Ben Grasso

Ben Grasso was born in 1979 in Cleveland, Ohio and lives and works in New York.

“With a palette that both augments the vividness, and thus the confusion, and even horror, of these unraveled, suspended structures, while amplifying to its sublimity, Grasso lends an unflinching eye in his depictions of the process of decomposition/re-composition. Through the gorgeously scrupulous conveyance of planks and frames and angles, these paintings are dedicated to the graphic description and analysis of a given emblem—the American home. As dissection sheds light on the anatomical relations among components, viewers get a snapshot of total havoc. And yet whatever might be seriously at stake here, the surrealism of the scene is always there to mediate the experience of viewers, and the images never fail to insist on their acutely wrought artifice“.


José Lerma

Born in Seville, Spain, 1971
 Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Article by Ester Ippolito and Monica Salazar from BerlinArtLink
Jose Lerma’s work relies on a compendium of mediums, references, and elements that combine his personal history and his extensive academic accolades to his awareness of social history. The artist originally migrated from Spain to Puerto Rico and now lives between Chicago and Brooklyn, and has multiple degrees in law and art. It is his ability to combine and collapse facets of history that is best presented in his works now on view in“I am sorry. I am Perry” at Andrea Rosen.
In his paintings, Lerma makes a trend of using images of Baroque style portraits of historical, famous French Bankers from the 18th Century, which are signified by the wigged portraits in some his studio pieces. He started drawing the characters over and over after shooting photographs of them while in law school. The pieces for this exhibition are monumental, somewhat decadent in liberal use of strokes, doodles and highlights of paint. The pastel colors add a lightness to the pieces that works well with the harshness of the profiles of these historically brutal, old bankers.
Lerma places his large works on electronic keyboards as a way of combining previous elements of his oeuvre and collapsing the work together. In a way, it is as if the paintings become active participants in the art. However, beyond this, there is no added meaning to the pianos, a fact stressed with the daily changing of the musical tones the pianos play.
Through the use of acrylic spray paint on canvas, he is able to reproduce the aesthetic of highlighters and pen scratchings on a paper pad in his monumental paintings. He uses this doodling as reference to boredom by taking the tiny gesture of a repetitious action and blowing it up, as evident in the droning electronic keyboard noise and the somewhat tortuous doodling.
Lerma’s paintings meld these several diverse mediums to create works that resemble portraits of bureaucratic figures from afar, but seem to be topographical landscapes from a closer distance. He has a way of building up hues of paint and juxtaposing them alongside flat planes of white paint or ‘doodles’ of spray paint. There is no justifiable pattern to this intersection of textures and it is this free use that makes Lerma’s paintings experimental.
Another aspect of his work is his ability to combine historical references without over-replicating them, for instance his swirled scribbles are reminiscent of graffiti, especially since the artist uses acrylic spray paint to create these large scale doodles. By distorting and often erasing the features of the faces, only leaving profiles or frontal views of wigs, Lerma’s work also references the paintings of Francis Bacon. This style has also been attributed to Philip Guston due not only to the distortion of figures, but to the use of pastel colors and the sketch-like quality of the drawings.
The hypnotic musical tones of the electronic keyboard and the meditative swirls of the doodles seem to counterbalance the stiff regulations of the wigged French bankers and the very controlled atmosphere of both the four-sides of the canvas and the white-walls of the gallery. Nonetheless, the reason for the accumulation of so many elements is never clearly elucidated by Lerma. This combination of elements does not deter both viewer and critic from enjoying works that Lerma effectively describes as “paintings and works about paintings, which attempt to collapse the historical and the autobiographical within a single frame.”

Jose Lerma discussing his current exhibition, “I am sorry I am Perry” at Andrea Rosen Gallery (Dec. 11, 2010 – Jan. 22, 2011):

“The title is the punch line of a joke I heard as a child in Puerto Rico in which an English-speaking fox and a Spanish-speaking dog bump into each other and exchange apologies. Their conversation embodies the resulting layers of meanings that stem from the inadequacies of translation.
My practice consists of finding ways within painting to collapse the historical and the personal. In this exhibition, I intend to create a narrative from a combination of 3 separate ideas that I have been working with over the past few years: the bankers, the reflective curtain, and the keyboards. What I hope emerges is a kind of “fourth reading”, one that cannot be immediately grasped or understood, but one that stays with you, and largely because of its inability to be immediately comprehended.”
On the Bankers:
“While I was still a law student, on my first visit to the Met, I encountered the bust of the French banker Samuel Bernard by Guillaume Coustou. Bernard had been one of richest men during the reign of Louis XIV. I shot a full roll of images of this work. I still have no idea why I did it; at the time I had no intention of making art or even being an artist. Many years later, I began to paint a series of abstract portraits, which loosely referenced those photographs. As with Bernard, I made paintings of two other financiers. One was Jacob Fugger, banker to the Hapsburgs and creator of the first public housing project. The third was John Law, a Scottish-born banker and economist who was responsible for creating one of the first bubbles and nearly bankrupting the French economy. I picked these men rather than more obvious choices (Rothschilds, Schiffs or Salomon Chase), because these figures were for me, at most, a point of departure. They’re faceless, lack likeness, and are an ideal space for formal invention.”


Jackson Pollock

Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality,struggled with alcoholism for most of his life and died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related car accident.

A dripping wet canvas covered the entire floor … There was complete silence … Pollock looked at the painting. Then, unexpectedly, he picked up can and paint brush and started to move around the canvas. It was as if he suddenly realized the painting was not finished. His movements, slow at first, gradually became faster and more dance like as he flung black, white, and rust colored paint onto the canvas. He completely forgot that Lee and I were there; he did not seem to hear the click of the camera shutter … My photography session lasted as long as he kept painting, perhaps half an hour. In all that time, Pollock did not stop. How could one keep up this level of activity? Finally, he said 'This is it.' 
Pollock’s finest paintings… reveal that his all-over line does not give rise to positive or negative areas: we are not made to feel that one part of the canvas demands to be read as figure, whether abstract or representational, against another part of the canvas read as ground. There is not inside or outside to Pollock’s line or the space through which it moves…. Pollock has managed to free line not only from its function of representing objects in the world, but also from its task of describing or bounding shapes or figures, whether abstract or representational, on the surface of the canvas.(Karmel 132)

"My painting does not come from the easel. I prefer to tack the unstretched canvas to the hard wall or the floor. I need the resistance of a hard surface. On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.
"I continue to get further away from the usual painter's tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc. I prefer sticks, trowels, knives and dripping fluid paint or a heavy impasto with sand, broken glass or other foreign matter added.
"When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.
-- Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956
And finally i really want to introduce this website to all of you: http://jacksonpollock.org/.Everyone better goes to try once. This is so amazing, i hope you will have fun on it, because i love it so much.  


The Loose Salute

Former Slowdive drummer Ian McCutcheon founded the dream-pop/country indie band The Loose Salute. Apart from drumming, Ian as a songwriter also plays guitar and sings in the band, together with Lisa Billson (vocals, keyboards, percussion), Charlotte King (harmonies, percussion, guitar, bells & whistles), Alan Forrester (bass, keys), Alden Evans (guitar, bass & lap steel) and Robert Jesse (guitar) the six-piece divides their time between London, Wiltshire and Cornwall, producing soothing folksy songs full of cheerfulness.

The band is currently signed to Big Potato Records in the UK and Graeface Records in the US. 

Their second album 'Getting Over Being Under' includes 'Happy I Don't Count', 'This is Love', 'The Curse of Caring' and more. 

We talked to Ian about some random facts about himself. Here is the interview.
The Loose Salute- Its a Beautiful Thing

The Loose Salute - Happy I Don't Count - Official Music Video from Lee Evans on Vimeo.


Ryan McGinley

Years Ago, I got some incredibly cool posters from agnes.b store, showing beautiful pictures of young people running, jumping, playing around the campfire in naked. They are so comfortable, so free out in the wild. It made me wonder who took those amazing pictures. I love them so much that I posted all on my bedroom's walls. Some of them are like screenshots taken from a foreign/indie film. Then I saw his work on Sigur Ros' album cover.

Yes His name is Ryan McGinley.
The youngest artist having a solo show at the Whitney Museum back in 2002 at the age of 24

"Youth, liberation and the joy of losing yourself in the moment are elements that feature throughout Ryan McGinley’s work, from his early roots in documenting the urban adventures of his downtown Manhattan friends to his subsequent cross-country travels in utopian environments throughout America to his most recent studio portraits. McGinley’s elaborate and rigorous process of photo-making creates moments of breathtaking beauty: naked feral kids poised in ecstatic abandon. The lack of clothing and other contemporary signifiers along with the archetypical landscapes give the photos a sense of timelessness in which the viewer can project his or her own story. The use of animals is another facet of McGinley’s exploration of the natural world. They bring out the animalistic qualities of the nude figure, and the scratches on the bodies signify our desire to commune with nature and the excitement and risks inherent therein."



Notoriously private Japanese fashion design icon Yohji Yamamoto lets his guard down in an exclusive, intimate short documentary film about life and the creative process, from Tokyo to New York.

Hailed as a genius, honored by entities from the French government to the CFDA, recognized internationally for his radical innovations and craftsmanship, Yamamoto is a visionary. Known for his mastery of sculptural forms, a penchant for androgyny and asymmetry, and an intellectual-yet-witty approach since he launched his first collection in Tokyo in 1977, Yamamoto has defined the avant-garde in fashion for decades. And yet, after more than 30 years on the world stage, he remains a mystery, cloaked by a careful division between his private life and his public craft.

Opening up about his artistic motivations, his love of music, and his aesthetic vision, the documentary follows Yamamoto through the entire creative cycle of a collection for his revolutionary line in collaboration with adidas, Y-3.
A perfect emblem of Yamamoto’s drive for innovation, the Y-3 label -one of eight distinctive lines the designer oversees- has created a new category in fashion since its introduction in 2002. Born out of a desire to merge Yamamoto’s craftsmanship with adidas’ technical prowess, Y-3 has come to be recognized as the future of sportswear, and it is the backdrop against which the film unfolds.
The documentary tracks Yohji Yamamoto and the global team working on the collection, casting, styling, show production, PR and communication for a short period of time during the Summer and early Autumn of 2009. Beginning with the finalization of the collection and styling for the show in Tokyo, followed by his arrival in New York City to oversee the final touches for the presentation of Y-3’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, the documentary turns an intimate eye on Yamamoto during fittings, model castings, guitar-playing, philosophical musings, and interactions with his staff and the global team bringing his ideas to life.

Director Theodore Stanley, in association with his production group Harbor Film Company, was granted close access to Yamamoto. Best known as the Director of Photography for Bruce Weber’s documentary films “Letter to True,” “Chop Suey,” and “Boy Artist,” THIS IS MY DREAM represents Stanley’s debut as a documentary film director. Other notable credits include the Director of Photography for Chiara Clemente’s film, “Our City Dreams” and commercial work for the likes of Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel. In collaboration with editor Zak Tucker, Stanley has crafted a film that unveils Yamamoto’s artistic process in a way that will fascinate fashion insiders and neophytes alike.

“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to spend some time with Yohji Yamamoto in the process of making the documentary film, YOHJI YAMAMOTO : THIS IS MY DREAM. The project presented its challenges, as Yohji is a very private person and has maintained this privacy despite being one of the intriguing working artists and designers of our time. We needed to enter this world as an outsider but leave with images and words that allowed an intimate glimpse to this man's interior.” - Theo Stanley, Director

i love Yohji Yamamoto
so what more i can say


I Wayan Sudarsana Yansen

 is a contemporary Indonesian artist who’s abstract paintings celebrate colour, life, energy and spirit in an organic way. Bursting, flowing, decomposing and re-emerging the forms appear in a constant state of transition. The visual language he creates on the canvas is both beautiful and mysterious with each piece he is weaving a small story about the natural course of things.

He creates his artwork in dreams or imagination or intuition. 
” I’m just mediator to serve the colour onto the soft canvas. 
here in Bali i’ve got inspiration guiding by natural moment.” 

Theo Altenberg

 is a German artist living in Berlin. 
He uses cardboard to create some amazing paintings. 


Letting Up Despite Great Faults

Hear the sound from this amazing, shoe-gazing indie-pop band Letting Up Despite Great Faults, it's like the bright sun on the beach. It's summery, breezy and a bit dreamy, which totally match with the date of the release of their forthcoming EP Paper Crush. The EP will be out on August 2.

It all started as a project by a LA musician Michael Lee. The band name comes from the Blonde Redhead track “Loved Despite of Great Faults”. In 2009 Lee recorded the self-titled full-length album in his bedroom on his computer. The band is often being compared with The Radio Dept, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and M83.

It is definitely something you want to hear in this summer. We are looking forward to their coming EP with excitement.
  Letting Up Despite Great Faults - In Steps by lettingup

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