Belinda McKeon is an Irish-born and Brooklyn based writer whose second novel Tender is out now on Picador is published in the US by Lee Boudreaux in February 2016. Her essays and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, Guardian and Paris Review.
Work by Belinda McKeon:
Belinda McKeon nominated photographer Liz Nielsen
"Liz Nielsen is a photographer who does not use a camera. What she creates are photographs; they are portraits of unique moments in time – but it’s as though they are portraits of the feel of those moments, the molecules of those moments as they came into being. Jagged and raw and unabashedly vulnerable, her pieces are vivid shouts of shape and colour, her interpretation of the photogram technique, in which she uses transparent colour gels to make negatives, and lets light leak in to expose the image, which is always different, always strange.
In truth, though I’ve attempted to describe, here, how Liz makes her photographs, I actually can’t understand it, conceive of it; my brain won’t work that way, to think of negatives, dipped in colour, and what the random or deliberate creeping-in of light will do to them. I only understand the beauty and the starkness of the pieces which result, and I love that they look like scenes imagined but are actually scenes happened upon, or made to happen, attempted in the moment before they become visible, attempted in a moment of pure chance and hope and risk. The light will find a way: that’s the belief at the core of Liz’s work. I like that. I like having that kind of work near to me."
Work by Liz Nielsen:
Liz Nielsen nominated artist Angelina Gualdoni:
"I am inspired by the way Angelina uses her painted mark of many colors and the way she suggests her subjects without naming them. In her works, she mists spray paint and leaks ink, then she paints objects and line-oriented designs. She references double spaces, and overlapping time. Her paintings reveal abstract maps or fragments that define and delineate blobs, sneaker footprints, flowers, and monumental piles.
Angelina’s paintings mix intuition and design together. This sampling pushes form over concept. Representational subjects are hinted at, and still lives emerge against mysterious backgrounds of solitude and displacement. The overlays create a dramatic and desired effect forcing a magical distance.
When standing in front of one of her works, I feel positioned in a non-locatable space-place, like a faint yet emotional memory, that exists singularly, inside of a void."
Work by Angelina Gualdoni:
"I've been thinking a lot about Jonathan Van Dyke lately, who has been pretty much killing it. We share a love of Sonia Delaunay's patterns and fashions, and when I first saw Traunitz, his installation of sewn fabric paintings and photographs, both originating in performances, it was one of those moments where it was so good I was mad that I hadn't gotten there first.
Jonathan's got this incredibly hybridity to his work: textiles and paintings come out of performances, performances are informed by fashion and sports, paintings and photographs are displayed in the round as sculpture and set - it's a similar attitude to Delaunay, as well as Dona Nelson, and even some Brazilian artists like Helio Oiticia and Lygia Clark. If all that isn't enough, his work is drop dead gorgeous, tightly stretched, bodily, lusty, and filled with some kind of catharsis, all of which I've been thinking about a lot lately too."
Work by Jonathan VanDyke:
Jonathan Van Dyke nominated artist photographer and Paul Mpagi Sepuya:
"Paul Sepuya's large-scale recent photographs are fascinating visual puzzles. They are photographs of cameras, mounted upon tripods and dead center in a white-walled studio space. The cameras are unattended, facing us, as if we have taken our seat in a portrait studio and the photographer has gone on break. The tidy walls and the objects that appear behind and around the camera – snapshots, bits of fruit on the floor, scattered Post-it notes, a roll of tape – suggest an artist's process; but if this is an artist's studio, it is composed, coy. We are not in the trash heap of libidinal desire that we associate with Francis Bacon's workspace. Fragments of intimate photos (imaging empty beds, nude limbs and torsos, flowers seen at close range as if to be smelled) float through this space. They do not drift randomly like thought bubbles, but stick to the grid, like "windows" on a computer screen. While superimposed on top of the pictorial space, these pictures offer psychological depth. Their suggestive, desire-rich fragments linger in the empty air, like sensation after sex or the keen insight released after an argument.
At the top of the picture plane, high enough to be out of reach, the studio wall ends. A sliver of ceiling and a bigger room, abutting this one, come into view above the white partition. For a minute, this view of deep space makes me check myself: am I looking in a mirror, at something behind me, and not at a photograph? I am reminded of the flat, reflective "paintings" of Michelangelo Pistoletto, a premonition of selfie culture, where the viewer confronts her own image in the picture plane. In Sepuya’s prints we can’t literally see ourselves, but I feel as if I’ve walked into something uncannily familiar. His assemblage of cameras, objects, and bodies reflects the way we experience and make imagery now. This wall we project ourselves upon is just a thin wall, after all; and the shutter might be about to open, marking us in a space of making."
Works by Paul Mpagi Sepuya:
Paul Mpagi Sepuya nominated multimedia artist A.L. Steiner:
"You’ve asked why A.L. Steiner is an influence and an inspiration at the moment. At the moment, the point of entry may be her recent exhibition Come & Go that just closed here in Los Angeles. Come & Go presents the artist’s archive of creative, sexual, physical and political collaboration that serves as the through line for the life of an individual situated at a particular place and time and a subjective viewpoint within a broader queer culture. The exhibition was organized around a thematic card-catalogue of Steiner’s 35mm drug store printouts from the 90s to contemporary digital camera printouts, but I would say Steiner is less a photographer for the sake of aesthetics or form than someone for whom photographs are the resulting skins, image-objects cast from deeper intimacies. The lived life is the mould that compels but is never fully summed up within any given picture, and that’s a good thing. The work demands that you keep up. No apologies. As an educator, activist, and friend, both her work and her life are inspirations at the moment now and moments to come."
Works by A.L. Steiner:
Search here for areas of interest (e.g. music, novels...):