Sunday, August 21, 2011

Interview with Mark Malone of Studio Art & Soul

 On August 15, in the heat of the 100° plus afternoon, I stepped over right next door to visit with Mark Malone in his painting studio at Studio Art & Soul.

Mark Malone at his easel. 

HC:  I always love the smell of a painters’ studio, the oils and acrylics, the paint thinners, and the hints of fresh canvas and wood stretchers. Thanks for having me over today.  So how do you prepare yourself to have someone in the studio asking questions and taking pictures?
MM: I started out painting with this group of people at the Creative Arts Center, and I would paint at home in an upstairs room that I had prepared as a studio.  Eventually our teacher left the Creative Arts Center and the artists in our group decided to get our own studio space.  And now I can’t paint at home, I just can’t do it, there’s too many distractions – the laundry buzzer goes off, the doorbell rings – just too much commotion.  I come here to paint, and there may or may not be other painters here.  But I love the company.  We all feed off each other.  We can critique and get valuable insight from each other, and I think it has helped us all to be better artists.
HC: How many painters share this studio?
MM: There are eight of us right now.
HC: It seems like this place isn’t necessarily air conditioned?
MM:  It is. It may not feel like it…(laughs)
HC: I dressed cool…with the fans it feels OK
MM:  [The a/c and the space] is not designed for even moderate heat so these 100° plus days are hard.  The blower is just not powerful enough to push the air through the studio.  I’m probably in the hottest space in the studio but we keep the shades closed. It’ll be better in a couple of more months if we can just sweat it out.

Aspen Series III, oil on canvas, 48" x 72"

HC: So when will you start showing with the gallery in Santa Fe and what is the name of it?
MM: It is One Artist Road Fine Art.  I am going out there this weekend.  I’ve sent them three paintings, and they are out there being framed, and they said they will be delivered before this weekend when I get there.  So they may be hung while I am out there.
I’m also showing at a local art gallery here in Dallas named Dutch Art Gallery.  There is going to be a juried show of Texas artists there in November and I will have three pieces in that show.

 Navajo Daydreams, oil on canvas, each 16" x 20"

HC: Have you completed the commission for the downtown Dallas hotel project?
MM: yes, they are delivered and paid for.
HC:  How many pieces were there?
MM: 24. 
HC: When does that hotel open?
MM:  Late November, I think.
HC: What do you have coming up next?
MM: I’m headed to New Mexico, we’re going to stay for ten days in Angel Fire, me and my partner, and we’re going to stay with my first art instructor, Kathleen Dello Stritto.  She and my partner are going to the symphony, they’re going to attend three, and that’s not my cup of tea so I’m going to have to find something to do. (laughs) Maybe I’ll go to Santa Fe for a couple of days. But it’ll be nice to get out of the heat.  Short term, before I leave, I want to have a piece ready to replace any work that should it sell at the new gallery I can have one ready to ship to them.  I’m hoping people will like my work in Santa Fe.
HC: Well OK.  Thank you for your time today and have a great trip out to New Mexico.

 Descending Koi, on left
New Koi, on right
oil on canvas, both are 48" x 24"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Antony Gormley, "Capacitor II", 2005

Antony Gormley, Capacitor II
at Sean Kelly Gallery's booth at
Art Basel Miami Beach, 2005
photo by Rusty Scruby

I think of this sculpture and this photo often.  The relationship between the young man viewing and Gormley's sculpture, Capacitor II.  Both have feet spread, knees slightly bent, hands down their sides, relaxing into their respective contemplation of each other.  Gormley examines our place within the space we inhabit.  Inspired by chaos theory and quantum mechanics, Gormley welded these 6000 metal rods together to form the framework of a body.  The extension of the rods speaks to the extension of the body and the 'self' into the surrounding environs.  It can be easy for me to get lost inside of myself, to feel as if myself, my 'id', extends only to the outer layer of my skin or the end of each hair.  Capacitor II reminds me that 'myself' extends into the physical space all around me, including cyber-space, and that I do always have an impact and relationship with every object and every person that I encounter every moment of every day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"import" at Ro2 Art Uptown at West Village

Ryder Richards, Tower I, gunpowder, graphite on paper, 2010

Ryder Richards has curated an exciting three person exhibit at Ro2 Art in the West Village. With works by Richards, Eric Eley and John Frost, we are presented with masterful architectural sculptures and drawings that adorn the gallery for two weeks only.  Hurry and see this exhibit before it is gone!

Ryder Richards, Disruption, gold leaf, acrylic on wood, 2011

Ryder Richards, 
Thug Life: Connected (Laocoon) on right, 
Thug Life: Connected (Hercules and Acheloos) on left,
both are gunpowder, gold leaf, graphite on paper, 2011

Richards' work exudes a masculine sensuality with materials that are forged by fire.
Richards is an art instructor and the gallery director at Richland College.

Eric Eley, distant blast, extruded foam, wood, twine, acrylic, lacquer, 2010

Eric Eley, Peigneur 1, dry pigment, ink, color pencil, acrylic, graphite on paper, 2008

Eley is one of the amazing artists that is also represented by Platform Gallery in Seattle.
Eley is also an art instructor at Richland College.

John Frost, as a result, poplar dowels, 2008

John Frost, facade, plywood and paper, 2009

Frost is the woodworking instructor at St Marks School of Texas.  I wish I had had such a conceptually creative teacher for wood shop!
This exhibit only runs through September 3rd.  Hurry!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Meltdown" 2011 Annual MAC Membership Exhibition - Aug 6 - Sep 3

Put on my walking shoes, set my mindset to "art fair" mode, and started looking at 184 diverse works of art with barely any white wall space in between.  "Art fair" mode because I have to be ready to visually edit very quickly if I plan to see it all and make my picks.  You know the drill with these summer member shows - pay the dues and you get to play - and who knows who will see your art.  So everyone from art hobbyists to gallery artists, art students to art professors - some with PhD's join the fray, and we the viewers get to see a broad sample of art being made and taught in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex.

It is always a little strange to me to give artists a theme to work toward. But it does help to set up a loose non-curated frame work for the participants and viewers alike.  So my picks for this blog post are those works that more or less successfully met the theme.  "Meltdown" plays well for those mediums that literally melt at some point during the process - glass, ceramics, metallurgy, plastics, and encaustic.  But there are also the images and/or concepts that involve some level of psychological meltdown - homages to deceased loved ones as well as to pop icons that suffered meltdowns such as Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison and James Dean.  And of course, there are always the works that don't even try to meet the theme.  They are artists, after all, marching to their own drummers!  WARNING - I've chosen 33 out of 184!

There is no jury. No Best of Show. No winners and no losers.  All very democratic really.
But here, anyway, is Hampton's Court pick for Best of Show:

Duke Horn, Mighty Fine Arts, oil paint
a demonic Uncle Sam leading a circus government while the world burns behind him.
 There is always a plethora of distracting frames in this exhibit, but I think Horn's frame completes the gaudy  psycho meltdown perfectly.


 Ryder Richards, Portales: Isolation, goldleaf, gunpowder, graphite on paper

 VET, House on Fire, encaustic

 Michael Christopher, Melted Miro, plasma etched screen metal

 Morton Rachofsky, Untitled, plastic

 Julia Ousley, Flying Pig Meltdown, bronze

 Kenny Hensley, The Trinity River Meltdown, glazed cast porcelain

 Val Curry, Playnado, polyester, wood, toys, computers, acyrlic & resin

 Brooks Oliver, Vortex Bowl, porcelain

 Jim Brightwell, What Was Sharp and Explicit, glass

 Gregory Nelsen, Paranoia, stoneware

 Peggy Epner, Ring of Fire, encaustic on panel

Jackie MacLelland, Phd, On the Edge, encaustic


 Cabe Booth, Warhol, acrylic and oil on distressed wood

 Hadar Sobol, Myself Inside Myself, thread on vintage linen

 Terry Hays, And Then There was an Explosion, acrylic on Sintra

 Norman Kary, Broken Dreams, mixed media

 Alisa Levy, Losing my Religion, photograph

 Chris Bergquist Fulmer, Cowboy Meltdown: Prelude to the Fall, mixed media

 Margaret Rattelle, Head, etching spitbite drypoint

Michelle de Metz, Meltdown in Texas, mixed media on wood

Mark McGahan, Meltdown, digital print

 Sibylle Bauer, Reflections, photograph

Kathy Robinson-Hays, Receding, ink, acrylic and paper on Duralar

 detail of Receding

Anna Palmer, Ooze, digital photography

 Joe Ing, Scissors, print

detail of Scissors


Jason Reynaga, It's a Little Bit Fuzzy, mixed media

David Dreyer, In To Down, oil on laminated birch plywood

 Fannie Brito, Mullenian Ducts, pigments & acrylic on canvas

Sheila Cunningham, Once, assemblage

Michael O'Keefe, Untitled, 2011 (Drill Drawing Series II), graphite on Yupo

Ann S. Adams, Swizzle, pastel

Ann Adams' work at least makes me feel like bathing in her cool pastel waters after all the heat and melting.  I understand the a/c went out in the main galleries just a few minutes after the reception opened on August 6.  It was an unplanned 'meltdown happening'. Lots of hot bodies in a hot space on a 100F+ night in Dallas.  Glad I couldn't find parking, because the a/c had just gone out in my truck the day before also.  I had it fixed on the following Monday. 

One final meltdown note.  On the day I stopped by to see the exhibit and I captured images of about 78 works before I edited down to these 33, I witnessed another 'meltdown happening'.  I know the opening night meltdown performance staged by the a/c was unplanned, and I suspect the one I witnessed may have been also.  But that's the thing about art happenings, the spontaneity is the art, right?  So I see this one sculpture with water all around it on the floor.  Looked like a hazard.  Then this guy, I presume the artist, came in and started mopping up and replacing the bucket:

Scott Sura, Tree of Strife, mixed media

I went to the MAC the next night for an unrelated poetry reading and book signing.  I noticed there was water on the floor around this sculpture again.  So perhaps it really is a performance piece.  Tree of Strife, indeed!

Stay cool out there my friends!