Friday, December 26, 2014

State of the Arts 2014: Are these the Questions for 2015? by Patricia Frischer

The State of the Arts series is about a wider vision of what is happening in the art world. At the end of 2014 we look forward to 2015 not so much with answers but with a list of questions which I think may be important to ponder, discuss, and perhaps give us inspiration for action.

1. The San Diego Art Institute SDAI has a new director Ginger Porcella. She has to turn an almost dead organization into a thriving innovative art destination. How is she going to do this?  What are the changes needed. How does she balance old with new? SDAI has the prime location in Balboa Park for contemporary artists and the potential to be amazing. Porcella is a highly motivated and articulate young woman from New York. She came up with the idea of a new job description for a staff member at SDAI: Director of First Experience. So instead of a PR person, a fundraiser, an education director, you would have someone who was responsible for the first impression of the institute; how is the institute branded before you even walk into the building and how do you first get involved as an artists or a visitor. This question of the future of the non-profit arts organizations and how they need to change seems particularly important in the year we almost lost the Opera and where the SD Foundation and the Commission for Arts and Culture both have new leadership and as we struggle to establish a SD County Arts Council.

2. Reading about 10x talent agency in the New Yorker (The Programmer's Price), I was impressed with the idea of Rock Stars of Tech. It is fascinating to see how creativity is so sought after. Musician, producers, actors and now software designers all want to be thought of now as “Artists”.  That seems to symbolize that they are innovative. As technology and the arts are tied more and more closely together, what can we expect to see in the future? Besides the development of new ways to make art with 3-d printing, there will probably be algorithms to compute metrics for audience involvement, funding and sales.

3. This leads me to the more specific questions of what are the new trends in commercialization of art on line? SDVAN just joined an online second hand goods fundraising site called WebThriftStore. You can take all those holiday presents that disappointed you and sell them online benefitting SDVAN and earning a tax donation for yourself. They let you upload an image directly from your phone, they even send you a shipping label when the item is sold and the shipping is paid by the buyer. Our very successful accessory exchange happens only once a year, when old favorites are given new homes. Now we hope you will try this out anytime during the year anytime you clean out your closets. You can sell anything so don’t forget that work of art that may not inspire you any longer, but will appeal to someone new. And if you are not the artist selling your own work, you get a nice tax deduction. 

4. A question we have been pondering for the last year, is who are the new art patrons? Or maybe we now need a new word for those who support the arts. How do we define the teams that will take the arts into un-chartered waters? Are these Artists as Art Patrons? How do we transition young art attendees into young art supporters? What do the emerging foundations look like and why should they donate the arts? Social Networks with Cloud Funding are already fast becoming patrons but they don’t necessarily think of themselves in that role. When we make Cross Collaborative projects aren’t we really patrons of each other? As innovation is seen as a key economic driver, can we expect to see the Politician Patron rising?

Your can read all the past State of the Arts addresses by Patricia Frischer at this link. Please blog back and watch for future opportunities through SDVAN to join in the conversation.

Raymond Elstad captures SDVAN Holiday Potluck Lunch

Raymond Elstad managed to capture the flavor and feeling of our annual 2014 SDVAN Holiday Potluck Lunch in this series of images he is sharing with us.

Kaz Maslanka

Patricia and Darwin's home, rather shabby chic

Cellephane fish from Sea Changes: Act with additional works by Patricia Frischer

Happy feel of Michelle Kurtis Cole with new shoes from the accessory exchange

Huge spread of food as always with special birthday wishes for Rosemary KimBal

Painting with sculpture inspiration by Patricia Frischer

Another painting with found object inspiration, this time a pitcher

Champagne cork greetings in the form of a wreath

Birthday girl Rosemary KimBal with baby Jesinoski

Patricia Frischer Bottomless Pits sculpture with Michelle Kurtis Cole glass plate

Mural by Paola Villasenor at SDAI and Art Fair Miami

I had a chance to view the mural by Paola Villaseñor Panca at San Diego Art Institute gala fundraiser and found myself very, very attracted to it. I was not put off by the subject matter, but instead attracted to the wonderful colors and the excellent composition. So I had to ask myself why I was not more put off by the view of naked women eating a fallen companion. This really intrigued me. Why did I like this so much?

I started to analyze what I was seeing and realized that the almost cartoon nature of the drawing eliminated the serious nature of the content. We all see cartoons like Superman and Spiderman where blood is graphically depicted and looses some of the realistic nature that would make it scary.

The subject of women with blood is one which women deal with from puberty and the site of blood and the female is a very natural one, Women bled almost all of their lives. I think that is another reason I could accept this subject matter with all women in the image. The absence of men seems significant.

I had a bit more trouble wondering about the eating aspect, and I know that could be a challenge to many. But art should challenge us. I am an optimist and I choose to see the subject in a positive way. I saw women surviving by devouring the wisdom of the group.  I heard others say it was a metaphor for the blood of Christ but I am not Christian so this did not resonate with me. Someone else thought it was reflective of the recent be-heading in the middle-east. And I think many others have made other suggestions.  These ideas including my own are more reflective of the viewer than the artist perhaps, but once a work it made and put on view, then it is in the domain of the viewer.

My suggestion is to go and see the image yourself. SDAI has arranged a wonderful changing light that make the work glow with energy. The work is up for only a few months and then I understand there are plans for a whole series of artist to create murals in this fabulous space. SDAI is the premier display site for living artists in Balboa Park.

We would’ve gotten you a Warhol but your grades weren’t good enough. Lisa Levy's "Thoughts in my Head # 50 (Warhol)" 2014 at Schroeder Romero

December in Miami is art fair month and I had a blast looking at the images from the different fairs. I had no idea there were so many as you have about 10 just in Miami Beach including the grand daddy Art Basel Miami Beach plus Aqua, Scope, Select Untitled etc. and then all the mainland fairs as well  I have decided to post a selection of some of my favorite works and there is a complete list of fair with links and some more slide shows at the end of this blog. 

From Art Basel:

Alison Knowles Four Shours, 2011

Broadway 1602

Franklin Parrasch Gallery.

Galerie Rodolphe Janssen

Hirschl & Adler Modern.

Hrair Sarkissian Homesick, 2014

MOT International

Nathalie Djurberg Bonute with Purple Glaze 2013

 Plaster raindrops by Urs Fischer give Sadie Coles's

Take Ninagawa

 Two Palms

Will Cotton Elle with Cupcakes, 2014

From Spectrum

Sarah Steiber with Sergott Contemporary Art

From Red Dot

Sergott Contemporary Art

From Design Miami
Carolline Van Hoeck

Gallery Antonella Villanova

Magen H Gallery.j

From Miami Projects
Kasher Potamkin Gallery Maurizo Galante, porcelain, hand embroidered cockator parrot freathers of organza with glass meads.jpg

ProjectsMargaret Bowland at Driscoll Babcok Galleries
From Pulse

Beers Contemporary.jpg

Poulsen, Jean  Pierre Roy Macraherence

Bransten Gallery Munlz, album Booting

 From Scope
 Inner State Gallery

Primo Marella Gallery

Rush Arts Gallery
From Untitled
plaster-on-books sculpture by Jonathan Callan at Josée Bienvenu

Marco Maggi's Putin's Pencils at the Josée Bienvenu Gallery

Marlborough Chelsea tony Mateilli, Arrangement 3, 2014


Miami Beach Art Fairs Enjoy this video of 60 views in 60 seconds at Art Basel Miami Beach   |   Aqua Art Miami   |    Design Miami   |   Ink Miami   |  Enjoy this video of 60 views in 60 seconds of NADA Art Fair PULSE Miami   |   SELECT   |   Scope Miami   |   Untitled. Art Fair Miami Beach
Miami Art Fairs Art Miami   |   ArtSpot   |   Concept-Fair   |   CONTEXT   |   Fridge Art Fair   |   Miami Photo Salon   |   Miami Project   |   Miami River Art Fair  |  Pinta  |  PRIZM  |  Red Dot Miami  |  Sculpt Miami  |  Spectrum

Sunday, December 21, 2014

OMA Mega Opening: Naked, Invisible, Sister, Family, CA Dreaming

Mega Reception for NAKED: 20th Century Nudes from the Bram and Sandra Dijkstra Collection , My Sister’s Voice, Neil Shigley: Invisible People, Omar Lopex: RELÁMPAGO, and California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California until March 2015  at Oceanside Museum of Art
(704 Pier View Way , Oceanside , 92054) Free for members, $10 public. More info  Katie 760.435.3721 

I attended this exhibition with Cathy Breslaw and it was so refreshing to discuss the show and compare our choices. You will see below some images chosen by each of us. Seeing five shows all at once leads one to compare them and to find some common ground. Almost all of the works are figurative, nudes, portraits and figures in a certain context. As with all shows, it is intriguing to choose your favorite works or even works that you might like to buy or at least imagine hanging on your own walls. We hope you go and make up your own list of favorites. It is only by looking often and challenging yourself to make choices that you become more discriminating. 

20th Century Nudes from the Bram and Sandra Dijkstra Collection

So much of this show was variations on the Renoir ideal of full frontal lush volume of flesh. We mainly choose those who did not fit this profile.  

Natalie Newking - This work reminded me of Matisse's Petite Dejeuner sur Herbe but with all women. The women are interacting and because the artists is a women, you don't get the feeling of a voyeur and instead just capturing a moment of a society not of our world.

William Newport Goodell.- although badly framed this work has that look of a Balthus...under ripe but looking directly at us, not at all shy.

K Groak - a grouping of nude figures but maybe on the beach, a joyful combination of lines and shapes

Julio de Diego.- a de Chirico influenced surrealist view...the nude in a dream of war and parachutes with a strange tea pot shaped village in the distance

Hugo Crosthwaite - always beautifully draw, Crosthwaite nude seems to part angel. This was one of Cathy's picks.
Charles Ashford Binger  - this Hollywood type painting is also a lurid cover for a noire paper back novel.

Belle Baranceanu - this almost oriental composition has dark outlines and low intensity color palette that treats the body in the same way as the background.

Alexander Brook.- we both were drawn to the quiet perfect beauty of this back view.
John Wilde - a final surreal, almost mystic gather of  little naked angels.

  California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California 

In this selection we tried to choose work that represented the contemporary California dream, not one from the 80's or 90's. 

Cynda Valle.- So she a prostitute or a she have a pre-party drink or is the party in the next room?

Jen Trute - no one does it better than the late Jen Trute. Her fabulous technique and strong environmental message is the essence of California in the new millennium.

Glena Jennings represented that crossing over the border into the unknown., I think this was Cathy's favorite.

John Eden (top) and  Jeremie Riggleman (bottom). John Eden takes surface to the next level which is over the top and Jeremie's photo of a photo of two fallen companions observed by one of them is so very now. At first we thought they were meant to be one work.

Laura Jo Regan - I was obsessed with these three images of dark hair roots which take on a landscape aura and yes, the obsession with beauty is a California dresm.

Steve Gibson - my choice as I just like Gibson's style so much. It is recognizable and distinct, like no other, this artist is getting stronger and stronger.

Yoichi Karamura -  this view of Santa Monica pier is the second non-figurative work along with the one above.  With the large blank sky, it is the view that those of us on the coast see everyday.. One of Cathy's favorites.

Barbara Sexton - chosen by Cathy with my added stamp of approval, this has the humor  Location, location, location is everything


We were both intrigued by the description by the artist of how he arranged families. At first we thought he put together people to make what looks like the oldest possible glass wet plate photos from a paste era. But then we noticed that this one figure appears in many of the photos. Lopex has inserted himself into the situation before the image was taken. These become almost performance art works. 

 Neil Shigley: Invisible People
I am very fond of Neil Shigley's work. He made a presentation at my home as part of the SDMA Contemporary Art Committee meetings. The video helps to show the technique of the large block prints and also shows Shigley interacting with the street people who are the subject of these works. We both like the large hand drawn graphite images,  how the soft edges of the seams of the paper made the subject almost glow.  We also liked the rough nature of the prints where seams did not meet, There was only one image of a women. She has the look of Janis Joplin....ridden hard and put away wet.

These symbols that appear in the composition are part of the hobo's code and was used to help each other to survive during the depression. .

My Sister's Voice: Photography by Pablo Mason

 Most of these portraits looked like studio shots instead of art works. But we likes the following three especially. Each women has something to say, advice to pass on. And it was wonderful to see a whole room of these diverse visages. 

Samantha Shine McPherson  - this young women told the story of how her mother put her into a bath one day when she was hysterical  after a failing grade in school. She was told to let the disappointment of a bad grade wash off and go down the drain. She always thinks of this when she needs some comfort.

We loved the back light hair on this one and each of these had a message and a small description of the subject

Proud sister to us all....wearing he art on her chest.