Monday, January 26, 2009
Caitlin Karolczak was born 1984 in northern Minnesota. She received a BFA in Fine Arts and BA in Art History at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in May of 2005. She currently resides in Minneapolis Minnesota working as a self employed artist and co-gallery owner. Her art studio and gallery are in the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex in NE Minneapolis. Besides painting, her interests include vintage medical and post-mortem photography, mid-century modern furnishings and art, fine design, fashion, snowboarding, digital photography, and travel.
I explore a number of themes in my work, mainly the fragility of the human body and mind; disease and injury. My source imagery often comes from vintage photos I collect, early medical and memorial imagery. I am attracted to the way early photographers blur the line between artistic portraiture and medical illustration. Modern medical images tend to simply show a condition, devoid of the individual. Contrarily, vintage medical photographs portray debilitating physical conditions in a notably artistic way. Often times they are not anonymous, resembling artfully done portraits. If they do attempt anonymity, it has an entirely different effect, giving a leper the appearance of a classically draped nude or giving the subject a fetish-like appearance by awkwardly covering the individual’s features with bands of fabric. My attraction to these images reflects a desire for my work to mirror these sentiments of beauty and distress, but at the same time take them a step further in a way that photography cannot.
I embrace accidental results in my work, as well as the spontaneity and lack of control of some mediums. My experimentation is not always obvious, but I think numerous layers and textures add distinction to a finished painting. I like the effect of these traditionally “abstract” methods of painting alongside classically “accomplished” techniques and I want my work to be a successful blending of the two.
I often use vintage and recycled materials. I collect everything from textiles and paper to antique vials of powdered pigments and oils. I also use antique paper from books that are in disrepair, some as early as the 17th Century. The handmade quality of these items, discoloration from age and well worn textures are welcome deviations from the standard artistic materials. The history and past life aura of these materials offer additional inspiration to my artistic process.
Wow! What a pleasure to feature Caitlin. This young artist from Minneapolis is a star in the making. Her work has a style and sophistication that cannot be taught. She has an innate gift for aesthetic that in my estimation will take this twenty something artist a long way. These are a taste of what you will find on her web site, a very well done web site I might add. http://studiosilenti.com/
Caitlin is also co-owner of Spinario, a gallery that specializes in mid century
modern design in Minneapolis. See the link in the side bar.
Bravo Caitlin! I'm a fan!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Long Over Due! I am most happy to feature Mick as a "Guest Artist" on TIMEFORFRIDA. Mick and I have known each other for years. I think I first met Mick way back when he was managing Art Mart, 15 years ago or more I think. We later reacquainted when we both served as judges at a high school art competition. I have subsequently dealt with Mick in his capacity at the Cultural Resources Council on shows at the Warehouse Gallery, the Syracuse Totem project and grant issues. It was at a CRC program that I attended and took a blogging workshop from Mick. Little did he know then the monster he unleashed. Yes Mick taught me about blogging. I literally didn't know what a blog was when I walked into that class in the summer of 2007. I went home that evening and began KV Abbott's Art Blog modeled in many respects after MICKMATHERTSARTBLOG.
TIMEFORFRIDA is of course now one of my favorite projects. I really enjoy working with artists from all over. To date we have posted "Guest Artists" from Boston, Baltimore,Brooklyn, NY, Cincinnati, Denver and the UK with submissions coming in from all over the world. Now of course we can add Syracuse, NY to the list.
- Short Bio -
Mick Mather is a local artist, printmaker, land art sculptor, writer, editor and publisher. He has exhibited his block-relief prints, monoprints & monotypes and digital prints locally, regionally and internationally. From 1989 to 1999 he was the editor & publisher of a quarterly arts digest for printmakers and rubber stampers. Current daily output finds the artist creating digital prints from digitally manipulated drawings, paintings, ‘found’ images and his own photographs. Mick is always hard at work with text, prose and written works that are wedded to his artistic images for the purpose of documenting “walking art projects” and site-specific land art sculpture. Creative writing projects are always in development. Examples of three such projects can be found at Mick Mather’s flickr set: The Vignettes, The Inventor’s Diary and Chronicles of a Lonesome Princess. More writing can be found online posted at MickMathersARTblog, Espresso Stories, Silk Creek Review and BloodrootZ.
In addition to his work as a fine artist, Mick works in arts management and currently holds the position of Special Projects Coordinator at the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse & Onondaga County, Inc. in Central New York State.
I had a hard time deciding which images to post. Mick is a very prolific artist and there is an awful lot of good stuff to choose from. Here are some I especially like, but I assure you these are just a tease. Visit Mick's Blog. Click the hyper liked image in the side bar to be redirected to MICKMATHERSARTBLOG. You'll be glad you did! Good Luck Mick and Thanks for everything!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Just another one of my artist heroes. We just happen to share the same last name. A distant relative? I don't know, but I'd like to think so.
Berenice Abbott was born in Springford, Ohio, in 1898. After graduating from Ohio State University she moved to New York to study journalism, but eventually decided on sculpture and painting.
In 1921 she moved to Paris to study with sculptor Emile Bourdelle. Abbott also worked with the surrealist photographer, Man Ray (1923-25), before opening her own studio in Paris. She photographed the leading artists in France and had her first exhibition at the Au Sacre du Printemps Gallery in 1926.
Abbott returned to the United States in 1929 and embarked on a project to photograph New York. In 1935 she managed to obtain funding for this venture from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and its Federal Art Project.
In 1936 Abbott joined with Paul Strand to establish the Photo League. Its initial purpose was to provide the radical press with photographs of trade union activities and political protests. Later the group decided to organize local projects where members concentrated on photographing working class communities.
Abbott's photographs of New York appeared in the exhibition, Changing New York, at the Museum of the City in 1937. A book, Changing New York, was published in 1939. She also published a Guide to Better Photography (1941). In the late 1950s Abbott began to take photographs that illustrated the laws of physics. Berenice Abbott died in Monson, Maine, in 1991.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I was born and raised in Boston, MA and have been a resident of Greater Boston all of my life. I attended Mass Art College before graduating from Salem State College with a B.A. in Fine Art. After leaving school, I pursued a professional painting career yielding exhibitions in professional galleries in the United States and Europe over a nine year period. My Artist bio was recently published in the Art Is Spectrum Magazine out of New York which was very motivating.
I am currently represented by the Agora Gallery and The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City as well as other International venues in Italy and Mongolia.
My most recent work centers around mood, texture and color. I try to impose a sense of dismality to show that all people, places and things will eventually expire and be returned to the nature that presented them to the world. Realization that everyday should reflect the courage to take chances as well as conforming to the frailty of our bodies and minds.
“I haven’t given my life to Art, Art has given me a life” Arman
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Somewhere over the years I began to blur the lines between photography and painting. Everything I did during the 1970's and early 80's was pretty much straight photography. Sometime during the mid 1980's I began working in collage, combining my photographs with paint and mixed media.
Later I ventured away from my own photographs and started to incorporate photographs I found in antique shops, flea markets and the like. During the early and mid 1990's I enjoyed quite a lot of gallery success with this body of work. I had two primary groups of work. Nudes and "old people". They were not always old, just old photographs. I even did several commissions.
Every now and then I revisit this work. Here is a piece I did last winter. "Party Girls", mixed media collage on birch panel. The piece measures 12" X 12" and is framed in a museum float frame. currently recession priced at $300.00.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
My work has long been engaged with the ability to connect disparate, sometimes random elements to create meaning and narrative. Since I deploy a wide range of mediums and methodologies in creating my work – juxtaposing realism and abstraction, found objects and tightly painted elements – I gravitated naturally towards the grid as a superimposed organizational structure. However, the grid has it’s own art historical baggage, and I found that over time it became restrictive – rather than freeing me to explore as many directions as my short attention span could take me in, it locked me into an uncomfortable modus operandi whose formal demands superseded the content, narrative, and materials that my work was primarily concerned with.
My attempt to escape from the self-imposed straight-jacket that the grid had unwittingly fashioned took me in two directions: scatter-shot compositions of square panels and circles. However, neither solved my quandary. The scattered compositions, while interesting, were still painted on squares and rectangles, and thus inherently suggested the grid; while the circles were disappointingly flat and dimensionless. The solution lay somewhere in the middle, by using a scattered composition comprised of rounded, 3-dimensional organic forms. This approach has taken my work into a direction that is difficult, if not impossible, to categorize. No longer strictly painting, and yet not sculpture either, it exists in a hybrid form that continues to evolve without any rigidly overlaid organizational formations. Each “painting” is formed from a pre-determined cluster of individual parts that can combine in unending variable formats and arrangements.
The formal concerns in my work remain the same, but are freed by using a clustered, free-floating format. As before, I am creating artwork that mimics both language forms and societies – each element representing a word or phrase that, combined in concert with others, evokes a more complex or meaningful idea through it’s interaction while still able to stand on it’s own. As the arrangement of the parts is not meant to be permanent, but to change with each successive installation, the work is highly dependent on a careful balance of compositional components. When the work is installed by someone other than myself, it is as if we are engaging in a collaboration, and the installer is free to make their own sequential and aesthetic decisions, entering into a conversation that can re-occur indefinitely.
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