Storytellers at LAND
Curated by Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz
March 2 - April 19, 2017
Nicole Appel, Carlo Daleo, Miranda Delgai, Knicoma Frederick, Garrol Gayden, Kenya Hanley, Sara Malpass, Larry Pearsall, Michael Pellew, Hugo Rocha, William Tyler, and Billy White
Storytellers is a selection of works by artists who reimagine and reinvent the essential practice of telling stories through visual art. Each work represents aspects of a complex personal narrative, glimpses into alternate realities created with diverse materials and processes - Miranda Delgai’s reflection of Navajo tradition and identity through weaving, Billy White’s multivalent hand-built ceramics, or the effortless humor of Michael Pellew’s pop culture inspired drawings. The narratives that these artists construct are not only imaginative inventions, but broader representations of their experiences and highly original perspectives. Curated by Disparate Minds co-founders Tim Ortiz and Andreana Donahue, this group exhibition includes five LAND artists, as well as developmentally disabled artists maintaining contemporary practices at progressive art studios throughout the country.
Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz are the co-founders of Disparate Minds, an ongoing interdisciplinary project discussing the work of marginalized self-taught artists in a contemporary and art historical and context. Through their research, writing, lectures, and curatorial projects, Donahue and Ortiz share insight informed by extensive experience in this field as practicing artists, artist facilitators, and dedicated disability rights advocates.
Storytellers will open March 2nd and be on view through April 19th at LAND Gallery, located at 67 Front Street in Brooklyn. The opening reception on Thursday, March 2, 6 - 8pm, is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm
Nicole Appel (b. 1990, Queens, New York) joined LAND in January of 2016. Her saturated compositions are portraits of loved ones. Nicole has drawn Israeli flags and mussels in dedication to her Israeli neighbor who has a thing for shellfish. Her drawings of animal eyes and Russian boxes are for her mother, a Russian ophthalmologist. Organized in dense rows, Appel illustrates her figures with great detail, each a world of their own.
Carlo Daleo is a talented painter, writer, animator and voiceover artist. He has been a part of the LAND studio since it was founded in 2005. Carlo’s interests and influences are incredibly diverse, including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Soupy Sales, Walt Disney, as well as newscasters and librarians. Daleo has exhibited previously in the Outsider Art Fair in NYC, Facebook Headquarters, and extensively at LAND.
Miranda Delgai (b. 1969, Ganado, Arizona) has maintained a prolific studio practice at Hozhoni in Flagstaff, Arizona since 1995, working in various media (including ceramics, drawing, painting, and embroidery) but favors weaving. She uses Navajo-Churro wool woven on a traditional Navajo upright loom, reflecting the rich history of weaving in her community and family, who are well-known locally as traditional rug weavers. Delgai depicts imagery from experience and memory, detailing her daily activities, interests, or recollections of family life on the reservation in Ganado.
Knicoma Frederick (b. 1980, Brooklyn, New York) has been of member of CVF’s studio in Wilmington, Delaware for five years. A prolific visionary, Frederick’s drawings and paintings possess an abundance of idealism, realized as utopian visions of the future - proclamations from "Glory News", superhero first responders defeating armies of demons, or a “love and justice” rocket ship flying overhead. Often also reflecting more ominous narrative themes, his work is afforded a dynamic sense of gravity, conflict, and romance. Previous exhibitions include All Different Colors and Outsiderism at Fleisher/Ollman and his work is in the permanent collection of the Delaware Art Museum.
Garrol Gayden’s first love is Coney Island and every day starts with a drawing of this famous amusement park. Conversational in nature, Garrol talks about his subjects as he draws them, bringing a social element to his art experience. His unique line quality is bold and sculptural, often veering from simple and linear to a complicated cacophony of tangled lines. His self-taught abilities are truly stunning. Gayden, who creates work at LAND’s Brooklyn studio, is included in many private and corporate collections.
Kenya Hanley’s paintings and drawings most often refer to foods and lists of TV shows or people close to him. Kenya is a great draftsperson and is able to describe the volume of forms with the greatest economy of line. Hanley’s work has been the subject of an exhibition at the flagship J Crew store on Madison Avenue, and the work has since become part of J Crew’s corporate collection. Kenya’s work also figures prominently in the collection of The Museum of Everything in London as well many private collections throughout the United States. Hanley attends the studio at LAND in Brooklyn.
Sara Malpass (b. 1967) is a master list maker. Reading through books and magazines, she catalogs what she absorbs with mounds of hand-written lists. At other times she notes emotions or creates other diaristic entries. Her missives to the viewer seem to be serenades of her daily encounters with the world. Malpass sustains a creative practice at NIAD Art Center in Richmond, California.
Larry Pearsall's body of work narrates the ongoing saga of a dark place called "Apple Bay". Inhabited by characters such as "The Overall Team Club" (a group of overall wearing prepubescent boys and girls), guardian animals (cats, possums, rats), a one hundred year old bearded pedophile named "Bon", and hundreds of others, Apple Bay is a place where demons reside in ubiquitous places. Pearsall has been developing the fictional Apple Bay narrative for the past ten years while working at one of ECF’s studios in Los Angeles. He is represented by their affiliate DAC Gallery.
Michael Pellew's drawings and sculptures are humorous ruminations on pop culture. His playful line quality and imaginative cultural observations are simple and succinct. With one pass of his hand he can depict joy, humor and clever character. Pellew’s subject matter includes NYC trains and buses, fashion design, “punk funk freaks from the East Village and around the Tri-State area”, and portraits of favorite singers and performers. His characters capture a direct sense of style and spontaneity. Corporate collections include Citi Bank, JCrew, and PAPER Magazine.
Hugo Rocha’s drawings are based on a deep interest in and knowledge of the telenovela television genre. Carefully selected stills from Rocha's favorite episodes provide the content for these elegantly odd works on paper. Their melodramatic and staged compositions offer a subtle theatricality which creates a surprising harmony with Rocha's hard-edge abstract figuration. Rocha was born in 1976 and has maintained a studio practice since 2007 at First Street Gallery Art Center, a progressive art studio of the Tiera del Sol Foundation in Claremont, California.
William Tyler (b. 1954, Cincinnati, OH) has been working at Creative Growth Art Center since 1978, one of the longest attending artists in the studio. He is a productive, dedicated artist whose precise, ordered black marker drawings on paper reflect a fascination with fantasy and reality and the sometimes thin line between the two. The intricately rendered landscapes and interiors are built through repeated patterns, figures and dialogue boxes into psychological narratives. William draws images from both his personal experience and his opinion of the world and its cultural icons to create a symbolic place where order reigns over emotion but the world of make-believe rules equally with reality.
Billy White (b. 1962) is a natural storyteller. He weaves tales throughout the scenes he creates in drawings, paintings, and ceramics, explaining the narrative that forms in his head while he is working. Often dredging up long forgotten gems of African American popular culture, White’s subjects range from film and television celebrities to hip hop artists and soul singers, as well as imagined characters like “Count Dracula, the Wrestler.” White has been making art at NIAD Art Center in Richmond, California for twenty years.