CTRL + V: Flags for the Forth

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Sara Rahbar, Flag #1, 2006

 

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David Hammons, African American Flag, 1990. Printed fabric, 19 1/2 x 12 1/2 in.

 

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Jasper Johns, Green Flag, 1969, Lithograph, 20 1/2 x 28 9/16 in.

 

FR Flag

Faith Ringgold, The Flag is Bleeding #2, 1997. Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 79.5 in.

 

RL flag

Roy Lichtenstein, Forms In Space, 1985. Screenprint on Rives BFK paper, 31 x 42 in.

Artist Spotlight: Darcie Book

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Roller rinks always had the best candy. I remember spitting out a florescent green blob of bubblegum covered in saliva into the palm of my hand at a 5th grade birthday party. I would then stretch that glob just as far as I possibly could, until inevitably it met its threshold. Bubblegum is childhood. It is that awkward little place in between needing your parents around you to survive, and well not really needing them anymore. It’s a transition, a threshold, a boundary – a place in time where you test those transitions.  A boundary is a useful fiction that helps us to navigate society, but when tested it has the potential to change our understanding of the two areas that it divides.

Darcie Book does this with her paintings. She begins by methodically pouring latex paint onto plastic sheeting. There is a delicate balance between submitting to the fluidity of paint and attempting to control the image. She then waits for the paint to dry and peels it off the sheeting, using it like a skin. The skin’s shiny surface appears wet, and you can feel the movement of the oozing paint, frozen in time. She manipulates the skin like a stiff fabric into sculptural forms. The skin is everything – the image, the substrate, and the support of the painting. Some of her works are more sculptural, while others surrender to a traditional square frame, causing viewers to question boundaries of painting, of sculpture, of movement, of time.

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Darcie Book (Baltimore, MD) is a painter and installation artist whose work explores paint as object and architecture through the use of innovative processes centered on the unique properties of latex paint. She was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Sondheim Prize with a corresponding exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and was featured in GOOD AND PLENTY, curated by Cynthia Connelly at School 33 Art Center in 2016. Book attended the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in April 2015, and was offered a grant to attend the Can Serrat Artist Residency in Montserrat, Spain in 2016 (acceptance of offer pending). In 2017, she was selected by the Belle Foundation for Cultural Development to receive an unsolicited Individual Grant for achievement in the arts and humanities.

Book’s work has been featured in exhibitions locally and nationally including Manifest Gallery’s FRESH PAINT Biennial (Cincinnati, OH, 2015) and the Maryland Artist Registry Juried Exhibition at Maryland Art Place (Baltimore, MD, 2016) as well as at The Mitchell Gallery (Annapolis, MD, 2013), Samson Gallery (Boston, MA, 2011), Current Gallery (Baltimore, MD, 2005, 2011), Metro Gallery (2012), School 33 Art Center (Baltimore, MD, 2003, 2011, 2016), The Art Barn Gallery (Santa Fe, NM, 2003) and The Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD, 2003).

 
Her exhibitions have been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, and the Baltimore City Paper. Her work has been featured on a number of esteemed blogs. Book has had three solo exhibitions in Baltimore, MD, including Borderlands at the Hamilton Gallery (2013). Her work is displayed in collections in Ireland and Nigeria as well as across the United States. Book is a founding member of A.M. Art Collective (est. 2011) and a core member of the Bmore Critique Group (est. 2016). She received her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004.

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Artist Interview: Rachel Rosenfeld

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With Love from the Manicured Lawn, 2016, Oil and marble dust on linen, 11 in. X 24 in.

 

(AB) How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
(RR) I am an atypical native-Kansan painter who spends too much time listening to NPR and reading translated Dutch novels on the El.
(AB) EL?
(RR) In Chicago the “El” or “L” is our public train system. Technically it means “Elevated Train”, although ironically a significant portion of it is underground. Most Chicagoans (myself definitely included) spend an inordinate about of time on the El.
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In lieu of testimony: No. 1, 2015, oil and marble dust on panel, 24 in. X 24 in.

(AB) You describe a tension between history, memory, and nostalgia in your statement. What exactly is this tension?
(RR) Dang, that’s a tough, very thesis-committee-esque question. The tension is a feeling that I think is pretty common to people like me, whose familial histories are absent, especially when parts of those histories have intentionally been withheld. It’s the notion that our culture, in my case American (or more specifically Midwestern, perhaps) culture tells us that it is healthy to be nostalgic. It is healthy to miss our parents’ and grandparents’ America. The tension manifests when one is forced to confront the problems that one’s family inevitably faced as they lived out these untold stories in the America that we are allegedly nostalgic for. The tension, I guess, is the knowledge that we are supposed to miss something that we know must have been problematic, without ever knowing exactly what those problems were. Trying to find these stories can be like knowing that a play is happening, but when you pull the velvet curtain aside there is a brick wall between you and the actors. Here we find the nature of history itself. The voices floating over the wall entice you with story scraps, but the brick wall won’t budge. I know that is a long answer, I your question basically embodies the monstrosity that is my MFA thesis. Svetlana Boym clarified this all with an impressive level of clarity when she discussed the concept of “Reflective Nostalgia” in her brilliant book The Future of Nostalgia.
(AB) Ok first of all I sincerely apologize for taking you back to your thesis-committee – probably something you don’t feel overly nostalgic for, am I right? I’m glad I asked though, because your answer is incredibly relevant right now. America really wasn’t great for a lot of people. Nostalgia can be dangerous. Why oil paint?
(RR) I use oil exclusively for a couple of reasons. First, I am incredibly asinine about being able to make subtle and highly-controlled shifts in color, and I have found that acrylic and gouache just dry too darn fast to allow me to embrace that particular desire. I have a whole idea about color theory being the same as the linear equations that I used in high school algebra, and I doubt that I could balance my tonal equations in any other medium. Second, I have found that limiting the number of variables within my art practice allows me to explore a couple of chosen variables with much greater focus. Art is like a pinball machine, the ball hits harder bouncing around an inch-wide corridor than it does in an empty gymnasium.
(AB) I love the specificity of that. It makes sense when tackling something as personal as memory. I think we can only really approach universality through specificity. Do you feel a connection to narrative historical oil paintings in your work?
(RR) I feel like to generalize the things that I find in the photographs sort of betrays the realities that they reflect, and I truly would hate to do that. I definitely feel connected to traditional history paintings. I spent a good chunk of undergrad and grad school having the good fortune to wander around some of Europe’s most storied museums. While the tales told by a lot of those paintings may seem repetitive and formulaic, each painter would add in these minuscule gems (things like what types of foods might be on a background table, or the colors on the edge of a particular patch of cloth) that show how richly they observed their worlds. I could go on for hours about this stuff. Like the Old Masters, I try to reward viewers for looking closer by hiding the good stuff in plain sight.
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In lieu of testimony: No. 2, 2016, Oil and marble dust on panel

(AB) What’s your favorite city?
(RR) Another tough one! I’m a total travel nut, but I am completely enamored with the tiny town of Todi, Italy. I studied there as a Freshman in college, and have visited twice since. I even keep a snow globe of the piazza in my studio next to my pet cactus. I love it because its like the Gods of civilization built a maze into a layer cake and then stuck the cake right on the edge of every major development in Western history. It got attacked by the Visigoths and built up by the Romans and knocked sideways by the Black Plague and lectured at by the Popes. Plus, they have their very own Pink Floyd cover band. Oh, and the views aren’t too shabby.
(AB) Speaking of cake, what is your favorite studio snack?
(RR) Is tea considered a snack? If not. then its either Dots or Mike-and-Ike’s. I’m an awful vegan. I know.
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They’re Still Here. 2016, Oil and wax on shellacked paper, 18 in. X 23 in.

Artist Spotlight: Chyrum Lambert

Anna Buckner

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I recently finished the last lemon in my fridge and casually tossed the yellow, plastic mesh sack in the trash. Unburdened by the weight of the fruit, the sack adopted its own shape, catching the light in some places and creating value variations where it doubled over. I took the sack out of the trash and pinned it on the wall alongside paintings by Greg Burak and Maddy Winter. On the wall the sack had transformed – undistracted by its utility, I could recognize the intricacies of the mesh and the subtlety of color.

This is what I love about Chryum Lambert’s work. There is uncertainty in his process, imagery and even medium – but it is simultaneously as familiar as a lemon sack. With uncertainty comes awareness. We look more closely. Notice more. Chyrum’s works are perfectly unresolved, and that’s precisely why they are so stirring.

Because I know a lot of readers are interested in talking shop, I’m going to share an excerpt from an email exchange I had with Chyrum. You’re welcome.

I get asked about my process often as it can be hard to tell from photos of my work just how they’re made. I work primarily on paper that’s been mounted to wooden panels(that I construct myself). I paint- using acrylic, oil, dye, ink wash, wax, onto large sheets of paper or fabric(muslin, cotton, denim). The paper/fabric is then cut, rearranged, and adhered onto the panels. So really the process of painting and the process of composing the images have been completely separated whereas in a more traditional painting approach these processes are one and the same. And I work in two different studios, one for each process, so the painting process never really gets involved in the compositional process and vice versa. I paint a lot and have quite the backlog of colors and textures, some are years old before I finally get around to using them in a composition, so the rediscovery of the shapes I cut out of the abstracted paintings make the process more like I am uncovering something new and not necessarily from myself. This helps I think in that I’m looking at the material I’m using with relatively fresh eyes. Makes me look harder at my own process.

Self-taught, Chyrum Lambert, lives and works in LA. His work is featured on Grizzly Bear’s newest album, Painted Ruins, to be released in August. This seems like a marriage that could last. Like Grizzly Bear, Chryum’s compositions are painstakingly detailed, yet effortless and full of emotion. Both gorgeous on the surface and rich with surprises as you dive deeper. And I’m diving.

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CL6Swimmer
2015
40 x 52 inches
ink wash, acrylic paint, pencil, collage material, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

CL5Parts And Labor ( YES WE CAN )
2014
40 x 26 inches
ink wash, oil paint, wax,
acrylic paint, pencil, rit dye, rust wash, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

 

CL4Diapsalmata
2014
26 x 40 inches
ink wash, pencil,
acrylic paint, rit dye, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

CL3Towards Our Bathroom Mirror, A Fang Is Growing
2015
26 x 40 inches
ink wash, acrylic paint, pencil, dye, muslin, wax, hand painted, cut, and adhered onto an 80 lb cover sheet

 

 

Humpday Haiku: Madeline Gallucci

Anna Buckner

hh mg.jpgI always feel a little guilty asking artists to write a haiku about their work. Hey! You’ve worked really hard to create this great body of work – now write a short poem about it. Alas, I did it again – it’s hard to stop demanding haiku when y’all keep showing up! Here’s one from Madeline Gallucci.

Madeline’s paintings are camouflaged  depictions of digital fragments – the debris left over from our daily flood of imagery. A snapchat squiggle here, spray painted scribbles there, they are her stories, her daily flood. But the effect is universal. We all experience this flood, but rarely do we think about what’s left behind.

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Madeline Gallucci received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 and has since shown both locally and nationally and has been awarded local residencies through Charlotte Street Foundation and Hotel Phillips as well as national residencies in San Fransisco and Grinnell, IA. Madeline Gallucci is a recipient of the 2016 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award and is currently represented by Weinberger Fine Art in Kansas City, MO.

You can check out more of her work on her website and instagram!

Artist Interview: Amber Vittoria

Anna Buckner

Amber Vittoria is an illustrator living and working in New York City. Really I should be posting this on a Wednesday – because WOAH can we talk about a serious WOMAN CRUSH? But also just a woman who is CRUSHING it – her illustrations have been featured in It’s Nice That, Man Repeller, and Teen Vogue. Thanks to Amber for sharing your beautiful work with Command Zine and taking the time for this interview!

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Plant Goals

 

(AB) Ok so this first question is more of a clarification – these are all digitally rendered, right? They are so painterly! You seem to move effortlessly between fine art and design. Do you see distinctions between the two?

 

(AV) That is correct! I block the color in a rudimentary way, print on an older laser-jet printer (which yields the beautiful screen-print effect), and add the linework using colored brush pens. In regards to fine art vs. design, I try my damnedest to not categorize myself; at times I’ll catch my mind attempting to organize and define the work I’ve been making, but try to focus predominantly on making.

 

(AB): Oh I would have never have guessed that! What lead you to this process? Now that I’m looking more closely at #RexythecoachDino I can see a grid forming in the pink background from the printer – It reminds me of one of Agnes Martin’s meticulously worked grid paintings. I could imagine that there’s an element of unpredictability created through the printer – do you find yourself responding to these *accidents* when you add the line work?

 

(AV): Playing with different paint pens, brush pens, etc. and wanting a flat color lead me to achieve the flat color ideal digitally. Experimenting with different printers allows for these unpredictabilities, which is incredibly fun to field once I apply the line-work.

 

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#RexythecoachDino

(AB) Your subjects are simultaneously serious and lighthearted. Who are these women? How does humor play into your work?

(AV) Majority of the inspiration pulls from women I know, women I see on the subway, on the bus, in line for lunch, online, etc. Because of this, the natural balance of humor and pointedness finds its way into my work.

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Keep Swimming

 

(AB) Can you talk about your color pallet?

 

(AV) Piggy-backing off my last answer, the color is what brings the lighthearted, whimsical element to my serious-focused pieces. It welcomes the viewer to come closer to the serious subject and not fear staying awhile.

 

av5Teen Vogue College Series

 

(AB) Do you do anything to get you in your groove while in the studio? Snacks? Music? Karaoke?

 

(AV) I’ve found talking to others while working is incredible; it inhibits me from over-thinking.

 

(AB): Wow – interacting with people in the studio? Truly breaks the stereotype of the isolated and tortured artist – I’m into it! If you could chat with anyone in your studio (dead or alive) who would it be?
 
(AV): I would say my grandfather; he passed two years before I was born. I’ve been told I’m similar to him, and it would be lovely to meet.

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All New Very Sexy Bra

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Check out more of her work at her website and instagram!

Ctrl Alt-Right Delete

Sul-Jee Scully

img_1121Artist Beth Hoeckel at the Women’s March in DC, 01/21/17. See her work here and here. (Thanks, Beth, for the pic & title of this post.)

Integral to protesting is the protest sign. Sometimes labored and sometimes ad hoc, the protest sign is an immediate form of expression. This simple, flat rectangle can hold our strongest emotions and beliefs — a proxy for our own selves. As Trump and his administration continue to prove the scope-of-threat and injustice of their agenda, it is clear their acts cannot be met quietly. Protest signs may live their fullest life at the protest itself, but they (and their makers) will continue to speak out. Anna and I will be posting protest signs each week for Trump’s remaining first 100 days of office — or for as long as we have to.

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No Walls Stand Forever

16422967_10100518022356187_7180482953292339009_oRafael Khachaturian, a PhD candidate in Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, at the No Ban, No Wall protest in Bloomington, IN, 01/29/17. His sign was inspired by Dmitri Vrubel’s iconic Fraternal Kiss mural.

“With this picture I obviously wanted to oppose the idea of building walls or excluding populations in any way, and I thought that the historical parallel to the Berlin Wall was something powerful to play it off against.” Rafael drew the US flag upside-down “as a protest against the threat that Trump’s policies pose for all people, citizens and non-citizens.”

If you have a sign you want to share, send it to info@commandzine.com or tag us on Instagram (@commandzine) or Twitter (@CommandZine).