alexinstudio3

ArtistsinAuction

Chaos, chemistry, creation. Three words that describe the unstructured and powerful works of Alex White-Mazzerella. Originally inspired by Expressionist painting, his art involves much freedom and spontaneity, with the ultimate aim of creating an expression and freezing it in time.

His process can start with a point of departure, like a sketch, but often just comes from his expansive imagination. Sometimes music can put him in a certain state of mind to create, and through the exercise of painting he finds the connection to the subconscious.

All his paintings evolve through many layers and he is constantly transforming them. He stops and concludes a piece if he feels a certain strength or the inclination that there is nothing left to be done.

A Boston native, White-Mazzerella only recently got into painting in earnest, although he admits developing a natural affinity to sketching and drawing at a very early age. Currently he works at the Art Student’s League in NY under the tutelage of Phillip Sherrod.

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White-Mazzerella works with many different materials – pastels, charcoal, house paint, acrylics and pencil. His technique often involves dropping paint, which he believes effectively conveys the movement of time on paper.

He also creates collages, such as “Navigation Arf” – a whimsical look at traveling. The piece is of a large face with photos embedded in the eyes and mouth in an imaginary landscape.

Navigation Arf

Navigation Arf

“El Bicho” started with a sketch of an African tribal mask. It eventually evolved into something more whimsical.

El Bicho

El Bicho

“Rufus” originated from a color study and took off from there. He created a face, then deconstructed it and used the paint dropping technique to complete the work.

“Beware of Chinatown” is a whimsical take on Chinatown. White-Mazzerella lived in Hong Kong for a while and he saw first hand the ruthless experience of being a fish. Here you see a profile of a dog looking lasciviously at a fish.

Rufus

Rufus

Beware of Chinatown

Beware of Chinatown

Alex works fast and is very prolific. He generally spends four hours per day painting. He sells through galleries and can often be found on the streets of Soho on weekends offering his work.

His 2009 exhibition schedule has included Sideshow Gallery in Brooklyn, It’s a Wonderful Life Niagara Bar in Manhattan, as well as Urban Slant, Gallery Onetwentyeight, Art for Change, Hacia Afuera and Gelabert Studios Gallery, all located in Manhattan.

Alex is excited about his upcoming expo in Oslo, Norway and ArtistsinAuction is excited to have him as one of our featured artists.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Alex White-Mazzarella’s work, click here.

alex in studio2

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Kandinsky 007

ArtistsinAuction

That is the question.

The work of Vasily Kandinsky, the Russian born pioneer of abstract painting, is overwhelming in and of itself. Put together 150+ pieces in one show and you have a dizzying uphill swirl that is the Guggenheim. There comes a point where you just need to sit and find your bearings…and wish it would end.

The dizzying and electrifying journey is somehow easier on the way down, maybe because breathing has finally kicked in.

Still, Kandinsky should be seen. His oeuvre clearly examines the capacity of color to communicate, and his experimentation with form and line ventures into a distinct realm of abstract expressionism.

The exhibit brings together the three largest holdings of the artist’s work, from the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachaus in Munich, as well as private collections, and traces the artist’s life over three distinct periods:

Munich and Murnau 1908-1914

A highly creative, discovery period that is my personal favorite. The use of soft lines and a beautiful blend of color can be referred to as a controlled chaos. There is a sense of abstract with meaning and one feels that a story is being told. Two pieces “Black Lines” and “Light Picture,” both from 1913 and part of the Guggenheim collection, are fabulous. (Please note: the pieces below are works from 1914, not the works I just mentioned above. I was shortly banned from picture-taking after snapping these shots.)Kandinsky2 002

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Bauhaus 1922-1933

The work from this period is exciting, yet rigid, utilizing bright primary colors and elementary forms with sharp lines. The triangle embodies active, aggressive sentiments the square evokes calm and peace, while the circle conveys the spiritual, cosmic realm.

Paris 1933-1944

During this time of political turmoil and later war Kandinsky experimented with material and a softer, subtler palette, often depicting biomorphism (free form or design suggestive in shape of a living organism) as well as scientific imagery.

In the last panel at the very top of the museum is a piece from 1942, a copy of which is in my parent’s kitchen.

All being said, do not skip the watercolor pieces, housed in a separate side room. These works on paper are as important as his canvases, demonstrating his experimentation with the transparency and opacity of watercolor paint. They chart the evolution of his oeuvre – from the landscapes and seascapes of the early years, to the geometric patterns of the 20s and 30s, through to his final biomorphic works in the 40s.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

live at the green mill-radio days

ArtistsinAuction

James Kieran McGonnell was born in Ireland, speaks with a lovely Irish lilt and has a keen affinity for most things Irish. And American.

He is highly influenced by artists hailing from his homeland, most notably Francis Bacon and Louis Lebroquay, both of whom emerged out of the post WWII art movement – the period known as Existentialism. He is also greatly persuaded by notable writers such as Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Jim Thompson and Virginia Woolfe, to name a handful.

So it’s not surprising that literature, history and art history all have an immeasurable effect on what he does. In fact, every one of McGonnell’s paintings is embedded with a rich history that is clearly evident.

History in the Making

Take “Red Herring” for example, in which circles reside within a square, a theme popularized in 50’s pop art and the work of American Color field painters, such as Kenneth Noland. The concept is a play on the idea of searching for something undefined. All the fish are in a regimented order depicting the routine and safety of everyday life. What will happen to them?

Red Herring

Red Herring

In “Once Upon a Spinning Time”  two dancers are  doing the jitterbug. The piece represents the first dance of Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the inauguration and evokes a snapshot out of the continuum in which you expect the future to have a certain and predictable outcome.

Once Upon a Spinning Time

Once Upon a Spinning Time

“After Dark My Sweet” is based on a Jim Thompson novel and a Yeats poem. The idea of moths drawn to a light conveys a sense of danger and the piece demonstrates the unpredictability of the future.

After Dark My Sweet

After Dark My Sweet

“Ghost Bike” is also based on a Yeats poem, conveying all the beauty in the world thus far, but that which cannot be experienced because it has passed. The bike is a symbol of the life of a person, the tragedy and beauty in history.

“A Pair of American Glasses” and “Live at the Green Mill – Radio Days” both symbolize American history– that which has long passed but stays with us forever.

A Pair of American Glasses

A Pair of American Glas

The Method to the Motive

McGonnell has spent the past 15 years transferring images onto canvas. His technique is intense and intricate. First, he designs the images in his head, instilled by the inspiration of poems, literature, a muse of history or a reaction to daily life and living.

The ideas are then transferred to the computer, and through graphic imaging and photography the piece begins to take on a very conceptual shape. Next, McGonnell hand draws the entire piece on canvas with a pencil.

Finally, he paints. Through a combination of air brush spray paint and hand painting, utilizing high quality products containing silicones and resins, the work evolves into the finished masterpiece.

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There is no question that Kieran McGonnell is a prolific and disciplined artist. He has been painting constantly for many years, currently in his upstairs studio, and works with galleries and dealers both in New York and Chicago, where he currently resides. He also shows once a year in Ireland. He says this has been the toughest year to date –no small statement from a talented artist such as he.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of J. Kieran McGonnell’s work, click here.

kieran studio2

Dumbo 018

ArtistsinAuction

Dumbo has changed. A lot.

Since venturing into this sliver of a wasteland under the Manhattan Bridge almost ten years ago, I have witnessed no less than a complete turnaround. When the D.U.M.B.O. – Art Under the Bridge Festival began in 1997, abandoned and dilapidated manufacturing structures were becoming home to a growing number of artists, all in search of affordable studio spaces. There was perhaps one corner deli that served the area.

Now,  pet grooming stores, not to mention a Chase bank, posh clothing and furniture stores, as well as a growing number of eating and drinking establishments, blanket the area.  And the familiar trend – artists move in, area grows hip, trendy stores gain a foothold, tourists and mainstream New Yorkers discover the area, housing becomes unaffordable, artists move out – is becoming clearly evident.

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Still, the festival draws an ample crowd and the event is highly entertaining. The outdoor performance and public art are good fun – witness the fish parade and the knitted zombies – and the remaining artists, many of whom have been here since the beginning, open the doors to their colorful studios, displaying a wide array of creative talent.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

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Pink Sofa

Pink Sofa

ArtistsinAuction

As the middle child in a family of eight kids growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, you would not expect that Darrell Jones would have had the chance to pursue a career in art. But he did, thanks to a mom who encouraged him to proceed. Jones recalls drawing and sketching as early as kindergarten and remembers getting into trouble when he fashioned gestures of his teachers.

Jones went on to Jackson State in Mississippi where he took his first painting class.  Because he was really into comic books, he later moved to Los Angeles and attended the Art Institute of California, studying animation and cartooning. He started working on numerous storyboards and got some coloring gigs to help pay the bills.

Abstract and Animation

Darrell moved to Atlanta to get a “real” job, but ironically that was the turning point in his art. He passed a homeless shelter that had an art gallery and he immediately got inspired to paint again. First he began painting pure abstracts, but soon moved on to scenes and backgrounds. It was then that he created his true style, fusing the abstract with animation. He says his style is kind of like when you look through the camera lens and see awkward angles. In the same way, his work tends to evoke a sense of distortion.

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Darrell likes strong color, lots of action and never draws lines. He is inspired by every day life and simple experiences. He carries a sketchbook with him everywhere he goes and constantly gets new ideas. All of Jones’ paintings are acrylic on wood.

Series Painting

Many a time Darrell Jones paints in series – houses, fruit, jazz – to help him to avoid creativity blockage.

“Green House” was created during a routine walk to work. He used to leave his apartment and would always pass this old house in someone’s backyard. Was it an outhouse? It didn’t matter that the paint was peeling and that the structure was old and a little run down.  Soon after he passed by another house – White House – on his way to the train station, and a series was hatched.

Green House

Green House

The “Going Green” series are all of inner city buildings that were inspired by watching the news on TV and hearing all this information about saving the planet. All these paintings have some sort of green in them. They also used recycled paint – when the paint dries up on his palette, instead of throwing it away Jones reuses it, piling it up on the canvas and painting over it.

building 2

“Shoes” are part of another series that depict everyday people in different circumstances. The old adage “you can tell a lot about someone by the shoes they wear” helped to kick off  this series. Jones says that he went to some thrift stores and started making sketches of old shoes.

Shoes

Shoes

Tough Times

Darrell has been working diligently. He has been painting a lot since he hasn’t been working and has been averaging five pieces per month. He just recently finished another series of raised fists, all motivated by the recent campaign rallies.

Darrell is a closet artist and is slowly emerging to the public. It’s been real tough getting into galleries, but he has been making some money on pastel and oil portrait sketches. He was successful in our last auction and we hope the momentum continues this time around as well.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Darrell Jone’s work, click here.

Evening Light

Evening Light

ArtistsinAuction

“Until you apply things with love you cannot start living,” says artist, Mary Sonya Conti. And there is no question that she thoroughly loves what she does. You can just hear it in her voice as she explains her unique techniques. But even more so, you can see the love she puts into every single piece of her art.

“Sonya” is a self taught artist that learned her craft at a very young age – long ago when her mom started craft night for she and her six siblings. Each kid had to create a different project from things collected outside the house. It was a great form of entertainment and a great way to expand the imagination, something she fears has gotten lost these days. Sonya clearly remembers collecting river rocks and tiling the bathroom floor at seven years old – a technique that has, ironically, become really popular today.

Much of Sonya’s work is based on tactile objects found in her garden – hosta and maple leaves, gravel, moss, and even dirt. She explains that the idea is to stay connected to what is around her so as to elicit a feeling and a mood- a defined focus from the many textured elements she uses. She admits she can even produce a fragrance from certain textures. If she does her job well the viewer will connect with the piece and further spark the imagination.

Unique techniques

One popular technique Sonya uses is with gauze. Concentrated watercolors are poured over the material, which is then draped to bring texture and lines. Once the piece has dried and the material is peeled back (sometimes she leaves the material in the work), the piece conveys the feel and texture of linen, and the colors are all blended naturally. Images are built slowly in this way. She then finishes the entire work by sealing the gauze with a glaze so it won’t deteriorate. As you can imagine, it’s a very time consuming process.

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Five years ago, Sonya started teaching workshops in which she teaches her “laying” techniques, specifically, the laying of elements into color and certain pouring methods.

Her Work

“Through a Child’s Eye,” was created by highlighting the veining of hosta leaves. Acrylic inks were poured over and the “bones” were revealed once the leaves were peeled off. Then detailing began – pen and ink, as well as diluted watercolors were used to build up a glazing effect. Originally Sonya set out to create a peacock, but an excited child changed her mind in mid-creation and she just let the piece be what it was.

Through A Child's Eyes

Through A Child's Eyes

“Giving Tree” is part of a series in the ArtistChallenge.com. Artists are selected and invited to create based on a chosen theme. This one was based on the story about the giving tree, a tree that had supported a man all throughout his life. The group showcases their work in two monthly local galleries.

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

“Riviera” was a commission for the Dayton Philharmonic Opera House. It was actually housed in the ladies bathroom – greatly admired by all the women who saw it. “You have to start somewhere,” says Conti.

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Home Comfort on the Riviera

Mary Sonya Conti has two upcoming local shows in September, and she is up for selection as a mural artist for the city of Dayton, Ohio. We wish her much success.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Mary Sonya Conti’s work, click here.

Wind Nomads

Wind Nomads

ArtistsinAuction

Amongst the medley of exhibitions currently on display on Governor’s Island, one really stands out – Wind Nomads – a spectacular gathering of 400 paintings that flutter like a flock of birds in the wind. Set on the grand field, with the majestic NYC skyline in the backdrop, the presentation couldn’t be a more stellar combination of art, design, color and landscape.

Wind Nomad

Wind Nomad

Wind Nomad

Wind Nomad

SLeM of Holland is behind this awe-inspiring temporary landscape, calling on 382 artists representing 30 countries around the world to collectively create a series of paintings, each demonstrating a unique and individual modernist style. We spoke to the team’s curator, Bruno Doedens, who is eager to expand this project worldwide.

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All wind nomads are currently for sale and run the range from $1200 to $4000. The exhibition, which first took root on the Dutch coast, will eventually move from New York to South Africa. To learn more visit http://www.slem.org

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

Governor's Island 012

close up of American Kente

close up of American Kente

ArtistsinAuction

To speak to Clairan Ferrono about her artwork is to receive a compelling and informational lesson on Fiber Art. Fiber Art was a medium of visual arts that we were not entirely familiar with until we brought Clairan on board and had a chance to speak with her about her craft. Prior to devoting her life to creating, exhibiting and selling her art, Clairan had been a Literature teacher for twenty years. You don’t have to be a genius to recognize that the art created by a former Literature professor will be nothing shy of smart, layered and textured.

Ripples

Ripples

The Early Years
In the mid 80’s when Clairan realized that traditional quilting could be made more exciting by simply fooling around with miscellaneous materials other than just patterns, she was unaware that it would change the direction of her entire life. Clairan taught herself how to machine quilt in 1989. She then attended the Q.S.D.S. (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio and she says that it changed her life forever. She then returned home and began taking classes at the Studio Art Quilters Association with renowned art quilter Nancy Crow. Clairan will be the first to tell you that she has learned her skills from the best in the industry and her work supports that.

It was in 2001 that Clairan was ready to start exhibiting her Fiber work. Straight out of the gate, she received nothing but positive feedback and acceptance, which encouraged her to continue.  The first two shows to which she submitted slides accepted her art. Since then she has been in lots of exhibitions and genuinely loves what she does.

Figure Study III

Figure Study III

A True Craft

One thing became clear during our interview with Clairan; the general population should be more aware of Fiber Art. The artist offered us a crash course lesson on the genesis of her work. Creating a piece of art for Clairan takes “huge amounts of time.” One piece can take up to a week to create. The labor-intensive process requires dying, painting, cutting and sewing. She uses prepared-for-dying fabrics (PFD) that she dies and paints. She also gets into screen-printing and block printing. Finally, she sometimes uses a collage technique called appliqué/reverse appliqué to achieve a dense visual surface. Clairan’s “work for the wall” is rich in layers, textures and technique. “Every random piece becomes harmonious” in her art.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Clairan finds inner peace while she works. Design and sewing are a form of meditation for her. In fact, creating her art has helped her heal emotionally during several difficult times in her adult life. She has extreme connection to certain pieces that she will never sell or let go of. A few pieces in particular: Last Conversation, Mother and Through a Daughter’s eyes are all autobiographical.

Right now, the prices of Fiber Art are extremely modest in the artist’s opinion. She does however foresee a boom in Fiber Art over the next five years. Clairan is constantly evolving in her work and we are honored to have her as one of our featured artists. Check out pieces in our Gallery like Runs Through It, Fields Web and Paintbox and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about. You’ll see a real mature artist who is also a master of her craft.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Clairan Ferrono’s work, click here.

Interview
Interview

ArtistsinAuction

The work of Richard Eugene  Barbera (he prefers Gene) has a youthful spirit and energy that is easy to get excited about, so we were extremely excited to talk to him. We played a little bit of phone tag because he was in Madrid, Spain with his wife and their three-month-old son on a visit to see his grandparents.

All of Gene’s work is chock full of attitude and expression. His influence started at a very young age. During his childhood in Portland, Maine  he embraced the beauty of his surroundings, but unlike most Maine painters who got caught up with the intense scenery, Gene flocked to the various people that filled the working  industries. He started taking classes at the Portland Art School just before his senior year in high school, where he made books of chalk and pastel drawings. A lot of his earlier work was done on beautiful antique music paper.

From those fisherman in his early life in Maine to the natives encountered during extensive travel around the world – all the various expressions and characters are what make up his paintings today. With unforgiving and meaningful one-stroke executions, he creates a distinct personality, often adding uncomplimentary colors and exaggerated cartoon-like features that result in a mysterious finish.

Plex

Plex

Picnic

Picnic

“People can understand and relate to figures,” Gene says of his work. He has always loved figures. He especially loves the feeling one receives when they see expression in the eyes. Gene recalls being moved by Richard Diebenkorn’s figures at a show in San Francisco in the late 70’s.  He especially loved how the figures felt like huge slabs of paint.

We find the most thrilling aspect of Gene’s work not to be the energetic compositions that we are allowed to see on his canvases, but rather the mystique and intrigue of what we don’t see. Who are the figures that comprise his subject matter and what are they thinking and feeling?

Melody

Melody

Gene has sold some of his pieces, but it’s tough he says. For over fifteen years now he has been a slave to his craft – he is one of those artists who is always working on a painting or a drawing.  He  feels that art should be priced affordably so that more people can enjoy it. That makes Gene Barbera and his art a perfect addition to the ArtistsinAuction gallery.

Gene currently lives in Stanford, Connecticut.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of R. Gene Barbera’s work, click here.

With Tea

With Tea

Breeze
Breeze

ArtistsinAuction

If you had the chance to visit the 2009 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition at the Agora gallery in NYC you would have been in for a real treat. If you haven’t, there are still a couple of days left before the show closes.

The exhibition, that opened August 14 and runs through September 2, featured nearly 30 artists from around the world and the collection was a vibrant mix of media from photography to sculpture,  the surreal to the conservative.  The artists of the competition often represented the countries and communities they hailed from, each piece reflecting a little of humanity’s many-faceted soul.

We definitely had our favorites, but the show as a whole was a spectacular demonstration of collective work from talented artists worldwide.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

Kathy Liao

Kathy Liao

Charles Imbro

Charles Imbro

Judith Kramer

Judith Kramer

Andre Netto

Andre Netto

ArtistsinAuction

We were blown away by Tom Smith’s solo show entitled “Double Vision” at Eye Level BQE Gallery in Williamsburg last Saturday. Our very own-featured artist did a fantastic job of expanding his concept from a one-dimensional body of work into a three- dimensional show. Tom’s recent works, which can only be described as playful, energetic and mesmerizing, translated seamlessly into a series of 3-D sculptures. Tom also showcased a series of photographs featuring his 3-D pieces floating in mid-air. Set against the Manhattan Skyline they offered a surreal perspective of his works. All pieces were stunning and priced reasonably, ranging from $200-$1200. Many happy buyers and collectors walked away with prizes in their hands as the show was nearly sold out. Congratulations Tom!

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Tom Smith’s work, click here.

Tom Smith's Solo Show DOUBLE VISION Tom Smith’s Solo Show DOUBLE VISION

ArtistsinAuction

ArtistsinAuction is proud to announce our newest affiliation – Children’s Museum of the Arts in lower Manhattan.  Not only is CMA one of the oldest children’s art museums in the world, it is one of the most respected.  We plan to donate a portion of all artwork sold in our online auctions so that the museum may further their goal of “celebrating the artist in every child”.

CMA espouses to give all children and families access to the creative tools that promote self-expression and esteem through both the visual and performing arts. The organization offers hands-on art programs taught by trained, working artists-in-residence, and children’s work is featured in an on-going exhibition both at the museum and online.

We are so pleased to support a program that encourages emerging artists at the very start of their creative  development.  For more information on the CMA or to participate in any of their programs, please visit www.cmany.org/

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

ArtistsinAuction

ArtistsinAuction recently caught up with one of our newest contributors, nature photographer, Billy Newman, while he was hanging out at home with his wife in Newnan, Georgia. Billy works in both black & white and color, and he produces some of the most gorgeous images of nature and florals we have ever seen.

Unlike photographers who create a scene around a concept, Billy goes out and explores with his camera. Nothing is set up beforehand, and there is no preconceived plan of what he will be shooting.  This makes a big difference because his work becomes a true form of self-expression.  As Billy says, “When we create art we try and show a mirror of ourselves.”

While he definitely prefers color, his black & white images are equally stunning. We discovered that his black & white’s are actually tritonal – similar to the process of adding a duotone in Photoshop, he adds a tritone in order to add a little mystique to the image. It’s kind of like a painter using dark green, dark red and dark blue to create black instead of actually using black, which often flattens the work.

Billy has always been a fan of Monet’s Water Lilies, which is evident when you look at his color images. Witness pieces like Around, and Arise (in our gallery of images) and you’ll see what we mean.

AstraA by Billy Newman

AstraA by Billy Newman

Up until 6 months ago, Billy used conventional lenses and film, which he later scanned into digital images. He switched to digital, and now prefers it because he gains greater control over tone and color. His images are then printed through an archival inkjet process.

Billy, a prolific photographer, has previously sold his work through dealers into private corporation art collections. We are thrilled to have him participate in our upcoming auction, giving our buyers and collectors the chance to purchase exquisite works of nature photography at auction prices.  Make sure to check out his collection of work offered at the Gallery section of http://www.artistsinauction.com!

There is no question that Kieran McGonnell is a prolific and disciplined artist. He has been painting constantly for many years, currently in his upstairs studio, and works with galleries and dealers both in New York and Chicago, where he currently resides. He also shows once a year in Ireland. He says this has been the toughest year to date –no small statement from a talented artist such as he.

To view the ArtistsinAuction website click here.

To view more of Billy Newman’s work, click here.

DawnA by Billy Newman

DawnA by Billy Newman

CommA

BorgenA