Emotive Paint & Hidden Words

November 12, 2012

Some of the world’s greatest thinkers used quill pens to ink their ideals and imbue society with new perspectives while other greats prefer the paint and brush as their tool.  Alexandra Grant is one such artist who utilizes the asthetic beauty of paint to relay philosophical statements, captivate the eye and stimulate society to ask why?

Alexandra Grant, a Los Angeles based collaborative artist, uses the world as her muse and language as her galvanizing spring towards creating the most awe inspiring sculptures, paintings, drawings and videos. ‘I have ideas I feel should be expressed in paint. I have a voice and it’s about putting feeling into things,’ she explains. From books, artist, poetry, quiet or passionate people, space, the cactus garden at Huntington Gardens, fashion photography on glossy magazines to simply sitting at a dinner table with family, friends, good food and wine, Grants inspiration is brought about from a lucid curiosity that spawned from childhood.
Born in Fairview, Ohio and raised in Mexico City and France, Grant’s childhood was colored with visits to the museums and with Arts & Crafts objects her parents collected on trips.

Graduating in 1995 from Swarthmore College with a BA in History and Studio Art and from California College of the Arts in 2000 with an MFA in Drawing and Painting, Grant has had her works displayed in some of the biggest galleries all over the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Some of her past collaborations include Michael Joyce, the author of the first hypertext fiction, andOde to Happiness, a book written by first time author Keanu Reeves.

Aside from being an avid recycler and living a sustainable lifestyle, Grant uses recycled art products and is a philanthropic artist who works in collaboration with the non-profit Watts House Project, an artists driven neighborhood redevelopment enterprise. She was the Founding Board Chair of the organization and with the help of architects Robert Sheinberg and Arnold Swanborn created ‘The Love House,’ the Cerant family home on 107th Street, which dons a large sculpture of the word ‘love.’ Funds for the project have also been raised by the sale of her ‘Love’ rings andnecklace.

Grants current projects include art pieces that were inspired by Century of the Self, a documentary about Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, who was the first psychoanalyst to apply his uncles work in the field of public relations in order to create what we now call commercials and advertisements. Her work delves into the roots of consumerism and superficiality and explores how we view ourselves. Grant is a firm believer in getting in touch with the self and not allowing or succumbing to the projections or stereotypes of the world, whatever that may be, she explains, ‘I think a person should always be themselves. An intellectual doesn’t have to look intellectual. It’s about feeling things and about making the world inside and outside of you equal. It’s important to let what’s inside of you come out.’ These works will be featured in collaboration with LAXART and will be featured at an exhibition in 2013 at University of Sothern California Fisher Museum.

Forêt Intérieure (InteriorForest) another project debuting April through June 2013 at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, consists of a collaboration with Hélène Cixous, a Paris based writer and philosopher on her book Philippines which deals with several themes including the relationships of north and south, dreaming and reality, telepathy and empathy, colony and colonizer, woman and man, and child and adult.

While she keeps a busy schedule, upon meeting her, Grant does not come across as someone that is embarking on so many collaborative artistic feats bent on inspiring and elucidating the heart and mind. Rather she maintained an elegant yet childlike resilience that, like her art, was succinct and palpable in all its serene pleasantries.


As warm air billows its way into the sky pushing the clouds up, it begins a process that creates dark, ominous, whipped shaped clouds accompanied by flashes of veiny lights that spark a symphony of grandiloquent roaring thunder that drive most people to take cover, all, but nature photographer Camille Seaman

Born in 1969 to a Native American father from the Shinnecock tribe and to an African American mother, it was Camille’s experiences growing up spending hours playing in the woods or at the shore with her cousins that began to pixelate the picture-perfect calling of a life destined to be spent behind a lens.

Camille attended the State University of New York at Purchase where she studied photography, but it wasn’t until she was 32 that a passion was awakened in her to communicate her experience on this earth and to ‘show the beauty and interconnectedness of everything’ through the eye of a camera.


Camille’s photographs of clouds and icebergs have found homes in great publications such as the National Geographic, Time, The New York Times Sunday, Newsweek and Outside, to name a few. She also has received many awards including a top honour in 2008 with her solo exhibition, ‘The Last Iceberg’, at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, which focused on the delicate environment of the Polar Regions.

What makes Camille’s photographs special is that she limits the amount of editing by not using a photo if it takes over a minute to retouch, as well as not using any filters, contrast or saturation to augment or alter the photo in order to maintain the integrity of the image. There are moments where nature develops a type of composure, whether that’s the calm before the storm or the stillness of the ocean where an over 100ft glowing iceberg sleeps, that allows for Camille, with heightened observation to capture the subject in its most striking state with the help of mother nature’s natural lighting demonstrating the inherent pulchritude of nature as itself, raw an unfettered.

This level of artistry requires heightened patience, with emotions and instinct playing a major role in capturing the perfect picture. ‘When the emotion is present, whatever the emotion might be I then question what is making me feel this way, it is only then I raise the camera to my eye and use it as a sort of geiger counter moving the camera around as I look through the viewfinder until I hone in on the source of what is causing the emotion in me.’

cs  Her hope in capturing icebergs and clouds in its gaudy exquisiteness is to have people awed into consciousness over the importance of developing a sustainable attitude and consciousness towards our interconnectedness to nature and how we affect it and it affects us. She explains during the Look3 festival of the photograph, ‘People need to be reminded that we will not survive as a species. We do not operate separate from this eco-system that we call earth. We’re very much integrated and if anything we have shown how much we do affect it, whether it’s an oil spill or an extinction of species due to something that we did. It’s something that we should be aware of it.’

Her latest project involves photographing captive wolves and wolf hybrids, subjects that are neither wild nor domesticated, in order to bring awareness and to start a discourse about what it means to be wild and what motivates humans to interfere with these two worlds.


Fabric on Human Canvas

September 20, 2012

New York Fashion Week or Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, as it has been called since 2009, is a one week smorgasbord of the finest fashion designs that sets the tone for what people will eventually find in stores and fill in their closets. Started in 1943, NY Fashion Week boast some of the world’s greatest designers, who each, get a well-ventilated, self-designed tent that reflects their brand and style and contains their latest funtastic designs. NY is one of four fashion week locations with its threads extending to London, Milan and Paris.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always used clothes as a means to express myself, but my appreciation has grown as I have witnessed my sister, who graduated from Cornell with a B.S in Textiles Science & Design, launch her first line called Berqcle. Although she is the absolute fashonista’, she only packs one bag when we travel! I on the other hand, I umm, well, let’s just say when it comes to packing for trips I’m very George Costanza about it all.

Well, without further ado, may I present… (Drum Rolllll…or Cow Bell, if that’s your thing)…

2013 Fashion Week Collections


Always dress to impress yourself and three other fashion/beauty tips to always remember,

from Audrey Hepurn:

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”


Guerra de la Paz, TRIBUTE 2012


With U.S citizens throwing away 13 million tons of textiles annually, one has to wonder, where do all those garments go? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only a meagre 15% is recovered for reuse and recycling with the rest occupying landfill space. But as they say, what’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Guerra de la Paz, the compounded name of Cuban born sculptors Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz , are two such artists take inspiration from the bulk of used clothes left by a clothing export business in the early years of growing up in their neighbourhood. After witnessing the impact that mounds of methodically lugged away unwanted garments had on their community, they developed a cognizance to the impending global impact as well as a consciousness of the importance to achieve a balance between humans and the environment.

They explain, ‘Because it is rejected clothing that we work with and because of where they come from, the material itself is already undeniably charged with social discourse, allowing us to project a holistic portrayal of contemporary society and a testament to its environmental implications.’

While they’re based in Miami, Alain Guerra was born in Havana and Neraldo de la Paz in Matanzas. Their work extends from sculptures, photography and installations. Their sculptures are majestic and prodigious in sight, brimming with color and drenched in the symbolism of consumerism, society and faith. Built out of recycled clothing such as t-shirts, dresses, shoes, boots and more, their statuesque sculptural creations embody society’s mass habit to over consume and discard with little to no consideration or understanding of the environmental implications.

Guerra de la Paz sees society’s consumerist nature as an opportunity to redistribute beauty, love, positivity and stimulating messages into the world through the discarded ‘trash’.

Some of their latest projects to be completed for a museum exhibition in 2013 are a bonsai made from deconstructed repurposed garments and wire, and a Greco-Roman torso fragment using elements associated with feminine beauty to build the ideal masculine physique made from shoulder pads, pillows, deconstructed lace and sheer garments, rope and thread. On top of that, as an official partner of the Australian Football League, they have been commissioned to create a giant ball structure in late September to celebrate the buildup to the 2012 Toyota Grand Final with up to 300,000 excited fans in Melbourne, Australia.

With a bond that empowers their work together, Guerra de la Paz views their work as ‘a continuum where one piece leads to another, like links in an evolutionary chain’ enabling them to create a full story bolded with connected, vital messages that trumps the individual significance of each piece.

As supporters of sustainable issues, bent on seizing the moment by creatively conserving and protecting natural resources, they are stamping their mark in history as artistic iconographer’s one momentous sculpture at a time.





Next main exhibition at Biennale Internationale Du Lin de Portneuf biennaledulin.ca


Mosaics of Gold

August 28, 2012

For many, stepping outside in the morning without pinning, curling, waxing, heating, plucking, shaving, and sucking in, is more unfathomable than missing breakfast. Society’s obsession with beauty, caused by the constant barrage of images brought to us mainly by advertising, serves as the subject of Sandhi Schimmel Golds’ stunning mixed media potrait series.

Learning to mix paint before she could even write, Schimmels’ art work uniquely utilises the junk mail delivered daily to our mailboxes, which she transforms into a newly shaped image of beautifully painted mosaic portraits. From pop-art portraits of 60’s musicians, through to fashion icons and screen sirens; Schimmels’ work radiates an array of iconic people whose faces are carefully assembled using assorted cut outs from postcards, catalogues, packaging, old calendars, photographs and more. As well as using safe, non-toxic, acid-free and water based products to create her vibrant colorful work, Schimmel is able to repurpose and enliven all sorts of goods that, in her own words, ‘would otherwise go to waste’.

Schimmel explains, “I am a rabid recycler in “real life” – I can’t stand wasting anything, and as most artists do- I see almost anything as potential material for art work. I wanted to create mosaic portraits without cutting tile or stone or glass. I started upcycling old greeting cards, and making”tiles” out of interesting sections of those cards. Eureka!”

The earliest known examples of mosaics were found in the 3rd Millenium BC at a temple building in Abra, Mesopotamia. Whilst these early mosaics used materials such as shells and ivory, the concept has remained virtually intact, as can be seen in Schimmel’s more modern interpretations. Although Schimmel received her B.A in psychology and painting from Arizona State University and completed a graduate degree in Fine Art at UCLA, she considers herself as being mostly self taught. With a deep love for music, Schimmel is an artist of many talents who spent her youth sitting quietly in her bedroom drawing or skipping school to peruse New York City’s art museums and galleries. Now she is using those gifts to incorporate sustainability into her strikingly quirky creations, as is evident from the tagline on her website;

Schimmel Art; Where sophistication meets sustainability – extraordinary eco-friendly fine art.

A self-described ‘monkey mind’ that jumps around when it comes to finding a pattern of inspiration for her art work, Schimmel recently completed a portrait of Billy Holiday and is now working on a new series of pieces inspired by the Lewis Carroll books entitled, ‘True, the Looking Glass.’

The crux behind this latest series rotates around Alice, who, in the original books, is often wondering about where she is and what is real. “These portraits are about what we say about ourselves, to ourselves and how we see ourselves in the mirror,” says Schimmel. These pieces will reflect the voices in our heads – from self-doubt to out of control egos. They’re not necessarily “pretty pictures” but more statement pieces about our own reflections.

Being process driven as well as image-centric, Schimmels’ goal in creating thought provoking work is to stimulate the viewer into questioning what beauty really is in a consumption driven culture that tends to swallow and bury the virtuous nature of true beauty itself. 

By: Magnolia

Ladies and Gentlemen meet Zosienka, a successful artists residing in London whose artistic passion has led her to create paper goods, textiles, ceramics, stationary and beautiful, poignant designs for everyday objects, making her one of London’s finest Illustrators along with her Illustration partner Rosie. Their work in animation, marionettes & intricate biscuit-icing have attracted the attention of clients such as Bat- for- Lashes, Kele, Asbury and End of the World. The amusing energy of dark children’s stories, spirited creatures and natures spiraling shapes and patterns are intricately inked into every piece of work.

So, without further ado may I present, from London,one of the two precious gems,




Q & A

Favorite word: Porcupine

Favorite thing in nature: It’s impossible to have a favourite thing, I just enjoy the mystery of it all.

One of  your movies: Arizona Dream

Favorite place to do art: A place that’s quiet and still, I have a studio.

Favorite music to inspire creativity: Miles Davis

Favorite smell: Rain on pavements

Favorite sound: Trees swaying

Where were you born: Johannesburg, South Africa

When you were a little  what did you want to be?An acrobat. I had a trapeze in my bedroom and I’dswing on it every evening whilst listening to Jackson 5.

Was there a time you felt like you were not going to be able to make a living off of being an artist?  If yes, what would you advice to others about pursuing their dreams based upon how you were able to manifest yours.

It is unfortunately a feeling that constantly comes and goes. I keep at it and the most important thing is to be adaptable. If you are trying to make your art a business, you have to apply it to the things people need, or think they need.

Who/What inspires or moves you? I’m very impressionable. Films often dictate my mood for days after I’ve seen them. That can be a good experience, as I’ll imagineI’m living on the shoes of those characters and might just look at the world in a different way for a while.

What is the message or story behind your art? There are no messages that I’m aware of as I have no intent of saying anything particular. What might be subconsciously communicated is another matter and one that won’t occur to me till much later.

What would you say is a strong key to being happy w/ oneself? That is a vital question. Maybe the key is not to have high expectations, rather to take things as they come and to live in the moment rather than keep waiting for things to change.

What are a few of your favorite things? Trees, I keep them in my home. Foxes, I’d love to keep them in my home but watch them from my window for now. Patchwork fabrics, I’mmaking a quilt. The little hats on  acorns. And Cote D’Or Bouchee chocolate pralines.




*Picture This*

January 17, 2011

Listen -Look – Relax


 Dreaming    By: Peter Przybille 

Alaskan Husky Tex dreaming in the landscape of Northern Norway








The Sunbeam
By:EricBuilt in England in the 1860









Andy Glass


                                              Santorini, Greece – By Jim Nilsen        




Falling Up- By: Nikki Jane  


The Endpoint
By Jeannette Oerlemans









Song of Tide
By Wira Nurmansyah








Ink Sea
By Hermin Abramovitch


Fan’s Eye
A macro shot by LauHi


Ant, The Driver
By Raphael Guarino









A Purple Leaf
By Juliet Heins- National Geographic










Alin Ciortea



Sky -By Venkane









Here Floats a Bubble in the Air  –  By D_oracle










Autumn in Red 


By Shazeen Samad



Bird and Water



By  R.See 







Two Legs – By Peter Grant