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Participant and Audience: A Conversation with Koki Tanaka  
5/5/14 Posted 5/5/14

New York, May 2014: This weekend New York’s Randall’s Island becomes a contemporary art mecca as Frieze New York kicks off for its third iteration. A troupe of black sedans will storm the RFK bridge (while the rest of us take the ferry) to an onslaught of gallery booths, lectures, performances, and installations that capture the contemporary art market’s voracious appetite for the new and the now. The fair features a specially curated program of contemporary artists working at the... [more]

Interview With Despina Stokou: Putting it all into context…  
4/27/14 Posted 4/27/14

Berlin, Apr. 2014: Athens-born, Berlin-based artist Despina Stokou always has several projects going on at any given time. She believes contemporary artists should be active players in the art world and her involvement in Berlin's ever-changing, always-moving art scene goes beyond her studio practice to include writing, editing, and the organization of events to support young artists and curators. By all accounts, her hard work seems to be paying off. Following a flurry of successful sho... [more]

Confronting the Body Con: an Interview with Ivonne Thein  
4/21/14 Posted 4/21/14

Berlin, Apr. 2014: Ivonne Thein creates polished and apparently unbiased images that confront our messy aesthetic prejudices. In 2008, she debuted a series of coolly composed and conceptually chilling photographs titled Thirty-Two Kilos. These images show impossibly thin models dressed in stylish white attire and contorted in yogic poses. Their bodies push beyond fashion’s waif aesthetic into a realm of real illness, desperation, and morbidity. Inspired by a rash of "pro-ana" websites, where... [more]

Seventy-Two Photographs, Seven Seconds Apart: An Interview with Daniel Gustav Cramer  
4/14/14 Posted 4/14/14

Basel, Apr. 2014: Daniel Gustav Cramer is a Berlin-based artist. He has exhibited internationally at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland, Kunsthalle Lissabon, and many other international venues. His work, which can take the form of installations, printed matter, photography, and objects, deals mainly with memory. Olga Stefan interviewed Daniel Gustav Cramer on the occasion of his recent exhibition at SALTS, Basel, 01-72. Olga Stefan: It seems that in your artistic practice... [more]

Untitled: an interview with Xaviera Simmons  
4/6/14 Posted 4/6/14

New York, Apr. 2014: Xaviera Simmons is a New York-based artist whose practice manifests in performance, photography, sculpture, installation, sound, video, and more. That dynamic interdisciplinary material is fueled by research, contemplation, and feeling, three modes that enable Simmons to not only reflect the complexity of the human condition but also empathize with it. No subject would seem unconquerable: she tackles history, the landscape, and the human figure within it; she plays with cultu... [more]

Glitter and Doom: Allison Schulnik + Bradley Rubenstein  
3/31/14 Posted 3/31/14

Los Angeles, Mar. 2014: Allison Schulnik’s second New York solo exhibition at ZieherSmith, Eager, included a startling array of painting, sculpture, drawing, and film, creating a beautiful, yet haunting world. Her work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Schulnik talks with Bradley Rubenstein about her new show, her dance background, the difference between working in New York and Los Angeles, and, of course, cats. Al... [more]

Queering Process + Material Strategies: An Interview with Derek Dunlop  
3/23/14 Posted 3/23/14

Winnipeg, Canada, Mar. 2014: I first wrote about Derek Dunlop’s work on ArtSlant in January 2013, for the group exhibition Reconfiguring Abstraction. I remember initially walking into the exhibition and feeling agitated. I left the space to get some air and caffeine and tried to pin down what it was about the exhibition that was troubling me. When I returned I realized that Dunlop’s paintings were bothering me. And I was starting to like how much they bothered me and how they ultimatel... [more]

The Poetics of Collaboration and Collision: An Interview with EcoArtTech  
3/16/14 Posted 3/16/14

Rochester, NY, Feb. 2014: I met up with Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint at Equal Grounds, a cafe in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood, on an unusually sunny winter day. While I opted for coffee, Nadir and Peppermint are serious tea drinkers and brought their own special blend. Longtime partners in life and art, together they form EcoArtTech, a new media collaborative dedicated to exploring the environmental imagination through blurring the boundaries of natural, built, and technologic... [more]

From Censored to Celebrated: An Interview with Betty Tompkins  
3/9/14 Posted 3/9/14

New York, Mar. 2014: Before Jeff Koons, Thomas Ruff, Terry Richardson and their raffish ilk appropriated porn for high-art settings, Betty Tompkins was meticulously reproducing scenes of heterosexual penetration in pencil, acrylic, airbrush and ink. Her monochrome images make it clear that porn, not real-life sex, is her subject and underscore the harsh binary responses to her controversial subject and artwork, and to her identity as a woman artist. Tompkins’ large-scale images of furry, s... [more]

As Art and Magic: An Interview with Elijah Burgher  
3/2/14 Posted 3/2/14

New York, Mar. 2014: Elijah Burgher and I were at Sarah Lawrence College together. I remember sitting outside the cafeteria when someone asked for the definition of the word “puckish.” With Katharine Hepburn cool, Melissa Bent, later the founder of Rivington Arms Gallery, instantly replied: “Elijah.” I use “puckish” often and I always envision Elijah’s playful sexual spirit crouching over the word. Even if he weren’t part of my vocabulary, he’s bee... [more]

Trans-Optical: An Interview with John Houck  
2/25/14 Posted 2/25/14

Los Angeles, Feb. 2014: We begin with color, the composite of visual reality, refracted through a camera lens, a computer screen; its possibilities seem almost limitless in what it can capture, manipulate, reveal. But not its colors. The combinations are limited, it can be coded. And John Houck has. The combinatorics, a four square of color possibilities reiterated in grids, make for a string of chromatic hieroglyphs, a novel of what’s possible, titled Digital Guides for Conceptual Photograph... [more]

Figure + Landscape: An Interview with Elina Brotherus  
2/16/14 Posted 2/16/14

Helsinki / Paris, Feb. 2014: It's quite strange meeting someone for the first time via Skype; I think it's something to do with the intimacy of being suddenly projected into a stranger's kitchen and they into your living room. This was how I met Elina Brotherus: we sat in Paris/Helsinki and shared a cup of tea. My intention was obviously for this to be an interview, however it seems like a conversation broke out, the outcome of which being that the questions aren't particularly well phrased. I'm s... [more]

Beauty as a Terrorist Tactic: An Interview with Faith Wilding  
2/10/14 Posted 2/10/14

Providence, RI, Feb. 2014: We are seeing the re-emergence of a decidedly generational narrative of feminism. In a recent article-turned-book for The Guardian, Kira Cochrane outlines what she calls the “fourth wave” of feminism. “What’s happening now," writes Cochrane, “feels like something new again. It's defined by technology: tools that are allowing women to build a strong, popular, reactive movement online.” The idea that contemporary engagements with feminism mar... [more]

The perpetual motion of power: Interview with Kudzanai Chiurai  
2/2/14 Posted 2/2/14

Amsterdam, Feb. 2014: You could see almost all visitors of Hauptbahnhof Kassel do a double take when confronted with Kudzanai Chiurai’s contribution to dOCUMENTA(13). Is it a photograph or did I just detect motion? No, yes, no, there’s definitely something stirring, very much slowed down but alive it is. And then the quaintness of what is being shown kicks in. It’s a contemporary African version of The Last Supper with witchdoctors, machine gun wielding rebels, and cool urbani... [more]

Hands On Materials: An Interview with Ruby Neri  
1/27/14 Posted 1/27/14

Los Angeles, Jan. 2014: The figurative sculptures of Los Angeles-based artist Ruby Neri appear as if they rose from the deep corners inside earth with exaggerated proportions and colorful surfaces. Some figures have stubby arms open wide in a welcoming gesture; others are more slender with long, tubular noses. A solid head rests alone and another stands limbless with a vase-shaped frame. Neri’s society is truly individualistic by anatomical distortion and there also exists an optimistic air –... [more]

A Form Between Forms: An Interview with Celia Gerard  
1/19/14 Posted 1/19/14

New York, Jan. 2014 - Celia Gerard is an artist for whom two sticks of charcoal, a bit of white paint, and a strong sheet of paper is plenty of material. “Line Quality” could be her mantra, and looking at her works one can see why. Gerard’s abstract compositions are built on geometric foundations of linear marks that may be subtle or bold but are always decisive. While her solo exhibition, “Lost at Sea,” was being hung, ArtSlant editor Charlie Schultz paid Gerard a... [more]

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