It really is primarily about your State of Mind, says LA-based painter Augustine Kofie about his battle with art and quarantine during this last year.
“The pandemic was a stop, an interruption, a loss of control,” he says – and points to the incomplete cycle symbols that appear throughout his new collection of paintings. Normal life, in its circular wending, was interrupted time and again, along with all our typical expectations.
His warm abstractions on canvas and upon large walls have always been human – with deep roots in graffiti and hand rendering – ‘overspray, tape blocking, detailed handwork, deconstruction, and draftsmanship drawn from architecture,’ says the PR statement from Hashimoto Gallery in New York where this new exhibition will open.
“My feelings are in the brushstrokes,” he says, “the movements, the process of repeatedly adding and taking away, the layers of time it took to complete these paintings.”
The gallery will be open by appointment only. In order to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff, please note that masks are legally required for entry. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday, April 17th to Saturday, May 8th.
For further information about the exhibition, to view the whole collection of works and for prices click HERE
The winter city streets are frozen and foreboding right now.
It’s late January and, like many people in the Northern Hemisphere, you are venturing outside only out of necessity, or boredom with your Covid lock-down walls. With leafless trees, closed businesses, barren social calendars, and endless grey cold concrete to greet you – one wonders how nature can be so cruel.
In the face of these realities, Jennifer Rizzo at New York’s Hashimoto gallery decided to festoon the interior space with flowers and plants, curating nearly three dozen artists to create something LUSH.
It may seem odd to become fixated on this most traditional of subjects in the modern skew of our worldview. Somehow we cannot imagine art collectors beguiled by the natural world. But these times are crying out for new solutions, or at the very least, a salve for our psychic wounds. Hashimoto may be onto something indeed.
We asked Jennifer Rizzo about the new show, how she conjured it, and how her garden grows.
BSA:How many flowers do you have blooming in the gallery right now?
JR: So many! Thirty-three artists came together for this show, many of them incorporating multiple flowering plants and species into their works. Then there’s the actual flowering plants in the space. I think I’d need a field guide and a few hours to take an official count of all the lovely varieties blooming in the space.
BSA:Certainly there is a history of people collecting nature-inspired art, including landscapes and botanicals – but it hasn’t exactly been in “fashion” for some time. Is this show a reaction in some way to the current climate politically, socially, economic?
JR: In some ways it is a personal response to what we have collectively been living through this past year. We are all spending more time at home than ever, many gravitated to cooking, baking, picking up new hobbies such as musical instruments or gardening. For most urban dwellers, gardening happens on a windowsill. In times of uncertainly, I know I look for things that are comforting and in a way, familiar. Things that feel nurturing. What can be more beautiful, accessible, timeless than nature in art?
BSA:How do some of these works represent “modern” reworkings of this traditional theme? Can you give a couple of examples?
JR: I wanted the exhibition to present a survey of the scene, and see how contemporary artists are interpreting the subject matter, going beyond the traditional still life of a vase full of flowers, although works of that nature can be quite beautiful as well.
A few examples of artists who pushed well beyond the expected are;
Aldrin Valez’s small scale mixed media works, with figures dressed in fashion’s inspired by the prickly spikes of a cactus or the rounded petals of a flower. I love the concept of wearable art, and Aldrin’s high fashion interpretation of “make a piece inspired by the flowering species.”
Hola Lou’s abstract painting, titled Jungla de Noche. The artist’s boldly simple lines and minimal approach really pushed the concept, yet captured the rumbling energy of a jungle alive at night.
Jeff Canham’s whimsical cacti, housed in actual terra cotta planters. They are super playful, and have a flattened two dimensional quality even though they are three dimensional sculptures.
MC Marquis hand painted typography on vintage floral plates. The artist has been working on her plate series for a few years now, merging the traditional vintage plates with phrases that are topical and relatable.
LUSH Hashimoto Contemporary, New York curated by Jennifer Rizzo January 16th – February 6th, 2021
A uniquely dark atomized aesthetic
and vocabulary that references computer modeling and Rorschach tests, the
subjects of DALeast’s focus are
energetic skins, or simply skin-like armor that moves to contain the energy
within the form as it flies, races, pounds upon the wild gravel planes.
A self-driven creator, this Street Artist’s voice has stood confidently within the boisterous murmur of the last decade’s international urban art feast, quietly sticking to his story while the more brash braggarts at the table don new scarves to affect a commercial style or simply contort into something more appealing to merchants and queen-makers who have cunningly appeared at the table.
In fact, he’s even taken time off
from the so-called festival circuit to examine his painting practice, arguably
with solid results. Or liquid.
For Rippling Stone, his solo exhibition with Hashimoto Contemporary on Manhattans’ Lower East Side, the Chinese Berlinian is displaying a strong collection that moves and stands at the same time. According to the press release, he uses “his signature fluid, organic lines to form sinuous creatures that leap and swirl across the plane.”
“I had a vision of a stream in the mountains that travels through different regions,” says DALeast.
“Sometimes it crashes and merges with rocks, and sometimes it rests in the stillness, moving very slowly. A falling stone causes a rippling pattern, that pattern reflects, then it becomes indistinct whether the stream or the stone is rippling. The show represents a moment, so all the work echoes with this idea.”
DALeast Rippling Stone will be on view through Saturday, November 23rd.