Tag Archives: Drawing

Artist Feature: Alivia Schaffer

Alivia Schaffer | Photo by Cheryl Mann

Alivia Schaffer | Photo by Cheryl Mann

I actually would prefer to use these words in their verb tense- reflect and respond, because of their less passive nature. When I see these words as action, I take more responsibility for creating a response versus responding how the masses may or in a way that is expected of me. With each of my reflections or responses, I am able to create another layer of connection between my work and the work of others, or between myself and the world around me.

– Alivia Schaffer

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AS: I grew up just Northwest of Chicago in Algonquin, IL. Now, I am living in Chicago and working with DanceWorks Chicago.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AS: Reflection and Response are two important parts of my everyday life. The two concepts really are what making work is all about. They are the process of taking the dry technique of an art form from mindless regurgitation, to a robust and personalized statement. The art I put out is always my reflection or response to something. I see others’ work and I shape opinions about it as my reflection, and then I notice what things I found successful or intriguing, compared with which parts I was put off by. From there I create my own work as my response, using my reflection from what I experienced. As an artist, I feel like the world has become my studio and space for constant reflection and response. I often just see everything around me as information. Yet, the information does me no good until it is responded to or reflected upon. I actually would prefer to use these words in their verb tense- reflect and respond, because of their less passive nature. When I see these words as action, I take more responsibility for creating a response versus responding how the masses may or in a way that is expected of me. With each of my reflections or responses, I am able to create another layer of connection between my work and the work of others, or between myself and the world around me. When I am genuinely utilizing reflection and response, I have no longer been simply going through the motions of life, but instead I am truly being present and listening to what’s around me and making a choice of how to propel forward from there.

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

Alivia Schaffer | colored pencil

  How does your work fit in with that definition?

AS: I prefer never to make work that is a narrative of my own life, but instead I aim to create work that acts as a platform or framework for dancers to find themselves in. In this method, my work asks dancers to do the reflecting and responding themselves. Thus leading them to connect with their fellow dancers, myself, their audience, and the world. My choreographic process feels much more like a conversation and constant exchange of responses between myself and the dancers, versus me as the hierarchy handing out instructions.

 What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

AS: I am proud to say that I just finished my first season working as a professional dancer with DanceWorks Chicago! We recently returned from performing at Spring to Dance, a dance festival in St. Louis. Next up for me will be choreographing a quartet for Dance in the Parks Chicago. This summer, I will also be teaching dance and visual arts classes at the Auditorium Theater’s Heart to Art Camp; a camp providing art outlets for children who are coping with the loss of one or both of their parents.

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

Alivia Schaffer | oil pastel

 Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Andrea DeFelice

Andrea DeFelice

Much of my recent work appears as a hacking together of disparate objects that weren’t built to work together in the first place. I explore interactions between the objects, reducing forms to basics, and responding to subjects of interest, such as proclaimed value/power placed on things, alienation through technology, significance, boundaries, and uselessness.

– Andrea DeFelice

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AD: I was born and raised in New York. I grew up in Smithtown, later moved to the East Village, and then bounced around between Queens, London [the English one] and Brooklyn. I’ve been in primarily in Brooklyn since 2007 and my husband and I recently bought a home there.

I’ve been working as an Assistant Professor for three years and a visual artist for I’d say a solid decade. Drawing and printmaking were my first mediums. As a younger, darker me, I remember being very drawn to literary and medical illustrations, as well as art by the Romantics and the Dadaists. Into later years I shifted into moving image, sculpture, as well as increased incorporation of new media technologies. The work’s remained multi-disciplinary for the greater bulk of the time.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AD: Mirror-smashing? Reflection’s inward and subjective. It varies under the influence of someone or something [like Absinthe mixed with Tequila]. Regardless of how it’s directed, it’s examination and a human form of internal processing. It can be a healthy thinking process if not taken too far. Response is more of reflection’s counterpart. It’s outward and active. Response is reflection with… balls? Can I say ‘balls’?

defelice_06

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AD: I suppose there’s some congruency in the relationship since the work is very driven by controversy and interactions. It’s from what I’d find to be generative of questioning—particularly in overall actions and doings in the world. Not that I’m asking, ‘Why oh why..?!’ about everything, or that my work is politically driven. But there’s consistency to attempt to decipher what doesn’t make sense, or to re-decipher what does. This examining tends to come out through the subject matter and through the media. Much of my recent work appears as a hacking together of disparate objects that weren’t built to work together in the first place. I explore interactions between the objects, reducing forms to basics, and responding to subjects of interest, such as proclaimed value/power placed on things, alienation through technology, significance, boundaries, and uselessness.

defelice_04a

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

AD: I’ve been working on a series of mechanical sculptures. With these I’m mixing functioning components with occasionally disparate objects, then embedding them into shaped geometric forms. These forms are composed of layered substrates and various filler materials such as dirt, clay, rock, plaster, and metals.

I occasionally do work with an artist’s collaborative, The Institute For Wishful Thinking. Forming in 2008, this collective has developed projects in the U.S. and internationally including The Austrian Cultural Forum, Momenta Art, Center for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade, Contemporary Art Center in Thessaloniki, Pori Art Museum in Finland, and Periferic 8 Biennial for Contemporary Art in Iasi, Romania.

defelice_05a

defelice_04

I’m thrilled to be doing Bushwick Open Studios in Brooklyn with awesome visual artist Michela Buttignol. I’m also working with another great artist, Jennifer Murray, on getting an upcoming show together for Porter Contemporary Gallery in Chelsea. Lastly, I’m looking forward to an artist residency in Harfnarfjordur, Iceland coming up for 2015.

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Michela Buttignol

Michela Buttignol is a visual artist that we met up with through Maryanne Ventrice. Born and raised in Sacile, Italy, Michela has been based in New York City since 2009. She now focuses on her craft as a freelance illustrator, often switching between client projects and media work. She highlights an interesting version of Reflection as legacy, in that all reflections come from ideas that have previously existed, and Response is the unique style in which an artist creates work. Throughout the interview she discusses her experience growing as an artist working for the New York Times Op-Ed Page, an exciting upcoming show at the Bushwick Open Studio alongside dope artist Andrea DeFelice, and the journey curating visual components of her husband’s band Libel. Her unique style shines through the prints presented next to the dialogue below. Peep the talk below!

Michela Buttignol

Working with boundaries, if well defined, helps me move out of my comfort zone and find new solutions for better results.

– Michela Buttignol

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

MB: I am originally from Italy, born and raised in Sacile, a super small town in the northeast, not too far from Venice. I moved to the United States almost three years ago because of love. Back in 2009 while in New York, I met a guy who’s now my husband and makes me very very happy.

Since I’ve moved here I’ve been working solo as a freelance illustrator but art, drawing and creativity have always been central in my life. I decided to embrace a hard but beautiful career in the arts when I was very young; leafing through children’s books, I fell in love with the magic world of illustrations. Through the years, my passion has shifted from children’s books to editorial illustrations, which became later my profession.

Today I switch between media work and client-driven projects. I always try to find new inspirations, experimenting and pushing myself forward to improve and grow as a designer.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

MB: Reflection is to recreate. Deliver a new point of view on something that already existed but appears differently every time someone builds or creates a new identity with it. I love to recreate what I see; for example, when I draw people, I tell a new story about them, attaching a new vision and a new identity. The response is in the style, in the world that you create with your art and how the audience recognizes and captures it, understanding the process behind the artwork.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

MB: I love to work on commission. That’s why I don’t recognize myself as an “artist” but as a designer. I like the pressure of the deadline and the exchange with the commitment. During this past year I’ve had the opportunity to work for The New York Times Op-Ed page, and the experience made me understand how important a challenging topic is, as well as the urge to give it a new meaning with your design. Working with boundaries, if well defined, helps me move out of my comfort zone and find new solutions for better results.

Michela Buttignol - The Tonic of Wildness

Michela Buttignol – The Tonic of Wildness

Michela Buttignol - NYT

Michela Buttignol - NYT

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

MB: Today I am working on my next exhibition for Bushwick Open Studio. I will open my apartment and my studio during the festival weekend and share my space with friend and extraordinary artist Andrea DeFelice.

Michela Buttignol - Jump

Michela Buttignol – Jump

Also, I am very happy and proud to curate the visual identity and everything related to my husband’s band Libel. Creating posters, album covers and animated videos for this band is a joyful ongoing project that constantly gets more challenging. Since I started (almost three years ago), with Gavin’s direction and the inspiration from the music, I’ve created a large collection of gig posters that is going to grow in the future along with other video projects I am going to jump on soon for the band.

Michela Buttignol - Gig Poster

Michela Buttignol - Gig Poster

Michela Buttignol - Gig Poster

Michela Buttignol - Gig Poster

Michela Buttignol - Gig Poster

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Andréa Harris

Andréa Harris is a visual artist based in Seattle, Washington, who has also spent time in Washington State, Boston, Florida, and France – each of which has naturally impacted her artistic practice in different ways. Andrea describes Reflection and Response as an interaction between the artist and their work — with each entity active in the dialogue. Her work is a result of this ongoing conversation and she uses various mediums such as painting, photography, collage, digital video, and sculpture. Along with her words, Andréa presents specific pieces from her incredible collage and sculpture projects EXPERIENCING THE CENTURY and OUR EYES THAT ARE EVER MORE MY OWN. Peep the dialogue below and stay tuned for more exciting projects from her workshop!

Andréa Harris

Making work turns into a conversation between reflection and response — sometimes the artist is the one responding in the work, but other times the work talks back and makes its own demands to be heard.

– Andréa Harris

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AH: I am from the Pacific Northwest, and grew up in several towns near Tacoma, WA.

There is something to be said of place and creative work. Everywhere I’ve lived has had a specific head-space to it. It’s been easy to make work in some places, but nearly impossible in others. Having lived in Seattle, Boston, Sarasota (Florida), and three summers in South-West France, I have experienced a variety. However, I have yet to find the place I work best with.

Right now I’m in Seattle, WA. It’s the city I consider home. I have a feeling there are some explorations ahead of me though.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 12

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 12

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AH: As an artist and general introvert, the majority of my time is spent in reflection. Reflection isn’t a place of comfort. It is a place of unstable ground and a catalyst for change. Reflection is the foundation of Response, but the creation of work contains both. Making work turns into a conversation between reflection and response — sometimes the artist is the one responding in the work, but other times the work talks back and makes its own demands to be heard.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 10

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 10

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AH: The overarching concept I find myself fixated on is the idea that reality is malleable, fluid, and constantly created. I explore the flexibility of reality through: the relational boundaries between the body, consciousness, psychological states, ideologies, and perceptions of the self, the other, and the transcendental. My work operates in a space of questioning experiences and concepts. It is the product of reflection and response, the push and pull between the two. I enjoy working across disciplines, letting the concepts I’m working through dictate or have influence on whether I use painting, photography, collage, digital video, sculpture, etc.

Andréa Harris - Experiencing Century 01

Andréa Harris – Experiencing The Century 01

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

 

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Artist Feature: Damjana Jokic

Damjana is an artist whose explorations come from various places including her hometown of Vojvodina, Serbia and her current location in Madrid, Spain. Her art is tied into questioning the world around us and uses visual mediums to reflect on and respond to human nature, challenging accepted beliefs. We welcome the words and ideas of Damjana to the LIFESTYLE Collective with our dialogue below and samples of her work!

Damjana

What are the problems of the world that we live in that are affecting us as artists and towards which we cannot be indifferent?

– Damjana Jokic

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

DJ: I’m from Serbia, and have  been living in Madrid for the last nine years.

I just finished my Art Manifest, where I invite all “The Makers of Reality” to join and gather around the idea, and that is an indefinite love towards the art, the strength of a human spirit and the creative force. For the Makers of reality  it’s important to be brave, the truth when we create and we are moved by cosmic force and intuition.

We want to finish with the fake, superficial, banal and decorative art that is offered by the galleries.

Damjana Jokic - Bitter Mud of Experience (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Bitter Mud of Experience (2005)

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

DJ: The world is a picture that is inspiring me. My observations, reactions and my emotions towards it, are leading me to my projects. The projects are the response of my reflections. 

How does “Living in between of everyday life” fit in with that definition?

DJ: My project is called “Living in between of everyday life”. We live in between of everyday life, in the metaphysical space, marginalized. I see that as a problem of the crisis of our spirit, consciousness, and values. The concretizing the problem would be showing the intoxication that we are exposed. The essence is that everything that is surrounding us is something that is constantly making us stupid. The absurd of our existence I see in our own impotence to change something that is obvious. Should the artists be more radical, devoted and sharper in their critic?

Damjana Jokic - Living In Between of Everyday Life (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Living In Between of Everyday Life (2005)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

DJ: I am interested in the new generations, where are they going in life and in art? I have  been painting and making graphic prints, videos.

I would like to make an art movement on a bigger scale. 

Who or what inspires you?

DJ: The new generations live in the world that is a picture that inspires the search for an answer to the question: Where are we going? The need for the truth and understanding the world that I live in, revealing the human nature.

What are the problems of the world that we live in that are affecting us as artists and towards which we cannot be indifferent? We live the consequences of the capitalism that is pushing us towards neo fascism, slavery and ignorance. That is making us vulnerable taking away our dignity little by little. How is that affecting art and artists? 

Damjana Jokic - Arrival (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Arrival (2005)

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

DJ: I think that  art today needs to get back to the traditional values meaning to perfect the form, technique and the spiritual essence of an artist. Also needs to have a clear moral message, meaning to discover the floods of a contemporary social ethic and to offer a  new esthetic. If the art doesn’t have those elements then its kitsch!

Makers of the Reality are also pursuing the Little happiness!

What is the personal happiness?

The possibility to question our own life, when we know who are we and why we exist!!!

www.damjanajokic.com

Damjana Jokic - Mud (2005)

Damjana Jokic – Mud (2005)

Reflection and Response.

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Artist Feature: Javier Blanco

El estudio de Javier Blanco se encuentra en una calle estrecha empedrada en el Barrio Gótico en Barcelona, un barrio histórico y energético. Andabamos en el barrio un día durante nuestro viaje a España el verano pasado cuando encontramos el estudio/tienda/taller en el que se ve las varias obras y piezas en escultura, dibujo, y diseño gráfico del artista. Después de una charla inicial optimista en su espacio llena de bienvenida, volvimos unos días después para hablar más con Javier de Reflexión y Respuesta, su trabajo, y las experiencias de su vida. Nos sentamos en el cuarto interior y la discusión resultante, que se presenta debajo, muestra su perspectiva reveladora acera del arte y interacciones interpersonales.

Javier Blanco’s art studio is located on a quiet, narrow cobblestone street in the historic and energetic Gothic district in Barcelona. We were walking through the neighborhood one day while traveling through Spain this past summer, and came across Javier’s studio/shop/workspace featuring his various creative works in sculpture, drawing, and graphic design. After a great initial conversation in his welcoming space, we came back a few days later to talk further about Reflection and Response and Javier’s work and life experiences. We sat down in Javier’s office in the back room of the space and the ensuing dialogue, recorded below, showcases this artist’s engaging and enlightening perspectives on the arts and interpersonal interactions.

Javier Blanco

Para mi el arte desde principio es una forma de reflexionar. Hay una frase en el catalá que es “hago mi obra porque me ayuda a pensar a sentir a entender el mundo en el que vivo.” Es una manera de entender. La ciencia formaliza el conocimiento mediante una formulación matemática. El arte lo formaliza mediante una forma estética pero es conocimiento en definitiva. En este proceso de crear esculturas es en el que de alguna manera voy reflexionando acerca de como entiendo el mundo como entiendo las diferentes cosas, no solo el mundo también las relaciones interpersonales.

For me, art is, at its core, a form of reflection. There’s a phrase in Catalan that says: “I make my work because it helps me think, feel, and understand the world in which I live.” Art is a form of understanding. Science formalizes knowledge by means of mathematic formulas. Art formalizes aesthetic forms, but this is knowledge, by definition. The process of creating sculpture involves some form of reflecting on how I understand the world, how I understand different things – not just the world, but my relationships with other people.

– Javier Blanco

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicos, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

JB: ¿De donde vengo físicamente o de dónde vengo emocionalmente?

JB: Where I come from physically or emotionally?

Los dos.

Both.

JB: Yo nací en Barcelona y sigo en Barcelona. Bueno he vivido en Canadá en Toronto pero durante un año académico pero mayormente  (he vivido) vivo siempre en Barcelona. En principio empecé a hacer cosas así a un nivel artístico ya a partir de 20 años cuando por un casual fui a una escuela de diseño y arte y bueno me pusieron a dibujar y en el primer dibujo que hice dije joder eso es lo mío y hasta entonces había sido muy mal estudiante. A partir de ahí me apunte a bellas artes, estudie bellas artes paralelamente hice aquí un diseño para la escuela en que utilizaba el vidrio. Contacte con el socio amigo de un tío mío que trabaja vidrio – mi tío tenía un taller de vidrio – para poder hacer esta pieza que había yo diseñado. Entonces me asisteron me ayudaron a hacerla y me dieron el contacto de la escuela de vidro donde fui y estuve haciendo los estudios de vidrio parallelmente a los estudios de bellas artes y la especialidad de escutula. La misma escuela de vidrio me dio una beca para estar un año en Canadá en una escuela en el Sheridan College hacieno el programa de diseño y arte en vidrio y a la vuelta estuve trabajando un tiempo en la escula de aqui, preparando y haciendo los talleres de fotografía y también luego de professor de esutula de vidro y de diseño en vidrio.

Con lo cual mi trayectoria siempre ha sido el trabajo del arte y en concreto escrutura del vidrio pero ahi si que es verdad que es donde un poco esta mi dualidad o no un tema en el sentido en que hasta que punto me considero o me consideran artista en vidrio siempre de alguna manera para mi por más que he trabajo mucho con él y en principio conozco y entiendo bien casi toda su técnicas no todas y no deja de ser un material es un material como hay otros. Entonces a la hora de hacer arte lo trato como tal. Cuando me interesa el vidrio como material lo uso, cuando me interesa otro material uso otro material. No me considero artista en vidrio porque no necesito que mi arte se exprese en vidrio. Se puede expresar y de hecho se representó durante tiempo en todo tipo de material contanto pues con como un color de la palta un pintor usa.

Para mi cada material tiene una personalidad propia y evidentemente está diciendo una cosa no concreta pero si está surgiendo con la cual el significado de una pieza por el hecho de ser un material o una mezcla de materiales es uno u otro. En este sentio me limito, si quiero hacer solo vidrio me limito. Las  piezas que son en vidro son las que llamaron major más la atención. De tal manera que por parte de interioristas, de arquitectos , este trabajo en vidrio es lo que de alguna manera me han venido a reclamar mayormente y el estudio mio que es de arte y vidrio durante bastantes años estaba dedicado bastante a hacer encargos para casas particulares para organismos oficiales para diferentes sitios así como incluso trofeos, no sé hay una lista de clientes. En el que normalmente me han venido a buscar es la facultad de vidrio. Quiero decir con eso que yo utilizo muchos materiales pero profesionalmente quizá se me busca en esta faceta de vidrio más que en otras. Doy que actualmente eso durante los últimos dos o tres años ha cambiado y los 10 años anteriores estaba haciendo especialmente encargos de vidrio.

Actualmente no es tan asi sino que estos encargos para arquitectura para el interiorismo han bajado mucho y me han dejado la oportunidad de empezar otra vez de volver otra vez hacer piezas más personales digamos con lo cual me estoy dedicando últimamente más a hacer piezas quizás de pequeño formato quizá más fáciles de asumir porque me interesa que el estudio sea más dinámico yo como un punto de interés que tanto en vidro como no en vidrio siempre he tenido este hecho de llegar al público. No me interesa excesivamente el arte como objeto elitista sino que me interesan mucho los procesos de poder llegar a todo el mundo. Por lo tanto como es escultura ya iniciada la acción no es escultura interactiva donde quizá no era necesario comprarla por parte del público porque no tenía necesidad, pero si que me interesaba que el público participase y me gusta la idea de que el público en esta escultura se exprease se disfrustase jugase con ella incluso los niños hacían cola para subirse pueden subir en ella. Esto ha ido variando y actualmente loresuelvoo de otra manera. Lo resulevo mediante el diseño de manera que el arte se funde en esta pieza que utilizas y lo resuelvo también mediante la pequena pieza de diseño escultura, diseño muy personal que es más fácil por parte de todo el mundo de poder comprar de manera que si me interesa que no solo una elite pueda comprarlo.

JB: I was born in Barcelona and I still live in Barcelona. I studied in Toronto, Canada for a year, but for the most part I’ve always lived in Barcelona. I started working on my own artistic projects when I was 20 years old, when, by chance, I was attending an art and design school. They put me in a drawing class, and after I made my first drawing I realized “wow, this is me!” – up until that point I had been a really bad student. From then on, I registered for fine arts classes, and studied fine arts while also producing a design for my school, using glass as my medium. I got in touch with my uncle’s business partner who worked with glass – my uncle had a glass workshop – in order to be able to make this piece that I had designed. So they helped me make the piece and they gave me the contact information for a glass art school where I went to study glass work, alongside my studies in fine arts and sculpture. The glass art school gave me a scholarship to study in Canada in a glass art and design program at Sheridan College, and when I returned to Spain, I worked for a while in the school here preparing and facilitating photography workshops and, later, working as a professor of glass sculpture and design.

Thus, my trajectory had always been working with art, specifically glass sculpture, but the truth is that I encounter this duality in the sense that where do I consider myself – or am I considered an artist – working in glass, and though as much as I’ve always been involved with glass in some form or another and understand the vast majority of glass techniques, it remains one material, an art material as any other. So when it’s time to make art, I treat it as such. When glass sparks my interest as a medium, I use it, or when other materials spark my interest, I use other materials. I don’t consider myself a “glass artist” because I don’t need my art to be expressed only through glass. It can be expressed and represented through all types of materials, as with the various colors on a painter’s palette.

For me, every medium has its own personality and conveys something non-specific, but suggests something and the meaning of a piece can be based on the fact that piece is made from one material or another. In this sense, I would limit myself if I only worked with glass. Glass pieces have become my most popular. This glass work is what has drawn interior designers and architects to my work, and for many years, I dedicated most of my art and glass working studio to producing commissioned work for specific houses, organizations, or various other sites – there were a lot of different clients. What they would usually seek me out for was glass work. What I mean by all this is that I work with many different mediums but professionally I’m known more for glass work than anything else. Granted, this has changed a bit during the last two or three years, but for 10 years prior to that, I was primarily producing commissioned glass sculptures.

Right now, I have fewer commissions for interior design or architecture projects, which has given me the opportunity to get back to creating more personal pieces that I’m ultimately dedicated to, creating pieces that might be on a smaller scale, or might be easier to take on because it’s important to me that my studio is dynamic. I’ve tried to make it a point to work as much with glass as with other materials, always with the goal of reaching an audience. I am not particularly interested in art as an object of the elite, instead what attracts me are the various ways to access the world [through art]. As far as this [one specific] project is concerned, because the sculpture had already begun, it’s not an interactive sculpture that I needed to market to the public – instead, I was hoping that audience participation would lead to public expression and enjoyment, and kids even lined up to play on the piece. I explored this theme and now I deal with audience participation in another way. I now focus on participation by making pieces that aim for public interaction and use and I aim to connect with a wide audience through small design pieces, which makes them easier to consume for a greater number of people – which is the whole point of making art accessible beyond the elite.

Blanco Studio Arts and Glass (Barcelona, Spain)

¿Qué quiere decir “relfexión y respuesta,” y cómo se mete esto en tu arte?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you, and how do you locate those ideas in your art and sculpture?

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Spain Recap

the LIFESTYLE

Yo! Welcome to the long-anticipated LIFESTYLE Spain trip recap! Earlier this summer, we were fortunate enough to have the chance to spend two weeks in Barcelona and Madrid, enjoying the first LIFESTYLE reunion in some time while also pursuing opportunities to create and collaborate with other artists.

El Raval

We started the trip out in Barcelona, a familiar place that nonetheless presented us with new experiences, interactions, spaces, and inspirations. We set up our one-week HUB in an apartment in the dope neighborhood of Raval – a centralized barrio with narrow, vibrant cobblestone streets and and a distinctly timeless and hardwearing energy.

Throughout the week, ACTIVE was the agenda of the day. We worked on some new projects including a couple of amazing live RR interviews with local artists Javier Blanco and David Figueroa. (Be on the lookout for their words coming at the Collective in the coming weeks!)

We set up shop right on the Barceloneta beach area and played some tunes on acoustic guitar, featuring tracks from P’s album Shake This Maze along with some classic covers.

Peter Muller

V’s “Shop Sign Studies” drawings were inspired by the local Raval landscape, full of classic, hand-painted shop signs, each with their own distinct character. Lookout for more artwork to come!

Shop Sign Studies

La Ria, a small corner bar in El Gótico became our jumpoff point for playing two shows in the neighborhood. We connected with the owner of the spot one afternoon while having a café, and the following night P played an acoustic set there that also turned into an impromptu jam session with Franck – the cook – who happened to be the dopest percussionist.

La Ria

Peter Muller Live at La Ria

Peter Muller Live at La Ria

The show the next night was at a bar down the street called Las Cuevas del Sorté – in their tiled basement venue with rough stone walls and an unparalleled sound. Friends and fam came out for a show that started as a live looping set that transitioned into an intimate acoustic session, before concluding with a reggaeton DJ set with one of our brothers from the city.

Peter Muller Live at Las Cuevas del Sorte

We spent the second leg of the trip in Madrid, which was quite a farewell tour for P, who had been living there for the past two years teaching English and developing a Hip Hop English Education curriculum for elementary-age students. After also completing four albums for the LIFESTYLE Studios, collaborating across the open seas from Madrid to Brooklyn, it was time to head back stateside, on to the next building block.

The last few days in Madrid were a time of celebration and preparation for the road ahead. It all came together for the goodbye concert, “La Despedida de Peter Muller,” at the underground cave at RepubliK Club – a session featuring live looping and beat building with multi-lingual freestyles, along with a late night acoustic session. An unforgettable finale to the LIFESTYLE’s European venture.

La Despedida de Peter

Peter Muller Live at RepubliK Club

Peter Muller Live at RepubliK Club

Peter Muller Live at RepubliK Club

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. IV, by Samuel Bostick.

 Building on on Vol. I, Vol. II, and Vol. III, Mr. Bostick’s takes us on further Adventurs

Volume IV

Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

…As the boat sank and flamed in the background of Jones’ ride, he headed into the island.

He found the Fallians still fighting and with the past time their comradery had grown ans they developed a collective identity. Teamwork built them strong. Something about alliance in struggle that makes difference take a back seat and brings out a congruency of shared experience. They had put up a strong frontline and strategies with their numbers and knowledge of the landscape. They were driving the Gnomad foot troops back to the shore.

Jones was set in position to hoist the perfect flank…a surprise to all sides. Moving quickly over the water; cutting through the air and mist he arrived at the Eastern cove, jumped off his bike and ran toward the commotion. StaggMooreFalls had transformed into a battle ground by this point. As he ran toward the center of the city the flames from the ongoing fires clawed at Jones from the heaps of timber that were once homes. There was a strong sense of urgency on his heels, onward was his ambition. The heat from the flames and the pressing duty in front of him charged his being; more than a man—he was a force controlled by senses and emotions, he continued closing in on the scene.

Chad and his troop had organized toward their strengths. They began to see the strategy of the play rather than just the move of attack. They made strategic method to make the most of the terrain—nobody could out maneuver them on their own land. The militia who had proven skillful in long distance attacks and projectiles had taken post among the hills; they rained down there offence onto their opponents. The front line fought as valiant as a sun rising frm winters darkest night. It was a battle of proud proportion. All hesitation had been lost and forgotten far back, constantly inspired by the resilience of Chad-Sama’s spirit in battle the militia had come to move as a unit rather than a collection of individuals. With a uniform cause they breathed fury against in invading forces.

Meanwhile, those who were not able to fight in the battle had found refuge on the back side of the hills. They had moved in search of a cave hidden away in the depth of the island, the elders were the only ones who actually knew how to access this place for it was never written down by map rather been a source of lived history. It had been a long time since anyone had stepped into these caves—a sacred space. The last time was when the elders where in their youth. Now it was tradition that would be passed on through the experience of the young folk who were now making the journey, generational gaps broke down and even away from the battle field there was a collective spirit among the Fallians.

No path would lead to the cave, no way of following footsteps of those who had walked the path years ago. The magic was in the moon. It was by moonlight that the group made the trek. Under the moonlight there was a certain and particular light would shine from the moon as it traversed the heavens and would reflect through the waterfall. This was the only guide that could show them how to get there. It was a legendary light told to be a brilliant blue with dazzles of purple throughout, a marvelous sight that was so mystic it sounded as if myth. Still they headed for the place where the supposed light could be found. It could only be seen from the foot of the hills where the river stream flowed most relaxed, the pooling wells were at there deepest and the grass grew ever more lush. The most spectacular part of the journey was how the light moved across the land as the moon moved across the sky, it served as a true host. Even in the mist of all the chaos one couldn’t help but to notice the beauty of StaggMooreFalls. The layout was so intricate yet so simple at the same time.

As the group waited by the stream and watched the moon move across the sky full in all of its elegance, the poppies began to bloom. Stretched out breaking out their pods, they grew open—reaching for the stars. The golden pollen danced on the wind as the pedals breathed with its flow; melodic respiration, in and out. Time took pause. In those moments, temporality seemed to fold away as the pedals spread their magic. It was as if the stars broke away from their place in heaven and graced the earth with their dance; a luring scene, a sight of awe and wonder. The stream trickled down against the bank and rolled melodic over smoothing stones. The nocturne was in fully dense yet the sky was illuminated with such brilliance from the moon’s shine. The poppies radiated a light as charismatic as the choicest gold cooling as freshly pulled from the heat of a refining flame. Serene silence set over the camp. Breaths moved under chest, life refreshed in cycles of rise and fall—the whole scene seemed to sway with the same cooperative rhythm. In the distance the pour from the falls powered out a baritone surge adding the low notes to the silent symphony.

The lushness of the land struck as exceptionally remarkable as well, for that night it seemed as if all the foliage had risen up with the intention of greeting the long removed guests. Outstretched leaves rustled in the cool breeze, accents of deep green. The vines stretched their coils taut and flexed the strength of their reaching length as they covered the faces of rocks lining the path of the stream. The outline of the hills ahead caressed one another and built a backdrop contoured of fineness in full glory. On the most subtle of notes, an aroma rose from the poppies and caressed the nose; it was like an instant remedy to all stress. Shoulders relaxed and muscles once tensed eased their way into a peaceful state. The aroma was like nectar from the gods, divinely sweet yet so earthy and floral only heaven could hold together such juxtaposition. A beautiful spell spread across the scene.

He danced, a young man, in an instant as if his spirit had been enrapt by the moment and the nights allure pulled on his once woes as a nimble hand of a puppeteer do to his muse. It broke; something surely had. The tension from the battle was loosed and the Fallians were humbled by the rawness of the night’s presence. This was the night of the Full Bloom Festival after all. It was as if they had forgotten its essence as the evolution of the tradition came to revolve around feast and festivity.  Now was a return to the place of actually celebrating the blessings of the magic that held StaggMooreFalls together.

Some of the elders and ancients cheeks were watered by gentle tears as they were moved by the young man’s dance; he had no reserve it was not his body that moved but rather his spirit through. He was the heart of what the celebration should be. And they were all moved to join, each in their own way. Some of them playfully wade in the pond others laughed and joked, some danced, a few couples even found romance in the Full Moons warm hues… it came it struck them all as the presence of a god itself would…the light hit the space off the moon the same way it had in times long before…the guide show itself—ushered in by the reverence of the moment…it was there to lead the way. In an instant it began to move forward with no hesitation, a steady and slow-flow pace; the clan banned together and followed in suit. This was their shepherd, the angel of the night…

To be continued once more…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

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The Porch Swing: Character Series

Character Series: The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones, Vol. III, by Samuel Bostick.

 Following up on Vol. I  and Vol. II, the intricately crafted Adventurs continue…

Volume III

The Adventurs of SnakeMan Jones

The people on the island continued to put their best defense forward as the Gnomads continued their tirade. Chad-sama rejoined his comrades, the warring town folk and militia troop fighting to defend their town and honor.

Having just busted his way through the hull of the Gnomad ship, Jones still in a fury of rage set himself square toward the crew themselves. He took the bottom floor by storm. Seeing his face in such a fury was to see the anger of God. Fear gripped the boat by the throat, time froze. VROOM, VROOM, VROOM—the engine revved, as did the level of his anger. Then, he took off! He cut through the bottom of the ship like a knife to warm butter. Smooth destruction. Slashing away with his sword the crew fell into parts all across the floor. SnakeMan took no captives-heard no words. Red mixed into the water as it flooded into the hole he broke in the ship’s wall…sharks came…for the feed.

VROOM!! Speeding through the vessel he found himself soon in the storage room. A large cabin area with barrels of rum stacked three quarters along the walls. At this moment some of his senses returned to him, he felt oddly comforted and soothed by the presence of the barrels and peaceful solitude of the room. He lit a slim and took a moment to admire the room and the craft in front of him as he puffed and exhaled soulfully. The smoke clouds lingered and danced a slow rhythm as they moved upward until they dissipated into the air. An ash fell from the end of his pliff and the ember burned radiant red til it went cold to black and fell grey upon the floor. An idea arose in his scheming head.

With grace in his step and quickness under his heels he pulled the plugs out of all the exposed barrels. Their faces seemed to smile with relief and mischief as their liquid contents spilled out and began to pour onto the cabin floor. The once stagnant air became quite flavorful with an earthy spice aroma as the dark elixir flowed seemingly without end upon the floor. Jones’ feet pitter-pattered as he stepped away from the barrels and the liquid lapped at his boots. The sound of the fountaining rum only added a more peaceful sound to the already comforting room…the fragrance was warm. Jones stepped over and mounted his Bike, he kicked it into a rumbling start. The purring growl always aroused his primal side. Again he reached into the front pocket of his jacket where he kept his matches and smokes. He lit the pliff once more and this time let it burn to its end. Slowly he rolled out of the room. Without looking back he struck another match, a smirk now on his face resembled that of the still pouring barrels. He dropped the flaming match and took off with a wicked speed full speed ahead. The match hit the floor. The flame grew. As soon as it met the liquid and the flame and elixir kissed there was an explosion of growing fire. The unquenchable hunger of the flame consumed…free untamed ardor. It crawled up to the barrels and jumped into the spout. Searching for more to consume, more fuel, more destruction; there it found its crave satisfied. BOOM!! The barrels exploded and the room instantly burst into an engulfing flame of fire and heat. SnakeMan’s smirk spread into a cynical full smile as he heard the explosion at his back and felt the wave of air rush hot past him. It warmed his cold blooded body. He aimed his direction straight for the deck.

Jones moved quickly as he burst from the superstructure of the ship out onto the sunbathed deck. His was as dramatic as it was telling. He and his Bike bust through a hatch that was previously closed and jumped into the air off the shipping cargo ramp. They came to a skidding halt. The crew froze. The captain stopped in his tracks, mid word. He turned slowly as he felt danger at his back. As he completed his about face he met SnakeMan’s eyes with his own. There was a deep force aligned between the two of them, an energy that the whole deck could feel. It was the presence of fate entering the scene. Someone would surely meet their last moment by the end of this exchange.

Again fear gripped the ship by the throat…silence was the only language…there was a heavy sense of doom looming over the craft. It settled heavy like a morning fog. Both captain and crew looked at him, bewildered, in awe at such a being with power apparent in his shoulders, arms, thighs, calves, chest and back. Anger again rose in Jones, he could hear the screams and cries from the island and could see the flames rising from the burning town. The Captain held his peace for he understood the dynamics of this moment. His first mate spoke up, breaking the silence—cutting the fog; he asked, “who are you?” no response from SnakeMan. The first mate continued his prodding, “Who are you? What do you want?” still no response. Jones had yet to break his eyes from those of the Captain; this was to be a showdown. No man nor beast could get in between this quarrel.

This time the captain spoke, “Sir my question to you is simple, are you man, demon, or god?” SnakeMan took in a deep breath, then exhaled and a shifted his weight; flames broke from under the deck and began to peek between the deck boards and out through the open hatch. The smell of the flame met Jones’ nose and flashed an image of the town and the pain they had been subjected to by the craft of the Gnomads’ greed. He clenched his fists and tensed his jaw…climbing off his bike he pulled off his jacket and felt the weight fall off his shoulder, he then pulled down the shield of his helmet and gave his full reply in one booming word. “YARR!!”

In that moment the ship quaked from the second and larger explosion from the storage room under the deck as the rest of the barrels had been found by the flames’ hunger. Upon the boom that sent the ship rocking Jones Revved his engine and hit the bike into top gear—full speed ahead, gunning straight for the Captain. Right before impact the captain leaped aside. Quickly clearing the path and escaping the head on attack. Jones was impressed by the Captain’s speed especially since he was such a big form. As quick as the first attack Jones spun his bike around and re-attempted his head on charge. Again the captain jumped out of the bike’s line, this time Jones too jumped off the bike and ran to the side of the ship where he grabbed the anchor up and heaved it up with one mighty tug. As the heavy iron was yet high suspended in the air, the Captain caught SnakeMan across his chest with a slashing sword. The blade’s pressure burst the skin and into the muscles of Jones torso. The blood spurt forward through his skin with the exploding wound as it opened and poured…just like the barrels did below the deck. The thought of the similarity of the imagery brought that unrestrained smile back to Jones’ face. Time froze. The salted air called Jones’ awareness again to his wound. The anchor hit the deck and fractured several floorboards with its weight.

Without second through SnakeMan whirled it above his head with all his might. Using the anchor of their own ship he took to the crew like in a medieval manner. Swiftly he slaid them all…nobody had ever seen combat so fearsome. As quickly as it began it had ended. The crew was slewn about. He was quick to take after the Captain as well, who put up a good fight. His sword skills were of amazing tactic and form as was his strength mighty.  Still, he could not compete with the fury that moved Jones’ attacks. The captain fell alongside the helm of the ship and pleaded for his life. Jones looked once at him. He dropped the impossibly heavy anchor upon him and walked away leaving the Captain to share the same fate as his sinking vessel that was once a ship. Jones climbed slowly onto his Bike and headed out leaping off the deck of the ship, leaving destruction behind.

He headed straight for StaggMoreFalls with the intention to complete the termination of the Gnomad attack.

To be continued…

Samuel Bostick

@THEREALSHANTS

just.the.basics

the LIFESTYLE’s role is to create collective space for active Reflection and Response through the arts. This space is built around dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic (ex)change involving international craftspeople and their realities. The Porch Swing series opens up a Reflection and Response residency where we feature a Collective member’s ongoing project through weekly installations.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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