Artist Statement + Bio:
Amabelle Aguiluz expresses the flow of life as a vast web of interconnections using the medium of fiber as a symbolic map; linking us to the past and connecting us together. Her preference for using discarded fabrics allows her time to explore the process of transformation while collecting and analyzing the materials of her production. Aguiluz uses her art as a means to connect with history, nature and her surroundings.
Amabelle Aguiluz lives and works in Los Angeles.
Amabelle Aguiluz was featured in our Spring 2016 issue, where we discussed fiber arts, fashion and meditations of her process. She has joined Venison's first retrospective with Veil. We're delighted to have her speak during the artist talk on August 12th!
Her practice incorporates clothing, textile, fiber sculpture, and installation processes that are presented as free form sculptures and often are incorporated into live performance, video, and photographs. She studied at Politecnico di Milano, Italy and graduated in 2011 from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York BFA in Fashion Design. Aguiluz’s work has been exhibited nationally and was part of the La Triennale Internationale des Arts Textiles in Outaouais, Canada in 2016
Stop by the gallery to see all the art, and pop in on August 12th for an artist talk!
Bernie Lubell's interactive artworks were first introduced to us in 2015. We were looking back on the year, sharing our favorite works. While he's lived in San Francisco for a number of years, his work has been shown locally and internationally, and has received varying number of awards, including the Guggenheim Artists Fellowship in 2011. We're delighted he has joined us for Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective!
I make interactive installations that focus on the intersection of science and the arts -- but my work is adamantly low -tech. These installations use no computers or video or motors and are entirely powered by visitors to the show. As visitors work together to animate the mechanisms they create a theatre for themselves and each other. By requiring participation, touch and manipulation I get the audience to engage their bodies as well as their minds. As they play, participants tap into the vast reservoir of knowledge stored in each of their own bodies and they become active partners in constructing an understanding. The way that pieces move and feel and sound as you rock them, pedal, crank, press against and listen applies the kinesthetic comprehension's of childhood to the tasks of philosophy.
The use of wood and ancient technologies to examine 21st century issues adds a disarming historical perspective to my enterprise. The pieces are funny, friendly and personal even as they tackle serious issues such as the nature of conscoiusness or the origins of life. The malleable woods I use are ill suited to be machines and yet they do work. Hovering at the line between working and not gives the mechanisms that tenuous yet tenacious character which mirrors control issues in our daily lives. And their very unlikeliness allows each installation to comment on itself.
My work resembles three dimensional Medieval diagrams, mapping questions about our place in the universe. But these are maps of the incompleteness of our knowledge that call for participation and they are diagrams you may literally inhabit.
See the work!
Yulia Pinkusevich was interviewed in Autumn 2015 by our founder Amber Imrie-Situnayake. Yulia has been smashing it in the last couple years since our interview. Yulia's new work was developed while she was in residence at Autodesk in 2015-2016. Yulia is now represented by Kent Fine Art in New York!
Yulia Pinkusevich is an interdisciplinary visual artist born in Kharkov, Ukraine. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Stanford University and Bachelors of Fine Arts from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, graduating both universities with highest honors. Yulia has exhibited nationally and internationally including site-specific projects executed in Paris, France and Buenos Aires, Argentina, her work is represented by Kent Fine Art in New York.
Come Meet the Artist!
Yulia Pinkusevich is a Oakland Resident and will be in attendance for the Opening Reception on July 15th! Click the link below for more event information and to RSVP.
Rebecca Reeves has been a part of our wonderful Venison community since our first year, 2014. When we did a full feature of her work which you can read here. Not only will Rebecca Reeves be exhibiting in Gathering, but she is also our guest curator for the show! We are so excited to have her a part of our wonderful show. Rebecca will be speaking at the Opening Reception of Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective.
Rebecca Reeves was born, raised and currently resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her system of living becomes the foundation for her work. Reeves's observations fuel the need to clean and organize in order to gain control over her environment.
In her current body of work, Reeves considers herself, the “Collector, Protector and the Keeper” of numerous family heirlooms. Similar to the meticulously detailed Victorian human hair wreaths which represented the family tree; Reeves uses miniature furniture as representation for the objects in her home, her family tree. She obsessively cocoons the miniatures in thread in order to contain and preserve. Nearly, suffocating them in the process.
Come Meet the Artist!
Rebecca Reeves will be in attendance at the opening reception on July 15th and be giving a brief talk with Amber Imrie-Situnayake!
In 2014, Bay Area artist Amber Imrie-Situnayake founded a quarterly online publication called Venison Magazine. Her vision was to highlight emerging artists whose experimentation with process and media created compelling work in an ever-evolving art culture. In fact, Venison Magazine created more than a platform for artist introductions; the publication created a family of artists with one common thread – the necessity to create. For this maiden voyage, we are gathering up the family for the very first Venison Magazine reunion.
Gathering: A Venison Magazine Retrospective is a multi-media, contemporary art exhibition consisting of 27 national and international Venison artists: Amabell Aguiluz, Sarah Ammons, Zoe Childerley, Eric Coppinger, Brian Donnelly, Kay Healy, Meline Höijer Schou, Amber Imrie-Situnayake, Bryan Kring, Skye Livingston, Bernie Lubell, Bonnie MacAllister, Spencer Merolla, Ankica Mitrovska, Jonathan Odom, Jennifer Pettus, Yulia Pinkusevich, Samantha Rausch, Rebecca Reeves, Danielle Schlunegger-Warner, Clare Szydlowski, Shannon Taylor, Jessica Tenbusch, Tyler Thrasher, Adriana Villagran, Chris Vogel and Amber Jean Young.
Aliens with Extraordinary Ablities
Curated by Artist, Camella DaEun Kim
Opening Reception | Saturday, May 20th, 5 - 7pm
Exhibition dates | May 20th - July 21st, 2017
Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm
Immigrant Potluck | Saturday, June 10th
Fellows of Contemporary Art
970 North Broadway #208
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The title of this group show, Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities, is a direct reference to O-1 visa approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to individuals who are classified as “aliens” possessing extraordinary ability in arts, science, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industries.
Despite having interest to take part in commonly shared discussions on “assimilation versus integration,” “race versus ethnicity,” “mainstream
culture versus subculture,” or “economically motivated immigration versus politically motivated evacuation,” this show is compelled to observe the dialectical process that wages within the outsiders struggling to come to terms with their social environment.
While the eight artists in the show possess distinct backgrounds and manifest disparate approaches to art, each identifies herself as a “stranger,” oscillating between being an insider and an outsider by virtue of her individuality within her own circumstances. Drawing on personal experiences related to diaspora, race, gender, queerness, and social constraints, each artist’s work subverts and confronts the negative connotations of life as a foreigner.
Furthermore, both the curator and artists collaborated by playing both roles. As a whole, Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities amalgamates works ranging from photography, video, sculpture, and sound, site-specific installations. Together, they are collectively curated to touch on the ideas of ‘home’ and expand on the paradigm of the forever immigrant with multiple places of belonging, out of places or with no place to call ‘home’.
Brand Library & Art Center is pleased to present the artwork of Amabelle Aguiluz, Sarajo Frieden, Wakana Kimura, Karin Lanzoni and Hiroko Yoshimoto in an exhibition that embraces the fluid and instinctive nature of each artists’ practice while honoring the sophistication of their invention.
Exhibition dates| May 13th - July 1st, 2017
Opening Reception | May 13th, 6pm
Brand Library & Art Center
1601 West Mountain Street
Glendale CA 91201
Tallahassee’s cultural scene is in many ways an artist refined do-it-yourself community. Everything from the bright, bold and anonymous folk art of local tradition to the beautifully blended dynamics of poetry and hip-hop becomes a reflection of expressive resourcefulness. The city’s flowing demographics and overall amount of creative variety cultivates unique curiosities with inspirations pulled from various ethnicities and geographic backgrounds. This blend of thought and personal origin emits a strong unique glow that’s easily noticeable as outpost here in northwest Florida. Ironically, the DIY definition is very communal with artists curated exhibitions hosted at random geographic coordinates, abandoned
guest chefs, resulting in memorable artist-rendered concoctions. FOOD quickly became known for Matta-Clark’s, Matt-Bone” soup, which featured oxtail, roasted marrow bones, frogs’ legs among other bone-type of entrees. Finishing the bowl, the bones were scrubbed then strung together as a necklace of leftovers the participant could bring home.Here at the intersection of art, performance, and social engagement, participants found that something as a bowl of soup could leave an imprint to last a lifetime.
SOUP has developed in response to the artistic vision and spirit behind FOOD, and though we’ve put forth a menu of decidedly less edible offerings, we are looking forward to the years ahead and all the possibilities they might bring. At the heart of it all is the spirit to strengthening our community. For us, this means exploring creative ways to form connections between all kinds of people and projects that might, on the surface, appear to have little in common, yet stirred together, produce something of delicious substance.
Tallahassee’s supportive atmosphere has allowed us to extend nationally to where we are today and, it’s amazing to see how this seed of an idea has taken root and begun to thrive beyond what we could have predicted. It didn’t feel quite like a seed at the time – in fact, it felt huge – but in hindsight, we can recognize that it was still just powerful potential that could only take shape through the resourceful act of collaboration and participation. Today SOUP is a blend of all these inspired efforts, simmering together to create a space of creative nourishment and free expression.
-Ashton Bird, Chelsea Raflo, Victoria DeBlasio
SOUP's Anywhere But Brooklyn
The opening reception flew by in seconds, and I remember Lucia, Matthew, Brittany and myself crouched on cheap folding chairs in the front. We popped a bottle of champagne, sipped and soaked up our accomplishment. I don’t think I will ever forget that night.
To be completely honest, at the time of selecting the two artists to exhibit –the selection was based more on my personal intuition and how the artists knew each other. Brittany’s installation displaying the inner-world of consciousness or lack of had a similar metaphor as Lawrence’s; both, the installation and paintings complimented each other very well.
After the next few months, we quickly realized we needed reliable assistants, coordinators and volunteers. We started off with five people and now we are at 18. SOUP experimental, including myself is a volunteer ran space that is exuberantly growing through people passionately believing in the idea of resourcefulness and experimental creativity. We’re scrappy. SOUP has grown to have gallery exhibitions, performance and music nights, open-mic, facility rental, a touring exhibition, an off-site exhibition, written artwork opinion and artist interviews.
The exhibitions are ultimately selected by me, but our coordinators do have a huge influence on the final decision. Beyond the exhibitions, each section of staff delegates what events we should manifest or who we should interview.
We are all artists, which I believe makes communication much more understanding. I definitely wouldn’t say we all think the same though, which is even better –all of us have a flavor the other doesn’t, and each very much so complements one another. It’s been amazing being able to see what and how much we’ve been able to do.
-Ashton Bird, Director
Review by Roula Seikaly
Walking into the gallery, the first piece I encountered is Home Sale Prices By Year 1971-2015, Median San Francisco, CA, Median California, Median United States (2017), which represents the series Data, Rumberger’s latest undertaking. Strung between a supporting column and the gallery’s eastern wall, the commissioned piece visualizes a data set using gray, gold, and yellow thread. Color choices are important to the artist, who noted in our email exchange that gold and yellow used in this piece reference popular and positive notions – “the golden state” and “gold rush” – commonly associated with California. Sourcing data points – average sale prices of homes in this instance – from various online sites as the raw material for her sculpture, Rumberger’s delicate creation portrays the indelicate reality that owning a home in the Bay Area is simply out of reach for all but the very rich. As an artist who was priced out of her studio space, the cool or impartial statistics with which she works are all too familiar. Further into the gallery, additional data visualizations such as Rape/Sexual Assault Against Intimate Female Partners in the US 1992-2013 publicly portray the personal horrors through which far too many women suffer privately.
Directly opposite Rumberger’s threaded creation are four wall-based sculptures which, at first glance, suggest dioramas or mock schemes for potential installations, but they are not. The fantastical views, all representing the artist’s long term series Metafictions, are discrete objects. Home Sale Prices… is mirrored in the tiny display, its physicality perfectly matching the gallery layout. The artist emphatically asserts that the miniatures – and this applies across the spectrum of her practice – are works unto themselves, and that the overarching “metafiction” assignation is realized when the miniature and full-scale versions of the work are completed. Using metafiction as a grounding point, our attention is drawn to the objects on view, how they relate to and depart from one another in form and content, and ultimately the impermanence or fiction of exhibitions.
Seeing Rumberger’s large and small pieces exhibited together satisfies a kind of desire, perhaps one akin to starting and completing a project. In this way, she neatly ties up what would otherwise be nagging experiential loose ends. But meeting desire’s needs is not guaranteed. After seeing small representations from her beautiful/chilling series The March Hare, I sought out – perhaps subconsciously – the piece’s larger pendant image. Hung at a distance from their tiny counterparts, these nearly life-sized paintings juxtapose popular notions of rabbits – fertility, sexuality, life – and death, here represented in eyes drawn from photographs of Civil War militia men. In this instance, my desire was satisfied. Conversely, what reads as incomplete, when either full-size or miniature versions of her data series installation or pieces from other painted series - Santa/President and Modernist Alchemy – are not accompanied by their complementary piece, a palpable cognitive lack is felt.
Vieno James's body of work, Glory, opened at Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Norfolk, VA last week. His work is a mixed media study of history that compels me to dive deeper into those history books, and ask, what kind of history are we creating right now? I was so happy to be able to talk to Vieno about Glory, and several other interests!
Q&A by Nazish Chunara
First, I want to ask why. What drew you to discuss the US and war? Is this a subject you were always drawn to?
My experience in Japan made me realize that a large chunk of the world views America negatively. I also realized that during my stay, I was somewhat a representative or ambassador of the American people. I knew that the United States exploited many countries in the name of “democracy”, and something in my gut told me that it was time to examine this subject. I wasn't always drawn to this subject in particular, I'm interested in anything that my heart tells me to examine. I needed to draw the work from my system and bring it into the physical world.
What is your research process like?
I just go to the library and get lost. I walk almost unconsciously through the isles, stop when my spirit tells me, and grab the book that I'm “looking” for. After gathering about 10 books or so, I have everything to help me come to a conclusion on what I want to say in my work. After the books, I speak with “random” people in my community to get their opinions and ideas about the whatever the topic is. Funny enough, this usually confirms my thoughts. After that, I watch documentaries and news stories to inform myself visually and to stay up to date.
In what ways have you found that we glorify war?
Glorification of wars and war heroes are all around. I see it in movies like Troy and 300. Kids are getting rewarded for kill streaks online everyday. I saw many Republicans during the campaign bringing veterans on stage to talk about our nation's good vs the evil brown people of the Orient. Our president, Trump, is trying to fight a war of attrition against ISIS, another good v. evil case. ISIS glorifies its martyrs and soldiers in this so called “holy Caliphate v evil Crusaders” war.
Haha, anyways, I used mud, blood red paint, and spit in the areas that represent the battlefield. The blue areas are filled with glitter and the figures are almost like constellations in the night sky. To me it's a timeless heaven and earth view of the Battle of Gaugamela plains, Iraq and the current battles going on in the same area of Mosul, in our times.
The figures in the work are holding the traditional weaponry of Persian and Macedonian warriors. In many areas you can see the Macedonian battle technique of the phalanx being used by the figures. There are other symbols in the work, and they refer back to Picasso's Guernica; the fallen horse, the slain warrior with the broken blade, the flowers and the black bird in the top right.
What would a battle stage map of the last decade look like for the US? What materials would you use to represent this?
Great question! I'm actually about to take a hard look at America with my next series. The work I'm thinking about creating most likely wouldn't be a battle map. The works will look like ancient Egyptian artifacts. It would be made of scrap metal, concrete, wood, denim, old auto parts, American flags, anything that could represent the absolute death of America's Industrial Age. I'd also like to talk about big businesses, gangs violence, American history and ideology; our role in the world. It would be riddled with transfer prints of the recent riots in this country, and figures and images of old industrial cities like Detroit. My ideas are pretty rough at the moment, but that's the direction I want to head in next. It'll probably be a 2 year project made out of multiple bodies of work that focus on different subjects like industry, agriculture, ideology, race, politics, and societal movement.
You've scattered silhouettes throughout this body of work, as if they're peering into our world. Tell me a bit about mixing the abstract with the figurative.
Haha! They're there to watch the viewers. I only include them when the time is right though. Like when a brush stroke does not carry the emotional weight of seeing a human locked in combat.
What was it like preparing for your solo show Glory at the Offsite Gallery inside the World Trade Center in Virginia? It looked amazing!
Thank you, Nazish! Soooo many all-nighters in the studio. A lot of "Watch the throne." And a ton of frustrating moments. It was fucking amazing! I like having a fire under my ass when I work.
I’ve noticed, looking through all the work on your site, you’ve touched basis with many important subjects: environmental, printed (press), war, race and more. Is there a subject that you haven’t covered but would like to?
Thanks for taking a look at everything, Nazish! This is going to sound boring, but agriculture, hunting, and food is my dream subject! I want to cover it so badly. If you control food, you control the world. I believe that crops and livestock are the only thing on this planet with intrinsic value. One ear of corn can produce fifty more. I'd probably talk about farming throughout history, slaves from around the world, what people grow all across the planet, hunting, gathering, and how it's shaped their food, culture, and modern society. It'd be a lifetime's journey around our planet.
It was a pleasure speaking with you, Vieno!
Our Venison team uses this blog page to post short articles about events, projects, journeys, and art adventures that we find relevant to the contemporary lives of fellow artists.