t have internet access at my studio, and it is a huge relief to put aside that distraction. I listen to music and I work very intensely.

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

I moved away from figurative work in graduate school at the urging of my teachers. When I moved my studio last year, though, I unpacked many years of old sculptures and sketchbooks. I realized that figures have been a strong element of my work for many, many years. I decided to pursue figurative work again.

A Full Taste of Happiness” – 2010 - 2012 310 sculptures 8” – 30” tall Handmade paper, mixed media

A Full Taste of Happiness” – 2010 – 2012
310 sculptures 8” – 30” tall
Handmade paper, mixed media

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

I love popular religious art; its message always seems so direct and poignant. I’m drawn to the aesthetic of Asia, whether it’s roadside shrines in India or caves with thousands of Buddhas in Laos. I enjoy nontraditional materials, and I often shop in craft and dollar stores.

One very recent influence is an exhibit of Haitian art at the Field Museum in Chicago. I was mesmerized by the large red and black figures that were created as sentinels for a ceremonial space. In response I created forty small, whimsical paper sculptures that are also sentinels.

Another recent and very strong influence are the novels of Marilynne Robinson. Robinson said in an interview that artists have to have the courage to testify about serious things. She said she wants to say, “I have a sense of something sacred.” I think I want to say that too.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I spent many years in a career working for social justice, and I think I’ll always be pulled in that direction. I limit that involvement now because art is calling me much more strongly. My other great interest is travel. Travel, of course, feeds my artistic life, so there is no conflict there.

 About

LeBreton - head shotThe unattainable, the elusive, the indefinable: my art explores all these concepts.  Using my primary medium, handmade paper, I make paper sculptures constructed on forms and on armatures. With these sculptures I examine ideas of impermanence, the role of chance, the interplay of joy and sorrow and the futility of control. 

 For me, paper is the ideal medium to explore these concepts. Paper itself is complex. It is light, responds to movement and appears fragile. As a paper sculptor, I know that it is also pliable, absorbs color beautifully, and is very strong.  Abaca, the fiber I use most often, shrinks as it dries, adding the element of chance to all my work.  I also enjoy the process of papermaking because of my love of water, for its beauty, sensuality and for its healing qualities.

Working with multiples is a strong component of my work.  It is both a metaphor and a strategy.  Multiples, especially those with variations, point to the simple yet complicated nature of just about everything.  As an artistic strategy, they offer an opportunity for experimentation within a structure, for stillness with many variations.  As a visual strategy, they calm a busy eye, with each object informing the others.  I often suspend these multiples from the ceiling on fine line.  Their movement in response to the movement in the air means that the display itself is impermanent, that it also has many variations.  

LeBreton - studio shot

laurielebreton.net

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

Posted in Sculpture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Guillaume Adjutor Provost – Montreal, QC, Canada

Sérieux Solides (detail), 2014 Polished copper mirror, monitor wall mount, industrial cabinet. Presented @ Axenéo7, Gatineau

Sérieux Solides (detail), 2014
Polished copper mirror, monitor wall mount, industrial cabinet.
Presented @ Axenéo7, Gatineau

Briefly describe the work you do. 

My projects are determined by the selection and combination of elements, which together establish an open corpus. This structure serves alternately to the integration of such varied existing works including but not limited to sculptures, artefacts, performative or textual works. Subsequently, my work questions the presentation and representation inherent to autonomous objects. By association, I create non-linear narratives where invested sources gather at the crossing of investigation and storytelling. Following an interdisciplinary approach, my projects advocate a hybrid status between visual arts, design, literature and the curatorial. Calling for an integration of the multiple components of my production: creation, collection, curatorship, I want to freely examine the dynamics of a curatorial process, a resolutely inclusive process where content expresses itself with regard to context.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I find it more evident now that I worked as an artist for few years that I am influenced by the language context of living in Quebec. It is not about making a political statement, but I grew up thinking about the conflictual nature of speaking a “broken” French and feeling that my accent wasn’t able to represent an intelligent discourse. It might come from what I was perceiving around me growing up. Currently, I am very interested in magazines, feminist and queer zines that were published in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in Montreal. I find the use of language deeply political and still a topic of relevance today.

Un future incertain (view from the exhibition), 2014 Presented @ Les Territoires, Montréal

Un future incertain (view from the exhibition), 2014
Presented @ Les Territoires, Montréal

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

The studio is where my mind is. I do not feel the need to have a designated place to work.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Doing a PhD was not expected when I started making art. I find myself doing more research and writing recently then actually making art, but that will change soon. I appreciate the cycles of creation and non-creation.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

The short answer would be: late at night, when everybody is sleeping. In the last year, I did exhibitions on short notice, so I had an intensive summer of production.

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

I was always interested in the relation between my various creations. A drawing would start a cycle of performances using sculptures that would then be the subjects of drawing and so on. An ecology of sort. What changed is that lately, I found it more interesting to work on broader projects, mostly in the form of exhibitions.

Un future incertain (detail), 2014 "From now on, the future will be borrowed with the promise to return it." Dried black reishi mushrooms, ink, steel cable, lock. Presented @ Les Territoires, Montréal

Un future incertain (detail), 2014
“From now on, the future will be borrowed with the promise to return it.”
Dried black reishi mushrooms, ink, steel cable, lock.
Presented @ Les Territoires, Montréal

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Literature is often a starting point in my projects. In the last years, I was obsessed with Arthur Machen, a British author from the late 19th century. I was collecting the editions of his books republished during the 1970s, the psychedelic lettering being a reminiscence of the art nouveau. Currently, I am rediscovering the work of Jenny Holzer and Franz Erhard Walther.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

History and archaeology have always fascinated me. I suppose I only like the romanticized version of it, a large library with varnished oak bookshelves, exotic rugs, hand carved wooden figurines, and leather bounded books. That makes me think that psychoanalysis could have been an other career patch for me.

About

05_headshot_guillaume_adjutor_provostGuillaume Adjutor Provost is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Montréal, Québec. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at UQÀM, Montréal. His research focuses on curatorial strategies as creative gestures. Guillaume Adjutor has presented his work in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, as well as in the United States, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and France. In the fall of 2015, he will be in residency at the Christoph Merian Foundation in Basel, Switzerland.

04_studio_guillaume_adjutor_provost

guillaumeadjutorprovost.com

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

 

Posted in Installation, Sculpture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

+Brauer – Paris, France

PHIL (Sculpture) H 78 cm x L 24 cm x P 28 cm - 2010

PHIL (Sculpture) H 78 cm x L 24 cm x P 28 cm – 2010

Briefly describe the work you do.

I create light robots out of recycled industrial materials. Working with recycled materials means that I must create out of existing pieces. Having in my studio a large stock of material allows me to put no strap to my imagination. I’ve been gathering this stock for many years now through secondhand trade, collecting abandoned objects in the streets, scrap-iron merchants… I also have a good network of artisans who know my work and bring me from time to time different objects they have gathered here and there.

I use various techniques like sawing, cutting, welding, screwing, burnishing … but the most complex part is the electrical process. With each sculture, I use and sharpen my electrical skills. Each robot is a challenge.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I graduated in arts and graphic designand have been working as a graphic designerfor over 20years. I’ve always maintained an artistic activityalongside my job, through sculptureand paintings.

To me, waste is a wound to the planet, but also an inexhaustible source for imagination. The main challenge is to assemble materials that are not meant to be put together. Each part reveals its own constraints. Associating a lighting scenary to it makes the task even more complicated. I must go through many tests before implementing the electrical part that completes the sculpture.

Sometimes, the idea of a new sculpture pops into my head at the sight of a specific object. I then have to find the other parts that can be assembled to this one to create the robot I’ve imagined.

COMMODOR (Sculpture) H 80 cm x L 33 cm x P 17 cm – 2012

COMMODOR (Sculpture) H 80 cm x L 33 cm x P 17 cm – 2012

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I spend a lot of time in my studio. The whole process of creating and assembling the sculptures takes place there.

I have a whole creating process to go through before final assembling. I select all the elements well in advance. First of all, I sketch the future robot on paper. Then I assemble the different parts I need, on my studio floor, to create the general shape I’m looking for. This allows me to refine the sculpture, adapt it to the parts that I have at my disposal, see what other parts I need to find in order to finish the sculpture. Some “sculptures in process of assembling” may remain in my workshop for months before I finally find the missing parts.

At that stage, I also work on the lighting that I want to set up. I use light in each one of my sculpture as a lighting scenary. Each type of lighting is specifically imagined for each robot. I cut openings in the metal, like small windows, add fillters… to create the lighting effect that I have in mind.

Once all the needed elements are gathered, I can start cutting the openings, assembling and welding. I use various techniques like sawing, cutting, welding, screwing… but the most complex part is the lighting scenary. Each robot is a challenge.
I like the idea that abandoned or left over industrial parts can be reborn in a new and unique piece of art.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

Be part of conferences about modern art or jury member for art competitions.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

To me, the ideal moment for creating is during the evening or at night.

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

My work as a sculptor has always associated rough material and light. I’ve been creating lamps from recycled materials (metal and glass) for 2 decades. About 10 years ago, I started exploring the Robot theme through my sculptures. My first robot was a simple metal case, topped by an insulator, with keys as arms. It actually was a minimalist version of a robot ! The shapes of my sculptures have evolved a lot since that time. Thanks to the complexity of assembling recycled materials together with lights, I’ve developped new techniques and experienced new methods to obtain the result I’m looking for.

VOLTMAN (Sculpture) H 56 cm x L 29 cm x P 29 cm - 2013

VOLTMAN (Sculpture) H 56 cm x L 29 cm x P 29 cm – 2013

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

Since childhood, I’ve been strongly influenced by Sci-Fi novels, comics and TV series, admiring both the magical world of “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang and the vastness of ” 2001: A Space Odyssey” by S. Kubrick.

I have always loved outsider art and the instinctive energy that emerges from it.

I like the simplicity of Yandiswa Mazwane’s masks and the inventive madness of Regis R.
I admire the work of Jacob Dahlgren, Kristof Kintera, Khalil Chishtee, Stuart Haygarth, … and many others too many to mention all.

More than their technological features, I try to reveal the original, almost primative, form of the robots I create. I carefully chooses vintage objects that have an industrial past, that are marked by time and whose patina has been moulded by years of manual use. I admire the beauty, sometimes hidden, of these discarded industrial parts, I alter their appearance, I sculpt them, and incorporate light sources into their structure before assembling the parts together to create a unique and poetic piece.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?

Since childhood I have always dreamt of a job where I would be able to perform drawing. From drawings to sculptures there was a short step, that I made rather quickly.

About

+Brauer studio+Brauer is a graphic designer who lives and works in Paris. Over the past 20 years he has designed numerous album covers for French and international artists and pursued his personal artistic expression through painting, photography and sculpture. He regularly exhibits in Paris, and presents here a few pieces from his series “Viva la roboluciòn!”

More than their technological features, he tries to reveal the original, almost primative, form of the robots he creates. +Brauer carefully chooses vintage objects that have an industrial past, that are marked by time and whose patina has been moulded by years of manual use. He admires the beauty, sometimes hidden, of these discarded industrial parts, alters their appearance, sculpts them, and incorporates light sources into their structure before assembling the parts together to create a unique and poetic piece.

The beauty of the materials and the venerable patinas express their beauty in the light of day, while at night, it is the turn of the strange, evocative light fittings to reveal their magic. Right from conception, the element of light is an integral part of the artwork: each robot is designed to interact with it’s environment in a different way whether it is turned on or off.

Abandoned or forgotten in workshops and garages, the industrial parts are reborn in unique works of art that embrace us with their kind presence, imposing personality, and amazing humanity.

Each piece is a statement of poetic resistance to mass-consumption.

Studio3©+BBD

brauer.fr

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

 

Posted in Sculpture | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment