What should I be doing instead of this?
 
 
by Steven Rosen 01.08.2016 140 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Remember This Artist's Name: Ato Ribeiro

One of the most remarkable artworks I saw in Cincinnati in 2015 — in terms of its beauty and the painstaking effort that went into its creation — will soon leave town. It was in a rear area of the Brick 939 pop-up market in Walnut Hills. It’s already no longer on view and just waiting to be sent back to its artist. But I have a feeling we’ll be hearing much more from that artist — Ato Ribeiro — responsible for the monumental-sized portrait, “Edith Motte Young, Forever,” made through a charcoal-erasing process on brown paper. It is a 13-by-9-foot drawing of the Detroit artist’s great-grandmother. At that size, you immediately wonder if the image deserves the space devoted to it. It does, indeed — the woman’s eyes look upward, hopefully and compellingly. She seems, in her vaguely Modernist apparel, to be both of our relatively recent past and timeless. And the work seems both authoritative and fragile, given the use of (crumpled) paper. Communicating by email from Detroit, where he is working on his M.F.A. at Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Ribeiro explains his process.  “(It) consists of applying a few flat layers of charcoal across each sheet of brown paper before crumpling each sheet into a little ball in order to work the creases into the paper,” Ribeiro says. “These creases create the sense of a discarded object. After unraveling the paper, I would use a kneaded eraser to erase out my image's details, one little section at a time. There were no drawing tools involved in my process. “Over the last 5 years, my work has gravitated towards the use of discarded natural and found objects as my preferred choice in materials. The reason the brown paper feels the way it does is because this was paper that I collected (close to the beach) while in Ghana a few months ago, where the tropical weather tends to get pretty humid. This easily accessible paper (in Ghana) is commonly used by students to cover their academic textbooks, protecting them from damage. “Through the reductive process of charcoal erasing to create my subjects, I attempt to highlight several members of my African-American history (whom I use as role models in my life) while addressing the struggles that African-Americans face relating to the preservation of much of our culture. Also the work is intentionally not fixed so that viewers who do decide to touch the piece would become aware of the how easy it is to erase/remove part of our 'history.' ’’ Exactly how this piece came to be shown here — where it was on display Nov. 27-Jan. 3 — is an interesting story. A fellow Cranbrook artist from Cincinnati, Ingrid Alexandra Schmidt, heard of the opportunity and arranged for Ribeiro to present his work. “Though I have never spent an extended amount of time in Ohio, Edith Motte Young ended up moving her family to Oberlin, Ohio in 1929 (where my grandfather went to Oberlin High School and Oberlin College before becoming a pilot),” Ribeiro says. “So I thought it would be a little poetic to send the piece of her back in that direction. Thus I applied and was later accepted.” Ribeiro is at work on a Forever Young series of family portraits — Young is his mother's maiden name. When it is finished, one hopes to be able to see it in Cincinnati. From the work shown here, his series is a remarkable and inspirational display of love and respect (and artistic ability) from a young man to his family. Meanwhile, the Brick pop-up shop and the organization behind it — MORTAR, which is out to empower residents of Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills through entrepreneurship — should be proud of giving Cincinnati a chance to see this fine artist.  For more information about him, visit atoribeiroart.com.
 
 
by Steven Rosen 11.05.2015
Posted In: Visual Art at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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FotoFocus Takes its Mapplethorpe Symposium on the Road

After a successful symposium here last month, FotoFocus is taking its Robert Mapplethorpe presentation, The Perfect Moment: 25 Years Later, on the road. (The Cincinnati symposium was called Mapplethorpe +25.) In observance of the 25th anniversary of the unsuccessful obscenity trial in Cincinnati of the Contemporary Arts Center following the exhibition of The Perfect Moment there in 1990, FotoFocus will sponsor a panel discussion at 7 p.m. at New York’s cutting-edge New Museum, 235 Bowery. It will be moderated by Kevin Moore, FotoFocus’ New York-based artistic director, and feature Amy Adler, law professor at New York University School of Law; Jennifer Blessing, senior photography curator at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Paul Martineau, associate curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; and Britt Salvesen, curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at Los Angeles County Museum. The latter three were on a panel in Cincinnati. Further information about FotoFocus can be found at fotofocuscincinnati.org. Additional information about the Mapplethorpe + 25 symposium can be found at mapplethorpe25.org.  
 
 

Upcoming Price Hill Thrill to Tour Area's Art Studios

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 6, 2015
To quote from one of the classic songs released by Cincinnati’s King Records, “There’s a thrill up on the hill — let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”  
by Steven Rosen 04.20.2015
at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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UC's Trove of Fashion Designer Bonnie Cashin's Clothing

The Cincinnati Art  Museum's wonderful current exhibition The Total Look: The Creative Collaboration Between Rudi Gernreich, Peggy Moffitt and William Claxton mentions that one early influence on the visionary fashion designer Gernreich was Bonnie Cashin, who created quietly avant-garde women's sportswear and whose reputation has only grown since her death in 2000.It turns out that University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning has a collection of almost 200 pieces by Cashin, a gift from Ohio State University. The pieces were among a larger donation given to OSU by Phil Sills, whose Sills & Co. produced Cashin-designed fashions from 1952 until the late 1970s. On Tuesday, DAAP students put together a one-night exhibit of a dozen pieces from its collection in the Total Look gallery, so attendees could see how her tweed with leather and suede fashions look alongside Gernreich's far more radical designs. They hold up well — the earthy colors, the bold use of plaid, the turn-lock brass closures, a jacket with a built-in coin purse in a front pocket. UC has put information about the collection online here. Meanwhile, The Total Look is on display through May 24 and deserves to be seen by all.
 
 

The Art of Beer

Murals showcase past and present Cincinnati brews

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 7, 2015
While live music has always mixed well with alcohol, visual bar art in Cincinnati is starting to stretch beyond portraits of dogs playing poker and glowing beer signs.    

Warhol's Baseball Art Is a Hit at CAM

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Turns out Pete Rose wasn’t the only baseball player that artist Andy Warhol ever depicted. He wasn’t even the only Red. Tom Seaver came first — but accidentally.  

Regional Artists Explore the Boundaries of Landscapes in 'Now Here'

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Matt Distel’s smartly curated exhibition, Now Here: Theoretical Landscapes, is a broad sampling of more than 20 regional artists who mine personal and universal landscapes to present hypothetical meditations on locations of space and time.    
by Steven Rosen 03.16.2015
Posted In: Visual Art at 08:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Rondle West Piece Finds New Home

One of my favorite Cincinnati artists is Rondle West, whose "assemblage sculptures" round up all manner of strange found objects (often toys) and adheres them, sometimes like appendages, to the surfaces of "host" objects. They can look like something ready to start walking or like shelving that has been attacked by miniature aliens. The finished work often has a monochromatic, other-worldly appearance.I was hopeful his association last year with Miller Gallery would lead to a large, dramatic, high-profile one-person show, but it didn't. Now, the 2014 piece "My Date With Barbie" has turned up in an unexpected but welcome place, the front window of Electronic Arts at 1428 Race St. It's just the right touch of creative weirdness needed for an OTR store window, and it's great to look at its pinkness as other buildings reflect on the glass and add their own richness to the view. Definitely worth a visit.
 
 
by Steven Rosen 02.25.2015
Posted In: Visual Art at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto Attracts International Attention

Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's 2012 Global Tree Project: Hanging Garden — two trees suspended by wire inside Mt. Adams' deconsecrated (and crumbling) Holy Cross Church — is now generally recognized as one of the high points of public art in Cincinnati in recent years. In addition to proving inspirational for us in terms of what large-scale, site-specific art can be and what local artists can accomplish, it also has attracted ongoing international attention for him. The latest development is his inclusion in an exhibition, About Trees, opening this fall at the Zentrum Paul Klee museum in Bern, Switzerland. For his site-specific work in the museum's main hall, he will work with a dying linden tree on the museum grounds. The exhibit — part of a trilogy of related shows that continues into 2017 — is dedicated to the tree as a motif in international contemporary art. Turner-Yamamoto finds himself in some very impressive company. Others with work in the show include Paul Klee, Carlos Amorales, Louise Bourgeois, Paul McCarthy, Ana Mendieta and Shirin Neshat.Meanwhile, a large-scale photograph of the Hanging Garden installation was commissioned by Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, for the ambassadorial residence in Tokyo as part of the Art in Embassies Program. Also, he will have a show at the Weston Gallery here next year.
 
 

Robert Stearns’ Lasting Impact on the CAC and Cincinnati Arts

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Maybe because Robert Stearns’ leadership of the Contemporary Arts Center was relatively short and long ago, his death in early December from cancer didn’t attract much notice here.  

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