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November 2O11 | 5


spotlight

Peter Nappi In 1904, Peter Nappi brought Italian artisan boot-making to America. Over one hundred years later, his craft has been revived with a new offering of handcrafted footwear, bags, and belts, with the launch of the Peter Nappi brand here in Nashville. “It’s a privilege to continue a craft and journey that my grandfather began over a century earlier,” said Peter Nappi’s grandson and company owner Phillip Nappi. “To see these  goods become real is too humbling for my wife, Dana, and me to grasp.” Dana added, “For this reason we will always be relentlessly devoted to the quality of our goods, the welfare  of the artisans, and our responsibility to customers.” Peter Nappi boots, bags, and other dry goods embody the nineteenthcentury, old-world style that transcends trends. These small batch goods are handcrafted and feature the individual characteristics that come only with artisan goods.

Alan LeQuire, Terra cotta, Small Figures photos: dean dixon

Juliette Aristides, Julie, Charcoal on toned paper heightened with white, 22” x 18”

Alan LeQuire, Terra cotta, Cassandra

http://peternappi.com/studio

photo: john guider

LeQuire Exhibit: “Back to the Basics?” LeQuire Gallery is bringing Nashville back to the basic roots of art this month, as they explore charcoal drawing and terra cotta sculpture with two of the country’s foremost figurative artists: Juliette Aristides and Alan LeQuire.

Jewelry by Vincent Peach Hermitage Hotel’s trunk show on November 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. is scheduled to feature pearl pieces and other fine jewelry by Vincent Peach of Peach Pearl designs. Featuring both fresh-water and salt-water pearls, his extensive pearl collections combine the organic element of the pearl with other materials, such as leather, to give each piece of jewelry a natural and seamless style. Calling the pearl the “living gem,” Vincent, who was born into one of the largest pearl wholesalers, admits that it is his favorite medium of jewelry making. He is able to appreciate each pearl for its distinctive beauty, and each is chosen with this care and consideration in the jewelry design. In addition to this collection, the trunk show will include high-quality pavé-set diamonds, hand-woven sterling silver collections, vermeil, rhodium, and chain pieces. Aiming to create jewelry for comfort and elegance, Peach Pearl creates masterpieces for all pearl and jewelry wearers. The Hermitage Hotel at which the show will take place is located at 231 6th Avenue North, Nashville, 37219. For more information or updates on the featured Vincent Peach, call (615) 345-7149.

Aristides is considered a modern-day master by both drawing and painting connoisseurs, and LeQuire is nationally recognized for his colossal figurative sculptures. Both artists continue to support the atelier movement—Aristides having founded the Atelier program at the Gage Academy in Seattle, Washington, and LeQuire having founded Open Studio in the mid 1980s. Though both excel at their medium—oil for Aristides, bronze for LeQuire—they will dig a little deeper for this show and focus on aspects of their work that are more immediate: drawings and clay. As LeQuire Gallery’s annual figurative art exhibit, this show harkens back to the basics of figurative art with media that are the most basic and direct. Following the most ancient impulse, the sensitive results keep the work alive and fresh—age-old media with a contemporary twist. A master draftsman, Aristides will have on exhibit exquisite drawings in pencil, Conté crayon, and charcoal. She comments, “Drawing is among the most innately human activities. It is an immediate art form considered to be as natural and close as thought itself.” LeQuire adds, “For someone like me who was a dedicated carver, the return to clay as a medium was life changing. Wet clay is the ultimate sculptor’s medium. Any volume or surface texture can be created in this material. Clay offers limitless possibilities for expression. After it is fired, terra cotta preserves the artist’s touch—allowing us to sense the artist’s presence in a fingerprint even hundreds of years later.” The exhibit opens November 12 and ends December 31. There will be a reception and book signing Friday, November 25, and Saturday, November 26, from noon to 3 p.m.

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November 2O11 | 13


spotlight

Denise Stewart-Sanabria Talks to Herself DSS: This is an extensive figurative exhibit—who are these people, and why have you drawn them?

Stewart-Sanabria: Anyone who involves themselves with drawing or painting their fellow humans is generally obsessed with the human condition. There is no other subject more immediate or personal. I love the way civilized human communities socially interact and express themselves. In most large cities, there is always a visual arts subculture, made up of artists, art lovers, and the organizational people that bring them all together. I think that no matter where you are in the world, you will immediately recognize these people. We are an international tribe and give off signals we might not be even aware of, outside of the People Group 2

deliberate choice of adventurous attire, weird hair, and drinking wine out of plastic cups. The people in this exhibit are from the Nashville First Saturday Gallery Crawl tribe. DSS: How did you get the photo references you used to draw these people? Do you stalk them like the paparazzi do?

Stewart-Sanabria: Gosh, no. I’m much better than they are. I use a method called stealth photography. DSS: Explain that.

Stewart-Sanabria: No. If I did, it would no longer be stealthy. Basically, I’m just minding my own business. Awesome looking people just happen to wander in front of me. DSS: Has anyone ever been offended that you drew them?

Stewart-Sanabria: Someone who knew I was about to draw them was nervous once. They asked me to make them look hot. I did. Did you know you can perform liposuction with a pencil? I have, however, had people get all whiney because I haven’t drawn them.

photos: denise stewart-sanabria

DSS: You’ve been drawing on plywood for almost ten years now. Why plywood?

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Stewart-Sanabria: I got into horrible fights with the paper I was using for large format drawings when I mounted it on plywood. The paper bubbled. The frames and Plexiglas were costly, and heavy. I decided to just draw in charcoal on the plywood instead, sealing them with furniture varnish, and back bracing them. It gave me an entire new construct: a merger between the two- and three-dimensional. I could do all kinds of things with wood that were impossible with flimsy paper. Denise Stewart-Sanabria’s Paparazzi Draw: Art on Fifth will be at The Arts Company November 5 through December 23. People Group 1

www.stewart-sanabria.com

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www.theartscompany.com


artist profile

Reflections and New Directions

|

I n H e r Ow n Wo rd s

photo: Kevin Free

Recent Painting s by Maggie Rose

Folded Shirts I,II, & III, Oil on linen, 11” x 14” each

T

he studio often feels like a laboratory to me. It’s a place where

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photo: virginia ross

experiments are ongoing, where outcomes are uncertain, where the search for answers to hard-to-articulate questions are sought— and, it seems, never found. One of the most interesting things about painting is that no matter how hard one tries to paint a particular thing and to arrange colors and strokes to achieve a particular result, the real life and subject of the painting lie in a mysterious place in between  the colors and strokes. Thus no matter what is chosen as a subject, the true “what” never reveals itself until much later. In this sense, though studio lights are blazing, I usually feel like I’m painting in the dark. After years of painting I now accept that this sense of blindness can be a good thing.      

Maggie Rose in her Staten Island Studio.

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photo: virginia ross

photo: virginia ross

Anniversary, Oil on linen, 24” x 30”

White Shirt, Oil on linen, 36” x 48”

photo: virginia ross

While in the studio, I’m learning to pay close attention to the pull of new subject matter and realize that, though it may seem vastly different on the surface, current work is never too separate from what was previously painted. Sometimes the link takes awhile to be recognized, but it’s always there. My most recent work is turning back to my interest in flesh and the figure in a direct way, yet in hindsight, the series of White Shirt and Dress paintings that were shown at LeQuire Gallery in 2010 were not so far removed from that. Those paintings are much more portraits Courtship, Oil on linen, 48” x 60”

of the people who may have worn them than they are paintings of still-life objects, and I can’t deny the search for the human aspect of the animals in the Bovine series. Both of those series still interest me, and I’m sure they will continue in various forms during the redirection to the human figure. One of the aspects that I enjoyed so much in painting the Bovine series was the larger-than-life-size scale, and I’m continuing mostly on that scale with the new figures and heads. The subtlety of color that I searched for in the White series is being flipped as I’m allowing color to dominate and to even become part of the subject matter. Each color has a distance, and working on a large scale allows for the exploration of that. I’m pleased that some of these paintings will be brought together at LeQuire Gallery in October.

Calf, Oil on linen

Reflections and New Directions: Recent Paintings by Maggie Rose is on view at LeQuire Gallery Green Hills, now through December 31. www.lequiregallery.com

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November 2O11 | 31


photo: richard nicol

Patrick LoCicero

by MiChelle Jones

C

ollage isn’t necessarily the first thing that jumps out from Patrick LoCicero’s paintings. Rather, it’s likely to be a vintage carnival ride, a

panama hat, or an exquisitely rendered porcelain vase—all recurring images in LoCicero’s vocabulary—that catches your eye. Pulling iconography from the past (1950s and earlier) and infusing sometimes related or wickedly surprising paper elements is this veteran artist’s way of composing clever, complex pictures. He shies away from the word nostalgia but nevertheless seeks to imbue his paintings with the historical associations of the papers, books, and other ephemera he incorporates into his compositions, each painting hinting at a compelling backstory waiting to be discovered. Working out of a large studio in Seattle, the Ohio-born LoCicero has an efficient, almost streamlined approach to his art. He jokingly refers to himself as a oneman factory and speaks of his creative space in industrial terms. There’s a research/development room outfitted in shelving salvaged from a post office, a shipping/receiving room, office space, and the main work/production room. LoCicero devotes about six months to developing each theme, working on six to ten paintings at once, with two to three paintings placed on each wall of his work room. “I think artists have a lot of ritual in their way of working. For me it’s really cutting out paper. I love paper. If I’m not actually painting oil with brushes, I’ll sit and just cut out imagery for hours and really not know what I’m going to do with it,” LoCicero says. He’s used the same black-handled tailor’s shears for twenty-five years to cut out fish, birds, turn-of-the-century inventions, etc. “I call myself a tailor,” he says. “I can cut out a piece of paper down to the size of a dime.”


He sorts the various cutouts by theme and stores them in cigar boxes in his R&D room, plucking them out at will when he starts a new painting. Thus begins an intuitive process driven alternatively by image subject or by the feel or color of the paper. Once he applies the initial pieces, which can involve sanding them down to merge with the canvas and manipulating the tones using washes and paint, the collage serves as an outline or blueprint directing the rest of the painting. LoCicero has a vast cache of papers sourced by visits to flea markets, online purchases, and frequent trips to book sales hosted by the Seattle public library system. He uses the actual papers and the pages right out of the books on his paintings, no scanning or copying. LoCicero favors old books aged to warm tones from the sepia ink used on them. He uses pages to great effect in Men of Peace, a picture showcasing seven men’s hat styles from fedora to pith hat to uniform hat with visor. The painted hats float over a background covered in pages from a book of biographies of historical figures—Thomas Jefferson’s for example—each illustrated with a portrait. Look closely and the portraits are revealed to be composites, the subjects morphing from one person to another. Men of Peace also features one of LoCicero’s favorite subjects: hats. Indeed, LoCicero says hats are his signature image; he’s been painting them for twenty years. The hats, specifically the fedora image, came out of a twelve-year gig he had creating paintings of men’s apparel for Nordstrom’s stores around the Social Studies, 2009, Oil and collage on panel, 20” x 16”

The Politician, 2011, Oil on canvas with collage, 28” x 40” 42 | November 2O11

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In that piece, a classic vase shape painted in a swirling blue-andwhite pattern holds a tassel of plant matter topped with cutout images of ancient Chinese figures. These sprout forth like Monty Pythonesque animation of tumbling knights. In his attempts to move beyond garden-variety still life, LoCicero sometimes spices up the arrangements by creating the floral forms from pornography or images taken from a copy of the Kama Sutra. “You think they’re daisies or roses; you come up to it and it’s images of fornication and whatnot,” he says. “It’s kind of surprising and disarming a little bit.” The botanical paintings are among some of the simplest of LoCicero’s works. Most of his other paintings involve layer upon layer of collage and painting, with the collage elements often relegated to the background as fields of color behind one large element or series of elements painted onto the foreground. On the other hand, LoCicero occasionally displays an adept method of integrated collage with painted object, having a typewriter integrated with cigar box labels in Marshall Field or as flowers in his botanical paintings.

Merchant of Venice, 2010, Oil on canvas with collage, 44” x 42”

“Though collage is tantamount to my work, I consider myself a painter. I consider myself a pretty astute painter,” LoCicero says. “The pieces that succeed for me the most are the ones that are painted beautifully and have a lot of rich color.”

Holbein’s Dog, 2011, Oil on canvas with collage, 28” x 40”

country—thus the similarity to vintage ads and posters (along with a slight nod to René Magritte). “The fedora or a hat is a metaphor for my father, who died when I was seven years old, who I didn’t really know,” LoCicero says. “This hat is an image I return to many times over the years. It’s an image I’m really familiar with, I know. “I work in metaphor,” LoCicero says. “I use painted iconography that acts as a stand-in for a personality or a memory. I do paintings that hopefully spark a collective memory in the viewer’s mind.” That doesn’t mean he’s stuck in the past though, and he’s even taken on traditional forms to shake them up a bit. Take still life, for example. “I tried to tweak and reinvent the idea by collaging controversial or surprising imagery in my painting.” The results, as shown in paintings like Social Studies, are both beautiful and subversive.

Men of Peace, 2011, Oil on canvas with collage, 42” x 34”

Patrick LoCicero’s works are on view now through November 26 in Cumberland Gallery’s exhibit A Showing of New Collages. Cumberland Gallery is located at 4107 Hillsboro Circle, 37215. www.cumberlandgallery.com

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www.patricklocicero.com November 2O11 | 43


It seems as though, with the demise of the printed form, these books elected to give up and end it all.


photography

Gone South

A tnip

Images from the American South

R

photo: jack spencer

J err y

eaders of Nashville Arts Magazine have long admired Jerry Atnip’s photos – whether you know it or not. Atnip’s camera has introduced you to artists and their art through his work for this

magazine. This month, he steps on the other side of the lens to discuss his life’s passion. Silver-haired, tall, and soft-spoken, Atnip is equally known for his warm, quiet manner and his black Armani suits. He splits his time between commercial and fine art photography and spends his days traveling across America for shoots. I was lucky enough to ride with him to St. Louis two years ago when he photographed artist Brother Melvin Meyer. His ability to capture Brother Mel’s humility and strength amazed me. Atnip’s photos went beyond mere images of the artist—they caught his spirit somehow.


Atnip’s work has taken him to Ireland, India, Guatemala, Honduras, and most of the countries in Europe. In his current project, he meditates on his roots. After years on the road, Gone South takes Jerry Atnip home. He says, “It’s easy for a young photographer to think the grass is greener on the other side by going to other countries and other places. I’ve traveled the world, but I really enjoy photographing the South, where I grew up.” In a Zen-like moment of clarity, he claims, “You don’t have to go across the world to get great pictures.” That phrase sums up a photographer’s calling. In a sense, photography is found art. Atnip snaps pictures of places and things we see every day, but he helps us see them in a new light. “I hope I can show things that might go unnoticed. I show them from a different viewpoint. There is beauty in most everything.”

A painter starts with a blank canvas. As a photographer, I start with the messiness of the world and discard the unnecessary to create an image. It’s like sculpting from stone.

Atnip sees bounty that others miss, and he is able to amplify it in a way that makes us see it. In simple, unmistakable shots, he gives us the world on a silver platter. His black and white images capture the world in a silvery, shimmering luminescence. He sees the delicate lacework in the bent branches of a tree, the serpentine doodles of reflections in a rippling pond, and he lets

I find myself observing this Radnor Lake scene from a different viewpoint with each viewing. Sometimes the circle floats. Other times it hovers. And often, I’m observing from 30,000 feet an otherworldly scene I long to explore.

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The dendritic pattern is evident throughout nature, as seen in waterways, the human circulatory system, and in this tree on the Vanderbilt campus.

The photograph in its two-dimensional depiction of three-dimensional subjects flattens this scene, placing the surfer and the bird as if they are against a wall.

us see it in his work. As Atnip retraces his childhood in a photographic tour of his homeland, the South becomes a thing transfigured. Rural highways and still forests are reborn in this series.

“ ”

Atnip’s work tells us, The beautiful images are often where you live. Atnip’s photography is on view along with the works of Dawn Hamm, Kim Thomas, and Trey Geary at 5200 Interiors, located at 5200 Charlotte Avenue, through December 31, 2011. www.jerryatnip.com

Man’s cohabitation with nature is evident in this image from East Tennessee.

Jerry Atnip’s new book Gone South: A Collection of Images from the American South is now available at jatnip@ciacreative.com. A deluxe limited edition with an accompanied signed original print is also available.

NashvilleArts.com | ArtNowNashville.com

November 2O11 | 75


For the last two years, the Harpeth River Watershed has been a rich source of inspiration. In this image, water transforms itself into a liquid precious metal.

Many times, a work of art will reveal as much about the creator as it does about its subject matter. The piano-like shadows reveal my music background.

This image betrays my inclination to create very graphic images; in this case, man-made elements playing against the pattern of the natural vines.


Gigi Gaskins | Wear Your Hat! by Nancy Vienneau | photos by Brooke Bowling

L

ong-time Nashville residents may recall Ju’s Hatters, a small shop on 8th Avenue just north of Broadway. There, for

decades, William “Ju” Thorne custom made hats, using straws, felts, assorted wooden blocks, and age-old techniques. To certain politicos, celebs, musicians, stylists—really anyone with fashion sense and moxie—Ju was the man who made hat magic. When the beloved hatter died in 1999, his wife, Gloria, continued to run the store, honoring his memory. After a couple of difficult years, she closed Ju’s to move back to hometown Livonia, Louisiana. With that, the art of hatmaking vanished from the city. Ten years later, the hat, and its magic, are back, now at the deft hands and keen eye of Gigi Gaskins, milliner/hatter and owner of hatWRKS. Gaskins is a designer who participated in numerous creative ventures, seeking her true art and niche. She has owned a clothing boutique, a home furnishing store, a stained glass shop, and an urban farm.

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The spark for her career direction as hatmaker came from an unexpected place, a film: Coco Before Chanel. Early in her rise in fashion, Ms. Chanel made hats, and something about this resonated deeply with Gigi. She became consumed with learning everything she could about this art, which is in danger of becoming lost. She took several intensive workshops with renowned hatmakers around the country and began practicing her craft out of her home. Call it kismet: while seeking millinery equipment online, she came across an ad for a sewing table in Gallatin, Tennessee. It turned out to belong to none other than the premier Nashville hatter Ju Thorne. The find, now in use at her Waverly-Belmont studio, seemed to affirm her life direction. In her own way, she would be carrying on Ju’s legacy.

She opened hatWRKS this spring in a curious pink building, a stand-alone storefront on 10th Avenue South. The front of the shop is devoted to retail, displaying an equal representation of men’s and women’s hats. Fashioned in different felts and straws, there are cloches and fascinators, boaters, pork pies, bowlers, fedoras, and the occasional top hat. Alongside her own creations, she showcases other nationally known milliners such as Louise Greene and Cha Cha. It’s behind the counter where her hat magic takes place. Her studio is filled with an array of crucial, hard-to-find tools of the trade: brim press, crown iron, steam pot, sweatband and binding machines. Lining shelves across the back wall are over a hundred hat blocks, all sizes and shapes, collected from places all over the globe. On her tables are several hats in progress: a plush purple derby, a snappy-brimmed panama fedora, a tall witchy chapeau.

“Men tend to view hats more in a utilitarian way,” she says. “It’s an indispensible accessory, not unlike how women view shoes or a handbag. I would love to see women wear hats more as a functional piece of their daily wardrobe, rather than for a special occasion.” Apart from being an expression of style, a hat is also an investment. For this reason, as a stylist, Gaskins favors simpler hats, streamlined, without much “frou-frou.” She elevates the classic shape of the bowler or the fedora with a hand-shaped pinch or crimp of the crown or twist of the brim. Embellishments might be a striped ribbon, single feather, or vintage button. But if a customer wants a pink felt sombrero, (a recent order) Gaskins says, “I will make that hat.”

In addition to custom work, she provides the services that give old hats new life: cleaning, reshaping, refurbishing with fresh sweatbands or ribbons. She hasn’t advertised, but hat lovers have found her. “Hatmaking is a challenge, and my customers enjoy supporting me in my learning process,” she says. “They know that a hat I create now will be different from a hat I make next year.” For her, and hatmakers everywhere, the hat never really vanished. But with more people confident in making it a part of their look, its art is surely returning to the forefront. “Remember,” Gaskins says with a smile, “the hat doesn’t wear you.” Like the sign on the side of her building proclaims: Wear Your Hat. To contact Gigi, visit www.hatwrks.com

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November 2O11 | 85


my favorite painting

Sybil McLain Marketing Director, Street Dixon Rick Architecture

M

y father, Max, had a lifelong fascination with art and architecture.

Two years later, traveling with friends in Paris, I decided to visit one of my favorite places there, the Georges Pompidou Center, which—I had not remembered—has a library named after Kandinsky. They let me in (without a research permit) and within fifteen minutes, the mystery was solved. We located the brochure from

Photo: anthony scarlati

This definitely influenced me as now I’m working in marketing—in architecture. Dad dabbled in painting, and we had a small collection of short biographies of famous painters, filled with many colorful photos of their works. Four years ago, going through his things after he died, I rediscovered a copy of a Kandinsky painting that Dad had painted himself. It had been displayed in our home for many years but had fallen by the wayside and was tucked into a back closet. I kept it and had it framed, thinking it would make a nice conversation piece. Really curious to learn more about the original work, I searched all the biographies I could find on Kandinsky and searched the Internet too. I just could not locate an image of the original. I gave up.

the only known (at that time) exhibit in the United States, at the Guggenheim in 1996. The original painting belonged to a private collector in Europe and had only been exhibited once in the United States. My dad and mother had seen it at the Guggenheim in 1966, and Dad had taken a picture of it—in color—which we can’t find. The research assistant brought me a brochure from the 1966 exhibit, and there it was—in black and white: Stability, originally painted on glass, in 1936.

Reproduction of Kandinsky’s Stability

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by Max McLain

NashvilleArts.com | ArtNowNashville.com

When I look at the painting, it makes me smile because my dad always thought it was funny that he never quite finished the copy. There are a few white lines not yet filled in . . . and that makes me think of his great sense of humor.


2011 November Nashville Arts Magazine  
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