Jessica Segall: Queer Ecologies

Jessica Segall, (un)common intimacy, 2018, video still

Throughout her highly imaginative multidisciplinary projects, Jessica Segall has been engaging with a wide range of fragile ecological sites, frequently with animals as her collaborators – for instance, swimming with tigers and sculpting with live bees. Jessica Segall shares with Art Spiel some of her work and thought process, as well as her upcoming projects. You can meet her and hear more about her work during the 2019 Dumbo Open Studios weekend.

AS: You are is a multidisciplinary artist using a diverse range of media, some most unconventional – lemons, refrigerators, tigers. How do you choose your media? Can you give me a couple of examples?

Jessica Segall: The media in each work is chosen for its utility or ability to best answer a proposition. There also has to be a transformation. Usually one of the material questions is: will this work? Sometimes half of the proposition hangs in the air for a while until I find its material counterpoint. Fugue in B Flat started that way, as a material prompt and then a proposal before it became a sculpture. I had always wanted to work with the free pianos available off of Craigslist – its an unusually available material in our time and place. Pianos once had high enough value in craftsmanship and social meaning that families would pay to have them hauled up flights of stairs. But today, an inherited piano is not worth enough to sell, or pay to have removed, so every day there are new pianos available for free in New York City.

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A Visit with Nancy Baker

Baker working with laser cut wood

Nancy Baker’s art is colorful and bright, with filigree shapes that fuse, multiply and pulse outward in vibrant, sweeping waves. Individually the panels seem molecular and scientific; layered together they suggest vast networks and digital flow, yet clearly are the work of an artist’s hand. The eye zooms in and picks out familiar details–a candy wrapper, a takeout tray–then moves out again to appreciate the larger whole.

Panel in Baker’s Studio (full and detail images)
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Elisa D’Arrigo – From the Inside Out

Elisa D’Arrigo, P.G. On My Mind 2, 2018, Glazed Ceramic, 5 x 7 x 4 inches Courtesy of the Artist and Elizabeth Harris Gallery

Elisa D’Arrigo‘s upcoming exhibition, “In the Moment,” at Elizabeth Harris Gallery will feature her new body of ceramic work. Her vessel forms breathe with inner life, their cylindrical shapes are both tumultuous and vivacious – like a body, organism, or life itself. The artist shares with Art Spiel some of her thought and work processes as well as some insight on her upcoming show.

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Pat Lay: Mapping New Interiors

Pat Lay, installation view in studio, photo courtesy of the artist

Pat Lay‘s Digital work conjures ancient iconography, or maps organized in what appears to be a binary logic. Throughout her abstracted digital and more figurative sculptural work she consistently reflects on the role of technology in our life, merging cultural cues with a seemingly mathematical order. For Art Spiel the artist elaborates on her interest in technology, what brought her to art, and her 42 year experience as an art educator at Montclair State University – both as a teacher and as the founding director of the MFA in Studio Art.

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Nina Meledandri: Somewhere in Between

Nina Meledandri, starting w/(a) line: 7.27.18 – 8.3.18, 2018, 2018, watercolor and ink on paper, 5 x 7″ each, photo: Nina Meledandri

Nina Meledandri ‘s images mostly come in multiples. With sensibility that is both poetic and analytical, she creates series of photographs, paintings, and frequently a combination of both. Altogether her body of work forms a vibrant and imaginative internal dialogue. She shares with Art Spiel some of her thought process, what prompts her imagination, and what has brought her to art.

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Joanne Ungar: Pain Relief

Joanne Ungar, Modern Muse, 59″x48”, wax, board, paint, pigment, 2019, photo courtesy of © 2018 + 2019 Joanne Ungar

In recent years Joanne Ungar has transformed found boxes into translucent paintings by embedding them in layers of wax. The forms are abstracted, but the narrative is evident. These beautiful objects carry the burden of their histories – boxes of pain killers, packages of cosmetics, or chocolate wraps. While their vibrant pigments may encapsulate broken dreams and their origin most likely resonates waste, their sheer alchemy uplifts. Joanne Ungar talks with Art Spiel about “Pain Relief,” her current solo show at Front Room Gallery, which just opened in March 1st, 2019. She also elaborates on her process and some of her forming experiences as an artist.

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Galen Cheney: Gritty Beauty

Galen Cheney, Light Falls, textile color, acrylic, and oil pastel on raw canvas, 40 x 36″, 2018, photo courtesy of the artist

In her bold abstracted paintings Galen Cheney often layers multiple media such as textile color, spray paint, oil pastel, acrylic, and collage to create complex images. Her paintings brings to mind a crossing between graffiti and abstract expressionism with a distinct sense of immediacy and gestural mark making. Galen Cheney shares with Art Spiel some of her background, ideas, and process.

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Ryan Sarah Murphy – Arriving at an Unknown Endpoint

Ryan Sarah Murphy, Strike, 2015, found (unpainted) cardboard, foamcore, 26 ¾ x 25 ½ x 3 ¼ inches, Photo courtesy of Jeanette May Studio

Ryan Sarah Murphy‘s engaging multiple series of collages, photographs and videos are driven by material and process. Her process resembles a graceful and skillful dance – the steps are predetermined but the movement flow is intuitive and imaginative, or as she says, it altogether represents a collaboration between herself and the material.
Ryan Sarah Murphy shares with Art Spiel what brought her to art, some insight about her ideas, process, and current projects.

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Douglas Florian – Seeing Words

Douglas Florian, Beowolves, Oil on linen, triptych, 96″ X 95″ 2015-16

Douglas Florian‘s paintings resonate with hypnotic chants – repetitive texts or letters resemble spells or curses, a child’s scribbles, or ancient liturgical notes. His marks and vibrant pigments form altogether abstracted and rhythmic fields which entice you to take a close look, read, and simultaneously listen to your own inner voice. Douglas Florian shares with Art Spiel some background and ideas behind his work.

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Ashley Norwood Cooper – Grappling with Color of the Ordinary

Ashley Norwood Cooper, Deviled Eggs and Pink Cake, oil on panel, 16” x 20,” 2017, photo courtesy of the artist

Ashley Norwood Cooper is having a solo painting show at First Street Gallery in NYC. The show title, “The Likes of Us,” is taken from a line in “Waiting for Godot,” about the moon looking down on our ordinary lives. The first thing that caught my attention in Cooper’s work was the just right mix of raw quality and subtle sensibility to detail, depicting narratives that both intimate and universal. In this interview the artist talks about her process of painting from the imagination, her approach to color, and how she got to art.

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