Artist Q&A with Terry Rodgers

Terry Rodgers is an internationally recognized artist who has worked and lived in Washington, DC, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Rodgers’ current work focuses on portraying contemporary body politics. His rendering of an imaginary leisure life stands as an iconic vision of the tensions and confusions endemic to today’s society. These images are not snapshots or slices of life, but rather a compression and dissection of our rampant imaginations and mediated influences. The seductive and marvelous glamour of the outer world jars against the vulnerability and delicacy of our inner and private selves.

“The Garden of Good and Evil”, oil on linen, 48 x 78 in | 122 x 198 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I have many artists that I admire for many different reasons. So, for me, it is impossible to choose one. Let me list a few in no particular order: Piero della Francesca, Max Beckmann, Joel Peter Witkin, John Singer Sargent, Toulouse-Lautrec, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Anders Zorn, Diego Velazquez, Agnolo Bronzino, Edgar Degas, Cy Twombly, Auguste Rodin Edouard Manet, Peter Paul Rubens, and Alice Neel.

How did you become a professional artist?

Interest and obsession have a lot to do with it, and looking and noticing carried me away.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Perhaps more important is, what do I think about when I’m developing the Magwerks and the archival prints?

What are the effects of our super-photographic world, the miraculous, if not realistic, screen and magazine colors, the high impact graphic design of everything, the perfect plating requirements of the would-be food aficionados? What is it about the “best of, highest-rated, 5-star” that so commands our attention? Someone’s attention.  

And then what is it about the sloosh of a sloppy smear of … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Tali Rose Krupkin

Tali Rose Krupkin is an Israeli-American artist based in Jersey City, NJ. Krupkin attended the Year Course program in Israel, and received her BFA in Painting and Art History at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. She draws inspiration for her work from her own experiences as they relate to topics of feminism, spirituality, and nature. In her recent collection of work, the artist pays homage to women reclaiming their voices to oppose forced societal pressures of objectification and expected domesticity.

“Deep in the Sushi”, collage, 14 x 11 in | 36 x 28 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Matt Bollinger is an artist that continues to be a great influence for me. Having initially viewed his work through a screen, I was drawn to his handling of paint and use of color. In 2015, I had the opportunity to experience his work in person at Zürcher Gallery and was blown away by his inclusion of collage in his paintings. When he spoke at New York Studio School in 2018, I was further intrigued by his depictions of personal narratives and his ability to de-idolize “finished” parts of his paintings, which he continuously paints over to create his animations.

How did you become a professional artist?

If you’re an artist, you’re an artist. You simply are. Growing up, I was at peace when I was creating, and that’s still true for me now. My creativity and self-expression are an integral part of who I am. From a career perspective, it’s much like any other path; you make a plan, and you work on that plan every single day. 

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Inspirations for my work come from my female experience, an exploration … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Dan McCormack

Dan McCormack is a New York-based photographer who uses traditional 8 x 10 black-and-white film in a homemade oatmeal-box pinhole camera to create wide-angle distortions with the cylindrical focal plane. There is a sense of discovery and joy in his process, as the resulting images are unpredictable and surprising. The familiar becomes unfamiliar, the ordinary extraordinary. By then replacing the black-and-white values with subtle hues through successive pulling of curves in Photoshop, he interacts with and interprets the image. The “Nude at Home” is a subset of a larger pinhole-camera project that begun in 1998. In this series, he photographs the model nude in her own home, apartment, or studio, surrounded by her possessions for two-minute exposures. A collaboration between model and photographer, the images attempt to reveal an intimate portrait of the subject. He currently heads the photography program at Marist College.

“Caitlin_F_4-26-15–11AB”,  pinhole camera image, 23 x 20 in | 58 x 51 cm, 2015

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Photographer Aaron Siskind is my favorite artist of all time. He was my basic photographer teacher, but more importantly he showed me what a personal vision is all about. He also gave me the sense to trust myself. His work speaks to an audience.

How did you become a professional artist?

I was never concerned about being an artist. I was concerned about making better photographs. The more and more that I worked at making more and more successful images I looked back and saw that I had become an artist.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

When I was a student, I went to every photography exhibition in a gallery or museum in Chicago where I was studying. I went to every library that I could get … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Busser Howell

Busser Howell is an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor who lives and works in New York City. His painting has undergone a steady and restless evolution, from the exploration of geometrical shapes as a vocabulary for generating harmony and luminosity, to a series of tar paper and mastic aerial-view collages evoking the landscape of night bombing at the beginning of the Iraq war, to a period of more densely-textured works that were both more formal in the rectilinear division of the canvas. Originally from Ohio, Howell attended the Dayton Art Institute, Wright State University, and Boston University School of Fine art.

“Untitled (201025)”, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 in | 122 x 183 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I do not have one favorite artist. The first time I saw the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, and Fauves in Paris, I was blown away with their beauty, the colors, and use of paint. I love Egyptian wall paintings, sculpture, and design, Minoan art, Byzantine wall paintings, murals in Pompeii, Roman mosaic floors, Etruscan sarcophagi, 14th century Italian painting, Dutch painters of the 16th century, Chinese ancestral portraits, Primitive American portraits by itinerate artists, folk art, and children’s paintings. I like Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Kline, Rothko, Klee, and Pollock. Obviously, I have forgotten many, but these all stand out in my mind.

How did you become a professional artist?

I believe the short answer to becoming a professional artist is that I was born that way. There was never a time in my life that I did not know that my being was meant to create. Fortunately, I had a supportive family that gave me the opportunity to study painting with an American impressionist at the age of 13, and I attended the … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Marc Stamas

A born and raised New Yorker whose work has graced the pages from some of the most respectable outlets from around the world: from fashion, modeling campaigns, catalogs, celebrity, sports, et cetera. Marc’s been a professional photographer for most of his career and his motto is short and sweet, ‘I just want to shoot better tomorrow than I did today.’ But it was around 15 years ago that he moved into art, and I’ve had the pleasure to work with him at one of my galleries. I remember what he wrote in his bio, ‘People call me an Artist. I believe I’m more of a poet paying tribute to Rembrandt; dark, chiaroscuro with the use of my camera and brushes.’ That’s when I realized that he was hiding something about his art, and the pain was quite obvious within his body of work, and every time I would try and get him to open up, he would just walk away almost in tears and whisper, ‘It’s not about me, it’s about the art.’

“Mon Amour”, mixed media, 20 x 27 | 51 x 67 cm, 2010

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

It should be you; you should be focused on you and nothing else. But if you want to know two artists that I can relate to: one is Monet, but Rembrandt is where I hide, where the true artist comes alive.

How did you become a professional artist?

By people believing in my work, my words and discipline. All I ask is to be left alone. Is that asking too much while I do what I do best? But with all of my success it meant nothing to me, while the world around me came crashing down as tragedy has a … Click here to read more

Deborah Brown’s Reprieve from Isolation 

In her first solo show with Anna Zorina Gallery, Deborah Brown’s “Things As They Are” is a reflection on the world as a whole, not just the state of humanity during COVID-19 quarantine. The exhibition features new paintings that were created over the last year in complete isolation from the world. The show takes place at the 532 West 24th Street from January 7 through February 13, 2020.

The artist has spent the last ten months furiously working on this new grouping of works. Many creatives have spent their quarantine flooding social media with memes and views of their homes, but seasoned painter Brown has done the opposite and created a spectacular exhibition that has transformed the way she creates by looking within herself for inspiration.

Photography by Stan Narten. Image courtesy of Anna Zorina Gallery, New York.

The themes in her Anna Zorina debut depict art historical standards of self-portrait, still life, and landscape, but cumulatively, Brown paints a cohesive new body that truly captures the feeling of isolation. Though the drudgery of everyday feeling exactly the same is present, there is a lot of optimism that seems to ground every work. In the stand out work entitled Tiger, the artist depicts herself sitting in a post-modern chair seated with her legs crossed reading an unnamed book. On one side of the figure is a small dog, the other a large tiger sculpture, and the entire scene is draped in shadow and light from a paned window. With a moderately ambiguous space, the artist expresses a lot of what is going on the entire exhibition and in the world around us. There is an overall feeling of isolation, solidarity with the artist’s surroundings, and a very abstract and uncertain understanding into what … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Johan Wahlstrom

Stockholm-born Johan Wahlstrom is an artist who is making a conscious effort to describe the social and political landscape of our contemporary world. His ironic series Social Life gives a perfect sense both from a conceptual as a formal point of view of this estrangement. He is a magnificent observer of our social lives.

“Turmoil”, urethane and color pigments on canvas, 62 x 54 in | 157 x 137 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Leon Golub

How did you become a professional artist?

I am the 5th generation of artists on my mother’s side and you could say it was in my blood from an early age. I have always loved expressing myself through the arts. It started with painting, went into Rock ‘n’ Roll, and then back to painting.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Today’s society, news, my travels, and people that I meet. I see myself as a journalist portraying what I see and hear through my paintings.

Johan Wahlstrom, self-portrait.

When is a piece finished for you?

That is always a difficult question that I constantly battle with. Normally it is finished when I feel that the painting is talking to me and makes me feel.

What’s different about your current body of work?

Most likely many of my distorted face paintings are less obvious, less in your face, thanks to adding more abstraction. 

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

Moving to New York five years ago certainly affected my career, as did my two man show “From 1960’s Celebrities To Today’s Social Media, From Warhol To Wahlstrom” with Andy Warhol in 2018.  I have also been part of group shows in Europe … Click here to read more

Art Review City speaks with New York dealer Howard Shapiro about opening his gallery, some of his success stories, and his unique approach to the business of art.

“My dream was always to open an art gallery. No other business would allow me to be surrounded by beauty and help artists get the recognition that they deserve.”
– Howard Shapiro, owner of Lawrence Fine Arts in East Hampton, NY

Howard Shapiro spent over two decades as a consumer finance expert on Wall Street at firms including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, so his friends and family were surprised when he decided in 2009 to pivot his career by opening an art gallery. But it turned out to be a winning combination: he brought with him an acute understanding of business and finance, and quickly evolved from art startup to standout.

Howard Shapiro in front of Harriette Joffe, “Untitled”, 40 x 50 in | 102 x 127 cm, c. 1980. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Fine Art.

Art was always his passion, but he took a circuitous route to get there. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Art History at Yale in 1983, Shapiro was accepted into Yale’s PhD program in Art History, but his parents insisted that he choose a “real” career instead. Art was something nice to look at—and buy when he could afford it—but it wouldn’t support a family. Looking back, he acknowledges that his parents had a point. The art world would have to wait.

The Wall Street life was hectic, so when Shapiro and his wife Esther could afford to start buying for themselves, they originally sought artwork that was calm and soothing and began collecting American Impressionist works. The first work they purchased—and still own today—from a small outdoor craft fair was a … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Michael Netter

For more than 40 years, Michael Netter has been religiously creating video art, paintings and assemblages. A self-taught artist, he became a protégé of Andy Warhol, fully immersed in the dynamic art world of New York in the early 1970s. He is represented by ACA Galleries in New York.

“Three Wise Men”, mixed media on canvas, 62 x 66 in | 157 x 168 cm, 1995

How did you become a professional artist?

I was always an artist in a sense; always loved art and saw it as a calling. I guess that’s kind of a standard answer, but I’m mostly self-taught.  As I reflect more on the question, I would say it was to put my creative self to work.  That I want to manifest my ideas in a lasting form of communication in a more conceptual and less literal manner than through words. 

When is a piece finished for you?

It’s magical – a piece feels unfinished until, with that one stroke, it’s all of a sudden finished. That can take 2 days or 10 years. I feel all work has the possibility of being good, you just must keep working at it.  In fact, sometimes I have felt like gessoing over a painting that I can’t see any potential in only to finally discover a path that works much later on. This might happen in the last 5% of effort on a work. 

Michael Netter, self portrait.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

I try to resist being influenced by other artists although I might see some dimension of their art that gives me an idea.  Some art influences/inspirations are – early Italian Renaissance painters like Cimabue, Fra Angelico, etc. because they are about icons and are relatively primitive; Paul Klee because much of … Click here to read more