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Lindsay Stripling

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lindsay Stripling is a San Francisco based artist and illustrator I really admire and whose work I’ve really enjoyed watching develop as she also made the transition to full-time illustrator. I admire is that Lindsay has stayed true to her own style and originality. I got to know Lindsay four years ago when she had a show on Buy Some Damn Art and this week we launched a brand new show I’m very proud of featuring six of her watercolors. Below is my interview with Lindsay and some of the paintings from the show. Enjoy.
 
It’s been four years since your first show on BSDA! How have you been? What’s changed since 2014? What hasn’t changed? 
 
Yea! I’m so glad to be back! I would say a lot has changed, but also maybe not much. I was looking at my paintings I did for the 2014 BSDA show, and I think it’s so interesting that similar themes keep showing up in my work. Back then I was relying heavily on photography and focusing on memory, but landscapes and the figure were still prominent, and since then I have set photography aside and have been really trying to create my own world and what I like to think of as a glossary of images and symbols, with more of an emphasis on illustration. 
 
 
I have to ask – what is the story behind the painting All The Fridas? 
 
A large part of what caused me to move away from using photos and try to create my own worlds was that I went on a road trip to see “In Wonderland”- women in surrealism at LACMA and actually ended up missing the show but I snagged the show book/catalogue and became somewhat obsessed with Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington. I have, like most people, always been a fan of Frida but I don’t think I really knew her work until then, and her piece Two Fridas became one of my favorites. It depicts two of her selves sitting side by side and connected by their hearts. I wanted to pay homage to that, but think more about women and female identifying people as a collective being connected. I love the duality in Two Fridas, the self reflection, but I wanted to explore and create thought about ourselves being reflected in others, and perhaps help us as women to lift one another up, rather than tear one another down. If we can see ourselves in the people around us, it can enable us to empathize more and realize that we are not alone. 
 
 
It’s super interesting how the women figures in these paintings have trees, flowers and animals across their clothes, hair and faces. How do the themes of Return, Reflection and Vessel connect to these objects? 
 
It is a similar idea to the interconnectivity of people like in All the Fridas, but instead focusing on the interconnectivity of nature and us, and seeing ourselves in nature and nature within ourselves. I live in the bay area and grew up across the bay from Mt. Tamalpais – which my mom always told me and my sister was named by the Miwoks and meant the ‘sleeping lady’ (this is one of those situations where upon reflection and with a little wikipedia, I now know is a little less straightforward than that, but isn’t that how it always goes) and I always thought about that. What if the earth literally is us? What if we considered the earth, the land, our living and breathing selves? Would we take more care of it? Our bodies are infinite ecosystems, and live upon and within another infinite, wilder than we could even imagine ecosystem, it’s pretty neat. 
 
 
Folklore and mysticism appear to be an influence in your work. If nothing else just the connection between psyche and the natural world. Does this connection have a specific origin for you? A specific meaning?
 
The symbolic meanings of nature, of mother nature, of the connection between the wilderness and our own wildness have always resonated with me. I am so fascinated by our ability as a society to try and control and make sense of this magical natural world that is so much more complicated than we could possibly imagine, and I think the same is true for ourselves. 
 

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Clara Dackenberg

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Clara Dackenberg is a Swedish illustrator who specializes in children’s books and storytelling. These recent works from Instagram are part of GIFC or Got It For Cheap, a traveling group exhibit of works on paper all sold for $30. I admire a lot of children’s book illustrators and find it fascinating how they bring creepy, spine-tingling scariness into our lives. Menacing characters, like Clara’s wolves, enthrall us and live on in our imaginations. 

 

 

 

 

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Lindsay Bull

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lindsay Bull of Manchester, U.K. paints dynamic, fuzzy portraits that emphasize color, brush work and above all, individuality. She currently has a solo exhibit at bo.lee gallery in London. 

This is a fabulous description of Bull’s eye-catching subjects by Matt Price:

Lindsey Bull’s paintings depict a curious cross-section of people – they often seem lonely, melancholy, shy and introverted, as if trying to avoid our gaze or to distance themselves from the world. But they are also often eccentric, gregarious characters who enjoy their subcultural affiliations and live out inner fantasies through their outward appearance – dressing up in unusual clothes or fancy dress, unorthodox hats, over-the-top make-up, way-out hair. It is a bohemian cast, an eclectic community of outsiders and auteurs, interlopers and introverts, waifs and strays, dandies and extroverts.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Buy Some Damn Art: Najee Wilson

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

After taking a long hiatus, Buy Some Damn Art is back! Today we have a new show by Najee Wilson, an artist, designer, model, musician and personal friend. We met years ago working in the same wallpaper studio and hit it off from day one. Najee is one of the nicest souls you will ever meet and somehow finds ways to be creative and contemplative in every aspect of his life. It is a real honor to be able to bring Najee’s mixed-media art out of his Brooklyn studio for the first time and in front of an (online) audience.  

The pieces I’m presenting find their inspirations in old world technique and craft such as marbling, fabric dying and kintsugi (the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with fine metals). Highly Viscous/Various Materials is a series of patch-worked objects and mixed-media fine art pieces that highlight decay and ephemerality. I wanted to show the beauty in imperfection and subtle variations in material and application. Each piece explores how beauty can be created by employing irregularity and free flowing chaos.

What do you hope comes across to online viewers?
That true beauty can exists in imperfection, the subtle otherness.

How did you end up working with such time-intensive, hands-on materials?
Growing up I loved working with my hands, really getting elbow deep into the creative process. These days I fill my spare time creating little tiny moments that I later string together in my art. I took to fabric manipulation, sewing, dying and distressing early on to add a unique look to the fabrics of my life. The patchwork leatherwork is inspired by the many quilts that my family matriarchs created. Those quilts featured found fabrics and were imperfectly pieced and sewn by hand with utilitarian mends in places. I loved that the years of use and mending became a part of their design aesthetic.  

Why is making art important to you?
It’s all about raw expression, for me the act of creation is like a meditation. I find tranquility in myself during my creative process.  

Your work flows in so many directions – music, modeling, design, art. how do you make time and space (and energy) for so many different things?

Every way in which I go about expressing myself brings me newfound strength and energy. Honestly, I just do what makes me happy. When I’m making art I am certainly not thinking about making art, my mind simply wanders. I feel that everything I do and have the pleasure of seeing inspires possible outcomes for my work. As a fine art muse, I’ve learned that the artist’s canvas is like the mirror that does not lie. Musing is a silent collaboration between artist and model where my presence, movement, proportion and gaze could inspire a masterpiece for said artist. This act, for me, is incredibly vulnerable and powerful, all in the same. To inspire, to be, to think, to do, to listen is what makes an artist. Every method of expression presents me with a new opportunity to learn something from myself all while sharing that perspective.

What’s next? or tell us about a fantasy project. 
I am currently in the process of writing and recording new music which I am excited about. I am preparing to release a new single add music video at the beginning of the New Year under the moniker Taupe Sounds. Sonically my music exists in a R&B space, but I am influenced by many genres. 

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An Ocean of Unsayable Things: Marjorie Dial

Friday, November 16, 2018

Marjorie Dial is an artist in Portland, Oregon who didn’t discover her passion for ceramics until she hit 40. “When I first touched clay at the age of 40, I felt like I woke up from life and started dreaming.” I find it very interesting to see the shapes of her ceramic vessels translated so fluidly to prints and drawings.

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“Dial’s practice is animated by the belief that we are all engaged in a deep search for meaning, connection, pleasure and purpose. Much of this seeking takes place hidden from awareness in submerged, unconscious spaces – an ocean of unsayable things that have been expelled from language… Her interests lie in giving form to – creating markers, often broken, dislocated, remnant – for what exists in shadowy places.” 

 

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The Mushroom Hunters

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Clare Celeste Börsch’s show The Mushroom Hunters is based on the poem by Neil Gaiman and is described by the artist as a “large-scale, floor to ceiling, immersive three-dimensional collage” which took six weeks to complete.

“The women, who did not need to run down prey, had brains that spotted landmarks and made paths between them left at the thorn bush and across the scree and look down in the bole of the half-fallen tree, because sometimes there are mushrooms. Before the flint club, or flint butcher’s tools, The first tool of all was a sling for the baby to keep our hands free and something to put the berries and the mushrooms in, the roots and the good leaves, the seeds and the crawlers.” – Neil Gaiman, excerpt from The Mushroom Hunters

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Another Börsch installation, Intimate Immensity:

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