In December 2010, Culturehall published our first New Artists Feature Issue highlighting the work of four selected applicants. Culturehall's recent open call for applications generated submissions from diverse international artists. From these applicants, we selected four new members to highlight in our current issue.
Dallas-based artist Trey Wright makes spare photographic collages that are both campy and elegant. Arranging fragments of found images cut onto solid-colored surfaces like specimens on a table, Trey constructs enigmatic relationships between fragments of human forms, fashion accessories, and other artifacts. These quirky assemblages or still lifes examine the seductive colors and textures of visual pop culture with a particular retro sensibility, as though Wright found his inspiration mostly from vintage magazines. One image, Cut/Copy (spanish fly), juxtaposes a model's bare arm with a fly, as well as beautifully acrid swatches of green against a rusty orange color field reminiscent of a 1960's palette. Collectively, this surreal series feels a bit like Man Ray met John Waters at an art studio in Texas, and this is what they came up with.
With his recent body of work, Abstraction Series, Matt Macintosh repurposed a select group of images illustrating one of the many Canadian support efforts during the Second World War. The original black and white photographs document the laboratory technicians, equipment, and interior spaces responsible for producing penicillin. Matt was led to these images after learning that his studio coincidentally had been the workplace of his grandmother some 70 years earlier, when she was employed to produce the life-saving drug. The artworks from this series are separated into two groups: Subjects, which distills the technicians from their tasks, and Objects, which present altered views of the laboratory facility by replicating (mirroring) half of the original image. Partially a meditation on production, Macintosh's reimagining of these visual records leads to questions not only of labor itself, but also the functionality of the document.
On view at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's downtown location through January 20, 2013, Margaret Noble's mixed-media installation, 44th and Landis, comprises hundreds of cut paper forms suspended from the ceiling and ambient sounds emanating from fourteen handmade paper speakers. Inspired by San Diego's City Heights, an area where the artist herself grew up, the piece presents an unlikely mix of Victorian motifs referencing the neighborhood's historical roots with signage and ephemera reflecting the brassy pop culture that surrounded Noble in her youth during the early 1980s. 44th and Landis combines visual elements of romantic fantasy and gritty urban reality with everyday sounds that Noble recorded in the streets, such as those from ice cream trucks, car radios, and video games. Through this fusion of sound art and cultural anthropology, Noble creates an experiential cityscape based on childhood dreams and memories.
Deceptively assembled from photographic material from the United States, France, and Spain, Lauren Marsolier has created in her ongoing series, Transition, a set of tableaux whose activity breaches that of the landscape. At first, each appears to be an honest document of the sun-drenched places found around the outskirts of civilization. After a moment, however, the contents of each vista refuse us. The locations are familiar but identifiable in only the most broad, categorical sense — streets, buildings, bridges, mountains, skies. Part societal detritus, part hostile nature, these images lead to a disorienting place created by the horrors of life or the imagination. Ultimately, each work places the viewer on the edge of an inconceivably empty and sterilized space.
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.
Tema Stauffer is a photographer, writer, and curator. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received an MFA in photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. She teaches at the ICP, Ramapo College, and the College of Staten Island, and taught a photography workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She also writes a blog about photography, PalmAire, and contributes writing to various arts publications. In 2010, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts.