Many fickle artists repel a contract with a gallery either with hopes to show at a specific gallery or due perpetual commitment issues. New York-based David Andrew Frey has created an online oasis for artists who suffer from similar aforementioned ailments by launching Culturehall, “a curated online resource for Contemporary Art.” Culturehall archives works of artists who have applied and have received acceptance or who have been invited and have decided to join the international community.
Culturehall Newsletter informs culture junkies with bi-weekly updates on “Feature Issues.” Feature Issues are comprised of four of Culturehall artists and curated by an invited guest “art worlder.” Along with a virtual group exhibition, each issue contains an essay.
Feature Issue 66, “Subliminal Sunlight,” is available until April 19th. Four works, by Christian Mendoza, Maya Hayuk, Hisham Akira Bharoocha and Mark Warren Jacques, have been chosen to exhibit ideologies of abstraction. Senior Editor of Artcards Review, Howard Hurst explores abstraction and admits to his own obsession with the art genre while writing on “Subliminal Sunlight.” It appears that Culturehall provokes an intimate and honest space where even Hurst comfortably refers to himself in first person. A viewer may click an artwork to enlarge the image while also being directed to the artist’s page displaying additional works, portfolio and contact information.
The four artists update traditional abstraction, yet Chris Mendoza pushes the envelope by developing a contemporary dialogue with mixed media as well as a collage of graffitied postal stickers that he has collected or marked himself. The surface of Highway Xpress explodes off paper because Mendoza has rendered tension between the foreground and background. Although the work is abstract in nature, Highway is clearly divided between light strokes of blue ink and thick application of acutely-shaped colored or monochromatic graphitized stickers. Mendoza has cut each individually and precisely. The two collages portray a brightly-colored winged creature diving into crashing waves of black and white contorted iconography.
The viewer should not distinguish such a clear narrative according to the categorical definition of abstraction. However, contemporary abstraction remains a malleable discourse as artists and critics depart from set rules; similarly, Highway’s background alludes to past abstraction, while its foreground brazenly references a trend in contemporary abstraction.
Mendoza (born in Managua, Nicaragua) lives in New York City. His precision has been inherited from his father, an architect; his adoption of street style derives from an acclimation to the Bronx at a young age. Presently, he incorporates his home with his homeland with amalgamation of folklore, nature, New York architecture and more.
Albeit the art world lingers on opinions of online curation and exhibition, art enthusiast could not deny Culturehall’s creditability. The website displays works of accredited artists with a clean design. Moreover, the virtual gallery allows a global audience to visit Culturehall providing the artists more opportunity and collectors a simple way to survey contemporary art. Online exhibitions may not usurp all power from typical exhibitions, which offer the viewer physicality and authenticity. However, it is time that the white walls on the internet not be considered taboo but another as another outlet to interface with art.