Love it or Hate it: ArtSee Featured Artist Camden Noir
Sept 23, 2011
“if you’re reading this, more than likely, you love my work or you hate it…or both. either way i have your attention.”
This is Camden Noir, a new (and fantastic) addition to DC’s street art scene, who now takes his work to the canvas. His style definitely has a recognizable language of imagery and symbols, and borders between haunting and ironic. I certainly won’t try to label his work, even though that’s what Camden’s into; labels, that is. The artist has recently published Label 228: A Street Art Project, which is a collection of work from artists around the world who have harnessed their creativity and unleashed it onto USPS mailing labels. After such a huge success with the first collaboration, Camden is already working on the second installment of his project.
We’re pumped to have Camden at our upcoming “Sundays with ArtSee” this weekend on September 25th at Busboys and Poets on 5th & K St. Beforehand, I wanted to have a chat with this wry-witted artist to find out more about him and what inspires his work.
ArtSee: What made you choose painting to express yourself?
NOIR: I’m not sure exactly. I started out drawing in like high school and then explored other avenues such as painting and screen printing.
ArtSee: Where do you get the inspiration for your art?
NOIR: My inspiration stems from other artists. There are so many people doing incredible things. So when I look at their work, it makes me want to create something just as beautiful. You’ve got artists like downtimer, angry woebots, josh taylor, daniel fleres, matt linares, sket one, robots will kill, mecro, mat curran, all doing incredible things.
ArtSee: Do personal experiences drive these pieces?
NOIR: To an extent yes. But for the most part no. i’ve had a couple bad breakups and you’ll see that in some of my work. I paint skulls instead of heads on the girls to signify that they are dead to me. Although I still think about my exes quite a bit (awwwwww gag).
ArtSee: Tell me something about the inception for your book Label 228: A Street Art Project.
NOIR: I would go to the book store and read books like “wall and piece” and “graffiti art” and other books with the street art theme. I always saw recreated priority mail stickers on stop signs and on walls and I realized that there were no books on the labels themselves. So I started a myspace in 2006 collecting artwork on priority mail labels to get underground artists known. Word spread pretty quickly and the book was published within 2 and a half years.
ArtSee: Where do you want to move forward with the next installment? Or is this a secret?
NOIR: I have started collecting labels for the second book. I don’t have a publisher but I have sent out about 25 emails to potential publishers. Artists that missed out on the first book are excited for the second installment. And this book will be 20 times better than the first one so keep an eye out for that.
ArtSee: What artists’ work in the book do you feel resonate with you the most?
NOIR: I love all of them to be honest. Everybody has a particular style they relate to and there are about 100 artists in the book that speak to me.
ArtSee: Any future plans for exhibiting your work or projects you’re particularly excited about?
NOIR: At this point, i’m trying to get as many shows as I can. The more shows I have, the harder it is for me to sleep all day. So if there are any gallery owners reading this…wink wink.
ArtSee: What makes you want to punch and/or hug something?
NOIR: I love this question. Ummmmmmmm. On 9/11, I wanted to punch every person chanting USA and waving their oversized american flags made in the great country of…china. But then again, I watched a documentary about the boats that came to rescue people on 9/11 and I was so touched by it.
“Objects of Their Own Design” and “The Nature of Nature”: ArtSee Featured Artists Pam Frederick & Flora Kanter
September 16, 2011
Pam Frederick and Flora Kanter, the artists headlining Studio Gallery’s current duo show, “Objects of their Own Design” and “The Nature of Nature,” live and breathe art, and are inspired daily both inside and outside their studios. Co-owners of ArtSPACE Management, the two artists juggle their professional and artistic careers effortlessly; one complements the other and vice versa.
Influenced by mid-50’s “Modernist” subdued color palettes and design, Pam Frederick’s work is based on abstractions of geometric designs and their relationships in space. These patterns of design can range from the chaotic to the orderly in their composition of shapes.
Regarding her style, Frederick says “My work can be described as a combination of
organic forms and geometric shapes that communicate with each other in their own world. The objects ‘tell’ me what shape they want to be and who they want to be near. These compositions can also be viewed as a ‘still lifes.’ Though not traditional still lifes, the canvases show arrangements of inanimate objects within a geometric spatial organization.” These objects, enigmatic in their existence, tend to leave the viewer with a sense of wonder, curiosity and the desire to solve an unspoken riddle.
Flora Kanter also paints with a central theme focused on organic objects and line, while using more recognizable subject matter. Aptly named for her proclivity to paint botanical imagery, the artist’s paintings are inspired by nature. However, like Frederick’s work, these are not your typical still lifes.
Influenced by the late Cy Twombly, Kanter’s work depicts abstractions of floral images, with a dramatic emphasis on color, texture, and composition. Of the evolution of each piece, Kanter says “My drawings and paintings build on the linear element with the addition of color and texture. I combine traditional drawing techniques with the introduction of abstract elements.” The twists, drips, and curving lines of the subjects in the paintings demonstrate an inherent sense of the organic, and achieve an atmospheric quality in their rich hues and unique textures.
Look forward to seeing Pam and Flora at the artists’ reception tomorrow (Saturday, September 17th) from 4-6 pm at Studio Gallery!
D.C. and ArtSee Gear Up for (e)merge art fair, September 22nd-25th
September 6, 2011
As you’ve heard by now, Washington D.C. is looking forward to hosting the new (e)merge art fair this fall. A perfect city for such an event, D.C. is
burgeoning with a wealth of contemporary artists and a thriving cultural community. The organizers of (e)merge art fair recently revealed a roster of the 80 participating exhibitors and artists from 15 different countries, with a majority from the mid-Atlantic region. No one could be surprised with such an impressive line-up with co-creators Helen Allen (owner of Helen Allen Consulting and founder/former Director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair), Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith (co-owners of Conner Contemporary Art Gallery) at the helm of this event.
As (e)merge approaches and our anticipation heightens, we had a few questions for Ms. Allen about how the idea for the fair came about and what exhibiting artists, collectors, and culture-hounds should expect.
ArtSee: When did you realize that DC needed a forum to showcase new/emerging artists?
ALLEN: DC has had a vibrant contemporary art community – albeit a smaller scaled one – for decades. Leigh Conner, Jamie Smith, and I had been talking with one another about collaborating on a project that helped draw attention to all that the city has to offer in early 2010. Over the next several months, we worked out a plan to introduce innovative exhibition and educational programming within the familiar setting of a hotel art fair, and (e)merge was created.
ArtSee: What was your primary goal in creating this event?
ALLEN: To put DC on the map as a contemporary art and culture destination.
ArtSee: How do you believe (e)merge art fair will achieve these goals?
ALLEN: We are achieving it already. People are taking notice and asking ‘why DC?’ By asking the question it starts the dialogue. Without that first vital step we can’t move on to the next one. We have exhibitors participating from over 15 countries. Collectors and interested visitors are coming into DC to explore the Fair and attend the events that (e)merge and our cultural partners are hosting.
ArtSee: Tell us a little something about the venue (the Rubell family’s Capitol Skyline Hotel); How do you feel it fits in accordance with the objectives for the fair?
ALLEN: (e)merge draws inspiration from the Gramercy International, the Ritz Hotel Project and the Times Square Show. What is wonderful about the Morris Lapidus designed Capitol Skyline is its modernist architecture, its expansive outdoor space (both front and pool deck) and the clear layout of the space. Our exhibitors are taking over all corners of the first four floors – from the garage to the pool deck to banquet rooms to the restaurant to hotel rooms. The organic and fluid layout encourages discovery and creates a more relaxed and engaged atmosphere.
ArtSee: What should artists who are exhibiting their work for the first time in such impressive atmosphere expect in terms of exposure?
ALLEN: It is going to be a great chance for artists in the gallery and artists platforms to get their work in front of a fresh/new/larger audience of curators, collectors, colleagues and urban explorers.
ArtSee: What are you most looking forward to about this fair?
ALLEN: The atmosphere – the energy that the show is generating and the camaraderie among the DC galleries, nonprofits and institutions is contagious. I am looking forward to seeing the work installed, watching the performances and listening in on the star line up panel discussions that we are hosting.
ArtSee: What major differences can visitors expect from (e)merge art fair as opposed to other art fairs?
ALLEN: The primary difference is that emerge presents two platforms – one for galleries and one for unrepresented artists. Both sections were vetted by art world luminaries – but (e)merge is not charging the unrepresented artists to present their work.
We are so excited for (e)merge as it will be a fantastic opportunity to discover exciting new artists and their work both in the DC art community and around the world. ArtSee founder Elizabeth Grazioli will be on the scene all weekend volunteering with guest services; please feel free to seek her out if you have any questions about (e)merge or ArtSee artist promotional services!