Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Interview: Alexa Horochowski

Ouroboros, dimension variable, straw wattle, bronze hood, inkjet on metal, wood, 2015

Untitled, 5.5” x 7.5” each, inkjet prints of scanned pine needles on metal, 2015






EDP: What philosophies (works of literature, etc.) have influenced you?

AH: Lately I’ve been reading Timothy Morton’s Hyperobjects, and Jane Bennett’s, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, where she argues that agency emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She also writes, “Darwin describes the activities of worms as one of many ‘small agencies’ whose ‘accumulated effects’ turn out to be quite big. Worms…‘make history’ by preserving the artifacts that humans make”.

As a sculptor the concept that things have agency seems common sense. I am perpetually inspired by objects, and I don’t mean art objects, just the ones that are everywhere all around us. Today I was walking in my neighborhood in South Minneapolis, heading to pick up my car from the garage, and in someone’s yard I saw these lawn ornaments of fake, outdoor, Christmas “presents”, except that typically they would be sitting in snow, but this year though December, the grass is still visible and bright green, which is rare enough, but stranger still, there was a giant multi-layered, beautiful mushroom clump growing right next to the “presents”. It was as if this natural, living thing was showing off its vitality. But it was the contrast and collaboration of these objects that made them striking. We tend to think in dichotomies about what is “natural” and what is man-made but the more we learn about what things are made of the more difficult it becomes to differentiate. According to a report by the Geological Society of America a new stone, officially named a plastiglomerate is formed when plastic trash melts and fuses with natural materials such as sand, shells, wood, coral, and basaltic lava fragments, resulting in a plastic-rock hybrid. Beachside campfires form this new permanent marker in Earth’s geologic record. Is this readymade a collaboration between man, plastic, sand, and fire? Is it garbage? Regardless, it has the potential to outlive humans. All literature pertaining to the epoch of the Anthropocene interests me.

EDP: Can you describe your “pursuit of the physicality of form”. What strategies do you take and how did this interest come to be important in your work?

AH: I have a background in journalism and I see myself as an observer of the world more than an interpreter. Everything I make, I have somehow experienced in the world. The physical world interests me, things I can touch or feel in my body, trees, rocks, water, wind, objects, etc. I am drawn to detritus and the way it merges with leftover natural matter such as you find in flotsam or jetsam on the beach. But there is another aspect to the idea of the “physicality of form” that has to do with how the work is physically created. Sculpture requires movement of the artist’s body in space and an interaction with materials. Just as a land formation gets eroded through time by wind and rain, in the studio, a work of art becomes what it is through a real physical interaction with the material. I am not interested in fully controlling the material, but in working with it so that it maintains qualities of randomness, gravity, and time.

 

EDP: Can you elaborate on your interest in materials and the effects they have in different pieces (or one piece)?

AH: The most appealing material I have ever used, I found at an artist residency at CASAPOLI, Coliumo, Chile in 2013. Durvillaea antartica or cochayuyo, as Chileans refer to it, is giant, antarctic kelp whose tendrils commonly reach 24 feet in length. Cochayuyo has many fascinating qualities, it is elastic when wet but will dry to a crispy, leathery substance that is strong, light, and airy. Cochayuyo is edible and is harvested by the locals who fold it into neat packages and put it in the sun to dry. To reconstitute and eat cochayuyo, Chileans soak it in water, so that the kelp becomes malleable once again. The first time I worked with cochayuyo, I used fresh specimens that I hung from the interior windows of CASAPOLI so that its black tendrils contrasted with the white, rectilinear lines of the space. I returned to the United States with several, large, dry specimens of kelp (seaweed is not regulated at U.S. customs). Back in my studio I reconstituted the kelp in a salinated solution and molded it into cuboidal forms. I was interested in this alien/natural material whose powerful tendrils resist the rectilinear confines of the cube and have the power to destroy it.           

 

EDP: What is next?

AH: I am presently working with industrial, erosion control objects, such as straw wattles, silt logs, and coir logs. These biodegradable geotextiles are used to shore up the land in areas that have been stripped of their original plant matter and soil. The geotextiles are filled with non-invasive, non-native materials such as coconut fiber (shipped from Sri-Lanka to the Midwest), wood shavings, and clean, seedless straw. The "biodegradable" mesh holding the organic matter takes longer to decay than its counterparts, so empty clumps of it are readily visible in highway areas. A bronze version of a deconstructed wattle suggests the head of an emptied scarecrow, or the hoods used on war detainees at Abu Ghraib, or the hoods of the KKK. I’m interested in humanity’s contribution to global warming by mass-producing objects that pollute while simultaneously attempting to “correct” environmental damage. The decapitated wattle seems to me a human trophy in our war with the Earth.
 

 
 
For more reading on this work:
 

 




For more about Alexa's Horochowski's work, see http://www.alexahorochowski.com/

 

 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Alexa Horochowski: The Physicality of Form





Cochayuyo, HD video, 9:32, 3-channel, dual projection screens, 13 x 8 feet, 2014


 

Tape 1: Rope Cube, steel, rope, tar, 10 x 10 x 11 inches, 2014; Cochayuyo; kelp, 16 x 16.5 x 10 inches, 2014.
 
 

In my pursuit of the physicality of form I use a wide range of elemental media to render sculptures that defy their native qualities. Hard becomes soft, soft becomes hard, gestures are frozen. Natural objects, flotsam, and ‘naturalized’ garbage, combined with studio-generated objects, suggest a post-human natural history of the future. Sculpture, video, and large-scale digital prints work together to depict the struggle between the human drive to create lasting symbols of culture, and Nature’s indifferent, persistent erasure of these symbols.



The landscape is distilled into distinctive objects that are charged with elements of the alien or unknown. I mold cochayuyo (kelp that grows on the shores of Chile) into cuboidal forms that merge the mechanical with the organic. Sponges are translated into bronze so that they resemble pumice, and natural materials take on the qualities of mass-produced, anthropogenic objects. The work explores entropy and the passing of time by imitating exogenous geologic processes such as erosion caused by wind, water, ice, and human activity. In the exhibition Club Disminución, a fossil of a credit card heralds a post-consumer future, beyond the Era of the Anthropocene.


Essay by Christina Schmid in response to “Club Disminución"

 
 

 



Cochayuyo Mass, kelp, railroad ties, 18.5 x 15 x 62.5 inches, 2014




Credit Card (fossil), casting cement, found Trilobite fossil, 3 x 5 x 1 inches, 2014






          Cochayuyo (Installation View), dimensions variable, arctic kelp, 2012. Installation using found arctic kelp during an artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile.



Cloud Cave (Installation View), dimensions variable, cast bronze, inkjet print, polished steel, brass rod, 2011




Cloud, brass rod, paint, 42” x 52” x 36”, 2011






Cave, inkjet, Dibond, polished steel, 30” x 50” x 40”, 2011



Tall Ships, 2011, 17” x 4.5” x 18” (each), bronze, 2011



                   Rock,2012, 48” x 46” x 55”, stainless steel rod, polished, stainless steel
      Rock is defined by both the reflection on the surface of the polished steel base and the lines      
      forming the sculpture.

 


 
Alexa Horochowski grew up in Patagonia, Argentina, and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was nine years old. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including, Braga Menendez Gallery, Buenos Aires; The Drawing Center, NYC; Praxis International Art, NYC/Miami; Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota; The Soap Factory, Minneapolis. Horochowski was awarded artist residencies at, El Basilisco, Argentina, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, United States, and Casa Poli, Chile. Horochowski is Full Professor of Sculpture at St. Cloud State University, and a 2014 McKnight Fellow. Horochowski’s work is in collections at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center.


 

 

Interview: Chuyen Huynh







EDP: When and why did you begin working in the installation format?

CH: I started installations in college because I was interested in shadows and automatic tracing. After college, I continued to expand my practice into life size, site-specific installations with cardboard and tape.  

It is a very meditative process.  I never know what will come out of it. And I can never make the same work twice. All my works are intuitive.

Also, the use of basic, low-cost materials allows me to freely create.




EDP: What philosophy’s influenced your work?

CH: My childhood was spent with my grandfather, a Buddhist monk. This influenced my interest in timelessness and the ephemeral; the idea that nobody can truly own something.

My installations are a learning process that can't be owned. It takes time to create but only two hours to take apart. Taking it apart quickly and throwing it away gives me power, just like the process of making a Tibetan Sand Drawing: the way that it takes so long to make and then is gone in an instant. The process is important and not the end product.

 

EDP: Can you discuss some works and the ideas behind them?

CH: As I work, I aim for sense of spontaneity and fun. I always had vivid dreams and these have informed my work either directly or indirectly. This can be seen most recently in my works on paper.

Space influences my decisions. I'm merely a transcriber following direction, wherever the environment and materials lead me. 

 

EDP: What's next?

CH: I'm on a trip to learn healing and self awareness. This will further inform my creative process.  
 
 

 
About
Chuyen Huynh is a Vietnamese-American artist who is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  See more on her work at  www.chuyenmhuynh.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yulia Pinkusevich: Fragmented Perspectives

Silencing the Cacophony, 2015 Acrylic, spray paint, oil, vinyl, marker on linen, grommets, rope, burlap and sand from Coney Island. Canvas: 69 x 161 in. / 175.26 x 408.9 cm. Overall: 110 x 417 1/2 in. / 279.4 x 1060.45 cm. - See more at: http://www.yuliapink.com/folio-1/#sthash.jlwcksCX.dpuf
Add caption


 
 
 
 
Yulia Pinkusevich is a multi disciplinary artist working primarily in drawing painting and installation. She creates large-scale environments that deal with urban and social systems. Her installations directly engage the body of the viewer and address surrounding architectural spaces. The work often deals with the rapid spread of urbanized life and the fragmented perspectives witnessed through the architectural lens.  Edges of buildings, voids, windows, doors, power-lines and car windshields provide this framing for us to look through. Architecture is experienced through a secondary frame of ever more architecture, creating a fragmented, multi-layered structural framework of cement steel and glass, a common vision for the urban citizen.

Formally, Yulia’s work is engaged with the direct experience of the viewer through perspectival illusion and spatial perception that play with the subconscious and cognitive understanding of space. By breaking logical perspectives she creates illusions of impossible spaces, non-places or Utopias that shift the viewpoint to the panoptic.
 
SIMA (Sculptural Seating) in collaboration with Sam Cuttriss & Gizmo Art Production Local second growth Redwood
15' x 9' x 6' apx 2015 Permanent collection of McMurtry Art and Art History Building, Stanford University( 1 / 40 ) 



 
Her background itself is rooted in change. Born and raised in the USSR, her understanding of rules, social status and human abilities were redefined when moving to the United States. Learning to adapt and observe things carefully and move fluidly throughout her surroundings became a survival strategy. Due to her personal history, Yulia possess an amalgam of opposing belief systems, within which she constantly struggles to find refuge. Yet to find this refuge, she has thus far traveled to over a dozen countries and lived in several states. Within her travels and observations she has witnessed the homogenization of culture though increasing globalization. She questions and studies this changing landscape by exploring architecture, design and urban theory. Her work focuses on the perception of systems and attempts to tether seen and unseen forces acting upon urban narratives.




 Thresholds: Shadow Self
                                                                        
 
 Thresholds: Shadow Self
 Thresholds: Shadow Self
 

 Thresholds: Shadow Self



 
About the Artist
Yulia Pinkusevich is an interdisciplinary visual artist born in Kharkov, Ukraine. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Stanford University and Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, graduating both universities with highest honors. Yulia has exhibited nationally and internationally including site-specific projects executed in Paris, France and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yulia’s work is represented by Kent Fine Art in New York City, she has been awarded residency grants from Autodesk Pier 9, Facebook HQ, Recology (San Francisco Dump), Cite des Arts International (Paris), Headlands Center for the Arts, Redux in Charleston, South Carolina, Goldwell Open Air Museum Las Vegas and The Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos. She was also the recipient of The San Francisco Foundations 2011 Phelan, Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts as well as Stanford University SiCA’s Spark and ASSU Grants. Yulia’s work has been widely written about in various print publications, including The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, The Columbian (Vancouver), Oman Tribune and the Gulf Times (Quatar). Other magazines include Ltd Arts, Dwell and Adbusters. Prominent online media includes KQED, Rhizome and Square Cylinder. Yulia has lectured at Stanford University and is currently Assistant Professor at Mills College. She lives and works in Oakland, California.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cindy Imhoff-Bruininks: Site on Site





 
 
 
 
 
 
I am drawn to the periphery of places, calling attention to what is not there as well as what may be.

 

I work in series, documenting daily experience in multiple ways as a means of contrasting the stereotypical with the unique. Interior spaces, landscapes, and objects such as buildings, cars, and fire hydrants come from sites that I see on my daily journeys. Images play with perspective and scale in a way that often converts the distant and unnoticed to the up-close and intimate.

 

Process is key to my work. "The World As It Goes By" is a series of plastic sculptures drawn from my car windows. I explore the process of drawing through tracing, cutting, and brushing acrylic shapes. The shapes provide a perimeter for miniature landscapes that float in and out of the periphery and evoke the fleeting moment and the daydream.

 

“Everywhere at Once” is a series of large-scale drawings that become continuous landscapes. Areas of density and confusion are contrasted with areas of rest as a means of exploring the rhythms of day-to-day existence. Each segment emphasizes what came before it and what might come next.

 

“Landscapes at Large” is a series of site-specific installations of drawings on plastic. Here line drawings from sites I see are re-introduced into the outside world by superimposing them onto vistas and tiny spaces.

 

Be it an instant, the mundane, or the imagined, I experience moments through art-making in order to perceive that which may be overlooked. I am interested in exploring the gap between where one is physically and where one longs to be. Through this interest my work becomes a meditation on the untouchable.
 
 


 


 
Cindy Imhoff-Bruininks is a Bay Area Artist and current member of Marin MOCA at the Novato Arts Center. She received a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA in Art Practice from The University of California –Berkeley. Her work ranges from drawing, painting and collage, to wall sculptures and site-specific installations. Exhibitions and publications include: Bronx River Arts Center, Mesa Arts Center AZ, Southern Exposure SF CA, Holter Museum of Art MT, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley Art Museum and New American Paintings: MFA Annual. Awards include: Viewing Program, The Drawing Center (New York, NY) and Affiliate Artist, Headlands Center for the Arts. For more information visit: www.cindyimhoff.com






Peter Foucault: Tensions in Between


Cosmos 3
Cosmos 4

 


Foucault’s procedure connects his work with the Surrealist lineage of automatism, the chance-enamored strategies of Fluxus and oddities on the fringes of art such as Harold Cohen’s computer-generated drawings.’
 
-Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle


Peter Foucault creates works on paper, videos, and installations that are fueled by his love of drawing and mark making. He has created a series of Drawing-Projects, which utilize systems developed by the artist to produce complex abstract compositions. At the root of these projects is a constant tension between control and the loss of control. Viewer interactivity plays an integral part in his drawing installations - large-scale artworks in which participants influence the outcome of a drawing that is created by a small robot over the duration of an event or exhibition. His work is concept-driven, and often utilizes objects that reference printmaking and multiplicities.


His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Getty Museum and Getty Villa, Oakland Museum of California, Torrance Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts , Marine Contemporary, Smithsonian Institutes’ Freer and Sackler Gallery, Kit Schulte Contemporary (Berlin, Germany), the University of Salford (Manchester, England), and The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA).


In addition to his own practice, Foucault is the Co-Founder of the Mobile Arts Platform (MAP), a Bay Area-based artmaking and curatorial team that creates interactive “pop-up” mobile exhibitions that directly engage the public. The MAP project was included in the American Association of Museums 2012 annual “Trends Watch” report.


Foucault has received funding from the Creative Work Fund, the City of San Jose Public Art Program, the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program, the City of Palo Alto’s Public Art Program, US Bank, the Seattle Center Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Foucault has recently presented lectures at Stanford University, City College, San Francisco University and the SETI Institute (Mountain View, CA).






 
Staccato Series 1
Staccato Series 2

 
Foucault’s work has been reviewed in The San Francisco Chronicle, The SF Weekly (Pick of the Week), ArtWeek, Wired Magazine, Stretcher Magazine, and Artnet Magazine. In 2009 his drawing Four Square was featured on the cover of California Home and Design Magazine. Foucault’s work is represented by Room Art Gallery, (Mill Valley, CA), Karen Imperial Fine Art (San Francisco, CA), the SFMOMA Artists Gallery (San Francisco, CA) and is available through Restoration Hardware as part of their RH Modern line. He lives and works in Oakland, CA.


 

Collision 2


 
Sun Burst 1

Friday, October 23, 2015

Chuyen Huynh: Spatial Drawing and Memory




Danger! High Voltage Detail



 
Heat War
 

 
 
My installations evolve naturally in relation to each new space with a minimal use of materials.
 
I’m interested in inciting a sense of dislocation by deconstructing spaces to reflect shadows and memories of unfamiliar landscapes, interrupted vistas, and unexpected obstacles. I envision my installations as a sculptural playground that blurs the lines between artwork and setting.
 
In my playground, one experiences boundless sense of space, motion, emotion, and freedom for interpretation. There is no place for replication. Each vision is fleeting like a moment of thought in time.
 
 

Life's a Brick
Radiator Sufer
Iceburg




Breaking Into the Blue
 
 
 

Children of the Vines
 
I aim to explore a visual state of union between multi-cultural fabled anecdotes, surreal narratives, and the role of anthropocentrism in the contemporary cosmic world. 

 

In my drawings, a variety of characters carry out individual ventures and experiences. There are no central roles; only participants performing a conceptual play of free association and speculation. And all contribute to a singular theme: an uncanny vision of the bridge connecting parallel dimensions and time. 

At the End of the Rainbow




It's a Bear's Life





The Meaning of Green

About
Chuyen Huynh is a Vietnamese-American artist who is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY.