THE ROAMING GALLERIST : MIAMI ART WEEK

 

2022 has just flown by, ending with artful minds being in the throes of the Art Basel happenings. Once again I found myself compelled to be a part of the insatiable Basel Art Week scene. In its own way it always seems to be a unique barometer of the current economic market. It also reflects our present decisive and precarious times. The year before conversations about NFTs even being advertised by airplanes passing the city back and forth was echoing throughout Basel and around. The blow out of NFTs and the ping pong existence of crypto currency have brought markets back to basic…perhaps ground zero. In some regard the decreased economic frenzy validated good art, well established artists, and those who deserve to be.

Miami Art Week Fashion

Miami Art Week is still one of the few opportunities in the world for a given week that one can flux wantonly through art, music, social mores, and various cultures without trepidation. Very few places are like Miami and it’s Wynwood section, where art can be seen continuously on building walls along with people walking or dancing to the beat of the music throughout the wee hours of the night. There is an insatiable appetite for art and being seen around it, however good, bad, or ugly it may be. And there is certainly a fair share of it all on the streets, in the fairs, and all over the city. Art, fashion, music, and design vibrate freely through the air. This week of extravaganza world class fairs like Basel, Art Miami, CONTEXT Art Miami, Untitled to name a few transform Miami for that week and it goes back to something else the day after all the crowds pay up, check out, and fly or Jetset and drive home. Miami is certainly a fun and hopping place after but it doesn’t have the the same atmosphere as during the Basel week.

Art Miami

The fairs themselves perhaps are a double edged sword. They give visitors an opportunity to see established galleries and their world famous artists. They also have some very good but middle sized galleries, that are pushed to their limits with the high cost of participating and paying for large gallery spaces. Moreover, the fairs have an abundance of very commercial and not-so-good art as well. Yet, such situation still provides the public a generous opportunity to see and experience. When schools and universities are cutting down on art programming and art cultivating has become less practiced in raising the young, it is a godsend to have this chance. There are many people nowadays who do not visit museums or galleries on their own accord and there are many who do, and Basel caters to both of these categories. The sophisticated and the avid students of the arts as well as people with perhaps less interest in visual culture are drawn to various media, genres and styles of work, to fun and lively atmosphere, and to other fascinating people from all over the world. Even though nothing is cheap these days, you couldn’t see and experience all of this with one trip in one week unless you are a wealthy world traveler (a price tag and time not too many can afford). 

CONTEXT Art Miami 

As mentioned above, the fairs this year were a mixed bag. There still were the standard good and great galleries, many of them showing superstars of art history like Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Salvador Dalí, Niki de Saint Phalle, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Keith Haring, Sol LeWitt, Barbara Hepworth, Roy Lichtenstein, etc. Present were also the works of living superstars such as Judy Chicago, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Andrea Zittel, Kara Walker, Robert Longo among others. With this prestigious groups there are examples of some of their best pieces that are available on the secondary market, and their secondary works as well. If one is willing to invest their time and vision and look hard enough throughout the best fairs, there are still large morsels of less known and emerging artists that are worthy to obtain for both experienced collectors as well as aspiring ones.

Design Miami

What makes this potpourri somewhat complexing and challenging yet eventually rewarding is to sift through all the bad and the ugly to find the good. It is definitely advisable to take at least 3-5 days to peruse the fairs, because this kind of effort, although enjoyable and entertaining, requires viewer to take a break from time to time and join in on the fun available that week. Filtering special pieces out of the swarms of commercial art featuring various yet uninspired images of Mickey Mouses, Marylin Monroes, and King Kongs is a task not for the faint at heart. But if you do, you would be able to develop a refined art aesthetic and eventually find many great works in the offering in any of the shows. One can say that visiting these art fairs will suffice any art class at a university. 

We hope that the montage of photos in this article will give you some flavor of what art Basel brings to the table and encourage you to also look at what DBFA has to offer on our social media platforms.

DAVID HERMAN STUDIO VISIT

 

A trip to Long Island rendered a wonderful opportunity to visit the studio of a Long Island artist David Herman, whom we have exhibited for many years. Creating is in Herman’s DNA for sure. Besides developing his craft as an artist, he has been working as an accomplished violin restorer.  The underpinnings of his artistic practice is observation and experiences, specifically the ones he gained during his extensive travels. The things Herman saw and felt in his trips give his works their character and girth and become the context in which his art is brought to life. These encounters with the world are the tendons of his art.

How Herman has found time to travel in various corners of the world and still accomplish to master art and violin restoration is a wonder and a testament to his character. My recent visit to his studio proved that despite COVID and the limited ability to travel, he has still persevered and produced an impressive body of work. 

Herman’s works tend to go two different directions: they either show landscapes that emote the sheer beauty of shapes, forms, and the architecture; or his images reflect and illustrate things, people, and events encountered during his travels. 

The latter often depict unique and strong characters, regular yet extraordinary happenings, specific conditions and contexts in which persons of different social standings exist, and how a human being can overcome hardships with dignity and honor.

On the other hand, the abstract landscapes that he creates are primal yet complex. They are formed by shapes and swaps of bold color, and every element of them is very carefully articulated. Regardless of what type of works he produces, they are always emotive and exude a sense of careful control. 

Nevertheless, Herman still provides viewers with an opportunity to experience his art for themselves, without dictating the meaning or emotions one can see and feel. The freedom of interpretation is a vital part of the dialog Herman strived to build between his art and the public.

THE ROAMING VIRTUAL GALLERIST 

I am having a hard time letting go of summer. The new crisp air of the fall grasps remnants of the summer. Gradual warming colors of vegetation in the City’s parks and the rural areas of New York State and the Tri-state area, make me dwell on the spontaneous, unexpected beauty, wonders, and summer happenings that I have witnessed and experienced nearby my West Greenwich Village apartment and upstate.

Having been a Connecticut-born gal, I have roots and family there. Mostly raised in the Berkshires, it has afforded me a cornucopia of happenings and experiences throughout the years, particularly in the spring, summer, and fall. One benefit of working virtually is that one can still feel in touch with the diversity and cultural energy of the city while also feeling the richness that the countryside and all its communities can offer. Each equally diverse in nature, although some are more populated than others. So, I ventured out more often. Post-COVID has brought increasingly more people to the forefront of tangling and managing these two worlds in their lives, particularly New Yorkers like myself. One special experience of the summer was upstate in Wassaic, NY, where many artists, particularly from New York City, Brooklyn, found respite, creative energy, and community in remote places.

Getting out of the city and taking the Metro North to CT via the Grand Central will bring you to the many cultural activities in the Northwest Corner of CT and aligning NY towns such as Wassaic, NY, Millerton, NY, Kent, CT, Washington, CT, to name a few. In this case, I will highlight the Wassaic Project.

 

It is an art experience and community that is non-profit and run by several committed individuals to encourage and nurture the arts. When I revisited Wassaic it was like déjà vu. In the hamlet (a word used for a town that is too small to really call a town, but which still has a vital community), there was once a corn mill and a barn. At first, it was used for traditional mill purposes, then it became an auction for animals, and now it is a home for the Wassaic Project along with other surrounding structures. When I went into the barn, memories of an old neighbor of ours, who worked for the state but was a farmer in earlier years, took me to one of its cattle auctions when I was an adolescent. I remember how excited and curious I was. Everything was mesmerizing and fascinating: the particular fast naming, loud sound of the auctioneer’s voice in the barn… I could hear it replaying in my mind. And, to my pleasant surprise, the crudely hammered and arranged seating in the barn was still present at the gallery, as well as the old sign of the price of cattle.

The barn and its corals were converted into artists’ studio spaces still preserving its character. As you meander around each space of varying sizes and shapes, you have a chance to meet and talk to artists along the way. Many of these ambitious creators were from the city and hopped on the opportunity to apply and get a spot in one of these spaces. One was a graduate of FIT in Manhattan, another lived and worked in Brooklyn, and so on and so forth. This open studio showed their work and process to all that came. The artists were most elated to have the experience of space, and the offerings to the country, and also welcomed all the visitors providing a multitude of unique stories. Nearby was a restaurant/bar, which once was a brawling type of bar, and is now one for all to come. In between was another repurposed large barn, an old mill structure that had multilayers and served as a gallery of wonderful works of talented artists.

Outside one could enjoy a band the organization had invited, as it does in the summer, to play for those that came to visit. What more can one ask for? And this wonderful experience was absolutely free. For young artists, this is a fantastic opportunity to do studio practice, experience the country, and see life in a whole different way while still being only within two hours of the city. I recommend this to anyone who wants to drive to this beautiful part of the country, revel in nature, see art, make out, or recharge your batteries. The quaint and fantastic country towns are certainly worth the train or car ride. Stay a while or a few days.

 

 

When you are in New York, living in the West Village, there are always different, artistic, thought-provoking activities to experience. Particularly in places like Washington Square, happenings are always in the air. Whether it be the diverse functional art worn by park goers, the continuous song, dance, and music that plays in the different corners, benches, or grass areas of the park. It is human expression at its organic best. How many places can offer such freedom of expression, whether it be dressing in your own style, playing music (even on a piano), dancing, skateboarding, singing, playing games like chess, or creating and selling one’s art? All this is, once again, for free. Check it out, even in the cooler air of the fall it still has a lot to offer.

 

One thing that the virtual gallerist gains in a post-COVID virtual world is the freedom to develop one’s own schedule without the confines, expectations, and demands of a space. Don’t get me wrong, “virtual” still has its negatives and demanding challenges. But when I had physical space, I could not go to the museum as much as I wanted or had to miss must-see shows to hold down the fort. This is my first year liberated from the physical gallery space. In between my studio visits and appointments I managed to see museums that I often have not had time to check out very often. One of them is the Museum of Arts and Design near Columbus Square. Once, on a studio visit day, I managed to play a bit of hooky for a few hours to peruse and have lunch there.

This was a very invigorating change since I predominantly gravitate to painting and drawing and usually am drawn to places such as the Met, Guggenheim, and MOMA. Here I found the richness of design in functional wearable art, jewelry, installation with fabric, etc. The exhibition was inspired by fabric and how this medium is connected to and can be used to speak on the topics of activism, music, culture, and ephemeral phenomena. It also placed artists and some of their works in a context that the artists are often not generally associated with, giving the artist’s studio practice even more depth. There were works by Louise Bourgeois, Nick Cave, Jeffrey Gibson, Mark Newport, Judith Schaechter, Patrick Jacobs, and many more. There are discounts for many for certain days. Also if you can swing it, venture to the upper floor and dine at the “Robert”. The atmosphere is warm, the service and food were good, and what a view of upper Manhattan and its buildings, hustle and bustle, and, if my memory serves me well, the park! A great place for a date with a friend or just with yourself as I have had.

 

The roaming Gallerist will continue to roam but like every nomad one must breathe and have a rest.

HIDDEN CREATIVITY IN THE BOWELS OF BROOKLYN

Denise Bibro, the gallery’s director, recently made a trip to Brooklyn to see the studios of two talented local artists. Read her text about the wonders and creativity that can be found on the streets of this borough.

***

Fortunately, despite all the effects of COVID, the divisiveness of the country, the perils of war, and the compromised economy, art prevails. New York is an example of that. There are healthy morsels of talent thriving in all the boroughs of the city, which our Art In The Boros exhibitions have illustrated. Brooklyn continues to be, despite the increased costs of rent, a hotbed of hidden opportunities to see wonderful creatives finding their way to continue their artistic practice.

My most recent studio visits were made to two artists that have studios in opposite corners of Brooklyn. Both of these people are a testament to the fact that art is an integral part of the fabric of life in New York, which reaffirmed my belief that it will persevere despite the odds. These artists come from very different backgrounds, age groups, education, and experience. Nevertheless, they share a passion and unfailing desire to create. Their art is reflective of their unique personal experiences and I was amazed at the variety that I saw in their process, materials, and visual language.

If one does not know, the L train in New York is certainly a highway that connects one to a multitude of local artistic talent. In the area of East Williamsburg, I found Joe Hicks in his studio. A young artist, at least from where I stand, who is a designer by day and a studio artist by night. He paints whenever he can find the time while designing pocketbooks and spending time with his wife and two children. When you first get there you are greeted with a wide smile, deep and engaging eyes, and a blazing dark mane of hair. It is a welcoming sign when you have made such a trek.

The studio is full of unframed, un-stretched canvases on the walls and the floor, kind of wanton without being trivialized. Much of his work is inspired by his precocious toddler daughter who is also an artist of sorts. His works are colorful and painted with a sense of exploration and immediacy. There is a sense of freedom and liberation in the work that is endearing. Some works have loosely identifiable subjects and characters, others are very organic and spontaneous. Some of his most recent works that engaged me, were the ones where Hicks goes beyond the quickly drawn compositions of paint to incorporate swaths of irregular repurposed paper and fabric. The reused materials give the work additional girth, volume, and depth. The lively drawings then suggest the interplay of time and circumstance involved in their creation. Hicks’ works always convey a sense of immediacy of the present and in his recent works, one can also sense a past. The viewer is left with a feeling that the artist still wants them to keep guessing and exploring the intricacies of his paintings.

Taking the F or G train to almost the very end will bring one to Ford Hamilton in Brooklyn, an area that I haven’t been much except for a number of visits to see an old veteran friend of mine at the VA hospital. The journey proves to be eventful and worth the effort. To get to artist Ronald Katz’s residence and studio one has to get off the train, walk a bit, go over a bridge with the wiz of the traffic underneath to find a cluster of prewar buildings on Ocean Parkway. It was invigorating to observe the old workings of city construction in play and see a once ethnically uniform community’s diversification reflected by the people that went by as I moved on. An added plus to the experience of getting there was a vendor selling collectible vintage comic books, whose graphics were colorful and dynamic even if you didn’t care about Superman, Spider-Man, or Captain America. Another heaven of art? After approximately an eight-block walk I reached the prewar walk-up where I would eventually find Ronald Katz. I proceeded to do the three-floor walk up which, if anyone has ever experienced any of these pre-war buildings without elevators, seemed like six flights! My total partial and total knee replacements had a real stress attack! Nevertheless, it proved to be very much worth it. Ronald Katz is one to contend with. He immediately had my attention and respect after this experience. For more than thirty years he has climbed those stairs, many times, with his bike, art, and art supplies in tow. I know many artists in their twenties who would never stand the challenge. He is resilient and does it with no sweat.

 

When you go through the door of his apartment and then later into his second apartment, which is his studio, you see the wealth of artistic experience and heritage of a skilled and energetic artist. In addition, you see the proof of the depth and investment of his knowledge of art: art books, music, bones, rocks, and other ephemera that have helped hone his studio practice. He lives and breaths his art. The two apartments, like Hicks’ studio, display the excitement of creative exploration. Katz’s practice is more studied and scholarly honed. Hick’s is wanton and free and more organic. Katz’s strength is in the tenets of his experience and refined drawing and painting skills. He is a realist and figurative painter, which makes sense for a man whose vocation was in the sciences such as physics and chemistry. His works are also often informed by his travels and reflect what he has seen and felt from the natural phenomena that he has experienced in one form or another. In a pieces like “WELLFLEET AFTERNOON” and “TROPICAL SCENE – ST. MARTIN” the painting conveys a story that only a person who knows the characters and their particular vignettes can portray. Where the magic is more in the augment and the culmination of interpreted experience, as well as the values, timbre, and setup of the composition, the feelings that it evokes.

These two artists, who are strikingly different in their art and inspiration, are both a testament to human content at its best. The experience of both encourages one to continue to explore more of what is outside your door.

 

 

 

Open Call: #COLLAGENOW

 

CALL FOR ENTRY

Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, is proud to announce our open call for the upcoming virtual exhibition #COLLAGENOW.

Employing the internet and social media as a platform for showcasing art has become extremely important during the past years, when virtual exhibitions and showrooms became the new norm. After the success of last year’s show we are once again announcing an open call for collage artists, especially for those actively using social media such as Instagram as a platform to promote and expose their art.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 24, 2022

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  1. This call is open to artists working in collage or media that is 80% collage-based
  2. No primary gallery representation
  3. Completed application form
  4. $50 entry fee

 

ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Please pay via PayPal [email protected] and include first name and last name OR make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011
  • Please email all virtual documents to [email protected]
  • Email subject line: #COLLAGENOW, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
  • In the email include:

* Filled out application form

* A maximum of 10 hi-res images as jpgs, file title should be title of the work

* Email should include title, date, size, medium, and retail price for all works

* State whether you paid via PayPal or check

* CV as a word document (if applicable)

* Instagram handle (if applicable)

 

SELECTION PROCESS:

Jurying will begin on a rolling basis. Artists will be notified within two weeks after deadline if they are selected.

SC JUNIOR AND SCHOLARSHIP EXHIBITION

 

 

We are glad to announce that Denise Bibro was invited to serve as a juror for Salmagundi Club Junior and Scholarship Exhibition, which highlights new and talented young artists.

The exhibition is on view January 10, 2022 – January 29, 2022, at the Rockwell gallery in Salmagundi Club, New York.

Denise Bibro shared her thoughts on some of the works from the exhibition:

I was most impressed with the quality and diversity of all the work. I encourage all these young artists to continue their art. Each one of them is a winner.

Time by Qudir Ayodele

This work was singled out because of its uniqueness in format and skill. The artist juxtaposes traditional elements of painting and rendering with geometric forms. By employing wood and paint the artist successfully combines both representation and abstraction to tell a story. The artist’s skill in painting this man, with rough undulating layers of skin, riveting eyes and ware of a person of years of character building encourages the viewer to look closer at this embodiment of life and decades of experience.

Lovebirds by Dan Bunn

This still life composition is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch paintings. It is beautifully painted, with dramatic compositional forms, shapes, light, shadow, and richness of textures. The light coming from the small window to the right suggests a vast world outside, dramatically contrasting an intimate world inside with its rich dark colored walls and table. The painting presents an indulgent vignette for the viewer. The artist deftly employs subtle shades of browns, blacks, umbers in the background and contrasts it with the illuminated lush colors of fruits. The coupling of two birds enamors us. At the same time the undulating shape of an almost fully peeled lime and the halved melon, the richly painted chalice filled with liquid suggest that whoever was present just left, letting the pair of loving birds be alone. 

Sarah by Tyler Berry

This representational painting of a young woman is richly painted with subtle flesh tones of various hues of pink, beige, white. They are highlighted with rich, somber tones of green, grey, umbers, etc. The beautifully rendered ear of the woman and the lovely rendering of the outline of her face enhances the reverie of the subject in a quietly held moment. The artist managed to elicit a tactile response in the viewer by their apt representation of textures.

Big Catch by Zachary Schrage

The rich, complex, and intense black and white ink drawing of the artist is compelling and beautiful. One may think of the story of Moby Dick or artworks of Winslow Homer when looking at this image. Schrage’s artworks are narratives of grand happenings. The pillowing clouds and cascading rough waves speak not only visually but almost in words. Black and white enhances the urgency of the moment depicted. The undulating contrast of shapes and forms echo the characteristics and foreboding qualities of the natural elements that are depicted, showing the iconic human experience amidst the grandeur of wild nature. 

The above are outstanding examples of the best of a whole lot of fantastic artists in the mix. Each of the artists that submitted their works had great value and deserve to be exhibited. I applaud their courage and fortitude and encourage all of them to continue their pursuits in the art world.

 

 

Open Call: Art from the Boros IX

 

It’s that time of the year, Denise Bibro Fine Art is having its open call for “Art from The Boros.” For the past eight years we have selected diverse and hardworking artists to participate in this annual group show highlighting talent found within New York City’s five boroughs. The mission of the exhibition is to seek and find the pulse of talent in the city that is often overlooked and underexposed.

Again, due to COVID we will conduct our search and presentation differently than in prior years

We are asking artists in the five boroughs to submit all works virtually. From these submissions we will choose TEN artists for a virtual exhibition (on our website and Artsy.com) in the first half of 2022. From those ten artists we will then choose ONE to have artist to have a solo virtual exhibition in the coming year.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Sunday, March 6, 2022
Open to all mediums; performance art must be digital

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  1. No primary gallery representation
  2. Live and/or work in any of the five NYC boroughs
  3. Completed Prospectus Form
  4. $50 entry fee

ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Please pay via PayPal [email protected] Include first name and last name OR make a check payable to Denise Bibro Fine Art: PO Box 1071, New York, NY 10011
  • Please email all virtual documents to [email protected]
  • Email subject line: ART FROM THE BOROS VIII, FIRST NAME, LAST NAME
  • Fill out application form including:
    * A maximum of 10 hi-res images as jpgs, file title should be title of the work
    * Email should include title, date, size, medium, and retail price for all works
    * State whether you paid via PayPal or check
    * CV as a word document (if applicable)

 

SELECTION PROCESS:

Jurying will begin on a rolling basis. Artists will be notified within two weeks after deadline if they are selected.