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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Artistic Heros- April

When I was in art school, a basic question that almost all my teachers would ask us is, “who are some of your favorite artists?” Half of the class would list artists that are either dead or in a contemporary art museum somewhere, and the other half would give a feeble, “I don’t really have any”, or, “I can’t remember their names”, myself included. I didn’t think much of it then, but since graduating and working closely with Darryll and playing the “art game”, I’ve come to realize that we’re kind of told who to like in the art world. With players like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst making millions of dollars, it’s easy to assume that, because they’re making a lot of money, their work must be all that is ART in the contemporary world. This goes the same for any artist found hanging on the walls of the Modern Wing at the Art Institute or in the art galleries of the Chelsea district in New York. Side note: how many of you have walked through those rooms thinking, “WHY?!”  Anyway, the pricetag, along with the lineage, is intimidating. Just like pop songs on the radio, they may not be the most thought provoking, intricate compositions, but they sell. Those people are doing something right. But you have to begin somewhere. I think it’s important to, as artists, start supporting each other. We don’t really have an excuse, the internet is a black hole full of information. Start researching the kind of work that makes your eyes jump back in their sockets, makes your fingers twitch with creativity, and that makes your brain melt. Next, remember those artists’ names and talk about them as much as you can because isn’t that what you’d like people to do for you and your work? I think what we need to remember about art is that it’s about the process, it’s about the story, it’s about the creator, the creator’s origins, and so forth. Ignore the price tag, you can worry about that later. Ignore the biggest names in the industry, you don’t HAVE to like them. You just choose your angle(s) and run with it. Our unsung artistic heros can be the building blocks to our own artistic endeavors, just do them a favor, and remember their names!

So without further ado, here are some of my personal art heros this week, just because they make my heart and brain feel GOOD:

A self-taught illustrator, painter, and photographer living in San Francisco. Her most recent paintings combine photo-realistic female subjects and make-believe and decorative surroundings.

Another self-taught artist that makes me wonder why I even went to art school. However she is truly amazing. Check out her comical, detailed illustrations at the link

Surprise! Another female illustrator for me. This lady creates delicate, wispy illustrations, often with a sense of humor. My favorite series is the Craig's List Missed Connections illustrations. Genius!

That's all for this week. Let us hear your current faves!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Trip to LA

Last week, I was in Los Angeles to finish up a big piece I’ve been working on that began after a visit to the Getty Museum a year or so ago. After working on the piece in Chicago, I realized that I really had something going, and I needed more images to complete the project. The only way to get what I needed to fulfill my vision was to go back to the Getty and shoot. The piece is coming along great!

Whenever I’m in LA, there are certain things I always do. I lived there for over 20 years, and I go back several times each year to visit galleries, museums, and collectors who own some of my work. This time, I also managed to see some friends and business associates. I always make sure I go to the galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. What I like about the area is that there are a number of galleries that either strictly exhibit photography, or that feature a lot of photographic artists. It’s probably the most concentrated area of galleries in California. I try to visit Peter Fetterman, Frank Pictures, Robert Berman, Shoshana Wayne, and Rose Gallery, among others. They seem to always feature a wide variety of interesting artwork; it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon.

I usually try to visit LACMA and MoCA, but I didn’t make it on this trip. I took two trips to the Getty, and those took up quite some time. The first time I went, the museum was not as crowded as it normally is. Since people are the primary subject of this particular work, the more people, the better… so it necessitated a trip back. For this work, a candid shot is preferable (as opposed to setting up and directing the subject), so you never know if the situation will unfold in front of you rapidly, or at a leisurely pace.

I often get asked whether or not I wish I still lived in LA. You cannot beat the weather, I’ll admit that. However, LA is so spread out, that for the most part, you don’t get that density and centralization that Chicago has. So in that respect, Chicago is more similar to New York City. People often describe of LA as ‘laid back’. Although the people working in LA are certainly as motivated as people in any other place, the atmosphere is definitely more relaxed… but the traffic keeps getting worse and worse. To me, Chicago is a more urban, lively, and invigorating place to live and work. I think that Chicago is a great cross between New York and Los Angeles.


Friday, April 5, 2013

AIPAD 2013

Darryll, who just returned home from his trip to Los Angeles, flew to New York City yesterday for the annual AIPAD Photography Show, which is one of the most celebrated international photography art events in the world. It is presented by The Association of International Photography Art Dealers, and will run from April 4-7th, 2013. The prestigious event, which is now in its 33rd year, features over 75 of the most prevalent names in art galleries specializing in photography, will be at the historic Park Avenue Armory on the city’s Upper East Side. Shanghai, London, Antwerp, and Paris are just a few of the world cities that will be represented.

In addition to group exhibitions, there will be a number of solo shows, book signings, and numerous panel discussions to stimulate the minds of photographers and art admirers alike. This year marks Catherine Edelman's first AIPAD show as president of the organization. Her gallery, a Chicago powerhouse, has been in business for over 20 years. To hear more from Edelman's camp, check out her blog, Cyclops!

The art ranges from early 19th century photography to work from established modern and contemporary photographers. Those who prefer contemporary digital work or video installations will also have a cornucopia of aesthetic stimulation freely available to them.

I cannot wait to hear more about Darryll’s trip and the AIPAD show! Stay tuned to the blog for a follow-up article about the events of this weekend!


Why I work with Darryll


My name is Shannon, and I am one of Darryll's assistants. I started working with him in December of 2012, and since then, we've been quite busy!  Although our meeting was happenstance, it has turned out to be a fantastic and worthwhile experience. Last year, I was looking for something to supplement my not-quite-full-time gallery job, and I was particularly interested in social media, marketing, and the arts. Darryll was looking for someone to brainstorm with, handle his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and assist in research, marketing, and promotional efforts. It was a perfect fit! The fact that he is an immensely talented photographer whose work I enjoy is icing on the cake. It would be impossible for me to effectively do my job if I did not truly believe that Darryll's work deserves to be recognized. In the past several months, I've learned a ton about digital photography, high quality printing processes, and the climate of Chicago's art scene. I look forward to keeping on with the work we have been doing, all the while continuing to expand my knowledge and help Darryll achieve his goals. Since we began working together, we've made some changes to his website, established a blog, built up some internet presence, met with art consultants, and, through research and on-site visits, gotten a greater feel of the Chicago gallery scene. Next up on the research agenda: New York, Los Angeles, London... who knows where else the road will take us?! I have also conducted several interviews with Darryll, which helps me better understand him as an artist, but also gives him additional insight into why he is creating, and the ideas behind his photographs. As an artist, it is not always easy to talk about oneself, but the practice certainly increases self-awareness. Working with Darryll has also been a great opportunity for me to hone my writing skills and ability to effectively conduct research. If you haven't already, scroll through the blog to see what we have been up to recently!