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Timeless Treasures

Instead of reading between the lines, look between the gaps. Artist Donna Ruff meticulously cuts dazzling patterns on the front pages of newspapers, namely The New York Times for her fine art pieces.

Artist Donna Ruff’s cut out masterpieces, photo from In Habitat.

Ruff says that “I like to cut away or remove parts of pages so that there is a kind of conversation between what is printed on the page and what is removed – the positive and negative space are equally important.”

With one look at her exquisite artworks, the patterns seem to have been cut out with the aid of an assembly line cookie-cutter machine. Ruff hand-cuts each and every New York Times front page from the easily accessible page corners to the much more difficult internal nooks and crannies.

Her works create a different way to explore the paper, trying to decipher the story on the pages while stepping back to appreciate the intricate and elegant hand cut pieces.

Another fine art piece by artist Donna Ruff, photo from Illusion.

The New York Times inspired and played an important role in another artwork, one that can be seen while visiting the influential newspaper. Since 2007, The New York Times building has been showcasing an expansive media art installation called “Movable Type” by artists Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin.

Art Installation “Movable Types” at The New York Times building, photo taken by Paulina Tam for The Bare Square

Five hundred and sixty identical vacuum fluorescent display screens are hung from multiple wires that stretch across two huge walls. The screens are synchronized displaying data from The New York Times historical databank, feedback from readers, and as well as up-to-the-minute breaking news.

A close up on one of the media panels of The New York Times installation, photo taken by Paulina Tam for The Bare Square

Another close up on one of the art panels, photo taken by Paulina Tam for The Bare Square

In addition to The New York Times informing and entertaining readers since 1851, it inspires artists including Donna Ruff, Mark Hansen, and Ben Rubin to create timeless treasures of their own.

-Paulina Tam

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Art in Design…Bea Pila

Bea Pila

Inspired by ethnicity and distinctive cultures, Bea Pila designs residential and commercial spaces with a sense of hospitality and uniqueness. Because her styles are diverse and eclectic she has become well-known in the Miami area for her interior design.

In our interview, Bea Pila stated, “I love things from Africa mixed with modern elements, I love things from Asia and from all over the world…I love global influences.”

The Diaz Project by Bea Pila

Representing transitional contemporary styles, the interior designer finds herself incorporating fine art in almost all her projects. “I have been very blessed to have clients that have the capacity and understanding to collect fine art,” says Bea Pila.

Her projects include: The Levine Project – featuring a classic American art collection, The Kaz Project – highlighting glass art and Andy Warhol pieces, The Garcia Project – showcasing a Cuban art collection, The Diaz Project – incorporating antique pieces including 58 Tiffany lamps and the list goes on.

The Levine Project by Bea Pila

With the continuous success of her work, the designer challenges herself with new tasks! “My biggest challenge today is establishing my own brand in a store and expanding my new products and collections.” The store is located in Miami, and she is looking forward to opening one in New York.

The Levine Project by Bea Pila

Influenced by abstract urban art, Bea Pila mentioned nAscent artists, Todd Wright and Alexandra Pacula as inspiring. “I couldn’t tell if Alexandra’s work was photography that was manipulated or was it fine art, it was very intriguing to me. It was impressive to learn they are oil paintings.”

Todd Wright

Alexandra Pacula

We are looking forward to hearing about exciting new projects by Bea Pila and seeing her collection here in New York soon.

-Yekaterina Sahakyan

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posted by Katrina in Art In Design,Design,Interview,journalism and have Comments Off
Inside Top Studios!

Artists need space to create. Want an inside peek at studios of famous fine art figures? Big to small, lofty, skylit, bold or beautiful…We’ve compiled 5 artist studios in the U.S. that are sure to impress!

Let’s start the tour!

1. Willem de Kooning’s studio – East Hampton, New York

Willem de Kooning’s studio – East Hampton, New York

Born in 1904 in the Netherlands, Willem de Kooning is referred to be the Abstract expressionist in the post-World War II era.

He says, “The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.”

His studio exemplifies the order and chaos that he refers to as an artist. Moreover, it is known that the inspiration of some of his biomorphic shapes of abstract work were derived from objects found in his studio. In 1946, Kooning was faced with financial problems and he did not have the resources to buy artists’ pigments. As a solution to keep his career, he began working with only black and white pigments. Some of these works include: Light in August, Black Friday, Zurich, and Mailbox.

2. Roy Lichtenstein’s studio – Southampton, New York

Roy Lichtenstein’s studio – Southhampton, New York

An American pop artist, often associated with Andy Warhol and his style of art, Roy Lichtenstein has been a leading figure in the pop art movement during the 1960s. It was 30 years later that he met the photographer Laurie Lambrecht who helped him with the studio showcase at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of his artworks. Even his studio looks like a comic book.

3. Jackson Pollock’s studio – East Hampton, New York

Jackson Pollock’s studio – East Hampton, New York

Another Abstract expressionist, known for his drip paintings is Jackson Pollock. Born in 1912, Pullock who later on suffered from alcoholism finds the perfect space on the floor.

“On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.”

And you won’t see chairs and tables in his studio, nothing but a large space to drip colors and dance around a large-scale canvas.

4. David Hockney’s studio – Bedford Corners, New York

David Hockney’s studio – Bedford Corners, New York

A studio doesn’t have to be indoors! David Hockney  transformed the woodsy landscape into a temporary atelier to paint and feel the surrounding of nature that has been the inspiration for the artist. With these outdoor digs there is no need to worry about rent, electricity, or street noise. You may just  have to be prepared for the weather!

5. Georgia O’Keefe’s studio – Abiquiu, New Mexico

Georgia O’Keefe’s studio – Abiquiu, New Mexico

O’Keeffe the originator of female iconography, came to the attention of the art world as the first woman with art training during the 19th Century. One of her most famous paintings is Summer Days. She is also known for the series of Clouds paintings and as a whole O’Keefe represents a very nature oriented character that is transitioned into her studio design. Wooden floors and furniture, light walls and big windows is all the artist needs to transform a blank canvas.

Which studio did you like the most?

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “An artist’s studio should be a small space because small rooms discipline the mind and large ones distract it.”

Do you agree with da Vinci or would you prefer endless space like Hockney?

-Yekaterina Sahakyan

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posted by Katrina in Artist,journalism and have Comments Off
So You Think You Can Dance?

Jordan Matter, a NYC based photographer, captures the every-day life of not so ordinary people – dancers. With a collection of indoor and outdoor photos, the artist has created a book titled Dancers Among Us.

Times Square by Jordan Matter

In the book you’ll see a girl dancing in the rain, a man dancing while showering, a couple jumping while crossing the street in addition to many more magical moments. The beauty in these photographs is not simply the physical feats, but the casual execution of them.

“What happens to this enthusiasm, this ability to be wholly present in the moment? Why are these pure moments of passion so often replaced with cynicism, boredom, and indifference?” Matter explains about his photographs.

We are so used to seeing dancers on stage, that seeing them out of context can be astonishing. Art in unexpected places can be truly inspiring.

Dancers among us by Jordan Matter

To get more perspective on how dancers feel while they are not on stage, we asked professional dancer, Angelica Burgos about her life outside the theater. Burgos, who has worked with the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of NY and was a cast member of the West Side Story, tells us that, “As I look at those pictures I could not agree more with the photographer. The life of a dancer, it’s a joggling act. It’s a constant act of maintaining your body in top shape, healthy, injury free. The photographer was able to express so much in one shot and completely capture what a dancer’s life is. A beautiful, short, hard, career with many sacrifices but all worth it!!”

Angelica Burgos

The photographer, Jordan Matter who worked on this project for 3 years, was able to capture the beauty of dance as a form of art. He also achieved his goal of showing us the world through the bright eyes of a 3 year old. The 3 year old, his son, was the inspiration that brought him to this success, ensuring that we all take the time to appreciate fleeting moments.

The book is now one of the New York Times bestsellers. “Dancers are storytellers. They’re trained to capture passion with their bodies. They often create a fantasy world or offer us a deeper look into familiar settings. They bring to life what we feel but what most of us, lacking their artistry and athleticism, are unable to express physically,” says the NYT bestselling photographer.

Dancers among us by Jordan Matter

-Yekaterina Sahakyan

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Art in Design…Alejandra Bernardez

Interior designer Alejandra Bernardez has come a long way since the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A young designer focused on the contemporary, Bernardez runs a successful interior design company, an accomplishment she believes to be her greatest thus far in her budding career. Her affable personality balances her desire for perfection, achieving stunning results for her clients.

Interior Designer Alejandra Bernardez, photo from artist.

A clear focus point often kicks off a great project. In Miss Bernardez’s case, she begins with her clients. They important in her creative process because they give her the motivation and drive to fashion something uniquely theirs. Through this process she stretches and explores her creativity, growing with each project.

Alejandra Bernardez recent project

She believes art is an essential aspect in all of her projects. Bernardez explains, “Adding fine art in the design process is the inspirational element that defines what is needed for a certain project. Fine art should reflect a connection between the given space and the client’s space. Artworks and its color, patterns, and rhythms bring a certain happiness that fills up a room.”

You can see the “happiness” she describes in her recent work. The intricate beading of the curtain shades complements the softness of the beige and warm hues of the bed and its surrounding furnishings. She finished the space with a painting of chrysanthemums hanging on the back wall, reminiscent of a comfortable and soothing summer day.

A closer look at Miss Bernardez’s latest project

Another sneak preview into the creative mind of Miss Bernardez, photo from artist.

Other fine art works that speak to her are by nAscent artists Cara Enteles and Yuko Ueda. Bernardez says, “I think Miss Enteles’s work reflects the perfect balance of shapes and patterns. Her rhythmic imageries show the perfect mixture and attention of happiness in her scenes. Also Miss Ueda’s work is very interesting too. Her paintings remind us that artwork can be kept simple while being sophisticated and beautiful.”

Artwork by nAscent artist Cara Enteles.

Artwork by nAscent artist Yuko Ueda.

Without a doubt, Miss Bernardez’s projects are effortlessly chic, simple, and captivating.

-Paulina Tam

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