Our pop-up gallery in downtown LA brought together 25 artists whose work shares the loose theme of man's relationship with nature. Some of the work is violent, some of it beautiful, but taken as a whole, they reflect man's increasingly fragile relationship to our planet. Here is just a handful of what our SHFT online 'gallery' can accomodate:
Deb Ris (a.k.a. Anne Shackman): “Housing Crisis," “Ballgown” & “The Ghost of Christmas Trash”
"The whole idea of making beach detritus into art started from the realization that the waste we create always comes back to haunt us," says Shackman, adding that she hopes "to dramatize in a playful way some of the problems our waste creates...the goal is to encourage people to rethink their use of disposables and, ultimately reduce waste.”
Balazs Gardi: “Untitled: Facing Water Crisis”
Balazs, a photojournalist, has chosen to focus his attention on the global water crisis which has evolved into the series, "Facing Water Crisis." This project features an expanding set of individual stories about (in his words) "the most life-threatening environmental crisis mankind has ever faced covering numerous heavily affected regions around the world.” Balazs uses his personal resources and accepts donations from his friends and others to help fund his documentation of global conditions.
Jay Mark Johnson: “Swept Away #2, Belgrade”
While producing photographic images that challenge the norms of perception, Jay Mark Johnson makes visible the intersection of human nature and society. "In subzero weather under overcast skies, I traveled as much to capture the thin, diffuse landlocked light of mid-February as I did to visit a few dear friends," says Johnson. "I sought out gypsies and lone workers who resisted the extreme climes. And I documented the bleak journey of daily commuters."
Campbell Laird: “Bjugn” & “Double Xross”
Campbell has a green policy (using earth friendly materials) that has impacted his work since the early 1990's. "It's important for me as an artist not to pollute the world that inspires my art," he says. "To this end, my artwork - from inks to the paper to the final varnish - is chosen with this thought in mind." Campbell's piece on recycled bagasse sugarcane paper called "Bjugn" was sold (in an larger format than exhibited) to someone who attended SHFT's opening night.
Luigia Martelloni: (2 pieces) “Castor & Pollux” & “Nature of Nature”
"I often work with material that is part of nature - like paper, dirt, salt, water, branches. I love working with medium that remind me about the earth...I like to use sustainable and recyclable elements. The way we are going we can't keep buying new materials and as artist we have to look for ways to re-use and re-purpose material for our work". With Castor & Pollux, Luigia noticed several trees bark peeling off...she started collecting the bark...she could still smell the aroma of the trees. Thinking to herself..."I will make you stand again'...not one but two, standing, breathing immortal like Castor & Pollux, twin gods, standing for faith and their own immortality.”
Rebecca Niederlander: “The Center Holds”
For many years Rebecca Niederlander has sought to extend and increase everyday vision, to find the exquisite within the ordinary. She has done this by inhabiting unusual spaces, her specific interest in the relationships between architecture, the domestic world, and the individual. All elements (of her work) are connected, each aspect modulated by the subtle movement of the whole. Abraham Maslow, in his development of the Hierarchy of Needs of the individual, remarked that true self-actualization occurs not just in the meeting of one's own needs, but in the desire to want to help others. This connectedness is crucial to Rebecca’s work. Just like “The Center Holds,” we humans are indeed all connected, all modulated by the subtle movement of the whole.
Liz Young: “Still Life: Deer Mule”, “Still Life: Whitetail Deer” & “Deer Target: Tree”
"The central issues of my work have been the body and flesh, the human condition and nature...I displace these concerns from their sources projecting them onto Objects transforming the audiences' perception of the familiar and expected...a medley of materials is used, both natural and synthetic...often recycled, distressed and second-hand, have a history, and coupled with the images investigated evoke memory and nostalgia". The work exhibited at SHFT incorporates themes of hunting and Americana along with use of materials, "to evoke feelings of loss and an acknowledgment in the process of nature, its beauty and decay.”
Edie Kahula Pereira: (Curator) Within the context of SHFT's mission statement, I selected work that drew me towards it and made me linger. In a word, provocative. Intuitively I looked for work that would stand on its own (in message and in visual) yet would add to the collective strength of the narrative (without ego)...telling the story of our relationship with nature...our (positive/negative) interaction with it and how we intervene. I knew instantly when a piece would become a part of our exhibition.
List of Artists:
Lauren Bon, Ramon Coronado, Elkpen (a.k.a. Christian Kasperkovitz), Balazs Gardi, Tierney Gearon, Jamie Harley, Jay Mark Johnson, Campbell Laird, Alia Malley, Luigia Martelloni, Yassi Mazandi, Andrew McConnell, Rebeca Mendez, Samuel Moyer, Rebecca Niederlander, Jeff Nisbet, Dylan Palmer, Benjamin & Stefan Ramirez Perez, Louie Rigano, Deb Ris (a.k.a. Anne Shackman), Keri Rosebraugh, Daihei Shibata, Sean Vicary, Anais Wade, & Liz Young.