Category: Figurative

Sweet Song of Harlem

By Carley Townsend and Beatrice Antonie Martino

Finnish photographer Jaakko Heikkilä doesn’t travel – he stays. Sometimes, he lingers long enough that you’ll fall asleep to the low hypnotic hum of the camera. At least, that’s what happened when Heikkilä photographed Jill, normally lively and hyperactive, suddenly still, quiet, untroubled. With a panoramic camera in hand, each shot takes a full minute, if not more, to develop, imposing a necessary stillness on each moment – a collection of fleeting eternities. Coaxed by a rhythmic repetition of “Lie down” – Click – “Rest your eyes” – buzz – “be still”– silence, Jill turns posing into repose. Heikkilä elicits a sense of magic as focus dances from detail to detail. Time stops, and the stillness deepens the relationship between viewer and subject. 

Jill in Her Living Room, 2003

I have been sitting a lot in kitchens with people, when nothing happens. Total silence. I like to meet people in that silence. It is more intensive, more intimate. I can come closer when nothing else is happening around. That sense of silence, that sense of slowness, it is the same as the photograph. The panoramic lens is rolling like that, silent, slowly. One image taking one minute.

We live in a world where everything is always moving, moving, moving. Everyone is racing to be better than the next. In a society where life is all about motion and distraction, silence and emptiness are revolutionary, radical acts. What does it mean to simply be

Heikkilä has mastered the act of radical stillness, connecting to the inherent beauty, integrity, and inner magic of the other – sitting opposite his camera lens. The subjects of Heikkilä’s photographs live whole and multifaceted lives with or without us – we are simply invited to linger … Click here to read more

Edward Giordano

Artist Q&A with Edward Giordano

Ed Giordano is a sculptor living and working in New York. He recently completed an artist residency at The Blue Mountain Center. In 2013, he was awarded a residency in New Orleans from The Joan Mitchell Center. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Delfina Studio Trust in London and The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation in New York City. Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design and Pratt Institute in 1985, he has had two fellowships in theoretical and critical studies at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and been in numerous group exhibitions in USA and Canada. As a sculptor, he works with common materials from Home Depot such as wood, plaster, and nails.

“Red Reign”, plaster, terracotta, and steel, 24 x 7 x 7 in | 61 x 18 x 18 cm, 2019-2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Michelangelo. I was living in Rome would visit my relatives in Genoa. My great aunt insisted that I understand what the Italians had done with Sculpture. So, it started with a visit to the cemetery to put flowers on my family’s graves. The cemetery was replete with funereal sculpture and monuments. I was not impressed. Maybe, disrespectful until I went to the Vatican and saw the tombs designed by architects and sculptors including the Pieta by Michelangelo.I visited Florence and the unfinished slaves at the Academy di Belle Arti. Later, the unfinished work at in Milan, the Rondannini Pieta. It was the unfinished work that interest me the most. Unfinished but complete and psychological. Like modernism, about procedure and materials. Every mark that Michaelangelo made with his chisel left a view of his process in making art. 

How did you become a professional artist?

I … Click here to read more

Gregory De la Haba

Artist Q&A with Gregory de la Haba

A skilled painter with a pedagogical lineage that stretches back to Jacques Louis Davide, he is an exemplary practitioner of fine art whose conceptual practice resists categorization. Gregory De la Haba’s work explores themes of addiction, contemporary notions of masculinity and Duende, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity derived from pure artistic expression. It is from this place that the artist unlocks his true self—both in art and in life. 

“Portrait of Gabriel (green)”, oil on canvas, 108 x 108 in | 274 x 274 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

The three unknown guys who created Laocoön and His Sons on display in the Vatican. This work, and others like it from antiquity and from the Renaissance.

How did you become a professional artist?

I didn’t know what the other choices were. When you’re drawing since childhood and all you care to do is look at art such a career choice almost becomes predetermined.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Clearly the pandemic put things in perspective as far as what’s relevant (painting) and important (family). I’m content cooking for the family, and painting. Nothing more, really.

Unfortunately, when I do go out I see the pandemic has brought about more homelessnes and people in dire need of help. On that note, my work has always had a strong focus on the trials and tribulations of humanity and I can’t help but capture some of the present hardships surrounding us at the moment. In that regard, there is a bit of documentary-like thematics pertaining the work.

Gregory De La Haba, portrait by Shane LaVancher.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

All I know with certainty is that I’m different … Click here to read more