Interview with Amy Sol for NEXUS III at The Brand Library & Art Center

Technically self-taught, Amy Sol has spent many years perfecting her own mixed pigments and materials. Known for a distinctive palette with a subtle ghostly cast, her compositions possess poetically measured images that invoke melancholic pause in spite of their idyllic beauty and calm, feeling at times like the magic of fairytale tempered by the ambivalence of the adult.

What was the inspiration behind the body of work that will be showing at the Brand Library & Art Center?

I painted these works over the summertime of 2020 during the pandemic. I approached these pieces as a form of meditation & introspective peace I was searching for at  the time. The portraits for instance, are focused on medicinal plants I had as reference in my studio with a very limited colored palette. This allowed my mind to wander and relax a bit while I got lost in the small details. I had to look inwards to find calm during times when I could not find it in the outside world. It was my goal to communicate this with each of the paintings. 

Do you have any pre-studio rituals that help you get into a creative flow?

I always drink tea and try to go on a walk before I work. I’m lucky to live in a pretty beautiful area where there are abundant trees and plantlife to look at. 

It’s was a challenge to stay free of distractions during some of the stranger times this year. I found that if I went straight to work and stayed away from my phone a bit, it helped me maintain a flow state necessary to paint. 

When you were working on this body of work, what were you listening to in the background? 

I listened to a lot of new music I found online, I really enjoyed instrumental lo fi and wavy music playlists just to have going in the background. I spent more time with my windows open just hearing bird sounds as well. I have a broad taste in music, it just depends on the mood and vibe of the moment!! 

When I start sketching, I definitely go for music to help with the creative flow. As things start to get technical and tedious I’ll put on an audio book or podcast to keep myself entertained. 

Is there an artist or piece of work that has made a significant impact on you? 

Many many, but off the top of my head I saw some Eyvind Earle originals at an art fair while I was a teenager. These works definitely sparked something in me and kind of woke me up to the possibilities. 

Has that work influenced your own artistic voice/style? 

Sure, I do think his work inspired me to explore and experiment to find a way to uniquely communicate my love of nature. I also loved animation and his art was a sort of bridge from illustration to painting mixed with a strong visual language he made his own, I found all of that intriguing and inspiring. 

What piece challenged you most in this body of work, and why?

I think the painting Biome was a challenge to paint because I was trying to express a very strong feeling I was dealing with. It was challenging to synthesize this feeling into one simple and emotionally nuanced portrait but that was my goal.  

This piece started when I was experiencing some old emotions stirring up from my past trauma dealing with severe pneumonia. That trauma sort of re awakened because of this pandemic. This feeling blended into a concept, the reality of interconnectedness of humans and nature and the need to recognize vulnerability as awareness not weakness. 

I started off sketching mycelium-like forms to represent the lungs of the subject. The salamander is a symbol of vulnerability & vitality. I choose an Amphibian because they are sensitive creatures being both land and water borne. Because of this, they are considered accurate indicators of the health of the environment they dwell in.

Her floating head in the darkness sort of reflects this idea that because our minds & egos are all encompassing to our own human experiences, we sometimes forget how interconnected we are to other living things. 

This piece really helped me put some closure on my past experiences & navigate some unresolved emotions. 

What do you think will be said about the New Contemporary Art Movement in 100 years?

I hope it will be looked back upon as a time of positive & progressive transformation in the psyche of humans and our push towards a better future. Many artists make art to send messages about what we care about & we communicate what matters most to humanity across a broad spectrum.

 

Visit https://players.cupix.com/p/r6FRkjOZ for a self-guided virtual tour of Nexus III featuring a solo exhibition from Amy Sol at the Brand Library & Art Center .

Virtual Tour of Nexus III at The Brand Library & Art Center

November 7, 2020 – January 6, 2020

The Brand Library & Art Center in collaboration with Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present a virtual tour through Nexus III featuring solo exhibitions from Yosuke Ueno, Perez Bros, Leon Keer, Reen Barrera, Amy Sol, and Uriginal aka Uri Martinez.

Visit https://players.cupix.com/p/r6FRkjOZ for a self-guided virtual tour.

Tour by Birdman

Photo Tour of NEXUS III at The Brand Library & Art Center

The Brand Library & Art Center and Thinkspace Projects are pleased to present Nexus III, showcasing a curated selection of international artists belonging to the New Contemporary Art Movement. This special exhibition will include mini solo shows from Yosuke Ueno, The Perez Bros, Amy Sol, Leon Keer, Reen Barrera and Uriginal (aka Uri Martinez).

Please enjoy a photo tour through the exhibition below.

Video tour of NEXUS III at the Brand Library & Art Center

Brand Library & Art Center presents:

NEXUS III – curated by Thinkspace Projects

On view virtually from November 7, 2020 through January 6, 2021

Featuring solo projects from:
YOSUKE UENO – Majestic Parade
THE PEREZ BROS – More Bounce
AMY SOL – Forest Dreams
LEON KEER – Contradictions
REEN BARRERA – Dull Maker
URIGINAL (aka URI MARTINEZ) – Sweet Rage

The Brand Library & Art Center and Thinkspace Projects are pleased to present Nexus III, showcasing a curated selection of international artists belonging to the New Contemporary Art Movement. This special exhibition will include mini solo shows from Yosuke Ueno, The Perez Bros, Amy Sol, Leon Keer, Reen Barrera and Uriginal (aka Uri Martinez).

Known for it’s renewed emphasis on figuration, representational genres, and narrative in the wake of art academe’s conceptual turn of the 90s, the New Contemporary Art Movement is shaped by a foundational countercultural edge, public activations, and its social impetus. Largely self-supported and community-driven, the movement has taken shape beyond gallery walls and outside of traditional institutional vetting. Now, as diverse and heterogeneous aesthetically as it is geographically and culturally expansive, the New Contemporary has come into its own as a globally energized art movement.

BRAND LIBRARY & ART CENTER:

Brand Library & Art Center has been a cornerstone for the arts in Southern California since 1956. This unique public library focuses on visual arts and music and provides free services and programs for a diverse community, including a collection of over 110,000 items, subject specialist librarians, exhibitions, concerts, lectures, dance performances, films, and hands-on craft programs for children and adults. Always evolving, Brand Library utilizes new technologies and continues to develop innovative programs to serve an ever-widening public interested in the arts. Brand Library & Art Center is a branch of the City of Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Department.

Interview with Reen Barrera for Nexus III at the Brand Library & Art Center

Reen Barrera explores the idea that regardless of what we say, our true feelings can still be emancipated by our facial expressions. The mix medium artist utilizes Acrylic, oil, and aerosol paint in his work as he interprets the silent way we communicate with symbols and patterns in his compositions. Starting with a loose abstract figure, he often lets accidental drips, smudges and splatter guide him as his stares down the empty canvas.

What was the inspiration behind the body of work that will be showing at the Brand Library & Art Center?

At the beginning of my journey as an artist, I was lucky enough to have this idea of a character that will embody my thoughts, thus giving life to this character Ohlala. Ohlala is a being whose face is painted with colors representing its current mood/situation, and covered with symbols which summarizes our life, the idea comes from the saying “its written all over your face”.

Do you have any pre-studio rituals that help you get into a creative flow?

I bore myself doing nothing for days and then come to the realization that I’m wasting my short time here on earth, that keeps me motivated all the time.

When you were working on this body of work, what were you listening to in the background? Do you have a different soundtrack for the various stages of the creative process? 

I recently bought a vintage turntable, I got addicted to its sound, it has definitely influenced my current state. I started the process with the classics like Etta James, and finish it up with Up Dharma Down, an amazing Filipino band. I discovered the I work easily with slow jams in the background.

Is there an artist or piece of work that has made a significant impact on you? Has that work influenced your own artistic voice/style? 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Choe, and Cecile Perra discovering and studying them religiously has impacted me a lot as an artist. The strengths of their works and the bravery of their ideas freed me from my comforts. 

What piece challenged you most in this body of work, and why?

Technically it’s the dolls that really challenged me, the amount of sewing that I did for the dolls are challenging, considering having no background in Tailoring. And the needle pokes really hurt.

What do you think will be said about the New Contemporary Art Movement in 100 years?

I’m fortunate as an artist to be alive at this era, because I’ve experienced the birth of the internet and I have benefited a lot from it, the possibilities are endless because it opens the world for you, learning a new skill has never been so easy. With that comes the endless possibilities for artist and their processes, Inspiration can come with just a click of a button. This era has been a mixture of experimental influences from the past and comfort zones has been broken a lot of times by artists, because they are backed up with the knowledge that inspires. This era has seen a lot of “First” like the Internet and it made us pioneers of the connected world. With that, knowing art as an evolving creature that follows and breaks the rules, I’m sure the future will find this era influential the same as we are influenced by the past.

For now, the Brand Library and Arts Center are unfortunately not welcoming visitors. This Saturday, November 7 at 1 pm we will go live on our Instagram to tour the show and we will also be sharing a professionally filmed video tour of the exhibitions on our Instagram and Facebook around that same time. A self-guided virtual tour will be shared shortly as well.