Jan 252024
 

The Mangrove Refuge (The Vorasane Family and Friends; Gandy Beach circa 1980) by Michael Vasquez was created for the 2023 edition of SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete, Florida.

The artist’s statement about the mural-

A displaced Lao family (and friends) find refuge and a moment of reflection amidst the mangroves of Tampa Bay’s Gandy Beach.

A 1978 Datsun 280Z serves as a centerpiece and point of pride, fusing together car culture and masculinity. Similar aspects of clothing and style signal togetherness, emulation, and a shared sense of identity—yet their solitary gazes set them apart from one another and allude to a deeper and more personal past, present, and future…

Vasquez is currently part of the group show TRADITIONS: Honoring Heritage, Ritual and Family at Muzeo in Anaheim, California. The show is curated by Thinkspace and Tlaloc Studios and is on view until 2/25/24.

Also check out his Instagram for current work.

Jan 222024
 

Ride on the sPEACEship! by Chris Dyer was created for the 2023 SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete, Florida.

Check out more of his work on Instagram.

Jan 112024
 

This mural by Bunnie Reiss was created for the 2023 edition of the SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete, Florida.

Also check out her Instagram for updates on her current work.

Dec 172023
 

This mural, perfect for a rainy day, is by artist Jean Thomas. It is located in the Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne, Florida.

Dec 072023
 

“Fluorescent Dwarf”, 2017, Acrylic and water based aerosol on wood panel, pattern traced from found branch with wood boring beetle larvae trails (the source branch is on display directly to the left)

“The Expanding Universe”, 2017, Hand cut (jigsaw) plywood, water based spray, nails, pattern traced from found branch with wood boring beetle larvae trails

“Transcend and Include”, 2019, Wood boring beetle larvae paths traced from a dead cedar tree hand-cut from re-purposed Aluplast, water based spray

Community Foundation Tampa Bay works to match people and organizations with the resources they need to carry out projects that make a positive impact on local communities. In their space in St. Pete they also exhibit work by local artists. Currently on view are selections from Kenny Jensen’s Paths of Consumption series.

From the artist about this work-

As a Florida native who spent much of my childhood outdoors both in the city and the country, I have always had an essential connection to our unique natural environment. This relationship has steadily deepened over the years through my evolving art practice, and related ecological research. Becoming a parent has also raised the stakes and heightened my ecological awareness and concern. As a result there is a tension present in my work – An earnest desire to share the wonder and mystery I continually encounter in common, overlooked nature while also expressing grief and frustration over what is actively being lost.

All of the work on display here is a part of an ongoing environmentally focused sculpture project entitled Paths of Consumption which recreates found patterns eaten out of by various insect larvae at exaggerated scale and with a full spectrum of layered hues. This series is a meditation on our consumption of the natural environment. The inverted insect paths act as a kind of metaphorical map to guide us to reflect on our own record of consumption as we develop and grow, both as individuals and as a society.

Also on view at the gallery are digital works from Nick Davis’s Black is Beautiful series. Sadly, Davis passed away in December of 2022.

 

Nov 302023
 

Eagle Opens Up by Haisla, Heiltsuk artist Paul Windsor, located in Vancouver, Canada.

You can also find his work on Instagram.

Jul 032023
 

There are currently two exhibitions in New York celebrating Richard Avedon’s photography. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Richard Avedon: Murals. Pictured above are two of the large murals included. The first is of Andy Warhol and members of The Factory and the other is of members of the Mission Council in Saigon.

From The Met’s website about the show-

In 1969, Richard Avedon was at a crossroads. After a five-year hiatus, the photographer started making portraits again, this time with a new camera and a new sense of scale. Trading his handheld Rolleiflex for a larger, tripod-mounted device, he reinvented his studio dynamic. Instead of dancing around his subjects from behind a viewfinder, as he had in his lively fashion pictures, he could now stand beside a stationary camera and meet them head-on. Facing down groups of the era’s preeminent artists, activists, and politicians, he made huge photomural portraits, befitting their outsized cultural influence. On the centennial of the photographer’s birth, Richard Avedon: MURALS will bring together three of these monumental works, some as wide as 35 feet. For Avedon, the murals expanded the artistic possibilities of photography, radically reorienting viewers and subjects in a subsuming, larger-than-life view.

The murals are society portraits. In them, Avedon assembles giants of the late twentieth century—members of Andy Warhol’s Factory, architects of the Vietnam war, and demonstrators against that war—who together shaped an extraordinarily turbulent era of American life. Presented in one gallery, their enormous portraits will stage an unlikely conversation among historically opposed camps, as well as contemporary viewers. The formal innovations of Avedon’s high style—of starkly lit bodies in an unsparing white surround—are best realized in these works, where subjects jostle and crowd the frame, and bright voids between them crackle with tension. Uniting the murals with session outtakes and contemporaneous projects, the exhibition will track Avedon’s evolving approach to group portraiture, through which he so transformed the conventions of the genre.

About Andy Warhol and members of The Factory

Avedon fantasized about throwing an annual fete for New York society and watching the group evolve over time. This mural is his downtown take on such a party, featuring a new “smart set” of sexual revolutionaries. They were affiliated with Andy Warhol’s Factory, the studio and gathering place for a coterie of avant-garde filmmakers, artists, and socialites. Avedon summoned them to his own studio, where they met over a series of weeks. Working in his most directorial mode, he arranged his subjects—including transgender actress Candy Darling and adult film star Joe Dallesandro—in a lateral frieze across adjoining frames, the fracture and repetition of their bodies in space suggesting the filmic passage of time.

The culmination of much trial and error, the mural’s composition took time to perfect, as evidenced by session outtakes displayed nearby. Avedon later praised the professionalism of his cast but joked, “You couldn’t keep the clothes on anybody in those years. . . . Before you could say ‘hello,’ they were nude and ready to ride.” If this unabashed undress tests gallery decorum, it is a provocation grounded in art history: in the central panel Avedon presents a male version of the “three graces,” riffing on a gendered tradition in allegorical painting with an ironic, Warholian wink.

About The Mission Council, Saigon, South Vietnam

Avedon knew he would have mere minutes to photograph the U.S. generals, ambassadors, and policy experts who ran the war in Vietnam—not the weeks he spent refining his first mural. Planning in advance, he requested the heights of the men known collectively as the Mission Council and mapped out their positions, with careful attention to rank and influence. He rigged a makeshift studio at the embassy in Saigon, and recalled that once assembled, they “lined up like high school boys. They all wanted to be in the picture.” This is true of all but Ted Shackley, the camera-averse CIA station chief known to colleagues as the Blond Ghost, who begged out of the sitting for “a meeting,” leaving a void in the rightmost panel.

As blunt and procedural as a police lineup, the mural recalls Avedon’s first photography gig as a teenager in the Merchant Marine, where he made mugshot-style portraits of new recruits. Here, scrutinizing the faces of the war’s top brass, Avedon invokes their unseen operatives and victims. When the work was later published, one critic deemed it “a terrifying picture of business as usual.”

This exhibition closes 10/1/23.

For a more comprehensive look at Avedon’s career, Gagosian’s Chelsea location is showing Avedon 100, “a collection of Avedon photographs was selected by more than 150 people—including prominent artists, designers, musicians, writers, curators, and fashion world representatives—who elaborate on the impact of the photographer’s work today.”

The gallery’s website has a video of the installation that is well worth checking out, especially if you can’t see the exhibition in person.

This exhibition will close on Friday, 7/7/23.

Jun 182023
 

This work, by artist Cyla Costa, was part of the Ladies Who Paint all female mural festival in San Diego.

The subject of the mural is the Portuguese word “saudade“. It has no direct translation but she defines it as “a tangle of emotions both happy and sad about missing someone or something” (as seen in the second image).

 

Feb 042023
 

This mural, Shesha Sand Storm, by Fin Dac and Starfightera (Christina Angelina), is on the side of the Desert Shores market near Salton Sea in California.