Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Henry Taylor and the Studio Visit

Henry Taylor, The Sweet William Rorex, Jr., 2010

Henry Taylor, Diana Sofia, is this you? Feeling brown is not blue, 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 16
I've admired the work of LA based painter Henry Taylor for quite a while now.  He is able to capture an intimate narrative in his portraiture in a way few can.  So a recent video interview in his studio was a nice thing to see, as I haven't seen or read much directly from him before.  

I also really appreciate the honest way he moves through his space and makes funny anecdotal remarks about certain projects or pieces.  It is generous to allow a glimpse of such a private space,  I sort of can't help but enjoy the voyeuristic thrill of looking at his paints sitting with cologne bottles, paintings hiding behind chairs -- things he may be so used to that they seem the only way it could be but as the viewer they are hints at a unique process and practice.

 Here is the link: Henry Taylor Studio Visit

I've been thinking about the 'studio visit' a bit myself recently, having had a couple of different visits in the last month or so.  The studio is usually so private that it feels really weird to suddenly be performing social interactions within the space. 

 Most of the time, being in the studio it is a place I am barely aware of my human needs, I just do what I want.  I eat when I'm hungry, drink coffee when I'm tired, get up when I need to look from a distance, go on the computer when a painting is sucking, sigh when I feel like it, rinse, repeat. 

 There is something about other people being introduced into the space that makes me painfully aware of myself and this implied thing of seeing the artist in their 'natural habitat' that puts me into neutral mode --  I feel myself purposefully not doing anything strange, playing host and trying to appease a guest which makes the space even more foreign to both of us.  

A lot of times studio visits end up being a positive thing-- good conversation develops, a general ease back into painting mind and a new way to look at my own work.  But anyway, all that to say, this video is great and I love being on the other side of a studio visit interaction.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Philly Shows Not to be Missed...

Neysa Grassi, Untitled (Florence), 2003, gouache on paper, 9 x 7 1/2 inches 

There are so many shows up right now in Philly that I really want to see or saw and really liked.  It doesn't hurt that they are all really good people in addition to being great painters/photographers.  Sometimes that feels like a rare combo but this list proves otherwise.  

Above is Neysa Grassi, who is having a solo show at Locks Gallery titled Foreign Language.  It is works on paper done while traveling and looks to be really beautiful.  There is also a show of Jane Irish's work at Locks which closes mid-April.

Bettina Nelson, "As far as I can tell she's happy" - Mac Demarco, mixed media, 11.5 x 16.5 inches
Leigh Werrell, Bus Stop, gouache and graphite on paper, 10.5 x 11 inches

Opening Friday the 10th at Gross McCleaf is the two person exhibition, A Likely Story, of Leigh Werrell and Bettina Nelson.  Somewhere between color and shape, familiar narratives of city living are woven into both these artists' work.

Bill Scott, Car Windows, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"
 At Cerulean Gallery, Fictitious Pleasures just opened.  A two person exhibition of well known Philadelphia painters Bill Scott and Alex Kanevsky.  It is a nice, edited pairing which considers the space.  Each piece held its own and felt like a world in itself, but it was not overwhelming to take in the whole show slowly.  Harmonious color and good, solid painting make for a sort of restrained but chaotic joy.   There is an artist talk on Sunday April 19th at 2pm.

Eileen Neff, Talamanca Ridge, 2015, Archival Pigment on Dibond, 13 x 13 3/4 inches
Another show I need to see is Eileen Neff at Bridgette Mayer Gallery.  I have been hearing great things and believe it because Eileen (a former graduate critic of mine) never seems to do anything without intention and complete awareness of her work.  Traveling into View is a show of photographs taken while on a residency in Costa Rica.