Last weekend the art fair The Artist Project showcased a diversity of artists and their work. I decided to go to the last day of it and applied my “how to enjoy an art fair system” (here a link to it). Besides the crowded booths and tons of what to me looked much of the same thing, there were some interesting works and collections I think worth mentioning. In the following lines, you’ll find my personal designation of these and what I found unique about them.
Medium Rare by Louis-Bernard St. Jean has a strong visual effect on the viewer, spending some time in front of it is required to enjoy this painting in a physical and an emotional level. Made with oil paint, it has a bright red as a base which seems to turn darker and darker (blackish) as the paint approaches the edges. Is not only the colour what gives intensity to this painting but the technique the artist applied, using the oil paint without any other additive and sculpting it, giving a rough and organic texture to the work, the specific result of this is quite unique and it can be subtly noticed. I could try to put in words what Medium Rare generated in me, but that would mean losing some part of it, I can describe it, though, as an almost a haptic experience that moved me.
Among so many flashy pieces it is wonderful to find art that brings some balance back and adds calmness to its appreciation, and still is able to actively engage the public.
Amy Lin’s Dreamworlds 2.0 is compelling in a lovely way, starting with the simplicity of the materials employed, paper and pencil colours. Her delicate lines turn into complicated systems of shapes having live of their own; mixing colouring and cutout techniques Lin manages to make us travel slowly and joyfully through each of them.
And talking about shapes is fascinating to see the outcome when the artist tries them to be so natural that consciousness is suppressed, that is how Lilian Crum creates her art, using ink, paper and the freedom of movement of her hand. The shapes accomplished are very organic they seem to emerge and dissolve at the same time, what you see could or could not be there.
Hugo Cantin design is clearly very Op Art, his light boxes vibrate as you stand and/or move in front of them, is not only the sense of motion but the musical resonance they have in the space, you can almost hear the beats coming out with the light. His collages made of film are also well structured, creating appealing patterns, and if coming close to look at what is on the film you will find something unexpected (from porn to fish), this induces to specifics ways of interacting with the collages, either closer or further.
I must confess that I have a soft spot for art which statement relates to what is going on in this wide planet Earth, I believe that kind of art is the most needed because it will always appeal to humanity.
Weeping Willow by Philip Hare is an installation that shows crying face shapes, these are diverse in colour but the laces representing the tears are all red, hanging from the holed eyes. This is the cry of women, not in a victimising way or seeking for simple sympathy, is the struggle of women that continues nowadays. There was a reference to aboriginal women disappearances here in Canada which makes this weeping willow’s presence very accurate and less abstract.
A pile of chairs on what seems to be a path of ashes or charcoal is Rushdi Anwar’s ‘Irhal (expel), hope and sorrow of displacement’, the message is clear, projected on a quotidian object we see what we leave behind, it evokes a history of displacement, migration. Many ways and reasons lead to it, and it is impossible not to find a nostalgia element in it. This installation is easy to relate to global issues.
Lana Pilippone’s ceramic makes you feel familiar with the material as if it was a sort of antique, but the subject matter is refreshing, shapes like mushrooms, flowers, skulls and birds seem to sprout out her work in a graceful way.
Eugene-Florin Zamfirescu makes you wonder through his personal vision of the human mind, his picture collection ‘Lanes of Quantum Memories’ shows distorted images, glasses and devices that give the sensation of a mechanic clock in action. These intricated sculptures were made by the artists too.
Maybe it was the discordance I perceived between the materials of the work or the fact that those colours weren’t my cup of tea what got my attention in a first instance; after trying to understand why I felt attracted to such thing, I had to ask the artist himself, Michael Usling, what was it about, so I learned about the tension of the materials and how he liked the foldings created on the fabric. After the explanation, I tried not to think too much and just enjoy the tensions, the colours, the textures.
Annette Blady seems to have created her own natural environments, making you want to fall inside some of those flowers and coral, but also feel cautious about others.
You can learn more about these artists visiting their websites, googling their name shall be enough to get information about their work.