Monday, May 31, 2010

Objectified sneak preview: Colleen Heineman

Colleen Heineman is part scientist. She investigates, analyzes, sorts, charts, decodes, and reconstitutes information into art objects that reflect her concepts and processes. I'm really drawn to Colleens' artistic process, her methods of investigating and understanding her materials lead to a creative relationship where the artist acts as a catalyst, initiating the metamorphosis of her concepts. The results after the transformation: totem like sculptures that pay homage to an in-depth system of documentation and visual exploration.

The alchemy of Colleens' scientific approach has yielded and increadible group of copper sculptures, Sorted Conglomerates. This body of work articulates observations on consumer culture, identity, and personal clutter. This set of work is really phenomenal, and I am particularly interested in the ideas of artist as facilitator, catalyst, and composer that are referenced in these works. These pieces also visually reference natural land formations and tectonic masses.

I appreciate Colleens' meticulous way of working, and how she has committed herself to creating physical mementos that reflect her concepts. The Sorted Conglomerates will also be on display with an accompanying set of schematic drawings which reference the arduous process the Colleen undertakes in her making process.

As an aside, how amazing to these copper pieces look!?! The craftsmanship is amazing!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Objectified sneak preview: Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller has just completed her Masters program at University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Art Metals. Her most recent body of work, Peripheral Systems, Parts 1-5, is a series of necklaces that compare elements of our constructed environment with the human body.

Her wearable sculptures reference commonplace elements of our environment: spigot handles, duct work, or HVAC piping. All of these industrial elements are objects which we have become de-sensitized to; allowing them to infiltrate our modern existence with our dependency upon them.

These elements which Andrea focuses on were originally purposed for function and practicality. Despite their utilitarian origins, Andrea has managed to find beauty and pleasure in exploring her source materials, and I am glad to have her work included in Objectified. Her pieces are miniature replicas of the most unromantic industrial components, talismans honoring the unacknowledged architectural elements that we utilize every single day. I especially appreciate Andreas decision to move these sculptures onto the body, it seems to help translate the original source materials into the realm of the domestic more easily, and also provides and unexpected pedestal for the work.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Objectified sneak preview: Robert Longyear

It's no secret that I've had an art-crush on Robert Longyear's work for quite a while now. And maybe the theme for Objectified was a little of an excuse to have an opportunity to see his work in real life, who knows. Regardless of my motivations, I am excited to have him participating in Objectified, his work will definitely add unique perspective to the dialogue of the show.

His pieces are conglomerations of disenfranchised objects, using neglected structures as his source materials. In this way, he is able to reveal the hidden construction of deteriorating buildings, provide the viewer with a new method of perceiving space, and creates metaphors for the human condition.

The conglomerate objects made of industrial detritus are steeped in concepts of lapsed history, time, neglect, and fate. They also seem to become bodily, referencing lace-like internal organs; making the viewers relationship to them that much more intimate.

Another Love Lock!

The lovely, and newly-wed, Richard and Wendi have commemorated their love for one another by putting a love lock up at the designated spot in India Point Park! They used an antique padlock that Wendi had been saving for a special art project, and considering how attached she was to it, I'm really honored that she contributed it to this! After they hung their lock, they walked down to the water, and tossed the key into Narragansett Bay... high-fives ensued.

Having just attended their wedding, I was especially excited to have them want to do it! Now they're both off to Madison for Richards work, so it'll be nice to have a little reminder of them here in Rhode Island.

I really should get on that invitation that I've been promising... And, I will, I swear! Until then, I hope you'll get over to India Point Park and put up a lock of your own!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Objectified Super Sneek Preview

This past week I had the opportunity to see a newly finished piece by Jeanne Jo, one of the very talented artists participating in the show that I'm curating, Objectified. I have always been a fan of Jeanne Jo's work, but the piece that she created for Objectified is truly phenomenal. She had just finished it the morning that she delivered it to me, and it's pretty astounding.

Her piece, If a Mouth were to Whisper, is the opening phrase from a treasured love letter that was sent to her by someone who has since passed away. Jeannie transcribed the text from the letter into an alpha-numerically crocheting pattern. The result is a textile piece whose subtle patterns are a direct result of the transcription. The delicate holes that pattern the piece reference both piano paper from player pianos and an aged memento of moth eaten lace.

I am excited to have If a Mouth were to Whisper in the show; the intimate quality of this craft-rooted piece will compliment the metal work in the show. The image to the right is documentation of the piece, which is easily over 100 feet long and took approximately 50 hours to complete. This piece just exudes feelings of memory, comfort, vulnerability, and attentiveness. I really appreciate the pliability of the work, and how it both interacts with the body in a loving/cocoon like manner and simultaneously drags behind with excess physical and conceptual weight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Opening at Alloy Gallery

So, as it turns out, I'll be showing some new work that I've made at Alloy Gallery. The opening will be on Thursday, June 10th at Alloy Gallery on Spring Street in Newport, Rhode Island.

Alloy is a phenomenal contemporary art gallery, which primarily displays the work of local artists. Despite a location which you may think lends itself to more conventional works, Alloy is truly an oasis of smartly designed and extremely well articulated pieces of jewelry and art objects. The owner, Tamar Kern, has done a great job filling the contemporary jewelry niche in Rhode Island.

From my experience, I have found her to be a very encouraging gallerist. She goes out of her way to work with emerging artists and designers, helping to create a more confident group of makers by providing a proactive gallery experience.

Clearly, I adore her and Alloy! So, I'm very excited to have the opportunity to show with her, and to get a response on the new pieces I've been working on.

The image at the right is of a template that I sent to the laser cutter earlier this week. I can't wait to get the real pieces back and to see how the computer files that I've been slaving over transform into objects!

Objectified Press Release

Below you will find the press release for the show that I'm curating in DC titled Objectified: The Domestication of the Industrial. If you click on the image, it will enlarge to full scale. The press release does a good job of articulating the work encompassed in the exhibition, I'm really pleased with it.

We're down to the wire now, with only a week and a half until the opening. I've been feeling unnaturally stress free, but am sure that installing the show will change all of that! I can't wait to see all the work together, it's going to be a strong group of pieces.

Happy reading!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This image was sent to my by Kelly Kinser, who took it while on a trip to Spain... beautiful!

Paris, je t'aime. Not.

So, today I got an email from my Father about a news story that he had heard recently about love padlocks. After scouring the internet, I found an article about the padlocks of love that have been collected on the railings of the Pont des Arts, above the Seine River in Paris. Sadly, Parisian municipal authorities cut off a large portion of the locks late on Wednesday night. According to the Reuters article, tourists and locals were baffled as to why the authorities would want to ruin romance in a city whose reputation as a haven for lovers is a huge draw for visitors from around the world. Only a small number of locks have survived the cull, but since Wednesday some new ones have been put up too. It seems that sentimental love and emotional contagion will overrule the authorities desire for bare railings.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ah-Young Oh's neo-classical knot rings...


Although I chronically peruse the website, I don't usually expect to find anything on Design*Sponge that throws me into an all out tizzy, but there's a first for everything! I noticed that have featured an amazing two finger ring by Ah-Young Oh, made of plated sterling silver, gypsy set cubic zirconia, and braided silk. This ring, pictured below, is a contemporary design inspired by portraits of Renaissance nobles, specifically the powered wigs and braided hairstyles of women from the time.

I really love the soft, tactile design of the ring, and the supple weave of the silk. Also, the use of gypsy setting is a nice honest way to balance out the opulence of the piece, it's a much more direct method of stone setting which requires the metal to literally be pushed up onto the stone.

I'm so glad that the editors of Design*Sponge included Ah-Young's piece on their blog, it makes me really happy to see jewelry considered as more than just a simple accessory.


Devienna Anggraini and I have been collaborating on the curation of Chromophilia, an upcoming exhibition of contemporary art jewelry focusing on color and material. We've had some amazing makers agree to participate in this endeavor, and I'm simply ecstatic about how Chromophilia is developing! So far, we've been lucky to involve Mike and Maaike, Jimin Park, Jenny Bradley,Amy Weiks, and Mariana Acosta.

The artists' work presented in this exhibition is a result of in-depth investigations of color and materials. These explorations are articulated within the format of jewelry, which uses the h
uman body as a pedestal. These artists have challenged the traditional concept of what adornment is, and are working beyond the borders of conventional jewelry. Non-traditional materials replace gold and gem stones, allowing the artists to adorn the wearer with jewelry that speaks more to design, and concept rather than monetary value. The saturation of color used by all of these artists to catch the eye, as well as to emphasize the effect that jewelry has on the wearer and its audience. Be sure to follow the Chromophilia blog here, which we are constantly updating.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Melting metal in your microwave...

I remember the time when my grandfather heated up his coffee in his microwave, and after an impromptu firework display, the microwave shorted out in a cloud of smoke and sparks. The problem was that his coffee was in a mug that had metallic enamel on it, and the metal shorted out the microwave. Woops!

Well, I know that this is about four years later than the original project... but it seems that designer Kieren Jones has created a DIY kit for melting down jewelry and creating new rings with an average domestic microwave. The kit, pictured below, allows the user to reconstitute their scrap jewelry into beautiful new bling! The crucible has been specially designed from silicon carbide and boron to insulate the metal and prevent the microwave from arching.

And if the story of my grandfather wasn't warning enough, don't try this at home! I would also like to stress that this method is still potentially hazardous and should not be attempted at home. Besides, who wants to heat their food in a microwave oven that's just melted gold?

Ok, let's be honest... I still really don't believe that this is a tangible process that works without the risk of setting your kitchen on fire. But, I did find some interesting, and non-conclusive, information here.

Jointed Jewels by Alissia Melka-Teichroew

So, I was just perusing the internet when I cam across an amazing artist, Alissia Melka-Teichroew. Seriously, her series of jointed jewels makes my head hurt a little! Alissia seems to be part jewelery, part industrial designer, and part magician. Her work, which references ball joints in cars and hip replacements, uses selective laser sintering to create the ball within a ball as one piece. Each piece is made in a single shot, using the laser to additively sculpt each work in it's entirety at one time... no post assembly needed!

Alissia finds inspiration in iconic jewelery, including luxury brands such as Bulgari and Cartier, and many of the bangles, necklaces and rings are interpretations of renaissance and Victorian jewels. Her multi-tiered pieces have connecting joints that pick up on human bone structure.

This is the same process that Nervous System used to create their intricately structured nylon rings. I really appreciate the co-opting that both these designers have done with the process of selective laser sintering, sometimes when techniques are so based in the technical it makes it hard for artists and makers to utilize them. I'm a little jealous of their brains, and totally want their work!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Buy me this!

So, I was just trolling the internet... gratuitously procrastinating because I really should be doing some work right now... when I came across this amazing carpet! Designed by the Amsterdam based firm, 70f, these over-sized doilies are literally crocheted out of black climbers rope.

Can you imagine the size of the crochet needles that they used for this?!?

These phenomenal carpets completely revive your grandma's outdated doily patterns with a completely modern twist. I love the size and the detail of the carpet, it plays an amazing optical illusion on the brain. It would be really neat to see a couple of these in the same space.

Check out more from 70f here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Upcoming exhibition: Objectified

So, I'm pretty excited (and a little nervous) to be working with Honfleur Gallery in Washington DC to curate an exhibition titled Objectified: the domestication of the industrial.

Objectified will feature the work of Robert Longyear, Jeanne Jo, Andrea Miller, and Colleen Heineman.

The show brings together the work of four artists utilizing different media, and working in different methods. The commonality that these artists share is a philosophical approach to their subject matter, each artist presented here acts as a conduit transforming common materials and concepts into fine art. Whether transforming detritus into wearable works of art, or meticulously creating a knit codex, the artists of Objectified act as an intermediary, allowing their source materials to become more accessible to the viewer.

Objectified was born of the desire to bring together makers from disparate backgrounds, and working in a variety of ways who all drastically alter their materials as a result of extensive conceptual investigations. The title of the show refers to the artists use of the hand, and the alterations that the artists induce upon their work, each piece yielding an intimate relationship to the viewer. It was also important to have this show represent tangible objects as the results of the concepts and investigations articulated here. Allowing for a physical object to become the final vessel indicative of an arduous creative process emphasizes the complex status of that object.

Honfleur is a wonderful non-profit gallery in the Anacostia neighborhood of DC. And, I actually went to College with their Creative Director, Briony Evans, who was the one to invite me to curate the exhibition there. I'll be posting more information about the show as the dates get a little closer, including images of the work that will be included.

And, now that I've written this blog post I'm not so nervous any more. Much more excited...