Anagnorisis Fine Arts

C.J. Stahl: From a Basement on a Hill
Anagnorisis is excited to be exhibiting C.J. Stahl’s latest body of work, From a Basement on a Hill, tomorrow! He’s generated interesting ‘case studies’, as he likes to call them, which dissest memory into physical, mental and emotional experiences. Stahl references and questions contemporary psychological theory to create insightful dialoge about this research. Often our minds pick and choose what we want and how we want to remember – a blur between the real and quasi-fantasy. It only makes sense that he blends and toggles between refined photographic imagery and painted gestures that marry into beautiful technical abstractions.
DE – So what’s your story?  and do you remember your first creative inclination?
CS – Well. I’m originally from central Texas, a small town named Taylor. It’s one of those places that people would describe as being a nice place to raise a family.
I don’t know if I can recall my first creative inclination. My Mom used to draw when I was young. There are still drawings of hers at my parents home, mostly of dark biker art, skeletons and things like that. She’d told me she drawn them for my Dad, who had always had a motorcycle and loved deathly looking pencil and ink drawings at that time.
My family responds really well to my work and have always been incredibly supportive. Sometimes my parents “get it”, about a particular work, and sometimes they don’t, but they are always great cheerleaders. My brother draws and paints as well, and we always have allot of really great dialogue about what either of us is working on at the moment.
As far as going to school to be a photographer or a painter, I’d have to say painter, although that’s only a half truth. I think I started painting my sophomore year, taking a watercolor class with the drawing/painting prof that I was convinced hated me at the time. It was a pretty inspiring experience, and was the first time I started hanging out in the studio late nights working till the early morning. It was great.
DE – How did you come to mixed media?
CS – I was brought to the idea of mixed media first by meeting the artist Noah Shem Klein, he had just finished his MFA at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philly and was covering the drawing and painting courses at Shippensburg while the full time prof was on sabbatical. I had an independent study course with him, and he’s the one who taught me how to be a real artist, in the sense of not just identifying yourself with you creative impulses but actually putting them into practice. He first introduced me to the idea of doing toner based transfers into acrylic medium, but of course let me figure it out on my own.
DE – What’s your process like?
CS – My process typically starts with just doing under paintings on blank supports. Often times I’m not even sure what imagery is going to go on them, but I like to develop a layered surface first and then the ideas start coming together. Next I’ll look through my files of photos I’ve taken. Recently, I’ve been photographing subjects with a bit more intention, planning out a body of work that I’ll be putting together. Once I have some options as far as photo imagery, I begin to decide which ones will be more central and then supporting imagery. Sometimes these images are collage and sometime transfer, either directly over the under painting or silver leaf/aluminum foil that I’ve laid down. Then, I just paint. I try to stay open to what an individual work needs so that I’m not trapped in an exact process, but that’s the gist of it.
DE – What is this most recent body of work about?
CS – The most recent body of work is portraits. Some of them are self portraits and others are not, but they are a reflection of, I guess what you could call, constants in my life, my people, myself. In the past year, at times, I’d felt like I lived in three different places at once, back home in south central Pennsylvania, New York, and with my fiance in Philadelphia. A large part of my time being in metropolitan areas, I became aware of a lack of my typical subjects, the natural environment, dead animal, etc. So after allot of “what am I going to take pictures of and paint??”, I realized that I can paint these people in my life.
DE – The images I’ve seen have a environmental, organic aesthetic. What’s behind that?
CS – Well, if you’ve ever been to the rural parts of south central PA, you may have noticed that there is not much going on; there’re great musicians, but few opportunities to catch a great show, great artists, but not much as far as museums or galleries, the list goes on and on. However, the natural landscape is at times staggeringly beautiful. After spending x amount of years there and the full opportunity to get down about the lack of liveliness, I began at some point really appreciating my natural surroundings. The winter there can be kinda depressing, but walk through an apple orchard full of gnarly, barren, Halloween looking fruit trees and it’s really pretty. Oh, and the dead animals on the sides of the road! I’ve looked very creepy at times hovering over road kill with a camera, while a line of traffic passes by, but it’s everywhere and always know where you are because of these kinds of things.
DE – What contemporary mixed media artist inspire you now?
CS – I’d have tho say that allot of my inspiration is drawn from my friends that work, not all of them doing mixed media. Sifting through the art periodicals over the years looking for something new and exciting has only taken me so far, but to sit and talk shop with one of my friends always makes me feel like working.
Aric Sites is a great painter from my area in PA that does some mixed media work. The body of work “Weight”, based on his poetic journal writings, that he’s now finishing oscillates beautifully in the approach to individual works.
Gordon Rabut from the Philly area does drawings on paper that juxtapose animals, and weird characters that look like soldiers from the Vietnam War. I’m always looking forward to seeing what he’s up to.
Last year I met David Hochbaum who’s work I’d been familiar with and highly appreciated, and he’s been a great insight to many aspects of the art world that I’d not had the opportunity to experience yet.
Um, Carlos Tarrats, I don’t know the guy, but he’s an awesome photographer from L.A. that has a really cool process of making physical photo filters out of plexiglass and shooting his strange organic models through them.
DE – Mixed media is only in the more recent decades been looked at serious, both in institutions and the marketplace. Do you feel this affects you work?
CS – I’m not sure. After going through the whole grad application process this past winter, I found that I was not accepted into an MFA program, all of which were in NY,  for the fall, but I’d like to give the institutions the benefit of the doubt and assume that it wasn’t because of my media. As far as marketplace, I don’t think I’ve had “collectors” buying my work yet, and I have allot of faith in the art appreciators/buyers to just simply respond to the work they see, and not just disregard it because they have a prejudice towards certain media, but we’ll see what happens in the future.
DE – On a similar note, I’ve find it hard to find truly compelling artists in the field. I was so excited when I came across your work. What do you think about what your peers are doing, and what type of feedback have you received for your work?
CS – Feedback has been really great. I think that when you share the habits of working in a studio with another person, especially those who are familiar with your work and you with theirs, there is an extreme amount of respect, support, and generosity that is extended by both parties. The hard work of criticism comes later when you are both able to open up about the other’s new work, but it’s a great experience and exchange. It’s what helps to keep us all going.

Distorted Beauty THIS THURSDAY!

We hope you can swing by THIS THURSDAY! The event is free and open to the public. Please pass the good word along.

Dave Tree’s Silkscreening Party!!

We’re doing something new this time and would love for you to partake in the fun!  The Good Things in Life Never Die closes the first Friday of April and we’ve decided to throw a celebration of sorts. It’s spring again – time to get out of the winter routine, put on a breezy t-shirt, and frolic in the sun. Ok, ok.. I might be jumping the gun, but it’s time to switch it up a little. There’s no better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons then with a silk screening party (duh)! Bring you shirts, skirts, scarves, and wraps…. and for a measly $5, Dave Tree will turn your winter blues into a fashionable piece of affordable art.  If that doesn’t put a spring in your step, I don’t know what will…

The Good Things in Life Never Die – Closing Party

April 2, 2010 from 7-10p

145 e. Houston Street (btw. Forsyth & Eldridge)


Special Event Announcement: Distorted Beauty – Thursday April 8th

Normally, we try to focus our attentions toward the world of fine art; grotesque, whimsical, or otherwise undeniably eye catching. Over the past year, our exhibitions and entries have reflected this interest. This April we’re doing something a little different! Our very own, Danielle Ezzo, had the opportunity to create a unique exhibition that attempts to bridge often disconnected realms of art fine and commercial worlds – art and fashion. Anagnorisis Fine Arts, Pixelspace, and Station Digital are pleased to announce the exhibition and silent auction, Distorted Beauty, a collaboration between artist and retoucher D Tyler Huff and a select group of cutting edge commercial fashion and beauty photographers, proceeds of which will benefit the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center.

Distorted Beauty refers to the connection between the fashion and beauty industry’s long-seated practice of transforming the photographic image by means of excessive retouching, ultimately creating a frame for what constitutes conventional beauty. While the current backlash against touching up of celebrities has taken center stage, similar techniques are employed on nearly all beauty and fashion images. This group exhibition attempts to examine this state of hidden digital manipulation, and generate conversation about the nature of this controversy, by exposing the degree to which body image is distorted beyond what is “true” or “real”.

Show Highlights: Established photographers Edwin Ho, Indira Cesarine, and Amber Gray will punctuate the show with their highly developed signature styles. Edwin Ho, known for his stunning images of Michael Jackson for ICON Magazine, and Indira the fashion editor for Lush Magazine and the recently launched XXXX Magazine. Amber, whose image graces the flyer for the show, has an innately whimsical aesthetic that spans the gap between art and fashion, humor and horror. Emerging photographer, Caitlin Mitchell’s work (image below), feature nightlife personality Jordan Fox.

Participating artists: Michael David Adams, Alex Beauchesne, Jonathan Bookallil, Indiria Cesarine, Amber Gray, Edwin Ho, Wendy Hope, D. Tyler Huff (image excerpt below), Peter Koval, Sergio Kurhajec, and Caitlin Mitchell.

Located in the heart of Soho, Pixelspace is a boutique shop focusing on beauty and fashion retouching. In an industry increasingly driven by the bottom line, Pixelspace is proud of their personalized, creative approach toward every project, from single retouched images to larger commercial projects.

Station Digital is a boutique that offers a full range of highly personalized digital imaging services. Shazi Hussain, Station Digital’s founder, has worked on some beautiful coffee table books such as, Women by Annie Leibovitz and Blood Sweat and Tears by Bruce Weber among others.

In December 2001 the Urban Justice Center created the Sex Workers Project, the first program in New York City and in the country to focus on the provision of legal services, legal training, documentation, and policy advocacy for sex workers. The SWP works in the following areas: criminal justice reform; trafficking in persons; and human rights documentation.

Please join on for the opening reception April 8th, 2010 from 7-10p at Station Digital – 73 Franklin Street, New York, NY.

Distorted Beauty runs from April 8th – May6th, 2010.

This event is sponsored by Tanteo Tequila, who will be graciously providing specialty cocktails.

The Horseman, Demon, And Dave Tree
February 24, 2010, 1:22 am
Filed under: interview, White Rabbit | Tags: , , , ,

I’d heard about Dave Tree’s work from other artists for ages, and eventually had the pleasure of meeting the man in person about two years ago at an art opening in the east village. He’s a friendly yet rumbustious character, seemingly always ready for a good old fashion art debate. He has an unwavering loyalty to tradition with a flexibility to approach and process. This juxtaposition of old and new has always fascinated me especially seeing how that translates in an artist as versed as Tree. Aside from painting, he enjoys a myriad of other artistic pursuits from singing to silk screening. That night, he bestowed upon me a beautiful necklace with one of his images screened onto it. There are two images outlined scenes that appropriately display some past moment lost in time. I thought I’d start off this interview with that in mind:

DE – Your work often references a medieval era. Where does that come from?
DT – I always loved wood cuts from the dark ages and their ideas on what Hell would look like. I’ve been huge fan of Hieronymous Bosch since I was a kid so its always been an influence. I also grew up a hardcore Irish Catholic in Boston, so I had the iron clad boot of the church pressed against my neck.

DE – There seems to be an underlying narrative… What are your clad horsemen and demon soul thinking about?
DT – The Horseman and Demon think only on devouring your soul.

DE – Do you have a mentor?
DT – I had not been making art on a regular basis and had concentrated on my band TREE, but when it finally broke I needed to make art again. Its a great way to lift one’s spirits. Cynthia Von Bueller had me in a show in NYC where I hooked up with my old SMFA buddies Travis Lindquinst and David Hochbaum. I don’t know if I’d call them mentors but they whipped me into shape, trained me in process, made me stand on my own art literally, and really helped me think like an artist again so I owe a lot to them.

DE – You also sing in a band. How does that, if at all, affect your artwork?
DT – Singing in a band helps with my art to a great extent, I make pieces about my songs, I make songs about my pieces, it all works together really well. Singing/screaming in a band is also a great therapeutic outlet,  art can be frustrating at times so I get to scream my blues away and start with a new slate the next day.

DE – Tell us a little about the process of art making for you…
DT – Sometimes I just see the image in my head and go for it, once in a while the final product looks like the image in my end or completely different, either way I got new art. Sometimes I make one piece and see a series in it so out comes a series. Why make one piece when I can make 10 that all correspond. Mistakes are my friends.

DE – Many of your paintings are on wood panels instead of canvas. Why?
DT – I really like wood as a material, it doesn’t “Bounce” like canvas, it is unyielding and has historic significance, the very texture of the wood and its grain can add to the work.I do a ton of trash pick dumpster diving and I raise recycling to an artform, so more wood get thrown away that canvases but I do find plenty of canvas too and started working more with it.

DE – What do you think about the contemporary art world now in relation to the economy and the advancements in social networking, etc?
DT – Online networking really helps get the word out, I still flyer shows but I feel archaic,  but I’m a creature of habit and I still believe the person to person contact works best for me. The economy hasn’t hurt me at all, but then again I operate underground and I champion the barter system like a motherfucker. I can make something from nothing and get something for it. Contemporary artists need to exploit social networks, get their art up on line and make their prices affordable. I make art in 3 different price tiers so that  my art is available for all the people not just the ones that have a big bank accounts.

DE – You live in Boston now, but often show in New York. What’s that like? Have you ever thought of relocating?
DT – I love NYC and Boston, I’ve made a conscious  effort to get to NYC as much as possible because the art scene  is by far superior to Boston’s scene but in Boston I have space to work that in NYC would cost a fortune. In an ideal world I  will build a reputation as an artist from Boston and  move to NYC or Brooklyn when I could afford to live their. I think it would really help to be in NYC for the art.

DE – Tell us a little about your silk screening parties, and how they started…
DT – I have been silkscreening for 20 years, I to a GoldmineShithouse party at David Hochbaum’s house/studio and I helped print and saw how they had it going on so I stole their idea. I brought it to Boston and would do parties in my studio.I then got a solo show at McCaig Welles and I had a silkscreen closing party to help get some eyes on my art and maybe some sales. It worked so well the gallery asked me to do one for all their shows, so I got to have a print party in Brooklyn every month for a year. I really enjoy printing for people live and have to thank the GoldmineShithouse guys for the idea.

DE – What do you procrastinate most with?
DT – writing down the unwritten word

DE – I agree, sometimes it’s hard to get into the habit of doing something. Regardless, how much you enjoy it. On that note, what’s your motto?
DT – The more you get done. The more you get done. The people and the land are one, and the people and land will not be divided.

Click on the show card above to see an online gallery of works Dave will have on exhibit for us in March.

Bea Nettles: Myths Behind the Woman
February 17, 2010, 1:53 pm
Filed under: interview, photography | Tags: , , ,
Since the 70’s, Bea Nettles has been one of the primary players in this niche group of alternative photographers – pushing the boundaries of the creative process and innovating technique. Her work often marries these photo methods to mixed media, as well as, book binding. Her work is included in numerous collections including in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Polaroid International Collection, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the International Museum of Photography at the Eastman House, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona.  Over the years she’s shared her knowledge by teaching and lecturing at Rochester Institute of Technology, Tyler School of Art, and the University of Illinois where she is currently Professor Emerita.  I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to her about her story, and what’s in store for her in the near future:
DE- What were you doing in Italy over the past fall?
BN- I was teaching book arts for the University of Georgia’s Study Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy for the fall semester.
DE- What led you to book binding?
BN – I made my first book of collage images in 1970. Early in the seventies I learned to run an offset press and used it and various other means, including screen printing, to produce small editions of my photographic books. These can be seen on my website here: and,_1974.html
Through the late 70’s until the mid 90’s,  I was involved with creating over twelve self published books utilizing offset printing and commercial bindings. These were done in larger runs of 1000-4000 copies and began to be distributed more widely. I learned a great deal about the printing industry. As a photographer, my interest has always been in the narrative qualities of photographs, either alone or combined with text. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Photography twice during my career. The first time, I used some of these funds to produce the book Flamingo in the Dark, and the second time Life’s Lessons: A Mother’s Journal. Samples of these offset books can be seen here:,1979.html
I taught my first artists’ book class at Tyler School of Art in 1973. In around 2000, I had the opportuntity to teach more semester long classes in book arts at the University of Illinois.  I had always included the creation of books as projects in my course up until this point. In order to teach these classes, I needed to expand my skills in binding. I took several workshops and returned to making small editions of artists’ books. These can also be found at my website if you follow the links to my artists’ books found on the main page. Here is the link to the books of 2003-6:,_2007.html
DE- Who are some of your favorites emerging visual artists?
BN – I would hardly call him emerging, but I find the work of William Kentridge to be awe inspiring. He has taken such simple means (drawing with charcoal, collages with cut paper) and created profoundly moving statements about the human condition. I also really love Dave McKean’s work in The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch.
DE- What are you doing in 2010 that we can look forward to?
I have a large exhibition of Life’s Lessons: A Mother’s Journal, opening in March for six months at the Harn Museum in Gainesville, Florida. This is the complete show of the 20×24 Polaroid prints that became a book by the same name. I will be giving a lecture there on March 21.
DE- Are there any must see exhibitions right now? Why?
I want to see the exhibition at the Morgan Museum in NYC of the unbound pages of The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. There are over 100 illuminated images in this book which is currently being rebound. This is an opportunity to see them all. Once the book is rebound, only a very few people will ever see these images in the original again. It is a once in a millenium opportunity.
DE-  Tell me about your book, Persephone’s Descent and Return?
Much of my work has dealt with the passing of time, through themes of major life’s passages, the seasons and aging. The story of Persephone explains why winter must come each year, but also why there is always hope for another spring. She was the daughter of the earth goddess, abducted by Hades and taken to his world underground. Her grieving mother Demeter caused all vegetation to die unless she was returned, but Persephone had eaten some pomegranite seeds while in the underworld, and was only allowed to return in the spring and summer. I was born and raised in Florida, so I find northern winters depressing. I often find that the artwork I make in the winter months involves a longing for spring. There are many examples of this dating as far back as the 70’s when I made a series called “Warm Weather Wishes”, or “Rachel’s Holidays” in 1984
On a broader level, this book is about hope. No matter how dark things seem, I have hope for change and brighter days. One has to learn to roll with the punches.
DE- Iceland has been one of my favorite travel destinations. Their history is deeply rooted in the fairytale stories called Sagas. Was your book Fate, Being  & Necessity inspired by this tradition?
BN- I spent two months living in Iceland as an artist in residence in Harfnarfjordur. I read many of the sagas and also studied Norse Mythology. While there I made eight books, all inspired by my stay. The first was a retelling of the death of Snorri Sturluson (Snorri’s Pool) I made a book about the Norns, Heimdall’s Horn, and Odin’s two blackbirds Hugin and Munin (mind and memory). I also made books about the landscape, a set of waterfalls, a botanical and a book that retold the story of the Guardians of Iceland that are pictured on the back of every coin. All of these books, and a couple of videos can be seen if you follow the link called Iceland: Books 2007. It is an amazing country. I hope to return again to see parts that I couldn’t travel to on my first trip.
DE- Mysticism seems to be a running theme with your work, shown once again in your Mountain Dream Tarot Deck among other projects. What significance does this hold for you?
BN- I wouldn’t call myself a mystic, but I am very interested in myths, symbols, and the ways that artists have developed imagery to address the human condition. While I was in college I read extensively about archetypal imagery, the works of Carl Jung. This led a colleague to show me a book about  the Tarot deck. I was primarily intriqued by the imagery in the deck, and how it represented such a range of human personality and experience. It took me five years to complete my photographic deck. I don’t “read” the cards, but I do find them fascinating to contemplate.
My work is generally narrative. I enjoy playing one image off another. Some of my works are fairly specific, as in the Icelandic work that I mentioned. Other works are more evocative and try to address the ineffable. For over a decade I have worked on a body of photographs called “Return Trips.”  I continue to travel throughout the USA and Europe revisiting familiar sites and photographing in new territory as well. I have been combining these images with portraits and glimpses of my daily routine in ways that deal with the layered and cyclical nature of time and the sense of place that I experience strongly, perhaps more strongly as the years go by.
DE- More and more, I’m understanding the importance of teaching as a part of the artistic role in the community. What is your impression of teaching, and how important is it for you to do in your career?
BN- I have always thoroughly enjoyed teaching. It is a way to share what I know, but also to keep learning. It has been challenging to keep up with the technology. So much has changed in the photographic world since I first began. Also, the ability to create books using print on demand services, or one’s own digital printers, has been liberating. I can remember the excitement we all felt with the availability of xerox machines! The pace of technological change has been astonishing, and I know that teaching has forced me to be adaptable and resourceful.
DE- In your experience, what is the best way for artists to survive on their artwork? Should they be focusing on building a repertoire of exhibitions? Teaching? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?
BN- I wish I knew more artists who could survive on their artwork. My peers have been artists who also teach, mostly at the college level. This allows us studio time, especially in the summer months. I have taught many times at Penland School in North Carolina. Here I have met studio artiists who are able to live simply and make a modest living through the sales of their ceramics, blown glass or blacksmithing for example. I never felt that I would be able to sell the quantity of work needed to live in that manner.
An exhibition record is very important. People need to see what you make to appreciate the tactile qualities and the scale of the work. My work has predominantly been shown in museum and university exhibitions. I have had modest relationships with galleries, but unfortunately none that were really long lasting.
The web has been a terrific way to reach new audiences. It has strengths and weaknesses like any other medium. It is imperative these days to have a web presence.
Another important boost to an artist’s career is publication and reviews. I expect that most people who know about my work have seen it in books, either my own or history books and catalogs. Books create a permanent historical record and I think this is a good thing. When I was teaching, I relied heavily on books to inspire my students.
DE- What’s the most satisfying thing about the creative process for you?
BN- When I am working, either in the studio, or out in the world photographing, I am able to immerse myself in what I am doing. When things are going well, I find it incredibly exciting. There is a great book that discusses this phenomenon called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  It feels wonderful to dip into that part of my brain, to draw upon my experience, to use my hands, to think and be alone. At other times it is very difficult and challenging to keep working. When that happens, I take a break and go work in the garden…which, for me is another form of creativity.
DE- Let me alittle about your connection to Light Gallery…
BN- I was asked to be one of the original thirteen photographers to show at Light Gallery in 1971. It was an incredibly exciting and heady time. I had my first one-person show there in 1972 which was reviewed in the New York Times and Arts Magazine. I certainly felt that I had arrived. Prior to this I had shown in a group exhibition called “Photography into Sculpture” at the Museum of Modern Art that opened in 1970. This was my first amazing break, made possible because a former teacher (Robert Fichter) had seen my work at a conference and mentioned what I was doing to Peter Bunnell,  the curator at MOMA. At the same conference I was also offered a one-person show at the International Center for Photography at the George Eastman House by Harold Jones, who went on to be the original curator at Light Gallery. It was after seeing the work in this show that he invited me to be in the gallery. I was the only female, and most likely, the youngest member. I was hand-coloring, machine stitching, and generally doing some very strange things to photographs.
I continued to belong to the gallery for about four years. My work changed during that period from wall work, to inexpensive artists’ books (Events in the Sky, Events in the Water These $10 books were not particularly profitable for a gallery. It was a different way to get my work out. It became apparent that I wouldn’t have another show at Light any time soon, so we parted ways in a friendly natural manner. A few years later, when I had begun to work with a  process called Kwik Print, I joined Witkin Gallery and had another exhibition called “Moonbeams and Dreams”…work that eventually became the basis of the book Flamingo in the Dark. It was this work that had won me my first National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in photography.
DE- What are some of the best galleries for finding new photographers that work with alternatives processes?
BN- I’m not sure who focuses on that work in NYC at this current time. In Chicago, you can see examples at two galleries: Catherine Edelman and Martha Schneider.

The Little Deaths – Only a Few More Days!

All good things must come to an end, and sadly The Little Deaths exhibition has it’s time as well — this Friday February 19th. Though there’s no reason to fret, a few more days await between now and then to swing by if you haven’t had the opportunity yet, or enjoyed the work so much one visit just isn’t enough! Have you seen the show? Leave a comment, tell us what you think!

Visit The Little Deaths online gallery by clicking here

Flyer artwork by Dan Estabrook

Show Highlights:
Seasoned artists such as Roger Ballen, Christopher Conte, Christian Rex van Minnen and Carrie Ann Baade will punctuate the show with their highly developed signature styles. Ballen’s uncomfortable and real compositions, Baade’s wonderfully allegorical oil paintings, Conte’s bio-mechanical sculpture and van Minnen’s lush and visceral oil paintings have captured the attention of many collectors around the world. The sensual works of the relatively unknown artists, Alex Passapera and Caitlin Hackett, explore themes of animal instinct in human nature. Both artists are very new to exhibiting their work, yet show strong potential for success. Passapera’s detailed ink or pigmented figures are often humans depicted with or mutating into animal forms in sweeping lines and grotesque forms. Hackett’s grotesque animals drawn with ball-point pen and other mediums are exquisitely detailed and delicate, reminiscent of age-old Japanese prints.

Participating artists: Christian Rex van Minnen, Anastasia Alexandrin, Carrie Ann Baade, Roger Ballen, Eduardo Benedetto, Molly Bosley, Dana Bunker, Christopher Conte, Clayton Cubitt, Jonathan Davies, Cam de Leon, Dan Estabrook, Danielle Ezzo, Lori Field, Heather Gargon, Chambliss Giobbi, Celicia Granata, Caitlin Hackett, Scott Holloway, Tina Imel, John Kolbek, Craig LaRotonda, Samantha Levin, Julie Anne Mann, Nia Mora, Dan Ouellette, Alex Passapera, Jeanette Rodrigez, Erin Colleen Williams

“The Little Deaths” runs from December 4th, 2009 through February 19th, 2010, at Shadow’s Space located at 1248 N Front St (@ Thompson St., Girard stop on the Market Frankford Line) Philadelphia, PA.

For more information, contact Anagnorisis at 646.712.2820 or – or Shadow’s Space through email ( or by telephone at 215.425.1275.

‘Wilderness’ Opens Friday Night!
February 3, 2010, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Announcement, Art Shows, interview, White Rabbit | Tags: ,

Untitled, ball point pen, water color, colored pencil, micron pen and ebony pencil, 56.4×57.2″

We hope you have some time to swing by Caitlin Hackett’s exhibition, Wilderness, this Friday night. Caitlin hit the ground running since her graduation from Pratt last year, and we’re super pleased to be featuring her work at the White Rabbit for the month of February.  All of her works are on our online gallery here as well.

Opening reception:
Friday, February 5th
White Rabbit
145 E. Houston (btw Eldridge and Forsyth)
On view until March 9

Caitlin was kind enough to chat with Danielle Ezzo about what makes her creatures come to life and what keeps her busy these days — take a peak:

DE- Tell us about what inspires you?
CH- I am inspired in equal parts by science and fantasy, though I have always been inspired by the natural world, and the struggles that surround it. As I child I personified every tree and cat and stone, giving it a story and a life of it’s own, weaving a fantastical world around me filled with anthropomorphic creatures. I grew up on the “lost coast” of northern California, in a small town in the redwood forest. Growing up surrounded by the natural world, hiking and camping amongst the ancient trees and the rugged coast, it was easy to believe in the fantastical myths of faeries and ghouls, and combine them with what my father taught me about natural ecosystems. Now I continue to be inspired by these same sources, as well as the conflicts between humans and animals that arise due to our constant juggling of resources and near ceaseless expansion.

DE- What is the story behind your anthropomorphic creatures? How closely related to mythology are they, if at all?
CH- Ever since I was a child I always drew animals, and often I would invent species, going into great detail to create fantastical ecosystems for them, explaining how each aspect of their body helped them to survive in whatever world they lived in. I based these invented creatures both on real animals such as seals and bears, and also on mythological creatures. Growing up I was also exposed to a lot of local mythology, because the area of California I grew up in was also the traditional home of the Wiyot tribe, amongst many others. When I create my creatures now they come straight out of my head and may or may not end up representing my original idea once on paper, but this flexibility and transience in ideas is part of what makes it so enjoyable to make these monsters, they are never the same and they never come out exactly as I planned, much like the real world. Although I do not specifically or intentionally reference any mythology in my work now, I have certainly be influenced by it throughout my life, and those influences certainly have an affect upon, and show up in, my drawings.

DE- What’s your process look like?
CH- I most often work on more than one piece at a time, usually several smaller pieces and one large, because the large drawings take so long to complete I often get bored with them and need to work on other pieces as I go in order to release new ideas. I prefer to draw on the floor, but for the large drawings I have to put them all a wall for most of the process, but usually I move them back and forth between the wall and the floor to work on them. When I start a drawing I usually have a rough idea of what I want, and when it’s a smaller piece I usually just start right in without sketches, and see where it takes me. with my large drawings I often do smaller, rough sketches first, just to map out the composition, before I go into the piece, although even then the final drawing often ends up quite different from the original sketch. I work mostly in ball point pen and water color, and when I start a small drawing I often start with the ballpoint pen right away, unless I think the idea is going to change in which case I start with pencil. For the large pieces I always do a light sketch in pencil first, then go into it with the pen and ink. The water color is the final step of each drawing, and is often the part which takes the longest, as the first layer of paint I put on usually looks awful.

DE- Some of your works are quite large and exceptionally detailed. How long does a piece like your untitled two-headed bird drawing (see above) take to complete?
CH- That drawing took about six months to complete, at times I would work on it every day, and when I started to hate it too much I would pull out another piece of paper and start another drawing until I felt like I could look at it again. Even after I thought I had finished this drawing, I wound up going back into it again with more color a few months later. It’s hard to say that any of my drawings are ever really finished, with all of them I feel like I could go back in and do more, but the average time for completion for these large drawings is between four and six months. Now that I work and uphold a studio career the time it takes to complete a large drawing has been extended even longer, I spend so much time looking at these drawings that they become part of my dreams!

DE- The relationship between humans and animals generally seems to be a very important theme for you. Tell us about that…
CH- The interactions between humankind and the natural world have always interested me, I am fascinated by the idea of balance and boundaries between humans and animals, and the way in which we form these boundaries. I grew up surrounded by nature and was greatly influenced by it, when I draw I can’t help but draw creatures, they are the forms that come most naturally to me. I can see animal forms in almost anything, and the textures of fur and scales and skin will appear on the paper whether I intended them to or not, I can’t escape my desire to draw animals, and in drawing them, explore my own relationship to them. It is the collaboration with the viewer that has also helped me to study the relationship between humans and animals using my work, because everyone who has seen my drawings has had a different reaction and brought up a different story, legend, or scientific fact about the animal represented on the paper. No one ever has the same view of the same creature, we alter the very identities of the animals we see based on our own perspectives, and it is this ability to warp the metaphysical identity of animals that I allude to in my drawings.

Masquerade; ball point pen, micron pen, gold ink, colored pencil and water color
Available as an affordable, limited edition print on rag paper.  Each edition has been individually hand-altered by the artist.  Please inquire for pricing.

DE- When did your appreciation for nature start?
CH- At a very young age, thanks to my parents, by the time I was two years old I had backpacked in the Rocky Mountains (or at least my father had carried my twin sister and I in his backpack through the rocky mountains). As a child I was obsessed with animals, when I was very little I thought I was a cat, and would run around on all fours through our house and backyard. I was taught to respect nature from a very young age, and spent my youth camping in the wilderness of California, playing on the rugged beaches of the north Pacific and exploring the many rivers that weave through the hills of Humboldt County. I cannot remember a time when I did not love the natural world or want to be a part of it.

DE- Many artists consider watercolor the hardest of all the painting mediums to work with. What are your impressions? Tips?
CH- Water color is certainly difficult to use at times, especially on a very large scale, I have to use 4 inch brushes to color in the back grounds of my larger drawings. I find water color to be relatively easy to use on a smaller scale, but it takes many layers of paint to color in my big drawings. I usually start with one layer of color and then build it up slowly, and the first layer of paint almost always looks terrible. The only tips I can really give are to have a lot of patience, and accept that it won’t look good right away! I love the luminosity of watercolor, and the way it reacts to the paper. I love working on paper, and watercolor suits the paper well, even if it’s challenging to work with at times.

DE- Do you have any pets, and do they ever take a role in your artwork?
CH- I have a cat in California, named after Mt. Shasta, he’s a giant tabby cat who my Dad and I found in a cardboard box in our town center when he was a kitten.  Both of my room mates have cats which I helped them to get here in Brooklyn, one we adopted from the shelter when he was a kitten, the other I found on the side of the road and brought home last summer. I have always loved cats, and will no doubt be a crazy old cat lady some day! I am very interested in capturing textures in my drawings, and have furry pets has certainly been a good resource given how much fur I have in each drawing.

DE- Where can we see your work in 2010? Any exciting plans?
CH- The show at White Rabbit is the last one of seven shows that I’ve had since graduating from Pratt last May, currently I have no shows planned out after this one but hopefully that will change soon. I will have 10-16 drawings appearing in the sixth addition of the ColorInkBook, coming out this year though.

DE- Who are some of your favorite artists today?
CH- Some of my favorite artists are Walton Ford, Rune Olsen, Hannah Dougherty, Christopher Reiger, and Marlene McCarty.

Dan Estabrook at The Museum of Contemporary Art

Remember “Black Waves” by the artist Dan Estabrook which graced the flyer for our exhibition, The Little Deaths? How could you forget? For the privileged who are Jacksonville locals please check out his show, Forever and Never, at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Florida open now through March 14th, 2010. Take a peak!

The Big Hand, 2006. watercolor and gouache on salt print. 14” x 11”

Molly Bosley on Gawker Artists
January 20, 2010, 12:52 am
Filed under: Announcement | Tags: ,

We’re happy to see that Molly Bosley, who has participated in two of our exhibitions, is featured on the Gawker Media website Gawker Artists. Take a look and see!

She also has a brand spanking new website that you can peruse by clicking here.