January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

My Sound piece, VOICE/MEMORY, is interactive. In order to participate please call 202-656-1639

To Listen please follow this link

What Might Have Been

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

QCR Code for Conceptual Piece

For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these “it might have been.”

-John Greenleaf Whittier, “Maud Muller” (1856)

This piece is viewable by following this link:

Lee Gainer — Escape

December 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Three images overlaid, images created from photographs of Myrtle Beach, images of vacations and parades, images of escape.”Things that are supposed to be these places and these events outside of normal life”. Lee Gainer recalls family vacations to the Carolina destination, pictures of which were drawn atop one another with lines that collide into a web of pencil strokes. “Vacations…we expected a lot out of them.”

“That kind of thing has always interested me. It’s my grandmother’s fault. I was a 5 year old looking through these magazines — she always had these magazines lying around of Disneyworld and cruises.  These works are about that, about escapism.”

What I find interesting is that, by overlaying these three images in a way that strips them of all recognition (except for certain bits of text) it creates quite the opposite of escape and calm — the lines collide and intersect to impress a feeling of disorder and claustrophobia. But when certain phrases pop out that are hidden within, you imagine the bits from your own childhood — strolling down a bustling boardwalk, festooned with flashing lights and bright signs, the sounds and scents and all sorts of distractions that, when remembered, seem so perfect. Looking into Gainer’s drawing, it’s almost like seeing visually a blueprint of how your brain recalls a memory.



November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

This image reminds me of a killer piece that Mary is working on for the show. Can’t wait to see it done!



November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Lisa K Rosenstein, artist

It’s all conceptual isn’t it? All art begins in the mind, seemingly out of nowhere. Maybe it’s as Agnes Martin says, “…inspiration falls on us like rain in the night while we are asleep…”. From there an idea can grow if we take the time to consider it.
In the past 4 months my brain has been a place of wild growth, ideas sprouting up all over in a massive tangle or as Annie Dillard says, …”one big lunatic fringe…”. Much of these months have been spent exploring the undergrowth, categorizing, re-categorizing, cutting, re-attaching, and generally driving myself to a state of frozen confusion.
Now here we are less than two months out and all the projects are coming together into a mostly-cohesive state. Each piece relates to the other, visually and conceptually. One large conceptual collage of mind and matter.

Technique, Technique, Technique.

November 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Commentator:  Karen Joan Topping

Artist:  Shanthi Chandrasekar

When last we met, I had started to broach the subject of technique, practice and repetition. We are not born with technique, we must master it.  If you are to master it you must practice it so much that you stop thinking about it and become able to do it without thinking about what you are doing. Basically if you are doing it right, you do end up looking like you were born with it. Seems like a real shell game when you put it like that.  

Watch an interview with a major athlete and they say things like: “We didn’t hustle enough”, “It wasn’t meant to be”, “We weren’t lucky enough to make it happen”, “We wanted it and we went out and got it.” It’s like they’re talking about evading a parking ticket.  In a situation where optimum performance means that you are not thinking about what you are doing, it’s not surprising that putting thoughts into words becomes like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  Just doing it?  There is a reason that’s a trademarked saying.

After years of experience, introducing myself as an artist I still get the feeling that many people have a very schematic view of what being an artist means.  They want a round peg in a round hole.  They either assume that you are a Picasso–like, one-in-a-million individual that actually was born being able to do it, or they assume you’re not.  Most of us will not fit the schema of artist = Picasso, therefore they seriously don’t know what to make of us.  

Well listen up now, even if you are Picasso, and you have mastered a lot of techniques, being an artist is a constant education.  There always seems to be more to learn.  My sculptural training involved carving in a much cheaper and softer material, plaster-of-paris.  I’ve been around art studios for close to 20 years now and although alabaster is a classical material to use, it’s peppered throughout art history; I’ve never seen anyone working with it in real life before.  I hope you enjoy this small peek at SHANTHI CHANDRASEKAR working on sculpting an alabaster block:


Transformations from one reality to another reality

November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

From dream state to the waking state or from quantum mechanics to relativity, we are always in search of that ultimate truth that unfies everything. Our minds try to connect the dichotomy that exists all around and within us.  Is it possible to have a theory that combines it all? May be in another dimension or a parallel universe? Do the two aspects of a dichotomy, though seemingly disconnected, create a whole together? Like the warp and weft of the fabric?

    Shanthi Chandrasekar, artist


These Things Happen

October 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Shanthi is right, we cannot take things for granted.
we need to be flexible while keeping focused. To be able to continue when things do not go as planned.

One day I walked into my studio and found my graphite pencil on the floor, broken in three places.

It hurt. It upset my sense of order.

I find peace in placing objects in what creates a feeling of balance.

But of course it’s only a pencil…

the result was having to use the pencil differently and also to buy another.

I had to shift my perception.

Conflicts and Resolutions!

September 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

I have been having conflicting emotions the last few days,especially after reading two news articles. When I read this article about the speed of light being superseded by another elementary particle, I was very thrilled. It was not that the light lost a race with a neutrino. It was just another proof that nothing was for certain in this world, universe or the cosmos or anything beyond or within. Just a couple of days before this article was published,  I was arguing with my three elementary school art students about the speed of light. I had told them that the speed of light is not the ultimate and I believed that there could be something else that could be faster. I jokingly added that my mind was one of them as I could travel anywhere in my mind and could easily beat light. And on a serious note explained to them that just because we cannot see something or be aware of it, it does not mean that it doesn’t exist. In my mind I added another thought that we humans need to realize that we cannot take things for granted and that we need to have humility inspite of all our achievements. Soon there would be a race to find out what is going to be faster than that neutrino?

The second article was a little disturbing to me. It was about scanning the brain and trying to figure out the visual images that come in our dreams. To know that my private thoughts could be scanned is pretty scary. This race to get ahead with technology and mystery breaking makes me feel very vulnerable.

Now what has all this got to do with my weaving project? Even though light might have lost to a neutrino in a speed race, it still holds a sense of mystery no matter what. This weave project means a lot to me personnally and winning or losing this competition is going to have minimal effect on me.

As Karen has mentioned in her comment,” it’s not whether you win or loose, it’s how you play the game”. Life is full of conflicts.  It is up to us to get rid of the complexities and find the simple path. One more conflict with regard to the project resolved today and found a new direction…..

Shanthi Chandrasekar (artist)

All Shook Up

September 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

spun out

Success vs Failure…competition not really talked about…
ideas thought of, plans made, confusion, fear, feeling overwhelmed.
I had a dream the other night…I walked into a gallery and saw the most beautiful weaving hanging on the wall. It used a similar technique to one I’ve been working on but had been taken to a much higher level. The delicacy of my own structure remained but it was more intentional, more of a narrative and less of a free-flowing pattern. I felt sick,
and also curious. So I took this “net weaving” of the wall for a closer look and suddenly i was enmeshed.
I fell to the ground wrapped in it, terrified,suffocating.
Somehow I was upright and unwrapped, trying to get the net back on the wall before anybody saw me and trying to do it without damaging it. I succeeded and the dream continued on.

When I woke i was very disturbed. The competitive aspect of this project is causing me some distress!

And as Shanthi mentions in her post there are always unexpected circumstances. And plans made to go in a certain direction may sometimes take a different turn…

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