Brett Cook-Dizney visits SUNY New Paltz

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spray Paint and Street Altars: The Complex Installations of Brett Cook-Dizney

Influenced by aspects of zoology, graffiti, community art, education and fine art,
Artist and teacher Brett Cook Dizney spray paints his way into the world of elitism, racism, homeless Americans, and portraiture, in galleries and public spaces across the nation. Cook-Dizney is best known for his large, complex installations inspired by graffiti, which incorporate drawings, words, photographs, and personal objects with portraiture. Much of his work is politically and socially charged, as well as celebratory. His portraits of famous African-American individuals including Ida B.Wells, John Coltrane, Angela Davis, Toni Morrison and many more, become altars or open street stalls, overflowing with books, plants, portraits, and other objects associated with each cultural icon. A more personal iconographic figure present in his work is “grandma” – a matriarchal figure surrounded by medications, a girdle, vitamins, therapeutic shoes, jewelry, and needlepoint – an inventory of objects and a document of attitudes suggestive of grandmothers in African American life. With a desire to expose his work to a larger audience, Cook-Dizney creates works in high-traffic public spaces like construction site fences, and abandoned buildings in Harlem and Brooklyn. Armed with spray enamel, he paints socio/political images on visible surfaces in an effort to provoke dialogue. In another aspect of his work, Cook-Dizney provides a voice for community residents through social collaborations installed in neighborhoods where participants live. In public spaces, he and his collaborators bring art to a wide audience that does not always frequent museums and galleries. His partnership with some Harlem residents produced 10 Development/Gentrification installations. “It’s about giving people a voice, empowering marginalized communities," explains the artist. Brett Cook-Dizney received a B.A. in art from the University of California at Berkley. He has been exhibiting his work at museums and galleries since 1991. His public projects have been executed in cities from California to Maine, and internationally in Brazil, and Barbados. Some have been commissioned by museums or public agencies while others have been self-initiated interventions on abandoned spaces. He has received a number of awards including several grants from ArtMatters, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, as well as residencies at Skowhegan School and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is represented by PPOW Gallery.

Posted by SUNY New Paltz Printmaking Blog at 2:52 AM 0 comments  

New Paltz Art Professor Receives Chancellor's Award for Excellence

Friday, April 14, 2006


Rimer Cardillo, professor and chair of the printmaking program at the State University of New York at New Paltz, was recently awarded the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Cardillo is a printmaker who, during the past 25 years, has developed a diverse and multi-media practice that also includes sculptures, ceramics and installations. Very focused and deeply informed about the pressures facing indigenous peoples, cultures and environments in Latin and South America, he has conducted a number of research trips to the Brazilian rain forest and other endangered and compromised sites to study possible subjects.

Cardillo, who arrived at New Paltz in 1993, received his master's degree from Uruguay's National School of Fine Arts in Montevideo, and spent two years studying in East Germany at the Weissenssee School of Art and Architecture in Berlin and at the School of Printmaking and Art of the Book in Leipzig. In 1997, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Cardillo has had numerous national and international exhibitions, and was selected to represent Uruguay at the 2001 Venice Biennial.

"The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in full-time librarianship, professional service and teaching provide much-deserved university-wide recognition of extraordinary professional achievement," said SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan. "I commend this year's recipients and the campus presidents, faculty and staff who aid and support them in their success throughout the school year."

Cardillo, who was also a recipient of the 2006 State University of New York Research Foundation Research and Scholarship Award in April, will be recognized for his Chancellor's Award for Excellence this Sunday at the May 21 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony.

Posted by SUNY New Paltz Printmaking Blog at 10:46 AM 0 comments