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Published May 22, 2024

Our Monthly Team Selects: May 2024

By Team Testudo

As May blossoms around us here in New York, our team selected five works to highlight from Testudo's selection. While we didn't assign a theme to this month's highlights, you may notice a more vibrant color palette and depictions of flowers coming through in these works. We know, we know - florals? for spring? groundbreaking.

Read more about each team member’s selection below, along with work descriptions from our artists.

Donny Nie, Feather, Bone

Donny Nie, 'Feather, Bone', 2019. Blown and hot-sculpted glass, 9" x 4" x 3".

"Donny's blown glass sculptures are mesmerizing. They appear to resemble a transparent second skin, somehow providing a view into the vulnerability of being alive. Donnie's works remind me of the human desire to pause of time, while also functioning like a beautiful object."

—Petra Bibeau, Growth

"This work belongs to an abstract hot-sculpted glass series with figurative metaphors. By crystallizing a spontaneous gestural energy, the objects reject their own ephemerality. These bodily scaled, transparent skeletons of glass trap light to suggest a simultaneous hollow and solid state. Their adorned colors, fluidity, and lustrous materiality command a fragility that nevertheless preserves evidence of their inception. Feather, Bone is a crisp shell of a romanticized organ. An intact residue."

—Donny Nie

Kim Garcia, love cries

Kim Garcia, 'love cries', 2023. Oil pastel and acrylic on canvas, 30" x 24". Installation photo by Yubo Dong ofstudio photography.

"love cries, part of the Smoking in the Garden series, showcases Kim Garcia's poignant exploration of the folklore found in her mother's stories through oil pastel and acrylic on canvas. The piece's abstract imagery and rich jewel tones create a distinct and mesmerizing presence."

—Kate Parvenski, Content

"Part of the initial investigation of a series called she haunts, this piece explores personal folklore through stories passed down from my mother. The work aims to explore how narrative has the capacity to transform trauma into power."

—Kim Garcia

Natan Lawson, Black Flower on a Sunset with Floral Border

Natan Lawson, 'Black Flower on a Sunset with Floral Border', 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 66" x 48".

"Natan's painting process fascinates me. He uses a CNC machine to program each brushstroke, guiding the machine as it works. In this particular piece, the floral border stands out, reminiscent of textile design—a nod to the Jacquard Loom, a precursor to early computers. I also love how the delicate floral border is overlaid with sweeping, simple flowers."

—John Dennehy, Co-Founder

"Exuberant graffitti-like line work is illustrated over elements of orderly, dainty floral borders, with vibrant orange, generating a sense of heat. There is challenge present, and hope. A motive to innovate. Rebellion versus tradition—among beauty, nature—chaos and order, death and rebirth.

My paintings are constructed with a custom-built Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine. This machine is composed of an axis-bound mechanical arm that holds a brush and moves across a 3ft x 4ft workspace laying down paint, one stroke at a time. These paintings are built, layer by layer, over thousands of lines of code to create an evolving, intricate, textural surface. The machine doesn't do this work alone. I monitor and guide it through the process, taking stock of errors and mishaps to embrace as part of the final piece.

A cross between photography and a Jacquard loom, the process echoes printmaking techniques and traditional crafts like needlepoint and weaving, creating hybrid paintings that connect traditional methods of art to emerging technology. While the process is based on the language of computer 1s & 0s, the final result reflects the magical, textural qualities of paint."

—Natan Lawson

Paloma Jimenez, A Timeless Timepiece

Paloma Jimenez, 'A Timeless Timepiece', 2022. Ceramic and glaze, 13" x 11" x 4".

"Paloma Jimenez’s A Timeless Timepiece juxtaposes two ceramic motifs: a natural rock formation and a mechanical clock without hour, minute, or second hands. This pairing highlights the absence of a consistent way to measure time. The static, empty mechanical clock contrasts with the Earth's deep time processes, which extend beyond human comprehension."

—Connor McNicholas, Artist Outreach

"I moved back to Colorado in 2019 and found great inspiration in the rock formations around the state. I created this piece while reading Annals of the Former World by John McPhee, thinking about how short the human timeline is compared to geological processes. The pocket watch with articulated chains is two-sided, with one side counting forward and one side counting backwards."

—Paloma Jimenez

Andrea McGinty, Bee

Andrea McGinty, 'Bee', 2022. Original digital photo printed on vinyl, woven, and sewn to canvas, 17" x 13"

"Andrea's work, Bee, recalls the joys of spring and renewal. The bee's selection of the dandelion, a weed, over the other wild flowers causes me to contemplate utility versus aesthetics. I appreciate the woven nature of the work, which elongates this snapshot in time."

—Kirby Voigtman, Co-Founder

"This photo of a bee flitting between flowering weeds was created for my 2022 solo exhibition, Real Simple at Liberal Arts Roxbury in Roxbury, NY. All of the photos in the show were an attempt to capture the simple natural beauty of everyday life in and around my home."

—Andrea McGinty


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