Artist Q&A with Robin Antar

American sculptor Robin Antar was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1957. All of Antar’s current work is rooted in observation. “Whatever is going on, I express it in stone,” Antar says. “It could come out as realism, as an abstract form, or as a combination of both. The style I use is one that best reflects the inspiration behind each piece.”

“Ballpark Frank”, limestone, travertine, mixed media, and steel, 12 x 39 x 16 in | 31 x 100 x 41 cm, 2017

How did you become a professional artist?

Ever since I took chisel to stone over forty years ago, sculpting has been my “language” for communication. I’ve sculpted through teenage angst, marriage, divorce, having children and losing one of them to addiction. 

In my early years, aesthetic beauty and superficial thought were not a concern as I focused instead on fundamental feelings and basic sensations, creating abstracted sculptures with an uncommon perspective, jarring color and anomalous form. I set up a working studio in Brooklyn after receiving my BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and continued carving in a loose, intuitive style rooted in my emotions and personal experiences. I created a series of carved stone knots as an exploration of the formal possibilities of intertwinements. While the imagery of knotting is deeply embedded in our consciousness as a metaphor for unresolvable or transformative conflicts, my choice of marble for this series has connections to nature and high culture in art history. My most powerful work, David’s Knot in Flames, reflects this perfectly. Carved in Turkish marble, I created the sculpture in memory of my youngest son who passed away at the age of 26. The knot represents his pain as 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

New York dealer Valerie Goodman speaks with Art Review City about her new gallery, and forging her path to freedom.

Goodman opened her eponymous gallery after a long and prosperous career in the music business. She began on this new path to the art world selling French decorative art mostly from the 1930s and 40s. Today, she works closely with a high-profile roster of artists who have been featured in publications from World of Interiors to Architectural Digest, and in shows from New York to Taiwan including at the Queens Museum and the Aqua Miami fair.

“Art is the way to freedom,” declares Valerie Goodman, a veteran dealer with over a decade of experience selling art and design in the Upper East Side of New York.
Valerie Goodman, photo by Karen Kolberg.

While studying for a master’s degree in literature at The Sorbonne in Paris, she became interested in the music world and quickly became engrained in that community. It was then that she first found her passion for interacting with creators and started to work with them to bring to life their ideas and goals. Scouting talent in her city of Paris, Goodman helped young artists get record deals. She was managing a group of artists, promoting shows, and this new career would bring her to the United States. Seeking to expand her reach in the world of art, Goodman sought out opportunities that were of interest: from bringing talent to the New York trendy music convention, the New Music Seminar to managing musicians, to distributing a French film by Claire Denis, and to developing opportunities for the Sam and Larry Shaw photographic collection.

In 2003, Goodman met a gallerist who specialized in French decorative art. She started working with him and discovered the treasures of 20th century decorative art. For … Click here to read more

Q&A with American Art Expert Peter Falk

Peter has been a leader in art reference publishing during the past 40 years. He is best known as the author of the biographical dictionary, Who Was Who in American Art. He is currently the Chief Curator and Editor of Discoveries in American Art, which is the only art publication largely focusing on bringing greater recognition to the lives and works of artists that were marginalized or slipped through the cracks of art history.

Peter Falk, photo by Don Leeds.

How did you get started in the art world?

It’s in the genes. My mother was an artist and went to RISD. At Brown, I was split between art studio and art history. I did my graduate work at RISD. Then I had no money. Zero. I liked poking around the antique shops in Providence and would pick up Old Master prints, becoming self-taught. I kept turning $20 purchases into $500 by selling them to galleries in New York and Boston, realizing I was becoming a “picker” a.k.a a “runner.” But I also knew that it was too tough to continue that route as a sustainable business. Fortunately, one day I found some drawings in a shop that looked an awful lot like those of Winslow Homer. I did research and tracked down the artist’s estate collection. Turned out the artist was a good friend of Homer but he wound up becoming completely forgotten. He was historically significant, having produced a huge series of on-the-spot drawings documenting the Civil War battles, post-war reconstruction, and the nation’s Westward expansion. This huge  collection had been stored away in trunks in a log cabin on the edge of the Vermont State Forest. I was stunned. The family was willing to sell, and in full bravado I convinced … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Lenora Rosenfield

Lenora was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil and in the last 20 years she is painting in a new fresco procedure, she created made of synthetic materials for building constructions, one of her researches.

“DNA”, synthetic fresco on non woven fabric, 38 x 57 in | 98 x 146 cm, 2020

How did you become a professional artist?

I think art chose me, because I never thought of something else seriously. Everything I thought since I was a little child was related to art.

When is a piece finished for you?

There is something in my body that tells me to stop. I have a feeling of being full, like after I had a big and great meal. 

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

As a teenager I was first influence by Hieronymus Bosch, after by the expressionist like Goya that I conceder one of the first expressionist, and later Van Gogh. In Brazil I was very influenced by Ibere Camargo, by his brush strokes freedom to paint). American artists I was very inspired by Eva Hesse, the way she thought about art, and Robert Morris’ wool felt. Since I started to work with maps, I realized how I was also inspired by my travels and my grandparents that came from four different countries: Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Turkey. I met them all and the first one died when I was 20 years old. I was always very curious about them, how they got to Brazil and how was their lives before. I am very influence by that. I love to know my own and the human being origins, about the cave man and all the layers, what came first, and that research never ends. It is difficult to tell about my inspirations … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Lynn Stern

Lynn Stern was born and raised in New York, where she continues to live. Stern works with black and white film and indirect, natural light; since 1985 she has been doing studio work, using a scrim of translucent white or black fabric. The Lynn Stern Archive is located at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson.

 “Quickening #19-40a”, Archival Inkjet Pigment Print, 38 x 43 in | 97 x 109 cm, 2019

Why did you become an artist?

I never considered it as a child. My father had a collection of abstract expressionist work that he began collecting in the late 40s through the early 60s, so I grew up with a lot of amazing work on the walls, and, though I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, I found it intimidating:  it never occurred to me that I could become an artist – especially since I can’t draw! Then, in my early thirties I helped set up shots for architectural interiors – my first exposure to photography – and found that I loved composing through the lens. So, I started studying at ICP (the International Center of Photography) and quickly became hooked.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

What distinguishes my work as a photographer is that I think of the medium as one of light, not representation. For many years I have been working in my studio with diffused north light and a transparent white or black scrim, making whatever object is juxtaposed with it less literal rather than more so; my goal is to make visible a quality that is invisible – to transform the object from something seen that is valued for its striking outer aspects to something seen that is valued as the expression of something unseen, … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Florence Montmare

Florence Montmare was born in Vienna, and raised in Stockholm by Swedish and Greek parents who spoke German. At the age of 22, she ventured to New York City to pursue a career as an artist. She is based in New York and Stockholm and represented by Ivy Brown Gallery in New York.

Broken Horizon (Diptych)”, Scenes from an Island series, C-Print, 22.5 x 39 in | 57 x 99 cm, 2015

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Hard to pick just one! I love Deborah Turbeville, Maya Deren, Tarkovsky, and of course Ingmar Bergman.

How did you become a professional artist?

I studied at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography in New York and for a few years afterwards I worked closely with some of the faculty, Sam Samore, and Robert Blake assisting and simultaneously making my own art. I went on to create my studio practice working in New York and Stockholm and exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, such as Saarland museum, Casino Luxembourg, and the Centre d’art Contemporain du Luxembourg among other places.

What are the influences and inspirations in your new works?

All my work starts from my personal experience. Film, performance, music, painting, sculpture and poetry inspire me. My influences are also my diverse cultural background, having grown up in Vienna and Stockholm; plus I speak several languages.

When is a piece finished for you?

I rely on my intuition entirely here. A piece is finished when I don’t have anything additional to say about a subject.

Florence Montmare, photo Maria Molin.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

I don’t believe that art can be isolated, rather, it connects to the collective consciousness. As photographers go, we have to relate … Click here to read more

The Elixir of Ataraxy in a Sea of Trouble

For nine long months the United States has been facing severe distress from the coronavirus forcing the closing of galleries, museums and art centers in New York City. But WhiteBox Harlem continues to independently operate as a community engaged nonprofit venue, a beacon for art lovers for 22 years despite facing numerous crises over the years. Over two decades, it has nurtured many outstanding artists in New York City and abroad, continuing its mission as an experimental center for experiencing new art with social èlan. 

“Exodus V: Aesthetics in the Political” is an exhibition curated by New York-based Kyoko Sato. This remarkable curatorial creates new metrics putting under scrutiny a diverse, singular group of 17 contemporary expat Japanese women artists aged 31 to 84 who chose to emigrate to New York to continue and expand their careers in a less constrained atmosphere than back home. Due to the increasing number of practicing female artists in the art scene in the past 30 years, art museums in Western countries have begun to have many feminist inspired exhibitions awakening the public’s attention to this voluminous subject. Most exhibitions tend to emphasize the inequality between men and women, or talk about women’s sexuality openly such as women’s awareness of the autonomy of their bodies. Time and again, some of these thematic shows unfortunately become cliché. In the spirit of finding a differential, I was quite curious to see how “Exodus V” may be different from many of these other women’s exhibitions I have witnessed.

Image courtesy of WhiteBox Harlem

At the opening reception I went through the entire exhibition and interviewed several of the exhibiting artists. I must confess my experience and exchanges observing the whole affair felt like an awakening stream of fresh … Click here to read more

Artist Q&A with Paul Brainard

“Lexicon Leader”, oil on linen, 40 x 55 in | 102 x 140 cm, oil on linen, 2020

Why did you become an artist?

I really don’t think that I had a choice. Making art is something that i do every single day; it is in my blood.

Paul Brainard, self portrait with child

How is your work different than everything else out there?

II think that it is an interesting blend of the absurdity of existence, modernist formalism and vulnerable self effacement. 

What’s different about your current body of work?

I am simultaneously trying to combine elements of the personal and the formal in a way that makes a very diverse visual language.

“Moron at the Genius Bar”, oil on linen, 18 x 17 in | 45 x 42 cm, 2020

What’s coming up for you?

I just did two shows back-to-back at the Java Project Brooklyn. The first one “Covid Kids Club” was work that was made during the Covid – 19 lockdown in NYC. March and April were especially difficult in Queens with constant sirens and death all around you. I was a few miles from the epicenter of the epicenter of Covid -19 in the first wave, so it was comforting to stay home and make art. The second show at the Jave Project is “The boring Gaze” a group show of NYC and Danish Artists co-rated by myself and Frodo Mikkelsen. It was very difficult to install 15 artists in such a confined space but i am very happy with the result . The gallery is open by appointment from November 7th to December 7th, 2020.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?

Listen to your own inner voice because this is the thing that makes you a … Click here to read more