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February/March 2016 $6.95

A Lifestyle Magazine

The Broad in L.A. Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean FEB/MAR 2016


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ÉCLAT INTERNATIONAL is published bi-monthly by R.K. Graphics.

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A Lifestyle Magazine

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Sharon Caruso on her jewelry:

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ÉCLAT INTERNATIONAL is owned and published bi-monthly by R.K. Graphics. Special permission is required to reprint anything which appears in ÉCLAT INTERNATIONAL. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited manuscripts or typographical errors.


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POINT | gallery

7 6 5 S A N TA F E D R I V E






Highlights from the world’s top art fair

by F. Lennox Campello

Amy Bennett, Time Speeds Up, 2015, oil on canvas, 32 x 57” Photo: Alan Shaffer. Courtesy of the artist and Richard Heller Gallery


bout a decade ago, the founders and organizers of a wellestablished European fine arts fair Art Basel (which of course, takes place in Basel, Switzerland), decided to try an American version of their successful European “art fair” model and started one in the gigantic Miami Beach Convention Center. They called it Art Basel Miami Beach, or ABMB for short. Over the years, this mega international art fair has spawned several satellite art fairs in the Greater Miami area, all taking place simultaneously during the first week of December each year. In 2015’s edition, there were over two dozen smaller satellite art fairs going on around the Greater Miami area. As a result, art collectors, artists, celebrities, gallerists, actors, dealers, party animals, politicians, curators, and all the parts of the art world head to Miami during that week, and art rules the area (closely followed by dozens and dozens of private “art parties”). I’ve heard quotes where I have been told that about 20% of all the visual art sold on the planet each year (not including auctions, I assume) sell in Miami during that first week in December. This abundance of satellite shows ensures that art at all levels of the economic food chain are represented. While most mega



collectors – the Hollywood crowd and the rest of the 1% – focus on the top two or three of these fairs (ABMB being the crown jewel), there is something for all taste and budgets. With its critical mass, the ABMB week in Miami has become the big dance of the art world, the art salon of the 21st century. And as a direct result of that, it has become imperative that art galleries from all over the world come to Miami to showcase their art and artists. “I sell more work, and see more curators, collectors, museum directors, and gallerists in five days here than I did in 10 years at my gallery,” once told me a Washington, DC, gallerist, who has since closed her gallery space and now (as a virtual gallery) only does art fairs all over the world. It’s not an easy goal to accomplish, as the financial commitments are enormous, and for many a gallery, if they make a mistake, it is a one-time mistake: a bad art fair choice will break most galleries’ finances in one strike. Most of the art fairs are gallery-focused; that means that it is art galleries, as opposed to individual artists, who exhibit artwork at the blue chip art fairs such as ABMB or Art Miami

(left) Devin Troy Strother. New Nigga abstractions in an Ikea frame, part 16, “49 niggas and 7 bananas in an Ikea frame,” 2015, mixed media and acrylic on panel and glass, 41.25 x 29.25” photo: Alan Shaffer. Courtesy of the artist and Richard Heller Gallery. (above) Sasha Pierce, Watanabe Ito Some 12 Fold II, 2015, oil on linen, 23 x 18” Richard Heller Gallery

(and its sister fair Context Art Miami), considered by many to be the second most important art fair during this week, as well as others such as Pulse, Scope, Miami Project, NADA, etc. The prices for the booths are spectacularly expensive, in some fairs reaching the tens of thousands of dollars for a small booth. And this is before a gallery adds other associated costs such as shipping costs of the artwork, transportation to/from Miami, customs, food, car rental, hotel, commissions, and salaries. For most galleries around the world it is a daunting economic investment, which can turn into a financial disaster if sales fail to materialize. Because of this, it was refreshing to see a lot of Los Angeles area art galleries in the various fairs during this last December, and of the many LA area galleries here, several stood out, not only to me, but also to Texas-based uber-collector Ardis Bartle, an experienced art fair aficionado who hasn’t missed a single ABMB week in the last decade. Once the VIP pre-opening parties were finished and the elegant crowds, booze, and small food ceased to circulate – and tightly-dressed women in lethal-looking six inch heels finished their improbable art fair strolls with plastic wine glasses in their manicured hands while handsome young men in slim suits and nerdy glasses photographed the artwork, while third generation

Cuban-American girls, four or five inches taller and 25 pounds lighter than their political refugee grandmothers finished shooting selfies in front of the artwork – it was time to check out some LA galleries. Context Art Miami is sometimes seen as the “incubator” art fair for its big sister, and it was at Context that Fabien Castanier Gallery stood out because of the singularly unique work of Washington, DC-based artist Mark Jenkins. Jenkins started as a street artist with a phenomenal ability to take clear plastic tape and make a hyper realistic three dimensional object of practically anything. Over a decade ago, in his first gallery show in Washington’s iconic Fraser Gallery, he made a life-sized car that was eventually towed away by Georgetown’s overzealous parking police! Together with fellow DMV (local acronym for “District-Maryland-Virginia”) artists such as multimedia glass/video sculptor Tim Tate and PostSecret’s Frank Warren, Jenkins is one of the capital region’s best-known artists and yet he remains mysteriously anonymous in his own city – while exhibiting and discussing his unique approach to art worldwide. Fabien Castanier Gallery exhibited mostly Jenkins’ figurative work, where his believable life-sized dressed humans, sometimes in slightly threatening poses, confounded and confused FEB/MAR 2016 19

Devin Troy Strother. Lemme get a fade (version 2), 2015. neon, 36 x 36 x 5.5” Photo: Alan Shaffer (courtesy of the artist and Richard Heller Gallery)

the public. Jenkins also showcased his critical side in a piece where a blackshoed leg punches out the canvas from a saccharine fruit oil painting. Also at Context I liked the colorful and graphic work by Mike Kalish, a mixed-media artist based in LA and represented by Culver City’s FP Contemporary. His best well work is probably the large scale Muhammad Ali monument in downtown Los Angeles, but at the fair FP Contemporary featured a series of elegant 3D roses that were quite eyecatching. Mugello Contemporary, a new LA gallery founded in 2014 and already in one of the best art fairs of ABMB week, was another highlight. The frenetic works by Miami’s MR Herget were not only superbly streetwise, but also showcased the self-taught artist’s mastery of a savage palette knife and natural color sense. At Context, Ardis Bartle liked Kerry Miller’s work, showcased by Venice’s Lawrence Cantor Gallery. The artist uses old, discarded books, experimenting with dissecting and rebuilding them to produce the unique assemblages in her “reimagining the book” series. She was also present to talk about her work. Ardis also noted Michael Mapes, who created “specimen boxes” for the fair, some focused on Renaissance figures, and some on 1950s pin up art. One tent over, at the huge Art Miami, she liked Italian artist Alberto Burri’s work (being showcased by LA’s Mixographia – originally from Mexico City); an amazing edition of dark prints from Burri’s series before his death. At the Untitled art fair, she admired Alejandro Diaz’s neon work (represented by LA’s Royale Projects). His “Glitter Pollock” was getting a lot of attention, but Ardis liked the neon sign that flashed “Cheese” and then “Jesus.” Also at this fair, she liked three painters from the Southern hemisphere showing with Santa Monica’s Steve Turner Gallery – Joaquin Boz (Buenos Aires), Ivan Comas (Buenos Aires), and Michael Staniak (Melbourne) –all with different styles. Also at Steve Turner, paintings by Michael Staniak fool the eye with a 21st century twist: they appear to be digitally printed but they are actually 20


created entirely by hand. Santa Monica’s Richard Heller Gallery featured Devin Troy Strother, a L.A.-based artist whose work was recently in a group exhibition at the California African American Museum in L.A. The Scope art fair has had its ups and downs over the years, but for the last couple of ABMB iterations, it has consistently received good comments from many of the art collectors who talked to me. This year Ardis liked David Cooley’s multi-layered paintings, and multi-dimensional mixed media paintings crafted using mostly acrylic, resin, spray paint, pen, and fabric to achieve a unique effect. Cooley was exhibited by LA’s Thinkspace. The gallery also provided an affordable approach in their booth, where a piece from their artists could be purchased for $1,000 or under. It was refreshing to see Thinkspace, a gallery represenating over 30 artists, taking this approach. Similarly to Scope, the Pulse art fair has had its highs and lows in recent times, sometimes associated with the fair’s seemingly heavy-handed inclination to “over curate” the galleries that it selects; however, in the last two iterations of ABMB Week, Pulse has somewhat relaxed its approach to whom and what gets exhibited and subsequently regained its blue chip status among collectors as it inches towards a 2015 sense of “art fair” reality. At Pulse, LA’s Charles James Gallery had very interesting work by Ramiro Gomez. Like Mexican photographer Dulce Pinzon’s iconic “The Real Superheroes” series of photographs

Installation view of Fabien Castanier Gallery booth at CONTEXT Art Miami, featuring the work of Mark Jenkins: Kicked Painting, 2015, mixed media, tape, wood, metal, resin, fiberglass, aerosol foam, clothing 30 x 42 x 24; House of the Lord, 2015, tape, wood, metal, resin, fiberglass, aerosol foam, cement, clothing, taxidermy birds 78 x 21 x 16; photo: Fabien Castanier Gallery

documented a few years ago, Gomez’s paintings captured the often anonymous figures of domestic and manual laborers that make sterile scenes of homes and gardens possible. As Ardis noted, these are often the “invisible” people of our culture. The art fair known as Miami Project has very quickly become one of the better fairs at the top part of the art fair food chain, and within Miami Project, an inside-the-fair art fair titled “art on paper Miami” has also received good marks from the collectors that I talked to. In fact, since I work on paper myself, some of my collectors noted that I should have my dealers try the fair for my own work in the future. A recommendation doesn’t get higher than that! At Miami Project, LA was represented by Dunden & Ray. By Sunday evening, when most of the fairs ended, the glamorous aura of ABMB week ends as gallerists begin the sweaty dance of re-packaging the art for the long and expensive trip back home.

Mark Jenkins The Bird Watcher, 2015, tape, wood, metal, resin, fiberglass, aerosol foam, cement, clothing, binoculars 73 x 26 x 16. Fabien Castanier Gallery, photo: Theonepointeight Photography.

FEB/MAR 2016 21

THE BROAD, LOS ANGELES The museum provides a survey of contemporary art and further boosts the city’s art scene and downtown

Photo by Benny Chan, courtesy of The Broad and DIller Scofidio + Renfro


li Broad has long been the grand patron of the arts in Los Angeles. Over the years, he has donated funds for contemporary art galleries at LACMA (the Broad Contemporary Art Museum) and to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), bailed out the Disney Concert Hall project, and gave additional money to MOCA during a period of turmoil. During all this time, Broad and his wife, Edythe, have amassed a large cache of contemporary art themselves through their own purchases and then since 1981 through the Broad Foundation. When LACMA’s Renzo Piano-designed contemporary addition open in 2008, many expected that Broad would bequeath much



of this collection to the museum. Instead, he decided to construct his own museum to house his foundation and its art. After consideration of both Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, the Broad Museum found its home on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, right next to the Disney Concert Hall that Broad saved and on the street that he and other boosters have hoped to make a Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles. The Broad’s opening is a culmination and a beginning. The Broad represents forty years of art collecting and features many of the top artists of this period. The collection is deep, too. The Broad Foundation holds numerous works by many of the

Installation of works by Christopher Wool and Jeff Koons in The Broad's third-floor galleries; photo by Bruce Damonte, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

artists, including over 300 by Joseph Beuys, 125 by Cindy Sherman, and more than 30 by both Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons. The collection also includes numerous works by Jean-Michel Basquiat Eli Broad, one expects, also hopes that the museum with jumpstart a change on Grand Avenue, merging the cultural ambitions of the street that traces is history as an art center back to the 1964 opening of the city’s Music Center with the growing evolution of downtown LA over the past decade. In that time, the number of residents in the city center has nearly doubled and it’s no longer a joke to envision a future with a vibrant walking culture, train-based public transportation, and arts scene rich in

museums with the funding to match. Already, in other parts of Downtown, one can find residents out in restaurants, bars, and walking the streets at night. Twenty years ago, it was lucky if anyone was to be found on the streets at night. It remains to be seen whether Grand Avenue can truly be transformed. Its success likely hinges on a future subway stop, set to open in 2019, and the further development of retail, residences, and hotels in the adjacent spaces. But judging from the crowds flocking to the Broad in its first months and their roaming around the plaza and sidewalks that surround, including a new Broad-based restaurant Otium, such a future seems probable. FEB/MAR 2016 23

(above) Ed Ruscha, Norm's, La Cienega, on Fire, 1964, oil and pencil on canvas, 64.5x124.75x2.5 in., © Ed Ruscha / (right) Jasper Johns, Watchman, 1964, oil on canvas with objects (two panels), 85x60.25 in., Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The Broad, of course, is more than the wedge to transform a neighborhood of the culmination of art collector’s legacy; it’s a significant contemporary art museum. Set up as a lending library of sorts, the Broad Foundation collection is over 2000 works strong, the majority of which are now housed in the building. The caveat is that only a few hundred will be shown at any given time, the remainder of the collection relegated to a vast vault that takes up the majority of the second floor (and some of the first) in this three-story structure. Designed by architect Elizabeth Diller and her firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the concept of the building is a vault encased in veil, the veil being a white concrete honeycomb sheath that covers the whole structure. The vault holds the work that is not on display at the Broad or on-loan to other institutions around the world. (The foundation prides itself on its widespread lending.) This vault is “pierced” by stairs, an escalator, and an elevator that transport visitors from the first floor lobby to the sun-lit third floor, which houses the bulk of the exhibition space, what could be called the permanent collection, although changes will likely be made in future years. There, one can find a survey of art from the last sixty years, beginning with works by Pollock, Johns, and

Raushenberg, continuing with works from Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari, Mike Kelly, and Damien Hirst, and including art that addresses the recent events in Ferguson. A large selections of work by Roy Lichtenstein is notable. (Museum literature promises that the collection continues to grow at the rate of work a week, presumably including many works that have just been completed.) Lavish works by Jeff Koons, one of his famous Balooon Dogs as well as Tulips are prominently featured near the third-floor entrance. The Basquiats on view are striking, as is a gallery devoted to the work of Kara Walker, who protests the racial inequities in our society. Once visitors are finished with the top floor of the museum, stairs or an elevator usher them back to the first floor, where additional galleries complete the viewable portion of the collection. (By taking the stairs, one can peak into the hallowed vault and even see a few of the paintings. In between, on the second floor, are administrative offices and an lecture room named Oculus.) On the first floor, a large work by Takishi Muramoto and two installations are the crowd favorites. Ragnar Kjartansson’s moving The Visitors is filled with people who stay for surprisingly long periods of time to appreciate the nine-screen 360-de-

The Broad museum's lobby with interior veil and the museum’s lobby with escalator; both photos by Iwan Baan, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro



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gree video installation that features musicians in various parts of a house playing along to a couple songs. The hour-long experience plays on a loop and by moving around one can experience it in different ways. The other installation, Yasoi’s Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, requires a reservation (that must be made onsite on the day of one’s visit) because it only allows one person to experience it at a time. It’s a favorate of selfie seekers. The Broad’s first special exhibition will launch this June with a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman. The exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life, is the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years; it will fill the museum’s first-floor galleries (replacing some of work currently on display) with close to 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection, which has the largest holding of her work in the world. She is an artist that, according to The Broad’s founding director Joanne Heyler, “sparked the Broads’ deep commitment to contemporary art.” Organized by guest curator Philipp Kaiser, and taking cues from Los Angeles’ role as the mecca of the film industry, the exhibition will foreground Cindy Sherman’s engagement with 20th century popular film and celebrity. The show will feature an expansive representation of Sherman’s photographs from throughout her influential career of more than four decades, as well as Office Killer, the 1997 feature film directed by the artist. Her widely known film stills series, as well as the less known rear projection series, both inspired by cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, play a central conceptual role in the show. It’s a fitting first exhibition for a museum that will help further define Los Angeles.

(top) Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013, wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 113 1/4 x 163 1/2 x 163 1/2 in., © Yayoi Kusama, Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. (middle) Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors, 2012 (Stills), Nine channel HD video projection, © Ragnar Kjartansson; Courtesy of the aritst, Luhring Augustine, New York, and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik (bottom) Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, 1981, chromogenic color print, 24 x 48 inches, The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures




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he smile spread across my face as we turned into the wind and picked up speed. The skies above were clear blue. My grandfather was at the tiller creating the earliest moment in my life I can remember. I was two years old and wasn’t yet able to speak to express the joy and freedom I felt, but that feeling would stay with me and was on my mind when I sailed the Virgin Islands in the summer of 2015. Seven months earlier, on a cold winter day in Denver, I was talking to my friend Gerhard Holzendorf. Gerhard is a bigger than life character, an outdoorsman and adventurer by any measure. He was visiting from Seattle and shared that he had been on an amazing sailing expedition with his college pal Paul Exner. Gerhard knew I was passionate about sailing and also knew it was a precious memory I wanted to resurrect. I had taken a couple of standard sailing courses in the Chesapeake Bay, but I longed for a real adventure. I wanted to challenge myself and meet nature on its terms, to escape the constraints of sailing classrooms and traditional charter boats.



The journey from my home in Denver, Colorado, to Saint Thomas was one filled with anticipation. The plan was to fly from Denver to Miami, and then from Miami to St. Thomas. I had a layover of several hours at Miami International and decided to celebrate my journey with a cocktail at the bar next to my gate. I flirted with a lovely woman at the airport bar in Miami, and she was worried I would miss my plane. And I did! I ended up getting re-routed that evening and boarded a flight to Charlotte that would connect with another plane bound for St. Thomas the following day. Despite this little detour, it was all worth it. Day 1 • Hungry iguanas at Molly Malone’s and our first weather class • Boarding the beautiful Solstice • Sailing to St. John, US Virgin Islands, anchoring for the night, and going ashore for the festival in port

I landed at Cyril E. King Airport on the island of St. Thom-

as and gathered my luggage. My soon-to-be shipmate, Tom, had flown in from New Jersey and arrived at the same time. We jumped into a van and were on our way. Clouds dotted the blue sky and the winds were brisk. I looked down onto the sea from the mountain roads with that same excitement I remember feeling for the first time sailing with my grandfather. I was eager to get on board and begin my adventure. Our driver dropped us off at Molly Malone’s, a spot popular with the boaters in the town of Red Hook. Neither Tom nor I wanted to waste a single minute. We grabbed our bags and made a beeline to the outdoor patio where our captain, Paul Exner, was sitting at a table waiting for us. He was surrounded by a trio of hungry iguanas, each the size of a small dog. As soon as he saw us approaching, he jumped to his feet, walked toward us, and greeted us with a big smile and an outstretched hand to welcome us to his Caribbean playground. We sat down with our Captain and he shared with us a potential change in plans. Our original itinerary had us sailing the Sombrero Passage from the Virgin Islands to

Anguilla, but a tropical wave moving into the area created tough sailing conditions that forced a change in our journey. The Virgin Islands had been experiencing unusually strong winds for this time of year, good news for any sailor. But with a storm, the winds were too strong. At this point, it was almost 3 in the afternoon. Paul was eager to get us on board his sailing vessel, The Solstice. After the introductions and a walkthrough of the expedition, we boarded the dinghy at the Molly Malone’s dock and made our way through a field of sailing yachts anchored in the bay finally reaching Paul’s boat, the sailing vessel (s/v) Solstice. His boat stood out among the more than one hundred yachts around us. The Solstice was a handsome, sturdy vessel that had been built by our captain’s own hands. The woodwork was rich; the rigging and hardware, heavy and shiny; the portholes framed and anchored buy bronze. The hull in some places was layered more than an inch thick. This boat was built to handle almost anything an angry sea and heavy winds could offer. We quickly stowed our gear below, hoisted the dinghy out of the water, secured it to the deck, and readied the FEB/MAR 2016 29

boat for our first sail. As soon as we raised the mainsail and unfurled the jib, we were sailing at more than 7 knots, headed to the island of Saint John for our first night’s anchorage. That incredible feeling I felt as a little boy sailing with my grandfather in Michigan was back again. Tom was at the tiller driving the boat; Paul the Captain was standing behind him smiling, so happy to see someone experiencing the joy of sailing. We made it to St. John to anchor long before sunset, and we went to the shore that night to experience St. John’s nightlife and carnival. We stayed just long enough to eat at the Sundog Café. Then, we had to get back to the boat to get a good night’s rest to be prepared for a full day of sailing. I slept on the deck outside, swayed to sleep by the gentle rocking of the boat and the steady, cool sea breeze of the trade winds. Day Two • Waking up with the sun, living with the rhythm of nature • Checking into customs at the British Virgin Islands • Sitting in the cockpit talking navigation and sailing with my shipmate • Willy T’s party bar

We woke with the sunrise. Paul introduced us to the finer points of cooking aboard a sailboat. Paul fired up the stove and cooked up a simple breakfast so that we could get on our way; though cruising the Virgin Islands is often a relaxing pursuit, if you want to get somewhere, you have to negotiate with mother nature every step of the way – and she can change her mind quickly. This day we were headed to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to clear customs and to meet Paul’s wife in order to pick up supplies to provision the boat for the rest of our expedition. That night we planned to anchor in a bight – a curve in the island’s coast 30


resembling a bay – alongside BVI’s famous floating party bars, the Willy T. Tom. I took direction from Paul to prepare the Solstice for our first full day of cruising. We made a short stop clearing through customs and arrived at our anchorage in the bight just before sunset. We had sailed for a total of about seven hours that day. As a sailor new to the sport, I didn’t have the same sea legs as my more seasoned shipmates, Paul and Tom. And though a day under the bright sun and sailing in strong winds and a brisk sea state had tired me out, I was thrilled when Paul suggested we visit Willy T’s to visit his good friend Kelen and enjoy a refreshment or two to celebrate a perfect day of sailing. Tom turned in for the night as Paul and I jumped into the dinghy to motor over to Willy T’s. The party life in the islands was surreal to me: ahead in the water was a 100 foot floating barge lit up with strings of party lights and full of a loud, happy, raucous crowd speaking French, English, and Spanish. Paul headed to the bar and gave his friend a big hug. Paul had recently been a guest at this friend’s wedding. (People who live and work in the islands all seem to know one another and are a tight, warm group of folks.) As the party around us picked up energy, Paul and I settled in to talk about island life, family, relationships, and sailing. Joining us at the bar was an especially rowdy crowd of French men and women who danced the night away, performing a wild, island-inspired interpretation of the music that blared from the bar’s sound system. A group of Texans next to us were enjoying their annual booze cruise with the goal of hitting every party spot in the Virgin Islands before returning to everyday life at home. The islands and the waters of the Caribbean seem to attract an unlikely collection of people from across the world, and each person has their own unique way of experiencing this place. Kelen kept our drinks full as the night went on. When it was time to close, Paul and I were the last men standing; Kelen had coaxed the last of the revelers

off the party barge. The bar lights were turned off as we finished our drinks, boarded the dinghy in the cool, night breeze to return to the Solstice. Day Three • GPS familiarization, charting, ship duties to ready the boat • The boat race

The next morning, Paul pulled out the maps from down below and brought them into the sundrenched cockpit to share his route plan and teach Tom and I about the local waters and some of his knowledge about charting. We also received brief instruction on the use of the GPS systems onboard. Tom and I were now working as a team to tie down the dinghy, secure the portholes, manage the sheets,

and ready the boat for the day ahead. Each day Paul expected us to learn, adapt, and put into practical application the lessons and skills he shared. He was gradually handing over more of the boat’s duties to us and guided us only when needed. Paul is both a respected sailor and skillful teacher. After checking the weather and charting the course, Paul put Tom on the tiller to take charge of the boat and get us on our way. Today would be the longest day of sailing yet as our Captain decided on the destination of Leverick Bay, BVI. On this day, the winds were even more brisk and the waves even bigger. Inside the protected waters of the Drake Channel, waves were being whipped up to heights easily exceeding five feet. We sailed most of the day with the hull pounding against the water. At one point, a catamaran came alongside us along the same tack (or course). What happens when to sailboats come alongside on the FEB/MAR 2016 31

same tack? A race, of course! Paul had us trim the sails very precisely in order to ensure a win. We steadily pulled ahead of the catamaran. The passengers aboard the catamaran seemed so impressed that one pulled out a camera to take pictures of us before we got too far ahead for them to capture the action. Several hours and more than 20 nautical miles away from our morning anchor, we pulled into Leverick Bay. We dropped anchor, all of us satisfied and tired from a great day of sailing – and our racing win over a catamaran. Day 4 • Paul checks the weather at Leverick’s and the debate continues: Will we make an attempt to sail to Anguilla? • High speed sailing drills in the anchorage with nervous and excited onlookers aboard anchored boats who witness fine sailing skills but wonder if there is a chance someone might get hit in the maneuvers...

This day was to be another step in our progression toward becoming stronger sailors, helping prepare us for bigger waters ahead. We woke and Tom prepared a breakfast of omelets in our tiny floating kitchen. As we ate, Paul regaled us with a story of a disastrous and somewhat comical sailing race in Lake Michigan in which he participated years before. He waved his arms wildly and gave a detailed account of rigging snapping in powerful winds and then the mast snapping… Paul was animated and I imagined 32


he shared his sailing story in much the same way that other sailors and pirates of the Caribbean might have hundreds of years ago. After our hearty breakfast, we went ashore again. It was time for Paul to connect his laptop to the Wi-Fi network and check the latest weather report to see if there might be a chance for us to consider sailing the Sombrero Passage to Anguilla. Paul determined that weather reports of rough seas between the Virgin Islands and Anguilla were too much for our mixed crew to chance the passage. Instead, we would sail for St. Croix the next day. Paul assured us the weather would provide us plenty of excitement and challenge, that mother nature could always surprise us. Paul continued to incrementally push our comfort zone as a crew. On this day, we practiced boat-handling skills and man overboard drills, shoring up our collection of skills before we headed out to bigger waters. Paul also ran safety lines on both the port and starboard sides of the boats. We also donned our safety gear and practiced working aboard the Solstice while clipped in with safety lines. After this practice, we hoisted the anchor and sailed into the bay to begin a rigorous day. During the previous days, Paul had assessed us to measure skill level and our ability to work together. Now, it was time to put the tasks we’ve learned and our individual skills together to tack, jibe, and maneuver the boat on command. We also had to practice the most important skill of all: to properly respond to a man overboard drill and to demonstrate the skill necessary to maneuver the boat to come to the rescue of a shipmate in the water.

That day Paul’s mood changed. He was still kind and thoughtful, but also deliberate and careful in teaching and guiding. This is a skill that is truly non-negotiable if one is to take on more challenging sailing conditions. We sailed through the waters of Bakers Bay, Robins Bay, and into the tight spaces and narrow waters of the mooring field adjacent to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. It was late in the sailing season and we were officially one month into hurricane season. Most of the yachts had cleared the waters of the Virgin Islands for safer destinations, but for the boats that were still moored, we put on quite a show. We were sailing at near full speed, weaving in and out of boats and maneuvering in response to our captain’s orders, “Turn right!” “Jibe!” “Port tack!” “Man overboard!” Many of the onlookers aboard other boats waved or gave us a thumbs up for the display of impressive skills. It was an especially tiring and satisfying day; in a period of about five hours, Paul had worked and tested us rigorously. Tom and I both saw that Paul was happy with the results and had the confidence in our crew to take on more challenges tomorrow. We anchored off Saba Island for the night, and though the parties and music on land played around us, none of us wanted anything more than a good night’s sleep. We set our alarms to wake us at 3AM. I rolled out my bedding on the port side of the deck to sleep in the breeze under a full moon, and the mellow, soothing sounds of reggae carried across the water from the band playing at the Bitter End Yacht Club.

Day 5 • Paul hands us the reins and watches… • Charting in the morning and picking up anchor under the fading moonlight • Rounding Necker Island into the open waters with punishing 20-foot waves and 20+ knot winds

This was our big day of sailing. We woke at 3 a.m., ate a simple breakfast, and immediately began to ready the boat for an early departure. We confirmed our position and plotted our course under the red lights. By 4:30 a.m., our anchor was up and we were motoring through the narrow channel between Mosquito and Prickly Pear islands. At the 2 o’clock position at about two miles out, we could see Richard Branson’s Necker Island. As soon as we cleared the channel, rounded Necker Island, and pointed the Solstice at St. Croix, any protection we had from the wind and waves was gone. We were sailing with the mainsail fully reefed and a storm jib. The winds were ripping across the water up to 40 knots. The waves were 15-20 feet high. We sailed for a full 10 hours as the Solstice rolled, sliced, and crashed through the waves from Necker Island to the port of Christianstead in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. It was exciting to be in the open sea and to look up from the cockpit at the peak of another wave rolling at our boat like a freight train. My shipmate Tom exclaimed, “This is what I came for!” and it was what I came for, too. We came to be challenged, and maybe even sought the thrill of being a little frightened, though the boat was FEB/MAR 2016 33

much too sturdy and steady in the water to think the seas could around could ever threaten our safety – and we were in good hands with our captain, a lifelong sailor. A few hours into our open water adventure, Paul asked me to go below, to practice navigation skills he had taught, and to determine our position on the chart. I had experienced motion sickness twice before, once aboard a hot, stuffy, military aircraft flying for hours through stormy weather and another time aboard a US naval vessel being tossed in 50-foot waves in the Indian Ocean. Back when I was in Colorado, I had warned Paul that I might be a candidate for seasickness, and now the moment of truth had arrived. I was enjoying the wind and waves, and went down below to be thrown violently from one side of the cabin to the other as I constantly fought to keep my feet beneath me while reaching out to grab a solid handhold. Though the air above was being whipped about and the sea spray drenched, us the air in the cabin below was still, humid and stuffy. I struggled for 20 minutes to read the small readout on the ship’s GPS and to transcribe them to paper and then plot our position on the chart, all the while being tossed about below decks. And no matter how determined I was to focus, my body gave in and up came breakfast – and last night’s dinner, too. I went above decks 34


and had only roughly succeeded in plotting our position before I became too sick to see straight. Back in Colorado • Passing the experience and joy along • Sailing with my nephew Peter

I returned to Colorado from the sailing adventure refreshed, rejuvenated, renewed and with that same smile and feeling I remembered as a little boy on my grandfather’s sailboat in Lake Michigan. I thought to myself how great it would be to share this and pass it on. I called my sister Helena in Philadelphia and asked if her if I could fly her 15 year old son Peter out from Philadelphia to spice his summer up with a little adventure. “What is Peter doing for the rest of the summer, Helena? How about I fly him out for a Colorado experience?” He came out and visited. And while on a sailboat, when I told him, “Okay Peter, raise the mainsail,” I saw in him the same kind of smile I first came to know when I sailed with my grandfather 43 years before.

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 hugoanderson@me.com



by Lynn Biederstadt


he sunlit studio of Jill McLean’s North Side Chicago home is clearly a painter’s space. Floors are covered to protect against splatter and tools lay at the ready, still warm from the artist’s hand. A dazzlingly colorful energy leaps from the canvases that line the white walls. The contrast between the work’s bright, busy optimism and the tools’ suspended motion is intriguing – and as captivating as flypaper. Jill’s studio is an honest reflection of the artist herself, of a positivism that radiates out in all directions. From the artist’s deceptively youthful presence, an old soul speaks, committed and intense, articulate and poised. She turns down the lush movie soundtrack that provides a background for her thoughts, and settles onto the improbably white studio couch. “Music is always there,” she says. “I always have tunes around me when I work, little gems of energy.” Energy is clearly central to Jill’s work. In her work, in her personality, emotional energy is omnipresent and inescapable. I remark on this and she is not surprised; this is something she’s spent much time considering. “The raw state of life is emotion. Emotions have movement. And color is their voice,” she says. “That’s what people respond to first, an energy that’s fresh in the color. It may not be instantly apparent to people why they’re feeling what they feel, but they do feel it.”



Your work seems so open, so accessible when someone first looks at it. Yes, accessible, hopeful, and positive. It’s all right there. Then the more time you spend looking at the work, the more possibilities you see beyond the transparency. Colors work as emotions do. You can’t always separate one from another: the high, low, light, and dark; the blend and interaction and overlap and complexity. Color crosses boundaries and erases them. The effect isn’t calm. It isn’t peaceful. But it’s full of joy. To quote Carroll Dunham, “An interesting painting never really settles down in your mind.” How should a viewer look at the

For more information, visit jillmclean.com

(left) Jill McLean, Rising Above (below) Jill McLean, Always

work? Help us experience it as you do. It’s an open door. Enter anywhere. It’s visceral and energetic. The color will bounce you around. There are places to rest and move on. But there are no answers. Nothing stops. Epiphanies evolve into others. Things unfold. Life is like that. Has her life been like that? I traveled a lot with my parents as a child: Europe, South Africa, Scotland, adventures – like balloon trips. And museums. Europe and the Met. Grand, huge Old Masters full of color and light. I was affected by the things I saw, by the immediacy of it all. It was if I had no filter against it. I couldn’t stop taking it in, and what I took in created a reservoir that I still draw from. When you think about it, an artist’s responsibility is to be wide open…an open lens. I’ve made that part of my process. As all artists’ work is a movement from style to style. Your early work was quite different from today’s exuberant joy. FEB/MAR 2016 37

(left) Jill McLean, Ever Closer / (below) Jill McLean in her studio

We sometimes fight against the stuff we were created to do. I was a graphic designer with my own firm, until painting was something I couldn’t run away from any longer. It was the real purpose I couldn’t be sidetracked from. Early on, I worked in very controlled lines informed by my graphic design background. Looking back, I was trying to tame it, to be a graphic designer with it. The earlier work was a bridge, a way of releasing the old life and growing into the new. Today, mark making isn’t a limitation. It accommodates the expression of what I have to say. And what is behind that optimism, ultimately, that hope? What makes an artist? What makes her authentic? Behind optimism must be a kind of fearlessness. If an artist is authentic, you’ll see it – a brightness that’s very like joy. An intangible generosity. An artist is creating something visceral and visible, yet acts 38


as a conduit between inward inputs and outward expressions. Call us “stewards

of the unseen.” That’s who I am. The first thing I want people to experience is me.


bejediamonds.com • info@beje.us • 1-800-367-6381 • 504-832-1115




Jyl Bonaguro with two of her sculptures: (left) The Passage of Time, Remnants Series, hand carved carrara marble and chinese ink, H 10.75 x W 26 x D 8”; (right) Icarus, Remnants Series, hand carved carrara marble and chinese ink, H 9 x W 28 x D 5”


rom the masters of the Renaissance such as Michelangelo and Botticelli to the Romantic painters of the 19th century, the art, of ancient Greece and Rome has inspired artists for over 2,500 years. As Picasso painted the Minotaur repeatedly and modern artist Cy Twombly inserted ancient Greek words into his paintings, antiquity continues to act as a key impetus for contemporary artists, including Jyl Bonaguro. Her work is featured in “Inspired by Antiquity” at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary in Chicago, an exhibition running in parallel with the Field Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition “The



Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great”, on display through April 2016. While “The Greeks” sheds light on the fascinating history of ancient Greece and Rome, “Inspired by Antiquity” will illustrate the unbroken line of inspiration in art from ancient times to the present. In addition to Bonaguro, the artists presented in “Inspired by Antiquity” are Terry Poulos, Eve Ozer, Manolis and Blake Ward, together representing five countries. Jyl’s work will be featured as part of the gallery’s monthly An Evening with the Artist series. On February 18, she will present a brief talk about her

For more information, visit jylbonaguro.com


Preparatory drawing and final sculpture: Enduring Passion, Remnants Series, hand-carved Georgia White marble and chinese ink, H 21 x W 8 x D 7.5�

technique, process, and philosophy. From the perfectly defined torsos of gods and goddesses to stylized busts of emperors and generals, sculpture was one of the most widely practiced art forms in ancient Greece and Rome. Jyl Bonaguro carries on the tradition with her marble and alabaster sculptures. Using the same tools used by ancient Greek and Romans, a hammer and chisel, she carves images that resemble broken pieces of ancient statues. These beautiful figures are purposefully fragmented with parts left unfinished in order to expose the fallacy of immortality. According to Bonaguro, “the concepts of beauty and immor-

Jyl Bonaguro carving marble in her studio

tality are explored via the unadorned human figure as the universal symbol of humanity. Humanity is seen as seeking beauty to mask the struggle for survival all the while questing for immortality. The beautiful figures are purposefully fragmented with parts left unfinished in order to expose the fallacy of immortality reminiscent of sculptures recovered by archaeologists from the ruins of former civilizations. Beauty is therefore portrayed as a transient form of illusion. The quest for immortality, though actively sought by most civilizations, is nevertheless equally transitory. Civilizations rise and fall. What remains is to wonder why we create or perhaps even more essential, why are we here?�

Uncarved block for The Passage of Time, carrara marble

FEB/MAR 2016 41



by Kathryn T. S. Bass, Ph.D.


reamy, layered, and complex, Julie Maren’s evocative art transports its viewer. I first met the artist at a Denver Performing Arts Complex exhibition, where her rich, Fauvist-inspired palette caught my eye. At the time, my husband and I had just started dating, but we were both so drawn to the painter’s work – and in particular to a painting called St. Francis – that we found ourselves inspired to make our first large purchase as a couple. Maren’s lifetime love of making has led her down many paths. From months spent stone carving in far-flung locales like India and New Zealand to stints as a textile designer, she’s explored how visual narrative takes form in media as rigid as marble and as pliable as wool. All of this funnels back into her studio in Boulder, Colorado, where self-made collage elements, gorgeous pigments, and diverse media combine with the artist’s passions for philosophy, science, music, and environmentalism to form lyrical works that is rich in allegory. Recently, Maren invited me to her studio to look at her latest piece and discuss the many interests and singular drive that fuel her career.



Tell me about your newest triptych, Taming the Monkey Mind. Here, I’m playing with the idea of the brain being colonized by many ideas. The monkey mind refers to the Buddhist concept that the uncontrollable, wayward thoughts of the human mind are like monkeys jumping around on branches, but that the monkeys may be tamed though meditation. I used the chinoiserie wallpaper as a collage element to emphasize and play with the history of the fabric. Like our thoughts, the wallpaper is decorative, asymmetrical, and reflects

For more information, visit juliemaren.com

(clockwise from top) Concealed and Revealed, mixed media on wood panel, 48x96”; Time Devours All Things, oil on wood panel, 48x48”; Seduction, oil on wood panels, 48x48”; all 2015

a fascination for what is exotic—for what is fashionable and “next.” We are ruled by thoughts—distracted, racing, complex, overlapping, erratic. The far-right panel reflects the shining goal—the mind improved by meditation. Tell me about your iterative process. Do you have an image in your mind—or an idea—before you pick up a paintbrush?

When I first begin, I randomly lay down paint. I like to mess up the surface and then respond to it. I don’t know what I’m going to paint; it comes out through the process. My process begins with building up sanding the background layers and at some point, I start to see what the painting is about. I’ll have themes I’m working on. I know my next body of work will be about climate change and the environ-

ment. I don’t really sketch, but I sometimes like to work with randomness, limiting myself to what’s available and at hand, no matter how difficult the materials might be to reconcile to one another. For example? If I’m camping and I have juniper berries, ashes from the fire, and Sriracha sauce FEB/MAR 2016 43

to work with, I can go with that challenge. Tell me about the different approaches and different media you apply to your art. What are your favorite tools and techniques? I’m driven by experimentation and play, from colored pencils to industrial paints. I call myself a maximalist because I employ so many techniques, materials and styles to my work. I like to mix drawing and collage, with representational and abstract painting. So much of my process is about integrating these different layers, which I am constantly building up and then sanding. I’m into making my own collage materials—digitally manipulating my own photographs and then collaging with them, then cutting apart what I’ve made, and re-collaging it onto a final surface: three-level collage. Also, I work on multiple pieces at the same time and at different levels of completion, because that allows me to come into my studio and be messy or very refined. You use layers to great effect in your work. Tell me about the decision to layer. I like to create other worlds and tell the stories within the layers. The smaller narratives embedded in the layers bring more depth to the overall narrative. I can put in more content when I can put in more depth. I like to play with transparency—the parts of the past we can see from the present. The parts of the present we can see from the past. The past is with us, visible or invisible. Things are more complete when put into context. How has your art evolved through the years in media, in theme, in other ways? Has exposure to new tools or techniques changed your work? Yes, exploring new media has played a significant role in the evolution of my work. In carving stone, I’ve found a new response to form by working reductively and in 3-dimensions. In 44


(from top) Illuminated, 100, mixed media on wood panel, 12x12” 2014; Searching for True North, 2015, acrylic on paper, 48x68; Resurfacing, 2015, mixed media on wood panels, 36x24”

textile design, I worked with palettes I wouldn’t have traditionally embraced. The interface I use for textile design has influenced my square paintings. Medieval illuminated manuscripts influenced a series of paintings with integrated text and the end product for that series became a book. Who are your favorite artists? What do you think you have learned from them? Do you see their influence in your work? All the great painters are great teachers, particularly in terms of how their paintings are constructed and different artists stand out at different times for me—Gerhardt Richter is an all time favorite. I love the atmospheric quality of his paintings—and his exploration of different styles over the years. Ross Bleckner for his symbolic language and how he captures depth. Kiki Smith for her exploration of the human condition and nature. I love graffiti and street art. I’m influenced by the layers of paint, paper and grit that I see there. My favorite street artist is Swoon. I find myself to be very influenced by music these days because it can be so transportive, and I want to transport my viewers to other worlds. I would love to create a painting that moved people in the way a Bjork song moves me. Do you have a sense of purpose in your art? My purpose is connection. I look to nature for my model. Its ecosystems and balance epitomize what I’m trying to achieve. It mirrors the different stages of life’s journey. I want to find the non-dualistic worldview, to express the cascading effect—that everything influences everything else.












R E E C E F A W C E T T . C O M



AMERICAN ICON 2016, oil and mixed media on canvas, 72 x 144”



American Icon examines the world’s perception of America. It combines quintessential American imagery to create a depiction of this nation as seen through the eyes of the world. From the Founding Fathers to Facebook, cowboys and the Wild West, Mickey Mouse to Marilyn Monroe, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, skyscrapers, the first women’s rights movement and the first man on the moon. America is seen as the golden door of opportunity.

Throughout much of the nation’s history, citizens of other countries have marveled at the prospect of American freedom and opportunity. They left their homelands in pursuit of stability and brighter futures for their families. These immigrants have shaped American development and have characterized the nation as an amalgamation of cultures and traditions. American Icon pays tribute to the people, innovations, and imaginations that have shaped this nation’s history. FEB/MAR 2016 47

230 West Superior Street Chicago, IL 60654 w w w.kensaundersgaller y.com

JON KUHN Spring Morning

laminated glass 16 x 10 x 10 inches 2015


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