What it Means to Be Human: HEES Displays Paintings and NFTs at Bechtler Museum and Aktion Art

HEES. “SEE ME FLY.” 2021-22. Acrylic, mixed media, and paintstick on raw canvas with 55 in LED screen insert- 4 NFTs play simultaneously, 84×96 in. Courtesy of Aktion Art.

A former-beauty-photographer-turned-artist, HEES’s creative journey has been one of consistent, self-taught innovation. The creator pivoted to painting 36 months ago, when he realized it was time for him to take on a new form of expression.

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Love Letters to Paris: Ekaterina Popova at Cohle Gallery

Ekaterina Popova in her studio, Photo credit: Helena Raju

For the past several years, Philadelphia-based painter Ekaterina Popova has been exploring the theme of interiors in her work. The interest in this subject began as a way for her to reflect on her upbringing in Russia, but eventually evolved into a deeper investigation of the overall idea of “home” and what it means to her now. Her paintings highlight the warmth and beauty of lived-in domestic spaces, including items and objects that refer to a human presence without including the figure.

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Natale Adgnot: What We Are Really Seeing

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Portrait of Natale Adgnot in the studio. Photo courtesy of the artist.

What does Cognitive Bias and Fallacy Look Like? Natale Adgnot’s Work Tests What We Are Really Seeing. Natale Adgnot’s work explores the power of psychology and the impact that cognitive bias has on our everyday life, routines and choices. Her work incorporates patterns and systems to explore different cognitive biases such as stereotyping and pareidolia (seeing patterns in random information) to reflect on the elusiveness of truth. Best known for wall sculptures made of painted thermoplastic adhered perpendicularly onto birch panels, she challenges the viewer to consider her work from multiple perspectives. Her new series, Bird Brains, continues to delve into her exploration of bias and fallacy. Bird Brains matches entries in the cognitive bias codex with the birds that best exemplify them. From black swan theory to the duck test to the proverbial canary in the coal mine, she taps into this rich language to point out the stunning variety and sheer magnitude of ways we humans misconstrue the world.

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Lesley Bodzy’s Sculptural ‘Paint Skins’

Lesley Bodzy. I knew better, acrylic, 66” x 34” x 15”, 2022. All photographs are courtesy of the artist.

Wall sculptures by Lesley Bodzy will be on view during Armory Week 2022 at SPRING/BREAK in Leftover and Over curated by Giovanni Aloi and Erica Criss. Anna Mikaela Ekstrand interviewed the California-born Houston and New York City-based artist about her evolving practice.

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The Summer Show at Carrie Haddad Gallery

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Annika Tucksmith, Something, Somewhere, 2022, oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches (image courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery)

Carrie Haddad Gallery’s summer offering, The Summer Show, is a playful wink and a poke to bastion of every gallery’s yearly program: the month of August. Much like the title of the show, this selection of work is self-referential and effervescent. Modernities collide in depictions of leisure, wanderlust is shown as both fantastical and intimate, and universally bold palettes are a sucker punch to the senses. Though they span an array of media, each of the artists incorporate detail with nuance and ease, their pith and wit happily imbibable. The Summer Show features Robert Goldstrom, Hue Thi Hoffmaster, Louise Laplante, Andrea Moreau, Kahn & Selesnick, and Annika Tucksmith and includes painting, collage, and photography.

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Zinaida: Ukrainian Artist With Important Works in Venice and New York

Zinaida. Courtesy of the artist.

Zinaida is one of the most important Ukrainian artists working today. Her practice revolves around the study of mythologies, national symbols, archaic imagery, and the role of women as carriers of sacred knowledge, stemming from the Kyiv-based artist’s extensive ethnographic research and close collaboration with indigenous communities in remote areas of her country. Marina Abromović has described Zinaida’s practice as subtly balancing her work “at the juncture of historical symbolism and modernity. She uses traditional imagery, rituals and crafts to convey meanings that are relevant to a vibrant and fluid culture. Zinaida is a rebel. She was in many dangerous zones (on Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity, Chornobyl, in the war zone in the Eastern Ukraine). To me she is like a Ukrainian “Guerilla Girl.” Zinaida’s work is currently on view in Venice and New York.

Zinaida’s solo pavilion Without Women is an official Ukrainian Collateral Event at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition’s curator, Dallas Contemporary Executive Director Peter Doroshenko, introduced Zinaida as “a national cultural figure for Ukraine.” He says that over the last fifteen years, she has “summarized, documented and interpreted contemporary Ukrainian society through her work. Zinaida’s works have become an important and seminal influence for all the contemporary Ukrainian artists.”

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David Konigsberg at Carrie Haddad Gallery

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Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY – My Own Backyard, a group show featuring work by David Konigsberg on view through July 31st (image courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery)

Traditional, yet innovative; reflective, yet distant, David Konigsberg’s landscapes and still lifes are rife with double-backs and unexpected turns. A self-proclaimed “solitary wanderer,” Konigsberg gathers imagery and visions from long walks through the Catskills, through surrounding terrain, and through his own backyard. He views all as equally minute and equally monumental, from a peaked horizon to a burst of petals collected from his garden. This confluence of near and distant perspectives creates an almost literary quality; the intimacy of first-person voice jockeying with the scope of an omniscient narrator. David’s paintings resist a certain aboutness, allowing simultaneous narratives to proliferate across the bodies of his canvases, culminating in an emotional sucker punch.

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Artist Kristina Libby and the Village Alliance Welcome New Animal Inspired Public Art Exhibition – In Plain Sight

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Grimo, courtesy of the artist and photographer Adam Reich.

Artist Kristina Libby is no stranger to the power of public art: during the onset of COVID, Libby founded the Floral Heart Project. In collaboration with 1-800-Flowers, The Floral Heart Project created and distributed floral heart wreaths as a tribute to those who lost their lives to COVID-19. Moved by community response to the Floral Heart Project, Libby has created a series of large sculptures of apex animals known as the Chunkos. Greenwich Village, a hot-spot for both art and architecture, will play host to the Chunkos in an immersive exhibition titled In Plain Sight (on view from June 10-12). The exhibit is inspired by the unique history of animals in art and architecture in the neighborhood and is a celebration of the resilience, courage and creativity of New Yorkers from all walks of life. On Friday, June 10th, there will be an interactive public art painting exercise with Libby and the Village Alliance Business Improvement District from 5-7pm. She hopes that the installation of the Chunkos in Astor place will spark new conversations and evoke curiosity from passerbys. Curious artists of all ages are welcome to join as she paints in real time with the help of the community the inaugural animals in her Chunkos series.

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