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Lana Crooks

A Conversation Over Cotton Candy: A Chat with Tara McPherson

Vibrant colors, crisp line work and dark images catch the eye immediately. In fact, that was what attracted me to Tara McPherson’s art for the first time during (none other than) San Diego Comic Con many years ago. Since then I have seen her work in various publications and on gallery websites. Last year, however, I had the immense pleasure of working with this extraordinary artist, reinterpreting her visions in fabric. I was also thrilled to make it out to her 2010 solo show in Chelsea, NY, where we properly met in person and I finally got to see her original art. Her work is beyond impressive, every line has a distinct purpose, and vivid colors leap across the canvas, bringing the stylized characters to life before your very eyes; proving that McPherson is indeed a master of the “sweet and creepy.”

After her exhibit (and a well deserved vacation) I was able to sit down with Tara to discuss process, inspiration and cotton candy.

[Read more…Mild NSFW]

Strange Animals, Preserved and Recreated

Lately I have spent a lot of time wandering the internet, collecting images and piling them on to my desktop. Eventually I get around to sorting them (usually when it comes time to begin another series of creatures). Somewhere there is a folder, buried among the cyber clutter, labeled: Strange animals – taxidermy art. Below are a handful of the inspiring, creepy and delicate pieces stored on my computer.

[The preservation of animals below the cut]

Hand Cranked Creatures: A chat with Amanda Louise Spayd

Many of us scour books, magazines, and various online resources for new inspiration; new artists to follow, to study, to collect. This obsession creeps into your life even if you do not notice at first. As a gallery owner / curator I tend to do this everyday…sometimes to the dismay of those wishing to discuss things other than art. This describes my place in the world well. Just throw in a cat, an insatiable lust for coffee, a sailor-like affinity for the sea and a crippling obsession with collecting fabric and old objects.

However, being an artist that is a partner at a small gallery has granted me the privilege of meeting well-known and lesser-known artists that create accessible art in a number of different mediums. With this blog I will share an array of treasures I have found lying in the folds of the internet, in other small galleries / retail spaces and within the pages of various periodicals.

One such treasure is the art of Amanda Louise Spayd (but Amanda herself is pretty fantastic as well). I came across her work one evening, canvassing Chicago’s numerous gallery openings. I noticed upon arriving a small “family” of tattered eerie rabbits in the window. They appeared to have embarked on a long and tiring journey from their home–covered in stains, worn, holding little working lanterns. When I returned home I immediately searched for Amanda’s name online, found her on Facebook and promptly messaged her. We became fast friends (and shared an eerily similar photo of a childhood Halloween costume). I have since had the honor of showing along side her and displaying her work at my gallery space. But, if you are not familiar with Amanda’s work, let me rectify that problem.

[You’re just getting to the good part…]

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