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Danielle Ezzo
Category Curator

born: 1984
born in: Hamilton
lives in: Brooklyn
She loves the arts, music, performance, literature. Andre Breton, Escher, Magritte, Van Gogh. They are her favorites. She loves Kundera because he made his sadness into warmth, The Book of Laughter & Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Life Is Elsewhere,... [more]

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Rise Art says:
“At Rise Art, we really like your work! You might be interested in our site, too! Best wishes, The Rise Art Team http://www.riseart.com”
Posted over 4 years ago
“Hello!, Kundera and Proust are two of my favorite writers. I like We All Have Our Demons. What would you substitute the knives for?”
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The much anticipated debut album from Evan Russell Saffer, Neon Gas, is here. In the days listening to this album on loop and preparing to write my review, I found it oddly difficult to start. Mostly because I’ve known Evan for probably five or so years, the majority of that time while he was fronting the dynamo of a rock group, Fixer, who shook New York City, and the country for that matter, for almost a decade.   After the demise of the their indie label in 2009, it was no surprise when I heard of the Evan’s new solo project. Now two years later, Neon Gas culminates a huge transformation for him, both personally and artistically. Taking all this into account reviewing the album is decidedly like reviewing a tranny. You’re damn certain you know what you’re looking at, but at a closer inspection you’re severely mistaken.


With that said, if Axl Rose and Layne Staley had a baby, that demented boy would have a voice on par with Saffer; wily and nasal yet dark, pained, and very, very twisted. Neon Gas, as a whole, safely breaks away from his previous project to explore a more polished sound with a full chorus on several of the tracks. As a self-proclaimed rock opera, Evan collects a kaleidoscope of genres and melds theatrical vocals that conjure up glimpses of a grandiose stadium rocker, peppered with cascading metal guitar riffs in Chemical Marketplace and Dream of Love’s Last Dying Breathe. In fact, I can clearly imagine the likes of Ville Valo of H.I.M. taking the stage as Evan’s antagonist if this were to ever be adjusted for Broadway.  I’m going to be sorely disappointed if there isn’t at least some pyrotechnics in the coming tour. On the second breathe, you notice the simplistically soul shaking, nearly grunge qualities in, With You Alone, which reverberate with Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.


As the album name suggests, however, this is far from the nostalgic revisit of an outdated era. Alienator’s mischievous tempo tricks us into liking the pleasurable embrace of a swift kick to face one moment, and then lulling us in calm sedation with soothing, wayward rhythms the next. This ritualistic and erratic behavior is all too fetishistic, but we like that. The tone shifts with Dyrwlslm, a melodic lovers ballad that feels less painful and more resolved than some of the previously tormented tracks, that assures an inner resolution. This album erupts with sheer brute force, maintains stamina until the very end, concluding with a melodic whisper of a lullaby with So Far Away.


In like a lion and out like a lamb, as they say. Evan has sure surprised us with his ability to collage together yet another amazing album. His pressing curiosity of atmosphere and song structure proves his zeal for exploration.  This is reason enough to inhale - and go head - hold your breath, Neon Gas won’t disappoint. 


 

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Animals
Nomads
Pim Palsgraaf
Multiscapes
Cities
Taxidermy

I found the artwork of Pim Palsgraaf in the most unusual place - a tattoo shop. New York Adorned is a mecca for really unique jewelry, not to mentioned, amazing tattoos and piercings. One day while browsing through the glimmering gold serpent rings and feather necklaces, my eyes met with the most unlikely creature of all:




The one I met was a furry raccoon (who was dubbed "handsome man", which I squealed upon discovery). Although this is not the exact piece of art, the premise is quite similar. In Palsgraaf's series, "Multiscapes", animals of all varieties brace themselves under precariously placed urban structures. This monochromic and helplessly grim overgrowth is inspired by Palsgraaf's place of residence, Rotterdam.  City-dwellers and scavengers alike can find something familiar with his work because his petrified pets are oddly filled with the most unlikely life. Imagine a crustacean scuttling through the ocean bottom, picking out pieces of detritus to create a portable, organic dwelling. He'll carry what's important on him; leaving the rest behind. As the warm weather brings New York inhabitants out of their homes and into the streets and markets, I can only picture us all as creatures of the wild; only here to collect mementos along the way.

Take a look at the full series, here.


 

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posted on 03.16.10

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The first week of March in New York is always a busy one. The trees begin to thaw, the bleached snow-soaked sky softens, and New Yorkers begin to come out of hibernation. This week also marks the revival of art. After the slowness of the winter months, galleries converge with their best artists in hand. Out of all the fairs, Scope is always one of my favorites. If you were unable to make it this year, here's my personal selection of favorite galleries and artists:


 


1. Gregory Euclide, artist



 


emptied our seeing in the difficulty of our enjoyment, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 36 x 48"


 


 


2. Hous Projects Gallery: This New York based gallery has an interesting selection of emerging neo-grotesque artists that I just adore. One of the few galleries that has a solid collection of photography of a similar aesthetic. Currently they have an exhibition up called, Mineral: Contemporary Photographers and the Non-Silver Process, open until April 12, 2010 which I plan on attending. It's a group exhibition featuring the works of artists: Francis Baker, Stephen Berkman, Scott Davis, Marian Drew, and Chris McCan.


3. Karim Hamid, artist



fa.fn, oil on canvas, 48x48", private collection in Los Angeles


 


4. Gabriela Morawetz, artist



Le repos sur le dos II, pigment print on canvas and sailing, 175x91x8 cm


 


5. Hardcore Art Contemporary Space  (HACS) is a space in the Wynwood Art District, Miami whose General Director is the Museologist Andreina Fuentes, a young and promising entrepreneurial persona and art promoter on Cutting Edge and Contemporary Art. 


 


6. Kunsthaud Miami: represents artists such as: Daniela Edburg, Rafael Rodriguez, and Oscar Aquirre.


 


7. Jackie Paper, gallery


This gallery featured artist, Ryan V. Brennan.


 


8. Paul Hazelton, dust sculptures



 


  9. Opus Art Gallery, London


I actually discovered Opus last year at Scope, but the second time around was just as impressive. Some artists they've affiliated with are: Steven Dryden, Teresa Duck, and Han XuCheng to name just a few. Opus is notorious for having a large yet concise selection of inventory. Check out their website, and bask in the beauty.


 


11. Masanori Maeda, artist


 



Untitled, mineral pigment, acrylic gouache on siromashi and canvas

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Ellen Rogers' is an embodiment of both the melancholy and mildly fetishistic. All the while, she maintains this level of deep-seeded romanticism - subtle yet powerful. Upon speaking with Rogers, I hoped to gain a better understanding of her process. Come to find out, she prefers to keep her methodology secret, so I began to wonder what exactly about her work strikes me. Was it all process and no substance? Her history in fashion implies that perhaps her images are nothing more than visually pleasing. A closer inspection proved even the more blatant editorial work, a true artist can be found. In fact, the mystery of her technique somehow aids her overall aesthetic.  She is a glittering, dark gem in endless vanilla sands. Rogers not only considers form, composition, and color -- as any intelligent artist should -- but her work isn't solely reliant on process to be powerful. She calcultes both theme and character. The hallmarks of these considerations are confirmed in her film work as well. Although, she is newer to the moving picture a style and her unique narratives are unignorably present.


 


For more of Ellen Roger's visit her at: http://www.ellenrogers.co.uk/

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Anagnorisis
Fountain Art Fair
Dave Tree
Medieval


 


I'd heard about Dave Tree's work from other artists for ages, and eventually had the pleasure of meeting the man in person about two years ago at an art opening in the east village. He's a friendly yet rambutious character, seemingly always ready for a good old fashion art debate. He has an unwavering loyality to traditon with a flexibility to approach and process. This juxtapozition of old and new has always fancinated me especially seeing how that translates in an artist as versed as Tree. Aside from painting, he enjoys a myriad of other artistic pursuits from singing to silk screening. That night, he bestowed upon me a beautiful necklace with one of his images screened onto it. There are two images outlined scenes that appropriately display some past moment lost in time. I thought I'd start off this interview with that in mind:


DE - Your work often references a medieval era? Where does that come from?

DT - I always loved wood cuts from the dark ages and their ideas on what Hell would look like. I've been huge fan of Hieronymous Bosch since I was a kid so its always been an influence. I also grew up a hardcore Irish Catholic in Boston, so I had the iron clad boot of the church pressed against my neck.



DE - There seems to be an underlying narrative... What are your clad horsemen and demon soul thinking about?

DT - The Horseman and Demon think only on devouring your soul.



DE - Do you have a mentor?

DT - I had not been making art on a regular basis and had concentrated on my band TREE, but when it finally broke I needed to make art again. Its a great way to lift one's spirits. Cynthia Von Bueller had me in a show in NYC where I hooked up with my old SMFA buddies Travis Lindquinst and David Hochbaum. I don't know if I'd call them mentors but they whipped me into shape, trained me in process, made me stand on my own art literally, and really helped me think like an artist again so I owe a lot to them.



DE - You also sing in a band? How does that, if at all, affect your artwork?

DT - Singing in a band helps with my art to a great extent, I make pieces about my songs, I make songs about my pieces, it all works together really well. Singing/screaming in a band is also a great therapeutic outlet,  art can be frustrating at times so I get to scream my blues away and start with a new slate the next day.



DE - Tell us a little about the process of art making for you...

DT - Sometimes I just see the image in my head and go for it, once in a while the final product looks like the image in my end or completely different, either way I got new art. Sometimes I make one piece and see a series in it so out comes a series. Why make one piece when I can make 10 that all correspond. Mistakes are my friends.






DE - Many of your paintings are on wood panels instead of canvas, why?

DT - I really like wood as a material, it doesn't "Bounce" like canvas, it is unyielding and has historic significance, the very texture of the wood and its grain can add to the work.I do a ton of trash pick dumpster diving and I raise recycling to an artform, so more wood get thrown away that canvases but I do find plenty of canvas too and started working more with it.



DE - What do you think about the contemporary art world now in relation to the economy and the advancements in social networking, etc?

DT - Online networking really helps get the word out, I still flyer shows but I feel archaic,  but I'm a creature of habit and I still believe the person to person contact works best for me. The economy hasn't hurt me at all, but then again I operate underground and I champion the barter system like a motherfucker. I can make something from nothing and get something for it. Contemporary artists need to exploit social networks, get their art up on line and make their prices affordable. I make art in 3 different price tiers so that  my art is available for all the people not just the ones that have a big bank accounts. 



DE - You live in Boston now, but often show in New York. What's that like? Have you ever thought of relocating?

DT - I love NYC and Boston, I've made a conscious  effort to get to NYC as much as possible because the art scene  is by far superior to Boston's scene but in Boston I have space to work that in NYC would cost a fortune. In an ideal world I  will build a reputation as an artist from Boston and  move to NYC or Brooklyn when I could afford to live their. I think it would really help to be in NYC for the art.



DE - Tell us a little about your silk screening parties, and how they started...?

DT - I have been silkscreening for 20 years, I to a GoldmineShithouse party at David Hochbaum's house/studio and I helped print and saw how they had it going on so I stole their idea. I brought it to Boston and would do parties in my studio.I then got a solo show at McCaig Welles and I had a silkscreen closing party to help get some eyes on my art and maybe some sales. It worked so well the gallery asked me to do one for all their shows, so I got to have a print party in Brooklyn every month for a year. I really enjoy printing for people live and have to thank the GoldmineShithouse guys for the idea.



DE - What do you procrastinate most with?

DT - writing down the unwritten word 

DE - I agree, sometimes it's hard to get into the habit of doing something. Regardless, how much you enjoy it. On that note, what's your motto?


DT - The more you get done. The more you get done. The people and the land are one, and the people and land will not be divided.


If you're in New York, visit Dave at Fountain between March 4-7th. He's teamed up with artists Joe Heap Nelson (joeheaps.com), Vic Cox (coxeyed.com), Sergio Coyote (http://vomitstyle.com/), Subtexture ( ), and the LeoKesting Gallery to produce what is known as the Murder Lounge. It may sound a bit unnerving, but he's reassured me that they're all about promoting and collabrating with other artists. Apparently, their "Team Murders" are very ... um, interactive.Immediately proceeding this show, a series of his paintings will be on display at the White Rabbit opening on March 12th, 2010 in his solo show, The Good Things in Life Never Die. Check out their site here: artanagnorisis.com or davetree.com for more details.

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