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Dying Between the Violets: Guglielmo Castelli

December 19th, 2018 · 3 Comments

Guglielmo Castelli is a fashion illustrator turned artist whose paintings are beautiful and subversive. Every once in a while you see something new that takes your breath away, and Castelli’s work – which is tender, evocative and mischievous – did that for me. These paintings are from the artists’s 2014 show Heparin at Francesca Antonini as well as paintings from 2016. 





“Everything seems to take place in a limited time, in a chaos from which it is difficult to break away. The action of his figures, more and more submerged by color, does not rest anywhere, they are at the center of an infinite space. It is not clear whether they are ascending or falling. But they do not seem to worry about it, because what matters is to maintain the position, the tangle of that moment. The search for a formal balance leaves room for the freedom to suspend action without reference points. It is only the land on which everything takes place, in a syncopated tangle that steals the scene with hypnotic force, preventing the eye from moving elsewhere. ” – Claudio Libero Pisano






Images courtesy of the artist and Francesca Antonini Arte Contemporanea


Lindsay Stripling

December 13th, 2018 · 2 Comments

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. 

Clara Dackenberg

December 4th, 2018 · No Comments

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. 





Lindsay Bull

November 29th, 2018 · No Comments

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.  






An Ocean of Unsayable Things: Marjorie Dial

November 16th, 2018 · No Comments

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.




“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.” 




The Mushroom Hunters

November 10th, 2018 · No Comments

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




Another Börsch installation, Intimate Immensity: