Artists on Coping Series Epilogue

The Artists on Coping series has wrapped up with the final interview published in June 30th of 2020. Since the beginning of the quarantine in NYC till now, 130 artists from the US, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the UK and Australia have participated. I would like to extend a warm gratitude to all the artists who participated during these turbulent days and to my editing collaborators in this extensive project: Catherine Kirkpatrick and Melissa Stern , for their outstanding dedication and rigorous work. I am also grateful to Anna Mikaela Ekstrand for some content collaboration with Cultbytes and to ArtMobia for spreading the word. Some of the interviews have been shared in other publications and in addition, interviews by artists who participate in the virtual 2020 Dumbo Open Studios (July 1 -31st, 2020), are currently featured in the Art Spiel Guide Page on the DOS platform. In this epilogue I am sharing some reflections on my own coping experience as an artist, the genesis of this project, and my takeaway.

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Artists on Coping: Margot Spindelman

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


Untitled, 2020 oil and gouache on paper

Margot Spindelman is a painter living in Brooklyn, New York, whose most recent work is an intimate exploration of disorder, rupture, security and loss, expressed in the language of collage, as painted pieces are torn, drawn, reassembled. She has had solo shows in New York at both the Perlow Gallery and Platform Gallery. Her work has been shown in many group shows in New York and elsewhere. Spindelman is a recipient of both a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting (2004) and a George Sugarman Foundation Grant (2007). She received her Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, and her Masters of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is featured on line by Gibson Contemporary.

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Gal Nissim – Sci-Art Encounters


Gal Nissim & Leslie Ruckman, SurveillAnts at Science Gallery Detroit, 2018, live ants, acrylic, sand, wood, electronics. 41.5 X 29 X 29 Inch. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Mark Sullivan.

Gal Nissim creates collaborative experiential multi media installations which stimulate the visitor to track and decode the behaviors of animals through audio-visual patterns, ranging from a colony of living ants in a gallery space to wild life in Central Park. Nissim shares with Art Spiel her fascination with the link between science and art, some insight into her elaborate collaborative process, and on her projects. Our interview process had been taking place before the pandemic and the artist was given an opportunity to bring her responses fairly up to date.

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Artists on Coping: Laura Karetzky

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping

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“We’re Going To Have To Read The Eyes A Lot Better”, 2020, oil on wood, 18×24 inches. photo: courtesy of the artist

For the past six years Laura Karetzky’s practice has examined the way technology and virtual communication is able to sustain us in various states of perspective, as it confounds our idea of autonomy and community. Toggling between painting, sculpture and video-installation, she has exhibited this work in galleries including The Lodge (NYC), Marcia Wood (Atlanta), Lehman College (Bronx), SUNY (Old Westbury) and most recently in solo shows this winter at Lora Schlesinger Gallery (Los Angeles) and Elizabeth Houston Gallery (NYC). Her current endeavor has been the subject of feature interviews and reviews in ArtCritical, ArtSpiel, ArtNowLA and Anti-Heroin Chic.
Laura Karetzky is currently participating in Dumbo Open Studios Virtual 2020, July 1-31, 2020.

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Artists on Coping: Barbara Laube

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Works in progress on the good studio wall

To Barbara Laube the act of painting is spiritual, shamanistic, healing, and transformative. Truth is found through process and the materiality of paint. Rooted in the history of abstraction, her subject matter may not be obvious and is always left open to interpretation. It emerges from the endless mark making and adjustments to the painting surface. Imagery is often revealed that reflects her relationship to the outside world and her life, and to her deep love of great painting, particularly the early Renaissance. She exploits the play between the open and dense, and the light and dark. In the end the act of painting and paint itself is first and foremost and has always been her way of making sense of her life, loves and beliefs. Ms. Laube lives and works in Riverdale, New York. She has shown extensively in New York, including M. David & Co., Zurcher Gallery, The Painting Center, Carter Burden Gallery, Bowery Gallery, and Sideshow Gallery. She has also shown at Kent State University in Ohio, and in New Mexico, Illinois, Washington, California, New Jersey, and Texas.

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Artists on Coping: Susan Mastrangelo

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Susan Mastrangelo

Susan Mastrangelo was born and raised in New York City and Washington D.C. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the New York Studio School, and received her MFA from Boston University under the tutelage of Philip Guston. Based in New York since graduate school, she has shown nationally and internationally, and is a recipient of a Rockwell Grant as well as two grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, a guest at Civitella Raneri, and a resident at Yaddo, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Triangle Workshop (as a student of Anthony Caro), and the Tyrone Guthrie Center. For 27 years she taught and chaired the Art Department at the Buckley School in New York City, and now works as a full time multidisciplinary artist at the Can Factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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Artists on Coping: Simona Prives

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


Working on Governors Island during a residency with 4heads, 2019. Photo by Ed Grant

Simona Prives is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. She creates collages, both still and moving, that focus on the process of decomposition and reconstruction and that examine our complex relationship between the organic and the man-made. Each work combines multiple forms of printmaking, using drawing, monotype, found material and hand-shot video to assemble the composition. Her artwork has been exhibited in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Italy, Greece, Japan and China, including at the Shanghai International Print Biennale.

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Artists on Coping: Heather and Raphael Rubinstein

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


Heather and Raphael Rubinstein

Heather and Raphael Rubinstein divide their time between New York City, northeastern Pennsylvania and Houston. Heather’s most recent exhibitions of her paintings were at the beginning of 2020 in New York, pre-covid, with a solo in Houston at McClain Gallery. Raphael had two books come out in early March as New York was shutting down: a monograph on artist Guillermo Kuitca, published by Lund Humphries, London, as part of their Contemporary Painters Series edited by Barry Schwabsky; and Albert Oehlen: Spiegelbilder 1982-1990, published by Holzwarth Publications, Galerie Max Hetzler Berlin and Nahmad Contemporary. Planned for 2020 was a new curatorial project of theirs: an exhibition on the topic of Poet+Painter collaborations—scheduled to open at a downtown non-profit in New York (pre-covid)—and in many ways, an extension of their 2019 “Under-Erasure” exhibition that took place at Pierogi Gallery in New York. In lieu of in-person projects, Heather is working on expanding their “Under-Erasure” digital archive, publishing an Under-Erasure image-book, and a virtual Poet+Painter exhibition. Raphael is currently writing The Miraculous: New York—with episodes appearing monthly in The Brooklyn Rail —a sequel to his book, The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014). They are currently working towards publishing The Miraculous: New York as a public art project in New York for 2021-22.

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Jeannine Bardo – Penchant for Storytelling


Detail: Lifelines, 2019, house paint, silver ink 8’7” x 12’9” Photo courtesy of John Ros

In her drawings and installations Jeannine Bardo explores a wide array of narratives and information she encounters daily, ranging from stories in the news to patterns in nature. Jeannine Bardo describes for Art Spiel what brought her to art making, her process and projects, her role as co-director of BioBAT Art Space, as well as her role as the founder of Stand4 Gallery and Community Arts Center in Bay Ridge. Since our interview process took place a while before the on going pandemic and the current seismic events in our society, the artist was given the opportunity to share her reflections on these recent events as a prelude to discussing her work.

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Artists on Coping: Merritt Johnson

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

Merritt Johnson was born in West Baltimore and spent her childhood navigating between trees, tarps and concrete. She earned her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. Her work navigates the spaces between bodies and the body politic, land and cultures by making images and objects that connect, reflect and refract vision and experience. The multiplicity of materials and processes Johnson employs embody her multiplicity, exploring layering, allegiance and agency in the face of continued threats to land, water and bodies. Johnson’s works are containers for story, feeling and thought: images of what cannot be seen, exercises for existence, and political bodies. She lives and works with her family on Tlingit land in Sitka Alaska.

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