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: 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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Artists on Coping: Sally Boon Matthews

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

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Sally Boon Matthews with Soundscape for March, April, May 2020. Water Colour, Ink, Felt Tip, Pencil, Thread on Mulberry Paper. 12”x 288”, 2020

Sally Boon Matthews is a British born and educated artist, educator, and yogi living in New York City. Though her background was originally in photography, in the last eight years she has developed a multi-discipline practice that includes video, painting, collage, and drawing. Her work has been exhibited and published in Europe, the United States and Latin America. Publications include Tricycle Magazine, NY Times, Blitz Magazine, British Journal of Photography, Penguin Books, Random House, Warner Books, A&M Records, Om Yoga, Battersea Museum of Art, UK, Galerie Solado, Caracas, Venezuela, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Louisiana Museum of Art, Chateau de Trousse-Barriere, Briare, France, Jamaica Arts Center, NY.

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A Studio 54 Reject Is At It Again 40 Years Later

Lisa Levy in dialogue with Art Spiel

A person standing in front of a building

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Studio 54 Reject Re-Performance by Lisa Levy, Photo Credit: Phil Buehler.

Right before the Coronavirus outbreak prompted a mass-shutdown of New York City’s galleries and museums, multidisciplinary artist, radio show host and (self-proclaimed) psychotherapist Lisa Levy recreated her classic guerrilla art project ‘Studio 54 Reject’. On the opening night of the “Studio 54: Night Magic” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, Levy stationed herself outside the institution’s main entrance. Standing behind a small table encircled by red velvet ropes and four stanchion posts, she gestured toward a sign reading “Studio 54 Reject T-Shirt, $20” while imploring passersby to take pride in “reject status” with the purchase of a shirt, newly re-designed in gold glitter and the official logo.

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Artists on Coping: Seren Morey

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


Seren Morey and her Ridgeback/Boxer Chloe in front of her latest painting Ingress

Seren Morey makes fantastical, nature inspired sculptural painting abstractions that reference the energy force of the particles that connect all matter together. She was born in Massachusetts to a family of artists and went on to complete a BA at Bard College and an MFA at Pratt Institute. Upon graduating from Bard she became an assistant to Kiki Smith and later a professor in fine arts at Pratt Institute. Morey’s work has been exhibited in numerous shows and reviewed by Robin Pogrebin, Barry Schwabsky and Helen A. Harrison of The New York Times. She currently lives and works in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and is a partner in Guerra Paint & Pigment Corp., a specialty resource store for artists.

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Christina Massey’s USPS Art Project

Hema Bharadwwaj and Eileen Ferara, USPS Art Project Collaboration

When the lockdown began in mid-late March in New York City, artist Christina Massey felt it was too soon for her to address the pandemic in her own artwork. While desperately trying to process the disorienting news shifting by the hour, she was noticing an uptick in posts calling for people to save the Postal Service by buying stamps. The idea for the USPS Art Project came to her with immediate clarity. An artist starts making an artwork and mails it to a partner to complete and vice versa.

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Artists on Coping: Meer Musa

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

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Meer Musa at his live-in studio in Washington Heights. Photo: Odvar Daley

Meer Musa graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Communication Design and studied at the School of Visual Arts. He is a co-founder of Trans-cen-der Art Group, a monthly curated artist talk and slide-share event that takes place at Brooklyn Fire Proof. He has exhibited in the Luhring Augustine Gallery, NYC; Sikkema Jenkins & Co. NYC; ZieherSmith Gallery, NYC; Westbeth Gallery, NYC; The Border Project Space. Brooklyn; David and Schweitzer Contemporary Gallery, Brooklyn, among others. His art is inspired and deeply informed by people, nature, and spirituality.

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Artists on Coping: Hallie Cohen

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


Hallie Cohen at the American Academy in Rome working on Mi Ricordo III,ink on yupo paper, 60” x 144”. Photo by Francis Levy.

Hallie Cohen is a New York-based visual artist and curator. She is a Professor of Art, and Director of the Hewitt Gallery of Art at Marymount Manhattan College. Her subjects are topographies of real or imagined places, which toggle between abstraction and unreliable narration. Cohen explores natural phenomena, using the instability of the water-based medium to investigate the dynamic between chance and control and between conscious and unconscious thought processes. She has curated over 30 exhibits which explore science, psychology, neurology, politics, and the environment. She has recently had a virtual artist talk about her work.

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Artists on Coping: Elizabeth Riley

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


Factory Fresh, 2019; Video stills inkjet-printed on paper and fabric, repurposed laser-cut metal, 120 x 108 x 24”

Elizabeth Riley’s art addresses questions concerning the complex and changing world we inhabit and our “mixed reality,” living between physical and digital/virtual contexts. This project includes sculptural wall works, installations, and tabletop cityscapes, made from a combination of video, video stills, and diverse materials. A longtime New Yorker, the artist graduated from Barnard College and received an MFA from Hunter College. In 2019 her work was presented in Ribbons Become Space, a solo show at SL Gallery in New York City. This show included the Dragons of Iceland Installation, a 2011 sculpture/installation with multiple live video elements, as well as, two large-scale, site-specific wall sculptures made from video stills. Elizabeth Riley curated and participated in Trill Matrix at The Clemente Center on New York City’s Lower East Side in 2018, a show of seven dynamic women artists.

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