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Interview: Striking Underwater Portraits Reflect Artist’s Own Mental Health Struggles

June 14th 2019

By Kelly Richman-Abdou on June 14, 2019

For decades, artist Barbara Cole has captured dynamic photographs of figures floating underwater. Much more than shimmering studies of her subjects, these images often evoke and explore deeper ideas. This approach is reflected in Surfacing, a series of underwater portraits that aims to “open up a dialogue on mental health.”

The photographs featured in Surfacing star women submerged in the ocean. As the series is intended to speak to issues of mental health, one may expect to find the subjects struggling against the tides and currents. Instead, however, Cole puts a positive spin on this topic, using this series to offer an “ode to the power of will and strength to overcome.” This is evident in the positioning of the figures, who are shown rising from the depths and, as the series’ title suggests, “surfacing.”

As someone who has dealt with her own mental health issues, these photographs speak to Cole’s own experiences. She notes, however, that the series is not all about her; instead, it is inspired by struggling and strong women everywhere. “My work not only echoes my own struggles and personal and artistic achievements,” she reveals, “it speaks to all women who rise up, take back power and lead the way.”

We recently spoke to Cole about Surfacing. Read on for My Modern Met’s exclusive interview to find out more about this empowering series and about Cole’s prolific practice as a whole.

Most of your work prominently features the female figure. What sparked your interest in this subject?

A lot of my work is semi-autobiographical. I shoot my emotional landscape based on my imagination. I go on instinct and leave the interpretation until later (the result of which is always rather surprising). Another reason why I work with the figure is that I take a lot of inspiration from collaboration. This human connection makes the work stronger and more alive. I do work with men and women, but I often have more success with female visuals.

This focus is evident in your most recent series, Surfacing. How has your past work influenced this series, and how is it different?

I’ve been photographing the female figure in water for twenty years. The common thread between all of this work is the water.

I view my pool as a “studio” and as such it can morph into many different environments in the same way an empty photo studio does. Each underwater series does inform the next, however, and having said that, I was intrigued by the notion of placing the figure in an expansive environment. The ocean (rather than a pool) gives an additional charge to the visuals and makes the figure appear to be more vulnerable. The smaller figures in the larger expanse of water creates tension and a larger story. That story is a very personal one and I’ve chosen to express it in more of a poetic rather than literal style.

This series is inspired by “triumph, survival, and self-actualization”—concepts that you relate to on a personal level. How does this series reflect your own experiences?

The women in Surfacing are overcoming adversity, finding personal strength, power, and the way back to normalcy. This metaphor echoes my own struggles as well as my artistic accomplishments. Depression has been a lifelong partner. When I’m in the midst of it, like many others I tend to isolate. I know personally how hard it is to ask for help, or to find help when you’re ready to talk.

From a technical perspective, how did you shoot this series?

Honestly, I just try everything I can until I get to what works. A lot of the time I work off of feelings, emotions, and subtleties, so I take what I already am familiar with on the technical side from shooting in studio for decades, and I’ve just applied it to underwater shooting as best as I can. Of course there are technical and physical limitations that come with shooting underwater, but just like anything else, practice makes perfect (as do wetsuits, goggles, and watertight seals).

What equipment do you use to capture such beautiful underwater images?

My imagination and my eye.

You work with several organizations in order to highlight mental health awareness. Can you tell us a bit about these organizations?

This year I’ve teamed up with Bell Let’s Talk (Canada) and Give an Hour’s Campaign to Change Direction (USA) for a string of exhibitions across North America. These two fantastic organizations provide hands-on support and assistance to those struggling with mental health issues, whether it is through providing direct access to care resources, raising funds for scientific research, or using their platforms to raise awareness about & change the stigma surrounding mental illness.

These causes are very close to my heart as someone who has continually struggled with their mental health. I have also seen firsthand the positive impact of organizations like these, as well as the help that family, friends, and professionals alike can have on the mental health of others. I am also helping out with Change Direction’s A Week to Change Direction, and joining the conversation to help change the cultural stigma surrounding mental health. Everyone can visit their site and use #ChangeDirection on social media to be a part of that change. I could not be more excited to have their support and help further their initiatives with my own work.

Do you have any upcoming plans or projects in the works?

Parts of the Surfacing series have been traveling through the US and Canada since the beginning of the year, already making stops at Montreal’s Galerie LeRoyer and Los Angeles’ Art Angels. In August, another selection from the series will be on display at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver, before the whole series goes up at Bau-Xi Photo in Toronfto this September.

I’m continually shifting my focus between above ground and underwater studios, and I have almost finished final preparation on my series Shadow Dancing. In this series, I make use of the centuries-old wet collodion process and pair it with contemporary technologies to create what I refer to as modern tintypes. Hoping to lock down an exhibition of these pieces next year!

Meet Kat Emery and Jacquelin Napal of Art Angels in Miami Design District

May 31st 2019

VoyageMIA MAY 31, 2019

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kat Emery and Jacquelin Napal.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kat and Jacquelin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.

We have never wanted to be a traditional gallery, we always like to create an inviting experience where all are welcome. We like to curate an evocative and sometimes provocative space with beautiful and memorable artworks, artworks that make look twice, some that shock, some that draw you in, some that make you think, some that make you question, that provides emotions.

Art Angels is a very inspiring place, people get inspired by not only the artists and the artworks on the walls but also by the great team we have here.

We first met working at another gallery Jacquelin had been director there for many years and we knew that we could do something really special together. We had a vision of creating a new generation gallery space where we could help grow artists careers and showcase all of the artists and artworks we personally loved.

Our first show/launch was a one night pop up in a huge exhibition space in Hollywood, we managed to get artists to trust and believe in us and give us their artworks to exhibit. We even did an exclusive print release. The space was an empty shell and in 48 hours, we moved everything in, painted walls, built walls, installed lights, put up custom wallpaper and then when the event was overtaken it all down again and we did it all ourselves. That’s been a running theme we have done everything and worn every hat as we have grown as a business.

We have two huge gallery spaces now one in LA and one in Miami, our collector base has grown. We have a recognizable worldwide brand now which we are really proud of and its lead to all the growth we have had and the evolution yet to come.

In the gallery, we like to curate an evocative and sometimes provocative experience with beautiful and memorable artworks, artworks that make look twice, some that shock, some that draw you in, some that make you think, some that make you question, that provides emotions. To create an inviting and immersive experience where all collectors are welcome.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?

One of the greatest challenges we have faced along our journey is being a woman in a primarily male-dominated industry. As the owners of Art Angels, we have often come across individuals who have questioned if there is a male counterpart who is behind the success of the business and the funding. This is not the case at all and we’re proud to see how much we have grown by our own efforts, with our own money and no one else’s. As female CEO’s, there could not be a better time to set the example for young girls today, inspiring them and reinforcing that regardless of gender and stereotypes, you can do whatever you put your mind to. Dream big and dream bigger and pursue your passion with ruthlessness, drive, and dedication and it will all come together.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Art Angels – what should we know?
The gallery is normally curated with an eclectic group of artists ranging from emerging artists to highly recognizable, blue-chip artists. No matter your interests, everyone is welcome. Art Angels caters to the highly sophisticated and experienced collector, the novice collector and those that simply want to learn more about art. It is important to feel comfortable and safe with us. “It’s an incredibly fun experience to walk into our gallery,” Our artwork is bold, beautiful, provocative & emotive. We have a mix of styles from photography, abstract, pop art, street art, and sculpture.

We have two huge gallery spaces now one in LA and one in Miami, our collector base has grown. We have a recognizable worldwide brand now which we are really proud of and its lead to all the growth we have had and the evolution yet to come.

The gallery, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, has already achieved a great deal of success, amassing an impressive collector base that includes a number of actors, athletes, and other celebrities.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Art Angels Gallery – Los Angeles
    9020 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90048
    +1 (310) 693 5500 
    Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm | Saturday 12pm – 5pm
  • Address: Art Angels Gallery – Miami
    127 NE 40th Street Miami, FL 33137
    +1 (786) 753 8088
    Monday – Friday 11am – 7pm | Saturday 12pm – 7pm
  • Website: www.artangels.net
  • Email: info@artangels.net
  • Instagram: @art_angels
  • Facebook: artangelsla


A TORONTO HOME WITH A STRIKING BRASS AND BLUE COLOUR SCHEME

May 28th 2019

HOUSE TOURS FEB 8, 2019

By:  Christy Wright


Photography: Stacey Brandford | Design: Tara Fingold | Styling: Christine Hanlon


With a lot of planning, some smart use of colour and oodles of storage, this show-stopping Toronto home proves superb style can be supremely livable.

Designer Tara Fingold likes to keep her finger on the pulse of decor innovations. She’s especially smitten with the new wave of man-made stones and technologically advanced fabrics. But her secret to successful design lies in something much more Luddite than the latest thing: good old-fashioned pen and paper. “It’s very important to know your needs and write them all down in advance,” she says. “That way, nothing’s forgotten and everything is accounted for in the planning stage.”

Tara took plenty of notes when mapping out this 4,500-square-foot Georgian-style new build in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood for a couple and their three young sons. The homeowners’ list of essentials included practical considerations, but they were also keen to factor in some decorative heft. “With three boys, I cook a lot and tend to stock up on supplies,” says one of the homeowners. “I need proper functionality, but I still want everything to look elegant.” Tara got the brief. “I envisioned a clean-lined home that would look great for years to come,” she says, “not too trendy but still with a lot of personality and the durability the family desired.”

How did she pull it off? Part of the answer lies in Tara’s stylish deployment of colour, which comes as second nature to this seasoned pro. “There’s a subtle theme of blues and greys at play on the first floor. In the family room, they’re bright and cheerful, and in the office, quiet and sophisticated. The key is that they are in every room for continuity, which creates flow so that it’s peaceful to walk through the house.”

Other factors that achieve flow in this abode include the repetition of brassy finishes and sheer drapery. Though they vary slightly in colour, the linen drapes on the main level cultivate a pulled-together look. “The common denominator is the fabric,” says the designer. “It’s the same throughout, so it works” – much like the fabrics used in the family room, which reference Tara’s love of innovative finishes and, in doing so, suit the needs of this family of five. The glam velvety sofas are anything but precious thanks to a Teflon coating, and the elegant ottoman is topped with vinyl so movie night spills can be easily wiped away. The gorgeous custom-made kitchen seating steals this idea, too, layering upscale patterned fabric backs with seats upholstered in leather-look vinyl.

All of Tara’s stylish selections crack the functionality-versus-elegance code and embody her approach to livable design. “There is balance in this home,” she says. “It’s harmonious, bright and airy but still very practical.” And that’s a result of bringing some of the latest innovative materials together with trusty notepad planning.

In the entryway, a navy Parsons-style console and burnished brass accessories encapsulate designer Tara Fingold’s tonal inspirations. Nearly every room boasts hits of brass and blue, netting a pleasing cohesive effect.

A judicious use of brass, particularly in the bold range hood framing, strikes an elegant note in the super practical kitchen and speaks to Tara’s knack for continuity among rooms. “People often see the kitchen as its own design entity, separate from the rest of the home,” she says. “While it does need its own personality, it should reflect the overall style of the rest of the house.” The countertops and backsplash are made of Geoluxe, a high-performance low-maintenance material that looks like marble.

The kitchen island stools, as well as the matching eat-in area chairs, are business in the front, party in the back: the vinyl seats require little upkeep, while the sketch-like fabric backs introduce some intriguing eye candy.

With three growing boys in the house, the homeowners tend to stock up on cooking staples, so Tara planned for ample kitchen storage – and then some. The eat-in area features built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, while the drapes serve as a soft counterpoint to the hard surfaces.

Custom toss cushions introduce blues into the family room. “The tones and patterns are playful here – less serious than in the office,” says Tara. Built-ins flank the fireplace, and the bottom cabinets keep board games and books organized yet out of sight. She didn’t feel the need to hide the TV. “It’s a simple shape and functional, so it works.”

“I love the pewter patina of the front closet’s hardware but wanted to reference the office’s brass accents, which you can see from the hall, so I went with this chandelier,” says Tara. As for the high-end flooring choice? “Most people are scared to use marble in a foyer – they think it’s too precious, but it’s actually very durable. one like this, with veining, hides any scrapes or scuffs.” The luxe-meets-livable family room holds two banks of stylishly stocked built-in shelving. “Shelves are a great way to mix beautiful accessories with meaningful pieces,” says Tara of the feature.

The office has a dramatic boutique-hotel feel. “I was inspired by the J.K. Place Capri,” says one of the homeowners. The hotel’s breezy nautical blues appear here in richer tones, selected by Tara to better suit city living. Custom cabinetry keeps necessities like files and computer equipment out of sight. Artwork by Barbara Cole, Art Angels, a chandelier and sophisticated accents beautifully blur the line between functional and fabulous.

The master bedroom, a warm cocoon of pattern and soft upholstery, is a deliberate departure from the rest of the home’s cool blues (and the ensuite follows suit). “I wanted a serene bedroom with lots of taupes and a luxurious bed,” says Tara, who delivered just that with a simply stunning chenille-upholstered frame. Wallpaper creates a feature wall and furthers the textural effect, while wall-to-wall carpeting amps up the cozy feel.

The custom-made double-sink vanity is topped with white Caesarstone quartz and has storage to spare. “It’s a simple design, and its dusty, bluish-grey finish makes it pretty,” says the designer.

“The marble tile is the wow factor in the master bath, and its herringbone placement makes its contemporary veining even more dramatic,” says Tara. An unfussy vessel tub and chandelier leave the lime-light to the floor.

Q&A | ART ANGELS: KAT EMERY AND JACQUELINE NAPAL

May 17th 2019

 MAY 17, 2019

BY MORGAN VICKERY


Founded in 2013, Art Angels works with some of the most important contemporary and provocative artists of the times. Founders Kat Emery and Jacqueline Napal have not taken a breather– Instead, they decided to go ‘guns blazing’ with the opening of a second gallery in Miami last year.

Emery and Napal have expanded their gallery both internationally and within the U.S., picking up clients like Drake, Beyonce, and Elon Musk along the way. At the Los Angeles flagship, Flaunt spoke with the duo to discuss their Miami location, pop culture’s influence on fine art, and their journey from conception to present-day.

Tell me a little bit about both of you, what are your backgrounds originally in?

We have never wanted to be a traditional gallery, we always like to create an inviting experience where all are welcome. We like to curate an evocative and sometimes provocative space with beautiful and memorable artworks, artworks that make you look twice, some that shock, some that draw you in, some that make you think, some that make you question, that provide emotions.

Art Angels is a very inspiring place, people get inspired by not only the artists and the artworks on the walls but also by the great team we have here.

Stephen Wilson.


Tell me about your journey and how you guys came together?

We first met working at another gallery Jacquelin had been director there for many years and we knew that we could do something really special together. We had a vision of creating a new generation gallery space where we could help grow artists careers and showcase all of the artists and artworks we personally loved.

Describe the launch of your gallery and the first exhibition?

Our first show/launch was a one night pop up in a huge exhibition space in Hollywood, we managed to get artists to trust and believe in us and give us there artworks to exhibit. We even did a exclusive print release. The space was an empty shell and in 48 hours we moved everything in, painted walls, built walls, installed lights, put up custom wallpaper and then when the event was over took it all down again and we did it all ourselves. Thats been a running theme we have done everything and worn every hat as we have grown as a business.

Bruno Bisang.


How would you describe the Art Angels aesthetic?

Our artwork is bold, beautiful, provocative & emotive. We have a mix of styles from photography, abstract, pop art, street art and sculpture.

What is the most exciting thing about contemporary art?

Seeing all the new emerging talents that are inspired by social and political issues and seeing how art is being used for social change.

Barbara Cole.


How has it evolved since it opened?

We have two huge gallery spaces now one in LA and one in Miami, our collector base has grown. We have a recognizable worldwide brand now which we are really proud of and its lead to all the growth we have had and the evolution yet to come.

What is the mission of Art Angels?

In the gallery we like to curate an evocative and sometimes provocative experience with beautiful and memorable artworks, artworks that make look twice, some that shock, some that draw you in, some that make you think, some that make you question, that provide emotions. To create and inviting and immersive experience where all collectors are welcome.

Left to Right: Mike Dargas, Craig Alan.


Why did you decide to open a second location in Miami?

We have a lot of collectors in Miami already and it was a natural progression for us to open over there. Miami is a vibrant international city that fits perfectly with our aesthetic. It is also a hub for our collectors from the east coast and over seas, they visit the city often.

What is the importance of finding the intersection between fine art and pop culture?

Pop culture influences fine art, the rise of social media has meant fine art is now so much more accessible to a wider audience. There are a lot of people in pop culture that are very influential in the art world. The fusion between art music and fashion is huge. Off-White and Takashi Murakami, Swizz Beats and the Dean Collection, Luis Vuitton and Jeff Koons are all examples of how the different worlds are colliding.

Flore.


How does social media play a role in your gallery success?

Instagram is really important to our business, we had an IG account before we had a website or a gallery space. It’s a place where we find new artists, where new collectors find us. The art world has evolved so much in recent years that Instagram is a taste making spot for art now and we play a big part in that.

Tell me about the inspiration behind ‘Showtime’ the newest show to debut at Art Angels:

In a unique manner, David Drebin combines voyeuristic and psychological viewpoints. He offers the viewer a dramatic insight into emotions and experiences which many of us have doubtlessly felt at some point of our lives.

Drebin’s intention is to liberate the viewer from the system of rules of everyday life and restore his faith, emotion, and humanity. The distinctive tension and depth in his pictures arise from the free combination of such differing topics as humor and sex, melancholy and sex and melancholy and humor.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxVKjE8hrkK/?utm_source=ig_embed


“With our first exhibition ‘Showtime’ opening next Thursday night in LA these Art Angels, beautiful human beings inside and out, started out with a dream that has fast become a reality as so many of the artists including Stephen Wilson, Flore, Elizabeth Waggett, Michael Moebius all feel the same way about these two genuine human beings with a simple Dream: to work with great artists and to promote, elevate and build a legacy. This is the Dream.” - David Drebin

Any other shows coming up?

LA has a great line up of upcoming shows which will feature works by:

David Drebin, May 9th 2019
Stikki Peaches, September 26th 2019 

Flore, October 2019

Philippe Shangti, November 2019

In Miami, we will be curating and showcasing at:

The Nobu Hotel / Eden Roc Hotel Mandarin Oriental, June 2019 Faena Hotel
Art Basel 2019


Photography by: Devin Kasparian

After Succeeding in LA, Art Angels Gallery Expanded to Miami. And the Founders Say They’re Just Getting Started

May 15th 2019

The pop-art gallery and its two female founders have learned a lot in five years.

artnet Gallery Network, August 14, 2018

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Kat Emery (left) and Jacquelin Napal (right) in front of a custom Flore mural at Art Angels’s Los Angeles Gallery. Courtesy of Art Angels.


It’s not easy for a gallery to carve out a name for itself in a city as big and starry as LA. But Art Angels, a contemporary, pop-art venture located in West Hollywood, has done just that.

Jacquelin Napal and Kat Emery, the two owners and founders of the gallery, are the angels in question. One of their artists, James Georgopoulos, coined the term, often referring to the duo as “art angels” whenever they interacted. The name fits: As two young, stylish women with business acumen and a taste for market-friendly art, Napal and Emery aren’t cut from the same cloth as many of their peers. And that’s a good thing.

The gallery, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, has already achieved a great deal of success, amassing an impressive collector base that includes a number of actors, athletes, and other celebrities. Not content to sit on their success, the duo opened up a second branch in Miami this summer, and they’re hoping to repeat the feat in a third location.

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Art Angels’s new Miami location. Courtesy of Art Angels.


Art Angels specializes in work by pop-oriented artists, many of whom are emerging; others are more established. Artist Beau Dunn works with toy imagery like Barbie and Hello Kitty, mixing themes of childhood, materialism, and desire to enticing effect. Or there’s Flore (pronounced Floor-ee), a painter with a street art background in the vein of Haring or Basquiat. He makes densely layered murals of signs, cryptic phrases, and abstract shapes. And don’t forget Philippe Shangti, a French photographer who breaks down taboos with his bright, provocative portraits of scantily clad women.

“It’s an incredibly fun experience to walk into our gallery,” Emery tells artnet News. “Our artists are very bold; they take risks. But they’re also very great investment artists. It’s exceptional art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

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Beau Dunn’s Barbie #1′ hanging in the house of model Claudia Schiffer—one of the gallery’s many celebrity clients. Courtesy of Art Angels.


Emery, who’s from Manchester in the UK, met Napal, an LA native, in the early 2010s. They were both working at a gallery in LA. Napal was, by title, the director of the gallery, though her duties encompassed virtually every aspect of the business; Emery came from a sales background. Their skill sets complemented each other perfectly, and they were interested in the same thing: starting a gallery that wasn’t as male-dominated or unwelcoming as so many others.

The two women officially launched the gallery early in 2013. Their beginnings were humble. They started out, like many galleries do today, on Instagram. (The platform has remained a large part of their identity since, and they currently have over 63,000 followers.)

“That’s kind of where we began, before we had a space, before we had a pop-up, even before we had the website,” Emery says. “It’s something we found very important from day one and obviously it’s continued to grow. It’s a fantastic resource for us. We get a lot of collectors who stop by the gallery because they follow us on Instagram and have seen the stuff online.”

image

Courtesy of Art Angels.

In October of that year, Art Angels launched a pop-up exhibition in West Hollywood—their first big project. And it was, indeed, big—they rented a massive space encompassing thousands of square feet.

“It was quite a bold move for us,” recalls Emery, laughing. “But it went really well.”

So well, in fact, that they were able to parlay the experience into their first real location just three days later—a 600-square-foot space connected to the one they’d rented for the pop-up.

In 2016, the gallery moved into its current home—a 2,000-square-foot retail space in West Hollywood’s design district. (Since then, they’ve also taken over the unit next door; their exhibition space is now over 3,500 square feet in total.) That’s rapid growth for a gallery that had just left its toddler years. But Napal and Emery aren’t done.

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Art Angels’s new Miami location. Courtesy of Art Angels.


In July of this year, the pair expanded to the East Coast, opening up a second branch in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood.

“We definitely wanted to have a presence on the East Coast,” Napal says of the decision. “We’ve been involved in Basel for the last couple of years and have a very strong collector base there. Five years ago, we chose LA because we felt like the city was missing a gallery like ours. That’s how we felt about Miami, too.”

Despite the name Art Angels, the duo refrained from presenting the gallery as being female-run for the first few years of its existence. It wasn’t a matter of hiding anything; they simply didn’t want the gallery’s identity to compete with the art inside.

“People often assume that there is a male financing the gallery,” Napal says. “But that’s not the case. It’s entirely funded by both of us; it’s our own money, no one else’s. I think it’s also inspiring for young females right now to know that you can do anything. You just need to have the passion and the drive and the dedication, and it all will come together.”

JC RO

May 15th 2019

Mike Pham Posted on October 07 2016

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JC Ro is an artist based here in Long Beach, CA, but his talents and blue collar work ethic were forged back before the Metro-Detroit native made his move for the west coast in 2003. What started off as a move towards California in the pursuit of palm trees, pretty girls, and year round skating weather, has since transitioned through design and into a career in art. Mostly noted for his interpretations of various Jordan sneakers to his larger than life mural of Kobe Bryant on Melrose in Los Angeles. JC’s latest exhibition at the D.O.M Gallery in Los Angeles received a lot of attention, and the giant Kanye head featured outside could even be seen on Kim Kardashian’s snapchat a couple times. He has now taken his creative talent to the walls of Proper with his Kanye piece “I feel like Pablo when I’m workin’ on my shoes”.

It’s evident that you are a fan of Michael Jordan, how did that even come about seeing as that you are from Detroit, home of the infamous “Bad Boys”?

It was heartbreaking sometimes to watch the Pistons rough him up and take him out of his game! Now I can really enjoy the Bad Boys’ era, but at the time I was so young I didn’t understand how that was fair play. I remember my Dad laughing at how mad I’d get sitting 1 foot away from the TV, or the first Bulls/Pistons game I went to I was the only kid wearing a Bulls shirt in a crowd of Pistons fans.

MJ was everything when I was young, and I was just past that age after you found out Santa wasn’t real, and you’re mad that Ninja Turtles are just dudes in costumes, or that Batman doesn’t actually exist… but Jordan wasn’t fiction, he was real and I was getting to see it with my own eyes. I guess he was my first hero as a kid that no one could take away or tell me was make-believe.

How did you get started creating your style?

My first attempt in this direction was a portrait of my dog, Jack. I saw a lot of artists experimenting with similar types of illustration, and I noticed that there were certain things that I wished I could emphasize or do in my own way. This first piece took much longer than I had expected but I had no clue that I lost complete track of time until I was done. I got hooked on getting lost in the process and the calming and satisfying effects of hours in simplified focus. It reminds me of when I was a kid and you would just be outside playing all day until the streetlights came on. After that I went on to doing movie scenes of two of my favorite movies: The Big Lebowski and Friday. Next I started doing portraits of Jordan’s, I wanted to recreate all my favorite sneakers with exaggerations on certain details. Once the first one was finished, seeing my vision of the shoe complete was just as enjoyable (if not more) as owning the shoes, so I would just simply create with the same repetition inspired by my insatiable love for sneakers.

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When did you notice that you could do this for a living?

To be honest, I started this whole process as a means of a creative outlet. I had been freelancing and to fill the void between times I created a separate Instagram account to keep all my work on a separate platform. Everyday I would either come up with a new shoe I wanted to create, or concept or something inspired by whatever the sneaker community was buzzing about. Soon thereafter a couple of blogs would repost my work and it started to build momentum where people started requesting prints so that they could hang along their sneaker collection.

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How has Instagram played a vital role in your rise?

I feel like Instagram is helpful for creative people, because some of us communicate best visually. I remember being young and in art class, they would often say, “you can’t really make a living as an artist, unless you want to be an art teacher”. Thankfully 20 years later with the help of social media platforms like Instagram, a ton of opportunities have been created for artist to get their work out and have it be seen around the world.

First Michael, then Kobe, now Kanye, why Kanye? Are you a fan?

(Laughs) I am. He has certain relentlessness as a creative that to me is just as driven, focused, and unapologetic as MJ was with his game on the court. He sees where he is going, whether anyone believes him or not. I think it’s rad that Adidas has given him space to create and he’s steady pushing and exceeding the limitations. His willingness to fight for every opportunity to express himself, even after he’s been denied, is inspiring.

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What was it like to see Kim Kardashian snapchat your interpretation of Kanye in front of D.O.M gallery and then see Kanye’s reaction a few days later as he passed by it as well?

It was crazy! My first reaction was “Oh shit, she liked it” when people started showing her first post, and then I wondered if maybe she had shown him or if maybe he had seen it yet?… and then a week later when she posted the video of it again and Kanye driving past it, I was shocked obviously and thought “well that answers that question, he saw it!” ha-ha

What was your inspiration behind the mural?

Well, on his recent album, Kanye rapped “I feel like Pablo when I’m working on my shoes” and since a lot of my work is centered around my love of sneakers and I’m a big Picasso fan, that line stuck out to me.  The idea sparked initially a bit like a joke, but it developed quickly into something creatively tempting.  I think each time I heard that part of the song I would laugh and enjoy how bold and confident that statement was, and I would draw more similarities in Kanye’s and Picasso’s personas based from stories and documentaries I’d seen on Picasso.

I’ve always been fascinated by the footage and photos of Pablo Picasso in his studio, looking for gems, the methods, the madness and the more that song looped in my head I imagined Kanye ever-so-confidently painting a shoe on a giant canvas as if he were actually Pablo Picasso.  Luckily I found a photo of Picasso that not only had him painting a large canvas, but it had elements and artwork in the background that gave me an opportunity to visualize a few more likenesses between the two.  Their matching bravado inspired the ‘self-portraits’ in the background, and their well known and expressive self documented love of the female form inspired the abstract piece of 'Kim’s waist’ seen up high in a golden frame.  I added a few extra Kanye elements with the bear, his gear, and the wallpaper in a sort of yzy 350 pattern.  This is one of my favorite pieces for sure, and it was a lot of fun to explore relating/connecting 2 completely different types of creative people that have inspired me in a lot of ways.

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Have you ever owned any pair of Yeezy’s?

Stuck out every time so far, keeping my fingers crossed for the next one.

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What are your five favorite shoes of all-time?

Jordan 1 (Chicago)


Penny 2 (Atlantic)


Jordan 12 (Taxi)

Just Don x Jordan 2 (Beach)

Jordan 5 (Fire red w/ 3M tongue)

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What would you consider your holy grail of sneakers? (the one sneaker that will always elude you)

Jordan Oregon 5s or Yeezy Red Octobers

Who are some of the artist that inspire you past and present?

Past: Pablo Picasso, Leonardo Di Vinci, Bernard Buffet


Present: MadSteez, Market Price, Sam Rodriguez, Freehand ProTit

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What can we expect to see next from you?

More paintings for sure, I’m looking forward to more time in my studio! Oh and be on the look out for the occasional product drop.

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A Moment of Splendour by Elizabeth Waggett 

March 21st 2019



A Moment of Splendour by Elizabeth Waggett 

Kylie Jenner's Hidden Hills Home Is Equal Parts Sparkle and Sumptuousness

February 7th 2019

Makeup tycoon Kylie Jenner savors the sweet smell of success in a dazzling home animated with pop brio and youthful energy

By Mayer Rus

Photography by Douglas Friedman

February 5, 2019

What were you doing when you were 21 years old? Looking for a job? Settling for an unpaid internship? Shopping for a foldout futon? Kylie Jenner hasn’t got time for all that. The wildly popular entrepreneur, reality-television star, and youngest member of the Jenner/Kardashian clan is busy presiding over a cosmetics empire worth roughly $800 million. Forbes magazine speculated that she is on track to become the youngest self-made billionaire in history. She also has more than 124 million followers on Instagram—a single 2018 post introducing her daughter, Stormi Webster, garnered more than 18 million likes. To borrow a hackneyed phrase, when Kylie talks, people listen.

“Kylie is the ultimate celebrity, the ultimate influencer. For someone her age to have achieved so much is frankly astonishing,” says Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the Los Angeles AD100 designer tasked with conjuring a dream home worthy of a vivacious almost-billionaire superstar. The residence is located in the Los Angeles suburb of Hidden Hills, close to the homes of Kylie’s high-profile siblings and their mother, Kris Jenner. “When we started this project, she wasn’t even old enough to drink legally. This was her first really grown-up house,” he adds.

Jenner—wearing a Frame sweater, a Staud skirt, Fendi shoes, Brumaniearrings, and a Shay Fine Jewelry bracelet—in her glam room. Fashion styling by Jill Jacobs. Neon artwork by Beau Dunn.

Andy Warhol screen prints ascend with the stairwell in the home’s entry. Fendi stroller by Inglesina.


“I told Martyn I wanted a fresh, fun vibe to match the way I was feeling. Color was essential. I love pink, and I wanted a lot of it!” Jenner recalls of her earliest conversations with the decorator. Functional requirements were also at the top of her agenda. “My closets and glam room are very personal to me, even down to the size of each drawer, so they fit my specific products and clothes. I spend a lot of time in those rooms, so we had to make sure they were perfect.”

Bullard obliged with a design scheme that is equal parts sparkle and sumptuousness. On the more glittery end of the spectrum are the white lacquer-and-acrylic grand piano in Jenner’s monochromatic, Old/New Hollywood living room; the gold-leafed ceiling of the dining room; vintage Lucite furniture by Charles Hollis Jones; and reflective wall coverings galore. On the plush side of the equation, Bullard deployed carpets of Patagonian shearling, alpaca, and silk; snow leopard–patterned velvet on the vintage Milo Baughman barstools in the lounge; and fur bedcovers.

“The look is glamorous but totally inviting. Kylie loves to have people over, and there’s nothing so precious that you can’t stand, jump, or dance on it,” Bullard explains of the decorative mix.

Sly nods to Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner’s blockbuster business, abound. In the dining room, for example, the leather upholstery on the chairs was custom-dyed to match colors from Kylie’s lipstick collection, ranging from ceruse to pale pink to deep garnet. In the living room, seemingly liquescent brass consoles riff on the drip patterns of the makeup line’s signature packaging. “I have a lot of Kylie Cosmetics, awards, and my magazine covers around the house that inspire me on a daily basis. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished,” Jenner notes.

Halfway through the project, Jenner learned that she was going to have a baby with rapper Travis Scott (given name Jacques Bermon Webster II), which necessitated a retrofit for a nursery and playroom. “Stormi has definitely taken over the house with her toys,” Jenner says, laughing. And not just any old binkies and baubles. Chez Kylie, it’s all about the bling—a Fendi baby stroller and a Lamborghini child’s car are among the many high-end playthings.

The art-filled bar features condom art by Beau Dunn.

Of course, the fun is not reserved exclusively for Stormi. In the lavish family room, Jenner and her guests can take a swing on a Jim Zivic hammock suspended from the ceiling while enjoying treats from custom cocktail tables with cutouts for ice, champagne, and caviar. The entertainment continues in the bar/lounge, which is tricked out with a billiard table, arcade games, a Saint Laurent limited-edition surfboard, and, for a little added cheekiness, a group of giant condom sculptures from artist Beau Dunn’s “Size Does Matter” series. Andy Warhol dollar-sign lithographs and a dramatic portrait of the homeowner round out the art on display in the lounge.

“Kylie feels a deep connection to Marilyn Monroe, so we placed a series of Warhol screen prints of Marilyn along the main stairway. In general, we selected artworks that felt appropriate for a young collector with feminine tastes. Everything reflects Kylie’s personality,” Bullard says, referring to the Damien Hirst “I Love You” butterfly silk screens that adorn the dining room, the Jean-Michel Basquiat screen print that presides over the living room, and black-and-white photographs of Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, and Twiggy. The Tracey Emin neon sculpture that hangs in the bar perhaps best sums up the saucy vibe of the dynamo’s dazzling home. It reads, “I Can’t Believe How Much You Love Me.”

Artist, Christopher Florentino 

January 29th 2019



Artist, Christopher Florentino 

Artist, Christopher Florentino

January 26th 2019









Artist, Christopher Florentino

Artist, Christopher Florentino

January 26th 2019













Artist, Christopher Florentino

RUSSELL YOUNG - SUPERSTAR

January 26th 2019

Modern Art Museum
Shanghai
10.27.2018 — 01.06.2019

We are delighted to share the exciting news about Russell Young’s sensational exhibition SUPERSTAR now on view at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai through January 6, 2019.

RUSSELL YOUNG - SUPERSTAR has opened to great fanfare. Occupying the entire museum, a massive repurposed industrial space in a former coal bunker along the banks of the Huangpu river. The most extensive survey of Russell Young’s work to date, showcasing over 100 works across two decades, and the largest institutional exhibition of work by a Western artist on view in Asia right now. This riveting retrospective offers a fitting introduction to Young’s work on an unprecedented scale for a growing international audience in China.

From celebrity portraits to historical events, standout works such as Marilyn California, thirty individual hand pulled portraits framed into a single painting nineteen feet long by eight feet high, a monumental tribute to the femme fatale’s tragic glamour, punctuate the wide-ranging series on view. Young’s series, American Landscapes features prominently alongside paintings from Pig Portraits, Fame+Shame, Diamond Dust, The Fight of the Paso del Mar, Helter Skelter, Superstar, Femme Fatale, and the world premiere of a five year long project West.

Young has added images of popular Asian Icons to the mix, pushing the boundaries of his ongoing engagement with a typically American ethos to explore similar themes from a Chinese perspective. These Chinese icons are integrated into and premiering at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai, in his latest iconic series of famous figures from politicians to rock stars in a shimmering silver tone and sparkling with diamond dust, pairs a portrait of Mao with a new Elvis painting. This new body of work recasts the notion of the icon in the shifting global cultural landscape where East meets West.

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/RfaobotJDpug_0fZF7u6Jg

Modern Art Museum Shanghai
4700 Binjiang Avenue
Pudong New Area, Shanghai

http://www.mamsh.org/

The Mint Museum acquires Russell Young Work ‘Nina Simone’

January 25th 2019

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Screen print painting depicts North Carolina native and Hall of Fame inductee.

The Mint Museum has acquired a painting of North Carolinian and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nina Simone.

Nina Simone is by British artist Russell Young. “Having such a beautiful portrait of a N.C. native who was such a strong African-American woman, activist, and performer will add to our contemporary art collection here. Plus, I think it will be such a popular piece with our audiences,” said Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s senior curator of American, Modern, & Contemporary Art. He made the choice with former Assistant Curator Adam Justice, now Director of Galleries at UNC Charlotte.

Russell Young was born in 1959 in Northern England. From an early age, he was drawn to the idea of the quintessential “American dream,” which he thought represented freedom and possibility. Known for his bold, iconic silkscreen paintings of pop imagery turned upon themselves to explore the nature of the American counter culture as seen through the eyes of his youth, his bold ground breaking screen print renditions present a visual journey that bears witness to both the excess and ambition that has helped shape the American Dream. His prints are a brooding and sometimes brutal celebration of the characters and events that glamorize and chastise in equal measure. Whether through direct visual reference or by title, the works set out to both assert and challenge our perception and understanding of what it is to be American in the 21st century.

His body of work includes paintings, screen prints, sculptures, installations and film. He has shown in galleries and museums in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, Detroit, Miami and Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of Aby Rosen, The Qatari Royal Family, Kate Moss, David Bowie, Liz Taylor, Barack Obama, The Albertina Museum, The Saatchi Collection and Brad Pitt.

“Waggett’s works are a challenge to the artist, critic, collector, and curator. She slaps this...

January 25th 2019

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“Waggett’s works are a challenge to the artist, critic, collector, and curator. She slaps this universal equivalent straight onto the objet itself. It’s an affront, yet it’s value too. You can’t pretend this hypocrisy isn’t there and that we’re all, desperately, caught in it.” - D.S Graham, Editor, Art Aesthetics

“Elizabeth Waggett creates highly intricate pieces of work that are truly breathtaking. It’s hard not to marvel at the incredible detailing she puts into each of her pieces. Her monochromatic palette is the perfect modern twist on such a traditional form. You can stand in front of one of her pieces for hours, getting lost in her technique and brilliant drawing practice.” - K.Adduci, Founder, Art Zealous

“Elizabeth’s eye-catching drawings appear in great detail and exemplify hyperrealism in art today.” - J. Klos, Curator/Judge, Rise Art


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Successful People All Share This 1 Trait (That Can't Be Forced)

January 25th 2019

Successful People All Share This 1 Trait (That Can't Be Forced)

This Universal Truth Will Keep You Humble, No Matter What You Achieve

January 25th 2019

This Universal Truth Will Keep You Humble, No Matter What You Achieve

After Succeeding in LA, Art Angels Gallery Expanded to Miami. And the Founders Say They’re Just Getting Started

January 25th 2019

Kat Emery (left) and Jacquelin Napal (right) in front of a custom Flore mural at Art Angels’s Los Angeles Gallery. Courtesy of Art Angels.The pop-art gallery and its two female founders have learned a lot in five years.

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Kat Emery (left) and Jacquelin Napal (right) in front of a custom Flore mural at Art Angels’s Los Angeles Gallery. Courtesy of Art Angels.

It’s not easy for a gallery to carve out a name for itself in a city as big and starry as LA. But Art Angels, a contemporary, pop-art venture located in West Hollywood, has done just that.

Jacquelin Napal and Kat Emery, the two owners and founders of the gallery, are the angels in question. One of their artists, James Georgopoulos, coined the term, often referring to the duo as “art angels” whenever they interacted. The name fits: As two young, stylish women with business acumen and a taste for market-friendly art, Napal and Emery aren’t cut from the same cloth as many of their peers. And that’s a good thing.

The gallery, which just celebrated its fifth anniversary, has already achieved a great deal of success, amassing an impressive collector base that includes a number of actors, athletes, and other celebrities. Not content to sit on their success, the duo opened up a second branch in Miami this summer, and they’re hoping to repeat the feat in a third location.

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Art Angels’s new Miami location. Courtesy of Art Angels.

Art Angels specializes in work by pop-oriented artists, many of whom are emerging; others are more established. Artist Beau Dunn works with toy imagery like Barbie and Hello Kitty, mixing themes of childhood, materialism, and desire to enticing effect. Or there’s Flore (pronounced Floor-ee), a painter with a street art background in the vein of Haring or Basquiat. He makes densely layered murals of signs, cryptic phrases, and abstract shapes. And don’t forget Philippe Shangti, a French photographer who breaks down taboos with his bright, provocative portraits of scantily clad women.

“It’s an incredibly fun experience to walk into our gallery,” Emery tells artnet News. “Our artists are very bold; they take risks. But they’re also very great investment artists. It’s exceptional art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

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Beau Dunn’s Barbie #1′ hanging in the house of model Claudia Schiffer—one of the gallery’s many celebrity clients. Courtesy of Art Angels.

Emery, who’s from Manchester in the UK, met Napal, an LA native, in the early 2010s. They were both working at a gallery in LA. Napal was, by title, the director of the gallery, though her duties encompassed virtually every aspect of the business; Emery came from a sales background. Their skill sets complemented each other perfectly, and they were interested in the same thing: starting a gallery that wasn’t as male-dominated or unwelcoming as so many others.

The two women officially launched the gallery early in 2013. Their beginnings were humble. They started out, like many galleries do today, on Instagram. (The platform has remained a large part of their identity since, and they currently have over 63,000 followers.)

“That’s kind of where we began, before we had a space, before we had a pop-up, even before we had the website,” Emery says. “It’s something we found very important from day one and obviously it’s continued to grow. It’s a fantastic resource for us. We get a lot of collectors who stop by the gallery because they follow us on Instagram and have seen the stuff online.”

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Courtesy of Art Angels.

In October of that year, Art Angels launched a pop-up exhibition in West Hollywood—their first big project. And it was, indeed, big—they rented a massive space encompassing thousands of square feet.

“It was quite a bold move for us,” recalls Emery, laughing. “But it went really well.”

So well, in fact, that they were able to parlay the experience into their first real location just three days later—a 600-square-foot space connected to the one they’d rented for the pop-up.

In 2016, the gallery moved into its current home—a 2,000-square-foot retail space in West Hollywood’s design district. (Since then, they’ve also taken over the unit next door; their exhibition space is now over 3,500 square feet in total.) That’s rapid growth for a gallery that had just left its toddler years. But Napal and Emery aren’t done.

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In July of this year, the pair expanded to the East Coast, opening up a second branch in Miami’s Buena Vista neighborhood.

“We definitely wanted to have a presence on the East Coast,” Napal says of the decision. “We’ve been involved in Basel for the last couple of years and have a very strong collector base there. Five years ago, we chose LA because we felt like the city was missing a gallery like ours. That’s how we felt about Miami, too.”

Despite the name Art Angels, the duo refrained from presenting the gallery as being female-run for the first few years of its existence. It wasn’t a matter of hiding anything; they simply didn’t want the gallery’s identity to compete with the art inside.

“People often assume that there is a male financing the gallery,” Napal says. “But that’s not the case. It’s entirely funded by both of us; it’s our own money, no one else’s. I think it’s also inspiring for young females right now to know that you can do anything. You just need to have the passion and the drive and the dedication, and it all will come together.”

From Nirvana to 'weightless worlds': How photos evolved underwater

January 25th 2019

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Nirvana’s second album “Nevermind” revolutionized rock music and has sold at least 30 million copies since its release in 1991. Its cover also features one of the best-known underwater images ever made: the photo of a baby swimming towards a dollar bill on a hook. The music – including lead single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – made the album’s success. But that iconic image carved it into our minds. 

Spencer Elden, the cover model also known as the “Nirvana baby,” was not simply thrown into a local pool in Southern California. Achieving this image took significant preparation, according to photographer Kirk Weddle.“Since kids are always an unknown at shoots, I did several prelight and prefocus passes with a doll. Once I felt I had the framing, light, and exposure dialed in; the parents slipped the child into the water,” wrote Weddle on

his website

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The mention of underwater photography may recall plastic-protected throwaway yellow cameras for snapshot memories of summer vacations. Yet water has long captured the minds of fine artists.

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“Alla Prima” by Barbara Cole 

Unfamiliar territory

The first underwater photograph, a blurry image of aquatic life, was taken in 1856 by William Thompson, who didn’t actually dive in to capture it. This is why French marine biologist Louis Boutan is widely considered the early pioneer of the genre, as he was the first to plunge into the ocean to take the first underwater portrait, armed with a camera he had invented with the help of his brother Auguste.

Underwater photography grew from a long line of documentarians, who wanted to record wildlife beneath the waves. But the attraction to underwater images quickly branched out into the world of make-believe.

As early as 1916, director Stuart Paton adapted Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” into what became an incredibly expensive production that used a system of mirrors to capture underwater scenes. But it was Bruce Mozert, the grandfather of underwater art photography, who first capitalized on the genre. He was an ace at creating seemingly impossible scenarios, such as a smoke-filled barbecue using a can of condensed milk. Florida was the perfect backdrop for Mozert’s interpretations of a homely 1950s way of life, and his images soon became an icon of the clear waters of Silver Springs – and the American dream.


Taking photography to new dimensions

Underwater photography has since grown further into an art of its own. Contemporary photographers Barbara Cole and Christy Lee Rogers have become two of the most prominent artists in the field, ingeniously using water as an artistic tool to transform reality. They don’t simply drag our on-land surroundings into a pool, in the style of Mozert, but rather take advantage of the submarine environment to create a dream-like alternate dimension.


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“Emulsion” by Barbara Cole

“My goal since I began to exhibit in 1984 was to push the medium – to paint with a camera, resisting the realism that is normally expected of photography,” said Cole via email.

Canadian-born Cole, whose work will be on view at Galerie LeRoyer this month, entered the world of photography at the age of 19, as the fashion editor of the Toronto Sun. Her days were spent taking pictures and absorbing as much as she could from staff photographers, among other editing jobs.

Cole, who is “always looking for a way to transform reality,” started creating her ethereal compositions by using a Polaroid SX-70. “When that was no longer an option I decided to accomplish an analogous effect by shooting through water. It was a natural progression. I’ve been swimming almost daily for 40 years and the secrets and beauty of the way a figure appears underwater hadn’t eluded me,” Cole said.

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“Jet Lag Triptych”, Underworld series, by Barbara Cole 


Along with Cole, Rogers is changing the way water is used in photography to create images that can easily be mistaken for paintings and that push the boundaries of reality. Unsurprisingly, water has also had a great bearing on Rogers’ life. She now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has exhibited globally, but prefers to shoot at sundown in Hawaii, where she grew up.

“Water was like freedom, purity and pure lifeblood. It was also an overwhelming powerful destroyer at the same time. A body immersed in it, free from gravity but trapped by the inability to breathe or survive under it, was a great dichotomy that was profoundly compelling to me,” Rogers said in an email.

In these shoots, the main working environment is inhospitable, so the connection between the image maker and the models becomes even more important. Rogers explained she has to be the “eyes of the models” because they have to keep them shut as soon as they’re submerged.

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“Alive” by Christy Lee Rogers

“This is how one of my favorite models Elisabeth Donaldson explains her experience, ‘when modeling underwater there is an initial moment of complete physical terror. You have blown out all of your air, and are underwater in darkness, searching for light, wrapped in fabric that grabs you and pulls you and covers your face,’” said Rogers.

She continued: “I don’t think these images are supposed to be possible. Every time I do a shoot, I think it’ll be my last because I don’t know if I’ll be able to capture it again. It’s so exhausting for me mentally and physically.”

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“Obsession” by Christy Lee Rogers

Since the early 20th century, fine art underwater photography has evolved from Mozert’s surrealist, submerged renditions of life on land to Rogers’s and Cole’s painterly images, reminiscent of Botticelli’s billowy fabrics and floating figures.

“Short of working in outer space it’s the best place to be able to play with gravity. Under the water I’m dealing with a weightless world. Figures can be literally suspended, time slows down, and sounds are very gentle,” said Cole.

“Submerged: Four Series of Underwater Photographs” by Barbara Cole is on view at Galerie LeRoyer in Montréal until Nov. 1, 2018.

The Power Duo of Art Angels Perfect the Gallery Experience in Los Angeles…and Now Miami

January 25th 2019

by Rachel Emerson

Stepping into an art gallery can be intimidating, not to mention often clinical and sometimes, hostile…no matter how informed one may be going in.

However, when you step into Art Angels and speak to owners Kat Emery (Manchester-born) and Jacquelin Napal (a native Los Angeleno), you realize that art can exist in a space that doesn’t exhibit ego, if anything it cultivates acceptance and creativity. Whether you’re just there to appreciate the work, purchase your first piece or your fifteenth, there’s a welcoming vibe extended to everyone.

 This self-financed gallery began in 2013 out of the minds of two women who seem to be each other’s business-yin-and-yang. A business savvy pair that stepped into a male dominated industry, only to exceed expectations. If a client needed help hanging a newly purchased piece, Kat and Jacquelin were there with the tools to do it themselves. From painting walls to hanging art, they didn’t mind. On top of the beginning stages of the gallery, eighteen months after its opening, both of its owners had babies within four months of each other.

When asked about the challenges of their entrepreneurial success, Jacquelin and Kat were incredibly gracious and positive about their journey. They’re all about female empowerment and while, they might get asked what it’s like to be in a business heavily ran by men, they cooly reply with a succinct sound bite on women’s empowerment and being open to their own unknown capabilities. After many years as gallerists, the volume of women within the industry is growing and being a part of that movement is nothing short of exciting.

Recently Art Angels expanded its flagship gallery in Los Angeles to house even more impressive work. They have had a variety of exhibits that often nod to pop culture, it’s genuinely a fun place to be. The artists that have been featured on the walls tend to pack a poppy punch of color and opinion. To name a few, the hyper-realistic work of Mike Dargas, mixed media artist, Stephen Wilson, Flore and Russell Young. And alongside their growing list of artists is an impressive (and expanding) collector base consisting of celebrities, athletes and fine art aficionados across the globe.

A space like this has had such a calling that Art Angels has opened up a Miami location where they will be participating at Art Basel 2018 this Fall with a booth at Context Art Miami.  Art Angels’ gallery owners say they are in the beginning stages of opening a third gallery, which they have yet to decide on an exact location. If you’re lucky enough, maybe this inclusive, inviting, self-financed duo will bring a pop of art and accepting culture closer to you. Otherwise, catch their life’s work and inspiration at Art Angels Gallery in Los Angeles and Miami, and by visiting their Instagram and website.

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