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on the hunt for good art

hot topic : an ode to feminists

September 14th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Hot Topic is Kirsten McCrea’s kick-ass project inspired and named after the Le Tigre song. Partly as an exercise in painting with oils, Kirsten decided she would paint all 60 feminists mentioned in the song which took the artist three years to complete. Listen to Kirsten talk about the series here.






Artist Crush: Irana Douer

July 8th, 2011 · No Comments

Irana Douer is an Argentinian artist whose work caught my eye on Pattern Pulp.  Douer has formed a private lexicon of symbols and postures that appears to have roots in Native American culture. Her women thus come off as mysterious, powerful but seem bound (for good or bad) by their womanhood.

Mi Tigre, My Lover by Naoe Suzuki

June 20th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Highlights from Naoe Suzuki’s show Mi Tigre, My Lover which opens this Saturday at Open Source Gallery. I get emotional when I see animals (even ones on paper) mistreated, but I swallowed my discomfort to appreciate the complicated, symbiotic relationship Suzuki depicts between trainer and tiger.


This series is inspired by a life of Mabel Stark, a renowned female tiger trainer for circus in the early 1900s. Mabel survived many severe mauling by her tigers but kept going back to the tiger cage. I was thinking about “being captive” and their love/power relationship. Tigers were the ones kept in the cage and obvious captives, but I thought Mabel was also a captive by her tigers. Her life was consumed by her love and obsession for tigers.  – Naoe Suzuki via ArtSake


In Mi Tigre, My Lover, there’s a complex play of love and power between a woman and her tiger. I hope people feel some sort of tension in the space between a woman and her tiger—obsession, control, submission, passion, desire, whatever that is.  – Naoe Suzuki via ArtSake


Artist Crush: Jazmin Berakha

May 25th, 2011 · 12 Comments

Embroidery by Buenos Aires artist Jazmin Berakha via wolf eyebrows. What’s amazing to me about embroidered art (and other media with craft roots) is when it is so technically and visually complex (like Berakha’s) that it is easily mistaken for painting. It’s important to recognize that artists like Berakha could easily tell their stories in pencil or paint but instead choose the much more pain-staking, time-consuming path of embroidery with all it’s history and connotation.





The artist has a show opening tomorrow at Heskin Contemporary Gallery in NYC with Nicola Ginzel, another artist working in needlepoint.

Artist Crush: Beth Kennedy

January 5th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Beth Kennedy is an Australian-painter whose work I fell in love with for its striking and unapologetically-feminine color palette. These intimate scenes, abstracted by aberrant patterns and flat planes, are beautifully composed and tap into deep feelings of loss, sadness and love from the perspective of a woman.

It’s Better This Way

I am first and foremost a storyteller; the narratives within my works are both personal and shared… By hinting at a moment from a story, I invite the viewer to see their own memories or emotions reflecting back at them. The enigmatic works I create explore psychological dislocation and fragility, strength, bereavement, pain, beauty, joy and loss.

But How Could I Know You Would Return?

Pattern and colour are important aspects of my work. I work intuitively with colour, at times allowing it to flow across the canvas in pastel washes, and at others using it in bold opaque areas… Amongst this, wavering patterns move in and out of focus, eventually finding their place and adding depth and beauty to the paintings.

I Already Knew

All along however, it is about the women whose space these patterns, washes, lines and colours share. These women inhabit the works – and we watch and participate as they love deeply, as their hearts break, as they grieve, and as they celebrate the little wonders that life brings their way.

A Little More Silence


Wished For You

Young, Beautiful and Heartbroken

November 30th, 2010 · 3 Comments

It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful or poignant depiction of emotional duress than these breathtaking paintings by (Korean?) artist Kwon Kyung Yup. Yup’s realist portraits are devoid of typical details: her girls are naked and literally blend into the silent, fleshy abstracted world around them. What Yup excludes she more than makes up for in perfectly nailing the girls’ expressions and body-soul symbolism. (via Booooooom!)


The girls in the paintings disclose this sense of trauma. It is revealed by the pure, snow-white, sterile space… by weeping, bloodshot eyes, by closed or vacant eyes as if seeing through themselves, by staring straight ahead as if accusing someone of something, and by expressionless faces as if not to show her true heart…

It is said that the eye is the window of the soul. The artist uses the eye as an active means to convey emotions. For example, a patch over one eye indicates a sense of loss… Tears are also introduced as an auxiliary device: they not only are a more direct means to deliver emotions but also symbolize the nullification (purification?) of emotion. Kwon gives these condensed tears forming as elaborate crystals a special meaning: they purify, heal, and sublime emotions…

The bandages covering the part of the girls’ faces… hide not the wounds in the body but the those remembered by the body, those stored as a memory in the body, those spiritual and ontological. Like eye patches, bandages protect them from outside stimuli, and cover, embrace, take care of, console, and cure the injuries remembered by the body (the mind sometimes forgets hurts but those remembered by the body are never forgotten). – Kho Chung-Hwan (Art Critic)