Lori Zimmer is a New York-based art curator, writer, consultant, and (above all) a self-designated ‘Art Nerd.’
Her most recent project, Art Nerd New York, is a narrative travel guide of the City that uses the places where America’s most influential modern and contemporary artists - think Pollock, de Kooning, and Rothko - “lived, partied, and died” as markers on her map. Previously, Zimmer has curated shows at Scope New York, Scope Miami, The National Arts Club, East Pleasant and Collective Hardware, and she contributes regularly to Patrick McMullan Magazine, Inhabitat.com and ArtSlant.
As part of series we're developing on Artsicle's blog, we asked Lori to look through Artsicle's art work and curate a collection that spoke to her. The pieces she chose, discussed below and on view here, are united by the idea of art as personal therapy. They are soothing yet stimulating and present worlds of escapism and relaxation, which is appropos Zimmer's “burned-out” art nerd mind, but also, we think, the stressed-out minds of almost everyone we know.
*click on any of the works below to view in detail on Artsicle*
I’m one of those people who needs to be extremely busy with several different projects in order to feel satisfied. Between writing about art and design, curating shows, doing art PR and throwing events, I find myself exhausted when I have a a night off - and a rare moment to work on my art history guide, Art Nerd New York. Since I spend my days (and nights) with art, I wanted to curate a collection that embodies both relaxation and escapism, using the assemblage as my own personal art therapy.
Being constantly engaged, or in front of a computer, can leave me frazzled and burned out. Since I am truly an art nerd, I often turn to art to recharge my batteries. Each piece in the collection I’ve curated allows me to zone out completely at first, but then lets my imagination run wild. With each blurred color of Dana James’ “Coloring Plants,” Bradley Butler’s “To Disappear and to Reappear” and Gabriela Herman’s “Fireworks,” my mind is put to ease. Each abstraction can at once be a softly focused landscape to which my mind can retreat and a mesh of color that swims around my head as I relax.
The soothing gemstone shapes of Stephanie Calvert’s geologic paintings wow me with their photorealism and also transport me to the edges of the universe. Carrie-Ann Bracco’s glacier painting has the same effect on me. Aside from being drawn to the cold and vapid distance of outer space or the Arctic, my eye has always loved the natural shapes of crystals, minerals and ice. These elements somehow feel soothing and cooling even in what is just an image.
Writing for a living can be strenuous, and I sometimes find myself staring at the dreaded face of writer’s block. This is when I turn to pieces that ignite the narratives locked away in my head. Pieces like Jon Elliott’s “Music” and Jenevieve Reid’s “Graffitiscape in Red” whet my creative appetite, giving me more literal, yet fantastical landscapes I can fantasize about, while Dan Bina’s incredible oil on canvas “Moon Heads” pulls at my science fiction heart strings.
Everyone collects art for different reasons: maybe they connect with it, hope it will appreciate in value, or truly just think it matches their interior. But art can also be a temporary retreat, and an investment in your own health: that's what this collection is for me.
Photo credit for the image of Ms. Zimmer: Photography © ALEXA HOYER/PatrickMcMullan.com