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  • MaximillianGroup 10:19 AM on 14 May, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Andy Moses artist, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , painter, , ,   

    Studio Visit: Andy Moses, Ecstatic Resonance 

    Andy Moses, studio visit. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    Studio Visit: Andy Moses, Ecstatic Resonance

    “I sing the body electric… I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea… As I see my soul reflected in nature…”
    Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass


    By Gary Brewer

    Every nerve fiber resonates to the rhythms of nature; the infinite space of the horizon, or the sparkling sunlight on the sea in autumn. The exhilaration of riding waves, waves of energy that have traveled vast distances through the open ocean, to arrive at the shore. When surfing, the body works in concert with natural systems to cut a line through the water, accelerating, turning and using one’s weight and balance to interact with the energy of the sea. Surfing is a skill learned in somatic, nerve sensitive responses to instantaneous shifts and changes in the wave’s movement. Time slows as the wave envelopes you; seconds are like minutes as one races within its watery chambers.

    How does one find a sublime expression, as a painter, to reflect the ecstatic experience of the body at it’s most vividly alive?

    Andy Moses has spent years experimenting and exploring to find a process-oriented approach that brings this intensity and immediacy to the experience of painting. It may takes days, weeks or a month to prepare for a painting; experimenting like an alchemist to learn about the interaction of pigments, colors, and viscosities, to arrive at the foreknowledge needed to create one of his rich, vibrant paintings.

    Once the research is complete and the painting is ready to be realized, it is an exhilarating experience making the work; decisions are made in split seconds. “When I am painting, every nerve fiber in my body is alive; time slows. I am fully engaged with decisions that have to be made in seconds. What I can see happening in the painting two seconds in, will be completely different seven seconds later. The pouring and manipulating of paint is an experience that makes me feel fully alive. I try to move seamlessly through the process. I am trying to create an experience that stands apart from me; I want to make paintings that take you on a journey.”

    Andy grew up in Santa Monica Canyon; the view from his home was of the ocean, the sky, and the horizon. The feeling of infinite space and the sublime light of the sea and sky left a deep impression that would influence the aesthetic arc of his development as an artist. In his youth, surfing was everything to him; the intensity and immediacy of somatic responses to split-second stimuli would also find its way into his work. He said of this, “When I went to Cal Arts the teachers discouraged painting, the emphasis was on conceptual art, performance and installation work, they felt that painting was dead. I was working in avant-garde film and performance. In my last year of school I decided to experiment with painting; the moment I touched the material there was an immediate chemical reaction. I felt the same ecstatic experience and excitement that I feel in surfing. I moved to New York in 1980 where there was an explosion of painting going on. My first job was as a studio assistant to Pat Steir; her work along with Schnabel, Salle and Basquiat was roaring onto the world stage. It was the first time that I saw the work of Kiefer, Polke, and Richter as well; these painters had a big impact on me. The historic abstraction of artists like Rothko and Pollock also influenced my development; especially Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm” at the Metropolitan; the movement and space that he created, his novel use of paint, and the way that he was allowing a process-oriented manipulation of the materials to realize his paintings, affected me deeply. I began my first series of paintings, mixing oil paint with water. I worked in black and white and painted flat on the floor. These works developed and organically evolved through the decades to the paintings I am now making.”

    Andy spoke about movement as a philosophical statement; that in dynamic movement it becomes harder to fix meaning. He spoke of his work as anti-didactic; that the efforts to explain and identify meaning are harder to pin down within space in motion. It is a reflection of Andy’s physical embrace of the complexity of this living universe of which we are a part. Systems that unfold in deep time, geological movement, the evolution of life and the emergence of consciousness are all mysteries – that despite our best theories at explaining them – elude concrete answers. “ When I was growing up, our home was filled with paintings. We had a Sam Francis painting and my Dad said of it “No one knows how he makes them.” This really captured my imagination – the idea of something that was a secret, that was unknown. I became interested in alchemy and I think of artists as alchemists. We manipulate matter and turn it into something that is living – we embed thought and memory into the materials. Great paintings have an immediate impact – they capture your imagination and take you on a journey; I strive to create that in my paintings.”

    His paintings are both abstract and imagistic – they record the process of their own creation – but also suggest myriad worlds of meaning. The complexity that Andy has mastered, his ability to find fresh and novel approaches within the method of pouring and moving paint, has given him the ability to create works that look like lava flows, or the atmosphere of another planet. They evoke cosmic and celestial images, Tantric symbols of the primordial egg; the rich intense ribbons of chromatic movement fixed in time also suggest psychedelic experiences and universal consciousness. These are masterful works that express philosophical ideas of deep time; a spiritual sense of the wonder of nature, and the mystery of existence.

    “I am in a conversation with the history of painting, from the chromatic atmospheric colors of Titian to the luminous light and rich palette of Turner, through Pollock to the present. I want to leave something, to make a statement and leave a memory trace of my ideas about painting and reflect the world I live in. I am also seeking those moments of rapture, when every nerve ending in my body is alive and all of the synapses are firing. To be fully engaged; this is what I strive to do in my work.”

    Painting is a protean medium. It is supple and yields its fluid quicksilver qualities to the mercurial properties of the mind and of our emotions. In its dexterity artists through the ages have found ways to create metaphors that speak of their times. In the eggshell quietude one finds in the work of the early Northern Renaissance painters, to the bold painterly subjectivity of Rembrandt, and forward, to the search for speed and immediacy, that reflected the pace of a rapidly changing world in Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings; artists have sought and found an emotional tone that captures the feeling of the times in which they live.

    Andy Moses creates paintings in a world where fractals speak of the mirroring of systems from the microcosm to the macrocosm; of theories of multiple universes and reality as a holographic projection from the edge of the universe. His paintings delight in the intrinsic mysteries of painting’s ability to reflect one’s time and capture an essential aspect of the artist’s individual soul. His works transport us on flows of ideas embedded in brilliant color chords that carry us to the edge of the known universe.

    Our place in the universal scheme of things is mysterious; we know that the best knowledge that we have today will be revised and altered through new discoveries that will come tomorrow. These paintings, in whose movement and dynamism free the mind to explore the contours of the unknown and to revel in chromatic music, express an ecstatic embrace of the body electric.


    Upcoming Exhibitions:

    Inaugural show at J.D. Malat Gallery, London in June
    Group show at William Turner in the Fall
    Solo show next spring at William Turner
    Exhibition at Melissa Morgan next spring


  • MaximillianGroup 8:55 AM on 2 May, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , artist interview, , , , , , , , , , , , , Jodi Bonassi, , , , , painter, painter studio, , , , , visual artist studio   

    Studio Visit: Jodi Bonassi, Stories of the Persona 

    Jody Bonassi, studio visit. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    Studio Visit: Jodi Bonassi, Stories of the Persona


    “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” Joseph Campbell

    “Like Chekhov, I am a collector of souls…” Alice Neel

    By Gary Brewer

    Painting is a spiritual discipline; it is a space and an activity where a person can observe and recreate themselves anew. It is a method of self-realization, and a humbling journey of self-acceptance. One is constantly faced with the facts on the ground; the net results of your efforts are recorded in the painting, one can see the evidence of the journey. Truth shines brightly and self-deception and fear are clearly present in the touch and vision that one realizes in paint on canvas.

    Learning to accept oneself, to believe that what one has to contribute is valuable whether it fits the mold of the current style of art or not. To believe in one’s self is to use their vision, fueled by imagination, as a means to illuminate the path. It is a beacon that allows the organic growth of a language that issues forth from the eccentric nature of this imperfect being – oneself.

    Jodi Bonassi is an artist whose sensitive nature feels the world around her deeply. When she paints a person – friends, artists, strangers on a train – her inner eye and intuition becomes a seer of the spiritual and emotional life of her subjects. She uses images of animals, shadow beings, demons and monsters to communicate the things that she senses in her sitters.

    Jodi’s paintings are not a surrealist – stream of consciousness form of art, but represent her responses to the sense impressions that she experiences while interacting with her subjects. She does not see herself as a psychic, but as an artist with an exceptionally sensitive intuition that gives her vision and insight into her subject’s spiritual journey. “When I meet someone and shake their hand or touch them, I can feel all of the people and events that they have experienced, and have shaped them. I can feel the past, like a river of experience and I put that into my paintings.”

    Her paintings are a marvelous journey of multiple narratives linked by the threads of her intuition and imagination. She paints in her figures first, a portrait of a friend or someone that she sketched on a train or on a bus. She fills sketchbooks with countless observations from her travels by public transportation to openings and exhibits of friends around Los Angeles.

    Jody Bonassi, studio visit. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    She starts a painting by first drawing the person that she is depicting. Her imagination then sends out threads of thought and feeling that weave together the myriad narratives that arise from the impressions that flow from her feelings about the person. Some are autobiographical, like a painting she is working on, a commission from a nurse who helped her during recovery from an illness. The feelings of love and gratitude expressed in the playfulness, lightness and joy that she captures in the dual portrait-self portrait, are true and genuine. They arise from having had this person as a helper and a guide during the darkness of brushing close to one’s mortality.

    In another piece she has painted two friends on a couch. At their feet is a patterned rug. From the rug baby birds with their open mouths crane their necks upward, searching for food. She told me that this represented the hunger of the ego, the constant need and craving for acknowledgement. On the couch seated next to her friends is a shadow figure, camouflaged in a pattern similar to the material of the couch; this depicts the shadow self, the dark aspect of ones being. There are countless figures and animals tucked into the nooks and crannies of the couch and the trees behind them. There are more friends looking in from a window behind in the background, and Jodi herself, stands to the right of the couch, a green frog clambering about on her head.

    She paints with a careful, but light touch. Her brush strokes are delicate extensions of the psychic tendrils of her thoughts. The marks of her brush are delivered in nerve sensitive daubs that capture the likeness of her sitters. She expresses the character of her subjects with an interiority that communicates their inner being. Like Alice Neel, she is a “collector of souls”, embellished with the currents of the past and the present. Her brushwork gently morphs from one thing to the next at the dictates of her mercurial nature; the pattern of someone’s clothing starts to shape-shift into groupings of animals. Elephants and monkeys emerge from various spaces within the image. Demons manifest between a person and the seat they occupy, words and thought bubbles add narratives to her observations of the world. The paintings are diaristic and expressive, moving freely from the world stage to the hidden universe of the soul.

    Jodi is an investigator of the psyche. Her insight and sensitivity to the forces that shape us, our past – and the archetypal patterns that are the mythic structure of ones soul – are the true subjects of her richly layered stories of the persona. She is exploring the world around her and the world within her. She told me about the process and nature of her explorations.

    “I am like a bag turned inside out. I am open to the world absorbing and feeling everything. When I meet people I try to unwrap them to discover all of the ingredients that make up their personality, and in so doing I discover the ingredients of myself. I am like a surgeon cutting out the cysts of life and putting them onto paper or canvas; it is a way to ground myself. When I was younger I blocked out the world, I stayed in, raising my son and not engaging with people or the world, it was more than I could bear. My painting has given me a place to put all of these feelings, all of the emotions that I feel from the people I meet. When I paint a friend, I include elements from their history and from mine. It is a way to intertwine our lives, to tell a story about both of us. It is like I am making love, blending our two selves together.”

    It is an intrinsic aspect of art – in painting, sculpture, writing, music, or dance – that the cathartic spilling forth of one’s self, of both the angels and demons that inhabit our psyche, is a way to purge the soul. By laying bare the naked truth, in both its beauty and terror, we are able to find a ground upon which to stand.

    Jodi Bonassi’s art is an organic extension of herself. It is the physical representation of the forces that surge through her body, mind and soul. She cannot contain all of this in her physical being, so her paintings have become a repository, a place to put the feelings that arise from her interactions with people and the world. It is a psychic palimpsest of the myriad narratives that she perceives. When she was younger she blocked out much of the world in order to maintain her balance; over the years her art has matured and evolved, to allow her to use it as a vehicle to channel these forces.

    The word Halcyon in Greek mythology refers to a bird that had the power to calm the seas. It is the same power that painting has for Jodi. It is the center point of her consciousness, the eye of the storm that gives her power over the space she inhabits.

    Art is born out of human need, the need to reach out across the abyss of time and space and to touch another. We encode matter with memory and emotion to connect with another, it is a form of love to embrace the world and meld oneself with it, to fearlessly take in all that is offered and to weave it into stories that speak in the language of the human heart.

    Jodi Bonassi


    “Bread & Salt”
    Hebrew Union College
    April 25, 2018- April 25, 2019

    Public Settings…Private Conversations
    The Museum Of The San Fernando Valley
    March 1 – June 30, 2018

    Torrance Art Museum June 1-30
    Pop-Up reception June 30th 7PM
    Studio System ll
    Month long Art Residency

    Bendix Building
    1206 Maple Avenue
    July Kamikaze exhibits

  • MaximillianGroup 1:22 PM on 13 April, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Aline Mare, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Beyond Baroque, , chris kraus, , , , , , , Kathy Acker, , , , , painter, , , requiem, ,   

    Studio Visit: Aline Mare, Mutable Fire 

    Studio visit with Aline Mare. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    Studio Visit: Aline Mare, Mutable Fire


    “We are in the process of descending into the depths of the heart. To where bodies communicate with each other.”
    Héléne Cixous, The Book of Promethea


    By Gary Brewer

    Long ago, in the delirium of youth, intoxicated with ideas of the feminine as a form of power, the body as a vehicle to discover and communicate wisdom, and a world that seemed mutable to the magic of will – Aline Mare made her way through the halcyon days of NYC, when rent was cheap and art was embracing non-material aspects of pure idea, performance and installation. Experimental film, theater and performance art were her modes of expression, and they were the dominant forces in the creative world of Lower Manhattan, where Aline lived and worked.

    The early influence of women writers the likes of Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir, and Héléne Cixous had awakened in her a deep connection to a feminine language of the body. Early on she felt that theater was her path, but working with avant-guard theater director Richard Foreman, altered her course and led to an early career in performance art and experimental film. She said of this; “I always loved the immaterial aspect of film, that it was transient and mutable. It left no physical trace like painting and sculpture does. I wanted to explore the elemental, transient nature of time, mortality and impermanence; experimental film and performance were perfect metaphoric vehicles for these ideas.”

    It was around this time that she first met Kathy Acker, a renegade and a revolutionary who was rewriting the rules of the novel and doing so as a badass feminist, tattooed, Harley Davidson riding, bad girl of the literary scene. Their paths would cross throughout their lives until the end of Kathy’s, when Aline along with a group of San Francisco Bay area writers and artists, supported and helped Kathy as she died from breast cancer. Her pyrotechnical personality left a long trail of burnt bridges and damaged relations, so when Aline and friends helped, they were all she had left.

    Aline lived in a world where Carolee Schneemann, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Richard Serra and others, were early in their careers. She was friends and worked with many of them but continued on a solitary path, creating installation art, film and performance. Her interest in classic Greek myths guided the narratives in her early work. Eros and Psyche, Orpheus and Cassandra were the stories that captured her and which she used in her fractured open metaphoric narratives. In the early eighties she met Bradley Eros and would spend the next seven years as Erotic Psyche, collaborating on experimental films and performance, touring both Europe and the USA.

    Studio visit with Aline Mare. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    Afterwards she moved to San Francisco where she received her Masters in New Genre; it was there that she would again meet Kathy Acker. Aline completed her masters degree and made her next major experimental film/video, “Saline’s Solution”, a film about a late term abortion that allowed women emotional space to morn the loss; the pain of the choice and it’s complex moral dilemma. The film is both poetic and unsettling; it garnered scorn and support from both sides of the debate and brought (and continues to bring) more attention from this politically charged topic than she ever expected. Shortly afterwards, she gave birth to her son Cyrus. This passage both deepened her experience of being a woman, of the wisdom that arises from the pain and the ecstatic beauty of birth, and of the powerful cycles of life and death.

    Twenty years ago when Kathy Acker was dying, Aline had hoped that she might live long enough to write one more book, but that did not come to pass. After her death Aline discovered a little known work, her last book, published in England titled “Eurydice in the Underworld”. It is a book that ends with the poem “Requiem”; when Aline read it she was deeply moved. “In this poem she was able to drop so many of the stylistic tropes and deconstructive acrobatics in her writing and deal with the core issues of her terror in the face of death, her fight to survive and the painful process of forgiving her mother. It was so heartfelt and powerful it went deep into my soul and shook something. I felt I needed to make a piece, based on this work. Both as homage to Kathy, and to find a way for more people to read it; it was just so heartbreakingly beautiful. I made a piece, an installation at a residency I had in the Headlands for the Arts at Fort Baker in the Marin Headlands. My husband and a group of friends helped push Kathy’s Harley Davidson Sportster that we had inherited, up the four flights of stairs in the 1902 army barracks that was my studio, and created a multi media installation!”

    Over the years that passed Aline always felt that she wanted to revisit the piece, that she could do more – she could take it further. Several years ago she was contacted by the writer Chris Kraus about being interviewed for an upcoming biography she was writing on Kathy Acker; that was the moment she felt was right to return to this work.

    For the last decade, Aline’s work has dealt with the landscape in a broad sense. Seeds, seedpods, roots, fragments of civilization, and fossils all coalesce into lush painterly spaces. There is a poetic ambiguity to the worlds she creates. One is not sure of the medium used in these seamless fusions of painting, scanning, and photography; mastering digital media has given her the freedom to subdue, blend, illuminate and manipulate her effects with the plasticity and subjective dexterity of a painter. She begins by painting and mark-making on paper, scans them and adds the subjects that she has collected on hikes in the desert or the Eastern Sierras or on beaches. When the images have been printed, she then paints directly onto the surface, bringing the hand back into the finished piece. Utilizing these tools she has created a deeply felt body of work that speaks to the themes of death, birth and regeneration – using nature as the source and wellspring of her mythic images.

    Studio visit with Aline Mare. Photo credit: Gary Brewer.

    Aline’s past and the present meet in this new body of work for her upcoming show “Requiem: Aching for Acker” in the Mike Kelley Gallery, at Beyond Baroque in Venice. In a poetic confluence of fate and happenstance, this is a venue where Kathy Acker performed several readings of her work. The images are a representation of the wisdom that comes from age; they embrace the mythic sources of her youth that never left her, but have gained a depth and more powerful form of truth in her life.

    These new works speak in a poetic, imagistic language of mortality, pain and the terror of facing one’s death. The images are coupled with fragments from the poem “Requiem”, adding the sheer force of Kathy’s cathartic verse to propel you from one image to the next. In classic Acker style, the poem freely uses Rilke’s “Duino Elegies” as it’s leaping off point, taking powerful fragments from this profound poem and plunging into the abyss of her terror. Kathy spills forth a torrent of merciless images a cry into the void, expressing terror, remorse and searching for redemption.

    Aline Mare deftly uses fragments of angel wings, hands and feet from the weathered, partial ruins of sculptures she photographed in 19th century graveyards; looking for subjects to create a vocabulary of loss and remembrance. These pieces use the rich painterly process she has developed for herself in the landscapes of the last ten years, but brings back the body, ritual and magic of her earlier self. A glove, jewelry, and a knife that were Kathy Acker’s, appear like ghost fragments in these images. Post-surgery mastectomy scars, Kathy’s tattoos and other elements that conjure up her image and her illness, make these works meditations on mortality.

    It is a fascinating confluence of forces that has manifested in this homage. Parts of Aline’s early aesthetic, which have been sublimated into the earth, rise up and bring the perspective of her life into the images; the pain of those who have passed and the joys of being a mother and of the many friends and family whose children have been a part of her life and are now grown into adulthood. The wisdom that time imparts has added a depth and complexity to these images; the unbridled enthusiasm of her Dionysian youth, have a deeper nuance and subtlety whose resonance speaks to a life deeply lived.

    To be an artist in our world where the constant erasure of the past from forces of nature and culture incessantly work to obliterate memory. Art is a form of magic that weaves the past into the present and sends shoots into the future. There is a shamanic aspect to the role of the artist; they are storytellers and visionaries that reinterpret what has been and create new forms of language to contain it, fashioning a new form that helps shape the future.

    Aline Mare’s solo exhibit “Requiem: Aching for Acker” opens May 6, 2018, 5-7PM, at the Mike Kelley Gallery, Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA. The opening will be followed by a reading and performance 7:30-9pm.

    Readers include: Chris Kraus, Dodie Bellamy, Matias Viegener, and Aline Mare.


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