Category: Mixed Media

Willie Cole

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

Kaoruko

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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Tali Rose Krupkin

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