Pleased to Meet You
August 5th – September 11, 2017
James Vance is an artist and designer working and living in Asbury Park, NJ. His most recent series is an exploration in and of numbers in various media.
“My numbers pieces began as large-scale, interior wall drawings for Barneys New York on Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills in the early 1990’s. I’m drawn to the precision of numbers and the vast amounts of information their sequencing can convey. After a long break, I returned to the subject of numbers in 2015.
Using the paintbrush feels like knitting or weaving to me. I let the numbers flow out of my brain onto the surface like meditation or chanting. As the numbers float through, I see what comes up. Sometimes there are good dates or bad dates that represent times in my life or even phone numbers or passcodes – all kinds of data. Some of it means something to me and sometimes it means something to someone else I know. The numbers could have to do with anything… or nothing. There is also meaning in the numbers that are not there.
My collages are often influenced by my personal outlook and true life experiences. I share a fraction of my own little world, by promoting strength, knowledge, and self awareness to overcome social flux and challenges; learning from them through the art of mixed media. I like to express my playful side, never shunning the Basquiat beneath. Culled from the social consciousness and current events of today, each of my pieces feature a different cultural comment viewed through the lens of my experiences. The simple overlapping of many small pieces, arranged in just the right way speaks volumes, touching on issues implicitly without being overbearing or sanctimonious. My work tends to stand as a viewers’ test, challenging what one sees versus what they feel in relation to the contemporary pits, progress and powers effecting as all.
If you’re of an age that can remember a time before the constant bombardment of news and celebrity culture, this quote attacking the role of media may hold a palpable significance. In only the last few years with the rise of gossip rags and television shows dedicated to Tinseltown’s elite, high-speed internet updates every few seconds gathering news from the far reaches of the world, and the truly meta-physical: blogs about blogging; a constant stream of information, at the same time relevant and grossly redundant, is suffocating our society under the pillow of subliminal messaging and “organic” advertising.
The work of Ray Sell attempts to simultaneously dissect the messaging and provide commentary on this phenomenon, particularly focusing on its impact on the development of the male archetype. Taking images and magazine clippings from a vast swath of media over the last 60 years, Mr. Sell is determined to create a forum for self-reflection and debate, and question the very ethos by which our culture rears its male brood. By capturing and re-appropriating images of motorcycles and muscle cars, nude women and fierce beasts, cowboys and Indians – Mr. Sell has created a different message with his assemblage of fantastic collage arrangement, vivid colors and these poignant relics from media of days past. By removing the images from their original environs, he has stripped them of their intended meaning and given them his own voice.
Often whimsical and rarely intended to elicit political response, Mr. Sell’s electric, colorful work provides its viewers with an opportunity to really look at what’s being transmitted through imagery and decide how they themselves will respond.
Monci’s current body of work explores the most fundamental elements of art and design, in color and form, and how these elements relate to each other and the viewers.
His compositions are of subjects such as perception and matter, creating autonomous structures born of color and form that are constructed into dynamic and sometimes explosive matrices of architectural and graphic elements. These structures are uncanny and meant to inform the language and nuance of color, whose purpose is to create a visceral reaction to the otherwise static elements of flat shapes. Alluding to principles of perspective is key, giving stoic forms of rectangles and lines filled with opaque washes of color and graphic pattern, a feeling of objectivity and motion through space and time. These futuristic constructions hinge on their own gravitational pull with a nexus of motion while hovering in solidarity.
St.Monci was born in the U.S. and raised in Puerto Rico where he lived through his teenage years. He went on to study at New York State University at Oswego where he received his BFA and MA. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York State, Oregon, New Jersey, California, Washington DC and Canada along with being a participating artist in the Sweet Meat Co. Collective and Wall/Therapy.
Isaac Arvold was born 1979 in the woods of Minnesota. He lived in a house his father built, sharing pencils, nails and knives with his three siblings. In 2002, Isaac received a bachelor’s degree in Education, after which he moved to Minneapolis. It was within the Mill City that he stumbled upon an unexpected, yet thriving, art community as well as great friends and collaborators that propelled his work as an artist. Isaac has shown his paintings in numerous locations in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area – from local cafes and independent galleries to private exhibitions within “fancy art” and advertising agencies. As his studio art developed, so did his desire to leave a different kind of mark. Starting in 2004, Isaac created multiple murals collaborating with the likes of Eric Inkala, Drew Peterson, and Broken Crow, all close friends.
It was 2007 when Isaac quit teaching and started to pursue art full time, and the devotion produced numerous shows, such as Will Work for Food 2, Almost Famous, Almost Homeless, and many others. During this time, Isaac found work in another creative arena, traveling the lower 48 with the Rhymesayers Record Label crew. For four years, he brought his sketchbooks and imagination with him. Isaac’s time on the road with a touring band forced another evolution within his work medium, and he began to create multimedia pieces along the way. In 2010, Isaac’s photographs and concepts were the sole creative element for Atmosphere’s “Best Day” music video.
By 2010, Arvold excelled in three things – painting canvases, creating large scale murals, and capturing moments between friends in his photography. There was nothing left but to move to Brooklyn, New York, especially given his disposition to pay higher rent and be closer to Coney Island. During Isaac’s time in New York, he has displayed work in Macy’s Herald Square windows – one of the most densely occupied area of the city, and continues to develop his craft. He stayed connected to his Minnesota roots by working with Nice Ride MN launch.
Spencer Keeton Cunningham graduated with a BFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute. Exhibiting in galleries across the world, Cunningham’s murals can be seen in big cities, rural villages, and abandoned ghost towns across across the globe. Using art as activism, Cunningham spreads awareness concerning the environmental impact on the ocean in New Zealand, coral restoration and preservation of the oceanic ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico, supporting Aboriginal rights in Australia, as well as raising funds for a Miami middle school’s arts and music program. Additionally, Cunningham is a part of the Indigenous Arts Coalition.
AM DeBrincat’s paintings create unique worlds where online and offline life meet and merge. Her mixed media technique combines fragments of images sourced from social media and online image searches which are xerox transfer printed onto canvas and intermingled with lush oil painting. Combining digital and analog media like pieces in a visual puzzle, DeBrincat builds paintings which explore how we build identity and sense of self in the digital age.
Channeling subjects such as dream imagery, imagined landscapes, geodes, outer space and The Big Bang, Tran explores the shapes of nature, with the infusion of fantastical, pulsing synthetic hues. The psychedelic visuals are harvested from the place where inner-verse meets outer-verse, where optical misfires combine with a vacuum pull moving at the speed of light. Through painting, sculpture and installation, she creates atmospheres that aim to activate.
Public collections of Tran’s work include the City of Seattle’s Portable Works Collection, Capital One, Vulcan Inc., Baer Art Center, Camac Art Centre, The El Paso Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, The King County Public Art Collection and The Child Center. Tran has completed multiple special projects and installations, including work for VH1Save the Music Foundation, The Upstream Music Fest, The Seattle Art Museum, The Brain Project Toronto, Public Art at The Aqua Art Fair Miami and Vulcan Inc.
She has been awarded multiple fellowships and grants; including a Grant for Artist Projects (GAP) from Artist Trust, Clowes Fellowship for residency at the Vermont Studio Center, the Nellie Cornish Scholarship and residency at The Camac Art Centre in France, The Baer Art Center in Iceland, Jentel, Millay Colony for the Arts and The Center for Contemporary Printmaking. She resides in Seattle, WA.
New York-based artist Jose Arenas creates works that explore dual identities, personal ritual, migration, and the displaced feeling that occurs from growing up in two countries. Born in San Jose, California, Arenas spent much of his childhood traveling between Northern California and Guadalajara, Mexico. His experiences navigating two worlds along with its complex process of integration and assimilation has informed his work in a variety of ways. By combining decorative patterns, culturally assigned symbols, and familiar abstract forms, he creates an emotionally resonant narrative that remains open to interpretation. His dense collage approach reflects among other things the handmade Mexican street signage found both in Mexico and in many Mexican neighborhoods in the United States.
Arenas received a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995), and an MFA from UC Davis (2000). His work has been exhibited throughout the United States. Cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York City. Recent solo & group exhibitions include Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art, NY, Luna Rienne, CA, Cindy Rucker Gallery, NY, Ground Floor Gallery, NY, and Nancy Margolis, NY.