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Keeping Tony Price’s Legacy Alive in Santa Fe




SANTA FE, N.Mex. — In a zigzag constellation over the Atlantic, there is a sculpture exhibition by Tony Price on the sea floor. The Brooklyn-born artist jumped a frigate to Europe in 1963 in search of a hipster scene culturally bridging the beatniks and the hippies. He discovered welding equipment on board and crafted works of art from scrap metal, enlisting the crew to ceremonially discard each piece to make room for the next.

This ethereal image is reflected Phil roomwhich has since housed an exhibition of around 50 of Price’s works before the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks and figures made from found materials line the concrete floor and fill black-papered walls. Stacks of boxes line the other end of the room. Phil Space founder James Hart turns on the track lights at their darkest setting.

“I think I’ve gone insane because they’re talking to me,” Hart says, scanning the metallic faces floating in the void. In addition to directing Phil Space, Hart is President of the non-profit Friends of Tony Price, which was formed after the artist’s death in 2000.

The ongoing intermingling of these two lavish projects has forced Hart to grapple with the idea of ​​carrying an artistic legacy—with all its flotsam, flotsam, and treasure. Price’s posthumous show exemplifies Phil Space’s ethos, even as it presents a physical impediment to the experimental gallery’s revival.

Tony Price, (Mask) “Nuclear Garuda” (ca. 1975-2000), steel, brass, 21in x 25in x 10in, 55 pounds (photo by James Hart)

After traveling through Europe, Price moved to El Rito, New Mexico and discovered a nearby junkyard loaded with discarded materials from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the former headquarters of the Manhattan Project. He then spent over 30 years collecting eerily elegant shards from earth-shattering scientific experiments to create anti-nuclear protest art.

“These spirit masks represent the cultures of all of humanity,” says Hart. “When you look into the eyes of the spirits, they transform the destructive power of the materials in your mind.”


The works are often apocalyptically funny (see the tense expression of “First Mutant Man Born Without Asshole”) and at times undeniably appreciative (Hart is still not sure how to classify Price’s occasional use of the sacred Hopi term kachina) – and they have an uncanny presence that comes across as alert and stern, powerful but benevolent.

Price successfully exhibited and sold his art across the United States, from Battery Park in Manhattan to the Biosphere 2 site in Arizona. He left some 150 works spanning more than 30 years in a studio in Reserve, New Mexico, which he hoped would eventually populate a permanent arts center.

“All this work is kind of clustered there, and it’s still there — right there,” says Hart. Or rather, about a third of that got stuck at Phil Space, adjacent to Hart’s commercial photo studio on 2nd Street in Santa Fe, when the pandemic froze the gallery’s activities three years ago. “This stuff is like prison,” he says. “No one but Tony has lived with this work like I have.”

Hart founded the James Hart Photography Exhibition Space in 1993 and rented a space next to his studio to showcase the work of his Santa Fe Community College photography students. The two areas cover around 2,200 square meters.

Tony Price Studio, Reserve, New Mexico, 2002 (Photo by James Hart)

In 2000, Hart’s father Phillip died and he renamed the gallery Phil Space in honor of a long line of family patriarchs. (“It’s also easier to say,” Hart adds.) It was at this point that Hart shifted his focus from students to local artists who were at the end of their careers and didn’t fit into Santa Fe’s commercial art scene.

“Through my photography, I’ve met so many artists who did incredible things in the 1970s and 1980s—a truly golden age in Santa Fe—but struggled to find a gallery on Canyon Road or downtown,” says Hard. He wondered if his warehouse-style space in Midtown, far from the traditional arts districts, could fill a cultural vacuum and unite the local community.


Early exhibitors included painters Eugene Newmann and Jerry West and sculptor John Connell. Over the next two decades, Phil Space hosted over 160 exhibitions – many honoring late or deceased artists. In one instance, a featured artist died mid-show. “I would call myself the gallerist of death,” says Hart. “I thought I was like Charon, the boatswain who takes souls to the afterlife.”

Hart’s involvement with Price’s legacy began in 2004 when he was commissioned to photograph the artist’s work for an exhibition catalog for the New Mexico Museum of Art, which was hosting a major retrospective traveling to the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Hart had met a small circle of Tony Price’s friends at a mentor’s funeral a few years earlier, and they entrusted him with a key to Price’s 40-by-40-foot studio in reserve.

“I couldn’t move the stuff on my own, so I got a pulley system. One of the masks fell off the wall and almost killed me,” says Hart. “So I made these little lighting setups, each on the wall. It was tedious, took all summer.” Hart had only met Price once or twice before his death, but he developed an indelible bond with the artist’s story.

Tony Price, “Nuclear Pacifier” (ca. 1975-2000), acrylic, steel, 26″ x 26″ x 26″, 45 pounds (photo by Byron Flesher)

Hart was the self-proclaimed “freshman” when he joined Friends of Tony Price’s board of directors in the early 2000s, which up to that point included longtime friends of the artist a decade or two older than Hart. These included the late poet Rosé Cohen (the group’s “administrative leader” according to Hart) and filmmaker Godfrey Reggio (“our spiritual guide”).

Since becoming chairman of the board a few years ago, Hart has completely reformed the board to accommodate younger members and accepted funding for a new site by a local benefactor and, crucially, struck a 20-year deal with Price’s three children to continue working towards building a museum. Although the original board members have all given up their roles (Hart now calls them “the angels”), Reggio helps conceptualize a blueprint for the facility.

“He calls it a ‘radical attractor,’” says Hart, pulling out a sketch of Reggio and some of his own digital renderings. The main exhibition space is a jet-black oblong shape inspired by a Viking ship, a cultural reference point for some of Price’s work. Next to it is a bright red cube that would house a gift shop and administrative offices. Both structures are windowless, so the Phil Space show’s muted presentation is something of a proof of concept.


“Ideally, it would be on a hilltop in the Rio Grande Valley so you could see the twinkling lights of Los Alamos at night,” says Hart. “These things should keep an eye.”

Proposed model for Tony Price permanent collection, design by Godfrey Reggio
Tony Price, (Mask) “Samurai Spirit Mask/Nagasaki” (ca. 1975-2000), 23″ x 30″ x 13″, 110 lbs (photo by James Hart)
Installation details from The work of Tony Price at Phil Space, Santa Fe, New Mexico (since 2019) (Photo by Byron Flesher)
Installation view from The work of Tony Price at Phil Space, Santa Fe, New Mexico (since 2019) (Photo by Byron Flesher)


Juxtapoz Magazine – Erick Medel’s “Mariachi” @ Rusha & Co, Los Angeles




The lives of many Mexicans are punctuated by performances; An ensemble of mariachi musicians celebrates a birth, performs at a First Communion, plays for crowds gathered at weddings and birthdays, and is engaged for funeral memorial rites. A traditional musical genre dating back hundreds of years to the rural communities of western Mexico, their tune sounds as proud and bold today as the musicians who travel from place to place to perform for their listeners. The actors’ outfits are just as exuberant as their ballads: their tight-fitting, decorated trousers, short jackets, embroidered belts, boots, wide bows and sombreros. Known as the charro suit, their attire has become a universally recognized symbol of national pride and Mexican identity.

mariachi, Eric Medel‘s first solo show with Rusha & Co. celebrates these artists and places them at the center of his work. The musicians, armed with their fiddles, guitarrónes, trumpets and guitars, appear ready for battle. Or as in the case of Mariachi on 1st St. (2022), could be marching home. Their uniforms resemble armor, gleaming and bold, as important as the men the charros wear. It is not for nothing that their designs go back to the liberators of the Mexican revolution. Some of the men, as in violin (2023) or En La Noche (Night) (2022) perform their solos in solitude, breaking away from their ensemble to shine for their moment. Other scenes, as in show time (2022), Pa La Photo (For a picture) (2023), or the largest piece in the exhibition, lists! (2023) show the band as a body. Medel’s depictions of its heroes emphasize its chosen protagonists as a kind of celebrity, iconic figures deserving of recognition and aspiring to fame.

EM23.010 Warming up in the Plaza2022 copy

Continuing his practice of documenting everyday life for Medel, his family and the community of Mexican-American people he is associated with, his new exhibition takes inspiration solely from these itinerant entertainers. Equal parts documentary filmmaker and synthesizer, Medel weaves the lived experiences of his community into stitched scenes with vivid colors, tactile textures and engineered surfaces. His textiles are based on observing the world around him, imbued with a sense of the photographic. Born in the city of Puebla, Mexico, Medel now lives and works in Boyle Heights, just blocks from the famous Mariachi Plaza de Los Ángeles. Located at the intersection of 1st Street and Boyle Avenue, Mariachi Plaza has for nearly a century been a meeting place for musicians willing to be hired to perform at restaurants, private parties or community events. Like Medel, these musicians are ambassadors of their culture, preserving and passing on the intangible heritage and traditions of the Mexican people to future generations.

Medel’s practice is a continuation and preservation of his family’s creative practices – his mother’s knitting and his father’s woodworking. Medel’s embroidery was first designed on his mother’s sewing machine. Wavering between sculpture, painting and crafts, Medel’s process of creating his denim canvases is painstakingly and meticulously detailed, evoking the immigrant labor that underpins life in increasingly globalized metropolises. His works on canvas are embroidered with lustrous and colorful threads, each stitch reminiscent of the extravagant outfits of mariachi ensembles. A charro suit with custom embroidery by legendary Boyle Heights supplier to the mariachis, La Casa Del Mariachi, hangs among the works on the gallery walls, sculptural and acting as a proxy for Medel’s own presence in the exhibition.

In his studio, Medel’s industrial sewing machine emits its own rhythm as his hands move his denim canvases back and forth as the machine perforates and threads the images. He becomes a musician in his own right, orchestrating his images in tempo, with each line of the string corresponding to the musical notation on the canvas. Medel’s approach is intuitive and – like a kind of improvisational instrumentation – spontaneous, each mark made clear and each colored thread chosen from a series of spools.


The scenes of everyday life depicted by Medel refer as much to the lineage of genre painting by Dutch masters, the French Realist paintings of Gustave Courbet or the works of Diego Velázquez from the 17th century as to the Chicano muralists such as Chaz Bojórquez or Carlos Almaraz, who changed the landscape of East Los Angeles on the walls of buildings throughout the neighborhood. Medel’s practice highlights these less recognized forms of fine art and glorifies his roots through his subject matter and choice of medium.

Erick Medel was born in Puebla, Mexico in 1992. He holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent exhibitions include strings of desire at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2023); Dirty realism: Otra noche en LA at Veta Galeria, Madrid (2023); With us at Ojiri Projects, London (2022, solo); Unseen Threads at Martha’s, Austin (2022); apple in the dark in Harkawik, New York (2022); a solo presentation at Zona Maco in Mexico City with Rusha and Co. (2021); Hustle De Sol A Sol at Martha’s, Austin (2021, solo); The human scales at the Rochester Art Center (2021); Breakfast in America at Rusha & Co. (2021); Still here at Martha’s, Austin (2020); And Every day, every day, every day, every day freedoms Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (2019).

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MAKING A MARK: Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize 2023: Last Call for Entries




I missed the announcement of the £10,000 Call for Entries Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2023 – hence this is a “Last Call for Entries”.
The closing date for all entries is March 31, 2023, midnight!

The judges will select 2023 from the works of art submitted

  • a winner of the Ruth Borchard Prize of £10,000 And
  • A number of outstanding contributions will be acquired for the Next Generation Collection.

Before you start reading, you might want to know this

  • the entrance fee is £38 And
  • This competition attracts artists from across the spectrum, including professional and award-winning portrait artists.
If you are interested you can see examples of the works selected for the exhibition
Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize 2019 at The Kings Place – in an album on my Facebook page.
a wall in the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize 2019 exhibition
at King’s Place, King’s Cross, London

Who can enter?

All ages and abilities can participate. Persons under the age of 16 who wish to participate must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Artists of all backgrounds, established and emerging, are invited to participate. Even if this is your first self-portrait or your first artistic creation, we welcome your contribution.

What can you enter?

You can use any size and medium. I’ve seen some huge works in past exhibitions!


However, these are the details in the terms and conditions

  • The artwork must be a self-portrait.
  • All variants of the work – figurative or abstract, alone or in a group, from life or from memory – are accepted.

  • The artwork must have been created in 2000 or later.
  • There are no restrictions on the size of the work.
  • Multi-part works, ie works in the form of a diptych or triptych etc. are eligible and will be considered as one work.

We welcome a variety of media including but not limited to; Painting, drawing, digital art, photography, sculpture, tapestries and ceramics.

Exhibitor at the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize Exhibition 2019
(Feel free to give credits if anyone recognizes the work)

How to enter

You can enter more than once – but each entry requires a separate submission.

To enter you MUST:

  • Upload a high-quality image of your self-portrait
  • Provide all the details about the artwork
  • Fill out the application form and agree to the terms and conditions. This must include as supporting information:

    • Artistic statement – ​​200 words maximum – here you can tell the jury anything you think is relevant to the application and/or about you or your artwork.

    • Resume (optional) – Whether you’re a full-time professional artist or pursuing a completely different career, the option to upload a resume allows the judges to learn more about the person behind the artwork

    • Gallery representation (optional – will not be considered as part of the judging process – suggesting that the above two are!)

    • personal data and contact information
  • pay the entrance fee

This is £38.00 from a UK bank account and £48.00 if paying from abroad.2 The Ruth Borchard Collection and Self-Portrait Prize are funded by a charitable trust and the submission fee covers a small part of running costs The price.

View of the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2015 exhibition at the Piano Nobile

If selected, how your work will be exhibited

From the entries, 250 artists will be invited to participate in an exclusive online sales exhibition. Shared and promoted via

  • an exclusive virtual gallery of the Ruth Borchard Collection and
  • Artistic online viewing room

this gives artists the opportunity to present their work to international collectors.


If you win, your artwork will stick a curated selection of outstanding and nominated artworks to be exhibited
The Atkinson Museum, Southportfrom September to December 2023. The exhibition coincides with the Liverpool Arts Biennial.

The last exhibition of 2021 was held at Coventry Cathedral.

As far as I’m aware there are no plans to bring any physical exhibition to London.

The judge

Belong to the judges

  • Gabrielle Finaldi (Director of the National Gallery),
  • Melanie Gerli (Financial Times Art Market columnist),
  • Andrea Rosa
    (former director of the British Council),
  • Stephen Whittle (General Manager of the Atkinson Museum),
  • Lucy Jones (award winner 2021) and
  • David Borchard
    (grandson of Ruth Borchard)

These are the 2021 judges speaking about the artworks submitted to the exhibition. It gives you a glimpse of how jurors may view artworks and what their expectations are – although this year those views could all be different because it’s a different group of jurors.


Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2021 Film out of Collection Ruth Borchard At vimeo.

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Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility




We live in a time when artists of color are wondering if their only route to legitimacy in the art world is to do the work that a predominantly white art world expects of them. Current anti-racist thinking claims so it is not the duty of the marginalized or otherwise disenfranchised people to do the emotional work of explaining their historical contexts and reasons for grievances to those who do not seek to understand them themselves. They ask: if I’m indigenous, can I only do work that deals with indigenousness?

Ho Chunk Artist tom jones puts it more simply: Regardless of whether the art looks “Indian” enough, “Native American art is still Native American … because it stems from Native American thinking and upbringing.” Jones has persistently made art about and for Native Americans for more than two decades Ho Chunk Nation. In the past year, the art world has started to take notice. With works currently on view in nationwide And national Recognized venues, the artist’s many musings on Aboriginal identity have emerged within the walls of PWIs and beg for recognition and reckoning.

While he claims his main audience is the Ho Chunk people, his latest work, Strong relentless spirits, has a mass appeal that extends beyond the Ho-Chunk Nation. Against a stark black background, Jones creates life-size portraits of Ho Chunk members, then painstakingly sews traditional Ho Chunk floral designs around his subjects, creating what he calls what he calls an “aura.” Beginning with a portrait of his mother JoAnn Jones to completing a portrait of Bella Falcon, a young ho-chunk woman of the Bear clan, Jones has increased the scope of his ambitions; The larger portraits take 120 hours or more to be pearls. Always in memory of the legacy of Edward Curtis and his portrait series The North American IndianJones finds ways to create images that speak to the individual as a collective, rather than individuals as a collective.

Tom Jones, “JoAnn Jones”, from the series Strong relentless spirits (2015)

Many of Jones’ subjects wear traditional Native American clothing, although there are notable exceptions to T-shirts, khakis, suspenders, coveralls, and camouflage motifs. The sitters wear whatever they want at the session, something that Jones’ portraits have in common Charles Van Schaik, a 19th-century photographer who photographed the Ho-Chunk people not as cultural props but as paying customers to have their portraits portrayed for personal use. As with Van Schaik, ho-chunk people come to Jones’ studio with an idea of ​​how they want to be seen. In most portraits, the sitter looks directly at the viewer, forbidding the viewer to impose a cultural projection without the subject “seeing” it.

A popular way of interpreting portraits is that a portrait of someone else is also a self-portrait of the artist. If this is true of Jones, his portraits reveal a searching and generous nature, conscious and confident of who the sitters are but at the same time aware that they are being evaluated by the outside world. In an essay that Jones wrote for People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaikhe addresses this double consciousness:

There is an unspoken complexity in the way a photo is read by people from different cultures and backgrounds. Each time a photograph is encountered, the viewer decodes the image with constructed notions of constructed knowledge. There are also the intentions of the photographer and the subject. What did the photographer choose to show us and what did the sitter choose to reveal? The interpretation we give to the image comes from our understanding of what the people in the photos experienced.

Tom Jones, “Trenton and Roger Littlegeorge”, from the series Portraits of the Medicine Lodge (2011)

What do we know about what a ho chunk person experienced? What are we willing to share? Do we know that the tribe was forcibly evicted from their ancestral homelands in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota? 13 times between 1832 and 1874? Or that they had to do so as a condition of the right to remain on their lands in 1874 renounce and give up Tribal rituals and relationships, and that outdoor footage of forbidden Aboriginal practices was used as evidence to arrest and evict people? This last historical fact is directly related to bans by tribal elders on photographing traditional and private ceremonies, although Jones related this Centre County Report that the ubiquity of cell phone cameras has changed tribal perceptions of this, particularly among younger members. Whether or not permission is given or accepted by Ho Chunk elders to photograph rites and ceremonies, it is clear that there is a huge gap between what we think we know and what we already do should know exists.

Jones sometimes takes on the task of educating the non-native viewer. He draws a line between the ongoing work he is doing for the Ho-Chunk and a more conceptual work that has a final point of closure, the latter speaking more generally about the Aboriginal experience. In these more speculative series, non-native viewers find themselves embedded in, often, attitudes of implication. In the series leftovers, Jones combines indigenous casino carpet patterns with glass engravings of historical – and often racist – depictions of indigenous people. Drawings and engravings appropriated from 19th-century publications are used in diptychs and triptychs dealing with issues of cultural genocide, forced religious conversion, white assimilation and, last but not least, the white fantasies of indigenous peoples.


Surprisingly, Jones says he worked on most of the work he’s done and for the Ho-Chunk out of tribal reverence, and it’s possible it will never be seen. When asked if he hoped to exhibit this work one day, he replied, “I don’t really care that the outside world sees it.” Much of this exists as future documents for Ho-Chunk members, as elements of a archives. Conversely in work like Strong relentless spirits, Jones sees his role as creating visibility for his people. “This visibility is important to me. I think of the little kids, the teenagers, and I think it’s so powerful to see yourself represented in art.”

Tom Jones, “He Touched Him Good” from the series leftovers (2017)
Tom Jones, “Raymond Goodbear”, from the series Strong relentless spirits (2019)

Tom Jones is currently at it speak with light at the Denver Art Museum (100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, Colorado) through May 22, curated by John Rohrbach and Will Wilson; Native America: In Translation at the Milwaukee Art Museum (700 North Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) through June 25, curated by Wendy Red Star; And water memories at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan) through April 2, curated by Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha).

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