Assad x Wickham
Christa Assad and Kevin Wickham are a dynamic artist-duo whose shared desire to sustain a healthy, outdoor-based lifestyle led them to the pueblo mágico of Todos Santos.
The topography, climate and natural resources of this tropical desert location attracted the artists and suited Kevin’s architectural plans for a site with passive and sustainable design systems. The couple have dedicated their home, workshops and garden spaces to be experiential for visitors.
"We're creating a sanctuary for learning in a cross-disciplinary, think tank context. In a sustainable ranch setting, participants exchange ideas, practice wellness, and work toward assimilating the built environment into the natural one.”
Taller de Terreno was founded in 2017.
At the threshold of the desert and the sea, Mark Gabriel has tapped into the primal energy of the desert bringing an essential raw power to his art. A series of works called Marine Salvage Rights - where small scavenged pieces of driftwood become sculptural paintings of Flying Whales and Ranchera Musicians, acts as a gateway to large scale renditions of his subjects on stretched canvas and wood panels.
Painting subjects the artist describes as dreamscapes inspired by ghosts of the desert and the movements of celestial bodies, these desert and seascapes are inhabited by mythical creature mash-ups of revolutionaries and birds, ranchero cowboys, musicians and stray dogs, as well as the flying “dream whales" of which he has become known. These characters all have stories - they occupy familiar yet exotic geography - they dance, they play, they fight, they love – and they will reveal their secrets if you lean in. Look again, and again as these creatures take form and celebrate the light.
Mark paints mostly with knife. As he scrape’s and slashes the paint - one can see how essential that energy is to his work. Acrylic is also good because it’s fast. The paint goes on thick and wild, then dabs of prevision. And if paint isn’t sufficient to the story, Gabriel employs ink, or mono-print, chalk and charcoal and oil stick. Some of the work requires collage and mixing of all of the above.
Fernando Ramírez (Huajuapan De Leon, Oaxaca, Mexico) is an artist graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Design of the UNAM. He has specialized in lithography and has working with great masters of this technique such as Rafael Sepúlveda, one of the artists with the most knowledge of this ancient practice that allows an image drawn on a smooth stone block, which has the property of registering the subtleties of wash ink, sgraffito and crayon, be the support to make a run that is printed with a press mechanical on paper, achieving high quality in each piece.
Lithography is, of course, quite a complex process, almost alchemical and depends on the expertise of the printer. Recently Fernando carried out a residency at La Ceiba Gráfica where experimented with new materials and was able to see the self-sustaining proposal of this art center.
Like the images of a pre-Hispanic codex, the characters of each work is surrounded by a fictional cosmos that suggests a cryptographic system. The figures are represented by a cluster of ways in which head, hands, legs and fingers. The faces are very close to the masks Mexican women whose theme is death, animals metamorphic, monsters or fighters. We are facing a world endless graphic sustenance of imaginary rituals and anagrams that in themselves express energy and power: the eye as an almost religious element or the hand as a symbol of creation. (review from Alberto Castro Lenero)
Born in Australia, Heath quickly took flight to explore the world in his early 20’s. During that time has been working at the forefront of design, working for many of the world’s leading advertising and branding agencies.
Now turning his attention back to art, his debut collection draws inspiration from his commercial art background and origins of urban art – a blend of design and art. His approach follows the practice of design thinking, with a focus on creating simple, iconic and memorable pieces that have the ability to tell stories and are linked to a larger narrative. Within the, often lurid colour, artwork he tries to distill subtle but often subversive themes.
“The important thing for me is not just what it looks like and feels like, it is what it makes you think.
My approach to art is responsive. I respond to what I see and feel. I have continued to make art in response to what I see happening in the world – often things that scare and trouble me – as well as what inspires me."