Visual Arts

Friday, June 17, 2016

Vek Neal + Mary-Kerstin Hassiotis become 'an extension of one another'

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 12:26 PM

EXTENSION: Portrait photographer Vek Neal and geokapi painter Mary-Kerstin Hassiotis (right) create collaborative works (left) for Friday's opening exhibit. - COURTESY OF VEK NEAL + MARY-KERSTIN HASSIOTIS
  • Courtesy of Vek Neal + Mary-Kerstin Hassiotis
  • EXTENSION: Portrait photographer Vek Neal and geokapi painter Mary-Kerstin Hassiotis (right) create collaborative works (left) for Friday's opening exhibit.

It's been a year since Atlanta-based photographer Vek Neal's solo exhibit Unposed and people are still talking about the vivid realism of his large-scale prints and painterly approach to portraiture. So it only makes sense that, for this year's exhibit, Neal is collaborating with a painter who excels in the abstract. Known for her affinity for geometric shapes and the rare breed giraffe-like mammal native to the Congo called okapi, Mary-Kerstin Hassiotis calls her hybrid of the two geokapi. Their exhibit, Extension — which opens tonight at Studio No. 7 — features a unique mashup of their contrasting techniques.

"We did something different with how we produced the works," Neal says. "M.K. would create a painting and I would photograph the painting and digitally merge it with a portrait. The goal was to be an extension of one another, hence the name of the show."

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Paper Plane Gallery opens in College Park

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 1:17 PM

The Atlanta arts scene is always changing, from new artists finding a home here to galleries opening and closing. Paper Plane Gallery opened Thurs., June 9, and it's ready to carve a own niche in the city's arts scene. The gallery is located in College Park and its inaugural exhibition, New American Works, was a success with more than 200 visitors on the first night.

"Part of our focus is growing the next generation of art collectors," Jack Michael, owner of the gallery, says. "In some sense, art is a luxury product. But at the same time, there's no reason that every single person who wants to be an art collector shouldn't be able to do so."

Michael and her fiancé moved from New York City down to Atlanta for work last summer and quickly felt attracted to College Park because of its tight community. "We were pleasantly surprised to find a community defined by enthusiasm, dedication to progress, and neighborliness," Michael says.

CL talked to Michael, the woman behind this new spot, via email about making the decision to open the gallery in College Park, what kind of artists she hopes to attract, and the gallery's focus on papermaking.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

High Museum stomps out 'The Rise of Sneaker Culture'

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 3:04 PM

TWINKLE TOES: Adidas' 1936 Modell Waitzer at "The Rise of Sneaker Culture." - COURTESY AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS
  • Courtesy American Federation of Arts
  • TWINKLE TOES: Adidas' 1936 Modell Waitzer at "The Rise of Sneaker Culture."

Have you seen the memes clowning Stephen Curry’s new shoe, the Curry 2s?

“Oh boy, the Curry Retirement 8s!” read one meme this weekend picturing a toothless old lady happily opening her new box Chef Currys — so named by manufacturer Under Armour for the way Curry cooks like a “master chef” on the court. Unfortunately, the Internet ain’t buyin’ it.

“Steph Curry and Under Armour really targeting that emergency room nurse demographic,” reads another meme, likening the shoes to a pair of hospital clogs. Even worse, they’ve been dubbed dad shoes. “They come complete with Dad Jeans, a half buttoned shirt, and a gold rope necklace caught in some chest hair,” another meme is captioned.

The widespread ridicule — documented in the past 48 hours by old and new media alike, from the Wall Street Journal to Deadspin — reminds us that the value of a sneaker is determined by much more than a marquis name. Even when that name happens to be the NBA’s current season MVP. Needless to say, the gear behind the glass at the High Museum’s new exhibit The Rise of Sneaker Culture are fresher than those.

Open through August 14, the exhibit presents a thorough timeline of the evolution in sneaker style, design, creativity, and cachet. Curated by Elizabeth Semmelhack of Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, the traveling exhibit features more than 150 sneakers, starting with utilitarian creations of the 1830s and continuing through the futuristic sneaks of today. 

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Friday, June 10, 2016

TQM celebrates the life of arts activist Laura Calle

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 11:23 AM

  • via facebook
Laura Calle, programming director for Living Walls, passed away last November at age 26. TQM, a nonprofit co-organized by her brother Juan Calle, partnered up with Living Walls to host a fundraising event Saturday that will raise funds for the Laura Patricia Calle Grant LW created.

"The Laura Patricia Calle Grant is designed to honor Laura Patricia Calle's life, her hard work and immeasurable passion for equality of all people and the manifestation of diverse cultural expression in our public spaces," according to Living Walls. Artists and collectives are encouraged to present proposals for public art projects designed to promote or educate in subjects like feminism, social equality, LGBT rights, immigrants rights, and cultural diversity. More than $30,000 in sponsorships have been contributed as of now, but the event should pull in even more — 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to the grant.

Westside Cultural Arts Center hosts TQM: A Night of Art and Music which features three DJs, a local art auction, a premium open bar, and a silent disco dance party. “My sister Laura had a passion to make Atlanta a better place through her dedication to the arts and to enhancing the local community,” Juan says in a press release. “Through TQM, short for ‘te quiero mucho,’ we hope continue to spread her constant love for Living Walls and Atlanta by providing our support to budding artists and citizens that share her passion.”

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pure Pulp explores paper in inventive ways

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM

Natalie Frank, "Portrait (Woman II)," 2015 - COURTESY THE ARTIST AND DIEU DONNÉ, NEW YORK
  • Courtesy the artist and Dieu Donné, New York
  • Natalie Frank, "Portrait (Woman II)," 2015
Paper can be a versatile, surprising medium as Pure Pulp: Contemporary Artists Working in Paper at Dieu Donné, a new exhibition at the Robert C. Williams
Museum of Papermaking shows. 

“The only predictable thing about the works in Pure Pulp is the medium," Museum Director Teri Williams says. "Abstraction, pop art, portraiture, collage, book art — this show has a spectacular piece to demonstrate the possibilities of working in paper.”

The exhibition will show the work of 20 artists as they explore the range and vitality of art making with paper over the course of 40 years at Dieu Donné, the renowned New York City papermaking studio.

Among the artists, you can find established figures like E.V. Day, William Kentridge, Glenn Ligon, Do Ho Suh, and Richard Tuttle and emerging artists such as Firelei Báez, Ian Cooper, and Natalie Frank (shown above). The exhibition was organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College in New York.

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Chester Hopewell brings poetry to a telephone pole near you

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 10:12 AM

If you're walking around Cabbagetown and spot a poem printed on neon color paper and stapled to a telephone pole, it's most likely the work of Chester Hopewell. Inspired by the #FAFATL movement, Hopewell started dropping his book of poems as free art about two years ago and collaborating with other artists ever since. Now, his Telephone Pole Poetry project has taken over the city. Hopewell talks to CL via email about bringing poetry to the masses and where he gets his inspiration.

When did you start making telephone pole poetry? Why telephone poles?
I started the Telephone Pole Poetry Project in 2011 while living in Savannah. I had one of those bursts of inspiration, and the words were flowing. But here's the thing with poetry in this day and age: It's hidden away in print or web journals that are mostly read by other poets. There's no reality TV show about poets (and rightfully so); there's no mass market for poems. People have to actively seek it out, and with all the entertainment options out there in the world right now, let's be honest, not many are going to make that kind of effort for poetry.

So that got me thinking: Why not present poems to people in their everyday lives? Why not make it easy for them to encounter poetry? As I thought more about how to do that, I kept coming back to telephone poles. Symbolically, they represent communication in all its various forms. Obviously, they carry wires overhead that bring Internet, cable, and telephones (does anyone have those any more though?) into our homes. And there is a certain familiarity with flyers stapled to telephone poles in every community, from searching for a lost dog to promoting an upcoming concert or yard sale. I also wanted to present the poems in a simple yet eye-catching way.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tiovivo brings a whimsical vibe to the High Museum

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 11:23 AM

Tiovivo, a quartet of whimsical sculptures, landed upon the High Museum of Art June 3. The four large-scale interactive installations are the third in the outdoor series — following Mi Casa, Yor Casa and Los Trompos. This time, the mastermind behind the pig, the bell, the bear and the bunny-esque installations, is Spanish artist Jaime Hayon.

For me, it was more about making a sculpture that people would interact with," Hayon says. "It's not just a sculpture to look at." Only a few days after its opening, you can see children and parents running around the Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza and climbing in and out of the sculptures.

Woodworking was a new technique for Hayon, who has previously created sculptures in London's Trafalgar Square and the Netherlands. "See, these are constructed as if they were boats," Hayon says. "We used boat wood, which is flexible and it's water-resistant. It's just flexible enough to be able to make the curves that we wanted, so there was a challenge." 

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Monday, June 6, 2016

An eye-opening closing for Fabian's solo show 'Contraption'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 1:55 PM

MIXED MEDIA: Fabian deconstructs a biased cop’s thought process in “Cop Vision: WWB Edition.” - COURTESY FABIAN
  • Courtesy Fabian
  • MIXED MEDIA: Fabian deconstructs a biased cop’s thought process in “Cop Vision: WWB Edition.”

When Fabian began working on his recent solo show, Contraption, he had no idea where his creative machinations might take him. Among the city's more inventive visual artists, he's perhaps best known as the guy who boldly proposed, then hand-constructed, a pyramid in honor of the Dungeon Family for Art on the Atlanta Beltline. Besides the dope aesthetics, the design wound up serving a practical, if unintended, purpose when the homeless made a shelter out of it last year. That, in itself, became a poetic statement considering Dungeon Family's righteous legacy and the coincidental timing of Goodie Mob's Soul Food debut turning 20 in 2015.

A similar bit of serendipity spawned the outcome of Contraption, a conceptual show that plays with perception while exploring reality in all its contradictions — from the cartoonish to the cosmic.

“The whole show is a mechanism and this is my thought process,” Fabian said during the show's closing reception on Saturday, May 28 at Notch 8 Gallery, while giving an in-depth artist talk hosted by @ATLArtGirls. The oldest pieces in the show, created over the past two years, draw inspiration from Rube Goldberg, the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his illustrations of complicated gadgetry. (Remember those absurd contraptions Wile E. Coyote used to create in his slapstick attempts to catch the Road Runner back in the day? Yeah, we have Goldberg to thank for that.) 

Fabian satirizes a more serious subject: criminal justice, or the lack thereof. In such provocatively titled pieces as the "Anti-Pig Machine" and "Cop Vision: WWB Edition," he creates contraptions that illustrate how social programming fuels the racially-charged rash of police brutalizing and killing black Americans. He counters those realistic depictions of inherent bias toward African-Americans with animated portrayals of friendly interactions between cops and white suspects. It's a subtle nod to a not-so-subtle irony.

“I’ve tried to think about conspiracies like they were mechanized," he said, explaining the dehumanizing effects of media bias. "Conspiracies up close just look like moving parts. But as you step back, you realize that they’re all connected. And they’re all connected to produce a similar result.”

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A night of art and libations with the High Museum

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2016 at 10:23 AM

Are you a regular mid-week slump sufferer? Don't worry — the High Museum of Art has you covered. They are hosting Hops and the High at Red Brick Brewing Company, a one-night event full of games, art, and of course, beer.

"The Hops and the High event was an idea we had to better promote the culture of the arts in Atlanta," Stephanie Smith, the High's membership manager, says. "This event in particular is geared at harnessing the enthusiasm and creativity of local residents who often don't think of the High as anything other than a brick and mortar building. We encourage participants to become engaged in the museum and appreciate all types of art — visual, performance, and in this case, craft beer!"

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Friday, May 20, 2016

SCAD students display their printmaking skills

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 1:17 PM

  • Courtesy Kenny Murray and Amy M. Douglas
Featuring printing techniques such as etchings, lithographs, monotypes and more, the group exhibition Hard Pressed brings together 13 printmaking students from Savannah College of Art and Design to display their best work and celebrate their spankin' new degree.

"Hard Pressed is a play on words in reference to our collective enthusiasm for art produced on a printing press," Abby Bullard, one of the featured artists, says. "The title reflects on the process of pressing down onto the surface of the paper to transfer an image, as well as the pursuit of our individual artistic visions."

Aside from Bullard, you'll see works from Rachel Braun, Kat Cockey, Rebecca Coll, Amy M Douglas, Brian Kendall James, Elaine Landers, Jules Miller, Kenneth Murray, Grace Perkins, Nikky Stewart, Melina K Taylor, and Lauren Brooke Wright.

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