Bassmi Ibrahim: Exploring the “Isness” of being through spiritual painting

  • by [email protected]
  • March 21st, 2017

Bassmi Ibrahim, painter showing at Pippin ContemporaryBassmi Ibrahim’s Isness paintings are inspired by spiritual practices and an intuitive artistic process, resulting in veils of vivid color that ebb and flow across his canvases. The Cairo-born painter works in a meditative state, allowing a vision to arise and then recreating it with liquid paint and an outpouring of emotional energy.

“As the work became more about the inner layers of my psyche, it started having more purity and an ethereal look to it,” says Bassmi, whose early paintings called more attention to the artist’s hand through lively brushwork. The Isness series, which Bassmi began in 2005, are free-form compositions that represent a boundless existence and act as journeys to the inner-self. The artist relates the idea of “isness” to the essence of being and the intrinsic reality of all experiences.

Bassmi illustrates his meditative visions by applying oil and acrylic paint to the canvas in liquid form. He then manipulates the washes of color with soft Chinese brushes, a technique that erases any trace of the artist’s physical presence. Taking on a watercolor-like appearance, layers of color become translucent rhythmic visions that emanate a deep energetic vibration.

Isness 80 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contemporary

Isness 80, Bassmi, 33×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 92 by Bassmi Ibrahim at Pippin Contnemporary

Isness 92, Bassmi, 36×48″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Isness 116 by Bassmi Ibrahim by Pippin Contemporary

Isness 116, Bassmi 60×72″ mixed media. Click the image for Buy Now price.

Color field painter Mark Rothko has been a spiritual mentor ever since Bassmi met the preeminent abstract expressionist in New York City in the mid 1960s; Rothko similarly used abstract color for a psychological effect in his work. Other artistic influences include Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler and Paul Jenkins.

Bassmi’s formless painting style and poetic compositions invite varied interpretations and reflections from the viewer. The artist says, “The viewer is absolutely free. This art is made free, born free, and you’re free to look at it any way you want.”

Watch the video below to hear Bassmi discuss his process and Isness paintings:

Read more about Bassmi Ibrahim in our press release announcing him as a new stable artist at Pippin Contemporary.

Click here to browse his available work. 

Hunt Slonem: Painting Exotica

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • March 6th, 2017

Hunt Slonem, artist, at Pippin ContemporaryThere are anywhere from 30 to 100 birds that live in Hunt Slonem’s 30,000 square-foot Brooklyn-based studio, and it’s not uncommon for one to be perched on the artist’s shoulder as he paints an exotic interpretation of his feathered friend. In an interview with Architectural Digest just last month, Hunt Slonem explained that he keeps his birds in close proximity to his easel because they provide “an endless source of inspiration.” He says, “I paint from them, so they are working animals in my subject matters. I also often ask them what they think of things, and I get responses of sorts.”

Birds, released on February 17th, is Slonem’s highly anticipated book and first comprehensive compilation of his ornithological body of work. Slonem’s vibrant renderings of parrots, parakeets and other tropical birds were initially influenced by his travels to Nicaragua, where he spent time as an exchange student in high school, and Hawaii, where Slonem lived on a military base with his family as a young boy. Slonem continues to travel extensively to places like India, Mexico, Haiti and Scandinavia for renewed inspiration. By painting his birds wet-on-wet, a technique that the artist describes as “drawing in paint,” Slonem creates tangible texture with crosshatched patterns that denote wire enclosures over the animals. The birds themselves are layered on the canvas with thick brushwork and rich colors, creating dazzling compositions that celebrate the tropical vibrancy of their subjects.

Parakeets by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Parakeets, Slonem, 48×48″ oil/canvas

Finches by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Finches, Slonem, 31×61″ oil/canvas

In the studio

Another iconic figure in Slonem’s repertoire is the bunny, which he started to focus on in the 1980s after discovering he was born in the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The gestural, repetitive strokes that make up Slonem’s bunny paintings have become the artist’s signature style and were the subject of his first publication, Bunnies, released in 2014. Painting bunnies is Slonem’s morning ritual; he begins everyday with several “warm-ups,” populating small panels with quick strokes that make up the animal’s familiar portrait. This repetition was slightly inspired by Pop art, such as Andy Warhol’s soup cans and celebrities, and is now a morning meditation for Slonem. The act of repeated imagery, which also shows up in his bird and butterfly paintings, is a spiritual mantra for the artist.


In the studio: Slonem’s “Bunny Wall.” Photo by Adam Golfer for The Wall Street Journal

Simon by Hunt Slonem at Pippin Contemporary

Simon, Slonem, 12×10″ oil

Slonem’s work is in the permanent collections of over 250 museums, galleries, corporations and institutions around the globe, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His paintings are collected by the likes of Kris Jenner, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon and more, and he is consistently teaming up with different companies or charities for continued relevancy. His bunnies and his own exuberant style led him to fame in the fashion and design world; he collaborated with Jason Wu for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label and was also enlisted by Audi to create the “Hunt Slonem Audi A5” that was eventually auctioned off to benefit cancer research.


Slonem/Jason Wu designs for the Grey Jason Wu fashion label

Slonem’s bunnies are often displayed in formal gilt frames, which juxtapose their simplistic style and make the boldly colored panels pop off the wall. This salon-style design that can be found in Slonem’s studio has been transformed into wallpaper, carpet and fabric.


Slonem with his Bunny Wall wallpaper


Bunny wallpaper in one of Slonem’s New York residences

Slonem’s Neo-Expressionist paintings are renowned in today’s art world for their vivacious color and exuberant creator. Check out Artsy’s recent artist feature on Slonem and virtually tour his aviary/studio with Architectural Digest.

Click here to see Pippin Contemporary’s inventory of Hunt Slonem paintings. You can purchase his work from our website or call the gallery for more information at 505-795-7476.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

  • by [email protected]
  • January 24th, 2017

Liz Barber‘s nature-inspired paintings are created with watercolor, gauche, acrylic ink and oil paint. Layers are built up on the canvases in Barber’s studio outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where the waves of daffodil and rhododendron blooms in the spring enliven her work. Her vast studio space allows Barber to spread her work out on the floor or lean canvases against the wall in an easel-like format, inviting the artist to dive deeper into the painting and get closer to her material. We asked Barber a few questions about her creative space so we can envision her artistic process from here in Santa Fe.

Q&A: In the studio with Liz Barber

What is your favorite thing about your art studio?

My studio is attached to our house so anytime that I’m feeling inspired I can just head out and start painting. This really allows me a lot of freedom to capture ideas as they come to me.

Walk us through the evolution of a mixed media painting in your studio.

I begin the paining with a nugget of an idea and start with a washing layer of paint – very watered down so that it can move freely all around the canvas. After that dries I sit with it a while and figure out where the painting is. Usually it’s along the path of my idea but sometimes it takes on a life of its own. At this point I edit out areas that are not working so well and focus on the areas that are exciting to me. I then intuitively respond to each element that I lay down on the canvas and bring it to resolution.

What tool in your painting process could you not live without?

I’m not sure if it’s actually a tool, but music is so critical to my process. It opens me up creatively and lets me get lost in the painting that I’m working on. It actually does add to the flow and movement of the painting.

How many pieces do you typically work on at once?

I work on 4 to 6 canvases at one time; that way I can bounce around and not get stuck on one piece. This keeps the work fresh and the ideas flowing.

Your work is inspired by the changing of the seasons. Which season is most inspirational for you and why?

I would have to say spring. I think after the long winter of sparse landscape it’s amazing to see flowers bursting through the ground and color just awakening everywhere.



Read more about Liz Barber’s inspirations and process in a previous blog post, and learn about her background from our press release officially announcing her as a represented artist.

View Liz Barber’s available paintings.

Liz Barber: The Artist’s Process

  • by [email protected]
  • January 11th, 2017

Liz Barber, mixed media artist, working in studio“Mixed media allows for more creative freedom. It’s a way to give the materials more of a voice. I direct – they sing.”

Georgia-based painter Liz Barber’s ethereal abstract paintings begin with a watercolor and gouache base. The artist then innately organizes layers of acrylic ink and oil paint to build a harmonized composition that rhythmically reflects her current natural environment or memories of past experience. Shapes reminiscent of flower petals or floating leaves emerge through this painterly process, moving gracefully across the canvas as if they were drifting in still water or flowing with a rushing steam. The artist anchors their movement and the viewer’s eye by incorporating drawn elements with graphite pencil to tie areas of the painting together, tracing various story lines that coalesce into a single narrative. As the viewer follows the swirling marks that connect soft airy spaces with vivid opaque forms, the piece unfolds to capture the cadence of nature and its seasonal shifts, from fresh blooms to withering decay.

Some of the narratives that take shape in Barber’s paintings represent the current season with bursts of color in spring, white washed palettes in winter and luminous lighting in summer. Other paintings intuitively form from the artist’s past experiences. Barber grew up in a coastal New England town in Massachusetts where the meditative movement of water inspired her from an early age and continues to influence her work. Foggy coastlines, rocky beaches and clear water permeate Barber’s memories and resurface in paintings such as Shoreline 2 and Surf 7.

Shoreline #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Shoreline 2, Barber, 24×24″ mixed media

Surf #7 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Surf 7, Barber, 60×60″ mixed media

The floral feel in Red Petals and Tulips 2 stems from Barber’s early memories of her mother’s flower garden and the peaceful quiet she found among the carefully coordinated blooms. “It took a lot of organizing, but looked effortless,” Barber recalls of her mother’s work. Similarly, Barber’s paintings are spontaneous yet controlled through an organized process as she meticulously directs each layer of paint and then intuitively responds to the interaction of the material. The result is a colorfully composed chorus that commands a visceral response and emotional expression from the viewer. To experience more of Barber’s paintings, visit her artist page on our website and read more about her work from our recent press release that officially announces her as one of our represented artists.

Red Petals mixed media by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Red Petals, Barber, 40×60″ mixed media

Tulips #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin Contemporary

Tulips 2, Barber, 60×48″ mixed media

Happy Holidays from Pippin Contemporary

  • by [email protected]
  • December 19th, 2016

0f5b0867f267eff8bbe7fa55cf58177dHappy Holidays! It’s a special time of year in Santa Fe as the city is illuminated with farolitos and holiday lights, adobe buildings are adorned with wreaths and ristras, and the smell of pinon fires waft through the streets. Turquoise doors pop from adobe facades as snow falls from sunny skies – there’s truly no better place to be. We love strolling Canyon Road this time of year to see the local galleries all dressed up in their holiday finest, and always look forward to the annual Farolito Walk on Canyon Road for Christmas Eve (that’s this Saturday night!)

With this festive atmosphere also comes the joy of giving. Holiday shopping is never stressful in Santa Fe when you’re perusing cozy galleries and unique boutiques. Even so, we’ve decided to bring the holiday shopping to you by adding a special Holiday Page to our website. Here, we’ve assembled a selection of original work by our artists that ranges from $150 to $2000, so you can easily shop for the ideal gift.

Santa Fe Ristra



Jeffrey Beauchamp’s Landscapes – More Than a Walk in the Woods

  • by [email protected]
  • December 8th, 2016

Written by Aleta Pippin

Landscape to Distract the Casual Burglar by Jeffrey Beauchamp at Pippin Contemporary

Landscape to Distract the Casual Burglar by Jeffrey Beauchamp

You climb through a portal of richly colored, gesturally expressionistic brushstrokes in Jeffrey Beauchamp’s landscape paintings to reach the luscious light-filled traditionally painted background. As you consider your journey, you realize it was so much more than simply viewing a landscape painting, it was a journey through two worlds, each rendered in a painterly fashion and each with a unique message. At once, you appreciate the historical knowledge and passionate imagination of Beauchamp’s artistic talent.

Intentionally intermixing historical art genres is Beauchamp’s guiding principle, “to maintain a visual conflict between a classic and modern painting surface. I give you a setting, then add props, and stage pieces making you question whether you walked into the right theater,” explains Beauchamp.

If Brahms Was a Movie by Jeffrey Beauchamp at Pippin Contemporary

If Brahms Was a Movie by Jeffrey Beauchamp

Armed with a fine arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, Beauchamp’s career started with animation and airbrush painting, evolving to realistic portraiture. The turning point in Beauchamp’s artistic evolution – inspirational museum visits where he encountered significant art movements and realized the dynamics of vibrant color, exaggerated motion, and easily interpreted detail.

The impressions created by these movements percolated in Beauchamp’s mind until they began spilling out in his paintings as structured compositions with raw strokes of color and loose forms. Though Jeffrey’s relationship with the natural world is reflected in his landscapes his paintings are so much more. There is his lush brushstroke, rich color, and intelligent blocking, creating a “portal” to navigate to the landscape; a contemporary, singular style created by Beauchamp.

Jeffrey Beauchamp showing at Pippin Contemporary

Jeffrey Beauchamp

“We recognize the genius of Jeffrey’s style – rendering a traditional landscape and pushing it to another visual level. This contrasting style sets up a dynamic for the viewer to consider Jeffrey’s paintings from a deeper perspective,” declares Aleta Pippin, owner of Pippin Contemporary. “We’re thrilled to represent him.”

Pippin Contemporary Introduces Three New Artists

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • November 29th, 2016

We are thrilled to officially announce the recent addition of three new stable artists to Pippin Contemporary. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing you to the work and careers of Jeffrey Beauchamp, Liz Barber and Hunt Slonem, three compelling contemporary artists that we’re proud to now be representing.

This winter we’re releasing blog posts, press releases, and e-blasts that call for an intriguing exploration of Beauchamp’s gestural abstract landscapes, Barber’s nature-inspired compositions, and Slonem’s exotic wildlife paintings. Here’s a brief introduction to each artist as you anticipate a deeper discovery.

The Tipsy Philosopher & Occam's Razor-Jeffrey Beauchamp-Pippin ContemporaryJeffrey Beauchamp offers a new perspective on abstraction, one that is drenched in art historical knowledge, passionate imagination, and striking artistic talent. The California painter’s structured compositions are layered with raw strokes of color and loose forms, upsetting the elegance of a classical landscape with whimsical abstraction. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse his available work.

Tulips #2 mixed media painting by Liz Barber at Pippin ContemporaryLiz Barber’s organic abstract paintings contain bursts of energy complimented by soothing movement, capturing the spontaneity of the natural world. Her work reflects the changing of the seasons as free-floating forms drift across the canvas, echoing the shapes of flower petals hovering on still water. Her compositions and color palettes evolve with seasonal shifts, expressing a natural life cycle from first bloom to final decay. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse her available work.

Parakeets by artist Hunt Slonem at Pippin ContemporaryHunt Slonem’s exotic butterflies and tropical birds are painted with an exuberant flair for color and gestural abstract style. By painting wet-on-wet he creates tangible texture that denotes wire enclosures over the animals. Slonem uses spontaneous brushwork for his iconic rabbit portraits, which are highly regarded in the fashion world and beyond. Found in prestigious collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Slonem’s work celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of each species he portrays. Click here to learn more about the artist and browse his available work.

Exploring Palette & Perspective with David Baca

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • November 9th, 2016

David Baca in Santa Fe Art Studio“I’m not pushing the viewer, or even myself, to see anything in particular within a painting,” says Santa Fe artist David Baca. “I’m trying to find a way to paint that makes me stand back and just find this depth of meaning in the work that is undescribed.”

Tracing a single line in one of Baca’s architectural abstractions will lead your dizzying eye into the depths of an urban landscape, following what seem to be city streets or rising skyscrapers. Then you encounter a shift and your perspective suddenly changes; you’re now viewing the scene from above, floating across the tops of buildings as the streets below begin to recede. Blocks of color and open spaces continue to push and pull your eye across the canvas, and stepping back from the work allows you to simultaneously encounter these pathways from a single vantage point. “You can see my mind change many times within a painting,” says Baca. “I push the perspective forward, then shift it. I’m not turning the paintings 180 degrees; I’m turning my mind 180 degrees.”

3 a.m. by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

3am, Baca, 14×14″ acrylic/panel

Intersection by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

Intersection, Baca, 30×30″ acrylic/canvas

For his upcoming exhibition, Black & White in Color, Baca continues his exploration of linear perspective through the removal and rediscovery of color. This practice allows him to reexamine the quality of line as he deviates from monochromatic themes to duotone palettes. Removing color reveals the infrastructure of his aesthetic through stark lines and simplified expression, while its explosive return widens the possibilities of emotion as each pigment calls for stirring reactions that vary from person to person.

In My Opinion the Sky is Blue by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

In My Opinion the Sky is Blue, Baca, 32×24″ acrylic/canvas

Whether black and white or in color, Baca’s work maintains a common aesthetic true to his distinct painting style and artistic growth. Urban architecture and mans influence on the landscape are the most notable influences on Baca’s push-pull acrylic abstractions, but his work is truly a culmination of his experiences from New Mexico to New York City and back again (learn more about the span of Baca’s career from his artist bio.) His work maintains a balance between the vastness of the southwest and the collision of the city. Long horizon lines are interrupted by rising skylines as memories from different parts of the artist’s life flow together, naturally blending as they form his ever-evolving style.

David Baca: Black & White In Color will be on display at the gallery from 11/23 – 12/6. Preview the show in the online exhibition catalog.

Please join us for the opening reception on Thanksgiving weekend, Fri. 11/25, 5-7pm.

David Baca's Santa Fe Studio

David Baca's Santa Fe Studio
For inquiries call 505-795-7476 or email us at [email protected].

Follow us on Instagram for more shots from David Baca’s Santa Fe studio.

Canyon Road Paint & Sculpt Out 2016

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • October 10th, 2016

Rebecca Haines, Paint OutThis weekend is the Canyon Road Paint & Sculpt Out, a lively event where artists demonstrate their creative process along historic Canyon Road. Artists bring paint, clay, fire, glass, easels and more to this event, and give visitors an interactive art experience as they involve onlookers with their process. Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Santa Fe with sunny blue skies and crisp mountain air, providing a brilliant backdrop for the event.

Alongside the visual artists, music students from Santa Fe public schools will perform from 1-3pm, and a parade of all 500 performers will take place at noon. Choirs, string ensembles, bands and more will participate in what is a highly anticipated event for the students.

This year at Pippin Contemporary, Cody Hooper, Gina Rossi, and Rebecca Haines will participate in the Paint & Sculpt Out. Watch Cody’s light-infused abstracts take form through his layering and blending process; see Gina’s cloud and mountainscapes evoke the magic of a Santa Fe sunset; and witness the soft personalities of wild animals come to life in Rebecca’s contemporary wildlife paintings.

Cody Hooper, Paint Out

Gina Rossi, Paint Out

Join us on Friday evening 5-7pm to kick off the weekend with Aleta Pippin‘s exhibition, For the Love of Color. The vibration of color in Aleta’s new work will energize your evening and lift your spirits as you experience the freedom and passion imbued in each piece. Click here to read more about the show.

Aleta Pippin: For the Love of Color

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • September 29th, 2016

Aleta Pippin, Santa Fe abstract painterThis October, an explosion of color will enliven the gallery with Aleta Pippin’s exhibition For the Love of Color. The show will run from October 12th through October 26th, with an opening reception on Friday, October 14th, kicking off the weekend of the Canyon Road Paint & Sculpt Out.

For this exhibition, Pippin is exploring new imagery within abstraction using both acrylics and oils. Vivid color continues to be central to her artistic expression with painting palettes that vary from soft mingling hues to strong contrasting colors. Swirling movement and flames of soft color rise up the canvas in Radiance, a 60×36” oil painting, while energizing motion and layers of striking hues vibrate against each other in Color Burst, a 36×36” oil on canvas.

Pippin’s intuitive painting style allows her to freely express her personal visions through abstract art. “My goal with every painting is to impart an internal expression that flows freely through me,” says Pippin. “It’s basically a narrative inspired by the paint.”

Color Burst by Santa Fe artist Aleta PippinColor Burst by Aleta Pippin

Pippin is also revisiting pouring the paint, a technique she explored many years ago in her career. Feeling drawn to the free flowing movement of the paint and the ambiguity of the outcome, Pippin is now approaching the process with a broader skill set and renewed vision. New poured pieces will be on display for the exhibition including Magenta Pour, 48 x 48”, oil. Pippin says of this piece:

“In 2003 through 2005 I used the process of pouring the color. I liked the large splashes and serendipitous events occurring through the use of this process. All of those paintings were done using acrylics; I’d never tried it with oils. So in revisiting the technique, I decided to do some of the paintings using oils. I loved what happened. The color melded together differently than acrylics. I plan on continuing to fine-tune this process.”

Magenta Pour by Aleta Pippin, Santa Fe artistMagenta Pour by Aleta Pippin

Read Aleta Pippin: For the Love of Color full press release and browse the exhibition catalog. You can also view new inventory on Pippin’s artist page. We look forward to seeing you at the opening reception on October 14th, 5-7pm.