Artist, Sculpture

Conectado: Connecting

This past Sat­ur­day I attend­ed the open­ing for Conec­ta­do: Con­nect­ing at the Cre­ative Alliance in Bal­ti­more. I per­son­al­ly know the artists col­lab­o­rat­ing on the piece, Jaime Ben­nati and May Wil­son, and I was real­ly impressed with the instal­la­tion they had put togeth­er. Jaime and May had real­ly trans­formed the space, with a totem-like struc­ture of cement cylin­ders (cast­ed by May) and ship­ping pal­lets, inter­twined with wire. Not only was this a visu­al­ly com­pelling piece to view, but also was inter­est­ing to look at the indi­vid­ual assem­blage.

Both artists have spent time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (with Jaime spend­ing upwards of a year there), and Conec­ta­do: Con­nect­ing is a reflec­tion on the vibrant street cul­ture present in this city. Wires present in the fave­las, can­dy and fruit sold on the street — Jaime and May have ref­er­enced it in their instal­la­tion. The large pal­let and cylin­der struc­ture felt mon­u­men­tal, lum­ber­ing over the atten­dees of the show, a remark on the rapid speed of Brazil’s grow­ing econ­o­my. Also, pro­ject­ed on one wall (which I failed to cap­ture), were bus routes on Google Maps, flip­ping through dif­fer­ent streets at a rapid, almost dizzy­ing pace. 

Conectado: Connecting

Conectado: Connecting

Conectado: Connecting

Conectado: Connecting
Cast out of resin.


Peter Taylor

I don’t know about you, but my day has start­ed out with a bit of stress. My moment of zen for the morn­ing thus far is Peter Taylor’s work. His web­site fea­tures 10 dif­fer­ent draw­ings of the same fig­ure in dif­fer­ent pos­es. I think it’s the com­bi­na­tion of soft han­dling and tran­quil expres­sion and pos­es of Peter’s character(s) that is very sooth­ing to me. The draw­ings are very flu­id and my eye trav­els around the com­po­si­tions, nev­er tir­ing.

Here are some of my favorites. I wish I was doing some yoga right now! All images via his web­site.





PTaylor5peter tay­lor



I am lov­ing the play­ful­ness and sub­ver­sive aes­thet­ic of Barcelona-based Faif. On street projects, he col­lab­o­rates with oth­er artists, but you can still pick out his part. It’s help­ful that he makes prints, which gives a bet­ter idea of his style. So, in awe­some murals like this one, you can see some of Faif in there:

All images (one above and oth­ers below) all via Flickr.


Artist, Sculpture

Erica Mahinay


I met Eri­ca Mahi­nay this past fall at the Ver­mont Stu­dio Cen­ter while we were res­i­dent artists. I thought her work was amaz­ing in per­son, and so this morn­ing I was very excit­ed to see a press release from her in my inbox. 

Erica’s work is play between paint­ing and sculp­ture, and what I real­ly love about it is how ambi­tious it is. Ambi­tion can­not always be met, but her pieces — a com­bi­na­tion of paint­ing on can­vas sup­port­ed by phys­i­cal objects and instal­la­tion, real­ly cre­ate an envi­ron­ment for the view­er. A por­tion of Erica’s artist state­ment:

As an emerg­ing artist, it is my ambi­tion to ampli­fy the scope of my work through com­pelling visu­al play, exten­sive dia­logue, and exam­in­ing my rela­tion­ship to the his­to­ry of paint­ing. In my work, I explore the psy­cho­log­i­cal and emo­tion­al weight inher­ent in our con­struc­tion of “home”. My paint­ing-con­struc­tions uti­lize the famil­iar­i­ty of the home to explore notions of long­ing, dis­place­ment, inver­sion, truth, self-decep­tion, and per­se­ver­ance. By com­bin­ing a vari­ety of mate­ri­als, I am allowed to cre­ate a sys­tem of clues that cre­ate an imme­di­ate sense of famil­iar­i­ty, but in a way that is shift­ed and uncan­ny. Dense lay­ers of sub­tly col­ored paint and stripped away por­tions act in con­junc­tion with found objects and paint­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tions to cre­ate visu­al play between his­to­ry and inven­tion, dreams and mem­o­ry, and the past, present, and future. 

If you are local to Kansas City, Mis­souri, Eri­ca has a show at the Cocoon Gallery from March 4th to the 26th. 

First three images via her web­site. Last image via the Cocoon Gallery




Artist, Illustration

Michael C. Hsiung

Often times, con­text is what gives things mean­ing, or gives us license to express prop­er emo­tion about some­thing. In Michael C. Hsiung’s draw­ings, it’s not only the draw­ings I love, but his titles and expla­na­tions for his work as well — the writ­ing ele­ment helps to give his work the con­text to prop­er­ly appre­ci­ate and respond to his work. 

All images via his web­site. Check out his Bio page for an awe­some FAQ.

His titles real­ly added to the expe­ri­ence of view­ing his work, so I am pair­ing them with each draw­ing!

What real­ly hap­pened in the bunker.

Scenes from Hitler’s Child­hood Doo­dle.

On the teach­able­ness of cer­tain air toss­es

In which the crew and cap­tain exchange harsh words and how the sad fate of the row­boat HMS Goliath

Exam­ples of per­sons who have been defeat­ed and how they come back


Daniel Zender


In col­lege, I took a class cen­tered around the films of Alfred Hitch­cock. We watched some of his clas­sics, and it fos­tered my love for his films. When I saw Daniel Zender’s Hitch­cock movie posters, it instant­ly had me adding the films to my Net­flix queue (again).

Daniel has real­ly pulled off these screen-print­ed posters very nice­ly. They have an eerie yet cool feel to them, which I think com­pli­ments Hitchcock’s films. He famous­ly builds his plots on sus­pense rather than sur­prise, as does Daniel in these posters. The essence of the films has been cap­tured with­out giv­ing too much away. I’m glad this film series includ­ed Ver­ti­go, which I find to be most dis­turb­ing Hitch­cock work! 

All images via his web­site.




Oh, and just because I am dream­ing of warm weath­er, here are some addi­tion­al Daniel Zen­der illus­tra­tions from a sum­mer fun guide. Wish I was rid­ing my bike right now… 





Gaia in Baltimore

Always a fan of Gaia’s work, he recent­ly emailed me with some new work that’s up around Bal­ti­more. Hap­pen­ing upon his work is always great — it’s like find­ing mon­ey in your pock­et. His newest pieces are large and ambi­tious, with even some doc­u­men­ta­tion of the actu­al appli­ca­tion of work. 

The fol­low­ing process shots were tak­en by Lar­ry Cohen:

The fol­low­ing pic­tures are all from Gaia’s pho­to­stream:

Gaia writes that the roost­er cradling the head of St. John is as depict­ed by Gui­do Reni. Anoth­er loca­tion:

St John on Franklin St

Carrier Pigeon on Ashland Avenue

Artist, Illustration

Studio Visit // Elena Johnston

Last week­end I had the delight of meet­ing with Ele­na John­ston, an artist based in my home city of Bal­ti­more. Upon meet­ing her, I was instant­ly excit­ed by not only her work and work space, but beau­ti­ful, light-filled apart­ment (and her cat). Her home is nes­tled in a neigh­bor­hood with some beau­ti­ful old hous­es, like this one: 


A cou­ple of weeks pri­or, I sent Ele­na the first half of a col­lab­o­ra­tive piece, with the inten­tion of a real-life Art Togeth­er project. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I for­got to doc­u­ment my half, but here is what she came up with: 



My half most­ly con­sist­ed of the back­ground col­ors with a few shapes. Ele­na explained that my shapes gave her the inspi­ra­tion to try and mim­ic what I had done (in her own way of course). She also added that the back­ground col­ors remind­ed her of the Fall sea­son, which influ­enced some of the imagery used as well. 

Dur­ing my vis­it, the top­ic of sea­sons, mem­o­ries, and play came up in con­ver­sa­tion. Ele­na has been using col­lage in her work for about two years, using old mag­a­zines such as Nation­al Geo­graph­ic to drum up imagery. Some­times, she sim­ply cuts out tex­tures, oth­er times it is ele­ments from the spreads them­selves. I love Elena’s most recent paint­ings, which are a com­bi­na­tion of both col­lage and paint­ing with acrylic ink. They are bright and live­ly, with a feel­ing of ease about them. 



Ele­na told me the col­or of her walls are the same col­or she had in her room grow­ing up.

The base of this piece was made by rub­bing a rough paper (out of an old paper-sam­ple book­let) onto the paper used in paint­ing.

A cou­ple of pieces that Ele­na has com­plet­ed recent­ly. A zine and the album cov­er for Adven­ture.

We dis­cussed how the act of exper­i­men­ta­tion and play is impor­tant in any artis­tic prac­tice. Near the end of our time spent togeth­er, she showed me col­lages that she had cre­at­ed with oth­ers. Their process is sim­ple as flip­ping through old mag­a­zines and cut­ting out shapes and pat­terns. But, as we both agreed, the new ideas that can be dis­cov­ered from these exer­cis­es is price­less.



Ele­na is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a new body of work that she hopes to show this sum­mer. She is also work on a music project, BAMBOO, with Jor­dan Bernier (pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured on Brown Paper Bag!) 

I am jeal­ous of that flat file. Thanks Ele­na, for let­ting me vis­it!


Irana Douer

Today? More por­traits! Or, maybe not exact­ly por­traits, but depic­tions of peo­ple. It’s Irana Douer’s work,and I like it. 

Irana’s rather sim­ple line draw­ings are com­pli­ment­ed by accents of col­or and shape, inter­ject­ing sym­bols. There’s a con­nec­tion made with nature reminds me a bit of Eve.

Irana also runs Ruby Mag­a­zine, an online pub­li­ca­tion pro­mot­ing artist’s work every month. Look to that for some great inspi­ra­tion! (Also, I love see­ing the per­son­al work of peo­ple who run online mag­a­zine and blogs!). 

All images via her web­site.







Lou Ros

I enjoy these por­traits by Lou Ros because they are a skew on the stan­dard por­trait. While they don’t offer a dif­fer­ent angle to the human face, Lou has made his work visu­al­ly inter­est­ing by frac­tur­ing the fea­tures, repeat­ing lines and shapes, and using expres­sive mark-mak­ing.

There is just enough infor­ma­tion giv­en about the sub­jects that we can start to under­stand their per­son­al­i­ties, which I think is indica­tive of a suc­cess­ful por­trait. There is a cer­tain light in the eyes. 

All images via his web­site.