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Listen—with headphones, in the dark—to Pete Mauney at work on his incredible firefly photographs on these two episodes of Spinning on Air.
Morning people get all the props, but this Artist Spotlight is dedicated to the night owls among us. Daylight is dwindling as we work our way toward winter solstice. Why not use this opportunity to delight in the dark? Our 20x200 take on the topic is more magic and meditation than things-that-go-bump, and we’ve got PM-going photographer Pete Mauney to thank.
A self-described night person who’s been photographing in the dark since the very beginning of his career, Mauney is an ace observer with a contemplative creative edge and a gift for waiting for the right shot. When he’s behind the camera, he relishes his solitude and an abundance of time to wander. Patience is a virtue, and one that’s rewarded this artist with some seriously striking work. This is especially clear in his practice of documenting nature’s summer evening sparklers—fireflies. This particular subject was obviously perfectly in tune with his night person proclivities, but he also chose it in part because of the challenge involved in creating these images (gotta love that). It’s only in the past several years that technology has equipped him with new tools for translating the beauty of dark scenes, beyond the limitations of film.
Carolyn Castaño's piece, Heroine (After Policarpa Salavarrieta Jose Maria Espinosa), featured in her most recent solo show at Laband Art Gallery.
Summer is Carolyn Castaño’s season. We’re saying that partly because the LA-based visual artist’s bright, passionate color palettes and energetic compositions feel warm-weather apropos, ebullient like a newly opened summer bloom. But we’re also saying that because we know Castaño was looking forward to the summer months and finally having more time to spend in her studio—which means more art we can ogle (always a good thing). We hear she’s hunkered down near MacArthur Park, experimenting with colors, patterns, and textures, focussing on the relationship between the production of textiles and its effect on the environment. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with!
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Dedicated studio time is a serious blessing for this artist after an awesome but exceedingly busy fall and spring. Besides becoming a mom for the second time (!!), Castaño had a lot going on art-world-wise. She participated in a handful of artist talks and panels, including at appearance at Azusa Pacific University and a visiting artist lecture in painter Mary Anna Pomonis’ class at Cal State Long Beach. Her art was part of fundraising efforts for two projects close to her heart: AMBOS, a project using bi-national art as a means of generating healthier cross-border relationships, and SASSAS, an organization that highlights music and art. Activism is entrenched in Castaño's artistic ethos. Similarly, her work was shown in The Art of Protest: Epiphany and the Culture of Empowerment at the Church of the Epiphany, an Eastside LA Episcopalian congregation and designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument that’s been a hub for various Chicano social justice movements since the 1960s. The exhibition, which ran through March 29th, brought together an incredible range of work by more than 60 artists, culminating in a beautiful cacophony of artistic voices. Take a look at what the Los Angeles Times had to say about it and you’ll also catch sight of one of Castaño's artworks pictured in the article...
A preview of Lisa Congdon's work in her upcoming solo show at Stephanie Chefas Gallery
Staying hopeful ain’t easy these days, but if there’s one person who’s work always makes us feel fired up and optimistic, it’s fine artist, illustrator, educator, author, and all-around awesome person Lisa Congdon. We checked in with Congdon to get the 411 on all that she’s been up to, and the list is characteristically long, cool, and fomo-inducing. Pull up that calendar!
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Qiana Mestrich's work recently appeared in MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.
If you’re in the market for some motivation, Qiana Mestrich
might inspire your inner mover and shaker. Wowing collectors with her debut 20x200 edition
is just a blip of what she’s been up to. For a taste: this past November, Mestrich
’s art was featured in the debut issue of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora
, a captivating collection of work by one hundred black women photographers of all ages and origins. Around that same time, she also participated in Relative Material
, a group show curated by Janna Dyk at Brooklyn’s Nurture Art that ran through mid-December. Her installation incorporated photography, poetry, and ephemera from her Hard To Place
series, collectively exploring questions of motherhood, race, identity and more. Mestrich
does not shy away from complexity—in fact, it powers her process.
More recently, her The Black Doll Series
stunned at London Art Fair 2018’s Photo50 exhibition, Resolution is not the point
, alongside a handful of other innovative artists in the contemporary art and photographic spheres. The Black Doll Series
is the same body of work from which Mestrich
’s limited-edition 20x200 print—OOAK Vintage Black Francie Doll 2
—originates. Read our introduction
to this incredible piece on the blog, then pop over to Photoworks
for extra credit ... MORE after the jump »
One of the paintings in Jennifer Sanchez's latest series, Pattern Fuck.
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Put your shades on, collectors: we’re shinin’ our Artist Spotlight
time 20x200 artist, color connoisseur, and plucky, foulmouthed pattern master Jennifer Sanchez
A proud Lower East Sider and New York neighbor of ours, Sanchez
’s art stands out. Geometry is her main muse. She draws inspiration from her surroundings, from Native American textiles, from Bauhaus queen Gunta Stölzl, and more. Of course, there’s also her colors: can’t-miss neons and bold brights are sorta Sanchez
’s thing. Beyond that, her approach is free-wheeling at its finest. She starts with a general motif in mind, but never plans her art pieces in their entirety, letting the works evolve with her whims. That experimentation and spontaneity comes beaming through. Her electrically-hued pattern-dense paintings capture the vibrancy of the city, and her own unstoppable ebullience. This artist’s work ain’t for the faint of heart. It is energy epitomized...
Julia Rothman's latest animated illustration for The New York Times is just too doggone cute!
If the title “working artist” calls to mind the image of a smock-swathed aesthete arched over an easel in the afternoon light, serenely surveying their subject … spot on! That’s pretty much it. J/k: full time artist-ing is a lot of elbow grease and go-getterdom, and our 20x200 artist fam
cumulatively possesses enough hustle to give Van McCoy a run for his money. A perfect example of permabusy gung-ho artist gumption: Julia Rothman
When she’s not sketching ballerinas
or surveying the crowd scene at the Whitney Museum
for future art fodder, she’s soaking in her NYC surroundings, drawing other everyday people, places and things. Take her Guess These New York City Elevators
and New York’s Clocks Ring in the New Year
features in The New Yorker
, the latter of which is also included in an exhibition
at CUNY’s Lehman Gallery through May 5th.
Unsurprisingly, other prominent NYC publications are hip to Rothman
’s playful, expressive artwork. She recently created the cute AF visual accompaniment for the cover story
of the New York Times
Real Estate section (trigger warning for the dog obsessed: her pupper masterpieces are squeal-worthy). When her art’s not appearing in New York pubs, she’s teaching Surface Design at a New York institution, School of Visual Arts, and chairing the Society of Illustrators 60th Annual Exhibition
. All in a day’s work for this wonder woman... MORE after the jump »
Anderson's new book is out! And you're gonna wanna go in...
We couldn’t begin to imagine what it’d be like to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Kelli Anderson
’s brain, but we can
say unequivocally that it’d be full of surprises. A multi-talented, deep-thinking maker of creative magic, Anderson
is idiosyncratic as all get-out—a true agitator in the purest, most honest, affirmative way.
The Brooklyn-based artist and designer (and longtime 20x200 collaborator!) is beyond fluent in a wildly broad range of media: illustration, photography, printing, papercraft, animation, coding, and design, to name a few. It’s obvious that the joy of experimentation and discovery is central to her work, to her existence, even. Anderson
seems to approach her creative process with a driving sense of wonder and a fundamental freedom—with materials and ideas, from axioms and expectations. Her TED talk
from a few years back may have tipped you off to that. Her 20x200 edition, Perspective
, prolly clued you in too. She is a tinkerer, a scholar, an iconoclast, always aiming to dig beyond her projects themselves into their deeper meaning... MORE after the jump »
Helena Wurzel's studio: gouache tubes, paper, and jars of YES! glue for her gouache + paper creations
When we’re thirsting for a piece to pump some electricity into our art collection, we’re wont to turn to Helena Wurzel
, whose cool factor, bright color palette, and topsy-turvey take on perspective always keep us on our toes. Wurzel
’s been part of the 20x200 artist roster since wayyyy back in the day—2011, to be specific (!!!). Through the years we’ve watched her work evolve, and its newest metamorphoses are as refreshing and ingenious as always... MORE after the jump »
Edel Rodriguez at the De Hache conference in Queretaros, Mexico with Resist. showing on the screen
Edel Rodriguez is a busy man. Since the release of his 20x200 edition a few months back, the Cuban-American artist has continued to produce some of the most staggeringly powerful imagery out there, both topical and timeless in its appeal to our humanity. Much of his current work is the modern embodiment of art as activism. His pointed, poignant, no-nonsense approach to artmaking is unafraid of ruffling feathers in the name of resistance. A Rodriguez piece is a reminder to stay alert and active.
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We don’t play favorites when it comes to our artists, but Joseph O. Holmes definitely has a special place in our hearts. Maybe it’s because he’s been a longtime 20x200 collaborator, or because his photographs of NYC never fail to remind us why we’re so smitten with our home city, OR because he’s one of the most easy-going, positively zen people we’ve ever had the pleasure to get to know IRL. All we can tell you is we can’t stop collecting his editions.
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