Tag Archives: sculpture

Over the Rainbow with Shaina Kasztelan

Somewhere over the Rainbow is Another Rainbow at Hatch Hamtramck is Shaina Kasztelan’s poison pen love letter to kitsch and consumerism.    This Detroit artist and recent CCS grad  seems to simultaneously love and hate the symbols and materials that she uses to create her wildly entertaining  installations, paintings and sculptures.

kasztelan1

Many artists in Detroit  are enthusiastic collagists of  gritty urban substance,  their  artworks depending on the inherent material  integrity of the parts to lend credibility to the whole. In contrast, Kasztelan employs the same assemblage method but uses materials that are the antithesis of authenticity.  They are, in fact, intentionally notable for their fakeness. The color is super-sweet, the forms mass market.  She  combines polyester fur, hobby shop jewels, plastic inflatables  and synthetic hair in obsessive aggregations, reaching new heights of  over-saturated,  over-the-top  visual hysteria.

I was surprised to learn that this is Kasztelan’s first  solo show.  The work seems confident, the installation expert.   The friendly yet knowing mood of the exhibit reminds me most of John Waters’s movies with their gleeful embrace of low-brow mass culture and transgressive imagery.Kaztelan Devil

Kasztelan seems especially  at ease in three dimensions. The most assured and  ambitious work in the show, entitled The Alien with the Drake Tattoo/Dedicated to the Butterfly,  is a kind of altar (complete with Juggalo nativity) that seems to burst out of a black cloud (of depression?)  She seems less at ease in the conventional rectangular format of her paintings, which felt a bit awkward to me. But she has very cleverly circumvented this unease in The Devil’s Vibrating Smile by applying the  imagery to clear vinyl. My favorite piece was a fake fur potted plant infested with tiny toy babies and topped by a pink plastic bouffant, entitled Baby Cactus is Happy. This show made me happy too.Kasztelan revised 1

Somewhere over the Rainbow is a Double Rainbow is at Hatch Hamtramck until May 28.  For more information for hours and events go here.

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“Them” at Butter Projects in Royal Oak

Luxury, identity, class, perversity, carnality, playfulness… Royal Oaks’ Butter Projects has stirred it all together to create a thoughtful visual feast that describes what lies on the surface and what lies beneath.  “THEM” is loosely framed around portraiture, commonly defined as a representation or likeness of a specific individual, but each artist has gone far beyond the mere creation of a likeness to portray the unseen  reality below the surface.

Thirty-three beautifully rendered black and white gestural portrait studies by William Irving Singer anchor the show against an meticulously painted blue brocade background.  The portraits, which are made with black acrylic on coarse un-primed canvas, comment ironically on the society portrait as a signifier of wealth and importance. The lone likeness by Singer which features color, entitled Some Sort of Lunch Line, seems to portray a member of the have-not class who nonetheless sports a kind of jaunty elegance. somesortoflunchline

Works by Lauren Kalman consist of fetishistic photographs of  hooded women. The effect of these photographs is ominous and seems to indicate that the woman portrayed is engaged in some kind of luxurious pearl-encrusted sex play. She is not powerless, but she is immobilized.

The photographs are accompanied by formal hood-like clay or pigskin sculptures, some with corks or objects stuffed in the apertures where one would expect to find eyes or mouths. They are both humorous  and disturbing.

But if the crime is beautiful

As if to add some lightness to this otherwise serious exploration of the self, Butter Projects has included three-dimensional work from artist Kat Burdine. These canines are engaged in doing what dogs do and doing it with abandon: pooping, groveling and licking…no inner angst here. Entitled “Strays” these  chunky life-sized wooden creatures project a kind of joy in spite of  their displacement.

butter dog

During the run of the exhibition, Butter Projects will hold open hours Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3pm. Additional hours can be made by appointment. Them will be on exhibit until May 7, 2016

Butter Projects is an artist run studio and exhibition space. For more information contact Alison Wong butter.projects@gmail.com

Butter Projects, 814 W. 11 Mile, Royal Oak, MI 48067

 

 

 

 

Re:Formation Call for Art

Accomplished independent curators Rocco DePietro and Gloria Pritschet of  Gallery Project are planning their  4th dual-site exhibition entitled Re:Formation. The exhibit  will open in August, 2016, in a modified 17,000 sq foot 50’s department store space in downtown Toledo, OH, and then move to the Ann Arbor Art Center in downtown Ann Arbor in mid-September-October.  The Toledo site has abundant space for large scale installation and 3-D work. Artists interested in participating in this exhibit should send jpg images and/or proposals to: galleryproject@gmail.com

Re: Formation examines this unique moment when ordinary people are declaring, ala Peter Finch, “I am mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore.”  What is different at this time is that people who have been silent, or silenced, are standing up, speaking out, and, mobilizing for needed change.  Highly divergent in life styles with broad-ranging backgrounds, beliefs and values, these individuals are expressing justifiable anger at the accumulation of horrific events and unrelenting injustices that characterize our current era. They are teaming up, across race, gender, politics, and social status with empathy and compassion for their fellow human beings.  Their actions are reestablishing belief in a positive future based on fairness, equity, and genuine possibility for all.  Is this a tipping point, a moment for reform, or even a revolution?  Or is it just another blip before capitulation and regression?

The exhibit challenges artists to express, in all media and in any size including large installation, their perspective of this time of Re: Formation.  What is shifting? How are these shifts taking form? How do you experience this time of formation?  What is your relationship to it, its impacts on you, your participation in this awareness and militancy? What can or should be done?  What outcomes might result and what will the future look like?  Re: Formation invites artists to actively express this unfolding reality as observers, participants, documentarians, conjurers and critics.

Artwork for Re: Formation depicts:

  •  the process of pivotal change in perception, perspective, assumptions, beliefs,      habits, choices and actions;
  • dramatic relationship changes among people, objects, and places;
  •  bold, redirected thinking and resulting responses about crucial issues;
  •  new forms and structures of a transformed society;
  •  movement in a transformative direction such as towards alternative futures;
  •  recent horrific events and gradual eroding events, their aftermath, and possible solutions;
  •  classism and prejudice in issues of social justice;
  •  conditions that force change; and
  •  challenges to the status quo.

 

 

Borders Exhibit Opening March 3

Letts_The Borderlands (painting)

I am delighted to be included in the upcoming juried exhibition Borders,  hosted by River House and the Owens Community College  Center for Fine and Performing Arts.  The opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 6-8.  The juror, Sarah Rose Sharp will be speaking at the  opening reception.  She is a 2015 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow for Arts Criticism.

The exhibit will run March 4-31 at the Walter E. Terhune Gallery in the Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, located at 30335 Oregon Road, Perrysburg OH 43551. Check here for more information.

A total of 17 artists have been selected to exhibit 27 pieces of work in the juried exhibition. Artists were asked to consider these questions in submitting their works: Where do we find borders and how do they shape us? Why do we embrace or reject them? When does a unifying contour become a divisional line?

The selected artists: David Burke – PA, David Cuatlacuatl – IN, Mary Fortuna – MI, Maureen Joyce – PA, Lindsey Landfried – PA, Yusurf Lateef – OH,  K.A. Letts – MI,  Zach Lihatsh – IL,  Mary Mazziotti – PA, Laurenn McCubbin – OH, Sidney Mullis – PA, Gabrielle Roach – IN, Whitney Sage – OH, Jina Seo – IL, Meagan Shein – MI, Kathryn Shinko – OH, Jessica Tenbusch – MI

Just My Type Opens Tonight at Whitdel Arts, Detroit

Just My Type postcard

I will be showing 2 artworks in this group exhibition, which opens tonight at Whitdel Arts. A couple of other talented artists of my acquaintance, Gabrielle Pescador and Parisa Ghaderi, are also in the show.  I’m looking forward to seeing the other artists and their work!

I’m also pleased to be featured in the current Whitdel Arts e-newsletter.

February 12-March 26, 2016
Reception: Friday, February 12, 7:00-10:00pm
Jurors: Joel Grothaus and Lee Marchalonis of Signal Return

Whitdel Arts is proud to present Just My Type.  This exhibition features artwork that focuses on, as well as incorporates, typefaces and letterforms. The letterform is an entity we interact with every day, most often without as much as a second thought; an Adventures of IO lo resartform hiding in plain sight. The way a statement is read can be influenced by the anatomy of the letters that spell it out, from the transition of serifs and slabs, to the shape of the tittle dotting the “i.”  What began as hand-drawn symbols later became mass produced via the printing press and now text can be manipulated with software offering hundreds of options.
Exhibiting artists:

Adrian Deva
Angela Fegan
Ash Nowak
Courtney Richardson
Ed Janzen
Emmy Bright
Erin K Schmidt
Gabrielle Pescador
Gerald Flynt
Jennifer Weigel
John Wood
Jonathon Russell
KA Letts
Matthew Garin
Parisa Ghaderi
Tyler Bohm

The exhibition will run from February 12-March 26, 2016.  This event is free and open to the public. All ages welcome. Open gallery hours are Saturdays during exhibitions, noon-3pm, or by appointment.  For more information, e-mail Jane Larson at jane@whitdelarts.com.  For a full schedule of exhibitions and events at Whitdel Arts, please visit www.whitdelarts.com

Chet Geiselman at Gordy Fine Art in Muncie, Indiana

chet geiselman 1Drawing and paintings, step aside. Sculpture will take over the gallery at Gordy Fine Art & Framing, 224 E. Main Street, Muncie Indiana, thanks to Toledo area artist Chet Geiselman. The exhibit will run  May 7-30.  The artist describes himself as, “a creative problem solver, a collector and arranger of objects and information, a fabricator of visual forms, and a lifelong student of spiritual and human nature.” Bauhaus design has served as a beacon for his personal creations made of wood, steel and “re-contextualized found objects.” Each of Geiselman’s pieces suggests a formal relationship to the space it inhabits and alludes to the potential functionality of the objects that compose it. The full title of this exhibit,  is, “Minding the Gaps in the Foundation of the Sensual.”

The gallery hours are: Monday-Friday 9-5:30, Saturday 9-3.