Filed under: Interview, Los Angeles | Tags: Arthur Pena, Austin, Long Plays, Los Angeles, Mark Moore Gallery, Nathan Green, Okay Mountain
I’ll start with a joke: How many artists does it take to satirize contemporary culture, democratize the collaborative process, vandalize notions of the banal while able to emphasize the importance of drawing within the practice of making?…..9. I learned that one while talking to Okay Mountain co-founder, artist, curator and overall swell guy Nathan Green. Currently, Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles presents Long Plays (on view through March 16th), the first solo exhibition of works by the Austin-based artist collective. With their razor sharp dry wit, Okay Mountain offers less of an attitude and more of a gentle sucker punch; more like getting a beating with a bag of oranges as opposed to a bag of bricks. The former won’t break bones but you’ll still know whose boss. Green and I had a little chat about the show and the OKMT collective mentality. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor
Filed under: Austin, Review | Tags: Austin, Brian Fee, Infinite Perfection, Joseph Phillips, Tiny Park
Tired of Big City confines, but reluctant to embrace the Baby Boomers’ love for suburban sprawl? Joseph Phillips (NAP #84 and 96) presents a solution in Infinite Perfection, his debut solo exhibition at Tiny Park in Austin. In just eight tidily composed works on paper and a modular wall piece, Phillips locks into that balance of manmade convenience and nature’s comfort, with results both blissfully utopian and chillingly severe. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
Joseph Phillips | Variety Acre with Cabin and Tank, 2013, Gouache, graphite, and ink on paper, 15 x 19 inches. Courtesy the artist and Tiny Park, Austin.
Filed under: Art World, Austin, Interview | Tags: Austin, Brian Fee, Brian Willey, Thao Votang, Tiny Park
Living half a block from West Chelsea’s gallery scene equalled art overload for this former New York City resident. I figured I wouldn’t find the same convenience in Austin, TX…until I discovered the adorable apartment gallery Tiny Park, within walking distance of my flat. Tiny Park’s petite size belied its creative and compelling exhibitions, organized by owners Brian Willey and Thao Votang. Less than a year after opening their doors to the public, Tiny Park moved to a proper commercial space on Austin’s east side. I spoke with Willey and Votang about their plans for the new, not-so-Tiny Park. — Brian Fee, Austin contributor
The human experience, how we navigate through this turbulent world, interacting with society and nature, and our destined demises—all this dwells within Nick Brown’s affective canvases. Not to say the lot are sombre: this array of paintings and pastel drawings at Austin’s Tiny Park conjure a spectrum of complex emotions befitting their varied imagery. If a picture is worth a thousand words, Brown’s works embody infinitely more. - Brian Fee, Austin Contributor
Filed under: Austin, Heart to Art | Tags: Austin, Brian Fee, Colby Bird, Jim Torok, Lora Reynolds, Mads Lynnerup, Pat de Groot, Susan Collis, Tom Molloy
BF: You show a dynamic lineup of international artists working in various disciplines/mediums. How has the public responded to them?
LR: The gallery receives lots of support and kudos from our community, for which we are most grateful! And it is especially rewarding to see the gallery reach extend beyond Texas. For example when (gallery artist) Noriko Ambe’s exhibition was recognized as one of the Best Shows in a Commercial Gallery, Nationally, at this years AICA Awards Ceremony and when Tom Molloy was selected to represent Ireland in this year’s Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates.
Noriko Ambe | Spiritual America: Richard Prince, 2009, Cut book, 12 1/3 x 17 3/4 x 1 7/8 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lora Reynolds Gallery.
Filed under: Art World, Austin, Behind the Scenes, Q&A | Tags: Austin, Beili Liu, Brian Fee, Candy Cornbread, Cassandra Smith, Closed Mondays, Dameon Lester, grayDuck Gallery, Hector Hernandez, Identity Crisis, Jeffrey Swanson, Jennifer Davis, Jennifer Leigh Jones, Jessica McCambly, Jill Schroeder, Joseph Phillips, K.C. Collins, L. Renee Nunez, Melissa Breitenfeldt, Objectivity, Pattern Plan, Red Bluff Studios, Rock Paper Carbon, Sabra Booth, Satch Grimley, Schroeder Milk Co.
When I relocated to Austin from New York City this summer, I became inextricably attracted to grayDUCK Gallery and its consummate Austin vibe. Its location south of Town Lake puts the gallery in walking distance from “Keep Austin Weird” South Congress, and it shares a Zip Code with Torchy’s Tacos and indie record store End of an Ear — i.e. Austin all the way. Then there is grayDUCK’s rigorous monthly exhibition schedule and its strong roster of local artists. I met with Jill Schroeder, owner and director of grayDUCK, to discuss the gallery’s unique presence and her goals for the future. — Brian Fee, Austin Contributor
Filed under: Austin, Review | Tags: Austin, Brian Fee, Jim Torok, Laura Reynolds, portraits, Walton
I keep thinking of Caroline. I have never met this Caroline in person, nor have I visited Walton, the town nestled in the Western Catskill Mountains in upstate New York where she resides. And yet, when regarding her portrait — the middle image of seven same-sized, intimately scaled paintings in Jim Torok’s Walton exhibition at Austin’s Lora Reynolds Gallery — I feel as though I “could” know her. Like I’ve seen that faintly sun-streaked brown hair, those indescribably blue-grey eyes somewhere before. Or I could know one of her neighbors, Yanna with her fuzzily textured tartan scarf and ice-water eyes, Iskander the kid, his T-shirt a mottled non-pattern like a painted Easter egg, whatever’s hanging from the string around his neck hidden beyond the boundaries of the painting. - Brian Fee, Austin Contributor
Filed under: Art World, Austin, Q&A | Tags: Austin, collage, Kate Singleton, Katy Horan, LACE
If you’ve ever laid eyes on Austin-based artist Katy Horan‘s work (perhaps in the recent West edition, #90, of New American Paintings) you probably recall the ghostly, lace-laden women and women-creatures that are Horan’s signature. These mysterious and striking figures combine Katy’s interest in Victorian fashion, Renaissance portraiture and historical female archetypes, and I’ve always been curious to learn more about them.
Last summer I had the chance to meet Katy for coffee while she was in Brooklyn and just beginning a new body of work for her recent show at Swarm Gallery in Oakland, CA. Katy had a ton of work ahead of her and so we agreed to do this interview when she finished. I asked Katy, among other things, about her process of creating new work and the significance behind her female archetypes and their elaborate dresses. It turns out that, growing up, Katy wanted to be a fashion designer and studied costume design before transferring to art school. Given her obsession with historical dresses and their haunting, cultural significance, this makes perfect sense. Our conversation after the jump. —Kate Singleton, contributor
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: Austin, Evan J. Garza, figure, Heyd Fontenot, Jonathan Walz, Michael O'Sullivan, nudes, portraiture, Texas, University of Maryland
Aleks with Seven Others, 2009
Featured in edition #66 and on the cover of edition #84 of New American Paintings, Heyd Fontenot isn’t afraid to bare it all, at least not when it comes to his work. The Austin, TX-based artist creates intimate renderings of nude friends and models that are as weirdly natural as they are delicately altered. Whether painting nude portraits on naked wood or drafting subtle works on paper, Fontenot’s work is undoubtably captivating. We caught up with the Texas artist this week to talk about his work (and getting naked). —Evan J. Garza
EJG: So, why the nude?
Well, Evan, I think I’ve always been sort of fascinated by the nude. Ever since I was a child, I was supremely interested in erotically-charged material. And having said that, I should clarify that I don’t necessarily classify the work that I’m doing as “erotic.” I realize that there is a “sexy” element in the work, but I think that has more to do with a degree of intimacy. And the playfulness in the work is also important, in that it perhaps signifies that the nudity isn’t a threat. I think I originally conceived this body of work as an attempt to present a loaded, and perhaps confrontational subject in a straight-forth, unflinching, kind and gentle manner.
Jessica, Alexandre, Bill, 2010
EJG: Much of your work is painted on wood. Tell me about what you enjoy about using wood. (Not a euphemism, I swear.)
See, I think it’s totally okay to use a dirty joke here and there. Because I feel that the “nude” is sometimes “neutered” in order to be acceptable. And in that case, we are denying our true responses to the visual stimuli. Yes, I’m looking at a nude and it did occur to me that this could be sexual. And no, that doesn’t have to be my only response (even though it was my first response). I can find other valuable and worthwhile content. I love a double entendre and I encourage naughtiness. Please feel free to make the off-handed comment, as long as it’s followed up by something thoughtful.
Regarding wood as painting surface, there may be something nostalgic about my use of raw wood as a surface for painting, but there’s also the metaphor for nudity. And I think there may be a secondary metaphor – letting the painting surface be what it actually is, rather than a platform to build illusion, which is traditionally the alchemy practiced by painters.