When looking at art, it's often difficult to tell what's art and what's not. For this summer's New Artists Feature, we selected four new artists from an open call who make work that explores this fine line. Each ignores the barriers between the aesthetic and commercial, optical and tactile, inert and living; as hybrids, their art becomes a screen onto all these worlds. Proudly, we announce this summer's artists: Jeremy August Haik, Linda Shamma, Jesse Moretti, and Bayne Peterson.
Since receiving his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, Jeremy August Haik has continued to dedicate his artistic practice to photography's wide-ranging relationship to language, and notably exploring its limits as an imperfect vessel for historical knowledge. Haik's series, A Man of Fine Feeling, transforms aged book pages through digital alteration; he breaks down the past, pieces it back together again, and covers it with vibrant colors and shapes familiar to our digital age. The circles can be read as literal ink blots (but maybe they're sunsets, or symbols of perfection), and bring to light digital technology's material, and aesthetic—not just functional—qualities.
From Stockholm, artist Linda Shamma reimagines new relationships between humans. Her previous interest in cultural hybrids includes projects regarding immigration. For all their literalism, these works are quite fantastic. Here, with Oophaga vicentei x Oophaga pumilio, that interest takes the form of biological intrigue. In conjunction with scientist Svenska Grodhobbyn, Shamma created a completely new, fertile, frog species as a continuation of her investigation of what it means to straddle two cultures, two histories.
In the same way, Brooklyn-based Jesse Moretti's paintings, sculpture, and photography are material objects—they are made to be visually examined, and also felt. Labyrinth, a resin-coated metallic c-print on wood panel transforms a flat field into a topsy-turvy visual game—it wrenches at the eyes at the same time as it soothes them. This is art hitting close to home, on the level of the eye.
Bayne Peterson, who lives and works in Providence, makes sculptural objects that confuse the line between art and commercially produced products. In a series based on components from sunglasses, Peterson transforms the plastic bits into large-scale pieces that end up taking on entirely new functions. Two, is a shifting abstraction that, while based on an eyeglasses nosepiece looks like any number of organic, possibly glandular abstract elements. Peterson intends for these objects to be worn; inviting the audience to wrap these sculptures around his or her neck, like a pillow.
David Andrew Frey is a New York-based artist, curator, and technologist. He founded Culturehall in 2008 as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. David received an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000. He has also studied at the Camberwell College of Art in London, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He recently curated exhibitions in New York of work by Culturehall artists for Ligne Roset, the Big Screen Plaza, and Cindy Rucker Gallery.
Corinna Kirsch is a Senior Editor at Art F City. She received her MA in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she published a thesis on early video art. From 2009 - 2010, she worked at the Weisman Art Museum where she curated exhibitions for the Drawing and Photography Galleries. In 2010, she received the C Magazine New Critics Prize. She has contributed to ART PAPERS, The L Magazine, ANIMAL NY, and Capital, among other publications.