Artist Profile: Sam Scharf
Name: Samuel Dylan Scharf
Website: www.samuelscharf.com / samuelscharf.blogspot.com
10 of your favorite artists?: Vito Acconci, Edward Kienholz, Louise Bourgeois, Marina Ambromavic, Bas Jan Ader, Mark Jenkins, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Hirshhorn, Anselm Keifer, Joseph Bueys, Chris Burden, Banksi
What is the last movie you watched?: Four Lions
Most influential teacher? Why?: Thus far, Luis Silva, the man has opened up new ways of thinking theologically about art. Also, Zoe Charlon for how to be a strong direct honest artist.
What are you working on currently?: A diptic painting for my final crit that deals with the duality between god and art.
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects?: Viewer directed interactive work that gets people to question there surrounding and think more about the space they inhabit. Also, molding the situation between my work and the viewer as a medium itself.
Can you recommend any good blogs, websites, or magazines?: …. suddenspace.com, i try not to spend to much time on the net, its a time suck for me.
What is your biggest failure?: not being honest of my true self earlier in my life though I was young and learning myself.
What is your biggest accomplishment?: moving to DC, making it into grad school and confronting my neflect of inner development as an artist
Do your parents like your artwork?: yeah of course they do, all parents love our art, though they may not understand it completely…
What do you think it means to be an artist?: Being an artist, is a way of life and a way to see the world around you creatively. Taking things past face value and being deeply involved in the creational action.
What is your philosophy on showing work?: Early on, show and show as much as you can to get your name out there. No venue or showing is bad, its what you make of it. Then when the time comes, pase back as your career demands and your work calls for its placing.
Artist Profile: Emily Biondo
Name: Emily Biondo
Who are your favorite artists? Diana al-Hadid, Petah Coyne, Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Tara Donovan, Jose Parla, Imogen Cunningham, Cornelia Parker, Charles Ray, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Orly Genger, Degas.
What is the last movie you watched? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. And it was amazing.
Most influential teacher? Why? Steven Pearson of McDaniel College. I have never seen someone so dedicated to their career both as a teacher and an artist. Passion is so difficult to pass on to students, and Steve made sure to do so. He also single-handedly made sure our class both applied and were accepted to grad schools. We call him our Art Dad, and rightfully so.
What are you working on currently? A 10 ft cut-out drawing installation, a wall of crocheted monofilament, and a prayer shawl made out of speaker wire.
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects? Stories from any person and as much neuroscience as a non-scientist can learn.
Can you recommend any good blogs, websites, or magazines? http://householdname.typepad.com/my_weblog/ and http://dornob.com/. Also, http://www.jimspancakes.com/, but this one is really only for breakfast.
What is your biggest failure? I try not to believe in failures..
What is your biggest accomplishment? I would say finally deciding to pursue art as a career and taking the steps to do so.
Do your parents like your artwork? They try to! Supportive is a better descriptor.
What do you think it means to be an artist? To add to the greater dialogue of art. To try to make change. To have a personal reason for creating and a reason extends beyond a personal scope, even if those reasons are fused.
What is your philosophy on showing work? I like to think of each show as another way to study my work—in this case, its interaction with viewers. My findings, then, help me evolve my studio practice.
By: Liz Tunick
I finally figured out why I was struggling so much to begin writing about suddenspace. It goes beyond the anxiety that accompanies writing about artists who can read what you say about them (most of the artists to whom I turn my critical attention only lived to see the very earliest years of the 20th century). Without realizing what I was doing, I was trying – and failing – to come up with a unifying theme or thread that would allow me to begin my discussion of suddenspace. I have become so conditioned to determining the success of a show or exhibition by its coherence or “story.” Ultimately, it was just that lack of what I might call coherence that made suddenspace feel so refreshing and interesting.
I would be lying if I said I felt excited by everything I saw. I was, however, quite pleased by the variety of work in the huge 5,000 square foot space – the differing media, concepts, and sizes, to name the most obvious. A self-proclaimed neophyte when it comes to the world of contemporary art (even as someone who has been attending contemporary art shows, open studios, and fairs for years), I am constantly heartened that artists move in innumerable directions, reminding us that long gone are the days when failing to follow particular conventions (set by artist academies) meant professional suicide. Sarah Miller’s (dis)appearing act (blackboard paint, chalk, varying dimensions, 2010) is a quietly powerful work made directly on the wall, a scene of a forest that feels as if it is thriving, yet whose fragility is all the most conspicuous by the medium, which we associate with constant and easy erasure. Nearby, along the same wall, hangs a trio of works that kept drawing me back throughout the evening: Jenny Walton’s magnificent monotypes, untitled (60″ x 36″), Fluidity (60″x 33″) and The In Between (60″ x 36″). They caught my eye for more than their size, though a height of five feet – only 2” shorter than the artist, I learned – certainly helped announce them as the tours de force I found them to be.
A monotype is a print made by using a transfer process; basically put, the artist manipulates ink on the plate (this can be done positively, adding ink, or subtractively, removing ink). It is common for artists to use a variety of means to work with the ink, including, but not limited to, both ends of a brush, cloth, and even their bare hands. (Not surprisingly, monotypes appealed to artists like the Impressionists for the variety, freedom, and spontaneity their production offers). Ms. Walton told me that she made all three on the same day, each a statement about her process – something I absolutely sensed in the incredible diversity of her marks. I was completely entranced by the rich tonal effects and the undulating lines, each work feeling like multiple worlds in one.
From a technical standpoint, monotypes are made from a simpler printing process than many other print forms, which generally involve some intaglio process (lithography, of course, being an exception to this). This leads to the work in the show I found the most exemplary for its technical acuity – the woodcuts by Camden Place. Mr. Place’s works are blocks of wood inked in black into which he deftly carves (more like sculpts) to create dramatic figural works. His use of chiaroscuro – contrasts of light and dark – draw you into the psychological complexity of his pieces.
So hurry to Arlington before November 27 when the show closes. You’re bound to find something that intrigues you with 19 excellent emerging artists in the mix.
Liz Tunick works in the Department of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She received her M.A. in Art History from Williams College in 2010 focusing on nineteenth-century French art. She has held previous positions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and Christie’s.
Artist Profile: Katherine Sable
Name: Katherine Sable
Sable grew up in Southwestern Virginia and holds a BFA in Studio Art from Virginia Tech. She received her MFA from American University in 2009 and is currently living and working in Reston, Virginia.
10 of your favorite artists? Philip Guston and a lot of the 1940’s and 50’s American painting, Morandi, Bosch and Velazquez were really striking to me as an undergrad, and more recently, Mary Heilmann, Joseph Bueys, Charlene von Heil, Tomma Abts, and Rebecca Morris. Lately, I’m loving a lot of things about Howard Hodgkin.
What is the last movie you watched? An indie drama called “The Greatest.”
Most influential teacher? Why? My undergraduate painting teacher and advisor Betsy Bannan. She provided consistent dialogue in the studio where I was always challenged to formulate my own conceptualizations of what painting was to me, while providing the opportunity to begin investigating my own independent studio practice. She represented the community of painters to which I aspired, and her support facilitated a growing understanding of what it would take to pursue a career as a studio artist.
What are you working on currently? I’m currently working on a handful of small scale gouache and oil paintings in order to work through ideas and motivations more quickly and efficiently. Not that I don’t appreciate my inefficient, drawn out painting practice (ha!); but I’ve caught myself relying on the comfort of the large-scale arena and an overly analytical approach. By turning the tables a bit, I’m seeing lots of new resolutions come up for each painting problem I run into. This is exciting to me because I simply hate knowing what step is next; I want to try to hold onto the idea of an instinctual way of making my paintings.
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects? Since my process relies so heavily on the starting motivation of each painting, and I don’t conceptualize the object in advance, I’m always searching for a different way to address the beginning of the process. I’m not interested in making work that acts as a stand in, or something that “feels like” or “looks like” something else. Where I typically give myself the freedom to start wherever appropriate, engaging with decorative patterns, formal contradictions, and overloaded absurdities, or anything I think is interesting for painting exploration, lately, I’ve been excited to search for ways to use one reference. I’d like to see how it could manifest itself over a course of a time, on a handful of surfaces, instead of my usual singular fully loaded surface. This seems great, because I can be surprised, and enjoy the long hours playing with possibilities, and get the paintings to do something they haven’t done before.
What is your biggest failure? I don’t think that I would say I’ve had any detrimental failures really, but I do constantly feel the pressure and guilt of working in a vacuum in the studio, and not really getting my work out there. I guess I sort of hide behind my paintings, and that’s really not a good thing, because I benefit from active dialogue.
What is your biggest accomplishment? So far, my decision to go back to school to get my MFA at AU has probably been the best thing for me, albeit, my biggest accomplishment so far. I think the exposure I had to different topics of discussion really pushed my studio practice into high gear. What better chance than to have two full years to focus entirely on your work with no distractions? However, I’m pretty sure that after this baby of mine is born in a few months, though, I’ll have a new answer!
Do your parents like your artwork? I know that my parents are proud of my accomplishments, and would stand behind me, no matter what field I chose to be in. However, I think that they probably “liked” my artwork much more when I was actually learning how to paint, by way of representational drawing and painting as a youngster. It took a long time for me to come into my own as a painter, and ironically it seems that I am progressively more isolated from them as I become a better painter.
What do you think it means to be an artist? I can only speak for what it means to me. I’m not really a very religious or spiritual person, but painting provides in it’s own way, these revelations through an abstract space. It isn’t actually spiritual at all, I’m not very old-school. But encountering these moments in my work opens up a space in my mind that can be very satisfying without needing an absolute meaning. I love the rare occasion when the absence of text or dialogue is still so very much in the cerebral. Even if something I make doesn’t work, I still have found or established an idea or mark that seems urgent, or necessary. I think that’s how I make sense of things.
What is your philosophy on showing work? Well, the studio practice is very important to me, internal dialogue and contemplation is the way I work through things, but I see physically putting the work out there for others as the natural next step of the process. The conversation opens up, and I like that very much.
Artist Profile: Stewart Watson
Name: Stewart Watson
10 of your favorite artists?
The Guerrilla Girls
all of the Peales ( Rem. CW, J)
and pretty much all of my friends
yeah, i know – more than 10….
Most influential teacher? Why? my Dad – he’s brilliant, and a curmudgeon
What are you working on currently? a mess of stuff – craft stuff for my 2 year old, catching up on relationships, bouncing ideas around in my head, getting Area 405’s show season lined up
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects? balance
What is your biggest failure? hmm, either there is no biggest, I’ve forgotten it, or it perhaps it hasn’t happened yet.
What is your biggest accomplishment? managing grad school, making art, and having a baby – all at the same time
Do your parents like your artwork? they didn’t used to, but after 20 years of it professionally, I think it’s growing on them
What is your philosophy on showing work? play more, grump less
Artist Profile: Jenny Walton
Name: Jenny L. Walton
10 of your favorite artists?
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Fransisco de Goya
- Artmesia Ghentileschi
- Fra Filippo Lippi
- Jenny Saville
- Lucien Freud
- William Kentridge
- Andreas Vesalius
- Shirin Neshat
Most influential teacher? Why?
I have several in which I can’t distinguish which is the most.
- Keith Lewis was my metalsmithing professor in undergrad. He was very hard but fair and I learned just as much in the classroom as out of it from him. He taught me to be unafraid of trying and the possibilities of the word “if” and eliminated the word “can’t” from my artistic vocabulary.
- Joan Cawley-Crane taught me to explore, to never reject an idea on the first go, and to love papermaking and printing processes. She was also an advisor to the Art Council and worked heavily with us on our professional development outside of the studio.
- CJK PapadopoulosHe browbeat a respect for tools, craftsmanship and overall consideration for a piece work into me.
What are you working on currently?
I’m currently working on small left-handed watercolors that are meditations on healing and right handed ink drawings that are more about the process of destruction.
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects?
I am planning a new series on the awkwardness of healing. It will return me to the outside of the figure, something that I have been contemplating for a long time. I’m nervously excited about its potential.
Do your parents like your artwork?
My parents do not like my artwork; they are mildly tolerant of it. They still wish for me to be doing portraiture and traditional landscape, like Thomas Kincaid. Bleck.
What do you think it means to be an artist?
To me being an artist means that you are open to possibilities, you don’t give up, and you’re willing to work hard to get it right, regardless of how many times it might take.
What is your philosophy on showing work?
Once my work is on the wall, it’s not so much about what I was thinking or doing when I made the piece. At that point, I feel like it’s taken on a life of its own. I want the viewers to bring their own stories to the piece and have a conversation with it.
The new work explores suspension of faith in science and organized belief systems; questioning beliefs of commonly held “truths” through personal experience in the process and physical destruction and reconstruction of the body. Through these ideas dealing with the beautiful, horrific, and sublime nature of the human body evolve a sense of the spiritual and physical manifestation of being human. Included are subjects of biology, micro and macro environments, life cycles, and nature as it applies to the human condition specific to events in a body’s history.
In much of the work the rib cage acted as a structural and metaphorical stabilizer within each composition. It offered protection, structure, and containment, much like organized religion. The often abstracted and wildly expressive landscapes outside of the ribcage elude to a vastly changing and evolving scientific world of study both threatens and empowers established belief systems.
Drawing played a significant and direct role in the creation of these works. The monotypes were created by manipulating ink on YUPO polypropylene sheeting used as the printing matrix to paint directly on the entire press bed and emphasize with the fluidity of the materials. This process introduced elements of chance and the opportunity to react organically to a normally rigid process to expand upon and experiment with the ideas and compositional elements rapidly. Since the residency, drawing has continued to be a driving method behind my work.
I worked in suites of prints building upon or destroying parts of the previous composition to further ideas and elements in the next. At the beginning of each suite I would utilize imagery from anatomy books, x-rays of my own body, and photography in the initial composition. As I worked further into the suite those representational images would then either be obliterated or emphasized depending on the response to my physical awareness to previous injuries on my body. As my own physical stamina decreased in the long printing sessions, so then did representation of human anatomy in the work.
Personal experience with degenerative disease and a work by Caravaggio in particular has acted as a catalyst to this continuing body of work. It is an oil from 1601-1602 titled the Incredulity of Thomas referencing John 20:27.
“27 -Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Bible (New International Version)
Physical endurance during my artistic practice has become a key factor in the exploration of the themes above. The use of larger ranges of motion and pushing the reaches of physical ability and mark making are an attempt to solidify thoughts of spirituality, mortality, and the metaphors of human life and its evolving relationships to the world.
Artist Profile: Victoria Reeves Greising
Name: Victoria Reeves Greising
Greising was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. She studied painting, photography and sculpture at DePauw University, graduating in 2007 with her BA in Studio Art. Greising has also studied in Aix-en-Provence, France at The Marchutz School of Art. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Studio Art at American University.
Who are your favorite artists? Jessica Stockholder, Tara Dononvan, Nick Cave, Nicholas Hlobo, Laura Schnitger, Shinique Smith, Hans Hoffman, Paul Cezanne, John Singer Sargent
Most influential teacher? Why? Every day I learn something new. I really believe that each interaction, conversation, etc. can teach you something, if you are open and willing to see the lesson. So, I can’t say that I have one most influential teacher, everyone teaches me something. Every moment is a chance to learn and I love discovering new things.
What are you working on currently? Fabric sculptures and installations, drawings, and thinking about doing some small painting studies
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects? pushing the materiality of fabric and a developing a “complete and balanced” studio practice
Can you recommend any good blogs, websites, or magazines? I read a lot of fashion blogs and magazine.. it is apart of my visual research to see how fabric is being used. My new favorite blog however, is www.designspongeonline.com … its got tons of great DIY ideas. Home improvement projects are a great way to bring a creative twist into the everyday.
What is your biggest failure? I don’t believe in failure. Only in opportunities to learn and grow.
What is your biggest accomplishment? I have experienced it yet. If I had, then I wouldn’t work as hard.
Do your parents like your artwork? Of course. They have always been supportive of what I do, even if they don’t exactly understand it.
What do you think it means to be an artist? An artist is someone who uses their creativity to make something unique. Someone who can trust their imagination and support it with some sort of expression. Anyone can make art if given the correct set of tools. But an artist is someone who believes so much in “making” that they can’t live without their practice.
What is your philosophy on showing work? I make work to explore ideas, creativity and imagination— taking the familiar and transforming it into something new. I show my work where it is appreciated and enjoyed.
Artist Profile: Bobby Coleman
Name: Bobby Coleman
Favorite artists? pollock, frank stella, basquiat, steven pearson, alex pardee, shaun barber
What is the last movie you watched? paranormal activity 2
Most influential teacher? Why? Steven Pearson. Mcdaniel College. i would not have got into grad school if it was not for steve. and i honestly have no idea what i would be doing with my life if he didnt help me out.
What are you working on currently? i am working on my paintings. figuring out what i want to get from them. im starting to work alot larger, and how i can play with space within the painting. i am also thinking about how i can break off the canvas and make sculptural elements in real life that exist in my paintings
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects? i am extremely interested in creating space in my abstract paintings. i want people to feel like they can step into my paintings. i like transforming ordinary marks into something else and i am interested in creating elements that look like they were built or could exist somewhere else, but clearly do not. i am also slowly becoming interested in sculpture. i have been researching alot and been thinking about what i want my sculpture to accomplish. im hoping to start working through some of these ideas, but its hard to but down my brushes and try working in another media
What is your biggest failure? i dont think i actually believe in failures. the more i think about it the more i feel like things happen for a reason. i think the only way you can really fail at something is to not actually try. to me not putting forth effort or actively seeking something is failure.
What is your biggest accomplishment? getting into grad school and pursuing something that i am extremely passionate about. to make my career and life as an artist would be a dream come true. getting into grad school was the first step and is my biggest accomplishment up to this point in my life
Do your parents like your artwork? my mom is very supportive of me and everything i do, but she does not like my current artwork. she wishes i still drew portraits or painted landscapes. and i dont think my dad has any idea that im actually in school for art haha
What is your philosophy on showing work? i have no problems with showing work. if you want your work to be seen than get it seen. if you do not want your work to be seen then dont show it.
Artist Profile: Sabeth Jackson
Name: Sabeth Jackson
Sabeth Jackson is a printmaker, painter, and artisan currently based in Washington D.C. Sabeth studied art at Mesa State College in Colorado and at the University of Oregon. Her primary medium is relief printmaking on paper and fabric, with an interest in the figure, pattern and repetition. Her current body of work includes prints focused on archetypes, symbols, and talismans and the cultural information these images communicate.
Sabeth’s work has been exhibited nationally. She has also taught art classes at the Maude Kerns Art Center (Eugene, OR), the Lyndon House Arts Center (Athens, GA), and the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center (Silver Spring, MD). She currently serves as Program Assistant with Project Youth ArtReach of Class Acts Arts, Inc. (facilitating cultural arts programs for incarcerated youth), and as Evening Studio Manager and Relief Printmaking Associate at Pyramid Atlantic (an art center dedicated to printmaking, papermaking, and the art of the book).
What are you most interested in exploring in your upcoming projects?
I’m currently planning my first installation piece, which is an exciting and daunting prospect for me. I love working big, so that lends well to installation, and i am excited about creating an atmosphere for people to experience. Looking at installations that are done well is a bit daunting though–My thinking is you have to extend your expertise to a greater variety of mediums, and make more work in general. I think it’s kind of a logical next step for me though, as I love drawing, painting, and print, and i also love textiles.
Can you recommend any good blogs, websites, or magazines?
I often feel so lucky to be able to experience work from all over the world from my laptop through blogs and websites, and I’m discovering new ones all the time. They are a bit all over the place, since that’s how my interests fall. Here’s a few:
http://blog.annettepehrsson.se/ lovely photographs
http://www.navalubelski.com/ paper and stitch artist
http://makeshiftproject.blogspot.com/ designed and made all her clothes for a year
http://leahevanstextiles.com/ beautiful quilted maps
http://www.artbizblog.com/ business tips for artists
also, my husband and i got three subscriptions as gifts last xmas and have loved them: Oxford American (a literary mag celebrating the south), the new yorker, and Cabinet. I recommend them all!
Artist Statement-My work is largely figurative—prints and paintings of people and animals, often depicted acting out some part of their day-to-day life. I am influenced by mythology and folktales, which often recount common experiences, calling attention to the undercurrents that run through our lives—the spiritual, emotional, and mystical. My work is almost always a meditation on my experiences, exploring women’s roles, relationships, emotions, and memory. My intention is to distill beauty from these experiences, to preserve and share memories.
Making things by hand, whether it’s painted, carved, drawn, or sewn, is important to my artistic practice for a variety of reasons. First, I find a great deal of pleasure in making things, learning how things work, and developing craftsmanship. These things make me feel powerful, self-sufficient, and connected to our handmade past. I also believe, as Louise Bourgeois did, that showing the hand in your work shows that the emotion expressed is real.
Currently I focus most of my energy on block printing, both on fabric and on paper. I am drawn to this technique because of the physicality of it, its simplicity, the boldness and expressiveness of the lines, and the way that my imagery is transformed by the process. This last part is particularly exciting–regardless of the technique/media used, this transformation from my idea and intention to the object that is born happens with each project I finish. It feels a bit like an unexpected gift, and reinforces my feeling that stories, symbols and metaphor are part of a universal dialogue and consciousness, something that I have participated in, but cannot claim ownership of.
November 2010 Participating Artists:
L. Kimberly Gillespie