In Spaces and Other Places is a recent body of work by Michael Velliquette that marks a new trajectory in his practice, combining his mixed-media drawings with his complex cut paper constructions. Velliquette revisits the vocabulary of symbols and images found in his earlier works, including double-sided profiles, hands, and collectives of faceless figures, which he’s previously set in mythological, scenic narratives. Themes of exploration, alien encounter and transformation are played out in the backdrop of outer space.
We are happy to announce the launch of Issue 8 of Superstition Review. Following are some of the artists and writers featured:
Art: Michael Velliquette is a mixed media artist who makes dimensionally complex paper sculptures and drawings. Museum exhibitions include Slash: Paper Under the Knife at the Museum of Art and Design (New York) and Psychedelic at the San Antonio Museum of Art. A monograph titled Michael Velliquette: Lairs of the Unconscious is currently available on Amazon.com through Devibook Publishers.
Fiction: William J. Cobb is a novelist, essayist, and short fiction writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, The Mississippi Review, The Antioch Review, and many others. He’s the author of the novels—The Fire Eaters (W.W. Norton 1994) and Goodnight, Texas (Unbridled Books 2006)—and a book of stories, The White Tattoo (Ohio State UP 2002). His new novel titled The Bird Saviors is forthcoming in 2012.
Interviews: Chase Twichell is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2010) which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University, and the Balcones Poetry Prize. She is a student in the Mountains and Rivers Order at Zen Mountain Monastery.
Nonfiction: Lee Martin is the author of the novels, The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction; River of Heaven; Quakertown; and Break the Skin. He has also published two memoirs, From Our House and Turning Bones, and another memoir, Such a Life, is set to appear in 2012. He is the winner of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He teaches in the MFA Program at The Ohio State University.
Poetry: A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Dorianne Laux’s fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon (W.W. Norton), is the recipient of the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, and Smoke from BOA Editions, as well as Superman: The Chapbook and Dark Charms, both from Red Dragonfly Press.
Submissions Period for Issue 9: We publish art, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry twice a year in April and December. Our Spring submissions will open January 1 for Issue 9, which will launch in April 2012. We accept submissions online here.
What many artists do with paint and canvas and clay Madison-based artist Michael Velliquette does with paper. The results are spectacular. Using strips of brilliantly colored, often hand-painted paper, Velliquette creates complex three dimensional installations that draw the eye with bold geometric shapes and intricate feathered textures. University of Wisconsin’s Lawton Gallery compares his work to the religious symbolism of “a culture devoted to the worship of vivid hues and complex patterning,” while a New York Times article describes it as both “shrinelike” and “reminiscent of party decorations and grade school art projects.” His paper sculptures are deeply evocative of a spiritual experience informed by the tradition of sacred objects, such as masks and icons and totems. Indeed, it is not hard to imagine the installations of his recent exhibit, “ChromaSouls” at the Haggery Museum in Milwaukee as the real idols of a brightly-hued pantheon.
Velliquette’s evocation of sacred relics is all part of his deeper message. While his work does indeed reflect the trans-cultural practice of what he calls “devotional ornamentation,” his paper sculptures are also a direct response to the current cultural and economic environment. Describing his work from 2010-2011, Velliquette states that “In times of crisis, people often turn to religion and faith…As the country was drawing deeper into recession, everything I was hearing in the media was about shortage and scarcity. I wanted my work to express abundance and exuberance, and for the viewer to experience an aesthetic of plenitude.” With its stunning complexity of line, color, shape, and pattern, this is a goal that Velliquette’s work has unarguably achieved.