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Talking With My Crush, Esther Ramirez

August 9th, 2010 · 4 Comments

As far as artist crushes go, my crush on Esther Ramirez is closer to an obsession. Everything this lady does takes my breath away! And the genius of her work is how simple and humble it is at its core- using tissue paper, tape, string, her own walls and sometimes herself, Esther creates stunning beauty in the midst of everyday life. Color and form are woven throughout Esther’s entire body of work, which includes hand-made stationary and paper earrings.

It could be said that paper is your primary medium. How did this come about?

Being stimulated by lights, color and paper as a young girl, I was raised in a most colorful area in the Midwest. Connecting paper and color with my past to present- it’s remained the same.
Color is supreme in my work; it is the only constant. Other than that, I like to work outside of a given format. My pieces, no matter the medium, should tell a simple story through color and pattern–they cannot be explained outside of these elements, because who can explicate, without being boring or pretentious, color or pattern?
(If you’re obsessed with this wall color like I am, it’s Silver Dollar by Behr.)

.Installation and photography (and blogging) are important elements of your work. Sometimes you are even part of your own installations! Do you aspire to expand viewers’ perceptions of what art can be?

If my ESSIMAR expands people’s perception of what art can be, then I feel that is a great compliment. I am not trying to expand perceptions, I am just trying to tell stories through color and pattern. I place myself in these improvised installations simply to show the scale of the space, and I blog as a communication and documentation tool.
Unfortunately, I think artists who intentionally try to expand viewers perception of art intentionally make confrontational, controversial, explicit and provocative pieces. Their efforts are so typical, textbook, obvious, and lacking true personality and flavor.
One of my favorite themes in your work is the use of bits of hot pink tape. Instead of hiding the the tape, you highlight it. What inspired this?

Thank you, I’m glad you like my pink tape! Obviously I like pink, and it helps tell my story. It’s nothing special really, I’ve noticed that the pink tape enhances the cutouts on the wall. The tape is a great way to easily install and dismantle my installations, and just so happens to be a great accent to my process.
Just out of curiosity, did you attend art school?

Yes, gratefully I did- I have a BFA in interior design including two years of pottery specializing in porcelain, one semester of photography, and courses on printing, book-making arts, children’s book illustrations and sculptures. I’m now preparing for graduate school in sculptures and visual design.
Traditionalists might look at your prints and small paper goods and argue that they are not (high) art. What’s your reaction to this viewpoint? Is it at all relevant?

Traditionalists are just that, traditional. I respect critics and their observations, but as of now I will stay focused on my work of simple materials. Perhaps one day critics will recognize a story of simple beauty during a struggling economy.

What do you think the art market will be like in five years?

Maybe more instant, Tweeted pop-up traveling art installations that last only a few hours…or maybe gardening.

Artist of the day: Jennifer Judd-McGee

August 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Jennifer Judd-McGee is a mixed-media artist based in Portland, ME.  According to the Nahcotta gallery, where she is showing in the Enormous Tiny Art Show, “(Judd-McGee’s) coastal Maine surroundings provide much of the inspiration for her work; the rest comes from her love of vintage wallpaper, mid-century design and old embroidery books.”

These mixed-media pieces are interesting in that they are as organic as they are graphic.  Each has a unique set of vibrant forms and patterns- I find them really energizing and yet they feel very simple at the same time.  The way that Jennifer Judd-McGee brings together the different elements of color, shape, pattern and texture is truly remarkable: each work fit seamlessly into our visual repertoire but upon closer look is full of unusual, unsuspecting detail.  They are subtle works that pack a punch!

Jennifer’s Etsy shop