Metamorphosis

Hello,

My name is Leo.  I am a girl friend of Paige and work closely with her, mainly overseeing her communications and marketing.

Paige has asked me a couple of months ago to write a post to introduce myself and tell you my story: how I left France for London and much later how our paths crossed, as she thought this was inspiring.

I preferred to hold back as in my view, what was going on in “Mrs B ‘s” studio and in her mind was much more interesting to the rest of the world!

Today I feel compelled to” take the pen” as something exciting and magical is going to happen in the studio and I cannot help sharing the news!

Just like for the making of Expansion, Paige is about to shatter her new sculpture Momentum on the floor, in order to rebuild it and allow light to shine through it.

It is a unique procedure for an artist to shatter their work in pieces but as Paige said, “the process of letting go of my obsession with perfection is how I learned to expand as an artist.”

Excited at the prospect of this taking place, my marketing brain switched on and in a couple of seconds I had made a whole event out of this process. We HAD to invite the press in the studio as well as galleries, curators, collectors, and the list went on. We HAD to capture that moment on film and share it on the net so everyone could live it.

The world and I fell in love with Expansion, so seeing the most crucial part of such breath-taking work take place, I thought, would be a most unique experience for sculpture professionals and amateurs.

Imagine admiring a beautifully accomplished piece of clay that after much hard work has taken the perfect shape. Imaging holding your breath as the sculpture comes crashing to the floor. Imagine the silence that follows which holds the uncertainty of its future: is the piece too shattered that it cannot be put back together?  Or is okay? Can it make it back to life? Imagine watching Paige examining anxiously the shattered pieces on the floor…the nervous silence, the heavy seconds that follow a violent accident.  And then imagine a Soul emerging from the chaos. Imagine Paige raising her head, looking around the room with a smile of relief: It has made it!  All there is to do now is to give It its body back.

I don’t think there can be as emotional and as magical as a moment in the making of a piece of Art.

“I’m sorry” said Paige, “I really like to do this sort of thing in private”.

And that’s easy to understand. Like giving birth in a way, with all the excitement and uncertainties this event holds, one wants to keep this vulnerable, emotional and special moment for themselves, in privacy and in humility.

So we will share the happy news when Momentum will join us, after its metamorphosis.

 

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

 

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

 

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

Momentum, by Paige Bradley

FRAUD – WARNING to Artists and Galleries!

Dear All,

I caught a fraud attempt on my work in extremis and would like to share details with you so that you can be more aware of suspicious requests should they come to you.

I have recently received an email from a so-called Frank Saylor ( email address: franksaylor01@gmail.com )  inquiring about one of my paintings to offer to his wife.

The “client” said he was moving to the Philippines and needed the painting to be picked up by a shipper ASAP.  He then “fed-exed” me a questionable check and asked me to pay the shipper directly via wire transfer. At this point I became highly suspicious and started some research on the internet.

I found a gallery had been victim of the same fraud attempt on them, and thank God they wrote about it on the net: http://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=29394404

A couple of days later I received a similarly suspicious email from a so-called Larry Douglas larrydouglas9090@gmail.com

I hope you will not have to deal with such requests, and if you do, I hope my note will have been a little helpful.

Here are links on how to report a fraud:

http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud/how-to-report-a-fraud

http://www.stopfraud.gov/report.html

All my best,

Paige

Women, the Sacred

As a young female born in the twentieth century, I have become more and more saddened by the loss of feminine power that generations have seen within the last thousand years.  I have grown up in a man’s world where women are finally coming to power so they can sit as equals with men.  Only to find out that long ago we once held that same seat; we were appreciated, empowered and even considered sacred.

The female body is a miraculous creator of life.  Even though the days of the red tents may be gone, we do not have to claim ignorance to our power to give life.  Growing up with dirty jokes, instead of wise women that share their own experiences, has taken its toll on many generations of women.

I know too many women who are shamed by their age; stretching out their wrinkles, injecting themselves with anti-age poisons, and squeezing out every bit of proof of the experiences and wisdom they have earned.

I have lost a history that I never knew.

I have lost a power that I could have had.

I have lost a family that I should have felt.

We have repressed a magic source of nature just because we could put no measure to it.  I hope we will become a society who no longer covers up who we are, but discovers who we were meant to be. We can learn to love our experiences and show them without shame.  Growing wise and understanding that beauty does not lay in an elixir, but rather tapping into the energy nature has gifted us.  It takes courage to be beautifully unique and powerfully real.

 

The Visionary, bronze by Paige Bradley

The Visionary, bronze by Paige Bradley

 

Barbie on Sports Illustrated?!

Hurrah to all the ballet companies and fashion designers that no longer celebrate the anorexic women.  Hurrah to all of them for supporting a healthier female.  Why can’t Sports Illustrated do the same?  Don’t they know that their swimsuit edition has a great effect on how young women see their bodies?

They chose Barbie to celebrate the 50 years of S.I.’s 2014 swimsuit edition.  There are a lot of iconic ’50′ year olds they could have put on the cover, instead of Barbie.  I doubt Barbie has worked as hard as Christie Brinkley (60), Carol Alt (53), Elle Macpherson (49), Cindy Crawford (47), Linda Evangelista (48),  Estelle Lefebure (47), or Kathy Ireland (50), Paulina Porizkova (48).  Those are the women that we should be celebrating!

Barbie on Sports Illustrated

Barbie on Sports Illustrated

The Real Barbie would:

  • Have to crawl to support her top-heavy frame.  And she would be over 6 feet tall!
  • Only have room for a radius OR an ulna in her arms.
  • Only have room for a tibia OR a fibula in her legs.
  • Only have room for an oesophagus OR a trachea in her neck (she could either eat OR breathe . . . she will choose to breathe)
  • Wear a size 3 children’s shoe
  • Have a severely distorted face (like the pictures of aliens), due to the almost triple average size of her head.
  • Not be able to wash or get dressed because her arms are much too short.

Thanks to Barbie, young girls all want to look like her and end up suffering from various eating disorders.  The USA alone spends $11 billion a year on elective plastic surgery procedures.  Over the past 15 years the number of cosmetic procedures has increased by 197%. (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)

The Artist and The Maker

I am a Maker. I fiercely respect the Maker, and I try to be one as often as I can.  It is the most fundamental of human activities– to work with our hands, creating something from nothing.  When someone asks me who I am or what I do, I call myself an Artist.  This is not better than a Maker– just a more complex form of one.  Sometimes the Maker can go missing within the Artist, and then the Artist becomes hollow.  They become political or symbolic and forget about the essence of creating.

 

As an Artist, like a Maker, I also put thought and aesthetic value into the things I make. Sometimes, when I do traditional works, there is more academic thought, compared to creating contemporary pieces, where the thought is more of a philosophical nature. Both are intense and valid.  But as an Artist, it isn’t just about making the next beautiful object.  Art must be an expression of my life experiences (either as voyeur or as participant) in this incredible journey.  And if I can express it in a way that is honest and immediate, ingenious and unusual, rare and exceptional, then I will have stepped from the Maker into the Artist’s shoes.

 

Art doesn’t have to be beautiful, ugly, shocking nor sublime, but it should be Visionary.  By ‘Visionary’ I mean a unique perspective that gives insight to the world, an emotion, or the human condition in a fresh, new way.  I realize this might not be a profound definition of ART, but it is the clearest and most concise word I have been able to come up with.

 

When dealing with aesthetics of a Work, I find myself in the role of editor frequently.  Sometimes the lack of conventional beauty is surprisingly attractive.  As an Artist I choose when and how this takes place in the work.  It has everything to do with subject-matter.  Beauty is abundant in the natural world, but too much of it– left in its raw chaotic form– and we just pass beauty by.  It doesn’t strike us as powerful because Art is not just about the object, but rather the object in comparison to its surroundings.  As an Artist, things are not as simple as making an object visually pleasing.  The environment around us is always a factor in Art’s success or failure.  Art cannot be created in a vacuum.

 

Keep environment in mind, but not the audience.  When creating Art, one must not think of the audience’s feelings because then it would be pleasing or performing instead of unravelling the truth.  It is as important for an Artist NOT to think of the audience as it is for a writer to ignore censorship. Truth is paramount and this can only be found during internal dialogue.  I have found that the more secluded and personal I am while I create, the more people relate to my Art.  I create what needs to be made. I think about what needs to be said. I make an image that needs to be freed from the confines of the mind, to be seen in a real and tangible form.  It is a reward when the audience understands and is moved by the finished piece.  And it is only then the Artist and Audience meet.

 

I imagine that as a Maker, there is a precise pattern to follow and a feeling of patience through the process.  I imagine a rhythm takes over as the Maker meticulously creates his craft.  I have none such feeling, but often yearn for it.  In contrast, as an Artist, I can say that ideas tend to burn holes inside of one’s gut until it gets out.  It is the fervor and the fever that forces our hand.  Mortality and time are our enemies, as our identities are measured by the creations of our visions.  A lifetime is not nearly long enough to realize them all.  Sometimes it causes me to shake in nervous excitement.  Other times I find myself dancing around or having philosophical conversations with my sculptures.  (Absurd, I know!)

 

We must realize we are standing on the shoulders of many before us, and this position as an Artist is one of great value and honor, and cannot be taken lightly.  We are not entertainers or designers for an audience, but instead we speak for each and every one.  We add significance, meaning and conversation that may not have taken place before.  It’s a true labor of love, but it’s not easy.  The job comes with a heavy burden and no guarantee of reward or notice.  I believe it’s not something the Artist chooses–it seems we are born into it.  When it gets to be too heavy to carry, I find the best thing to do is set it all down.  Step back into the Maker’s shoes, and find the rhythm of creating again.  That’s where the joy lies.

Paige Bradley, 1995

Paige Bradley, 1995

Art is a universal language.

When I first inquired about an ad I’d seen at The Juilliard School, ‘looking for dancers to model for a sculptor’, my only intention was to put some extra cash in my pocket. I was truly unaware of the artistic journey I would be taking in the field of visual art with Paige Bradley. As a dancer and actor, to explore this whole other world of artistry and to be a key part in helping Paige produce stunning sculptures, has been nothing short of feeling creatively fulfilled. My dear friend Paige and I come from very different artistic backgrounds but working with her has made me realize that art itself, is a universal language.

Michael Walters

Michael Walters

Michael Walters

 

Michael Walters in Harmony, bronze by Paige Bradley.

Michael Walters in Harmony, bronze by Paige Bradley.

 

Michael Walters in Ballet International, Bronze by Paige Bradley

Michael Walters in Ballet International, Bronze by Paige Bradley

 

 

 

Michael Walters in Dreamer, Bronze by Paige Bradley

Michael Walters in Dreamer, Bronze by Paige Bradley

 

 

Art is YOU and I

“Art is not luxury, it is you and I”… I agree, when one collects bronze sculptures, it IS a luxury.

But there is no price tag on viewing or appreciating work.  Many of my ‘appreciators’ do not have the money to buy art and I send them posters instead.  They are happy to live with the Art this way.  I consider them just as powerful ‘art connoisseurs’ as the ones who can afford to buy bronze.  It’s because the work speaks to them somehow.  It tells a story that they understand. Their soul empathizes with the message the sculpture brings.  It is their love of the art that makes the art powerful and real.

That is why I say Art is ‘YOU and I’… Because Art can never really be completely created in a vacuum.  I DO create Art for me, but successful Art is understood and appreciated by others too.  The deeper and more meaningful it is to the populous, the more powerful the Art becomes.  If the public never sees it or understands the work, if they feel nothing toward it, they don’t make the work part of their lives.  Then how can it be Art?  Art is supposed to be powerful and significant.  If it’s only for me, I might as well just be making crafts.

So we do this together and we make great Art.  I invite models to apply because I want to help tell your story.

 

Paige Bradley & Michael Walters (model) working on Dreamer, 2007

Paige Bradley & Michael Walters (model) working on Dreamer, 2007

Home: Let in what is dear to You.

I have often met art-appreciators who very much want a piece of art, but are unsure if it ‘fits in their house’.  To this I say that a HOME is a house with art.  To truly give your house the feeling of a home, you have to let in what is dear to you.  A home doesn’t give you limitations on what it can contain, but rather you and your Home find a way to bring in what is meaningful.  To surround oneself with things of beauty and significance gives a unique fingerprint to a house.  Once, I heard someone define becoming a collector as, “when you have one more painting than you have walls, then you are a collector.  It sneaks up on you.”  These are people who no longer ask their house permission to buy Art because they know finding a place for art is not a concern.  Living without Art is the impossibility.  They know what moves them, and they know their home will find a way to fit all that they love inside it.  Even if they have to tear down a wall or put one up.

 

"The Visionary" - by Paige Bradley in Campion Platt's loft, NYC. Architectural Digest.

“The Visionary” – by Paige Bradley in Campion Platt’s loft, NYC. Architectural Digest.

I recently asked Lesley Reich, an interior designer, to write on my blog about how she works on designing a home with art.  I thought she could add a fresh eye to what can concern someone to bring Art home. She has over twenty years of experience but for the past 7 years, she has run her own design firm, called LL Design Studio.  Lesley specializes in high-end residential homes that often require an entire gutting and end with the perfect dishes in the cupboard.  She has her own team of professionals from architects to lighting and sound designers who help her make a perfect home for her client’s sensibilities.  LL Design Studio is located in London, though they have been known to design their client’s homes in France and beyond.

 

”Space and the way one feels within it, is very important to my clients.  It takes many elements to bring a space to life.  When designing a room it’s about 3-dimensional layering of color, texture, and lighting.  Placement of various elements are important as they will eventually create a positive or negative mood. Once the essentials (such as flooring, walls and furniture) are laid down, it is truly the Art and accessories that give a Home personality and warmth!  Essentially, Art within a room gives it depth.

 

“Sculpture by definition is 3-dimensional, so needs space where one can walk around it.  While sculpture can easily be purchased after-the-fact, it usually requires some pre-thought so it can be lit correctly, placed at an ideal height, and have the surrounding space it needs.   A successfully placed sculpture can become a focal point within a room or outdoor space.  For the sculpture to have the right presence, it helps to design it in as part of the plan.  Whether the Art sits on a coffee table or stands on its own, it will become a point of interest that we are drawn to.

Fountain of The Three Sisters from Client's home

Fountain of The Three Sisters. View from the Client’s home, Chelsea, London

“While it is hard to achieve the right combination of all of the above components, a private space is more successful when a balance has been struck between back drop and its owner’s personality.  An Art-less space just doesn’t say as much as one with Art!”

-Lesley Reich

FriezeLondon

Frieze London: what a blast!

The Frieze fair had an exciting vibe that I just haven’t felt for years.  It is impossible to list each Work that thrilled me, made me stop and ponder, or even laugh. This year, the shock-and-gore artwork seems to have been replaced with a sense of humor, even if it is a dark humor, at our expense.

With the impressively curated Masters section, we can see how the contemporary artists (and fairs) are finally seeing the real worth of having a lasting voice rather than chasing twenty-second fame.  Gallerists and curators smile because they are proud to stand behind their carefully selected group of artists who are producing viable and visionary work.  It is a solid show with impressive art, and everyone walking around on the first day knows it.

Definitely impossible to miss Georg Baselitz’s large sculpture at Galerie Thaddaeus where the £1.5M piece was bound to sell quickly…or Koons’s balloon sculptures at Gagosian, where I actually heard a collector say, “I’m just over it”. But one cannot argue that Koons and the craftsmen of Polich Tallix are creating bronze with such technical precision, its hard not to be impressed.

And since we are on the topic of giving credit where it is due, I have come to find out a bit more about the ethical practices of Adrian Villar Rojas, which will most definitely be a name to be reckoned with, if it isn’t already.  Not only is he a very exciting young artist who is discussing the ‘Elephant in the Room’ (you will understand my humor if you see Serpentine Gallery show) as the fragility of our Earth increases, and crumbles in front of us… but he also works with a group of artisans that he gives credit and respect.  It is so refreshing to see a new generation of artists coming up and not hoarding the limelight.  Throughout time, all large works of art were never created by just by one person, so why not just be a generous artist like Villar Rojas and give a bit of respect for all those who help make it happen?

Paige’s 15 tips on getting into the studio

It is always so hard to be creative when life is changing and things are in ‘Flux’.  Think of these things when you are hard on yourself.  When you are too busy, or overwhelmed, use the phrase “managing abundance” and then you will feel gratitude and happiness for your life instead of stress and tightness.

I would like to share how I motivate myself and get into the studio.  There are many ways–and there are probably more ways to stay out– but here are a few ideas how to get there (15 to be exact):

1. Embrace one particular project that has a very specific deadline.

2. Remind yourself that you have a unique way of seeing and thinking and no one will ever make what you can make, in the way you do. And it’s your life’s duty to produce and create, so as not to leave a void in our generation. Think of it as your payment back to the universe for giving you a specific gift / talent that is yours, and yours alone.

3. People don’t know what they want / need in the specific area of your profession. It is your job to show them what is possible. They won’t miss what is not there, but they won’t know how they lived without it once they see it.

4. Discontinue the dialogue of why you don’t have time to get into the studio, and what else you could / should be doing. Just stop having that conversation with yourself!  It is not allowed!

5. Stick to a daily schedule that is productive yet sustainable. Whether its 2 hrs a day or 5 hrs a day, M-F or T-TH, it will add up in the end!

6. Take it off the top. Don’t wait until evening. Way more viable excuses to not go into the studio in the evening, so do it while you are sharp!

7. Make an enjoyable ritual out of it: a cup of coffee, a protein shake, your favorite music, a warm and cozy heater, a pair of slippers… Something so you can settle in and forget the tick-tock of the clock.

8. Design it so there is less driving/transport time involved to get there. I go right after the morning school run.  This way I get to the studio at the same time every morning. It works.

9. I write a to-do list that are all the projects I want to see realized in the next month, and I revisit the list 2x a week to see how I am doing. Think of your website as your gallery showcase. Are there voids in the showcase that need to be filled? A new “genre” of works that you want to put on exhibit? Make a to-do list from this.

10. If I die tomorrow -heaven forbid- and someone goes into my studio the following day… Could they see the works in progress and see the inspiration? Would they ‘get’ where I was headed and how I was setting myself apart from all the other artists? Would they be inspired by my unique voice? Imagine they would mold everything and create a museum show- Like they did with Degas!

11. I remember how bad I feel when I don’t work. Like eating a huge basket of french fries. Why make myself feel bad, guilty? I don’t need that feeling in my life.

12. The loved ones in my life will be proud… or at least, find me more interesting of a person.  And I will be happier and more balanced at home when I am giving back to myself by Making and Creating.

13. To borrow from the words of Eminem, “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted… would you capture it or just let it slip?”  Rarely chances come to us in the form of our ideal dream, but those of us who know the ethic of hard work, can take any sort of chance and steer it to fit into our ideal opportunity.  But like an athlete, can our skills be so excellent, that when that moment comes, we will be ready? Will we have the confidence to take it and run?  Confidence to take these chances comes with consistency of work…. in the studio.

14. We can only create a limited amount of work during this lifetime. Life is so short.  Our ideas will die when we do.  And our ideas are unique to us and us alone.  I have also noticed one creation fuels and inspires the next one.  So the clock is ticking!  Get busy!

15. Spend the time getting in to it.  Know it intimately.  Once you start creating something, don’t worry about the clock.  Love each piece of detail; whether it’s the immediacy of a single brushstroke or the fine finishing of a craftsman.

My internal voice has changed from skeptic who would rather do something else, to a fan rooting for her team. Though I remain my best & worst critic throughout, I am ALWAYS my biggest Champion.

So I just get the job done.

It’s easier that way.

Be gentle on yourself.