Teaser: Broken Boxes | Nicholas Galanin

“As an artist, your best responsibility is to stay true to yourself and your voice and your work. […] There’s real reasons to create, and it’s nice to find those reasons.”

-Nicholas Galanin

Broken Boxes, an exhibition curated by Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger, features Nicholas Galanin and 40 other creators from around the world who are affecting change in their work. All of the participants have appeared on Dunnill’s Broken Boxes Podcast. The show opens at form & concept on Friday, August 18 from 5-7 pm. Click here to learn more, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook.

Artist Spotlight: Heather Bradley

Heather Bradley Ceramics- Innominate Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Heather Bradley‘s new art installation, innominate, is a centerpiece of our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition. Heather perched red and white pottery on small shelves that span a 30-foot stretch of wall. Between the vessels are sheets of porcelain with diary entries scrawled on them, and words painted directly on the wall in elegant cursive.

The words hint at innominate‘s deeply personal story arc: “body,” “wound,” “heal” and “scar” are among them. The pottery is titled after the human body as well, with three distinct series dubbed Arterial, Spinal and Handheld. Heather was inspired to write a new artist statement after completing the series. Read her words below, and keep your eye out for a forthcoming video and blog post that explores the story behind innominate. 

My hands have been in clay now for 22 years. They’ve grown more and more adept at predicting the behavior of the clay and manipulating it into the forms I want. Now, my hands are also essential to my job.  I recently received my license as a massage therapist, and this new endeavor has been making me think of my ceramic work in a whole new light.

I think of my pots as frozen moments in time, almost literally. The clay goes from a sloppy wet, flowing substance to a dry, solid, more permanent object so quickly. Whatever I bring to the potter’s wheel on any given day is materialized into the work.

Heather Bradley Ceramics- Spinal Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

The way in which I approach a massage table is very similar to the way in which I approach my potter’s wheel. I must be very conscious of my own mental state, my thoughts, and my own body when giving a massage. I must watch my breath, be super-attentive to the placement of my fingers, and the angle of my neck when giving massage. 

My experience as a massage therapist has begun informing my art work in various ways. I find myself thinking of the necks of pots as vertebral columns, wedging the clay using the body mechanics I was taught in deep tissue class, and using my palpation skills to find air bubbles and imperfections. 

Heather Bradley Ceramics- Arterial Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Most significantly, being a massage therapist has taught me more about proprioception – the awareness of one’s own body, one’s own sense of how they occupy space. I’m now approaching my clay with a greater sense of self, my body, and in particular, my hands, and what they can feel.  

I believe the more and more I can truly be present and embodied, the more the work will flow honestly through me and carry a sense of the moment in which it was created.

Heather Bradley Ceramics- Handheld Series- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Click here to browse all of Heather’s work on our website, and make sure to come see her innominate installation. It’s on view through October 22, as part of our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition. Stay tuned for a studio visit video and blog, where Heather will reveal her inspiration for the innominate series.

Last Look: NoiseFold | Metamorph

Artists Cory Metcalf and David Stout, who collaborate under the moniker NoiseFold, are best-known for their new media performance art pieces. They bring sound waves and abstract imagery into rhythm across digital landscapes, utilizing generative software to act as the virtual conductors of a cross-sensory symphony. If you’re scratching your head, browse David’s Vimeo for a bit and prepare to be amazed.

Because NoiseFold’s oeuvre exists primarily on the digital plane, they were puzzled at first by a special invitation from Seattle’s legendary Pilchuck Glass School. Glass master Dale Chihuly and his army of artists wanted Cory and David to collaborate with them in a two-week artist residency. In the interview and video below, NoiseFold talks about finding a way to translate digital marvels into physical sculptures. Three bodies of work they created there, MetamorphSwarm Caste and Vestiges, are on view at form & concept through Saturday, July 22.

How did you first strike up your collaboration as NoiseFold? 

David: I was awarded a fellowship at Harvest Works in New York City to develop a piece that was an artificial ecosystem of sorts. We were working with live, 3D generation of forms. That is really where the NoiseFold collaboration was born. Once we realized that this method of working with generative images in real time had amazing possibilities for a performance system. We launched Noisefold immediately coming out of that installation.

How did you come up with the name NoiseFold?

David: The name was kind of effortless. There was a certain literalness to the idea that we were working with signal and noise. We were also working with visual forms that we could fold in virtual space, almost like origami. So there was that literal aspect. Also, I like the word fold because a group can be referred to as a fold.

We were interested in the term noise as a kind of field of possibilities. We often think of noise as a disruption but, in fact, noise is infused in everything we do. Our heartbeats create noise.

Cory: We were also looking at what one person considers music and what one person considers noise. There’s always a grey area where something ceases to be musical, and becomes “sound” or “noise.” We wanted to play with that edge where you have discernible form — something that’s really familiar — and where it starts to fall apart and it stops making sense to the ears. 

The same thing happens with the visual vocabulary of NoiseFold. The moment that you attach that significance to a certain form, where it starts to represent something in the real world, often it drifts into a “noisier” place again. 

NoiseFold- Cory Metcalf and David Stout- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
NoiseFold, Vestige VIII, blown glass, 8.5 x 16 x 9 in.

Viewers have often reported moments of sensory overload after watching your performances. Could you talk about that? 

Cory:  There’s a very intense experience often, particularly in our earlier work, of having these things feel like they’re speaking to you or coming at you. It’s very hard to trivialize the forms that you’re seeing, because they seem to be very viscerally active and alive. That, coupled with the forms being almost familiar and yet not quite, many people have reported to us that it can be exhausting to watch our work. This includes fans who come to most of our shows. Your brain is constantly struggling to make sense of what you’re seeing. It’s almost something, but you can’t quite pinpoint what it is.

We’ve had people say things like, for the first 20 minutes they were just trying to understand what they were seeing. And then they had almost a total shutdown of that part of their brain, that kind of language center that’s trying to make sense of things. I think for a lot of people, if it doesn’t shut down, it’s just exhausting. Because you’re just constantly struggling to keep up with what you’re experiencing.

Do you ever experience that as you’re creating the work? 

David: Only because we will do this for 10 to 20 hours a day, and then we feel it. Most of the time, I just get lost in the visual wonder of it all. So it doesn’t really exhaust me. We’ve been playing with this thing lately, where we’re creating an image space that alludes to some phenomenon in the real world, whether it’s biomorphic or architectural, macrocosmic or microcosmic. You recognize that you think you recognize it, and then it suddenly, fleetingly becomes something else. We’re constantly asking the audience to fill in the missing space between abstraction and representation.

As the work has evolved, we’ve diversified easily into doing a lot of different kinds of things. Sometimes it’s more musical, sometimes it’s more cinematic. We’ve also gotten into a lot more quiet spaces. We’re willing to explore more empty moments. It’s not quite the same kind of space as when we first began.

NoiseFold- Cory Metcalf and David Stout- Form & Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
NoiseFold, Vestige III, blown glass, 6 x 12 x 6.5 in.

When you’re working with generative forms, is it difficult to relinquish control over how the imagery is going to appear? 

Cory: Early on in the system we would purposefully build in autonomy of the system. We’d give the system a little bit of a mind of its own. Whatever we performed we’re having to make decisions that change, and we never have complete control over the system. That was always by design. I think that’s one of the things that excites us more than it holds us back or frustrates us.

We’ve spent an enormous amount of time just kind of reigning our system in. A lot of times we start out by developing a technique, and that technique in and of itself might be extremely chaotic. But we always have a large number of parameters that we can fine-tune and explore. We seek out these sweet spots and kind of unfold vast areas of fruitful materials. From here, our approach is often to make sure we don’t confine it too much.

Did you find connections between your performance art and the work you were doing at Pilchuck Glass School? 

David: There’s an exciting challenge to that virtual, cinematic space, where some aspect of what you’re doing is sort of ephemeral. It’s never repeated in exactly the same way. It can be more liberating than when we’re making objects, like the work we were doing at Pilchuck. When you’re making sculptures, it feels like there’s more pressure to be perfect in that realm than there is in the performative realm. On the other hand, one thing we discovered at the residency is that glass making is performance. 

Cory: It has a lot of the same time constraints that real-time performance has. You can’t infinitely work the material. There’s many parts of the process where you can’t even slow down, and if you do it completely changes the potential for the rest of the process. So it has the same level of immediacy. And it has, in its own way, the same level of imperfection.

NoiseFold- Cory Metcalf and David Stout- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
NoiseFold, Vestige V, blown glass, 7 x 14 x 8 in.

How did you end up at Pilchuck? 

David: We were part of an exhibit at the Cornish College of the Arts, at the end of 2014. The director of the Pilchuck Glass School saw what we were doing and invited us to the residency program shortly thereafter. It wasn’t something that we would’ve thought of on our own. It was an intriguing idea.

Pilchuck is considered among the very top glass schools in the world. It was founded by Dale Chihuly. It has a long tradition. The students that go there are often very accomplished professionals. And the current director is very interested in digital media artists and conceptual artists.  

Did you plan what you were going to do during the residency? 

Cory:  We went there thinking very digitally. We were going to take a number of our forms and do some 3D printing of molds to create cast glass forms.

David: When we got there, we were told that we had eight solid days with two of Dale Chihuly’s glass blowers. So we changed gears instantly, because that was really exciting. We used the software that we’d developed to generate novel forms, and then chose various forms. In the case of the piece that we’re showing there, the Metamorph series, that is actually a transformation between one shape and another. We set out to recreate different parts of the transformation in glass.

The glass artists had never done anything like this before and it turned out to be very effective. When Chihuly is making work, he essentially sits at a table and draws something in charcoal, and shows it to the gaffers, as they’re called, and they blow it. We were doing something very similar except we were showing them a 3D model that they could rotate in space, and look at two different views simultaneously. We could get very technical about how we were realizing the forms.

Cory: Each piece in Metamorph can stand on its own, but really it’s a series of 8 pieces that make a transition from the sphere into this other double cone form. It’s really intended to be viewed so you can actually see the transition from one state to the next. And so the 8 pieces together make up the whole of this time based process that you see in this transformation.

NoiseFold- Cory Metcalf and David Stout- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
NoiseFold, Vestige IV, blown glass, 7.5 x 16 x 6.5 in.

You’re accustomed to collaborating with each other. How did you feel about the process of bringing in these glass artists as collaborators?

Cory: It was one of the best collaborations that I think both of us have ever experienced. It was very interesting to see how collaboration works in a hot shop, a glass space, because it’s this incredible level of non-verbal communication. It’s almost like watching people dance with—

David: Flaming hot substances.

Cory: It was very interesting to see the degree to which it was both very challenging and very possible to realize the forms that we presented to these guys.

form & concept explores the boundaries of perceived distinctions between art, craft and design. How do you connect with that mission? 

David: I would say it really resonates with us after our experience at Pilchuck. It was eye-opening to be there among these craftspeople who are involved in the contemporary art world, but also the production glass world or design world. The distinctions between those worlds start to break down a little bit, and the common meeting place is the joy of the craft. 

I think that’s a boundary that’s going to fall. These things kind of ebb and flow. It goes along with this old media versus new media question. People want something tangible along with their virtual experience.

Cory: The opportunity for new media artists, traditional artists and production environments to merge together is just so obvious. Creating artificial boundaries between those worlds is not the right thing to do at this juncture. I think it’s an important moment to start breaking those boundaries in the art world as much as possible.

David: We did similar things working with musicians, because we’ve done a number of projects where we’re working with more traditionally trained, classical musicians, even though the music itself was more experimental. The glass work fits completely within that same kind of paradigm.

Artist Spotlight: Debra Baxter

Debra Baxter will speak at form & concept on Saturday, July 15 from 2-3 pm as part of our Summer Artist Talks series. The sculptor and jeweler is featured in the current issue of Santa Fean Magazine. Here’s an excerpt from the article by Stephanie Love:

The brash and beautiful bronze and crystal works that Santa Fe artist Debra Baxter designs embrace the harmony between function and appearance. Baxter’s customized metalwork elevates the natural roughness of her materials—anything from minerals to crystals to metals—in order to create a refined, wearable masterpiece.

Having gained recognition for her sterling silver and quartz crystal brass knuckles, a part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection since 2015, Baxter has built upon an already successful career since moving to the City Different. The Nebraska-born artist finds great inspiration from living in her current home. “The beautiful light and sky have heightened my appreciation for natural materials,” she notes. “There is a magical, peaceful energy here that grounds me.” Baxter, like many other artists that reside in Santa Fe, also finds that “the overall mindset of the community is conducive to making.”

Click here to read the full article, and scroll down to browse Debra’s sculptures and jewelry.

Debra Baxter Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
DB/CB by Debra Baxter, Crystal Quartz in Bronze Necklace, bronze, crystal quartz, $245
Debra Baxter Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
DB/CB by Debra Baxter, Titanium Quartz in Sterling Silver Necklace, titanium quartz, sterling silver, $425
Debra Baxter Fine Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
DB/CB by Debra Baxter, Amethyst Bronze Necklace, amethyst, bronze, $275
Debra Baxter Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Debra Baxter, Breastplate (Voice in my Chest), bronze, amethyst crystal, 18 x 12.5 x 3 in., $6000
Debra Baxter Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Debra Baxter, Unapologetic Glory, bronze, alabaster, 20 x 8 x 6 in., $3500
Debra Baxter Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Debra Baxter, Here I Go Again (not on my own), aluminum, alabaster, 18 x 10 x 10 in., $1700

Preview | Summer Artist Talk: Elana Schwartz

Elana Schwartz- Artist Interview- The Wild Magazine- Santa Fe New Mexico

Albuquerque sculptor Elana Schwartz is headed up to Santa Fe this Saturday for an artist talk at form & concept (2-3 pm). We made the reverse journey a few months ago, to visit her studio and learn more about her process.

Before diving into her work space, which is in a shed in her backyard, we got an impromptu tour of Elana’s past work throughout her home. Perched by the door was a cluster of small figures that she made just after high school, when she started dreaming up strange and fantastical characters.

In one room, Elana pulled a two-headed stuffed animal off a shelf and showed us how she’d stitched two furry creatures together. Taxidermied animals appeared throughout the house, including a raccoon and several fish. She described the process of mounting a fish, which includes adding fake eyes and applying pigment to the scales.

In one way or another, all of the art Elana showed us connected with her current work at form & concept. The artist used wood, stone, metal, moss, resin, taxidermy elements and other materials to create the menagerie of mythological characters that populates our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition.

Elana Schwartz Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Chojor “Spiritual Wealth” (detail). Click here to see the full artwork.

It’s no wonder that a magazine called The Wild wanted to interview Elana. Here’s a flashback to their 2013 conversation with her:

Your wood sculptures are really bizarre and beautiful. I’m so curious about your process. How long do you spend on each piece?
It is really hard for me to gauge time when I am in my shop. Sometimes I spend all day in my shop and sometimes I can only be there a few hours in-between other life obligations. A few weeks ago, I arrived at my shop at seven in the morning and the next thing I knew someone came by and invited me to dinner. It turned out it was already 5pm and I didn’t even realize it. When I am in my shop, I get into a certain mode where I forget everything else, even eating and drinking. It probably isn’t that healthy! I probably spend about two to six months on each piece and that could be anywhere from thirty to five hundred hours.

Do the characters in your sculptures correlate to people in your life, or are they more mythical, abstract beings?

My pieces are mythical beings that I come up with in sketches or in my dreams. I get inspiration from Greek and Pagan myths.

Elana Schwartz Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Infans Custos (detail). Click here to see the full artwork.

Do you have a preconceived idea of what each work is going to look like, or do you develop one as you carve?
I usually start out with a plan from a sketch but things always change and evolve as I work on them. Even if I try to stick with a plan, my piece usually dictates how it will come out. Wood is very unforgiving so if you make a mistake you have to work with it and make it seem deliberate. When I am completely done with a piece the end result always surprises me, usually in a good way.

Click here to read more, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook for Elana’s artist talk on July 8 from 2-3 pm. From 5-8 pm that evening, Lauren Tresp of THE Magazine will host the publication’s 25th anniversary celebration at the gallery. Learn more about both events here.

Elana Schwartz Sculpture- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Kalsang “Good Fortune” (detail). Click here to see the full artwork.

 

Preview | THE Soirée: Web Launch & 25th Anniversary Party

Lauren Tresp purchased THE Magazine in January of 2016 and has turned out twelve issues as editor and publisher. THE Magazine will celebrate its 25th anniversary this July as the voice of the region’s contemporary arts and culture. The anniversary coincides with THE Magazine’s launch into the digital world with a comprehensive new website.

Both will be celebrated with a web launch and 25th anniversary party on Saturday, July 8, 5-8 pm at form & concept. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature music by DJ Miss Ginger, food by Taco Fundación and drinks by Duel Brewing. At the event, Tresp will debut THE Magazine’s inaugural series of limited edition prints by local artists and illustrators. The first print in the series is by Santa Fe artist and illustrator Luke Dorman.

“When I first moved to Santa Fe, I remember picking up a copy of THE Magazine,” says Tresp. “I immediately sensed the valuable role it had in the creative community here. It really is a lens into New Mexico’s contemporary art scene.” Originally from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Tresp arrived in Santa Fe from Chicago in 2012, where she completed her Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago. Her field was Medieval and Renaissance Art History, and though she loved digging into the past, she wanted to engage with the contemporary cultural landscape. “About three people in the entire world might have been interested in the topics I was covering,” says Tresp. “I was looking to contribute in a relevant way to a broader audience.”

The Magazine- Santa Fe New Mexico- Lauren Tresp- Cover Images

THE Magazine debuted in Santa Fe in 1992 under founding publisher Guy Cross who saw the city’s need for intelligent arts writing. It quickly caught the attention of the regional community, engaging artists, collectors, locals, and visitors with its in-depth reporting, refreshing criticism, and distinctive design. Soon after her move to Santa Fe, Tresp reached out to Cross to become a contributing writer, sparking a professional collaboration that eventually lead her to purchase the publication in early 2016. Since then, Tresp has diversified her writing staff, introduced interdisciplinary coverage, commissioned cover art from local artists, and encompassed a fresh wave of emerging and established creatives working in New Mexico.

This summer, Tresp will celebrate the 25th anniversary of THE Magazine by launching a brand new website. Local web design firm Think All Day, which has worked with arts organizations such as CFile and Mindy Solomon Gallery, has been selected to complete the revamp.

The Magazine- Santa Fe New Mexico- Lauren Tresp- Cover Images

Even as she carries the beloved Santa Fe institution into uncharted digital territory, Tresp is committed to her role as a steward of ink-on-paper, tangible objects. “Audiences are rediscovering the compelling dynamics of niche print publications,” says Tresp. “We’re proving that a magazine on newsprint can be an art object in its own right.”

Make sure to RSVP on Facebook for THE Soirée. Learn more on the event page, and in this month’s issue of THE Magazine. Also on Saturday, July 8, form & concept represented artist Elana Schwartz will speak about her artwork from 2-3 pm. Click here to learn more about the talk.

*video by Narrative Media.

Opening Tonight: Jared Weiss & Rebecca Rutstein

Join us tonight for the debut of two painting exhibitions, Rebecca Rutstein: Fault Lines and Jared Weiss: He’s Either Dead Or It Was His Birthday. Weiss is a Santa Fe artist who draws from Freudian theory and his own memory to create compositions infused with a sense of déjà vu. Rutstein, who lives in Philadelphia, explores geometric abstraction with a vision inspired by scientific data. Both artists will appear at the opening reception on Friday, June 30 from 5-7 pm.

Kathryn Davis of ArtBeat Santa Fe interviewed each painter about their work. Scroll down for links to the interviews, and to read excerpts from other recent press.

Rebecca Rutstein

ArtBeat Santa Fe with Kathryn Davis- Artist Rebecca Rutstein Interview- Form and Concept- Santa Fe New Mexico

“There’s an oppeness to this work that reminds me of being here in this part of the world, where the sky goes on forever and it feels like you can see forever,” said Kathryn Davis of ArtBeat to Rebecca Rutstein. “[There’s] a lot of play with shadow, surface and dimensionality.” Listen to the full interview here.

A write-up on Rebecca’s work appeared in Albuquerque Journal North‘s “Top Picks for the Week” feature by Megan Bennett. Here’s an excerpt:

While spending time learning and creating among geologists and oceanographic cartographers, [Rutstein] was able to study the terrain and the ocean floor, and began painting based on what she saw. For this show, she will show work depicting “seismic events that occur deep in the Earth’s crust.”

Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal interviewed Rebecca for a feature story. Here’s a teaser:

“I took a geology class as an undergraduate that had a huge impact on me,” Rutstein says. “Recently, I looked back at the geology textbooks I used in college. The collision of the Earth’s plates, which has inspired the work in my Santa Fe show, seems like a metaphor for what has happened in my life and other people’s lives.”

Make sure to read both stories, and stop by tonight’s opening from 5-7 pm to meet Rebecca and see Fault Lines. She will appear at an artist talk on Saturday, July 1 from 2-3 pm.

Jared Weiss

ArtBeat Santa Fe with Kathryn Davis- Artist Jared Weiss Interview- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“You are a painter’s painter,” Kathryn Davis of ArtBeat told Jared Weiss. “I think you’re going to get a lot of painters showing up to see this show. I encourage that, because of the use of color, the brushwork. The immediacy, and then the denial—you step back and realize, ‘I don’t know what this is about.'” Listen to the full interview here, and make sure to check out Jared’s takeover of Santa Fe Reporter‘s Instagram for sneak peeks at the show.

Elizabeth Miller of SFR did a great story on Jared’s work last year, for his Adobe Rose Theater show You Can’t Have Your Horse In Here. Here’s an excerpt:

Like those candy-colored memories from childhood, Jared Weiss’ paintings can’t really be trusted to tell you the whole story, or to relay the details that could cue an accurate interpretation of what happened. But the effect of that obfuscation—of dark canvases in which the faces are lost in shadow or blurred into the background, of gestures only half finished and unclear in their direction, of the strange juxtapositions and those random objects that do come oddly and sharply into focus—is to render visible some pieces of what was, but what has been largely buried by what might also have been.

Come meet Jared and see He’s Either Dead Or It Was His Birthday tonight from 5-7 pm. He will appear at an artist talk on Saturday, July 22 from 2-3 pm.

Design Spotlight: Alexandra Hart

Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Shooting Star Necklace, meteorite, diamond, ruby, palladium, $8500.

Alexandra Hart’s Shooting Star Necklace literally fell from the sky. It’s adorned with a meteorite pendant that drifted through space for untold eons before landing in the jeweler’s possession. The piece is an otherworldly standout in a body of work that is powerfully tied to the earthly realm. “Dramatically alluring yet signally protective natural organic forms inspire me, such as the radiating shape of the anemone, the sensuous curves of the nudibranch, and the concave surfaces of the cactus,” Hart says. “I hope to create jewelry which captures the delicate balance of the bold and sculptural with the sensual and graceful.”

Hart’s affinity with nature has inspired her work as a social and environmental activist, a mission that comes hand-in-hand with her metalsmithing. She has worked tirelessly to ethically source her materials, exclusively using recycled precious metals and certified conflict-free diamonds. Through diverse education efforts, Hart encourages jewelers and collectors to take up the cause. Her jewelry might look ethereal on first glance, but her ethos is decidedly down-to-earth. Scroll down to browse Alexandra’s work, and click here to view the full collection.

Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Venus Ring, sterling silver, 18k gold, $590.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Cactus Pin/Pendant, 18k gold, white diamonds, $3100.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Cactus Bud Earrings, 18k gold, $1300.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Mermaid Earrings, sterling silver, silvermist diamonds, $520.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Chrysanthemum Ring, 18k gold, zircon, $4200.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Speculum Pendant, 14k gold, diamond, $1300.
Alexandra Hart Jewelry- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Alexandra Hart, Petal Earrings, 18k gold, diamonds, $1400.

One Year of form & concept

form & concept gallery- One-Year Anniversary Celebration- Santa Fe New Mexico

Since its inaugural show in May 2016, form & concept has invited diverse creatives to unleash their superpowers in a series of dynamic exhibitions. The mission is to explore the perceived boundaries between art, craft and design—and expand the public’s understanding of their interdependence in the contemporary world. To mark the opening of our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition, we threw a Superhero Masquerade on May 26. The celebration was our tribute to the artists who have filled our walls, and the remarkable capabilities they wield to tell stories that inspire. We challenged visitors to discover their own powers by wearing masks, capes and other heroic accouterments to the event. Scroll down to see photos from the masquerade by Kara Duval, and make sure to check out our One-Year Anniversary Exhibition (on view through October 22, 2017).

Preview | Jared Weiss: He’s Either Or It Was His Birthday

Jared Weiss has forgotten much of his subject matter. Or rather, the scenes that he paints are often buried somewhere deep in his unconscious. Reviving suppressed memories can be a dangerous game, but the Santa Fe artist has some heavy hitters on his side: Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek.

Weiss draws inspiration from the famous line of psychoanalysts in his new solo exhibition at form & concept, He’s Either Dead or It Was His Birthday. Opening Friday, June 30, the show conjures a strange sense of déjà vu. Weiss’s figurative images—which resemble warped photographs from a massive theater production—are sure to lodge in the back of your mind. The exhibition opens Friday, June 30, 5-7 pm and runs through August 12, 2017. Read our interview with Weiss below, and make sure to RSVP for the reception.

Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

You lived in Santa Fe previously, and then you left for a few years. What were you up to before returning in 2015? 

I was living in San Francisco for 2 years, and going to grad school. It’s kind of scary, just how forward-thinking the tech industry is, and how with that comes not really caring about anything old. Painting being one of those things.

Young tech people aren’t collecting paintings, they’re collecting yachts.

That’s totally true. I really felt unsupported, unfulfilled. I mean, school was great in a lot of ways. The community in San Francisco is just such a weird, alien place. I had to get the hell out.

How did graduate school affect your art?

It was a great experience. It was an awful experience. The biggest thing that I came away with was that I wasn’t making the work that I’d wanted to make for a very long time. I just didn’t know how. They just squeeze you and put you in corners all the time, and you have to make fight-or-flight decisions.

Really, I was afraid for the longest time. I didn’t think that my life would be interesting. Before, I was painting from photographs of people I never knew, and would never know. I found that very interesting because it’s something you can never get to, so you’re projecting.

I just slowly came to the realization that, in fact, I can paint my life. It will be interesting.

Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

How did you feel coming back? Do you think it’s changed here?

Definitely. There are a lot more young people here. There’s a lot more art events happening. 

Tell us about where you grew up. 

I’m from the Midwest. I’m also kinda done with the Midwest. Terrified of the Midwest.

And yet you return to it quite often in your work.

Yeah, it’s kind of a study on the terrifying nature of it. Very subtle.

Are you still figuring out what’s going to be in the show?

I have a pretty definite idea. The work has gotten very indebted to psychoanalysis, particularly the work of Freud, Lacan, and Žižek.

The key thread through all of it is this idea of a screen memory, which appears in an old Freudian essay. He talks about any kind of experience that threatens to overwhelm the psyche, particularly trauma or a new experience that’s too overwhelming to integrate. You can repress that as a defense mechanism, but it’s still there, buried somewhere in your psyche. In order to integrate it, you collage other memories on top of it that are similar.

Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A real memory is replaced by something brighter and shinier. 

Yes, you have this kind of veneer on top that’s a fiction. It’s not a true experience, but it becomes more real somehow. In my work, the surface of the painting becomes this screen.

Are you using your own memories as subject matter?

Yes. For example, I grew up on this lumber yard, and I go back to this space. I’m using it as kind of a stage where I can cast people I know now as characters.

I like this idea of people seeing a painting and feeling like they’ve seen it before, but they really haven’t.

What inspires the titles of your paintings? 

Mainly, I pick titles to confuse the experience. They’re like red herrings in a way. They point away from this thing, in a way that makes it palatable and safe. It gives things a semblance of friendliness.

Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

The people in your paintings often look familiar, but their features are just fuzzy enough that they also seem like strangers.  

That’s definitely intended. I want it to be obstructed to the point where you feel like there’s a similarity. There’s an entry point through yourself where you can project the people you know onto the figures. The Anywhere, America quality of the space and the potential knowability of the people is very intentional.

How do you choose your palette? 

In Freud’s essay about screen memories, he talks about this memory he has. All he can remember is these incredibly yellow sunflowers. He tries to dig into all these associations with people that he knew and decisions that he made in his life, which are hidden underneath the memory of the sunflower.

The yellow of a sunflower, this hallucinatory, really amped-up yellow, is kind of what inspired the palette. You exaggerate in order to be able to remember things. 

Are your paintings entirely rooted in the past?

As much as I speak about memory, the work is very much about reconstructing my life now. Pointing to this place that I’m from, but making it so it’s never in the past. It’s always this “now” moment. Painting has so many similarities with life. Good painting is always alive.

Jared Weiss Artwork- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Join us for the opening reception of Jared Weiss: He’s Either Dead Or It Was His Birthday on Friday, June 30, 5-7 pm. The show opens concurrently with another painting exhibition, Rebecca Rutstein: Fault Lines. Click here to read our blog preview of Rutstein’s show.

Artwork:

1. Jared Weiss, I Was Saying It Outright,  oil on canvas, 74 x 54 in.
2. Jared Weiss, Bad Maps, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in.
3. Jared Weiss, In That Case, I Had a Wonderful Time, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 in.
4. Jared Weiss, This Is Only a Little of It, oil on canvas, 18 x 14 in.
5. Jared Weiss, Islands Are Not Forever, oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in.