Drama, action and hope. Colors know it or not, are reminders of our experiences. We’ve all attached sights and visions of our lives and to our emotional selves. These paintings are references to those emotions. Everyone is going to have a different reference points; my references are just mine. In doing these paintings, there was a strong feeling in me to start with and I wrapped everything around that. I can say a lot of personal stuff about these paintings, what I was feeling when I was painting but it is for the viewer to bring their feelings to the painting. If you try to identify objects and images you will be disappointed, it is more of emotional journey. It is for the viewer to look at the work as a whole, the colors and proportions. I do believe, like many people, the world is a chaotic place, the drive to make sense, to build structure, I feel it helps us in the struggle. I have been doing color and form dichotomies for 35 years, first in 3 dimensions, sculptures, and now with paintings. It wasn’t until these recent paintings that I feel like I landed. There’s 10% hope. If you go deep and face the darkness. You have a lot more courage and will see a lot more, instead of running from it. – Danny Perkins
Danny was born in Frankfurt, Germany, raised in an orphanage in Oklahoma, and was a young adult in the Bay area. He then moved to Washington state where he was a professional artist in glass and sculpture showing nationally and internationally and is in museum collections throughout. He moved to Tucson 10 years ago, this is his first show after a five-year hiatus.
Rudans wasn’t exactly a Viking–he was born in Latvia in 1933–but his larger-than-life story merited a hero’s sendoff, art-style. A refugee who suffered through World War II in a displaced-persons’ camp with his family, he landed in the United States as a teenager in 1949. In short order, he joined the Army, got his citizenship, studied art at the University of Wisconsin, became an art professor and then confounded his immigrant success story by dropping out to do art–and nothing but.
Art took precedence over living. On a visit I paid in 2000, paintings were stacked up against the walls in piles so deep that they had almost taken over the living room, leaving only a narrow space for a single bed. Giant skeletal sculptures of a man and dog occupied what must have once been a bedroom.
Paintings featuring images alternating between lovely Rousseau-like nudes and lecherous priests covered the walls, in between the heads of angels and devils carved out of scrap wood. Rudans would make art with whatever materials he could find.
Rudans loved painting the female nude, and often pictured women in gardens overflowing with flowers and fruits. But even progressive types occasionally balked at Rudans’ unapologetic sexual imagery. Back in 1990, patrons at Club Congress were so angry about an explicit female nude hung above the bar that the painting eventually was removed. And Rudans delighted in attaching big wooden penises to many of his sculptures.
“Microstructures” is a panoramic utopian urban environment by artist, Cornelia Jensen. It occurs as a site-specific installation using found Styrofoam packing material, faux grass and light to create a small scale cityscape, including infrastructure and green space. A background in filmmaking and found-object assemblage evolved into the creation of light-imbued sculpture. Instead of demanding external light sources to be visible, it requires darkness to fully appreciate its glowing presence. The use of light brings out a delicate ethereal beauty in material that would otherwise be thrown away after its temporary purpose of cradling delicate consumer products in transit. Instead of becoming an albatross of bulky, non-biodegradable waste, the material is transformed into something that transports us to an imaginary world of possibilities.
After years of being a figurative and figure-ground painter, Jensen transitioned into plein-air landscape painting, like her father had done when she was young. While living in New York City, she worked in a studio from photos she took during her travels in the West. The human-created “order” of the urban landscape fostered a craving for the wild “order” that natural landscapes provide. In the face of the conscious design of a city environment, the process of portraying wilderness became very freeing. Now, abstract painting takes the experiment further by letting go of the control of capturing “likeness”. The landscape and abstract paintings each have a life of their own, unifying nature, mind and time to create a finished moment as art.
Environments, whether man-made or natural, provide a matrix for existence. Jensen’s themes in painting and assemblage experiment with environment and scale, as well as the relationship between human beings and nature. How does environment reflect and/or complement our human lives? To what extent are our environments the negative space to our presence? Her personal concern is how Nature fits with current life, what it offers, what it requires, how it suffers or wins?
“In my work, sculpture, drawing, performance, and digital art overlap to examine my experience with dissociation of identity and culture. Since early childhood I have battled with the alienating feelings of depersonalization and derealization, and the yearning to connect with people. I use the archetype of the clown, in both its familiar and novel forms to explore myself and the ever shifting culture, holding up a mirror to religion, sex, family, community and my own practice. The work shifts stylistically between mediums, while maintaining a unified intent that ultimately exposes the absurdity of life and reality. More recently, I spent a year as a real estate agent, expanding upon the concept of public art. By donning the character of a Realtor, I aimed to understand people’s relationship with private property that is simultaneously interconnected by a public infrastructure. I am deeply interested in delving deeper into all of these concepts through personal and collaborative projects.”
Born May 28th, 1950
Corpus Christi, Texas
A true gemini
Jim Storm currently lives in his van, traveling around the country for the last 4 years. He has lived in Texas, Hawaii, Colorado, Detroit, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Wyoming, and Oregon. He got a BFA in Art from U of Hawaii, and an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, in 1978. He has worked many different jobs, always keeping his art in its own little haunted house.
He spent one year in Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, off-grid in the Ventana Wilderness east of Monterey, CA. He has done volunteer political work in Texas, worked for Meals on Wheels during COVID in Tillamook, Oregon, and worked in different jobs for a food/energy/diaper assistance organization in Rockland, Maine. His only paying job in all this time was working in the dining room and cabin crew at a guest ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is currently working on his 4th book of poetry.
My aspiration is to take up space in a male dominated art world. I be doing it for my bitches, period.
Yu Yu Shiratori (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA) is a Tucson-based multi-media artist. Shiratori’s work aims to capture the intricate web each individual holds within a multifaceted society. Her multi-dimensional work investigates the values of traditional methods and contemporary forms to explore issues of cultural and gendered perspectives.
Wesley Fawcett Creigh is a multi-disciplinary artist based out of the land currently known as Tucson, Arizona. In 2008 she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Prescott College in the self-designed major of Public Art with an Emphasis on Social Impact. Employing animation and multimedia installation for her creative projects, she explores modes of visual storytelling using a collaborative approach. Her 15 years of experience in various construction trades inform her artistic practice and the materials and methods she employs. She has been awarded grants and residencies from organizations such as the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona, The Puffin Foundation, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Springboard for the Arts, Franconia Sculpture Park, and Santa Fe Art Institute.
“I wish I could spend more time drawing stuff, but I have a job that is kind of soul-sucking (in a good way), that is, a first grade teacher. And besides, drawing and I have an adversarial relationship, where I end up hating most of what I do. But I continue to draw, when I can, which is mostly during work meetings. During one, I drew a dead clown, as a response to the prevailing mood of the meeting.
I got to thinking about what might have killed the clown. I added pustules and swelling. These doodles led to the series, “Clowns, Diseases, and You”. I hoped to use the clowns to educate the public about the dangers of communicable diseases, like a public service.”
Ruben Urrea Moreno
Robert Rios aka Tata Homie
Lower AZ, Lupita Chavez
Sebastian Hirn and Lisa Hörstmann have been working together on various projects since 2012.
Sebastian Hirn has realized a large number of art installations, stage and video designs, as well as projects as a director for theatre and opera in Germany and abroad. His method of working transcends established disciplines and moves within the space between fine art, theater/dance, and music. It is characterized by a great interest in experiments and openness that often results in collaborations with visual artists, musicians/composers, or scholars.
Lisa Hörstmann has been working for different art projects and institutions in Munich and Berlin for several years. She is currently doing a PhD on settler primitivism in South Africa with the Department for African Art at Freie Universität Berlin.
Nika Kaiser is a visual artist working with photography, video, and installation. Her art practice intersects ideas of mysticism, interspecies connection, and future ecologies.
Kaiser received her MFA in Visual Art from University of Oregon in 2013. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including shows at the American Institute of Thoughts and Feelings, Tucson, AZ; Bruce High Quality Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Coaxial, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Museum of Modern Art, Portland, OR; Border Patrol, ME; Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, NY; University of Dubai, UAE; WNDX Festival of the Moving Image, Winnipeg, MB; Antimatter [Media Art], Victoria, BC; University of Rostock Museum, GE.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including two Arts Foundation New Works Grants and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship. She is an alumni member of the collective Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR and current member of the video collective Ungrund. Her photographs and videos have been featured in Wut Magazine, Azymuth (Spain), and on NPR. She teaches experimental practices in the Department of Film and Television at the University of Arizona.
Calvin’s a team player. He works hard fighting Q and trolling insurrectionists. He has a body shop, fixing the dents of battle and strife. He’s always there to fix the fender of single moms everywhere.
Olivier Mosset first became known in France for having been part of the famous BMPT group alongside Daniel Buren, Niele Toroni and Michel Parmentier. Since then he has been associated with a multitude of art historical movements, involving himself in both the European and American artistic and critical contexts.
In anticipation of many artists, who in the 1980s would use appropriation to critique Modernist authority, Mosset called into question the painter’s gesture and signature by sharing styles and dissolving authorship to reach a “degree zero” of painting. Mosset has remained committed to questioning painting as a historical object by, paradoxically, continuing to paint, turning to monochrome works on canvas and walls.
Mosset lives and works in Tucson, AZ. Since his emergence in the 1960s with BMPT, Mosset has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums worldwide. Recently he has been the subject of a solo exhibitions at Jean Paul Najar Foundation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2017); Hunter College Art Galleries, New York, NY (2016); The Power Station, Dallas, TX (2015); Musée regional d’art contemporain Languedoc-Roussilon à Sérignan, France (2013), and Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2012), among others. A retrospective of his work, Olivier Mosset: Travaux/Works 1966-2003, was presented at Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland and Kunstverein St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, Switzerland (2003). His work has been included in several group exhibitions including Manifesta 10, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2008); and he represented Switzerland in the 44th Venice Biennale (1990). His work is in the collections of such institutions as Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, among others.
Michael P. Berman’s classically executed black and white photographs participate and extend the tradition of western landscape photography. Berman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008 for his work Grasslands: The Chihuahuan Desert Project. Photographs from this project was published in 2009 in the book Trinity, by The University of Texas, Austin. Trinity is the third book of the border trilogy, The History of the Future, with the writer Charles Bowden. In 2008, the Lannan Foundation organized an exhibition, also titled The History of the Future, of photographs by both Berman and artist Julián Cardona, accompanied by an essay by Bowden. The exhibition traveled to the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008), the North Dakota Museum of Art (2009), Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (2009), Ohio Wesleyan University (2011), and Tulane University (2011). A selection from the show is now on view at the Nation Institute.
Berman was born in New York City in 1956 and later came west to Colorado College, where he studied biology. He subsequently received an MFA in photography from Arizona State University. Fifteen years ago he settled in southwestern New Mexico, where he now lives in the Mimbres Valley near San Lorenzo.
He wanders the border wild lands of U.S. and Mexico and works on the local issues—mining, grazing, wilderness, timber, water, growth and the border—that impact the land. Berman brings an awareness of the complexity of the biological world to the political and social dialogue of the West to his art, which he then uses as a catalyst to renew and heighten our perception of the land.
His photographs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum, Lannan Foundation, and the New Mexico Museum of Art. He has received Painting Fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the Wurlitzer Foundation and his installations and paintings have been reviewed in Art in America, and exhibited throughout the United States.
My Friend Celia
We met in 1980, in Santa Fe, and shortly after, moved together to a commune between Santa Fe and Taos, in a canyon leading up to the Truchas peaks, surrounded by magical pink hills dotted with Juniper. I took care of the pigs, goats and chickens, and Celia watered and looked after the Jerusalem artichokes we grew. When we parted ways we stayed in touch, mostly due to Celia’s devoted diligence to correspondence. Later she would write to me from Mexico where she and a couple of friends lived in caves among the Tarahumara. She eventually settled on the east-side slope of the Chiricuahua mountains near the town of Rodeo, about the same time I settled in Tucson.
First she built a classic pit house, which was eventually abandoned to the rattlesnakes.Then she built her own straw bale adobe house, as much as she could by her own hand. And she painted, always on small canvases. Her inspiration was in the land around her. It was a stark lifestyle, hauling water, heating with wood, no cooling during blazingly hot summers, very little electricity. Emphatically this was her choice, a primitive lifestyle in the Sonoran desert as a painter.
There she remained for the last 35 years. She does not own a computer or a cell phone. She harvests rainwater, a life depending on conservation. She made her peace with the rattlesnakes that invade every spring. She thrived on the drama of weather that unfolded around her, and relished her view of Pelloncillos peaks across the valley.
This show is her farewell now to her desert home, as she plans to return to her native England later this year. At 71, she will enjoy her sisters whom she has missed for many years, and perhaps get to know the generation of nephews and nieces who have grown up while she was away.
Each of these paintings are a reverential goodbye to the corners of her home, to the metates filled with rain water, to the transcendentalist dreams she puzzled out. These paintings are the footprints of 35 years spent in the desert.
Kevin Black is a professional actor, director, producer and teacher based in Tucson, Arizona. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama program, he has acted at The New York Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Theatre for a New Audience, The Pearl Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, and Arizona Theatre Company, and appeared in films selected for the San Francisco International, Seattle International, Venice and Sundance Film Festivals. He was an Associate Producer on the HBO Documentary ‘Brillo Box 3 Cents Off’. He is a Professor of Practice in the University of Arizona’s School of Theatre, Film and Television.
Albert Chamillard was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1971. He moved to Tucson in 1994 and received his BFA in studio arts from the University of Arizona in 2003. While a student at the UA, he helped establish the student-run Carbonbase Studio and Gallery. Post-graduation, he continued to work as an art handler and picture framer before co-founding Atlas Fine Art Services in 2011, and currently works as a preparator at the University of Arizona Museum of Art.
Albert’s work is primarily small scale drawings that are comprised of layers of cross-hatched marks which create textile-like surfaces, and deal with concepts of memory, family, the natural world and ways language affects and interferes with our perceptions of our world. Albert Chamillard has exhibited work nationally and locally at Etherton, Paradigm and Pulp Galleries.
The opposing tension and breadth of many human characteristics are shared by animals strength/fragility, stability/flight, grace/boldness, aggression/submission. I am inspired by their life expression of grace, strength, beauty and raw sensuality. By exploring the architecture of animal’s he and their bodies with glass, steel and other materials, I bring them into our lives and our shared emotional states. The sculptures are extensions of ourselves.
As a child I experienced the tension of opposing worlds — the rough rawness of the South Chicago st mills, the stark beauty of Chicago’s architecture, and the sensuality of animals portrayed in the halls taxidermy in Chicago’s Museum of Natural History. I see myself strongly attracted both by man’s industrial mastering of materials and by the untouched nature of the Southwest, my present home.