Saturday, January 19, 2013

JOSEPH STASHKEVETCH | 'The More Things Change' — Opening video

By ODelle Abney

"This latest body of work represents some of Stashkevetch's most complex
drawings to date. The subject matter—thousands of river-washed pebbles
and rocky debris, lacy treetops emerging from the mist and striated
mountains covered in snow—is executed with a painstaking level of intricacy
and detail.

Stashkevetch develops his large-scale black and white compositions
gradually, employing his signature technique. In progressive stages, the
paper's surface is sanded away as the image is built up with conte crayon.
The conte bonds to the paper, and the two materials become one. The
process, both additive and reductive, creates an atmospheric quality in
which light and shadow are in constant play.

Time is palpable in these monumental works. This is owed in part to the
imagery, which alludes to the enduring history and cyclical nature of our
planet. Yet the subject matter itself, the 'what' and the 'where,' becomes
secondary. Standing before the work, one's focus shifts instead to the
patterns embedded in the surface of the paper and the sheer breadth of
Stashkevetch's compositions. Each mark is emblematic of the artist's time as
the drawings break down and become as abstract as time itself. The
imagery, while striking in its beauty, is merely a framework upon which
Stashkevetch masterfully builds his effects.

Born in the United States, Joseph Stashkevetch studied at the Rhode Island
School of Design. The artist's work has been exhibited extensively in the
United States and Europe and appears in numerous public and private
collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Dallas
Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in New York. This exhibition
marks the artist's fourth solo show with Von Lintel Gallery."

JOSEPH STASHKEVETCH | 'The More Things Change' — Opening photos

Monday, January 14, 2013


Melanie Willhide
Photographer Melanie Willhide Was Grateful That A Computer Thief Stole (And Improved) Her Work (PHOTOS)

By David Rosenberg

View original post @ SLATE | HUFFINGTON POST

(This post contains nudity.) 

For most photographers, having your computer stolen is the stuff of nightmares—it happened to photographer Melanie Willhide, and she knows your next question: “Yes, [the thief] also took our backup drive.”  Convinced she would never see the images again, Willhide was shocked when the Pasadena, Calif., police contacted her after they found her computer in the back seat of a car they had pulled over.

“It’s kind of like winning the lottery; it seemed so implausible,” Willhide said.

Melanie Willhide
'Mike in Hula Hoop, 2010'
She was given back the computer (the keyboard wasn’t recovered) and quickly discovered the thief had crudely wiped out her hard-drive. He was, however, gracious enough to turn her screensaver into a picture of his girlfriend and him sporting Dodgers caps.

Willhide did what anyone would do: She ran recovery software to try to salvage the corrupted images. Not only did she have personal images on the computer, but two of her long-term projects were also on the drives.

Looking for support, Willhide and her friend and business partner Betsy sat in front of the computer zooming through the recovered images to check out exactly what would be salvageable.

As the images popped up, both women sat in shock.

Melanie Willhide
'Two Girls'
“It was completely quiet,” began Willhide. “We’re the sort of friends where I know exactly what she’s thinking. She doesn’t have to say anything. And we’re looking through all of these images and I can sort of feel her body and she’s leaning forward and I said, ‘Oh my God, do you think it’s better?’ And she’s like ‘well, you know … ’ so I said, ‘I think it’s better.’ And she said, ‘Yes, it’s better.’ ”

The result, To Adrian Rodriguez, With Love, is Willhide’s ode to the thief who inspired her to work in a new direction and unwittingly showed her the way to edit together the two projects for a show—something that had frustrated her up until that point.
“One series was of domestic circus pictures,” said Willhide. “I’m always curious about how parties degrade really late at night, so I tried to make photographs about that stuff.”

The other images were part of a series of underwater shots taken in the swimming pools of celebrity homes in Palm Springs (including Steve McQueen’s house), Calif., using a 4x5 camera and modeling the images after those found in life-saving manuals.

Melanie Willhide
'Untitled #2 (The Jack Benny House)'
Willhide decided to replicate some of the corruption found in the recovered images, teaching herself to do it via Photoshop, splicing images and making color adjustments. Some of the images she simply tweaked; others she manipulated from scratch.

But the new project wasn’t just about manipulation.

“It’s really about a life in relation to a machine and sort of dependency I’ve grown to have on this machine to house all these images that are really important and how delicate they are,” said Willhide.

Willhide teaches photography in California at Pasadena City College (she has taught at California State at Fullerton and the School of Visual Arts in New York City) and says she is “of that generation that sort of straddles analog and digital. I still shoot film, I still shoot 4x5, and I still shoot Polaroid.”

And about that Adrian Rodriguez? Willhide was somewhat impressed with some of the images he left on her computer.

“I wish I had him as a student,” Willhide said with a laugh.

Melanie Willhide
'Little Boy Blue'


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata VI Agony In The Garden, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
60 x 60 inches
Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata II The Visitation, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
68 x 54 inches
Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata IV Presentation, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
60 x 60 inches
Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata XII Ascension, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
64 x 57 inches
Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata III Nativity, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
40 x 40 inches
Joseph Stashkevetch
Sonata XI Resurrection, 2012
conte crayon on rag paper
55 x 69 inches