Kelsey Brookes is a San Diego artist who has beautified my common errands and end of yoga practices for some time: how can you resist his striking mural in La Jolla? A monumental mandala of gorgeous colors soaring to my almost permanent blue sky, I always find comfort in its all-over unstoppable growth pattern. It spells “life” in concentric circles and ripples but the art of Kelsey Brookes is definitely not as happy hippie as you might think. A spectacular new show at Quint Gallery will be showing just that, starting this Saturday September 29, 2018. With mandala-like patterns reminiscent of the world system symbolically represented in Hindu and Buddhist artistic practices, radial motifs simulate the invisible force we all depend upon: life. Color patterns and symmetry make for a meditative experience; when made of sand, mandalas remind us all of our impermanence. Personally I am in awe of the time and patience such beauties require. No wonder mandalas are often associated with cosmic experiences and transcendence. And that is definitely something Kelsey Brookes channels with his art. Yet with the concept of transcendence come two directions: will you seek to elevate yourself to an out of body experience and aerial […]
Visiting Christopher Puzio’s Studio was a real treat: his work plays a lot on the “frame the view” concept, a key sub-line from the beginning of Reinventingrid, back in January 2017. That is how my eye travels: I simply love capturing in pictures how some art installations encapsulate what lies around them. Bringing the world to attention… San Diego is incredibly fortunate to have many Christopher Puzio works around. All have this uncanny versatility of framing a view while opening up space. He is literally, and figuratively, drilling on what an open work can be.
I am thrilled to announce a whole new axis for Reinventingrid: Artist Studio Visits. I hope you will enjoy discovering the visual art of contemporary artists I have had my eyes on for some time. Who knows, you may decide to add their works to your own collection after reading a bit more about their inspiration, style and personality. Starting this new axis for the blog with Monty Montgomery’s striking fractal lines and colorful grids made perfect sense. So let me take you into his world, to see what he sees. Handwritten notes of personal encouragement, a zen quote and Salvador Dalí stuck over past exhibition images of Monty Montgomery works. Washed-out childhood photographs with Mom, Dad and best buddy Jensen at the beach, all neatly pinned next to graduated bright color swatches. It’s all there: the very personal and inspirational nurturing his art. Monty’s studio walls have become a paper tapestry woven straight from the heart. A small shrine filled with mementos echoing back and forth between Monty Montgomery’s native Virginia and his San Diego North Park studio. Miles away from what I expected from looking at Monty’s graphic and hard-edged works of art…
When it comes to colorful art, Yayoi Kusama pretty much obliterated 2017. People flocked to her travelling exhibitions, queued hours to spend 30 seconds in her mirrored infinity rooms and used her bright patterned artworks and polka dots to take awesome selfies and be happy. Quite an awesome accomplishment for art that is produced as the only way Kusama found to resist suicide and survive the hallucinations that have plagued her life since being a young girl. “With no distinction between her as an artist and the product of her art, this is the intensity we can’t help but feel striking us all” was how I described it in my blog last year. Another artist who produced what we perceive as colorful art but which is in fact a form of therapy to alleviate darker life events is French-born Niki de Saint Phalle. Her Coming Together sums it up for me.
If you’ve been to any museums in Southern California lately, you may have noticed omnipresent mentions of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort between 70+ arts institutions across Southern California. The aim is to explore Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. I have only made it to a few of all the exhibitions around and I have found most artworks and exhibitions very stimulating and thought provoking. Having shared quite a few on my Instagram (@reinventingrid), I wanted to bring you some and encourage you to seek those exhibitions.
Spotting Raja de Kishangarh’s bowtie, being carved out of emeralds of a size usually associated with pebbles rather than gemstones, or a Mughal necklace rich of 150 carats of the finest Golconda diamonds and 47 Colombian emeralds beads, it could be tempting to reduce Mughal ruling of India (1526-1857) to Centuries of Opulence. Albeit the title of a new exhibition of Jewels from India at the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, CA, I would argue instead that the aesthetic eye of the Mughals was rooted in a true understanding of luxury and honed by learned interests in art, architecture, science, culture and religion extending well beyond their Muslim faith, a tolerance which left an indelible mark on the arts of India.
Do you remember when the first iPhone came out? The year was 2007 – 10 years ago. I had to look it up because, honestly, life before smartphone technology taking over our world and time = life before children for me. I like to think my kids absorb my time and I use technology to get some back. So why do I cringe when the mighty iPad is sucking my kids’ eyes as soon as all non-negotiable activities are done? If you’re reading this, you know I use Art as a conduit to better understand and appreciate what life brings. With my recent studies taking me out of my comfort zone to learn about Indian Art and the vastness of its religions, revisiting Nam June Paik and his prescience about time, media and technology is a treat I’d like to share with you. Born in Seoul, Nam June Paik and associated with the “anti-art” Fluxus movement, he started using TV as a medium in 1963. As such, he is often referred as the “father” of video art. Early on in 1963, Zen for TV already alludes to the many social threads Nam June Paik will keep unraveling. Tipped on […]