Spinello Gallery has Closed. Spinello Projects Live On.
For a number of years Anthony Spinello, 25, rans the jewel-box-size Spinello Gallery in Miami, with trendy openings that often featured graffiti and graphic artists. This was the gallery's website.
Although the gallery closed its 155 NE 38th Street location in 2015 when a new space debuted in time for the 2015 Art Basel at 7221 NW Second Ave. in Miami's Little River neighborhood, Spinello Projects is still going strong. "I look at my gallery as a museum, not a boutique to buy objects."
The new owners of this domain, spinellogallery.com, did not want its memory to disappear from the web. Content is from the site's 2011 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.
Continue to follow Spinello Projects:
Facebook at www.facebook.com/spinelloprojects/
Its current website at: www.spinelloprojects.com
On Instagram at www.instagram.com/spinelloprojects
155 NE 38th Street, No. 101
Miami, FL 33137
UPDATE: Spinello Gallery 2020
An aside: With all the craziness surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, I was glad to see Spinello is still hanging in there. Unlike Florida, the governor of New York really stepped up when New York City was getting clobbered this past Spring. The surge in NYC was scary. Fortunately the state has flattened the curve and some businesses are opening up this Fall. Museums are opening, but only with reserved tickets and stringent rules regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing for visitors. Some art galleries have been creative in their approach to presenting new shows. Recently I called my oriental rug cleaners in NYC to see if they were open and taking customers. H&S Rug cleaning and Restoration, with its cleaning and full restoration of antique oriental rug services is my "go to" rug cleaning company. I normally would have had some of my rugs cleaned this past spring, but with a city wide shut down during the surge, I obviously had to put it off. I had just gotten off the phone with H&S when my buddy in Miami facetimed me. Unlike New York state, Florida's response to Covid-19 was much less stringent. In May NYC was locked down, but Miami permitted non-essential businesses to open on May 18 with supposedly stringent capacity and safety rules in place. They saw a peak in July and August and then their curve started to slowly come down. As of September cases are rising again in Miami. My friend told me that there is actually a 11:00 p.m. nightly curfew and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez formally extended the City of Miami's state of emergency declaration. Whoa!
Nevertheless, I read the announcement that the Spinello Projects kicks off their 15th Anniversary season with a solo show featuring new works by 2019 Whitney Biennial participant Eddie Arroyo. Known for his paintings focused on the effects of gentrification through landscape, his debut solo exhibition with the gallery, SAFE SPACE, consists of a suite of works, painted in-real-time, between May 30th and June 6th, 2020. These works recount scenes from the Miami Design District and Downtown Miami, shortly after the public killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers..
My friend was calling to tell me about the show. He had scheduled an appointment and went, wearing a mask, of course. I went to the gallery's current website to have a virtual tour of the show. I encourage you to do likewise. The focal point of the exhibition, June 5, 2020, is the largest painting in the exhibition. Based off an image by Miami photographer Sharif Slimting taken on June 5th 2020, the painting shows the site where a battalion of Miami Police Officers cloaked in riot gear, formed a human barricade blocking protestors during a Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Heavy. Below is a screenshot of the painting.
2010 By Manuela Gabaldon | www.miamiartguide.com
The kind of hit that American businesses, big and small, have been experiencing over the last couple of years calls for an active response, approach, and effective survival plan. Anthony Spinello, of Spinello Gallery, is exactly that type of active player in the arts.
This young yet seasoned curator is always thinking of innovative events to keep the community involved and interested in the arts. His new location in the Design District is the perfect spot for this creative curator as he plays a crucial role in the formation of what he calls an “up and coming block”. Spinello Gallery is a space for the unconventional, representing artists such as graffiti writer Typoe, conceptual photographer Lee Materazzi, and the two person collective Blackbooks.
Spinello, a veteran of the Miami art scene at only 26, is proof that “do what you love” is anything but a cliché. Having had the opportunity to work a 9-to-5 job with a comfortable salary/benefits after completing his formal education, Spinello opted for the road less taken – a decision he attributes to his early experience living the gallery scene. A few years ago, Spinello was a new graduate living above the Liquid Blue Gallery in Wynwood. One gallery night, an inspired Spinello gave Liquid Blue Gallery owner his opinion on the show.
Spinello’s critical and honest opinion earned him an instant job offer as Liquid Blue Gallery’s director – an offer he could not refuse. In 2005, after some time as director, the gallery had to close its doors, leaving Spinello jobless and hungry for more. Instead of searching and settling for that comfy 9-to-5, Spinello decided to sell all the furniture in his second story walk-up on Craigslist and turn his own living space into a curator’s project that he called the Red Dot Project. “Red Dot Project was never meant to be a gallery,” says Spinello, “it was a nomadic curatorial project that grew into Spinello Gallery.” Spinello relates his success to his persistence and passion for curating and the following he has had since Red Dot Project.
Now in his new location in the Design District, the young curator and gallerist is as active as ever. With Art Basel 2009 in mind, plans for the second edition of his own art fair Littlest Sister 09 are in motion. Littlest Sister is a creation of Spinello that plays off the fact that Art Basel Miami Beach is the little sister of Art Basel Switzerland.
This invitational takes place in Spinello Gallery where scaled down booths for individual artists resemble the larger structure of the major fair – definitely something to look forward to come Basel.
Enrique Gomez de MOLINA
OPENING RECEPTION: April 9, 2011 | 7 - 10pm
AGUSTINA WOODGATE | COLLECTIVISM TEASER
Agustina Woodgate installs "No Rain No Rainbows" with Anthony Spinello at Spinello Projects, Miami (March 2011).
Anthony Spinello announces - SPINELLO PROJECTS, a re-imagined curatorial/creative endeavor marking five influential years in facilitating the cultural development of Miami, its emerging art scene and beyond. On April 9th, 2011, Spinello will celebrate the milestone by proudly presenting the highly anticipated "group" installation, COLLECTIVISM, by Spinello's first-ever represented Artist, Collaborator, and International Projector, Agustina Woodgate. COLLECTIVISM is a multimedia collection and conversation among Woodgate's most significant works to date. This will be Woodgate's forth solo exhibition with Spinello.
Agustina Woodgate's work reminds us that all corporeal entities are interconnected with themselves and each other. Her practice investigates how stories, rituals, and traditions transform our relationships with the objects and places around us. This being-in-relation is a way of perceiving, a mode of moving, and a narrative of global truths designed by cultural fictions. COLLECTIVISM presents Woodgate's evolution by moving its audience towards a collective future, that is integrated, involved, inclusive, and in continual process.
Woodgate explains, "I create art that fosters exchanges between people rather than encounters between a viewer and object. Through these exchanges, meaning is elaborated collectively, rather than in the space of individual consumption."
She creates responses to social narratives through situations that unveil the tensions between the natural-becoming-unnatural and the unnatural-becoming-natural. Woodgate's work discovers illogical, surreal scenarios from otherwise realistic or "normal" settings, revealing unconscious transience in beliefs and behaviors between these two worlds.
COLLECTIVISM includes pivotal early career works such as "Changes" to Woodgate's most recent monumental accomplishment to date, "No Rain No Rainbows". Originally exhibited in her first-ever exhibition with Spinello, "Organic" (2005), "Changes" is a collection of 24 monoprints comprising of 12 completely hairless nude bodies of the artist. With hair that has shed from her head and collected from her daily showering ritual during the course of one year, Woodgate sews her body waste onto the monoprint panels. "Changes" addresses the intimate relation that each individual has with their body through an often unspoken topic, bodily hair.
Inspired by nature and its cycle, the monumental textile floor covering "No Rain No Rainbows" is Woodgate's largest rug to date, measuring 9.5' x 16' and the most recent addition to Woodgate's Rug Collection. The Rug Collection Series consists of a total of six Hand-sewn and designed rugs made from recycled stuffed animals skins. The rugs not only reference the personal histories of the toy's owners, but investigate the rug as an object organizing and displaying memories and lineages.
Agustina Woodgate (b. 1981 Buenos Aires) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Miami, FL since 2005. She earned her BFA from the National University of Visual Arts in Buenos Aires. Ms. Woodgate is an active member of the Miami art community and culture. She has exhibited and performed her work nationally and internationally at the Montreal Biennial (Canada), Casa Blanca Museum (Puerto Rico), Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami), Naples Art Museum, North Carolina Museum of Art, Portland Art Center, Salon Nacional de Instalacion (Bs. As), among other venues. Usually combining many disciplines and often collaborating with other artists of many fields, she pursues ongoing collaborations with groups from various background. Agustina works inclusively and socially, finding new access points for communication to create public, intensive, and process-oriented works. She is currently working on a Rug Collection made from recycled stuffed animal skins and a project in an abandoned amusement park in Berlin.
She is currently taking pilot lessons.
Agustina Woodgate's "Collectivism": Animal Rugs and Human Ha
LIZ TRACY | APRIL 8, 2011 | https://www.miaminewtimes.com
Agustina Woodgate works with some pretty peculiar materials. "Collectivism," her fourth solo show with Spinello Projects, includes unusual uses of human hair and the fur of stuffed animals -- specifically, animal rugs made of stuffed animal skin, and pictures made with human hair.
Woodgate told us, "I am using material people relate to, materials they see everyday (that are) loaded with cultural meaning. People relate to this." We all had stuffed animals, so we have memories to talk to each other about when we're looking at the rug.
"Collectivism" is a multimedia collection featuring work from earlier in her career with "Changes" (2005) and one of the items from her rug project, No Rain No Rainbows. Of the show, she said, "I am excited myself, because this is the first time that I am going to be seeing my own work, two of my own works in the same room together."
The Argentine artist currently lives in Miami and is taking pilot lessons. We asked her, why flying, and she said, "Why not?" An admirer of Amelia Earhart, she continued, "I am kind of obsessed with the idea of flying, and our human possibilities of transporting that way. Learning to fly in any possible way is my endeavor."
She has exhibited and performed her all over the globe, from Los Angeles to Puerto Rico. Woodgate's rug collection is not only visually stunning, with patches of colors creating patterns that reflect the titles, but, like we mentioned, made of stuffed animals.
"Although the choice of using stuffed animals began from a personal memory, it quickly became an observation about cultural archetypes and our relationship with objects." We imbue life in these objects, and then discard them, but, "These toys exist as memory items and as a consequence it's hard to get rid of them." She doesn't cut the material, she reorganizes it like a puzzle, stitching intricate shapes.
She considers herself a humanist and an environmentalist but not so much a feminist. Yet her work speaks largely of work women do. "Now that I'm doing all of these rug productions, these rug collections, I started researching the production of the rugs, how they're made, the history. They're done by ten women at the same time."
Her other earlier work, "Changes," is a collection of 24 monoprints featuring hairless portaits of the artist, and panels where she sewed her hair into the shape of her figure. "I collected one year of the hair that was falling from my head in a jar, when I was taking showers."
Her work involves long processes that involve many players and interactions. "I gave haircuts in the streets for almost four years, I would set up my chair in random corners and just provide a free service, in exchange I would get the discarded body parts." The hair, presumably.
"At the time I wasn't very sure why I was collecting all this hair, but there was something about the process that was very interesting to me. This idea of giving haircuts in the streets, the conversations that arise from those moments, people's reactions, questions, and curiosities. Then I started finding envelops and bags at my studio door, people were collecting it for me. They would cut their hair and save it. Same thing happens with the stuffed animals. People found a place for these loving animals other than the trash or the thrift store."
She said of her work, "I love creating this narrative."
Agustina Woodgate's exhibitions will be displayed at Spinello Projects (155 NE 38 Street, 101, Miami) this Saturday, April 9, from 7 to 10 p.m. The exhibition is open till May 28.
Antonia Wright's "Are You Ok?"
OPENING RECEPTION: February 12, 2011 | 7 - 10pm
ARTIST TALK MODERATED BY BONNIE CLEARWATER (MoCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CHIEF CURATOR): Thursday, March 10th, 2011 | 7pm
Spinello Gallery is proud to present the gallery debut of Antonia Wright's "Are You Ok?". The video installation reveals Antonia Wright crying in the crowded streets of both Downtown Miami and Midtown New York, while capturing the responses of those passing by. The project explores the concept of social structure and tests our rules of behavior within different systems. Wright views each performance as a social experiment analyzing different communities and the individuals who may or may not stop to ask if she is okay.Wright appears to be well dressed. Her outfit consists of a simple black dress, high heels, and a purse. She stands in well-trafficked areas as the voyeur, her camera on a tripod, is located far from view. Wright attempts to make each encounter authentic, she breaths deeply and thinks of all the sad…
Miami-born artist Antonia Wright questions the world around her and attempts to find answers through poetry, performance, photography, video art, installation and sculpture. Members of the public are invited to become accomplices in this quest to understand, and through the process, she unveils the bizarre, the sad, the wonderful and discovery of why we do the things we do. Wright’s history as an artist can also be described as an exploratory journey. The daughter of well-known Cuban-American author, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Wright’s first creative love was also the written word. Wright wrote short stories for many years that became increasingly shorter and shorter until she finally embraced poetry. She received an M.F.A. in poetry from The New School in New York City and became interested in photography when she started shooting photographs for her poetry manuscripts. Realizing that each image mirrored poetry’s poignant eloquence in communicating an idea, Wright threw herself into photography, studying at the International Center of Photography and working for a renowned photographers, including Clyde Butcher and Patrick Demarchelier as well as worked for VICE magazine. Wanting to experiment further, performance, video art and installation work followed naturally for Wright. Her projects have ranged from crying in the streets and documenting that no one stops to ask if she’s okay to rolling naked down alleys to smoking a cigar dressed as Fidel Castro until she is violently ill. All her work is extremely visceral and she brings everything to the body.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Federico Nessi graduated with a B.F.A. from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, in 2005. He has since participated in a number of group shows including the 2006 Oregon Biennial at Portland Art Museum and enjoyed solo exhibitions in Miami with Bas-Fisher Invitational, Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts and Spinello Gallery. Nessi now lives and works in Miami where he instigates and participates in various collaborative performance works with Miami-based collective, Psychic Youth, Inc.
Through photography, video, audio, installation and live performance pieces that use metaphors to represent behavioral tendencies he constructs environments that encourage self-reflection. By focusing on recurring aspects of his day-to-day life he is able to explore the emotional hierarchy at play within himself and others.
His aim - through this analysis of his psyche - is to engender empathy and attention in the viewer; provoking them to join him on a journey of mental deconstruction where insecurities, bliss, anxiety, God, the past, discomfort, love, conflict, and the present are brought into tension.
CLOSER GROUP EXHIBIT
Contributed by Mariana Ochoa. Images Courtesy of Spinello Projects | 12/03/2012
Spinello Projects, one of our favorite local contemporary art venues founded by Anthony Spinello, will be repping Miami with a special group exhibition – CLOSER.
Last Tuesday, November 27, we hit up the Press & Collector’s Preview for a first look at the exhibition and found ourselves discovering how artists, lovers, strangers, and relatives interact in a single moment or throughout their lives. CLOSER presents fifteen emerging artists and their perspectives on the qualities that create, bind or dissolve relationships. The featured artists represent nine countries (Argentina, Great Britain, France, South Africa, Israel, China, Croatia, Venezuela, and the United States) making the project versatile through an international perspective on a subject matter that is both universal and often times contextual.
Ingrid Lee, Das Rote Sprachrohr (Still), Performed by Ingrid Lee and Taylor Brizendine, Filmed by Rowan Smith, 2012
The exhibition includes video, audio, installation, performance, drawing and sculpture, providing an opportunity for the audience to experience the concept through a variety of platforms and voices. A standout piece of the exhibition was a sound installation entitled For You (Closer) by an Israeli artist, Naama Tsabar. The installation was built within the gallery’s own architecture as an audio source. This installation allows the walls to actually talk, making this type of communication part of the building’s physical foundation. CLOSER also includes beautifully made films by Paris-based artists, twins Abby Double and Federico Nessi, demonstarting the lyric, poetic nature of collaboration, an all important element of our interactions.
Ana Mendez & Federico Nessi, Untitled Video (Still), 2011
At the opening preview, we caught a performance entitled ‘Drinks on Me’ by artists, Antonia Wright and Rube Millares. This performance embodied the interaction between two individuals leading one to question the implications of the interaction. Throughout the performance, the artists threw wine and ink-filled balloons at each other while engaging in dynamic movement. The performance begs the question, are these two at play or at war?
In a nutshell, the exhibit shows the complexities that occur when we strive to get closer to each other and speaks to our struggle to maintain communication. Take our word for it and make sure you pop in to check it out, this exhibit is not to be missed during this weeks inundation of openings and events.
Spinello Projects presents, CLOSER, a group exhibition with a live performance program by Augustina Woodgate on December 4th 7-10 p.m. Exhibition runs through January 5, 2013.
Every collision leaves a trace behind: debris, a trail of residue that marks the site where violence took place. The work of Manny Prieres is that sort of remnant, the product of the clash between a traditional, temperamental heritage, and an intense, idiosyncratic counterculture. During the process of this convergence, a series of artifacts are created. They stand at the threshold of a new folklore: they are the iconography of a new tradition.
Cuban-American artist, who is based between Los Angeles and Miami, is an archeologist of sorts. Taking the covers of first edition banned books, he sketches them to scale with gouache and pencil on board, giving them an anarchist-like quality, fitting for books that are the renegades of the printed word. Naked Lunch, Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye, they are all part of his 60-piece series. The dark covers, whose words and images manage to convey the author’s message, are, as he explains, artifacts that mark moments in time, censorship and banned art. This Art Basel Miami Beach, his work will be displayed in his first solo museum exhibition, dubbed It Was a Pleasure to Burn, at The Bass Museum of Art through February 23, 2013.
In this sense, Manny Prieres is an archaeologist, one that has painstakingly and lovingly preserved the objects of an unexplored civilization: their symbols, their gods, their rituals, and their lore. These artifacts bring up tales from the artist’s personal history, yet as a whole they create new narratives that, despite having hybrid elements from multiple sources of influence, are nevertheless moving towards an entirely different place.
Cast between worlds of opposing values, at once an anonymous prestidigitator and high-ranking glitterati, TYPOE straddles an unseen fence. His handiwork, which swaths billboards, public arenas, and buildings literally rotting with neglect, has expanded from the crumbling edifice of a cultural misnomer into the social spotlight. By nature a commenter, a heckler, his self-referential styling’s are violent and poetic in equal measure. Illuminating parodies between gang relations and organized religion, corporations and the massacre of war, TYPOE’s mixed media creations range from factory finished luxury items and graphics to vandalized found objects that flaunt a punk-like disregard for beauty. Simmering for the moment under the lid of ‘the gallery’ these fetishistic, narcissistic articles resonate with devastating potential and beget insurgent thoughts.
The Miami-born-and-bred artist will take over Spinello Projects during this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. His show, Game Over, is a conversation about life and death, with heavy undertones of love and loss, blatant irony and double meanings. He explores both heaven and earth through ignited gunpowder, neon, Twister boards and found objects. The show will celebrate its opening reception December 3 from 7 to 9 P.M. As for his take on Art Basel Miami Beach, he says, “Basel is great because, just like every other fair, it brings everyone in the industry together. It’s a great tool for networking. Being in Miami, my home-city, just makes it better. The city gives me a major platform to share my art with the world.”
Farley Aguilar's paintings are based on a character the artist conjured up and refers to as "Ulf." "Ulf" is an old Norse term for wolf as well as a common male name in Scandinavia and Germany. The series tracks the rise and fall of this creature/character, from his supernatural origins (The witches casting a spell to the full moon) to his destruction by his own followers.
The artist in these works explores the human need to create fantasy in order to deal with the fact that all are simply pawns of fate. The nature of life and death are truly mysteries that are not understood. The symbol of the wolf is significant as they are thought of as loners - many ancient culture's myths are based on insights gleaned from the wolf's wandering nature. Another notable source of inspiration for Aguilar includes artists like Ingmar Bergman and Dostoevsky, who blend reality with dreams, magic, and horror in order to explore what is beneath our standard social reality.
Based on antique found photographs, self-taught painter Farley Aguilar’s figurative paintings explore questions of personal identity and its relationship to history, as well as themes of violence and early 20th-century gothic Americana. Painting over photographic group portraits so that the original figures are obscured, Aguilar creates unsettling, psychologically charged compositions in which his subjects appear to wear masks. “There is a very tense relationship between individuals and the society, community, or subculture they belong to,” he has said of his work. “Violence is a clear eruption of frustration, fear and anxiety within an American moral, conservative psyche that explodes in terror when confronted with the unknown.
LEE MATERAZZI | FEELS LIKE HOME | TEASER
Materazzi's work is prompted by ordinary routines and objects within her daily life; a chair, a favorite blouse, a living room, or simply eating breakfast in the morning. In particular, she is attracted to the chaotic and dysfunctional associations that are harbored and displaced within such everyday spaces and the emotional impact that they can then have on the human psyche. Through the manipulation of these everyday relationships her work takes form.
The work aims to challenge the establishments and structures in place, ironically referencing movements such as The Situationists and Fluxes. There is an attempt to break out of conformity, though in the end the work implies defeat. The struggle posed by the subjects’ displays their vulnerability and becomes a masochistic and self-inflicting conflict encapsulated in a moment of time
The madness of Lee Materazzi
By BY COLLEEN DOUGHER | MAR 30, 2011 | www.sun-sentinel.com
Mothers often go to great lengths to help their daughters further their careers. For Miami real estate broker Alice Kellogg, this has meant dumping chicken noodle soup over her own head, shoving her noggin into a plastic container of Cheerios and cramming herself into a cabinet beneath a kitchen sink.
Kellogg is the mother of Lee Materazzi, whose solo exhibition Feels Like Home will open Saturday at Spinello Gallery in Miami. Through photos Materazzi and her mother took of one another, the 27-year-old photographer explores domestic rituals such as doing laundry, baking a cake and making a sandwich in a way that's anything but routine. In one photo, Materazzi pours laundry detergent on her head. For another, she shoved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into her face. In a photo triptych, she transformed her mother's face into a chocolate cake.
"She wanted to make a cake out of my head," Kellogg recalls. "So I had chocolate frosting all over my face and my hair, and we were laughing so hard. And I'm like, 'Lee, you've got to stop laughing because this has to be in focus. I'm not doing this one again.' Then, I hear the sprinkles go on and she's got candles. Now, I can't see a thing. But then, I hear her lighting the butane lighter and I go, 'Lee, you're not lighting the candles! I swear if you set fire to my hair … "
By now, Kellogg is accustomed to her daughter's messy, sometimes painful photo shoots. Two years ago, Materazzi presented In Between Spaces, an exhibition in which many of the subjects' heads were encased in a wall, table, dirt or other object to make them appear decapitated. For "Head in Table," Materazzi required her mother to stand on one leg, lean over and jam her head into a hole in a table.
"This was a new series for [Lee] so she wasn't really taking into account that maybe the hole for your neck should be a tiny bit bigger than your neck," Kellogg remembers. "So you get pinched in there pretty bad, and the worst part was that we had to reshoot it three time. Whenever I was done, I would say, 'Oh, thank God.' "
In Between Spaces, Materazzi’s first solo exhibition, opened at Spinello Gallery in May 2008. By the show’s end, 80 of the artist’s limited-edition photographs had been sold. At the time,
Anthony Spinello said it was the gallery’s most successful show.
"It was really overall the best reaction you could want," Materazzi says. "I just hope with every show that I move in a different direction and explore new ideas. I think people can get stuck and say, 'OK, that was successful. Let me do it again.' I'm trying to not follow that formula."
Instead, Materazzi plays with ideas until finding one she wants to explore on a deeper level. The artist, who moved from Miami to San Francisco six months ago, has numerous passions that sometimes overlap in her art. She spent a year studying fashion design in London before pursing a fine arts degree. She also has studied sculpture. "So there's that sculptural element of the body in the work," she explains. "However, I always ended up documenting it with photography, which is how I became known as a photographer even though I see myself as more of a sculptor."
Her projects often are inspired by ordinary objects and happenings. Her 2006 series
evolved after she and Miami art writer Thomas Hollingworth wore the same colored clothing to work. “I’d drive him to work every day,” Materazzi recalls, “and one day, we were dressed the exact same and we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we did that everyday?’ ”
So they started arriving to work in matching attire, including accessories. "It came to the extremes of him borrowing his wife's clothes to try to mimic me, and we would try to find a ring and both wear it on our pinky finger," Materazzi says.
Despite their efforts, no one noticed. They recruited a co-worker to photograph them each day and exhibited the photos in a collaborative show. "It was actually very funny," Materazzi remembers, "because my bosses and colleagues came to the show and they were like, 'Oh, you got us! We had no idea!' "
Materazzi's 2009 exhibition Cluttered was inspired by the chaos in her utensil drawer and depicted images of people jammed into spaces they regularly attempt to organize. She says the idea was to "show the humor and ridiculousness of trying to organize spaces that are organically messy and how that was a metaphor for a train of thought, not just a space, but a mental space."
Her current show, Feels Like Home, includes photographs and videos of Materazzi and Kellogg doing such things as making smoothies with a topless blender and playing catch with a bowl of SpaghettiOs. The show examines everyday practices Materazzi learned from her mom.
Materazzi says Kellogg, a former commercial photographer, is technically more proficient than her. "So first, it was me shooting pictures of her. And then I was like, 'Well, why don't you get behind the camera if you're so good at this?' So it started really organically, with me taking pictures of her and her taking pictures of me doing everyday things," Materazzi explains. "She would come up with ideas as much as I would and it came into this really interesting play of being either the performer or the photographer. Then, there's that relationship of her also being my mother and that these are things that she has guided me to learn since I was a kid. 'This is how you do your laundry and you eat breakfast.' Just these very everyday things."
The photographer does, however, leave room for play, manipulation and dramatization in images such as the aforementioned "PBJ."
"There's something extremely juvenile about it," Materazzi admits. "It's almost something a little child would do, like an attention thing or saying, 'I'm gonna find my own way of dealing with this everyday thing.' "
Kellogg says she had a difficult time shooting “Chip Clip,” in which Materazzi appears with the title objects — clips used to keep bags of potato chips closed — clamped all over her face.
"If you saw what her face looked like at the end of that, you would not have believed it," Kellogg says. "I said, 'Lee, this is where I stop. That's the one where you've crossed the line. What are you gonna do — get a staple gun next?' I would not have shot that one again. No, I take that back — we did it twice."
Kellogg says the madness of their shoots is too much for her husband. "He's like, 'Do not hurt your mother today,' " she says. "So we would have to do it when he was away fishing and stuff. We'd have to plan it around him because he couldn't handle seeing the messes we made. They're not to be believed."
Once the photos are taken, however, he helps edit them. "When the proofs come, he cooks for us and we lay them all out on the table," Kellogg says. "It's a big family event. [We discuss] whether it's a strong enough piece, what we could do to improve it. So we're all in it together. He just doesn't want to come home and see chicken soup, frosting and peanut butter all over the floor. He's a neatnik."
So this Saturday, Materazzi and family will attend the opening of Feels Like Home. "It will be exciting to show this new body of work to people who haven't seen something from me in a while," Materazzi says.
She also is inviting people to bring their dirty laundry to the gallery and place them in an on-site washing machine titled "Mother." "No quarters or soap needed," she says. "And there will be a clothesline installed in the space for drying."