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‘From Dream To Reality’ with Carlos Ramirez (Short Film)

road animation

 

In “From Dream to Reality“, filmmaker Max Joseph shared the out loud process of coming up with the original idea to cover road medians in art that would appear to become animated as people drove by, the challenges of unforseen hurdles and the creative collaborations that would change and evolve the idea over the course of the project.

When the medians proved difficult and far to time consuming to implement, Joseph turned to friend Casey Neistat and by working together, they came up with the idea of lining the walls beside roads all over the country with a strip of art panels that appear to become animated as people drive by. The animation by Anthony Scheppard, as captured on a Samsung phone, is absolutely amazing and the artwork by Carlos Ramirez is just magnificent.

And for the animation we decided to tell the story of the road you travel when you create something. The way it feels when you have a good idea. The way it evolves when it becomes real. The way you need to adapt with it. The way you charge forward. …The way you count on your friends… the way you outrun the obstacles.

Originally featured on Laughing Squid

Carlos Ramirez in BL!SS Magazine

THE ART OF CARLOS RAMIREZ

Marsea Goldberg

October 9, 2017

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This month we have the pleasure of featuring Coachella-based artist Carlos Ramirez, formerly one half of the art duo The Date Farmers. Ramirez’s new body of work is stunningly multidimensional, integrating Mexican iconography with embedded catholic symbolism, and it is peppered with political and pop culture innuendos. Just as multi-faceted as the subject matter, the body of work is structurally textured as well. Ramirez employs various house paints and acrylic in his work, as well as found objects from the “City of Eternal Sunshine.” We asked good friend Marsea Goldberg of New Image Art Gallery to ask Carlos a couple of questions about his art, an upcoming film project and the Coachella Valley. Many thanks to Marsea and Carlos for taking the time and energy for such a lovely interview.

What is your contribution to this film/art project? What are you doing on the project and how did this project that combines art and film come about?
Aside from the aesthetics and certain elements, I also helped compose and conceptualize part of the narrative and certain aspects of the project that Max Joseph initially envisioned.

When will it be coming out and where? I heard Marfa, Texas, Los Angeles, or will it be both? Is that still happening?
Apart from being cohost on Catfish, Max Joseph is a dope-ass filmmaker that has done films, shorts and tons of other work that has touched, explored, questioned and brought to the forefront a lot of today’s abrasive and sensitive issues in an honest and unapologetic way. [He covers] issues that seem to be becoming the norm in today’s social climate, which are some of the same issues I explore in my work. We’re both using a similar formula and approach, so cohesion of the two was a no-brainer and he asked me if I’d be down to collaborate on a project with him.

I’ve never seen anything done quite like this and on this scale, so we’ve been working on this project figuring out the logistics as we go, as there are no previous reference points. But I think I can safely say it’s close to completion, so very soon. And yes, Marfa and Los Angeles are both being considered.

How has your work grown through the years as part of the Date Farmers?
As part of my continued journey and part of the former collaborative The Date Farmers, my work and vision have grown immensely, and on so many different levels. Having someone to harmonize and resound ideas with can be a very reinforcing thing to an artist, especially on self-doubting, fucked-up days.

How is your art different now that you are painting separately?
It’s different in that I’ve started to explore and venture into that whole idea of making it more personal and intimate in the sense that all risk or reward, curse or blessing, is mine, and in whatever the subject matter may be, as I keep developing and evolving the subject matter or message.

What are your favorite subjects to paint?
I paint and draw shit that I like and that which intrigues me, so most are my favorite, but I tend to lean towards animals or clowns; they seem to offer innocence and escape in today’s world, along with humor and emotion, and they point back to the natural world.

How have our current political climate, racism, immigration and the cancelling of D.A.C.A. impacted people in Coachella, you, and how does it play out in your new artwork?
Man, where can I start? Funny how we say “climate.” And if that’s the case then “hate” seems to be the wind right now that is blowing the sand off and revealing these issues that have never really gone anywhere. They have been right below the surface all along. Immigration and racism are nothing new, especially to those who have been in the social trenches or on the political frontlines the whole time.

The cancellation of D.A.C.A., that was deservedly earned and fought for by young people that only want the best for themselves and this country, stems from what can only be a negative and dark place. And it has affected the Coachella Valley in the same negative way it has affected every other city in the U.S.A. – creating fear, hate and social instabilities and nothing productive.

I think today’s political climate has gotten to an obvious point, a point with no in-betweens, creating separation and the fraying of the American people and forcing the choosing of certain sides, all of which is manifesting in not only my work, but in force among artist in the art world.

What do you have planned for your future creatively? Any large projects?
I hope to and have definitely been exploring into larger public works and installations, the last being a 30-foot sculptural piece I designed after my nephew asked me to draw him for “Coachella.” I titled the piece “Sneaking Into The Show,” and it’s of a shirtless cholo, his lowrider bike and his girlfriend, which ended up being more of a protest piece. And I am already in planning for future public projects.

Your work has an amazing color vibe – where do you think that stems from?
Apart from certain color combinations being more fulfilling to me, I have always been drawn to the use of color in most Third World countries, where the population seems to lean more heavily on imagery and the use of color due to high rates of illiteracy.

How have Coachella and the nearby desert communities changed since “Coachella,” and how has it impacted the arts?
Nothing has changed for the surrounding migrant or working-class communities surrounding Coachella, but the amount of traffic has. Most of the art installations brought into “Coachella” aren’t local, so the impact it has had on the local art scene is almost none.

Are you still treasure hunting in the dessert for collage materials?
I am still looking in the desert among other places for material, and supply is in abundance since I mostly use discarded materials.

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Originally featured on BL!SS Magazine

The Unmaking of ‘I Don’t Want To Grow Up’ by Alessandro Gallo

Alessandro Gallo’s solo exhibition For Some Reason (2016) featured I Don’t Want To Grow Up, a stoneware sculpture standing 18 inches tall modeled after the likeness of Jonathan LeVine. This new video – The Unmaking of I Don’t Want to Grow Up – show the artists process in reverse, giving a new perspective to the art of sculpting. Be sure to listen with for sound! The editing closely follows the song that inspired the piece – I Don’t Want To Grow Up by the Ramones

Gallo’s mixed-media process is rooted in realism and he begins by photographing his models from multiple angles. The resulting photographs are then used in conjunction with images from animal wildlife books as references while sculpting. He adorns his mutant species with clothing, tattoos and other attributes of typical city-dwellers, and positions them within mundane human circumstances, such as standing in an elevator or taking out the garbage. By placing his compositions within the minutia of daily life Gallo views his work as psychological portraits that embark upon themes of alienation, boredom and loneliness. Whether originally derived from nature or culture, his characters effectively embodying the values and vices of human nature.

Email sales@jonathanlevineprojects.com regarding availability.

The Making of ‘Lick NY’ by Prefab77

Prefab77 has a reputation for creating an all out assault of patterns and textures in his prints – from hand painted backgrounds to stencil and graffiti work, he weaves a luxurious mixture of acrylic, spraypaint, wheatpaste and foil across a range of high quality papers and reclaimed substrates.  For his upcoming release, he created a limited edition run of his iconic painting, Lick New York, in 5 different versions!  Available for purchase on Monday, December 18th, at 9 am on our online shop.

The artist began Lick New York by hand painting the background and base layers, highlighting specific areas with acrylic paint and gold metallic ink to denote points of interest and mimic the variegated NYC skyline.

He then used an ultra violet black ink to add his detailed mash-up of figures and symbols. Prefab77 describes, “The imagery in Lick New York is a hard edged, stripped down, ripped and torn cheeky montage of popular culture, politics and music reflecting the spirit of the great cities of the world but focusing on the greatest of them all, New York City.”

The process of creating this ambitious required an element of experimentation that resulted in a series of smaller, intrinsic runs aside from the main edition, which are special in their rarity and include extra layers.

Lick New York will be available for purchase on Monday, December 18th, at 9 am on our online shop

 

Kip Omolade in Asbury Park Press

NYC artist focuses on human faces

By Billy Anania

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Kip Omolade’s Diovadiova Chrome series is a perpetual work in progress, and each new exhibition reveals an expansion of his particular vision.

The New York City artist works in sculpture and mixed media, creating intersectional paintings through a multidisciplinary process. The abstract portraits that comprise his ongoing series analyze immortality, identity and body image as they relate to psychology and spirituality.

This weekend, Jonathan LeVine Projects is hosting Omolade’s latest incarnation of Diovadiova Chrome at their new location in Mana Contemporary. The opening reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. The exhibition will be on display at the Jersey City museum through Dec. 16.

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Omolade develops his paintings through multiple stages. He first creates face molds from human models using cast plaster, resin and chrome paint. These masks are then photographed and rendered with oil paint on canvas.

The molding process was influenced by ancient African traditions such as ivory masks and Ife bronze heads. The artist has adapted this form of representation to the 21st century, through the use of metallic paint and digital photography.

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In studying human subjects, Omolade emphasizes the particular features of each visage.

“There is something powerful that happens when an artist focuses his or her entire attention to capturing a person’s likeness,” he said. “With ‘Diovadiova Chrome,’ the attention is even more amplified because I’m actually touching the model’s face during the molding process. I get to know more about the person when I feel the contours and details of her face.”

The juxtaposition of chrome and neon creates a glamorous ambience reminiscent of high-end urban nightclubs and fashion magazines. Omolade cites contemporary pop culture as the original catalyst for the series.

“I was studying the relationship between art and celebrity, but the process allowed me to explore various ways of representing a person’s face,” he said. “One of my final versions of the ‘Diovadiova’ model was a metallic rendition that referenced sci-fi characters. First I used a combination of sculpture, Photoshop and painting to achieve the shiny surface. But in terms of self-expression, I wanted something that was more truthful. With a lot of trial and error, I developed my chrome technique.”

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In synthesizing ancient rituals with modern tones, Omolade has established an innovative form of expression. The artist developed a 10-year plan for different “Diovadiova Chrome” exhibitions, with each show representing a specific chapter in a larger story.

In December, Jonathan LeVine Projects is also featuring Omolade’s work at the SCOPE Art Show, part of Art Basel in Miami. For more information on the artist, follow @kipomolade on Instagram or visit www.kipomolade.com.

Originally featured in the Asbury Park Press

The Weird Show Interviews Eric Basstein

Eric Basstein. Turning collage sketches into mesmerizing paintings.

October 31, 2017

– Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.
I’m Eric a 36 year old from The Netherlands. I live in Eindhoven, a city in the south of the Netherlands. It’s the 5th biggest city in The Netherlands with lot’s of high tech and design industry. Since a kid i’m interested in drawing and music. I’ve tried to combine those two as much as i can. There were fases that music was more present then art and the other way around. After more then ten years as a dj i desided to focus on my art. I didn’t want to lose my history in music and that’s how i came up with the idea of sampling art just like producers do with music. Just like a producer samples parts from other songs i try to do that with existing images. I sample them into a collage and use that as the sketch for my paintings.

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– You paint collages… How did you arrive to do blend these techniques in your own style?
I made some collages when i was in art school and always had the idea of transforming them into a painting. So when i had the the idea of sampling the collages made sense to use. I always start off going trough books and magazines without any idea in mind. The trick is not to search for things. I think if you are searching for something it’s hard to find it and also you are controlling to much. I just flip pages and if i see some i like i cut it out. After that it becomes a puzzle. I try so find the right balance between colours and shapes.

– How did music inform and influence your art? 
When i paint i’m always listening to music. Most of the time it’s in the same way like i used to build up my own dj sets. So i start the day with some soundscape or ambient stuff, after that it’s mostly jazz and hip hop and at the end of the day it’s time to bounce it of with some house music. I’m not sure if music also influences the image itself, mostly my mood i guess.

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– How is your workflow? Is collage anyway involved? 
Every painting starts with a collage. Sometimes i make multiple collages and pick the best one. Then i transfer the collage on to the canvas. When most of the collage is painted i look for parts that need to be changed. This can mean that i change a colour or shape. Most of the time i really stick to the collage. The last step is the background.

– What´s not enough in a collage that you need to use paint to achieve your goals? What gets lost in the translation from collage to paint? 
I like to work pretty big so that’s the first “problem” with a collage. Also i’m a painter, it’s something that i want and need to do. After a couple day’s off i always feel the need to paint. I think that the translation from collage to a painting makes the image even stronger. With a collage it are all sharp pictures. It all has the same look and feel and the same quality. When it’s painted there’s more to see, the structure, the imperfections. The balance get’s more interesting.

Eric Basstein-The Air Between Us

– In the era of immediacy, the idea of turning something quite simple and fast (collage) into something more complex and time consuming (painting) seems really interesting and defying. Is there a sociopolitical comment in there? Do you feel your work process has a message on itself? 
Never thought about it like that, but you are right about the time process. I do think that people should take more time for things. Lot’s of people go to fast just to get it out as quick as possible to get likes etc. We check out phones every 15 minutes, need a new Netflix serie at least every month. I do like to take time, see something evolve, enjoy the process. I must say it took time for me to get more patience. In the beginning i wanted a painting to be finished in a week. After that it became two or three weeks. Now i’m not thinking of time as much but more in result.

– What´s your definition of collage and how your work fits into that definition?
For me the collage is a tool, a sketch. They don’t need to be perfect. I don’t glue them or use the best papier etc. Sometimes i recycle collages that i used before. Strip parts that i like and use them for a new collage.

Eric Basstein-Flying With Elephants

– Have you ever exhibited paper collage? 
No, never did that, but thinking to do so in the future. Exhibit them together with my paintings to have a bigger body of work.

Originally featured on The Weird Show

Handiedan Interview in Mass Appeal

INVESTIGATING FEMININITY, HANDIEDAN TIME TRAVELS TO ‘THE FOURTH DIMENSION’

Originally featured on Mass Appeal

New Print by Handiedan

We’re excited to release a limited edition print by Handiedan in conjunction with her debut solo exhibition at the gallery, The Fourth Dimension: Time.

Dutch-artist Handiedan pushes the boundaries of mixed-media work by creating collage based reliefs of classic female pin-ups using both digitally created and found components. Deeply influenced by scientific and spiritual interests – from Quantum Physics, Cosmology and Numerology to Sacred Geometries, Metaphysics and Eastern Philosophies – each work is a treasure trove of symbols that embrace the various forms of vital energy permeating the universe and mirror the eternal motion of life.

BUY NOW!

Print Details:

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Zwarte Vlinder (2017)
Giclée on 315 gsm Innova Soft Textured Natural White
Paper size: 19.75 x 16.5 inches
Signed, numbered and logo embossed by the artist
Edition of 100
$125

Josh Tiessen Time-Lapse Video

Stoney Creek artist Josh Tiessen showcases his creative process in YouTube video for Occidental Babylon

Stoney Creek artist Josh Tiessen is giving art enthusiasts a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process in a new YouTube video.

The video features Photoshop time-lapse and speed painting of Tiessen’s largest oil painting to date, Occidental Babylon.

Featuring spotted hyenas from Sub-Saharan Africa juxtaposed on a Wild West scene, Occidental Babylon was inspired by the California Gold Rush town of Bodie, famous for its saloon brawls, stagecoach robberies and weekly shootouts.

Beginning in 1848, $34 million in gold was extracted from local mines, but by the 1880s, the town was in decline. In 1932, Bodie’s weather-beaten buildings were razed in a catastrophic fire.

Occidental Babylon took Tiessen 1,200 hours over eight months to complete.

The work was recently chosen as the winner in Delusional: Jonathan LeVine’s Search for the Next Great Artist at Jonathan LeVine Projects Gallery in Jersey City, NJ.

Tiessen explains his rationale for Occidental Babylon in a passage on his website.

Spotted hyenas reside in Sub-Saharan Africa, so it’s logical to wonder why a pack of thirteen hyenas are roaming through a western town! Hyenas are carrion scavengers, able to break down bone with their strong teeth and jaws, extracting as much marrow nutrient as possible. Traditionally, the hyena has been a symbol for the unstable or sinister, and in some African cultures it is viewed as a grave robber. The Lion King’s hyena trio: Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, entrenched character traits of savagery and cowardice in pop culture. For me, the concept of hyenas inhabiting an immoral western town came from Isaiah’s prophecy of judgment concerning Babylon, stating that desert creatures such as hyenas would one day inhabit its strongholds, a symbolic picture of how Babylon, the world’s greatest city, would be laid to waste by the Persian Empire.

Originally featured on Hamilton News

Kevin Cyr in Hi-Fructose

Kevin Cyr Documents Working-Class Vehicles in ‘Labor Day’

By Andy Smith

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In a new collection of paintings and drawings, Kevin Cyr pays tribute to the working class via worn vehicles spotted and documented around New York City. “Labor Day” at Jonathan Levine Projects in New Jersey progresses the artist’s love affair with the concept of what vehicles say about the people who drive them. Cyr first appeared in the pages of this magazine in Hi-Fructose Vol. 10, and he’s part of the “Turn the Page: The First 10 Years of Hi-Fructose” exhibit, currently at Crocker Art Museum.

“In a culture in which people are easily lured by the appeal of status-enhancing symbols, Cyr finds beauty in derelict cars,” a statement says. “With a devoted attention to detail, he paints old vehicles—primarily vans and commercial trucks—covered in graffiti, rust, scratches, scuffs, dents and other marks of distinction. By meticulously illustrating every imperfection and sign of age, Cyr’s work serves as a documentation of time, place and the evolution of the American landscape.”

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Originally featured on Hi-Fructose 

Jonathan LeVine Brings an All-Star Lineup to Heron Arts

East Coast Curator Jonathan LeVine Brings an All-Star Lineup to Heron Arts

BY SHAYNA YASUHARA

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Heron Arts has invited East Coaster Jonathan LeVine to guest curate their upcoming “East Looks West” art show, opening this Saturday. The show is a celebration of two coasts interconnected stylistically, digitally and by the artists themselves—many who are west coast natives and transplants alike.

The lineup on this show is pretty nuts. Highlighting one or two top artists from this list would be a disservice because pretty much each of these artists could pack a room on their own. So, here is the list in full: AJ Fosik, Anthony Ausgang, Augustine Kofie, Ben Venom, Brett Amory, Camille Rose Garcia, Carlos Ramirez, Christian Clayton, Cryptik, David Choong Lee, Gary Baseman, Isabel Samaras, Jeffrey Gillette, Jeremy Fish, Josh Agle (Shag), Mario Martinez (Mars-1), Seonna Hong, Shepard Fairey, Souther Salazar, Tim Biskup and Tristan Eaton.

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Jonathan Levine has taken aesthetic cues from underground music and punk culture, and his selection of celebrated artists has made him a standout contemporary art curator to watch. He officially put himself on the contemporary art map when he opened up Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City back in 2005.

In 2017, the gallery was relocated to Jersey City and now goes by Jonathan LeVine Projects. The new location is part of Mana Contemporary, an arts organization that LeVine has teamed up with to expand past the gallery walls and out into new territories, including public murals and pop-up exhibitions.

In anticipation of this show, we wanted to find out more for Jonathan LeVine on the accessibility of visual art in the digital age and collaborating with Heron Arts.

Anthony Ausgang_The Moonlit Mile

How did you get in touch with Heron Arts?

I know Director Tova Lobatz from her days with White Walls Gallery and Noah Antieau from his Red Truck Gallery in New Orleans. We are part of a tight-knit art community that revolves around the type of artwork championed in Hi-Fructose and Juxtapoz Magazine. Late last year, Noah invited me out to curate a show at Heron Arts and thus our conversation began.

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Do you plan to do more projects out on the west coast?

I would like to do more projects on the west coast and specifically with Heron Arts in SF. This our first time working together but we have talked about other future projects.

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What do you look for when considering new artists to work with?

First and foremost, I have to like the work. It has to speak to me and get me excited. I am typically looking for something new, something that I haven’t seen before. I look for consistency in the work and professionalism on the part of the artist. These days I typically work with mid-career artists but I still pick up some emerging artists as well. I like to keep my program interesting.

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Any trends within the art world you are seeing?

It is hard to read trend these days because social media has created this abundance of art to look at, and as a result, you can’t really pinpoint a movement happening. If anything, the trend is art moving from being on walls to being online and being greatly accessible to the general public. As a result, I think the average person is engaged more with the visual arts than they used to be.

Heron Arts & Jonathan LeVine Projects Present: “East Looking West”
Opening Reception at Heron Arts
Saturday, September 16, 7-10pm

Originally featured on SF Station