Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Fabulous Miss Sarah Ogren...

Meet Sarah Ogren!

Sarah Ogren is a mixed media artist with a love of vintage things. She will often encorporate vintage images into her work and trans-form them into something a little more modern. Her work has been described as dark and moody and it will often reflect her sometimes quirky sense of humor.

Here are some of Sarah's answers to the interview questions I've been asking...

Q. What are the main things that inspire you? Are you inspired by things that happen to you, or what you observe from life?

A. I’m very much inspired by antique photographs and vintage illustrations. I’m also a huge fan of field notes and drawings. The ideas for my work come partially from these influences as well as events in my every day life. I have come into the habit of writing down things people tell me or sometimes take random ideas from my personal journal pages as themes for my work. Many of the titles of my pieces are direct quotes from me or others.
Q. Sometimes an artists work gives a hint to what the artist may be like, what they believe in, entertainment they fancy. Is there anything about you that would be surprising to know, if someone only knew your art?

A. I think this is definitely true of me. My work is a direct reflection of what I find interesting and what I think of the world. My work has a very child-like, humorous and surrealist quality to it. In real life I’m very much a light hearted person, who is always laughing at something. I also have always been quite the daydreamer and spent far too much time in my own head.
Q. When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

A. I thought I was going to be a Psychologist or a narrator for nature programs. I did earn a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling, but I’m not practicing at the moment.
I think I wanted to be the nature program narrator because at the time I thought the narrators were actually out in the woods where the action was. After learning that they did all of their work in a sound studio that dream died for me.
Q. How do you get inspiration for the pieces you produce?

I get my inspirations from looking at old antique photographs and antiques in general actually. I like to spend my free time wandering antique malls when I’m feeling the need for some fresh ideas. I almost always find something there that sparks an idea for a new project.

Everyday conversations have also become quite a rich source of inspiration for me. People (including myself) say the darndist things sometimes.
Q. Describe your ideal day...

A. The day would be cool but sunny, sometime in the fall when the leaves have all changed. I would begin my morning with a walk in the woods, making sure to shuffle my feet through the fallen leaves. I would return home to make myself a tasty egg sandwich with bacon and cheese.
Then it would be off to my studio where I would work all day. It would be one of those days where the ideas keep coming and I can barely keep up with my own thoughts.Then I’d have dinner with friends, complete with great conversation and one of those laughing fits where your side hurts.I’d then end my day with a really good book.
Q. Last book you read?

A. David Sedaris. When Your Body Is Engulfed Ion Flames.

Sarah has been a part of each and every Teeny Tiny Art Show! She sent me some images of the mixed media sculptures she will be exhibiting in September...enjoy!

You can view more of Sarah's sculptures and other teeny tiny previews here!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Amy Gross!

Amy Gross will be exhibiting work in the upcoming Teeny Tiny Art Show! She is a surface and textile designer by day, a painter and jewelry maker the rest of the time. Plus there's a dollhouse - “which I would work on all the time if I could, but then nothing would get done...”.

Amy received her BFA from Cooper Union and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She currently lives and works in Florida with her cat, Solomon.

I sent Amy some questions about her and her work - I would love to share her thoughtful responses as they reveal much about her life and work...enjoy!

Q: What are the main things that inspire you? Are you inspired by things that happen to you, or what you observe from life?

A: I was one of those little kids completely obsessed with scale, always out in the backyard trying to figure out how ants saw the world, building twig and moss farming communities around the trunks of our Norway maples, fascinated/horrified by what lived on and under the woodpile, way in the corner, by the fence. I don't think I ever really let go of the idea that the struggle for life co-oexists on so many levels, from the microscopic to the enormous-I grew up in a time when telescopes and microscopes were gathering all these wonderful images together and setting them side by side. But it took a while for me to figure out how to mix together my own life experiences with pictures of things I find so amazing. It's one thing to study how nature and time and change battles - when things like that happen to people you love, you start to really understand how it feels. That's when my artwork started to develop.

Q: Sometimes an artists work gives a hint to what the artist may be like, what they believe in, entertainment they fancy. Is there anything about you that would be surprising to know, if someone only knew your art?

A: I'm pretty sure that if someone just looked at my work they wouldn't be too surprised to know that I love doll houses, and that I have around 40 boxes of beads, and a world globe collection, and I still have the microscope my parents gave me when I was nine.

But I think it would be pretty hard to figure out how much I love baseball. I've cried over baseball. Hard. And if I could remake my brain over, I'd probably try to be an astronaut. But we're talking serious neuro-makeover, I'm pretty sure they still look for people who can figure out a tip without a pencil.

Q: Do have any odd habits while you paint/sculpt/sew/etc?

A: Since so much of my work involves seemingly endless repetitive sewing of beads to objects, you would think that would leave a lot of room for listening to really interesting undiscovered rock bands or NPR, but I love more than anything sewing to the sound of professional golf tournaments and tennis matches. I don't like golf, I don't play golf, but there's something about the club woosh and the ball bouncing in the cup and the announcers muted monotones. And with tennis, just that thuck-thunk, thuck-thunk, it just goes with stitching. Even the annoying grunting has a nice rhythm to it. With baseball, well, I get too worked up, and it makes me look up too often.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

A: No surprises. I was going to be an artist. My Dad was, and is, and it was just what was, and we all just assumed it was genetic. And good thing-even when I was a doofy funny-looking pre-teen I knew what I was going to be, and that was infinitely helpful. I think when I was eight I considered becoming the greatest child actress who ever lived, but that was about the time that Jodi Foster was a big deal, and I think that lasted about a week and a half.

Q: How do you get inspiration for the pieces you produce?

A: It's everywhere. I started working this way after I moved to Florida, after living my entire life up until then in a pretty well-behaved New York suburb. The town I live in now is about as shopping malled and sub-divided as they come, but it's still the subtropics, and there's this strange and insistent undercurrent of wildness that we keep trying to tramp down. Things grow so fast you almost think you can see them change, and the canals between communities are like feverish little jungles. Strangler figs squeeze the life out of other trees, duckweed make ponds look carpeted, everything tangles around everything else. It's amazing, the idea that a landscape can transform so quickly, both visually and invisibly, and there are so many parallels in the human body and the way we think and remember. So I started making objects that look like found objects from nature, little biotopes that are really completely man-made, a way of mixing my own experiences with what the landscape gives to me.

Q: What has been your best creation to date?

A: My best isn't my favorite-it's a piece called "Came Close to Drowning", and it's 40" by 40", which is pretty large for me, and for a beaded and fabric painting. It was important because it wasn't just about the experience of almost drowning that I actually had, in a river in Connecticut, but about the experience of remembering it, how it changes each time you try to recall it, it gets abstracted and the scale of each part of it gets larger and smaller. I was trying to fix the memory, to sew it tight. Of course, that's impossible, artwork is an object, unlike a true fluid memory. But we don't have many ways we can try to trap time, to mark our path, and I think that's why we make things.

Q: Describe your ideal day?

A: I've always had an art day-job, a self-employed one, but a necessity and a time-eater. So there's some wish-projection involved: Up, feed cat, feed myself, morning ride on shiny new pink bicycle, coffee in large cup, stitch and bead and sew for hours, lunch, soap operas, back to stitching and beading and sewing, meet Mom for iced coffee, a little more sewing, make a miniature flat file for the doll house art studio, goof around on Flickr for an hour, design some jewelry, feed cat, eat dinner, read, pass out. Not too far from actual life, but without a day-job taking up most of it. If it were really ideal, there would be a large studio to putter around in, instead of the living room coffee table, a silver Air Stream Camper all decoupaged inside, a tricked-out tree-house, and lots of extra money for clothes and buying other people's art.

Q: Last book you read?

A: The book I'm halfway through right now is David Copperfield! It sat there on a shelf staring at me for years, and I had no idea how much fun it is. Before that, Proust was a Neuroscientist, by Jonah Lehrer. I can't back up the science in it, but there are some terrific things for artists to run with in that one.

Q: Ask yourself (and answer) a question?

A/Q: It's taken you longer than you would have planned to find a vocabulary that helps you say what you have to say creatively. If you could start over, would you have spent less time as a commercial artist and more struggling to develop your own language?

A: For me, it turned out that I had to release myself from all the preconceptions I had of what an artist should be. I was in art school in New York City during a time when the painters we heard most about had generally bombastic personalities, making gigantic paintings and a lot of noise, and I couldn't imagine how someone like me could find a place in that world. I was convinced that I was lacking some element, some piece that made an artist whole. So for a while I went in other directions, sometimes far enough away that I stopped thinking of myself as an artist, and it was only then that the need returned. Because it wasn't about the end product, finally, but about the experience of making things, of keeping a record of what's happened to me. And things had to happen first. That came with time.

These beautiful photographs are courtesy of Amy Gross - you can see more of her photos here on her flickr ("world in a matchbox")!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sarah Sharp

I am so excited to exhibit the work of Sarah Sharp (a.ka. Trixie) here in the gallery for the first time! She will be sending a group of her photographs for the Teeny Tiny in September:)

Here is a testimonial from flickr..."Churchill said of Russia that it was a "riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma", but he was probably thinking of Trix.Her pictures are shiny secrets. Her eyes see different worlds. And when she writes in her profile (see left) that "it's complicated", you just know she wouldn't like it if it wasn't.She is, after all, the world's greatest girl detective. Churchill would have fallen for her, hard." (Tampen)

...and another...

"What I love about Trixie's work is that she has such a highly developed eye and a style that is distinctively, immistakeably, trixie-esque. Trixie has a way of shedding perspective on an object, person, piece o' street art/ signs, or even on cleverly posed action figures that is both humorous and poig-nant. I could, and do, look at her pix for hours." (Sazliner)

Sarah Sharp is a writer and a photographer, recently relocated to Detroit, MI from New York City. She has shown work in group and solo shows in Detroit and Manhattan and is known to some as the greatest girl detective in the world...

Here is a list of 25 random things about Sarah with an "h"...

1. I'm from California, have lived in New York City for the last 6 years, and am just about to embark on a new chapter of life in Detroit.

2. My earliest love of photography can be traced back to a lifetime obsession with photobooths.

3. I am 28 years old and own at least as many toys as the average 8-year-old. Really, photography is just an elaborate excuse to get to keep buying toys.

4. I am working on a photo project to visit all 50 United States this year. So far I have been to 36 states. You can see more about that here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1541734301/50-states

5. I collect postcards, and am currently in the process of making my own art-postcards based on my 50 states road trip.

6. I love Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, and do not really have words strong enough for my feelings on William Eggleston and Cindy Sherman.

7. I'm not sure I believe in ghosts, but I'm definitely afraid of them.

8. I read a lot of sci-fi.

9. I cannot dance, but this doesn't stop me from doing it.

10. At times I worry that my deep affection for robots will cause me to unwittingly unleash the robot apocalypse (see item 8). I'm not proud of this, but there it is.

11. I adore pinball. one of my biggest beefs with living in NY is the lack of Williams brand pinball machines, the lack of pinball machines in general, and the fact that it costs $1 a game here, which is absolutely criminal.

12. I am exactly 5'7" and a half inches tall. the half is important.

13. I am a fan of American football, have a pretty thorough understanding of the game, and deeply resent it when women claim they "can't understand" football.

14. I have a pair of limited-edition PBR sneakers.

15. I recently passed the one-year mark without a cigarette (which I did for 10+ years).

16. I do not automatically know my right from my left, and often need to make an "L" with my fingers to tell the difference.

17. I enjoy wearing hats.

18. I derive deep satisfaction from organizing things using arcane systems known only to me. this includes my flickr photostream, which is why I currently have about 130 sets.

19. I am not a terribly good speller.

20. I really don't like bananas. I have not eaten a banana, or anything banana-flavored, for over 25 years. I think putting bananas in fruit salad is the fastest way to ruin a picnic.

21. I have never been downhill skiing. I have been cross-country skiing once.

22. Zoos make me sort of sad, but I'm absolutely crazy about aquariums.

23. I enjoy games of all sorts, including board games, bar games, shooting games, arcade games, bowling, Scrabble, various competitive sports, card games, word games, sudoku, children's games, and computer games, but I do not like video games and never play them and I don't want to watch you play them, either.

24. I am intermittently afflicted with insomnia.

25. I am something of an epistolean - I love writing letters. I send numerous postcards anytime I go on vacation, and love it when my friends send postcards to me. I have romantic notions about playing chess-by-mail with someone. I often drop in at the post office to see what new stamps have come out, and collect stamps in a very disorganized and lackadaisical manner.

...and one more for good luck...

26. I believe intelligent life exists somewhere in the universe. I would not necessarily cite the human race as evidence of it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kimberly Curry

The Teeny Tiny Art Show #5 is coming in September!! In the coming weeks I will be posting about some of the participating artists. I've asked them all to answer questions about themselves and about their work and I would like to share that...and pictures...lots of pictures! I hope you all enjoy, cheers.

The first artist I would like to introduce is Miss Kimberly Curry. She was raised in Southern Maine and attended Newbury College and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston for interior design. She now resides in Portland, Maine. This will be Kimberly's first tiny art show at Three Graces and we are delighted:)

Inspired by a recent Facebook phenomenon...I've asked some of the artists to make a list of 25 random things about themselves...here's Kimberly's list!

25 Random Things about Kimberly Curry

1. When she eats M&Ms she lines them up, sorts them by color and eat them them one at a time, biting them in half, then in quarters.
2. She learned to belly dance under the stars in a desert in the Middle East.
3. Her claim to fame was meeting Donna Summer in an outdoor market in Brazil
4. Her more memorable claim to fame was when she met Cinderella at Storyland. She rode with her in the Pumpkin Coach. It still gives her shivers.
5. Likes really sharp pencils
6. She has particular coffee needs and is very passionate about them
7. She has lived without a TV for almost 30 years (It makes her a dreadful Trivia partner)
8. Her favorite yoga pose is shavasna (corpse pose)
9. She does not have a favorite color (and she does not want one)
10. Tried really, really hard to be a tomboy growing up, but failed miserably.
11.She has an extensive collection of beautiful scarves and shawls from around the world
12.She has a pet beta fish named Dennis
13.Her “phone voice” sounds like an automated machine. People have hung up on her thinking she was a recording.
14. She is an official clergy person, thanks to the internet. She can marry and bury. (She just cannot sacrifice humans or animals)
15. Not only does she dream in color, she has complete stories full of drama, intrigue and excitement. Plus she usually remembers them in the morning.
16. She is not a big fan of nature.
17. She loves Junior Mints (eats them in the fashion of the M&Ms minus the color sorting)
18. Her favorite ice cream flavor is peppermint stick with rainbow jimmies
19. Her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice
20. She has a crush on the actor Clive Owen.
21. In all of her travels around the world, she loves coming home to Maine best of all.
22. She was so shy as a child that she did not tell her nursery school teacher she felt sick. This resulted in her vomiting all over her teacher’s polyester pants.
23. She tweezes her eyebrows twice a day.
24. She is known for her loud laugh…and laughs often.
25. Morning is her best time.
26. She is an over-achiever.