Friday
Jan082016

ARTE: SUNNI COLON

Friday
Jan012016

ARTE: TEDx Crensahw

Zanetta Smith organized the TEDxCrenshaw event and I was very excited to be apart of it.  

My talk was the "Art of Doing Good"

Wednesday
Dec302015

ARTE: BLIND COUTOUR IS A MUST SEE

Monday
Dec282015

ARTE: Shades of Blackness Vol. 1

My favorite and LA's most popular florist Bloom and Plume has debuted their first calendar Shades of Blackness Volume 1 ... get your 2016 #naturalopulence now!  PS...i'm my favorite month June! Beginning of summer!!!

Thursday
Dec242015

ARTE: KING - THE GREATEST <3

Tuesday
Dec222015

ARTE: Suné Woods awarded the John Gutmann Fellowship

The San Francisco Foundation has awarded Suné Woods the 2015 John Gutmann Photography Fellowship

 

 

The San Francisco Foundation Names Woods and Donovan Recipients of the 2015 John Gutmann Photography Fellowship

The San Francisco Foundation announced today that Suné Woods of Los Angeles and Dru Donovan of Brooklyn, NY are the recipients of the 2015 John Gutmann Photography Fellowship. The annual award is given to an emerging artist who exhibits professional accomplishment, serious artistic commitment, and financial need in the field of creative photography.

The prestigious award, established by the late photographer John Gutmann (1905-1998) and administered by The San Francisco Foundation, brings with it $5,000 each to support the development of Woods’ and Donovan’s creative work. Eminent photographers and curators Jim Goldberg, Reagan Louie and Leland Rice were this year’s jurors.

“This year’s nominees were all impressive and strong, making our choices difficult, as reflected in the decision to split the grant. I was impressed by the accomplishment and ambition of Suné Woods’ and Dru Donovan’s work. What ultimately persuaded me was both their work is at a tipping point. I am confident that the award will help them realize the full potential of their work,” said Reagan Louie, Gutmann Fellowship juror and photography professor at San Francisco Art Institute.

Suné Woods is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body within cultural and social histories. Her work takes the form of multi-channel video installations, photographs, and collage. She also uses microsomal sites such as family to understand larger sociological phenomenon, imperialist mechanisms, and formations of knowledge. “Suné Woods’ deeply personal and transformative work is revelatory in its quietude,” said Jim Goldberg, photographer and member of Magnum Photos. “Her multimedia montages navigate presence and absence with touching directness and perceptive complexity, creating a new language that captivates through empathic synthesis.”

Woods received her BFA at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, 1997 and an MFA in photography from California College of the Arts in 2010. She has participated in residencies at Headlands Center of the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Woods is a recipient of the Visions from the New California initiative and will be in residence at Light Work in 2016.

“I’m thrilled and honored to receive the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship. This award will assist me with research materials and equipment for my practice. I am extremely grateful for this timely support”, said Woods.

 

Sunday
Dec202015

ARTE: Heavy Rain and Lightning

Andy Robert has a public art installation on view now until January 31st at Full Haus in Los Angeles.

For Heavy Rain and Lightning, Andy Robert will turn Full Haus’s backyard into a sculpture park. 

Robert’s sculptural work evokes places. This happens through found materials, words, as well as a sensitivity to the way a place can evoke another place. Through the overlapping of space and histories, Robert reflects on how people live in different locations. Some of these reflections, as in a discarded umbrella, focus on the quotidian. Others, skittles on concrete, refer to specific events that have unmistakable political dimensions.

In either case, Robert’s sculptures are poetic—at times lyrical, and at times concrete. It’s more like what Magritte did for the hat.

Heavy Rain and Lightning is Robert's first public art installation in Los Angeles.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.


Or does it explode?

—Langston Hughes, Harlem, 1951

 

Wednesday
Dec092015

ARTE: CHAMPION CITY RADIO

Sat down with Champion City Radio for an amazing conversation about art, my other dream job, music and more!

 

Monday
Nov232015

ARTE: Derek Fordjour New York Times review

Derek Fordjour has a site specific installation on view now in New York City.  Holland Cotter of the New York Times reviews his show.  Very excited to debut new paintings from him in our January 2016 show!

Entering Derek Fordjour’s “Upper Room” from Madison Avenue is like changing planets. The small reception area in Robert Blumenthal’s third-floor gallery is carpeted with loose crushed stone, destabilizing underfoot; fragments of neon advertising signs hang from and lean against the walls. To the right, up two steps, a small door leads to a darkened larger space swathed, tent-style, in semisheer fabrics and burlap; the floor here is covered with packed earth. As your eyes adjust to the dimness you can make out tree trunks standing upright like tent poles. Wreaths of dried flowers are suspended from them.

This installation is partly autobiographical. Mr. Fordjour grew up in Memphis, a child of Ghanaian immigrants. “Upper Room” refers to places of worship: a prayer room in his family home and church revival meetings in forest clearings. Worship was intended to strengthen personal identity and safety-in-numbers solidarity, though powerful forces were set against this. A soundtrack of hymns plays in the gallery, but so does live audio from a police scanner in New York City, where the artist now lives. The installation’s atmosphere is one of menace rather than safety. It feels less like a place of communion than one of abandoned ritual. The dried flowers could easily be funeral wreaths.

Mr. Fordjour takes risks here: If he had overstated his basic image, or editorialized on it, the piece would have landed with a thud. He has trusted in the truth of materials to tell a story, and they do. “Upper Room” balances information and mystery. It comes out of personal history, but refers to larger ones, including the history of refugees who still live, destitute and unprotected, in the campgrounds that are streets of this rich city.

Friday
Nov132015

ARTE: ELLE MAG "Women In Art"

Totally honored to be in this year's issue of Women In Art by Elle Magazine, I'm one of 14 fierce women included!  Anne Pasternak, Carmen Herrera, Xaveria Simmons, Teresita Fernandez, Catherine Opie, Joan Jonas, Margaret Lee, Agnes Lund, Samantha Boardman, Hannah Hoffman, Maggie Kayne, Davida Nemeroff, Mieke Marple...its the December issue, on newsstands now!

Photo by Patric Shaw for Elle Magazine

"Meet Hannah Hoffman, Michelle Papillion, Maggie Kayne, Davida Nemeroff, and Mieke Marple: Five L.A. gallerists making the case—one show at a time—that when it comes to art, West is best.

In 2014, Michelle Papillion moved her four-year-old space, Papillion, from downtown L.A. to Leimert Park, an area so dense with creatives she compares it to the Harlem Renaissance. The gallery has since become "a scene all unto itself," she says, where seasoned collectors mingle with local musicians, dancers, and DJs. "I love diversity, which is why no two artists in my program are the same," she says."

For the full story and more on the other 13 ladies included go to Elle.com

 

Saturday
Oct242015

ARTE: Suné Woods LA Times Review

Los Angeles Times review of To Sleep With Terra:

A melancholic sense of fragmentation runs through 13 recent mixed-media collages by Suné Woods. Ire rumbles just beneath the graceful surface.

At Papillion Gallery, “Human Achievements in Limbo” is emblematic. Two modest slips of paper, both parts of pages torn from a book, are casually tacked to the wall, side by side.

One shows a West Indian woman entering the Guinness Book of World Records for doing a seemingly impossible dance maneuver, sliding her supple body beneath a limbo pole barely 6 1/2 inches off the ground.

 

The other displays an Apollo rocket — symbol of soaring human achievement — plus a luminous quasar, a remote celestial object that even the most advanced rocket cannot reach.

Collaged onto that faraway, unreachable quasar, a black woman’s finger seems to be scratching through its surface, like a chick attempting to emerge from a distant egg. The carefully considered juxtaposition with the black dancer is heartbreakingly lovely — and bitter, too, given the uncertainty and suspension of triumph associated with a state of limbo.

An otherwise invisible undercurrent of racial and gender suppression — of grand ambition thwarted and held in check — pushes into the foreground. Woods coaxes layers of resonance from very simple means, a key to a powerful collage.

The remaining works, two nearly 5 feet on each side, elaborate similar themes, sometimes in more abstract ways. Likewise, fleeting images of solitary, fragmented existence mark a short, two-channel video projection.

The looped video, “A Feeling Like Chaos,” is punctuated by a sudden, brief shot of a woman dressed in finery and reclining on top of a sidewalk retaining wall. She is laughing madly, but her glee seems less an expression of authentic joy than a clamoring hedge against alienation and anguish.

By Christopher Knight for the Los Angeles Times Arts & Culture section

Wednesday
Oct212015

ARTE: LAUREN HALSEY

A conversation with Lauren Halsey.

Artist-in-Residence at Studio Harlem Museum 2014-2015.

Thursday
Oct012015

ARTE: Interview with the NY Observer

Interview with Observer Arts...full interview at this link

Photo by Bridget Fleming courtesy of Rent The Runway

Fourth in The Expanded Field, a series of talks with unique art world personalities.

Michelle Papillion opened her eponymous space in 2010. Since then, she’s tapped into a talented circle of Los Angeles-based artists that includes Kenturah Davis, Samuel Levi Jones, and the late Noah Davis among others who make powerful artworks in every medium imaginable. The Observer spoke with her right after her successful showing at EXPO Chicago last week and discussed the changing face of the LA art scene and how she’s navigated it.

You started your career as a curator in New York. What made you decide to move to Los Angeles?

The weather and the beach.

Would you say that your gallery “focuses” on African-American art, or are you simply exhibiting the artists in your circle?

This question always perplexes me. I’ve never seen someone ask a white dealer, “Do you only focus on white artists?” and yet I am asked the above question repeatedly. My galleries focus is being the best at what we do. We show great artists who I believe all have the “genius factor.”

Would you say that you might have a greater understanding of work by African-American artists than many dealers? Particularly in Los Angeles?

I would feel more confident saying that I have a greater understanding of the emerging market, particularly for Los Angeles.

One of your artists (Samuel Levi Jones) has recently become wildly in demand and very hard to get. What is it like to suddenly go from a position where you’re predominantly pushing an artist to a one where you’re predominantly protecting them?

Good question, I think for me “protecting” the artist is something that is a priority at all levels of their career. The artist and I make a plan of what we would like to accomplish and if we’re successful then the profile for both of us is raised. I am very happy with what Jones and I have accomplished together, he is a very diligent worker and very very smart. I think at this moment for he and I we are continuing the work we set out to do when we first decided to work together.

Are there any other galleries or institutions that have particularly inspired you to do the work that you do?

Deitch Projects was a source of inspiration for me when I started and it still is.

What is it about Mr. Deitch that you admire?

When I lived in New York, from 2001 to 2008, Deitch Projects was always a space that stood out because they did lots of risky things in art. I admired that they were able to do these really ambitious over the top curatorial ideas but still upheld the integrity of the artist and the gallery. I also really appreciated how comfortable and non-elitist it felt when you would visit his galleries in Soho.

Over the last five years, galleries have sprung up or moved to a variety of neighborhoods in Los Angeles–Downtown, Culver City, Venice Beach–but you chose to open up in Leimert Park. What was it that drew you to this neighborhood?

I just wanted to be there. When you drive onto our street were on you realize right away that there is some magic that lives on this block.

You’ve shown every type of medium at Papillion; from film and video to painting, drawing and sculpture. Do you feel like there is a certain aesthetic that connects all of your choices?

I really push the artists that I work with, I demand that together we work hard to present something spectacular. That’s probably the most common thread that connects everything together.  I’m also thinking about the work that we do as a historical archive. One thousand years from now, there should be a record of what we accomplished from both a business and curatorial perspective.

The art scene in Los Angeles has really exploded over the last five years. Do you see a lot of new collectors entering the marketplace and what fields are they coming from?

Yes, I do see new collectors and there popping up in LA, coming from places as far as New York, Europe and Africa.  I’m most interested in building with and helping to develop the next great art patrons, so cultivating relationships with millennials is a priority.

One last question: Is Papillion your real last name?
Haha, yes! And you have my father to thank for that.

 

Tuesday
Sep292015

ARTE: Suné Woods and the IRAAA

Tuesday
Sep222015

ARTE: Thelma Golden x Cultured Mag

Thelma Golden on the cover of Cultured Magazine standing in front of Lauren Halsey's "Doo Rag Gods" Totem columns.

PS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY THELMA!!!

Friday
Sep182015

ARTE: EXPO CHICAGO / Exposure section booth 633

Samuel Levi Jones

EXPO Chicago

Booth 633

Saturday
Sep122015

ARTE: EXPO CHICAGO

We are excited to participate in EXPO CHICAGO 2015 happening September 17-20 at the Navy Pier.  We are booth 633 and will have new works by Samuel Levi Jones, Kenturah Davis, Suné Woods and Andre D. Wagner

tickets on sale now at bit.ly/EXPOCHICAGOtix

Thursday
Sep102015

ARTE: KENTURAH DAVIS & California Senate Contemporary Collection

Kenturah Davis was selected by Senator Holly J. Mitchell with the help of curator (and now director of PAMM) Franklin Sirmans to exhibit in the California State Senate Contemporary Art Collection 2015-2016.  Her drawing 'Mediatation VIII: Karim' from the Narratives and Meditations series is on view now.

 

Monday
Sep072015

ARTE: SAMUEL LEVI JONES: TALK TO ME

Samuel Levi Jones is on view now at Pro Arts in Oakland, CA with his solo exhibition Talk To Me. He creates a large site-specific installation of deconstructed law books. These texts, usually found neatly organized in law firms or law school libraries, archive federal and state laws that are applied and interpreted by the courts. Talk to Me interrogates the limits of our legal system by rendering these books exposed and unbound.  He will have an artist talk on September 12th, more about this exhibition HERE

Tuesday
Sep012015

ARTE: REMEMBERING OUR FRIEND, NOAH DAVIS

I had the pleasure of meeting Noah back in 2008.  He was already one of the best painters I had ever come across even back then.  He loved painting...I mean he really loved painting.  When I started my company in 2010 he was one of the early supporters.  Later he would create the Underground Museum.  He lived in the moment.  He cared deeply about community and artists.  He had a vision that was inclusive and meaningful.  I always believed and still do that he will be remembered as one of the greatest painters of our generation.  He shifted culture and moved it forward and for that we are all better because he was here. Our friend, Noah Davis.

Currently Noah Davis has a show on view at MOCA, "Imatation of Wealth"

Pueblo del Rio: Stain Glass Pants