Saturday, April 11, 2009

Knight / Beach

Last night, a meeting of two giants of the art world rocked our little gallery, as Philae Knight of Phillips Art Expert and Rachel Beach, sculptor/painter extraordinaire faced off in a sizzling exchange of Q's and A's. Rachel, who's solo exhibition "Towers and Portals" is closing tomorrow night, delved into portals to wonderland, bandsaws, and much, much more. Enjoy this excerpt from the most dramatic interview of our century.

Philae Knight: What is the process? Do you do a drawing or a maquette?

Rachel Beach: I make bazillions of sketches, all the time, again and again. So, little rawings, I sort of do them in bulk where I’ll project a lot of drawings onto brown paper, that I can see right away what’s happening, and then I trace them in black marker and cut them all out, sort of like sewing templates, then I use chalk pastel to map out the oil paint. So I have like 2000 drawings and that makes about 10 paper templates, which makes about 3 objects. I have them all over my studio.

PK: Do you use architectural drawings or photographs of cornices or details, because the details create such an illusion.

RB: I do have a background in architecture. When I was doing my major in painting I worked with a guru of architectural ornament, he was this lone voice in a very contemporary oriented staff. That’s where I got the idea of the cyclical nature of value, and how something is important and then not. So I worked with him, then I worked for an architectural company as well. It got filtered back in.
I can talk about why I’m interested in ornament - particularly as a painter. Painting is a window into space- when you look at a painting and you sort of enter it. It has a real sharp edge between the reality and the scene. It’s that idea of the transition. The portal is tied to that. Image is tied to painting, and object is tied to sculpture. Paintings are tied to walls, Sculptures are tied to floor and space. These are trying to be everything at once. (pointing to a piece) This seam is where the reality and the border converge, like this point is where it’s a portal that you can enter.

PK: Are there some works that are more important to you?
RB. No, some of them illustrate different ideas more than others. I like to follow different ideas, otherwise I get bored.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meow Meow Wow

Towers and Portals, at Like the Spice Gallery, is Rachel Beach's second solo exhibition in New York. Beach's seductive sculpture-paintings are postmodern, playful explorations of relativistic perception. Using oil paint and a technique called veneered marquetry, the artist creates trompe-l'oeil forms that easily segue from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional reading and likewise maneuver between ornamentation and cleverly subversive commentary. Remarkably, the works are as sincere as they are arch.

See that? We're not just making it up! Other people love Towers & Portals just as much as we do! That's a quote from the fantastic article at ArtCat which we think everyone should go read. We're very pleased to have been noticed, and we're very happy they liked us. We hope to see more of you here, ArtCat! Maybe even for the Closing Night Party on April 12th! Or what about opening night for Allison Edge: Crystal Days? That's April 18th, you know. Or what about coming to both? We're sure our art dog won't mind.

The End Is Nigh! Nigh Means Next Sunday!

So what if you're one of those people who haven't yet come to see Rachel Beach: Towers and Portals. Well, first of all, we forgive you. But we also think you should be planning to visit us on April 12th for the spectacular Closing Night Party from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Rachel's coming! Don't you want to meet Rachel? And she'll be ing desserts from Uncle John's!

Okay, well, if that isn't enough, what if we tell you about the New Artist Silent Auction that will be happening the same night? Aha, now you're listening. Well, while Rachel shows off her work upstairs, our downstairs will be full of some up-and-coming types that we find very promising. Last time was so much fun, so we can't wait to do it again! Want a sneak peek?

Simone Meltesen is our first new find this month. We're very pleased to have her, especially in her own words:

As you can see from the video, she's someone that knows her art. Simone was born in San Francisco, and is a graduate of Hampshire College. Her move to Brooklyn changed her focus to smaller sized works, because she no longer had the room to paint!

Simone's pinhole photos are a document of her small sculptures, as well as her travels. Her research on girlhood in America and on the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970s, particularly on “craft" art, culminated her senior thesis show, “The Needle She,” which saw the genesis of her world of feral girls.

In her thesis show, the girls had been static, the backgrounds simple and monochromatic. The new incarnation sees the girls active, the landscapes lush and vibrant.

Currently Simone is working on a project called “What Every Girl Should Know,” where she interviews and photographs other young female artists in their studios, with the aim of starting a blog that is accessible to adolescent girls who are interested in art. We're very much looking forward to having her with us!

Our second new artist is Jsun Lalibertè.

Jsun is a UCF graduate with a BFA in Ceramics and Painting. His imagery is a model of nature, a look at a brief and intimate moment in the lives of fictitious plants, with delicate gestures and minute brushstrokes mirroring their intricacy. Watch our blog for more of Jsun's images later!

and as blogged about previously our third new artist is Katie Mangiardi.


Katie Mangiardi, who's intimate, historically-influenced paintings draw from the textile patterns that adorn figures classical works of art. Lace and tapestry play across her canvases in twisting forms that are at once demure and haunting. Mangiardi holds degrees from RISD, Vassar, and the Glasgow School of the Arts.

Remember, all this is coming April 12th as part of the Towers & Portals Closing Night party from 6:30pm - 8:00pm! If you haven't yet seen the show, you've got one more chance! Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry! We'll see you here!