Another Look at a Spectacular Sunrise

Sunrise Springs, just twenty minutes from the heart of Santa Fe, N.M. is a terrific spot to rest, relax, and unwind. We’ve covered the resort before but take another look at this spectacular spot – Spring break doesn’t have to be all about beer and bikinis although there’s nothing wrong with that, either!

Take a walk on the quiet side at this very Zen resort.

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Pet a Silkie chicken

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Or pet a service pup in training.

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Enjoy exquisite dining in a pristine setting…

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Relax in a beautiful courtyard right outside your room. Warning, once you step through the gate into your casita you may not want to leave.

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In the evening relax by the fire…

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Then do it all again, One caveat – you’ll never want to leave.

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– Genie Davie; photos by Jack Burke

 

Tattooed on the Heart: The Art of Tslil Tsemet

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Israeli-born, Tslil Tsemet describes herself as a painter, sculptor, and tattoo artist now based in Los Angeles. Certainly her work with tattoos serves her in good stead: one look at at Tsemet’s paintings and they will be indelibly tattooed on the heart and retina.

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In Outliers, her solo show, which opened at The Neutra Gallery in Silver Lake last Saturday, the 29 year-old artist exhibits an enormous power, combining realistic portraits with surreal composition. Tsemet describes her work as a way to “examine the human species based upon the social and cultural values to which it is bound, and to those ideals we grasp in order to maintain our sanity.” The artist says that she both paints and sculpts using symmetrical composition, all the while blurring the line between what she refers to as “kitsch and sacrament.” Her desire, she notes, is to “sanctify so-called amoral” situations and modern life, using her work as a type of mythological illustration and allowing viewers to complete the story they see in her work. Tsemet has only been in the U.S. for two and a half years, but in that time the power of her work was almost immediately recognized; she had her work in a group show within months of her arrival.

There’s an assured, skilled hand behind her visual story telling. A number of her works, in vivid, vibrant oil, feature images that evoke a kind of spiritual ethos, cats that appear to have halos, father and baby in a pose similar to that of a Madonna and child. When asked what leads her to her particular subjects, the artist laughs. “It’s something I’ve been doing since kindergarten, I’m always doing naked people doing weird stuff.”

She began painting in oils at age thirteen, and developed her skills with precision. “I’m just interested in the human body and culture, and how our culture shapes us.”

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She used this interest as the basis for her “Circumcision in Space,” which details just that.

“I wanted to show how culturally we do things to human bodies, and to put that in a different context, here in space, to show how weird that is, really.”

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In “Alex and Ronen,” her subject is more tethered to earth – man, child, and cat. “Alex Gross is my favorite painter. I love his work. I emailed him and told him how much I loved his work, and I’ve ended up being his assistant this year. It’s a wonderful experience, we don’t have the tools to develop technique in this way in Israel, it’s a different paradigm.” As a tribute, Tsemet created this portrait. “It’s Alex with his son, the cat I just put in there – I have a cat.” Behind the trio, palms bend inward and UFOs radiate.

This cat appears to have a halo – and the reason for this, and for that matter, the space ships, Tsemet shrugs off. “Images just jump in me, and I just paint, I don’t know what it means.”

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A friend’s portrait formed the beginning of “Unspoken,” which also features a cat with a halo, this one even more vivid than in “Alex and Ronan.” But haloed cat and curious, looking-right-at-you subject aside, the most startling aspect of this painting is blood flowing as if from a spigot in the subject’s neck, straight into a wine glass. A voluptuous ruby red, the image is not gory, but rather intensely compelling, as is the starry sky and msyterious light in the background. “I was painting a dream to be a Bachelorette,” Tsemet explains. “It’s not the heart that is bleeding, it is the voice. It’s a mystery to me why I do stuff,” she demurs.

It hardly matters why: the result is assertive, mysterious, beautifully strange. Her work features breasts, cats, snakes, and babies; many of the pieces have an icon-like quality, not just because of the haloed cats, but because of the subject’s positioning, the light, the intensity of their gazes.

“It’s an intuitive process, it is coming from an idea. Ideas come to me, it’s not me creating them – they are trying to tell me something.”

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“Tie the Animal” is the first painting the artist created in the U.S. “I was staying with a guy who had a tattoo shop, and one day a man came in, covered with tattoos but with a baby face. So there he is.” The baby-man is perched on a black velvet drape which partially covers a languid woman, breast exposed, body and face feminine and perfect — but her legs are men’s legs. Slightly strange, Pomeranian-like dogs surround them. “I have a feeling we are all engineered in some way, the dogs too,” Tsemet says.

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In “The Widow,” Tsemet wanted to do something with “memorial tattoos” included. “I met this woman at a party. She was beautiful, in her 50s, and I wanted to paint her. Later, I realized her husband had died, so that was the connotation here, that she has a memorial tattoo of him.” The powerful, sorrowed blonde is bare breasted, with the memorial tattoo of a man’s face on her chest, and her upper body marked with rose tattoos. Behind her, the city of Los Angeles sprawls under a purple, nighttime sky. It is a perfect memorial to the city as well as to the man.

One of Tsemet’s favorite quotes is from Andre Breton “It is by the force of images that, in the course of time, real revolutions are made.” Indeed, her images are forceful enough to create a revolution, if only in the viewer’s mind.

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“I want to tell people that part of me is feeling sorry I’m not a California artist, but I don’t really want to apologize for not being refined, for just getting the work out. People should look at what I do, and just unwrap a few layers in their brain,” she suggests.

Tsemet has no reason to apologize. Whatever nation – or universe – she is from, her images are electrifying, potent, powerful, and somehow prayerful, too.

  • Genie Davis; photos: Genie Davis

Fantastic Art Auction at Lyme Away Fundraiser

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March 19th 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – save the date. Lyme Away: Help Nicole Saari Win the Fight Against Late Stage Lyme Disease

The beautiful art you see throughout this article are just some of the incredible pieces donated by artists for this event. 

Fundraiser Kristine Augustyn Heavenly Bodies $250

LA area residents, we invite you to a free art party/birthday celebration and most importantly of all, fundraiser, at The Neutra Museum Gallery at 2379 Glendale Blvd. in Silver Lake. There will also be delicious home-made Mexican food, store-bought cake :), cocktails, wine, and beer.

Fundraiser Susan Lizotte Mercury $900

The goal: to help raise funds for young mom and songwriter Nicole Saari’s treatment for Late Stage Lyme Disease — Nicole is the daughter of this ezine’s publisher, Genie Davis.

Fundraiser Robyrn Allatore Inverted Nipple $900 start $150
The event will feature an incredible collection of local artists, along with food, drink, music, silent auction items, and plenty of fun. Neutra curator Dulce Stein’s birthday is the 18th, and Genie’s is the 20th – and in lieu of gifts or lunches, we want YOU to come check out the fun, buy some art or a silent auction item, have a few drinks and dinner! 

Fundraiser Tracey Weiss

We have some absolutely incredible art donated by a wide range of wonderful artists – each of whom will be featured here in upcoming weeks. But of course, if you have art to donate, we would love, love, love to include your work, too.

Fundraiser Bibi Davidson Don't Tell Anyone $450

Please come and enjoy the evening, and if you’re not in LA but want something awesome to hang on your walls, please reach out – online purchases can be made, and careful shipping accomplished.

Fundraiser Aline Mare Darker Matters value $500 start at $150

Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/help-nicole-beat-chronic-lyme

Fundraiser Diane Cockerwill Stairway to heaven $200 bid $125

In Nicole’s own words: “I have a dangerous combination of tick-borne infections that have become chronic and incredibly difficult to treat – severely weakening my immune system and affecting every part of my body. Without knowing it at the time, a tick bite on a backpacking trip six years ago caused me to become infected with Lyme disease and the co-infections Babesia (a parasite) and Bartonella (a bacteria). For some people, typical presentation does not immediately occur and these illnesses can slowly wreak havoc destroying health over the course of years, as was the case for me. Due to my now compromised immune system, I also have a deeply rooted chronic staph infection called MARCONS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci), a digestive bacterial imbalance called SIBO, multiple types of mold (yes, mold) colonization within my body, Candida enteritis – a chronic fungal infection in my digestive system and other areas (which also tested positive for an unusual resistance to most typical therapies), as well as severe allergies which now require me to carry an Epi-Pen. Although I still look OK, these illnesses have at this point left me disabled in a plethora of ways, as I continue to lose strength and the ability to power through my day as time goes on. I can no longer hike, surf, dance, take long walks, or do many of the things I love best. Even playing my instruments for too long results in painful hand cramps. The scariest part is that it will only continue to get worse if left without prompt and proper treatment.

Fundrasier Dani Dodge Shared Grace 300 bid 75

Chronic Lyme patients can develop fatal cardiac infections, brain damage, increased risk for cancers and more. Symptoms change and spike in severity giving me some good days where though I don’t feel well I can push myself hard to do things and other days where I can’t get out of bed at all.To give you an idea of what this is like, just a few of the symptoms I battle with include: insomnia that prevents me from sleeping more than a few hours without interruption (even with medication), severe bone and joint pain, crippling fatigue, speech problems that come and go, nerve pain, difficultly breathing at times (which has forced me to carry an inhaler), painful rashesand itching (especially in sensitive areas,) memory loss, feeling “foggy” all the time, low white blood cell count, digestive hormonal imbalance, depression, anxiety, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, hypothyroidism, menstrual pain and abnormal cycles, muscle twitches and cramps, inability to heal fully from injury, severe and longer lasting infections from other ordinary illnesses, and more.My health is quickly getting worse and it is imperative that I start treatment as soon as possible. Considering the complexity of the situation, I’m seeing a leading specialist on tick-based infections who will craft a custom treatment plan to tackle everything in the best way possible, step by step. Unfortunately, this condition is not yet recognized by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and as such, we’ve been told that little to none of the treatments are likely to be covered by insurance.

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While we plan to pursue every resource and assistance program at our disposal, the treatments and medications could cost more than $1,000 a week upfront, and the doctors have told us it will take at least two years to beat this. Due to the difficulty of diagnosing this particular set of illnesses, we’ve exhausted our limited savings just getting to this point, so we are hoping and praying for your support. You truly can help save my life – every donation helps, no matter how small, as does sharing this page with your family, friends, and colleagues.Thank you so much for your time, your love, and all your support and generosity. Any help whatsoever that you can provide is truly a miracle and a blessing to our family!”

Fundraiser Dwora Fried Las Mayas $450 Fundraiser Chuka Susan Chensy Blue Marilyn $400, $150 bid Fundraiser Alana Marcelletti Fundraiser Terry Holzman Sailors Delight $75 value $35 start Fundraiser Samuelle Richardson Fundraiser Frederika Beesemeyer Roader Eaton Canyon July Afternoon $250 Fundraiser Glenn Waggner Bad Directions Value $150, bidding $100 Fundraiser Kate Carvellas What Goes Around $300 open $100

 

Christine Frerichs: Living Landscapes

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At Klowden Mann opening March 11th, Christine Frerichs living landscapes are layered with light and darkness, textured and rich oil and acrylics that vibrate with light. In her dazzling Beacon, she creates a series of landscapes filled with the light and atmosphere of places which have emotional significance for her, including Los Angeles, Tucson, and New York.

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“Beacon (Los Angeles),” depicts her 7th story studio window view, sun high in the sky. “Wet Moon, Clear Path (Tucson)” leads viewers through saguaro cactus toward a large, beckoning, almost iridescent moon. Both works use “pyramidal compositions with the light source at the top, reflecting harmony and balance,” Frerichs relates.

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A sense of both stability and movement carries through her work, as does what she terms her “theme of light.” She uses light to refer to consciousness, aliveness, or a sentient state of being.

In “Bright Mist (Montauk),” low waves roll at the edge of the sea. A potent mix of blue, grey, and white, flecked with a sparkling aluminum leaf, the work offers a dynamic visual experience for the viewer. The painting took Frerichs two years to complete, and went through many different iterations. “It was as if the weather changed in the painting month after month,” she explains. “Sometimes it was clear and sunny, then I’d paint in the fog so densely that the horizon and three-quarters of the waves at bottom were lost, then it would emerge again.”

To the viewer, there is a shift in perception when viewing the work for an extended period, one which may be derived from the artist’s shifting of her own creation as she worked to complete it. “I hope it is experienced by others in the way that I experience it….in that it is a space at the edge of a calm sea, where it feels like you can stand firmly on the ground while gazing up into the beautiful bright flickering light of the sky.” The painting was inspired by a trip to Montauk, Long Island. “There were so many brilliant artists who have lived on Long Island for centuries and I could feel it in the air, see them in the trees, and thought about them while watching the calm Atlantic,” she says.

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Each of Frerichs’ works emphasize vibrate with captured motion; capturing a sense of sound in shimmering visual form.

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“Some of my favorite painters, Arthur Dove and Kandinsky specifically, both had to come up with a visual language to describe something non-visual, something felt and heard, but not seen,” Frerichs says. There is the emotional quality of sound and music in her work, too. She feels that classical music functions in a similar way to abstract painting, using formal elements to create a non-narrative feeling. In her studio, she frequently listens to Bach and Chopin. “I am attracted to the complicated overlapping rhythms and themes, the rolling and relentless waves….really, it’s a lot like the ocean,” she asserts.

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Frerich captures an aliveness in her work that she hopes will speak to the aliveness in every viewer. “So whether my painting is more representational – a picture of the sea, or more abstract, like ‘Silent Night,’, which takes the title from the song, I’d like there to be a sense of movement in the material of it,” she says. “I want to give the viewer a dynamic experience, so that the paintings are appealing in a different ways when viewing them from 20 feet away, from 2 feet away, and from 2 inches away.”

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Frerichs says she has been inspired by what she feels are the two most exciting moments in the history of oil painting, the Renaissance and Early Modernism. Viewers can see the influence of the Renaissance in her works, the dramatic light and dark and luminosity of the period, as well as the sense of triangular composition.

“These paintings are inspired by, and hope to recreate a feeling of awe, much like religious paintings of the Renaissance. So I am using light, whether it be the sun, moon, bright mist, or an abstract cluster of light paint in my work in a similar way that light has often been used in these types of religious or spiritual paintings,” Frerichs says. Her works evoke her own personal understanding of light, as a kind of consciousness and self-expression.

Early Modernism comes into play particularly with the artist’s palette. “In terms of color and material application, I’m most inspired by the earthy browns and blues and luminous pinks and peaches of Early Modernist painters like Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, Courbet, Vincent Van Gogh and always, Monet.” Frerichs was also influenced by these painters’ representation of landscape.

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“They each found a kind of inherent abstraction in the landscape, and brought it to our attention, whether it was Courbet’s paintings of waves, making them look more like strong static sculptures than liquid forms, or Van Gogh using the same active brushwork when painting the grass as when painting the sky, to remind us that air has life and movement too, even if we can’t always see it,” Frerichs relates.

Catch the wave of light. Klowden Mann is located at 6023 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.