MFA Blog Assignment

People Make Things

This week has been a week worth of playing catch up in basically everything.


Brief and wondering thought: I was a bad grad student/teacher.

I let my emails get backed up. I know. Gasp right? I felt just the same, so I spent a good amount of my Friday afternoon sifting through the mass of unread inbox mail in both my personal and my school account. I'll just say that it was enough that I had to stop after a while and pick it back up Saturday morning. My brother also vacated my apartment this weekend, after staying with me for roughly two weeks time. (He is being stationed in a new location.)  Needless to say I needed to put my living quarters back in working order before I could get to work in the studio, because I hate coming home to: a messy couch, dirty dishes, unwashed and unfolded clothes, unkept bathroom, and most importantly an unmade everything.  (All of which my brother managed to do in the short time he was at my place.)

Strange as it is, my house is the complete opposite from my studio. In the studio I have used paper towels strung about every table top imaginable. The collection gets used later on in my pieces and in a way I feel like I'm saving the environment despite my excessive use of the "paper towel" in the first place. At least I reused it form more than just drying off my hands right?


Anyway this weeks blog post is going to be an artist overload.  Nothing much happened int he studio besides my largest piece surviving the bisque firing.  I'll be posting images of that here soon.  I did  however have the pleasure of getting to speak to a number of my professors this week in depth about my work, my artists statement, and some new influences to dive into.  So I am going to amass a few of them here just to see what kind of connections they can produce between one another.

First on the list is Aganetha Dyck, an artist recommended to me by Naomi Falk, the visiting juror for the undergrad Form and Content show this past week. Turns out we were on the same SECAC panel last October in Roanoke, and she's great friends with my ceramics professor Jeff.

"In North America, Europe and many other parts of the world, bee populations have plummeted 30-50% due to colony collapse disorder, a fact not lost on artist Aganetha Dyck who for years has been working with the industrious insects to create delicate sculptures using porcelain figurines, shoes, sports equipment, and other objects left in specially designed apiaries. As the weeks and months pass the ordinary objects are slowly transformed with the bees’ wax honeycomb. It’s almost impossible to look at final pieces without smiling in wonder, imagining the unwitting bees toiling away on a piece of art. And yet it’s our own ignorance of humanity’s connection to bees and nature that Dyck calls into question, two completely different life forms whose fate is inextricably intertwined." --Colossal

Next up is Martin Kilmas, also recommended to me by Naomi.  She said I should maybe look into drawing my sculptures, as a way to activate the wall space, not only with the ceramics on the wall, but perhaps large ink drawings or prints.

This next artist Jessica Stroller came recommended a few different ways, all within the same week. My friend Jessamy sent me an image on Instagram, then not a day later my professor sent me the same thing. 

My professor Jeff mentioned to me Chris Antemann, which then brought up Jessica Harrison.

Chris Antemann    Inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines, Chris Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.  The pieces Chris is making in the Meissen Art Campus use the literary technique of a frame narrative, a story within a story, to build relationships and create layers of information between the sculptural aspects and the painted surfaces. The main story is presented in the guise of the 18th century porcelain figurine as a context, which frames a parody or second narrative between the sculpted characters. Other stories and in many cases, the sources of inspiration for the piece are painted into the scene in elaborate detail.

Chris Antemann 

Inspired by 18th C. porcelain figurines, Chris Antemann’s work employs a unity of design and concept to simultaneously examine and parody male and female relationship roles. Characters, themes and incidents build upon each other, effectively forming their own language that speaks about domestic rites, social etiquette, and taboos. Themes from the classics and the romantics are given a contemporary edge; elaborate dinner parties, picnic luncheons and ornamental gardens set the stage for her twisted tales to unfold.

The pieces Chris is making in the Meissen Art Campus use the literary technique of a frame narrative, a story within a story, to build relationships and create layers of information between the sculptural aspects and the painted surfaces. The main story is presented in the guise of the 18th century porcelain figurine as a context, which frames a parody or second narrative between the sculpted characters. Other stories and in many cases, the sources of inspiration for the piece are painted into the scene in elaborate detail.

Jessica Harrison was born in St Bees in 1982, Jessica moved to Scotland to study sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000, going on to do an MFA before completing a practice-led PhD in sculpture in 2013, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Working with a wide variety of materials from ceramics and marble to paint and digital collage, her practice explores the mechanics of perception and a fallibility of observation through an examination of the interaction between the visual and the tactile.

Her interest lies in how we handle, interpret and navigate materials, objects and space and how this process can define the shape of the body. The things she makes propose a re-imagining of these definitions, offering an alternative shape to our perception of things, using the simplicity of materials to explore the complexity of the sensory body.

A Books Purpose

A majority of my time in the studio this semester has been spent waiting on the kilns to just do their thing.  Hours upon hours of time just waiting for my work to get to the next stage in the process is spent inside a box of fire, and there's typically only small projects I can work on while I wait for the more important works to complete the cycle.  So what do I do?

I read.

(Contrary to what the movies may tell you, in honor of the new Beauty and the Beast release.)

And by read I mean I read/watch/listen/research to an endless amount of essays, critiques, articles, magazines, Ted-Talks, books, podcasts, lectures, youtube clips, and whatever else I can get my hands on.  It's been amazing this semester having my Art in the Age of Networks class taught by Jason Hoelscher, in which we read roughly four to five selections of work by artists, art critics, and theorists both within and out of the art world.  Some of the articles we read aren't related to art at all, but in applying the readings to works of art the conversation in class become that much richer.

This blog post specifically however I would like to highlight a book that I found on my Atlanta Gallery Hop two weeks ago.  The book is called Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor, and Kate Doody.

Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor, and Kate Doody.

This book not only features amazing glaze recipes and full color images of contemporary works, it also includes each of the 100 artists featured “creative intentions behind the glazes used” and technical descriptions of featured work.  I found this book in Atlanta after seeing it on a gallery bookshelf, and then on the NSECA website, so I ordered it right away.  Basically the book is for:

Anyone who loves creating ceramics knows that glazing can be a labor of great love or the bane of the entire ceramic process. In the instructional and inspirational Glaze, potters will find a wealth of guidance on the glazing process as several of today’s leading ceramicists share the recipes and techniques behind their most stunning works of art—each selected specifically for its unique glaze. Entries include:

An overview of the artists’ work
A technical description of the featured piece
The artist’s creative intention behind the glazes used
Glaze recipes

Pieces are organized by color, so the potter can easily find work that relates to his or her own color aesthetic, or simply discover other incredible approaches. With more than 450 beautiful color illustrations, a technical how-to section, and a detailed glossary, Glaze is an absolute must have for potters of all levels.
— Glaze

This book in particular has really opened me up to tons of new artists in the ceramic world.  It covers 100 artists, most of which are not the super famous and well known ones, but instead more on my level of attainability in a way.  The best part is that it each artists inspiration and artist statement is listed on their two page spread.  So not only do I get to the their work, have access to their techniques and recipes, but also I can read about their work straight from the source, not diluted by a mediator like a magazine article.

In addition to that new book I also got The New Ceramics Colour in Glazes by Linda Bloomfield.  I have yet to get a chance to dig through this book but trust me when I say that the 150 test tiles I made a few weeks ago are going to finally be put to the test once I get into this book. It's a comprehensive book on color mixing and color testing in glazes and provides full details and tips on making successful colors. This book:

A complete guide to achieving a fantastic spectrum of colourful glazes for the studio potter, Colour in Glazes looks at all the methods of acheiving colour in glazes, focusing on colouring oxides in detail, including the newly available rare earth oxides. Types of base glazes and the fluxes used to make them are discussed in relation to colour response. Emphasis is placed on using colouring oxides to achieve depth and variety of colour, rather than just resorting to commercial ceramic stains. The practical aspects of mixing, applying, testing and adjusting glazes are explained. and a large section of test tiles and glaze recipes is included, for use on white earthenware, stoneware and porcelain fired in electric, gas and salt kilns. A very useful book aimed at making glazes to achieve the colour you want, and to help you broaden your palette.
— Linda Bloomfield

The New Ceramics: Colour in Glazes by Linda Bloomfield

This week also saw the transition of my largest piece to date being firing in the gas kiln.  It has been cooking in gas since Thursday of last week, and later today I will be cracking open the roll-cart kiln to see how it turned out in the bisque.  High hopes for great things to have happened and it have survived the extremely slow firing process intact.  It was also the 30hr review for my fellow grads Cyndy, Glenda, and Kench.  They did ok for have to a answer some tough questions but I was happy to see them move to their next phases of their studio practice/work. Here are a few images of what has been happening in my studio this past week!

I also taught a special workshop at the Averitt Center for the Arts on Face Mugs for my fellow grad Annamarie's community outreach portion of her thesis defense called Common Clay: The History of Folk Pottery in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in her history program.  We had a great turn out. Overall 27 people came and made 21 mugs.

Atlanta Gallery Hop

One week of rest or one week of work-thats the coin toss that is "Spring Break 2017".

 

The break doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but already I have taken advantage of the down time and caught up on some things I've neglected around my house and my studio. I washed the floors of my studio space and wiped down the dust that had accumulated everywhere. I finished my largest sculpture and set it up to dry at a slow and even pace...hopefully. I slept in for a change and tried to use the day light savings to my advantage and readjust my internal clock by just sleeping through the time change. Most importantly though I made it a point to use the first weekend of the break to make my way up to Atlanta with some of my fellow grads for a day of gallery hopping around town.

I picked up Usman early at 6:15am on Friday and we headed for Midtown down I-16 for the long three hour and twenty minute drive. We left early to avoid traffic and ended up getting there much earlier than planned, so we had breakfast at West Egg. Afterwards we drove over to our first scheduled stop of the day, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. It didn't open until eleven so we walked down to Amélie's French Bakery for a coffee while we waited for Jessamy, Cyndy, and Josie (Cyndy's daughter) to arrive. While we waited we looked at all the different Mona Lisa portraits on the walls and made the joke that one of Zak's paintings would fit right in with the theme of the place. Once the rest of the crew showed up and it was closer to opening time we made our way down to the see the current exhibition on display by outsider artist Lonnie Holley called I Snuck Off the Slave Ship, on display until April 2nd. The gallery director walked us through a few of the pieces and got rid of Josie's hiccups for her. We even got to meet her dog Monster, a mix between a pit bull and a dachshund. The show is described as:

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta Contemporary) is pleased to announce a solo exhibition with Lonnie Holley. Holley is a man of many myths and talents. Born in Jim Crow-era Birmingham, Alabama, as the seventh of 27 children, Holley traveled across the South and held a wide array of jobs before making his first artwork at the age of 29.

Well known for his assemblages, Holley incorporates natural and man-made objects into totemic sculptures. Materials such as steel scrap, sandstone, plastic flowers, crosses, and defunct machines commemorate places, people, and events. The exhibition will feature a selection of sculptures and drawings on loan from the artist. In addition to these works, Holley will create site specific installations reflective of the spontaneous and improvisational nature of his creative process.

Curator Daniel Fuller says “Lonnie Holley is one of the most influential artists and musicians of the 20th/21st centuries. His powerful work is improvisational and free in that it goes beyond the autobiographical and chronicles daily life and history of people all over the South. It is as much concerned with all of mother earth as it is cosmic.”
— Atlanta Contemporary Art Center Wedsite
 

Afterwards we went to a few galleries downtown to include the Hathaway Gallery, the Sandler Hudson, and the KAI LIN gallery. We had planned on going to the MOCA but we ran out of time and opted to just go to White Space gallery instead where we met the gallery assistant Emily Sorgenfrei. We talked to her for nearly an hour about how she got her job in the gallery, the things she did along the way, and how we could propose our work to the space. (Unfortunately, Marcia Wood, one of my favorite galleries was between shows and wasn't open.) I also made my way to the Signature Gallery in Buckhead, which ended up being the highlight of my weekend. The Signature Gallery, run by Carr McCuiston located on Roswell Road NE Atlanta, GA houses contemporary ceramic works by just about all the artist that I am interested in currently. It was cool going into the gallery and meeting SarahBeth Merritt, the gallery assistant, and talking to her about all the works on display. She graduated from Georgia State three or four-ish years ago and has been working at Signature, as well as the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. My sisters friend Abbey Hull also works there currently and she's been a greta help in answering my questions about the studio and how it's run.

Basically, I got a lot out of this weekend. I made some great connections with the staff at the galleries I would like to show at in the future. It's all about making those small one on one connections, and really pushing forward with getting your work out in the world that matters. I feel like this weekend might have helped that "snowball" get rolling.


After all the gallery fun Cyndy and Josie left and the rest of us went to Krog Street Market for a beer and some small eats. We ended up eating at this place called Nexto, where my sister works. It's a Japanese Noodle restaurant and we ate our weight in ramen deliciousness.

Saturday morning I went to Davens Ceramic supply store for some things for my studio. It's basically an adult toy store if you're into clay. I also acquired a long list of new books to purchase after perusing the selection at Davens. I took the opportunity to go to the Atlanta Barnes and Nobles and glanced through their craft ceramic section for books and ended up getting the three listed below on glazing and making. Very exciting stuff to introduce into my work.


As for studio time, here is a few snippets of whats been happening. Most things are still in progress, drying, or getting ready for more firings.

Incorporeal Transformations

For the first time in a long time I took a weekend for myself, and stayed in Statesboro instead of venturing out into the great beyond for school, work, play, or educational purposes and actually accomplished a number of things on my to-do list. I managed to do laundry, grocery shop, and pay attention to my two cats-all of which needed to be done badly in terms of my home-life and the general maintenance that is required on ones part for keeping their living quarters, well, livable.


Studio time has been used to great success I must say, in that I have really up'ed my game this week in terms of work completed and started. It is midterm week at Southern, which means midterms were made, given, and graded. New projects were distributed ate discussed, and this next week will consist of due dates and critiques within my classrooms. That hasn't slowed my progress in the studio though. I am at about what I will say is the 95% completion of my largest piece in the making, and intend on finishing it off later today, along with a few smaller pieces I am working on.

Last Friday was the all faculty critique day, since then my presentation has been re-examined in our class group crit Monday and Tuesday. I appreciated the honesty of my classmates and what they had to say about my current work on when they got a chance to see it in person. Even though they saw the pieces in their "half baked state" because the kiln they were misfired and nothing fully fluxed, I feel they could still see somewhat my vision. The partially developed colors and the hazy white-wash over the five pieces wasn't talked about much to my relief, and instead we discussed the forms themselves, the craftsmanship, and their maximalist aesthetic.

My pieces after the misfire of the kiln. It did not reach temperature, so the pieces are covered in a hazy white wash, which is the clear glaze that did not flux fully.

We also talked about all my major influences in the work and where I was headed. I read off to them my topics of interest, which I have mentioned multiple times in previous blog posts, but my professor Derek brought up some new points I hadn't thought of. He mentioned that I should look into the more "surface" and "face value" topics that my work references. I brought up people like Hieronymus Bosch and Bernard Palissy, who are both from the 16th century as some of my historical influences and then all the new contemporary artists I referenced in last weeks blog ATL Vs NYC. Derek told me that my work has much more potential than just what I've been touching on and that bringing in some current politics such as the new EPA regulations as of 2017. I intend on discussing the topic further with him this week during my studio visit with him on Tuesday.

Wednesday was a day full of building, and back tracking in my notebook for past references, comments, and techniques. I have been trying very hard to make it a point to expand upon all the information given to me when someone references an artists, or a topic to me. Usually I would just go and look up whatever was said to me and then read a bit on it and move on, but now I try and relate it all. Seems like it would be obvious to have done this in the first place but in all honestly I wasn't starting to connect all the bigger ideas until recently, with the help of my current theory class, Art in the Age of Networks taught by Jason Hoelscher.

This is where the title of this blog post comes into play, sorta.

In class we have been reading articles all relating to system aesthetics and the network analogy to the artworld and the artworld discourse, that we as students of art play a role in. Even though I am just scratching the surface of the theories within the artworld and how they are all inner related to one another I still find the theory itself fascinating to say the least. Every essay we read is a new brain busting explosion of ideas, and concepts that opens up a whole new set of "adjacent possibilities" in the grand scheme "effectuations" (all these quotation-ed words are new things that I am just beginning to understand, so bare with me). Things like "Incorporeal Transformations", which is Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical account of expression and content in “The Geology of Morals” and “Postulates of Linguistic” chapters of their book A Thousand Plateaus. It is from my understanding the idea of change without actual change occurring-- just a change based off of implication, context, and language. This along with the collective assemblages of enunciation in language can then open up new understandings to art related things such as a vitrine. Which is what I am writing my argument driven paper on for the class, as well as hopefully later presenting a small version at Southerns Graduate Research Symposium, and then the full developed version of the paper at SECAC in October in their panel regarding the use of a vitrine and it's implied context.

So what does all this theory talk have to do with my artwork then? If I am getting hung up on the language of things, how does my art then relate back to it all? Well I am learning that it is all in the way you talk about things that ends up making the art work successful or not. Of course the artist statement is just a small part of the "whole" of being an artist, but how you talk about the work in general is also key. Knowing the discourse, or all the presuppositions (PSP's) about the work in question places you within the three art world ontologies, and lets your opinion actually matter. By knowing what my work is, and is not, I can explain better to my audience what is it I am making, and most importantly why. For me, the articles we have been reading, the presentations I have been preparing for is all just part of the bigger game, again, as a "whole".

Knowing the bigger context provides the content for the work. This I am learning to be fact, and I feel like my work is developing along the same speed of understanding, the more I read and write about my work.

In terms of new developments within my research practice for influencing artists, and artworks I have been back tracking and looking into old references. After spending most of my Saturday prepping for this weeks overhaul in the studio by making/doing all of the following:

  • 150 triangle test tiles for glaze tests
  • testing new materials/textures for possibly making my work "lighter in weight"
  • new glaze tests at lower temperatures at cone 04, instead of cone 6
  • developing a new gallon of casting slip slightly different from my original formula
  • making a half batch of my porcelain dunking slip, to cast more fabric
  • hunting and gathering $56.00 of ceramic plates, teacups, mugs, saucers, and bowls from goodwill
  • re-firing my "half-baked pieces" to cone 6, only to realize most of my bright colors burned out
  • finishing up my large piece to 95% completion
  • casting a whole new set of molds (about 15 different molds)
  • started on 3 new smaller pieces (two frogs, and an owl)
  • tweaked my artists statement and the specific terminology used

I really haven't looked too deeply into a new artist, because I spent so much of my time actually making in the studio along with digging into the theory of incorporeal transformations by reading additional material by Deleuze and Guattari. I needed it though. I needed to just work and try to generate my own, internal influence this week.

Sometimes I feel like even though all the reading and research I do is all beneficial to my work, finding that balance between working and reading has been hard for me. I tend to go all in on something. Either I read for hours on end, or a work. I'm not too good at doing one or the other, if it isn't obvious in my blog posts (They are much longer than the required length and cover much more than they need to.) But this is just how I am, and how I have been working since I got here (to grad school). Everything is written down, and researched to the point where I feel at least comfortable with the topics.

Fresh out the re-fire. My piece with some of the colors washed out, because of the high heat.

My professor Jeff keeps telling me that as long as I keep working the answers to what the work is about will come, in time. So I just keep putting in the hours and hope that eventually I'll get some kind of "ahh-ha" moment. I feel that I am close. I think after I sit down and actually have a solid meeting with my chair for my thesis committee, and get some of my "facts" laid out about my work I will be in an even better place than I am now.

Plans for next week are to dive into working on a new piece incorporating more negative space into the work, as well as less weight. I am also having to make new sculptures from cloth, string, fabric, and cardboard, just so I can then break them for use in my current work.  All that materials research I did two semesters ago, to make my "fabric" sculptures, has now become a part of the process for the new works seen here. I also have all my 30hr MFA Candidacy Review artwork up on my website now, so look for that final upload so you can see the jumping off point from last semester to what I am doing now.

Here's to being half way through the semester already!

ATL vs NYC

Two blogs in one day! Who would have thought! This particular blog is going to be the actual blog recap for the week, like standard in terms of my usual blog posts. Rewind and Explain, the blog before this was the recap for New York and really for me was just a collection of the places I went now online in a solidified place so that I can come back to it later and do more research. This weeks 'Atlanta Weekend" is the culmination of a weeks worth of stress, chaos, and a bit of a crazy harebrained idea on my part for what happened this week in the studio.


This weekend I made my way up to Atlanta to stop in at my fav galley in town as well as drop off one of my pieces for a small pop up down in Midtown called Materials and Craft. It may just be one of my small ceramic mugs I made earlier in the semester, but it's still worth it to me to make the trip up here and kill multiple birds with multiple stones. And here's why...

First of all, Atlanta is a relatively close (to my current location near Savannah), huge hub for the art world, coming in behind New York and then Miami in terms of places to network in the USA. It is easy for me to come visit because most of my high school, and undergrad friends now call the city home. Plus I am familiar enough that it isn't a huge expenditure every time I visit.

Second, the galleries up here are right on par with places in Miami and New York. For one, I have noticed that a number of dealers that I saw in Art basel, and just last weekend in New York, have galleries in Atlanta too. Why? I am not sure but it is something that I plan on asking my professors why I see them next week.

Third and most importantly- it's the closest place to where I am at right now that I could see myself actually living and working in. I mean technically New York would be a dream big or go home kind of deal, but Atlanta is actually attainable in terms of financial reason too. It's not out of my price range right out of grad school. So maybe I can treat Atlanta like a stepping stone and jump to NYC after getting in the door in the ATL. Or---do both?


As for this week in the studio I really pushed the envelope to get things done. Friday was our first all faculty critique of the semester, meaning we needed to all have work down and ready to show for the past two months worth of time we'd been on classes. I hustled and came back from New York with a strong idea of what I wanted to present the faculty so I hit the ground running glazed my work in an orderly, painterly style. The final five pieces I intended to present were in the kiln on Tuesday for the final glaze firing and I was set. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, the problems with the kilns (if you have been following my blogs I have mentioned the issue before) are still rearing their ugly heads, and I ended up not presenting any work at all. You read that correctly, I, Courtney Ryan, did not present any work. Not presenting work, is not-I repeat, is not, something that I do. It was hard for me to present at the critique the way I did, and I don't intend to rehash the order of events here because it is irrelevant in terms of my blog post. Just know that I really had a hard time doing the presentation that I did and I really hope that I don't have to do it again. I felt like I let my fellow students down, like I was taking a pass on the critique for not showing. But more so, I was sad at myself. Which is why coming to Atlanta this weekend to get away from the studio and just put my work out there in a different kind of way was needed.

As for artists I am into this week- I had intended to talk about Annabeth Rosen, whom I have seen now in three different cities...New York, Miami, and now Atlanta. Zemer Peled and my Instagram relationship of following her work as it progresses in relation to my own skills and techniques. Xu Zhen and his use of the icing piping for his paintings, which I saw in New York and it inspired me to get larger frosting tips for my own ceramic pieces. And lastly Hieronymus Bosch and his maximalist aesthetic, which visiting artist Claire Ashely re-mentioned to me last week during the studio visit I had with her.

Below are some images of these artists work and I think that the visuals alone show their influence on my pieces, which are seen, bisqued (the first firing in the kin) and unglazed above.

Here is also a clip from Zemer's website, showing how she works in the studio. I relate to her work the most out of the artist I have talked about today just because she is such a personable artist, despite her fame. (And for her obsessive tendencies, which can be seen in this clip.)

Film by Eric Minh Swenson. Zemer Peled utilizes a process of creation and destruction to make sculptures consisting of thousands of handcrafted porcelain shards resulting in works that can be read in relation to art historical tradition, outsider art, and natural phenomena. The sculpture’s narrative impulses lean to encounters with the otherworldly—like complex topiaries marking a not-so-distant land--yet they remain distinctly tied to earth’s patterns. This conflation of the foreign and familiar creates a frenzied dislocation in the work. Inspired by migratory habits of birds, a sweep of feathers, and cycles of change, the works spiral outwardly in rhythmic patterns, interpreting not only the dynamism of nature, but also the startling strangeness of a life lived in transition. Using white and colored porcelains, Peled transforms sharp slivers of porcelain into feathers, petals, leaves, and spines that describe objects of unknowable origins: seductive but untrustworthy. The forms are complexly ordered from the inside out, often bulging or spilling over with textures both delicate and severe. In some works, large scale-like ceramic pieces appear airy, delicate, and fluffy, as if one's breath might break it. In others, Peled's fragments are geometric barbs that mysteriously take on an alluring form - offering a sense of softness despite a sharp actuality. The forms are never static; the visual dance of sharp ceramic parts conveys a sense of constant movement. Like a murmuration of starlings, the sculptures appear to shift shapes as you move around them, an identity becoming and unbecoming in front of you. The act of making for Peled is a feat of endurance, improvisation, and adaptation with the aim to embody a fleeting but fundamental feeling of mystery. The construction of her sculpture parallels negotiations any outsider makes in encountering a new world as they delicately construct a self that is both adaptable and resilient. Peled (b. 1983) was born and raised in a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel. After completing her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem), she earned her MA at the Royal College of Art (UK). In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, including such venues as Sotheby's and Saatchi Gallery (London), Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv), and the Orangerie du Senate (Paris), among others. The artist currently lives and works in Long Beach, CA. 
 For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at thuvanarts.com. His art films can be seen at thuvanarts.com/take1 Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts : http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-minh-swenson/

 

 

 

Rewind and Explain

Let me begin by saying that this blog post will not be the typical flavor you may be accustomed to in terms of my weekly updates. Last week I traveled up to Manhattan with Jessamy for a weekend of gallery hopping, museum exploring, and conference attending...which prompted no blogs from either of us by the usual Sunday at 5pm deadline. Fortunately however, we asked in advance to gain the support of our instructors within the department, and were given a pass to make the blog post up at a later time. That blog post will be this right here and now. I intend to just give a recap of the places we went, the art we saw, and the overall gist of what living in the Upper West Side of Manhattan for 3 days was like.

To begin-our flight was at 6:45AM on Friday morning, meaning we woke up in Atlanta around 4AM (Jessamy at 3:30AM) to get to the airport on time. A nice flight and a bit of a nap later, we landed in the LGA airport and were officially in New York by 9:10AM. From that point on we went non-stop for the next 3 days straight. Not actually resting until we were back on the plane to Atlanta Sunday evening.

Myself in front of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon)

Friday was a day filled with galleries in the Chelsea District of Manhattan with our professor Jason Hoelscher, a New York native of ten years. He met us at our hostel on 88th street right next to Central Park, and rode the subway down to Chelsea. For me it was like seeing the "as seen on tv" art galleries. It was all the places you hear about as a student in class, but going to the physical location really made the world seem much smaller, and more importantly-more attainable.

Some of the galleries we went to and that I grabbed a press release for are:

  • Driscoll and Babcock 525 West 25th Street
  • DC Moore Gallery 535 West 22nd Street
  • Danese Corey 511 West 22nd Street
  • Allan Stone Projects 535 West 22nd Street
  • P.P.O.W. 535 West 22nd Street 3rd Floor
  • Ron Gorchov 547 West 25th Street
  • UNIX Gallery (No address listed...very odd...but this was the Univ, of Tennessee show called Orange)
  • Nancy Margolis Gallery 523 West 25th Street
  • 303 Gallery 555 West 21st Street
  • Gladstone Gallery 515 West 24th Street
  • Paula Cooper Gallery 534 West 21st Street

At the end of the day after taking in the art for miles and miles of walking in downtown Manhattan, we went out for dinner with Jasons' friend Andy and had an overall exciting discussion about owning a gallery, working in New York, how to market yourself as an artist, and what it is like to work professionally in the art world in the city itself. Andy will be coming down to visit GSU soon, and I feel like ALL the students can benefit from his extensive knowledge and charismatic character. He was one of the nicest, coolest, and most down to earth people Jason could have introduced us to. He cared about what we had to say, was interested in our work, and really did make Jessamy and I feel totally welcomed. Plus-he can pick a pretty fantastic dinner spot in the city! Jessamy had a Cauliflower Steak and I had Grilled Baby Chicken...both of which were to die for.

Looking at big art in a big coat.

Saturday we got up and made it a museum day, as well as seeing a bit of the sites in the city. We went to:

  • The MoMA
  • The Met
  • Central Park
  • The High Line
  • Time Square
  • The Flat Iron
  • Grand Central Station
  • Wall Street
  • The 9/11 Twin Towers Memorial
  • Broadway
  • Columbus Ave
  • Empire State Building
  • 42nd Street
  • 5th Ave

....the list goes on and on...we walked everywhere, ate everything, and really just explored the city as much as possible!

Jessamy and I in front of 303 Gallery, which inspired the 303 Gallery at GSU...we think.

Sunday was our last day in the city, so we got up and mulled around Central park. Went and found a coffee shop were we met a gentleman named Matt, who actually is the cousin of a UGA student we know and will be in the Trifecta show this summer. Which again made the world so much smaller. We gave him our number and he ended up texting us and told us that he was glad we stopped in and to keep in touch. So more connections to add to the books! Like Jeff and Derek said-make friends and get connected--both of which Jessamy and I did at every moment possible. We managed to explore the Guggenheim Museum for the majority of the day and then it was back to the airport for us after walking around more of the Upper West Side of town, as well as the Upper East Side.

After a long day of walking around the city-our feet were dying. So we took advantage of the subway bench.

After a long day of walking around the city-our feet were dying. So we took advantage of the subway bench.

Honestly, I could see myself living in New York if I was in the gallery scene or was teaching at a University there. The city is a jungle, but one that I think I could manage to live in for a bit. It felt so much like Dublin, London, and Atlanta that I could easily make the transition to the city life. Just need to find the job to support the lifestyle or the gallery to represent my work. I'll let the pictures tell most of the story for the weekend however. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and this trip can't be described fully in words. It was one for the books.

 

 

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