Current Artsy article
Why Artists Are Allowed to Copy Masterpieces from the World’s Most Prestigious Museums
Main Gallery, Gallery Aferro
February 10 – March 16, 2018
Curated by Evonne M. Davis
Opening Reception February 10th 7-10pm @ Gallery Aferro
Case Studies features 14 artists who have been invited to intervene with re-purposed, salvaged museum display cases. The majority of these cases were donated to Gallery Aferro by George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate’s Museum, as well as from New York Historical Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Large, elegant, dark wood displays, previously used for a traveling exhibition of replica objects from Washington’s life, as well as plexiglass vitrines and pedestals, will be transformed by artists from across the East Coast for a contemporary vision, creating a diverse and unique experience for the viewers because in effect each is creating an exhibit within an exhibit.
Ann LePore is conducting street-side interviews to ask people in Newark what they think should be preserved and protected in a display case, and then projecting luminescent drawings of those objects for her display case. Tatiana Istomina’s case is given over to documents and artwork from the life of fictional Modernist painter, Alissa Blumenthal (1899-1991), derived from Istomina’s interest in the early 20th century avant-garde. Niki Lederer will be displaying 333 porcelain dogs, addressing questions of what happens when private collections are shown publicly in very non-domestic settings. Other artists are using their cases to address topics as divergent as state-sanctioned killings, the symbolism of the ace of spades, and the Newark-born inventor of the oreo cookie.
This exhibition creates a dialogue between museum culture, gallery experimentation, and the impulses and voices of artists. Whether described as cases, pedestals, vitrines, casework, or cabinets, the objects can evoke portability and itinerancy in art and culture, as well as, oddly enough, ideals of what is imagined to be fixed, unchanging, permanent, or authoritative. Ideas about archiving, exposure, cultural access, historical narrative, Americana, Colonialism, “high” and “low” culture, containment, consumption, salvage and recycling, object reparation, looking and how it changes what is looked at, preservation, platform and power, the exoticized, and the uses of the past also might come to mind. Artist Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum, as well as more recent projects such as Not An Alternative’s Natural History Museum remind us that there are no neutral objects. Which artists generally know better than most. Educators and activity planners are encouraged to contact the gallery to book a free tour of the exhibits for their youth or adult groups.
You can see one of my current political works, DEMOCKERY, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from August 30th-September 20th 2017.
DEMOCKERY Term Laurie M. coined 10_9_2016 (2nd presidential debate) Embroidery started 10_10_2016 Embroidery completed 11_8_2016 8:38am Grandma Eleanore’s white and red embroidery floss on scrap of blue fabric, 37 1/2” x 30 3/4”
You can see some of my current political work as a participant in Debtfair/Occupy Museums, The Whitney Biennial, 2017.
I will be participating in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's
Spring Copyist Program
Set up your studio in The Met. The Copyist Program offers time and space for artists to develop an artwork through intimate study in the Museum's galleries.
Copyists have created reinterpretations of original artworks in The Met collection since 1872, engaging with objects spanning more than 5,000 years of history. The program celebrates intensive technical study, deep observation, and encourages sustained engagement with a diverse range of media, including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, and textiles.
Artists interested in working in the galleries may apply to participate in a free eight-week session during the fall semester (October–December) or the spring semester (March–April).
Gallery Aferro Mobile Photo Studio
OPEN DOORS Citywide Arts Festival/Newark 350 Celebration
The mobile portrait studio travels across the city throughout the year creating free portraits of citizens like you! Imagine Newark’s future residents being able to revisit these portraits in 2026, 2066, or in 2166, when the descendants of this year’s subjects can access the images – the same way we wonder about the lives of the people whose images we have from the 19th-20th centuries…
One of the most fundamental attributes of photographic portrait art is accessibility, and the way it gains meaning continuously over time. We love to look. We love to be seen. All of us. And we love to look back, and think about how we dreamed of the future. After your portrait is taken you will be able to download a high resolution file of the image that can be shared and printed as you wish. Portrait images will be added to aferro.org as they are made, to be shared with the city and the world.
The 350 portraits will be exhibited during October 2016 with a fun and exciting launch reception for everyone. After that, the portraits of Newarkers will belong to the city of Newark in perpetuity, available for traveling exhibits, or simply to be held in the palm of someone’s hand on a phone screen as they tell friends about the day their portrait was made: That’s me! Look!
Artwork by Laurie M.
Gallery Aferro Liminal Gallery
October 15th – December 19th
Opening Reception October 17th 7pm – 10pm
This current body of work by the artist is a very intimate series titled SOUL BABY. It contains original works, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, oil paintings and drawings and cyanotypes. The actual SOUL BABY is an unrealized physical being that has been portrayed obsessively at the core of who the artist considers her self to be.
SOUL BABY is subtle on the surface but reveals an inner intensity through very specific titles concerning health issues existing within the artist’s family (multigenerational schizophrenia, Asperger’s, mental illness). This body of work questions how quality of health translates into (dis)connectedness and altered perceptions of family relationships, childhood, love, longing, loss, trauma, natural wonders, and pure beauty.
In these works, Laurie M. draws on the unconscious, meditating on the qualities of primal self and the complexity of all that feeds those meditations in oil paint. Laurie M. created the first work in this series, titled “At Peace”, when all of her life seemed aligned and she was joyous. Not long after that declaration, Laurie M.'s life went into a health spiral that would forever impact her “expected” future. The resulting paintings describe profoundly personal experiences that also reference topics unexplored in Laurie’s works prior to dramatic changes in her health.
The inspiration in SOUL BABY originates from life combined with an appreciation for traditional Realism as well as an affinity for the Abstract Expressionists and Surrealists. This inspiration is a paradox, stylistically. This new work draws upon raw emotions associated with the yearning for truth and beauty within a physically painful existence. This “duality” is a reminder of complications of the heart and often conveys the disconnection of male and female relationships. Visual metaphors convey life events that are too difficult to express in any other way. Highly rendered focal points often contrast with an unconscious, reoccurring theme of an unfinished, skewed horizontal background.