I’m Steel Here

The above title for my first one-artist show isn’t so much a play on words as it is my very existence. When I’m sculpting, I prefer working alone. That means lifting, cutting, welding, re-cutting, re-welding seriously heavy and cumbersome steel. I’m not an artist who directs other workers to engineer and perform their designs (this is a not-uncommon process, with both famous and non-famous artists alike).

And as much as I physically would love to have someone else (at times) hustle the heavy-lifting, not really my thing.

It’s a process which brings me great joy and resolution, often when other things don’t make sense at all, i.e, politics, death of loved one, why my husband left dishes in the sink this morning. Really deep stuff.

My biggest art influences have been Abstract Expressionism, Pop and Minimalism, steel construct, Conceptualism and outspoken women. #MeToo should have been around when painters Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner and Zanne Hochberg, among so many others, were fighting to be heard.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to persevere when asses tell you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing?  Anybody identify with that? Probably. Easier said than done to say fuck ‘em, and these women did just that.

And their works are palpably just as strong (often more so) than the guys like Jackson Pollock who hogged all the attention and entree.

Feminist renegade Barbara Kruger (who was one of my advisors at CalArts) is a great symbol of fighting status quo, also. She’s an inspiring, unapologetic leveler of what I consider to be genius social commentary.

My joyous physical influences are more obvious in the assemblage nature of David Smith, Mark di Suvero and Louise Nevelson, but language remains a major and soulful finish to all my pieces.

In many ways:

My favorite nervy interaction when I had a traditional gallery space on Palm Canyon, in downtown Palm Springs, was when a older guy (my age) walked in. He was from Phoenix, wore an expensive golf shirt.

He called me over to a sculpture I’d made for a previous collection.

In my best sales-boy parlance, I said, “How can I help you?”

“This one,” he said, pointing to “I Lost My Virginity at 17 to Both a Man and a Woman.”

“This is is the ugliest piece of shit I’ve ever seen,” he barked. “but the welds are great, how did he do them?”

I looked at him with a smile, which was genuine.

“Well, I’m actually a decent welder, it’s something I’ve done my whole life.”

“Oh, man,” he faltered, “I didn’t mean to…I didn’t know…”

“No worries, I said,” trying to make him feel better. “Everyone’s entitled to an opinion.”

“Thank you.”

“And that pastel is just darling on you.”

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JOHNNY NICOLORO CAPTURES THE POWER OF THE FLOWER DURING "NAKED AND LUSH"

JOHNNY NICOLORO CAPTURES THE POWER OF THE FLOWER DURING "NAKED AND LUSH"

There’s a new show bringing springtime back to the desert. As the cool weather fades and the green leaves on the palm trees begin to blossom back to life, Ted Casablanca artist, Johnny Nicoloro, takes the chance to capture the beautiful flowers he comes across in the desert during the gallery’s “Naked and Lush” exhibit.

Nicoloro’s images, comprised of brilliantly colored flower prints and one-of-a kind chairs, expose his love for flowers and beautiful floral patterns. The flowers themselves either comes from the ones that he has come upon out in the world, flowers people have given him, or flowers that he has bought specifically to shoot. He mentions that the beauty and the joy that flowers bring constantly amaze him.

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ERIC SCHWABEL CAPTURES A FERTILE LANDSCAPE IN THE "NAKED AND LUSH" TWO-ARTIST SHOW

ERIC SCHWABEL CAPTURES A FERTILE LANDSCAPE IN THE "NAKED AND LUSH" TWO-ARTIST SHOW

A man sits contemplatively on a bed of rocks sprinkled with deep greenery, his stone like appearance allowing him to easily blend in with the surrounding desert-scape. This image is just one of the works found in Eric Schwabel’s upcoming show, “The Fertile Desert,” which will be featured during the Ted Casablanca Gallery exhibit “Naked and Lush.”

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BEFORE THE PAPARAZZI: MICHAEL CHILDERS PORTRAITS OF STARDOM

BEFORE THE PAPARAZZI:  MICHAEL CHILDERS PORTRAITS OF STARDOM

Andy Warhol, Clint Eastwood, Ray Bradbury, Mae West¾the upcoming exhibit, Actors, Artists, and Authors: The Portraits of Michael Childers, at Scripps College showcases works by the photographer of the creative elite. Combining pieces from the Scripps College collection and works on loan from the artist himself, the exhibit displays portraits ranging across several decades.

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