Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir: Disguise

Released Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Disguise, by Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir graduated from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in 2006. She has taken part in several art exhibitions in Iceland, Europe, and America, and had her first solo show at the Reykjavík Art Museum last year. She has made music videos and designed album covers for bands such as Múm, Seabear and Sin Fang Bous and produced video installations for their concerts. Ingibjörg is currently living in Iceland.

About the print:
This is a collage I made after I had been watching too much of Poirot, a British television show about a Belgian detective in the 1920s. The print is just a little thought about appearances and identity.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.


What has inspired you recently?
My daughter and my old math books.

Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
I chose to pair my print with Doctors without Borders simply out of admiration for their work.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Just last week my sister, Lilja Birgisdóttir, organized this amazing ship horn performance where the captains of six ships blew their horns on her command. You could hear the horn music all over the city!

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I would pick Tom Friedman because he is so clever.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Sigriður Níelsdóttir is an 80-year-old Icelandic musician and artist. She started making music at the age of 70 and has released 53 albums. She also makes really nice drawings and collages. It is never to late to start doing what you love!

Sharon Montrose: Flying Geese

Released Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flying Geese, by Sharon Montrose.
15% of the sale of this print goes to The Pablove Foundation.

Sharon Montrose has always loved animals, and most of her work is heavily inspired by them. It was a natural progression for Sharon to bring her love of photography and animals together. For this series, Sharon’s goal was to feature the animals outside of their environments and to capture a moment that will last as long as the viewer needs to absorb their charms.

About the print:
I don't pre-visualize my shoots with animals. I let them direct me. Flying Geese is really just two geese at a fraction of a second. I was totally shocked at how loud geese are. They actually beat out the bass of the hip hop music in the studio next door.

This print is an open edition. Each print was signed by the artist. Flying Geese was printed on Fine Art 285 gsm luster finish paper with archival inks.


Why did you choose to pair The Pablove Foundation with your print?
Pablo touched more people in his six years than most people do in a lifetime. The Pablove Foundation is the best way to keep his memory alive, while helping others.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Sally Mann, because her work makes me want to take pictures and her fingers are black from fixer.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I could list a hundred names here, but a few: Sally Mann, Ben Folds, Mike Giant.

Intersect: Pass

Released Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pass, by Intersect.
15% of the sale of this print goes to American Forests.

Shannon Rankin and Justin Richel are an artist couple living and working in Rangeley, ME. They both have Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the Maine College of Art in Portland, ME, and have exhibited their work individually throughout the U.S. and Europe. Intersect is where they come together to make work they would never make on their own.

About the print:
The piece is titled Pass from our recent collaboration as Intersect. The original is an abstract collage composed of gouache painted elements, loosely exploring the idea of surpassing the ordinary in search for a transcendent level of knowledge. This collaboration has provided us with the opportunity to expand our individual processes, allowing for the work to be more open, and more abstract.

Pass is printed on Hahnemühle’s Photo Rag 308 gsm archival fine art paper, with pigment-based Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks. It is guaranteed to last for up to 108 years. Each print was signed and numbered by both artists.


Process image of the scraps and bits we accumulated over the course of our collaboration.

What has inspired you recently?
Living in the country means nature inspires us everyday. We are amazed by watching our garden grow, the migrating birds and other creatures that visit us throughout the year, the stars in the sky, and the dramatic shift of the seasons. We are so fortunate to live here.

Why did you choose to pair American Forests with your print?
We chose to pair our print with American Forests, because living in rural Maine, we see a lot of trees being hauled away daily and this makes us very sad. If only we could all tread a little lighter.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
We believe that art has the ability to inspire positive change in the world, and it is happening right now. Can you feel it?

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
It would have to be Buckminster Fuller for his passion to create a more sustainable planet for the greater good of humanity. His Dymaxion Map reveals our planet as one island in one ocean, reinforcing the elements that connect humanity rather than separate it.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
There are so many out there that we adore, but for this interview we would like to mention a few artists that we know and admire, who live and work right here in Maine: Anna Hepler, Joe Kievitt, Lauren Fensterstock, and Karen Gelardi.

Julia Pott: Whale Hill

Released Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whale Hill, by Julia Pott.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Transportation Alternatives.

Julia Pott graduated from Kingston University in 2007 with a BA in illustration and animation, and is currently completing her MA in animation at the Royal College of Art in London. She works from both London and New York (so that she can satiate her Lucky Charms addiction), and mainly creates ridiculous music videos and short films about anthropomorphic animals trying to feel their way through tricky relationships. Julia’s animation direction includes work for Skins, Etsy, The Decemberists, Bat for Lashes, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Malibu Rum and Picador. When she’s not working, you can find Julia roaming around in natural history museums or eating hoards of sugar at the movies.

About the print:
I wanted to create an atmospheric world that was inspired by English beach towns. While I was creating the piece, it was brought to my attention by a few people that I’m not very good at sharing things (whether it be my dessert or lending someone a book), so I created the fox as a version of myself, keeping the houses and ponies to himself.

This is an inkjet print on archival 192 gsm paper. Each was signed and numbered by the artist.


What has inspired you recently?
These days I am looking a lot at Native American patterns, European landscapes, and Estonian animation. I've also been looking a lot at coming of age movies for an upcoming film project.

Why did you choose to pair Transportation Alternatives with your print?
I chose Transportation Alternatives as my charity because I really believe that we’re not making enough of a difference when it comes to reducing our emissions. Coming from London, I definitely feel it is not safe to cycle around the city. I’m now living in New York, and it is crazy how many more cars there are here and how much pollution you can feel in the air – not to mention how dangerous it is for cyclists to get around. Although people do ride bikes here, you are not really encouraged to do so, and biking is definitely not as common here as it is in Europe. It seems that Transportation Alternatives offers sensible, easy to achieve solutions to the problem.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Art makes a huge difference: it can be a kind of therapy, it can brighten up a room, make a difference to someone feeling low. It is a great skill that people can share with others.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I'd love to be mentored by Priit Parn. I love the way his mind works - his films make absolutely no sense and yet perfect sense at the same time. I almost won his signed sweaty sock in a competition once, so I guess I’m halfway there!

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Luke Best, Rob Ryan, Carson Ellis, Priit Parn, Igor Kovalyov, Josh Cochran, Micah Lidberg, David O'Reilly, Kirsten Lepore.

Rose de Borman: Two Beasts

Released Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Beasts, by Rose de Borman.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Médecins Sans Frontières.

Rose de Borman lives and works in East London. In the last few years, she has been making paintings on the backside of glass – often layered, in response to an old folk art method. She also continues to work on paper, with etching and printmaking processes. In addition to her artwork, Rose also designs, dyes and prints textiles. She has developed her own line of textiles, and also takes on commissions.

Rose’s work has been described as charming, humourous, unusual, awkward, and old fashioned. There is often an animal or two in her pieces.

About the print:
This is a relief print made from a linocut. The animals depicted are somewhere between dogs, leopards, and general beasts. My animals are often a mixture of different animals - I prefer them not to be representations of any creature in particular. I’m drawn to animals that are graceful, but teetering towards awkwardness, such as lurchers and deer with their spindly, twig legs. I like animals with cumbersome bodies. I appreciate the fine line between elegant poise and the clumsy stumble. Having said that, the leopard-lion-beasts in this print aren’t looking so clumsy. They are kind beasts and are at ease. I recently saw some Gauguin woodcuts in Paris, so I suppose this must have seeped into the decision to create this relief print, as I haven’t worked with linocuts in a while. I also love the prints of the South American artist J. Borges - they inspire me.

This is a linocut printed by hand with oil-based ink on 300gsm cream-colored, acid-free printmaking paper. Each was signed and numbered by the artist.


Process print.

Do you have any process sketches that led up to this piece?
Yes, a smaller piece that features the two beasts with fireworks and volcanoes in the background. I liked the process drawing, too – it has a different feel to it, but I decided I wanted to change the positions of the animals, make the whole print bigger, and add curly fur to the little one.

What has inspired you recently?
I just finished a group of paintings for the Museum of British Folklore, and have been looking at British folk customs that have to do with mourning in particular, such as telling bees about a death. I think bees might be cropping up in my work again in the future, as they are amazing creatures.

Otherwise, in the last few months I have been inspired by Fra Angelico, Russian popular woodcuts, speckled things, egg shaped things, medieval paintings from a French church, Slipware, Prattware, Fante flags, Ottoman embroidery and Turkish knitting and oya lace, wood grain effects, brick effects, people’s gardens, Shetland shawls and Fair Isle patterns, hooked rugs from Northumberland, Bedlington terriers, gravestone imagery, Afghan war rugs, ancient Egyptian paintings, Ewe cloths of Ghana, Ikats from Uzbekistan, Polish papercuts, Pennsylvanian fractures, and old quilts. And, as always, dogs and dog-like creatures, wolves and beasts, and some painters including Ben Nicholson, Vuillard, Matisse, Balthus, Christopher Wood, David Jones, Paul Nash, some Paula Rego, Pieter Breugal, early Lucian Freud, Eric Ravilious, and a whole host of other folk and ‘outsider’ artists.

Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
When I was about eleven, I heard about Médecins Sans Frontières and decided that it was what I wanted to do. My mum was so proud. Somewhere along the way I forgot, got lost, and ended up at art school. I suppose that this is the closest I’ll get to my original wish, which is really nowhere near it, so please buy this print to alleviate my art guilt. On a serious note, what Médecins Sans Frontières does is clearly totally incredible, so please buy this print to help them help millions of people across the world.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I’m not sure why, but society seems to need art, although in its fundamental nature we don’t ‘need’ it. The creation of art in some form or another seems to exist in all functioning societies. I’m afraid I can’t put my finger on one particular, transforming instance, as I have been lucky enough to have grown up in a place where art has always been around. I see it every day in fine art in galleries, to the unusual way someone has painted the brickwork of their house in different colours.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Very difficult question. If I get this wish then I’ll have to do some proper research, as a lot of my favourite artists would make terrible mentors. Off the top of my head, Eduard Vuillard has been an unchanging favourite of mine since I was a teenager. Matisse would be another one. He would be fun to work with, I think, and a bit more open to experiments (and possibly to my failings). In terms of a living artist, I think Grayson Perry would be really interesting to work with.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
If you are ever in the North of England, you must go see the cement menagerie made by John Fairnington in Branxton, Northumberland. He would not have called himself an artist, and at most, his pieces might be called ‘art brut’, but he made hundreds of creatures and people from cement in his back garden for his disabled son. I just returned from a trip there, and it is one of the most enchanting and touching things I have ever seen. In answer to your earlier question, I think John’s son could tell you how art has transformed the world around him.

Recently, I stumbled across the work of a man called Chris Hipkiss which looks interesting. I’d also like to see more of Jockum Nordstrom’s work in the flesh. Otherwise, my good friends Maxwell Wade, Betsy Dadd, Neal Jones, Caitlin Hinshelwood, and Richard Forbes Hamilton are all extremely good artists!