A walk through with artist Geneva Costa

When I first start I usually work in a series and so the smaller pieces were a result of working off of the  larger pieces. This was actually the first in the series “Obscura” and I was working with obfuscation of the female face. I started thinking about censorship and obviously going with identifying factors of the female gender. But then when you thinking about what is most identifying on any person it is their face.

Back to “Divest”, I was basically playing off “Obscura”, but now just focusing in on the face and the few identifying pieces of the female form. You can still definitely identify the female form yet once again the most identifying features of her, which are her facial features, are obscured. My work gets very political and very much in to feminist thought with what is going on in America with politics and women’s rights and often times I feel like women in general get labeled as one thing, but individually they all have something different to say, so I decided to obscure each face in a s different manner -for different identities.

Did their personality play a role in the way that you obscured their face?

Actually, I use my models to create self portraits, but instead of using my likeness I use the likeness of my models. I try to use a different model or a different pose of the same model using one model many times.

When you say they are self portraits, they are a portrait of you using a model?

Yes, conceptually. I think of all of my work as a self portrait because it stems from how I am feeling

Your subjectivity?

Right, but all of the models that I use have similar views as me, but their story might be different. For example, this one with the orchid, it just so happens that she loves orchids, which I found out after the fact. This has obvious symbolism with the flower. A lot of my political leanings stem from reproductive freedom and what is going on in the political climate right now. This is even before the current election. It has been going on for a very long time

It is a lot better than it was in the 60s, but it is still a problem.

The fact that we still have to address it is very frustrating. And that goes back into history with voting rights and the time line. When I am working in a series like this, it is all different ways of obscuring the face and I do like to put, like over here with “Chloris”, I like to start getting more of that symbolism and really talking about reproductive rights with that. I paint in a manner that, if you don’t know what my conceptual leanings are you might still like the work without having it be subversive with flowers and things like that.

It would be hard to miss some of it

Depending on who the audience is and usually the audience of people who come in to look at art do really think about it. But I do want the viewer to stop and ask the question -“what is going on?” And it might be a different conclusion for one viewer then another and that is why I paint in that manner. People can come to there own conclusions.

How do you start to choose- like this one, her face isn’t really obscure, how do you move in to that and those kind of choices?

It takes a lot of thinking before I start painting. I don’t just start painting and then see what happens. Everything is very meticulously planned out. I usually refer back to sketch books  that  I have written down  ideas for a certain period of time and I just choose one. I usually get ideas when I am driving or when I am thinking right before I go to bed and I just sketch them down and go through them later. It is great when I see that I have a multitude of ideas and compositions to pick from and then I go from there.

How do you decide how you are going to approach the female body?

If you look back on the history of art, it is predominately white, European males painted in a certain manner

Portraiture

Right, this obviously references many different periods, such a Dutch painting. There are many different things you can pull from that, but this is my model -it just happened that I was working with obscuring the face, this just worked out when we were doing the poses. Then I really started thinking about medium. I use oil paint, I could just as easily do photography and have the same concept, but I choose to do painting  and that is a commentary on the medium and its history especially regarding how woman have been portrayed throughout history in art, in religion. I can get very conceptual.

Do you think the use of the body with full frontal nudity has intention?

 

 

 

A walk through with artist Geneva Costa

Artist Statement: Guinotte Wise

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I work mainly in steel and weldable materials and most everything happens
in the process; by that I mean I usually don’t have a rigid direction. I get so interested in what happens when the material meets other material, new vs. old, or some other disparity, that I allow them to make something surprising. I don’t mean to be enigmatic when I say the steel tells me what to do. It really does in most cases. I also like things that seem to have tension. Represented by The Hilliard Gallery, 1820 McGee, Kansas City, and Strecker-Nelson in Manhattan, KS.

Artist Statement: Guinotte Wise

Guinotte Wise “WISE OBJX”

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Lois Lambert Gallery presents “WISE OBJX”, a collection of sculptures from artist Guinotte Wise. Wise is an award winning writer, a creative director and a well- collected sculptor. WISE OBJX is a series of welded narrative sculptures. It’s hard, sometimes, to separate his fiction and poetry from the art and vice versa. Although according to him

the difference is clear “one is a lot heavier than the other”.
The concept for each piece develops in the process. It determines the story and composition of each sculpture aided by a certain design sense Guinotte has honed from years as an art director in the advertising world. Working from his sizable junkyard, often an oddly bent rail or a rusty transmission part beckons and helps each piece find its way to realization. In the case of representational work, the materials work in tandem with the source of inspiration during the creative process.

In the sculpture, ”The Raven” Wise explains, “This guy is a collector. He stands atop his treasures which include a motorcycle license plate, a vintage Walgreen soda glass holder, a Spanish spur, a toy railroad car, a BMW key fob, all stuff he must have spirited away, stuff he loves. Wise says he could start with the idea “the Raven took it” and write all day or create sculptures all day. Some of his writing is noir, some is humorous and the same can be said about Wise’s sculptures.

GUINOTTE WISE

“WISE OBJX”

January 14th through March 12th , 2017 Opening reception Saturday, Jan. 14th 6 – 9pm

Much of the process is guided by the ability to combine elements in certain ways. Guinotte explains, “If I can’t weld it I bolt it. If I can’t bolt it, I “trap” it somehow, as in the use of glass or other difficult materials that find their way into the pieces. Mainly I use a welder, grinder and a plasma cutter. Sometimes an eight pound maul hammer, or I shape things by running over them with my truck”.

Guinotte Wise is in the collection of Emprise Bank Collection, in Kansas—a very pro- gressive and arts-oriented business. Several of his outdoor pieces could be found in front of banks, ad agencies, and other businesses in Kansas and Missouri. Guinotte Wise’s sculptures are also in personal collections in California, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Nashville and Canada.

Guinotte Wise “WISE OBJX”

Geneva Costa “Transfiguration”

 

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“Chloris”    Oil on Canvas   20″ x 20″  Geneva Costa

Lois Lambert Gallery Presents “Transfiguration”, a series of oil painting from Geneva Costa.

 

Costa’s works are focused on censorship and identity in relation to her own experiences and to the larger plight of women in society. While personal narratives propel the creation of each piece, they are allegorical in imagery and symbolism to allow the audience to interpret and experience each piece on their own terms.

Geneva utilizes oil paint and traditional painting techniques to underscore the biased representations of women in an historical context with special attention to the treatment of the female form throughout art history. In each work, Costa blends the autobiographical with current political and religious themes to parallel the historic narratives commonplace in classic oil portraiture.

In this series, Geneva uses obfuscation of the female face as commentary on imposed identity and the censorship of thought. For instance, the painting Divest is painted in a manner that identifies the subject matter as a woman, yet the face, her most identifying feature, has been censored as a commentary on current political events, societal views of the female, and religion’s role in the depiction of women.

Geneva Costa has a BFA in Studio art from Montana State University and an MFA in Visual Arts from California State University, Northridge. She has shown across the country in solo and group shows. Her work was included in the collection of the Chancellor of the California State Universities. She currently lives and works in South Dakota.

Geneva Costa “Transfiguration”

Other Works from Artist Chris Francis

Chris Francis’s exhibition “Open Floor Plan: Wearable Architecture and Functional Design” currently on display at the Lois Lambert Gallery contains amazing pieces inspired by the artists of the Bauhaus. Let us take a look back at the earlier works that have led him to create this fantastic new collection.

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“Shoe Machine” mixed media size 7

towerblocks“Tower Blocks” mixed media size 7

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“Towers in the Sky” Mixed media size 7

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“Welcome Knives” Mixed media size 7

Other Works from Artist Chris Francis

A Walk Through with Chris Francis

Artist Chris Francis took Assistant Director, Maria Guerrero, through his latest exhibition “Open Floor Plan: Wearable Architecture and Functional Design” discussing his sources of inspiration and methods of execution.

color.jpgThese are wood blocks and they are dedicated to Josef Albers he taught at the Bauhaus and he taught at the Black Mountain College and he taught interaction of color. So what it is, is an optical experiment with the eye so the colors, at every point on the shoe it is a different color, but this is the same color as this in here but you can’t see it here because those to ends aren’t together because there is an optical illusion that happens  but this is the the same color as this. Because of these color fields being different it looks as though this is darker but they are the exact same color.  Josef Albers was experimenting with that, really cool experiments, but  it’s really fun to play with. It is based off a traditional Japanese Geta, the tradition actually originated in China and these are functional- you can wear them.

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As are these, people have walked around in these and everything. It is hard to walk in but it is actually comfortable I’ve been told.

Really? Is this a size 7 too?

This is a 7, but it is in a range, it might be an 8. There is no true way to know. It was built off of a 7 last, a shoe form. It is held together in a strange way because I was playing with, the entire idea of this piece was simplicity and furniture design. Seeing if it could be a wearable concept. There is a lot of furniture inspiration here.

The concepts that you would apply to furniture, but applying them to a shoe?

Yes, so the stainless steel was actually bent in a garage in east L.A. We bent it. I found it and went over to my buddy’s shop, they make low-riders there, and they helped me out because I paid them off to watch the shop. I am not that tough, so they are cool. So they helped me out and bent it. This took so many prototypes to get this cut it could be held together with just resistance. So the entire shoe  is only held together with its own resistance. It becomes an act of architecture. The same principles I used are in buildings and in industrial design. There is a slot that the piece goes in, there is no glue no nails and it is strong enough to completely support someones weight.

Counter strength when you’re walking to hold itself together?

4292_1.jpegAnd the idea of this also came from the Geta too. The fulcrum when your walking- your toe is forward and it makes a rocking motion, you’ll see on a traditional Geta there will be a wood block further back right at the joint line in the foot and that’s how you get the momentum to walk. So these are actually functional. Modern chairs for your feet.

 

I love the idea of applying these concepts that people have mulled over for centuries about one item, say furniture and applying it to the shoe.

I make real shoes. I do make stage performance wear, lots of bands and stuff. I get so board doing it. There is no art in this shoe- I could go buy it at Nordstroms. Theres no real process of interpretation with those. For this, I like to take it out of that and do things that are more for the imagination, more fun. Maybe they could even be funny. What is the potential failure of a device, this is a total fail as a shoe but in some ways it’s not because you can walk on glass and its completely structurally sound.

To be continued…

A Walk Through with Chris Francis

An Interview with Phyllis Kudder Sullivan

In the course of preparing for a show, we get the privilege of sitting down with the artist and learning about their process and sources of inspiration. This fall we spoke with Phyllis about her upcoming exhibition “Vortex with Gold Line Series”

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1. Tell me how your relatonship with art started and did you start (as a) ceramicist?
I can’t remember a time when I was not passionate about art making.
My ceramic career started as an undergraduate in a required ceramic class where I fell in love with the material. Primarily a painter focused on two-dimensional patterns and textures of surface, clay introduced me to the realm of structure.

2. Where did you study?
More important than where I studied was the ceramicist with whom I studied. Professor Rose Krebs was a noted Bauhaus-trained ceramic artist. She was my MFA mentor at Long Island University, a friend and a source of inspiration and wisdom.

3. Tell me about your philosophy or the philosophies that you follow as an artist?
I make time for play in the studio. It’s not easy, but having the time and space to enjoy working, or just thinking, without expectation of a finished body of work is a gift I give to myself. Artist residencies, national or international, take me out of the familiar and are a critical part of my creative process. I find that new experiences generate ideas that can germinate over time and, sometimes, lead to new avenues of exploration.

4. Tell me about the series that we will be showing in your upcoming exhibition?
My Vortex With Gold Line Series is an extension of the Vortex Series.
In the Vortex Series the shifting grids of my organic net-like structures completely envelop the inner space without giving any apparent indication of where the coils of clay start or end. Like the Klein boJle, a mathematical construct, my net-like sculptures blur the border between inside and outside, giving the illusion that I am constructing with voids. And it is the volume, the emptiness within the walls, that dark, mysterious living space, which is at the heart of my work. In the new Vortex With Gold Line Series I pay tribute to the Japanese philosophy of kintsugi. After multiple firings for strength and color I apply a gold leaf composite, not to mend, but to draw attention to a single thread.

5. What would you like people to think or feel when they see your artwork?
Intrigue. I would hope that my work resonates with people on a deeper level. I’d like viewers to take away a sense of space as a tangible that can evoke memories of place.

An Interview with Phyllis Kudder Sullivan