studio visits

Jeremy Hush’s “At A Loss For Words” Sneak Peek

My recent visit to Philadelphia brought me to the studio of Jeremy Hush who is in the midst of preparing for a new solo exhibition, At a Loss for Words. Jeremy told me that this particular series of works revolves around dispassion; a lying down and giving up. Human figures are depicted white-eyed and comatose, half-buried in forest ground-cover decomposing into the earth. More sentient animals are seen investigating and, in some cases, nesting inside these abandoned idle human husks.

At a Loss For Words could be seen as being politically-minded or personal. The subject-matter is painfully truthful, but the visuals are, as is always the case with Jeremy’s work, elegant and intricate; the creatures delightful and hopeful. This series of works is thus mindful and, to put it plainly, stunning.

Jeremy sent me some photos for me to share, but I also took a few of my own, published below. All shots of the artwork are details or works in progress – I wouldn’t want to spoil them for you before opening night.

Taking place simultaneously with Borrowed Memories, a two-woman exhibition with Stella Im Hultberg and Tran NguyenAt A Loss for Words opens on September 29th and will be on view until October 20th at Thinkspace gallery in Los Angeles.

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Martin Wittfooth Studio Visit and Empire Sneak Peek

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Martin Wittfooth in his studio to see how the paintings from his upcoming exhibition Empire were coming along. It was wonderful to see his working space and to get an idea of how his art comes together. Seemingly the ideal artist loft, the high-ceilinged room was flooded with sunlight from huge industrial windows typical of the art-centric Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood.

For this exhibition, Martin has created a number of large format paintings – in some cases larger than he’s worked before – to challenge himself and to excite everyone who follows his works. Much closer to life-size, they are meant to be immersive. His concepts have always been powerful, but in this larger scale he’s been able to exercise his metaphorical muscles, so to speak, giving his statements much more impact. His color palette has also lightened and diversified with this series, although his animalistic symbolic language remains familiar as does his brushwork.

This series explores the notion of empire through a contemporary lens, exploring such issues as the Occupy movement and the opium poppy trade in the middle east, as well as more universal notions such as mass-consumption and greed. To quote Martin, “Despite the protests of naysayers of the idea that the world of today is still largely in the grip and command of the empirical model, it is hard to ignore the lingering sense that history is simply repeating itself.”

Check out the shots of Martin’s studio and details of the new works below.

Empire will be opening on September 15th at Corey Helford Gallery.

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Teetering Bulb Process Workshop

Last weekend I attended a wonderful illustration workshop with Zelda Devon, one half of the art duo, Teetering Bulb.  This intimate peek behind the curtain of the working processes these two artists employ was a fantastic and helpful eye-opener for the small group of students who attended.

Teetering Bulb is very prolific with brains packed full of mysterious stories that they like to share.  Besides that and the slew of commissions they are hired to do on a regular basis, they are also in the midst of working on a project for DC Comics.  Teetering Bulb‘s visual style is very unique; many people have asked them how they create their magical works.  With this workshop, Zelda explained their working process from pencil drawing to digital coloring.  She also did a small critique of each attendee’s work and talked about the art business, all in a three hour session that cost only about $75.  Kurt Huggins, Teetering Bulb‘s other half, joined in towards the end of the session.

If you’re interested in taking part in Zelda’s next workshop, please drop her a line.

A Stranger’s Encounter. Read the entire Little Fiction here:

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The Mechanics of Christopher Conte

Christopher Conte’s artwork is full of surprises. While many of the elements in his sculptures are machined, cast or carved by him, he also incorporates parts of familiar machinery that, if you’re paying close enough attention, you will recognize. Antique watch movements, sewing machine feet and other old cogs and gears give his sculptures a retro steampunk flavor, while other elements like iPod cameras push his work into the future evoking some of the greatest of scifi stories.

Dermabot (Skin Crawler) | steel, bronze, and brass with working onboard miniature tattoo machine

Christopher’s sculptures indeed capture the attention of a steampunk audience, but also the Transhumanist movement, which revels in the power of biomechanics for promoting human advancement and explores the dangers that such enhancements might cause, has taken a great liking to his work. Wired Magazine, a publication which has some of its tentacles entwined in the movement, has published multiple interviews and articles on him, and many Maker Faire enthusiasts, scientists and medical professionals who support it collect his work.
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Studio Visit: Paul Romano

What seems like many many moons ago (this past December), I visited the studio of Paul Romano. I was intrigued by a new project he has been venturing into, but was also excited to meet this highly prolific artist and peek into his working process. His residence, often a place for touring metal bands to stay for the night, is well-known amongst friends. Decorated with a plethora of curio, artwork and an extensive collection of art books, I was in for a treat.
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