PA #52

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Information about PA #52

Published on February 19, 2014

Author: didimenendez



PoetsArtists (February 2014)

Issue #52 February 2014 On the cover Lisa Marie Basile P A


Timothy Robert Smith Timothy Robert Smith is a Los Angeles based oil painter and muralist, using observational techniques to portray a multidimensional perspective of the universe. He is preparing for a solo show in April at Copro Gallery in Bergamot Station.

interview If someone told you that you could only make one more painting for the rest of your life, what would do imagine you would paint? I’d attempt something massive that could keep me busy for the rest of my days, like painting the walls of a large abandoned building (preferably a hospital or apartment complex with some kind of crazy history). It would be a living mural, as I would live there with the characters I create, in an intricate universe within a universe. I’d write books about the stories of each character and the physical space they occupy. Some rooms would be sealed and some opened to the pubic. The largest room can be converted into a psychedelic circus opera house, where bands play and people converge. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why? I’d like to do a massive mural with Robert Birmelin and Eric White. They both have this cinematic, rapid-city-motion thing that I am in love with. I could add my “multidimensionalism” thing to the mix. Maybe we could do it on the outside walls of my hospital/apartment building. Yep. What do you see yourself doing in 20 years? Still painting. I’d like to be working more with physicists to help put a face on some of these theories, maybe in the form of a graphic novel. Also, some films would be nice. If anyone reading this knows how to get in touch with Charlie Kaufman, please let me know. Maybe I could help him with painting sets or something. What are your thoughts about the current art scene?

I see it as a battlefield. We all have our little tribes of like-minded colleagues, patting each other on the back and looking for weaknesses in opposing tribes (yet secretly planning a coup d’etat within our own tribe). That’s the way it is in any line of work, I imagine. There’s also a lot of love and support too, but that stuff goes on behind the scenes. Ask yourself a question and answer it: Take us through a day in your studio. I usually get there in the morning, after a nice metro and bicycle ride. I take my paint out of the freezer, start up my laptop, and stare at my current work-in-progress for about a half hour, jotting down a few notes and random thoughts in my sketchbook. I paint for a few hours, blasting music in my headphones, then break for lunch. It’s important to go for a little walk. I’m in downtown LA, so there’s always a lot of people running around buying coffee or sparing for change. Or, sometimes I’ll go on the rooftop of my studio building to meditate. There’s a maintenance ladder up the side of the highest structure (home to some sort of electrical system, I believe) that I climb. It’s very tranquil up there and I can slow down my thoughts until they disappear. Then, back in front my painting, I’ll see things with a new clarity.

Timothy Robert Smith In the Event of All Things to Be or Have Been Being Now 2014 oil on canvas 60”x72”

Photo Credits: Caren Rosenthal (studio shots) and Tim Lee (headshot and cutting board). Randall Rosenthal

Randall Rosenthal was born on a small island in the North Atlantic (Manhattan) in 1947. He started painting at age four and majored in painting at Carnegie Mellon University, graduating in 1969. At his first show in New York in 1974 Salvador Dali wrote ‘bravo” in the guest book. He has shown extensively across the US, in Europe and Asia. After working as a carpenter he worked for a number of years with Norman Jaffe F.A.I.A. as an award winning architectural designer. This led to a decade as an architectural sculptor. In 2006 Randall Rosenthal won “Best in Show” and “Artist Choice” awards at the Smithsonian Craft Show. He lives in Springs, NY with his wife Caren, a photographer. Currently he is represented by Louis Meisel and Bernarducci-Meisel Gallery in New York. interview What has been your biggest obstacle as an artist? There has never been any obstacle as an artist. I started painting when I was four and always considered myself an artist. Making a living as an “artist” is a different question. The obstacle is not having the time to do everything I can imagine. Tell us what you do when you are not creating art. I am an avid surfer, snowboarder, kayaker, and stand up paddle boarder. I like to carve water snow and wood. I seek solitude on the water. How do you feel about the current art scene?

There are no rules. I’m not a fan of having work fabricated by others and viewing art only as an investment isn’t appealing either. How has social media come into play with your daily work? Not at all. Its nice to get all the “likes” but it has nothing to do with my time in the studio Do you collect art and if so which artists are you interested in? My wife Caren and I collect art. With a few exceptions most of the work is by friends and artists who work on the East End of Long Island. Artists I’m interested in is a different question. The list is lengthy. What art materials are you most inclined to use in your work? All my work is wood, ink and acrylic How often do you stretch outside of your comfort zone? I live outside my comfort zone in most aspects of my life and my art. Just living life as an artist is almost by definition outside the comfort zone of most people. Being an avid surfer and snowboarder, that needs no explanation. I try to approach my art the same way. On one hand it is difficult to do any challenging activity without a measure of confidence but there is no progress without risk. Failures, even after weeks of work, wind up in the wood stove. All work is hand carved from a single block of Vermont white pine. Nothing is added only subtracted in a totally reductive process. The sculpture is then hand painted with ink and acrylic.


Randall Rosenthal All sculptures are life size from a single block of Vermont white pine.

Randall Rosenthal All sculptures are life size from a single block of Vermont white pine.

Randall Rosenthal All sculptures are life size from a single block of Vermont white pine.

Randall Rosenthal All sculptures are life size from a single block of Vermont white pine.

Randall Rosenthal All sculptures are life size from a single block of Vermont white pine.

artist statement I started painting as a child and continued through college at BFA Carnegie-Mellon University and into my early forties. In the mid nineteen eighties I started working as an architectural designer and model maker for the architect Norman Jaffe. Eventually Mr. Jaffe asked me to carve two twenty-foot long friezes on the wall of a house in Southampton. This commission led to a decade of large architectural carvings. One project was for an Ambo (lectern) for a church in Seattle, Washington. An open book was carved as the bible rest. I was so intrigued by this object that I began carving open books. Then I started painting the pages. In 2004 I was offered a show at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton, New York. Working toward the show I switched from mahogany, which I had used for my architectural sculpture, to pine. The pine was transformational as the new work was no longer obvious sculptures of books carved from wood but objects that jumped from seeming reality to sculpture depending on the viewer’s distance from them. The paint and ink sat on the pine much as it would on paper. Eventually the scope of the work expanded from books to any paper object such as charts, cards and even money. There is no attempt to hide the fact that they are wooden. Most of the work has some bare wood visible. Many dimensions are unmeasured and many shapes and thicknesses are subtly exaggerated. There is no real object. Each sculpture is hand carved from a single block of Vermont white pine and hand painted with ink and acrylic. No glue is used. There are no preliminary drawings. The idea flows from my minds eye in a totally reductive process from the original block of wood to the finished sculpture.

Marina Fridman Marina Fridman was born in 1989 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She moved to the United States in 2009 to study at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art, before transferring to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) where she is currently completing her BFA degree. Fridman received the Caldwell Honorable Mention Entrance Scholarship from PAFA, and in 2012 was honored with the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant. Fridman lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Untitled charcoal on paper heightened with white 24 x 18 inches My drawings depict interiors in which I live, as they become very surreal and emotionally charged spaces for me. Often when I walk into my current apartment, it is as though I encounter everything that has happened in the time that I have lived there. Experiences thicken the air, and are embedded in the walls. I am fascinated by these phenomena that cannot be seen, but can be so palpably felt. My drawings become metaphors for my states of mind, and representations of the surreal experiences of being human. Marina Fridman

Marina Fridman Bathroom charcoal on paper heightened with white 24 x 16 inches

Cocoon II charcoal on paper heightened with white 8 x 14 inches Cocoon charcoal on paper heightened with white 4 x 11 inches

John Asaro

interview Often praised as one of the top figurative colorists painting today, John Asaro has become something of an icon in the world of art. An “artist’s artist”, his ubiquitous creation “Planes of the Head” are used in art schools and studios around the world. Born in 1937, Asaro attended and later taught at the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Southern California; also studying at The Art Students League while in New York during his twenty’s. His list of awards includes, but are not limited to: Awards of Merit from the NYC American Watercolor Society, Gold Medals from the California Art Club Annual Gold Medal Show and an Honorary Doctorate from the American Academy of Fine Arts, San Francisco. Explain your process. Include up to 6 images from start to finish. • With a charcoal vine, sketch in the subject • Paint in most obvious, usually the background • Paint in large masses, start covering all the white of the canvas, refine drawing, check color. • Start breaking down large masses into smaller ones, working back and forth between the darker and lighter values, refine drawing and check color • Purpose to never put in half-tones (Frankly, I don’t know what they are!) • Start painting in details, refine drawing, check color Sometimes I find myself turning the painting upside down to work on it. This helps the eye to see form without prejudice. What has been your biggest obstacle as an artist? All artists at some point battle negative thoughts, and with me it curtailed aspects of what I’d paint for years. That’s changed.

Tell us what you do when you are not creating art. I listen to music, from Rock to Opera. How do you feel about the current art scene? Much of it’s boring, with seemingly little room allowed for classically trained painters. How often do you stretch outside of your comfort zone? I try to do that with each and every painting. I’m primarily interested in creating a visual experience that challenges the limits of my own imagination. This is done through: Figurative Colorist 1. The abstract quality of the piece 2. Light on solid form depicted through outstanding draftsmanship 3. The composition and the play of “one too many” figures 4. How light falls on those figures, showing the relationship of both positive and negative shapes 5. The subtle value shifts and endless use of correct and incorrect color

John Asaro Michelangelo and the Last Supper 84X144 inches

Spartacus Ballet Lift 40X34 inches

John Asaro Spartacus Ballet Death of Spartacus 40X60 inches

Aqua Ballet 93 x 80 inches

John Asaro Arrangement on Red 57 x 84 inches

Pavan For A Dead Princess 46 x 50 inches

John Asaro

Jesse Brass Cinematography

I make films that tell stories. Jesse Brass

Jesse Brass is an art director and film maker from East Tennessee. With a background in Fine Art he maintains his passion not just for art but for the creative process itself. He is best known for his series Making Art, a collection of shorts where artist candidly share their motivations and goals for their creative works. interview Explain your process. When I went to do my interview with Melanie Norris, she asked me what my questions would be like in the interview. I told her that their weren’t any set questions. When I go in to film the interview I like to get to know the person on film. Those first moments of talking with someone are genuine and sometimes magical. I like for that to come through in the film. I start the interview out with the open ended question why do you make art and from there try to follow the train of thought the artist has. What has been your biggest obstacle? Probably people feeling the need to say the right things. Although for the most part the interviews go well and the conversation comes naturally.

What do you do when you are not creating art? I have a lot of down time at my work where I look for inspiration and amazing things online which I filter through my creative blog How do you feel about the current art scene? All I know is what I come across through blogs, although and what I get from artists I talk with. Andy Warhol said “I never read, I just look at pictures”. I like that. How does social media come into play with your work? It’s everything for me. Film is driven by social media. I spend probably more time in promotion than I do in production. Vimeo, Facebook, Tumblr. I’m trying to make my blog Brainalize into a channel of promotion. As well I have a couple of channels on Vimeo that I am trying to do the same with. My work is successful online only if the right people promote it. Do you collect art? I have actually bought a couple of paintings from artists I have filmed. I feel a connection to them having spent so much time focusing on them and developing their story. Owning a piece of their work is a nice take away. Plus I only do films on artists that I am really impressed with, so I would love to have work from all of them, unfortunately I can’t afford that. What equipment do you use? Canons and Macs. How often do you stretch outside of your comfort zone?

Jesse Brass: Artist Statement Every interview is outside of my comfort zone. That comes with what I do. Also with what I do, there are all kind of things that can go wrong and ruin my footage technically. Beyond that I don’t know totally what my story will be while I am shooting. I get inclinations and pursue certain lines of thought but I have to get a tremendous amount of redundant material to cover myself if I don’t have what I need to make the story. It is all a bit nerve racking. But it makes pulling it off that much more rewarding. Greater challenge means greater reward. Creativity is more about process than product. The emotions, stories and struggles that go into a piece are as interesting as the piece itself. My goal is to capture this process on film so creatives and enthusiast can become fully connected and engaged with each other.

Gabriele Colletto Gabriele Colletto is an artist based in Turin,Italy. He graduated from Liceo Artistico of Turin. He works with oil and acrylic on cotton or linen canvas. Most of his works are characterized as contemporary portraiture. In the Celeste Prize he had a special mention from Saluzzo Arte – Premio Matteo Oliveri 2013.

#3 2013 oil on linen 40 x 40

#2 2013 oil on linen 100 x 70 Gabriele Colletto

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interview Explain your process? I order fine line art patterns of subject matters that appeal to me and use COPIC Sketch Pens to apply color. I work in a quiet environment in my dining room which has become my studio. I play Andre Rieu Classical music. I use as many colors and detail as possible. My objective is to create color and joy. What has been your biggest obstacle? Fear of being rejected. Tell us what you do when you are not creating art? I feel I am always creating art with ideas that come from a 115 year old Victorian home that is as beautiful as when it was constructed. The whole house is an art project. How do you feel about the current art scene? I am new to the art scene and am enjoying the people I have met. I feel some of the art scene is rather coarse. However, the art scene in the children’s world seems wonderful. How has social media come into play with your daily work? This feature is my first experience with Social Media. Do you collect art and if so which artists are you interested in? R. Atkinson Fox vintage prints. Hervy Cary – Turn of the Centry European ( painted with buttermilk paint? ) Vintage WW1 and WW2 sheet music covers. Alan Alanz, Door County, Wisconsin & California. Mitchell Tolle, Berea, Kentucky. Joseph R. Vick, Middle, Tennessee. Love the work of Thomas Kincade and Wyland, painter of sea life in Hawaii.

How often do you stretch outside of your comfort zone? This is my first venture outside my comfort zone. In dealing with Parkinson’s, each time I pick up a color I am pushed outside my comfort zone My artwork is intended to draw people in through color and subject matter. Up to this point all of my work has been as a colorist of fine line art. Sometimes it is a geometric design and sometimes it is a story that challenges the mind’s eye. One such piece hangs in the Children’s Neurological Department at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois.

Mary Reardon BALLOON FESTIVAL 32 X 22 inches

Mary Reardon CASEY’S DINER 32 X 22 inches

Mary Reardon GEOMETRIC 22 X 32 inches

Mary Reardon THE DOOR 22 X 32 inches

Christopher Slaymaker

Christopher Slaymaker is a potent contemporary painter. His work contains strong gestural forms combined with abstract dream-space, rendered with rich dynamic brushwork. Slaymaker’s approach to his subjects is gentle and focused. The figures that star in Slaymaker’s autobiographical paintings exhibit a blooming self-awareness and a deep delight.  Friends, favorite dogs, and the artist himself all play a role in the story of spiritual searching in his paintings. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1984 to artist parents, Christopher was an avid drawer by age 4 and exhibited artistic talent in visual arts throughout primary school. He grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Slaymaker received The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship for drawing in 2006. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University for two years and finished his Undergraduate studies with a BA from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 2011. Christopher received his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Laguna College of Art + Design in 2013, where he mentored with painter Kent Williams and learned from many other World renowned artists. Christopher now lives and works in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles California with his girlfriend. interview Explain your process . Generally speaking, the basic map of my studio process starts with a vision in my minds eye, sometimes aroused by some external stimuli that catches my attention: a line from a book, a scene from a movie, a photograph, an event from my life, a conversation with a good friend, another work of art, or an experience of nature. Or alternatively, a vision will spontaneously come to me in between sleep and waking or while I am doing formal meditation or some kind of meditative activity. After the initial image comes to me, I will set up a session with a model in which I will either make drawings directly from life taking photographs to be referenced

for color and value when it is time to execute the painting, or I will just take photographs and then at a later time set up a drawing session using the photo reference. Usually, each work hinges on the initial drawing of the figure, which is the central focus of all my works. After that I will move into finding references for the environment or other objects to be included within the final painting, mostly from my own photo cache or from imagery on the Internet. Then I will make some planning sketches to work out the final composition. When this is complete, I project a photo of the initial drawing onto canvas. I do this in order to preserve the spontaneity of the drawing, which is important because the line drawing expresses my own unique character of being. Using the photographic references I have gathered I will start the actual painting. Once the drawing is transferred to the canvas, I usually start with a monochromatic underpainting to get all the relative values dialed in, either using a warm, a cool or a neutral pigment. Then I will start fleshing it out with layers of color. I use a combination of glazes, transparent painting and direct opaque mixing of color to create and realize my paintings. To achieve a vivid sense of the expressive qualities of being, I try and make myself really believe that there is a physical form directly in front of me and I make sure that my painting lines up with that somatic sense. In other words, I vividly feel and imagine the presence of a form in front of me. I want my paintings to appear hyper-realistic by utilizing traditional techniques for creating the illusion of form and three-dimensional space and I want to get into an empathetic state of mind in order to transmit that sense to each movement I make with my brush. Openness is not only what i wish to express in the content of my paintings, but it is also what I want to experience when I am painting. I approach the creative process like it is sacred. Whey I paint I want to get into a mood that allows me to

loosen my grip on the ego identification. I want to let my guard down and open up to the space within and around me. I become more sensitive and receptive to subtle sensations in my body. I can physically feel tension in my chest releasing when I start to paint. I think this opportunity is a the root of my drive towards the activity of painting. The psychological and emotional state I am in when I am painting is similar to the statement I want to make with each painting. What has been your biggest obstacle as an artist? Making enough money to keep painting. I actually lived in a cave in Laguna Beach while I was in grad school because I couldn’t make rent. That was quite an adventure! Tell us what you do when you are not creating art. Hang with my girlfriend, listen to music, go for bike rides, watch movies, skateboard, read books, listen to podcasts, work (not in my studio) Do you collect art and if so which artists are you interested in? If I could afford it, and I had a place to put it I’d collect Picasso and Keith Haring. What art materials are you most inclined to use in your work? Oil on canvas or board and galkyd is my medium How often do you stretch outside of your comfort zone? Everyday.

Christopher Slaymaker Sirius 2014 oil on canvas 30”x40”

The Future 2012 oil on canvas 48”x48”

Dik Liu

Realism, still-life, observational painting, perception Dik Liu is an artist in New York City. He received his MFA from Yale University School of Art. He has had one-person exhibitions in Allen Sheppard Gallery, NYC and Art Moving, NYC, among others. He has also exhibited at the National Academy of Design, NYC; White Columns, NYC; BlumHelman Warehouse, NYC; and Yale University, CT. Liu’s work has been reviewed in Zing Magazine, The New York Times, American Artist Magazine, and artsMEDIA. He is also included in the books 100 New York Painters, and in 100 Boston Artists, both are published by Schiffer Publishing. Liu is also an avid writer who has written articles for Zing Magazine, Godzilla Newsletter,, Artlbrary. Liu teaches at Pratt Institute and The New York Academy of Art. Explain your process.

I begin by blocking in the painting monochromatically, finding the composition and working out the drawing. I don’t paint toward a finished painting, per se. Rather, the process is one of exploration, and I maintain loosely placed strokes of color so to keep the painting open and the exploration alive. The painting progresses in stages. In each stage, as I paint I discover what the painting can offer, its possibilities. Along the way, I negotiate between these possibilities and what I want from the painting. The finished painting is a visual record of these negotiations. What has been your biggest obstacle as an artist? My biggest obstacle is that of reaching my artistic expectations without knowing how reasonable these expectations are. The gulf between what I desire from my paintings and what painting can reasonably accomplish is wide, and often unbridgeable. That desire to push the painting beyond what painting is possible, and the disappointment of unmet goals – it is frustrating and occasionally paralyzing. Unfortunately, in the heat of the painting battle I lack the foresight to see that unbridgeable gulf and it is only in hindsight that I see the foolishness of that mission. But painting is a reoccurring battle. It is a quest for the impossible. The risks that entail these are what I think keeps many artists going. The gambler in us. It’s like driving forward at full speed while only looking at the rear-view mirror. I guess that is more about the obstacle OF and artist rather than AS an artist. Tell us what you doing when you are not creating art. I think about art. I look at art. I read about art. I ponder my next pictorial moves in my art. On a more practical level, I teach art. I think that as an artist you need to eat, sleep, and drink art, because without that monomaniacal focus you might as well get a nine-to-five desk job.

Artist Statement I love seeing. I paint to depict the sensation of seeing light, and of seeing different colors and textures: flowers, fruits, glass, metal. I depict the sensation of seeing these objects as they fire their light rays, penetrating my corneas and funneling through my pupils before slamming onto the back of my retinas, exciting every rod and every cone of my optic nerve. I reduce these sensations of seeing to a few considered strokes, balancing among economical brushwork painterly succulence, and spontaneity. In doing so, I abridge the realism of light and space to its marrow. Thus, the realism in these paintings is most convincing when they are glanced at from afar. I paint heeding the advices of Ezra Pound: make it new. With each painting, I aim to invent my painting anew, by seeing the world fresh. I use strokes of color to depict the world’s imprints on my retinal wall. What I depict are these retinal imprints; the ends are pictorial representations of the world, or realism. I paint realistically by the means of mimicking these retinal sensations. When these sensations are mimicked exactly, painting is made new, and renew with it is my expectation of seeing itself. Dik Liu

Three Grapes 12” X 12” oil on panel

Fruits 12” X 12” oil on panel

Metal jar 12” X 12” oil on panel

Blue Glass 12” X 12” oil on panel

Yellow flower and fruit 12” X 12” oil on panel

On the Island where I grew up the women liked to sit on their porches at dusk, enjoying the Island breeze and watching the men walk past, admiring their hair, their legs, their style. Back then stretchy pants were all the rage. Some of the men wore tight pants; some wore tighter pants, and some men wore pants so tight, the women wondered if they could breathe. The women, including my mother and sisters, hooted and shouted when a sexy man walked by, Did you see that guy? I’d like to pinch his ass. Sometimes, when they saw a particularly beautiful buttocks or set of thighs, they clapped and broke into loud guffaws. It’s so humiliating, I told my father. Even my neighbor, Angelina, liked to whistle when an attractive man walked by. Girls will be girls, my father sighed. Just like God will be God, meaning that nothing I did or said could ever change these facts. Secretly I wished Angelina was whistling for me, not some older guy. Nin Andrews

On the Island where I come from parents worshiped their daughters. They invested all their hopes for the future in their girls, spoiling them rotten, letting them do and have whatever they wished. My family was no different. While my sisters were allowed to go out night after night, I was never out of my parents’ sight. Like all proper Island boys, I knew I had to stay a virgin. I had to keep my reputation as clean as freshly bleached linens. But by the time I was a teen, I wanted to go out on the town. I wanted to flit around after dark. It’s not fair, I complained. My sisters don’t have to abide by the rules. Why do I? My father just said what he always said: Girls will be girls. Until I was eighteen, my father kept a close watch, checking on me even after he turned out the lights. A home-maker and charm-school graduate himself, he was forever tidying the kitchen, the garden, as well as my hair, my wardrobe and my changing moods. He knew when the first sign of desire crossed my mind, and when I kissed my neighbor, Angelina, on the sly. He knew when I smoked my first cigarette and drank beer with the cool kids after school. And he knew when anger flared beneath my obedient smile. Anger, he said, is unbecoming of a proper Island boy. And he locked me up inside. Someday you’ll thank me, he said. Someday you’ll be happy you know the true meaning of wrong and right. You’ll be happy you were taught to live the good life. But I knew he lied. Nin Andrews

On the Island where I grew up men are the beautiful sex. The men on our Island are like angels. Wings bloom from the backs of boys like giant red petals when they enter puberty. The newly winged take lessons to learn how to use them. This is how it’s done, an instructor will call out in introductory flying classes as he leaps across a gymnasium, his arms flung outwards as he ascends. Spreading his wings wide, he flaps slowly and gracefully and then glides upwards, his shoes just skimming the hair of the tallest boys. The students stare open-mouthed, their young wings fluttering from their backs in nervous anticipation. When they first try, they flap out of control, crashing into light fixtures and ceiling fans before plummeting to the floor in a shower of feathers. Even the most graceful swoop at odd angles before skidding into lopsided landings. It’s a challenge to learn height control, to master the art of gliding, much less landing on their feet. The boys who learn the fastest are the same boys who grow too cocky and soar out of classrooms and over the Island town, only to be found hours later, hanging from telephone wires or passed out beneath plate glass windows, their eyes staring blankly at the sun. A few die in this way. Others are kidnapped by strangers. Still others are blown out to sea by strong Island winds. Islanders watch them go, dipping and rising like crazed butterflies, their bodies growing smaller and smaller until they are nothing but distant prayers in the sky. Nin Andrews

Barbie in Sex Therapy after Denise Duhamel I wish someone would teach me how to have an orgasm. My therapist shakes his head every time I say so. Mind if I smoke? he asks. I think I make him nervous when I talk of what I want most. But I can’t talk to Ken about any of this. He’s too worried about his job and how much money he has or I spend. Whenever we go out, he doesn’t even leave a tip. So I slide tens and twenties beneath my plate or hand them to strangers on my way out. Life is short, I say. But the truth is, I just love giving it away. Ken knows this. That’s why when I go out alone or with my friends, he worries about other men, the ones with my name and phone number

tattooed on their thighs, tongues, wrists. There are so many men like this. I imagine them, sometimes, whistling softly, tossing pebbles against my glass, slipping inside me like shadows as the day undresses slowly, subtracting everything I once knew from itself before letting out one last gasp. Nin Andrews

Lisa Marie Basile Photos of LMB by Laura Delarato

Lisa Marie Basile comes from the bloodline of Giambattista Basile, the Italian fairy-tale writer. She is the only water sign in a family of fire signs. She is a graduate of The New School’s MFA program for creative writing. The author of Andalucia (The Poetry Society of New York) and Triste (Dancing Girl Press), her newest chapbook, war/lock, is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press in 2014. Recently, Noctuary Press (University of Buffalo) accepted her full-length poetry collection, APOCRYPHAL. Her work can be seen in PANK, kill author, Johns Hopkin’s The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, decomP, Poetry Crush, La Fovea, Prick of the Spindle, elimae and Pear Noir! among many others. She is the founding editor of Luna Luna Magazine, a mischievous and sexy online daily magazine, finely curated with pieces about women’s culture, lifestyle and art. She is also the founding editor of Patasola Press, a micropress that focuses on emerging, established and female writers. She has taught poetry at The Brooklyn Brainery and at Westfield High School, wears a bookdress and is a regular performer for The Poetry Brothel. She is an assistant editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. This year, she’ll be featured in Relapse Magazine’s spread on poets in NYC. She was featured in the NY Daily News as a female Poet to Watch in December 2013. She currently works in eBook publishing.

interview by grace cavalieri What are you wearing at this very moment? I’m wearing a black dress, with a white kimono. I’m wearing black stockings with an upside down cross stitched into the knee. Also I’m wearing Mac ruby woo lipstick, a Falchi burnt orange crocodile bag and a mustard bangle. Tiny black heels which are square and awful on slippery steps in NYC. This question, the one of clothes, is so interesting to me because I was recently featured in the New York Daily News as a woman poet in New York. In the photo, I was dressed up for a performance. When the article came out, myself as well as the other poets were essentially slut-shamed by some members of the literary community. The discussion morphed from literature to something wholly unrelated: the morality of how we looked. Absolutely awful. However, the dialogue was necessary. What do you think a fairy tale is? A fairy tale is a story that ultimately tries to make sense of our real world using intangible, surreal characters and story lines. Often the fantasy is more understandable than our everyday lives. The real world hurts; writing it in another language, a fairy tale allows us to deconstruct and learn in a beautiful way.  What have you recently witnessed that could become a poem? I had never known someone personally who had committed suicide until this past holiday season. That throbbing, present, confused and angry energy of grief is something I think transcends writing. I would like to look at it in a poem but I’m still sorting out the human self’s involvement. The poet self became second. That was something I came to recognize as a good thing. I don’t need to process so much as separate.  What do you believe is the plight of publishing in America today?

I work on digital books. I also use self publishing software to publish writers for my small press, Patasola Press. I also buy beautiful hand-bound chapbooks and perfectbound books from major stores such as Indie stores and online retailers. I think the plight is simple and complex at once: keep people reading, imagining, thinking, exploring text and its intersection with the modernism.  What is your favorite Italian dish. And please provide ingredients. I actually, truly don’t love Italian food. The more I explore my Italian background the more I realize that my culture, heritage, religious and moral values are misinformed and often more diverse than food or stereotypes. I recently traced my family tree back to North Africa and it has opened a world of new information to me about who I am. I think I might be a bad Italian. I hate red sauce. But I do talk a lot, have wide hips and boss everyone around (if we’re making generalizations).  What is the most bizarre event ever in relation to your poetry appearances? I flew to Barcelona and after 20 hours between three flights, I was set to read a poem with the Prostibulo Poetico at some sort of erotic soirée. There I read to a stage of people speaking Catalan, Spanish and English. A little person came on the stage and stripped and put ice cubes in her mouth. I’d say this was odd and beautiful and enchanting. I love Spain.  How do you approach a poem? Or how does it approach you? I used to write poems thinking about writing a poem. Now I just let it happen. I edit it later and try not to be a perfectionist. I hate my edited work. A poem is a dream. It can’t always be interpreted.  Name a visit from someone recently and what it meant to you as a poet. Recently, the Virgin Mary came to me and I think this might influence my next book, APOCRYPHAL. No. That’s not true. My therapist said that my child self needs to be healed by my adult self, so my child-self has been visiting, and this has been informing a lot of my work. My child self wrote APOCRYPHAL (May 2014 from Noctuary Press).

When you were 4 years old where were you living. Describe your bedroom? Church Street, Rahway, New Jersey. We lived in a two bedroom apartment with wide windows covered in white linen. My bedroom, square and large, existed at the end of the hallway, with two windows looking out at a decapitated blue/ gray house and a woody alley way. Walls in light pink, a soft glowing light at each outlet, always sparkling. A tent was pitched mid-room, where my other love took place. A place of dreams and animals and dolls. My closet opposite my bed contained green wood worms, though no one believed me. My blanket was from the Little Mermaid, and it had that strange penis castle drawing that everyone says corrupted the 80s. Who do you love? Everything including myself. 

the mythology of me is the same as any woman: we wear an apology between our legs like a stirrup. we take rape as compliment. white romper licking up my middle like a cotton fire. we look like a flossed mouth in the streets, so red on fire so holy god girl. in our secret rooms: the vanity, adorned with Santa Maria Novella’s Acqua di Rose. because we are not Medici & we are not Monroe. we are pretty girls with black-and-cherry parts. we don’t know power until it has been taken from us, starting at home, where our fathers are. they sit feet up on wooden things and we have to cut our hair. keep the windows shut, girl, there are vultures, & they love the flush scent of youth. Lisa Marie Basile

this is my muted apricot & green mythology the hum of power lines children with tincan secrets a girl naked, hilltopped, with snowwhite tits touching boys stolen Treasurer cigarettes & high red underwear. me. Lolita me. me with bubblegum & magenta. i’m on the white pony & he is so much bigger than what he really is: fat unbuttoned shirt bald-headed silver specked, a perfect god. Lisa Marie Basile

The whole time you sat at the table. the whole time. linoleum and wainscotting. the whole quiet kitchen, demented, capturing us as polaroid. the light was warm and lilac-cognac. a camera captures everything. the whole time, pulling my skirt down over my middle-thigh. I spit my gum out. Make sure my lace socks are in place, because you must take notice of me so proper. Me so grown now. Me so woman. Lisa Marie Basile

Brian Busch Portrait Study oil on wood 14 x 16 inches Born in 1970 in Winfield Illinois. Brian attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, with a focus on Illustration and Fine Art. After graduation Brian became a sculptor and mold maker, working in clay, wax and fiberglass. “The years working in a 3 dimensional medium has given me an education on form that I find extremely useful in creating paintings with a sense of weight and solidity.” Brian’s return to painting finds him focusing on the figure and still life as well as doing many commissions. Brian has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Germany. Brian remains in Illinois with his wife Kathie.

Judith Peck

Judith Peck has made it her life’s work to paint about history and healing. A graduate of the George Washington University with a degree in fine arts, she has exhibited her work in venues nationwide including Target Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia where she won the juror’s award, Aqua Art Miami and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania. She has recently received the Strauss Fellowship Grant from Fairfax County, Virginia. Affiliated with Mayer Fine Art and represented by Gallery 65 in McLean, VA and Gallery C in Raleigh, NC and Alida Anderson Art Projects in Potomac, MD, Judith Peck’s work is collected internationally. interview What social issue do you care most about? Do you express that in your art? I look at the things happening in the world today, and what history had taught us about our broken world and I can’t stop being drawn into the unreason of it all. What I try to express in my art is that we all have the same hopes and dreams as anyone, anywhere at anytime in the present or throughout history. I believe that what is in one is in us all. In the most particular is the most universal, the core of human striving.  I’m looking for the binding power-opposite of mob mentalityour mutual connections.  Although we can all be overwhelmed and feel helpless, the human spirit always possesses hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances.  I would be happy if I can show a glimmer of our broken yet beautiful human experience, of being. If someone told you that you could only make one more painting for the rest of your life, what

would do imagine you would paint? The piece I am working on now. Who is your favorite living artist? Odd Nerdrum is absolutely my favorite living artist. To me personally, he represents what art is capable of reaching at this time, beyond the decorative. His work is not a product, it is a struggle for truth, the interior, man’s brain. In his paintings gestures you see his own body thinking as well. What do you see yourself doing in 20 years?  I hope to be painting every day as I do now. On a personal level, who is your biggest supporter? I think I would have to say my biggest supporters have been my parents. They gave me the go ahead to be an artist by using a large amount of their life savings to send me to a private university to study fine art. I think that was huge, but I would be remiss not to mention others that have made an impact on my career and given me the impetus to carry on even before I was able to sell my work consistently. Didi Menendez was the first to publish my work in a magazine. Lenny Campello and Sheila Giolitti together took my work to the fair during Art Basel giving me more exposure than I’d ever had previously. And my husband, Duke Kim has been supporting me financially, which is the gift of time. Do you collect art yourself and if so, what artwork do you collect? I do collect art. Mostly friend’s work or other artists that I admire because I don’t do work at all like them. A special piece in my collection is by Sy Gresser called Heritage Head a large stone sculpture. I just acquired a Jody Mussoff drawing; she is an incredible draftsman and artist I’ve admired for a long time. In my entryway is an amazingly colorful abstract acrylic painting by Dianna Schwartzberg on which everyone remarks.

Judith Peck Daybreak 2014 oil and plaster on board 20 x16 inches

PoetsArtists is a publication of GOSS183 604 Vale Street Bloomington, Illinois 61701 February 2014 Publisher/Editor/Creator Didi Menendez Copyright remains with contributors upon publication. Guidelines and other information available on our web site.

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