Archive for the 'Interview' Category


Monday, April 3rd, 2023

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All Photography by Aleph Molinari for Art Observed

Through her multi-media sculptures and large-scale installations, Polish-German artist Alicja Kwade explores natural and social systems and the underlying structures of reality. Her precise and technically complex works are physical representations of order, scale, and systems that extend from the subatomic to the celestial. Integrating physics and mathematics into her formal language, Kwade creates ethereal – and almost improbable – spatial compositions.

Art Observed sat down with Kwade to talk about her formative experience growing up in Germany at the cusp of political upheaval, the philosophical approach to her work, and her latest exhibition Silent Matter at OMR in Mexico City. In the minimal, brutalist space of the gallery, Kwade created a delicate universe entirely of her own. (more…)

AO Interview: From Allegory to Artificial Intelligence, Zhivago Duncan’s Mythical World

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

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(Portrait of the artist by Aleph Molinari for Art Observed)

Painter, sculptor, and multi-disciplinary artist Zhivago Duncan reinterprets the myths and archetypes of antiquity to construct an overarching story of the development of human consciousness. Blending mythology and elements of science fiction, he creates elaborate allegorical paintings, kinetic machines, and large-scale raku sculptures that together form his own cosmogony. Zhivago’s multi-ethnic background could be a clue to his desire to hybridize elements of different cultures: his mother escaped Syria to settle in the United States, and his father is of Danish descent. Zhivago’s upbringing was nomadic, taking him from Terre Haute, Indiana to Malta, Saudi Arabia, Berlin, and finally Mexico City, where he currently works and resides. Art Observed met Zhivago at his studio, where he walked us through the inner workings of his mythical worlds and landscapes. (more…)


Friday, March 11th, 2022

“Lure” by Ruben Ortiz Torres at The Last Tenant (Photography by Aleph Molinari)

Known for taking over unique architectural spaces for their exhibitions, MASA is a nomadic art and design collective co-founded in Mexico City by Age Salajõe, Hector Esrawe, and Brian Thoreen in 2018. It has since evolved into a collaborative creative platform, each year presenting stellar exhibitions in different locations throughout  Mexico City, as well as Oaxaca and an upcoming show in New York City. Its itinerant nature allows MASA to play with space and architecture, form and function, and to cleverly present art in unique locations away from the confines of the traditional white-cube gallery space. MASA collaborates with artists, architects, and designers by challenging them to create functional works that blur the line between art and design.  What ties together the young and established artists at MASA’s exhibitions is a deeply-felt sense of Mexicanness: multi-faceted and complex, constantly changing but never unmoored from its vibrant history. Their exhibitions are related to the history of the site and are often meditations on time and memory, and how the spaces we inhabit serve as vessels for both. (more…)

New York — Elmgreen & Dragset Interview on “Van Gogh’s Ear” at Rockefeller Center Through June 3rd, 2016

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh's Ear (2016), Courtesy of the artists and K11 Art Foundation, Galerie Perrotin, Galleria Massimo de Carlo and Victoria Miro  Gallery Photo: Jason Wyche, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY
Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear (2016), Courtesy of the artists and K11 Art Foundation, Galerie Perrotin, Galleria Massimo de Carlo and Victoria Miro  Gallery Photo: Jason Wyche, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

This month, the Public Art Fund unveiled Van Gogh’s Ear, the organization’s ambitious collaboration with artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset.  Presented to the public on a fittingly drizzly wet April morning (considering the sculpture’s subject matter), the completely drained pool recalls those of 1950’s Los Angeles.   The impressive 354-inch high sculpture, designed and crafted by the duo in the form of an ear, makes explicit reference to Van Gogh, whose dismembered ear has been the subject of various speculations in art history, stands on the hectic corner of 5th avenue, showing off its intricately detailed aqua blue interior, stainless steel ladder, glowing lights and accompanying diving board.  (more…)

Venice and New York – Aurel Schmidt’s Pop-Up Exhibition “New Gods” at Cannaregio, 5825 Venice and New York on St. Marks Place

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Aurel Schmidt with a work from New Gods, via Art Observed
Aurel Schmidt with a work from New Gods, via Art Observed

Recently, artist Aurel Schmidt launched another entry in her series of unexpected pop-up shows, bringing her uniquely visceral, surrealist drawings to an uninhabited apartment on St. Marks Place downtown.  It was a rough and ready affair, with works installed across the hauntingly empty rooms of the walk-up (one work was mounted near the kitchen sink, while another sat above the laundry machine), and a number of the artist’s friends on hand, making it feel more like a casual gathering than a gallery show.  In one room, guests were treated to an impromptu concert by Devonté Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange), while Schmidt welcomed guests and showed them around the space.


AO On – Site Interview: Andrea Mary Marshall at the Opening of “Gia Condo” – Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at Allegra LaViola

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Andrea Mary Marshall, Gia Condo (Installation View) – All photos by Elene Damenia for Art Observed unless otherwise noted.

Blending fashion photography, performance, video and painting, the second solo exhibition by artist Andrea Mary Marshall explores the artist’s alter ego – the drag-embracing, Mona Lisa-fixated painter Gia Condo.  Across 13 canvases and a series of photographs, the artist explores issues of gender and identity that surround the famous painting of the smiling woman, re-imagining them in the style of predominantly male contemporary artists like Keith Haring, Francis Bacon, and Marcel Duchamp.

Andrea Mary Marshall, Gia Condo (Installation View)

Art Observed spoke with Marshall at the opening of her exhibition at Allegra LaViola Gallery about the character of Gia Condo, and her motivations for the exhibition.


AO Interview – Peter Burr before his “Special Effect” performance at The Museum of the Moving Image tomorrow, Friday, January 18th at 7PM

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Peter Burr, Special Effect (2012), Courtesy of Peter Burr

Over the course of his career, video artist Peter Burr has worn many hats; founding avant-garde animation label Cartune Xprez, playing and animating for the performance art duo Hooliganship, and working on a variety of video projects and installations around the globe.  His newest work, titled Special Effect, will hold its U.S. premiere at the Museum of Moving Image on Friday, January 18th.  Taking the eerie, haunting film Stalker by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky as its jumping off point, the show is a multifaceted media presentation, incorporating music, live performance, projection, body mapping, and a selection of videos from contributors across the new media landscape.

Art Observed had the opportunity to speak with Burr about the show, his take on Stalker, and his approach to creating this ambitious work.


AO On-Site Interview – David Shrigley at the Opening of “Signs” – January 10th, 2013 at Anton Kern Gallery

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

David Shrigley, Signs (Installation View), via Anton Kern

Blending the mundane and the morbid with a healthy sense of humor and cultural subversion, David Shrigley has been producing his particular blend of cartoonish satire for over 20 years.  Trained as a sculptor, the artist has also produced a trove of ink drawings, animations and other projects that showcase his brand of wit and empathy, exploring neurosis, mortality, absurdity and even the art world itself. (more…)

AO Onsite Photoset – NADA Art Fair in Miami Beach, December 7th, 2012

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Art Fair 2012, all photos by E. Simone for ArtObserved

The NADA fair is home to the some of the youngest, and most surprising artists and gallerists during Art Basel week, and is often described as a respite from the big-named, shiny, high-altitude atmosphere of the main fair. Dealers and collectors come to NADA searching out the new artists they think have the most potential, reveling in the discovery.

Keith Farquhar, Leslie Fritz Gallery (formerly Renwick Gallery) (more…)

Art Observed Exclusive: New York – Interview with Student Occupiers of Cooper Union and in Depth Contextual Review

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Inside the occupation of the tower.  All images courtesy the Students for a Free Cooper Union, unless otherwise noted.

Earlier this week, Art Observed reported that students at Cooper Union, the country’s only traditionally tuition-free art school, have barricaded themselves into the top floor of their school in an act of protest against the school’s recent economic scandal. Last year, after years of hiding its financial situation, the school’s administration revealed that they are in a $17 million debt that could leave students paying tuition as soon as 2018.

Although there has been minimal response thusfar from the school’s administration regarding the students’ actions, support has steadily grown, especially from faculty members. The media response to the students’ actions has been far-reaching, from early coverage by Art in America to mainstream media sources including MSNBCCBSThe Wall Street Journal, and The Rachel Maddow Show.

Art Observed’s Jennifer Lindblad reached out to occupying students to hear their experiences and reflections so far.

Occupiers receive a delivery by balloon at the Cooper Union Foundation Building on Tuesday, December 4th. Photo by Phoebe Pundyk for Art Observed.

Click through for more images, text, and exclusive interview…


Art Observed Interview with Dan Colen on ‘Out of the Blue, Into the Black’ at Gagosian Paris through July 28, 2012

Monday, July 9th, 2012

In his most recent show at Gagosian Gallery in ParisOut of the Blue, Into the Black, New York based artist Dan Colen  is the second part of a show in memory of his close friend Dash Snow. Out of the Blue, Into the Black continues where Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are (2009) left off, and is comprised of  paintings, installation, and a sculpture. Art Observed’s Jonathan Beer was able to catch up with the artist bef0re the show’s  opening on June 10.


AO Interview: Nir Hod on ‘Mother’ at Paul Kasmin Gallery through April 28, 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Nir Hod and literary figure Salman Rushdie. All photos on site for Art Observed, at the opening by Samuel Sveen, studio by Jonathan Beer.

Nir Hod’s most recent body of work, titled Mother, opened last night at Paul Kasmin Gallery. The Israeli-born artist is known for creating work that is both strange and beautiful, sharing the sumptuousness found in glamour and fashion advertisements. This new series of paintings takes its inspiration from the widely discussed Holocaust photo “Boy from the Warsaw Ghetto.” History has mainly focused on unmasking the identity of the young boy, centered in the photo with his arms raised in surrender, leaving the matriarchal female figure to his immediate right largely unnoticed. In tribute Nir Hod has singled out the woman, depicting her repeatedly—ten times—in a variety of hues, in an effort to give her story new life. In a recent visit to the artist’s studio in Chelsea, Art Observed had the chance to discuss this new series with the artist.


AO On Site Interview: Michael Riedel on His Solo Installation at David Zwirner Armory Show Booth, March 8–11, 2012

Friday, March 9th, 2012

All photos courtesy David Zwirner.

Michael Riedel’s solo site-specific installation of silk-screened posters and wallpaper sold out within the first thirty minutes of the Armory Show preview at David Zwirner’s booth. Art Observed spoke with Riedel that very afternoon in the following interview.

Art Observed: I was really taken by your work and its interaction with systems. I felt that to be a foundational aspect of how you interact with art and what your art-making process is about. How did you get interested or involved with systems?

Michael Riedel: Well, there is a big German writer on systems, and it’s interesting because I found his writing after I produced a lot of works, and then I could say, ‘Wow, this is exactly what is in my work.’ So there is a strong relationship to his writing. I think he is a sociologist… anyway, I think this is something which makes total sense for me—as a product. It’s something that’s ongoing and changing, but also in the same time it is a fixed form somehow. Yet inside there are a lot of interests. You can also touch on the word reproduction; a lot of people like to talk about reproduction in reference to my work, yet there has been a shift in meaning of reproduction—it isn’t about a product anymore, but the process of production. Which means, in the process of producing works, they are only done to produce the next step, to recycle, to transform, to translate. So it’s an ongoing thing.


AO Interview: John Miller on 'Suburban Past Times' at Metro Pictures through March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Installation view. All images via Metro Pictures Gallery.

John Miller’s exhibition Suburban Past Time at Metro Pictures Gallery combines several mediums in “a continuation of the artist’s ongoing sociological investigation into so-called middlebrow culture, which focus on artifice in Western consumer societies,” according to the press release. Art Observed was fortunate enough to visit with Miller in the following interview.

Art Observed: After looking over the photos of the work and seeing it in person, there’s this sense of the everyday that comes out but there is also this pervasive strangeness that you seem to capture. It’s akin to the experience one has in a public space, when you walk through and notice a glimmer of strangeness that you see or feel for just a second—the absurdity of the everyday. Are you concerned with capturing that strangeness?

John Miller: A little bit, yes. A couple things on that note: One inspiration or source for the show was a show by Michelangelo Pistoletto at Luhring Augustine 2 or 3 years ago. Like many of his works he created silkscreens on mirrors, but I had never seen him do anything like this where he had a bunch of images and things that connoted public space like traffic cones and construction webbing, all coupled with images of ordinary looking women, but then they were made slightly uncomfortable because they were with traffic cones in public spaces—and you had to ask, was this an ordinary woman or a street walker? I got into this idea of public space, when a woman waited too long she looked suspect, and it showed a kind of genderedness of space. When a man stands on a corner you think he’s just waiting around, he’s less suspicious. I also liked the idea of overlaying two spaces—the gallery space, which is commercial space, like a store, and this staging of public space.