Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eris Vafias and Artist Kamikaze V

Next Thursday is the opening for Artist Kamikaze V, at Pizza Luce in Downtown Duluth. Kamikazes were Japanese fighter pilots who had been trained in the art of making suicidal crash attacks during World War II. The literal translation of the word kamikaze is "God wind." The name has since been co-opted for a cocktail that includes Smirnoff Vodka, triple sec and lime.

Here in Duluth we have a couple kamikaze events. One involves musicians, and this one involving the random pairing of artists who work in disparate media. The theme for Artist Kamikaze V is MONOCHROMATIC and will feature work by Kristin Martin, John Heino, Aleasha Hladiek, Lesley Ross, Kat Singer, Patricia Mahnke, George Ellsworth, Ali Peace, Jonah Cannon, Tobin Dack, Sarah Riley, Nichole Cannon, Jeanna Aldridge, Peyton Farrell, Eris Vafias, Wally Mahnke, Rebecca Domagala, Tina Luanna Fox & Melissa Griffith. The public is invited to vote for the winning submission from 7:00 till 8:45 p.m. The winning team will be announced at 9.

The founder/mastermind behind this event is Eris Vafias of the original Limbo Gallery. In addition to the events she assembles, she is an artist in her own right.

Here's some Assorted Random Trivia about Eris...
Favorite Artists: Hieronymus Bosch, Dali, Basquiat, Schnabel, Picasso, Chuck Close, David Lynch, Jeffrey Scott, Biafra…just off the top of my head.
Favorite Curators: Leo Castelli and Mary Boone.
Favorite Hot Beverage: Cubana Breves with whipped cream.
Sign(s): Leo in astrology, but a Dragon zodiac wise.

EN: Where does the name Limbo Gallery come from?
EV: It is apt due to the nature of the gallery. We are always moving, always transforming…but whatever shape Limbo Gallery ultimately takes in the future, I have had a wonderful time organizing same and working with some of the best artists in the area.

EN: What motivates you and/or inspires you?
EV: I look around and I am inspired. Everything has a story and intricacies from which ideas can spring forth. Once all pretense and suppositions fall away, it is the quirks and oddities that make us distinct and memorable. I am fond of the exposition of the inherent weakness & vulnerability present with all that is transient. Moments caught in time when facades fall away, exposing the beauty of fragility… I love contextual contrast and “mistakes”— aside from photographic tinkering (of which efforts I would gladly sell the end result due to the relative ease of reproduction), I do not make art to make money, I don’t make art to please others. I think any work that can elicit any type of emotion, good, bad or ugly, is in fact…art, but that is really incidental. I have had more than my fair share of tragedy... art serves as an outlet for me. Ideas/concepts pop into my head and I feel compelled to do them, it is a release that gives me great satisfaction. I don’t curate shows to make money, which is good because we seem to live in a town full of artists, less so collectors. I have an idea for a show I would like to curate and once it is all up on the walls for people to appreciate and enjoy, I can relax. I love finding emerging artists to work with and watching them grow.

EN: Where else have you shown your personal art work?
EV: Aside from the Limbo Gallery shows, my work has been shown at the Rochester Art Center, the Kruk Gallery, Beaner’s, the Phantom Galleries (Red Interactive), Jitters and the Cult Status Gallery (Minneapolis). I was the “poster child” (and contributing artist) for the first Night of Steampunk at the DAI and was a participating artist again this year at the Steampunk Extravaganza and recently I had work up at Clyde Iron as part of the Snobarn c.d. release party and at KLM Studio’s for the Pre-Fest Art show for the (UCF).

EN: You make art in a variety of media. What are some of the forms which your creativity has taken in recent years?
EV: I enjoy painting, writing, photography, mixed media recycled, upcycled/repurposed found art—which I like to refer to as “pack rat art,” conceptual/installation art, sculpture, jewelry, costumes, graffiti, modeling…even hanging a show is an art form, figuring out the most complimentary/interesting layout in the ever changing location. I hesitate to fully define or label what I do, as I fear being boxed into this or that. I would, however, like to branch out into short films eventually and write some books.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.

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