Participating artists: Sandra Marinescu, Philippe Halaburda, Jessica Mowery, Sam MacInnes, Mariana Guerrero, Rebecca Tucker and Jenn Cacciola
In August 2020, we launched our fourth edition of the World of Co@Home Online Artist Residency. During the month, seven great international artists from around the world, were learning new skills with WOC Alumni, sharing ideas and creating together online.
Below you can learn more about the participating artists and the works they created as a part of the program.
”In addition to the psychological effects of the environment on our behavior, my art process delves into the complex undercurrents of our intimate and collective interactions. It calls upon an emotional framework as a construct to bring the viewer as a participant in this experience. The blurry boundary between perception and experience always inspired me: I am interested in the randomness crossovers in the senses (Synaesthesia) through art by imaging abstract visuals – similar to data maps – based on the subconscious and a drifting creative process. My work recently engages also with human nature and any type of environment or element: it includes objects, plants, trees, or animals. We totally ignore and even hide the impact of their inwardness, their mind, and their subjective capacity on the planet we are sharing. Through paintings, photos, or digital works, I build imaginary coded and abstract algorithms taking up mental, geographic, and collective data based on the various missing links with the nonhuman world and revealing these invisible interconnections. Exploring forms and lines in my compositions, I imagine disaggregated cartographies that reveal our social tensions and the invisible connections with the nonhuman world instead of addresses and landmarks. I am seeking to constantly perfect this technique and renew my process. Artworks address broader mental architecture within me, in an attempt to examine contradiction and harmony inside these new interconnections. The titles are the final result of this tracking by creating a new language, a universal language with objects, animals, or elements around us. Abstract keeps me focused on a quest for unlimited and unknown psychological territories as a springboard for the imagination.”
In psychogeography, mapping the shapes of colors helps to represent emotions and feelings and permit to share them with the viewers. I usually build a chaotic vision of mental situations but always with desire to share a positive energy with the audience.
For this series, I tried to catch the light of our spotless mind. I, mainly, work on white paper but for the exhibition, I decided to process in an opposite way: bring the light from the dark, remember the dreams from the night…
These imaginary topographies or abstract floorplans are created with only color tapes. Because I noticed depth was missing on the artwork, I decided to add an unexpected medium: tulle. Tulle permitted me to bring new matter on the surface and also creates transparency and optical effect with the colors on the back. It’s another way to bring this touch of mystery.
If you go behind the fabric, you dive into the complex undercurrents of our intimate and collective interactions.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1970. She now resides and works in Buenos Aires. She studied music at the Conservatorio Manuel de Falla, Interior Design at the Biblioteca de Mujeres ABM and received a diploma in Fine Art from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Guerrero’s interdisciplinary practice spans lithography, photography, photogravure, calligraphy, drawing and painting. Her universe of compositions shifts between representation, fantasy and abstraction, with images of plant and human life. A fascination with color and its infinite range of possibilities stands out in her work. Each brushstroke partially occludes a previous mark; their physically sensuous surfaces give way to topologies of finely calibrated hues. In Guerrero´s working process, the materials provide the script; they constitute the plot for a new development.
My Artforum magazine collection is about to become fifteen years old. I keep the ones from recent years in my studio, some of them still deserve some bookshelf space, others are serving as support so the stretchers don’t touch the floor. I love them; I learnt from them, I copied from them even more. I met Kara Walker, Mickalene Thomas, Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor, and the list is a never-ending canvas. I love them, but I don’t know where to put them anymore, I even thought about throwing them away sometimes. If Cesar Aira, a great Artforum collector, had heard me, he would have been horrified. He would say about this magazine, “they were paper and ink as well as ideas and dreams. They recreated art’s dialectics, with as much or even more properties than the art itself. I talked before about the ‘material trail’. It was more than that: the word is ‘luxury’. The substance formed by the spirit is the edge of luxury that communicates reality with utopia”.
I had to choose a project for this month-long residency, in an online format. Something I can work with available elements in these pandemic times. A home based residency in Bulgaria, how rare but exciting as well. A friend said to me: you even travel in quarantine! Therefore, somehow, I am travelling.
I wanted to leave my comfort zone, leave the paintbrushes for a while, step away from my familiar images. So one afternoon the idea bursted spontaneously at my studio: to work on Collage, a technique I have always escaped from for finding it somehow tedious, with less than convincing results. A thin line separates a good college from a very bad one. Nevertheless, I was going to give it a try, the Artforums had reached their final hour.
Wikipedia says, Collage is an artistic technique which consists of sticking different images on a canvas or paper. It comes from the French coller, which means to glue.
At Anagrama Artforum I seek to create compositions by selecting, cutting and reorganizing others artists’ work that I find in my magazines. To compose by giving already familiar images, some of them iconic, a sense of their own, a new reading.
Some golden metal textures from El Anatsui become useful to create a path for a headless figure. A pair of Andy Warhol violet shoes hold a Bharti Kher elephant’s head. A funny Murakami silver Buddha is peacefully sitting on top of some Subodh Gupta metallic jars. Louis Bourgeois’ pen traced grids are perfect to create some background for the totem I assembled with the Twombly flowers. I recognize them all.
The process of revisiting my dear Artforum magazines through a pair of scissors and a glance that intends to compose, turned out to be very gratifying in this moment of global uncertainty, as an intimate and approachable exercise in which house chores and childish games came together and allowed me to focus on the pure present moment.
”My 15 year career as an interior designer distinctly influences my artistry. I continuously think about rearranging physical spaces by creating two-dimensional plan views, and my artwork often has an aerial perspective. Although influenced by landscapes and topography, I see my work as a raw examination of emotional complexities. We all cope with conflicting emotions and external demands, and that forces us to compartmentalize. Sometimes organized and sometimes chaotic, the art that I create reflects the spatial organization of my mind. As someone who has spent over a decade on construction sites, I’m sadly aware of the waste involved in the building process. I utilize that waste in my work by using the materials that are the byproducts or leftovers from construction sites. This includes plywood remnants leveling sand, concrete clumps, and plaster board. The result is an abstract multidimensional space for the viewer to navigate.
A Collection of Nature Based Sculpture to Commemorate Life
At a certain age, death becomes a norm. Family members die, friends die, pets die and in my case, my baby died. Her name was Sky and I never had the chance to meet her face to face. She was stillborn. Her birthday also marked the day of her death. Trying to understand how to mourn her death has been a complicated process full of pain and confusion. It’s painful for the many obvious reasons one can imagine but the confusion is just as unbearable. People don’t know how to treat a mother mourning the loss of a stillborn child. I’m not religious and don’t have any formal ceremonies that I can refer to. My mourning is my own and it has been up to me to honor my child in any way that helps me to heal.
Healing is a difficult process. Our bodies may heal in a matter of days or months but the mind requires years or even decades. Ceremony is a piece of that healing. With the loss of Sky, I had her body cremated but there was no funeral or memorial service to mark the death of a child that only I knew. I wanted her to remain close to me. I found an amulet that I could fill with her ashes and carry with me. I planted a small fruit tree that could bear her fruit and live on in her name. I want her short life to be reflected in the beauty of these small but important gestures.
This is my story of mourning but we all have our own. We are collectively living in a time of mourning. Travel restrictions, public gathering restrictions and hospital visitation restrictions are worsening our wounds. An already difficult healing process has been made worse by these strange times that we reside in. These sculptures are dedicated to those who seek a public space to reflect on the lives lost when public mourning is a privilege.
Colors carry connotations. Gold as a color and a material has cemented its place in funerary symbolism across cultures, religions and continents dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Egyptians, Mayans, Catholics, Muslims and Hindus have used gold to express divinity, immortality and consciousness. It has also been used to protect the dead in their passage to afterlife as well as protecting the living from the dead.
These three pieces were birthed from my mourning process and wanting to help others find their own. The individual sculptures do not represent any specific symbolism or reference any religion. They represent an idea, an experience, a process. Each sculpture provides a moment of reflection and hope for a golden future in life or death.
Rebecca’s practice revolves heavily around finding ways to represent internal processes and paradoxical contemplations of character, body, object, indulgence and guilt primarily through ceramic sculpture and moving image. Her work often blurs the line between animate characters and inanimate objects. Rebecca creates forms and installations that are a coupling of imagery from historic and contemporary texts and artefacts, resulting in work that could inhabit a past, present, future, parallel or imagined reality.
Beckoning is an exploration of contradictory gestures and symbols. The wall panels show two common hand movements broken down. One beckons inwards, the other drives away. This work connects to the narrative of understanding, evaluating and responding. It slows down a movement; freezes a moment to create a pause before a retort can be made.
This diptych comes as part of a larger body of work based around an invented symbol of a conjoined hand a snake’s head. Rebecca is currently researching the similarities and contradictions of the snake and the hand symbols from ancient art to contemporary art practice. In an effort to gain understanding of why this imagery is prevalent across many cultures, and how it is read now.
Wall Panels 91 x 91cm each, made with:
Wood, Plaster, Steel, Ceramic, Epoxy Clay, Acrylic Paint
Sandra Marinescu, is a multidisciplinary Argentine artist that began developing her visual work in the mid-90s after obtaining her degree as a Doctor Specialist in Ophthalmology (University of Buenos Aires, 1993). She also has a Higher Degree in Fine Arts (Instituto Superior Nueva Escuela de Diseño y Comunicación, 2011). She began her artistic training by becoming interested in scientific photography where she creates imaginary worlds that move away from science to approach art, obtaining numerous awards. Currently, she is developing a project called “Geometry of the Uncertain” and “ Dyschromatopsia”. She focuses on altering the sense of learned perception trying to make another reality visible, not necessarily in the expected sense, but in a way that invites us to question ourselves. This new way of perception, that she captures through vision, allows her to build a world of multiple realities, of diversity, of unique ways of seeing and reflecting. She lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The borders of the language
“Language borders” is a project that tries to understand the way that words develop our reality, create our way of thinking and build ties.
We use language to express through words our thoughts and feelings but oral or written words don’t always allow us to communicate with each other. The reason for this is that there are so many voices to express the same, that we always choose the one we know, the one we are familiar with.
A single language doesn’t have the capacity to explain all the human experiences because each language responds to a specific linguistic structure and rules from which we cannot escape. Each word seeks to impose itself as the only version to give meaning to things .In a way, language betrays us because it is enforced as a tool to connect between us but not always reaches that goal.
Making visible different words, uncommon words for me, gives me the possibility to create new senses of meaning by expanding the limits of my own world. Words never reach the soul of the things. Maybe many words will…
Jenn Cacciola is a U.S.-based artist originally hailing from Port Chester, NY. She received a BSVA degree from SUNY Purchase School of Art + Design in 2015. Through its documentary and research-based process, Jenn’s work allows pain to have a comfortable place to be around people, with a focus on relationships and how factors like isolation, aging, and vulnerability affect our ability to know one another. Her work flips between using portraiture explicitly and using anthropomorphism to ask the question, “What are the criteria of a portrait?” Her pieces generally take form in tapestry, drawing, painting, printmaking and installation—sometimes involving audio components. She has previously been awarded residencies at Manassas National Battlefield Park, the Sheen Center For Thought & Culture in Manhattan, and virtual residencies with Socially Distant Art, Crisis Residency, and Cel del Nord. She also engages in community building among artists as a core member of Openings Artist Collective.
Back to Mother
The “Back to Mother” series was initiated as a response to the poem, “Locked Out of Life,” by Rumi. The vaguely adult yet embryonic figures here are pulled through gelatinous, cytoplasmic, amniotic, vast, glowing spaces and are suspended in this semi-liquid consistency that is both supportive and freeing. This is a play on similar use of symbolism in early Christian art, where a bird is shown very loosely connected by a thin string to the hand it is perched on, evoking the sense of the bird being free while also belonging to something that contributes to its identity. The figures are presumed to be on a journey—on the move to an unknown, yet supremely familiar place.
Familiarity and intimacy are recurring themes in the series. The grime and awkwardness of the natural world are balanced here with the type of ennobling that is at times only possible within parent-offspring relationships. The figures’ giant sleeping faces only reinforce their blameless, oblivious, and absolute innocence.
Samuel MacInnes is a recent graduate from the Master of Fine Arts programme at the Edinburgh College of Art. His body of work entitled “The Dude Zone” uses specific animal motifs, combined with satire and fantastical elements to highlight the underlying problems that exist in toxically masculine young male culture.
These animals are often found in crude urban settings, reflecting the artists own life in the city of Glasgow as he focuses on the underlying issues with the city’s deep rooted drinking and drug culture, a culture he feels a lot of young men find hard to escape from.
Taking a great deal of inspiration from comics like Matt Furie’s “Boys Club” and Ralph Bakshi’s cartoons, the artist aims to envisage the city of Glasgow through his own animal characters. Translating the bleakness of reality through the brightness and boldness of his childlike cartoons.
Nonetheless, it is a messy and crude world. So, the best way to show this is to be just as messy and just as crude.
A Series of Biographical Drawings and Sculptures
Dudegenerates is a collection of biographical drawings and sculptures that aims to juxtapose the bleakness of adulthood with playful anthropomorphised cartoon characters. Brash and bold colours are used alongside familiar urban animals, such as the cat and the fox, to draw the viewer in; only for them to discover the dark undertones within the works.
Exploring themes of nostalgia, reliance and anxiety, the project follows the daily life of the artist throughout their time spent in the residency; documenting the reoccurring drinking and days spent hungover in bed.
During these unprecedented times, anxiety is high amongst these dudes. Intertwined between adulthood and student life, these men nostalgically hark back to their teenage years spent drinking and playing football in the park, as they try to forget about the problems of tomorrow.
The result of this is a collection of sculptural cut-outs that are placed around the park near my home in Glasgow, sentimentally returning these figures to these locations as if they had never left. They have gone full circle, caught in the bleakness of their ways as they attempt to create the fun, they once had in years gone by.