October 29, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Monica Lo & Caitlin-Marie Minor

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Monica & Caitlin-Marie from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Pratt Institute Alumni, Bachelor of Fine Arts Advertising/Art Direction 2009

We met with Caitlin-Marie and Monica over brunch in Park Slope and talked about their experiences post Pratt. They discuss their work with the Ford Fiesta campaign and explain how they entered the industry so soon after graduation.

Interviewed by Jenny Elfanbaum & Angeline Ucci

Edited by Angeline Ucci

October 26, 2010

Will Hutnick, “These Monsters” at Fishbowl Gallery

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata

Unless the viewer completely lacks the powers of visual observation (and this has somehow gone unnoticed and granted said viewer full access to the Pratt community regardless), he or she has quite likely witnessed those vaguely menacing, softly undulating, beige and black forms holding court along the walls of the Fishbowl Gallery. Are these living? Are these some type of strange wall-dwelling kelp? Are these… Made of... tape? Quite appropriately titled, what lurks in the lounge is in fact, “These Monsters,” an installation by Pratt second year MFA candidate Will Hutnick.

Monsters rarely emerge randomly from within a vacuum; these, for example, evolved gradually from Hutnick’s own artistic background in painting, specifically in abstract expressionist painting. In his own words, “I will always be heavily indebted to Pollock and his drip paintings for their monumentality, expressiveness and abandonment of a traditional field of space. What really interests me is this accumulation of materials that is not ashamed to be utterly ridiculous and absurd, and the use of a common household object such as tape only seems to reinforce this absurdity.”

Where Hutnick steps past simply transgressing traditional conventions of painting or sculpture by selecting materials that would seem far from precious or even, say, expected (outside of the context of perhaps a crazed cubicle-dweller seeking sudden artistic solace in all that happens to be on hand), is in the inclusion of the irreversible gesture, the spontaneous moment made permanent by the very nature of the medium. Tape fused to tape is not easily altered if the form displeases the artist, and it is in the actual celebration of this process that the artist makes even more abstract his expression. Much of Hutnick’s recent work involves a discussion of the honest, immediate, immutable action, and one element that gives his work its compelling nature is the obvious amount of detailed mental and physical work involved in the lead up to that actual vaunted, breathless moment – the degree of consideration of materials and their potential collision within an environment (like gravity on tape-monsters, or unsupervised students on boredom meeting the aforementioned creation) is as plainly evident as the amount of labor leading to the final piece. Where the ultimate result appears quite organic and gestural, the forethought is undeniable.
This contrast, of the well-planned impulse, is merely one of many. Hutnick carefully frames the dichotomies presented by his monsters: they are simultaneously playful in form and title yet ominous in their looming, leering presence and irrefutably wasteful materiality; clearly referring the organic in shape but undeniably manufactured both in construct and medium; both sensuous and unspectacular all at once as each form clearly states its nature as a massive construction of undeniably humble constitution, each an improbably sexy tape-beast, in fact.

Hutnick tends to think of his work in general (and process as a whole), most of which are abstract acrylic paintings, as, “living, breathing entities to a certain extent: whether or not they are creatures, universes, beings, movements, or simply moments.” This installation humbly and unassumingly began life as drawings, extending into space with tape, at which point Hutnick noticed that quality of LIFE - “Pretty quickly I stopped drawing with tape because the material began to dictate its own form.” The tape, in essence, had decided it was a monster, and Hutnick was curious as to what it would do next if he would allow it to choose its own form.
As pieces inextricably imbued with his brand of curious, carefully thought-out spontaneity, “These Monsters” loom above the students lounging beneath them, and demand interaction, which, to an artist less interested in permanent-impermanence and impulse could be upsetting, if not frankly infuriating. Is it possible that which was made to devour will ultimately be devoured? This work seems at some level like an open-ended question begging for infinite answers.

If “These Monsters” chose not to devour you whole in the Fishbowl Gallery, other works can be found online at http://willhutnick.com/.

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.

October 20, 2010

Career Coffee Break: Tiffany Burnette

CAREER COFFEE BREAK: Tiffany Burnette from Peer to Peer on Vimeo.

Pratt Institute Alumnus, Master of Fine Arts, Industrial Design 2008

We met with Tiffany over coffee in Park Slope and talked about her current projects and company, Design Hype. Tiffany is still hard at work in the world of ID, a field which she has proclaimed a sincere love for. One of her latest works is the Metro-Cuff. It's a bracelet that actually has a major metropolitan transit map inscribed into it. The bracelet combines function with sleek style, creating a modern ready-made.


Interviewed by Jenny Elfanbaum, Raymond Miller, and L.J. McNearney

Edited and Posted by Raymond Miller and Angeline Ucci

October 8, 2010

Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed

Review by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata

Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed (Video Still)
    Currently on view in EastOne Gallery is recent work by second year Pratt MFA candidate Caitlin Peluffo. Peluffo’s work at Pratt falls predominantly under the vague label of New Forms, which doesn’t serve to explain the thoughtful collision of photography, performance, and video that comprises Nailed, the featured piece in this solo exhibition.

    Nailed, 2010, duration 10:56, consists of a single channel video in which a nude Peluffo performs grueling repetitions of pushups atop a literal bed of nails. The viewer is forced into a tight, static viewpoint from the level of the nail’s heads, waiting for the artist’s vulnerable body to repeatedly intervene with the setup. The rhythmic audio, of Peluffo’s breathing and the ambient sound of physical exertion, provides a claustrophobic soundtrack for a claustrophobic interaction.

    The piece continues in the interior space of the gallery with a series of oversized digital photographic prints of the artist’s body. Each successive image depicts the effect of the nails on her skin, and what could easily be perceived as small, inconsequential indentations in her chest from the pressure of her bodyweight falling on the nails ready clearly as deepening wounds as the series progresses. The images are larger than life, looming over the viewer, and Peluffo has posed herself mockingly as any given classical sculpture praising the silent, impotent female form – arms inactive, hip cocked coyly in some, headless, and all lovely and demure in contrast with the brutal display of force, power, and pain the viewer knows has occurred prior to this sarcastic display of na├»ve feminine beauty.

    Peluffo clearly draws inspiration from feminist performance art from the 1970s, using her body as a medium with which to discuss and subvert the archetypes of femininity and socially dictated gender specifics. The artist names two projects as particularly related to her process in Nailed: Hannah Wilke’s Starification Object Series, 1974, and Eleanor Antin’s CARVING: A Traditional Sculpture, 1972. Wilke’s piece involved the artist placing sculptural pieces of gum, some chewed by audience members, as both an odd nod to tribal scarification and a questioning of American ideals of female beauty and glamour. Antin’s piece discussed feminine beauty concepts by photographically documenting a drastic weight loss process over 36 days.
    Where Peluffo’s work expands on these concepts is through the introduction of athleticism, and what it means to be a physically powerful woman in a society that continues to define female beauty in an extremely narrow way. In an era when prominent female media figures are borderline anorexic and surgically enhanced, Peluffo seems to be stating that she is a woman who exists, yet is denied its rightful place in the scope of female beauty. Nailed discusses, like much of Peluffo’s work on display, an “anomaly” whose positive traits our society could easily view as too dangerously male or strong and dismiss altogether as outside of femininity.
Caitlin Peluffo, Nailed (Photographs)

    Peluffo stated that her work questions whether a physically strong woman, the matured rendering of the “tomboy” figure, is allowed to be both feminine and athletically potent, or if she must choose between being strong and being desired. This dilemma is on view in EastOne through October 29.

This exhibition is part of the Student Exhibition Spaces Program coordinated by the Center for Career and Professional Development at Pratt Institute.  All current students can submit work for inclusion in future exhibitions by emailing ccpdprograms@gmail.com for more information.