THE WEEK: MARCH 12-16.

EDITOR’S PICKS: 

Fiction Magazine 40th Anniversary Celebration
http://www.housingworks.org/events/detail/fiction-magazine-40th-anniversary-celebration
03/15/2012-03/15/2012
7pm-

Celebrate the new issue and Fiction’s 40th anniversary with contributors Sheila Kohler, Jerome Charyn, Brendan Kiely, and Kesi Foster.

OPERA ON TAP.
http://barbesbrooklyn.com/calendar.html
03/16/2012-03/16/2012
8pm-

OPERA ON TAP. Opera is fun. Most people don’t seem to realize how much fun it really is. In order to prove it, Opera on Tap has taken its act to barrooms where they found out that beer on tap enhances the operatic experience. The company is made up of young singers and instrumentalists who relish the direct contact with audiences not inhibited in their reactions by the looming menace of giant chandeliers.

Kris Kuksi
http://joshualinergallery.com/index.php
03/08/2012-04/07/2012
11pm-6pm

With its cautionary title, Triumph skewers the hubris and folly of human ambition. This cavalcade of epic works references mythology, the occult, and organized religion, and uses age-old techniques of visual storytelling to voice personal angst. Depicting grand themes with extravagant embellishments, Kuksi’s assemblages of small, mass-produced materials are intrinsically narrative. Like gilt Baroque altarpieces, their stunning excess of detail is the ideal vehicle for the artist’s critique of power and piety. And like those early works of public art, they appeal to the viewer to transcend the strife and striving associated with greed.

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Nouvelle Cuisine by Andrew de Freitas.

Don’t feel too chewed up. I think as we get older it will be easier to feel this way. Yes I feel like shit at times, probably lately more than ever, but it’s only a temporary paralysis. If I have a goal in life it’s to make sure that it’s always temporary, despite the inevitability. That’s a real goal, and I’m content to deal with it. I’m trying to follow the example of cutting-edge Japanese cooking and French nouvelle cuisine, which is more concerned with difference and variation in savor and texture than with taste sensation in mouthfuls. Yes it’s the same as it’s always been, what you said.

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An Interview with Ophelia Chong.


22:
First the background questions, where did you grow up and how did you get involved with art?

OPHELIA CHONG:I grew up in the wilds of Canada, in the city of Toronto. I remember my first collage, in grade five; it was a collage made of magazine bits and it was blue and green. During my formative years I was an explorer, I would ride my bike from mid-town to the lake and back; I would disappear for a whole day, exploring the city on my three-speed bike. I quickly outgrew Toronto and packed up and left for Los Angeles. I went to the Art Center College of Design and graduated with a BFA in Painting. I am an adjunct professor there in the Photography Dept.

22: What about collage appeals to you?

OPHELIA CHONG
I love seeing the possibilities of color. Of using the pieces of paper as paint, my X-acto knife the brush.

22:
 What about the fusion of collage and design appeals to you? Are they really just versions of the same thing?

OPHELIA CHONG
It’s all the same thing, I see it all as color and form, no matter what medium it is.

22: You also seem to have a penchant for typography and presses where did that start?
 

OPHELIA CHONG: Shapes, I love the curves of typography. When I was younger I would sit in class sketching serif fonts. I loved the thin with the thick, the swoosh and staccato of forms in typography. When I first used a Vandercook Press six years ago, I was hooked. I love the ink pressing into the paper, the randomness of where the letters fell onto pieces of ephemera that I put through the press. How each piece was a singular piece of art. Never to be repeated twice. I use only vintage magazines to print on, therefore each piece is non-repeatable.

22: Can you explain your 35mm slide work (surreal cereal) process a little? What inspired working with collage this way? Any specific artists? 

OPHELIA CHONG:That is about how we see life. For example, we both see two people arguing, I see it through the lens of my life experience and you see it through your’s. We will both come up with different assumptions of why they are arguing, because we react differently due to the environment we grew up in. My layering of 35mm slides is a tactile version of this theory, I layer images over each other to create something new, something that resonates with the way I see life. I am inspired by Guido Reni, Ba-ra-kei: Ordeal by Roses by Eikoh Hosoe, film noir, Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Ethan Frome by Wharton, and so much more.

22:Who are some of your favorite designers or artists in general?

OPHELIA CHONG:
All art from the 16th – 18th century. Fritz Sauter ( a Swiss printmaker), 15th century Gothic churches, Orson Welles, Paul Rand, [Richard] Neutra
music for the clavichord, the flavor of the week and anything that makes me want to grab an X-acto knife.

22: 
How did you start working on the slips of paper series? What was your first collage for that? 

OPHELIA CHONG
I started in 1999, but if I had to trace it back, since I could use scissors. I picked up a small Moleskine sketch book  in 1999 and started sticking bits of paper 
in it to relieve the stress I was going through at my job as a Creative Director. I filled books and books with “slips of paper”, not really going towards an end goal, just to keep myself from the digital world. All my work is non-digital.

22: 
How do you balance your professional life with your artistic career, do the two ever clash? Or do they enhance each other? 

OPHELIA CHONG
I melded both into one. I have a rep in NYC for my illustration, and I now have a studio that I sit in all day working. I love it. Work = Love = Happiness

22:
What are you currently working on? Any upcoming projects? 

OPHELIA CHONG
:
I am writing more, I write commentary for KCET ( a local TV station in Los Angeles) and for howtosplitanatom.com . I have  work traveling from Barcelona to NYC, it will take 2 years to finish my travels. My 
letterpress work is at the Hunt Gallery at Webster University in St.Louis. My project now is to keep cutting paper and I know I will never tire of it; the only time I get into  trouble is when I cut up something someone was still reading. Never leave anything you want to read around me, it just might end up in a collage.

GET SOME FREE ART FROM OPHELIA HERE!
OPHELIA‘S WEBSITE.