• 13
  • 2
  • 3
  • 12
  • 4

    Matt Mignanelli

  • 5

    Jenna Ransom

  • 6

    Jenna Ransom

  • 7

    Eric Elliott

  • 15

    Eric Elliott

  • 14

    Sarah Laing

  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

    From left to right: Eric Elliott, Jenna Ransom, Matt Mignanelli and Sarah Laing

Art

Matt Mignanelli: Vermont Studio Center

Posted by Alex Moshakis,

Alongside fifty other artists and writers, Matt Mignanelli spent January working in sub-zero temperatures in a church in Vermont. The residency allows for focus, Matt says, and the amount of snow makes for very productive environments. We asked him a few more questions about the residency itself, his “studio mates”, and what it was like to work in freezing conditions…

You’ve just spent January in Vermont, as part of a residency there. What was it like working in those freezing conditions, with all that snow around?

It was extremely cold, at one point dropping down to -27 c, but an incredible experience. I grew up in North East America, but this was my first experience with temperatures that low. There was also about a 2 week period in the middle of the residency during which it snowed every day, which is great when you don’t have to shovel or commute.

The winter weather made for an extremely productive work environment, and kept the Vermont microbrews nice and cold in the snow out back of the studio!

Can you tell us a bit about the residency itself?

The Vermont Studio Center offers visual artists and writers the opportunity to live and create in Vermont with the sole responsibility of focus, and the production of new works. Throughout the program, notable artists visit to present slide lectures, as well as visiting the studios of each artist in residence. This was great, as you have the opportunity to engage these artists in conversation and critique about your work, drawing on their experience and opinions.

One of the most important aspects of the residency is the community itself. Artists travel from around the world to attend the program and it is comprised of a really broad age group. This diversity within the artistic community created such an invigorating environment, and a wide range of work to absorb and learn from.

You were working alongside 3 other artists. What was that like?

Our group was assigned to studios that were in a converted church on Main Street, stained glass windows still intact. My studio mates (aka the Church Crew) were Jenna Ransom, Eric Elliott, and Sarah Laing.

Jenna Ransom lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Working on both paintings and drawings over the course of the residency, she continued an exploration of the unexplainable energies and deep environments that nature holds. The paintings are constructed using layer upon layer of transparent washes, creating a depth in the works that is captivating. Strongly rooted in reality, the work maintains a wonderful enigmatic quality. We had a blast together in Vermont, and she makes a great 7-layer Mexican dip for football games.

Eric Elliott is a painter from Seattle, WA. Through the build up of heavy oil paint and repetitive mark making in neutral tones, his paintings of interior environments and still lifes emerge. The paintings have a special dreamlike quality to them that really engages the viewer, forcing them to look well beyond the surface to decipher the faint references that define his space. Besides being a talented painter, you couldn’t meet a nicer guy than Eric Elliott.

Sarah Laing is an artist originally from Scotland, now living in Philadelphia. Throughout the residency she was creating large scale, very intricate ink drawings of organic forms influenced by cornfields and plant life. The works were engrossing, each piece drawing you in to examine the painstaking detail that encompassed every aspect of the work. Sarah and I bonded over our mutual love of whiskeys and late nights.

Everyone was making really exciting work and it was inspiring to be surrounded by people creating such a high caliber of work. Over the course of the residency we all became really close friends, and had a couple of Vermont adventures together. One such unforgettable experience was our trip to a local watering hole, Robbie’s Wildlife Refuge. Robbie’s was as authentic as they come: taxidermy, Budweisers, and Nascar memorabilia. True backwoods Americana.

Did the environment change your work in any way?

Having the time to intensely focus on my work without any other distractions allowed for some really major breakthroughs for me. I was able to experiment with some ideas that I’d been thinking about for some time, but had not executed. I began working on a series of paintings that consist only of blues and greys, which is a new challenge for me as I strive to maintain the vibrancy in the work, while moving away from a colourful palette.

What’s next for you?

After working together in Vermont, Jenna Ransom and I decided to share a studio together back in New York. We’ve just moved into our new space in Brooklyn, which is very exciting. I’m continuing the series in blues that I began in Vermont, and am focusing on making large-scale paintings this year. I’m looking forward to see what else 2011 will have in store!

Portrait8

Posted by Alex Moshakis

Alex originally joined It’s Nice That as a designer but moved into editorial and oversaw the It’s Nice That magazine from Issue Six (July 2011) to Issue Eight (March 2012) before moving on that summer.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Menutnutnut-drawing-4-int

    Me nut nut nut was one of Jason Murphy’s daughter’s first utterances, and is now the name for his drawings of awkward stories of fear and incompetence. Inspired by the physical comedy of The Young Ones and The Ren & Stimpy Show, Jason’s drawings rely on comic intuition and references to real-life moments, like dropping a potato on his cat.

  2. Seamus_murhpy_pj-harvey_-recording-in-progress_-2015.-an-artangel-commission.-_1_int

    While we wait to take our turn to become a sort of strangely sanctioned voyeur as PJ Harvey records her ninth album, thinking about what’s ahead feels peculiar. Essentially, we’re going to see PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, a photographer and two engineers making an album in a Something & Son-designed box, formed of glass that allows visitors to see in, while the musicians can’t see out.

  3. Atelierbingo-list-int

    Up to the point when I opened Atelier Bingo’s new zine Wogoo Zoogi I’d never wondered what two aliens in heated conversation might look like. Having had a read I can now confirm that the answer is “they are speaking, singing very strangely, and they have a hair on their tongues." The newest bout of work from French illustration and surface design duo Adèle Favreau and Maxime Prou is a wonderful celebration of playful, dynamic, abstract art; blending shapes, colours and patterns in a glorious puddle of chaos thinly disguised as alien chat. In fact, it’s everything we’ve been led to expect from the pair, who we’ve dolloped praise on in the past.

  4. Faigahmed-carpets-list-2-int

    Faig Ahmed is an Azerbaijani artist doing remarkable things with carpets. He takes traditional Azerbaijani rugs – enormous, beautiful intricate creations – un-weaves them, and reconstructs them to create new patterns and shapes, subverting traditional usage of rugs as domestic objects to be walked all over, and rejuvenating them with optical illusions and techniques reminiscent of contemporary internet art. 

  5. Slavs_tatars-loveletters-home-int

    The work of Slavs & Tatars is awash with unlikely cultural references, balloons, archives and carpets. Identifying “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China” as the focus of their work, their projects are generous, engaging and genre-crossing. Starting as a reading group before shifting into making their own work, Slavs & Tatars have recently been working on a continuation of their Long Legged Linguistics project, a multi-faceted study of language as a source of emancipation. The somewhat secretive collective were kind enough to tell us more about this and their “bazaar” approach to making work.

  6. Davidbatchelor-october-13-int

    If you go down to the Whitechapel Gallery anytime between now and early April you’ll be sure to come across a huge breadth of work chronicling the adventures of the black square, from 1915 all the way up to the present day. It’s fairly monochromatic, as you might expect. Upstairs, however, things get drastically more colourful – especially once you come to David Batchelor’s specially “disrupted” issue of October, one of the most respected art journals out there, first published in 1976 and edited by esteemed writers Michel Foucault, Richard Foreman and Noël Burch.

  7. Alexdacorte-easternsport-1-int

    Perennial student artist Alex Da Corte has qualifications, residencies and awards coming up to his eyeballs having studied Film, Animation and Fine Arts at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Printmaking and Fine Arts at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia and then a cheeky MFA in Sculpture at Yale. Busy guy!

  8. Duane_hanson_-_karma3

    Karma Books have just published a catalogue of Duane Hanson’s post-humous exhibition Flea Market Lady. Shown at New York’s Gagosian Gallery, Duane’s flea market ladies are taken from real-life characters and cast in bronze. An incredible feat of observation and skill, his work captures the character of his models and creates a very real atmosphere of flea-ing. Karma have kindly let us publish an extract from the imaginary conversation Maurizio Cattelan has with the artist in the foreword to the book:

  9. Hdl5_copy

    Hubert de Lartigue paints photo-realistic portraits that “serve the beauty” of his models, and his muse. He considers “emotion and soul” the most important part of a painting and spoke to us about his working process, inspiration and the impact of his muse, Octavie.

  10. Main_10.00.34

    If I won the lottery I’d open a gallery, and when I opened my gallery I’d totally rip off everything that David Kordansky Gallery does. From the big stuff like the very well-curated, cool list of artists they represent, to the impeccable printed matter they produce, to the matter of their easily navigable and well designed website – these guys are celebrating people’s work in the best way possible.

  11. List

    For all its simplicity – the limited use of colour, the seemingly straightforward shapes – there’s something about the work of Jens Wolf that’s undeniably intriguing and complex. Bringing to mind the likes of Josef Albers and Frank Stella, his abstract pieces set off their precise geometry with deliberate imperfections that add a human element to its formality. With his first London show opening in March, we had a chat with him about the creative process, the evolution of his work and why his London is forever foggy.

  12. Mp_home1

    We interviewed Mathis Pfäffli back in 2012 about his design practice and working day. The Swiss-born graphic designer has segued from the playful and considered printed matter that we’re used to and produced a series of large-scale pencil drawings.

  13. List

    While there’s nothing especially unusual or out of place in the still, unpeopled scenes of Sarah Schneider’s paintings, there’s undoubtedly something intriguing, disquieting even. Rendered in eerie stillness, it feels almost like the calm before the storm, each little soap dispenser, tissue or chair sitting idle, waiting for something to happen to it.