040.EXHIBIT

Third Year MFA Show

Art Lofts, UW – Madison

September 12-19, 2014

 

As a student at UW-Madison, I make a point each year, to check out the Art Department’s graduate student art show. They (student organized, program facilitated) put together a group exhibition for each class; first, second, and third year MFA candidates. This particular show at the Art Lofts Gallery is, in my opinion, lacking the ‘oomph’ that previous third year shows have displayed. Not unlike previous years, the exhibition overall is a cohesive survey of different skill levels, methods and materials that the Art Department is capable of. However, this show seems to lack the forward-thinking “vision” of art that would stimulate and rise above the over-saturated art world. These students are facing graduation, and with the career path looming I can’t help but wonder if academia is overpowering the motive of the artist. Beyond any disagreement to the general success of this group exhibition, I shall declare that all pieces highlighted in this blog post are works that hold substance as stand-out and exceptionally nice peices.

 

Michael Brooks Arnsteen

Michael Brooks Arnsteen, Amoeba, 2014

Michael Brooks Arnsteen shows up with an impressive painting. Stylistically similar to his lithographs, the architecture of texture feels familiar, yet the canvas substrate generates a free and expressive movement not necissarily found in his prints. The use of white is not only fresh but mysterious.

J. Myszka Lewis

J. Myszka Lewis

 

This piece by J. Myszka Lewis holds a quality of ehemeral beauty while retaining an aura of clinical order. Where process seems to be the mainculprit behind this very ordered peice, it’s elegance of tissue thin layered paper creates a peice that comes alive when the gentle breeze of passing-by brings life to the installation. 

 

Robert Aiosa

Robert Aiosa, Untitled2014


Robert Aiosa, Untitled, 2014 (detail)

Robert Aiosa, Untitled, 2014 (detail)

 

Always an excursion from the expected, Aiosa has the sensibility to subvert the simplest of forms by creating awareness of relationship of viewer and object. The tension that is experienced in this sculpture, “Untitled,” is like a poke at the viewer to accept what one cannot change. A typical gallery setting that includes the unwritten rule “Please Do Not Touch” is ever-present in ones mind upon encountering this structure. Desperately wanting to re-align the two pieces, is not an option. A self-awareness instills. The inate human drive to ‘fix’ things. The broken beam becomes a subtlety where physical and pysiological dis-jointment occur.

The idea of graduate school aesthetic, where a higher level of conceptual art consists, and a more meaningful explanation is required; higher level of conceptual thought, validates the work in this exhibition, and where this Third Year Review Show holds much potential, some have fallen flat, and others I am excited to anticipate where these artist will progress to in the future. 

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000.note

Temporarily Indisposed

Sincere apologies for not having posted much in the last several months.

New AND back-dated posts coming soon.

Kirby Cat

Kirby the Cat

 

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018.JOB

Werewolverine DIY Shirt Printing

Werewolverine is a Madison band that consists of a handful of rawkus folks including one UW art faculty, Prof. John Hitchcock. Hitchcock is printmaker at UW-Madison. As his project assistant, working on different printing projects comes with the territory. The band was recently in the studio printing their new T-Shirt.

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Members of the band did all of the printing, for some it was their first time. They printed just under 100 shirts. Be sure to pick one up at their next show.

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The Werewolverine

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034.NOTE

Ritz Crafters

Art In – Madison, Wi

March 1, 2014

Puttin’ on the Ritz at Ritz Crafters, Madison. There are plenty of art and craft fairs out there, but this annual craft fair is not to be missed. It’s like the Brooklyn Flea took the wrong train ending up in Madison for a day. No worries however, there are no pretentious hipsters to be found here, jus good ol’ folk that make really cool shit.

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Many of the vendors are from surrounding areas like Milwaukee and Chicago, its safe to say that these mid-westerners are as hip as they come. The event organizer, Danni Trester, is a high energy make it happen type of girl. The Ritz Craft Fair is solid and I predict that it will gain momentum for years to come.

Patrick Smyczek is the brains behind Beast USA, he is a UW-Madison alum, currently lives in Milwaukee.

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Lydia Crespo designs gorgeous scarves with a contemporary flair. Out of Chicago, her company is called Argaman & Defiance. Most of the silk scarves are hand-dyed and some hand painted with screen printing ink.

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017.JOB

Hitchcock Animal Heads

I love my job, for the most part all I do is print print print. One can theorize all day about methods to improve technique, but the tried and true method for getting better at anything is always simply to do it. Practice makes perfect! As part of my assistantship with John Hitchcock I’ve been printing and cutting images of his stylized animal heads.

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003. SHOW

Writing on the Wall
Verna Gelsy Gallery

October 7 – 14, 2013

This small installation of show fliers came about because of a class at UW–Madison. The course was called “Artists as Curators.” The professor, Laurie Beth Clark, created an assignment that required students to exhibit a collection of objects. This “collection” could be anything from a stash of once valuable beanie babies to cases of personably significant beer cans. For my piece I chose show fliers. Mostly because this was one item I had a lot of.

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I started regularly going to local and traveling music shows when I was 15. I didn’t always collect or hold on to the flyer, but I took care of the ones that I did. I appreciate the aesthetic of the artwork whether it be a quick cut and paste or an involved drawing.

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I really enjoyed seeing this collection of fliers/memories live again. Stapled to the wall for passer-by to see. I felt a bit of nostalgia for the lifestyle I used to live, but in a lot of ways, its not so different now that I’m older.

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Although I don’t hold on to too many fliers these days I still go to shows. Live music and local scenes will always be a part of my life. Over the last five years I have been incorporating my photo-journalistic tendencies out “in the field.”

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008.PROJECT

The Cost of Oil

In my graduate studies I have been exploring various topics of identity, one of which revolves around the concept of individuality existing within uniformity. This work, entitled, The Cost of Oil, depicts US casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. The images were sourced from a NY Times article and then screen-printed with motor oil on canvas and birch panel. The semi-distorted image creates an effective metaphor for a fleeting ephemeral moment in time. Never forgotten, these people are heroes to many and importantly, loved ones by family and friends. Looking at the artwork from a distance the viewer will see a pattern emerge, frame upon frame illustrating the magnitude of lives sacrificed in war. Get up closer and one will take note that each frame consists of a portrait of a different indvidual. Each person is unique.

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The process: I recycled motor oil from my own car to create The Cost of Oil.

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016.JOB

John Hitchcock

Screenprint

University of Wisconsin – Madison

As part of my assistant duties I have screen-printed these drawings created by John Hitchcock. Metallic silver in on black paper creates a strong visual contrast. All of Hitchcock’s artworks are derived from his sketch books and scaled up to produce the large vignettes. Some are printed on paper and others on felted wool. Each individual image is then hand-cut for a future show installation.

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Screenprint – John Hitchcock

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Screenprint – John Hitchcock

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Rubylith – John Hitchcock

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Screenprint – John Hitchcock

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Screenprint – John Hitchcock

http://hybridpress.blogspot.com

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015.JOB

Jennifer Angus in Texas

Private Collector

Houston, TX

In continuation of my work with Jenny Angus, I traveled along with her to Houston, TX to install a permanent piece in a private collectors home. After two days of driving the actual installation only took about two days. Angus had prepared a custom design wall paper which was professionally installed prior to our arrival. The homes owner will entertain visitors in the uncommonly themed dining room with the fun selected surroundings of Angus’ unique work.

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Dining Room Installation – Jenny Angus

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Dining Room Installation – Jenny Angus

Blue Trees of Houston

While in Houston we made a quick tourist stop to see the Blue Trees. This is a work created by Konstantin Dimopoulos site specific work is supported through the public arts commission in Houston.

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www.jenniferangus.com

http://bluetreestexas.org

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014.JOB

Mobile Screen-Print Bike

John Hitchcock

University of Wisconsin – Madison

 

As John’s assistant I am often asked to work on projects I normally wouldn’t find myself doing. This project in particular was a lot of fun. With the help from an undergrad in the print department, Alex, we assembled a custom made bike that had been shipped to John’s studio. The bike is set-up with a trailer that carries paper, ink, and a small press.

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Mobile Screen-print Bike

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Alex working on the mobile screen-print bikeAlex – Mobile Screen-print Bike

 

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