Anna Mikaela Ekstrand in dialogue with Mumbai-based artist Akshita Gandhi
Miami Art Week is bigger than any other global fair as it attracts a wide range of audiences. Centered around Art Basel Miami, Miami Art Week is the catch-all term for the seven day art world bonanza in December packed densely with art fairs, public art, interventions, activations, pop-ups, parties – basically all forms of art shows – often sponsored by companies who capitalize on the opportunity to reach art world professionals, art lovers, celebrities, and trend-setters. You might already know this, great. What you might not have considered is what it feels like to be an artist within this bustling eco/nomy/logy.
Linger Still, (installation view). Image courtesy of Assembly Room Gallery
Diaspora consciousness is an acute mindfulness of one’s cultural origins post-migration. This awareness can be, “heightened by communication and visits, and is retained in memories, storytelling and other creative forms.” Individuals or families who take the risk to migrate must navigate a series of unanticipated complexities away from the support of their families and communities. For those who choose to leave or flee from their homelands the sensation of “otherness” is a pervasive factor in their quest for opportunities, stability, and safety. This uncanny sensation serves as the conceptual pulse and subtle heartbeat for Kaveri Raina’s solo exhibition “Linger Still,” curated by Emily Burns currently on view at Assembly Room Gallery.
“Please Watch Your Head” reads a curious sign taped to the metal door of Ortega y Gasset Projects in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Opening the door I realize how this instruction is essential to navigate the jewel toned gauntlet of brick-a-brack curtains cascading from the ceiling in a slender corridor that leads to the main gallery space. Ben Pederson’s solo show “Some Stuff You Forgot About” represents two mature bodies of work which reveal the depth of Pederson’s philosophical approach, as well as the synergy between the artist and the curator Eleanna Anagnos.
Step off of the gray pavement, step out of the chilly dullness of an impending New York City Winter, traverse the threshold of Next to Nothing Gallery, and indulge in the celebration of painting currently on view at 181 Orchard Street.
“Plush Paint: please do not pet, caress, fondle” features the work of Jason Stopa, Osamu Kobayashi, and Susan Carr in a bounty of paintings and sculptural hybrids that boast tenacious gestures, mysterious shapes, and amped up colors. As the eyes adjust to the stark whiteness of the minimalist space, at first glance the work appears as a collection of unearthly gemstones unified by candied commercial hues and vibrating combinations of paint. Robert Erani, Gallery Director and Curator employed the cohesion of color to serve as an “accessible commonality that any viewer can appreciate.” For Erani the visual pleasure of these works seduces the viewer to take a deeper look and discover less obvious nuances that distinguish the individual work of each artist.