My work on an individual piece usually begins after I’ve cut a hundred or more elements from culled images that have attracted my eye. Once a particular image appeals to me by virtue of its shape, color, texture, or even degree of decay, it may suggest an association that triggers some remote memory or fantasy of the future, alternative mythology, or dreamscape, and if possible a combination of all of those and more, which gets me started on the road to completing the piece. As I work, I continually discover new techniques and approaches to the creative process.
Frank Whipple is a collage artist and long-time dealer and collector of antique books and ephemera. His work has been featured on the set of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” as the cover art for the Max Laser Band’s 2017 CD “Beautiful Heartbreak,” and in the book for Cecil Touchon’s 2017 exhibition, “Dada Centennial: Day of the Dead.” Since 1995 his work has been included in group shows at the Louis Stern Gallery, Gallery 825, and the Zipper Gallery (all in West Hollywood), as well as the Fremont Center Theatre (Pasadena), the Spring Open Show of the Collage Artists of America (2006), the Space Gallery, the Lark Gallery (2014), the Sebastapol Center for the Arts (2016), the MorYork Gallery (Highland Park), the Sullivan Goss Gallery (Santa Barbara), the Nisa Touchon Gallery (Santa Fe, 2015 and 2016), and the Retroavangarda Gallery (Warsaw, forthcoming). Solo shows include “Papercuts,” at the Space Gallery in Claremont, California (2016) and “Scenic Roots…a Collage Dreamscape” and “Frank Whipple Collages” at the MorYork Gallery (2018 and 2019). He was a featured speaker for the Collage Artists of America in 2017.Find out more at frankwhipplecollage.
My work considers memory, vision and physicality. I have double vision and see dimensionality differently. When I create a space, I think of the eye and mind processing, understanding, and navigating the pictorial space. I self identify with the bird and birds have been appearing in my work as symbols for many years. Birds have graceful and majestic qualities: long necks, delicate feet and graceful forms but, are also fragile and clumsy on the ground. Birds have the unique perspective of flight, allowing them to travel, and explore an alternative point of view. My most recent work focuses on an intimate relationship with birds that are often supporting or entangled with a body. Using intense and often contrasting colors and expressive line work they create a relatable visceral connection.
Alex Stark is a painter and curator and practices in Boulder, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and presently works at SAIC as a Disability Advisor. Stark has recently shown work in Chicago, New York and Colorado.
The idea that, sometimes, the experience of a painting can stay with you all your life has always had a strong resonance with the way I feel about place. I usually remember it as an intense connection in abstract form, imbedded with a singular atmosphere, a unique signature. These are ‘pictures’ that have stayed with me without aging, images that become paintings to share. They surface again and again as I paint, evolving and becoming new forms of reality. Acrylic is my favorite medium because of its versatility. Sometimes it feels as fluid as inks, and then, it can reverse to being textural and thick. Occasionally I play with fragments of paper collaged to the canvas, or canvas collaged to the paper. Many years ago I started incorporating natural mica pieces as accents in my paintings. Their transparency and tangible reality had a particular appeal to me: small windows of Earth substance and presence.
I am always in awe of the possibilities of color in areas of very low light, or very diffused light, and I am continually attracted to the poetic in quiet pictorial surfaces. This I find to be the closest to an active form of meditation, which in turn allows us a path to our unknown selves.
Susana Amundaraín is a Venezuelan-born American artist. Her drawings, paintings and installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Amundaraín’s work is represented in museums in South America and the United States, including the Galería de Arte Nacional and Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, and Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá. It’s also included in many private and corporate collections, such as PepsiCO, Fundación Polar, and ALCOA. Her work has been reviewed in Art News, Art Nexus, El Papel Literario de El Nacional (Caracas), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Viceversa magazine (NYC) among many others.
Susana generally builds her paintings through a multiple layering of color transparencies and eroded surfaces, in a balance between structured and atmospheric space. Amundaraín holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Denver in Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Metropolitan State University, CO. She has also been a Visiting Scholar in Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, in NYU, New York City. She currently lives and works in Minot, North Dakota. Please visit susanaamundarain.com.
My work is informed by my nomadism between countries, languages and ways of seeing or thinking. My Maps Series in particular explores my identity and heritage through geographical and road maps found in my childhood home after my father’s death. The maps I use are the carrier of my personal and family migrant history. They are the support of my individual experience and of our collective knowledge.
In the artwork, the maps are drawn, cut, painted or assembled to create three-dimensional objects and works on paper. The printed matter that I transform retains its integrity as a public document, while it simultaneously holds fragments of my personal migratory journey. In an age of technology and electronic tools, the maps reflect an in-between world. By examining the tactile quality of paper in the creation of sculptural objects, I explore my own personal displacement experiences and question the inherent transience of the surrounding world.
My work becomes the witness to my migrating life and my interaction with individuals, places, and memory. The long, fastidious, repetitive action of my creative process both physicalizes and metaphorically reflects the time that it takes to integrate into new environments.
Viviane Rombaldi Seppey’s work explores personal and collective understandings of place, and is informed by her migratory upbringing and experiences. Born in Switzerland of Italian descent, Seppey has lived on four continents and is based in New York. Her work incorporates maps, phonebooks, photographs, magazines, and other materials into intricate installations, collages, sculptures, and drawings. She holds an MFA from RMIT Melbourne, Australia, and has exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; the Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. Please visit vivianerombaldi.com for more information.
Through my work I’m aiming to evoke a feeling of hazy nostalgia. To create an atmosphere reminiscent of elusive, lingering dreams. Iconic imagery and found photographs serve as a spring board for me to explore mankind’s foggy past and uncertain future. With watercolor and acrylic paints and layers upon layers of graphite, my work prompts the viewer to analyze the human condition and society at large.
Born in Michigan, Matthew Schommer started learning drawing and painting from his father Dennis at an early age. After studying art at a local college he moved to Chicago to study film and then onto New York to work for Christies auction house and to further his art career. Matthew’s work is exhibited in galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. He currently lives and works in Chicago.
In my most recent body of work, I continue to construct my paintings with an engineer’s sensibility and rigor, but the architectural structures come from the world of leisure and recreation—and of memory. The structures and patterns seem borrowed from an earlier generation, evoking nostalgia and yet also inspired by autobiography. My paintings collapse both geography and time. What at first appears to be an intricate painting reveals itself, upon close examination, to be finely cut slivers of paper on wood veneer, hand painted and then laboriously collaged together to create fields of grass, multifaceted rocky cliffs or lush botanical growth. The architectural structures are often incised directly onto wood panels and inserted into these wild landscapes.
My process begins with documentation: I photograph locations newly traveled, as well as well-known and loved. These photographs are digitally stitched together, combining landscapes with structures from various “memories.” I collage photographs the way we experience memories: we confuse the place and time, the structures bleed together, places patched together in our minds. Like concretized memories, my photographs give physical shape to the improbable landscapes of our memory.
Cheryl Molnar’s work has been exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at Smack Mellon in New York and The University of Arizona, as well as group shows at C24 Gallery in Chelsea, The Islip Art Museum on Long Island, and the General Electric Headquarters in CT. She recently completed a permanent ceramic tile instillation for PS19Q in Queens, a commission from Percent for Art and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently a member artist at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, her other art residencies include the Winter Workspace program at Wave Hill, Smack Mellon, Weir Farm Art Center and Cooper Union. Cheryl received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Pratt Institute. Notable collections featuring her work include Cantor Fitzgerald and Microsoft. She is a longtime resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and splits her time between NYC and the North Fork of Long Island.
Printmaking and making art in general have been a part of my life since I was a small child. I grew up in a family of artists and my father and mother were very supportive of this calling I had. The moment I new I wanted to make prints was after seeing an exhibit of Whistler’s etchings at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I was intrigued by the process and once I got my hands in the ink and was mesmerized by all the beautiful papers there was no turning back.
My studio White Wings Press is located in Chicago’s historical Logan Square, where periodically guest artists are invited to collaborate on print projects. I specialize in multiple color etching, photogravures and cyanotype prints but also create unique drawing collages with hand painting. My interest in combining many techniques and processes has lead me to a new series involving found engravings.
Still keeping ties with my printmaking background, these works require cutting out old impressions of birds and collaging them onto vintage book covers, allowing me a space for my drawn winged hands. These hands remain a dominant motif in my work, chosen for their uniquely expressive and creative powers while the wings connote mobility between worlds. Juxtaposing these images and blurring distinctions with technique, creates an unseen realm coexisting with the physical world to remind us that our corporeal life is the fragile one.
Teresa James has been a printmaker in Chicago for almost 30 years. In 1991, while studying at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, she was approached by artist Tony Fitzpatrick to assist with his studio, Big Cat Press, and soon became the workshop’s master printer. In 2002, she left Big Cat to establish her own print atelier, White Wings Press, where she continues to make prints and her one-of-a-kind drawing collages. She is represented by Hofheimer Gallery in Chicago.
The chaotic and unavoidable process of urbanization in our globalized and over populated world are the central focus of my work. I am interested in depicting clustered spaces and precarious constructions that seem to multiply and overflow with crowded objects in one continuous urban sprawl, at the same time as such structures begin to crumble and decompose from within. Through the use of exaggerated drama and distortion, my work attempts to challenge the way the viewer confronts the idea of consumerism and urbanization within contemporary culture and draw the viewer’s attention to the isolation of the transitory residents, like semi-nomads that emigrate hoping to find a better life on the outskirts of large metropolises.
Newly globalized economies have engendered major changes, from expanded trade networks to new methods of commodity production and the shifts in the labor force these activities require. In recent decades, new patterns of migration have emerged and significant populations have moved to rapidly expanding urban centers, transforming the individual’s relationship to the city. I investigate the conditions of metropolitan landscapes, including the effects of gentrification and urban renewal, political expression, and power.
Alexis Duque holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Antioquia, Colombia. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including: at The Heckscher Museum Of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The Drawing Center and Praxis International Gallery in New York; The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, CA; Champion Contemporary, Austin, TX; The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, Midland, MI; RudolfV Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands and Galleri Oxholm in Copenhagen, Denmark. Duque’s work has been featured in several publications, including: “Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions Of The Urban Realm”, “Caribbean: Together Apart Contemporary Artists from (part of) the Caribbean” Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton, Blue Canvas Magazine, LandEscape Art review, Beautiful Decay, Artistaday, New American Paintings, Studio Visit Magazine, The East Hampton Star, The East Hampton Press and El Diario of New York. Duque currently lives and works in NYC.
“I just make cups” is the only statement I am comfortable making about my work.
In the Marine Corps, the gap between what I thought I was doing and what I did was vast and painful. I joined with a desire to serve and I still have that desire. I don’t think anything I do will change the world, and nothing in the world releases me from my obligation to try. Making cups feels like a pretty impotent gesture, in the face of all of the horrors surrounding us. Peace is the only adequate war memorial. Any other “memorial” is at best a failure and usually a lie, promoting war as a good and noble thing. War is not a good thing. I still love the Marine Corps and Marines, which makes it harder to watch young Marines kill and die. Wars never end they ripple and echo forever. After serving in the “91 Gulf War” I have lost my ability to point fingers. The line between good and evil is a line in every human heart. We choose every day. We live with the consequences, even when we are ignorant of how our actions affect others. I believe there is some kind of judgment or karma, even if it is not the satisfying cinematic ending many people might picture. Judgment is not mine.
My opinions about my work and what I do feel unimportant. I just make cups, and if they are ever anything else it is because of the generosity of people who take the time to look at the cups. The cups are only something more if something resonates with the viewer or, better yet, the user of the cup. I am very grateful to people who see something in the cups.
I have given away more than 21,500 cups since 2001.
I hope the cups can be touchstones to start conversations about unspeakable things. My father and grandfather never talked about their wars until I came back from mine. I didn’t understand why they didn’t talk until my son asked “how come you were bad and now you’re good? You were a soldier right?” I didn’t say anything. I changed the subject and held back tears. To be demonized or idolized for something you did or didn’t do in a context you can never explain, by someone you love, is too much. It seems easier to just not talk — to “suck it up” and “move on.”
I just make cups. Making ceramics means I have five hundred thousand to one million years to find a receptive audience for my work. I hope a few of my cups will make it through these times. From my hand to your hand to some point hundreds of thousands of years in the future. Cheers!!! I hope you always have enough to eat and drink….I love you. Blah blah blah
Strength to love, + E
W.A.Ehren Tool was born in Charleston South Carolina in 1970. Raised in Sunny South Central Los Angeles, South Dakota (3 years), then back to Los Angeles, Tool joined the Marine Corps in 1989, serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Gulf War One). Tool was a Marine Embassy Guard in Rome and Paris, 15 months each, and was Honorably Discharged as a Sergeant after just over 5 years of active duty. He attended Pasadena City College, received his BFA from the University of Southern California in 2000, and his MFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. Tool has made and given away over 21,500 cups since 2001. He is married and has one son.
Artist’s Statement I am a modernist abstract painter with a pop sensibility.
My work balances the formal with the playful, paring down shapes and ideas into their most basic forms. To counter the chaos of everyday life, I instinctively gravitate towards elemental shapes, with defined edges resulting in an appearance of control and order (however illusionary it may be).
The shapes reference the human body but are open to interpretation. Animated by bright, cartoony colors and figure/ground relationships, I think of the paintings as ambiguous characters who inhabit my studio keeping me company and often engaging in silent conversation.
In writing about my work, art critic John Yau said, “Can we see things for what they are, even if we cannot name them, cannot in in that regard have dominion over them? I love that statement for it speaks to ambiguity and being comfortable with not knowing.
In Zen there is a wonderful saying: Not knowing is most intimate”. It suggests approaching something with open-minded and whole-hearted curiosity. I try to begin my paintings in this way, with a willingness to be present with uncertainty, and with the confidence that the process will result in work that both satisfies and inspires.
Fran Shalom has exhibited widely throughout the United States, including John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in NYC, the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge Mass, and the Newark Museum. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Rose Art Museum, and the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris. She has been the recipient of a Pollack Krasner Artist Grant in 2019, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and an Art Omi Residency. She is represented by the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York and the Kathryn Markel Gallery in New York City.