Thursday, September 13, 2012

Artist Series: Alexander Newman

Taking a more sporadic approach to how I interview artists, I plan nothing in advance (besides the meeting itself) - no questions, themes, or prefabricated conversation topics.  It has seemingly turned into a beautiful process. 

On my drive to Columbus, Ohio, en route to Travonna Coffee Shop in the Short North Art District located on High Street, I realized that these interviews entailed common themes - coffee shops, a few awkward silences, lots of smiles, good chai lattes, and more importantly, some of the most stimulating thoughts about art that even my undergraduate art theory classes couldn't fully initiate.  My recent conversation with fellow Miami University graduate, Alexander Newman was no exception.

Discovering his photography through a winter open house hosted by Miami University's Art Department in the Winter/Spring of 2010 - an obsession ensued.  In fact, my first purchase of fine art was Alex's Self Portrait, taken while attending Miami University.  

It was quickly apparent that Alex's interest in photography, lay in both its versatility and materiality.  Switching between fashion photography, self portraiture, and night life scenes, Alex has obtained the maturity of a seasoned photographer.  I particularly enjoyed our conversations about the influence that film and cinema have upon his work. He is inspired by the thought that every moment he captures will never return - to either himself, or his subject.

Since starting graduate school in art history last month, I have had the pleasure of watching his career evolve into his newest project, Last Nite - where through indulging himself into nightlife culture, he captures the purest moments of America's youth - in which inhibitions, cares, and worries are forfeited in an effort to encapsulate a modern-day version of Bresson's "decisive moment".

With as many interests and possibilities that Alex has, I sincerely look forward to his upcoming projects! 

You can check out more of his work, here!

(Alex's girlfriend, Sarah Robison - whom I also had the pleasure of studying with at Miami University)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Artist Series: Connie Noyes

Located right off the red line at Cermak/Chinatown, is where I found Chicago-based artist, Connie Noyes and her spacious studio.  Even with high ceilings, great views, and numerous works-in-progress - my attention was grabbed by one thing - materials.  Moving from art therapy to photography,  Noyes found her niche in the materiality of installation art.

Recognizing her move to Chicago as the start of her use of bright pink, Noyes has effortlessly evolved as an artist of, and for, her medium. Giving much praise to 1970's artist Agnes Martin and the daily, abstract situations life puts her in - Noyes is a true eccentric, and her art is no exception.  

Connie giving Sydney a peek of her new digital photomontages
Exhibiting her newest installation work at the "Chicago's Twelve: Twelve Artists Mobilizing the Earth - Garfield Park Conservatory" (with Kim Guare!)  Connie is excited (and undoubtedly ready) to take her art into a new visual environment.  However, from personal experience in her studio, it seems that the environment is irrelevent - as Noyes's works pull you in through intricate details, and multiple layers - sending the viewer into a chaotic, and beautiful, perceptual crisis.

With a drive that leaves her constantly in search of more materials to fall in love with, and one of the most open-minds in contemporary art to vibrant color palettes, Noyes is not only proud of her usage of pink, but is on the hunt to encourage fellow artists and designers alike to join in as well, with her mission/blog onemillionpink

As an art historian, I am at times torn at technological advancements and their effect on art.  Often, I find myself believing that the materiality of art (not its content) has suffered for our technophilic ways.  My meeting with Connie was a humble reminder that visual artists are still concerned with their process, and materials - and I am truly grateful.

Connie's constant work-in-progress that she uses to vent frustrations on

Join her cause, if you're an artist or designer! In the Pink - the 1,000,000 people art project

If not, then definitely take a look at her other works here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Artist Series: Rineke Dijkstra

During my weekend excursion to Chicago, I stumbled upon the excellent contemporary photography collection of the Chicago Institute of Art. One gallery in particular, housed eleven works by Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra (their full collection contains 23 of her works!) - and it took my breath away. Her subdued palettes, extra-large compositions, and raw subject matter kept me mesmerized.  Luckily, I was traveling with a fellow art historian, so I wasn't rushed through the process.

All of the eleven works shown were an excerpt from her Beach Portraits series completed in the early-90s.  Her subject: young, adolescent children of all genders, ages, and nationalities - making the point that the transitional awkwardness that adolescence and puberty brings is something that crosses international borders.  It's a transition experienced by all - a phenomenon - a universal.

The work of August Sanders instantly hit me as a reference point to Dijkstra's work.  In favor of Dijkstra's work, I feel that she is not only seeking a universal concept, but forcing its acknowledgment as well. Sanders work, Faces of Our Time (which I adore) lacks an aggression, and as such - an honesty, that Dijkstra truly captures.

If you get a chance - these are a must-see.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Now: Gatsby-Inspired Tunes

Out of excitement for the release of the new Great Gatsby movie - I've prepared a little playlist to inspire everyone (women especially) to release their inner flapper:

Put on your cloche hat, add some red lipstick, and let me know what you think!

Download: Gatsby Inspired

Tuesday, July 3, 2012