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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B. 1987 in Southampton, New York
“Being an artist is no more conscious of a choice than my gender queerness, or my neur0~differences,” explains the artist. “It’s my genius gift, and some days it’s a fucking Burden.” Born into a family of artists, Leyla Daze is grateful there was no arguing with the parents about being an accountant “or whatever.” The goal of the work is the liberation of minds, “nothing short of ushering all people into a nextPlace dimension,” including of course demonstrating ways to live in harmony with the Earth and “acknowledging one simple eternal truth: all is one and each affects the whole.” In the past decade or so, Daze has been dedicated to a filmmaking and video art practice, including installation and large-scale video commissions. Daze once wrapped a room with multiple projectors and created a sound-reactive projection pyramid for community storytelling. These days however, Daze is mostly focused on singing. “Music has forever been the one that gives me chills. Performing on stage is the one which turns off my thinking brain and enters reptile trance status. After years of making music videos for other musicians, I AM NOW MAKING MY MUSIC. I’m in it full force, like trying to make up for lost time. It’s my passion and it’s Happening!!” Meanwhile, the video work has become part of the live show experience ― an all-sensory “Lisa Frank meets Laurie Anderson bad acid triplandia” of sorts. Leyla’s work tends to involve creating fresh realities, multi-sensory playspaces and user participation, minus the pedestals and usual barriers. Explains the artist “it’s like a meta~trip: you go inside my trip and come out with your own, birthing a fractal consciousness of expansion.” You can often touch, play, move and share inside of the work. Explains Daze, “Fuck the fourth wall, the idea of otherness, and the art piece as sacred gold.” Daze feels her work is coming from source, birthed so to speak within a shamanic tunnel. Ultimately Daze aims to inspire hope and bring forth other folks ability to envision something different. Recently, Daze and partner scored a Toyota Dolphin and have surrendered their studio practice to the journey… “it’s been the most opening and transformative move of my life.” Daze recorded the recent EP (Given Mortal Mission) within national forests along the west coast, rambling down from the Jedediah Smith redwoods to Slab City, California. “Allowing our work to unfold in its own way, totally cut off from Babylon (‘societEE’) is the most precious gift.” The two use a solar panel to run their music gear and have all day to make weird0 songs & videos out in the woods (you can email DAZE for a road liberation pep talk). Current artistic challenges for Leyla include “Printing out my brain!” i.e. “It’s a huge challenge to get the idea out as anything more than a crude child’s sketch of what came through in that perfect gem inspiration beam. These days, the music seems to be flowing most freely from Source to form. Another issue is “Dealing with this earthly ‘body’ which rebels against working as hard as I want to.” Lately, Daze has been nurturing the balance between time, mind and body. Up next, Leyla Daze’s 24-hour film/ritual “My Own Saviour, I Do” opens in Portland in late June (a kabbalistic ritual space, invoking the Shabbat concept of rest, stillness, and the expansion of time). Superchambers, a large scrolling web tapestry produced in collaboration with Daze’s sister Anneli Goeller, also opening in June, explores the digital/physical queer body involving the avatar ORCHID @digitalQueer living inside Daze’s neurological countryside. Watch out for upcoming Leyla Daze shows around Joshua Tree, CA, and Portland, OR, and further north in the summer. Daze plans to add kinetic sculpture, sound-reactive visuals, and theatrical performance to her musical sets, bridging the separation between visual and music communities, and offering a new participatory format for the senses.
Follow in Instagram @leyladaze
B. 1995 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Lauren Valley is an artist that believes in the ability of digital media to enact positive social change. A witness to the rise of online protest, she is inspired by the way words, images and videos can “go viral” and mobilize individuals to take action. She works in robotics and video, usually in multimedia pieces that incorporate the two at once. “My current body of work stems from my frustration with the lack of diversity in ‘viral’ online spaces. Sites like YouTube and Instagram advertise themselves as being unbiased and user-driven, but certain hierarchies continue to develop between types of content and even the creators themselves,” expresses the artist, whose work aims to address these biases through the invention of online personas and satirical robotic devices. “I create videos that challenge both the digital spaces I operate within and the expectations placed on me by the viewer.” On a typical day you can find Lauren green-screening and robot-building in a basement, sometimes outside. One of her artistic challenges is constantly being confronted with herself as a “traditional artist” vs. “YouTube personality,” ultimately “operating in a grey area between what viewers expect to see from ‘YouTubers’ and the kind of work I make offline.” Valley divides her time between her YouTube series Junie Genius and her forthcoming resource Electric Women. Junie Genius is a “mad science” series that explores the potential impact of the maker movement on everyday life. Lauren explains, “Drawing heavily upon my experiences as a woman of color working with technology, the character, Junie, attempts to serve as a vehicle for younger viewers interested in technology through the re-envisioning of the white male ‘mad scientist’ trope.” In each successive episode, Junie attempts to resolve a problem through the creation of a robotic device. Meanwhile, her other platform, Electric Women, is an online resource dedicated to showcasing the work of “women of color that use digital media at the intersection of art, science, technology and social practice.” This new project will release the end of the month with the first iteration featuring work from 30 artists and collectives. After the initial release she’ll continue on as curator, continuing to enlarge the circle of contributors over time. In the coming months, Valley will enhance her Junie series, including adding more educational components.
GABRIEL J. SHULDINER
B. 1972 in New York City
“Art found me, and from that moment on, I just knew I had to pursue it,” explains the native New Yorker and prolific painter of hybrid sculptural works. “I quit my job and changed career paths entirely. It has been art full-time ever since… How many people can say they are doing exactly what they want to be doing in life? And for that, I am extremely grateful. I am literally living my dream.” Working with found items and castaway materials, Shuldiner mines chaos for beauty. What he calls ”hybridsculpturalpaintings”™ – his works demand immediate engagement and trigger a visceral response. At once painterly, intentional and spontaneous, his pieces probe the many disparate associations culturally ascribed to the color black. Hailing his own unique style “bruteminimalism,”™ Shuldiner even has his own custom proprietary black variant, (based on the ‘life’ element carbon): “postapocalypticblack.”™ His works explore the subtlety of difference produced through repetition, the distortion of context and matter “the layers and layers of information seen and (un)seen… Beyond conditioned habits of perception, thought, speech,” imagine, “where quantum mechanics become spiritual and meaning and classification dissolve.” For Shuldiner, the color BLACK is “undefined signifier, multi-coded metaphor and paradoxical koan of [absolute] nothingness…” Working again and again with this misunderstood, mysterious, powerful “[non]color” his paintings take on the appearance of dream life, illusion, shadow worlds – the meeting point of what we know as minimal, abstract, conceptual and absurd… “I remain fueled by the ironic and powered by BLACK.” The artist currently maintains his studio in Manhattan’s West Chelsea, although his greatest challenges occur outside of its walls. Getting his art out into the world is much more difficult than making it. Currently, he’s working on 13 pieces at the moment; each informing the next. “Maybe one or two will be successful” he says. Meanwhile the others “get reworked over and over again…” Included in these is four of the largest works he has ever made. Moving forward he’s planning for his solo show.
B. 1988 in Boston, Massachusetts
Starting around age ten, Libby was part of a creative writing community that brought together young people from all over the Boston area. “That was the first time I understood that making and sharing art was a way to make sense of my experience, and feel closer to myself and everyone around me. I found the arts to be this ground that cut through perceived differences, that brought me into connection.” In this spirit Libby continued to make art into adulthood. Focused primarily in the literary arts, she’s exclusively focused in on poetry at the moment. She also co-directs the arts and creative writing youth program at the lower east side’s Sixth Street Community Center. In the past, she’s done quite a bit of collaborating with musicians and dancers, and making multi-media works. A modality she works with called “interplay” integrates movement, storytelling, voice and stillness. “Recently, I’ve been experimenting with how I can dance to my own words,” reflects Mislan. Her work is constantly evolving, but if boiled down to one concise answer, she’d say her work is about ancestral relations, alchemizing past pain, meditations on ecological destruction and political chaos as processed through the body. Creatively speaking, the biggest challenge that comes to mind is “trusting my unconscious — that I don’t need to ‘tell’ so much, or keep holding on so tight in my conscious mind to what my work is ‘about’ — that that will come through naturally. And trusting myself — that my contributions are valuable and needed in the current artistic landscape.” She also finds it challenging to be working across multiple disciplines — “even though so many other artists have refused genre, it still feels a bit lonely…” For an artist that thrives on community, it can be challenging to not feel completely at home amongst the scenes of performance art, literary art or music. As a teaching artist and community-based artist, Libby also wears a facilitator hat. “It can be a challenge to find the balance between that work, and really nurturing and making space for my own creative growth and projects — especially when they’re not necessarily what’s paying the bills.” At the moment, she’s finishing up an MFA program and giving that much more energy to how her poems land on the page. She’s also turning one of her poems into a dance/poetry video. Beyond that, she intends to continually explore this relationship between words and movement, nurture a more emergent process, listen more in the moment, experiment more boldly, and let her art be a reflection of her personal healing and evolution.
Follow her on Instagram @lunaaani
B. 1971 in Brooklyn, New York
In college, Trish studied art and created many oil paintings and works in pastel visualizing her astral travels. “I wanted to create art that showed the dream state that felt real to me. Beyond dreams or real life 3D living. What was happening when I was asleep felt real and true and so beyond just sleep in that I felt myself to really be traveling.” Over the years she answered a strong calling to look deeper — Where was she going? Why did that happen? What was the meaning and reason for that? Why even dream? Why astral travel? Why create art? Her longtime interest in past-life regression eventually guided her to fully focus on helping people remember who they were as a way to better understand their current life journey. “Patterns repeat in every life until you learn the lessons and transcend the issue or behavior. If you can uncover the reason you chose to incarnate on earth at this time you can figure out how to live your best life,” explains Trish. During her sessions, clients under hypnosis also learn to answer their own questions and perform self-healing on the physical body. As Trish’s past life regression work deepened, her focus naturally shifted. She intuitively started collecting crystals of all kinds. During her own past life regression (QHHT session), she saw a past life in Lemuria where she had been a crystal grid healer. She now creates one of a kind raw Amethyst necklaces and pendulums. Her current creative work necessitates using the frequency of crystals for healing during her reiki and past-life regression therapy healing sessions. She conducts them out of her home office in Battery Park. Trish feels honored to do this deep work with people. She recommends the book Stones of the New Consciousness by Robert Simmons to anyone interested in learning more about the healing power of crystals. “A person can wear the amethyst as jewelry and also have the amethyst help them get in touch with all that is unseen here on earth. Earth life goes so far beyond what we can perceive with our eyes when we allow and are open to the metaphysical,” says Burger. She’s looking to connect with more like-minded clients and crystal lovers who believe in the energy of the universe. Currently, she’s creating more pendulums. “I want to help people realize that they have all of the answers already inside of themselves. They can sit in mediation and ask the pendulum questions and receive answers.” Registration is now open for Trish’s next Past Life Regression workshop in partnership with BUST Magazine; check her website for details. Trish’s instructions for activating your pendulum:
1. Hold it in your hand and introduce yourself.
2. Mentally draw a circle of protection around yourself and call in your guides.
3. Hold it steady and ask it to show you how it spins to give a yes.
4. Thank it.
5. Hold it steady and ask it to show you how it spins to give a no.
6. Thank it.
7. Ask your question and receive an answer.
8. Thank it.
9. Spend the rest of the day asking it questions.
Some spin clockwise and then counterclockwise for yes and no. Some move back-and-forth or side-to-side.
✨Quantum Healing ✨
JAN SARA JORGENSEN
B. 2954 in Oakland, California
Jan can’t remember NOT creating or longing to move energy and brighten things up with singing, sewing, and art. At age ten, she begged her mother to bring her to the recording studio with her first original song, and she had taught the neighbor girls back-up parts. The fact that her Dad said she “could not sing in tune” didn’t stop her from finding a ride to San Francisco weekly to study with an opera teacher at age 15. Years of singing classically in her self-produced Women’s Concerts series, Musicals, at church and numerous other venues eventually led Jan to Anthroposophical singing in her 30’s, where she learned to suspend the vibration of tone. This led into guiding tone through intention for emotional and physical healing working with Hospice Patients, as well as exploring the Scientific and Spiritual Foundations of Vibration, eventually becoming an instructor at the Sound and Consciousness Institute in San Francisco. Jan meanwhile became a Minister and Priestess of Isis, and started a global Women’s Initiatory Circle for planetary good called S.O.A.R. (Sounding Our Authentic Resonances). She uncovered her ability to use her voice for healing, a latent skill emboldened by lifetimes of mastery. The “visual aspect” of Sound, Light and Color therapy took shape in her work only in her sixties when she purchased brushes and paints seriously and enrolled in the Intentional Creativity Painting program. She felt time stop as she spent hours layering, glazing and refining nuance in her works on canvas. Jan still considers her voice to be her main medium, what was “once a five octave well-oiled mechanism chiseled by years of Anthroposophical study and four years of Therapeutic singing.” Jan owns her ability to heal the body through tone. “After some miracles, I was guided to concentrate on TEACHING others to heal themselves with my 3-step Be the Light method; no sense fixing others because it doesn’t stick!” Jan works with crystal singing bowls, gongs and bells during her workshops, concerts and other events. “The rhapsody of song and tone led me for years, and now the colors and images of paint beckon me,” says the artist, who is currently working in acrylic on canvas guided purely by intuition. “Not coincidentally, my first major piece is about how sound is the true oracle. Luminescent bubbles abound!” says Jan. When we asked Jan what her work is about she answered simply “I listen.” From there, she can use tone to powerfully work on others as a harmonic surgeon. One of the most important modalities she’s used over the years is called “Voice Release,” a 30-minute session of guided toning that erases trauma and restores the resonant clarion bell of truth. Jan works primarily with women awakening their voice of leadership though her organization SOAR, which offers Circles of Vibrant Awakening and Empowerment. After years of working with Divine Feminine Groups and individuals in the Bay Area and Marin County, Jan was drawn to “a little City of Light called Nevada City,” where she became a radio broadcaster and started her own web-based TV show encouraging her listeners to play, pray and listen to her new paradigm uplifting vibrations. Moving forward, she’s relocating to a final divine home on the water in Olympia, Washington, where she will drop deeper into her painting work and do Voice Release, Intentional Creativity Painting and Coaching from her office downtown. Her biggest artist challenge, as a pioneer in her field, is that she always feels “on the edge of making something socially acceptable.” At the same time, she’s happy she wasn’t a “Kelly Clarkson,” musing, “I would have gotten sidetracked in commercialism and missed the journey into Voice Release. I do not want to be a clone or be controlled or owned. My inner voice says: Never shut up a woman’s voice or her self-expression.”
Follow Jan on Instagram @soundandlighthealingarts
DAVID RIOS FERREIRA
B. 1982 in Bronx, NY
As a teen, David imagined he would one day become an animator. While enrolled at The Cooper Union, he garnered interest in the trajectory of fine art. “My eyes were opened to the power of manipulating a medium with intentionality—to explore research, content, and narrative in order create impact and dialogue.” For a long time he consumed himself making vide art, and eventually, forayed into drawing. To this day his hand rendered pieces are infused with a unique sense of time and movement. Attracted to lines, the meaning they carry and “how they interact and abstract” his large-scale drawings on Mylar and paper amalgamate elements such as cross hatchings of 18 century newspaper etchings, 1930s political cartoons and the broad and fluid lines of children’s coloring books. As of late, he’s rendering these forms in three dimensional space. In his recent sculpture Open our minds as we cast away, (2017) “clusters of black lines form a vessel one may identify as a merchant ship, a pirate ship, or slave ship. Animation stills merge with historical etchings and political cartoons—layers of history and sentiment clash to form a new body that lives in between time.” Where postcolonial imagery intersects with children’s pop culture, “Clusters of lines and layers of color dominate space, creating dense, hybrid forms,” explains David. Familiar characters like Astro Boy, Pinocchio and Peter Pan are deconstructed and reinterpreted to become temporal beings and transmitters of imagined histories. In this way, the works create their own hybrid realities, space between “a reality that signals how the body both bears and transforms historical memory.” Ferreira’s work stems from the artist’s practice of acquiring, appropriating and using language; drawing upon American history’s strategies of deculturalization the U.S. conducted on school children in Puerto Rico and other territories up until the 1950s. “Strategies my parents remember as nursery rhymes and school pledges.” Another vantage point of his work encompasses borrowing lines from cartoons in order to communicate to children on the Autism Spectrum, including his nephews, who rely on cartoons and animated films for their value as sources of language and communication. “Coloring books and animation, historical references, and other appropriated images are my ‘found objects’” says the artist. “The tension between the object’s original meaning and what they are imbued with by being forced together coalesce into a study on identity formation—an investigation of race, nation, sexuality, and gender.” Ferreira currently works in New York, NY and Jersey City, NJ and will be showing new work in the Mirrored by Nature exhibition curated by Corrine Gordon at Welancora Gallery in Brooklyn, NY April 14 – June 17. He’s also debuting a suite of five letterpress prints that investigate the five Black and Latino youth of the Central Park Jogger case in New York City in 1989 and a large scale sculptural artist book incorporating plexiglass and overhead transparencies for the 2018 WORKSPACE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE exhibition at the Center for Book Arts will run from April 20 – June 20. He is in the midst of preparing for his first solo museum exhibition. Opening this summer, AND I HEAR YOUR WORDS THAT I MADE UP, will feature new large-scale drawings that investigate the content of children’s popular culture to shed light on the persistence of colonialist narratives in the mainstream imagination at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Vermont (made possible in part by a National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts grant). Check it out in late June.
B. 1976 in New York City
James Spooner has never done anything other than be an artist. Having attended Laguardia high school for art here in New York City, James was in bands, explored sculpture and the Fine Arts after high school and eventually started working in film while DJing. You may know him as the Father of Afropunk, about which he made a popular documentary, and helped “started that whole scene,” says Spooner. He later transitioned into Tattooing, which is how he currently makes a living. Illustration, writing and comics are another major focus right now. “Art is the only thing I’ve ever known. I don’t know how to do anything else,” reflects the currently Los Angeles-based creative. His work is primarily about identity, race politics, and being a father, punk rocker and boyfriend. As for the challenges, he struggles with workaholism at times and must make a conscious effort to keep the balance. He’s really excited about his coming (yet-to-be-titled) graphic novel based on James’ first years in the punk scene. The story takes place in 1989, when a bi-racial boy in the high desert discovers race, love and punk rock. James also has a comic in the works about how to get a good tattoo. You can follow him on Instagram, where he releases a weekly comic called “Spooners No Fun” @spoonersnofun. Moving forward, the artist plans to just keep on working. “Who knows what will come out of me in what medium? I certainly don’t.”
Follow him on instagram @spoonersnofun @monocletattoo
B. 1962 in Jersey City, New Jersey
“Making art was always the thing I most loved to do as a child and that sentiment has continued throughout my life,” says the contemporary painter Lily Prince. Her oil pastel drawings and watercolor and gouache paintings explore perception in the moment, memory of past space and aspiration of future place. “I take to heart the adage that beauty is the greatest form of protest. Working en plein air and in the studio, I attempt to take what I experience observationally in nature and translate it into a language of personal expression and universal significance.” An explorer of multiple terrains and atmospheres, Prince’s work takes on political significance in these times of concerted environmental and societal devastation. Prince remarks, “I consider it a political act to immerse myself in the landscape to record the natural beauty lurking there: perhaps to incite the arousal of sentiment, a stirring of connectedness.” Lily both travels to inspiring locations to paint and draw as well as enjoys working out of her 1850’s barn in upstate NY, where she can make larger studio works. She’d love to live in a warmer climate where should could work outdoors year round. Her first solo show in New York City “Recurring Waves of Arrival,” is up through April 21st at Littlejohn Contemporary in Chelsea. The exhibition consists of paintings Prince completed last year while living in Italy. Next up, she’s scouting new locations for a series she’ll complete back in her studio upstate.
B. 1972 in Medellin, Colombia
Alexis has always had an inclination towards art, and as a child, loved to draw and play with his imaginary heroes. “I would say I was born with a gift, but I also have to work hard every day and spend long hours accomplishing my paintings. There are long tedious moments that are simply part of the process,” reflects Duque. His main medium is ink and acrylic paint on canvas. He generally starts each of his drawings by sketching with a 0.5 graphite pencil; these sharp lines ultimately define the entire structure of the work. His compositions typically feature intricately detailed urban city centers, and in this way “reflect on the chaotic and unavoidable processes of urbanization in our globalized and overpopulated world.” Working from imagination, his works depict futuristic, architectural metropolises. Everyday objects commingle with exotic nature in uncontrollable compositions, depicting growth and waste with equal measure. Working with what one might term post-apocalyptic visions, Duque finds classic mediums such as drawing and painting to be a gateway into infinite possibility. Working out of his current studio in East Harlem, Duque maintains “For me, originality is about listening to my own inner voice and finding my own vision.” His featured work is a series the artist has been developing over the last few years in which a very detailed form of drawing combines with acrylic paint on canvas. After that, he’s working on a series of iconic portraits inspired by pop culture and Surrealist fantasies.