JWB_Victorian_blue1I was born on the kitchen floor of a Victorian home in Newbury, Vermont and though I have now spent half my life living in NYC, the way one enters the world tends to stick with them. I love hand-built houses.  Be they up in a tree — or in a gallery and have been working on two related bodies of work for the last five years depicting tree houses and Victorian homes.

This fall, I saw two standout artist made houses; Andy Cross’s ‘House Painter’ installation at Martos Gallery in and Camille Iemmolo’s “The Band-Aid House-At Play” that was featured at Context Art Miami. Each artist created a unique environment that enlivens a space within a space and an altered reality. Cross’s house was constructed out of paintings and acted as a studio within the gallery space that he painted in throughout the exhibition.

As Mr. Cross has written of the project, “Recycle the painting: flip it over and start anew; cut it up and collage the parts onto another painting. Screw a few paintings together to create a larger surface and then paint on top of it all over again. Or, combine paintings together and make a house…” The main piece in this exhibition has taken the form of a house, but overall, his varied work acts more like a bridge. Unabridged he paints and paints, connecting opposing sides: inside and out, high and low, personal and public. At its best, his work attempts to re-attach the severed silver strings that connect the material back to the spiritual.

(-excerpted from the Martos Gallery press release)
http://andycross.org/

I have known Andy and his work since our days together in the Hunter MFA program and was happy to bring my all my students from Adelphi University to come and experience this innovative artist’s work.

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After a blissful morning on the beach in Miami, I strolled through Art Miami with fellow tart members Asya Resnikov and Anna Lise Jensen. I was captivated by a playfully powerful work by Camille and was instantly greeted by this warm and charismatic artist and enjoyed our conversation related to her work.

When I was a very little girl, 5 or 6, I drew this band-aid house in my room for Paul thinking that I could build a house in which he could dance and sing. I prayed to God, “you could cut off my right arm, for me to be an artist and make this house and show it to the world to tell a story of my love for my brother”. Last year my life was spared when I broke my neck at the foot of a jump in a very serious horse fall. At the same time my brother fell ill in the hospital. Out of my pain and recovery came the energy to construct the “ Band-Aid house-At Play.” and a special thanks to Packer Schopf Gallery for taking it on. I have lived my life of trials, as have most, at times moments seeming insurmountable. The house stands for a personal as well as universal symbol of suffering and pain and endurance. How each country, each household no matter how seemingly perfect has it’s pain. Life is full of red tape and its trials and tribulations only instill character. Our mistakes are the steps to where we can only pray to be. It is how we endure that matters. Suffering is a human condition that we are handed for a purpose. In seeking those answers here by the grace of God I go.

(-excerpted from camilleiemmolo.com)
http://www.camilleiemmolo.com

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