CARL HEYWARD : AN ENDLESS IMAGINATION
text by Alessio Guano
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Contemporary art is full of contradictions, new and old messages, reinterpretations and reconsiderations based on ephemeral technologies and new interactive languages. Thought and Word, as well as the artistic gesture, took importance to the work view as “opus” or “doing” until the beginning of the avant-garde. One hundred years have passed since the historic day of 1917 when Marcel Duchamp, the founder of modern art, capsized a common urinal and signed it on behalf of R. Mutt. His action outraged the critics and bewildered the public; since then, the art system has laid its foundations not only on the art pieces, the artists and the discussion of art but also on its function and the need to share it.
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If one starts considering the hidden messages in the contemporary artwork as the artwork itself, it becomes possible to understand that what one observes does not have to necessarily meet their taste but to raise questions; since the last century art has become conceptual and given up the mimesis, realism, the interpretation of the truth and the faithful reproduction. The observant and educated artist is constantly immersed in a heterogeneous environment; influenced by external inputs – social networks, radio stations and television, the artist realises how some individuals consider art that does not even resemble the human being in any way.
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Art is more than a mere simplification: indeed, it is the effect that the deep and vast research of the artist has on their consciousness, as well as on the analysis of contemporary life, the flaws of men in the new millennium, their limits and dreams.
It is not easy to find artists willing to reconcile the individual research dedicated to this purpose to a more complex and intricate network of collaborations and exchanges. A concrete example of this kind of duality is, without any doubt, the work by the American artist, writer, curator and teacher Carl Heyward. He taught Film & Video Production at SF Academy of Art University, Thesis Writing & Presentation.
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A critical analysis of the work of Carl Heyward would be anything but easy. The artist, in fact, has taken different research paths: in his earliest career, he was influenced by other artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Antoni Tàpies, Salvador Dali and some of the most important Expressionists and Minimalists. Particularly in the research conducted in the last years, the openness to an artistic current was built upon the “sign” rather than on the “image”. These necessary gestures lead the artist not only to explore an inner world characterised by experiences and ideas but also to investigate the most profound needs of the contemporary art.
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Heyward combines an abstract language and a reinterpretation of the figure through abundant and layered fragmentations; his works could be described more as a journey, a constant flow of ideas coming from a drawer full of old magazines that give birth to a completed artwork shaped by over-paintings, slashes, lines, curves, blurred stains of colour tied to the fresh paint of the backgrounds and to the paper sheets soaked with history.
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The lectures and the performative actions held by the artist are numerous: besides the workshops and the new and recent group artworks produced in several centres of contemporary art, Heyward creates his art pieces by performing individually. The performative aspect is undeniable and takes the role of helping the consciousness to show what is usually hidden. His investigation oversteps the irregularity and the “waste” thanks to the strength of his artwork: the gesture and spontaneity of the creation are signature of the informal vitality and do not produce static, geometric energy but something pure, elegant and authentic.
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The daily workout, tied with the cultural depth of the artist, make the expressive strength a necessity: his recent artwork is occasionally represented by thick or light lines, whose fragility appears to be non-material; the art pieces do not belong to the reading difficulties arose from the challenges of the cultural debate.
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The work of Carl Heyward wants to prove an influence on the contemporary life and that part of the public prone to raise questions about the meaning of life and the analysis of daily challenges by using a determined projection on the themes rather than making an impression: a feverish imagination, full of symbols and references, that involves shapes to emerge through proofreading and unexpected combinations.
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It is thanks to the combination of these occasionally instigating symbols and references that the observer raises questions about the real meaning of the art piece. The artistic relationships of Carl Heyward and his collaborations with other foreign artists are countless and constantly evolving. It is necessary to remember, furthermore, that only recently he produced several projects such as the KNEE (jerk) Fragmentation Project, which was created in 2010 and involved the exchange of art pieces; in addition, the artist is the founder of Global Art Project, an international collaboration project which involves 25 participants from 12 different countries.
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 mixed media collaboration with Akiko Suzuki, USA / JAPAN
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mixed media collaboration from frags: Lynn Arnold with Carl Heyward

 (Frags are fragments of canvas, paper, collage elements, fabric, found objects, laundry lists, newspaper clippings, Braille, shorthand, torn pages from books …the materials that serve as prompts for the creation of new works. They also serve as bridges toward remote collaboration via mail and the internet and provide one of a myriad of forms of the collaborative process; marks not mine offer fresh impetus to charge surfaces and imagination without the attachment to ownership nor stress of completion, ignoring or honoring the linear continuance of an impulse sparked by another)

GLOBAL ART PROJECT

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 three collabs with Akiko Suzuki / osaka, japan
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https://art2lifeacademy.com/inspiration-landing-page/inspiration-17-carl-hayward/
https://www.facebook.com/globalartproject2017/
http://chamazone.wixsite.com/globalartproject
https://www.utsanga.it/heyward-nine-works/
https://www.instagram.com/carlheyward/
http://www.highartfridays.com/artist-carl-heyward-usa-artist-collaboration/
*Alessio Guano is a writer, graphic designer, artist and curator living  in La Spezia, Italy
CARL HEYWARD _ UN’IMMAGINAZIONE SENZA FINE
testo di Alessio GuanoL’arte contemporanea è ricca di contraddizioni, di nuovi e vecchi messaggi, di rivisitazioni e convinte ricerche improntate su effimere tecnologie e su nuovi linguaggi multimediali. Il pensiero e la parola, così come il gesto artistico, hanno preso posto dell’opera stessa vista, fino all’avvento delle avanguardie, come “opus”, ovvero come “il fare”. Sono passati cento anni dalla storica giornata del 1917 quando Marcel Duchamp, maestro e fondatore dell’arte moderna, capovolse un comune orinatoio e lo firmò a nome di R. Mutt, indignando la critica e creando sconcerto tra il pubblico. Da allora il sistema dell’arte ha posto le sue basi, oltre che sulle opere e sugli artisti, sulla discussione dell’arte, sulla sua funzione e la necessità di condividerla. Pensando semplicemente che il messaggio nascosto nell’opera d’arte contemporanea è l’opera d’arte stessa, capiamo che ciò che osserviamo non ci deve necessariamente piacere, bensì interrogare. A partire infatti dal secolo scorso l’arte è diventata concettuale, ha fatto a meno di mimesi, di realismo e della nobilitazione del vero, della sua fedele riproduzione. L’artista colto ed osservatore è immerso quotidianamente in un ambiente eterogeneo, influenzato da continui input provenienti dall’esterno – basti pensare ai canali social, alle tv e ai giornali – e spesso si rende conto che alcuni soggetti fanno passare per arte quello che neppure ci assomiglia, in una sorta di semplice assemblare, creare. L’arte è tutt’altro che una mera semplificazione: è ciò che la ricerca smisurata e profonda dell’artista fa emergere dal suo inconscio e dall’analisi sulla contemporaneità, sui vizi e sui difetti dell’uomo del nuovo millennio, sui suoi limiti e sui propri sogni. Non è facile trovare artisti disposti a conciliare la ricerca individuale dedita a questo scopo e ad una più complessa ed intricata rete di collaborazioni e scambi. Un esempio importante di questo dualismo è sicuramente il lavoro di Carl Heyward, artista americano, scrittore, curatore ed insegnante.
Un’analisi critica sull’opera di Carl Heyward risulterebbe tutt’altro che facile. L’artista infatti porta con se molti percorsi di ricerca. Nelle sue indagini, quelle in particolare maturate negli ultimi anni, troviamo un’apertura verso un filone improntato sul segno, piuttosto che sull’immagine. Questa necessaria gestualità porta l’artista ad esplorare non solo un mondo interiore colmo di esperienze e suggestioni, ma soprattutto ad indagare nelle più profonde esigenze del contemporaneo. Heyward accosta un linguaggio astratto e una rilettura della figura attraverso abbondanti e stratificate frammentazioni. Si potrebbe dire che le sue opere possano essere descritte come un viaggio, un continuo flusso di idee che parte da un cassetto colmo di vecchie riviste arrivando ad un’opera compiuta formata da sovra-pitture, sfregi, linee, curve, macchie di colore indistinte che si legano alla pittura fresca dei fondi o alle carte pregne e cariche di storia.
Numerose sono le azioni performative e le lezioni tenute dall’artista. Anche al di fuori dei workshop e dei lavori di gruppo realizzati anche recentemente presso numerosi centri di arte contemporanea, Heyward realizza le sue opere in una sorta di performance individuale. L’aspetto performativo è evidente e assume la funzione di far riemergere alla coscienza ciò che è abitualmente nascosto. La sua indagine oltrepassa disuguaglianze e “scarti” grazie alla forza delle sue opere: il gesto e l’immediatezza della realizzazione sono tipiche della vitalità informale e ne risulta energia pura, difficilmente statica e geometrica, spesso elegante e sincera. L’esercizio fisico quotidiano, legato alla profonda cultura dell’artista, fa di un’esigenza, la forza espressiva: le sue opere recenti sono a tratti dense, a tratti leggere – di una leggerezza non materiale- esulano dalle difficoltà di lettura messe alla prova dal confronto culturale. Il lavoro di Carl Heyward vuole testimoniare un influsso sulla contemporaneità, si rivolge a quella parte del pubblico propensa ad interrogarsi sul senso del proprio esistere e sull’analisi delle problematiche quotidiane, facendo uso di una forte proiezione sui temi piuttosto che sull’apparire. Un fare febbrile, ricco di simboli e rimandi radicati nell’immaginario collettivo, che riemergono attraverso riletture ed accostamenti inattesi. E’ proprio grazie a questi accostamenti di simboli ed immagini, spesso provocatorie, che l’osservatore viene ad interrogarsi sul vero senso dell’opera. Le frequentazioni artistiche di Carl Heyward e la sua attività di collaborazione con artisti da tutto il mondo sono numerose e in continua evoluzione. Bisogna infatti ricordare che, solo recentemente ha realizzato progetti diffusi come Knee Fragmentation Project, uno scambio di opere d’arte nato nel 2010 ed è fondatore del Global Art Project, un progetto di collaborazioni internazionali di 25 membri provenienti da 12 paesi differenti.             https://art2lifeacademy.com/inspiration-landing-page/inspiration-17-carl-hayward/
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ART AND SACRED SITES:

CONNECTING WITH SPIRIT OF PLACE

a monograph of the works of 

GLEN ROGERS

(luna arte contemporaneo) 2014

GLENROGERS BOOK COVER

The notion of connecting, of making connections; of the realization and extrapolation of identifiable forces in time and mind; of nature,in sand and stone; of finding the personal within the general, the specific in the universal, is central to the art of multi-disciplinarian

(print maker, sculptor, painter) Glen Rogers, who, from her base in Sinaloa, Mexico has produced a document rich in feel, color and soul that travels the viewer through mazes of hidden history of the female archetype, of the tribal imperative, of human presence on the

shared planet , marked with traces of that presence into a clearing rich with implications of the necessity and persistence of the creative instinct.

Spirit of Place

ART AND SACRED SITES : CONNECTING WITH SPIRIT OF PLACE ( luna arte contemporaneo) is a monograph, a meditation…

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ART AND SACRED SITES:

CONNECTING WITH SPIRIT OF PLACE

a monograph of the works of 

GLEN ROGERS

(luna arte contemporaneo) 2014

 

 

GLENROGERS BOOK COVER

The notion of connecting, of making connections; of the realization and extrapolation of identifiable forces in time and mind; of nature,in sand and stone; of finding the personal within the general, the specific in the universal, is central to the art of multi-disciplinarian

(print maker, sculptor, painter) Glen Rogers, who, from her base in Sinaloa, Mexico has produced a document rich in feel, color and soul that travels the viewer through mazes of hidden history of the female archetype, of the tribal imperative, of human presence on the

shared planet , marked with traces of that presence into a clearing rich with implications of the necessity and persistence of the creative instinct.

 

Spirit of Place

 

ART AND SACRED SITES : CONNECTING WITH SPIRIT OF PLACE ( luna arte contemporaneo) is a monograph, a meditation; a monumental work mapping Rogers’ insights and instinctive recognition of her place, her role, as witness and practitioner of divination available to all who look both at surface and allow, by means of that surface as portal of entry to intuitive awareness through direct observation of those surfaces. The artifacts available on the planet are myriad and rich; from Crete to the streets of San Jose, from the caves of Laucaux to the graffito of North Queensland and Uluru in Australia, and whether these artifacts , these presences, are made available in-situ, through the vehicle of monographs or on designer tableware, their impact and prescience remains and transcends the carrier vessel. A truth is a truth no matter the media employed to tell the tale.

GLEN ROGERS ARY

These marks are voices.

Her walls speak in metal and paper through a process that extrapolates the ancient scrawls, respecting their symbolic potency and purpose, into new magic; unique, rich and good as part of a lineage of the female, the human, the keeper of tradition and form, even as the context of that form changes and has changed.

 

The circle remains the same.

Inclusive.

Suggesting wholeness.

Unity.

Completion.

Inclusion.

A beginning and an end.

A starting point …a destination.

The walls speak.

 

 

 

GLEN ROGERS FROM THE WEB SITE       
“For many years, I’ve taken my inspiration from archetypal symbols and sacred sites around the world, continually drawing from a universal visual language. I’ve followed in the footsteps of these early cultures by drawing from nature’s purest forms, such as the spiral, the circle and the crescent, whose cyclical shapes suggest renewal and regeneration. I am honored to have had the opportunity to walk these ancient lands imbued with the spirit of our ancestors. I feel that these same symbols, whether inscribed on ancient stones or painted on my 21st Century canvas, can connect us as humans, connect us to nature and give hope and inspiration to future generations. As I begin a work of art inspired by this imagery, scratching the surface of the plate or layering colors of paint, I feel connected to those who have come before me.”

GLEN ROGERS

 

 

In circles and scrawls, the spells and impulses are immediately recognizable as distinctly human and universal.

 Impulses important enough to warrant a mark.

 

 

 

 

The power of place informs Rogers’ work. The sheer mass, distance and space of her sites is exhausting to consider, yet she has sought out guides to the spirit who shared freely, as part of their own practice, the inner workings of mythologies and beliefs associated with the caves, runes, sculptures and markings in coherent language that immediately informed her own interpretations of these traces.

The female archetype, not surprisingly, is an essential element of her investigations and output. That archetype, thousands of years the predecessor of the patriarchal hierarchy, is and remains a presence in her work from the beginning. These images emerged slowly from her nude portraits of women in a time when feminist academic thought condemned such activity as exploitative and was reduced (or expanded) by Rogers to the simplest representations of the feminine: the circle, vulva, serpent, sun, shell, moon, spiral that embody all through gesture and intention like the Japanese ENSO which includes all experience, existence and desire within the circle. A mark so complete that there is nothing outside  that circle as there is no creation or humankind outside of or without entry through the vulva; the sacred and divine.

The marks that move her are of a simplicity that transcend the idea of the feminine and the feminine role outside of the socio-political and cultural order, impositions which are enforced with varying degrees of severity globally, which is why these symbols, I think, are so eagerly embraced by those who encounter them and are inspired if not liberated by them by the potential of their application.

                                

What indicates the creative impulse?

The necessity of expression, of the awe, wonder and reverence of the life experience and the connection to something spiritual that makes sense of it all is probably the driving force of her work as well as the source of the art and marks that inspire her.

The intention to link and bridge across time ethnicity and culture, their practices and principles, is entirely admirable and is successfully realized more times than not in her book, in the presentation of illustrative passages of prose, of informative quotes and explanations make clear the proposition that the mystery of existence might be contained in a universal visual shorthand balanced by a magic and generosity of mind buoyed by trust in a continuity that where she lands is exactly right.

She calls upon a spiritual center available to all, often overlooked and muddied by the obscuring of cultural, even philosophical constructs hell-bent on erosion, on exerting artificial materialism and self-importance that suffocates, over-stimulates, deludes and ultimately kills the procreative impulse that Rogers relies upon and celebrates in ART AND SACRED SITES.

Her circles invite a meal for the senses in a sun settled in gold, red and orange, something that soothes the soul. She becomes a vessel carrying news of a nourishment of wealth of spiritual resources rich with potential accessible to all of us.

We revisit through her work platforms where we have always been, poised for re-invention and continuance, via a re-connection to the places, spaces and symbols which ultimately allow a re-connection to our selves.

The book, through its brilliantly colored or subtle earth toned pages are evocative of the power of the markings and symbols, both original and extrapolated, onto the media of the 21st Century allowing Rogers to present where she has been, what she has seen and what she has done with these sightings with great authority, power and humility communicated through time and generations telling a truth both irresistible and undeniable:

Now is always now.

 

 

GLEN OPEN GROUNDS BOOK SIGNING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Heyward

is an artist and writer living in San Francisco

I DIGRESS: Guillermo Gomez-Pena ON THE BORDER LINE.