In February 2022, Carmen Herrera dies at the age of 106, having gained fame in her 80’s when her artwork began to sell, finally recognized by the art world. As both a female and Latin artist, she is a pioneer in the Geometric minimalism artistic movement started in the early 1940’s (although mostly ignored) known for her simple lines, forms and colors. I was fortunate to see 50 pieces of her work at the Whitney Museum in NY in 2016 entitled Lines of Sight that showcased the range of her work as far back as 1948….
Art fairs are slowly returning after almost a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. The New York Art Expo 2021, which usually is held in the spring, moved their trade show to October at Pier 36. This art fair is sponsored by the Redwood Art Group and is one of the largest art shows offer. This year, their numbers were down significantly to about 200 international galleries and artists. Still, there was something for every taste and price point.
Art Fairs are gradually finding their way back to cities while adjusting to a post pandemic climate. New York city alone has a half dozen show scheduled during the months of September and October. I recently attended the annual Art on Paper Fair and was delighted to see a wide range of US and international galleries exhibiting recent works from a diversity of artists. What’s different about this show is its focus on artworks that are paper based. All works use paper as its medium, whether its drawings, sculptures, or photography……..
As I continue to spotlight urban artists in understanding how they are surviving or thriving during this pandemic, I was encouraged by a colleague to meet Ricardo Roig. I was intrigued by Ricardo’s imaginative artistry and that he lives and works in Hoboken, NJ where he combines the best of what Japanese woodblock printing offers with his innovative paper cutting chops channeling a younger Henri Matisse…..
On my Facebook feed, I recently came across the work of an emerging artist named Armisey Smith who has taken on a uniquely challenging COVID inspired art project and to my delight accepted to be part of my blog’s Spotlight Artists Series #2. When I first came across Armisey’s recent COVID inspíred series entitled “ Side Eye, Pink Eye,” I was intrigued, and immediately connected emotionally with the pain that she was able to dramatize in the faces of these women….
Surviving a pandemic has been different for everyone. For many, it has been devastating, having lost a loved one, a job, or bankrupting a once-thriving business. For others, it’s been an inconvenience, a readjustment, or in some cases, an opportunity. In a paralyzed Art World, it pains me to see what is happening to all forms of art and the impact that this will have on young people. I often wonder how artists of color are surviving in what is an environment of steep privilege and limited opportunities.
In a paralyzed Art World, it pains me to see what is happening to all forms of Art and the impact that this will have on young people. I often wonder how artists of color are surviving in what is an environment of steep privilege and limited opportunities. How do these tumultuous times impact their ability to create while paying their bills and protecting themselves and their families? As minority artists, how are they dealing with the racial divide, COVID, and the declining economy, and how does this get interpreted in their creativeness?
For the remainder of this year, I committed to interviewing four emerging minority artists primarily from urban centers in New Jersey to be able to learn and share their stories on what surviving, or thriving is like for each of them and how these uncertain times has influenced their artistry.
With time on my hands during this COVID 19 crisis and wanting to be as productive as possible,
In the spring of 2019, I obtained tickets for the Brant Foundation’s opening of its new space in East Village NY with an inaugural exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat works. The Peter Brant Foundation is part of this growing number of “private collection museums” by billionaires who are given huge tax breaks for” sharing” with the public their art collections but under limited terms set by the owners (another tax scam favoring the elite).
The Month of March celebrates all that is good about being a woman and the many contributions we have made even as society’s systemic barriers try to keep us down. This is especially true of women of color who truly are trailblazers in breaking that glass ceiling. Shout out to Vice President Kamala Harris for doing just that. One more glass ceiling to go and this country will be all the better for it. Happy to re-post this article in celebration of Women’s History Month.