A curated survey of this month’s “TOP TEN ARTISTS NYC NOW” from our Art 511 Magazine digital artist database. Coming soon, top featured artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco and more! Submit your work to be considered.
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Born 1984 in Del Plata, Argentina
Noharanda recalls a childhood surrounded by paintings on canvas, drawings and myriad creative tools. Being born into a family of artists, “from a young age, I felt I was looking at the world with a colorful and magical lens where everything was possible.” She grew up exploring art in all mediums, but professionally pursued a career in the diamond industry. When her son Noah was born, she experienced a huge shift in perception that anchored her more deeply in the dream of being an artist. “Noharanda” (for her son, Noah) became her artist moniker from then on. A lover of the sketchbook, her ideas first take form in hand renderings that she outlines on the move. One of her favorite places to sketch is on the London tube during long commutes. Although oil paint has been a long-term medium of choice, she’s recently forayed into experimentation with Photoshop. Working from her small London flat, a digital format happily limits the mess factor. The artist is drawn to instagram and the opportunity it provides to connect with other like-minded creatives. “Creating colorful artwork is my way of spreading happy vibes to as many people as I can. My art is about women embracing their natural selves unapologetically. It’s about female empowerment and positivity. Boho vibes and freedom. I draw about modern women.” Her printable illustration “Women” explores how women united are stronger and can make more change. This particular piece is inspired by legendary women such as Frida Kahlo, Chelsea Handler, Lupita N’yongo and Oprah. Learning Photoshop proved a challenge, but has ultimately been very rewarding. Creative commissions, logos and clip art are part of her regular repertoire as well. The artist is currently learning After Effects and has a new collection coming out on Etsy. “Definitely, 2019 will be a year with more animated illustrations!” says Noharanda.
Follow the artist on Instagram @noharanda
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Makeba “KEEBS” Rainey
Born 1988 in New York City
An artist working in digital collage, Makeba “KEEBS” Rainey makes work about Black Liberation, building community and creating space for Black femmes to be seen and heard. Working out of her Philly studio, Makeba says “I’ve always been an artist. I am an artist because I don’t know how to be anything else.” Although her primary medium is digital collage, her process and materials are in many ways a response to the subject matter. Right now, she’s learning how to sew: “A new medium can be a great challenge, but ultimately worth it!” says the artist. Recent projects include process-based collaborations incorporating installation, writing, research, community engagement, audio and video. Makeba is currently working on, among many other things, “The Soul(s) of…” a project that documents the histories of Black women who were born and/or raised in communities that are currently being gentrified. This project consists of life-size digital collage portraits of each woman and a digital archive of their stories. Neighborhoods include Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and communities in Philly. Makeba exhibited the Soul(s) of Brooklyn series at Photoville this year. As a 2018 fellow with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, she intends to expand the project to interview more women in Philly, further develop the online archive, and create public art installations that attempt to reclaim the neighborhoods these women are from. Makeba recently curated an installation at Vox Populi for the Knew Member Show called “Black Auntie.” The installation is an experiment in healing generational trauma through story-telling and emotional skill-sharing/building in collaboration with oral historian and poet Kymberlee Johnson-Norfleet as Black Auntie and her cousin, Dream Director Hakim Pitts. “This installation explores the processes of sorting through pain, reclaiming our voices back and writing our own narratives of what and who we are through poetry, prose, personal reflections, and age-old practices from ancestors.” Black Auntie will be up through February 2019. Additionally, Makeba opened up a home gallery in Philly called the B(A)LM studio. “B(A)LM” stands for Black Artist Liberation Movement and started out as an online collective of Black artists and designers who create on-demand graphics for Black Liberation Organizations worldwide. The goals of the B(A)LM are to politicize artists, pay artists for their work, and networking. The B(A)LM is rooted in the guiding principles of the National Black Lives Matter network. Through January, a group show featuring contemporary art from Ghana curated by Abena Nyarko of Know My Arts will be on view alongside work by the B(A)LM’s first resident artist Janyce Denise Glasper from Dayton, OH. Programming in conjunction with these two exhibitions will focus on financial literary through an African lens and entrepreneurship. Upcoming, the B(A)LM pop-up gallery hits H-Space in Washington DC, a collaborative venture with programming and events centered around healing justice, African diasporic unity, cultural preservation, and the upliftment of Black and Brown femmes, February to April 2019. “I’m working with some really amazing healers, activists, organizers, educators and artists across 4 states to create this sacred space. Using meural screens, all artwork in the gallery will be displayed digitally, which allows artists from all over the world to participate.” Looking forward, Makeba is envisioning the positive evolution of the B(A)LM studio in Philly, and hopes to develop an international Black artist residency as soon as next year.
Follow the B(A)LM on IG @itsthebalmdotcom
Follow the artist on IG @justkeebs
Born 1960 in Brooklyn, New York
Art chose Grace Roselli and not the other way around. Her medium varies but she prefers oil paint, calling it “the Sexiest.” For a seasoned artist such as Grace, “The work moves from the body to machines (camera, computer) to a physical, two-dimensional surface.” She lets her intuition guide her to make the most sense in the moment. Broadly speaking, her artworks navigate the complexities of female agency in contemporary culture. Her paintings, performance and photography is concerned with the slippage between race, gender, and sexuality. Authorship is another hot button issue — “Who has the ‘right’ to talk about what—illuminates societal power structures and personal perceptions,” explains Grace. She’s rode a motorcycle for over thirty years and used body paint as a means of tackling racial issues and gender norms. Her most recent work comes out of an art practice developed over decades, “One in which I lived the subject without filter and that at times has extended my studio practice beyond its walls.” In her large-scale painting “The Implications of Baring One’s Teeth,” facial expressions of fear and anger expose social signals frequently presumed to signify threat to perceivers, playing upon racial stereotypes in an effort to reveal their illegitimate basis in fear and anger. In “The Wide Sargass Sea,” an even larger oil on canvas masterpiece, Roselli nods to the feminist anti-colonial novel by Jean Rhy written in response to Jan Eyre. In the re-framing of the crazy woman in the attic, the master’s tools literally burn down his house. And finally in a third massive work on paper, “Pregnant Woman 3x,” made while the artist was pregnant, reflects on the visibility and invisibility of the pregnant body with respect to race and society. A New Yorker to the bone, Roselli makes physical work in her Brooklyn studio and performances occur wherever “my camera, motorcycle and I end up.” Aside from her current series of paintings, “The Implications of Baring One’s Teeth,” Grace has a new photo series and book titled Pandora’s Box about witnessing and being part of the long overdue rise of female artists, and the women gallerists, critics and collectors who support them.
Follow the artist on IG @gracerosellistudio
Born 1989 on Earth
“There were never any other options for me,” says Ryan, also known as “Bockhaus,” of his decision to make art and live the life of an artist. Working in whatever medium is appropriate to the subject matter and work at hand, his range of mediums (which spans painting, drawing, puppetry, animation and experimental film methods) is fluid and changes from project to project. “I love painting,” says Ryan, who considers it a therapeutic practice. His work is about society’s contemporary issues in relationship to history, and frequently traverses the territory of psychology, death, fear and predictions of the future. A snippet from his artist statement explains “At the root of Bock’s practice is a need for narrative structure. Resting somewhere between mythology and nightmare, Bock depicts mise en scène riddled with symbology and allusions both cinematic and painterly in nature.” Aiming to encourage his audience to question “routine human experience” and its illusions, the current American political climate is often on his mind as he creates work. When he’s not doing a site-specific piece or collaboration, he works from his studio in Brooklyn. “Life is too fast and short to accomplish everything I’d like to,” says Ryan. Having recently closed out his last solo exhibition of the year “The Golem: Objects of Security” at Deep Space gallery in Jersey City, he’s preparing for Miami Basel. Stay tuned for more from the Ryan Bock studio.
Follow the artist on instagram @bockhaus
Born 1955 in Pasadena, California
Art has always been “my special language to express myself,” says artist Chris Tanner. Best known for his mixed media paintings, many of the New York scene also know him as a set designer, actor and downtown cabaret singer in drag. A self-declared magpie, his paintings, sculpture and drawings incorporate all things shiny. Jewels, glitter, beads, metal leaf, hair and sequins are all regular fixtures of the artist’s exquisite practice. Tanner’s works talk about light, beauty, excess, sexuality, and of course Joy! As a performing artist, Christopher Tanner has worked with Cyndi Lauper, Penny Arcade, Everett Quinton, Bloolips, Mabou Mines, The Wooster Group, David Lynch, Karen Finley, and The New Stage Theatre Company. Working out of his studio in Tribeca, the artist recently completed a huge solo exhibition at HOWL Happening Gallery in New York City. This exhibition comprised over 30 of Tanner’s paintings and drawings. Moving forward, he’s starting a series of jeweled paintings with black sequins and antique colored marbles from the family marble collection, which is a family memorial project. If you don’t know about Tanner’s work, you should. A 2013 New York Times Article titled “Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt and the Art of Rebellion” (about the artists’ career retrospective) talks about the influence of performer and playwright Jack Smith (1932-89) upon generations of gay, post-stonewall rebellion artists, among a group called “simply some of the best artists we have” is listed Chris Tanner.
Born 1989 in Lewes, Delaware
“I have always been an artistic person, but it was more of a hobby and general means of expression growing up,” says the artist of her early years creating. Ever since she had a life-changing encounter with the colorful pigment of a red amaryllis that she nurtured on a small home altar, Tyvette’s been experimenting with color and texture. “Every day I would take note of the plant’s changes and appearance as a part of my meditation. One day I noticed the petals on one side of the flower wilting and turning dark. I realized that the sage I was burning underneath was heating up the flower and causing it to wither and bleed. I touched the petal and this amazing bright pigment covered my fingers. I wiped it on a piece of paper and I was completely fascinated by the color and the texture of it.” As an artist, she likes to work with materials that you would find in nature. Crystals, flowers, moss, dirt and feathers are all in Symone’s repertoire, usually set on canvas or in glass. “My art’s intention is to evoke the subconscious feelings that go beyond one’s mental perception about the meaning of a piece of art. Each creation represents a different aspect of an emotion or principle based on what they are made of. The evolution of the pieces’ design is paramount to my overall expression,” explains Tyvette. Speaking to and within a society that has become very alienated from the natural world, “I like taking what nature has given us and transforming it in a way that we can appreciate and incorporate it in our daily lives…My art is designed to bring that element back into our living space and our hearts.” Whether drying each individual flower petal or carefully selecting and crushing each crystal by hand, it’s a process Tyvette commits to with the patience needed to create sacred objects. On her off days, she’s also the Office Manager at a large tech company in Manhattan. In terms of creative challenges, it takes a month to properly prepare flowers for her pieces , and the results are often unpredictable. “I also think that it makes my creativity amplify because I have to figure out how to work with what I have—which is what nature needs us to do anyway , to work with what is.” Currently, she’s working on a few custom canvas and glass pieces for collectors. She’s also prepping a set of duck wings for the Fall collection, watching carefully how the changing of the seasons affects her material, and exploring some larger-scale pieces.
Follow the artist on IG @tyvettesymone
Born 1978 in Michigan City, Indiana
“I was a teenager when I learned that it was possible to make a living as a professional artist. I think I knew somehow that the role of the artist was inherently subversive and that was something that interested me very much. I jumped in and never looked back,” reflects Jenn Dierdorf, an artist who makes objects in order to understand the world. As a maker, she loves to play with subjective ideas, color and form. A painter working primarily in acrylic, ink and watercolor as well as paper and collage, drawing is also a big part of her practice. Jenn loves experimenting with new materials and techniques. Her work is about painting and women’s relationship to art. Her recent years painting mostly flower still lives is a reference to Dutch flower painting, women’s early participation in art-making, and how women are seen by society. “While I am mainly representing images of cut flowers in a vase, I am also experimenting with paint, mark-making, line, form, color and pattern. I do not paint from life and I am not interested in representing nature in my work. What I am interested in is making space for women – literally and figuratively, through art and any other means necessary.” Working out of her home studio, a Bushwick loft, Dierdorf like many artists struggles with the efficacy of her ideas at times. “It’s really easy for people to dismiss ‘flower painting’ as cliché and irrelevant – and that’s related to why I chose to work with it in the first place.” Jenn comments on the misogyny perpetuated by the current administration, calling it an “incredible travesty,” and admits that “Painting flowers at this time does not begin to convey the seething anger and hurt I’ve felt over the last couple years. Things are definitely gestating, I’m just not sure yet what is going to come out.” Jenn has some large-scale paper works that will be very mixed-media and sculptural in the works for an upcoming exhibition, and is a contributor to The Coastal Post Art blog where she writes about women of color. She is a coordinator for The Feminist Art Project (TFAP) out of Rutgers University. In 2015, Jen co-founded Lady Painters with fellow artist Kelsey Shwetz, a creative networking initiative for women artists with a strong focus on painting. Lady Painters organizes small gatherings during which “We share our work and get to know each other in an informal space.” The Lady Painter website launches next month in an effort to make work by women more accessible to the public. Meanwhile, Jenn has work included in the group exhibition “Don’t Make A Scene” at Greenpoint Hill in Brooklyn, NYC up thru November 18th. She has a two-person exhibition titled “Break Loose” at Carthage College near Chicago with Kevin Stuart opening in February curated by Ryan Peter Miller, coinciding with an interview by curator Ryan Miller for his podcast Bad At Sports. Finally, this May, Jenn is featured in a group show of American and Slovakian artists that will tour several art spaces in Bratislava and NYC.
Follow the artist on IG @jenndier
Born 1991 in Bridgeport, Connecticut
“I became an artist out of the joy of creatively being able to express my thoughts and vision onto canvas for others to feel,” says Florida-based artist Renee Rutherford. A painter working in acrylic and oil; mixed media including newspaper, foils and glitter also factor into her multi-layered and collaged canvases. Inspired a great deal by music and emotions, her paintings often pay tribute to an important music or visual artist. Her piece “Ye,” inspired by the Kanye West quote “Slavery was a choice” explores the recent aftermath of racist decisions made by the Trump administration and how Kanye West’s comments offended much of the Black community. Her piece combines imagery from the film Get Out by Jordan Peele with West’s Graduation album, and is a plea to the artist from his fans. Rutherford hopes through her art to “let Kanye know he was once a champion in our eyes and we need that energy back.” Other paintings pay homage to greats such as Michael Jordan, Aretha Franklin, Erykah Badu and Jean Michel-Basquiat, who Renee fondly calls “The Supreme One.” Rutherford’s heartfelt homage to Aretha was already in the works when news of her passing came this past August. The painting incorporates, collage style, breaking news front page articles announcing the death of the Queen mixed with acrylic, varnish, and graffiti style lettering. Another piece, “4 Leaf Clover,” was inspired by the Erykah Badu song of the same name, with each carefully painted leaf holding its own unique meaning, among them: hope, faith, love, and luck. Additional works offer a pure visual exploration of human emotion in color and form. Currently working in Boca Raton, Florida, where Rutherford is fast on her way to becoming a household name in the Art, Fashion and Film Industry, she has plans to exhibit some new work at Miami Basel this year. Other than the occasional creative block, Renee is virtually free of artistic challenges and is a dedicated and prolific maker. Check her at this year’s Miami Basel as part of the “Ode To Hip Hop” Exhibit by MUCE 305. Moving forward, the artist has plans plans to enroll in Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in Atlanta.
Follow the artist on Instagram @R__Ford
Born 1961 Siena, Italy
The “forbidden dream” of becoming an artist took Italian born LOR3nzo Geraci on many a twist and turn. Literally born in the cradle of the Italian renaissance, it took him a while to settle on his identity as a creative. After studying business to the point of earning an MBA and following the career paths of Entrepreneur / DJ / Policeman / CFO / Industrial Designer… he finally settled on becoming an Artist! He feels he was born one. Acrylic and spray paint on canvas and found objects are his main mediums. Individuality and the “importance of the individual as a unit of power,” are the essentials of his creative philosophy. Currently working in Brooklyn, NY, his practice is innovative and contemporary. Always ahead of the wave, Geraci excels in “making something that is new and creative.” His work is never too far-flung to lose relevance for the masses. Equally inspired by Picasso’s prolific output and experimentation as Albert Einstein’s philosophy of simplicity, LOR3nzo simply loves creating. “I am trying to make the world a better place, one piece of Art at a time, and I believe that Life itself is the utmost expression of Art,” he boasts in his artist statement. Currently, he’s working on a project titled The ONE / E. Pluribus Unum. Checkout his website for updates from the LOR3nzo Geraci studio.
Follow the artist on IG @lor3nzo_com
Born 1959 in Heidelberg, Germany
Conny Jasper was born an artist. “It is what I am. I was created to create.” Working in photography and paint (acrylic and oil), she is also a mobile coach (Inspiration Yoga Coaching). Conny has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, and is a certified massage therapist, Reiki Master, and yoga instructor. Her art is about spirit, nature, and the many facets of the universe. Working from home or in nature, she has more ideas than there is time to complete. Her challenge is making a living as an artist. Currently, she’s working on some visionary pieces and a few others that comment on the commercialism of our modern era. She is in the midst of building her website with a push to exhibit more and attract clients and followers. Learn more about Conny on her blog.
Follow the artist on IG @connyjasper