Tom Sachs: SPACE PROGRAM: MARS @ Park Avenue Armory

tsarmory414flag 605x402 Tom Sachs: SPACE PROGRAM: MARS @ Park Avenue Armory Tom Sachs space program mars

Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.

The show opens on May 16, 2012.

SPACE PROGRAM: MARS is a demonstration of all that is necessary for survival, scientific exploration, and colonization in extraterrestrial environs: from food delivery systems and entertainment to agriculture and human waste disposal. Sachs and his studio team of thirteen will man the installation, regularly demonstrating the myriad procedures, rituals, and tasks of their mission. The team will also “lift off” to Mars several times throughout their residency at the Armory, with real-time demonstrations playing out various narratives from take-off to landing, including planetary excursions, their first walk on the surface of Mars, collecting scientific samples, and photographing the surrounding landscape.

Beneath the compulsive tinkerer’s mentality and ribald wit that permeate SPACE PROGRAM: MARS, and Sachs’ work at-large, is a conceptual underpinning that addresses serious and profound issues—namely the commodification of abstract concepts such as originality, shock, newness, and mystery—expressing them in the personal and physical terms of production and process. With the recent shuttering of NASA’s shuttle program and the shifting focus towards privatized space travel, SPACE PROGRAM: MARS takes on timely significance within Sachs’s work, which provokes reflection on the haves and have-nots, utopian follies and dystopian realities, while asking barbed questions of modern creativity that relate to conception, production, consumption, and circulation.

SPACE PROGRAM: MARS is organized by Park Avenue Armory and Creative Time and is curated by Creative Time President and Artistic Director Anne Pasternak and Park Avenue Armory Consulting Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds.

From The Citrus Report

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Thais Beltrame

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We jumped at the chance to talk with the Sao Paulo based artist, Thais Beltrame, as Upper Playground releases a collection of tees by her. There’s something striking and immediate about Thais’ work that she’s able to accomplish with such a simple pallet and medium. Frankly, it’s something that we find impossible not to respect, and something that has landed her into the elite circle of artists that are molding the artistic culture of Brazil. Check out the Upper Playground tees here and the interview below.   -TCR

Your recent exhibition in Wyoming looked wonderful, had you been to Wyoming before then? What was the catalyst for that exhibition?
I’d never been there, and as much as I tried to fantasize it through google earth it never compared to the actual experience. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that much silence in my life before that, and that has been crucial to the way I work now.

Any wonderfully ‘Wyoming’ moments from your time there that you’d like to share with us?
One evening a gentleman from the Association walked me back to the place where I was staying because there are not a lot of lights in the city once it’s dark. We saw three deer munching on someone’s frontyard, and stopped to look at them. They stared back at us for a while until they were sure we were ok. That was pretty memorable to me. And seeing beaver and trumpeter swans during a hike towards hot springs while it was snowing amidst the deepest silence was something I will never forget.

When I see your work I often wish you’d animate a video for a Sigur Ros song, there’s just this innate reflective quality. Is that intentional or does it naturally work it’s way into your pieces?
That is such a compliment. I don’t intend for my drawings to be they way they are, they just happen that way. I’m a very contemplative kind of person, and maybe even slow for the age we live.

thais2 605x222 Thais Beltrame wyoming thais beltrame pamela anderson la famiglia baglione jackson hole art association Brazil

We’ve seen a lot of American attention move towards Brazil over the last ten years, both in pop culture and politics, how has that changed the culture there in your lifetime?
There is a lot more space for the showcase of blooming new talent, that’s for sure. I remember how dead the 90′s was in therms of arts and culture so that’s definitely positive, and artists like me had no place to go back then. What I’m interested in is the long run so we’re yet to see how much of this will consolidate and become the culture of our time.

What does having someone like Pamela Anderson buy some of your work recently do for you?

It just goes to show how little we know about someone we think we know. She picked pieces I really like and I used to watch Baywatch so we’re even now.

We know you’re not allowed to speak about the ‘Famiglia Baglione’, but are the rumors (that we just made up) true that you guys have monthly meetings in rice fields and sacrifice a goat and that is where all
of your collective artistic prowess comes from?
Last goat that got away became our PR, but other than that we still meet in rice fields.

thais1 605x222 Thais Beltrame wyoming thais beltrame pamela anderson la famiglia baglione jackson hole art association Brazil

If Sesper in 2011 were to meet the fictional character Jennie Garth of 1990, would he have a chance? (see this video for context)
I’m sure Dylan and Brandon wouldn’t stand a chance.

What’s going on for Thais Beltrame for the rest of 2011?
I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve only been doing things I enjoy lately. I’m finising up illustrating a second book before I take a vacation break after 4 long years. Then I’m back to printmaking, making a book of my own and being part of a group show in São Paulo. After that I show the fruits of my labour in Hamburg, Germany in a small design shop. It all seems just perfect to me. The unexpected.

From The Citrus Report

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Megan Van Groll

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Megan Van Groll studies her own relation to body, function, and gender through her neo-realist interpretations, and does so in a way that feels mundanely human while rendering each piece particularly poignant and oddly evocative. Her ability to recreate scenes where egos and their respective bodies collide is truly a gift, especially since she uses it as a personal reflective tool, not as some thrift store badge of pseudo-hipsterness. Instead, her artwork serves as an honest intersection point – a place, outside our dreams, where we’re able to relive and rework the dynamics at hand, all the while cuddling and cajoling the aspects of personhood that some of us would surely like to see go by the wayside. Her unabashed undertaking of food and femininity sets the stage for work that could spiral off in various directions, and we’re glad to have caught up with her while she solidifies her current approach.

As masks of identity are peeled back by Megan’s culinary art, her intense, seemingly over-pixelated images are so real that they veer over the top; all the while allowing the viewer enough space to come to a variety of conclusions. If you need something more abstract, off you go… but when it comes to food for thought, Megan Van Groll has an appetite.

by Evan La Ruffa

EL: Your work admittedly prods at the way women relate to food….for as much as it appears in your work, would you rather people make their own judgment, or is there a specific message you’re trying to get across?

MVG: This is a tricky question. Some people feel that all art is political — that it’s impossible for the artist to separate herself from her beliefs or opinions when creating a work of art. Others feel that art with any kind of agenda is propaganda, not art. I want to make art that asks a question, not that delivers an answer. I want to make art that inspires introspection among its viewers. I don’t have answers to my own questions, if I did, it wouldn’t be interesting enough for me to base a painting on. The process of creating the painting and hearing the perspective of viewers inspires a better understanding of the topic at hand.

EL: Your aesthetic is fairly honed in. All your stuff almost feels like part of a series. Has your work always followed a theme?

MVG: The questions and topics that personally interest me certainly play a role in determining what kind of art I choose to make. I often work by deciding upon a theme or approach for an entire series at one time, and write down examples for possible subject matter, along with a first draft for a future artist statement. Only after much writing and introspection will I begin work on the first painting in that series. It takes a painfully long time for me to uncover a pattern or theme in my ideas that I feel has a solid chance of becoming a series, so there’s usually a long period of thinking, digesting, and waiting…but when the time is right, inspiration will come as a flash and within thirty minutes or so I’ve begun to plan every painting in the series.

EL: How do you think you came to settle on your aesthetic? What aspect of your life made your particular expression what it is today?

MVG: I love to make visceral images that immediately engage the viewer, and for my work, a neo-realistic or narrative style is the most effective for this. I also love the process of painting realistically. My left brained, perfectionist, list-making side, absolutely loves the hours agonizing over the tiny details of the human form, and the countless brush strokes that finally achieve a human likeness. My work is definitely a stylized form of realism, and one of the things I want to explore with future paintings is how I can more effectively use this disconnection from complete photorealism as a communication tool in and of itself.

EL: It feels to me like you’re trying out real-life situations through the fantasy of painting yourself into the scene, kind of like a dream…how do u view it?

MVG: There’s an element of surrealism to this aspect of my work. I of course wouldn’t be able to have a fight with myself, or walk around naked in public spaces. If I could, photography would be the most effective medium for me to use. I enjoy the fantastical result of creating a painting of something you can’t photograph. That’s been an effective tool for visual engagement, it’s also pretty fun.

EL: “Bakery Brawl” seems like a scene you were actually a part of, in fact, you describe it as a “double self-portrait”…explain that…

MVG: I love to watch my initial ideas unfold into something unexpected. Every painting I make turns out, in retrospect, to reflect whatever is going on in my world or my mind at the time that I make it. Bakery Brawl is a great example of this. I found a photo of two prostitutes at the beginning of a catfight and that was the basis for the pose of the two women in that painting. I recreated it with new reference images and I ended up using myself as the model. I didn’t intend for it to become a double self portrait when I first planned the painting, but I think it’s interesting that it did. The aggression reflected on a personal point of tension in my life as a young person — and a young painter — figuring things out, figuring myself out and where I fit in this world — and particularly the art world. When I became cognizant of this, I realized that this personal dialogue parallels the rather complicated current state of gender roles. In its own way and without intending to, Bakery Brawl marked the expansion of my artistic focus from the personal to the interpersonal, exploring identity construction within the framework of female relationships and communities.

EL: In your artist statement, you say “I’m fascinated by the obsessive, erotic, and somewhat dark role of food in the female consciousness.” How do you see food as both erotic and dark? Can they be so at the same time?

MVG: Food is such a sensual matter. Even just texturally speaking; it can be soft, lush, sweet, dripping, messy, fleshy, warm, spongey… It nourishes us, and satisfies our hunger and cravings. We have a complicated relationship to our food, especially women and especially American women. We both crave certain foods — and are even addicted to these foods — and fear and loathe them. A cupcake, to name an example, is not just a cupcake. It’s a loaded cultural symbol — for guilty pleasure, for excess, for reward, for personal responsibility, broken goals, self-loathing and for everything we don’t like about ourselves. For everything personal we know is in our power to change, and we can’t get there.

EL: Do you find that people are often perplexed by what you’re getting at, or do folks usually interpret your work the way you do? how does that affect what you decide to do next? or does it?

MVG: I want people to be a little perplexed. I don’t want my work to be a one-liner. I want it to be both accessible enough that you don’t need a Masters degree in Art History to feel that it holds cultural value for you, but complex enough that you feel compelled to explore the visual and psychological space of the image. That’s the challenge of painting semi-realistically and the anxiety of realistic painters: that the image might only be interpreted literally.

The process of choosing what to paint next is a natural evolution of my past work, the interpretation of it by others, and the dialogue that results. Hearing the perspectives of other people about my work has helped me understand new dimensions I didn’t anticipate. That’s the best part, for me – engaging the viewer in a dialogue, opening a portal for discussion. I encourage feedback. The interpretations of viewers does make its way into my future painting decisions, and any artist who claims otherwise is either fooling themselves or lying. However, it’s a delicate balancing act to choose when to listen and when not to; focusing too much on the potential reactions of viewers is paralyzing, unproductive, and clogs innovation.

EL: Besides making a commentary on food as it relates to femininity, what other aspects of your world view inform your art?

MVG: My father was in the Army for over twenty years so I moved around a lot when I was a kid, spending five of my earliest years in Germany. Constantly readjusting to new places every year or two and not having one place to honestly call a hometown resulted in a fascination with the psychology of identity formation. How we become who we are and how we come to understand ourselves relative to other people, societies, and cultural expectations such as gender roles or racial stereotypes is an underlying theme in all of my work.

EL: Are there other social dynamics, internalized or otherwise, that you look forward to engaging through your work in the future?

MVG: Absolutely. I’m very interested in exploring themes of identity — and my future work will likely be more immersed in this topic than my last few paintings, and probably in a more personal way.

EL: What are you working on now?

MVG: Just this week I had one of the aforementioned flashes of inspiration and began planning a new series. I’m not yet ready to talk about it more than I have, though. I’m still in draft mode.

EL: Name one artist or musician we should check out…

MVG: I’m really enjoying the intricate, colorful paintings of Michelle Hinebrook. I recently purchased a print of one of her pieces titled Sugarcoat from 20

Rene Almanza in Barcelona

Posted from The Citrus Report

(Chapter One)

“… Has taught drawing, like a language that speaks not only representing your character if not the same at work, there is a kind of reflection of the essence of the Creator in his creatures. This has been a very important briefing because, as his own pieces as shown, Rene is involved in each. Every part of his work is perfectly related to everything…”

Javier Arjona Juárez, oaxacan artist.                                                                                                           June 2010, Xalapa- Veracruz, Mexico

The first time I heard the name Almanza * 1 was from the mouth of another artist. Curiously, in later years when I decided to improve my inexperience in the capacity of the reviews of art, the main provision for reference of other exhibitors came from René’s own voice. How well he spoke the Mexican Alfonso Guevara * 2, a graduate in visual arts with specialization in camera work, “René Almanza has always maintained a community spirit”, a quality that has earned the deep appreciation of his contemporaries.

That is why I find it consistent to begin to speak about their work by altering the usual thematic order that guided me, leaving behind the habit of starting the description of the artist from the individuality of their existing records. In the case of Rene Almanza, it is more interesting to show implicit reflection images timid, those in which it denies, confirms or leaves in doubt the discursive theorizing that apply their observant.

For this recognition to its scope, it is necessary to compile an accurate illation appraisal, whether regarding the work or humanity that is outside the professional environment. The formula that best concretized the exemplary figure of René is that which comes from the comments made on behalf of their developmental sequence. I suspect that has been through this feature that has been given the unconditional disposal of the business fraternity in which he operates.

In this way the human honesty and professional integrity of the Mexican representative, have been two of the main reasons that motivated me to talk about his career. Building on shared journeys during our common stay in Barcelona Spain, I decided to perpetuate the description of temperament that has been reflected in his works.

After several intentions to approach Almanza in the past, I think it was no coincidence that finally we meet in the circle further from the city in which located. The foreign similarity was one of the elements that facilitated the immediate link to the establishment of the dialogue in Europe.

On this remains confess that prior to the interview I did with René, I wanted to examine the transparency of the psychic and corporeal content suggested in his creations. The visual representations, with which I met him in my country, reported a paradoxical relationship with the speculative symbolization that I held. It was thus that in the civility of Monterrey Nuevo Leon I settled affinity for their parts, while in the Spanish metropolis I built rapport with his reserved ontology.

In my amateur view, the interest I had for talking with an exponent as prepared as Almanza, prompted me to cultivate a personal demand on basic concepts of artistic discipline. I conceived this as a necessary feature to make accurate descriptions, so to adhere to the sense of his referral and personal proclivity. On occasions, when there is an effect of unpremeditated art, the need to understand the phenomenon that generates positive countertransference.

The utopian attempt to make a narrative with internal focalization * 19, then depends on the assimilation transferred in intimate communication with the creator. However, without waiting to extract textual basis, I realized that the works discussed mainly concerns the drafting of texts with external composition * 19. The reason for this is that the credible motivation within the visual parts lives only in the reserve of the authors. As is well recognized by Rene Almanza “… communication in the painting is a conversation of sorts with empty spaces. The message is issued is not always so straightforward … people complete their unfinished readings. ” (R. Almanza, 2010)

In this way the viewer enters its affinity to art, whether by the aesthetic appeal or its desire to consummate the arguments that are not outwardly. I do not know if such clairvoyance like men with talent. Either way it is remembered that “The art is displayed under the need occasionally aesthetics of those who need and like to be disappointed, those who believe and are recreated * 20

Both the public and developers, new findings reveal surveillance. Once you look back at the completed product, recognize truths that went unnoticed by his conscience. That’s why I wonder: how the artistic seduction exists without the special permission of the glosses?

If we wanted to avoid the effects of the paintings and graphics, we should close our eyes and we should vet our imagination to the time of the suggestion. Decry the understanding we would need the images and stop exalting the creature that reproduces the unreality in the material. In this way, art is like that movie classic that no one wants to remake, because the justification to stick to one subject; we would not see the personal attribute that was introspective.

Turning to another role outside the trichotomy: transmitter, the work and the receiver, the figure comes into play that talks about the interactions of those elements. With regard to my role as editor, which doubles the terms subsequently asked the artist, I recognize that words have never been entirely free of conjecture. Yet having tried to be fair in my writing, I have escaped the attempt to tell stories of the pictures that I contemplated.

Posted By The Citrus Report

“How About Now” at Sabina Lee Gallery, Los Angeles

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One of our contributors to the site of Citrus, J. Frede, is in a new show at Sabina Lee Gallery titled How About Now. Dane Johnson, whom we have a feature on, happens to be curating the show. Here is the rundown on the show:

Sabina Lee Gallery is pleased to present How About Now a group exhibition curated by Dane JohnsonHow About Now gathers Artworks from Berlin, London, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Christopher Baird, Sophie Erlund, j.frede, Leslie Kulesh, Chris Lux, Nathan Peter and Charlie Woolley share a sensibility and understanding of location and its history in both their materials and their artistic practice.  They tangle images, objects and sounds to create works activated by the time and place specific to cities, neighborhoods and countries that the artists call home.  As the works leave their points of creation and are presented as a group they unite in a gathering of the uprooted and seem to find pleasure in the comradery of a Los Angeles vacation.

Posted By The Citrus Report

amazing – film poster paintings from Ghana

…In order to promote these showings, artists were hired to paint large posters of the films (usually on used canvas flour sacks). The artists were given the artistic freedom to paint the posters as they desired – often adding elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies…
more HERE

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Some Live Painting At Karmaloop Event…..


This was painted on the Karmaloop booth during the cable channel convention in Downtown LA. I didn’t know what to expect walking in, thinking it was just some random convention. To my surprise, it was all the media giants crammed into one room.

Of course the most ominous presence at the show were my very good friends at Fox News with a massive booth in the center. I Immediately got butterflies in my stomach. There they were, the mind numbing media leviathans who had falsely accused me for desecrating the American Flag. In my fantasy I would have blasted the booth and everyone in it with a fire extinguisher full of paint, but I came to my senses and used this opportunity to paint the flag again.

Apparently the people at Fox sent their cronies to photograph my piece. Who knows if any one really gives a fuck, but as for myself, it was nice to use my artistic freedom to rub one in their face within spitting distance.

Shepard came the next day and rocked the wall with his team.  Karmaloop is going to have some big things unfolding soon on cable TV so keep your eyes out.







Cable Show7


Posted By Saber