Connect with us

Art

Art adrift: How a kayak and driftwood help this adventurer make beautiful art – CBC.ca

Published

 on


Garfield Stringer uses driftwood he finds on the province’s beaches to create intricate pieces of art. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

It’s an overcast morning and the waters around the small boat basin at Hodge’s Cove — a small outport in eastern Newfoundland — are glassy and calm.

Garfield Stringer stands in the pan of his pickup truck, pulling his wetsuit up and fastening it tightly. He carries a long, thin kayak down to the water’s edge and looks it over, pointing out the various stickers and markings which detail its strange provenance.

Gesturing to some Hebrew on the vessel’s side, he tells us of how he first purchased it from a German man, who himself bought the kayak from an Israeli woman who had allegedly used it to circumnavigate the island some years ago.

Much like his kayak, Garfield Stringer is an interesting composite of stories: a welder by trade, he has long maintained an artistic streak. He discovered an affinity for kayaking nearly 10 years ago.

Now, Stringer has combined these elements into a new pursuit: sourcing driftwood with his kayak and, through his trade skills, shaping the debris into unique works of abstract art.

Stringer uses his kayak to source his driftwood on beaches and islands. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

“I’ve been to beaches that had a thousand pieces of driftwood, and I just searched through it and didn’t find anything,” Stringer said, “but then I’ll go to a beach and kayak, and there’s just one piece of driftwood on the beach, and that’s the piece.”

Most of the driftwood Stringer sources are root systems, which he prefers for their twisting shape and interesting grain. More importantly though, said Stringer, is that when he’s looking at a piece of wood, he’s looking for its story.

“I’m looking at it and thinking: does this thing have a story, or does it not have a story?” he said. “If it just works right for me I’ll keep it. If it doesn’t, I’ll throw it away.”

WATCH: See how Stringer creates his works of art in this video feature created by Conor McCann and Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril: ​

Meet Garfield Stringer, who uses a kayak to find unusual pieces of driftwood that he crafts into one-of-a-kind pieces. Video produced by Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril and Conor McCann 4:27

In his basement workshop, Stringer has set up a small light box, and not unlike his other endeavours, he’s crafted it himself out of cardboard and wax-paper. Here he takes photos of his creations for his online Etsy shop, where he said buyers are largely approaching him from outside of the province.

“Abstract art is not for everybody,” said Stringer. “It’s not for most people, maybe.”

That particular quality which he said he looks for in his raw material is a sense of still movement, the guiding theme behind most of his work.

“Still movement is important in a lot of these pieces. To me, I feel like each piece is some sort of character, and I want to give the impression that they’re alive.”

Stringer says his art helped him through the uncertain times of the pandemic. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

Like many others across the province, the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for Stringer and his family. After his wife was forced to shut down her home salon business, she turned to gardening and growing vegetables to keep busy. A welder for the provincial government, Stringer didn’t see too much of an interruption in his work, but said his art helped in those uncertain moments.

“This [art] definitely helped keep my sanity,” he said. “It’s definitely a way to pass away the time if you’re not allowed to go anywhere.

“Either way,” said Stringer, “as long as I’m doing something creative, at least on the weekends, it just gives everything meaning I guess.”

We followed him down to one of his usual spots where he likes to get out for a paddle and see what he can find. With no way to know if the wood he discovers came from the shores of Newfoundland or across the ocean, Stringer thinks that every piece of driftwood he comes across just might have a story to tell.

“Someone could have chopped it down and threw it in the ocean, the tide could have just dragged it out, it could’ve come from England— I mean, driftwood does have a story, it was a tree, it was alive,” he said.

“I just feel like I’m adding the next chapter to that.”

Stringer takes pictures of his work for his online store in his workshop using a small light box made of cardboard and wax paper. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Irina Antonova, head of top Moscow art museum, dies at 98 – The Record (New Westminster)

Published

 on


MOSCOW — Irina Antonova, a charismatic art historian who presided over one of Russia’s top art museums for more than half a century, has died at 98.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts said Antonova, its president, died in Moscow on Monday. It said Tuesday that Antonova last week tested positive for coronavirus, which exacerbated her chronic heart ailments.

Antonova began working at the Pushkin museum after her graduation in 1945, and in 1961 she became its director. She held the job until 2013, when she shifted into the ceremonial post of its president. The 52-year tenure made her the world’s longest-serving director of a major art museum.

As the Pushkin museum director, Antonova spearheaded major art exhibitions that saw the exchange of art treasures between the Pushkin Museum and top international art collections despite the Cold War-era tensions and constraints. Those exchanges, facilitated by her extensive personal contacts with colleagues in the museum world, brought Antonova wide acclaim worldwide.

She also was very active in promoting the museum’s treasures to the public.

Antonova has received numerous Russian and foreign state awards.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the president often met Antonova at the museum and “highly appraised her deep expert knowledge.”

Antonova will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery alongside her husband, who also was an art historian. Funeral ceremonies will be closed to the public amid coronavirus restrictions.

The Associated Press


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Art world star gives back by buying work of the undiscovered – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published

 on


NEW YORK — Painter Guy Stanley Philoche, a star in the New York art world, had wanted to treat himself to a fancy watch after a hugely successful gallery show. Then the pandemic hit, and he feared for all the struggling artists who haven’t been so lucky.

So he gave up his $15,000 Rolex dreams and went on a different kind of buying spree, putting out a call on Instagram in late March to any artist anywhere who had creations to sell. The submissions rolled in, hundreds at a time.

He’s spent about $60,000 so far with plans to continue as long as he can, and Philoche’s own patrons have taken notice and asked him to make purchases on their behalf as well.

“It’s about artists helping artists,” said the 43-year-old Philoche, who came to America from Haiti with his family at age 3, nearly nothing to their names.

“I’m not a rich man,” he said, “but I owe a big debt to the art world. Art saved my life, and I made a promise to myself that once I made it, to always buy from artists who hadn’t gotten their big break.”

Philoche has a budget, seeking out works in the $300 to $500 range. He buys only what he loves, from as far away as London and as close as the studio next to his in East Harlem. An abstract mixed-media piece by Michael Shannon, his studio neighbour, was his first purchase, leading Philoche to include him and others he’s discovered in an upcoming group gallery show.

About half the artists Philoche has chosen are people he knows, many in New York. The others sent him direct messages on Instagram with sample work in hopes of being picked.

Philoche, who went to art school in Connecticut where his family settled, has lined the walls of his tiny apartment with his Philoche Collection During Covid, ranging from graffiti-inspired work and portraiture to pop art and a huge pistol done in bright yellow, red and blue paint.

Philoche’s own work goes for up to $125,000 a piece. During a recent interview at his studio, he slid out from storage large canvases from his breakthrough, Mark Rothko-esque abstract Untitled Series and a collection of female nudes with duct tape over their mouths. Often whimsical, he has also produced paintings inspired by Monopoly and other board games, as well as comics such as Charlie Brown.

Among his clients: Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Barclay Investments Inc., along with Uma Thurman, George Clooney and fellow artist Julian Schnabel.

Giving back isn’t something the affable Philoche just recently decided to do. Over his 20-plus year career, he has tried to stick to a simple rule to support other artists: Sell a painting, buy a painting. But it was a chance meeting with a friend and fellow artist who was anxious about the pandemic with a baby on the way that set him on his pandemic buying spree.

“I’m not on the first line, but my community was impacted as well,” he said. “It was just the right thing to do. I love waking up in my apartment every morning seeing the walls. There’s paintings on the floor, all over. Some of these people have never sold a painting in their life.”

His feisty French bulldog Picasso at his side, Philoche recalled his own meagre start in New York after he put himself through art school while working full-time as a bartender.

“People didn’t open the doors for me. I had to get into the room through the back door, or through the window,” he said with a laugh. “But now that I’m in the room, with a seat at the table, I have to open doors for these artists.”

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Irina Antonova, head of top Moscow art museum, dies at 98 – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published

 on


MOSCOW — Irina Antonova, a charismatic art historian who presided over one of Russia’s top art museums for more than half a century, has died at 98.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts said Antonova, its president, died in Moscow on Monday. It said Tuesday that Antonova last week tested positive for coronavirus, which exacerbated her chronic heart ailments.

Antonova began working at the Pushkin museum after her graduation in 1945, and in 1961 she became its director. She held the job until 2013, when she shifted into the ceremonial post of its president. The 52-year tenure made her the world’s longest-serving director of a major art museum.

As the Pushkin museum director, Antonova spearheaded major art exhibitions that saw the exchange of art treasures between the Pushkin Museum and top international art collections despite the Cold War-era tensions and constraints. Those exchanges, facilitated by her extensive personal contacts with colleagues in the museum world, brought Antonova wide acclaim worldwide.

She also was very active in promoting the museum’s treasures to the public.

Antonova has received numerous Russian and foreign state awards.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the president often met Antonova at the museum and “highly appraised her deep expert knowledge.”

Antonova will be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery alongside her husband, who also was an art historian. Funeral ceremonies will be closed to the public amid coronavirus restrictions.

The Associated Press


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending