No Money No Problems: A Recession Art Show
October 3-10, 2009 at The Invisible Dog
Can art make No Money No Problems?
Historically, great art has flourished in bad times, from the photographs of the Great Depression to the graffiti and hip-hop of destitute 1970s New York City. When times are rough, art steps in to fill the void. It documents our struggles and helps us imagine a brighter future. When the brokers and bankers are gone, the artists are still here, making work.
Providing exposure for emerging artists and affordable art for collectors, No Money No Problems: A Recession Art Show proved that quality contemporary art can still thrive in an economy where even the cost of a paintbrush is a struggle. No Money No Problems ran October 3 – 10, 2009 at the Invisible Dog Gallery in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and featured the works of 15 artists who are adapting to their new financial limits.
The 15 exhibiting artists were Matthew Conradt, Kristen Doetzkies, Caroline England, Kate Gavriel, Allison Guy, Lisbeth Kaufman, Joyce Lai, Danielle McDonnough, Lori Nelson, Kathleen Thum, Jason Mones, Liana Moskowitz, David Muenzer, Danielle Scruggs, and Ian Trask. In addition, performance artist Lydia Bell showcased her piece work for pay. With diverse media and influences spanning photography, painting, installation, and sculpture, artists from across the United States showed how talent can thrive even with low-budget media. Each piece had a $500 price limit, with many selling for under $100. From Kathleen Thum’s painting on the face of a dollar bill to Lydia Bell’s dance performance fused with online job searching, No Money No Problems documented artists’ struggles and proved that creative innovation can be the silver lining of economic catastrophe.
No Money No Problems: A Recession Art Show was the second exhibit presented by Recession Art.
Lydia Bell (lydiabell.wordpress.com) is a dancer and artist based in Ridgewood, Queens. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2007 with a BA in Dance and Classics. Her work investigates the emotional lives of bodies and places through the choreography of domestic situations, actions, and objects. In 2008, she was included in the group show Maximum Perception: Contemporary Brooklyn Performance at English Kills Art Gallery. She has also shown work in New York at Envoy Enterprises, Eyelevel Gallery, Pier 36 Arts Festival, Triskelion Arts, AUNTS, Green Space, Bushwick Open Studios, and Arts Cure Center. In 2009, she was a recipient of a FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) grant. Recently she collaborated with artist Gabi Schillig on “Beneath the Skin,” an urban intervention with wearable textile objects. Lydia has also worked with Pedro Alejandro, Kim Root, Clarinda Mac Low, and Eiko & Koma. Currently she is the coordinator for the Eiko & Koma Retrospective (2010-2012).
Matthew Conradt (matthewconradt.com) obtained his MFA from Pratt Institute and received a BFA from Iowa State University in 2004. He was an Artist-In-Residence at the Cooper Union School of Art in 2008. Matthew’s work has been featured in publications such as The Artist’s Magazine in March 2007 and the Philadelphia City Paper in May 2009. Matthew has been a part of various group exhibitions, showing at Hun Gallery and Lucky Gallery in New York, as well as FUEL Gallery in Philadelphia and at Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently lives and works in New York.
Kristen Doetzkies (kristendoetzkies.com) is a graduate of School of Visual Arts where she earned a BA in Photography. A deep appreciation for history and a strong curiosity about the future is what keeps her photographing. She returned to her home state of Michigan to further document the spiraling economic downturn, while proudly maintaining her retail job.
Caroline England (caroline-england.com) was born 1986 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA with a dual concentration in PDP (Painting/Drawing/Printmaking) and ETB (Electric Time-Based Media). Caroline lives and maintains a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Catherine Gavriel (catherinegavriel.com) was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Her work is informed by the sparse midwestern horizon and her now varied industrial landscape. She constructs her paintings, sculptures, and installations as sites for quiet contemplation in our otherwise chaotic visual landscape.
Allison Guy (pigeonandtonic.blogspot.com) briefly studied art at Yale before realizing that acrylic landscapes had nothing on the reproductive cycle of the Nassau grouper. After a year of corporate misadventures in New York, Allison is studying for her Masters of New Media at the University of Amsterdam. She hopes to eventually become a beloved children’s author and founder of a successful chain of un-bakeries specializing in batter and cookie dough.
Lisbeth Kaufman (lisbethphotography.tumblr.com) is a photographer living in New York. She recently graduated from Yale University where she studied Chinese and spent time working and taking pictures in China. She has held a variety of positions including videostore clerk, mutant child, and research analyst for a fortune 500 company. Her true love is photography. Some of her favorite subjects include the small of men’s backs and spoons. She has shown work at the Yale University School of Art, Maya’s Room Gallery at Yale, Artomatic in Washington DC, and has pieces in the Podesta Collection.
Joyce Lai is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2008 with an honors degree in Art Studio. Her current medium of expression is film, though she is not limited by any genre, form, or method of producing artistic thought.
Danielle McDonnough (daniellemcdonnough.com) was born in 1986 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, grew up in Southampton, New York, and currently works and resides in Manhattan. She is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she earned a BA in Art. Her work has included painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and her most beloved of vehicles for artistic expression/innovation/what-have-you: photography.
Jason Mones (jasonmones.com) crosses painting with performance while working with the spectacle of hyper-masculinity and its antagonisms. His recent work investigates debt and its affect on the male ego. Jason received degrees in painting from both the Rhode Island School of Design and the Yale School of Art. He recently completed a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center and taught painting and drawing in Pont Aven, France. His exhibition list includes the Queens Museum, the Provincetown Arts Museum, and a recent solo exhibition on the High Line in Manhattan.
Liana Moskowitz is a painter who has just graduated from Yale with a degree in art, a degree in philosophy, and no job. Her recent work, verging on abstraction, explores the technological world and the limits of disposable materials. She is moving to Philadelphia, where she wants to start an intentional art community.
David Muenzer would like to view a painting as a lunch tray. A painting is a carrier of meaning, like cream corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, cell phone, and ice cream on a cafeteria tray. Here, the inorganic and organic, the unique and the expendable, the expensive and the cheap, flow around one another. The way things are brought together on the lunch tray is, both literally and metaphorically, emblematic of his current practice on the whole.
Lori Nelson (lorinelson.com) a painter originally from Utah, now resides in Brooklyn. Lori paints the mundane in the most romantic way possible while creating broad narratives that can be surprisingly specific to many. Lori’s work is heavily influenced by early Mormon artists such as Minerva Tiechert and CCA Christiansen who painted to illustrate and promote their religion during its magical beginnings. Also inspirational are the French Nabis painters active during the Impressionistic era. Lori believes that the downturn in the economy will encourage many to work toward the internal as external rewards become fewer and fewer. She sees this as not an entirely bad thing.
Danielle Scruggs (daniellescruggs.com) is a photographer currently living and working in the Washington, DC metro area. Her work has been exhibited in Baltimore and Brooklyn and has been published by FILE magazine, F-Stop magazine, Preservation Chicago, Literago, and Stop Smiling magazine.
Kathleen Thum (kathleenthum.com) was born and raised in New Jersey. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and went on to receive her MFA from Bowling Green State University. Since 2000, Kathleen has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions such as Make, Shift, Home at Space Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Mixed Paint at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York. Kathleen has also had several solo exhibitions, including Kathleen Thum: Wall Drawings at the Dayton Visual Art Center in Dayton, Ohio, Pseudopodia at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio and an upcoming solo exhibition at the Lake George Arts Project Courthouse Gallery. In addition, Kathleen has participated as an artist in residence at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York, Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont and Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, New York. Kathleen teaches drawing as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College. She lives in upstate Northeastern New York with her husband and their 3-year-old son.
Ian Trask (forkartist.mosaicglobe.com) is a sculptor who explores the inherent aesthetics of material waste. His compositions present the disassembly of salvaged, once-functional objects, and their re-assembly into aesthetically motivated arrangements. He argues that one of modern civilization’s greatest tragedies is the abundance of waste that results from an out-of-control, consumptive materialism in an industrially advanced global marketplace. By choosing trash as his medium he reduces the material demand he places on his own immediate environment while also suggesting to his viewers the importance of redefining how we look at our waste.
No Money No Problems Press