the henhouse

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

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

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

southern discomfort 2016

This painting and those made by some twenty other savannah artists will be made available by silent auction on April 1st, 2016 from 6-9 pm at Non-Fiction Gallery in Savannah.  All works are inspired by Flannery O'Connor and her works.  Proceeds benefit the Flannery O'Connorchikdhood Home.

Please email me if you wish to bid by proxy. 

flannery o'connor in gucci, 10"X 10", water-based media on panel, 2016

flannery o'connor in gucci, 10"X 10", water-based media on panel, 2016

art broker as relationship specialist

Why are art dealer/brokers such connoisseurs of human relationships?

They tend to be highly sensitive people, often with very particular threads of interest. They spend their time canvassing the world and its objects for more information to support their own theories revolving about their chosen subject or subjects. Because art so often employs storytelling - or its making does - art brokers can match people with art and objects. The best ones do this with a passion equal only to the that of the object's maker. This informs them when they consult or advise in matters of art or the heart*.

If you find yourself unable to find a gift, symbol or presentation of your profound and unconditional or unconventional love for someone, find an art broker.  They see the past, present and future with a lens focused on beauty, love and expressions of all materials and manners.

katherine sandoz (sufa15) wip, 36" x 36", wbm on panel, 2015 -

katherine sandoz (sufa15) wip, 36" x 36", wbm on panel, 2015 -

begonias | say "it" with art

Prove you really care for someone's future by giving the gift of art. Paintings, drawings and sculptures (plus) last - a very long time.  They contain messages, symbols and sentiments that are universally understood.  Art has eons-tested efficacy in pulling heartstrings. 

Find a piece that can speak all the words you cannot or the ones you want remembered.

This small-sized, but meaningful painting, housed in a hand-made, free-standing frame,  is now available through Spalding Nix Fine Art.

(su1516) begonias, 5 3/4" x 3 5/8", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016

(su1516) begonias, 5 3/4" x 3 5/8", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016

Begonias suggest symbolically the promise of mystery, rare finds and the rich and sweet darkness of desire. Its energy is that of a wide-eyed and compassionate child of nature. The perennial flower is associated with the sacral chakra and the number nine.  A rub made from crushed flowers and leaves will aid in healing sores, cuts and burns.

 

azalea + bee painting meaning

Azaleas are known as symbols of abundance, fragile passion and from the Chinese, "thinking of home" as well as a representation of wealth. If you place azaleas, very toxic if prepared properly, in a black vase, this constitutes a death threat. A flour made from the dried flower and mixed in a carrier acts as a pesticide and medical research suggests that parts of the Chinese azalea can treat varying respiratory and rheumatic illnesses.

The bee's important role in our ecology is echoed throughout time in myth and in presentations of contemporary culture. While they are often symbols of royalty, power, vision and creativity, they are also considered symbols of Cupid's "sting" as well as of love, courtship and marriage. In Chinese works of art, if the bee appears on the flower, there is a suggestion of fruitfulness within the marriage or partnership. Within Hindu symbolism, a pairing with the lotus means reincarnation, on the forehead says transformation. Six is the sacred number of Venus the goddess of love and bees work in sixes - that is to say, hexagons. Numerologists believe 6 represents love as is multiplies odd and even (2,3) but is highly stable, symmetrical and balanced. Six energy is creative, conciliatory and nurturing. (Azaleas often offer six petals at the base of the flower.) Color associated with six is red and indigo.

katherine sandoz, (suwi1516) azalea, 3 5/8" x 5 3/4", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016

katherine sandoz, (suwi1516) azalea, 3 5/8" x 5 3/4", water-based media on panel, 2015-2016