Home is a place of origin. It is the setting where we make our first memories and have our earliest defining moments. It is the place where familiarity is built.
When we leave home we take that familiarity with us and we use it to build a framework around new and unfamiliar experiences. Consciously or subconsciously we do this to gain a better understanding of the world around us. Subconsciously or consciously we also do this to gain a better understanding of ourselves and our role in the world. In understanding we find safety.
There are many stories, myths and legends that tell the tale of a main character who one day decides to leave their home to embark on a journey of self-discovery. They feel the calling to complete a mission, find their purpose or fulfill their destiny. This character enjoys a varied and colorful adventure where excitement ensues and knowledge and wisdom are earned.
Eventually, the story wends its way back to the character finding themselves on the very doorstep of the home they left in the first place. When they get there they make the realization that everything they ever needed was right here, at home. Yet, if they hadn’t made the journey at all, they may never have made the realization at all.
My work investigates simulations of nature as expressions of the human desire for immortality. I found my interest from my observation of confluences in Eastern and Western affluent contemporary culture in the cycle of industrialization and technological development. I grew up in the industrial city of Seoul, South Korea, where technology and manufacturing compensate for a shortage of natural resources. Synthetic materials are more accessible and useful than natural materials and produce an effect equivalent to, or even better than, the genuine. I found this cultural phenomenon is prevalent in America as well, despite its abundant natural resources. Contemporary culture presents things on a surface level.
I explore how far I can push the boundaries of imitations in order to inspire reverence and respect for its visual effect. I do not aim to trick the viewer with the faux, but rather generate life from it. I often use a pixelated pattern of rock texture rather than a realistic texture for my material surfaces. I am interested in things that have its own presence and purpose, apart from the real thing they imitate. My main materials include custom-designed disposable containers printed with a stone pattern. I came up with these items to exemplify our contemporary desire to mimic nature in a quick and convenient way. By stacking hundreds of these boxes, I create a sculptural installation evoking sacred spaces such as graves and shrines.
Stone is often used to commemorate the dead: it is a symbol of strength, stability and permanence. After witnessing the death of a loved one and experiencing grief, I began to ponder mortality and the desire for permanence. What I realized was nothing is permanent. Even rocks get worn away by wind and water, and eventually disappear. My use of materials reflects the fact that what we perceive to be permanent is actually ephemeral.
Most of my sculptures are hollow inside in order to emphasize that there is a void under the surface of a monumental structure. Opposing states coexist: hollowness inside bulkiness, physical lightness inside visual heaviness, and immanence within emptiness. They are only surfaces, yet they may be more than that.
Juan Pineda DC-based visual artist whose distinct style is also characterized as urban-contemporary/street art, combined with his connection to traditions resulted in unique mural work in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area since the mid 90’s. He received the Proclamation Award from the City of Hyattsville for his mural entitled; “In Memory of Freddy”. In additions to creating original work of art, he is also specialized in restoration and preservation of public work. In 2005 & 2104, Pineda was recognized by the “The Washington Post” for restoring the last and only remaining outdoor Latino mural in the Nation’s Capital entitled; “A People without Murals Is A Demuralized People” -1977. Pineda consults and works closely and volunteers for various causes that are related to art and culture. He works closely with non-profit organizations and is a member of UW LAW, one of the most talented graffiti crews in NYC. Pineda continues to create art in all mediums and categories including residential and commercial work.
Over the past couple of years, my work has organically shifted from a light and playful cutting and tearing into a much deeper, more raw and intimate quest for narrative. I find myself visiting a hidden chest of feelings about the very far away world I come from, a place from which I feel bitterly estranged. I create in an ever-evolving and ephemeral exploration of darker subjects in today’s world, through the appropriation of whimsical imagery, juxtaposed against heavier and often autobiographical themes. Childhood photos, disembodied self-portraits, and other representations of me often make appearances in the work itself as I revisit dreams and realities dipped in imagination and metaphor. Through this means, I aim to make sense of my own story, assembling it not unlike a jigsaw puzzle. Acknowledgement of impermanence lies at the heart of my findings. Thus, many of my pieces are also sculptural, making use of encaustic medium, as well as natural elements and organic objects collected from the earth. Each piece harbors a life of its own, one that is fragile and mortal, much like our experience of being.
These images represent several years of documenting the iconic yet vanishing rural landscapes of North America. The images are both mundane and symbolic. They are scenes etched into our souls. They were once the foundations of our society. But they are quickly disappearing from the national landscape.
Churches, once the anchor of their communities, are now left abandoned. Wooden grain elevators and silos are being replaced by industrial storage facilities; deteriorating barns will never be rebuilt. One-room schoolhouses have morphed into institutional mega schools. Rural homes are often pre-fab structures today, and watermen’s shacks and old fishing docks are disappearing altogether.
The photos are all long exposures with the lens kept open for extended periods of 1-4 minutes, or longer. This has the effect of capturing the movement of the clouds, rendering them soft and blurred or radiating in various directions, depending on the wind and the movement as well as the cloud structure at the time the image was taken. These moving clouds symbolize time moving forward in the face of the ephemeral lifespan of these vanishing structures and the rich history they represent.
The images are captured digitally and printed using archival pigment inks onto film. The film images are then transferred by hand to aged metal plates using an emulsion process. The metal plates are aged individually using a hand-worked procedure which sometimes takes several weeks. Each image is individually transferred to the metal plates and no two are ever quite the same.
The finished metal plates are framed in original old barn wood, custom crafted in upstate New York. Images in this portfolio span the continent from the Rocky Mountains to Canada, the Chesapeake Bay to New England and many places in-between.
My work explores the relationship between humanity and the natural world where nature is challenged, contorted, filtered and reborn. Landscape and botanical elements are the impetus for my work as they are a familiar reality we acknowledge. My perceptions of these often-misinterpreted genera begin to layer with my personal relationships, events and experiences and I find a new place for exploration and growth of ideas. I attempt to use natural elements in my work to define place for the viewer, in addition evoking memory and a comfort that have historically been linked to the traditional landscape narrative. In this work, I am interested in conveying a tension between domesticity and nature, the perceived and reality, the familiar and the unexpected.
I am always intrigued with presenting beauty with elements that challenge the viewer to question what lurks beneath. It is at this point that the work begins to take on a persona of botanic magic realism forcing the exploration of personal relationships and events in an alternative context. The exchange that takes place with visual images, memory and perceived past converges within my work resulting in an ongoing multi-layered visual narrative. The botanic work becomes self-selective about what is represented, calling out the difference between the collective knowledge and individual experience.
Using conceptually based work on paper as well as sculptural installations that are created from locally sourced plants, as well as plant and soil pigments that I make while visiting various locations throughout the U.S. I strive to create a direct connection between the events, relationships and the materials.
In examining the relationship between people, plants and place, I continually try to weave the strings of art and agriculture and myth and magic, healing and hurting into an inquisitive whole that calls us to look at germination of a sustainable future both individually and collectively.
I work intuitively. The paintings are about discovery. I begin with a small germ of an idea which evolves as I work. I build, destroy and rebuild until the painting becomes “something.” I figure out where I am going as I paint. I have learned to trust the process. Finding new solutions for creative problems and ending up in a fresh place each time is a goal. My inspiration comes from the world as I process life and experiences. My most recent work is featuring my fascination and questions about drones, surveillance, environment.
Jean Sausele- Knodt
Direction for these assemblages grew with a goal to keep paint, gesture and color relationships continually fresh while exploring possibilities hands-on.
The resulting working process is animated as the varied fragments reveal countless relationships. The action, can however, also build itself into a frenzied fragmentation that I then need to deal with and restructure.
In this way, perhaps cathartically, the assemblages have become an arena for me to both celebrate and come to terms with what whirls about in my complex and fragmented life. I aim to gather in, sort and build a newly personalized sense of time and place – – with referential pieces I draw out with saws, caste in concrete and combine with other mixed media fragments.
Samantha Sethi’s work embraces a blend of physical and digital objects exploring the way the world we see and move through can be modeled both visually and experientially. Through natural materials and processes, such as ice, tar, and sediment, Sethi creates works which are simultaneously actions and images, both the event at hand and the drawing or trace used to represent it through time. These works find their source in the artist’s view of our world as a landscape both inhabited and studied by humankind, altered even as it is observed — understanding the world as both the location and the material of our pursuit of meaning.
Alexandra N Sherman
My work explores the interior landscape of the mind. Meaning is conveyed through my use of natural elements, brush stroke and color. Storms and clouds are elements that continue to appear in my paintings, expressing a multitude of emotions on the darker end of the emotional spectrum. I like to think of the storms as entities of their own, possessing their own thoughts and reason, a will of their own. They represent our wilder darker moments whether they be comprised of melancholia, uncertainty, fear, frenzy, fury, or outrage. To me they seem the perfect way to express the fear, anger, and anxiety raised by our deeply divided nation and the president elect.
Over the last several years I have been making abstract paintings that investigate both the formal and signifying potential of color, shape and space, as well as the act of looking. I make art to reflect my sense of the world.
The paintings were created out of an interest in combining the geometric and mathematical with the human and imperfect. They are anchored by simple, repetitive forms and patterns, often in exuberant colors and structured compositions. They are usually created as part of ongoing series. In one series, bowl-like shapes are arranged to fill the canvas from edge to edge, creating a continuous, perforated surface that is both shallow and deep. In another series patterns of triangular shapes are overlaid with curvilinear forms to create figure-ground relationships in which values or colors shift and modulate the otherwise flat surface.
Iteration is at the heart of my painting practice. The paintings are initiated with a set of compositional rules based on previous paintings, and tempered by an opposing desire to let intuition guide. The tension creates opportunities to improvise and change the rules. The use of repetition either within an individual canvas or within a series is both a technique and an attitude, and brings a meditative quality to the practice of painting.
Lisa Marie Thalhammer
My mission through art is to empower! These paintings celebrate the physicality of the body through portrayals of yoga asana postures and surfing. Figures with expressive eyes and angular limbs depict poses that convey a tough femininity and progressive consciousness. Anahata is the Sanskrit name for the heart chakra energy center of the body.
Jessica van Brakle
I work in two and three dimensions in a wide variety of media and materials, ranging from wax and tar to wire and paper. For many years, my work has been inspired by the imagery of biological structures and forms, which are to me utterly fascinating in the combination they present of perfect functionality and sheer beauty. For the past five years, I have been engaged in a project to make art that speaks to climate change, primarily creating collaborative installations. Climate change is the critical, existential issue of our time and I am committed to using my artwork to promote understanding of the stakes involved and to lending my voice to the calls for urgent action.
My work explores the concept of passage. Passage is the act or process of moving through, under, over or past something on its way from one place to another. Passage can also produce alterations and lead to transformation. I am endlessly curious about this ever present force that puts everything in flux; from the thoughts and images that occur in our dreams, to sub-atomic particles jostling and colliding.
My process usually follows this sequence; I create a form such as a star, then I make an environment in or on which to place it. Other times, the foundation is built first, which then needs a focal point to activate it. It is within these interactions that my concepts are explored. Actions appear to be in process or paused, and the past and future are unknown. Time and place are imagined and so are the moments of transformation. Some works reference windows, floors, stairs, or rooftops. “Molten Moment” (2016), began with a staircase structure … I added string and painted it glossy white which appears to flow down from the top. This flow rearranges the normal associations of passage upon the steps, into a moving current. The finishing touch on the staircase is a gilded pyramid of spheres which triggers a transformation and elevates the ordinary into a theatrical stage.
My work plays with the ideas of translation, interpretation, and the complexities of language. In this body of work, I take small nuances of speech—turns of phrase, words that have multiple meanings, and the varying ways we interpret them—and abstract them beyond recognition by translating them into Morse code and knitting the transcription row by row with yarn. Though each piece originates in English phrases often understood only by the most fluent speakers, the viewer experience is equal. The resulting amorphous shapes act as visual representations of the intricacies of communication.
I aim to create a space where visitors are challenged to think about language in a way we aren’t used to experiencing it; visually, but also tactilely—by using the knit and purl stitches to represent sounded and silent beats respectively in Morse code, the works are given a braille-like surface.
Additionally, I hope to draw attention to the complexity of everyday speech. The ease with which we communicate daily can be taken for granted; what I hope to achieve by dedicating hours to the translation and transformation of single sentences is to emphasize the profound feat that is modern language.
Jordann’s drawings and paintings are inspired by a fascination with sacred geometry and the natural beauty of the planet. Traveling extensively around the globe, she has had many opportunities to observe and reflect on the patterns, colors, and movement of light that make up our diverse world. The elemental shapes she works with connect across time and history, and the repetition within the design allows her to work in a process that is meditative. She seeks order out of chaos, and interrupts rigidity of order with slight imperfections in design and the playful use of glitter, a common craft material elevated to a painterly standard. Working in geometric abstraction allows her to further explore and reference the mandalas, fabrics, and algorithms that capture her imagination.
Although my work is diverse in content and approach, it is unified by an interest in ecology and migration. The migration pieces I work with relate to the way humans or animals navigate their way in the world without the usual markers or guides, in a sometimes hostile environment. For example, “Migration Series” is based on the impact of man-made electromagnetic noise on bird migratory patterns.
The second aspect to my work is organic in nature, and deals with the invisible threads that bind us to each other and to the earth. These relationships are symbolized by images of nests, webs and other nature-derived entities that connect, transform, enclose or protect.
I’m fascinated by personal transformation. Disguise and mask iconography have been a lifelong passion. My earliest memories of watching televised Universal Horror films on Saturday afternoons were a significant influence, and were only complemented by wearing the scariest Ben Moore Halloween costumes from Woolworths. My five-year-old mind shattered during an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno were both interviewed while Incredible Hulk prosthetics were applied to their faces.
Monsters and Super Heroes both share themes of visual and thematic opposition. Dueling ninjas, iron men, and psychopathic vigilantes are a ripe source for exaggerated pairings. These masked warriors from comic books, toylines, and cartoon series are graphic tropes of good and evil. By disguising myself (and friends) in their likeness, I’m not only addressing personality conflict. I’m also tapping into the subversive nature of pop culture’s marketplace for adolescent boys; glorifying warfare, jingoism, and kung-fu grip.
‘Capture the Moment.’ That is a common goal in photography. To capture the moment when the light is just right or moving objects align in a spectacular and interesting way. I try to do that with my photographs. But there is another moment I want to capture also. That is the moment of recognition within myself. The moment that I see clearly the photographic possibilities and composition inherent in a scene. Just as with natural light and shifting scenes, this moment is fleeting. The possibility springs out at me unexpectedly and I capture the scene. I have returned sometimes to the same place later and do not ‘see’ the composition that was there earlier. The photo is proof that I once did.
I do not look for typically ‘beautiful’ scenes; landscapes, flowers, animals but find more potential in the random and accidental arrangements of chairs in a courtyard, a pile of cardboard boxes or the still life arrangement of common, mundane and even homely objects found at hardware stores, grocers, garden supply stores, bait and tackle shops and antique shops. An alley or construction site are more appealing places for me to find that ‘moment’. In my latest pursuit creating still life photographs, I convey a feeling of surprise by juxtaposing those common, mundane and homely objects in unexpected ways or by removing them from the contexts in which they are typically found.
Whether the subject is architecture, still life, nature or portraiture, I try to create highly unconventional images. Rather than photograph an entire building, I focus on a spider web like arrangement of electrical wires clinging like vines to the side of a building or a deep crack in a wall held together by huge clamps and threaded rods. My still life images do not contain the typical arrangement of bottles, fruit and dishes but rather consist of balls of kite string, or a single, large, highly geometric cupcake mold or a set of calipers. A typical nature shot is not a bird on a branch but rather a highly abstract shot of milkweed seeds against a black velvet background. And finally, my portraits avoid the gauzy, soft focus, smooth skin look typical of many portraits but rely on a harsher portrayal that accentuates the model’s imperfections but captures more of their true character.
I have always believed that the only way to discover something new about the world is to take a path that no one else has blazed. Whether in my chosen profession as an engineer or in my photographic pursuits, the goal is to explore, investigate and avoid the conventional in order to develop a unique voice and honest self-expression.I hope you enjoy my photographs and find beauty, joy and surprise in these unconventional images.
The essence of intimacy and abstraction of the sociological home is what I debate. My conceptual development starts with the physical media, whether that is clay, wood, or found material. As I progress I am constantly thinking of the individual within the society. I am drawn to concepts dealing with functionality, the user, and the home. I am always reflecting on spatial consideration and negotiation of space and objects the user has in both interior and exterior spaces.
My earlier work shows rich layers of colors. Inside the visual space of the picture, the line can exist absolutely as its own epitome. To prove the identity of my lined objects, I invite a void into the visual space. Inside the empty space the objects stop or pass; they struggle with each other or become engulfed in themselves; they boast or dally; they reach for the top or fade away. I place an emphasis on natural and eloquent simplicity that dominates traditional Korean art forms. At the same time, my idiosyncratic approach and nod towards western formalism is also entirely modern in tone. Also, I create movement through conscious and deliberate color choices. My selection of subject matter is inspired by distinctive shapes and colors in nature. I paint all the brilliance and beauty found in nature and establishes a sense of movement. An awareness of abstract design along with bright and bold colors is a part of this process.