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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover: Josh Garber, The Thought of Seeing, 2013 Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago / zollaliebermangallery.com
10 Josh Garber EDITOR & PUBLISHER
Christopher Oar 14
18 Jyl Bonaguro SOFA Expo 20 24 Albuquerque Pat Flynn 28 32 Raquel Diaz
Theresa Anderson Rachel Appelbaum F. Lennox Campello Michael Foster Justine Freeman Khakshour Jill McLean Dave Rigert
Amalfi Coast 36
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NOร REYES from the State of Puebla works as a delivery boy in Brooklyn, New York. He sends 500 dollars a week. Dulce Pinzรณn. 2005 C-print. 30x40 inches. Limited edition of 5 ( + 2 A/Ps) signed and numbered photographs
ALIDA ANDERSON ART PROJECTS | COME VISIT OUR BOOTH AT
November 3-6, 2016 | Festival Hall, Navy Pier 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
Showcasing artwork by F. Lennox Campello, Rory Coyne, Elissa Farrow-Savos, Lori Katz, Lauren Levato Coyne, Dulce Pinzรณn, Alma Selimovic, Tim Vermeulen & Audrey Wilson
DUALITY & COMPLETION
by Jill McLean
Josh Garber in his Cornelia Arts Building studio, Chicago, 2016
Josh Garber’s studio at the Cornelia Arts Building, just off the Chicago brown line, was awash in the early evening sun. It was a hot day and two huge fans were going full blast to move the air around the studio, heightening the smell of steel bar, brass, organic materials and brick walls. I’d been to his studio before, but four years had passed already. In a rare, two-hour discussion, he brought me into his world and we traversed through his first creative formations to the present. As we voiced energetic and artistic ideas, I couldn’t help but see repeating patterns and driving forces in each phase of his work. Josh’s early years were spent between Canada (his birthplace) and the U.S. In high school, he found the rigors of sports as a way to apply his teenage angst and football was his weapon of choice. It aligned something greater in him: the idea of manipulation and touch. A whole world of art opened up before him, where he found that he could direct, touch and manipulate the medium of clay, pursuing coil pottery. “Clay takes an imprint. It receives touch and has an immediate response. There’s a direct correlation between my sports and how it developed my brain and body together, which I then put into the tactility of clay.” While attending Alfred University, his first tipping point was making steel yield like fabric, bringing a rigid material into something warm and sensual. Lattice style structures emerged without the binding nature of the coil pottery, instead breaking apart the markmaking. Transmuting the physical qualities through energy, never-ending, continually regenerating, always providing, removing density, making it pliable. In other words, transforming steel into fabric. Josh’s fascination of mitochondria, biology and cell structures pushed him into the next endeavor: his use of aluminum bar and the philosophy of dual dimensions. Bringing the idea of permanence and the ephemeral together, the metal is stationary but the surface is animated because the ends of the bars reflect and refract light at different angles. It even changes based on the weather, where you stand as you view it, and as you move around it (many are outdoor installations). The eye moves continually around the surface. You are at once immersed into a world of something solid but moving and full of energy, always changing. Two seeming opposites, but working together to form an experience of completion. Then there is the beautiful use of industrial components that Josh has captured in his current work using hex nuts, screws and patina. The use of systems is elicited and it’s no longer about the materials, but the
The thought of seeing, stainless steel screws and hex nuts, 14 x 36 x 28 inches, 2013
Bloom, aluminum bars and pipe, 8 x 10 x 10.5 inches, 2010
collaboration of components. “I call these pieces “Eroticized Industry” because it’s more charged, using industrial components that make a system (male / female), but also systems on a larger scale, one that connects all of us. It’s “eroticized” because it’s the experience of connecting people. This happens in larger ways like bridges, but also in the sexual and psychological aspects of connecting human beings. “Industry” is cold, inert, functional. NOV/DEC 2016 11
From left to right: Beholden, welded steel over brass, 110 x 1.5 x 4 inches , 2005; After, we talked, welded bronze bar, 20 x 26 x 16 inches, 2012; Untitled, 3-D printed branches, 7 x 8 x 6 inches, 2015; In their clothes, tree branches, tape and shrink wrap (plus snow), 12 x 18 x 14 feet, 2015
“Eroticized” makes it connected to us, makes it human, brings in the emotional and organic aspects.” During his time of employing systems, he works in branches and shrink wrap. Wintertime installations purposely catch the snowfall, offering up the duality of temporal (branches) against ephemeral (changing environments like snow, footprints of viewers in the snow, outdoor weather and lighting). In the studio, he experiments with white on white as he creates 3-D printed branches and twisty-ties to hold them together (a system of sorts, and the duality of man-made against the concept of nature). One of Josh’s most spectacular pieces is a new sculpture exhibiting in EXPO CHICAGO 2016 with Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, titled Beholden.
The duality is supercharged in this one, as the heavier steel encases and caresses the softer, luminescent brass. Just as soulmates complement one another, they are also most complete together — one protecting, the other beatifying. The steel on the outside encases the gentle preciousness of the brass. Like a beautiful gem in a setting. And its height illuminates the very nature of this divine interaction, reflecting our hope for connection in perpetuity. Josh Garber is a fascination to witness. Every phase connects to the next, and each time the level of depth increases, but is always added to what emerged previously. A perfect equation for the sculptor ... carving deeper, wider, higher in telling the world about his internal and public relationships with his process, materials and identity. Jill McLean is a professional writer and artist working in Orange County, Los Angeles and Chicago. Email her with any inquiries: email@example.com
NOV/DEC 2016 13
CHRISTOPHER OAR: IN PROGRESS by Dave Rigert
Inspired by both industrial forms and nature, artist Christopher Oar has been designing and building art for public and private collectors for almost 30 years. When revealing new work, he’s often asked how long it took him to make. Without fail, he’s quick to reply with the number of years since his birth, “Because in my mind, it took me up until then, that moment, to complete it,” he says. Oar insightfully recognizes that his creative evolution, from concept to process and completion, has had a significant impact on his life and art. He began welding at the age of 18, a key factor in his journey as a sculptor, painter, furniture maker and jewelry designer, resulting in a vast catalog of work that’s been touted as innovative, minimalist, thoughtful, dynamic and interactive. Oar grew up in East Aurora, New York, a small town just outside Buffalo, the youngest of four boys. A natural athlete from a young age, he was even more strongly drawn to the arts. “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing something, and all surfaces were fair game. Doors, walls, tables, you name it,” he recalls. “My parents, who met and fell in love while working for Fischer Price [the toy company] have always been incredibly supportive, and gave me the freedom to create without boundaries.” Oar’s parents discovered early on their son struggled with dyslexia. Appealing to his passion for art, they introduced him to comic books as a way to help him learn to read. “Comic books are an art form. The way they tell a story has always made sense to
me,” Oar states. “I’m a huge fan of Jack Kirby, the American artist/ illustrator behind The Hulk, Silver Surfer, and more. His work is simultaneously pure and rich; the combination of clean lines, simple colors and bold words elicit an almost meditative experience. Even at 46, I still love comic books, and have a pretty large collection I read again and again. Some are pretty beat up after all these years, but my comics aren’t something I’d part with anyway.” In middle school, Oar was invited to a sleepover at his friend’s house, whose dad also happened to be an art teacher. Even though art was something he loved and came naturally to him, Oar had no formal training. When he arrived at the house, he found himself surrounded by endless stacks of art supplies. “It was magic, and I was hooked,” he says. From then on, he greedily absorbed as much information as he could, mirroring “the greats” in his quest to find his own voice. He’s become an ardent collector of art and architecture books, filling his studio with volumes on Martin Puryear, Noguchi, Brancusi, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, Taschen’s Scandinavian Design and Mike Mignola’s The Art of Hellboy. “It’s wild seeing how my work has morphed over the years, from basic childhood mimicry to the modern, minimalist style - always with a bit of whimsy - I’m known for today.” After high school, Oar enrolled at the Genova School of Furniture Design in upstate New York. Under the helm of English craftsman Tim Wells, seven teachers taught his class of five in a NOV/DEC 2016 15
converted schoolhouse just outside Ithaca, the celebrated hometown of Cornell University. The students’ workbenches lived in the gymnasium; the nurse’s office served as the dormitory. Oar spent three years at Genova studying the art of handcrafting wood and designing furniture. He credits his time at the School under Wells’ tutelage as the beginning of his professional development as an artist and a sculptor. At the age of 20, Oar left New York to follow his older brother Danny out west to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He had an affinity for the outdoor lifestyle, and made the most of mountain powder days and summers on the Yampa. Before long, he was an avid telemark skier, fly-fisherman and kayaker, all the while dedicating a portion of each day to create and work on his art. Steamboat was Oar’s home base for almost 21 years, and where he earned the reputation as a highly skilled craftsman and metalworker. He built luxury homes, designed and forged intricate high-end fixtures and furnishings, and eventually carved out a name for himself in Steamboat’s public art community. In 2007 and 2009, Oar was selected by the City of Steamboat Springs to design and build two significant pieces of public art: an outdoor sculpture named ‘Red Fern’ at The Howelson Ice Area, and the ‘Bike Racks’ at the Bud E. Werner Public Library. Between work, play, and his burgeoning public art career, Oar traveled the globe, immersing himself in other cultures and disciplines. He studied glassblowing at Pilchuck in Washington and Pennland in North Carolina; jewelry making in Florence, Italy, and Sacramento, California; restored national monuments in Washington D.C.; and discovered his passion for painting with oils along the way. His adventures took him to Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, where he designed twelve sculptures for his second show at Walker Fine Art in Denver, CO. In 2010 Oar left Steamboat for Denver, partly to help other artists build their work, but mainly for the chance to create and show more of his own work in the city’s inclusive and expanding 16
art community. While he’d been showing at Denver galleries since 2005, he was ready to dive into the Denver art scene, a world filled with opportunity in both the public and private sectors. When Oar first learned that each state requires a percentage of capital construction funds be allocated to public art, it was a light bulb moment. He realized his affinity for creating large-scale sculptures fit perfectly in the arena of public art, and submitted his first application for a project to the State of Colorado in 2007. Since that first submission, Oar has been shortlisted five times, most recently in 2016 for the McNichols Bike Art Installation and RiNo Park Public Art Project, and was selected by various committees as the lead/sole artist for The Denver Sherriff ’s Memorial in 2013, and in Steamboat Springs, the Bike Racks (2009) and Red Fern (2007). “The public art world is extremely competitive, and I’m honored to have made the cut for so many prominent pieces in such a short time in my adopted home state,” he said. “What I love about public art is that I get to create work in alignment with a community’s vision, and it’s shared with people I’ll likely never meet. That’s a really cool feeling.” In addition his growing presence in the public art world, Oar’s work has found a home in galleries and private and corporate collections. He’s been heavily influenced by artists like Constantine Brancusi, David Smith, and John Singer Sargent. Steel, aluminum, glass and wood are Oar’s materials of choice for sculpture and furniture making; oils are his preferred medium painting; carefully selected precious metals and unique stones can be found in his jewelry designs. Typically large in format and scale, Oar’s art illustrates both depth and whimsy, thoughtfully balanced in harmony with it’s intended home, be that a public space, a patron’s home, or an adornment worn to express one’s personal style. Oar’s most recent sculptures, both completed in August, 2016, feature recycled materials and functional objects designed with a playful twist. Dynamic and large in scale, ‘Bounce’ measures in at 9’3 x 9’3
x 2’. While made from recycled pallets and steel, its lighthearted nature creates a sense of familiarity and awe all at once. “I love the challenge of taking everyday things typically associated with a singular use, and transforming them into something even grander but still recognizable,” he said. Oar describes ‘Bounce’ as the epitome of the Readymade, a style and term coined by artist Marcel Duchamp. On the flip side, ‘Boilermaker’ is an abstract design made with cold connections. A multi-part sculpture, Oar bolted together various shapes and sizes of steel blocks, allowing for endless arrangements customizable to the owner’s preference. “The are absolutely zero welds in this piece, and the irony isn’t lost on me,” says Oar. “It’s a total departure from my usual work, being that I’ve been a professional welder for 28 years. ‘Boilermaker’ tells me I’m
evolving as an artist, creating in a new way, outside of my box, and that’s really exciting.” Be it a simple drawing or water color sketch, large format oils, conceptual maquettes or grand scale sculptures, a day without making art isn’t a day in the life of Christopher Oar. “Its an emotional process, birthing a work of art, then releasing it to it’s rightful owner,” he says. “Because while the concept is mine, once it’s done it no longer belongs to me. I grieve for a bit, before falling in love with the idea of starting anew, wherever that may be.” Oar considers himself a sculptor and a painter, and is the first to admit he greedily wants both the wall and the floor. “To do that, to achieve my goals and create great art, I’ve learned that when I let go of everything, my work will always find it’s rightful home, as another one awaits just around the bend.” christopheroar.com
NOV/DEC 2016 17
Ascension, Bianco Carrara Marble on Botticino Marble Base, 56 h x 22 w x 17 d inches
The Chicago-based sculptor Jyl Bonaguro will be exhibiting her latest series of Italian marble sculptures at Aqua Art Miami 2016 with Prak-sis Contemporary Art Association. Currently in the same week, Prak-sis CAA is also looking into the potential to show the sculpture at Scope Art Fair in Miami. This new series of sculptures on wings explores the texture and fragmentation possibilities inherent to marble itself. Parts left untouched in Bonaguro's sculpture is to expose the natural state of the marble, while other sections are highly developed to reveal the quality of detail and luxuriousness of the polished surface. The fragmented wings represent the aspiration of the soul towards a higher condition and are therefore messengers of hope. Her choice of materials is iconic and she flew to Italy this past summer to work in the quarries of Carrara, Italy. Carving marble by hand, Bonaguro’s beautiful sculptures loosely resemble fragments excavated by archaeologists. Her artistic intention is to reveal how countless civilizations have risen and fallen to be only reduced to ruins. This rise and fall reveals the fallacy of immortality and this endless cycle casts immortality and beauty as transient forms of illusion. However, far from the desolation such a realization could entail, she choses to embrace a wing as her symbol of change. The material of marble then takes on another
level as an earthly, heavy material that is offset by the apparent weightlessness and airiness of a wing in flight. Aqua Art Miami is the sister satellite fair to Art Miami and is a unique environment. Set in a classic South Beach hotel with spacious exhibition rooms that open onto a breezy, intimate courtyard, it has become a favorite gathering spot for collectors, curators and art lovers. It’s a place to discover fresh talent and acquire new works while exchanging cultural ideas and forming meaningful connections. Prak-Sis Contemporary Art Association, founded by Mi-yeon Kwon, has shown collaborative art projects with artists, local businesses, international projects, and not for profit organizations in the USA, Mexico, and in South Korea. Kwon is motivated by her belief that art can change the public’s life. Prak-sis CAA started a dynamic art experience, migrating to diverse locations across the cityscape in January 2009 in Chicago. Prak-sis CAA had transformed building spaces rendered vacant due to a downturn in the market, obsolescence, or neglect into art galleries. From these experiences Prak-Sis CAA has developed exciting projects in art expos and gallery exhibitions and special events. Currently, the GACI project by Kwon is set to create an outlet for artists' international exposure. jylbonaguro.com / park-sis.com
NOV/DEC 2016 19
SOFA EXPO: A PREVIEW
by F. Lennox Campello
For the last few decades, the phenomenon of the fine arts fair as the key venues for art collectors, dealers, curators, press, museum directors, art faculties, and all the other assorted members of the visual fine arts cabal to assemble in one place has been growing and expanding worldwide at a shocking pace. The explosion in the number of art fairs can easily be traced to an ignition point which occurred about a decade ago, when the founders and organizers of a well-established European fine arts fair called Art Basel (which. of course, takes place in Basel, Switzerland), began an American version of their successful European fair and started an American version in the gigantic Miami Beach Convention Center, and called it Art Basel Miami Beach or ABMB for short. Although over the years the success of that one art fair has resulted in the birth of multiple art fairs all over the world, Chicago can rightly boast bragging rights to hosting two of the 20
more established and respected art fairs in the nation: SOFA Chicago and EXPO Chicago (a.k.a. EXPO CHGO). As it name implies, the “Sculpture objects functional art and design” fair, better known all over the fine arts world by its acronym as SOFA, and now on its 23rd year, once focused mostly on three dimensional work. SOFA was (and remains) the art fair for the planet’s blue chip sculptors and functional art and design objects. Nevertheless, in reaction to the spectacular success of the many fine arts fairs spawned by the ABMB phenomenon, SOFA has been transforming itself into an art fair that has expanded to include the two-dimensional genres of the fine arts. Because of that focus, its longevity, and its recent change to an all-inclusive art fair, SOFA has become one of the two star dancers in the big dance of the Chicago art fair world; one might even exaggerate, and together with EXPO CHICAGO, we can
Sean Newport, Aura Loop Portal, 2016; Cordesa Fine Art
call this combo the Chicago art salon(s) of the 21st century. These fairs not only bring to the area many significant and important artists and galleries from all over the world, but also provides an opportunity for local Chicago art dealers to showcase their regional programs to an international collector base. The Chicago area galleries in this year’s SOFA include Ann Nathan Gallery, Gallery FW, Jean Albano Gallery, Pistachios, and Richard Norton Gallery. There’s also the logic of numbers as to why local galleries participate in a local art fair. Last year, over 36,000 people attended SOFA CHICAGO, with major works exhibited by well-known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Harvey Littleton, Tip Toland, John Chamberlain, Dulce Pinzon, Lino Tagliapietra, Tim Tate, Sheila Hicks, Michael Janis, Jonathan Boyd, and new emerging stars such as Audrey Wilson and Alma Selimovic. “Participating in art fairs like SOFA CHICAGO give us major exposure to the world of art. We have been part of SOFA CHICAGO since it started and we continue to look forward to show great excitement every year,” notes Ann Nathan, director and owner of Ann Nathan Gallery. That’s a keen observation, since in the ever fluid and rarified artmosphere of the art scene, there’s nothing like a major art fair to give a regional gallery worldwide exposure. “Participating in SOFA is an opportunity to highlight some of the Gallery’s most-important artwork in a venue that draws an international audience. We meet new customers as well as visiting with many of our dedicated and long-time collectors,” says Richard Norton, director and owner of Richard Norton Gallery. The gallery will be debuting a collection by artist John Knudsen at SOFA. Another key point, as major art fairs now tend to legitimize a gallery’s “footprint”, and there’s no better way to expose artists to an international audience than the exposure delivered by a major fair which draws visitors from all over the world. “We have participated in SOFA since its inception. Art Fairs are an excellent way to meet new people from many different places and introduce them to the gallery artists. It’s an excellent opportunity to connect with a lot of people in a short time and hope that some of them will be important collectors of the gallery’s artists. Also, many people come to the art fairs to buy art. Often, in the galleries, they are just ‘looking.’ A lot of work - but also a lot of fun,” observes Jean Albano, director and owner of Jean Albano Gallery. Albano will be featuring Donna Rosenthal, Hunt Slonem, and Courtney Timmermans. Since the commodification of art is the key to an independent commercial fine arts gallery’s survival, and as Albano notes and we have explained earlier, the logic of number and assembly of collectors often translates into sales; it’s also logical that key art fairs like SOFA and EXPO CHGO deliver not only a major cultural event to Chicago, but also a critical business opportunity
to commercial art galleries in the region. Built on the legacy of its predecessor of the same name, the current version of EXPO CHGO is in its fifth year, but has already developed a substantial reputation, and this year’s edition brings 145 galleries representing 22 countries and 49 cities from around the world. The fair also has a large number of Chicago area galleries, including Corbett vs. Dempsey, casati gallery, Douglas Dawson, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Richard Gray Gallery, Kavi Gupta, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Alan Koppel Gallery, McCormick Gallery, monique meloche, The MISSION, Richard Norton Gallery, ANDREW RAFACZ, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Efrain Lopez Gallery, devening projects + editions, DOCUMENT, and No Coast. “Chicago was one of the first cities in the United States to host an international art fair. Decades later, we once again have a first rate art fair for a first rate city. For almost 29 years Chicago has supported us, and I am proud to support Expo Chicago, as Tony Karman reestablishes our city as a fine art destination,” notes Catherine Edelman of Catherine Edelman Gallery. “Expo Chicago is a great opportunity for us locally to greet the art world of Chicago and the entire Midwest. Our stable of artists very much appreciate the exposure to a wide audience which otherwise may not be familiar with their work. Because it is a local fair for us, I will often exhibit one piece from each of our represented artists. Our mission as a gallery is to carry a wide representation of media and subject. We carry artists in all stages of career including emerging, mid-career and established,” adds William Lieberman of Zolla/Lieberman Gallery. Tony Karman is the President and Director of EXPO NOV/DEC 2016 21
A work by John Knudsen of Richard Norton Gallery
CHICAGO. When asked about the impact of the fair on the city, he notes that “EXPO CHICAGO is built on the grand tradition of a great international fair in Chicago that began in 1979. Back then, and even more so today, the exposition provides a convening moment for regional and international collectors, curators and arts professionals to visit our great city and to explore our museums, institutions, galleries and artist studios.” “Additionally, and most importantly, the exposition provides an important opportunity for our participating international galleries to meet with leading local curators, collectors and dealers on acquisitions, initiating future exhibitions and artist collaborations”, he continues. “Without a doubt there is a lasting legacy and positive impact on Chicago’s artists and cultural community as we welcome the art world each September.” “Each year, our Special Exhibitions program provides museums, institutions and organizations from around the world the unique opportunity to showcase their programming, highlight their upcoming exhibitions, directly engage new and old patrons and in many cases, directly fundraise through sales of commissioned artist editions and projects,” adds Tony Karman. “These partnerships are vital to the ongoing success of our exposition and we are extremely proud to work closely with the 23 international partners during our fifth edition.” 22
This year, that Special Exhibition program includes Aperture, one of the key center points of the photo community. At EXPO CHICAGO, Aperture will feature a selection of new limitededition prints and front list titles by artists including Mickalene Thomas, Gregory Crewdson, Paolo Ventura, Joel Meyerowitz, Richard Renaldi, Robert Cumming and Phyllis Galembo, among others. Another special exhibitor is Art+Culture Projects, which is a new initiative designed to strengthen museums, non-profits and leading cultural institutions across the country by creating a sustainable funding stream through the sale of limited edition prints and multiples. At EXPO CHICAGO, Art+Culture Projects will present new, limited edition artwork by Sarah Cain, Anna Sew Hoy, Betty Tompkins, Monica Majoli, Ruby Sky Stiler, Tony Tasset and Yinka Shonibare, among others. Proceeds from the sale of these works will benefit Art+Culture cultural partners including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Artadia, and others. EXPO CHICAGO took place September 22-25, 2016, and SOFA CHICAGO takes place November 3-6, 2016; both fairs are located at the Chicago’s Navy Pier.
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THE CURIOUS WORLD OF BALLOONING
AT THE ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA by Rachel Appelbaum
Every year during early October, hundreds of ethereal multi-colored creatures converge on a single field in Albuquerque. For nine days they ascend at dawn in a raucous flock. At dusk they congregate on the ground and glow in perfect unison. No, these are not radioactive butterflies- and fairies still aren’t real. These gentle, rotund, hot air filled nylon sacks, come in all shapes and sizes- from plump to “Angry-Bird”-shaped and they are magnificent. Albuquerque is host to the world’s largest hot air balloon festival. Over 500 balloons from all over the world launch into the sky daily creating what multiple sources claim is the world’s most photographed event. Ranging in design from the standard inverted teardrop to a menagerie of special shapes, the balloons represent 24
a myriad of nations and shades of nylon. Highlights of the festival include Darth Vader, Yoda and “SpyderPig” balloons. No matter their aesthetics, hot air balloons have three key components: the large fabric gas bag called the envelope, the hanging basket or gondola, and a propane burner to heat the air. Their construction has changed little since the first manned flight in 1783. Since their inception, balloons have gently wafted into literature and family flicks from Ray Bradbury sci-fi novels to Disney’s UP. However, the habits of balloons and balloon watchers remain largely a riddle wrapped in an envelope duffle bag, stuffed inside a trailer, to be driven on backcountry roads-- to quote Churchill if he were a balloonist. To begin, balloon pilots cannot directly steer their aircraft. They navigate by vertically ascending or descending
to catch different wind currents that blow in various directions at certain altitudes. The safest time to fly is at dawn and dusk, when gentle currents abound without the threat of thermal columns. Thermals are hot pockets of rising air heated by the sun and surrounded by corresponding dangerous downdrafts. Accordingly ballooning takes on a strange crepuscular schedule. It is 4am and I am not a morning person. Viewing a 78-acre field of balloons is the only scenario that I can imagine in which I would willingly leave my bed. I eat breakfast, layer up and line up to publicly transport to Balloon Fiesta Park. With just under a million attendees each year, the bussing system is remarkably smooth. I and the rest of the bleary-eyed mole people arrive in darkness in time to watch the Dawn Patrol, a handful of expertly trained pilots, take to the sky. This nighttime flying is highly demanding. It requires aircraft position lighting specially designed for the Fiesta, and the wherewithal to land a balloon in the dark-- in case of an emergency. Watching these master fliers helps the rest of the pilots to gauge wind speed and directionality for their morning flights. The sun rises over a field of steamrolled cartoons 1,000 square yards each: flat “Happy Orca”, flat “Sonic the Hedgehog”, and flat “Pigasus”. Balloon crews methodically roll out their dead, attach them to baskets and burners, and set about resuscitating them with large cold air fans. Children run through the inflating Technicolor rows while photographers kneel and take pictures of the balloons’ gaping maws. Cold air fans are switched out for propane burners as the balloons are guided to standing. Pilots and passengers climb into the baskets and majestically float off. This event is so immense, that the launch occurs in waves over a two-hour period. As soon as one balloon rises, the crew of a nearby trailer unloads it’s art piece and commences the process. Having been up in a balloon myself in Ohio, I’d like to note that landing is a bit of a happening. Typically balloons are flown in rural areas and must land where the wind takes them, often in fields or pastures. A fearless chase crew tails the balloon in flight, keeping in radio contact with the pilot until a landing site is chosen. The crew either gains permission from or apologizes to the unsuspecting property owner turned balloon-landing-strip proprietor. Although an odd imposition, the novelty of the experience charms most landowners and the balloon is quickly packed up and transported home by the crew. Now back in Albuquerque, hundreds of balloons have been unleashed, conceivably to blanket every cow pasture and cow for miles. As the balloons ascend, a type of magic occurs. Topography at the park dictates that low-level surface winds prevail from the North to South while higher winds blow in the opposite direction in a pattern known as the “Albuquerque Box”. Pilots can ride out on one current and back on the other, vertically looping multi-
ple times over the field as if on an invisible Ferris wheel before landing. The air grows thick with balloons in a dizzying display of color and depth. By late morning the balloons have landed. Exhausted and elated, I eat lunch and revisit dreamland. Around 3 p.m., the people migration begins again. Groggy and disoriented we return to the field for the evening “Glow”. The balloons rouse themselves. By dusk they stand in solidarity, inflated on the ground. Pilots listen on walky-talkies for the command to release flames. Every balloon lights up like a giant Chinese lantern in a perfectly timed stationary display. The puffs are only sustainable in short bursts; too much heat and the balloons will accidentally lift off. The flickering choreography continues for half an hour: 54 football fields NOV/DEC 2016 25
worth of seven-story-tall designer orbs glow. Fireworks follow. Then, like the tired tide, we retreat back to the busses and back to our hotels. Four a.m. will come again soon. In addition to balloon watching, speaking with the friendly and knowledgeable pilots is a true highlight of the festival. Owning a balloon is a bold life choice and transporting these cumbersome creatures is often a fraught but interesting experience. Most Americans attending the Fiesta trailer their balloons across country, whereas international balloonists often ship theirs. Every so often 2,000 pounds of balloon go missing as occurred this last year. Two penguin balloons (Puddles and Splash) and a large pirate ship from the UK disappeared. According to the shipping company, the trio was rumored to be touring LA and New York for the first week of the festival. The British team made a mock news conference video that is still viewable on Youtube: “Puddles, Splash, if you can hear us, we’re not angry at you… we just miss 26
you and we want you to come to Balloon Fiesta park.” Eventually the balloons appeared, in need of some emergency re-stitching, but were still able to participate. Between odd timetables, complicated logistics, and colorful road stories, the secret life of hot air balloons is not only captivating but also surprisingly accessible. Most states have at least one large balloon rally or event a year open to the public with dozens
of balloons. If that doesn’t satisfy your balloon lust, try booking a ride with one of the many privately owned balloon companies dotting the country. Of course, Albuquerque is the world’s balloon mecca and if you are lucky enough to attend the Fiesta, take in as much of the ballooning artistry, engineering, culture, and community as you can. These buxom airships are truly as riveting to watch as they are to learn about. NOV/DEC 2016 27
THE ART OF THE GOLDSMITH
Pat Flynn is a “goldsmith" who lives and works in High Falls, New York. He’s most known for his highly unique nail bracelets, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. His larger cuff bracelets incorporate hinges and box clasps that not only suit functionality for the wearer, but display meticulous craftsmanship. Each unique piece of jewelry is hand forged by Pat, an expert of applying subtle textures that embolden the wearer with the personalized touch they demand. This attention to detail, technical Years ago you’ve attributed yourself with the term “goldsmith” as a way to describe your take on metal smithing worn as decoration. In the age where the term "hand-crafted" has become something sought after, do you feel the term has more meaning and value now than perhaps it once had in the past? I have never found a good term for what I do. Jewelry can be anything from “a little bit of beading,” to a Lalique “master work.” I’m not always working in gold, but the word “gold” alludes to a more formal 28
by Michael Foster
control, and combination of juxtaposed materials he utilizes in his jewelry make him stand out from the crowd. Pat’s work can be found in the collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Art & Design in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has most recently been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We spoke with Pat about his work and what motivates him as an artist.
and personal form of decorative arts. Likewise, I can imagine selling jewelry that appears far more rugged and handcrafted has become much more in-demand in recent years. It seems like the world finally caught up with your visionary artistic sensibilities. As everything becomes digitally designed and fabricated using a 3D printer, I feel humans respond to the touch of the maker. I like the raw and refined contradictions in my work. The objects are not over worked but raw and honest, which emotionally connects with the wearer.
What’s the first thing someone asks when they inquire about your nail bracelets? People usually think they must be heavy, I think because they are black and made of steel. They also don’t understand how to put it on, missing the fact there is a hinge and catch integrated into the bracelet. It’s a simple but elegant solution. My bracelets combine blackened iron with 22 karat and 18 karat yellow gold, 18 karat palladium white gold, diamonds and pearls, depending on what materials I feel
best complete the jewelry so they are resolved, and make a strong, distinctive, authentic statement. At times, you’ve hinted on the juxtaposition between the elegant and delicate aspects of jewelry with your direct hands-on forged approach to crafting bold works of wearable art. Do you find any hidden meaning or irony in your process? The work is based in competing opposite dualities, and that sense of tension. Hot and cold working, black and white, precious and non-precious. I like the quality of a forged surface and an edge a saw makes. I think that texture adds honesty, and it makes for much more meaningful pieces. And as I’ve always said, my hope is that my work will go out into the world and communicate for me. Whom would you say, is your ideal cli-
ent? I can imagine you must sell equally to men and women, or am I mistaken? Many men wear my bracelets, but most of the work is collected by women within a wide variety of age groups. I can’t say I have an ideal client, other than most of mine are looking for something truly unique to be worn every day. In all of these years, what has been your favorite piece to create? Is there one that stands out amongst the rest? I have a few pieces I have kept. I like the “mosaic” work I made, which are assembled pieces of shard like segments of gold and iron.
You’ve been in the business for decades. What lies ahead? Are there new creative avenues to explore? I am working on some drinking vessels currently. I am always inventing new processes and techniques to create the work I am looking for. Way back in the day, when I was in high school, I found the workshop to be a place of sanctuary, a place where I could be myself and craft things I like to make. And I was good at it. That’s what’s most important to me, having a fitting space to work here in High Falls. From there, the creative avenues tend to present themselves during the organic process of creating good work. patflynninc.com
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Navigation II, Star Chart, 2015, 60" x 48"
Navigation I, Marshall Islands, 2015, 60” x 48”
Recent work inspired by El Nino and ancient Polynesian navigational charts. For more work, visit hugoanderson.com L.A. Approach, June 28th 2015, 2015, oil on canvas, 48” x 36”
HUGO ANDERSON STUDIO 1320 Arizona Ave Santa Monica, CA 90404
310-266-9904 hugoanderson.com firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST by Theresa Anderson
Diaz describes herself as a Brooklyn based artist, who was born in April 1992 in the small village of Serrada, Spain. Diaz is a self-taught artist who believes that “in order to create you have to liberate yourself of everything and get to the point where the whiteness of the canvas is the whiteness of your entire being, which basically means you’re born over and over again with each new piece because nothing is there for you to know but the progress, life itself.”
I’m really interested in this first image saved to number 0008. The canvas in areas are stitched or laid on top of other canvas producing blocks or squares within the composition. There’s a fragmentation of surface as well as how the image is built up. Will you tell me about the importance of making your own canvas? My work is not about beautiful. In this work the canvas is 36 by 48 inches or larger, maybe three canvases are taken apart and the three surfaces, fabric is stapled back together. The way I work is very simple. I don’t want to know what I’m doingit’s spontaneous and very random. Does this work have a title? None of the works have a title. Life goes so fast. If I put a title on, I’m attaching a moment to something else. The conglomeration of faces in the works, do they represent anyone or anything in particular? What do you consider the source of these works?
I observe everything on the street. I don’t question anything. When I go in the studio I let it come out. When you go back and look at them do they represent a particular idea? If I tried to say something after I’ve finished it will be a fake conclusion. In my mind, it’s full of things I can’t describe. In poetry it can just come out. Like a fast machine. My studio is quite small. If I had more money I would stack up canvases and paint until they are gone. It s the only thing I have to connect what life is about. I had to look at the works a few times. Trying to understand and meet the work where it resides. In each of the works there is a central composition of faces and shapes surrounded by sketchy, raw, flattened areas. Can you tell me about your working process? How the color is determined? I work with seven main colors and have this very thick old palette. Heavy and built up. I lay out my colors and just freely work
and pull colors as the painting progresses. Some of the faces have a cubist tendency. The color and unfinished quality seem to draw from fauvism. Who are the artists or movements that are influential to your work? A few months ago someone referenced Maria Lassnig to me, a lot of people say Picasso- but no. Where I grew up there was no supermarket and only about a 100 people. My grandmother was always painting and sculpting. Growing up with my grandparents I had no external contact outside of town. I had gone to Madrid only one time. We finally had Internet access when I was maybe 17 or 18. Intuition is the base of intelligence. My work is basically intuition. It seems that conceptual work is ubiquitous. Finding your place in New York there must be a struggle working from intuition. I don’t work in order to sell. I’m content with the paintings because I know they’re honest. People want me to tell them what NOV/DEC 2016 33
they are. I want them to look.
people to think for themselves.
Working in an open studio, when people come in we (artists) can’t determine what the level of understanding or art comprehension a person has but I do know that there’s a bulk of people in the US that have a grounding of art based in the history of realism. The Catholic Church was a patron to artists who were able to tell a convincing, predetermined narrative, moral, or lesson. Working in abstraction you’re expecting
The viewer quite often wants to be spoonfed. To me that’s not what art is about. You can see when someone walks into a space whether they’re wiling to look longer at something they don’t understand.
You’ve been living in Brooklyn 2 years? How do you spend your days besides working? Do you have favorite galleries, museums, and places?
I first traveled to India, then London, and back and forth a few times between Spain and London. I had a friend here and decided to come to the US. I keep my work in my studio and interact with people that way as well as go to the Met or MoMA every week. I like to drink coffee in shops and a favorite is Anyways Café on Second Street. It’s run by Russians and is very cozy. At 9pm they have live music and I can have a glass of wine. raqueldiaz.com
Jaime Foster is a self taught painter and photographer, currently living just outside of Chicago. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout the United States. Her paintings and photographs have been displayed in public and private collections, such as the Batavia
Fine Arts Center, Elephant Room Gallery, Fresh Paint Magazine and Artist Portfolio Magazine.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE
The romance of the Italian Riviera has long been a tale worth telling. Positano in particular is the place to be. This sleepy little town with its thousand steps will somehow color your dreams long after you’ve left. The beauty is that the glimmer of the ocean and the coastline’s picturesque views are always brimming at the end of your Borsalino. 36
by Justine Freeman Khakshour
I suggest a lazy start to the morning with a macchiato and breakfast on the terrace. Everywhere you go will have a terrace. Then find your “dolce vita” by sailing off to a private beach and whiling away the rest of the leisurely afternoon. A gentle swim in one of the many caves on the coast followed by a light and
unhurried Mediterranean picnic. You can never go wrong with a bright Caprese salad made of aromatic tomatoes and creamy mozzarella di Buffalo drizzled with fresh basil and the finest local olive oil. This simple salad is quintessential Italy, even resembling the colors of the flag: red, white and green. Another favorite dish among local Italians is the Prosciutto e melon, thanks to its irresistible pairing of the salty with the sweet. After lunch, the next big event is cocktails at sunset. Enjoy a crisp glass of champagne after clamoring up the winding steps to Franco’s Bar at La Sirenuse as you watch the sun sink into the sea and the flicker of candle light come alive. For dinner, stay on site for a Michelinstared culinary experience at La Sponda, or make your way down the cliffside steps to Chez Black, where diners sit by the beach for some sea urchin pasta. The restaurant has the most charming ambience with the decor meant to mimic the inside of a vintage Italian boat where glossy wooden columns adorned with carved mermaids complete the look. NOV/DEC 2016 37
Let this put some wind in your sails, because the best way to experience the Amalfi coast is by boat. By car, the windy, single lane roads often get backed up and the drive is far from smooth. For a change of scenery it is not a bad idea to take short trips between Positano and the small town of Ravello for lunch, for example. By boat however, you are free to enjoy the sun and the ocean breeze and soak in the beauty around you. If you are able to take a boat to the island of Capri, do not miss the opportunity. There is also the option of a ferry ride which is pleasant and inexpensive. Alcohol is served on board and the ferry has open air seating. Capri is very stylish and boasts some incredible designer shops. “Jackie O” was known to have custom sandals made for her in the small shops of Capri. You can still do this today. Another big attraction is the Blue Grotto. It is a sea cave where sunlight passes through an opening underwater and illuminates the cave creating a glowing blue reflection. Sometimes the Blue Grotto is closed due to high tides making it impossible or too dangerous to enter. Hopefully you are lucky enough to enter during your time in Capri because the experience inside the grotto is magical. If the grotto is not open, I recommend spending time at Il Riccio restaurant and beach club. It is around the corner from the blue grotto. The sun terraces on the cliff provide intimate areas for 38
sun bathing and for a swim in the blue sea you can just climb the stairs to the water’s edge. For lunch, the restaurant has stunning views and delicious sea food and pasta. The vongole and uni pasta are always a hit but the best part of the meal is upon entering the dessert room, called “la stanza della tentazione” which literally translates to “the temptation room”. If you are looking to spend several nights here, my favorite hotel is the Hotel Caesar Augustus at the top of Anacapri for its breathtaking views and infinity pool. This Relais and Chateaux hotel sits 1,000 feet above the Bay of Naples and offers the most panoramic views on the whole of the island. The hotel doesn’t allow children under the age of 10. There is a hotel shuttle which takes guests to the piazzetta of Capri Town as well as a local bus service. To be self sufficient and also for a little bit of adventure, a scooter rental is the way to go. The center of town has several nightclubs, the boutiques and designer shops stay open late, and if you’re anything like me, people watching over your spritz at aperitivo will easily become a ritual you want to continue long after you return home. When your friends or family invite you to join them for an evening of dining al fresco, simply let them know you will be there in a prosecco!
L O V E
MODEL: SOPHIE FAWCETT
REECE FAWCETT C O L L E C T I O N
R E E C E F A W C E T T . C O M
SEDI PAK NEGATIVE AIR
by F. Lennox Campello
In Jungian psychology, racial memories are those memories, feelings, and ideas inherited from all of our ancestors. Those memories are passed down into our collective minds as part of a DNA attempt to teach us what our ancestors learned and saw. When I first came across Sedi Pak’s sculptures, part of that racial memory started a synaptic chain reaction that made me “recognize” her three dimensional work as something living that I had seen before. “As a painter for over 13 years,” noted Pak when I talked to her and asked her to describe her work, “one day I found myself unable to communicate what I can best describe as ‘negative air.’” The result of that quandary was a switch in production from two dimensional works to sculptures. It started on paper, with multiple organic forms twisting and undulating on the surface, almost as two-dimensional trapped alien beings seeking escape to a third dimension. That escape was not easy: the first transformation into a three dimensional product took one year to build. “It was really labor intensive,” says Pak. “There was a lot of engineering involved to make the sculptures struggle with gravity.” The wooden and internal metal forms which came out of that first year’s work and the times that followed, are a triumph of both the physicality involved in creating them, as well as the intellectual thirst that led to them. As a result, the artist’s quest to explore the “negative air” has metastasized into works of art that almost demand, perhaps hypnotize, the viewer into wanting to walk around that negative space around them and reach a tentative hand to touch them. Art critics always want to find an original influence when first viewing a new work, especially in a postmodern world where nothing is new, and everything is art. And thus, in Pak’s elegant sculptures both our Jungian memories, and our cultural memories blend and try to find an origin and link to something or someone to her fascinating work. And in her art our brain sees what Jacques Cousteau might have seen growing out of volcanic and magmatic creations in seldom seen underwater hot springs that spew super-heated water into the deep oceans off the coast of Mexico and make ocean floor grow Sedi Pak sculptures. Or perhaps something that Harlan Ellison might have imagined for Kirk and Spock.
“I want people to touch them,” says Pak. And the physicality of her work then demands hours of sanding, and unplanned explorations in methods to preserve the wood from which they are assembled. But the result is a clear and memorable success for this accomplished and multi-talented artist. Pak’s sculptures have not only punched the solar plexus of our minds, but in doing so they have left us with a rare gift that spans both the visual and tactile senses. I hope that she figures out all the questions so that when these sculptures are showcased in a museum or gallery, the wall text will say: “Go ahead… touch them.” sedipak.net
NOV/DEC 2016 41
Eve Ozer is a German born painter, collagist and writer, residing in the greater Chicago area. She credits living in Germany for the first nine years of her life to giving her broader view of the world. Coming from another country at such a young age, she believes helped shape her into the artist she is today. Ozer describes her paintings as Visual Sanctuaries.“There’s enough chaos out there. I make art from a place of beauty and joy. I want people to feel those emotions when they look at my work; an oasis, a moment of meditation, to sit quietly and lose yourself for awhile.” 42
Ozer believes abstract painting is the voice of the soul and the language of intuition. She begins her painting process by making marks on the canvas and responding to them intuitively. She refers to this moment as falling off the edge of unlimited possibilities. She enjoys using unorthodox painting implements such as sticks dipped in paint and bowls scrappers to apply and move the paint around the canvas. Her favorite tool is a foam roller from the hardware store. Ozer works in ink, acrylic, oil & cold wax; a cold encaustic technique where fine art wax is blended with oil paint to create texture, translucence and luminosity. The floor of her studio is partially covered with raw canvas. This is where all the excess paints and inks get poured. After months of this process, the canvas begins to look interesting and eventually become finished paintings. Ozer, a self taught artist, has received many awards, including several for Best In Show. She is represented by Hilton-Asmus Contemporary, 716 N. Wells Street, Chicago. eveozer.com NOV/DEC 2016 43
GROUP SHOW IAN SHERWIN GALLERY 11.11.16 / 7-11 pm Sipros Rebecca Moy
W O L F DE N
Steve Casino Ian M. Sherwin
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IAN SHERWIN GALLERY 3920 N. Ashland Ave., Ste. A / Chicago IL 60613 +1-773-697-9691 / iansherwingallery.com
CAMA BOYACK ART STUDIO
Katie Shapiro, Athabasca Glacier Smile, 2015, 42 x 42 inches
Celebrating 25 years as part of Los Angelesâ€™ vibrant Art Community Kopeikin Gallery 25th Anniversary Show November 5th â€“ December 23rd
2766 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034 email@example.com | (310) 559-0800
Sculpture Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Amalfi Coast