JAMES DEMARTIS

DeMartis brings out the warmth and beauty of metal, making highly crafted sculpture, often with a touch of wit.
— Coco Myers

“My work is inspired by the age-old craft of blacksmithing and reflects both hands–on finesse and machined precision. Texture, color and beauty are the emblems of my craftsmanship. Metal is my medium because of the vast possibilities of form and function. Metal can defy expectations, evolving through blacksmithing, welding or fabrication from cold static bars and sheets to shapes that capture various aspects of nature. My aim is to create works that bring to life all of the properties and characteristics of metal that continually fascinate and engage me.” — JD


James DeMartis was born in Brooklyn and raised in Westchester county. He began working with metals, both steel and iron, at C.W. Post College on Long Island and has been sculpting and custom crafting architectural metal with welder, torch and forge for over 30 years. In 2001 he opened his custom architectural metal, blacksmithing and sculpture business James DeMartis Metal Studio, in East Hampton, NY.

His commercial work includes custom designs for restaurants, hotels and retail spaces in the Hamptons and NYC, including 11 Madison Park, Nick & Toni’s, The 1770 House, The Peninsula Hotel, The Greenwich Hotel, Oliver Peoples and David Yurman.

His sculpture has been exhibited at Guild Hall, folioeast, Arlene Bujese, Butler’s Fine Art, and Ashawagh Hall, East Hampton, NY; Galley Merz, Sag Harbor; Nightengale Gallery, Watermill, NY; Bellport Lane Gallery, Bellport, NY; Excalibur Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY.


DeMartis in his studio

DeMartis in his studio

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work


JAMES DEMARTIS speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ WHY IS METAL YOUR MEDIUM OF CHOICE?

JD/ When hot, it's plastic and malleable and when it cools, it's rigid, structural and permanent. I like the dichotomy between process and result, as well as the physicality of creation.

CM/ HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS OF CREATING A SCULPTURE?

JD/ I like to have a basis for a sculpture, an idea or design and from its conception to completion I allow for spontaneity and improvisation. I enjoy experimentation while realizing the vision in my mind's eye. I use extreme heat to melt and manipulate metal and I love to combine disparate materials like wood, glass and stone to create tension or balance.

I am less wedded to style than I am to realizing emotion. Impulse and instinct govern materials, craft, composition and subject.

CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END? AND WHEN?

JD/ 1992. I answered an ad in The Village Voice for a sculptor's assistant position. I had never heard of the Hamptons and I was smitten at once. I moved out two weeks later, never looked back and found my home here.

CM/ AND HOW DOES THIS AREA IMPACT YOUR ART?

JD/ My surroundings influence my work as air fills my lungs. There is great beauty, but also extremes in weather and class. The disparity of wealth between the highly affluent, the service industry, and the local bonackers and their traditions results in tension, irony and humor which manifests itself throughout my work.

CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR METAL WORK?

JD/ I rent a studio 2.5 miles from my home. I'm there six days per week sculpting and making custom architectural commissions.

CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY OTHER SCULPTORS IN YOUR HOME?

JD/ I love my Paul Pavia, Don Saco and Dennis Leri sculptures.


HIROYUKI HAMADA

The imagery in Hamada’s prints, paintings and sculptures are novel inventions that capture the imagination and hold the eye.
— Coco Myers

“Artists are blessed with that rare moment when everything disappears in our studios except for our works and ourselves—that moment when we feel the profound connection to what we have worked on as it melds with the world, space and time.

Such an occasion is indeed very rare but it is what I strive to capture while I struggle in my studio.

I believe that the exploration to perceive the world far beyond the framework of corporatism, colonialism and militarism continues to be a crucial part of being an artist and being human.” — HH


Hamada was born and raised in Tokyo. He holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, has taught sculpture at Penland School of Craft, and served as a Visiting Artist at the Vermont Studio Center. Over the years, he has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan Fellowship), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and MacDowell Colony (The Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship).

Hamada has exhibited widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike. His work has been shown by Lori Bookstein Fine Art and O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York, NY; Guild Hall and folioeast, East Hampton, NY; Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, NY; Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI; The List Gallery; Swarthmore, PA; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC, among others.

In 1998, Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2009 he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He was a two time recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (2009 and 2017), and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018.

Hamada lives and works in East Hampton, New York.


Hamada in his studio

Hamada in his studio

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture


HIROYUKI HAMADA speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ YOU ARE A PAINTER AND SCULPTOR AND ALSO MAKE PRINTS. TELL ME ABOUT THE VARIOUS MEDIUMS AND MATERIALS?

HH/ I work with resin, plaster, and foam for my sculptures. I like that they allow flexibility in the process and they are very easy to work with. My current paintings are mostly done with acrylic paint, which allows me to work fast, although I work very very slow. My prints start as drawings and they are finished on my computer. However, the primal challenge is making the ink alive when it hits the paper. It’s been extremely humbling to work with the elusive quality expressed on papers.

CM/ HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?

HH/ I really like to let the work speak for itself. I try hard to listen and see how it wants to manifest itself. I struggle quite a bit in my studio—I try to cultivate a momentum in me to tackle the work, and to connect elements to see cohesive dynamics. I try to be open and flexible about my approach. Sometimes amazing things happen but mostly it’s about trying, failing and mostly, again about listening and seeing.

CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END? AND HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?

HH/ My wife is from the East End, and I started to come out here around 1998 or so. I think it was probably the first time I’d really felt seasons—the rhythm of nature must be affecting me.

CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR WORK?

HH/ I have a studio next to our house. The building has a few sections for different kinds of work—office area for prints, a little outside space for sanding, cutting, walls for paintings, a wood shop area, and a spray booth.

CM/ DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM OTHER EAST END ARTISTS?

HH/ I do have respect for those artists in the area and the proximity to their former studios does arouse some sort of a kinship as a fellow explorer of visual elements.

CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY ANY LOCAL ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?

HH/ I have some pieces by Bill King in my studio. He lived a few minutes away from my place and we visited each other’s studios once in a while. His pieces remind me of the memories. We also have received some nice artworks as gifts from our artist friends… I guess I would rather see great art in public spaces so that we can all look at them.


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of sculpture

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold drawing & mixed media

DENNIS LERI

Leri’s paintings and welded steel sculptures, whether curvy or linear, are pure expressions of abstract form.
— Coco Myers

“As a young person, my need to create art was nurtured by my uncle, who himself was a painter and sculptor. My early training was in figurative sculpture, and my style ultimately developed from representational to abstract sculpture and mixed media conceptual works. I also paint and often create works using both disciplines. Curved shapes, clean minimalist lines, and abstract designs are common themes.” — DL


Dennis Leri was born in Brooklyn, NY and was raised in a family of artists. He attended the Arts Students League, National Academy of Fine Art, the Brooklyn Museum Art School and the Sculpture Center. He lives and maintains a studio in Springs, East Hampton.

Leri’s work has been shown in numerous shows, at Gerald Peters Galleries, New York, NY and Santa Fe, NM; The Southampton Cultural Center, and Peter Marcelle Project, Southampton, NY: Ille Arts, Amagansett, NY; folioeast, East Hampton, NY; Dodds & Eder Sculpture Garden and Robert Hook Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY; Art Hamptons and The White Room Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY, among others. His work has been awarded Best Sculpture and Best Mixed Media at the Guild Hall Museum of East Hampton.


Leri in his studio

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture


DENNIS LERI speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ WHAT MEDIA ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING IN?

DL/ Sculpture: painted, welded steel. Paintings: Acrylic on wood panel, canvas.

CM/ WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU PRIMARILY USE? AND WHY?

DL/ Steel because of its strength and flexibility; wood, metals, and acrylic paints because of the range of opportunities for expression.

CM/ YOU ARE CLEARLY AN ABSTRACT ARTIST. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN?

DL/ My early training was in figurative sculpture, and my style ultimately developed from representational to abstract sculpture and mixed media conceptual works. I also paint and often create works using both disciplines. Curved shapes, clean minimalist lines and abstract designs are common themes.

CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR WORK?

DL/ My studio is located on my property in Springs. It is primarily for painting and mixed media work. I have an outdoor space where I do the steel work.

CM/ DO YOU OFTEN INTERACT WITH OTHER ARTISTS THAT LIVE/WORK OUT HERE?

DL/ In the more than 30 years that I have lived here, I have had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with well established abstract artists who lived and worked in this area, including Ibram Lassaw, Robert Richenburg, Ray Ferren, William King, Eric Ernst, Dan Christensen and Berenice D'Vorzon.


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of sculpture

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold painting

PAUL PAVIA

Pavia sculpts highly original pieces—from metal, stone and wood—that have an appealingly visceral aesthetic.
— Coco Myers

“The central aim of my abstract sculpture is to examine the relationship of the individual to the external world. I pattern my work after the enormous sculptures and symbols of the past: Stonehenge, the heads of the Olmecs, and the Polynesians of Easter Island—all of which seem to be simply conceived, but carry powerful, emotional undertones.

As a philosophy major in college, I became fascinated with the mind’s sense of self and its relationship with the fleeting, beguiling material world. Philosophical writings often describe this state of mind as isolating in a daunting world. I myself have dealt with these feelings at one time or another, and while I was in college I began to illustrate them in my sculpture and continue to do so.

On the surface, I want my sculpture to be poetically serene and tranquil but to also have an underlying, disconcerting subject matter. To convey this ambiguity, I use space, volume and a deceptive sense of scale. The existential feel I want communicated comes from establishing a vast, enigmatic space that expands from the sculpture. This space gives the simple geometrical monoliths that are often in my work the illusion of being alone and alive amid a surreal, elegant backdrop.” — PP


Paul Pavia was born in 1971 in New York City, where he grew up immersed in the art world. His grandfather was a painter, his father, Philip Pavia, was a sculptor in the Abstract Expressionist movement, and his mother, Natalie Edgar, was a painter and art critic for Art News.

From 1986 to 1998, Pavia spent the summers studying the classical techniques in stone carving and bronze casting in Pietrasanta, Italy, a center for sculpture in Europe. He majored in Philosophy and Studio Art at Binghamton University, after which he concentrated on sculpture full time and had his first one-man show of work in welded steel at the Millennium Gallery in East Hampton, New York.

Several years later Pavia began welding in bronze, as well as incorporating other materials into his work: primarily marble, wood and stainless steel.

Pavia’s work has been exhibited widely, including at Ashawagh Hall, Amagansett, NY; Butler Fine Arts, the Millennium Gallery, folioeast, and Solar, East Hampton, NY; the Sculpture Center, the American Academy, The Annex, 2nd Street Gallery, Phoenix Gallery, White Box Gallery and Side Show Gallery in New York, NY; and the St. Agostino Museum, Pietrasanta, Italy.,


Amity, 2018, wood and marble, 8 x 10 in

Amity, 2018, wood and marble, 8 x 10 in

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work


From an interview with the Paul Pavia by Mark Segal in The East Hampton Star, January 2017

“I became fascinated with the mind’s sense of self and its relationship to the fleeting, material world. Philosophical writings often describe this state of mind as isolating amid a daunting world. I personally have dealt with these feelings at one time or another, and my sculpture has reflected them, from college to the present. I want it to express mystery and uncertainty.”


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW

AURELIO TORRES

Torres sculpts with a natural feel for the many facets of wood, and an innate sense of composition.
— Coco Myers

“My painting typically depicts scenes from nature and my sculptures most often interpret the simple, clean lines of wooden ships. Since I was a teenager, I’ve carved wooden boats. I would go to street fairs in New York and try to sell them. I was always making toys and working with wood. My aesthetic sensibility is one of essential simplicity and natural, uncontrived beauty.” — AT


Torres was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1962. “I grew up in this wonderful house that my father built, two blocks from my grandfather’s house.“ His father, Horacio Torres, was an accomplished, classically-trained artist, and his grandfather was the acclaimed modernist artist, Joaquin Torres-Garcia. Torres, who was raised in New York City from his teens, began his artistic training in Barcelona, Spain, where he studied for several years with his uncle, Augusto Torres, another classically trained painter in the family. Torres has shown in group exhibits throughout the East End. He currently works and resides in East Hampton, New York.


Torres at work

Torres at work

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture


AURELIO TORRES speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU PRIMARILY USE?

AT/ Oil paints, found materials, reclaimed lumber. Materials I come across drive my compositions. I look to combine complementary textures.

CM/ WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?

AT/ I am inspired by the incredible beauty of our landscape, the power of the sea, the air and what they mean to me.

CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END? AND WHEN?

AT/ Initially, affordable artist's space, but the strong artist community, beautiful landscape and connections with people have kept me here.

CM/ IS THERE A SEASON THAT IS THE MOST CREATIVE TIME FOR YOU?

AT/ The quietness of fall is my favorite time, but I am most creative throughout the warm weather months.


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW

ARTIST'S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold painting

SARAH JAFFE TURNBULL

Turnbull’s glazed clay sculptures, molded into multifaceted forms, have an earthy elegance while her abstract monotypes have a light, lyrical quality.
— Coco Myers

“I am continually amazed at the interplay between color, light and space. I am also interested in perceptions of balance, particularly things being other than what they appear. I prefer to work in a gestural manner, without a clear end point, remaining open to possibility.

Clay is a wonderfully accessible and malleable medium with its own demands and constraints, moving from fluid to almost stone. Glaze presents another opportunity to say something, the fire (and in the case of raku, the thermal shock) having its way with the form, despite or enhancing my intention. A few years ago I began making monoprints and was captivated by the play of color on paper. The process lends itself to gestural application and combinations of ink, yielding a little bit of magic with a clean edge.” — SJT


Sarah Jaffe Turnbull grew up in Vermont, where she practiced law for many years before moving to the East end of Long Island. Turnbull continued her involvement in community issues including education, housing and health, while raising a family. In 2002, she began to explore ceramics, beginning with functional ware and moving into sculptural work.

Turnbull’s work has been shown in many regional galleries including Alex Ferrone Gallery, Cutchogue, NY; 4 Main Street, Southampton, NY; Southampton Cultural Center, Southampton, NY; folioeast, East Hampton; Kathryn Markel Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY, Lear Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY; Celadon Gallery, Watermill, NY; and the South Street Gallery, Greenport, NY. She has also exhibited in two Long Island Biennials at the Heckscher Art Museum in Huntington, NY.


Vela, 2019, ceramic, 6 x 5 x 4 in

Vela, 2019, ceramic, 6 x 5 x 4 in

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture


SARAH JAFFE TURNBULL speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ WHAT MEDIA ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING IN?

SJT/ Ceramic sculpture and monoprints on paper.

CM/ WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING IN CLAY?

SJT/ Clay is of the earth, and moves from almost liquid to almost stone, and those who work with it must respect its properties, and I like that fire is a great part of the process.

CM/ WHAT DRIVES YOUR AESTHETIC?

SJT/ I am interested in perceptions of things being other than what they appear. Some of my sculptures are deceptively metallic-looking because of the glaze, which implies a strength, that on closer observation belies vulnerability. In other words, they look strong, but are actually breakable.

CM/ YOUR SHAPES ARE UNUSUAL. WHAT INSPIRED THEM?

SJT/ Some of the forms are architectonic, but out of balance, creating a different kind of tension.

CM/ IS THERE A SEASON OUT HERE THAT MOTIVATES YOU MOST?

SJT/ I prefer the sunny days of any season, and find that I may be more productive when the days are shorter.

CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?

SJT/ Manoucher Yektai, Costantino Nivola, and Norman Jaffe.


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of sculpture

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold mixed media

ROSARIO VARELA

Varela’s hand is clearly visible in her organic, sensual ceramic sculptures and her graphic abstract paintings.
— Coco Myers

“I work in different mediums as inspiration beckons. After more than thirty years of personal inquiry and practice, I realize that I am happiest when I allow myself to explore whatever medium I am drawn to at the moment, including textile design, fabric dyeing and other crafts.

One of my passions in recent years has been working with clay—creating organic, sculptural forms as well as functional pieces, both hand-built and wheel-thrown.

I find tremendous enjoyment in the various stages of the ceramic-making process. When the clay is soft and amorphous, kneading and shaping the form is intuitive and visceral. The process becomes meditative due to the repetitive motion and awareness of the hardening material. When almost dry, I detail the surface. The pleasure lies in using fine tools and zeroing in on minute imperfections in order to achieve a perfectly smooth and/or coherent surface. I keep a fairly narrow color palette when it comes to glazing and I often leave the exterior of my pots unglazed because I love the boney color and its earthy texture.

In my painting and drawing, I gravitate towards the abstract. I move from watery, layered and moody images to saturated, matte, and precise, graphic pieces. The format can range wildly from a few inches to several feet in size.” — RV


Rosario Varela was born in 1964 in Argentina, where she grew up. She studied graphic design at the University of Architecture in Buenos Aires and continued at the University of California in Los Angeles. Varela later joined the Brentwood Art Center, where she began her study of fine arts. She moved to New York in 1989 and delved deeper into drawing and sculpture at various institutions, including the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts, and the New York Studio School. She currently maintains a studio in Amagansett, NY.

Varela’s work has appeared in many group exhibitions, including the Harlem ArtWalk and New Century Artists Gallery, New York, NY; the Brentwood Art Center, Los Angeles, CA; the Amagansett Historical Association and Ashawagh Hall, Amagansett, NY.; folioeast, Guild Hall, and Solar Gallery, East Hampton, NY; Celadon Gallery, Watermill, NY; and a solo show at Borem Studios, New York, NY.


Varela in her studio

Varela in her studio

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture


ROSARIO VARELA speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS

CM/ HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT MEDIUM YOU’LL WORK ON IN A GIVEN DAY?

RV/ I choose my materials according to what my body craves. If I pay attention, I can feel whether I need to dig my hands in clay and begin forming an organic object that later may be part of an installation or mix a delicious batch of paint to lay on a large canvas. When I approach my work, it is usually an exploratory endeavor. After a while, the direction of the piece will show itself and I follow its lead.

Given that I am a fairly internal person, somewhat introverted, my hands are the ones that do the talking. Each day I spend very long hours creating something, be it at the potter's wheel or the easel. I hardly ever repeat myself; although all of my work relates to each other, most of my pieces are unique.

CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END? AND WHEN?

RV/ The East End is evocative of the town in Argentina where I was born and raised. In 2001 I started coming to Amagansett and by 2004 I had built a house where I now live full-time.

CM/ HOW DOES THIS AREA INFILTRATE YOUR WORK?

RV/ The clean air, the magical light, the colors, the sound of the wind and ocean—all of it flavors the work I do.

CM/ DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TIME TO BE ON THE EAST END?

RV/ I love all four seasons. Winter for its moody cloudscapes and deserted streets, spring for its sweet smell and the return of all kinds of faithful blooms, summer with its easy living of long days at the beach, bare feet and open doors, and fall for the crisp air and vibrant hues.

CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR WORK?

RV/ I transformed a cement-block structure at the back of my property into a multi-purpose studio where I paint, do ceramics and show my work to visitors. In East Hampton, I belong to a ceramic studio co-op. We have all we need to create and fire our pottery from beginning to end.

CM/ DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THE HISTORY OF THE ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT?

RV/ The passion and dedication of artists like Pollock and de Kooning somehow permeate this area. It is very special to walk the same paths and breathe the same air that they did.

CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY EAST END ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?

RV/ I have beautiful pieces by Jane Martin, Mark Wilson and Mary Ellen Bartley.


PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of sculpture

ARTIST’S CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold painting

MARK WEBBER

The appeal of texture and materials are intrinsic to Webber’s work—expressed in combinations of plaster, metal and stone.
— Coco Myers

“Although I drew quite a bit as a child, I was not actually drawn to making art until my first year of college. By chance I took an art class with Charles Ginnever and Peter Forakis and realized right then that that’s what I really wanted to do. I graduated with a BFA in sculpture and went to work for a sculptor named Robert Perless, who was building an all steel structure. That’s when I learned to love steel.  

I have always made art regardless if its degree of visibility. As a cabinetmaker I use materials from the construction trades—glass, wood, steel, plaster, and leaded copper for roof flashing. There is an honesty to them, and they come together in a balanced way that is my aesthetic equivalent to solving an equation.  

Moving out here has allowed me access to what I consider its most precious resource: the water. I’ve spent a lot of time on the water, racing sailboats and kayaks. I always look for the currents on top of the water, how the wind is bending around a point or where I can get “free” energy from these elements. It’s about being totally in the moment and letting the nature around me guide me. This is very much like my process with art.” — MW


Mark Webber was born in Manhattan and graduated with a BFA in sculpture from SUNY Purchase in 1978. He moved to Sag Harbor in 1999 with his wife, photographer Francine Fleischer, and daughter. He has worked as a cabinet maker and fine furniture building at Custom Woodworking Design since 1981.

Webber has shown in group exhibitions at Guild Hall, Ashawagh Hall, and folioeast in East Hampton, NY, the Sara Nightingale Gallery in Watermill, NY, East End Collected at the Southampton Arts Center and Art Garden Landman, Southampton, NY; Anita Rogers Gallery, New York, NY; and at the Boston Biennial. He was also selected for the 2016 East End Arts Annual National Show.


Webber at work

Webber at work

ARTIST’s CAROUSEL

rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work