Artist Profile: Provo
Mark Hedengren lives his life and photographs are made
Photographer Mark Hedengren has traveled the world on assignment, but he says his favorite place to shoot is here in Utah, his own backyard. So when he learned that two of Photography's greats, Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, came here in the 1950s to shoot "Three Mormon Towns" for Life Magazine he was immediately intrigued and set off to capture his own vision of the same small towns. He has collected his photographs, along with Lange's and Adams's originals, in a hardcover book and traveling exhibition, which is at the St. George Museum of Art through January 18, 2014. The book was a finalist for the 2013 15 Bytes Book Award, and Hedengren is the recipient of a 2013 Visual Art Fellowship from Utah Arts & Museums. In this video profile, Hedengren discusses what drives him to create photographs, what it takes to put together a book like Three Mormon Towns, and why he likes to be in control.
Hints 'n' Tips: Plein Air Painting
Knowing When To Stop
Determining exactly when a painting is finished is more art than science
Years ago when living in Southern California I had a neighbor who was an accomplished artist fresh out of the New York City art scene. He had several of his large abstract pieces that were sandblasted and splattered with paint rolled up and tucked under my porch for safe-keeping. These were evidently cutting edge compositions that had fetched $40,000 each back in the late ‘70s; and here they were lying under my porch exposed to the elements for months at a time. This artist, who will go unnamed, had quite a history before settling down in the little coastal town where my wife and I lived in the early ‘80s. Seems as though he was the boyfriend of a Hollywood starlet and was well connected for a while in the art circles of midtown Manhattan. Sometime during the height of his popularity he become enamored with the Photorealism movement that was becoming popular at that time and he fell out of favor with the art elites who used to pay him so handsomely for his edgy creations. To add insult to injury, he was afflicted with a habit of heavy drug use, a condition that would play havoc with his work and his life in different and bizarre ways during the time I knew him.
Exhibitions Review: Salt Lake City
Suzanne Storer at the Gallery at Library Square
"My art stems from my innate desire to make connection with my fellow human beings,” says ceramicist Suzanne Storer. Working out of her Ogden studio, the potter turned sculptor creates uniquely definitive and characteristic wall sculpture. The line drawings that had previously graced her platters and functional pottery have become fully-rounded sculpture, to be viewed in the round or as high relief wall pieces. This move into the third-dimension has not, however, lessened her interest in the human qualities that energized the paintings on her ceramics. “Like a lot of artists,” she says, “I work alone in my studio and it's very isolating. Maybe I work with the figure to be closer to other people. Certainly drawing a nude model is a very intimate thing to do. And after intently looking at the person for 3 hours, they almost always appear beautiful to me—no matter what they look like. I believe in beauty and I like for it to get its due—especially people. People talk about inner and outer beauty. I can't distinguish the two. It's all one to me.”
In the nineteenth-century poet/art critic Charles Baudelaire called sculpture “boring.” Objects that can be approached from all angles, he suggested, fail to reveal an artistic point of view, a subjective vision of the world, unlike painting, which he described as “exclusive and despotic.” Driven by her desire to connect with her subjects, Storer’s work exists somewhere in between these two worlds. She has not chosen, as one might expect, the expressive symbolic medium of painting. But neither does she wish for a more autonomous, universal, birds- eye view. Hers is an intimate, one-on-one engagement, a direct result of her artistic process.