Born on the Wings of Thunderbirds

  Born on the Wings of Thunderbirds,  2017, oil on canvas and paper of Isaac Murdoch's doodles, 72" x 60".

Born on the Wings of Thunderbirds, 2017, oil on canvas and paper of Isaac Murdoch's doodles, 72" x 60".

This painting is a commission of sorts. I was asked to participate in an exhibition that is happening in our small town of Highland Park, NJ.  I am very excited about the idea of what this event represents. Indigenous artists Isaac Murdoch and Christi Belcourt have invited local artists to use their imagery and create works of art with the mission of bringing awareness to our endangered environment.  

One cannot ignore that the "doodles" of Murdoch have  become synonymous with the Indigenous resistance at Standing Rock and the fight to stop a crude oil pipeline. The basic human right to clean water is in jeopardy for us all, but the battle at Standing Rock is also a reminder of how little has changed for Native Nations.  Many white folks have privileged a certain history and narrative that whitewashes their ancestors' actions.  This has served to justify the ongoing unjust or racist actions that perpetuate this privilege.  

So the question becomes, how do I, a white, non-Native artist confront this whitewashed history without it being, at best, a well-intentioned exploitation? The answer is I cannot.  I can only confront my own truth.

Danielle Boissoneau is Anishinaabe kwe, water protector, and author.  She writes, " The truth I speak is my own, written on my heart with colonial ink...The more I work at erasing the detrimental and divisive desires imprinted through blood memory and historical trauma, the more I realize my own power and the power of all Anishinaabe kwewok, of all two spirits."  

Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch have put out a call for environmental action, not only of protest, but also of hope. So to this end, I offer my painting, "Born on the Wings of Thunderbirds."  It will be hanging somewhere on our main street in Highland Park, NJ.

Details below.

WaterIsLife_Poster_small (1).jpeg

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, 2017, oil on canvas, 72" x 60"

Suspended in a moment with my newborn baby in my arms, I felt holy and perfect.  I still cannot really put into words the entire feeling of that moment in 1995 other than to say I was holy once.  

I was raised Catholic but once under my own self control, my choice was to reject religion.  So my understanding of holiness is based on my own Catholic education and upbringing.  The contradiction then becomes how do I reconcile believing in feeling holy while not being a "believer".  One can't be holy and not holy all at the same time....kind of like a virgin giving birth.  Interesting how hard it can be to make sense of impossible things and how much easier it is to simply accept them.  Still, acceptance does not always mean to stop asking questions.  

Mary, the impossible ideal; the perfect mother.  Every artist painting a scene from Mary's life layers it with another, either from her own life or from biblical history.  Layers being the key word for me.  Mary, the daughter of Joachim and Anna, Immaculately Conceived and born without sin, Perpetual Virgin, Obedient (anti-Eve), Chosen by God, the Ark of the New Covenant, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, Mother of Mercy, Mother of Believers to whom all cares and petitions can be entrusted and who will be your personal escort to meet Jesus after you die, Blessed among women, Queen of the Holy Rosary, Instrumental means of Salvation, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Bridge between Old and New Testament, Mediatrix (through her all graces for humanity are dispensed), and Co-Redemptrix (her participation in the redemption of mankind.) 

This painting did not start out being a painting of Mary, not directly.  It is, in fact, layered over another painting I had done in graduate school at Pratt.  It was the first painting of my thesis.  I had broken free from old habits and birthed my own mark.  That was in 2006 and those canvases have been in the basement ever since.  

Older paintings, rolled up and in storage, easily become new canvases for me.  I often find inspiration and freshness in the old work.  And I have been eager to get back to painting larger canvases because I like the idea of the overall painting being the size of a human body; to feel like I could fit inside it. 

This particular older canvas titled "Discovering" was about my ten-year old child finding a place in the world.  To be clear, this was MY perception of those thoughts and feelings.  It has always felt unresolved to me.  While looking at it again eleven years later, I finally understood why.  My kids story is not mine to tell.  The story can only be authentic if it is about how I felt or how I feel, in this case, being Tori's mother.  And so I just started painting...turning the canvas to reach, to search, to find the image.  I had a very hard time painting over Tori's face until I tapped into what I do every day.  Every day I imagine a warm, golden light protecting Tori.  I painted that light. Rotating the painting again, I saw Mary. And I remembered.  And for another brief suspended moment in time, I felt holy.

Open Studio Tour in Highland Park

For map of participating artists go to www.hpartscommission.com/open-studio-tour/

HIGHLAND PARK ARTS COMMISSION
proudly presents

OPEN STUDIOS 2017

Sunday, June 11th, 12pm – 5pm
rain or shine

OPEN STUDIOS is a free event that welcomes the public to visit the private studios of participating visual artists who live and work in Highland Park.  Other artists in the neighborhood are exhibiting their work in art spaces provided by IM Gallery, Tiger Arts Supply, and Modern Art Solutions.

Take the delightful journey through the town and peek into an artist’s studio, see a work in progress and some artist demonstrations, ask questions, get inspired, and maybe even purchase an original work directly from the artist.

More information about participating artists and artist demonstrations during the event will be available soon.

MAPS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS
Highland Park Public Library, Borough Hall, Tiger Arts Supply, Modern Art Solutions, IM Gallery, Main Street Highland Park, Pino’s Wine Shoppe, Academy of Art, Reformed Church of Highland Park, Ruthie’s Bagel Dish, Blank Space Highland Park, OQ Coffee.

For more information about the OPEN STUDIO EVENT AND ARTISTS:
or contact John Marron – email: john@hpartscommission.com or phone: 732-266-3034

 

Drawings for Sale to Support DEAFinitions

Buy Art, Support a Good Cause

On March 25 and 26, 2017, Hampshire College’s American Sign Language (ASL) Collective will host DEAFinitions: A Deaf Studies Conference at Hampshire College, located at 893 West Street, Amherst, Massachusetts. The conference will provide a space for all individuals to discover and explore the multifaceted experiences of Deaf lives. In conjunction with sponsors and students at Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass-Amherst, the ASL Collective will host a space for everyone to come together and celebrate Deaf culture, community, and history. (http://tyler22k.wixsite.com/deafinitions/about)

The goal of the conference is two-fold. One, to provide a space for Deaf artists, performers, academics, and individuals to come together and share their art, knowledge, and stories with one another; to celebrate their culture and history. Two, to provide a space for hearing individuals to learn about the Deaf community from members of the community itself.

The Deaf Studies Conference is in need of financial assistance so that the conference can reach its full potential.  I am offering original drawings at a great price and then donating the proceeds to this very important cause.  It's a win-win! You get a great deal on an awesome piece of art and the Deaf Studies Conference gets some help.  

Prices range from $100 - $200. Sizes differ, some are framed, some are just matted, and some are neither framed or matted.  Details are under each photo. If you live in the NYC area, I can deliver the work to you.  If shipping is involved, I will have to charge for the shipping.

To purchase contact me via email: perrineri@yahoo.com

Thanks for your support!

 Roar, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 22" x 30", matted. $200.

Roar, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 22" x 30", matted. $200.

 When I Sleep I Dream of You, 2016, graphite on Arches paper, diptych 30" x 22" each.  No matting or framing. $200.

When I Sleep I Dream of You, 2016, graphite on Arches paper, diptych 30" x 22" each.  No matting or framing. $200.

 Waiting on Fate, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 26" x 20", matted and framed.  $200.

Waiting on Fate, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 26" x 20", matted and framed.  $200.

 Squeeze Face, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 30" x 22". Not matted or framed. $100.

Squeeze Face, 2014, graphite on Arches paper, 30" x 22". Not matted or framed. $100.

 Fancy Seated Portrait, 2015, graphite on Arches paper, 30" x 22". Not matted or framed. $100.

Fancy Seated Portrait, 2015, graphite on Arches paper, 30" x 22". Not matted or framed. $100.

 Spit Spot, 2016, graphite on Arches Paper, 22" x 30". Not matted or framed. $100.

Spit Spot, 2016, graphite on Arches Paper, 22" x 30". Not matted or framed. $100.

 DEAFinitions Student Organizers: Tori Schaer (Smith College), Susannah Wright (UMASS Amherst), Katie Tyler (Mount Holyoke College), Julia Kersten and Brianna Deane (Hampshire College).   website: http://tyler22k.wixsite.com/deafinitions/about  https://www.facebook.com/events/748858021932531/

DEAFinitions Student Organizers: Tori Schaer (Smith College), Susannah Wright (UMASS Amherst), Katie Tyler (Mount Holyoke College), Julia Kersten and Brianna Deane (Hampshire College). 

website: http://tyler22k.wixsite.com/deafinitions/about

https://www.facebook.com/events/748858021932531/

ARTE FUSE Review of "Extended Consciousness" at Caelum Gallery

ARTE FUSE

Extended Consciousness Curated by Art Takes Manhatttan Opens at Caelum Gallery

Art Takes Manhattan.Caelum Gallery.2016.jpg

Extended Consciousness Curated by Art Takes Manhatttan Opens at Caelum Gallery

 

Subtle art, abstract art, classic art or any art as a matter of fact. The sole purpose is to inspire, provoke, jolt and amend. Extended Consciousness is one exhibition that will inspire your taste forever. No exaggerations. My feelings will remain mutual with you.

Art Takes Manhattan curated Extended Consciousness at Caelum Gallery is charisma, enigma and dogma. All at the same time.

Back in the days- the role of artists in the society was primary. As new media started appearing in radio, tele and internet. The role started rolling back. But the moment you step in Caelum Gallery- the feeling is overwhelming. The lifeblood of artists is dripping from the walls. Each artist is specifically chosen to cater Extended Consciousness- to suit this specific mental need. The beauty of the exhibit unwraps itself like a suspense movie. You cannot help moving into another dimension, watching with awe as to what a treat it is for your imagination to embrace these masterpieces.

Augmented and a cut above the rest of the contemporary scene. Each artist is as exemplary and inimitable as other. Photography, paint, sculptures and new media. Each is going to diffuse into your senses. I for one, could not help taking my eyes off few of the unforgettable work. My reference memory has definitely rebooted.

Although it is stupid to compare art in terms of expression and although I can’t discriminate- I would still share my favorites. They are many and so I have shortlisted those on top of my head and that remained in my hindsight as I went to sleep after.

Divine Discontentment by Bryan Christie will tear your imagination into pieces. You will feel them flying in spaces around you. Immaculate, crispy, colorful, inviting, photogenic and yet so full of discontentment. The anguish of the subject Bryan chose is absolutely stunning and his portrayal even better.

Phoenix 1 by Matthew James- since I am a little bit of digital artist myself; I couldn’t help falling in love with it. Spectacular color scheme, fervor of contrasts and piercing backgrounds are what highlighted this masterpiece to me.

Solar Storm by Martin Tremblay- beauty through and through with this unimaginable futuristic presentation. This kind of work makes the future of art safe and risky at the same time. The piece can withstand the transition of any media, time and age.

Fuck You. I’m a Monster. So What. By Perri Neri is a punch out of the box. A rare organic and abstract artwork. Visibly dangerous to embrace. It will dissolve in the gore and filth of your mind with traces of porn. I couldn’t help but taste this bitter wine. I wonder what frame of mind was Perri in days before, during and after setting this theme free.

Thoughts Afloat by Michelle Reid. Anything that gives a new chapter to fine art- is my instant fancy. These airborne pieces of blue cannot be ignored. They were probably backgrounds of every selfie taken in the gallery. Mesmerizing, unpredictable and brief- they flirted with me as much as they flattered me.

Last but not least. Every single presentation in this gallery is crazy in a good way. And ground-breaking in every way. If you don’t see- you will definitely miss a lot. Every piece is worthy of my applause but the number of words in this article is my restraint.

I can write on a book on my visit to this auspicious art wonder.

 


By Atif A K|March 5th, 2016|New YorkReviews and Photo Stories|0 Comments

 

About the Author: Atif A K

Atif A K is a New York based copywriter, film maker and poet. He has been on international advertising circuit since last 17 years working with leading ad networks and Fortune 500 brands. He is an avid art follower and has been writing poetry for over a decade. His poems often cover themes of romance, psychological darkness, universalism and humor.


Drawings in the New Year 2016

I work on several drawings at a time.  Sometimes one drawing will inform the next.  But most of the time, one mark of the pencil is all it takes to move me to a new blank page.  Here are a series of works in progress, the details mostly.  Enjoy.

 


 Whimsy, 2016, graphite on paper, 12" x 9"

Whimsy, 2016, graphite on paper, 12" x 9"

www.arttakesmanhattan.org

I have been invited to show two paintings during the weekend of New York Arts Week.  Sponsored by Art Takes Manhattan and Caelum Gallery, March 3 - 6.   The list of participating artists can be found on www.arttakesmanhattan.org 

Art Takes Manhattan Opening Reception

Thursday, March 3rd, 6-9 pm

Caelum Gallery

526 West 26th Street, Suite 315

Art takes Manhattan logo.png



Leaving/Not Leaving

This work in progress has taken quite a turn from death to life.  I won't say much more.  Instead I will share my process with you in photographs.

 2/20/15

2/20/15

 2/28/15

2/28/15