Azikiwe Mohammed graduated from Bard College where he studied photography under the tutelege of Larry Fink, Stephen Shore and An-My Le'. Shooting his way thru the city and working on a photo essay entitled Pictures My Dad Took, he freelance prints for a variety of clients. Some past clients have included but are not limited to Arthur Elgort, Bill Fredericks, Primary Photographic and The Small Darkroom. A digital and film shooter, Azikiwe currently works at the Camera Club of New York and teaches photography at The Educational Alliance. As a resident of ESKFF he has been honing his artistic skills as a painter.
Marcin Cieński is a Polish-born, New York-based visual artist, figurative painter, and curator. In 2001, Cieński graduated from the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland. He has since shown his paintings across Europe and the United States. His works have been exhibited in solo gallery shows and as part of exhibitions at prestigious centers and museums for contemporary art in Poland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Great Britain, France, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium. In 2013, he had his first solo show in the United States and later that year became a resident of the Eileen Kaminsky Family Foundation’s studio program at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City.
Cieński’s works are in several important collections, including the Collezione Coppola in Italy, Hauser & Wirth in Switzerland, Thomas Rusche’s SØr Sammlung in Germany, and the Tim Campbell Collection and Eileen Kaminsky Collection in the United States. Since 2013, he has been represented in the United States by Envoy Enterprises Gallery in New York.
I make highly formed graphite drawings then adorn the works with collage, paint, and negation. The imagery created is rooted in fashion advertising tropes and the subversive collaborative process of vandalism and graffiti. By collapsing these pictorial spaces I aim to disrupt the slick austerity of objectification. I have begun to install my hand drawn objects in public spaces to encourage their defacement. By this direct engagement in the collapse of beauty my work exposes the inherent veneer of illusion and desire.
Functioning as sculptural objects, my flat painted characters become the subjects of a scene. I photograph these figures (those who inspire me, collaborators) installed in different environments. Showing both the sculptures and the photos, I end up making work about representation and fantasy.
To experience the tableaux in person is to understand the sculptural nature of the wooden cutouts. My figures are more like props or toys than “finished” works, as I repurpose them over and over in new spaces.
My first tableaux, 3 years ago, involved driving 20 paintings to New Orleans and submerging them in a swimming pool, which only my assistants had the opportunity to see. Understanding from this experience that interacting with the sculpture was part of my aim, I tried to expose the act of making as the subject itself.
This led to the development of my Camera Obscura for the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. This format allowed me to exhibit the sculptures outdoors and have the audience move through the installation while being observed voyeuristically by viewers inside the Camera. The natural projection of the sculptures occurred upside down, a visual abstraction as a reflection on the experience of seeing.
Recently I have begun to incorporate living bodies inside my artworks as pieces of a sculptural performance. “The Birth of the Minotaur” questions vulnerability and sexual power by posing a nude human of either sex within a wooden bull. The title hearkens to the Greek myth, in which Daedalus was commissioned to build a sex-suit for Queen Pasiphae to copulate with a bull her husband refused to sacrifice.
Samuel Evensen lives and works in New York. He received an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and recently completed a residency at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China. He is a three-time recipient of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance Grant, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and a recipient of the Prince of Wales Fellowship Residency, Chateau de Balleroy, France. Recent exhibitions include Kirkland Gallery, New York, NY; MOUart Gallery, Beijing, China; the Edward Hopper Museum, Nyack, NY; Fuse Gallery, New York, NY; Boltax Gallery, Long Island, NY; Artists’ House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; and Phillips de Pury, New York, NY. He was included in Biennial: Contemporary American Realism at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN and has taught painting and drawing as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and at The New York Academy of Art. Private collections include HRH the Prince of Wales.
Lilian Kreutzberger, the Netherlands 1984, received a BFA at the Royal Academy of Art, the Hague (2007) and she received a Fulbright for her Master of Fine Arts programme at Parsons New School, New York (May 2013. She currently lives and works in New York and is an Artist in Residence at the ESKFF.
Art has always been an integral part of Elemuel Dean Richards’ life. Growing up in an artistic family influenced his decision to pursue a career as an artist. Richards received his B.A. in Studio Art from Queens College in 2001, where he honed his draftsmanship, painting skills and other explored mediums. Richard’s work reflects the fact that he grew in Long Island during the Hip-hop and Graffiti era. His art work successfully melds human forms with street art elements. Street art always fascinated Elemuel D. Richards with its vivid colors and array of styles. This art form fueled Richards’ desires to create his own type of expression using similar principles from street art. Richards realized his style would transcend the typical graffiti lettering in favor of abstract human forms. The end result is a brand of work, which draws the viewer into a labyrinth of lines that at first glance are as puzzling as the forms themselves. As the viewer spends more time looking at the works, the different layers of forms and colors become more apparent. Richards’ work is reminiscent of jazz because of the many layered elements that become visible under close inspection. His forms bend, twist and pose, which adds to the dance like quality of the works. Working mainly in ink, acrylic, oil and spray paint, nothing discarded if it enhances Richards’ vision. As of recent Richards began transforming discarded objects into art elements, such as fruit baskets, door panels and anything he deemed worthy of being converted into art. Another style he also incorporates into his work is street collage. In this process, Richards combines news papers and other sources as well as scrapes of paper off the urban land scape. This allows Richards to create unique pieces of work that blends his human forms with those of collage, giving these works their own and metropolitan flavor.