ArtSee DC

ArtSee: We're Growing and Looking for Bloggers!

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Over the past year, ArtSee's grown rapidly into a budding and forum and news source for artists and art enthusiasts in the DC area. Because of that, we're seeking a few highly motivated full and part-time bloggers for our local arts-based blog, Coloring DC. Bloggers will work closely with the founder and owner of ArtSee LLC, Elizabeth Grazioli, along with her experienced team of arts enthusiasts to produce arts-based content for their website 1-2 times a week. Bloggers will be encouraged to attend exhibition openings, gallery showings and art parties at all galleries and venues based in the Washington, D.C. area, and are required to attend all ArtSee related events. Bloggers will write op-ed pieces, reviews, calendar updates and have the opportunity to pitch ideas, subjects and new findings to the team.

ArtSee is the premier fine arts communications agency. Our creative, focused and enthusiastic team helps connect artists and art-enthusiasts with those who appreciate high quality local art. We specialize in art event and exhibition marketing and personal professional development for emerging artists. We work with restaurants, galleries and nonprofit organizations to accomplish their goals and host art events and pop up exhibitions.

We pride ourselves on providing high quality dedicated articles, marketing exhibitions, corporate curated exhibitions, pop up exhibitions, social media management, portfolio creation and submission, graphic design for marketing, web consulting and management and much more. Every month we host an emerging artist exhibition at Tabula Rasa, an event space and meeting place located on 8th street SE in Eastern Market. We’ve worked with a variety of restaurants, organizations and companies such as Tryst Café, Local 16, Pound the Hill, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, ArtSpace Management, The Fridge—Fresh Produce, Borderstan blog and more. We’ve received high accolades from our clients, artists and local publications.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must have the time to research and attend art events to post a weekly average of 1-2 articles.

  • Experienced writer with a unique voice and proper grammar skills.

  • Excellent communication skills.

  • Excellent time management skills.

  • Highly motivated with fresh, creative ideas.

  • Ability to work independently and hold oneself accountable.

  • Experience with WordPress is a plus.

If you consider yourself “ArtSee” and would like to work with our creative and energetic team, please email your resume and two writing samples to jobs@artseedc.com with the subject heading “Blogger”.

Petro + Amin: Dynamic Duo Takes on 14th

Unless you're a newbie to the DC arts scene, there's no way you don't know who Brian Petro and Fabiano Amin are. With two thriving individual careers, both artists attacked the scene years ago and have created a colorful, energetic and hyperactive buzz ever since. 

Petro, a self-proclaimed "'gimme more, gimme more', kind of guy" jumps and juggles multiple mediums at any one given time, from photography to polymer transfer monoprints to painting with molten beeswax and hand crushed coal in an effort to achieve the layered multimedia effect that's his distinctive signature. For Petro, the passion that drives his creation is really just, above all, a deep rooted curiosity to break things down and build them back up again. And take one look at his "amerICONIC" collection or the aptly named "miscellaneous" series and you'll see exactly what we mean.

Pisa Grenade, 20x20

Fabiano on the other hand is a born and raised Brazilian, and while he doesn't have Petro's American-bred ADD, he has the mind of a sophisticate coupled with a touch that can only be garnered in the heated craziness of the tropics. His focus is almost entirely on abstract works, and we're thankful for that targeted interest since he probably wouldn't be making such highly coveted pieces without it. Acrylic can be an amateur's medium, but Fabiano's hold on the thick stuff is undeniable. His work is filled with emotion and grace, allowing the colors and contours to take over rather than the specific nature of a narrative. While his work is much different than Petro's, the two are completely complimentary. And that's why we're writing this post.

On July 18th, the Fathom Gallery on 14th street will be hosting the opening of "Brian Petro/Fabiano Amin", and if you couldn't tell from our description of the two, we literally could not be more excited. Both artists will have a number of works on display, and to top it all off Paolo's of Georgetown is catering the affair. To snatch a space for free, RSVP to their Eventbrite here. And of course we'll be there shmoozing with the two and instagraming the whole thing, so if you catch a glimpse of us from ArtSee come on over and say hi!

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Shira

Hairy confrontations: A review of Sonya Clark's solo show of new work, AHEAD OF HAIR

Hair. It’s chaotic, it’s ordered. Clean and messy, it is a sense of frustration and joy.

In Sonya Clark’s solo exhibition at Contemporary Wing, AHEAD OF HAIR, Clark uses hair as a medium to represent race, class and culture.

“I’ve been combing hair since I was a child,” said Clark who has been working with hair as a medium in both hairdressing and fine art for over twenty years.

One of Clark’s more recent works, Pigtails, is evocative of youth. Resting on a wall-mounted shelf, a young girl’s stiff braided pigtails are woven from tactile black thread. Though the work suggests innocence, a hairstyle removed from the human head challenges the viewer to consider the means in which a young woman’s hair was taken. When hair is so deeply attached to one’s personal identity, a hairstyle without an owner begins to lose its character, lose its playfulness, becomes limp and empty. The effect is intensified looking down at the work, implicating the viewer as responsible for subjugating the hair and its human counterpart.  

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“Hair is basically a piece of someone’s body. It’s a very intimate experience of selling a piece of someone’s body to someone else,” said Lauren Gentile, Contemporary Wing founder and director.

 The emotions surrounding the oldest work in the show, dating from 2003, complements with the power elicited from the suggestion of stolen youth in Pigtails. Long Hair confronts the viewer with age. A brilliant digital print of a dread is so rich with depth and texture, the viewer cannot help but yearn to reach out, to touch the hair fibers clearly pulsing with life. Astonishment and disappointment converge when the illusion is realized. 30 feet long, the work represents the length of a dread grown for 30 years.

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“At first, I thought it was strange to use someone’s DNA and then sell it, with the history of selling bodies in this country,” said Clark who is inspired in part, by the infinite hairstyles that became available to black women after the Africa Diaspora. 

Unbreakable fashions together black fine-toothed combs branded “unbreakable” in a composition that is inherently broken, demanding the viewer to consider the societal and cultural pressures associated with issues of straight hair. Cotton to hair is at once filled with beauty—flowers touched with bronze are forever preserved behind glass—but quickly becomes bewildering when one considers the materials are cotton and African American hair. The ties to slavery are inescapable and uncanny.

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Though the subject matter is what compels the viewer to engage in dialogue, to contemplate his own notions of race, class and culture, it is Clark’s superb craftsmanship that makes her work truly standout. 

“When you see her work, there is something so elegant and subtle and thoughtful,” said Gentile, “The craftsmanship is always going to be perfect, the concept is always going to be well-thought out.”

To execute Quadroon, Clark revitalized the 1990s art of stitching, by fashioning cornrows into one fourth of a canvas, and from the other three-fourths of the canvas, a heavy mass of thread, stitched together to resemble dense, but straight, hair fibers, is pulled together at the very center of the work. A ponytail extends and falls naturally into the viewer’s immediate space.

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Quadroon is exemplary of Clark’s extraordinary ability to deeply engage with her subject while maintaining exceptional hold on her medium and craft. A reference to race classification, Quadroon has roots in an experience traveling through Ghana, where Clark, an African-American, was called “bruni,” the Ghanaian word for a white person. Clark explained that in the context of African culture, because Clark has a white grandparent, she is considered white, whereas in the United States, Clark being three-quarters African American, is considered black.

As Clark said, “I’m the same color in either place but the context is different.”

Albers Study captures this question within an art historical narrative, using Josef Alber’s canonic texts on color theory to take five colors and make them appear as six, by simply juxtaposing the colors in different ways. But Clark does not simply re-contextualize the lessons of Albers. She extends the ideology by taking two different shades of green and making them appear the same.   

AHEAD OF HAIR is on display at Contemporary Wing until March 2.

Contemporary Wing is located at 1412 14th St. NW and open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You,
Roxanne Goldberg  

Exploring our World through Photography: Reporters without Borders 2012

Currently inside the Warner Theater, a gallery for fotoweek, with an exhibition called Reporters without Borders is on display. Upon entering the exhibit, I felt as if I stepped back into time and was able to travel to every significant event the world has seen since the 1950’s. The show span through multiple rooms and down several hallways, allowing anyone so intrigued to spend an entire evening pondering the faces and places that each picture depicts. 

Since Reporters without Borders has been a show since the fifties, the front room presented works from each past year. Before evening examining this year’s work, I became lost in events that I had only every read about. Events like the Rwanda genocide, JFK’s assassination, the Bosnian genocide, and the Iraqi war were depicted in manners that caused a serge of emotions; it was an intense awakening to the realities of our world. For one to see and truly grasp the beauty and destruction that the world has witnessed is so powerful and vital to becoming world citizens. These photographers are more than artists; they are storytellers, writing a history that is legible in all language.

Moving on into the gallery, this year’s featured artist works are hung all around, there were small rooms dedicated to different locations, artists, and events.  The giant prints surround the viewer and can temporarily let them drift into the location in which the photograph was taken. One photo that captivated me was an image of four Haitian women who, due to serious injuries in the 2010 earthquake, were amputees. The women were all dressed in brightly color clothing and stood in a line, upon first glance they looked rather jovial; than peering closer, I noticed a pain that could be seen in the eyes of each woman, and then I noticed the missing limbs. They stood together in an exercise class; overcoming hardships and showing the strength they have as individuals and as symbols of their nation’s resilience.

The earthquake that devastated Haiti is only one of the recent events that Reporters without Border documented. These events are life changing, and crucial to how our society exists. These artists do amazing work that allows the world to become connected and for citizens of all nations to begin to conceptualize how others live and what they have endured in there lifetime. Reporters without Borders is on display until Sunday, November 18th and guarantees to be one of the most moving photography shows of the year.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Abigail 

SUBMERGE: Local Artists Confront Culture on H Street

A giant nude man holds a bright red bowling ball in one hand, a cigarette in the other. He has a dazed, almost bewildered look on his face and as he peers at the viewer through wire-framed glasses, the on-looker cannot help but to giggle at his knee-high socks and protruding belly.

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Part of a triptych exhibiting mighty men emasculated, stripped of all but their socks, the Martin Swift paintings are some of the less confrontational artworks that have recently flooded the vacant H Street venue as part of the nine day flash ‘art happening,’ Submerge. 

Presented by No Kings Collective, the group that brought the Waterstreet Project to Malmaison at the Georgetown Waterfront in April, is back with its 2nd annual “ode to the District,” a temporary art space that features the works of 23 local artists in a range of mediums, from performance and graffiti to photography and installation. 

Dancing to the beats of DJs sponsored by Listen Local First and munching on bites by H Street newcomers Impala and H & Pizza, arts patrons engaged with Michael Owen’s striking graphic paintings by slipping on a pair of 3-D glasses.

“It felt like I was in the car next to this one, just zooming by,” said Columbia Heights resident Rashaan of the painted racecars that appear to be propelled off the canvas.

Though all distinct in theme and medium, the curated works shared a sense of challenge.

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DC-based artists collective Truth Among Liars provokes a range of emotion among viewers with their installation of blow up-sex dolls. Lined in rows with paint-smeared faces that erase any individual characteristics, and orifices exposed to unequivocally identify gender, the “Latex Warrior Burial Artifacts” directly confront issues of contemporary feminism.

“Are we this interchangeable? “ said 33 year-old Angela Michael of the imposing objects that captivate their audiences with not only disquieting aesthetics, but also with troubling scents of plastic and paint that inevitably seep into the viewer’s space, implicating him as a proprietor of the female position.

Turning away from the captivating accusation of society, one is confronted by Victoria Milko’s examination into the extraordinary life of a firefighter.

“I wanted to show the family and the bonding, the everyday life,” said Milko who lived with 15 male volunteers at the Hyattsville Fire Department for eight months before creating the installation.

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Haunting images of heroes defeated and victims helpless in the wake of natural forces are framed by yellow tape reading, “FIRE LINE DO NOT CROSS.” The spellbinding black and white photographs are shown within the context of a fabricated fireman’s locker and simulate an evocative environment.

“It really creates a nice environment,” said 25 year-old breakdancer James Wu, “You don’t immediately gravitate towards a burned down house but these photos really draw you in.”

On display from 1 to 6 p.m. until November 18 at 700 H St. NE, Submerge hosts nightly events for free in collaboration with such groups as Listen Local First, Somaphony and KOLTON.J. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Roxanne Goldberg