Oct 22, 2011

TREND | Zombies on the Attack!

Last Breath, James Ryman

Ever since George Romero's epic film, Night of the Living Deadin 1968, there has been a hoard of the zombie influence on the arts in pop culture. Films, literature, and the visual arts, along with a fan base that has, through the decades, evolved/mutated into two separate subcultures. The two subcultures of fans, of this zombie trend, are divided into those who sympathize with zombies and with those who are interested in fighting and surviving The Zombie Apocalypse. These groups have given way to an all new inspiration for zombie art within the different medias and exploding like an uncontrollable virus on to the scene of pop culture. May it be your feeling the fear and horror through the images of a zombie film; chewing your nails with anticipation over a good zombie novel; or marveling over the depictions of horror and gore within a composition. 

Oct 21, 2011

REVIEW | Arthouse at the Jones Center

Elad Lassry, Wolf (Blue),  2008

One can easily find themselves wondering into this peculiar building smack-dab in the middle of downtown Austin. This amazing gallery, Arthouse at the Jones Center, is featuring an exhibition of photo-based work of 18 of the most influential contemporary artist that are working today. The exhibit is called The Anxiety of Photography and will be going on through November 27, 2011. Several, if not all, of the artists featured display a firm grasp of the fluxing quality of photographic material, and utilize their knowledge to create quite interesting works of art.

REVIEW | Soda Tooth: Radical Library | Soda Tooth Contemporary | San Marcos, TX

Page from Yes, Ma'am, Suzy Gonzales and Elle Minter
It was one of those nights. I knew I had to do a blog review and I was laying in my bed starring at the ceiling. Seinfeld was about to come on television, but for some reason I knew I had to get out of bed. So I got into my car and headed to where I thought Soda Tooth Contemporary was. I drove around aimlessly and finally found it, to realize it was closed. The feeling of anger and frustration began to take over, and suddenly I saw four people emerge from the corner carrying a bag of balloons and miscellaneous pieces of paper. They made there way to the door and I jumped out of my car. I walked up to them and and asked " If there were any shows going on soon?" and one looked at me and replied, " Your an hour early, we are having one tonight." So I stood there, feeling awkward and uncomfortable at the same time. I said the first thing that came to mind, " Can I help you blow up balloons or something?"

So we made our way inside. I began to blow up balloons, as the four started to clear out the room. The ice was broken with unplanned balloon poppping and balloon soccer, and the five of us eventually got most of it done. I walked outside and let them finish the rest, waiting for people to arrive.

TREND | The Inverted Cross

Inverted Cross/ St. Peters Cross
An inverted cross sends many mixed signals for people. Some people take offence and others take pleasure in pushing it out there as much as they can. Lately there has been a growing trend of inverted crosses being used in everything from music group logos, to "fashionable" jewelry and a large growing trend in album art and Tumblr blog feeds. The origin of an inverted cross is based in Catholicism and the story of how St. Peter did not feel worthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus so his cross was inverted. In more recent times the symbol has now been taken as one of anti-christ or satanic worship, and is now becoming more of a hip cult symbol.

REVIEW I Side Ways I Christoph Kamp and Sophie Lovell I Die Gestalten Verlag I 2008


“ Sideways, A Smart Art Project”, was published in 2008 by a German publisher and was first released in New York city.  Top international creative’s selected by independent magazines were put together to create the book. 

When thumbing through the pages of the book, you come to realize that the pages feel different then your normal hard back publication .As the reader continues to the back , you come to find out that the book has been produced according to the FSC’ s standard for environmental protection. It continues by saying that the publication  contains wood from well managed forests. You can tell that it was made with the intention to feel re-cycled, earthy and part of a grass-roots movement.This feel is very notable when considering the origins of the project include a larger not so grass roots business, "smart." Even the front cover appears to have a recycled sheet of paper that has already been stapled and crinkled, with colorful recycled paper letters to spell out the title.

REVIEW | Marc Swanson: The Second Story | The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston | Houston, TX

Marc Swanson, Against Nature, Exhibition catalogue cover

 You find a large metallic square building in Houston TX's museum district. Looking at it, you can see no doors, nor windows, save high above your head. The grass around is green, and the traffic's noise is muffled by plethora of trees amongst the suburban-seeming street. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. You walk up the concrete walk, and a narrow crack in the facade of the building suddenly becomes a niche, where in you find the door. You enter into a cavernous, bright space, but to either side just ahead of you are two staircases down --and down you go. The cave you enter is lit by florescent lights, the ceiling is low, and thick pillars support the floor above. There is a heavy silence here, almost reverent, and there, glimmering in a spotlight, a bedazzled turtle shell.

And for a split second, all you think is, "What?"

REVIEW | LANDSCAPES FOR ART Contemporary Sculpture Parks

Twiddling through what my next sculpture project might be, I stumbled upon the book LANDSCAPES FOR ART: Contemporary Sculpture Parks. Immediately fascinated by the thought of the monumental work, site specific placement, and material choices, I dove right in. Having endless possibilities in the realm of material, location, and lifespan of the work, LANDSCAPES FOR ART: Contemporary Sculpture Parks was composed as a collection of essays; making the writing perspectives just as limitless. Each topic, Designing Sculpture Parks, The Garden-Book, Alternative Outdoor Spaces  to names a few of the forty plus, was written by a variety of critics, artists, landscape architects and planners, park founders and administrators. These diverse views are tailored to the individuals focus, in turn guiding the reader to new perspectives.

REVIEW | Steve Brodner | Artists against the War

As I passed along rows and rows of art books, this book Artists against the War stood out most to me. Its thick white lettering shouted out at me while the thin red lettering seemed to imply seriousness about it. I’m normally not actively interested in war inspired art, but each page in Artists against War is beautifully rendered. High quality images lace each page and paired with a quote that both implies an idea behind the image yet gives off a sense of ambiguity.

Oct 20, 2011

PROFILE | Tessar Lo

Untitled, unknown materials, 2011
Tessar Lo’s work is arranged in an interesting manner on her website.  The usual links to an archive of her work, along with another separate page dedicated to a brief preview and description of her gallery showings, is present.  There is a link which reads “say hullo,” which upon clicking brings up a link to her email address.  A mysterious word appears on the navigation, “ephemera,” which then brings up the sub-links “still” and “moving.”  These are links to photos and videos from her personal life and surroundings.  Her videos are the most interesting of these two links, some animations, some comical peeks into her life, including a 30-second video in which she wears large sunglasses and hoots similar to an owl directly into the camera.  This whimsical and somewhat confusing layout and content is matched by the content and construction of her art.

REVIEW | Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein

Donald Moffett,  Gold/Landscape #2, video projection, oil and enamel on linen, 2003.

First off, let me just mention that Houston has an amazing museum district downtown and I highly encourage everyone to check them out if in the area.  I recently stopped by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston to check out one of there new exhibitions by Donald Marffett titled The Extravagant Vein. The building itself was very contemporary looking with sharp angles and corrugated metal sidings.  I actually walked around the entire building completely passing up the entrance!

TREND | Mixed Media Collage

Nancy Standlee, Peace-Southwest, acrylic with molding pate, stencils, foil collage, 8x18 in. board, 2010
As an art student I always find that I have trouble coming up with ways of making my artwork more interesting and visually stimulating. I usually find it helpful during these times to just start building layer upon layer of different media’s and just let the art make itself. I guess this may be the reason why I am more drawn to the contemporary works of art that have shown an interesting way in how they  build up their art pieces. I am intrigued by the overlapping layers and find myself in guessing game, trying to decide which one came first. I can definitely admire the works more because of the way I associate mine with frustration of not being able to come up with something interesting. As I explore different mixed media arts I begin to see them as stories with their many pages being displayed right in front of me. 

REVIEW| Art & Nature, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Tx

Art & Nature Exhibit logo, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Tx 2011

       Many say that art and nature go hand and hand with each other, that nature inspires many art pieces and nature can be turned into art. The exhibit Art & Nature attempts to shows that relationship with works from very different artists, ranging from photography, wood work to watercolor paintings. Even the beautiful location of the exhibit, Laguna Gloria next to Lake Austin, shows the close relationship of art and nature. This exhibit has some very impressive works of art, but there are so few. Though the work is good the exhibit itself is lacking.

REVIEW | Evidence, Marvelli Gallery New York City

Evidence No. 1, 2008, Archival pigment print, 46 x 58 inches, Angela Strassheim.

Usually when the word crime scene is mentioned images of the show CSI flash into our minds. Bloody bodies being examined, fingerprints being dusted, or blood splatter being analyzed. Once the body and scene have been fully inspected, all evidence collected and photos taken the clean up crew is brought in to make the place sparkle again. The space will be sold to a new happy family who will move into the once bloody space; (how very Halloween-esque) but the bloody evidence will always be there, unknown to the naked eye. Angela Strassheim’s photographs show the ghostly evidence using time based photographs and a blood-visualizing agent.

Oct 19, 2011

TREND | Is Album Artwork Dead?

Sir Peter Blake, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Album Artwork, June of 1967.
I've grown up an avid music fan. My father is a guitarist who still tours around the state of Texas with his band, and my mother is an artist who always pushed me to be creative, so my interest in music and art and how they interact came naturally. I used to fawn over my father's record collection, spending hours analyzing every vinyl and it's accompanying artwork. Then, when I was finally able to purchase my own albums, CD's had become the accepted form of music distribution, and I would spend ridiculous amounts of money on bigger and bigger compact disc notebooks. These were for protecting and organizing my ever-growing collection of music, but just as important was having a place to display all my favorite album artwork.

TREND | New Media Art

"Suns from Flickr" -A new media piece by Penelope Umbrico
New Media Art is best described as art that uses new media. New media is digital computer technology where a user has on demand access at all times on a digital device. The various manifestations of new media  include computer games, the internet and social media, websites, and digital multimedia. New media art uses this emerging technology and often plays upon the relationship of the user with the digital world. While new media dates back to the invention of the computer, this essay will only be examining more recent developments within this artistic field.

PROFILE | Jason Villegas

Jason Villegas, Ultra Bastard Survival Companion Lacoste Version, 2005. Fabric, applique. 14 x 18 x 12 in.

The complexity of Jason Villegas’s work is thoughtfully masked behind familiar brands, logos, and materials making his pieces inviting to as little interpretation as one wants. Born in Texas, Boston-based artist Jason Villegas made his career focusing relatively on the same conceptual inspiration of material consumerism. His pieces are made from readily available materials, often resale store products, which add interest and familiarity to the works. Jason Villegas took mixed materials and created multi-level conceptual pieces that are all interrelated while remaining intriguing and open for interpretation to even the most naïve viewer.

PROFILE | Philip-Lorca diCorcia | Fact or Fiction

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Brent Booth, 21 years old, Des Moines, Iowa, $30, inkjet print

Philip-Lorca diCorcia is one of the most influential contemporary photographers due to his theatrically based process.  He has been credited with creating a new style of photography that smeared the line between fiction and reality. diCorcia uses people as his subject matter and uniquely directs them act a certain way while adding his own separate lighting sources to create his own narrative. His planned approach to each photo has allowed him to create images packed with information that are both visually and emotionally engaging. 

PROFILE| Stefan Sagmeister| Triggers for Experiences

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far cover, Stefan Sagmeister, 2008
When asked if he thought graphic designers were artists, Stefan Sagmeister replied:
I personally don’t care. My favorite art definition comes from Brian Eno, who says to think of artworks not as objects but as “triggers for experiences”. Therefore, you can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt or not, in front of an Andres Serrano or in front of a piece of graphic design. It depends on the viewer.

TREND | deviantART - Where Art Meets Application!

deviantART, Janusz Kowalik, 2005

The internet is a vast place where you can find almost anything in a search bar or click of a button.  Which is why artists today not only have portfolios they can carry around with them, but also electronic portfolios for everyone and anyone to see.  deviantART is a website that allows artists from all over the world to come together, discuss art from all ages and types of media, and share their creations to everyone in a blink of an eye.

PROFILE | Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly, The Rose (IV), 2008

Cy Twombly is not my favorite artist.  I chose to write about him not because I like his work, but because I don’t understand his work.  I wanted to make an effort to understand what it was that he was relating through his artwork, and why it provoked such a strong reaction in me.  I was glad to find that others have a similar feeling about his art.

TREND | Postmodern Ceramics | Concepts and Methodologies

Paula Rice, Black Lazarus, Clay, 2004
Since the end of 20th century, there is a post-genre tendency in the arts in which characteristics of different genres are being exchanged. This also resulted in developing new techniques in ceramics using different visual art languages of painting, sculpture and digital media art. I researched postmodern characteristics, especially its methodological characteristics that show deconstruction tendency in terms of the form, the structure of color, and the content through which postmodern characteristics are separated from that of modern. By borrowing the social science term around deconstruction, the concept situated at the center of postmodern ideology, I recognized deconstruction method of ceramics. And by bringing out the differences and distinctions from the past traits, I reviewed their characteristics and the content, and examined how the deconstruction in social science can be applied to ceramics.

TREND | Street art that will make you smile

"Hi, How Are You" mural
Daniel Johnston
Austin, Texas
Just like all contemporary art, street art is created for a number of different reasons. Sometimes the message behind a mural or sidewalk chalk drawing is political or meant to inspire social change. Many notorious street artists such as Banksy usually fall under this category. Sometimes street art can be gang affiliated or just tagging to leave an artist's personal mark on a place they have been. But my favorite trend in street art is the kind that is created for pleasure of the artist and intended to make passerby's stop and smile. I have walked by the "Hi, How Are You" frog more times than I can count and usually someone is there looking at it or taking pictures in front of the wall. The mural is friendly, welcoming and adds some fun to what would be a humdrum boring brick wall.

TREND | Wheatpasting

Mike Newton, Removing Me Wont Solve the Problem, Wheatpaste, 2007
In an industry that is saturated with so many new, talented, visionary artists living in a world with so much to see and say comes the challenge of sharing your work and having your ideas be seen and heard.  Of course, there are always gallery exhibitions, zines, commercial work, social media, etc. What better medium to use than wheatpasting to share your work by enlarging it to double, triple, or quadruple it's size and pasting it in a non-traditional viewing space that is extremely accessible for a larger audience to see it.  It's a left field approach to the traditional framing but picture a huge two-dimensional adhesive work of art covering walls, abandoned buildings, or even buses and trains so it becomes mobile.  Wheatpasting shares aspects of graffiti and can be seen spread all over the place even on garbage cans and park benches.

PROFILE | Peter Doig | Haunting and Psychedelic

Peter Doig, Night Playground, oil on canvas, 1997-98
Peter Doig is a contemporary artist born in Scotland. Many of Doig's pictures are landscapes, with a number harking back to the snowy scenes of his childhood in Canada. His works are frequently based on found photographs, but are not painted in a photorealist style, Doig instead using the photographs simply as a reference. Peter Doig's artworks often seem to conjure up a strange sort of nostalgia. They remind me of how one can feel after waking up from a dream and then trying to explain it in pictures. Some objects are painted using a realistic approach while others drift towards abstraction.

Oct 18, 2011


In our age of technology and social media, we share everything.  From our current location with the checking in app, to our status updates of how our day went, to any other mindless thoughts we're tweeting, we share everything.  With that in mind, it stands to reason that we are also sharing ideas, inspirations and how to's.  With this new media and portals to share our creations on, we can all be a little creative and feel artistic in our own ways,

PROFILE | Jeff Jacobson aka "Wierdo"

WIERDO. Charlie Sheen. Stand Tall Part 2. Old Crow Gallery. High Fructose Magazine. 2011. Oakland California
Jeff Jacobsen, or "Weirdo" as he likes to be called, has been a well known artist in the Seattle Washington area for a number of years now.  Mostly known for his unique style of graffiti, his work can be seen all over the city.  However there is an entirely other side to Weirdo and his work.  When he is not creating original graffiti artwork for clients like Coors, T-Mobile USA, Mastercraft boats and Microsoft, he is showing his fine art pieces in galleries all over the west coast.

TREND | The Fine Art of Film Art | Film Posters

La Boca, Back for the Future, Nike's Back for the Future Collection

The movie poster is nothing new; in fact its conception was in 1895 by advertising the French short comedy L’Arroseur Arrosé. Since then, movie posters have provided the audience with a dramatic and appealing flair that draws us like an alluring aroma to the theatre. But with the technological field growing and growing, artists are finding new and daring ways to convey the message and attitude of the film. Graphic designers are now conceiving brave new designs and takes on these posters that have yet to be seen. Thus, creating beautiful and unique pieces of art that can be appreciated by the casual movie fan as well as the well versed designer. 

TREND| Earth Art

Maya Lin, Storm King Wavefield, 2009

Some of the most breathtaking artwork to me is art that is incorporated into nature. I’ve always been enchanted by nature’s beauty and I feel that artists who are able to embellish the land with their masterpieces, without overpowering the natural beauty of the landscape, have a rare talent and understanding of their environment. Although, in my opinion, some contemporary artists fall short of successfully combining art with the natural world, there are several artists that I feel have found the perfect balance of art and nature to create exquisite pieces.

TREND | Paper Art

Peter Callesen, Title unknown

I have noticed over the past decade more and more contemporary art makers making work out of nothing but paper. I have seen lots of wearable, sculptural, collage, advertisement and graphic design centered around paper engineering techniques. Usually when you think of paper crafting you don’t really associate it with art. Most people would probably see as a hobby or trade skill.

PROFILE I Alexa Meade


24in x 18in C-Print, 2010
Photo of a performance comprised of acrylic paint on a live model and found objects.
Alexa Meade

At 25 years old Alexa Meade has taken art for a unique ride. Although she has only just recently become an interest in the art world she has quickly developed a style that is so unique and original that it would be hard not to forget who she was once someone has seen her works.

Starting a few years ago this unique women was a student in Political Science with a year to go in her degree. As a press intern on Capitol Hill and later as a press staffer to the Obama Campaign she realized that she has a fascination with the ability that politics carried on altering the perceptions of their followers. This sparked a curiosity that became a passion. From this unique fascination in politics Meade has based her work. She has developed an artistic process that takes models and turns them into embodiments of the artists representation of their essence. Her works create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships. This affect that she can create which is considered tromp l’oeil; incorporates photography, performance, installation, and painting. This creative way of taking a 3D shape and flattening it into 2D by incorporating the model into a plane and then photographing the finished work (because the model cannot be sold as a painting). Her background in political communications sparked a huge interest in the tensions created between perception and reality.

TREND | Spoof Art | Hey Da Vinci, The Jokes on You!

The modern Vitruvian man: Homer Simpson
In our lifetime we are faced time and time again, with what many may consider the cannon of art. The ancient Caves of Lascaux, Starry Night by Van Gogh, Mona Lisa by De Vinci, Relativity by Escher, Water Lilies by Monet, The Scream by Munch, and countless others. They are the measuring stick upon which their contemporaries were judged, and our contemporaries are compared. This being true we have ceased to see them, they are so ingrained into our minds that we no long attempt to look at them unless we are faced with them in a museum. We simplify the iconic works in our minds, in their most basic forms for easy regurgitation. Imagine our shock when they change.

PROFILE | Douglas Melini

Colossus, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 8ft x 63ft

Douglas Melini is a New York based artist that works primarily in hard-edged, nonobjective abstraction. The work shown above is one of his earliest works where he explores a multitude of different color combinations on many different canvas sizes and shapes. His Colossus isn't meant to exist in a vacuum, and actually adapts to its environment with the ability to rearrange it's panels to fit the space. Photos of this piece to this day remain on the wall of his studio as a point of inspiration, along with various masks, natural forms, seashells, music, and whiskey.
Colossus (detail)

PROFILE | Melanie Rothschild

Melanie Rothschild, Paint and Air I, Acrylic paint and metal rod, 2007, 60" X 72"

Turn your mistake into a masterpiece, we have all heard this a million times over, but artist Melanie Rothschild has made this into her art philosophy.  Starting with a can of paint that spilled onto the floor and being unmotivated to clean up that amount of wet paint Rothschild left the paint there to dry hoping to be able to chisel it off the floor in a couple of days.  Much to her surprise the paint came off the floor in one piece and she was in love.  Since then she has created different pieces of art from paint that has been deliberately “spilled” on to different mediums and displayed in homes and gallery’s alike.

PROFILE|The Mad Potter of Biloxi

The Mad Potter of Biloxi
George E. Ohr’s better known as the (mad potter of Biloxi) is a potter who's works have been shared with many people through half a century. Frank Gehry an architect liked Ohr’s work so much he decided to build a museum for Ohr’s work to be shared. Ohr was born on 1857 in Biloxi. Growing up he considered himself to be “a mischievous oddball who was, as he once put it, always in “‘hot aqua”’. He dropped out of school fairly young and went straight into the family business, and started working as an assistant to his father in his blacksmith shop. It wasn't too long after that when a friend invited 22 year old Ohr to go to New Orleans to learn to be a potter. 
“Some are born eccentric, some achieve eccentricity and some, including certain rock stars and artists, have it thrust upon them. Evidence suggests that Ohr’s “madness” was a mix of all three.” Bruce Watson

Oct 17, 2011

TREND | iPhoneography

Chase Jarvis, Best Camera series, 2009
While reading one of my fellow bloggers post about Chase Jarvis there was a specific line that caught my attention, "The best camera is the one that's with you." From this mantra of his he created a series of photographs using only his iPhone titled, "Best Camera," it has had me thinking for a few weeks now about the importance and unimportance of "high quality" equipment and software. Often times I feel like my work could be so much better if I had the newest model camera or the new upgraded editing software, but it seems recently that there has been a significant rise in the amount of cell phone pictures used as art. What I thought was once just the average kids chance to play "photographer" with today's new photo editing applications (i.e. instagram, hipstamatic, etc.) is now a legitimate tool for many artists.

TREND| Digital Paintings

Seikou Yamaoka, Digital portrait using Ipod Touch

 The evolution of art has widened since the first caveman painting along with the many different art mediums.  Paints went form being handmade with different pigments to now being manufactured tubes. Just about every color can be store bought as to when artist had to mix different hues to get the right color.  The educational rules of painting have been far broken, yet we still acknowledge and use the great technique of past times.  Today’s art world would cause much uproar in the classical time period.  Thankfully people have become more opinionated to what art should be and how it should be created.  It is a feeling of being more open minded to different options.  

REVIEW | Heritage Auction Galleries' Fall Contemporary and Modern Auction | I Touched Everything...

Luo Brothers, Untitled, 2009.  Still of Auction Room.

A week ago, I walked into Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, TX (the third largest auction house in the world) to visit my parent's and see what was new in the auction galleries.  I had completed a internship with the company a year ago polishing and cataloguing silver, and had made the building a second home.  The auctioning rooms were being placed with objects and paintings from Ted Pillsbury's estate (he is related to the Pillsbury's, and the dough boy).  Ted Pillsbury was a major figure in my father's career and force in the art world, he had committed suicide over a year ago leaving the Dallas area art world in grief.   This auction was complied of his modern and contemporary collections.

TREND | Fan art in the convention world | We see We think We create

Halo Seraphim, Pez Are Cool!!, Mixed Media, 2011

As a modern trend Fan Art is as old as they come. It pulls back to when we were kids drawing and creating out of what we see and like. It is however greatly emphasized with the global nation that has developed and becoming more and more prominent within recent years. Ranging from every venue of pop culture you can imagine fan art continues to show us the everyday things we have in our lives is and can be art.

TREND| Found Art

Michael Johansson, "Ghost", White objects, 2009
Four years ago when I became a studio art undergraduate student, I learned for the first time about the intriguing world of found art. The concept of found art takes place when everyday objects, discovered  in the real world and usually considered “trash” by most people, are taken out of their original context and transformed into works of art. These objects can be things we have seen hundreds of times, or even used hundreds of times, without really noticing or making judgments about them. Chairs, hair combs, and soda cans take on new meaning when an artist takes and presents them to us in a way that makes us take the time to ponder them and think about the world around us.