Thursday Spotlight: Life After Greenpoint, Catching up with Matthew F. Fisher

Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 19 x 15 inches, Private Collection, Montauk, NY, courtesy of the artist

I spent last Wednesday evening with artist Matthew F. Fisher at his new studio in Inglewood, California, a diversified and quieter southwest suburb of Los Angeles. We began the night at Fisher’s home by unboxing various eras of paintings and ink drawings, the evidence of a recent cross coastal move. It was a treasure hunt, where the gold was getting to examine his tight, ornamental, almost sculptural figures up-close. Matthew, his wife Nora and their 16-month-old son Ferdinand moved to Inglewood six months ago after living and working in Greenpoint for eleven years. Their relocation was prompted in part by their desire to be closer to family, and for Nora’s continuing education.

Matthew F. Fisher in his Inglewood studio, courtesy of the artist

After getting acquainted with Fisher’s neighborhood, we made it over to his studio building in downtown Inglewood. The neighboring storefront, coincidentally titled Big Wave Realty, was labeled with a hand-painted wooden sign in the shape of a breaking tidal wave. Matthew smiled adding, “They asked me if I would hang up a painting.” While the move has had distinct influences on Fisher’s work, his various iconic seafaring motifs seem to be around to stay. Leaping synchronized waves, stoic ocean rocks, and tides peeling back to reveal glittering sand are all seemingly familiar imagery, but now with a West Coast influence.

Greenpointers: How has your work changed since moving to L.A.?

Matthew F. Fisher: I’ve been obsessed with this idea of near symmetry. I used to see it in paintings by John Mclaughlin, an abstract minimalist painter from L.A. in the 1950s. After I moved out here, I started to look at the architecture and noticed that the structure of the houses would be symmetrical, but then the windows would be slightly off. I feel like that energy is starting to play into the work in a way where I am not interested necessarily in working symmetrically, but I’m interested in the idea of elements being almost symmetrical or elements indirectly lining up symmetrically with other elements. For me, it makes it not necessarily supernatural, but a once in a lifetime experience. These things had to have happened at some point in time, considering we’ve been around for tens of thousands of years. The paintings are almost like this snapshot, or a wink in time I am capturing.

January and March, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 19 x 15 inches, courtesy of the artist and Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA

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Thursday Spotlight: Kate McQuillen, Meeting Her on the Astral Plane

Kate McQuillen greets me from the driveway of her charming and noteworthy Greenpoint house, directing me into the garage where her fluorescent printmaking studio is set up. Her companion Kassie, a sterling herding dog, is attentively surveying the area and happy to have another to look after. The inherent New York City ankle weights have already slipped away, leaving us to speak candidly in Kate’s kaleidoscopic space. While we talk, the garage door remains open and Kate periodically greets her neighbors passing by. I feel as if I have crossed a portal into an alternate dimension, or at least am no longer in the city.

Kate and her dog Kassie in her Greenpoint garage studio. Photo: Ian Hartsoe

Greenpointers: When were you first exposed to art as a child?

Kate McQuillen: My dad studied painting in graduate school, and during my childhood worked as a graphic designer in Boston. We always had an art studio in the house, which allowed me the opportunity to experiment with literal cut and paste tools like transfer paper. I’d imagine this is what initially pushed me into printmaking. I think of printmaking processes as the perfect place between design tools and fine art tools. I always had a lot of interest in drawing, but was never super into oil paint. I think my new work is taking on a form reminiscent of paintings, but I can still use the printmaking tools I’ve grown to know and love. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Artist Michael Hambouz

Pretty in Pink exhibition by Michael Hambouz

Michael Hambouz is a multi-disciplinary artist who’s been living as a Greenpoint resident for the last 12 years. Originally from the Midwest, he calls Niles, Michigan, his hometown where he continues to source paper from a local mill called French Paper Co.

In his current solo exhibition at Calico (67 West St, #203), Michael Hambouz is showcasing “Pretty in Pink” – an experimental series of multi-tiered structures, collages, and videos created during a period of personal hardship, with each piece representing the meditations on specific issues that the artist dealt with in his life. By “pink-washing” his 3D lenticular paintings, his work speaks of positive transformation and taking control of negative experiences by reinterpreting them into bright compositions of bold colors and figurative patterns. Continue reading

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Earle Sebastian, Swankers, & Sartorial Pursuits at Picture Farm

©Earle Sebastian

Earle Sebastian is a man to be admired. Firstly, because the South African-born, London-raised ‎film director/creative director/event curator has gathered certain professional accolades. Secondly, and more importantly for the purposes of this article, because he has style. Definitions of style abound on the internet (i.e., Oscar de la Renta: “Style is more about being yourself.”), but there’s no one way to get it. The only thing that’s certain is you can’t buy it prepackaged. Continue reading

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Studio visit & interview with artist Michael Hambouz

Michael Hambouz in his element, the studio ©Markus Weaver

(A version of this interview appeared for boygirl Magazine)

Late in his life, Henri Matisse would turn to creating cutouts, which eventually covered the walls of his lofty studios from floor to ceiling inside the Hotel Excelsior Regina Palace at Cimiez in France. Matisse would direct his numerous assistants and his Russian mistress, Lydia Delektorskaya, with a 12-foot long bamboo cane from his bed, and they would all rush to adjust his colored paper compositions. Echoing Matisse in his own way, and paying homage to the beauty of industrial America, multimedia artist Michael Hambouz has created a series of 18 large-scale, cut-paper collage works called Factory Made using paper stock from the mill located in his hometown of Niles, Michigan. We met in front of The Richardson, and walked to his studio a few doors down, where his cat, Pickles, was waiting. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Open Studios Walking Tour #1: The Rain Game

Rain, rain go away ©Greenpointers IG takeover by @carahowephoto

It’s raining, and then it’s not. You don’t have shoes for this and your umbrella kind of half works, but you still want to hit the streets and see some art. We got you—just follow our Greenpoint Open Studios Walking Tour #1. Continue reading

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TONIGHT *Greenpoint Gallery Night (7-10pm)*

Art, art, baby. Greenpoint Gallery Night is happening tonight (9/12), and it’s going to be a party. Rain or shine, gallery doors are opening from 7 to 10pm to let all the world wander through, enjoy art, and nibble some fine cheeses.

Check out the participating galleries & businesses HERE. Like the GGN Facebook event HERE. To contact GGN organizers Lia Post or Scott Chasse, send an e-mail to [email protected]

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TONIGHT! Brooklyn Collage Collective closing party

"Forces" Paper Collage, 7"x11" by Daniel Greer (2014) ©Daniel Greer

The Brooklyn Collage Collective (BCC) is back with its 3rd installment of the year. While they had an opening reception last week, they have a closing party tonight at 7:30pm with DJs, drinks, and food. Continue reading

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Gallery Roundup: Yes Gallery

Lesley Doukhowetzky of Yes Gallery ©Yes Gallery

Greenpointers are going places this summer—all of the gallery places, and we’re taking you with us. Who are the people behind the lively GP art scene? How do they like their coffee? Where do they hang out? We’ve got the scoop right here. This week, we walked down a short flight of stairs at 147 India Street to Lesley Doukhowetzky’s gallery, called Yes. The door was ajar. Continue reading

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Greenpoint Gallery Night (5/10)

Greenpointers is excited to announce Greenpoint Gallery Night on Friday May 10, 2013 from 6-9pm at over a dozen participating Greenpoint art galleries.

All are welcome to stroll from gallery to gallery, free of charge, and experience the wealth of artwork and diversity of exhibition spaces our great neighborhood has to offer.

Afterparty is at the newly reopened Coco66 (66 Greenpoint Ave.) at 9pm!

Co-organized by gallery owners Lia Post (Fowler Arts Collective) and Scott Chasse  (Calico), the following galleries will be opening their doors for an evening of gallery hopping: Beginnings, Booklyn Artist Alliance, Calico, Theceeflat Gallery, Dobbin Project Space, Fowler Project Space, G Spot (at CoCo66), The Greenpoint Gallery (8-12pm only), Heliopolis, Janet Kurnatowski, Laundry Lung, The Yard, Yashar Gallery, and Yes Gallery.

RSVPDownload the map here.

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