Frank Oriti "Material World"

Lois Lambert Gallery presents “Material World”, a series of paintings from artist Frank Oriti. This collection focuses on an exploration of not only the object, but the materials and the methodology that creates the reality. Originally trained as a figure painter, Oriti became fascinated and more engaged with the clothing than the subject. As a result the artist now uses the article of clothing as a from of portraiture that represents the person who wears it.

Each fabric, whether plastic, denim or leather, requires a different approach and technique. Oriti experiments with paint application and scale in order to communicate to the viewer the reality of each item. The challenge of navigating these obstacles in order to give life to the weave and weight of these inanimate objects is one of Oriti’s motivating factors in the creation of these pieces.

Frank is recreating a visual history of how these fabrics rip, tear, scuff, fade, breakdown and evolve over time igniting the nostalgic feelings that are associated with the items. While Frank is drawn to items that have a relevance to his own history, the story the viewer brings to the work is more important to him.

Oriti’s concern is with today’s millennial working class and expressing who they are through what they look like and what they wear. Once tattoo’s that were relegated to service men (marines, navy and army) are now part of that working class identity. Non conventional haircuts and hair dyes, clothing, and other symbols of the disenfranchised are common.

Frank is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and has an MFA from theUniversity of Ohio. His work has been shown in galleries across the country and was included in London’s National Gallery BP Portrait Award Exhibition in 2015.

Geneva Costa "Transfiguration"

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Lois Lambert Gallery Presents “Transfiguration”, a series of oil painting from Geneva Costa.

 

Costa’s works are focused on censorship and identity in relation to her own experiences and to the larger plight of women in society. While personal narratives propel the creation of each piece, they are allegorical in imagery and symbolism to allow the audience to interpret and experience each piece on their own terms.

Geneva utilizes oil paint and traditional painting techniques to underscore the biased representations of women in an historical context with special attention to the treatment of the female form throughout art history. In each work, Costa blends the autobiographical with current political and religious themes to parallel the historic narratives commonplace in classic oil portraiture.

In this series, Geneva uses obfuscation of the female face as commentary on imposed identity and the censorship of thought. For instance, the painting Divest is painted in a manner that identifies the subject matter as a woman, yet the face, her most identifying feature, has been censored as a commentary on current political events, societal views of the female, and religion’s role in the depiction of women.

Geneva Costa has a BFA in Studio art from Montana State University and an MFA in Visual Arts from California State University, Northridge. She has shown across the country in solo and group shows. Her work was included in the collection of the Chancellor of the California State Universities. She currently lives and works in South Dakota.

Other Works from Artist Chris Francis

Chris Francis's exhibition "Open Floor Plan: Wearable Architecture and Functional Design" currently on display at the Lois Lambert Gallery contains amazing pieces inspired by the artists of the Bauhaus. Let us take a look back at the earlier works that have led him to create this fantastic new collection. shoemachine2-1-copy

"Shoe Machine" mixed media size 7

towerblocks"Tower Blocks" mixed media size 7

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"Towers in the Sky" Mixed media size 7

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"Welcome Knives" Mixed media size 7

A Walk Through with Chris Francis

Artist Chris Francis took Assistant Director, Maria Guerrero, through his latest exhibition "Open Floor Plan: Wearable Architecture and Functional Design" discussing his sources of inspiration and methods of execution. color.jpgThese are wood blocks and they are dedicated to Josef Albers he taught at the Bauhaus and he taught at the Black Mountain College and he taught interaction of color. So what it is, is an optical experiment with the eye so the colors, at every point on the shoe it is a different color, but this is the same color as this in here but you can't see it here because those to ends aren't together because there is an optical illusion that happens  but this is the the same color as this. Because of these color fields being different it looks as though this is darker but they are the exact same color.  Josef Albers was experimenting with that, really cool experiments, but  it's really fun to play with. It is based off a traditional Japanese Geta, the tradition actually originated in China and these are functional- you can wear them.

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As are these, people have walked around in these and everything. It is hard to walk in but it is actually comfortable I've been told.

Really? Is this a size 7 too?

This is a 7, but it is in a range, it might be an 8. There is no true way to know. It was built off of a 7 last, a shoe form. It is held together in a strange way because I was playing with, the entire idea of this piece was simplicity and furniture design. Seeing if it could be a wearable concept. There is a lot of furniture inspiration here.

The concepts that you would apply to furniture, but applying them to a shoe?

Yes, so the stainless steel was actually bent in a garage in east L.A. We bent it. I found it and went over to my buddy's shop, they make low-riders there, and they helped me out because I paid them off to watch the shop. I am not that tough, so they are cool. So they helped me out and bent it. This took so many prototypes to get this cut it could be held together with just resistance. So the entire shoe  is only held together with its own resistance. It becomes an act of architecture. The same principles I used are in buildings and in industrial design. There is a slot that the piece goes in, there is no glue no nails and it is strong enough to completely support someones weight.

Counter strength when you're walking to hold itself together?

4292_1.jpegAnd the idea of this also came from the Geta too. The fulcrum when your walking- your toe is forward and it makes a rocking motion, you'll see on a traditional Geta there will be a wood block further back right at the joint line in the foot and that's how you get the momentum to walk. So these are actually functional. Modern chairs for your feet.

 

I love the idea of applying these concepts that people have mulled over for centuries about one item, say furniture and applying it to the shoe.

I make real shoes. I do make stage performance wear, lots of bands and stuff. I get so board doing it. There is no art in this shoe- I could go buy it at Nordstroms. Theres no real process of interpretation with those. For this, I like to take it out of that and do things that are more for the imagination, more fun. Maybe they could even be funny. What is the potential failure of a device, this is a total fail as a shoe but in some ways it's not because you can walk on glass and its completely structurally sound.

To be continued...

An Interview with Phyllis Kudder Sullivan

In the course of preparing for a show, we get the privilege of sitting down with the artist and learning about their process and sources of inspiration. This fall we spoke with Phyllis about her upcoming exhibition "Vortex with Gold Line Series" sp

1. Tell me how your relatonship with art started and did you start (as a) ceramicist? I can’t remember a time when I was not passionate about art making. My ceramic career started as an undergraduate in a required ceramic class where I fell in love with the material. Primarily a painter focused on two-dimensional patterns and textures of surface, clay introduced me to the realm of structure.

2. Where did you study? More important than where I studied was the ceramicist with whom I studied. Professor Rose Krebs was a noted Bauhaus-trained ceramic artist. She was my MFA mentor at Long Island University, a friend and a source of inspiration and wisdom.

3. Tell me about your philosophy or the philosophies that you follow as an artist? I make time for play in the studio. It’s not easy, but having the time and space to enjoy working, or just thinking, without expectation of a finished body of work is a gift I give to myself. Artist residencies, national or international, take me out of the familiar and are a critical part of my creative process. I find that new experiences generate ideas that can germinate over time and, sometimes, lead to new avenues of exploration.

4. Tell me about the series that we will be showing in your upcoming exhibition? My Vortex With Gold Line Series is an extension of the Vortex Series. In the Vortex Series the shifting grids of my organic net-like structures completely envelop the inner space without giving any apparent indication of where the coils of clay start or end. Like the Klein boJle, a mathematical construct, my net-like sculptures blur the border between inside and outside, giving the illusion that I am constructing with voids. And it is the volume, the emptiness within the walls, that dark, mysterious living space, which is at the heart of my work. In the new Vortex With Gold Line Series I pay tribute to the Japanese philosophy of kintsugi. After multiple firings for strength and color I apply a gold leaf composite, not to mend, but to draw attention to a single thread.

5. What would you like people to think or feel when they see your artwork? Intrigue. I would hope that my work resonates with people on a deeper level. I’d like viewers to take away a sense of space as a tangible that can evoke memories of place.

Phyllis Kudder Sullivan "Vortex with Gold Line Series"

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Lois Lambert Gallery presents “Vortex with Gold Line Series” a series of ceramic sculptures from artist Phyllis Kudder Sullivan.

For the past 25 years Phyllis Kudder Sullivan has developed and honed the technique of interlacing clay coils to construct organic forms whose undulating “woven” walls completely envelop the inner space. Her fabrication method brings an over-and-under system associated with weaving of textiles into the third dimension.

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The open grid of her net like constructions allows visual access to the energized interior space and gives the illusion of constructing with voids. It is the volume, the emptiness between the walls that is the heart of her work. In the Vortex With Gold Line Series Sullivan pays tribute to the Japanese philosophy of Kintsugi. After multiple firings for strength and color she applies a gold leaf composite, not to mend, but to draw attention to a single thread.

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Phyllis Kudder Sullivan is a professor of art at Long Island University in New York. Her work has shown internationally and across the United States and she has been awarded multiple artist residencies around the world.

Phyllis Kudder Sullivan: Earlier works

This November we are pleased to welcome back Phyllis Kudder Sullivan to our main gallery space with "Vortex with Gold Line Series". The last time we had the honor of exhibiting Sullivan was in 2011 and celebration of the new collection we decided to take a look back vortexno-39

Using white stoneware clay, she interlaces coils together in a singular and self-contained form. In the Vortices series, Kudder Sullivan continues the inward-looking theme of world-within-worlds through an architectural approach to the vessel. She explores the subtle nuances of the hidden, hollow, inner space, a requisite characteristic of both the clay vessel and architecture. The technique of interlacing allows her to address issues of fragility and strength, density and porosity; and convey the concept of containment while blurring the boundaries between in and out.

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The winner of the Medaille d’Or for Sculpture in the XIV Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d’Art in Vallauris, France, Phyllis Kudder Sullivan was also awarded an Honorable Mention in the 4th World Ceramic Biennale 2007 in Korea. She has been the recipient of artist-in-residence grants in Japan, Turkey and China, and in the United States. Since 2004, Kudder Sullivan has served on the Advisory Board for Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.

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 Phyllis Kudder Sullivan, a resident of Brooklyn, NY, has exhibited her ceramic sculpture in one-person and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and internationally. She won the Medaille d’Or for Sculpture in the XIV Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d’Art in Vallauris, France, and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 4th World Ceramic Biennale 2007 in Korea. Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times and has appeared in numerous articles and books, most recently, 500 Ceramic Sculptures, by Glen Brown, Ph.D

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Sullivan has been the recipient of artist-in-residence grants in Japan, Turkey and China, as well as, the U.S. Since 2004, Kudder Sullivan has served on the Advisory Board for Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. She is a Professor of Art at Long Island University – C.W. Post Campus.

Ted Swiet "Fragmentalism"

Lois Lambert Gallery presents “Fragmentalism” a series of mixed media works by the artist Ted Swiet. tedswiet_321_01-1

Building on his previous concepts of capturing the intangible, Ted Swiet has created a collection of mixed media pieces focused on the ephemeral nature of time. The Work is an exposition about uncertainty and change examining spaces and a moment between instances.

In one series of works, Ted accomplishes this feat by utilizing the imagery of the film leader or count down present at the beginning of traditional reel-to-reel films. Each second is broken down into multiple segments which when viewed from head on creates a singular image, yet from any other angle the moment is dissolved into its respective parts.

Pulling concepts from the world around him, fashion to suspension bridges to nature itself, Swiet creates art pieces that demonstrate composition, balance, engineering and flow. Approaching the work as a problem that needs to be solved, Ted finds a medium that speaks to him and through interacting with the material determines what to do next. It is by a method of trial and error that his work evolves into a completed piece that satisfies the artist. Swiet’s background in arts, graphic design, interior architecture and product design has allowed him to become a versatile, multi-faceted artist who melds elements of fine art, engineering and pop culture to create precise, insightful works. Ted is inspired by artists of many different realms including Rube Goldberg, David Bowie, Stanley Kubrick, David Sadaris, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, and Steve Jobs.

Ted Swiet is a graduate of San Francisco State University, and was named one of San Francisco’s “Top 100 Innovators” by Levi Strauss & Co. His work has been collected all over the world including Japan, London and New York.

 

MIGUEL MILLER PRESENTS "Origins" IN HOUSE Lamm

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The exhibition consists of 22 photographs, highlights the feminine beauty and the feelings that emerge from them using natural elements such as plants and clay that highlight the expressive elements of those "women of clay", bathed in light.

"It is a tribute to female beauty, each of the photographs in this exhibition is designed in that. My idea is to show that man and nature can live in complete harmony, and also, the result can be very beautiful. "Discuss Miguel Millo.

Millo, is part of the permanent catalog of artists from the Gallery Casa Lamm in Mexico City, his works have participated in specialized auctions like Mexico Live at the Museum of Modern Art supporting people with HIV, and where his work Magic Boxes (Gea) was used as a cover in the seventh edition.

"Origins" will be presented from Thursday to Wednesday January 2 at Gallery Casa Lamm, located in Alvaro Obregon 99 Roma Norte, Cuauhtemoc, 06700 Mexico City, Federal District.

 

Origins of Miguel Millo in Casa Lamm

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Gallery facilities Casa Lamm prepare to host the first solo exhibition by Mexican artist Miguel Millo, who will present their work from the December 5, 2012 and until January 02 next year.

"Origins" is the title of the exhibition, consisting of 22 photographic works that highlight the beauty of different women of clay, decorated with nature and bathed in light that come together in an explosive expression, which is in addition to colorful, highly emotional.

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"It is a tribute to feminine beauty, each of the photographs in this exhibition is designed in that. My idea is to show that man and nature can live in complete harmony, and also, the result can be very beautiful, "says Miguel Millo.

 

 

Millo, is part of the permanent catalog of artists from the Gallery Casa Lamm in Mexico City, his works have participated in specialized auctions like Mexico Live at the Museum of Modern Art supporting people with HIV, and where his work Magic Boxes (Gea) was used as a cover in the seventh edition.

This December 5, Casa Lamm will open its doors to present the work of Miguel Millo, with which close another year, to promote culture and national talent.

 

       Photos: Courtesy Casa Lamm

More information:

Casa Lamm www.casalamm.com.mx

November 30th, 2012 | Posted in Events with tags 2012, Casa Lamm, Exhibitions, Miguel Millo, Origen. Related Topics:

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Origins of Miguel Millo

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a17 This artist creates works because he is born, but also because she says there's a voice inside that compels him to make him happy and obey that call, it feels good to be a subject of creativity, as well maintains an obsession with beauty. So declared, Miguel Millo, photographer by profession, referring to his latest exhibition entitled Origins.

 

"I'm always looking for languid and perfect bodies. Of looks that convey the feelings you want to project in my work. Nature is a fundamental part of my work, plants, flowers, stems, seeds, everything that nature gives us. The clay pigments shape a new body. All this with a large baking ingredient, finding aesthetics. "

 

This coincides with the artist Jorge Marin, stating that Miguel Millo "creation is obsession and fascination with various compositions spice with everything around him. This takes over the most of the language of nature, especially gimmicky and expressive forms. Use this to dress her and make the protagonist of his work, through which women of clay, decorated with nature and bathed in light, come together in an explosive expression, which is in addition to colorful, highly emotional ".

 

When questioning about his creative process, the speaker explained that in the mornings start early sketches, as the day progresses are being defined, but until it gets to the studio where the magic comes, where he puts the soul to create. First intervenes to model clay and pigments, and then let the brushes and their hands will decide where the color and texture, guided by his eye that looks for beauty and balance. Next step let nature enter the body and finally captures light meticulous creation, always in an enigmatic black background.

 

"My work has additional value because photography is not dependent on finding the ideal landscape for my works, as in the case of my proposal my scenarios are created in its entirety, is something like making clay sculptures and models, and then dress them with nature, to bring-in the language of the body, a feeling, creating light to capture that moment, defined by Jorge Marin as a delight to the eye. That's just what I'm projecting in my work. "

 

For Jorge Marin, Millo in Origen, "makes me reconnect with the essence of man, with the intimate moment in which human nature converge in deep dialogue with the entrails of the earth, where mysticism and depth, are revealed in the eyes looking female bodies and witness our own existence. "

 

After accepting that he works to satisfy their hunger to create and then share their creations with the outside world, said his photographic proposal is different because it is "an intermediate step between painting, sculpture and photography, there is a great quality in all the work , to the point that when I see the potential viewer move something in it sure, definitely motivate you to visit it again, to want to have a picture of Origen or at least take it in your mind. "

 

The opening of the exhibition Origins of Miguel Millo, will be held on Wednesday, December 5, from 19:30 am in the Central Hall of the Casa Lamm Cultural Center, located at Avenida Alvaro Obregon 99, colony Rome.

 

To see all of the works:

http://www.galeriacasalamm.com.mx/artistas.php?tipo=1&&artista=61

Ted Swiet Revisited

The exhibition "Fragmentalism", currently on display at Lois Lambert Gallery is going strong, so we will quickly look back at the last time Ted's Pieces were creating a stir at the Gallery  

screen-shot-2015-02-26-at-5-00-03-pmexploding briefcase chandelier 48"x48"x36"copyright 2006 Ted Swiet

The chandeliers I create incorporate iconic cultural objects to emphasize the fragile sense of stability. They are reflection of current political, economic, and individual security. It is about the impact of change and the fragile relationship of it becoming oppression or opportunity.

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Wasp Chandelier: Ted Swiet, 48"x38"x50" Mechanical robotic chandelier created from salvaged machine parts, aluminum, and resin

Swiet's current exhibition will be on display through November 13th and can be viewed online at www.loislambertgallery.com

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Ted Swiet: Artist Statement

Fragmentalism090816_4.jpg This collection represents intangible things.  Time, Clarity, Identity, Power, and Everything.  I am examining them in fragments or basic components to create a tangible understanding.

In the pieces, "Fragments of 1-9 and 0", there are layers of acrylic with fragments painted on each layer. As you pass by them they come into focus and then out of focus. These are about time and how it is coming or going, you never have it. You see “0” or “4” but the number isn’t really in there. Your brain arranges the fragments based on the familiar image of a film trailer second, and creates the second. “Do you have Second?”

In Black Reflecting White , and White Reflecting Black, the 1’s and 0’s are binary code. The Black numbers read “Black”. But the reflection of the black numbers is white, and the binary code reads “ White” in the reflection.  It’s made with 2 layers of glass and a mirror. The piece is about clarity.  Parts of Black are used to create White and parts of White are used to create Black. “It’s all there in Black and White”

Sex Machine is designed to hang over your bed, and used to decide who is sleeping in the bed. Each switch is marked with a Male or Female symbol and control a different set of lights. There are 4 male switches and 4 Female switches. The Male set of lights spell “He” or “Him” in binary code going vertical. The Female switches spell “She” and “her” In the center is “you”and “ Me” . Use the switches to create any combination of Him, Her, He ,She, She, her, He, Him Etc. If you turn all the switches on and the center, it reads “ SEXES”. Thats what we all have in common. also “You and ME are in the X panel. The S and E are backwards because Sexes is a palindrome. If you hang it in front of a mirror the reflected image is exactly the same. - “Whatever turns you on”

In Power, there are 40 on/off switches each switch is marked with a 1 or 0. 1 means the switch should be on, the 0 means the switch should be off. The combination of switches spells “ POWER” in binary code. If any switch is in the wrong position you will not have power.  Power is achieved by cooperation.

And “Infinity” - is about everything else. The other pieces in the show are very precise and require lots of measuring and accuracy. This one is made of brass and copper tubing in a random path of an infinite loop, There is no measurement of any of the parts and pieces. Everything is randomly connected to everything else.  “You can’t have everything”,  Everything  is infinite.

Miguel Milló: Artist Statement

Corazon de mar.jpg contemporary artist graphic design graduate from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Tijuana , Baja California, Mexico .

His passion for art , photography and nature, began in his childhood and it awakened in him a magic eye that sees through all the fine arts and brings to life a fascinating world in each of his works.

Millo is constantly creating and evolving as an artist.

His work is recognized internationally by critics. The New York Times described his work as “ Sublime and spiritual.” The sources of his inspiration are the origins of humanity, seeking to reflect the harmony of man and nature through the powerful beauty of plants , flowers, clay and organic materials that the artist blends with the sensuality of the human figure.

His pieces are poetry to the primal goddess personifying Mother Earth from which arise all the divine races; its philosophy is based on respect for differences. When covered with mud, the skin loses its original color; traits and physical characteristics of a human being. It is the time when the person ceases to be aware of its position in the system it is a part of and begins to act accordingly with this new vision. The human being is not just one more piece, but its raw material is the same as the rest of the pieces. Mear clay molds endowed with life.

Millo builds complex compositions in which painting, sculpture and the play of light and shadows blend together to create subtle and poetic atmospheres. In his images the human being is a metaphor for the fertile land flowing with life; an overflowing life, pulsating heart ... sueños de otoño.jpg One can say that the naked bodies are blank canvases that the artist alters with clay and pigments, roots, leaves, flowers and fruits. This gives life to his final work, through the masterful handling of light and shadow that give volume and movement to the creation captured through his magic eye stopping time in a unique and unrepeatable moment.

His work goes beyond photography. It is plastic intervention of extreme sophistication which is then captured by the lens. In the constant reinvention of the artist, Millo develops his work making glass mosaics becoming almost a new photographic image in large formats giving the piece a masterful magic.

Currently his “Origins” collection is roaming in countries in Asia, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan.

His Collection was included in volume eight of the book “International Contemporary Masters”, an annual juried collection featuring the most prominent master artists of the world, and distributed in museums, galleries and the most important libraries in the world; He has been interviewed by the magazine LUXE Interiors + Design US and in December of 2014 by The New York Times, in the Style section.

Miguel Millo is one of the greatest examples of contemporary art in Mexico.

In 2014 he was selected by the government of Mexico for an exhibition of his work in the city of Kuala Lumpur, commemorating the forty years of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Mexico.

Casa Lamm include his work in the commemorative collection of its twentieth anniversary and the edition of the book Artist Casa Lamm. He has also exhibited at the Museum of the Chancery and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Horizons was on of 36 works to be part of a collection selected by the Tax Administration System (SAT) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) to represent Mexico in a tour during 2015 and 2016. Other cities where his work has been exhibited are: Miami, Los Angeles CA, San Diego CA, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Taipei, Brazil, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, Chihuahua, Saltillo, Monterrey and Cancun.

His video work is part of the production of the Royal Confidencias tour, Alejandro Fernandez.

His work was also selected by the United Nations Organization and the SRE as an image for the twentieth anniversary of the Convention of Beijing for the rights of women and girls, distributed during 2015 in all embassies and consulates of Mexico around the world.

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Millo is very passionate about social work. He has donated his work to support organizations working for the rights of women and abandoned children, indigent adults with mental disabilities and people living with HIV, with the Mexican Foundation for Family Planning, B.C. (Mexfam), the Fellowship Foundation Without Borders and the Mexico Vivo Foundation. His work has participated in three auctions Boxes, Magic Mexfam, at the National Museum of Modern Art.

Miguel Milló Revisited

Lois Lambert Gallery is thrilled to welcome back artist Miguel Milló and in honor of his current exhibition "Of the Earth", we are sharing some of his previous works.

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Miguel Milló has constructed images in which he creates sculpture, volume, and color. They are rich and made with total freedom, that allows an expression full fledged of restlessness, the same one that reveals his own gods and monsters.

“Origina20s”, makes me reunite with the essence of mankind, with the intimate moment in which human nature converges in a deep dialog with the entrails of earth.

It is in this creative freedom in which I am trapped as an spectator, I perceive the man of all times rediscovering himself in his surroundings as a complex being, filled with questions, capable of building an entire world of answers – made to his own necessities- magic emerges, eternity of our species is revealed, life flows reinvented with clay and seeds, paint and color.

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Mysticism, deepness, disclosed in the look of the female bodies that oa19bserve and witness our own existence.

To gaze at Millo’s work is in another way a joy to the eye, we can see an impecable job full of atractiveness, balance of light, perfect bodies and complex compositions with a strick aesthetics –besides color- that reises from the darkness of the backround reminds us that we are destined as a species to our eternal reinvention.

 

Miguel's current exhibtion "Of the Earth" will be open until November 13th.

Light and Paper: An interview with William Leslie

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Born in the 1940s in California, William Leslie grew up surfing the beaches of Southern California and hiking the Sierra foothills in between jaunts across India and Hawaii. Leslie’s background includes degrees in physics and philosophy. He served as an infantry soldier in Vietnam and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India. Presently, he teaches philosophy at Palomar College in the San Diego area and maintains a small studio in his home designing and producing “Lightsculptures” with his wife Alessandra for homes, restaurants, hospitals, businesses and religious institutions throughout the country.

William Leslie and Alessandra Colfi speak about their work

Transcribed from a video interview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiT1ucOgSgs

 

Leslie: I liked to call them light sculptures originally I called them lanterns because they were more like a craft than an art form but gradually over the years the become more and more unique works of art and so I changed the name to light sculptures

Back in 1976, one of the members of the house hold who  w1as trained as an architect had developed this form of bend woods gluing them together using a hot melt glue gun and then covering them with paper that has been saturated with white glue the moment I saw one I was immediately attracted to it.

 

What inspires me to make the particular forms that I do if you look at them of course most people would see natural forms like we see in shells perhaps the flowing patterns in grains of wood the wings of butterflies one of my favorite inspirations the black sand on the beach at low tide as the tide goes out and leaves the heavier black iron filings behind I often see some 3very interesting patterns.

when I started this art form I remember thinking to myself “oh Im going to run out of designs in two or three years” you know there are only so many forms in 2nature and surly I will have exhausted them and then I will move on to something else. And I found that to be actually the opposite that the more I apply myself to this art form the more ideas I have that I want to explore I have more ideas than I have time to apply myself to, but I think that is probably what defines an art form is there is always more to do more inspiration then one can possibly accomplish

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when it comes to creating a new piece. As I see it created in front of me often, and you will hear this from artists and poets as well, It seems like the object takes on a life of its own and to watch that happening even though its coming through you, its often surprising and there is a certain creative joy. In fact that’s what I would call it –creative joy. I think its one of the most fulfilling things in life.

[applying the paper] This is a very contemplative process, so its not as exciting as the design, but its very pleasant, meditative. In my work, I hope that it conveys a sense of serenity. One of the purposes of my work is for people to put something in their home, in their environment which when they look at it gives them a sense of inner peace. There has been some research done by neuroscientists that show that when the brain is on art, your brain on art experiences a sense of pleasure looking at flowing forms.

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Colfi: well I started helping William making his light sculptures about eight years ago when we met. He showed me and Ive never seen this form of art and I was truly fascinated. And as a mixed media artist I thought well I’ll give it a try, we also decided to get married under a beautiful Ner Tamid the eternal light, light sculpture that William had created a few years before. So that light sculpture that was above our heads at our wedding is now in a Unitarian university’s fellowship in vista, and people really enjoy the combination of being in a sacred space, in a space of worship but also space of community and they love to mediate under that light sculpture

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Exploring the world of Phil Kho

By Erica Entrop The work of Phil Kho has many layers and elements which blend together so seamlessly that the boundaries between each facet can not be clearly drawn. In this blog I will investigate this motif present in three of Kho's pieces that highlight and yet blur modern and traditional modes of interpreting the world around us.

To begin one must be aware of Phil's background in environmental and graphic design. His resume highlights the many books he has published in these fields and his decades long involvement in the development of public spaces and parks in Korea. The themes of urban development and graphic design play a large role in the work currently on display at the Lois Lambert Gallery.

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The first piece "City Construction" has two main characters almost at war with one another to inhabit the view from this window. The battle, as Phil describes it, is between the analog and the digital, the natural and the urban. These two forces trying to control one space in ways that are undeniably at odds.

The imagery was assembled from many different construction scenes that have been layered in such a way as to give the viewer a sense of the never ending stretch of the hand of man to manipulate our environment. However, as Kho has explained in his artist statement his work is about the meeting of contrasting ideas and in this work he demonstrates this intention by having a layer of almost black trees creating an impenetrable wall of nature. Giving these plants a permanent quality as they fence in the ever expanding cement structures. The men, simple silhouettes in the foreground, appearing as part of the scaffolding and not any part of the natural world.

Another element that Kho implements so well, is that of contrasting palettes.The structures and figures composed of mostly black and grey, exist in a muted world and again Phil makes the natural world known by giving it a palette of very bold, very rich colors. The sweeping organic shapes of color contrasted against the rigid straight monochromatic structures creates a pieces that is both chaotic and controlled, rigid and flowing.

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Phil Kho is a master of mood and in each piece he manages to capture an emotion which the viewer is compelled to share.  This work "Rural Landscape" captures that feature so beautifully, showing the viewer a quiet scene by a lake. The piece is almost entirely monochromatic, but again he implements very controlled use of color to maintain interest and energy without effecting the serenity of the scene

Another feature ever-present in Kho's work is the window frame. In all of his works currently on display he utilizes the concept of a frame to give the viewer the true sensation of looking out into a space. Sometimes the viewer feels as though their space is being invaded by the constructions crews hard at work as in "City Construction" or that there is an element of voyeurism, giving the viewer a sense of invading a space.

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The last work that will be discussed is "Road Construction" in which the struggle between these two forces, man and nature, is playing out. The view is one of a calm bay, in a cool and limited palette that is being crowed by two cliff faces. climbing precariously on these imposing characters, are men working to build a pathway in full color and detail giving them visual prominence. Their task seems impossible and dangerous, yet one that is bound to be completed as that is the nature of man, to overcome.

Kho's work demonstrates his ability to play with concepts and materials that appear to be incompatible. From his use of opposing color palettes to the very imagery he uses, all of the elements of his work seem to fight and yet together that strike a harmony that his both inviting and intriguing. His process mirrors that of his concepts in that he builds the basis of each work digitally utilizing software to blend and join materials from many different sources into one congruent landscape. He then adds, by hand, the paint and organic shapes and lines that define the objects and actors present in each setting. He is a master of the balancing act showing us both the analog and digital aspects of our modern world.

Catherine Coan: Artist Talk

Transcribed from her artist talk July 20th 2016

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Hi, thank you all for coming. I am sure some of you got caroused, so thank you. Taxidermy has been around for hundreds of thousands of years in some form.  People started tanning hides- sometimes just drying them out, sometimes with the urine of other animals- thousands of years ago to keep themselves warm. So in some sense, they were doing taxidermy, they were wearing the taxidermy

Back in the Victorian era, taxidermy started to create hybrid art; taxidermy catsversus trophies, i.e. "I shot this lion in Africa." Walter Potter was a very famous Victorian taxidermist, you might have seen his work.  He does the kitten weddings or a doll house full of doll house furniture and taxidermy mice having dinner together. They are sort of horrible and cute at the same time. Back during that era, taxidermist would build their own forms. That's where the term "stuffing" comes from. When you would see a piece that's finished, there would actually be some bones inside that were wrapped with twine and there would actually be cotton batting stuffed in there. The twine is called "Excelsior" it's kind of like a raffia, that you can make volume with, and that's what would be in here.

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Today what's under there looks like this (form). Sport taxidermists, who do a lot, do 30 deer say from hunters, will actually buy the mold that this was poured into. Because I don't do enough to warrant that, I just buy these. There are two big taxidermy companies in America and you can buy these forms. I measure a hide that I have which is basically just leather. When I get a hide it is leather on one side, and hair on the other. I measure the hide, I buy a form to fit and I can also alter the form. So like this guy, when he started all of his legs were straight like this and I wanted him to be running. So you can see here there is re-bar that runs up through the leg. So I broke the foam, bent the re-bar and sculpted his knees back and today he looks like he's running. So you can alter forms to do different things. For example if I wanted to turn his head toward you, I would simply remove the head, turn it and then sculpt it in with some clay or this blue foam I'm using. so that he can have different positions. So when you look at taxidermy that's actually what you are looking at. This under here is this. And a lot of people, not surprisingly, think there is still part of the animal in there, but there's not anymore. There was at a point in taxidermy.

The process then is I use a hide paste, which is like a really thick Elmer's glue. I hydrate photo eyes.JPGthe hide so that it's wet and stretchable and then I sew the hide up over the form and then making the face look life like. When you see the nose is shiny, the eyes are shiny, and it looks alive this is all paint and epoxy, so it is different treatments that are put on there to make something dead look alive. The eyes are glass.  A lot of the musculature you see, like the veins and the movement around the eyes is clay that I've molded and modeled it so there's actually some sculpting that's happening to make the face look real. So really when you see a piece of taxidermy the only thing that's real if the hide itself and then antlers or horns and even sometimes those are fake because some times they are not legal to have. So often times taxidermists will use an epoxy or resin mold to make them. So when you are looking at this taxidermy, that's what you are looking at.

IMG_1375Going back to Walter Potter in the Victorian era who did like the kitten weddings- there's been a movement with taxidermy in the last maybe ten or fifteen years in the US and across the world in London and Iceland- there are people who are doing what I'm doing and sort of making taxidermy strange and using it in art in some way whether it's individual pieces or whether it's full installations like this and most of us are women. It's funny, I'd say like eighty percent are women. So it's kind of a Feminization of a traditionally male genre. And very often the training for taxidermy was kind of a "good ol' boys" club. It was very hard for women to even get information about it and even sometimes the "good ol' boys" wouldn't give the other "good ol' boys" the trade secrets. and it's kind of opened up recently which was lucky for me.

072816Y.jpgThe way that all of this started was my background was actually in writing. I write mostly poetry and I also teach literature. For a brief time I owned an art gallery in downtown LA and I've always been interested in assemblage artists, like Keinholz and Ruaschenberg and their ilk. And so I started showing a lot of contemporary assemblage artists in my gallery. I had this idea of this idea of sort of visual poems, little narratives in cages and that's where the "Canary Suicides" started and I started showing them and making them and showing them in my gallery. The idea of the "Canary Suicides" is that we are all in our own cages literally or metaphorically and that we are miserable there and so we kill ourselves in some way even if we are not actually killing ourselves, we make our lives miserable. The canaries are embodying this, literally. They've killed themselves in their cages and they always leave a note of some kind, they always have money hidden somewhere, and because they are hypocrites like us, they also have a pet  that's in some kind of a cage they can't get out. They are kind of fun to look at and find the clues of what's going on and all of them you can figure out, kind of by

title and what you see. When I had the idea for these, I was actually having a taxidermist do the birds for me, and we found a couple of breeders in the US who would save birds for us when they died and lest anyone imagine that we are choking the little birds to death, a live canary sells for around the $300 and the dead ones I get for about $5. So they have absolutely no link to me killing the canaries. I had a taxidermist who was doing them for me and I kind of wanted to learn and be more

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authentic in the process and do them myself. So I sort of blithely signed up for a six week taxidermy school program in Montana. I lived in a one room cabin and went to this school eight hours a day for six weeks with a bunch of red-neck dudes which they actually ended up being tremendously helpful and are all still my friends, but they were sort of wondering what I was doing there. They found out.

So at taxidermy school you learn to do not just birds but all of the animals. So I learned to do sort of soup to nuts and I found out that I actually liked doing the other animals as well. I started having ideas for sort of exploding out of the canary suicides into other dioramas. I started doing my first deer which showed in a couple of other galleries. There's a deer here that's split in half and he's actually become a geode and pinata in one. From there I started doing whole room installations. So you basically have dioramas inside dioramas inside dioramas. I am also very fascinated by geodes so you'll notice recurring through out here, there are geodes or references to geodes

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I also like the idea of predator and prey and kind of what, what we think our relationship is also owner to pet, what we think our relationships are with animals. Domestic and otherwise, and what they really are. So kind of look for those relationships through out. You can especially see those in the collage that I do, which is prints or paintings that I have altered. So you see the prints, kind of look for what's going on, what appears to be going on with the pets at first and what happens when you look closer. There's a little lion that recurs throughout, who could be a guardian or could be stalking you kind of have to figure that out.

What inspired this particular installation?

I like the idea of animals entering domestic spaces. Asking us to look closer and to think about our relationship with the natural world. Its a room, might be a teenagers room that you would normally walk into and expect to see maybe some board games and hair brush set. But you would expect to see a deer hanging from a canopy with bat wings or an open geode pinata. which is a very adult pinata by the way he's got surprises inside of him. I like the idea of animals in domestic spaces in a different way, rather than just the idea of pet because it asks us to think about how we anthropomorphize animals and what they might 072816CC

Walk around take a look, the zebra installation is not for sale because it is illegal to sell zebras in the state of California even though he is about 60 years old. The zebra is called "Look Closer" which is also a line, do you remember the movie "American Beauty" with Kevin Spacey and there are the roses through out? The  Zebra is called look closer and if you look at the bird cage " I never promised you (rose garden)" which is he killed himself in his rose garden, his note says "look closer". So the idea is that its kind of a treasure hunt or a set of Russian stacking dolls, the closer you look the smaller it gets and the details are really important.

What is the correlation between the zebra and the room?

Just the idea of "look closer". Something interesting about zebras is that they are black with white stripes not the opposite. There have been some fetal studies of zebras lately that they are black when they are in utero and then they start getting white stripes. So even there you have to look closer.

They are many zebras with different stripes and they mean different things or are from different tribes?

Yes, and there's gang warfare

How about we all sort of walk in and then you can explain the narratives behind each of the pieces?

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This one is a "Canary Suicide", it's called "How many in a Hearse?" referring to the idea of the clown car and the answer would be one and its this guys and he's got a clown nose. So this is kind of his green room where he prepares for the circus and he's got all of the thing that you think a clown would have in his room. He's got an accordion, a rubber chicken, full bar, pack of camel cigarettes-a couple put out. He's got a canary in a cage. He's got a dressing table that lights up and a lamp over the sofa that lights up, but its a little bright in here so you can't see. He's got what is called a giraffe unicycle, so he does the high up unicycle.

Where do you find stuff like that?

Some of it I make. I did not make that one. I have a woman named Nancy Gaily in Nebraska, who makes custom stuff like that for me because she is really good with tiny stuff. My eyes aren't that good. If you are ever interested in buying anything tiny, Google 1:12, and put in what you want miniature and you'll probably find it. If I were two inches tall, I could probably get arrested for my Google searches. Like I said, there's always a note. The note in this one is to the right of the sofa, and there's always money hidden somewhere. I won't tell you where the money is, so you'll have to look and see and there's always a pet.

Because this installation is called "I'm Game" with the obvious play on that wild animals are game, there are also board games through out. So in this one he has recently played "Operation" which I thought was kind of funny because it has the red clown nose.

This one I talked about already. It is called "Look Closer" and he's got these geodes that recur through out the installation and he's got these which are called "HO" scale miniatures they are for people who make model trains. So there are domestic scenes here, and again the lion could be stalking or protecting

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This is called "The Tea Party" and these are two piglets. They are from a farm in the mid west, and they were just born and the mama rolled over on them. So they were not long for this world. Piglets when they are born are not cute roly poly, they are actually quite skinny because they haven't eaten anything yet. I saved their bacon, meaning the are freeze-dried, they are not traditional taxidermy. All of the piglet is still actually there, the volume of the body has been preserved but all of the moisture has been removed. That's one of the gruesome things I do on a daily basis. If you notice they both have guns pointed at the other one, sort of like our current tea party.

This guy is called "Cornucopia" with an enya for the "n" because he is sort of a cornucopia and sort of a pinata. He's got the geode recurring and he's kind of an adult pinata. He's got condoms and candy and happy pills and booze spilling out of him.

Pour One Out.jpgThis one on the wall is called pour one out. The frame is actually made by a gentleman in Tacoma,Washington that I found at an estate sale. And he would take animal hides, this one I think a beaver, and trace them and make these frames out of the tracings on wood. They are just sort of weird, and I painted it gold. I found this piece with the boy with the bird in a vintage store here and I added a little gang tattoo on his face because he is pouring one out for his homies because I don't think the baby birds are excited about the way he is holding the mama bird.

The piece here with the lamp and clock and flowers is called "Little Darling". This is again a recurring theme of the domestic pets not being super happy about their situation and not nearly as happy as the humans. This is a traditional lamp and she's holding a little mouse and she's got baby oil and pampers. She is going to pamper him and he's holding a pistol. On the flowers there's actually a real bee and that whole thing is one piece with the dresser and lamp and clock and the flowers and bee.

On the flower next to him is a piece called "Exacta" and exacta is a two horse race. So we've got a bunny with his bunny slipper that he is racing against his unbridled buddy and one of the things I wondered when I was splitting open the bunny slipper mouth to sew the bit into it I was wondering if it was taxidermy or not because it was sort of a bunny

This is the Game of Life, again the theme of I'm Game and I've altered it. Those of you who feel like it, if you get down next to it you can see that there are figures that have been added to the game of life. There's a lion kind of over looking everything and there are some people that have gotten out of the cars and are doing some pretty lewd activities.

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The center place is called "If you touch me, you'll hear my voice" and the reason for that is that this bell, which I found on Esty, which is over the front end of the bed says that in Latin. So it is the idea that if you pull on the chain of the bell, you'll hear its voice, but I also that it was interesting that if we had access to each others dreams we would know each other very intimately very quickly. Somethings that you are not trying to hide and somethings that you are. The painting at the head of the bed is actually a celebration of Venus I believe. But I really liked the way it looked on the bed and if you notice there's a little green frog that has been collage into there and he is a little daemon, in the traditional daemon sense d-a-e-m-o-n. Who is sort of inciting all of the nonsense and sex and violence that goes on in here and he recurs in a lot of my collages. On the bed are just some vintage stuffed animals, I thought it was kind of funny to have a different kind of stuffed animal. The snake is a cobra and he is the only piece of taxidermy that is not a real animal. He's what we call a blank, in taxidermy so he is a plastic mold that has been airbrushed to look real. So there is nothing real about him. There are two flying squirrels, flying in and I am not sure if they are going to attack the snake or if they are fleeing from him, but they were a lot of fun to work with.

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The deer at the center of the bed is a dik-dik and he's a male so he has a dik-dik dick. His wings are actual, real bat wings and they are actually that color. Most of us think of bats as being darker almost a black, but there are some South American bats and North American that are almost like a blonde color. I now have a bat in my studio without wings. Maybe I'll put some blue butterfly wings on him.

This one is called "Fantastic Garlands" and its the suicide of Ophelia. There's a line, I believe it's Gertrude when she first sees her, is reporting back that she has seen her in the water and she says like "she was wrapped in fantastic garlands" referring to the flowers that are everywhere around her. So Ophelia has done herself in here and she has lots of pets. The note in this one is hard to see but it's on the branch of the tree, I'll give you a hint.

This whole piece right here, other than the two little pieces that are seperate, this whole piece is call "The Narcissist". So you have the father duck standing on a mirror and kind of looking at the snake on his shoulder and looking at himself in the mirror while beneath him we have an alligator eating the three ducklings that he is supposed to be in charge of. Probably self-explanatory on that one.

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I have a recurring motif of "Pinky" and "Blue Boy". Have any of you been to the Huntington and seen them at the opposite ends. So here they've met. We have "Pinky's" head and "Blue Boy's" body and we've got the daemon frog showing up

The two mice, this is a series I am doing called mice dreams. It's a little confusing because the canaries are meant to be dead and the mice are meant to be asleep, maybe I need to get a little pump that makes their sides rise and fall or something. The mice are having some pretty crazy dreams and if you notice they are sleeping on pillows that are "Pinky" and "Blue Boy". Thought it's been fun to have these three in the room together.

All of these pieces by the way are available separately, in clusters, or all together as a whole room

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This one is called "I Never Promised You (rose garden)" that has the reference to "American Beauty". So the note in this one says "Look Closer" which is the name of the zebra and he has done himself in with garden sheers. Most people don't know that canaries are very flexible with their little feet so he's put garden sheers into himself. I'll let you find the money that's in there.

 

This piece is "Agni's Book". Agni is the bringer of fire like Prometheus is. He brings fire to the humans. So I imagined this boy as Agni in this dream where these events are coming from his book and he also has some help again from the daemon frog. There's all kinds of fire and mayhem and the canary has gotten lose finally.

This last piece is called "Colonel Mustard". I have some repair to do on the chandelier. It lights up but not tonight. So colonel mustard, in the library with the candlestick and again he has done it himself with his little foot. He has a gold fish, you can find the money and he has left a note which is over to the back left of the cage and it is written to Mrs. Peacock, who is flamboyantly out of his league.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist Statement: Catherine Coan

PANO2.jpg Catherine Coan is an artist, hybrid taxidermist, writer, and professor living in Los Angeles. She was a judge on the AMC TV series Immortalized.

Her hybrid mammals explore the intersections between nature and humanity.  In “I’m Game,” imaginary creatures perch on human furniture in domestic spaces, asking the viewer to engage with the animal inside. Surprising details and a sense of humor which is at once dark and life-affirming invite guests to linger, becoming part of each tableau.

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The Canary Suicides are meditations on captivity, miniature embodiment, the pet as fetish, and the relationship between death and delight.  They are influenced by the medieval reliquary; the work of mice who’ve made tiny, perfect replicas of some of Rauschenberg and Kienholz’s most well-known assemblages; and Coan’s mother and grandmother, who bred and kept many healthy, self-actualized canaries trained in calligraphy, origami, algebra, and bridge.  Each Canary Suicide contains hidden money, a suicide note, and a pet owned by the resident canary, along with unique surprises.

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