Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Art List

The Art List is a little early this week because I wanted to note the Skip Noah opening tonight. I was really impressed by his stuff when I started putting the List together this morning. So I emailed him some questions. And he wrote back. His show opens tonight at North Lake College in Irving (see below).

Greatness: Skip Noah

Richardson Heights: I was initially attracted to the name of your show opening this week, "Giraffes and Seahorses". What significance do those two creatures hold for you?

Skip Noah: Both giraffes and seahorses are very unique animals, and I’ve always had an affinity to anything out of the ordinary. I’ve included a character named Bacchus Giraffe in 3 of my paintings, Bacchus Giraffe Drunken God of Mythology, Dinner with Bacchus Giraffe and Pomegranate Seeds. My Bacchus Giraffe character is a modern take on the Roman God of Wine Bacchus. I’ve always thought the form of the giraffe, with her long neck, orange spots and gentle character to be very appealing to me. I’ve had dreams before where a giraffe has acted as a messenger is some way, conveying some underlying philosophy of life to me, as is the story with Pomegranate Seeds, where the giraffe tells me about the momentum of life reproducing itself infinitely using a pomegranate and its seeds as an example. As far as seahorses I’ve including them in a number of paintings as well, such as Persephone’s Part Time Waitressing Job in Hades. They are the ambassadors from my world (the one inside my head) to the world I’m creating on the canvas. They look on at the characters in the art with concern, scorn or acknowledgment. To me seahorses are the religious monks of the ocean kingdom, constantly wandering the depths contemplating their own existence and its relation to everything else.

RH: What is your studio set up like? What kind of environment do you create when you get down to work?

SN: My home is my studio. I like to have a set number of hours set aside before I paint, because I lose track of time completely. What seems like 15 minutes can in reality be 3 hours when I’m at work. I usually like to have some music playing while I paint, I enjoy Indian Ragas and Sufi music, or more popular bands like Gorillaz, Bjork and Radiohead. My studio is pretty messy, paints everywhere, a graveyard of abused paintbrushes scattered about like the aftermath on a battlefield, a rainbow of dried colors on the floor.

RH: I'm glad you found a use for all those old computer parts. Can you describe the techniques you employ when assembling your mixed media pieces, such as Pierre Reading the Odyssey?

SN: A discarded motherboard looks much nicer in a piece of art that it does sitting in a landfill in a developing country. In the piece Pierre Reading the Odyssey [featured image], I took a big bag of “stuff” that I had collected and just went through it piecing together this scene. I wanted to have it as dimensional as possible so the viewer would want to reach out and put their hands on it, to feel the different textures with their own fingers, to feel as if the could be sitting there in the room with Pierre. I would first put together the basic structure of the painting, Pierre (my favorite character from War and Peace) holding his copy of The Odyssey (one of my favorite classical stories), the candle, the flowers and so on. Then I start building outwards, adding layer on layer until I achieve the effect I’m looking for. I glued a variety of materials together to create this piece, everything from cardboard, computer parts, human hair (I shaved my head and used the hair), Japanese fan, a discarded hookah, coins and many other things. I consider my mixed media pieces a type of sculpture on canvas. Lots of glue, paint and random objects are what I use, and placing them together like a collage to make a new, consolidated creation.

In Peony I wanted to have a stand alone mix-media sculpture without the canvas. I found a tree limb on the ground in the woods in Austin that was the perfect fit for the woman to lie on. I built a skeletal frame and built the body out from that. I added a white cloth to drape around her waist, to add vertical balance and a sense of purity. Everything on the statue (except the wood, shelf and cloth) I built using recycled mixed media.


Giraffes and Seahorses
Skip Noah
North Lake College
500 North MacArthur Blvd., Irving, Tx 75038
Reception June 17, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Through July 7th...


Hey Goss Michael, your web site sucks! But I was able to extract that this is "a group exhibition featuring new acquisitions of Contemporary British Artists" intending to "transform the galleries into a place of reflection, introspection, and a cabinet of curiosities". Due to the preponderance of artists in this list with either Wikipedia entries or Saatchi Gallery profiles, I guess this is a big deal:

Eat Me, Drink Me
Matt Collishaw, Matthew Darbyshire, Ian Dawson, Tracy Emin, James Hopkins, John Isaacs, Rachel Kneebone*, Mark Titchner, Christian Ward, and Gary Webb
Goss-Michael Foundation
2500 Cedar Springs, Dallas, Tx 75201
Reception June 18, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

*would also make a great band name.


I appreciate anything in the suburbs. The ArtCentre is probably the best thing to happen for the Plano art scene since John Ledbetter's Plano Center for Art. All North Texas artists:

The Art of the Bicycle
Kelly Berry, Todd Gutmann, and Janet Karam*
ArtCentre of Plano
1039 East 15 Street, Plano, Tx 75074
Reception June 19, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

*Dear Janet Karam: I don't think your paintings are "abstract" by any definition. Sorry to break the news to you.

Kent Maris and Eben Lee Hall
Gallery 2910
2910 Commerce, Dallas, Tx 75205
Reception June 19, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

VACD June/July 2009 Summer Exhibition
Sussan Afrasiabian, Gregory Brown, Fields Harrington, Carrie A. Kersey, Bob Nunn, Junko Otsu*, Jan Partin, Natalie Prikhodko, and David L. Roden
Visual Arts Coalition of Dallas
2902 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Tx 75201
Reception June 19, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

*"Junko is incredibly skillful, careful, and fun to meet in person. [...] She is Japanese. So she has very special mind which is come from her back ground as Japanese. Calm, quiet, gentleness, peacefulness, happiness, solace, restful, comfort or so. Her paintings show these expression came up from her inside."


"Groundbreaking"! I really like this photo of Justin Bua with Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Justin Bua
4th Wall Gallery
2925 Fairmount Street, Dallas, Tx 75201
Reception June 20, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

In The Finest Tradition - Daniel Mirer
The Road South - Raven Schlossberg
Light & Sie Gallery
129 Leslie Street, Dallas, Tx 75207
Reception June 20, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Omar Hernandez and James Lassen
Mighty Fine Arts Gallery
419 North Tyler, Dallas, Tx 75208
Reception June 20, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Acumen: Melikyan, Mueller, and Wallis
Sevan Melikyan
Jeff Mueller
Shawn Wallis
William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Reception June 20, 6-8 pm

Don't forget Chad Hopper at And / Or Gallery, closing this weekend, if you haven't seen it. Goodbye, And/Or.

Image courtesy of Skip Noah.


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