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Joseph Beuys: Art and Man

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"Every man
 is an artist."
- Joseph Beuys

Pittzza at Iron Side

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Located in a dynamic "green campus" of innovative mixed use studio, gallery, exhibit, recreation, event and production spaces, all situated within an artfully designed urban setting.

Pittzza at Iron Side / 305.531.5055 / 7580 NE 4th Court Miami, FL 33138 / Hours: 11:30am - 10pm/ Monday-Sunday

Being Cuban.

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Robin Williams paid $75,000 and a Picasso painting for Aladdin

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Robin Williams, Disney and a Late Picasso. 
Robin Williams was only paid $75,000 to do the voice work in the 1992 film Aladdin Under the condition his voice would not be used in advertising to sell products for the movie. 

When the film broke $200 million at the box office, Disney broke their promise to Williams.

Robin Williams was very upset with Disney. A few years later Disney to make good gave Williams a late Picasso painting (not the one in the photo) 

Williams never fully forgave Disney.  


3 Things you may not know about Robin Williams and the aftermath of the Disney film Aladdin. 

One Lesson to Learn About Obama

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As Ferguson was burning, Obama was partying all night with rich old white people. 

Max Lehman - contemporary ceramic sculptor from Santa Fe, NM

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Tell us about your ceramic sculptures. They seem very labor intensive. Break down the process for us? 

I employ a variety of techniques. I learned ceramics mostly from apprenticing in a production pottery studio when I was a kid. I have become more interested in the ceramic process recently, but for the most part I use clay as a medium to achieve a particular end. That is not to say that I abandon craft but I tend to let the vision guide the construction and not the other way around. I have had over 30 years experience working with clay so I feel comfortable with the medium but I will abandon process if it becomes unnecessary or gets in the way of where I want a piece to go.

Your work has a whimsical and childlike joy about them. How do you pick your subject matter for the works? 

I would consider my style a miss mash of Punk Rock, Pop Surrealist, and Pre-Columbian imagery with some 1950's advertisement thrown in for good measure. So really it is just a reaction to the things I like that are around me everyday. I have a fairly large collection of paintings and I look to artists out side of ceramics for inspiration


MAD  
MAX










   
THE MAJESTIC WORLD OF 
MAX LEHMAN 
Max Lehman is a contemporary ceramic sculptor based from New Mexico. His work is fueled by the southwestern United States and it's deep rooted culture. We discuss his early interests, current developments and future plans. 
I would say that Michael Lucero was an early influence on me as far as ceramics are concerned. But most of my influences come from painters like Mark Ryden, Kenny Scharf, Todd Schorr, Keith Haring. I was influenced very early on by Punk Rock, I was living in London at the time that the Sex Pistols, Siouxie and the Banshees, Chron Gen, The X-Ray Specs, etc were on the scene. I still listen to that music and the new stuff today. I would also say I have been heavily influenced by the ceramics from Pre-Columbian civilizations most notably, Teotihuacan, Mayan, and the Tsistiquate, but not limited to those, also many Peruvian and Andean cultures.


What's the art scene like in Santa Fe, New Mexico? 

Santa Fe is like no other city in the US and if you add in Northern New Mexico you get a landscape and a people that are more unique than anyplace on the Earth. The original inhabitants can trace their history back Tens of THOUSANDs of years, newcomers (The Spanish) can go back 500 years and us Johnny come latelys (Anglos mostly) have been migrating to New Mexico since the Mexican American War and there was a big influx of artists in the 1920s. It is a very welcoming place. 

























Northern New Mexico is very laid back and very liberal. I sometimes call it the Island of Misfit Toys, because if you don’t fit in anywhere else you can fit in here. I also call it the Land of Shirley MacClaine I don’t think I need to explain that. There is a very lively arts scene; you might say you can’t spit without hitting an artist. And it runs the gamut from very traditional style painters ie landscape, still lives, portraits, figurative style bronze work, to cutting edge installation and performance and everything in between. Imagine a 400-year-old city in the middle of the wilderness, desert on one side old growth forested mountains on the other with about 60,000 inhabitants, yet there is a world class opera and opera house, a symphony, a dozen major museums over 300 galleries, restaurants, shops, micro breweries, I could go on. It’s really quite something. But you have to dig in, get to know the place, it can be like the five blind men describing an elephant. You can’t just sit and wait for it to reveal itself to you. You have to let down your guard and be willing to get off the beaten path. I think that to some visitors it has a "Mall Like" feel to it, at least on the surface. Some people come here expecting a Disneyland experience and leave not ever knowing where they were or what they missed.
( Interview continues)
The ceramic arts is definitely in a class of it's own. Who are some contemporary ceramic artists you bounce ideas off of and get excited about? 

I would say that Michael Lucero was an early influence on me as far as ceramics are concerned. But most of my influences come from painters like Mark Ryden, Kenny Scharf, Todd Schorr, Keith Haring. I was influenced very early on by Punk Rock, I was living in London at the time that the Sex Pistols, Siouxie and the Banshees, Chron Gen, The X-Ray Specs, etc were on the scene. I still listen to that music and the new stuff today. I would also say I have been heavily influenced by the ceramics from Pre-Columbian civilizations most notably, Teotihuacan, Mayan, and the Tsistiquate, but not limited to those, also many Peruvian and Andean cultures.

What's the most difficult thing about glazing with ceramics? Do you experience a lot of lucky mistakes along the way? 

I don’t really have an answer for this question. I use commercial glazes in my work and can usually anticipate what the outcome will be. There is some variation that happens when you give up a piece to the fire but in today’s world I don’t see any reason why I should not use commercial glazes any more that I would expect a painter to be grinding their own pigment and mixing their own medium. Naturally if something does go awry I pull out the paint, in fact some of my surfaces are entirely painted or a combination of paint and glaze. 
(Interview continues below) 
Anything you are working on currently you can tell us about? 

Yes here is a description of an installation I am building for the “End of Days” exhibit that will be taking place this fall in Santa Fe.

The piece is titled "Bride of the Bomb" 
 
My plan is this.

I envision creating a large installation piece that will include at least three sculptures and up to appx 35 to 40 small pieces created from molds I have purchased on ebay. 
 
The small pieces are going to be based on these ghost figures that I have various molds of, they are from the nineteen fifties and look like a person wrapped in a sheet carrying a pumpkin. The figures are going to stay the same but we are going to swap out the pumpkin with different items, accessory items like shoes or purses, skulls, bombs, missiles, guns, etc…
 
The three big pieces will be comprised of: A wedding cake tank that will have a skeleton bride riding on top. The cake will be decorated with skulls and weapons and icing. The next piece will be a missile launcher decorated in a similar fashion, and the final piece will be an atom bomb on wheels with an apocalyptic figure riding it kinda like the cowboy at the end of Dr Strangelove.
 
I am seeing the entire thing set up on a catwalk like a fashion show runway. The atom bomb will lead followed by a block of 12 or so of the ghost figures set up like they are marching, followed by the rocket launcher followed by another block of ghosts followed up by the wedding cake.
 
So it will have the look of a fashion show runway crossed with a Communist May Day military parade. The whole set up could be as much as 18 to 20 feet long and appx 3 - 4 feet wide.

To learn more about the work of 
Max Lehman visit his website right here. 

Aaron Thomas Roth - Artist from Tucson, AZ.

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You work a lot in black and white...what brought you there?

For me working in black and white has always been more comfortable than working in color. The contrast of black to white and all the subtle grays in between allow me to create a feeling for the piece that I just don’t feel I could achieve through the use of color. To me black and white images remove the viewer from being in or part of the image by keeping the image separate from real life… it keeps participants at arms length but still gives them the ability to be voyeurs from a safe distance.


 How do you decide the imagery you use for your work? Is there a narrative or motif? 

I think the imagery for my work comes to me when I least expect it. The idea is to show figures that are displayed in a limbo of sorts… trapped between the planes of heaven and earth. I want to capture that split instant that shows a figure’s movement toward a moment of change, whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional change. I’m constantly on the lookout for that perfectly uncomfortable static pose, it can be something as simple as a hand gesture that speaks to me. After that everything else seems to fall into place. In the end, the goal is to evoke an unsettling feeling for the participant… I want to give them just a piece of the story and to let them judge the outcome.





AARON 
THOMAS 
ROTH 
Aaron Thomas Roth was born in Chicago, Il., in 1973. He was raised in Los Angeles and New York City where he attended the School of Visual Arts and received a BA in Illustration. He studied with the great Sam Martine and Joo Chung… with their mentoring he was able to pursue his love of collage and experimentation with new mediums. We had a chance to have an interview with him where he discusses his influences, his current work and upcoming shows. Aaron currently resides and works in Tucson, AZ.
A CONVERSATION. 




Some of you work seems to have a dialog with Francis Bacon? Are his paintings in any way a point of reference for you?
 
Bacon’s work definitely has been an influence for me in many ways. As a young kid, I was surrounded by my mother’s collection of art catalogues and coffee-table books. One of my favorites happened to be an old Tate Gallery catalogue on Bacon. Thumbing through the pages, there was something about his paintings that really grabbed me and made a severe impression in my mind… those dark geometric shapes that seemed to go deep into the painting were in such stark contrast to those soft organic piles of barely distinguishable forms of flesh. For the first time I had a sense as to what it was to be moved by art. I realized that not only was art created with emotion but it also conveyed an emotion that was for me, in this case, brilliantly haunting. I knew this was the type of feeling I wanted to come through in my work.




What are some things you are working on currently?

Now that the Dublin Biennial has wrapped up and a majority of my entries for up coming competitions have been sent off… I’ve decided to lock myself away in the studio to concentrate on producing new works. There will be a solo exhibition of my work at the monOrchid gallery in Phoenix toward the end of the year as well as a possible two-person exhibit in Germany in early 2015. 
(Interview continues below) 
To learn more about Aaron Thomas Roth 
visit his website right here. 

Chat with Sean Deckert, Photographer.

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How did you discover photography and how has it developed over the course of your career? 
 
I think the first time I remember being into photography was when I got a 35mm auto for a 
birthday when I was 10 or so. I took the camera everywhere but I didn’t take that many pictures. I 
guess I couldn’t find anything exciting to photograph from my position in life.   
 
Since then I’ve gone through two college programs, moved at least 10 times, visited a couple countries, and cultivated colorful friendships with interesting people. I think through all of these experiences I began to see differently and use my camera to define what I see. Nowadays, I take pictures with lots of space and color in them. I also take a ton of pictures, ­like 1,400 to make one final piece. Someone told me once that the best photographers have taken the best pictures….and also taken the most bad pictures. It’s a constant learning experience and I like that I’m evolving with it.  
 
Your work shows the duration of time in a photo. How did you discover that technique?  
 
I’ve seen people condense time into single images before; ­I didn’t invent the technique. Mostly 
I’ve seen it used to compress frames from a movie into some sort of painterly representation of 
the whole movie. As with the history of photography ­ it’s all been done before. I’m a firm believer that if I’m going to make a picture and use a style that exists, which they all do, I had better devote my entire strength to it and do it the best.  
 
Eadward Muybridge is one of my most influential figures in the history of photography because 
over 100 years ago he did invent a new technique that expanded peoples minds and condensed 
their sensibility about the universe. I took a process and made it my own because it gives me the platform to express my ideas of expanding the frame of the camera, capturing elemental 
transitions and creating a sense of figure-­ground reversal. I hope that the process somewhat 
evaporates as people start to understand the ideas intertwined into each slice in the pictures. 

NIGHT INTO DAY 
CHAT WITH PHOTOGRAPHER 
SEAN 
DECKERT 
(Interview continues below) 
How do you decide the content you want to investigate and shoot?  
 
Most of my projects are circumstantial. What I mean is that they develop out of what is happening in the world and my life. I try to interpret what I think about these two positions and how they relate. Then I look back at what I have done and where I can go with it. Also, I try to design projects that challenge my skill level so that I learn a new way of working. Right now, I’m hotographing the sky and doing a lot of timelapse. About three years ago I made a series of lenticular prints titled Smoke & Mirrors which were a reaction to climate change in Phoenix. I think I’ve been focusing on that since then and always trying to reinvent my style while holding tight to the concepts I’m interested in.  

Photographing exhibits seems to be something you engage with your company. Tell us more about it and the experience of being involved in capturing installations of exhibitions.  
 
I had the opportunity to work on a project at ASU Art Museum with an artist couple from Athens. I was the ‘student’ photographer interning under them and learning about relational aesthetics through their project. Contradictory to social practice I was looking at blue chip gallery websites and reading a lot of their resources on contemporary art. At the closing of the exhibition I turned in all of my photographs. I did such a good job they hired me for the next year to work on a wide range of projects and my images were used for national grant applications, catalogues, press and seasonal brochures. It was an excellent way to be introduced to my arts community. I also got to meet some important artists such as Chip Lord, Miguel Palma, Julianne Swartz and work directly with many of them on projects. It is a symbiotic way of working commercially without confusing my artistic reputation. 

(Interview continues below) 
You were the official photographer for the Phoenix popup exhibit CROSSCURRENT. How was that different from past experiences working with artists and galleries.  
 
Many of the projects I’ve worked on are with museums or established programs which means its got a fair amount of certainty in the timeline and structure. CrossCurrent was different because it 
was built from the ground up in a  short amount of time by a small group. I signed on not knowing 
exactly what was going to happen although I was confident in the groups ability to pull it off. It 
was exciting because during the month there were revelations, sales, new friendships, fancy parties and a lot of photography. I shot all of the art prior to installation, which never happens. I was sending out files to the group immediately to use for press on a seemingly daily basis. There was a lot of energy and a collective desire to make it an explosion in Phoenix, which I think is what ended up happening.  
Tell us about the project you were apart of in Israel a little while ago. 
 
Israel was grass roots. It was a long process and it’s still happening. It started through an artist, Meirav, from Agrippas 12 Gallery in Jerusalem visiting Phoenix with her husband. He worked for IBM and there’s an office here. She came to downtown Phoenix and wandered into the gallery co­op I was part of, Eye Lounge. My friend Crystal met her and introduced her to the gallery owner Greg, who had lived in Jerusalem for two years. Eye Lounge came up with the idea of having a traveling show with Agrippas 12. Fast forward a year. Crystal moved and I took over the project. We teamed up with ASU Art Museum’s Desert Initiative and had four exhibitions in two countries. Eye Lounge artists shipped work to Israel and had a show for the season opening in Jerusalem, referred to as Manofim. We exhibited at Agrippas 12 twice and at THE Gallery in the Negev Desert once. The Israeli artists work was held up in customs for four months!!! So we pushed their show until we got the work. Currently, Meirav and I are putting something together dealing with discarded roads in remote areas of the desert. We wanted to keep the focus on ‘arid’ because the landscape and climate are what brings us together. More to come... 

Tell us about the photo you are currently exhibiting at the Phoenix Museum of Art  
 
So, last year I was awarded the Emerging Artist Grant from Contemporary Forum at Phoenix Art Museum. The award was a check to finance a new piece and a wall space at the museum once the work was made. That year went by so fast I couldn’t even believe it. I decided to use this opportunity to refocus my studio practice and slow down, which meant make less work on a 
bigger scale. I refined my understanding of the time lapse process and why I was so interested in it. I think I was trying to create a overly beautiful image that was also disjointed or destabilizing in some way. I made “Day Into Night Into Day” during the winter over a two day period of shooting and a couple of weeks assembling the image. I spend quite a bit of time with proofs looking for something wrong with this piece. I was excited that this piece had achieved a sense of 
continuum with this work as well as a the scale I needed to take over the viewers peripheral sights. I thought of this work as a sort of scroll and was also keeping in mind my experiences in Beijing and the ways Chinese masters depicted the sky. 
 

 

What's next for you? I heard you may be moving to LA in the near future.  
 
Indeed LA! I was born in Culver City 30 long years ago. Back then it wasn’t full of galleries and studios and I didn’t know I was going to grow up to be an artist. I only lived there for two years but I’ve always wanted to return and have the experience of living there as an adult. Now, it seems the stars have aligned because I have a purpose living there.  

My girlfriend, Josselyn, and I are planning on moving next summer. I feel like I still have a lot of opportunity here in Phoenix so I don’t want to leave till it’s the right time. Also, Phoenix is so close that I plan on splitting my time between the two cities. I’ve started a company called Calnicean Projects and I hope that these aren’t the only two cities I’ll be splitting my time between. The 
company caters to career artists, galleries, museums and design firms and produces visual documentation and design services. The team is in place and we are working on building and already impressive client list. Everything is in flux right now and I’m very excited for this year!
To learn more about Sean Deckert, 
check out his website right here. 
We had a chance to have an insightful convo with photographer Sean Deckert. The up and coming photographer talks about his process, recent shows and future discoveries. Enjoy 

Urban Hunting by David Tamargo (London Campaign Launch)

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URBAN HUNTING IN 
L O N D O N 
Modern man, evolutionarily speaking, is still a hunter. Although he has traded spears for cash and credit cards, the hunter is still alive inside. Urban Hunting addresses the struggle of interpreting modern society. It asks the question; “How will the imagined world of our present day be interpreted by future humans?” 

An exhibition of photographs and video by Cuban-American artist David Josef Tamargo as part of the launch for his International Urban Hunting campaign for climate change and species extinction awareness. 

Reception at The Groucho Club in Soho (London) this Saturday May 3, 2014, upstairs in the Gennaro Room from 7pm - 2am. This exhibition is co-curated by Michelangelo Bendandi, of Lisson Gallery and Alan Greenhalgh, of Shinesquad.
For more info visit Shinesquad 

CROSSCURRENT Installation Photos: Kiki Valdes, Jel Martinez, Kristin Bauer, Bill Dambrova

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SOUTHEAST MEETS SOUTHWEST 

Miami artists Kiki Valdes and Jel Martinez, represented by the Michael Margulies Artist Agency, and Phoenix artists Bill Dambrova and Kristin Bauer come together in CROSSCURRENT, a collaborative exchange exhibition that unites South Beach with the Southwest

An exploration of crossover and collision in contemporary art pulling from different undercurrents, such as societal policies and propaganda, childhood influences and organic memory of the body, these four artists demonstrate energy and diversity in perspective. The consonance and dissonance that emerges in this bi-coastal group exhibition traverses the boundaries of regions as well as the boundaries of contemporary art genres. 

Installation photography: Sean Deckert 
Learn more: CROSSCURRENT 

RAMIREZ TRAN

Posted by indiadebeaufort Views: 4,836
Meet Johnny Ramirez and Ahn Co Tran.
the voice of a hair generation.
JOHNNY
Johnny and I have been friends for a long time, no one else comes anywhere near my hair, and no one else ever will. He is not just a colorist, he is an artist. Johnny breaks the mold. I have never known him to conform, to anything, and the result is such visionary forward thinking, that he is constantly ahead of trend. He is the voice of a boundless generation, seeking creative and original style. How many times have you felt like a change? Johnny IS change. A hair movement is happening, and Johnny is standing on the front line.
A few years ago Johnny and Ahn decided to join forces. They are kindered spirits. Equally as forward thinking, and industrious. The pair fly all over the world, catering to the needs of a vast and loyal clientele. Many of which are the Hollywood elite. They are as descrete as they are talented, and although they'll never kiss and tell, many a magazine cover, and Oscar red carpet, has been graced by their iconic creations. 

This year Jonny and Ahn set their vison in another direction. They decided to find a space of their own, and are now settled in a peaceful spot in Beverly Hills. The salon is entirely a reflection of their work. Simple but unique, with the flow of an art gallery, and no lack of attention to detail. From the moment you enter to the moment you leave, the vibe of the place is contagious. And you hair is your parting gift. Your finished look makes you feel as though you too are a part of the movement, your "coolness factor" just quadrupled, this is the crowd you run with. As long as your hair has the Ramirez Tran seal of a approval you are officially "in".

To the left is my sun kissed look coutesy of the boys. And below are some before and afters, Enjoy.

THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
Ramirez|Tran Salon • 310.724.8167 • info@ramireztran.com 
instagram : Johnnyramirez1

Rest In Peace - Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler)

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HAROLD ALLEN RAMIS 
NOV. 21, 1944- FEB. 24TH 2014
"THERE'S SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT I FORGOT TO TELL YOU. DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS." - EGON SPENGLER (GHOSTBUSTERS)
 

Swedish Artist - Peter Hammar Interview

Posted by ArtInterviews Views: 6,050
H A M M A R  T I M E 
Peter Hammar works with everyday objects as sculpture with smart placement of lights and composition in spaces. We first saw his work during Scope Art Fair during Art Basel 2013 and his booth was a wonderful arrangement of simplicity and beauty. Hammar has an upcoming exhibition "Mapping Empty Spaces" at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago on March 7th. We had a chance to talk to him before the opening about his new work which addressses immigration and the many stories of the past and present. 


Most of your latest work consists of everyday objects. What happens in the creative process that makes you select the objects that you do?

I use whatever materials I have at hand, it used to be paint and canvas, now I take whatever discarded material I find that is forgotten and has outlived it's purposes, I re-vamp it, give it a second life. Usually the object talks to me in regards to the subject matter/thought process I'm working on currently. It sort of falls into place naturally. And not to forget, as a struggling artist money is also part of it, out of necessity I have to look elsewhere for affordable materials. 

How does light play into your installations, what is the relationship between object and illumination for you? 

When I use moving programmed LED-lights it's a notion for time, when static light,  it's more of painting the object/installation or highlighting some specific part that I wanna draw attention to. I find that light is a great way to emphasis negative space and shadows, which is a lot of times more fascinating and open ended. The light also works a in set designs for theater, it immediately sets the mood and carries multiple. 

I love the balloon installation.  Could you tell us a little about it? 

The piece is titled 'Status Quo', it is a very experimental piece that I still have not quiet completed.. The fan on top of the plexiglas box is supposed to push down the helium balloon and keep it suspended, in a status quo, which seems to be an impossible state of being for just about anything, as it proved to be for the balloon, hence I had to use magicians thread to keep it in place. And it failed, somehow the constant failure of the piece and the Sisyphus task that it

(interview continues below) 
 became in keeping the piece alive was great since that was the actual intent. At the time I just had not quite realized it. I'm still in the process of making this piece complete, maybe it's impossible and by so I love it even more. The unattainable status quo. 

You have a show opening March 7th in Chicago at the Swedish American Museum. What do you have in store for the public to view? 


It's going to be a modern take on the immigrants story, having researched the museums archives, statistics and my own experience of being an immigrant for more than a decade. The tonality will be universal so that everybody and not only Swedish immigrants can relate. Questions about identity, loss, gain, dreams, myths and selective memory that comes into play after years of disunion. 

How do you feel about being picked? How was the selection process? 

I was very honored and extremely happy of course for the opportunity given. I did a fantastic artist residency in Chicago last summer at ACRE, Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions, the residency actually turned out to be miles and miles away from Chicago in beautiful Steuben, Wisconsin. Before the trip I researched a little about Chicago and that's when I found the Swedish American Museum. To my great surprise a museum dedicated to Swedish culture and heritage. It fascinated me so much that I immediately felt a want and need to connect my own practice and work with this institution. So, I wrote a proposal a little more than a year ago and here we are after a museum committee accepted it.
(Interview continues below)
You are a transplant living in Miami. Is there a general aesthetic you feel is apparent from both places artistically? How do they differ? How do they unite? 

The art world is pretty homogenous where ever you turn today. In Sweden though strong use of color is still considered a bit too decorative and not really tasteful art. I figure the climate and Swedish mentality makes up for a careful approach to boldness. But good conceptual art in Sweden as elsewhere is always recognized. Then of course there's only 9 million Swedes and their local exposure or gene pool of artists isn't that big, no matter how much you Google or travel to NY once a year, will never reach the multitude and mixture that we have here in America and Miami. Everybody is here!
To learn more about Peter Hammar's work visit his website right here. 

"Mapping Empty Spaces" opens March 7th at the Swedish American Museum. For more information on the exhibit visit the museums website right here. 

Angry Artist Smashes Ai Weiwei's Work (Video Stills)

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Maximo Caminero is caught on camera smashing a $1 million vase from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's collection at Perez Art Museum Miami, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Caminero, 51, was arrested on criminal mischief charges. (VIDEO STILL/CNN, WSVN, Viewer Video)
THE BREAKING POINT. 
FAILED  A R T I S T WITHOUT A CAUSE

#artherradura - Kiki Valdes - Miami .

Posted by KikiValdes Views: 6,690
BARREL ART COLLECTION 
HERRADURA  2013 
       KIKI VALDES  - MIAMI  
Well it's Art Basel week and the final contest for Herradura's barrel art project is coming to a finish.  It's truly been an honor being involved in this amazing program and I really learned a lot from working on my barrel and learning from all of the artists involved.  When I think back at this whole experience I think about all of the new friendships I have developed through this and seeing the world a bit differently. 
I  also think about my family and good friends that have helped me throughout this experience wether it be showing moral support or helping me move the barrel around the backyard or playing congas to inspire me and remind me of my roots and where I came from. 

The day after I won the Miami prize I thought it would it be interesting to post the barrel up in different parts of the city of Miami in places that mean a lot to me and where I grew up.  Every part of me started here. My first art class, my first art fair to where my parents first stepped foot in this country.  It all started here.  I hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you for letting me share this experience with you -  Kiki Valdes 
Images by: Rudy Perez 

Local Crit - Group Show - Nov. 27th

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Interview: Cynosure Andrew-Lozano

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Cynosure Andrew-Lozano
Cynosure Andrew-Lozano
Add some text, Yo! Click this text box to change the text, style, color and fonts.

1. How did you first get into Guitar-making? Did you have a mentor starting out?


A lot of my art is built on a multitude of influences and inspirations, surreality and reality, Modernism and Postmodernism…I am directly and indirectly influenced by everything I see and everything I think. From an early age, music was the most impactful source of expression and individuality that I could identity with. After growing up listening to bands from The Beatles, The Eurythmics, Led Zepplin, Gary Numan, Marilyn Manson and The Sex Pistols to name very few, I realized another world existed. A world full of unlimiting potential, self-expression and creative ideologies. I had always wanted to be a part of the music industry, whether that meant playing in a band or otherwise. After self-learning how to play the guitar from the rudimentary, yet fundamentally important, guitar scales to semi-advanced shredding, I knew this was a life-changing paradox. I wanted to create something new, not just conceptually but physically; and since I knew how to play Guitar, it just seemed so natural to progress into the mechanism of the instrument and its creation. I had never had the luxury of knowing Guitar-builders nor taking any wood-working/carpentry classes, but purely relying on my own skills, honing my talent, putting tools to wood and creating the objects that I had birthed in my mind. After much research I set out to build an Electric Guitar, focusing my study of research into the engineering aspects that made a Guitar what it is. In particular, using specified wood varieties for sound delivery, stylistics and conceptualization for aesthetic appreciation and technology for innovation. Utilizing my own designs based around ergonomic comfortability and visual specification, the Cyberpunk Guitar was born. Ultimately, in each of my Art creations is a systematic message and representation of reality expressed through a variety of metaphor - this progeny was concepted through the decadence and degradation of a dystopic future dichotomized with the ever-evolving obsession with technology and dataspheric information. Always maintaining its distinction as a fully-functional instrument, this Guitar no longer aspired to the demographic of cliche models, more a departure, an aberration of commonality and into the realm of surrealism and art.

You are so good with detail, what's the preparation for it and is it okay to make mistakes with this kind of work?


I always spend a vast quantity of time designing my Art, but adhering continuously to the concept I choose to base it upon. From the construction of the shaping to the meticulous detailing of small intricacies, the Guitar exists on paper before the chisel carves the wood. Mistakes are common-practise and always accidental, yet inevitable…without the advantages of computerized assistance, human error is somewhat ineludible. Mistakes, dependent on their severity, can mostly be incorporated into the design, whether obvious or not…sometimes mistakes are serendipitous and add to the complicity of the concept.


Do you play your own self-made instruments?


Yes. In order to build Guitars, you need at least a basic acknowledgement of playability. The famous 20th century Russian composer, Stravinsky once said, "…Musical form is close to Mathematics - not perhaps to Mathematics itself, but certainly to something like Mathematical thinking and relationship…"

Guitar-building and Luthiery is indeed implicit within Mathematics as you are always calculating, using Mathematics in angles, design, scale, parameters, permutations and precise measurement. Playing the Guitar is much the same…to work as both a Luthier/Artist and a Musician utilizes the balance of a mutualistic-symbiosis needed to create my instruments.



You made your very first Acoustic Guitar recently. How is it different than making Electric ones?


Acoustic Guitars differ greatly in manufacture to Electric Guitars…undoubtedly, it is an entirely different process. From the design aspects to the manufacturing-tools needed, the Acoustic Guitar has its own set of ideals and idiosyncrasies…unlike the Electric Guitar, the Acoustic relies heavily on the vibrations of the wood-open space ratio. Without prior knowledge of Acoustics (and a deal of ignorance), I had to research and learn the construction methods, the wood parameters, shaping, thickness, bracing and countless other facets; building an Acoustic Guitar was a laborious challenge in itself. I built an Acoustic Guitar for the Herradura Tequila Barrel Art Program, in which I built my first Acoustic from a Tequila Barrel. featuring an abundance of synonymous metaphor to relate to the History and Culture of Mexico; fortuitously, the barrel is curved and as I composed its architecture of the guitar on the Mariachi Guitar (well known for its arched back), it was simply a matter of developing a stable design to incorporate and necessitate this feature. Electric Guitars depend ultimately on the 'Pickup' or 'Humbucker' which are essentially copper-coiled magnets that act as a Transformer, enheightening the sound output of the the plucked/strummed strings. this is the reason that you see Electric guitars built from an assortment of materials, such as wood, metal, composite, carbon-fiber, plastic, plexiglass/perspex, whereas the tonal qualities of the Acoustic Guitar are delivered by resonant, porous and malleable materials, namely, wood…thought, you can research and find the odd carbon-fiber or metal Acoustic but thats certainly not the norm.



you mentioned that you work with themes of PostModernism/PostApocalyptica. Can you explain further, what do you do for keep-up with the trends of the industry?


The Guitars I build are unique in most ways. I do not adhere to any industry-standard method with an exception of the Mathematical scale length and composition of materials used to maximize the soundscape. My Guitars primarily focus on Industrial aspects, taking inspiration from surrealism, literature, cult film and music. Essentially, I create a physical representation of what is in my mind. Currently, I am working on a series of guitars each focused on the concept of Postmodernism and PostApocalyptica yet with individual thematics. For instance, the Cyberpunk Guitar, as aforementioned, is a 25.5" scale, Swamp Ash solid body with a real working fan, skeletal framing and light-up LED fret-markers…certainly not something you'd see in a Guitar shop!! the fan serves no purpose other than as a manneristic purveyance of Postmodernism…a stylized art-form that literally delivers a creation devoid of practicality or understanding. I do keep-up with trends of any industryas, to me, this is something of a conformist approach to produce inferior work. I have my own style, my own influences and inspirations and aspirations. I cannot accept categorical reasoning nor compartmetalized ways of thinking. I believe that life is quantum. Everything exists in fluidity and it is the greatest travesty of human nature to believe itself to be subject to socio-ritualistic methods and practices. I am an artist, a creator, an inventor, an innovator...not just in relation to guitars and the industry, but every single aspect of my life is unbound by limitation. 



Making a Guitar is an art-form, but have you dabbled with more traditional fine-art mediums?


I am an artist firstly before anything. I do despise labels in any form as its not natural to me in any sense or demographic. I can produce fine art or plastic art or visual art, though whatever the medium, I consider myself an Artist without any prefix. 

I used to paint in both Water Colour and Oil mediums, but was always attracted to more 'physical' realms of expression. 

You may notice I am comfortable to use the term 'Artist'. This is because I do not consider it a label, per se, however, a means of identifying characteristic traits of professional approaches to such mediums. Art to me is GOD, and to me, GOD is Art. The definition of 'CYNOSURE' in the dictionary is "…something that attracts attention by its brilliance…". My name itself is another word for visual captivation, or 'Art'. In essence, Cynosure is Art and Art is Cynosure. 


Any words for anyone wanting to get into Guitar-making?



Research. Create your own style and personal approaches. If you want to be recognized as an Artist or individual, you need to acquire a 'signature',  both artistically and dynamically. Have you ever heard of the Charles Caleb Colton phrase, "…imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…"? Well, in the Art-world, this does not pass. If you want to be like me, be yourself.

To learn more about cynosure andrew-lozano visit his site right here. 

post modernism/PostApocalyptica art guitar maker Cynosure andrew-lozano takes some questions about his non-confirmist way of being.  

Local Crit - Wed, Nov. 27th 2013

Posted by ArtInterviews Views: 4,489
L   O   C   A   L     C   R   I   T 
Presented by: 
MICHAEL MARGULIES ARTIST AGENCY 

CAROL PRUSA

JILL HOTCHKISS

JEN STARK

NATALIA REPARAZ

FRANCIE BISCHOP GOOD


JESSIE LAINO

JESSY NITE 

SHEILA ELIAS

NICOLE BURKO

MARIANA MONTEAGUDO

Presented by:
Michael Margulies 
Artist Agency 
Opening Reception: 
Wed, Nov. 27th 2013 
Show runs Jan. 21st  

300 SW 1st Ave. Suite 1300 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (at Las Olas Riverfront) / Info@MarguliesAgency.com

Artists: