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Teeming with Flourishes, Narrative Sculptures by Amber Cowan Revitalize Vintage Pressed Glass

December 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

The monochromatic assemblages of Amber Cowan (previously) are at once domestic narratives and homages to an abandoned industry. Delicate baubles frame a central figure or scene that the Philadelphia-based artist illustrates with scraps of pressed glass. Whether focused on a lone bridesmaid or a hen hoarding eggs, Cowan's works explore the feminine experience through themes of "loneliness, the search for meaning, the search for love,…

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In ‘Colonial Ruptures,’ Artist Sharif Bey Defies the Constraints of Time through Fragmented Figures

August 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

Artist Sharif Bey centers his practice around recontextualizing, a process he undertakes by fracturing long-held perspectives through fragments. His figurative sculptures unify disparate materials and broad cultural references across generations and eras—his works are notably undated—drawing on both the aesthetics of West-Central Africa, particularly the spiritual protectors known as nkisi, and the industrial histories of his family and current city of Syracuse. Largely crafted around bits of his own ceramic vessels, Bey's works are on view at Toronto's Gardiner Museum in a…

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Art

Towering New Mixed Media Portraits by Andrew Salgado

July 10, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Canadian-born artist Andrew Salgado (previously here and here) presents a new body of work composed of towering portraits that span over eight-feet-tall. The mixed media works incorporate materials as diverse as paperback books and miniature cacti—objects that bring even more texture to the cross-hatched oil and pastel faces portrayed on each canvas. The works are included in his solo exhibition A Room With a View of the Ocean which runs through August…

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Art

Tufts of Printed Fabric Form Colorful MixedMedia Portraits by Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor

October 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Using scraps of vibrant Ankara fabric, Lagos-based artist Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor fashions intimate portraits that consider the fragmented and varied inner lives of her subjects. The intricately composed depictions rely on a cacophony of patterns arranged in loose ripples and tufts, creating a patchwork of color and texture. Although the textiles are Dutch in origin—they're colloquially known as "African print fabrics"—they have a strong cultural significance, and by piecing together the assorted motifs, Akpojotor establishes a shared…

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Art

Miniature Figures Top Coin Purses, Makeup Compacts, and Teapots in Lush Narrative Scenes by Kendal Murray

March 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kendal Murray works in miniature, crafting assemblages that present familial scenes built into and on top of common items found in the home such as glass tea pots or coin purses. The objects are often covered in fake grass, and present wholesome scenarios—such as a family posing on their car in front of fall foliage, or a man taking a jog through a pasture (while being followed closely by a heard of fluffy sheep). The Sydney, Australia-based artist is currently lecturing in Design…

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Art

An Eccentric Cast of Hybrid Creatures Mirrors the Diversity and Humor of Human Experience

November 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

From a dowdy California quail to an incendiary horned lizard, Alessandro Gallo’s peculiar menagerie of animal-human hybrids is teeming with personality. The colorful characters reflect the breadth of interactions occurring every day throughout public spaces as folks encounter others unlike themselves, like a parakeet contorted into a yoga pose or a suit-wearing hooded merganser. Based in Helena, Montana, the Italian artist likens the animalistic features to a mask or caricature. "I combine…

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