IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Yuriko Yamaguchi

Featured

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #56: Yuriko Yamaguchi

yurikos-self-portrait-by-carol-harrison

Yuriko Yamaguchi photograph by Carol Harrison

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
Good space and good lighting is the most important environment for my work.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
Usually I start my day with a 45 minutes walk in the back yard park, Wolf Trap National Park.  After having breakfast, I start working in my studio.  This is my daily routine.

3. What is your preferred medium?  Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I use stainless steel wire, resin, gampi paper pulp, synthetic fabric, cotton cord, etc.

Most of the time I work on one project; however, occasionally two pieces.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio?
While walking in the morning I observe the natural world- growing mushrooms, changing color on leaves, living trees and dead trees, stream, pond, rock, weed and wild flowers, light and shadow etc.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of method”?
I am interested in discovering in general.  I am interested in discovering my own way to make things instead of the traditional way of making things.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I focused the interconnectedness between blood vein and cabbage vein when I was working on “Coming #2”.   I striped off a piece of leaf from a cabbage only to retain the part of vein for some. I sometimes used it the way it was.  After making a rubber mold of pieces of cabbage leaf, I hand cast in pigmented resin.  In order to emphasize the vein texture, I discovered the effectiveness of use of red LED light behind resin pieces.  Instead of having an image of certain things in my head, I connect pieces of hand cast resin pieces until I feel right.  The work came to me.

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Tim Lowly

Featured

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #57: Tim Lowly

2016-by-beb-scott-brandt_web

Tim Lowly, photograph by Ben Scott-Brandt (2016)

1. What is your ideal working environment?
I like to work in a meditative space. Ironically, that space might be a public space: as artist-in-residence at North Park University I have on occasion worked in public contexts such as the gallery or the library. I love to listen to music while I’m working: usually of the contemplative sort (a favorite being Arvo Pärt’s “Alina). Light from over the left shoulder.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio?
An upcoming exhibition. Nothing is more motivating.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
I primarily work with Golden’s matte acrylics. After many years of working with egg-oil emulsion tempera I moved to matte acrylic as a medium I could handle more aggressively and adventurously.
I often have multiple projects en route conceptually, but usually focus on making them one at time.

4. Is there anything you would like to share as personal interests outside of the studio – outdoor activity, cooking, reading, museum/gallery hopping?
Teaching and curating (primarily as a professor at North Park University) are more than my primary sources of income: they are a great joy. Writing and performing music is a serious secondary pursuit.

5. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I’m very interested in art as a way of deeply engaging the great community of artists, both present and past. Most of my works are in conversation with another artist’s work.

6. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
“Study for Shore” is a study for a large work (imagine it being ten feet tall). In preparing this work I invited Chicago artist Maya Durham into a conversation about what the work might be. Her contribution–the upper portions of the piece, depicting fossilized shells–could be a shore or the sky. In the lower half my daughter Temma is seen from above, partially in shadow, looking off to the right. The overwhelming tactility of her hair suggests our intimate presence, but the shadow and her gaze elsewhere questions that relationship. The fossilized shells unmoor the idea of time and scale within the work.
(In developing this work I found particular inspiration in Antonio Lopez Garcia’s, “Woman on the Beach”.)

“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale” – This painting appears to depict a painting or photograph leaning against the wall of a room. The size of the work within a work is unclear. The picture within depicts a woman leaning over an unseen figure on a couch. In the foreground is a wheelchair.

The woman is my wife Sherrie and she is assessing how to pick up our daughter Temma (which is not a light matter!). The reflection on this action / event and it’s depiction as a picture (of indeterminate size) in a picture is intended to function as a metaphor for the task of assessing the scale of a life.

(Art I was thinking about in conversation with this work: Robert Gober’s leaning door in his 1988 installation at the ICA in Boston and the image construction strategies of Michaël Borremans.)

“Tilt / Iron” (currently in progress) is another study for a large painting. The subtle trapezoidal shape of the work alludes to a rectangular work leaning against a wall (as in “Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”). As the title suggests the color / texture of the work intentionally references rusty iron plate, pointing specifically to the large-scale iron works of Richard Serra. Again the subject of the work is my daughter Temma who in reality exists in utter contrast to the grand scaled machismo of Serra’s works. In the painting Temma lies in bed, with her back to the viewer as she faces a window. The possibility of a portal within the painting is complicated by the window’s overwhelming light: suggesting, perhaps, that this woman has access to something beyond our comprehension or power.

study-for-shore_web

“Study for Shore”, Tim Lowly with Maya Durham, 2016, mixed process drawing, 37″ x 29″

trying-to-get-a-sense-of-scale-_web

“Trying to Get a Sense of Scale”, 2012, acrylic on panel, 21″ x 18″

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative- Josh Dorman

Featured

IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, curated by Eleana Del Rio

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience. Curator Eleana Del Rio grouped these artists together because they share a common interest in pictorial narrative. They all invite the viewer to interact with the imagery and engage with the work in a manner that allows two narratives—both the artist’s and the viewer’s—to play out over time.

Featuring David Bailin, Eric Beltz, Shay Bredimus, Wes Christensen(1949-2015), Josh Dorman, Tim Lowly, Michelle Muldrow, Len Paschoal, Fred Stonehouse, and Yuriko Yamaguchi

November 3 – December 23, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 3, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #55: Josh Dorman

josh-old-studio

1. What is your ideal working environment? – space, music, lighting, etc.
As a NYC-based artist, I can’t say that I have the ideal environment, but in many ways I’m fortunate. In the city, I have a basement studio with one small window. I’m not eager to work very large these days, so the cave-like space is good for me. I use incandescent clip lights to create pools of warm light on my paintings. Because I use a lot of collage, the panels move from table to wall to floor. I sometimes work lying down on top of the panel. Last year, we bought a little home in the Catskills and I’ve set up a small studio there as well. Looking out the glass doors to see wandering geese and flowers and green is heavenly. But it can also be a distraction. It’s easy to get drawn away from the ineffable world of a painting to the tangible act of picking a flower or a cucumber. I often listen to music or podcasts while working. The more my left brain can be occupied, the less it gets in the way of the creative process. And the less it can bother me with doubts and questions.

2. Is there a specific motivator in getting you into the studio? – after morning news? coffee? after family is asleep at night?
Coffee helps. As a part-time teacher and father of twins, I take every moment I can to get to the studio. Summers are sacred time. It also helps to have a looming show as a motivator. And seeing an old friend at the Met or MOMA can inspire me. A wall of Klees or Turners can send me sprinting home to work.

3. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several? Though I’ve experimented with animation in the last several years, the mixture of paint and collage is still inexhaustible for me. I use only antique paper sources—maps, charts, textbook engravings, player piano scrolls. I usually have 5-6 panels of varying size going in the studio simultaneously.

4. In what way is your work a reflection of “tradition by way of ‘method’”?
I consider my work to be connected to the painting tradition in a deep way. I believe all great art is conceptual and spiritual. And what is termed “Conceptual Art” holds very little interest for me. I seek to create work that feels current but also outside of time and place. For inspiration, I look to ancient and Modernist sources. From Sienese paintings to Persian Miniatures to Breughel, Redon and Ryder. I try to use collage (appropriated images) in a way that honors the original creator and transforms the meaning. I hope to build worlds that invite the viewer in to figure out what is painted and what is collaged. I hope to generate images that are utterly specific and completely open-ended.

5. With the examples of your work represented in IDENTITY Insight: Unfolding the Visual Narrative, are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight into your artist vision to a new viewer?
I could discuss “Shipwreck” briefly. It began, as do most of my paintings with a small compositional sketch. I knew I wanted an enclosed body of water. I knew I wanted it to be seen from above, underneath and sideways simultaneously (like Cubism, yet visually not at all). I glued down a base layer of old player piano scroll paper. The dots and perforations generate a rhythm, create a horizontal pattern, akin to waves on a sea, and also remind one of DNA charts and other modern technologies. I then created a nest like border by laying down pine needles and grass, pouring watery inks and letting the liquid evaporate. Similarly, gears and embroidery wheels created ghosty stencils in the pink sky. Once this enclosure and pool was built, the sea creatures, bathers, and detritus of humankind began to fill the pool, while fossils and bones embedded themselves in the border earth. This is all improvisational, based on the piles of old books I surround myself with and on the forms that call to each other, jumping scale and substance. After several weeks of layering collage and paint washes, the actual ship was one of the final additions, giving a central anchor to the piece. What it all means I leave to the viewer. I have ideas and suspicions, but if I were to know the exact narrative beforehand or afterward, I would lose all interest in making art.

have-you-seen-the-red-village_web

“Have You Seen the Red Village?”, 2012, ink, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

shipwreck_web

“Shipwreck”, 2014, acrylic & collage on panel, 24″ x 24″

Things That Kill- Kathy Vargas

Featured

Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #54: Kathy Vargas

1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?
I teach full time at the University of the Incarnate Word.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?
I first considered myself an artist at the age of 5 when I got my first (Diana) camera. I got hooked pretty quickly. My uncle was a photographer in Laredo, Mexico and he’d come visit, Graflex in tow. To this day I use Graflex cameras in addition to the more complete Calumet 4×5.

3. What are your influences?
I’ve traipsed through the entire history of photography, in addition to looking at quite a lot of the contemporary work being made, so pretty much any of that would apply. Specific photographic influences are Hans Bellmer and Joel Peter Witkin for the grotesque; Graciela Iturbide and Julia Margaret Cameron for beauty; Duane Michals and Pedro Meyer for the surreal. However, my imagination is even more easily stirred by literature: almost anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Rosario Castellanos’ Balun Canan; Akutagawa’s Cogwheels; Cecile Pineda’s Face and Frieze. Face is particularly relevant to this series.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?
My 3 bedroom house is my studio, so pretty large. I have two “shooting” rooms: the living room for larger work and a small bedroom for still-life type work. I also have a three room darkroom: one room for printing; one for washing and toning, and one smaller room for drying. I also have a room for painting and framing pieces. Lighting is simple. Usually smaller, simple lights for smaller work and Paul Buff lights when I need to photograph larger or moving subjects.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?
There’s no “typical”. If I’m in the darkroom I listen to music (CDs). If I’m painting I may listen to music or put on a movie. But on certain days the silence is nice too.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?
My preferred medium is photography, but I draw and paint on the photographs, and now I’m even drawing on the negatives by scratching them. I’ve also sewn on photos as well as collaged on them, used gold and silver leaf – whatever fits the theme. I work on several series at a time at the beginning, when I’m trying to decide what to do next. However, usually one idea comes forward; then I work almost exclusively on that series. Sometimes I think I’m done (like with the masks) and go on to another series. Then the previous idea recurs in a new way. That’s happened two or three times.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?
Not really. I guess most people don’t use 4×5 cameras anymore, so maybe that, but that’s about it.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?
I write. I started writing lyrics about three or four years ago, when a friend of mine from the old days (I used to do rock and roll photography) decided to do a solo CD. I asked if I could help with text and he said he’d try me out. We wrote about 19 songs in the space of three months: my words, his music. His CD is called Incantation and I wrote the lyrics for half the songs on it. The videos are all over You Tube. Albert used to be a member of Blue Oyster Cult and recently he rejoined them for a few gigs, during which he performed one of our songs “Ravens”, during his solo spot. One of my favorites from the CD is “Road Show,” which is about MY experiences on the rock road, though they do seem to coincide with Albert’s; I also really love “Ghosts”, “Voyeur”, and “Face in Your Mirror.” “Voyeur” is about photography, as you can tell in the video. “Face in Your Mirror” was inspired by Cecile Pineda’s book, Face. There’s an online review with mentions that Albert and I seem to be in sync, music-wise, and we were under Grammy consideration for all of about five days; we didn’t have a chance though, not up against Keb Mo and Greg Allman. Oh well. In addition to writing with/for Albert, I am working on a novel about rock and roll in the 1970s. That’s great fun.

9. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
My work for “Things That Kill” is pretty much typical of what I do. The subject of these photos, masks, originated with the “Innocent Age” series. The earlier masks depicted “nicknames”/perceptions I heard parents use in addressing their children: gordo/piggy; fool/stupid; monster, etc. I wondered how many times those “nicknames” became self-fulfilling prophesies. It’s bad enough when children are bullied with those names; it must be horrible to hear your parents say them. The later masks have a different slant, not as a direct relation to childhood, but as a consideration of masks worn inwardly while showing a face of normalcy/innocence to the world, specifically the concealed identities of true monsters: terrorists and murderers. How might they look if we could see their anger and hatred when they walked down the street? And so the masks returned as the hidden face of an evil-doer, reversing the usual face/mask relationship: the bland face lies; the mask is the true identity.

10. How did you approach the subject matter?
As a photographer, I need an actual object to photograph. So I’ve been using mostly Halloween masks. I cut them, stretch them, scar them, or otherwise reshape them. The extra texture added during double exposure also altered the original mask, but I want the surface to look fleshy, like skin, to make sure that the human element is read along with the idea of a monster. Recently I’ve begun to add eyes, so that it looks like there’s a person (maybe trapped) in there; I’m working on those now. Haven’t finished any yet.

11. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work in “Things that Kill”?
I think I’ve pretty much covered that, except to say that next time you hear a report about a shooting, check out the killer’s home life. (Didn’t one of those shooters kill his mother first?) Then go to Walmart, listen to the screaming parents and crying children; check out what the parents are saying to their kids, what they’re calling them. It’ll scare the heck out of you; that lack of sensitivity is one sure way to create a real live monster.

Things That Kill- Joe Crookes

Featured

Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #27 part 2: Joe Crookes

P1060059

1. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
Ironworkers do occasionally take calculated risks. Crane operators depend on men with walkie-talkies to guide their blind loads to out of sight “connectors”. It is a little bit
like glass blowers in a hot shop intuitively communicating their precise intentions.

2. How did you approach the subject matter? Prographica4

I often gave the ironworkers heroic pictures of themselves. I let them know that I admired their skill and agility. I kept returning to the rigorous beauty in the large-scale structural ironwork. The strict function of the the design carries with it a strict aesthetic beauty. Even a bolt or nut, a beat up carpenter’s canvas bag have integrated beauty and function.

 

3. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work  in “Things that Kill”?
Since I was given a hard hat and permission to access all parts of the stadium during the build, I was the ironworkers’ mascot so to speak. I became part of the crew.

Things That Kill- Brian Blackham

Featured

Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #25 part 2: Brian Blackham

in studio

1. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
My painting is of cubes of sugar. The reflection of the theme “Things that Kill” is how the obsession of sugar is killing us. One tasty bite at a time, getting us addicted to the sweet taste of things. Losing the desire to eat anything that doesn’t have sugar in it is taking a toll on us, physically and mentally. This show is inline with the way I think about my work. I approach subject matter for my paintings with the hope of knowing how ‘loaded’ or ‘unloaded’ it will be. Although subject matter is very important, I want the formal elements of painting to be at the forefront when viewing my work.

2. How did you approach the subject matter?
My approach of the subject matter was to try to present it in the same way you would present something special. To give it center stage, and see the beauty of what it is, not what it does.

3. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work in “Things that Kill”?
I’m unable to think of anything at this time. I do hope though, that you will become addicted to looking at my work.

Things That Kill- Evelyn Woods

Featured

Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #9 part 3: Evelyn Woods

IMG_1009 (1)

1. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
The self portrait “Silence” is a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill” in that if one cannot speak their truth and is forced to stay silent, then that very silence has the ability to kill their spirit which eventually can kill the essence of that individual. Throughout history we have been witness to individuals, groups of people, cultures and even countries who die as a result of forced silence. One has only to remember the Holocaust as an example.

I have done self portraits in the past as an exercise in painting from direct observation never intending them for a show. What better source than your own face. What is revealed in the process of painting can be a surprise even to oneself.

The painting “Twisted #2” was nearly completed before hearing of this show and was in continuation with a series using similar subject material. Its Medusa-­like quality has the effect of something that could kill due to the feelings evoked when looking at the image. After exploring the myth of Medusa, I discovered how she was forced into having a head of writhing snakes as punishment for being a victim of rape. Another example of what happens if one has the courage to speak the truth.

2. How did you approach the subject matter?
In approaching the theme I could not help but think of all the ways things could kill with some obvious ones such as cars, cancer, natural disasters etc… But I decided to take a risk using my own personal history in the form of a self portrait. My dilemma was in painting a visually successful image while within a heavily loaded context.

3. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work in “Things that Kill”?
Whether my subject material takes the form of a still life as in previous drawings, or the painting of tree forms as in my latest work, the approach is the same. To paint or draw is a personal exploration of selected subject material. In the end, if successful,the inherent meaning is revealed.