Francesca Pastine makes ordinary objects appear cool effortlessly. With closer inspection, Pastine is a master artist. Nothing digital, but she is curious with investigating the handmade process. She takes “ordinary” objects or mementos and transforms them into spectacular creations. Cutting, peeling, and shredding objects is part of her amazing artistic practice.
Ms. Pastine is a triple threat: artist, curator, and teacher. She has shown at SFMOMA ARTISTS GALLERY in San Francisco, James Harris Gallery in Seattle, Fellows of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Dean Jensen Gallery in Milwaukee, and many other venues. Ms. Pastine also received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the Kala Art Institute Fellowship Award.
Currently, Pastine’s exhibit UNSOLICITED is on view till July 7th at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco featuring reconstructed Artforum magazines. The Artforum Excavation series looks part psychedelic rainbow with holes and melted edges meets crisp uniformity. Francesca Pastine: “I began using ARTFORUM magazines as a medium for my work in 2008. I noticed that they were familiar fixtures in my friends’ homes. Apparently, because of their glossy nature nobody wanted to throw them away. I was intrigued by their square format, particularly when the bloated art market was reflected in their one-inch thickness. I began asking my friends for their unwanted magazines. Starting with the covers, I cut, bend, manipulate, pull, and dig my way through them, revealing a visceral topography of art trends. The finished worked becomes an unsolicited collaboration with the magazine and the cover artist. Maintaining a strong connection to the physicality of drawing, my X-acto blade mimics a pencil. I eschew glue or other manipulations that change the inherent character of the magazines. In this way, they retain their association to what they are, carriers of information that have been handled, earmarked and scuffed over time. Through physically intervening with these familiar icons of the art establishment, I suffuse the inanimate with emotional power creating a palpable complexity of form and information.”
Pastine is questioning the form in which art is portrayed. Her art is not rushed but meticulously planned from start to finish. As a result, it engages and demands investigation. The viewer leaves questioning the “use” and meaning of everyday objects. Pushing passed the status quo works seamlessly for both the artist and viewer.
According to Kimberly Chun of the San Francisco Chronicle: “One takeaway that artist Francesca Pastine has discovered in using issues of Artforum in her work: Others are just as apt to use those issues to their own ends.” The end results in discovery…