Emergent Artists 2010
Tara Najd Ahmadi
MAINSITE Contemporary Art is pleased to welcome these 6 very dynamic artists to exhibit. For more information please call 405-292-8095 or 405-310-9426
MAINSITE welcomes you to read the artist statements below.
Geoffrey was born in Oklahoma in 1978. He was introduced to art at a young age by his father, a professional cartoonist and illustrator and Vietnam vet. Growing up in a family with a disabled veteran gave him an interest in the nature of sacrifice and violence and would greatly influence his art practice. He attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in 1997, where he would later serve as PR Assistant and Drawing/Painting Liason. In 2006, he completed his BFA in Painting and Printmaking at the University of Oklahoma. He has a 12 year old son, a cat named Roxie, and currently resides in Buffalo, NY, where he is a candidate for an MFA at the State University of New York – Buffalo.
Geoffrey’s work has been shown in numerous galleries and locations throughout the world. Most recently, he was included in Wet Paint 2010 at the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago. Past performances have taken place in Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Toronto, and Berlin. Geoffrey’s work has also been featured in Art Threat magazine and in Buffalo Rising.
“My work is an exploration of the mythology of spirituality, the politics of aesthetics, and the connections between sacred and profane. For me, a necessary function of art is to examine the overlap of these two realms, the space of actual experience. We live in an era in which reproduction and simultaneity define our world. I want to re-interpret this collective visual language in hopes of finding parallels between disparate iconography. My goal is to challenge belief structures and create a dialog about the perception of life and death in contemporary society.”
Sherwin R. Tibayan
This project surveys the material presence of empty billboards and considers their capacity to comment on the environments that surround them.
For the last two years I have taken notice of and been actively searching for very clean, very white billboards, the kind that seem to present nothing but their own monumental physicality. Without the company of an advertisement to distract us, each billboard becomes an ambiguous fixture within the built environment, possibly indicative of
economic and social realities, but equally reminiscent of movie screens or unpainted canvases.
Beyond these associations, “Horror Vacui” is about filling up the photographic frame with a confrontation of an object’s recovered material reality. It is only through the manifest blankness of each billboard that we encounter it—and possibly for the first time—as a physical object cast into landscapes of arguably equal emptiness.
Since I was a child, my Ukrainian heritage has played an important role in the shaping of my beliefs. Tradition and superstition are just two elements of Ukrainian culture that are passed down from generation to generation on the maternal side of my family. As I have reached my mid 20’s, these elements have influenced my daily life more and more, raising questions and curiosities that I confront through my art. I am drawn to using materials that echo my grandparents’ lives, such as the use of steel and fabrics, as well as everyday objects with which I have a spiritual connection. It is also through sensory experience that this spiritual connection grows stronger. The smell of steel, for example, reminds me of my grandfather’s shop while certain foods resonate memories of my grandmother.
The process of creating these pieces also plays an important role; it can be thought of as a contemplative study of my heritage. The shared processes and tasks my grandfather performed seem mundane, but I find them essential when creating each work. These repetitive tasks can be compared to the process of Ukrainian crafts, such as embroidery. The influence of these traditions can be seen throughout my work, but is translated in materials that prove to be a fervent link to my Ukrainian forbearers. As a result, this body of work becomes a medium for self-discovery as well as a record of sensorial memory.
My work is organic in nature and use materials such as bamboo, plaster, and metal casting to convey a message. I have been exploring the thought process I am engaged in while harvesting my material, specifically bamboo. It is the strength of the bamboo that so closely relates it to the cast metal within my work. The bamboo and cast metal share a conversation with each other and question their existence. I think of the bamboo as a visual representation of a strong life force that was once living in nature but is still in some way very much alive in its presence. In metal casting there is a certain energy and life force that radiates from the molten metal and is then recorded forever as a cast work of art. It is these visual representations of life and nature and the questions of our existence that are the driving forces of my work.
The figurative aspects of my work are a direct representation to the processes that were used to create this record of a moment of life. When a casting is poured into a mold, it acts as a radiant living entity derived from the elements from nature. I am concerned with the human body and its relationship to nature and casting metal is the vehicle I have chosen to help understand the unexplainable forces of our existence.
The abstract elements of my work are a visual map of celestial bodies, a term used to describe astronomical objects that are naturally occurring physical entities, associations or structures that current science has demonstrated to exist in outer space. I am interested in an exploration of these entities and our relationship to those as human beings. Typically an astronomical body refers to a single, cohesive structure that is bound together by gravity. These objects range from single planets to star clusters, nebulae or entire galaxies and are represented abstractly through my work. The use of tourniquets in my work is a way of showing those forces. Tension is demonstrated by binding objects together in space.
Alejandro Matias Bagajewicz was born in 1978 in Santa Fe Argentina. He Moved to the United States and received a BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 2006.
Bagajewicz has always been fascinated by travel and what culture has to offer in relation to the Arts. In 2000 he attended the Art program at the Catholic University of Lima, Peru. At the end of his study abroad experience, he was chosen by the University to leave his sculpture as part of their permanent Public Art Exhibit. In 2003 he won the Overall award at the Momentum Art Exhibition in Oklahoma. He continued his studies in Sculpture at the Academia di Belle Arte di Bologna and at the University of Bologna in Italy. During his stay in Italy, he was able to consume the culture, learn from his peers and professors, and learn the trait of Stone Sculpting. Upon his return to the University of Oklahoma he refined his work in metal sculpting and completed his study in 2006. In 2009 he won the Gazette Award of Merit at the Momentum Art Exhibition, 2009. Lately he has been creating Art in Santa Fe, Argentina and seeks to have work shown there.
“Art has demonstrated to me that there is an enigma to be deciphered, that there exist something mysterious about the relation between me and artistic creation. The turmoil created wile confronting different materials fascinates me because I have a need to excel during that act. This consistency surrounds all artists. I wish to continue my trajectory and evolve in communicating through art.”
Tara Najd Ahmadi
While we are living in the world that is surrounded by networks of power and control, we find new ways to experience freedom; food, clothing, cars
and etc. At the same time we are surrounded by a variety of cultural products such as books, movies and music to choose between. But the essence of this freedom is consumption; Our unavoidable desire to own the objects, to have them and to make them parts of us, to “digest” them.
The books are merely products that have to be consumed, processed and thrown away.
These three episodes are maybe the nightmares of the individuals who wake up in this world every day and still have the nostalgia of having a deep intimate relationship with the objects.