Artist Talk: Ryan Singer | Childhood Mythologies

Ryan Singer hosts an artist talk for his solo exhibition, Childhood Mythologies on Saturday, March 30 from 2 to 3 pm. Childhood Mythologies showcases original narratives inspired by dreams and childhood memories while interweaving subtle socio-political commentary.

For Singer, the exhibition is an opportunity to showcase his paintings on a larger scale. Although the theme of Childhood Mythologies offered Singer the opportunity to touch on social issues, the artist is purposefully withholding commentary or explanation. “The paintings are different parts of my life, and I put them together like a puzzle,” the artist explains. “I think if I say too much it ruins it, so I leave it up to interpretation. I want other people to weave their own stories into it as well.”

 

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Learn more about the opening reception.

 

 

Opening: Ryan Singer | Childhood Mythologies

Albuquerque artist Ryan Singer unveils a solo exhibition of acrylic paintings of Navajo Nation landscapes populated by cultural icons. The artist’s vivid imagery showcases original narratives inspired by dreams and childhood memories while interweaving subtle socio-political commentary.

“My older sister was really into sci-fi. If she wanted to see a movie, she had to drag me along,” says Albuquerque painter Ryan Singer. “I remember watching Star Wars, Godzilla, and old black-and-white movies like Frankenstein or The Mummy.” Pretty soon, the iconic beasts had traveled from the silver screen into the artist’s psyche—plaguing Singer with vivid nightmares of monsters standing outside his bedroom window or chasing him through his neighborhood. Years later, the artist still has intense dreams, but they’re a welcomed occurrence. “It keeps my mind focused,” Singer explains. “It feels like there’s a spirit or muse guiding me and influencing me.” In his solo exhibition Childhood Mythologies, opening Friday, March 29 from 5 to 7 pm, Singer presents vibrant acrylic paintings imbued with his own youthful legends: Navajo landscapes populated by characters from comic books and popular culture.

 

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Performance: Maurice Oliver | Santa Fe Suite

Please Note: The gallery will ask for a $5-$25 donation in support of the artists at the door. Doors open at 6:30 pm and music starts at 7 pm.

“This is my emerging from the cocoon, as it were,” says Maurice Oliver. The musician, originally from New York City, will perform pieces from his still-developing album, “Santa Fe Sweet”—the first music he’s produced since moving to Eldorado in June 2018. “This wonderful place informs everything about the music from what sounds I program in the synthesizers to what other instruments I’m putting together.” Accompanied by his brother Steve and bassist Gary Paul Hermus, on February 23 Oliver will unveil his reactions to his new environment in an immersive concert experience forged from abstract visuals and unconventional, highly eclectic music.   

 

Oliver’s music incorporates elements of electronica, downtempo, house, techno, jazz, funk, soul, and worldbeat. He draws from a wide range of influences, beginning with the summer conga drums and church gospel music he heard growing up on Staten Island and leading to his study of orchestral percussion at the Juilliard School of Music. Living in Amsterdam in the late 1980’s, when the city was a burgeoning center of electronic production, introduced Oliver to influences from across the world. The result is the musician’s unique, texturized aesthetic: a modern music which is neither exclusively organic nor exclusively electronic.

Curious Creations: Susan Aaron-Taylor

susan aaron taylor, fetch
Fetch, handmade felt, shell, beads, wood, 15 x 13 x 6 in

Fantastical creatures appear to Susan Aaron-Taylor in her dreams. In the waking hours, the Michigan artist brings them to life, stitching together a hide of handmade felt and an array of natural materials.

 

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Pug, handmade felt, agate, wood, 9 x 11 x 15 in

 

Unified by Jungian philosophy,  Aaron-Taylor’s curious creations metamorphose animal forms with archetypal meaning.

The mixed-media sculptures simultaneously evoke universal and deeply personal themes, which Aaron-Taylor states, “chronicles the retrieval of these broken pieces of the Soul.”

 

susan aaron taylor, susan aaron taylor cat
Cat, handmade felt, porcupine quills, wood, 7 x 14 x 14 in

 

susan aaron taylor, susan aaron taylor tiger teapot
Tiger Teapot, felt, wood, geodes, porcupine quills, 12 x 19 x 10 in

Artist Talk: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

Nika Feldman hosts an artist talk for her solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World on Saturday, January 26 from 2 to 3 pm. Spirits in the Material World is an exploration of the coded language of garments, within Feldman’s native cultural context. The show’s title holds multiple references, one being as Feldman explains, “The belief that the spirits of both the maker and the wearer are held within a garment.” Another reference is to a song with the same name by The Police from the 1981 album Ghost in the Machine, which one could argue describes the unfortunate state of realities today. The underlying message within the song that resonates for Feldman is the description of a material culture, which is void of sacredness.

Learn more about this exhibition.

 

EVENTS

Opening Reception: Friday, January 25, 5-7 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 26, 2-3 pm | RSVP on Facebook
Tees & Tabs Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 1-5 pm | Register

Press Roundup: Nika Feldman | Spirits in the Material World

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Nika Feldman’s solo exhibition Spirits in the Material World opens Saturday, January 25 from 5-7 pm, coinciding with our sister gallery Zane Bennett Contemporary Art’s Stitched Ink. Both exhibitions deal with textiles, but with largely different implications.

“A culture’s clothing has its own language,” begins Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal’s write-up of Nika. “What that language is, or how cultural identities and values are reflected in garments, is what drives Nika Feldman’s work.” Bennett interviewed Feldman early this winter, excerpted here:

The pieces are intentionally made to be “garment-like” rather than actual clothing items, said Feldman, with the exception of an XXL black T-shirt she didn’t want to cut apart, and instead decorated with tabs and fringe tassles made from other shirts.

“When it’s artwork, people have to investigative, people have to go deeper into those narratives,” she said. “If it’s a wearable garment, it doesn’t go any farther than that. People see it as fashion, they want to know if it comes in their size, they want to know how much it is.”

 

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Emily Van Cleve covered Spirits in the Material World in a feature on the Santa Fe Arts Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

 

“All around the world, people wear t-shirts,” says Feldman, a Santa Fe artist who moved to town from Nova Scotia at the end of 2017. “T-shirts were originally an undergarment. But now, through their logos, they inform others about the specific groups, companies, rock bands and organizations we like.” Feldman liked the idea of putting pull-tabs in her work for the same reasons she was drawn to t-shirts. They’re readily available. There’s an abundant supply of them. They’re also an integral part of Western culture.

 

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The Santa Fean also covered Spirits in the Material World for their Holiday Issue. Here’s an excerpt:

Nika Feldman describes herself as a textile artist, rag picker, and costume stenographer, and her job history includes stints in fashion design, social work, and sorting through clothing in a thrift store. Feldman weaves these disparate threads into a whole in the eight pieces displayed in Spirits in the Material World.

 

Spirits in the Material World opens January 25 and runs through March 23. Nika Feldman will conduct an Artist Talk on January 26 at 2 pm.

Artist Spotlight: Heidi Brandow

 

 

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Heidi Brandow, Margins, mixed media on panel, 18 x 24 in

 

“I knew from an early age that our native identity is so rich that we shouldn’t just hold it to a specific ceremony or spiritual practice,” Heidi Brandow said during a studio visit in 2016. “In my eyes, art is a tool that helps mark history, time, place and memory. Who’s to say pop culture are not equally as important as star sticks?”

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Brandow’s works often feature whimsical monsters and characters against vividly colorful backdrops and paper collages she collects on her international travels.

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Brandow was recently awarded the third Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists.

“As an artist with an active arts practice, a full-time commitment to the Institute of American Indian Arts, and a family,” says Heidi. “I am grateful for Ucross’ support in granting me the time, space, and resources to enhance my craft and create in such a beautiful setting.”

 

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Low Tide, mixed media painting, 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 in

 

To learn more about Heidi, please inquire or call us at (505) 216-1256.

Click here to view more works by Heidi Brandow in our collection.

Scroll below to read excerpts from our 2016 studio interview.

 

Do the monsters have names, or story lines? 

For me personally, they don’t have names, and there’s no story behind any of them. I try not to put too much of my own self into them. I don’t want to over personalize it. These are a nice outlet for me to create work that is lighthearted, that is easy. It’s very fluid. I feel like when people see it, they get it immediately. Whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s a visceral thing. It’s not too theory-based.

I want my work to reach everyone. I don’t come from a community or people that are heavy academicians. In fact, I would argue that the art world has largely blocked out people of color from participating in art to a large extent.

On the other hand, I think a lot of the work I do is a little heavier. This is a nice outlet, where I can just make work that is more lighthearted and fun.

 

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Floating, mixed-media on panel, 5 x 5 x 3 in

 

How does your own cultural heritage figure into your work? 

I never entered the art scene on the basis of promoting myself or my work as Native art. Not because I was shying away from it, but because my idea of Native art was a lot of very cultural referenced work, such as very specific tribal motifs and designs. The stuff that I was doing wasn’t like that. I never felt weird about it, because I always felt like my Native identity is already in this work, whether or not there’s symbols or direct references to cultural place. The simple fact that I’m Native and that this is the work that I’m making, there’s no way of denying my heritage and my experience, or saying that it’s not implicitly in the work. I don’t believe it has to have direct references to culture and place.

Culturally Native people are so diverse and our experience is so diverse. If you look at someone like myself, being Native Hawaiian and Navajo or Dinè, they’re two entirely different cultures. They’re both Native, but it’s ocean and desert people. That’s only the first difference, right? Of course we have a lot of similar cultural values, but it’s like night and day in a lot of ways.

 

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Fences (diptych) mixed media painting, 5.5 x 11 x 1.5 in

 

Do the monsters have names, or story lines? 

For me personally, they don’t have names, and there’s no story behind any of them. I try not to put too much of my own self into them. I don’t want to over personalize it. These are a nice outlet for me to create work that is lighthearted, that is easy. It’s very fluid. I feel like when people see it, they get it immediately. Whether you like it or you don’t like it, it’s a visceral thing. It’s not too theory-based.

I want my work to reach everyone. I don’t come from a community or people that are heavy academicians. In fact, I would argue that the art world has largely blocked out people of color from participating in art to a large extent.

On the other hand, I think a lot of the work I do is a little heavier. This is a nice outlet, where I can just make work that is more lighthearted and fun.

 

heidi brandow, heidi k brandow, heidi brandow artsit, heidi brandow altin, heidi brandow art, heidi brandow altin art, form and concept altin, form & concept altin, form & concept altin heidi brandow

Altin, mixed-media, 5.5 x 12 x 1 in

Debra Baxter | Elegant Experimentation

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Debra Baxter photographed in her studio by Suzanna Finley.

 

“Even though I am interested in very traditional materials within the history of sculpture, I don’t want to be boring and stuck in that history.” Debra Baxter said in an interview with One 2 Three’s Practice Practice. “I want to mix them in a way that no one has.”

 

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Breastplate (Reveal), bronze and quartz crystal, 18 x 11 x 3 in

 

As a master of material inversion, Debra transforms dense materials into light and flowing sculptures, or fragile mediums into resilient structures.

 

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The end result is elegant – but dangerous – as seen in her Lace Throwing Star, which gives the delicate textile an edge.

 

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Unapologetic Glory 

Debra received her MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Her wearable sculpture Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty) is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. She debuted her solo show, Tooth & Nail, at form & concept this past spring.

Click here to view more of Debra’s work in our collection. To view pieces from Debra’s jewelry line, db/cb, click here.

To learn more about Debra, please inquire or contact us at 505-216-1256

The Tara + Rhonda Show 2018

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Purchase Tickets.

“I must be fearless in improvisation, fully committed and fully present,” says Las Cruces saxophonist Rhonda Taylor. “Otherwise the quality of the moment is diminished.” For a leap of faith like this, it helps to have a buddy. Enter Santa Fe soprano and theatre-maker Tara Khozein, who collaborates with Taylor on this evening of performance at form & concept. They will debut improvisational scores that incorporate instrumentals, vocals, and gestures. 

“Tara and I have a sort of Venn diagram of skill sets,” Taylor says. “What I love about working and performing with her is how we both are able to push and pull the other one beyond her comfort zone, in what I believe is a very beautiful and unpredictable way.” The Tara + Rhonda Show 2018 is the duo’s second performance at form & concept, following last December’s The Tara + Rhonda Show: Fully Clothed and Highly Introverted. The gallery will ask for a sliding scale donation of $5-$25 at the door in support of the artists. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the performance begins at 7:00 pm.