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

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

Nigerian-born artist and architect Peju Alatise on her back-to-back Venice Biennales, Yoruba influences, and giving back to Africa

We recently sat down with Nigerian-born artist and architect Peju Alatise at her new Glasgow studio to find out more about her back-to-back Venice Biennales, how she juxtaposes being a contemporary architect and fine artist, and how Yoruba culture has helped her work stand out in today’s global art world.

“You need a little bit of luck, as we know arduous work isn’t everything. Do what you do because you love it, and because you can’t live without it.” 
– Peju Alatise
“Alagemo” sculpture, part of “Alasiri” installation at the Arsenale of the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2021. Photo credit: Adeyemo Shokunbi 

Alatise is an interdisciplinary artist, architect, and author of two novels. She started her professional career as an architect while running a private art studio. These days, she is a leading voice in contemporary art on the African continent. Her practice is relentlessly experimental and labor-intensive. She produces works across a variety of mediums, techniques, and materials, including but not limited to paintings, film, installations, sculptures. Her work is also pointedly political, often asking damning questions, and provoking reflections about the times, the state of affairs at home and abroad. The artist’s work has, in the past, explored exploitative labor practices in Nigeria, child rights with a focus on young girls, state-sanctioned violence against citizens, migration and the policies that ensure that many die at sea, seeking a better life. Alatise now produces through the lens of spirituality and Yoruba cosmology, leaning into ancient storytelling traditions and crafting alternative social imageries.

When asked about some of her favorite artists, Alatise hesitated for a moment, and eventually offered the answer that it changes from season to season. Right now, she is looking at Mexican sculptor Javier Marín and continues to be impressed Chiharu Shiota whose work she first discovered at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Marin’s … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Swan Scalabre

Swan practice is inspired by the images of Épinal from her childhood. She created her female portraits from tales stories, classical movies, and their iconographies. The artist graduated from The Beaux-Arts in Paris, and her career has since driven her to be eclectic. Her work reflects her own artistic journey. With her paintings on wood, watercolors drawings, private notebooks, and secret boxes, Swan builds a rich pictorial universe revealing step by step a world that belongs only to her.

“Ornements n6”, oil on wood, 8 x 6 in | 20 x 15 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

One of my favorite painters is Joannes Vermeer. I discovered not long ago that my ancestors were Flemish, so it further reinforced my attraction for the artist. I particularly like the mystery and poetry of his works. The small size of the canvases is also a modest common point with my own work.

How did you become a professional artist?

I always drew and painted growing up, and after graduating from the Beaux-Arts de Paris, friends and collectors started becoming interested in work. I never looked back.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

My inspiration is essentially the image of women. I seek an absolute truth through my portraits, and try to understand their dreams, secrets, and wounds; all with a desire to escape reality.

Swan Scalabre, portrait by Fran Littlewing.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My work is original by the combination of very small formats that I use combined with the mixture of Onirism and daring time that many find interesting.

When is a piece finished for you?

A painting is completed when the story I tell myself in my mind is presented … Click here to read more

The Future of Art: Willie Cole, a contemporary artist creating unique work and positive change.

Willie Cole has been ­­­making innovative work with unique iconography for over half a century, but talking to him, he sounds like a friendly, smart colleague or neighbor next store. Perhaps that’s why his work is so accessible and inspirational.

The artist, who lives in Mine Hill, NJ, has been the subject of shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2001), and Miami Art Museum (2001). These institutions, some of the biggest in the world, along with private collectors from New York to Los Angeles, see something provocative in his work.

When Art Review City caught up with him, the artist invited us to a visit his home studio where he was finishing the works for the collective exhibition “There’s There There,” curated by renowned American artist Rashid Johnson at blue-chip gallery Hauser and Wirth’s Southampton location. This show invites visitors to reflect upon the pleasures and complex histories of the shapes, movements, and objects that permeate the everyday, and Cole’s ironing board works are clearly the stars of the show. 

Installation view, ‘There’s There There’, Hauser & Wirth Southampton, 2021. © Hauser & Wirth. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

The artist has spent a lifetime working to look at thing differently than most artists. He is most concerned with recycling, green energy, and living a healthy and spiritual life to live at one with Mother Earth. He spent many of his early days in a pew at Sunday School, and later studied Buddhism in high school and college, but today he says he is a “no-frills nature worshipper” which explains a lot about him as a man and as an artist. “Nature, no matter what you call it, is powerful, and it deserves to be admired … Click here to read more

Bonnie Richards Becker sat down with artist David Kastner and spoke with him about growing up in the Midwest, his constant experimentations of materials of the course of his life’s work, and his current phase that has a renewed focus on color and the process of painting.

“Finding that moment when the human mind is free, but before conscious activity develops consecutive thought, was a difficult mental space to understand, exist in, and use for the creative moment of expression..”
– David Kastner
David Kastner, photo by Gale Richards.

My first real recollection of art came from the Art Institute in Chicago. My mother took me to the Museum when I was about five years old. Seeing the various paintings, sculptures, and other media left a deep impression that persists in my life today. Before that, I only knew of my own love for making and building things. But there I first felt the effects of the many great artists who left their ideas for others to see. Without really knowing what the creative process meant, I knew I wanted to create.

While it is possible to reflect on early childhood development, attempting to identify when and how the creative process came into being in one person’s life, it is likely there is a more general creative essence in that person’s life, rather than a singular epiphany. For me, I knew early on that I liked making things. This meant piling sticks, digging, and making marks in mud, etc. These early renderings were a precursor for more complex mark making that became the pursuit of my life’s work to date.

In elementary school we had art class with pencils, paints, and clay – and all the other materials a small child needs to build their first artistic masterpieces. Inspired by … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Bobbie Moline-Kramer

Bobbie Moline-Kramer was born in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1946, and is now based in California. She traces her interest in art to a course she took at a local community college with Conceptual art pioneer John Baldessari, and to assistant work she did with Allan Kaprow, the originator of “Happenings.” As a painter, Moline-Kramer has pioneered a unique fusion of hyperrealism and gestural abstraction; she has also worked in mixed media. Drawing on personal narrative alongside art-historical reference, she has produced several distinct series while maintaining a deliberate compositional heterogeneity. Moline-Kramer teaches oil painting and is an adjunct professor at California State University, Long Beach.

“American Shunga, Zen Sensual”, oil paint, colored gesso, graphite on handmade Japanese paper, 40 x 60 in | 102 x 152 cm, 2018

How did you become a professional artist?

 Initially I became an artist because I was good at it, thus getting lots of praise from assorted adults. Then as I became older, I magically fell in love with both the concepts and the processes of making art. To this day, facing a blank surface still excites me with its unlimited possibilities.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

My latest series American Shunga celebrates both life and love. 2020’s lockdown was for me a time of paring the extemporaneous with a rediscovery of the essence of living…love.  Of the importance of the combination of love and spirituality in trying to achieve the ultimate in love, a Greek/Christian concept called agape. Agape love is a selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love which I think I captured in a delicate piece that’s part Tales of Adjusted Desire online at Robert Berry Gallery.

Bobbie Moline-Kramer, photo by Tim Janssens.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

Since being an artist doesn’t pay the bills, … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with David Carbone

David Carbone,  Professor Emeritus of Painting and Drawing in the Department of Art and Art History, University at Albany, SUNY, received his B.F.A. at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. He also spent a summer in Maine at the Skowhegan School, and later, earned his M.F.A. at Brooklyn College. He has studied with T. Lux Feininger, Henry Schwartz, Jan Cox, Barnet Rubinstein, Gabriel Laderman, Lee Bontecou, Jacob Lawrence, Jimmy Ernst, Carl Holty, Harry Holtzman, Joseph Groell, Philip Pearlstein, Alfred Russell, and Sylvia Stone. Carbone has had seven one-person exhibitions including shows at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Zoe Gallery, Boston, David Brown Gallery, Provincetown, and Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco. He is a painter, critic, and curator living in New York City. He has shown his work across the country and written for various print and online publications.

“Neither Out Far Nor In Deep”, oil on canvas, 42 x 70 in | 102 x 178 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Really, is there anything duller than an artist talking about their love of a famous artist—we all know too well: Leonardo, Piero, or Vermeer! Yes, they are all worthy. Perhaps, having a favorite artist may even be dangerous? Often, it points to a limited experience of art or worse to a limited capacity to respond to the varieties of human experience. For me, much of the value of a life in art is found in a conversation between works of art. Art, even when it is buoyant and joyous, is a matter of contemplation and meditation; I always look toward what is hidden in plain sight.

How did you become a professional artist?

Did I have a choice? Not that my parents wanted me to become an artist; it isn’t an easy career by any … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Kaoruko

Kaoruko’s painting process pays homage to both traditional and contemporary Japanese artistic methodologies by using water-based paint (acrylic), gold leaf, sumi-e (traditional calligraphy techniques), ukiyo-e (traditional Japanese woodblock prints) and silkscreened kimono patterns on canvas. By juxtaposing all these similar yet separate elements, Kaoruko weaves together narratives of the young and old, the bourgeoning and bygone to deliver poignant paintings that straddle cultural, sexual and geographic beliefs and stereotypes of feminine identity at a crucial time that is rewriting the narrative on what it is to be female both here and abroad.

“Teddy Bear”, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 60 x 54 in | 152 x 137 cm, 2018

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Gustav Klimt

How did you become a professional artist?

I was a Japanese pop singer when I was a teenager. Based on my experience of playing the “kawaii (pretty/cute)” character in Japan, I still keep expressing the beauty of women in the art world.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I am currently inspired by the unique Japanese traditional crafts such as “Washi”, traditional Japanese paper, “Aizome”, Japanese indigo dye, and “Arita-yaki”, Japanese porcelain.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

I incorporate the Japanese culture, like Japanese paintings and manga with my works. I use a method of drawing in 2D with a “Mensoufude”, fine pointed brushes and using a 200-year-old kimono pattern into a silk screen to make it look like a collage.

When is a piece finished for you?

When I start drawing my work, my inspiration talks to me. Coincidence calls for the chance. Various colors and ideas are born by that voice. When the conversation stops, I finish the work.

Kaoruko, photo by Hisao Taya.

What’s different

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