We spotted April’s best art offerings in all sorts of venues – ranging from a shipping container to a public library. Artists tackled a wide variety of concerns, including women’s health and the passage of time. But they also used intriguing materials, including crystals, Mylar, and light. Here’s a look back at 10 of our favorites.
Works by Phoenix sculptor Peter Deise have been featured in several recent exhibitions, including "Chaos Theory" at Legend City Studios and the Artlink exhibition at Bentley Projects. But now, you can spot one of his large-scale, fluid works created with metal and fire right in front of The Oscar shipping container apartments in Roosevelt Row.
El Nuevo Dorado (The New Dorado)
This piece was created in 2012 by Columbian artist Miguel Angel Rojas, using screenprint, coca leaf powder pigment and gold leaf. Born in Bogatá in 1946, his work often deals with marginalized cultures, and the implications of illegal drug production and consumption. This piece is currently on view at Phoenix Art Museum.
Phoenix artist Andy Brown often infuses his paintings with desert and bicycle themes, using characteristic line work featuring patterns and concentric lines. He’s painted several murals for Phoenix and surrounding cities, but also works in California and New York. This piece was recently exhibited at the Megaphone PHX gallery and studio space he operates in midtown Phoenix.
Endometriosis: The Invisible Illness
Photographer Emily Johnston decided to spotlight women’s health with this piece recently featured in the “Light Sensitive” exhibition at Art Intersection. It’s an embroidered cyanotype of fabric, showing the figure of a woman living with a painful illness, which Johnston created in 2016.
The Past Increases
Curves tightly hug one another as they travel unexpected paths together in paintings by Camila Galofre, whose subtle colors draw viewers closer to experience the full measure of their emotional weight. This is one of several Galofre oil-on-panel pieces recently exhibited at New City Studio.
For those who want to literally be one with the art, Daniel Funkhouser’s installation makes that possible. Funkhouser lined walls inside a shipping container gallery in Roosevelt Row with floor-to-ceiling curves, transforming them with changing infusions of light that beckon viewers inside for a creative embrace.
Zachary Valent used concrete, a combination of selenite and grown crystals, and pigment to create this sculpture, which was exhibited at Step Gallery. It’s intended as both self-portrait and personification of time, and expresses what the artist deems his own internal struggles with the limitations of time. Inspired by sculptor Auguste Rodin, Valent conveys a shift from thinking with the mind to thinking with technology.
PTSD I, II, III
Oregon artist Rick Bartow died in 2016, but more than 100 of his works, including these 2008 acrylic on canvas paintings, are featured in the “Things You Know But Cannot Explain” exhibition at the Heard Museum. These pieces reflect his experience as a veteran, including struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Other works in the exhibition span many years of his work, including the latter period of his life, when he was recovering from multiple strokes.
This sculpture, recently featured in Elliott Kayser’s exhibition at Step Gallery, depicts the vulnerability of both a domesticated, branded mother and its calf. The golden calf references both monetary gain and false idols, serving as a cautionary tale against putting too much faith in things of one’s own making, and highlighting the perils of valuing resources only for their efficiency and economy.
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Irony abounds in this Mylar and wood piece featured in “The Politics of Place” exhibition at Eye Lounge. By writing the content of Donald Trump's tweets onto simple strips of Mylar, Christina You-sun Park plays with themes that have been problematic for Trump’s presidency, including transparency, literacy, truthfulness, and record-keeping. Even as Trump seeks to eliminate arts funding, Park is one of many artists using creative means to critique his actions.