ATHEN B. GALLERY
Press Release: Athen B. Gallery is excited to announce its involvement in this years Juxtapoz Clubhouse in Downtown Miami this December 6 to the 10, 2017. The Clubhouse is located at 200 E Flagler St. Miami, FL 33131. Find us on the third floor where we will be exhibiting paintings, sculptures, murals and installations by artists Brett Flanigan, Cannon Dill, Heather Day, Jet Martinez, Kate Klingbeil, Laura Berger, Maxwell McMaster, Meryl Pataky, Muzae Sesay, Nicolas Romero, Nicomi Nix Turner, Pastel, Troy Lovegates, Woodrow White, and Zio Ziegler. To receive a sneak peek at the works in the exhibition before the collectors preview is sent out this coming Monday contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair hours are December 6th 6-10pm. December 7 through December 10th 10am-8pm.
The impetus for this body of work is "the game". Games are a way for me to navigate a series of decisions through terms that I understand, because they are devised in ways that mirror my life. They can involve pattern, probability, logic, language, representation, or repetition. Some are funny or awkward. Although games can contain rules, they are not rules in themselves. They can accommodate dichotomy and cognitive dissonance. Any agitation or mistake can change the game or set a new game into motion. When a game can no longer be played, the information gained can be used to formulate a new game, and the process continues. It is a reductive process, which is repeated until I have created something that I no longer understand.
Bio: Brett Flanigan was born in Great Falls, MT, and holds a degree in Biology from the University of California. He has lived and has lived and worked in Oakland, CA since 2009. He works primarily in painting, sculpture, and public art. His works are often driven by processes influenced by his science and mathematics background. Since 2010 his work has been exhibited in San Francisco, Oakland, New York City, Portland, Atlanta and Chicago, as well as internationally in Hamburg, Germany and Warsaw, Poland. Flanigan has also completed a number of public artworks, including a mural at the Museum of the University of Nevada, Reno, and a large scale public sculpture in downtown Oakland.
The idea behind this body of work is to convey a careless feeling that was captured in a photograph of me when I was six years old. Unfortunately, the broader explanation seems to be more complicated than I had imagined so I began breaking down the photograph into a handful of reinterpretations through symbolism while exploring a wide range of mediums. I want the paintings to feel important, strong, and full - while retaining their playfulness.
I travel seeking stories of all kinds—stories behind people, places, sound, and nature—and bring them home to my San Francisco studio to create an interpretation. From collecting moments in wooded areas or near agitated rivers, travel is research and painting is the reaction. It lets me go deeper through combining the images and emotions I accumulate from the road; it’s the reflectionary period where all elements of an experience come together.
My recent work tells the story of a year looking, feeling and listening to the connections between conversations and color. Conversations represent interaction and exchanges—not only between people themselves, but also between nature and human. Observing the rhythm of a tide and the rhythm of a city—it all breaks down into line, texture and hue. Conversations are merely reactions to this rhythm. Whether we’re talking to a friend, interacting with nature or are left stewing in our own thoughts, conversations permeate life. They become ideas and memories that evolve and eventually dissolve.
At the center of all is color. It’s raw emotion, movement and response. It’s the means to control energy and direct the eye. Color parallels the same energy and motion I see in life, which dictates the act of painting. The process requires the fluidity and strength found in nature—from short, abrupt marks to great surging washes of paint. It demands the entire body, not just the hand. With each piece, I’m in a new place. And the more I paint, the more I want to keep searching.
Bio | Heather Day was born in 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2012, she graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with her BFA. Her work is included in both national and international collections, including Facebook Inc., Warner Brothers Inc., The Ritz-Carlton and Snapchat Inc. This is her fifth solo show and first with Athen B. Gallery.
Artist Statement | The core of my practice stems from my interest in locating folk art’s place in a globalized world. I seek to create a multi-cultural dialogue that explores the consistencies of visual culture throughout time, beginning with ancient artisans and extending to contemporary artists. I was convinced from an early age growing up in Cuernavaca, Mexico that communities can be sustained through art making. Like the craftspeople who integrate life into the creation of ceramics and textiles—nothing less than a certain form of magic—I embrace the imperfections of the handmade—the organic forms and vibrant colors which have the power to remove the individual identity of the artist in favor of a more universal expression of “folk art.”
By uniting the imagery of traditional Mexican folk art with the vernacular of urban contemporary art, I’m trafficking in the nuanced relationship between artistic tradition and global influences, in the process finding the relationship between community and culture. The lineage of west coast mural work looms large in my practice: art functioning as a symbol of resistance transforming overlooked spaces into something beautiful—a daily revolution in the form of creating.
Bio | An influential figure in Bay Area public art, Oakland-based artist Jet Martinez (b. 1973) is known for creating vibrant works of art that engage the traditions of Mexican folk art with contemporary aesthetics. Originally from the small beach town of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, and raised in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Martinez takes inspiration from his native culture’s rich traditions of pottery, weaving and embroidery, enlivening the rigid architecture of urban environments with ornate patterns and abstract forms.
A fellow of the Kala Art Institute, in Berkeley, CA with his wife, Kelly Ording, Martinez’s work has been exhibited internationally at Joseph Gross Gallery, 111 Minna Gallery, White Walls Gallery, Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, and Syracuse University, among others. His murals have been commissioned in locales as diverse as Oaxaca, New Orleans, Brazil, and Zurich, and by the San Francisco Arts Commission/San Francisco General Hospital, the cities of Denver, Colorado and San Jose, California, and companies such as Facebook, Hilton, Kiehl’s, John Fluevog and Red Bull.
Martinez served as the director of San Francisco’s acclaimed Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. His work with CAMP has been integral to the creation and preservation of public art in the Mission District, a historically Latino neighborhood known as a bastion for underground arts and culture.
Artist Statement | With this work I am interested in an emotional current that lies below the surface, what we know and what we think we know. I want to make real magic out of dirt. Muscle memory is a physical knowledge, a movement that is second-nature because it has been practiced many times over. I grew up riding horses, and have been reflecting on how that experience has made me who I am, and how I will carry that in my body forever. In a culture that is increasingly interested in out-of-body experiences, I have been thinking more and more about activities that keep us grounded to our physical beings. The work I have contributed to Muscle Memory honors self love as self care, the importance of vulnerability in the pursuit of happiness, and the sacred nature of the ordinary horse with the soul of a unicorn.
Bio | Kate Klingbeil (b. 1990) is a multi-disciplinary artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up on a farm in the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI where she spent her childhood surrounded by animals and riding horses. Her work spans the mediums of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and animation, and investigates sexuality, feminine power, memory, personal experiences, animal/human communication, secrets and movement. Kate received a BFA in printmaking from California College of the Arts in Oakland in 2012, and has attended residencies at Kala Art Institute, ACRE Projects and The Venice Printmaking Studio. Her work has been published in Fresh Paint Magazine, Vice The Creators Project, and she has shown work internationally in Japan and Glasgow, as well as across the United States in the bay area, Milwaukee, Portland, New York and Los Angeles, among other US cities.
Artist Statement | My current work is centered around the ideas of inclusion and interconnectedness, featuring figurative imagery and dreamlike, minimalistic environments. I'm interested in our search for a sense of belonging and meaning as individuals, and how that both contrasts and combines with our existential concerns of feeling small or insignificant within the larger world. As my own family has grown smaller, much of my focus has been around exploring alternate notions of "family" and connection -- through our ties to the global community and to our collective ancestry, to nature and to the unknown -- and how this notion of settling into our basic shared human experience can serve as a base to inform and empower our personal identities, choices, and roles in life.
Bio | Laura is a visual artist living and working in Chicago. She has exhibited her paintings around the US and abroad, and also does editorial illustration work, murals, ceramic sculpture, and animation
Maxwell McMaster was born in Sacramento California and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work typically takes inspiration from his native state. Maxwell uses color shape and texture to enhance and deepen scenes from his travels and everyday life. The result is typically abstract and minimal in design but somehow complex in appearance. The images invite the viewer to reflect on life, and its mysteries while reminding us of the beauty in it.
Originally from South Florida, Pataky moved to San Francisco in 2002 to attend the Academy of Art University. She fell in love with the tactile nature of sculpture and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. An artist of many disciplines and mediums, Meryl focuses on the relationship between her own hands and material. Informing her material selection is a meditation on the elements of the periodic table from noble gases to metals and organics. She is aware of the history of her elements from their origins in the universe to their applications in culture and myth. The artist derives deeper meanings from these histories to add layers to her concepts. Both a personal and process driven narrative drive the work further forward.
Meryl is currently working on exhibitions in Oakland, California as well as curating an all female neon exhibition with the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles this September.
I am drawn to the artifacts of our world; how things are made and what they are made of. As an artist of many disciplines and mediums, I focus on the relationship between my own hands and my materials. My previous work dealt with a meditation on the elemental composition of my materials. I studied the history of elements from their physical construction in the universe to their applications in culture and myth and finally their experience in my hands. Both a personal and process driven narrative drove the work further forward.
My recent work focuses further on *materialism, accessing cognitive and emotional effects of an individual’s personal relationship with a material and/or process. I explore how this relationship transforms both the individual and the material as I render more abstract expressions. I enjoy representing the unseen and sometimes mundane processes of sculpture in an attempt to highlight or prove the importance of those processes as equal to the importance of the final work both conceptually and aesthetically.
*Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.
In a continuing process of renegotiating imposed conflicts between my cultural intersectionality while also testing the validity of memory as the basis of acclaimed “truths”, Our Temne House is a response to the question, “How are ideas regarding self and heritage effected by our access to secondhand information?” By compiling family stories and heirlooms, mass media dialogue, and internet research, I am able to construct a malleable image of my grandmother’s infamous blue house and the surrounding social atmosphere in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Mentally traveling to a place I’ve never been before. However seemingly vivid, the instability of that image is based on a constant critic on the information source and their respective biases. As a result, the image of the house is forever in motion and is completely subject to an infinite amount of influences. When these manufactured beliefs become impenetrable truths, we lose the power to define ourselves.
My approach to Our Temne House was to look at each vignette as an every changing piece to a visual puzzle. Allowing the styles and marks of the vignettes to stand alone as individual responses attempting to define themselves. In a shifting space, fragile and unsure of itself, the composition of marks and colors become the warm, comforting emotional takeaway; the core purpose of fabricating the mental image in the first place. The actual facts and details become secondary as the initial reasons for introspection are pushed to the foreground.
An Argentinian artist who combines an obsession for the human body with a love of experimentation with people. His forms are idealized with "a religious slant". Nico brings his own symbology and mythology to his forms. His use of bright colors and patterns echoes his background in street art. Nico aims to give importance to the inconsequential.
Nicomi Nix Turner
Nicomi Nix Turner is an artist based out of Northern California. Creating detailed illustrations that invoke a surreal understanding of the perfection in nature, her works delve into the occult and the connections between alchemy, mythology, decay and birth. Her hyper-detailed illustrations capture the coexistence of life and decay in a bouquet of fungi, personified insects, bones, flesh and fauna.
The pieces I create reflect subject matters pertaining to biological deconstructionism, nature's legacy, alchemy, fables and counter-religious belief. In an orchestra of hyper-textured saturation, each piece is a cacophony of silent movement and erratic soliloquies.
Curator Statement | I first learned of Francisco Diaz (Pastel’s) work through mutual friends. I realized quickly how special and unique Francisco’s work is. There are thousands of artists who work on murals and exhibit works around the world. Through easy exposure on social media and the internet there seems to be hundreds of new artists each month. One thing lacking from a lot of his peers is the social consciousness and awareness that comes with working in a variety of cities across the world, both in their galleries and their communities. Pastel takes the community into consideration, letting it influence his choices.
Pastel is on the short list of artists I’ve come to know who really does his research before putting paint on the wall of a community, reflecting on local politics, history, and geography of each project before arriving to paint. He prefers smaller cities because of the experiences and interactions that come when immersing himself in that place.
In the early 2000’s Francisco was drawn to the liberating freedom that graffiti has brought so many over the years. Letter structure was not the focus of his illegal expression, but creating flowers. The flowers are derivative to the flow of the graffiti we see in our day to day. Shortly thereafter, everything changed as he studied and graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. After a few years, he left his day job as an architect, but he still considers what he now creates as a form of architecture. The murals are similar to architecture, but the result is much more abstracted than designing a building. He refers to his work as Urban Acupuncture. The work acts as small interactions with a city that can help improve the already existing environment. In the artist’s eyes, a lot of cities he has visited lack a strong identity; they are not really designed for the people who live there, regardless of what the city planners may say.
Pastel’s process is fairly simple. First, he starts with research to develop a strong idea or structure of what a piece can potentially become. It isn't until after his arrival that he knows what the exact piece will be. Before painting, he walks the surrounding environment to study colors, architecture, and the people that make up the city. Once that is complete, he is able to stabilize and build off the previously conceived structure, much like an architect would before submitting a final proposal.
Troy Lovegates, widely known as "OTHER", is an artist currently based in Oakland, CA. His works are heavily patterned and saturated with hyper color. With a knack for the use of found materials and the unification of wildly disparate elements, both material and aesthetic, Lovegates uses everything from spray paint, oil stick, water color, acrylic, and ink to create works on canvas and paper as well as wooden sculptures.
A self-described "collector of lost souls,” the artist focuses on the figure as story, building motifs through heavily condensed mark making. The figures in his work are sympathetically drawn from equal parts caricature and realistic observation. Lovegates is constantly revising and adapting previous efforts, reintegrating them into current bodies of work that reflect the history of their making. His hand-carved wooden pieces bring his paintings to life as objects. The powerfully weathered people in his imagery are often real, captured through photographs and observation taken while on his travels over the years. Motivated by his own dreams and nightmares, Troy Lovegates works are emotive arrests of an awe-inspiring imagination.
Woodrow White was born Los Angeles and lives in the Bay Area. His work deals with American story-telling, from folk tales to the film industry he grew up alongside. His paintings often portray the make-believe weirdness found in places like Hollywood, and the unsettling mundanity it’s couched in. White aims to peel back our alluring mythologies to find the ugly but earnest human core of each narrative. His work has been shown in galleries in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville and New Zealand.
Zio Ziegler (born 1988) is an American artist known for his intricately patterned paintings and his large-scale murals, which can be seen in major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Zio Ziegler studied at The Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. Since graduating with a BFA from RISD in 2010, Ziegler has developed an international studio and mural practice to support his philosophy that art should be available to all. His work reflects the diverse influences of late medieval and quattrocento painting, aboriginal, African and naive art, and the European graffiti movement. Driven by intuition and depicted with a playful use of space and materials, his subject matter reflects the human condition, with reference to allegorical, mythical and artistic lineage. He paints in the belief that his paintings complete themselves by triggering self-discovery in their viewers. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.