contemporary art

Cause living just isn’t enough.

By Natology

Contemporary art is a constant reflection of culture. Its story lines are based on existing topics that dance around the approval or disapproval of what is and what is not. This waltz circulates around the nucleus of the collective consciousness where aesthetics don’t stray too far from home. There is no doubt that great work can come from that center, but it can only be as great as that which it surrounds. In order to do things differently there needs to be space for an untapped inspiration that can only be found when stepping away from the central thought. I recently had the honor of seeing what I consider to be one of the best shows I’ve seen, not just all year but in general.  Cause living just isn’t enough, solo exhibition by Hugo Montoya at Guccivuitton Gallery in Miami, Florida.

First, let’s discuss the location. Guccivuitton Gallery is an avant-garde creative space tucked away to the north of the arts districts. Its location feels real and integrated within the city of Miami in a way that really allows for cultural inspirations to fill the space, while creating a distance from the nucleus that allows for the expansion of thought. This is a hidden treasure in the Miami art scene that should not be overlooked, in fact all eyes should play close attention to this space.

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Hugo and I have been friends for nearly ten years. We went to school together and I have forever been a fan of his work. It’s been a long time since he’s had a show and I can see why. There’s been a nursing of thought and an evolution of ideas far ahead of their time. He gave me the honor of a personal walk through the show last week, sharing the story behind each piece, all of which are found objects adapted and placed with careful precision. For an exhibition strong enough to stand any interpretation, the stories behind the scenes are what add to its value. It’s the culmination of details and the perfection of every angle in which you experience the art.

There’s a small center for worship next door to Guccivuitton, which creates a magical entrance into the space, should you catch it at the right time. We arrived at the space around 7:30pm, well after sunset but still in time for the church choir. As we walked up to the gallery the echos of Haitian gospel increased in volume and you could feel the energy surround the gallery’s entrance. Hugo spent six weeks in the gallery, something that artists don’t regularly have a chance to do. The energy of the gospel choir filled the space that night just as it did throughout those six weeks. From every angle this show presents a new perspective, regardless of the stories behind it or the academic interpretations. It has the ability to stand alone.

The Symmetry of Yuri Tuma

By Natology

There is a universal formula at the basis of all design. Whether it’s in the three-dimensional structure of an atom or the blueprint of a building, a beautiful mathematical equation lays at the foundation of all form. To see the world in shapes, colors, and lines is a blessing. To capture it, mold it, construct it and deconstruct it is another story. Yuri Tuma sees the world in the form of abstract symmetry, which he’s applied to creating a visual language where images replace numbers and patterns shape the conversation.

Yuri Tuma is a Brazilian artist based in Miami, Florida whose art matches the balance of his personality and the vibrational frequency of his name. In other words, Tuma has a harmonious nature that is reflected in his work. He is a photographer who uses shapes and linear structure to develop symmetrical patterns that mirror the nature of design. There is a left-brain and right-brain balance in his work that merges math and intuition to illustrate an understanding of universal geometry. Represented by the established and rebellious Butter Gallery, Tuma has had four solo exhibitions (2008 – 2013) alongside group shows and art fairs in New York and Shanghai. In his fifth solo exhibition, Tuma presents Headlights at Product/81 Gallery, opening Saturday August 10, 2013 in Miami, Fl.  Commissioned by Fordistas, Headlights presents the study of formulaic patterns and optical-symmetry inspired by the headlights of Ford automobiles.. Tuma sees the application of nature’s patterns in man-made structures, which he presents through a kaleidoscopic lens that makes the inorganic, organic. Here’s a sneak peak of Tuma’s latest body of work for Fordistas! fordistas13EVITE




Expanding the Palate

By Natology


Art is a delicacy often prepared through a re-purposing of ingredients. It’s a meal best served on a silver platter to a room that boasts an exploratory palate with dietary restrictions. To conjure the flavors of any given taste takes time, patience, understanding, certainty, and presentation. As new flavors are introduced, some react with xenophobic taste buds while others embrace it and some just don’t care. Movements occur in a similar way in which ideas are developed and presented to existing institutions. Regardless of the point of reference, there is an established foundation at the root of both expanding the palate and invoking social change. Los Angeles recently experienced what can be described as the culmination of both metaphors, if applied to the world of contemporary art.

Last week Jeffrey Deitch resigned from his tenure as Director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Deitch came to Los Angeles in 2010 to save the museum from its financial crisis and breathe a new perspective into the institution. There is a natural resistance that occurs when established perspectives are challenged and that’s what happened in this story. Despite the criticism circulating his every move, Deitch understood the importance of expanding the experience of art and he dedicated his time in Los Angeles to building a new foundation. His tenure was short but impactful, contributing a lot more to the city than saving our museum. Deitch positioned Los Angeles in the right place for the next wave of artists, curators, gallerists, writers, and thinkers while introducing an institution to a taste of what’s to come. As we find ourselves in a transitional period between new school and old school thought, it’s important to nod to our ancestors, shake hands with the present, and celebrate the figures that are expanding the way we experience life. On behalf of Los Angeles and the next wave of thinkers, thank you Jeffrey. I look forward to your next adventure.


Video by filmmaker Jesse Dylan, released Monday 7/29 to honor Deitch’s perspective and contributions to both Los Angeles and the art world.

Giuseppe @ ART BASEL in BASEL

By Guiseppe Bernstein

Just as I thought I would catch my breath, another flight across the globe has me surveying one white cube filled with art after another. Where am I these days? Oh yeah, I’m at Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, the original one.

With over 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa showing everything from great masters of Modern and Contemporary Art to the latest generation of emerging artist. It’s the reason the parties are so libatious. If I weren’t properly lubricated yours truly would catch a rug burn from dragging myself down yet another carpeted corridor. Every artistic medium is represented at this Basel: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance.

Here are the staple names of artist we all know and buyers love:  Bourgeois, Close, Koons, Pettibon, Murakami, Weiwei . The European and American markets are showing up in full force this week as the fair opened to the public today.

(LEFT) Eugene Atget Cabaret de l'homme armé, rue des Blancs Manteaux, c. 1900  (RIGHT)Edward Steichen Matches and Match Boxes. Fabric Design for Stehli Silk Corp., 1926 Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

(LEFT) Eugene Atget
Cabaret de l’homme armé, rue des Blancs Manteaux, c. 1900
(RIGHT)Edward Steichen
Matches and Match Boxes. Fabric Design for Stehli Silk Corp., 1926
Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery

Among the first to enter the fair of course, I was stopped in my tracks several times. Seeing the beautiful photography at  Howard Greenberg Gallery, such as this portrait by Eugene Atget and still life by Edward Steichen, offered a balance to the other photography shown at fellow New Yorker, Bruce Silverstein Gallery. Todd Hido at Silverstein holds up nicely beside the photographic greats and add something that was missing on the showroom floor – a bit of risk taking. (more…)

Art Basel Hong Kong in Review

By Guiseppe Bernstein

Art Basel | Hong Kong 2013 | Dominique Lévy Gallery

Andy Warhol works at Dominique Lévy Gallery

With Swiss-like punctuality and clock-time accuracy, everything ran extremely smooth. Galleries were perhaps second guessing what the Chinese buyers were looking for and as such the risks we associate with Art Basel in Miami Beach and Art Basel in Basel were missing. Video and installation works were lacking, instead there was an overwhelming amount of painting and sculpture. Having been to the VIP previews for art fairs across the US, I notice a hustle and hurry atmosphere in which American and European collectors are rushing to booths to buy pieces from their favorite artists. Most sales happen within the first 3 hours! But instead, ABHK seemed to be relaxed as the Ruinart champagne flowed. With over 60,000 visitors by the events end and sales just as strong from public offerings as those of the VIP, one would say this fair was a real crowd pleaser as consensus has been that its opening edition “ABHK played it safe.” That’s not to say sales weren’t happening, on the contrary. Opening in 2008 as ART Hong Kong to a city with relatively no art fair experience, it is now under Swiss management and the art festival set high standards for gallery selection. With fewer galleries admitted into the fair, the buyers that did come had a lot more space than accustomed to and new art collectors had time to walk booth to booth, go home and research, and then come back to purchase art throughout the duration of the fair as sales continued strong until the last day. (more…)

Francesco LoCastro

By Natology

“In the realm of intersecting ideas, lies the opportunity of transformative change, ” Francesco LoCastro.

Francesco LoCastro has the heart of a painter and the mind of a twenty-first century philosopher. His recent body of work explores subjects in the metaphysical and existential realms, which he conveys through a visual language that is both accessible and complex. Through the use of shapes, colors, symmetry, layers and movement, Francesco presents his work across a platform that transcends the diversity of the human experience. There is a meditative quality beneath his paintings, which is brought to life in subtle video movement. Each painting is constructed through symmetrical layers that are slowly stripped away to reveal a nucleus within a configuration that reflects the invisible structures that define our experience. Deep, I know; but you can also appreciate it from a purely aesthetic place that’s pleasing to the eye and inexplicably peaceful.

As we prepare to shift into a new paradigm, we see the evolution of thought reflected in present dialogues. Francesco LoCastro is an active voice in the contemporary art movement and is helping to steer things in the right direction. Noted for his contributions to Pop-Surrealism, LoCastro is recognized as a key figure in bringing its urban contemporary aesthetics into the realm of fine art. As a painter, curator, and founder of new art fairs, there is a proactive element behind each action that defines him as a humble visionary of our time. Artists have always functioned as mediums in conveying higher levels of understanding and LoCastro airs on that of the 4th dimension. As artists we are the catalysts in the transformation of society and Francesco occupies an important place within it. Below is a glimpse at his latest geometric goodness. Pay close attention to his paintings and videos, there often appears to be a digital design element but it’s been created by hand.

[vimeo w=500&h=281] [vimeo w=500&h=281]