Monday, April 20, 2009

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program Open Studios 2009

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program Open Studios 2009

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
20 Jay Street, Suite 720
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Opening Reception: Friday, April 24, 5 – 9 pm
Honoring Barbara T. Hoffman, Esq.

Phong Bui Interview with Alex Katz: Saturday, April 25, 12 – 2 pm
Saturday, April 25, 2 – 6 pm
Sunday, April 26, 2 – 6 pm

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program will present Open
Studios 2009 from April 24, 2009 – April 26, 2009. Open Studios 2009
marks the second year of The Space Program in its DUMBO location
(Brooklyn). The program, founded in 1991, was housed in Tribeca until
2006 and relocated in 2007 to DUMBO. The Foundation offers rent-free
studios to seventeen artists. The artists would like to welcome the
press and the public to view their recent work. The artists were
selected from a pool of more than 900 applicants by a panel of
distinguished artists: Matthew Deleget, Richard Haas, Mary Lucier,
Harriet Shorr and Sarah Sze.

The 2008/2009 Space Program participants are:

Kim Beck makes drawings, prints, paintings and installations that
survey peripheral and suburban spaces. She has exhibited work at the
Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Hallwalls Contemporary
Art Center, Printed Matter, and Smack Mellon.

Erik Benson builds urban landscape paintings informed by the Everyday.
His work is currently included in the Tenerife Biennial (Canary

Michael Paul Britto is an art renegade, who was born in Brooklyn and
currently lives and works in New York City. Britto's goal is to use
his art to give voice to marginalized communities and foster
understanding in mainstream society.

Bibi Calderaro is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is shown
internationally. Curious about intersubjectivity and the possibilities
of communication, she questions boundaries – of subjects, of
disciplines, of knowledge – to create tensions, to problematize, to
simplify, to yield new layers of perception and thought. She
critically employs a range of media, such as still and moving images,
sound, objects, writing, and performative actions.

Michelle Carollo was born in New York and studied at San Francisco Art
Institute (MFA, Painting) and Stony Brook University (BA, Studio Art).
She plays with the idea of making a painting in space. Her interest is
in translating illusionary space, like that found in painting, into
physical space, like that found in sculpture.

Rob Carter makes stop-motion animation, time-lapse video and
photographic ‘re-constructions’ that spotlight iconic and political
structures in our urban environment, especially sports stadia,
skyscrapers, churches, and other historical landmarks. In 2008, he
became a West Prize finalist, attended the Art Omi residency and
opened solo exhibitions in Madrid and Rome.

Cora Cohen is a New York-based abstract painter whose opulent yet
gritty paintings draw on contemporary urban and philosophical sources.
Their complex visuality invokes aspects of American modernism, and
their gnarled materiality recalls European Art informel. She has shown
widely in the United States and Europe.

Colette is working on a series of new portraits ,in an installation
recalling” home.”. She has just completed a short film on the
demolition of her “legendary atelier” and is also creating a series of
paintings and photo works related to the street tableaux performed
during the demolition. She has recently returned from Berlin where she
was featured in “React- feminism “for her ground breaking street-work
performances of the 70's; participated in” Interieur Exterior “at the
Wolfsburg museum, and had a video presentation among her works at the
“Colette Lounge” in the LowenPalais.

Franklin Evans is an artist whose psychedelic, formal, conceptual,
maximalist, literalist painting installations and collaborations
explore the boundaries between painting and performance and the static
and the dynamic. His work has been exhibited in New York at The
Drawing Center and El Museo del Barrio, among other places, and he has
had solo exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Milan, and Toronto.

Christopher Gallego was born in New York. As a representational
painter drawing inspiration from the familiarity of his studio, he
searches for a grace and presence dwelling within "ordinary" things,
which he feels transcend the ordinary. He has exhibited at Hirschl and
Adler, Seraphin Gallery, The New Britain Museum of American Art and
the Arkansas Arts Center.

Ezra Johnson makes videos and paintings. His work is shown by Nicole
Klagsbrun Gallery in New York.

Kakyoung Lee creates moving images combining drawing, printmaking, and
sound, based on her cyclical daily life. She holds MFAs from Hong-Ik
University, Seoul and Purchase College, and has been a resident at
MacDowell and Yaddo. Her works have been exhibited widely in the USA
and Korea including The Drawing Center and MOMA in New York.

Katinka Mann's work is primarily in relief sculpture and handmade
paper. The sculpture’s physical lightness contrasts with the look of
weight and solidity. Although the bas reliefs are very thin, they do
not interfere with depth perception. Implied movement helps create
spatial illusion. Many paradoxes blur the distinction between reality
and image.

Kristine Moran’s abstract paintings take their cues from film,
literature, mythology and modern and contemporary art. Moran will have
her first New York solo exhibition this June at the Nicelle Beauchene
Gallery and will be part of the upcoming exhibition Paint at the
Saatchi Gallery, London, later next year.

Eric Sall, an artist born and raised in South Dakota, makes abstract
paintings that are informed by a wide range of influences including
dreamy sunsets, graphic logos, junk piles, symmetrical patterns, and
monumental forms. He is the recipient of several awards and
residencies from notable foundations including the Joan Mitchell
Foundation, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Virginia Museum
of Fine Arts, The Charlotte Street Foundation, and the Roswell
Artist-in-Residence Program.

Diane Wah is an artist from Queens, NY whose work explores the
intersection between traditional photography and popular culture.
Making use of various elements including photography, typography and
graphic design, Wah explores various notions of gender, racial coding
and cultural theory.

Frank Webster – “In the landscape of extinction, precision is next to
godliness.” —Samuel Beckett

Marie Walsh Sharpe, a Colorado Springs, CO philanthropist, created the
Foundation before her death in 1985 to benefit visual artists. The
Foundation’s Artists Advisory Committee, comprised of: Cynthia
Carlson, Chuck Close (emeritus), Janet Fish, Philip Pearlstein, Irving
Sandler, Harriet Shorr, and Robert Storr, initiated and developed The
Space Program in 1991 as a service to artists to meet their needs for
workspace. In 2006, Phong Bui, Matthew Deleget and Tara Donovan were
added to the Artists Advisory Committee.

The Space Program is funded by The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
and a Consortium of funders: Basil Alkazzi, The Milton and Sally Avery
Arts Foundation, Inc., The Robert Sterling Clark Visual Arts Space
Award, The Richard Florsheim Art Fund Awards for Older Artists, The
Robert Gould Foundation, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, The Judith
Rothschild Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual
Arts, Inc.

The Space Program is located at 20 Jay Street, Suite 720, 7th Floor
and may be reached by subway F to York Street, right on Jay Street,
walk downhill 3 blocks, on the corner of Plymouth and Jay; or subway
A/C to High Street, cross Cadman Plaza, walk down Cadman Plaza West to
Washington Street, right on Front, left on Jay.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Princeton Newspaper Writes About My Artist Talk.

Britney Spears Video Joins Harriet Tubman Trailer in Michael Paul Britto’s Arts Council Conversation

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dilshanie Perera

Michael Paul Britto’s video work deals with representation, race, and the way history can be appropriated. In a public conversation last Thursday with Arts Council Curator of Exhibitions E. Carmen Ramos, Mr. Britto spoke about his work currently on display and the inspiration for his art.

Two related pieces, Dirrrty Harriet Tubman, a trailer for an imagined movie about Harriet Tubman’s life, and “I’m a Slave 4 U,” a music video for Britney Spears’s song by the same name, play on a loop in the third floor video lounge, and were screened prior to the conversation.

The videos interpretively recount episodes in Harriet Tubman’s life, juxtaposing historical facts and humor to convey the image of Ms. Tubman as a real person instead of a purely mythic figure. Shot in the style of Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, the pieces were written, produced, directed, and choreographed by Mr. Britto.

Ms. Ramos noted that she enjoyed the work because of its humor, and its presentation of the truth. For instance, when Ms. Tubman was most active in the Underground Railroad, she was 29 years old; the Harriet of the film is a similarly young actor.

Additionally, Ms. Tubman used to carry a gun in order to protect herself, and also to threaten slaves who were tired or who wanted to turn back. “Dirrrty Harriet” also brandishes such a weapon, and is portrayed as strong, unafraid, sexual, and commanding, an unconventional depiction of the historical Tubman.

After noting that reactions to his work are divided along generational lines, Mr. Britto said that most young people find the videos compelling, and an engaging and provocative way to understand Harriet Tubman, while most older people dislike the work or find it disrespectful.

Mr. Britto likes people to ask themselves why they might be upset by his work, which has inspired numerous conversations. He described how audience members both young and old started talking about the piece after one showing: “Maybe the older people walked away and understood the younger people a bit more, and vice versa, and maybe Harriet Tubman facilitated that.”

The idea of Dirrrty Harriet emerged from a movie poster project where an abolitionist is depicted as a Blaxploitation film character. Wanting to “use someone people can identify with,” Mr. Britto selected Ms. Tubman, and soon realized that he wanted to create a movie trailer in a similar style.

Assembling the cast, choreographing, filming and editing the piece was a whirlwind, according to Mr. Britto, who finished the video in three weeks using his home as part of the stage for the shoot (including his bathtub).

“Regarding the way I work, when things affect me, I mull them over, and they reappear in certain moments,” Mr. Britto explained. When he first heard Britney Spears sing “I’m a Slave 4 U,” he recalled thinking, “Something about this just is not working.”

Thus, while the cast for his movie trailer assembled, Mr. Britto decided to choreograph a performance and film it as a music video set to Ms. Spears’s song.

Assessing public reaction to the work at the Arts Council, Ms. Ramos explained that “a lot of people feel uncomfortable with it. There is some concern about sexuality, the representation of black women, and some discomfort in presenting this version of slavery.”

Confiding that he doesn’t set out to offend people, Mr. Britto said, “My work comes out of my reaction to things that affect me.” Having worked in commercial production, Mr. Britto left the field after being troubled by the racist and sexist overtones in advertising. He now lives and works as an arts educator in New York City.

Regarding the length of the pieces, which have a running time of five minutes and six and a half minutes for the trailer and music video, respectively, Mr. Britto said, “You have to present work this way nowadays,” adding that “if you want people to walk away with something, you have to make your point quickly and get it out there.”

Dealing with similar themes of race, history, social context, and popular culture, Mr. Britto’s most recent work involves performance and sculpture.

The popularity of Dirrrty Harriet Tubman sent Mr. Britto around the world to galleries that showed his work. He acknowledged, “In a way, she freed me. I got to go to Warsaw, and London, and all of these places because of Harriet Tubman.”

Monday, April 06, 2009

State Of The Art: New York @ Urbis in Manchester, April 9 - September 6, 2009

9 April - 6 September 2009

Cathedral Gardens
M4 3BG

Urbis is located in Cathedral Gardens in Manchester City Centre, just next to Victoria Station and easily accessible by bus, train, tram, car or on foot.

Tel: +44 (0)161 605 8200

State of the Art is a new series of exhibitions at Urbis presenting the best creative talent from some of the world’s most dynamic cities. From April, discover cutting-edge contemporary art from the hot-bed of cultural creativity - New York.

This is a chance to see the very latest contemporary art coming out of one of the world’s most exciting cities – New York – the capital of the contemporary art scene and hot-bed of cultural creativity. With contributions from16 artists (including four new commissions) the exhibition features painting, performance, video and installation. Political and social satire abound, with highlights including Manchester’s statue of Abraham Lincoln dressed as a Hip Hop Fan (Leon Reid IV) an autobiographical installation fusing rock ballads, video, sculpture and drawing (Matthew Lutz-Kinoy) and an animated take-off of the recent US presidential election process (Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung). Audiences can expect the unexpected from these young artists.

Artist Exhibiting:
Graham Anderson - Painting

Tamy Ben-Tor - Film, installation

The Bruce High Quality Foundation - Mixed media installations, interventions, performance

Michael Paul Britto - Video, installation

eteam - New Media, installation, online

Forays - Public realm interventions and gallery installation

Gandalf Gavan - Light Installation

Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung - Animation, installation

Jennie C. Jones - Sound, installation, drawing

Matthew Lutz-Kinoy - Performance, sculpture, installation

LoVid - New media performance, installation

Leon Reid IV - Public realm sculptures/installations

Shelter Serra - Sculpture, installation, drawing

Michael Schall - Drawing, printmaking

Carolyn Salas & Adam Parker Smith - Sculpture, installation

Joe Winter - Sculpture, installation

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