Dec 4, 2011

REVIEW | (Re) Collection, Lakes Were Rivers Photography Show

Ben Ruggiro, Windows as Viewed #71: Migrant Mother Dorthea Lange, 1936
Window Etching, Cyanotype Contact Print. Harry Ransom Center, 2011

(Re) Collection was a photography exhibit produced by the Austin based Lakes Were Rivers photography collective. The group curated the show as part of the East Austin Studio Tours. Their aim was to "re-envision images from the Harry Ransom Center archive. Each artist in the collective provided a unique interpretation of old photographs from the H.R.C. What is a pay day loan? - online payday advance

Dec 2, 2011

TREND| Lego Art

Nathan Sawaya, Grasp, Lego
It's safe to say that just about everyone has had an encounter, as a child or an adult, where they pieced together some kind of building, or car, or abstract sculpture using the miniature building block toys that are known as legos. Legos are a simple and classic toy that can be used however its handler sees fit. But more impractically, these little plastic pieces can be forged into decadent art sculptures.

REVIEW | UnNaturally, Mary-Kay Lombino, Independent Curators International, 2003

Mary-Kay Lombino's Unnaturally, 2003

The book UnNaturally is an essay by Mary Kay Lombino, the curator of the UnNaturally exhibition. Both the book and exhibition explore the concept of faux nature and the confusion between real and fake environments. Have humans seen so much man made nature in places like malls, airports, and amusement parks that they can no longer pinpoint where real ends and fake begins? UnNaturally explores this issue and more with work from nineteen artists.

TREND | Ice Sculpture Melting Points

Nele Azevedo, Melting Men, installation photograph from Berlin, Germany, 2009.
Ice sculptures have a distinct presence in our contemporary culture. Ice Sculptures are used for decorative reasons or they can have functional purposes. Sculptures made from block ice originated in the field of culinary arts as a decorative way to keep foods cool while sitting out on a buffet. Ice sculptures are popular at special or big events because of their limited life span before melting. Although most ice sculptures are created by artists for entertainment or decorative purposes, this blog entry focuses on three contemporary ice sculptures created by artists who use this medium to demonstrate current social issues; Main Street Meltdown by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese (Ligorano/Reese), Melting Men by Nele Azevedo, and Ice Bear by Mark Coreth and Duncan Hamilton.

REVIEW| Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

Jim Lee & Bill Baker (authors), Titan Books, 2010

Watch out Stan Lee, Jim Lee is here to stay!

In the past ten years there has been a shift in media from comics to animated series to movies. These movies that have dominated the box office have become a major part of our culture today. However, while many people are watching the movies, an enormous amount of people are becoming interested in comics; not just the 'geeks' and 'nerds'. Among the unsung heroes who I believe should be credited for this rise to popularity in the masses is Jim Lee who has illustrated some of the most beautiful comics I have had the pleasure to read.

REVIEW | Custodial Corner, 4th Floor JCM Texas State, San Marcos

Custodian, Mountain Vinyl Covers, 2011

On the forth floor of the JCM fine art building at Texas State University there is a small, glass wall case that went unused semester after semester until a mystery custodian decided to occupy the space.  The case is located in the back left corner of the forth floor near the mens rest rooms.  The "Custodial Corner" as it is so cleverly named, gives this one man a chance to show off his collection of old vinyl covers four at a time. The physical content coupled with the back story of the curator come together to create a very interesting exhibit.

REVIEW | Come Forward - Emerging Art in Texas

Into the Woods (detail), oil and acrylic on found backdrop, 9ftx18ft, 2006
Looking at Emerging Art is looking who is making new art.  This book is the catalog for a group of emerging artists that were chosen to have their works displayed in the Dallas Museum of Art in 2003.  I thought it would be interesting to see what these artists were producing now.  I picked the book at random from the library and found a few surprises inside.

REVIEW | The Echo of Milennia III - Portaits of potters | Kyusun Lee

The activities, fundamentally that requiring the creativity, always pursue something new. The old thus becomes what to be renewed, and it must be the destiny of the artists to create the new. But the old, though it is neither claimed to stand or is nor put in front, always tent to be reflected in artists’ works. I have read an exhibition catalogue of Kyusun Lee, Korean ceramicist and it is his 14th solo exhibition held in Seoul, Korea in 2007. In his pieces, I found that he not only future-oriented but also incorporated the past.


Diego Mireles, Medicine Dude

The above piece is just one of many in the show Monster Show Six at Domy Books on East Cesar Chavez in Austin,TX.  Domy Books sits quietly in East Austin and is not only a small bookstore but also doubles as a gallery.  Upon entering Domy you are greeted by an employee sitting at the front desk who is more than willing to answer any questions you may have.  Domy carries a handful of local zines, editioned books, and a good variety of contemporary art magazines.  So why the name Monster Show Six?  For the past six years Domy has had an annual Monster Show that shows a group of artist both local and international.  Monster Show Six featured the work of 152 artists.

REVIEW | PICASSO ON ART: A Selection of Views, Dore Ashton (Ed.), Da Capo Press, 1972

Picasso On Art: A Selection of Views, Dore Ashton (Ed.), 1972

In "Picasso On Art", Dore Ashton collaborates with many of Picasso's dearest friends and close acquaintances to bring together some of Picasso's different philosophies on art and life, as well as a variety of techniques and influences that had an affect on him and his work. All of the testimonies created by people that really didn't know him were thrown out. Many people don't think of Picasso as their first thought when the words contemporary art are shouted out. Most of this is because of his death in the early seventies and people's tendency to try and leave the past behind. But history repeats itself, and most artist would agree that he was way ahead of his time. Picasso still has a lasting effect on many young contemporary artist.

REVIEW | NCFE Handbook to Understanding, Preparing for, and Responding to Challenges to Your Freedom of Artistic Expression, National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, 1998

"Freedom of artistic expression is the principle that an artist should be unrestrained by law or convention in the making of his or her art. Artistic freedom is vital to both the cultural and political health of our society. It is essential in a democracy that values and protects the rights of individual to espouse his or her beliefs."

REVIEW | Jeff Williams: There is Not Anything Which Returns to Nothing, Artpace, San Antonio, TX

Jeff Williams, Tension and Compression, 2011
 This was my first visit to the Artpace gallery in San Antonio which happened to be on the day after three new exhibitions opened.  Since I was unfamiliar with the space a kind employee guided me around the building and explained that the gallery runs a residency program with three artists, (one local, national, and international), displayed at a time for two months.  As I explored the gallery and interacted with the newly displayed exhibitions, I began to notice there was something intriguing about Jeff Williams' work that kept calling me back to his space.

REVIEW | The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore

The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore, 2007

For me, The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore is the quintessential reference guide for me as a student of photography.  Full of beautiful images from the past century and a half as reference guides for each corresponding section, insight and in depth looks at why we shoot what we shoot as well as technical aspects of what makes an image successful and intriguing. The book is broken up into four main sections, The Physical Level, The Depictive Level, The Mental Level and Mental Modeling.  Each section digs beyond the surface to provide a detailed elucidation of the subject matter. The layout of the book is also aesthetically pleasing, the clean layout of text and white backdrop allow the images to leap off the page.  

Dec 1, 2011


Part of Mollie Ryan's Collection

WOW... is all I have to say about the student show in the gallery. The artwork in this show was spread out in an inviting way. It was not over whelming like I found some of the past shows to be. It had a good amount of artwork and their was a certain ease about how everything flowed together. 

Profile| [Kseniya Simonova]

Photo taken by Xinhua/Reuters photography 

Kseniya Simonova was born in Yevpotoria, Ukraine in 1985 to artist, and teacher, Irina and former military officer, Alexander Simonova and grew up drawing, painting and designing with her mother. Simonova majored in psychology at the Tavrida National Vernadsky University where she graduated with honors in 2007 and despite the discouragement from her parents, soon after graduating decided that she wanted a career in art. Today, she is known internationally for her performance art. Camera set-up above, projecting her work onto a screen, she performs for audiences and since being discovered in 2009 after winning, “Ukraine’s got Talent,” has done over 200 shows, or what she calls, “sand stories.”

        Simonova is a sand animation artist. Performing on a light box she tells stories to her viewers in scenes created from a mix of volcanic sand and salt. Her performance on the semi-finals of, “Ukraine’s got Talent,” (The Story of War) has been called a requiem for those that died during the, “Great Patriotic war” or World War II.  Unfortunately, she has not yet made her American d├ębut so most of her American fans have only seen her via the Internet. In an interview with Simonova she explains that after the, “credit crunch,” in the Ukraine took away their successful Bilingual Magazine, “Chocolate,” led her and theatrical director husband, Igor Paskar to collaborate for the idea of performing sand art, she states:
  “It just collapsed, many people go crazy, but we didn’t because we did this, so thank this and thank the crisis because finally it was the reason we started to do this.”

Kseniya Simonova (Scene from Story of Troyans) 2009

            Simonova, telling her husband that it was too difficult of a medium, originally refused the idea. However, the crisis almost left them no choice. First, attempting to no avail to use beach and river sand, they began researching different types of sand online. After deciding that very expensive, volcanic sand would be best for the job, Igor sold all his printing equipment to invest in about 7 pounds of sand for his wife’s new artistic, money-earning endeavor. For three straight months, from 10pm to 4am Simonova trained painstakingly in a small dark room in their home, as she explained in aforementioned interview, she had to retrain her vision to see items, and people as they would appear in sand. She has many different performances viewers can watch online, and has become known as an Internet sensation. Putting her new found fame for good use, she has recently become a spokesperson for, “Children of Chernobyl,” (COCC) a not-for-profit organization that evacuates kids from the radioactive Chernobyl region and provides them with critical medical care, new homes, and excellent education in Israel. She performed a story called, “Eternal Tears,” in their honor on the 25th anniversary of the disaster in Rotterdam. Simonova has performed in fifteen different countries, for presidents and members of the British royal family. Her exposure as an artist the past couple of years has been immense. She was honored country-wide in Ukraine by both the Supreme council of Crimea and the International Organization for Migration, and states that she can no longer walk around her hometown without being recognized in the streets and with a population of nearly 200,000 citizens, that’s no small feat. All this with just volcanic sand, fingertips and a light box, “Thank the crisis.”

-Rebecca Wallace