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Wednesday
Jun042014

Jena Malone and The Shoe by Emma Nolan

We sat down with Hunger Games actress Jena Malone to discuss her musical project The Shoe consisting of herself and bandmate Lem Jay Ignacio. There new album I'm Okay is available on iTunes now.

Emma Nolan: Hey Jena! Last time we spoke to you at UTP we discussed your acting career but today I want to focus on your music. Your band, The Shoe! How would you describe your music?

Jena Malone: Every time we make a song it's different. But it's all storytelling for me. So that's the best way I can describe it.

EN: The Shoe consists of you and your band mate Lem Jay Ignacio, what makes you two compatible for creating music together?

JM: We understand each other and we have built a really interesting musical language from all the years of free-styling together. We have similar aesthetics when it comes to music.  We both value the art more than the commercial when it comes to creating songs.

EN: Your songs are so delicate and intimate, how does it feel to share this kind of almost private music?

JM: I find it Inspiring. They [the songs] of course are very personal to me. But I made them to share, so I couldn't be more excited that other hearts get to hear and lean from them when they need to.

EN: What inspires you to write, and what inspires your lyrics?

JM: Everything inspires me to write. When I sit down to write it’s all stories and poems, it never starts out as a song, and it's not until I'm in the middle of free-styling a song that I'll remember something I wrote down and I'll use it in a verse.  I'll listen to freestyles we created and write down all the lyrics that are great and then I'll craft if from there. I like being scared about what is created in the moment. Usually it's things I could never come up with on my own. 

EN: In your video for Dead Rabbit Hopes, you celebrate the female body and the importance of having confidence in yourself, and the video is filled with symbolism, can you explain some of the imagery in the video?

JM: It's pretty simple symbolism. The lyrics are full if metaphors and symbolism. So I wanted the visuals to be more straightforward.  A women, a body, naked.  Maybe she’s on her death bed, celebrating and remembering her body for all that it is and not what it should be.  I wanted to dress the body in flowers and glitter and not leather and clothing that over sexualized the body. I wanted to show a real woman's body, celebrating herself and not sexualizing the female body for someone else.

EN: The lyric "Well maybe my beauty/was only meant/ to be seen/ by the men..." to me, highlights the importance of women having love for our own bodies without them being hypersexualixed through a sort of male gaze, so to speak. Can you discuss this?

JM: There are just so many myths and images showing women what they should be and why we should look the way we look and not enough myths and images telling women to be as they are.  I wrote that song coming from a sort of nostalgic place, thinking that if I reached my death bed and I still never had the parts of my body that I wanted worshipped I could at least rejoice in the noble scavenger crows wisdom, of eating every part of my body and embracing every single part. And maybe that’s where a women's true beauty was meant to be seen; on her death bed.  It’s not the most uplifting story, but it was important for me at the time of writing it.  It all came from a poem I wrote 4 years ago.

Here is the full poem before it became a song:

Dead Rabbit Hopes

maybe my beauty is only meant to be seen

in death's lovely carcass

that happily feeds

the noble black crow

the voracious scavenger king

singing virtue to my body

reconized from their dreams

how tender, their pure love for me

my body finally ravishing

and each marker, each glade

every corner never touched never craved

now are becoming,

blooming in lips so alive,

one with their yin-mother's tongue 

so hungry for this,  chewing

this animals' pride, 

of knowing

each part will be savoured

each part, warm embraced

every yearning and quiver eaten 

every paramour's imagined taste

spilling my cupped breasts over

with true love's

holy wisdom of

never  waste.

EN: How does a career in music compare to one in acting? 

JM: Well I'm just at the beginning of my music career and right in the middle of my acting one, so of course the music feels more new and free. However, both are forms of storytelling and both are about conjuring unseen things out of my person. I'm so happy to be able to have different outlets of creation. I want to keep discovering new ways of telling stories. I'm working on an idea for a sound play right now. I’m super inspired by the works of Janet Cardiff. 

EN: Every review I've read of your music thus far has been to praise it, which is fantastic; does it feel like your hard work has paid off to have it so well received?

JM: Hard work always pays off. I make music I want to listen to so at the end of the day if it moves me I couldn't be happier. Of course it's amazing to have other hearts responding. I can't wait to more teenagers get a hold of it, I really wrote it for them.

EN: How did you come up with the name The Shoe and what's the significance behind it? (It's a kind of instrument I believe...?)

JM: I was making music by myself, in my bedroom when I lived up in Lake Tahoe, and I got to a point of wanting to create music in public. What I had been doing before was so easy, all alone whenever the inspiration hit.  I really wanted to start playing for people, whether it was on the side of the street or just for the birds.  So I took all my instruments and tried to find something to put them in and I had "there was an old woman that lived in a shoe" in my mind so I knew I wanted to create my own shoe, that I could live out of.  I had an old steamer trunk and just used that. Then I bought a generator and drove down to LA.

EN: Are there any other artists that inspire you creatively and musically? 

JM: Janet Cardiff, Neil Young, Nina Simone, PJ Harvey and Tom Waits all inspire me.

EN: Your album I'm Okay was released on June 3rd and will definitely be on my Summer playlist, do you have plans to make more albums with the Shoe in the future?

JM: That’s all I want to do; make more music.  I'm constantly creating.  It’s just finding a sustainable method for the band to release albums and tour because we only play free shows.  

PURCHASE THE ALBMUM HERE:


Thursday
May012014

May shows to see in NYC

PM by Daniel Turner May 4th - June 1st at Team Gallery (83 Grand Street NYC)

Daniel Turner has produced three large-scale sculptures that take the form of countertops. The objects, with their immaculate, office-kitchen finish and spartan design, do not resonate with the domestic experience, however, attracting instead insidious associations with the industrial and institutional — factories, schools, feed-lots. They appear utterly familiar while also remaining ambiguous, ultimately denying the utility they initially suggest.

The sphinx-like sculptures’ proportions, scale and components render them obscure. At over twenty feet long but under three feet tall, they are simultaneously monumental and miniature, imposingly grandiose and frustratingly underwhelming. They either conform to or react against the proportions of the human body. Two of the sculptures feature long, trough-like stainless steel sink-basins but without drains or faucets. A grey film covers these metal surfaces, which was produced by allowing unfiltered water to evaporate. This sediment serves as the singular interruption of the sculptures’ otherwise sterile and pristine finish. Rather than proclaiming the artist’s hand, the vague residue seems more the byproduct of some recent activity, but whether that is cleaning, feeding, butchering or something else altogether is left unclear. Two refrigerator handles sit on the surface of the third unit, once-useful objects, extracted from their intended context and placed atop a perverse pedestal.

Turner exploits the potential for psychological violence that may lie beneath an object’s purely formal qualities, employing a fixed set of parameters culled from recognizable external sources. As a group, these sculptures occupy an unsettling middle-ground, perched delicately and dangerously on the brink of pure formalist abstraction and pure appropriative representation. Neither pleasant nor offensive, their particular shade of yellow paint is numbing, placatory. They avoid commentary or judgment altogether — the artist’s near invisibility in the works imbues them with an almost aggressive neutrality — yet their effect is profoundly disquieting. His primary act is one of isolation and presentation, forcing a perceptual encounter on the viewer rather than engaging him in a conversation. By allowing our own tertiary associations to color the experience of the works, Turner endows them with a strange emotional intrusiveness.

FOR MORE INFO GO HERE

Relations by Tim Barber May 2 - June 23 at Capricious 88 (88 Eldridge St NYC)

Barber's most recent body of work, is a continuation of his ongoing photographic explorations. Culling from everyday life experience, Barber’s images reveal the subtle yet complex narratives hidden in seemingly mundane subject matter. The images have an unusual balance, feeling spontaneous yet carefully composed, blunt yet ethereal, familiar yet mysterious, comfortable yet haunted by an invisible, emotional tension. It’s this tension that the title Relations alludes to; the tension between the countless relationships happening in and around the frame of each photograph, and the relationships the photographs then have, in turn, to each other.

Tim Barber was born in Vancouver BC, Canada, grew up in Amherst Massachusetts, lived briefly in the mountains of Northern Vermont before returning to Vancouver to study photography, and now lives and works in New York City. A photographer, curator and designer, Barber runs the creative community platform time-and-space.tv (formerly known as tinyvices.com) and has, over the past 10 years, curated and produced multiple exhibitions and publications showcasing hundreds of photographers and artists from around the world. Barber has been making photographs for over 20 years, and has been published and exhibited globally. This is his first exhibition with Capricious 88.

A limited number of copies of the show's catalog Relations (published by Yuka Tsuruno Gallery, Tokyo, September 2013) will be available at the opening.

FOR MORE INFO GO HERE

 Shooters by Harmony Korine May 12 - June 21 at Gagosian Gallery (821 Park ave. NYC)

© Harmony Korine. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.

HARMONY KORINE Blue Checker, 2014 Oil on canvas 102 x 84 inches 259.1 x 213.4 cm

From Kids (1995), a meditation on New York City youth, to Spring Breakers (2012), a contemporary film noir in which four college freshwomen are drawn into a murderous labyrinth of events, Korine’s films of the past twenty years merge reality with fiction and shaky “footage” with precise editing, holding viewers’ attention to the split second and thereby suspending disbelief. His heady mix of the unplanned, the seductive, and the outlandish crystallizes in his lesser-known paintings. Bypassing brush and art paint in favor of squeegees, leftover household paint, and masking tape, he creates loosely sequential images that echo the sonic and visual leitmotifs of his films. In Starburst paintings, he sticks overlapping segments of masking tape to the center of an unprimed canvas, then uses a broom to spread primary red, yellow, and blue dyes over the surface. The tape is removed to reveal bright, irregular stars shining through colorful mists; the final compositions are characterized by a spontaneous, explosive radiance.

Loop Paintings are the result of a process somewhat related to filmmaking: Korine cast young men and women, made them up as elderly people, and photographed them in alleyways. He then laid down the resulting photographs on canvas in idiosyncratic progressions that recall other serial experiments, from Eadweard Muybridge’s depictions of motion, to Andy Warhol’s Disasterpaintings, to folk paintings of the American South. Other works, some painted and re-painted over the course of several years, are inhabited by shadowy, clawed creatures reminiscent of Goya’s ghastly Caprices, interspersed with sprayed letters. The accumulative hypnotic effect of Korine's paintings is offset by lifelike randomness and impulsive energy—the elements of “mistakism,” as he describes them.

FOR MORE INFO GO HERE 

 

Friday
Apr112014

Dan Rushton


                                                                                        

 Rushton is a Canadian born artist who has been living and painting in New York City for over 15 years. His work has been shown in galleries and art fairs across the US, Canada and Europe. He's been nominated by Art Review Magazine as one of the top 25 upcoming artists to watch, and was featured in the November 2013 issue of Modern Painters Magazine, focusing on contemporary artists using innovative processes. This spring he will be part of a two person show at Grizzly Grizzly gallery in Philadelphia. 

Rushton's painting method begins by sketching directly onto a computer by drawing on a tablet with a digital pen.  This drawing is then scaled up and redrawn onto large sheets of gessoed paper by an industrial machine called a plotter that has been altered to hold graffiti markers.  While appearing to be merely simple marks, the painted lines in these works are a complicated accumulation of processes that involve a constant interplay of the human hand, mechanical technologies, and digital technologies.  The interactions of these combined processes are designed to reflect the complexity and mystery of our own experience. By employing the detached posturing of Pop Art while simultaneously engaging the rich history of figurative painting.

15 Self Portraits 2014 105"x72" Ink on gessoed paper over panel

UTP - Take us through the technique involved in creating your present works such as 15 Self Portraits and Dave?

Rushton - My painting method begins by sketching directly onto a computer by drawing with a digital pen on a tablet.  This digital drawing is then scaled up and redrawn onto large sheets of gessoed paper by an industrial machine called a plotter that has been altered to hold graffiti markers. The result is what appears to be a simple graphic line that is actually a complicated accumulation of processes involving the interplay of the human hand, mechanical technologies, and digital technologies.

Dave 2013 105"x72" Aluminum paint on gessoed paper over panel

UTP - As a painter your hands have been your primary tools for creating art.  What lead you to making use of the computer and tablet?

Rushton - My hands are still the primary tools for making these paintings. There is a considerable amount of hands-on work involved including doing the original drawing, gessoing the paper, and pasting down the paper after the final drawing has been painted by the plotter. Keeping the plotter working takes a lot of mechanical handy-work as well.  The computer and the plotter in a sense restrain the painted marks from being connected directly to my hand and therefore emphasizing process over touch but the paintings still very much have a hands-on physicality to them.

Vincent 2012 105"x72" Ink on gessoed paper over panel

UTP - Graffiti art has acquired quite the following. What are your views on the medium and what would your tag be?

Rushton - Tagging had a big influence on me when I moved to NY. The saturation of the pigments in the materials used for tagging is very appealing.  The black ink I am using now is a synthetic tar which is a rich black that is very thick and sticky.  You wouldn’t find ink with those qualities at an art supply store. I don’t know what my tag would be. Maybe “Trace”?? 

Alter of the lupine lords 2005 acrylic on panel 

48"x72"

Realities 2006 acrylic on panel 48"x70"

UTP - Your paintings such as winter happy winter sad and realities feel soft and soothing to the eye, yet underneath the draping (the inner workings) are hard objects such as motorcycle mufflers and gas tanks.  You have said there is a story being told in each of these paintings. What is the story behind Alter of the lupine lords?

Rushton - I played dungeons and dragons a lot as a kid and that title is from a riddle in one of the adventures. The answer to the riddle was “the Moon.”  That is what “the alter of the lupine lords” is. That painting had a very nocturnal feel and a kind of mysterious pent up sexual energy I associate with being a teenager.  The title just seemed to fit. It sounds so serious but really it was a little fun and silly.  

Figure in Red ,Woman with Diamond dress, Fists:  all ink and watercolor on paper 30"x22"

 

UTP - Who are some of the artists that inspire you?

Rushton - One of the last great shows I saw was Katherine Bernhardt at Canada Gallery. Artists like Thomas Houseago, Christopher Wool and Joyce Pensato have been inspirational for me.

UTP - Your earlier works done in acrylic of landscapes, forms and flowers has been described as worlds poised between life and death, stillness and decay. How would you describe your work of today?

Rushton - Being “poised between life and death” is hard to escape and still part of what I am after. Now I am more focused on freewill and our struggle for self-realization.

 Figure (Claire) in landscape 2008 Acrylic on panel 60"x84"

UTP - What advice would you give to aspiring artists?

Rushton - It is good to be involved and see as much as you can but when you are in your studio just follow your own ideas and try not to be overly influenced by what is going on around you. The world moves very quickly.  Just be patient and let the world come around to you.

TO SEE MORE OF RUSHTON'S WORK GO HERE:

Monday
Mar032014

NYFW on Ice - The Best of New York Fashion Week A/W 2014 by Emma Nolan

New York Fashion Week in February was, as always, a decadent albeit chilly affair. Though the Fall/Winter 2014 collections were diverse, there were many recurring trends that linked the designers together in their shared fashion consciousness for the season. The stand out trends included an abundance of sequins at Marc Jacobs and 3.1 Phillip Lim; bold, bright furs and shearling patchwork at Rodarte; and utilitarian sportswear and futuristic space motifs at Diesel Black and Gold and MM6.

The sets were often spectacles in their own right. We had walls that bled chocolate at Opening Ceremony, and fluffy clouds suspended over the crowd at Marc Jacobs, and even a mass exodus to – gasp! – Brooklyn for Alexander Wang.

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Monday
Feb242014

Jamie Campbell-Bower by Matthew Brookes

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