Umar Rashid (also known as Frohawk Two Feathers) compares his triptych The Battle of Malibu (In Three Parts) 1795 to a cheese pizza in our conversation in in early 2022. It is the flavor, that, in his words, “everybody can partake and enjoy” and there is indeed something for everyone in the panoply of pop cultural and historical invocations appearing on part 1 from the series, the painting depicted on the artist’s Kinstler puzzle: See battle. Little red corvette.
Peacock Tiger (2021) by Kour Pour (now available as a Kinstler puzzle) depicts a crouching, curious big cat with an animated tail and face. He (or she) appears to be mid-conversation with a bird seated on a tree branch. The artist first prints the animals onto a canvas with a large linocut before embellishing them with hand painted details and color.
Anastasiya Tarasenko started I Want Therefore I Am, I Am Therefore I Want (2021) by painting the two humans in the bottom center and working outward. First to the blue whale they are seated on, then the red and blue disembodied arms whose middle fingers they engulf into their open mouths, and finally the menagerie of animals (some fornicating, others fighting) surrounding them on little green islands. A lot is happening.
The dwellings of assorted characters fill the borders of each drawing Andrea Joyce Heimer made for her 2020 exhibition The Quarantine Drawings (People Waiting) at Nino Mier Gallery. Each bursts with the kind of color, pattern, furniture, and plants found in many contemporary city apartments. The products of a daily drawing practice during quarantine at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the artist describes the subjects of these works as “…doing very little. They stand, sit, eat, fuck, stare out the window, and listen. They are waiting.”
Simone Johnson remembers making her first drawing of a bodega cat when she saw one lying on a freezer accompanied by a sign that said: “Please do not touch the cat.” The vision of this cat— likely sitting amongst shelves stacked with bottles and boxes of products meant to be touched and taken away— would indeed be a memorable moment for anyone (myself included) who adores the furry presence of these working felines.
During World War II, Georgia--the diminutive country in the Caucuses--was annexed by the Soviet Union, and stayed that way until 1991. The Soviet Union had been in disrepair for over a decade, and so Georgia suffered, too: during this time, Rusudan Khizanishvili was a young film student at the State Academy of the Arts, in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. “We didn’t have heating, gas, electricity, even water,” she told us via Zoom from her studio in Tbilisi, where she still lives. “We used candles for reading and for living.”
We spoke to the painter Andrea Joyce Heimer in the thick of quarantine--she was out back of her Ferndale, Washington house, in a newly wrought studio, surrounded by paintings that were getting ready to be packed up and shipped to Los Angeles for a show at Nino Mier Gallery, in West Hollywood. Somewhere on the premises, a family of raccoons she’d taken to feeding slumbered.