Breaking boundaries and pushing the limits of a medium requires an extraordinary amount of creativity and courage. Two mediums that blew my mind at the fairs this year were Photography and Paper Art. The way the artists manipulated their subject matter and used their craft in unexpected ways shows the pure genius of the artists seen below.
“Numbered Legs” John Baldessari through Gemini Gel Gallery
Initially a painter, Baldessari began to incorporate texts and photography into his canvases in the mid-1960s. In 1970 he began working in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography.He has created thousands of works that demonstrate and combine—the narrative potential of images and the associative power of language within the boundaries of the work of art.
“The Rolling Stones, Sanibel Island by Hiro through Pace McGill Gallery
Hiro (Yasuhiro Wakabayashi), is a Japanese-American fashion photographer, born in China to Japanese parents who later returned to Japan. He moved to New York in 1954 and in 1956-7 assisted Richard Avedon. The years 1958-60 brought him to Alexey Broditch, whose personal assistant he became, and from whom he received both influence and encouragement. Combining simple but elegant design with sophisticated technique and striking colour, he opened his own New York studio in 1958, receiving commissions from Harper’s and other fashion magazines. Within only a few years, Hiro became a star fashion photographer in his own right. He made significant contributions as a staff photographer to Harper’s Bazaar from 1956 to 1975, and was named Photographer of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Photographers in 1969. One of his early celebrated photographs is a 1963 image of a Harry Winston diamond necklace placed on a bovine hoof. Surreal and unique, Hiro’s photographs are noted for their elegance and clean appearance. These qualities are established by the use of uncommon lighting, the juxtaposition of unexpected elements, and his signature use of color. Hiro is well known for his unique aesthetic, extreme originality, and the precision of execution of his vision. The trade magazine American Photographer devoted an entire issue to him in 1982. His work extends beyond fashion and advertising to personal explorations, including portraits, children, and landscapes
“Sikanders Entrance, Chandra Mahal, Jaipur City” by Karen Knorr through Danziger Gallery
Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, raised in San Juan Puerto Rico, and educated in Paris and London. She has lived in England since the 1970s creating a large body of work that has developed a critical and playful dialogue with photography. Her themes range from investigating the patriarchal values of the English upper classes to addressing the role of animals and their representation in art. Using photography to explore cultural traditions, from the gentlemen’s clubs of Saint James to the luxuriant interiors of Indian palaces, Knorr’s work reaches out to engage conceptual art, visual culture, and feminism.
“Pineapple” by Liz Nielsen through Danziger Gallery
“Wonderland” by Liz Nielsen through Danziger Gallery
Liz Nielsen’s unique, jewel-toned photograms take photography in a new and unexpected direction. She uses handmade, transparent color gels and filters to create complex and layered compositions. When she makes the work, her studio darkroom becomes a stage for an unseen performance; she skillfully shines lights through blocks of color and whizzes flash bulbs and candles past the light-sensitive photo paper. The resulting works teeter playfully between representation and abstraction. Nielsen’s work can also be found locally at SoCo Gallery.
“Tanzania Day to Night” by Stephen Wilkes through Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work. Day to Night, Wilkes’ most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America’s National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary. The series will be published as a monograph in 2017.
“Colored Entrance, Mobile, Alabama” by Gordon Parks through Adamson Gallery
Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. In addition, Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era – from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes.
“Global Summer #36 by Yiorgos Kordakis through Voltz Clarke Gallery
Greek born “Burning Man” by Yiorgos Kordakis through Voltz Clarke Gallery.
Greek born Yiorgos Kordakis lives between New York City and Athens and has perfected a large format Polaroid photography method with Inkjet technology and fine Art Archival Paper. Kordakis’ popular Global Summer series has captured viewers across the US and Europe who are fascinated with his images of blurred people and structures creating complex abstract patterns. Since 1997 Kordakis has been working as a freelance photographer, concentrating on panoramic scenes that are wrought with great emotion and visual splendor. With regular exhibitions in Paris and work in several collections, he has presented his photographs throughout a number of European cities, including London, Athens, Paris, and Frankfurt. In his work, the artist gestures towards ephemerality and transience, and particularly, the underlying similarities revealed in different cultures.
“Lovely Six Foota” by Michalene Thomas through Yancey Richardson Gallery
New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel. Thomas introduces a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty. Her work stems from her long study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Inspired by various sources that range from the 19th century Hudson River School to Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse and Romare Bearden, she continues to explore notions of beauty from a contemporary perspective infused with the more recent influences of popular culture and Pop Art. Thomas first began to photograph herself and her mother as a student at Yale. While working across multiple series, much of her photographic work functions as a personal act of deconstruction and reappropriation—both of images she has created herself and images she has singled out as influence.
Lenny Kravitz showed 50 of his photographs presented by The Leica Galleries and Reiner Opoku in the Design District. The exhibit is called “Flash” derived from the paparazzi. After a lifetime of paps bugging him and interrupting his photography hobby, Kravitz turned the cameras back on them. The result is a series of stunning high-contrast black-and-white photos that offer a never-before-seen perspective on fame from one of music’s most recognizable faces.
Lenny also showed off his skills as a DJ at the annual Aby Rosen fete extrordinaire.
Hassan Hajjaj through Taymour Grahne Gallery
Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age. Heavily influence by the club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes of London as well as by his North African heritage, Hajjaj is a self-taught and thoroughly versatile artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture made from recycled utilitarian objects from North Africa, such as upturned Coca-Cola crates as stools and aluminum cans turned into lamps. Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech, often wearing clothes designed by the artist. These colorful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe, in an intelligent commentary on the influences of tradition in the interpretations of high and low branding and the effects of global capitalism.
Jen Stark through Eric Firestone Gallery
Jen Stark is a contemporary artist whose majority of work involves creating paper sculptures. She also works with drawing and animation. Her work draws inspiration from microscopic patterns in nature, wormholes, and sliced anatomy. She studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA majoring in Fibers with a minor in Animation. Stark’s ideas are based on replication and infinity, echoing patterns and intelligent designs found in nature. Since expanding her medium from paper to include wood and even mirrors, Jen Stark’s oeuvre of optically and methodologically baffling sculptures and drawings has enjoyed a renaissance of context. Her signature creations combine a variety of materials that have acted as a catalyst for more established spiritual proclivity as expressed through hypnotic mandala-like configurations. Click here to see more of her work.
“From the Empire State Building, 1960” by Thomas Witte through Davidson Contemporary
Thomas Witte’s work is fascinated with time. He begins with slides of family photographs (images captured in a millisecond, often by an absent-minded, amateur eye), and then, through a painstaking process involving myriad drawings, multiple stencils, and meticulous spray painting, he recasts a mundane moment from the past as a vivid experience in the present. Witte creates a collage of the past and the present in all aspects of his work. He takes vintage photographs, of people and moments long forgotten, and imbues them with fresh storylines and renewed vigor. The old and the new fuse in a burst of Witte’s creative energy. Watch the video below to see his process..
by Teresa Lancet through Galeria Espacio Mimimo
Confidence in the possibilities of paper as an artistic language has led to Teresa Lancet making a renewing work of this universal expression. Simultaneously has also researched their language codes, showing the connections and coincidences of their repetition structures and their use of color with textile traditions from around the world and with all derived from the abstraction of the twentieth century in reaching express primary forms of great spiritual purity.
“Sweet Dreams (are made of this) by Carlos Aires at Untitled
Carlos Aires lives at present time between Spain and Belgium, developing with his work his esthetic of ambiguity and analytic attitude toward our way of perceiving the reality surrounding us. From the collage to cutout, passing through photography, video and performance, Aires shows an open, provocative art, full of restlessness and skepticism. He plunges us in an upset and disputable reality, where regular myths lose their sense; history takes new nature and truth gives space to half lies. Carlos Aires likes to propose games to the audience, to discover how many and which could be the various ways to read a picture, a video, a performance, to interpret a situation. He works with association of ideas and stereotypes to disturb the perception and displace. These feelings are perceived by the audience because filtered through the cultural background.
Don’t miss Art Basel Miami 2015 Recap: Part 1!
The Artpocalypse is about to start in Miami Beach this week with over close to 100,000 art aficionados flying south to look at $3 billion worth of art being offered for sale. In addition to the main fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center, there are also 18 satellite fairs scattered from the Wynwood Wall District to the beachfront. Don’t miss 2015 Art Basel Miami Hot List: Part 1.
Art Miami, America’s foremost contemporary art fair, is returning for its 26th edition this December, maintaining its title as the original and longest-running Miami art fair. As the No. 1 ranked international art fair for attendance in the U.S. and second-most attended globally, Art Miami attracts more than 85,000 new and established collectors, curators, museum professionals, press and art world luminaries annually to its 200,000 square foot pavilion in the Wynwood Arts District.
I always look forward to seeing the heavy hitters shown by Evelyn Aimis at Art Miami. She has earned a world wide reputation as a Fine Art Dealer, specializing in 20th Century Modern & Contemporary Art since 1973. I cannot wait to see two works above by two of my favorite artists, Tracey Emin and Sam Francis.
SCOPE returns to South Beach with 120 exhibitors from 22 countries, plus several special sections including Juxtapoz Presents, the Breeder Program for new galleries and FEATURE, showcasing photography. For a fourth year, the fair collaborates with VH1 on a music series featuring up-and-coming artists. There’s also an invite-only party with recording artists Mack Wilds and Lil’ Dicky on Friday night at Nikki Beach, sponsored by SCOPE, VH1 and BMI.
Be sure to check out first time SCOPE exhbitors LaCa Projects (Booth E19) featuring works by contemporary Latin American artists: Juan Dolhare (Argentina), Carlos Estévez (Cuba),Vicente Hernández (Cuba), Leandro Manzo (Argentina), and Cristina Toro (Puerto Rico). The fantastical paintings of Vicente Hernández (bottom image) weave magnificent stories of escape rife with struggle and triumph, the real and the imaginary, the sadness of departure and the excitement of the journey.
PULSE Miami Beach will feature a neon installation by Texas artists Alicia Eggert and Mike Fleming, a sculpture called “Trees” by Gordon Holden, a faux apartment building by Chris Jones, “Over and Under” by Francis Trombly and a small architectural piece inspired by Corbusier by New York artist Jim Osman. The fair’s PLAY section for video and new media will be curated by Stacy Engman.
Voltz Clarke is also showing again at PULSE featuring the driftwood and neon works of American sculptor Lisa Schulte and Greek photographer Yiorgos Kordakis. Through the juxtaposition of works, Voltz Clarke reveals a conversation between the organic medium of Schulte’s driftwood sculptures and the faded quality of Kordakis’, now obsolete, large-format photography. With Kordakis’ Global Summer photographs, the artist gestures towards ephemerality and transience, and particularly, the underlying similarities revealed in different cultures enjoying the same season. Similarly, Schulte’s organic forms provoke a greater dialogue regarding our relativity and adaptation to the world around us. Through these conceptually rigorous series, what is provoked is the abstraction of the familiar, as both Schulte and Kordakis provide alternate views and modes to experience the routine and everyday.
Libertine, one of the new clubs in downtown Miami’s 24-hour party district, hosts a release party for Nakid Magazine’s latest issue and their cover artist Jen Stark on Friday night, December 4th. Stark recently collab’ed with Miley Cyrus on MTV’s VMA Awards and has a new installation at Miami International Airport. Click here to read more about her work.
The Surf Lodge pops-up all week at The Hall South Beach Hotel (1500 Collins Avenue, South Beach) with a series of invite-only artist dinners, events and performances.
This year’s Jeremy Scott party is on December 2nd, at the Surf Lodge pop-up in The Hall Hotel (1500 Collins Avenue, South Beach).
Miami’s hottest new restaurant/nightclub, El Tucan, (1111 SW 1st Avenue, Miami) is presenting a special series of dinner shows by acclaimed Cuban actress and singer CuCu Diamantes performing with Alain Perez and an 11-piece Latin orchestra on December 3, 4 and 5, with two shows nightly. The club was designed by Robert McKinley (Gold Bar, Ruschmeyers, The Surf Lodge etc.).
Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel (1601 Collins Avenue,South Beach) hosts their second “Body, Art & Movement” event with exhale South Beach on Friday, December 4, 10 a.m. to noon. Along with a special yoga class and DJ, there will be live painting by Jeremy Penn, the hotel’s first artist in residence.
Brooklyn-based artist Spencer Finch is driving his solar-powered ice cream truck cross-country to Miami to deliver “edible monochrome” cones all week. The flavors and colors were inspired by a sunset over Central Park. The truck will park near Hyde Midtown (3401 NE 1st Avenue, Miami) from 1 to 8 p.m. daily.
via PAPER Magazine… is hosting several events during AB/MB. On Tuesday, December 1st, 6 p.m., founding editor David Hershkovits will be “in conversation” at the Miami Edition (2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) with Fab 5 Freddy and David Koh on the topic, “Art On Film,” followed by a special screening of Koh’s film “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict.” On Tuesday night (late) and also at the EDITION, PAPER, Silencio, A Hotel Life and One Management host the one-year anniversary of the hotel’s BASEMENT nightclub with DJs Seth Troxler, Nicolas Matar and Orazio Rispo. On Wednesday, December 2nd, 5 to 7 p.m., founding editor Kim Hastreiter and Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale & China Forbes are hosting a “sing-a-long” with various artists, designers and musicians including Yves Behar and Mickalene Thomas — and you! It’s happening in Airbnb’s “Belong. Here. Now.” installation, next to the Design Miami pavilion behind the convention center. Come by and join the fun! A souvenir “Songbook” will be provided, so you’ll know all the lyrics.
*All images courtesy of PAPER and Art Basel unless otherwise noted.
As my Instagram feed has been blowing up with images of rainbows celebrating this epic day, I thought now would be a perfect time to feature the technicolored work of one of all time favorite artists…Jen Stark. It is hard to fathom that this insanely talented lady is in her early 30s. Her method for creating her intricate sculptures and paintings began out of need. As an art student in Aix-en Provence, she could not afford French pastels or oil paints, so she bought blocks of children’s construction paper and began cutting. She found the meticulous, sequential work felt meditative. The amount of discipline required to create a single work is extraordinary.
Each work is built layer by layer and can take months to complete. Everything is made by hand and the artist has a few tricks to protect her hands so she does not injure her fingers. Wearing mittens while working and padding her X-Acto knife with cotton balls helps greatly.
“I frequently use common materials such as paper and wood and strive to create complex structures that reveal how remarkable common materials can become. I’m interested in the idea of how math and science is intertwined in everything around us and am inspired by all types of things, from plants to outer space, microscopic designs in nature, color and mystery. My work concentrates on hypnotic, optical designs that mimic mandalas and sacred objects. I hope to help everyone discover the simplicity of beauty and mystery through my work”.
“The aim of my work is to realize the potential of simple and common materials. There are no boundaries, and I believe it can be a great source of inspiration for others. I think with new ideas, our consciousness expands a bit more and our minds evolve. Hopefully my work will enable people to open their minds so that they are able to envision and discover new ideas. I am hopeful and open to the idea of evolving our consciousness”
Jen Stark was born in Miami, Florida in 1983 and received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, majoring in fibers with a minor in animation. Her artwork mimics intricate patterns and colors found in nature while exploring ideas of replication and infinity. Although Stark is most recognized for her paper sculptures, she has explored a variety of media including wood, metal, paint, plexi and animation.
Stark has exhibited globally with major shows in NYC, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand and Canada. Her work is included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the West Collection, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and MOCA Miami among others.
Stark lives and works in Los Angeles.