painting

mashama bailey wins james beard award for top chef: southeast

The most wonderful news this week came out of Chicago Monday evening: Mashama Bailey of The Grey restaurant in Savannah won the James Beard Award: Top Chef: Southeast.

For those of us living and eating out in Savannah; we have been well aware and have been waiting (kind of) patiently! It brings a gush of fresh air into the lungs to see this woman recognized for all she is, thinks and does.

“We should all be very proud of ourselves,” she said. “We are moving this country forward in the right direction. I am a black girl from Queens, New York, and my most influential cuisine is Peter’s Kitchen Chinese take-out, ” the AJC recently quoted Bailey.

Bailey is the first black American to win this award. She is the second woman of color as Nina Compton (born and raised in the Caribbean) of Compère Lapin, in New Orleans won for best chef in the South. But only LAST year - 2018. Good grief. May more women rise to be recognized!

Congratulations to Mashama Bailey, John Morisano and The Grey team. Thank you for your two fabulous locations and thank you for bringing a bright shiny comet of GREAT and redemptive news into our week.

mashama bailey of THE GREY restaurant, top chef in the southeast + in this writer’s heart

mashama bailey of THE GREY restaurant, top chef in the southeast + in this writer’s heart

harrison scott key for the bitter southerner: the swiss army painter

I’m Swiss, was in the Army and I’m a painter!

So goes the recent feature story for the Bitter Southerner by my long-time collaborator and writer Harrison Scott Key goes.

While my paintings and some of my history is covered, the story centers on “seeing art” and how it might contribute to our greater understanding of and engagement in the world we find ourselves.

Studio and Vernonburg photos are by Kaylinn Gilstrap.

photo: Kaylinn Gilstrap for the Bitter Southerner

photo: Kaylinn Gilstrap for the Bitter Southerner

strategy: zoomorphism +

Illustrators, among others, try to avoid it by using several "tools". Here's "explanation". Metaphor/Simile: You're as docile (or woolly?) as a lamb. Which one is it? Metaphor = Equate. Simile = Like or as.

Juxtapose: I hate this word, but, you know. Next to. As in I draw you next to, or place you atop of a lamb.

Visual pun: In the shape of a lamb?

Repetition: As in, many lambs accompany you.

Skew: It's odd (somehow) so you see that you're related (or differently) to a lamb.

Allusion: I lift (steal) from an image, story or idea that is known. I didn't do this to my knowledge (but have before).

Isolate: I separate colors, or shapes or textures (or other elements) so you know what I mean.

Scale change: One thing is smaller or bigger than the other. As in, I make your lamb ears so large, or your skin so hairy, you can't avoid noticing.

Compare/contrast: Things are the same, or different. As in, you're soft or woolly or, conversely, not looking like a lamb.

Paradox: A man is not a lamb, is he?

Personify: I give attributes of a human, or represent as a human, not an animal. And in that vein...

Anthropomorphism: Duh, but can extend to inanimate objects or phenomena.

Metamorphosis: As in, I turn you into a lamb.

***** But you are ONE. And are loved (extraordinarily). You, Mr. Albert Lamb.

ss_lamb_kdsart_art.jpg

strategy: personification + anthropomorphism

An object, place, the weather - anything that is not a person - takes on the attributes of a human being.  To personify:  give abstract ideas like the weather and seasons human attributes.  To anthropomorph:  give human attributes to non-human entities.

In the illustration below, the tree takes on the behavior of a beau and nuzzles the lady surrounded by a grove of other, less realized tea olives.

sandoz_teaolive.jpg

"love in the time of tea olives,"  originally published for salted & styled, 2013.

"OCTOBER" at Location Gallery with Laney Contemporary

I am pleased to present a new series of works titled "OCTOBER" that exhibits at Location Gallery in tandem with Laney Contemporary at 417 Whitaker Street at Austin Hill Realty in Savannah, Georgia through October 27th.

Conceived the week that Hurricane Matthew struck Savannah with gallery director Peter Roberts, and developed over the last year, the latest series, “October", includes paintings, textiles and a wall installation.

New works feature the landscapes and botanicals that thrive regionally in October. Within the layers of paint, I've folded concepts from traditions and religions that have been historically practiced at the time of the harvest moon and in the month of October.

Come celebrate the veil of nature’s small and large forces and explore its color, mystery and power.

(october) big leaf magnolia, 40" x 40", water-based media on canvas, 2016-2017. 

(october) big leaf magnolia, 40" x 40", water-based media on canvas, 2016-2017. 

Gallery profits from sales are donated to A-Town Get Down Festival which supports music and arts creative programming nationally throughout the year.

Complimentary seasonal beverages were artfully crafted on opening night by The 1970.

 

 

art scams: please don't send a check

these "surprise gift of art to wife + moving to the philippines" art scams are so lame. you'd think the architects could be more convincing. also, they could be less repetitive and use punctuation properly! are they bots? their editorial statements are hilarious > #worthit #goodstuff #nodontsendacheck

(as delivered, after i provided a link for purchase)

So I'm trying to gather some good
stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying the art work of
$2,800 as a gifts to her.I'm okay with the price, I think it's worth
it
anyway, so I'll be sending a check.
(bermuda studies) banyans, 10" x 10", water-based media on panel, 2016-2017   

(bermuda studies) banyans, 10" x 10", water-based media on panel, 2016-2017

 

demystifying the artist statement

Dear Lester Monzon and Lester's Gallery Who Should Know Better if Lester Doesn't,

Biography suggests that one speak about one's life. That's how it works. In the field of art. We use statement, biography, resume or CV.  The differences are distinct and important. I have offered a more understandable and accessible version of your "about" statement even if you have titled it "biography".  And while I translate this statement-biography to poke fun at artist statements in general, I wonder if Monzon or his gallery actually means to say what he/it has said?  In other words, is the statement, like the paintings, also a kind of joke, and if so, why?

Sincerely, kds

Lester Monzon,  Googley, 2010 / acrylic and graphite on linen / 9 x 12 inches, courtesy Lester Monzon + Mark Moore Gallery

Lester Monzon, Googley, 2010 / acrylic and graphite on linen / 9 x 12 inches, courtesy Lester Monzon + Mark Moore Gallery

(original "biography")

By collapsing of architecture, space, and art history, Lester Monzon's work dissects the notion of context. Colorful gesticulations conceal sections of rigid patterning, a tete-a-tete between abstract expressionism and hard-edge abstraction that implies a gentle lampooning of the taxonomic tradition. Monzon upends the formalism and segregation innate to the fine art world, and fabricates a composite genealogy of painting - a pithy resolution to an otherwise vapid debate. Monzon's luscious brushstrokes slyly creep into a Hirst-esque field of dots or Noland-like plane of stripes, like the resurrection of a once-declared dead practice through a satirical hand. In his recent work, Monzon applies this critique of contextual art to mark-making in public spaces; be it graffiti on tiles in a public bathroom, stains on the sidewalk, or the popularized notion of "street art.

Damien Hirst. “Zirconyl Chloride,” 2008. Household gloss on canvas. 84 inches diameter. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. © Damien Hirst/ Science Ltd, 2012. Photography Prudence Cuming Associates.

Damien Hirst. “Zirconyl Chloride,” 2008. Household gloss on canvas. 84 inches diameter. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. © Damien Hirst/ Science Ltd, 2012. Photography Prudence Cuming Associates.

(translated "statement")

Lester Monzon makes pictures that refer to architecture, how architecture sits in space and art history.  Sometimes he paints in a messy way and sometimes he paints very precisely.  In Monzon’s world, both of these actions refer to traditions of abstract expression and hard-edge abstraction. With this, Monzon offers an artist’s inside joke:  my paintings, in capsule, offer a system of classification for art history.  He doesn’t want you to worry about what issues* arise in the art world because you can accept his quick and concise summation of art history in place of others’ uninteresting and bland solutions**. 

(Skipping ahead to technique without transition) Monzon uses a lot of paint.  If this paint were a person, he is a sly personality that can impersonate dots or stripes (that Monzon associates with the artist Hirst (dots) and the artist Noland (stripes)).  By impersonating dots and stripes, Monzon (or this sly person who is paint) miraculously brings dots and stripes back to life because they had been dead*.  You should realize that this is satire.

These days, Monzon is taking his version of funny to the streets - literally.  He is painting on dirty sidewalks, on the tile in public restrooms or in some place that is called “street art” that has been made popular.  

** Monzon graciously removes the viewer from a “vapid” solution to a “pithy” one

In summary, I think Mr. Monzon might engage someone to write more precisely about how and why his painting and his work merits discussion and appreciation.  This statement does no service to him, his work or to the viewer.  The work can be satirical and difficult to understand.  The statement should not.  It should additionally be an explanation and give, if not a roadmap, at least a cardinal direction toward better knowing the work and the artist.

Kenneth Noland, Via Light 1968, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 113 inches, Courtesy of Lelie Feely Fine Art

Kenneth Noland, Via Light 1968, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 113 inches, Courtesy of Lelie Feely Fine Art

thistle symbolism

The layered symbolism that has developed surrounding the thistle flower begins with its spine-like stems and spiky blossom connected with the crown chakra or third eye. The color purple (named from this predatory mollusk!)has long been associated with royalty, good judgment and spiritual enlightenment. You can read more about additional connections that have been drawn throughout time and by varying cultures here.

Or you might recall or rediscover your own experience of the thistle through this painting.  

(flora) thistle, 24" x 24", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 available via  spalding nix fine art

(flora) thistle, 24" x 24", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 available via spalding nix fine art

katherine sandoz art featured at "the english room"

What a thrill to be interviewed and featured in the "Artist Spotlight" over at The English Room. I have known designer + curator Holly Hollingsworth Phillips for about five years as we are perennial participants at The Southern Coterie Summit. In that time, I have enjoyed (+ studied) Holly's interior design + lifestyle  blog, her strong and sophisticated color play, and - no surprise - her great skill in finding the best kaftans to be had across the globe.  

Please enjoy the feature, all the great artists spotlights that have already been offered and all that Holly graciously shares via The English Room.

(flora) bromeliad, 48" x 48", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 , available through  spalding nix fine art

(flora) bromeliad, 48" x 48", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016 , available through spalding nix fine art