ARTmonday: Soft Powers Photographs by Joseph Desler Costa Speaks to Consumer Culture

Photographer Joseph Desler Costa’s exhibition “Soft Powers” is based on the concept of gently influencing ideas, subtly shaping human desire through appeal and attraction.

joseph-desler-costa-soft-powers-photography-8

installation view

As a political concept and strategy, soft power reached its peak in the 1980s and 1990s during the Cold War. In the U.S. companies found new ways to influence behavior through sugary branding and corporate messaging driven by Coca-Cola, Hollywood, and other vehicles of consumer culture. 

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Prrrrince (2021)
Layered laser cut dye sublimation prints on aluminum

In his “Soft Powers” series, photographer Joseph Desler Costa uses the language and symbols of advertising and propaganda from those two decades to reflect on the power of persuasion.

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Three Fingers (2020), detail
Layered laser cut dye sublimation prints on aluminum

Costa combines multiple exposures, appropriation, and laser-cut, layered prints, to create images that look almost mass produced or machine made—as if they were rolling off of an assembly line.

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

installation view

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Red One Piece (2020)
Dye sublimation prints on aluminum

“I often re-photograph my own images and incorporate them into new pieces to further drive this feeling of sterile reproduction,” the Brooklyn based artist says. 

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Newports (2020)
Layered laser cut dye sublimation prints on aluminum

The works are pastel-hued, product-like images that often incorporate recognizable logos, graphics, and album art laser-cut into the aluminum print surface.

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Racquets (2021)
Layered laser cut dye sublimation prints on aluminum

“Soft Powers” images replicates advertising’s ability to create desire and manufacture beauty.

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

Order Substance (2020)
Layered laser cut dye sublimation prints on aluminum

Joseph Desler Costa Exhibition at ClampArt New York

installation view

“Soft Powers” by Joseph Desler Costa through May 29 at ClampArt, 247 W 29th St., New York City, clampart. com 

​All photos by Daniel Terna. Courtesy of the artist.

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ARTmonday: The Willard Gallery in South Portland, Maine

Meredith Perdue, artist and proprietor of The Willard Gallery in South Portland, Maine, emailed me the other day about the recent launch of her art gallery and consultancy that launched last week.

The Willard Gallery is located in Perdue’s adorable studio building off South Portland’s Willard Square. The artwork and experience are absolutely approachable. You can shop either online or by appointment at the gallery.

Here are some pieces available at and photos of The Willard Gallery:

Maine Art Gallery Owner Meredith Perdue The Willard

Meredith Perdue, artist + owner, The Willard Gallery

Gallery Wall at The Willard Gallery In South Portland Maine

Teapot Painting At The WIllard Gallery

Iris Tea, Melanie Parke

Julie Bowers Murphy Seascape at The Willard Gallery

Early Morning in Maine, Julie Bowers Murphy

Landscape Painting At The Willard Gallery

Orange Path, Richard Kooyman

Julie Bowers Murphy Seascape at The Willard Gallery

Gulls Over Maine Harbor, Julie Bowers Murphy

Claire Cushman Painting At The Willard Gallery

Field Day, Claire Cushman

Abstract Painting At The Willard Gallery

Claire Cushman Painting At The Willard Gallery

Au Printemps, Claire Cushman

Moxie, Laurie Fisher

Gallery Wall at The Willard Gallery In South Portland Maine

The Willard Gallery In South Portland Maine Exterior

The Willard Gallery in South Portland, Maine

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ARTmonday: Drive-by Projects Debuts Online Art Shop

After a year of corresponding with art consultant Beth Kantrowitz, I met her in Provincetown when she did a pop-up gallery the summer before last. I was instantly attracted to her enthusiasm, not to mention her taste in art. She and Kathleen O’Hara of Watertown, Massachusetts gallery  Drive-by Projects recently introduced the Drive-by Store where you can by works from emerging and mid-career artists online. Here are some of the offerings which you can also see @drive_by_projects.

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Rebecca Doughty

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Jon Cowan

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Amy Ross

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Danica Phelps

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

James Kennedy

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Helena Wurzel

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Shannon Rankin

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Crystalle LaCouture

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Michelle Grabner

Drive-By Projects Gallery Boston Emerging And Mid-Career Artists

Jenny Brown

Drive-by Projects, 81 Spring Street, Watertown, Massachusetts, 617-835-8255, by appointment.

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ARTmonday: Give and Take at Cambridge Art Association

Boston area artists Kathryn Geismar and Alexandra Sheldon delve into curating with a show called Give and Take, up now at the Cambridge Art Association and online. The exhibit features artwork by Geismar and Sheldon, as well as local artists Deborah Baskin, Margaret Scoppa, and Kim Triedman.

Here is an excerpt from Geismar’s thoughts behind the exhibition:
Collage is about sticking things together. It is also about taking things apart. Paint over, tear off, nail on: this is the give and the take.
We are five artists who find a fascination in the poetic energy of things: Colors, old surfaces, blocks of wood, expired books, rusty objects, painted newsprint, discarded ephemera. Stories are suggested and found in the meeting place where objects come together and find a new community and identity. There is a huge respect for the serendipitous and the synergy of meeting the materials in the middle.
Artists are often scavengers but collage artists are even more so. Old newspapers and packaging, tossed out window frames and disparate planks of wood on a curb become our treasures. They speak to us and invite us to collaborate. What is discarded and the overlooked by many is more than a fascination; for us it is rich and evocative source material.

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Kathryn Geismar, A Delicate Balance

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Deborah Baskin, You and Me

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Alexandra Sheldon, Happy Accident 5

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Kim Triedman, You Show Me Yours

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Kathryn Geismar, Night Forest

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Alexandra Sheldon, Happy Accident 7

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Margaret Choppa, Chock a Block

Give And Take At Cambridge Art Association Abstract Artists Boston

Deborah Baskin, An Evening Chat

Like all shows of the Covid era, there will be virtual opening reception on ZOOM; this Friday, April 9, 6:30-7:30 pm. Register here.

There’s also a fun interactive ZOOM workshop, Give and Take In Action: Making Collages from Scratch; this Saturday, April 10, 10-11am. Register here.

Give and Take
April 1 – 30, 2021
Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge Art Association
25 Lowell Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Also, online.

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ARTmonday: 20 Works from the MassArt Silent Auction 2021

And again, another online only auction. I’m feeling confident that we will all fundraise for the students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design IRL next year. But in the meantime, consider participating in the MassArt Auction 2021 online at BidSquare.com from March 27 through noon, April 11. The live auction is also online at t BidSquare.com on April 10 at 8 pm.

The silent auction includes 291 pieces from alumni, students, and friends of the MassArt community. There is painting, photography, mixed media, drawings, glass, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, installations, and even the opportunity for commissions. I’ll try to do another post that concentrates on the live auction, just in case you have a big art budget this year.

There are also virtual events surrounding the auction, including “Why Art Matters in Interior Design” on April 1 at noon with the always wonderful Elizabeth Lowrey of Elkus Manfredi, who is also an auction co-chair, and Emily Santangelo of Emily Fine Art. See you there? Be sure to register.

And even if you don’t want to buy, register (it’s free) for the MassArt Silent Auction so you can see more than these 20 artworks.

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Matthew Cronin

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Mary Hughes

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Caleb Charland

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Dean Nimmer

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Elizabeth Alexander

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Hillary Babick

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Kevin Bennett Moore

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Mary Kocol

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Rick Fox

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Tara Sellios

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Judy Riola

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Savanna Nelson

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Jason Karolak

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Astrid Reischwitz

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Anne Harney

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Johnny Tang

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Alysia Macaulay

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Anne Beinecke

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Eilis O’Connell

MassArt Auction 2021 Art School Fundraiser

Julia Emiliani

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