WHAT TO COLLECT # 10. LIONEL SMIT.

Today I went trough the exhibition of Emerging and Established Artist Lionel Smit at the museum of Contemporary art in North Miami Beach. Lionel Smit was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1982. He creates monumental portraiture works on canvas, sculpture, silkscreen, video and public installations. Smit’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally in prestigious galleries, art fairs and public spaces. These include a solo exhibition at the Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki and various public sculptures of his being featured in the USA including Union Square, New York City. Smit’s painting, Kholiswa, received the Viewer’s Choice Award as part…

WHAT TO COLLECT # 9. Chris Ofili ART

Chris Ofili is renowned internationally for his richly layered works that combine imagery and influences from sources as divergent as comic books, hiphop, Zimbabwean cave paintings, Biblical scenes, and 1970s-era Blaxploitation films. Since moving to Trinidad in the mid-2000s, Ofili has looked increasingly to the Trinidadian landscape and mythology in order to further reflect upon his long-term consideration of history and identity. His most recent paintings have been animated by figures and scenes from folkloric myths and arguably revisit and revise tropes of modernist painting by artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin. Since Ofili’s earliest paintings he has…

The Woman Behind the First Photography Gallery

Helen Gee risked everything to open Limelight in 1954, selling prints by Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, and Robert Frank for less than fifty dollars each. Her tell-all memoir, Helen Gee: Limelight, a Greenwich Village Photography Gallery and Coffeehouse in the Fifties, is now available from Aperture as an e-book. Here, Denise Bethel’s introduction offers a preview of the late Gee’s story. Arthur Lavine, Helen Gee, ca. 1954–1960 Courtesy Gary Schneider Dear Helen, I am writing to let you know that, sixty years on, some of the questions are still the same: who succeeds as a photographer? And, whose photographs sell?…

WHAT TO COLLECT #6

Carlos Cruz-Diez The Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez (Caracas, 1923) has lived and worked in Paris since 1960. He is a major protagonist in the field of Kinetic and Optical art, a movement that encourages “an awareness of the instability of reality.” His body of work has established him as one of the key twentieth-century thinkers in the realm of color. Carlos Cruz-Diez’s visual art explores the perception of color as an autonomous reality evolving in space and time, unaided by form or support, in a perpetual present. Watch “Carlos Cruz-Diez Interview: The Colours We Create” by @LouisianaChann on

WHAT TO COLLECT #5 SKY KIM

SKY KIM Born in Seoul, Korea, she received her M.F.A at Pratt Institute, has exhibited all over the US and internationally, and has collected a National Museum of Contemporary Art’s North Korean Art Competition Award and a Pratt Institute Art Grant. Her work has been exhibited at the Toronto Art Fair, GLAAD Art Auction, DUMBO Arts Festival, the Gwangju Biennale and has been reviewed in multiple publications including The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post and the Arts Observer. Kim has described her work as “meticulous, labor-intensive watercolor paintings/drawings (that) are at once abstract, anatomical, spiritual and sensual.”…