Tag Archives: artspace patchogue

Evan Venegas – Manipulating the Grid

ev16-mix-editBy Caitlyn Shea

Evan Venegas paints visual labyrinths that encapsulate the rhythm and pulse of the urban landscape.  His abstract paintings feature complex compositions and enticing color relationships. Venegas takes us on an aerial journey to NYC, and expresses his love for the ever-shifting city.  He does not work from photos, and instead relies upon his own experiences in the boroughs to navigate the puzzle-like environments that he concocts.

Although NYC is known for its unpredictable nature, the city was designed based on a grid; and that is exactly where Venegas begins laying out his paintings.  The grid is apparent in his paintings and gives them a strong sense of structure and order.  The order is then disrupted and pushed beyond its limits by tumultuous shapes that break into the predetermined planes.  Venegas explains: “I use the backdrop of the grid as a starting point. Then I allow myself to playfully connect, intercept and manipulate the spaces inside this simple structure. This is an expression of what I think happens in the city. “

Music is inherent in each CFBL712painting; the painterly choices he makes are reminiscent of expressionist painters that were influenced by jazz.   Venegas’ father was a musician and he stressed the importance of continuously practicing.  Venegas recalls: “Through extensive practicing, you can reach a point where playing the right note becomes second nature. Then you have the freedom to improvise, using your intuition but with a sophisticated working knowledge. I made a seemingly rebellious decision to not become a musician when I was younger. I decided visual art was what I wanted to explore. I adopted the same principles my father taught me about playing music, but I use tone and variation of color as my musical notes.”

LostGrid-A28Not everyone sees the cities that Venegas creates; in fact viewers see many different objects and concepts in his paintings.  Venegas does embrace viewers bringing their own interpretations to his work.  He explains: “I never intended for people to have this experience. But I started to hear early on in my painting career that this is what was happening. It’s enough for me as an artist to make something that others can lose them self in and take a break from reality. Also, I am fascinated with the imagery people come up with in their minds.”

Evan is one of many artists exhibiting artwork at Sparkboom’s Artspace Unplugged. The work will be on display until August 14th at 20 Terry Street in Patchogue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

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Christine Sweeney – Life is Music, Music is Life

sycamore 0113By Darryl Maraj

I first met Christine Sweeney two years ago when we both worked in a music store. I was behind the counter, and she taught lessons. During our breaks, Sweeney (which is what I solely knew her as) and I would talk mostly about crazy store patrons and Breaking Bad. But, whether it was the shortness of our breaks or because Breaking Bad was just that awesome, we never really talked about ourselves or our music. So, everything you’re about to read, I only learned a few hours before you.

Christine is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, where she majored in music theory and composition. According to Christine, one of her major accomplishments right now is being a full time musician- without having to work in retail anymore. “It’s a lot of work, but I can say that I’m doing what a love for a living,” said Christine, who now lives in Lindenhurst. She teaches lessons in voice, guitar and piano in studios as well as in homes. One of the bands she’s a part of is reggae band, Free Noise Brigade, where she sings backup vocals. However, Christine’s crown jewel and the focus of most of her time, effort and heart is her band – Christine Sweeney and the Dirty Stayouts. This is the project that allows Christine to show off the completeness her vocal prowess as well as her sycamore 9996astounding songwriting.

Christine’s music is a combination of acoustic rock’s rawness and power, with the sweet and memorable melodies of pop music. She draws many of her influences from artists such as Grace Potter, John Mayer, Regina Spektor and KT Tunstall. Songwriting for Christine usually starts in her car. While driving to her various jobs, or to gigs, Christine will hear a melody and immediately start creating lyrics to go along with them. I asked her was her lyrics were typically about. She said, “I draw from my own experience when writing… I have a lot of relationship songs, but also have ones about addiction, hope, wanting, wondering. I work out my inner demons through songs.” Christine Sweeney and the Dirty Stayouts’ newest album is going to be released towards the very end of August, so keep your ears to the ground on that one.

When Christine isn’t making music, she’s usually hanging out with friends, or relaxing at home. She also enjoys crafty things like drawing, knitting and photoshopping (mostly for gig posters and such).

For more on Christine Sweeney, you can visit her website or her Facebook page. And if the internet just isn’t enough, you can catch her performing live at SPARKBOOM’s ArtSpace Unplugged, at 20 Terry St, Patchogue, NY 11772, from 6-10 PM. She goes on at 6:30 PM.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Darryl Maraj graduated from Five Towns College with a degree in Music Education. At Five Towns, he worked with the great vocal professional and renowned educator, Stephen C. Pagano in jazz, classical, Broadway and pop styles of singing. Currently, Darryl splits his time between his job at the Islip School District, his church- where he is the Music Coordinator, and his band, Slang (facebook.com/slangthebandli). When taking a break from music, Darryl likes to draw, play video games and attempt cooking.

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Meishan Pan – Connecting with Human Emotions

CPan3By Caitlyn Shea

Meishan Pan creates striking, large scale paintings of the human face and body.  I was fortunate enough to view her work as it was being installed at Artspace Patchogue earlier this month.  Her powerful works have an immediate and strong presence in the gallery.  The paintings are left raw and unapologetically unframed.  Using a limited palette of black, white, and grays, human faces become the main focus of her paintings.  The facial expressions she chooses to portray run the gamut from tranquility all the way to pain and anguish.

Allowing rCPan2oom for drips and splatters, Pan says her paintings are inspired by her memories.  She works from photos that she takes herself.  She will have two paintings at Artspace Unplugged.  One is of a woman’s face from her series entitled “Because of You.”  The figure’s eyes meet our gaze and create a confrontational, yet elusive effect.  She describes the series as being about: “different emotions human beings face nowadays. Because people come into our life and cause us to be happy, frustrated, depressed and many emotions.”  She will also be showcasing a painting of an elderly man; she is fascinated by the narrative written across his face.  She says: “I personally like to draw old faces because of the attractions behind those faces. The lines and wrinkles left on their faces tell stories they have experienced in their life, it is a celebration of life.”

CPan1Pan learned to draw in China, where she was born and raised.  Her paintings are beyond portraits, capturing remarkable emotions and energetic mark-making.  Her work must be seen in person to be fully appreciated for their painterly quality and large scale magnitude.

Join us for Artspace Unplugged on August 9th at Artspace Patchogue. SPARKBOOM™ will be featuring over 40 artists and 4 live musical acts, delicious Craft Beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery and tasty Food courtesy of Mia’s River Avenue Deli. It is a free event open to all! RSVP here via Facebook.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlyn SImagehea is a professional fine art painter. She studied Studio Art and Art History at Pratt Institute and Skidmore College before graduating with a BFA from Adelphi University in 2011. Outside of her studio, Shea is captivated by the pluralism that exists in art today, and the ways in which individual artists define themselves and their practices in order to carve out a unique career. By interviewing participating SPARKBOOMTM artists, Shea looks to develop a dialogue between practicing artists and an audience that does not only include other art experts, but people who have a newfound urge to become involved in experiencing the work of fresh, exciting artists.

 

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Yukito Yoneyama – Emphasis on the Now

time_code_table

“Time Code Table”

By Jenna Weis

Being immersed into the highly diversity of cultures and sights around the US presented artist Yukito Yoneyama the exposure to contemplate a given moment. As a native of Yokohama, Japan, traveling the US has given Yoneyama the resilience to be open to his new surroundings. Living in the moment is what encompasses the mind of this artist. When asked about his fascination with the present moment, he explained “I had spent [a] significant amount of time focusing all my energy and time into ‘living’ for the future. At one point in my life, I found myself realizing that tomorrow never comes. When tomorrow comes, it becomes ‘today’.” With the future an illusion, all we have is the moment we are in to savor.

Yoneyama approaches his art from a spiritual perspective, which visually is highly abstracted with ethereal use of color in his oil paintings or mesmerizing textures in his charcoal and pen and ink pieces. The concept of time and pre-destined plans are irrelevant for Yoneyama who says “What I try to focus on is to stay spontaneous throughout the entire creative process, from the moment when the light bulb goes on while brushing my teeth, listening to my son snore, to the moment the piece leaves my studio.” Thoughts are abandoned and judgments are made in the midst of the creation.

five_elements_fire1

“Five Elements of Fire”

Without the substance of a recognizable image in his work, there is a heavy dependence on the metaphysical. There is no connection to the physical world, just with the mind. Yoneyama explains “you are dealing with something different, such as intuitions, abstract thoughts, and metaphysical questions.” This idea is reflected in the lightness in his work. Free of being judged or compared and just being what it is. In his compressed charcoal piece entitled Time Code Table, we are presented with an image unfolded during the art making process, based off an idea in the moment that abandons time and space. It is as though as a viewer you are forced to savor what is before you and focus on what is here.

Come experience the metaphysical art of Yukito Yoneyama at SPARKBOOMTM‘s Artspace Unplugged event at 20 Terry Street, Patchogue August 9th from 6-10PM. For details, visit our official Facebook event for the show.

To see more of the artists’ work, visit: studioraiyu.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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Nicholas Raffel – Reading Between the Lines

By Erin Corrigan

raffel_2

“Far Far Away”

From sleep deprived doodling, to articulate drawings woven into graphic design. Nicholas Raffel, currently situated in East Quogue Long Island, is not your ordinary artist. Nicholas initialized his hobby for drawing directly out of high school, while also attempting to narrow down some sort of career goal. Among the time Nicholas spent with his pen to paper, an overwhelming sense of peace and solitude began to take hold of him. This exercise within escapism began to play a significant role in his life, as well as his art work. Nicholas himself claims that, “this notion of introspection has continued to be the real underpinning of all my work.”  This, claiming to have started as nothing more than a therapeutic, release from the tight grip of insomnia, as well as a busy mind.

Nicholas is someone who draws inspiration from non-visual things, for example the melody projecting from a favorite record or even the sound of something being read aloud. He believes his past, having touched base with being a musician, also adds an element of reasoning behind notions on motivation. Aside from auditory stimulus, Nicholas likes to keep a close eye on comic strips. He even claims to be particularly drawn to Peanuts comics. Nicholas quotes, “Obviously my stuff is a bit more ‘out there’ than Charlie Brown, but I try to make sure that there’s a sort of youthful naiveté that comes through.”

raffel_1

“Catch Some Z’s”

Although Nicholas himself has finally discovered his calling for the study of graphic design, he says that he is still trying to locate and assemble the missing puzzle pieces. In order to pursue a career in the name of art, you must be willing to try new things and experiment. Nicholas says that when he first followed this desire to draw, he was doing a whole lot of painting. Once he proceeded through his painting spell, he realized it was simply not for him, and that the work he was producing what just not up to par with what he believed to be acceptable. Now, although Nicholas found no sanctuary in the art of painting, he truly believes that it was beneficial to the way in which he draws today.

You can view more of Nicholas Raffel’s funky, eye-tripping drawings at SPARKBOOM™’s “ArtSpace Unplugged” event Saturday August 9th from 6-10PM located on 20 Terry Street in Patchogue. With this occasion featuring over 40 different artists, four live musical acts, free Craft Beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery and a selection of tasty treats thanks to Mia’s River Avenue Deli… It sort of makes it impossible for you not to come. So RSVP here via FB and I promise you won’t regret it! If you simply cannot wait until then, check Nicholas’ stuff out here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_1801Erin Corrigan is an aspiring writer with an open mind. She believes that music, art and poetry are the essential nutrients for every soul. Giving a voice to the budding faces of the literary and fine arts community is what she’s here to accomplish!

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Kasmira Mohanty – The Creative Side of Modern Technology

Oksana

“Oksana”

By Jenna Weis

Portraiture has been a significant foundation to the art world. For centuries artists have been commissioned to paint for some of the most influential people in the world as well as the everyday folk. To master the craft is one thing, but to bring the subject such life and vibrancy is the true artistry as graphic designer Kasmira Monhanty does in her portraits. Mixing tradition with the modern techniques of Photoshop and Illustrator, Mohanty compares her preferred medium with the Impressionist era stating “The invention of the paint tube changed the art world forever and most did not get what Impressionists were creating until later on.  I think the same is happening now.  I’m grateful to be part of that experience”

"Poppie"

“Poppie”

Mohanty’s artistic journey began quite modestly compared to what you see here. As a photographer for somewhat typical gigs, an experience teaching photography to students in need of inspiration set the bar for her work. She saw such a positive and energetic reaction from her students to their own portraits which forced her to discover the sense of value a self image can ignite for someone. “A portrait was no longer an image on a flat piece of paper, but a living breathing entity.  Till this day I cherish those images” she says.

Lulu

“Lulu”

Mohanty decided to abandon the palette and brush for a computer, digitally creating her work with Photoshop which took her years to master. A common thread in these portraits is the original patterns she uses quite generously. Inspired by ancient Rangoli designs, Mohanty designs and redesigns these images off the cuff, sometimes with symbolic undertones. Using her piece entitled Tara and Ellyn as an example, she explains “I used the Gemini symbol to create a pattern and in the space that was left in between I put two circles representing the phrase ‘two peas in a pod’.”

Bold confident colors with complex and simple patterns engage the viewer. There is so much to take in visually, but what is truly amazing is despite the combination of colors and patterns that tend to make an image flat, here the subject is so alive and soulful. You get a sense of a true living and breathing person before you. These portraits are a definite must see at SPARKBOOM’s Artspace Unplugged event August 9th from 6-10PM at 20 Terry Street in Patchogue. RSVP here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rain roomJenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.

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