Wednesday, May 30, 2012

VERGE ART FAIR NYC, May 2012 + Heavenly Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee

"THE USE AND ABUSE OF TECHNOLOGY" an installation/performance piece by Chin Chih Yang
Technology is neutral in itself, but is utilized in art to realize an aesthetic presentation and it becomes a part of the message - while at the same time making a statement about technology's role in how humans communicate, today.

VERGE Art Fair 2012
Verge is an Art Fair / Co-op Gallery and it did seem to have the widest range of types of art, than any of the other recent fairs. This combination of artists presenting their own work, side-by-side with out-of-town galleries, and at least one international gallery representing their stable of artists, was, for better or worse, quite Bohemian. 
Prints of "Plush Burt"
One bit of advice to any artist, ever exhibiting their work in any country or any venue - presentation counts! Don't expect patrons to pay gallery prices for a work of art you sloppily pin to the wall at an angle, or show in scratched/dented frames, unlabeled and with no price sheet available. Many great artist have messy studios, but if you are one, get a gallery or representative for the business side of art and to oversee your presentation to patrons.

Verge NY, May 2012 had very good, properly presented art and some "OK" art. Although, a few of the "good works" were poorly presented. Bohemia is a big part of the art world and MFA/student work, produced in horrendous studio environments, is often sought after and purchased by the most sophisticated collectors, even when on a studio visit to these messy studios. My observation after having attended every art fair in New York City, looked at every booth and attended many, many, many art openings and gallery exhibition this year, IS: most art, 99.9% of the work in these venues, is pristine, perfectly framed or edged, well lit and cleanly/correctly displayed. A small number of artists at Verge had exhibits which were not presented with a sense of craftmanship. Enough said.

Let's walk through a portion of Verge Art Fair, 2012....

"The 17 years (more or less) in question" Nov. 2011 by Patrick Collier (detail at bottom)

"Fallen Prey to the Notes in the Margins" by Patrick Collier

"Feel the Tread" Feb. 2012 by Patrick Collier

"America - Dirt from all 50 States."

artist information unavailable
"Plush Burt" (anatomically correct)

Bruce R. MacDonald brushes, polishes and grinds stainless steel to create dimensional shapes on these two dimensional surfaces. 

Bruce R. MacDonald

Bruce R. MacDonald's stainless steel works.

artist information unavailable

Susan M. Frame artist and co-director of Jakmel Ekspresyon.
Check out her pencil drawing above and Jakmel Ekspresyon on Facebook.

Jakmel Ekspresyon is an art center in Jakmel, Haiti dedicated to providing a safe space for all people to explore and express their voice.

Fraser Taylor "Figures in a Landscape" Oil Crayon and Gouache on Paper

Fraser Taylor "Figures in a Landscape" Oil Crayon and Gouache on Paper

Fraser Taylor (born 1960) "Schottish Isles" Gouache on Paper

Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos "Palm Authority" Ripstop fabric & audio

"Hot Tramp, I Love You So." pillows

Jansia Szerszynska "Encounter" print series
Jansia Szerszynska "Encounter" print series
Jansia Szerszynska "Encounter" print series
Jansia Szerszynska "Encounter" print series
Jansia Szerszynska "Encounter" print series

Kazuko Henmi "No. 8" acrylic on canvas / represented by Gallery Edel
Kuniaki Horii, Gallery Edel director, Osaka, Japan

L'OEUF Reassemble and Rewritten Play

Aveli "Lost in the Crowd"
Nicole Marroquin's baked earth sculptures
artist information unavailable
artist information unavailable
"Torn" by Elisa Velazquez
"Toe in the Air" Venessa Pooley - bronze

"Pick Me Up" Venessa Pooley - bronze

Perry Ingli's "Tornado" series - 'Abrupt Change' comes out of the clouds, destroys life and property for a short while, then disappears back into the clouds.

Perry Ingli "Tornado" series

"Tornado" series. Perry Ingli is represented by VanBrabson Gallery, Minneapolis, MN 

"Thinking Head"
(front view)
Glynis Owen "Thinking Head"
aluminium (side view)

Writing process as a visual installation

VERGE Art Fair, May 2012 NYC at 159 Bleecker, St.

(All photos were taken with permission of the fair and are © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.)

Recently we were invited to stay overnight with relatives of a family friend. To show some of our gratitude for the accommodations and hospitality, we brought some Shrimp Etouffee and rice for dinner the first night. It was a big hit - so here is the recipe.
Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee
Etouffee is pronounced (aye-too-faye) and this dish may be made with crawfish when available. Original Recipe, adapted from many recipes shared with me, by South Louisiana cooks. It is relatively easy to make and will impress everyone at the table.

2 - Green Peppers - diced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil & 1 stick Butter (adjust to your liking, but this much butter is in most recipes)
3-4 Ribs Celery - thinly sliced
2 - Large Onions - diced
3 - Cloves Garlic - diced
3 - Tablespoons Dry Roux (white flour made into a dry roux = heat some flour in a pot, stirring constantly, until it is the color of cafe-au-lait) or use Tony Chachere's Creole - Instant Roux Mix.
2 lbs Uncooked Shrimp in shells (thawed or fresh)
1/2 cup Water, add more - sparingly - as needed
1 small can Tomato Paste (6 oz)
1 Lemon - juiced
2 teaspoons dried Basil
2 Green Onions (top greens only) chopped
1/4 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1-2 teaspoons Louisiana Style Cajun Seasoning (available in most grocery's spice sections)

- Prep vegetables.
- Coat a large, deep-walled skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1/2 stick of butter. 
- Heat on HIGH heat. When butter is melted add the Vegetables a third at a time and stir to saute. With-in one minute you should have all veggies in the skillet cooking. Stir often and cook until soft and the onions are transparent.
- Add 1/2 cup water, basil, Cajun spices, salt and tomato paste. Stir to mix and dissolve paste. 
- Add shrimp and remaining butter (chopped into 1/2" cubes and spread around over the shrimp) Make certain all shrimp are in the liquid - Cover and cook until shrimp are entirely pink. Flipping the shrimp from time to time to make certain they cook on both sides. (Do not over-cook shrimp.)
- Using tongs and a strainer over the skillet, remove the shrimp and shake off excess sauce, then place in the strainer to drain back into the pot. Then place drained shrimp in a bowl to cool.
 (This can be done in stages until all shrimp are removed. After the shrimp 
 have cooled, peel and discard the shells and tails. Cut all shrimp into two 
 pieces and reserve - add shrimp back into the sauce, just before serving.)
- Add the dry roux, stir-in and continue simmering the sauce for at least 10 more minutes after shrimp have been removed. Add small amounts of water if the sauce gets too dry. If you make it too runny, you can cook it longer to reduce. Consistency of the sauce should be the same as a thick stew.

Finally, taste and adjust the seasoning (add salt or more cajun spices), stir shrimp back in, add lemon juice, add green onion tops, mix well and - Serve!


2 cups Jasmine Rice
4 cups Water
2 teaspoons Salt

In a large pot -
Bring water and salt to a boil. 
Add rice and bring back to a boil.
Turn down stovetop heat to simmer and cook untouched, without taking off the lid or stirring, for 15 minutes.
Check for doneness (no crunch)
Remove from heat and fluff.
Keep covered until ready to serve.

Mound a generous amount of rice in the center of a plate or bowl
and spoon the Etouffee sauce on top, leaving some white rice showing on the sides.
Makes 6 - 8 generous servings.

Please use my blog: to pass this recipe along to others - It is an original recipe and I would appreciate it. Just copy and forward the link below. 

Until later,
All photos were taken with permission and are © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson. ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication. All rights reserved. Concept & Original Text © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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