Sarajo Frieden: Blue Water

Released Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blue Water, by Sarajo Frieden.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the American Forests.

Sarajo Frieden is an artist and illustrator living in Los Angeles with her son. Raised in the wilds of Oakland, California, she chronicled her family’s adventures both real and imagined, something she drew upon to illustrate Noonie’s Masterpiece, a graphic novel published in 2010 by Chronicle Books. Her work can be seen on lamps, pillowcases, teapots, journals, and the like. She divides her time between illustration and painting, which can sometimes involve collage, shaped paper and embroidery. Her artwork has been exhibited in a variety of cities including Los Angeles, Melbourne, San Francisco, and Rome.

About the print:
I love to spend time in the ocean - both on the surface and below. The marine environment fascinates me. This piece was inspired by photos of bioluminescent phytoplankton. All marine life relies on phytoplankton, which also “fixes” carbon dioxide by removing it from the atmosphere. Recent studies suggest a decline in phytoplankton, and warming seas threaten their populations. These amazing creatures that inhabit the seas, so crucial to life, made me think about all the beauty and wonder that often goes unseen. This piece is a humble attempt to paint an imaginary slice of the sea; like shining a flashlight in a hidden place to illuminate what is there.

Blue Water was printed on 365gsm 100% cotton rag paper with archival pigments by POVevolving. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist..


What is your process?
For personal work, I usually never plan—I just get started. My paintings and collages evolve through a process of addition and subtraction. I usually work on several pieces at once, and some pieces I come back to after leaving them alone for a while.

What has inspired you recently?
We’ve been camping in Big Sur for many years and it is a magical place. One place in particular that I like to visit can only be reached from one of the coastal trails. About an hour in, hidden from view, is a densely packed grove of pygmy redwood trees. On a windy day, it is possible to sit beneath these trees and hear the orchestra of sounds they make as they squeak, screech, moan, and knock against each other. It is a quiet orchestra, but I’ve never been anywhere else like it, and it always inspires me.

Why did you choose to pair American Forests with your print?
I wanted to pair this print with an organization whose mission in some way involves repairing the planet. That is the work American Forests is engaged in. Their goal is to plant 100 million trees by 2020.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I am always hoping that art somewhere is transforming our relationship to the world. Art can transform with wonder and the power of imagination, and I don’t believe the human race can really progress without it.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I could never pick one! An ever expanding constellation of artists inspire me - Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, Beatriz Milhazes, Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Kiki Smith, William Kentridge, Jacques Tati, Federico Fellini, Pina Bausch, to name a few.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
The artists above, and so many others. Charles Burchfield (at the Hammer this year), Machine Project in residence at the Hammer or at home in Echo Park, Velaslavasay Panorama, Steve Roden - a painter who also works with sound. I think the process of looking for and finding artists - seeing work that inspires and informs you - is part of the job of being an artist.

Ana Botezatu: Test

Released Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Test, by Ana Botezatu.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Pablove Foundation.

Ana Botezatu is an artist that lives and works in Cluj, Romania. Her work is multi-disciplinary, exploring different mediums, materials, and means of expression. She is becoming more and more interested in the use of crafts in contemporary arts.

About the print:
I got married this year, and people around me asked the usual absurd question about why we were getting married. That is a hard question to answer - you are in danger of not being romantic enough or rational enough. Therefore, I reduced my answer to this drawing.

Test is a three-color letterpress print printed by Polychroma onto 300gsm cotton paper.


What has inspired you recently?
I have to say that lately I love to visit science, history, nature, art and crafts museums. I find them inspiring in their silence and tranquility (I usually find myself alone there). Nothing is screaming to be seen, and because of that, I can really let my mind go. I think that my best ideas have come to me lately in such places.

Why did you choose to pair the Pablove Foundation with your print?
My print is a soft gesture of love; it’s not much - no big words, just a touch that transmits a moving affection. I think that this is the kind of gesture one makes when choosing to help the Pablove Foundation through this print.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I don’t think that art can educate or change people; it is not art’s business to do so (though that is a seductive idea). How a certain individual meets and is touched by any form of art is always different, surprising, unique, and not always positive. However, art is involved in our everyday lives - in design, gastronomy, fashion, music, nature, and so on. We are a part of art without even noticing it much of the time.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Unfortunately, I have a big problem with authority, and now at my age, I don’t really feel the need for a mentor anymore. I want to evolve along my own path and needs. However, I am always happy when I can learn something new from a good craftsman.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Nothing new, just a reminder of some favorites: Gellu Naum, a wonderful poet of words and collage, Ivan Generalić for his simple backyard miracles, and Pontormo with his crazy, unbearable, and wonderful colors.

Natalia Czajkiewicz: The Messenger

Released Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Messenger, by Natalia Czajkiewicz.
15% of the sale of this print goes to the Kids In Need Foundation.

Natalia Czajkiewicz is an artist living and working in Seattle, Washington. Raised in California, her work is heavily influenced by her sun-soaked youth and the grey contrast of the Pacific Northwest. Nostalgic and sentimental, Natalia is inspired by women, human interaction, internal alarms, and hand-drawn type.

About the print:
The Messenger is a larger painting on wood. It depicts a woman who knows something troubling, and she must put this information out into the world. So many of us carry around dark secrets and are definitely capable of having very dark thoughts. Sometimes you have to let those things go to move forward, or even just to continue functioning. The Messenger is about a woman releasing this dark part of herself.

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?
So many things. I am inspired that it is summer in Seattle. I feel like I have been living inside a rain cloud for the last 9 months; I just want to be baptized in a kiddie pool full of lemonade. It’s very easy to have it feel like every day is the same when the weather is just a constant state of grey and damp - it almost does me in every year.

My son is a constant inspiration. Watching him when he is drawing something, and his freedom in having no idea if something looks wrong or right, not caring about getting it right. Just being around children in general, it is hard not to feel like the world is full of wonder. Forgetting rules, letting go - all these things are inspiring.

Why did you choose to pair the Kids In Need Foundation with your print?
Childhood is the most magical time. Everyone deserves that - to not have to worry, to be carefree, and to just be able to be a kid.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
I can’t imagine what life would be like if I didn’t have an outlet for creating art, or if the world didn’t have that outlet - to focus whatever confusing energy or emotions you may have on making something. I think the world has been greatly transformed by art. I can’t even imagine what the world would be like with out it - even just my life, and my child’s life.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
It’s hard to pick just one, but someone that I think of often is Sister Corita Kent. I have a hard time staying positive. It’s something I really struggle with - I wish I were a more motivating and optimistic person. Her message of peace and love are a great comfort. I think that being around her, and watching her work would be life changing. Also, her use of color has always blown me away.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Oh, there are so many. I am very much a fan of Martha Rich, Kime Buzzelli, Ashley Lande, Drew Beckmeyer, Suzannah Sinclair, Jesse Spears, Devin Troy Strother, Christopher Duncan, Tara Dougans, Maya Hayuk. I could go on, but there are a few for you.

Tsilli Pines: Balance Sheet

Released Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Balance Sheet, by Tsilli Pines.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Tsilli Pines has been working as a graphic designer for over 10 years and has designed award-winning projects for Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, SB Architects, and David Bowie. Her client work has appeared in STEP, HOW, and Print.

She designs and makes Jewish marriage contracts under the name New Ketubah, where she seeks to marry a traditional art form with modern design. She also runs a line of modern Judaica under the name Alef Betty.

Her art practice spans photography and works on paper. She is interested in numbers, human systems, ordinary moments, and the life of the mind. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

About the print:
In 2008 I made a series called "The Figures" which explored the topography of money in human consciousness, and the constant parade of numbers in everyday life. This past May, the New York Times Magazine asked me to revisit the themes from that series for their money issue. This was one of the unpublished pieces that emerged from that exploration, as I considered the fractured state of things now.

This is an archival ink jet print on 100% cotton 300 gsm Moab Entrada natural paper. Each print was signed and numbered by the artist.


What has inspired you recently?
I'm inspired by the way people hold each other up in tough times.

Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
We have a system of worth that doesn't always recognize the things that are worth the most. It is such important work to provide care for people, regardless of all the systems that can divide and devalue lives.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Art connects people with their humanity, and that's the basis of all transformation.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the studio of Charles and Ray Eames. Their body of work is inspiring, but the spirit in which they did it is even more so. They had a sense of play and fearlessness in approaching new media and materials.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
I love the intimacy in the work of Elinor Carucci and Phillip Toledano. And I'm inspired by my friends Jolie Guillebeau, Nilobon Kijkrailas, Sarah Landwehr, and Nik Bresnick.