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Contemporary Power Space — On Wednesday, November 23, guest curator, Kelly Worman of Rogue Space|Chelsea selected the art for the December 2010, N*des-of-the-Month calendar. Ms. Worman is a veteran of hanging “brick and mortar” shows at Rogue Space|Chelsea and other galleries. After using the Barebrush curator’s electronic lightbox, she remarked, “This was the easiest curation I've ever done.” Her method was simple: she made ever-tightening spirals through the art. First, using the selection feature of the lightbox, she earmarked her “possibles.” There were 64. Next, she reviewed her selections, winnowing them to 31 pieces by 31 artists. Third, she chose her Curators’ Choice nominees, and finally, from those, she chose the artwork which launches December 2010, “Move!” by New York and Connecticut artist, Donna Cleary.
About Cleary's work she said, “I like the way the artist uses charcoal — clean, controlled and aggressive. I can feel the tension in the muscles of the body. The use of perspective and space is really well done.” Worman had many other “power/space” comments as well. She liked Jacqui Morgan’s “Perhaps Rainbow” for the composition and breaking up the space. She liked the composition and color of Geoffrey Stein's “N. Falling” and she thought the flat forms were working well. She enjoyed “Absence” by Matthew Smith, mentioning the energy and strength of the pose. Worman chose the unusual “Terra Pranas” by Christopher Smith to round out her Curators’ Choice nominees.
Worman had positive comments on many other pieces in the calendar. She thought “G-5” by Mollie Kellogg had a “sense of presence, haunting.” She found “Miriam #2” by Donelli DiMaria humorous saying that it was obvious the model was falling asleep. She also noted that she liked seeing different body types, and that “sometimes the ideal body type is not always the most interesting.” Worman made a similar comment about “Father Time” by Emily Stedman, noting also the weight and presence of the figure as well as the “contemporary use of color,” which she liked. “N*de St*dy 2010C_Detail” by C. Charles Wang also came up for praise for the composition and the notable shape and weight of the model’s body on the page. Another contemporary touch Worman admired was “Tuesday N*de” by Bill Teitsworth. She found the quick, unfinishedness attractive, saying that she liked the way “the eye fills in the blanks.”
Two pieces struck her as dealing with the body as an abstract shape. About Michael Sief’s “Torus,” Worman said, “the form of the body becomes an abstract sculptural shape in the landscape.” In “Tintern’s Man #8” by William Thierfelder, the close-in view creates a “mystery — the abstract landscape of the body.” She called “Unconditional Self-knowing” by Angelique Price “cinematic and striking, contemporary and retro at the same time.” Worman also found “Within these Walls Series (II)” by Victoria Coyle cinematic, saying that she liked “the subtlety of the pose, capturing a specific moment, like a film still.” She enthusiastically compared “White Lady” by Roy Shrifrin to Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918).
Several artworks were especially interesting to Worman for their color and line. Worman thought “Front Torso Study 1” by Bill Foote was an interesting and different way to deal with flesh tones and shadow. She liked “Color Sketch” by Sam Martine, saying it’s an “abstract swipe of color. The figure emerges from the color which looks like it went on first.” She added, “I like the face, the hair handling and the leg shooting forward.” Worman also liked “Puppet” by Alex Knowlton for its “directness and variations of line weight. The face is very strong,” she said. About “From Above” by Damian Bird, Worman liked the handling of “the flesh tones and the gaze — it feels almost illuminated.” In “Pledge” by Gary Paul Stutler, she liked the color and the cropping and the handling of the veins and shadows, summing up by saying that the piece, “feels alive.”
One artist, Sam Martine, is making his Barebrush calendar debut. Seven other artworks are “retiring,” including“ Bleeding Wings 5,“ by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen. Because Ostman-Magnusen is a Featured Artist at Barebrush.com, her retired work appears in the Barebrush Honors Gallery. Since the inception of Barebrush in 2006, curators have been allowed to select work previously chosen because multiple validations by diverse curators are a benefit both to the artist and the art viewing public. Recently Barebrush started the “retirement” program. Artwork appearing in three calendars is considered validated and retired from the calendar competitions. The retirement program provides more recognition for Barebrush Featured Artists, more new art for public view, more opportunities for new artists, and most importantly, more incentive for all artists not to rest on their laurels. In this calendar, 21 artworks are making their calendar debut.
December 2010 is monthly calendar number 52 in the Barebrush series. Congratulations to all participants and Best Wishes to all artists and art lovers (and the world in general) for a Happy 2011.The 31 artists represented in December, 2010, in day order are: 1* Donna Cleary, 2 Sam Martine, 3 Guenter Knop, 4* Jacqui Morgan, 5 Jean Marcellino, 6 Michael Seif, 7 Emily Stedman, 8 William Thierfelder, 9 Roy Shifrin, 10* Geoffrey Stein, 11 C. Charles Wang, 12 Hector Olvera, Etor, 13 Victoria Coyle, 14 Alex Knowlton, 15* Matthew Smith, 16 gretchen mahnkopf, 17 Bill Foote, 18 Damian Huntley, 19 Sara Swan, 20 Kasper Holten, 21 Kathy Ostman-Magnusen , 22 Harald Grote, 23* Christopher Smith, 24 Bill Teitsworth, NWS, 25 Gary Paul Stutler, 26 Donelli J. DiMaria, 27 Mollie Kellogg, 28 Janet E Gorman, 29 Darien Bird, 30 Angelique Moselle Price, 31 Ilene Skeen.
*Curators' Choice nominee. Nominees for the N*de-of-the-Month were selected by the guest curator as Curator's Choice. All barebrush curators have an opportunity to rank the Curator's Choice in their own special poll. Winners determined by a statistical combination of the curators and popular votes.