It is happening now – The Artist Project. It is one of my favourite art fairs for independent artists in the city. I participated two years in a row. This year I have been focusing on developing a new body of work as well as this new website so I missed being part of the hype and excitmenet of the fair.
Today I went as a visitor and had the luxury of time to take in the show in its true essence. I was pleasantly surprised how little I knew about the diversity and breath of works that the show presents. I guess once you are exhibiting yourself, there is not much chance to go and see everything. I was inspired and pumped up by all ways of seeing and views. I also experimented with a new way of observing. Instead of looking through an artist eye, I decided to play a wannabe art collector. What would I buy for my private collection from local artists? Turns out quite a lot! I could literally have most of the Untapped Emerging Artists works, Joani Tremblay and Alea Drain were my most favourite. Since I can’t afford to be a real collector (yet), I made this virtual collection on Pinterest for the time being. And below are my top three picks.
1. Comox Series One #19 by Kelly Rogers
I fell madly in love with this piece! The image is great but you really have to see it close-up! The raw canvas is absolutely captivating and the dynamic lines draw you in. More than anything I loved those subtle drips. I usually like detailed work that I can get back to it over and over and this is minimalistic for me but I could look at it for hours.
2. from In a Quiet Light series by Lulu Ladrón de Guevara
No wonder Lulu’s work is the chosen image of the Fair this year. I want to touch this work and have it above my desk on gloomy winter days to lift my spirit up. It is mysterious yet innocent. She has also applied a very smart and innovative technique.
3. The Whale As A Bubble by Alea Drain
Whales, bubbles, ocean, blue, whimsical, detailed, patterns …what’s not to like about this piece!
I am a procrastinator. I have finally accepted that. There is this massive 2.5- meter-long piece that I started in late October 2013 and stopped half way in between. Now the momentum is gone and I have to find my way back into it somehow. However, just like the way I used to procrastinate for exams/deadlines and would take care of all the possible unfinished tasks I could think of, I have done quite a few smaller pieces in between. I need to get going on this massive neon madness! so I have cut over 100 pieces of patterns and shapes for it. And I am doing some warm-up works towards it.Here is the image of the neon -giant in progress.
In December, Hunter & Gatti, a cool New York-based fashion/art magazine, highlighted some of my works. This reminded me to tell you a bit about one of my favourite works titled subterranean paradise.
subterranean paradise was a commission from a very dear friend who wanted something with depth, masculinity and in rich hues of blue. There was also one criteria. No hidden wildness like a bikini top or a boot that at times sneak into some of my works.
I decided to do the piece entirely in deep blue, trying to capture the grace, harmony and gracious underwater flow. The memory of the mind-blowing and awe- inspiring drop-offs and deep blue abyss of Santa Rosa dive site in Cozumel became the starting point. It was a good challenge to work only in one colour, play with variations of it and search for blue-only cut-outs. It was hard to keep the naughtiness in check though. But I did my best. Interestingly enough some of the cut-outs came from 2009 issue of Vogue featuring the Obamas, shot by Annie Leibovitz. I did use part of the President’s blue dress shirt and his whole tie somewhere there. Look close to see if you can find them.So in the end the piece got a touch of presidential vibe and masculinity too. But above all, I hope the painting captured the mysteriousness and grace of the underwater paradise that I had in mind.
Thanks H&G for inspiring me to talk about this.
Last week this tiny piece that I did in December and it is from my very popular minto series was picked up by Saatchi Art’s feature collection. It’s great to get noticed among the hundreds of thousands of artists and millions of great works on the site. Saatchi is a reputable online portal that takes the art of the seasoned and emerginig artists to a wide audience internationally and their newsletter goes to gizillion people around the globe! It provides a level of exposure that most artists don’t have resources to do on their own. Here is the link if you want to have this piece on your wall or your shelf.