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on the hunt for good art

Artist Crush: Gigi Rose Gray

July 11th, 2012 · 1 Comment

Gigi Rose Gray is a NYC-based illustrator and recent Parsons grad.









Artist Crush: Aaron Smith

January 19th, 2011 · 11 Comments

I came across Aaron Smith’s uber-painterly work on thisartisyours. The artist lives in LA and teaches at Art Center.

His mesmerizing series “Bearded Blokes” is such a departure from all of the hyper-realist and illustration-y work we come across these days. I am dumb-struck by the richness of his brushwork and vibrant, irreverent palette. For those in NYC, Smith has a solo show featuring “Bearded Blokes” at Sloan Fine Art coming up in June.

.Want to see more? Aaron’s blog Bearded Blokes of the Belle Epoque features bearded men from all walks of life. The blog’s intro reads:

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, men often sported spectacular beards and mustaches and dressed with pride and care. This blog is a celebration of the golden era of the masculine mystique.




And in case you were wondering…

Mr. Smith is a bearded bloke himself.

Artist Crush: Greg Hopkins

September 13th, 2010 · No Comments

Here’s some work by NYC artist, Greg Hopkins, who was kindly recommended to me by a reader. According to his website, Greg received his MFA from RISD in 2005 and lives in Brooklyn. These are some very awesome, very vibrant patterns!



Celebrating the Good Stuff: Art & Chocolate

February 9th, 2010 · 2 Comments

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day decadence, folks in NYC should stop by Chocolate & I, a week-long event celebrating chocolate, food and art in the city.

Paintings and installation by Ema. Photo by The City Sweet Tooth

Chocolate & I exhibit, Food for Art. Art for Thought. showcases a wide range of multidisciniplinary art around the common theme of chocolate. Artists were invited to explore the personal and societal relationships with the celebrated food, and the result is an integrated mash-up of sculpture, installation, video, and painting.

My personal favorites are Michelle Mayer’s gold-leafed chocolate bullets referencing the industry’s ties to violence and Ema‘s astonishingly imaginative Hedonistic Cloud (see photo above).  Many participating artists including Elim Chang, Wang and Levy of  CW&T, Jason Krugman, Meng Li and Michelle Mayer are affiliated with the creative hotbed known as NYU’s ITP.

Another noteworthy participant, Brooklyn-based artisinal chocolatier Fine & Raw, sets the bar for exquisite design and packaging.

Score! “Polite Graffiti” Coming to Brooklyn

January 14th, 2010 · 3 Comments

How awesome is this? Earlier today artist Christine Finley covered several NYC dumpsters in fashionable wallpaper as part of her Wallpapered Dumpsters Project, and tomorrow she is doing the same in DUMBO (25 Jay St)!

What a lovely idea. I especially love that this “polite graffiti” is, well, polite and girlie (which proves that street art can be!).  So, thank you, Finley, for make everyday walking about in NYC a little sweeter!

Photo by Rob Bennett from the New York Times.

Artist of the day: Jenna Newton

October 30th, 2009 · No Comments

Surfs Up

Today I’m featuring Jenna Newton, a super-creative and prolific New York-based artist. I first discovered Jenna on Etsy where she sells her Automatic Drawing series, a collection of simple but gorgeous drawings for $50 or less.  The concept is so fun and the result is one-of-a-kind really cool inexpensive art! Check out some of Jenna’s Automatic Drawings below, followed by an interview.

HA: You draw, paint and use mixed-media. What do these different media represent for you?

JN: I love the act of painting, the nature of paint itself is just seductive. I also like feeling part of the tradition of painting. Mixed-media appeals to my need for complete freedom in my work, I can use anything I feel the piece needs, and that’s really fun. Drawing is my favorite medium as of right now, but I’ve always loved to draw. I am attracted to the immediacy of drawing, it is compact and economic. At the moment I have little space to work in, plus little patience to plan large paintings, so drawing suits where I am right now very well.

HA: Can you describe your Automatic Drawings and how they’re different from your other drawings?

JN: The Automatic Drawing series came about as a sort of drawing meditation. I was a bit stuck, and began drawing freely, letting the associations lead to other shapes and forms. Originally I thought I would turn them into paintings, but I enjoy making these drawings so much, I can’t seem to stop to go back to painting. I’ve got quite a few of them now, close to 400, and it’s almost a contest to see just how many I can come up with. It’s also incredibly freeing, as a person who tends to resist planning, to allow myself to be so spontaneous.

HA: Are you inspired by other contemporary artists? If so, anyone in particular?

JN: I’m always looking at painters, because I think of myself as a painter, so I like to stay current with what contemporary painters are doing. As far as what I’m inspired by, it’s mostly art of the past. I’m drawn to big, abstract paintings, so I really like the Abstract Expressionists. I take a lot from architecture, too. And of course, I adore many of my fellow artists who have shops on Etsy, there is so much great work there.

HA: You’re on Etsy, Flickr and have a blog. Do you think social media is changing art?

JN: I think it’s wonderful, in the way that as an artist without gallery representation, I can reach a great amount of people on my own. There are so many resources for artists to establish their careers – it’s very exciting. On the other it can be daunting, with so much to keep up with. But, If you implement a systematic approach to keep yourself up to date, it is definitely manageable. Social media is surely allowing artists many opportunities that in the past were unavailable to us.

HA: What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your work?

JN: I am a little surprised every time someone tells me that they enjoy my work. It’s easy for me to feel isolated, as if I am producing art mostly for myself, and then possibly for others to see as well. It is incredibly pleasing to hear that something I created touches another. Also, being able to sell pieces through my shop is incredibly fulfilling and somehow reaffirms my love and desire to create art. I’m very happy that I’ve been able to find outlets for my work.