"Unseen Lines" text detail (c) Dianne Bowen
Drawing is like taking a line out for a dance, sometimes it's a heavy metal slam dance, sometimes it's as structured as a waltz, and sometimes it's a virgina reel and I'm just switching hands and partners, pencil, paint, paper, film...

An artist's journey making sense of the world through art, language and conversation.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Falling into Fall

New work begins, as the art season kicks into high gear, stay tuned lots coming up !

"Falling Loose Exhaling Empty",  2012 (c) Dianne Bowen

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"We Buy Gold", new book by photographer Nikki Johnson

Photographer Nikki Johnson posted a preview of her upcoming book release, "We Buy Gold" on May 24th, 2013 on line. Originally from West Point, Mississippi, Johnson has been living and working in New York City for well over a decade. Johnson's work includes images from various locations around the world. She is a self described "Social Explorer". Johnson works in series to which she has built a vast body of work. Through an unflinching eye, her photographs are a telling narrative of New York City and it's inhabitants.

I met Nikki Johnson many years ago and have had the pleasure of both following her artistic career and developing a personal friendship along the journey. Differing from her previous release, "Natural History", a deluxe 160 page book featuring select images from 1998-2010, Johnson's newest release "We Buy Gold" allows her salacious, dark humor to come to the forefront.

I'm very excited to announce I'll be posting an interview with her next week on my blog in the "Artists In Conversation" section. It was a pleasure to write the foreword for her book "Natural History" released in 2010. We'll discuss art, process, life, as one artist to another trying to make sense of this crazy, wonderful world and thing we call "Art".

Unlike my previous blog, "OPENMOUTH", in which I wrote reviews on shows, "Art The NOISE We Make" merges review with interview to allow the artists to speak about their work and process in their own words. I don't necessarily ask questions in an interview Q & A, simply jump in here and there. The first artist, Photographer Nikki Johnson has an upcoming book release, so I thought the timing was perfect to share my fascination and enjoyment of her work. Simply as one artist to another sharing our common passion and need to make art. 

Studio visits between artists to discuss their work and the topics of the day is a necessary part of what we do which connects us in different ways. Sometimes it simply gets us out of our heads for a minute so we may see in a different perspective and examine ideas. As artists and later, friends, Johnson and I have worked on numerous projects together. I hope to reveal not only an understanding and enjoyment of her work but also the way artists relate to each other.

Hold on to your hat this will be interesting....

"We Buy Gold" by Nikki Johnson (Preview)

New York Times, March, 2010
Nikki Johnson, Press and Clippings
"Natural History", Nikki Johnson
reframingphotography.com, Video Interview with Photographer, Nikki Johnson (videographer Alex Zoppa)


Monday, June 3, 2013

Recent Interview posted on "ArtBookGuy.com"

I'm very pleased to announce my recent interview on  ArtBookGuy.com 
a contemporary art blog featuring in depth interviews with artists, news, events and a myriad of topics about art et al.

Please peruse the current artist interviews along with other important and cool topics concerning the art world and it's many facets. cheers and enjoy !

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two generations across the wall, pigment, pencil...

In 2011 I began working on a series of large scale drawings as part of my "Deep Sound" series. Abstraction is the foundation of my artistic history. My uncle Michael Mulhern was an abstract painter who worked predominately on large scale paintings. Over the course of his career he received many prestigious grants including the Pollack/Krasner grant in 2000 and 1989. After September 11, the Times interviewed him as his studio was directly across from the towers. Deeply affected by the tragedy, he had begun his "Ashes" series. I refer and pay homage to him in one of my large scale works "Deep Sound" in the associated poem;

"Deep Sound"
Pacing downtown loft, bare window views burial ground reconstruction listening for signs, on her own notes she pins to the wall, catalogs blood lines, New York Abstraction sewn to her feet, two generations across the wall, canvas, paper, pigment, paint, we have killed ourselves with concoctions, surrendered gladly to our possession, time tick-tocking another dimension

I find myself continually going back to the many discussions with him over the course of my life in regards to art, art practice and the long journey an artist makes building their life's body of work et al. The discoveries, success, failure, eureka moments and complete frustration when I want to just tear a work to shreds. All of it important to work through, all of it brings something to the table. Being an artist is not for the faint of heart. At the end of a day, you just do the work because that's what you do. It will demand everything, it's a selfish lover never satisfied and still you surrender everything gladly.

In 2007 my cousin Colin (his middle son) had recently visited and seen a work from the series "Lines Of Communication (white)", I was exhibiting in a group show at the New Theater in the East Village. Colin told his father he really needed to come by and see the new work. Shortly after and at the suggestion of my cousin, Michael came to do a studio visit with me. It was early in the series, I was working on various papers with wires and other elements added to the drawings. I was at a pivotal point.  Pulling out the large drawings which were in sections, he looked through them quietly listening to my thoughts on the direction and simply said, "These are good, these are really good Dianne." I almost fell on the floor ! Acceptance as a serious artist from him was not an easy task nor one he gave lightly. We talked about the importance of scale, mixing concoctions of paint and pigment. "They need to be much larger now." I said. He agreed smiling, teasing me, "You do realize once you go big it's hard to go back." Being Irish, our conversations while very serious when it came to art, always had a bit of humor and play.

I think back to these earlier visits and discussions often. His critique's were never easy but always direct and constructive. Brutally honest which is necessary. In another visit around 2003-4 while working on a series of large scale abstract paintings, he said, "good work, but when are you going to stop putting shit all over your paintings and just paint?" Replying rather quickly smiling, "I don't know, when I decide they don't need all that shit on them." I think back on these and many conversations over the years discussing each others work, the art world and a slew of other topics. They are one of the things that taught me to have a critical eye by a very young age. To be brutally honest with myself about my work and develop a thick skin was a crucial lesson to learn as young artist. 

"two generations across the wall, pigment, pencil".

Michael Mulhern:

Michael Mulhern, OV 136, oil on canvas, 87" x 108"

Michael Mulhern, Ampersand-38, oil on canvas, 40" x 38"

Dianne Bowen:

Dianne Bowen, Wide Open, oil, pigments, pigment sticks, china markers, light fast pencil on canvas, 114" x 186"

Dianne Bowen, Deep Sound, oil, pigments, china marker, light fast pencil on canvas, 96" x 84"

Dianne Bowen, Live Wire, pigments, light fast pencil, china marker on mylar, 22" x 34"

 Dianne Bowen, Falling Loose Exhaling Empty, gouache, light fast pencil on mylar, triptych, 79" x 108"

Dianne Bowen, Lines Of Communication (white) diptych, pigments, recycled tire treads, guitar wires on paper, 21" x 64"

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gabriel Kuri (excerpt from original post on Art Comments, 2011)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Artist Profile: Gabriel Kuri

Commissioned Artist for the Armory Show 2011,
Gabriel Kuri
By Dianne Bowen

Mexican-born, Belgium-based artist Gabriel Kuri, whose work has been widely shown in important international group shows, including the 5th Berlin Biennal (2008); Brave New Worlds at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007) and at Colección Jumex, Ecatepec, Mexico (2008); and Unmonumental at New Museum, New York (2007) was selected to be the commissioned artist this year for The Armory Show. Recent and upcoming shows include Gabriel Kuri-Soft Information in Your Hard Facts at Museion, Bolzano; Join the Dots and Make a Point at Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg, traveling to Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld; and Gabriel Kuri: Nobody needs to know the price of your Saab at The Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, traveling to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Kuri’s work was featured in all its printed matter including the official Jack Spade limited edition canvas bag with his image of a purchase receipt. His works were also on view in the booth shared by Franco Noero and Esther Schipper.

Gabriel Kuri’s consequential sculptures and collages are made from combining everyday found or purchased remains with marble, steel and other incongruous materials. These unexpected poetic combinations question the meanings of the materials and their possibilities for interpretation, addressing concepts such as hard and soft, assumption of fact, value and procession. In his piece, Untitled, 2007, several silhouettes of indigenous women carrying baskets or pots on their heads with ticket stubs collaged above the baskets, the silhouette of a man in the background ahead of them against a blue evening sky. The stubs appear as signifiers of value to both the contents and the people. Questioning our responsibility and participation both as a society and individually within these value systems. The man’s ambiguous intentions held in his gate, thin legs and somewhat distended belly. The images hold many interpretations layers of implications quietly unfold.

 Excerpted from original post on Art Comments, to read the original post in full please follow the link below:
Original post in full Art Comments 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

More Than A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Original post July, 2007)

Brooklyn’s BWAC Red Hook and Carroll Gardens open studios June 9-10, 2007 created a garden of art and dialogue through out the borough. I down loaded a great self guided tour map, which included 32 destinations and headed back to my hometown. Artists of all calibers and disciplines are leaving their marks as Brooklyn’s Open studios weekend made evident, they have found fertile ground in the borough to create innovative and interesting work.

On foot I navigated through myriads of studio buildings, galleries and artists project spaces. In a large warehouse building at 98 4th street in Carroll Gardens, I visited artist Chris Coffins studio, which he shares with fellow artist and curator Jennifer Burbank. Coffins intense personal connection to water and his urban environment are evident in his triptych photographic works, which seek a deeper understanding of the connection within the two “places”. They are contemplative images finding their own dialogue in which to converse. Abandoned buildings and underwater shots of jellyfish, which he shoots looking up from under the water find, and connect within reflective abstract space and color. Jennifer Burbanks large black and white wall drawing solicits conversation through line and form. A large black circle collaged to the wall seems to be in the process of moving out of the space and off the wall, grounded to it’s environment by thin elegant lines leading back through the work. Vince Contarino also in the 4th street building presented works on paper, which he may use for larger paintings. Contarino painstakingly collages tiny bits of colored and patterned paper into highly controlled lines, which are released into organic flowing gestures reminiscent of plant life, or a diagram of some strange unknown organism.

These artists capture your attention with a quiet ease, simply giving over something of yourself in order to sit with them for more time then you realize, suddenly hours go by... and your wishing you had more time.

Think Tank Notes: February 7th

 "Histories Accumulations, I", 2012 (c) Dianne Bowen

I recently had a solo show, October-November, 2012 with NINAPI' Gallery-Nesting Art Gallery in Ravenna, Italy. Simply titled, "Tell Me Everything". Staying in Ravenna during the course of the exhibition and creating new works influenced by my time there brought many inspirations to work, process and thoughts for new directions moving forward. I brought a large journal to write my thoughts about the time there which I've continued thus far. Accumulation, history, art, culture, expression and use of books and re-thinking what constitutes a book? What is it about them which draws me to them, to create original artists books recently? Ripping the traditional ideas and associations of the traditional structure, bindings, how we look through them, what is a page? How are lines constructed and de-constructed? In the almost 3 months since, I'm still investigating these questions. To date I've created almost 14 of these original books in various techniques, mediums and materials. In doing this I created 2 of what I term or describe as a book construction installation titled "Histories Accumulations", 11/2012. The text, an original note poem is written on several sheets of paper nestled between layers separated by now at this time glass bowls which mimic the decorative domes throughout the city of Ravenna's architecture. A slim clock hand embedded into a sheet standing on an angle as if pointing towards a specific clock is underneath the second glass bowl. An ordinary T pin stands straight up on top again, referencing the architecture while maintaining it's original intention of holding something down or together. There are several elements which make similiar references throughout the work. How would you "read" it? A question I allow the viewer to answer. There are several ways, each requiring careful consideration. You could if desired move elements and pages, in essence taking it completely apart and putting it back together. The act itself maintains the intimacy and personal experience of reading a book but through a different way of doing so. It is to destroy it and rebuild it, over and over. Like history itself an organic telling of tales which shift in accordance to who, what, where and when.

I'm continuing my explorations and investigations into books. Currently with two more underway, I'm working on building a collection of about 25. 

"Histories Accumulations II", 2012 (c) Dianne Bowen, detail downward view