Today, the Paul Horn/Solomon Kane production known as Cheeseburger Cheeseburger, The Sequel happened. It was a pop-up art show in the party room of a McDonald’s here in Houston. Paul/Solomon invited various artists to participate by wrapping some of their work in birthday paper and bringing it to the McDonald’s at 3611 North Main St. I wish there had been a price list of all the works because there were some very impressive pieces including a Jeff Koons piece valued at $20,000. So now I can say I was in a show with Jeff Coons. And:
I continue to enjoy making these drawings and want to post some new ones.
Now on view at Total Plaza Gallery is the amazing work of Marlene Llanes. This is amazing work and since there’s no commission to the artist, the works are quite affordable.
I am interested in the concept of perception and how this determines the way reality presents itself differently to each of us. Therefore, at a first glance my paintings include objects and settings that may attract the viewer by their simple beauty or the sense or recognizing what he sees, however, on a closer look the viewer may find himself questioning what he truly sees. My paintings are an attempt to bring to the surface what the eye doesn’t see in normal life experiences. On a more personal level, I intend to connect my past, my present, and my future, all in one instance.
One could say my paintings have a Surrealistic touch combined with influences of Impossible Art. The nontraditional images I create contrast with the traditional oil-on-canvas techniques I mainly use.
- Marlene Llanes, 2013
The surrealism movement began as a response to Sigmond Freud’s theories of the subconscious mind. This occurred during WWI; during a time that artists were making statements about war. The surrealists proposed that, in order to improve the world, people needed to begin by changing themselves from within. This attention of the subconscious formed the basis of the surrealism movement. The works made by Breton, Ernst, Dali, et al. gained popularity and validated the movement. Marlene Llanes’ work lies comfortably within the history of surrealism and is well worth mention and exposition.
Llanes paints using oils on canvas and challenges the viewer with captivating imagery. Her mastery of oil work is evident in her depictions of color and texture. This clean, seemingly effortless style is directly indicative of René Magritte, one of the masters of surrealism. Like Magritte, Llanes communicates through the language of the subconscious. The subjects she has in mind as she paints are not immediately apparent to the viewer. As a matter of fact, you may never figure out the idea she started with; I have been quite surprised to learn what some of these works are actually about.
Finally, Llanes is in a minority of artists that has specific stories to tell, tells them well, and that demonstrates precise technique. It is her outstanding technique that creates a clean and determined aesthetic, thus allowing her to tell stories so effectively.
- Matt Adams, 2013
Here are my first digital drawings. “What’re Matt’s ‘digital drawings’”, you ask? It’s my latest step in digital imagery that reflects on traditional materials and methods. I am using nothing but Photoshop to make these drawings but will only make one copy of each (no editioning here!). They are all archival prints on enhanced matte paper and are 15″ x 15″. Two of them (Untitled 14 and 15) have already been accepted into a juried exhibition. I enjoy this process and will continue…
I was invited to talk to art students at Bellaire (Texas) High School. I modified the presentation I did for the Houston Photographic Society and spent 1.5 hours talking about the importance, and difficulties, of creating an artistic voice and presenting it to the world!
My collaboration with R. Michael Reed, known as “Mongrel” had an exhibit at Galeria Regina.
Wade Wilson mounted an exhibit of work culled from the winners of the 29th Juried Open Exhibition which he juried earlier this year. Since Mongrel (Mike Reed and me) received 2nd place, we were able to participate in this exhibition. I’m thrilled about this.
Today was installation of work by Sherry Tseng Hill. I know of her work from VAA Juried Exhibitions and Archway Gallery. The body of work I chose to exhibit is titled “Unfolding Dreams And Memories”. Click here to read her artist statement on this body of work.
Sherry Tseng Hill’s body of work portrays an artist with an impressive range of technique and medium. Ms. Hill speaks with many voices, all engaging, illuminating and pleasing to the mind and senses. There is a precise, delicate power to her work that demands to be viewed.
For this exhibit, I chose Ms. Hill’s acrylic on canvas graphic, neoclassical style that I believe expresses wonderfully ethereal thoughts in the great tradition of the surrealists.
On first approach, one appreciates the intelligent use of shape and hue. Then, a glow of satisfaction begins while contemplating the bold composition, thoughtful color choices and free flowing lines.
As the eye is drawn expertly about the canvas, slowly, effortlessly, a personal meaning softly unfolds from the subconscious, to the conscious, delighting our thoughts, urging further contemplation.
We catch of glimpse of the artist’s subconscious playground as it reflects our own.
I entered work of my own and with Mike Reed (as Mongrel). My image titled “Growing Up” received an Honorable Mention as did Mongrel’s piece titled “Imbrido 12″. I’m very proud to have received TWO honorable mentions! This exhibition had a 15% acceptance rate.
On May 24, 2012, the opening reception for the VAA’s 29th Juried Open Exhibition occurred. Wade Wilson was the juror and I had one of my digital quilts selected (The Nike one). In addition, my collaboration with Mike Reed, known as “Mongrel” had two pieces accepted. Wade selected 16% of submitted work for the exhibit. I’m very proud to have three pieces in an exhibit with such a low acceptance ratio.
Today was the opening reception for the Live Oak Art Center 2012 Juried Art Exhibition. I am happy to say that two images from my series A Story Of . . . were accepted. Also, all three submitted pieces from my collaboration known as Mongrel (with Mike Reed) were accepted.
Today I installed the next exhibit at Total Plaza Gallery. This time, Patrick Palmer is featured.
Patrick Palmer’s visual sophistication is the result of a life-time commitment to the visual arts. His consistent and concentrated efforts are reflected in his paintings which contain certain common threads such as the presence of human faces, subtle layering of paint, incorporation of fictional text and various elements such as volcanoes and crowns. For the viewer, there should be a significant degree of admiration for the skills and talent required to express this level of personal, narrative content within a single piece of artwork. The visual universe he has created is immediately inviting and reveals more to the astute observer. He is so at ease, in this universe of symbolism and personal revelation, that he comfortably follows his day-to-day flow of emotions and thoughts to which anyone can relate. This results in paintings that range in tones of seriousness and levels of oddity.
Well known for his figurative work, he not only is an artist but also is committed to sharing his expertise with others through community involvement and education. Patrick’s devotion to the arts is also demonstrated by his educational path. As a student, he began at University of California, Santa Barbara (Drawing and Printing split major), continued to Arizona State (MFA received), and then San Francisco City College (instructor). Currently he is at the Glassell School of Art, Houston (instructor and now Faculty Chair/Dean).
I received notice that one of my digital quilts (Homage: I Love Nike Shox) was accepted into the 29th Juried Open Exhibition by Wade Wilson. The acceptance rate was 16% so I am, of course, very happy about this.
In addition, two of the pieces submitted by my collaboration with Mike Reed known as MONGREL were also accepted. This will be the second (‘world premiere’) of MONGREL work in a juried exhibit! We are both very happy about this, to be sure!
In addition, two of the pieces submitted by my collaboration with Mike Reed known as MONGREL were also accepted. This will be the first (‘world premiere’) of MONGREL work in a juried exhibit! We are both very happy about this, to be sure!
Curated by Clint Willour, this FotoFest-related exhibit brings together my body of work titled “Homage” and Leticia Huckabee’s work. It was great to work with Clint to make this exhibition look fantastic.
Clint Willour came to lay out the exhibit last week and now the work is installed. This is a preview image for you in the hopes you can come see the real thing at the reception on March 19 (6-9PM) or March 24 (6-9PM).
I have been collaborating with Mike Reed and creating pieces that blend my imagery with his painted plexiglass constructs. Our name is “Mongrel” which references the blend of two typically disparate artistic mediums (not to mention our personalities!). We’ve made 8 pieces so far and they are at the Live Oak Art Center, Columbus, TX.
For the third year, Houston is participating in Help-Portrait. This inspirational, one-day event occurs worldwide and I’m one of three people returning for the third time. There are a total of about 25 people who promised to participate. It is sure to be a wonderful day! I’ll let you know later.
More information is at www.Help-Portrait.com
I entered my Kaleidoscopic Followings series into the Visual Arts Alliance 29th Juried Membership Exhibition. Being club President doesn’t matter since the juror, Michael Guidry, is not provided with the artists names so I’m quite honored to receive an award from him.
I put out a call for entries for art photographers who use iPhones and received submissions from 5 states. The final collection includes 39 images from 9 artists representing 4 states.
The reception is Friday, November 4 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM.
A couple weeks ago, I was in Las Vegas and went to the Neon Boneyard. It’s almost a visual cliche of a subject but I’m having fun with the shots nonetheless. So, here is one:
Mary Ann Lucas is the next artist I’m bringing into Total Plaza Gallery. Here is an installation shot.
I am the last of 9 children born into a poor, immigrant family. My earliest recollection of artwork was drawings of crosses at age 5 after my father died. Dealing with such tragedies and trauma early in life taught me to surround myself in the protective environment of my artwork. I can safely peel back the layers of my life like an onion to reveal myself, my life; the happy, the sad that I experience day to day, year to year. I have no fear of judgment or ridicule; the canvas and paper patiently and silently await my touch - my dialog. Most of my work starts with a recycled piece of my artwork or just playing with paint on paper, a throw away to many, given a chance at a new life. Layering paint, and paper, along with line drawings, allows bits and pieces to peek through which reminds me of the way I, as a shy child, would peak around a wall of protection – looking to see if it’s safe to come out. I feel my artwork expresses my mood and state of mind directly through texture, shape, line and color or lack thereof.
- MaryAnn Lucas
MaryAnn Lucas’ mixed media work has a voice. It speaks to the viewer with tones that are soft and layered. The viewer is allowed to hear short, whispered statements reflective of life, love, joy, loss, etc. overlaid in no particular order but the chorus is a rich one. Her choice of materials and skills in their application are evident and indicate the level of care and thought she puts into their appearance. Displaying an artist’s soul is hard to do well, however, MaryAnn successfully expresses herself, her soul, in the works presented here.
- Matt Adams, curator
I received news that my image, and Dom’s accompanying text, was accepted as a finalist in the “UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights Art Competition”. There were 225 submissions from 23 countries. You can see all the finalists here. This is the entry:
On a photo shoot in an abandoned apartment building, I happened across this scene. Overwhelmed with the intensity, I wandered about in a daze, numbed; camera clenched in my hand, temporarily forgotten.
Chair, rope, knife, drug paraphernalia, blood-stained carpet: what had happened in this place? I could almost hear the screams. I noticed other items; items that would not be out of place in any number of homes: chocolate powder, peanut butter, children’s books and stuffed animals, mere inches away.
Did a child crawl through the blood to reach its teddy bear? Would a cry of hunger be noticed through a drug-induced stupor or heard amidst the wails of the tortured? I needed to process it all, make some sense of it. I started taking photos. I noticed, almost absentmindedly, tears on my face.
Who is responsible for this? What forces created this nightmare before me? If I were that child, would I want to live like this? I would reflect on that day for many weeks and struggle to make sense of what I experienced.
“When does the right to create life, supersede the rights of that life-to-be?” The right to bring a child into the world seemed so straightforward to me, until that room.
We value life, but not what becomes of it, once it is born. We use science to help create life, engender life, extend life: all because we can. But it seems to me, we don’t stop to ask ourselves if we should!
I am in two galleries for ArtHouston 2011. One is Archway Gallery for their 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition. Burt Long, Jr. was the juror and awarded this image (which is 40″ x 40″) an Honorable Mention.
Talya Arbisser asked me to to curate her exhibit titled “In The Footsteps Of My Grandparents“. It was at the Houston Jewish Community Center. The images were printed to allow 4″ of selvage under the image and they were framed without glass. Then, an acid-free pen was hung next to each of the 23 images and viewers were encouraged to write their response as they saw fit. It went very well, I think!
Here is an article on Talya’s exhibit. From the article:
“With pens attached to every frame, the viewer is encouraged to share his/her thoughts and feelings regarding the photographs, and as the exhibit travels, it will accrue more and more written impressions. “I sought to provide the viewer with a directed, visual journey that reflected the personal journey Talya was experiencing,” Adams explains.”
Here is the article from the Houston Chronicle on Talya’s exhibit. This one actually mentions how we met at FotoFest and Houston Center for Photography.