Kelly Reemsten’s Dark Humor

Hi Art Xplorers,

I am sorry that I missed last week. My class started and it coincides with the busy season for my job so my blogging schedule may zigzag for the next few months. Fortunately, one of my class assignments involves blogging. I will be sure to repost my class entries here so you can follow along as we examine the cultural frameworks of countries around the world.

This week, I have posted paintings by Kelly Reemsten. I just love these! They are full of hidden meaning, irony and sarcasm. Reemsten’s paintings feature women in vintage dresses (very “Leave-it-to-Beaver style” dresses). The dresses are the viewers only clue to the identity of the women since their faces are not shown. Each figure holds a housecleaning tool or something more masculine like a chainsaw or clippers used for yardwork. She grips the tool with supreme confidence as she embarks to trim the hedges or chop the fire wood. But is she really going to chop the wood? Reemsten leads her viewer to believe that maybe the tool will be used for other purposes. Will she stab someone with the ax or strangle them with the garden hose? The stance of the figure is always slightly threatening.

Skidmore Contemporary Gallery writes that the tools can be viewed as symbols of female empowerment or as weapons. Reemsten seems to have a very dark sense of humor and I just love it. Being a woman today is often confusing. Traditional female roles have morphed and evolved. There is no longer a specific set of expectations for us. Sometimes we believe we have to do it all; we must fulfill the old traditional female roles and the new roles of the modern woman. It can be enough to make you crazy and…maybe strangle someone.

Take a look.


Cotton Candy


Holding Your Attention




Failure to Engage


My Favorite Hobby


Spic n’ Span


Be Mine, Too

kelly-reemtsen-axe-woodcut-l (1)

Splitting Hairs


Paul Villinski and a New Class in Art Exploration

Hi Art Explorers,

Today’s featured artist is Paul Villinski. Villinski creates sculptures from discarded materials such as beer cans and old work gloves. I just discovered Villinki’s work this week and I am intrigued. The playful, dreamlike, nature of his pieces remind me of one of my favorite artists, Ethan Murrow.  They have that quality that makes you feel like a kid again. With each piece, Villinski seems to say, “just imagine.”

I have included three pieces of Villinski’s work below. If you have the time, check out his website and read the stories that accompany his works. It will be worth your time. But, before you begin exploring Villinski’s art.  I would like to mention that I am taking another class in American University’s Arts Management program this semester. The course is titled, International Cultural Management, and I will start on Wednesday of next week.  Our class will be examining the manner in which global trends affect local arts organizations. We will be asked to assess the relationship between the economic, political, and social issues affecting the world and day-to-day cultural management. I am very excited to get started and share our class discussions and findings with all of you.

Have a great week and happy exploring!

Paul Villinski


“Rise”-electric guitar, aluminum (Found cans), wire


Lift“Lift”-found work gloves, belts, handstitching, steel armature


Yes“Yes”-aluminum (found cans), wire, Flashe, wood


Massimo Polello Calligraphy

Massimo Polello Calligraphy

Massimo Polello is an Italian calligrapher. The artistry of Polello’s work make me long to take a calligraphy class. Watch the 2010 video of Polello’s works to view the meditative strokes of his hand. The vibrant colors, his thoughtful use of space, and the playful placement of letters work together to create a state of zen in each piece. The works are both soothing and mysterious. I would love to have one of Polello’s pieces for my office. Add that to the wish list….










Polello 491- del principio copia