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Published November 29, 2023

A Presentation of Four Artists at NEXUS

By Testudo x Nexus Collection


Invested in distinctive artistic practices that merge unique media and modes of production, this selection of four artists from Testudo provides a compelling view into the studios of emerging contemporary artists working today. Each of these artists consider topics of identity, the mechanics of visual form, and the natural world as a genesis from which to begin.

The intimate line drawings by Michael Bussell reveal shifting yet fluent images and marks that recall comic book covers or graffiti, allowing for different interpretation based on the position of the viewer. Sarah Gass's watercolor and ink drawings offer a meticulously surreal vision through the creation of allegorical creatures captured in a halo-like glow that allude to the feminist self and issues of identity. Daniela Puliti's unique wall-based mixed media sculpture is invested in the space of identity, using craft-based materials with an intuitive painter's sensibility to highlight the physical space of the body and the shifting ideals around intersectional feminism. Jake Couri investigates the ecological impact of industrial processes and its relation to human consumption through the intermingling of raw and organic substances in his sculptural works.


Testudo’s digital platform helps collectors of all levels connect with emerging, contemporary art and build enduring collections over time. By providing access to each artist’s intention and practice through documentary videos, original editorials, and transparent information, Testudo offers collectors a view into artists' studios and the opportunity to support individual artists while building a collection on their terms at any given time. Testudo believes in an art world where everyone has the ability to participate.

All artwork on display is currently available. For more information, please reach out to

Testudo is founded by Nexus members Kirby Voigtman & John Dennehy.

Daniela Puliti

manipulates craft-based materials with an intuitive painter's sensibility; creating installations, paintings, and mixed media works about gender, sexuality, vulnerability, and mental illness. She identifies as a gender-questioning femme, forever evaluating the shifting ideals around intersectional feminism within structural misogyny. Her most recent solo exhibition, There were no casseroles..., focused on the grieving process after the death of her partner.

Puliti received a BFA in Painting from Montclair State University in 2011 and an MFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015) (MFA, 2015). She has participated in short term residencies at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NYC), Vermont Studio Center, and the Wassaic Project. Puliti is an alumna of the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship Program in Brooklyn, NY (2017-2018), which granted her first solo exhibition in NYC in February 2018. She most recently had a solo exhibition at ChaShaMa (2022). Puliti lives and works in Garfield, NJ.


Michael Bussell

makes mixed-media drawings that track how characters—and the values and meanings that we associate with them—mutate and proliferate through contemporary culture. In this series on comic book backing board, Bussell renders the face of Gengar from the Pokémon franchise. He begins with linework, creating cells that the artist then fills in with grays or pops of color that animate the cartoonish persona. Bussell uses ink, a material to which he gravitates because of its permanence: “The only kind of erasure that's possible is a kind of further distortion, or more commonly, obfuscation with another element [... such as] covering it with paper or sticker paper.”

Bussell received a BFA in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014. His output has been exhibited internationally over the past decade, including in solo exhibitions at Plague Space, Krasnodar, Russia (2022); Wild Flower, Baltimore, MD (2017); and Deli Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2015). Private collections throughout the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Australia have acquired his work. Bussell lives and works in Baltimore, MD.


Sarah Grass

draws allegorical creatures in psychedelic scenes of material violence, bodily disarticulation, and perverse joy. With ink, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, the Chilean-American artist treads complex regions of human consciousness. Her characters symbolize hidden meanings buried within ourselves—exposing the impressions that life events leave on our souls.

​Grass received an MFA in Art Practice in 2016 as well as a BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally at venues such as Spring Break Art Fair, New York, NY (2022/2020); Deanna Evans Projects, New York, NY (2023); Satellite Art Club, Brooklyn, NY (2021); Eve Leibe Gallery, London (2021); The Ferry Gallery, Bangkok (2018); New School for Social Research, New York, NY (2016); and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX (2015). Grass lives and works in Ridgewood, NY.


Jake Couri

investigates the ecological impact of industrial processes and its relation to human consumption through the intermingling of raw and organic substances in his sculptural works. Designed to mimic the function of industrial cold plates, each wall-based work presents itself as a 'futuristic totem’. With compositions based on apparatuses used to collect mineral deposits and patterns found in microfluidics, each work emulates cellular functions of the human body through its complex form and material choice.

Couri's work has been shown at Milan Machinima Festival in Milan, IT, Public Records in Brooklyn, NY, and Superposition Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. He’s completed Artist in Residence programs at NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, NY, Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village, CO, and Shiro Oni in Onishi, JP. Jake received his MFA with honors from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA. He lives and works in New York City.


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