Month: August 2014

A New Lens

posted by – 08/28/14 @ 2:01pm

When considering the medium of photography, the associations made most often relate to images captured from real life that render an interpretation of a single moment in time. Though the medium has changed over time, viewers look to photographs for a glimpse of something otherwise left undiscovered. Local artist Carla Ciuffo has created a body of work that serves to disembody known conceptions of photography, thus illustrating concepts and juxtapositions that manifest their own life.

Carla Ciuffo

The artist describes her works as “an amalgam of narratives, abstracts and lyrical imagery emphasizing the enigma of being human. Quality of light, both natural and constructed, provides luminosity within alternate dimensions that expand the boundaries of her photographic world.” (artist bio, carlaciuffophotography.com) As in the case with her series Words Fell, there seems to be an exploration of that equilibrium that we all seek, a oneness with self, nature and the world. The joining of botanical elements and anonymous figures create a dreamlike world in which reality seems to fade and the abstract comes to the surface. There is most definitely a narrative present, but how it plays out seems to be unknown.

 

The series entitled Stasis draws on a similar theme of humanity and the ever looming thought of mortality. The images contain a tree or branch of a tree and a composited figure. The silhouette is small but magnificent in its flight. There is a mesmerizing haze that seems to have settled over these photographs, adding the dreaminess of them. Perhaps this relates to that world we enter in our sleep where we can indeed become immortal. And what if these worlds collided? What would be the result? Ciuffo poignantly asks the questions of life, asking us to consider exactly what our world consists of.

 

Look for Carla’s upcoming installation and solo show with select and new artworks from Stasis at Tinney Contemporary: Finding Stasis in a Positive Negative Space.

Visit www.carlaciuffophotography.com to view more work and to find a schedule of upcoming exhibitions.

 

 

 

Art Everywhere U.S.

posted by – 08/19/14 @ 1:27pm

Imagine the ordinary sights of your daily commute: bus stops, taxis, billboards and subway platforms. All of these things seem to blur together and become a mundane part of our everyday lives. But what if these things became platforms for showing some of the most famous pieces of american art? A new initiative entitled Art Everywhere U.S. is making this scenario a reality. In partnership with five leading museums across the country, 58 selected works of art will be integrated into public life in an effort to expand the reach of some of America’s most beloved pieces.

Started in response to the success of Art Everywhere U.K., a list of 100 works was reduced to a final 58 based on the votes of the american people. Artists featured include Mark Rothko, Chuck Close, James McNeil Whistler, Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe and Mary Cassat. Museum partners include The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Dallas Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

 

For more information on Art Everywhere U.S. and and a list of selected works and location, visit  www.arteverywhereus.org. More

Starting Out

posted by – 08/14/14 @ 12:29pm

There is a certain level of excitement, whimsy but also paralyzing fear that overcomes young artists as they venture beyond the walls of their respective institutions and face the colossal giant that is todays art world. A specific safety exists while in college, a shelter of ideas and academic practice that can help one stay afloat in an ocean of endless possibilities. But how do we survive after this is removed? Can this education alone sustain the artists long enough to truly accomplish all that they aspire for?

Artist Kara walker offers insight into what it means to have success as a young artist and how to contribute to the art world in its current state. In an Art 21 feature entitled “Exclusive,” Walker shares how she dealt with unusually early success and how it has changed the way she makes and views art today.

 

Shortly after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, Walker’s groundbreaking show entitled Gone: An Historical Romance of Civil War as it Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of a Young Negress and Her Heart premiered at The Drawing Center in New York. Her famous panoramic friezes of cut-paper silhouettes, usually black figures against a white wall, which address the history of American slavery and racism through violent and unsettling imagery captured the attention of artists and critics alike. Following the success of  her exhibition in New York, Walker became the second youngest recipient of the coveted John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s. “genius” grant. Such successes catapulted her into a full-fledged career as a visual artist well as a position as an MFA professor at Columbia University in 2001.

Gone: An Historical Romance of Civil War as it Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of a Young Negress and Her Heart (1994)

“When I came to the City,” she says, “I felt like my newly forming ego and sense of self was just torn to shreds.” (art21.org). Artists now have a whole new set of challenges to face, many of which can seem daunting and unsurmountable. “It’s a different art world than the one that I stepped into” says the artists in her Art 21 feature “There’s more distractions, in a way, from the process of making one’s own work. But she offers this word of advice to the young, aspiring creative of today: “There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist-it’s not like becoming a doctor. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.”

There are many questions that may go unanswered, many attempts and failures and many moments of self-doubt. But we have visionaries such as Kara Walker and many others to look to and garnish wisdom from. It takes years to figure out exactly what our art practice looks like and how to engage the world. Whether there comes great success or minimal recognition, what one creates matters and it is as meaningful as the artist believes it to be.