If ever you’ve looked up at the walls of your home and fantasised about filling them with work by brilliant, emerging artists, LA-based art collective Tappan is for you: an initiative that was born out of a desire to reinvent the experience of buying art. Its editorial platform connects a global network of readers with an ever-growing community of painters, sculptors, photographers and mark-markers, simplifying the process from start to finish. Opaque art-world terms are broken down in the glossary. A team of advisors are hand to help with any curation questions. The artists themselves – from the concepts which inform their pieces to what happens in their studios – are more or less on-hand, ready and waiting to connect.
Take NY-based painter André Sisson, for example, who is launching a new series of bold, graphic works through the site this week, all of which are influenced by African tradition. “I examined many masks, different religious practices and fetish statues," he explains. "The lines are equally aggressive as the strokes.”
There’s an underlying sense of innovation, one of making a lot from a little, in Sisson’s emotive works, that is in part due to his early early experience in the American south west. “I grew up in this rural part of Arizona, called Glendale. In retrospect, that’s where the isolation element in my work came from,” he says. “When I was growing up it was completely under-developed, so my friends and I had the reins on loads of empty land. It felt like ‘never never land’, the only creative people I knew growing up were in my family. My mother was a painter. She loved Monet’s work. My grandmother was really creative as well, she made jewellery, garments, and painted still life stuff.
“Fast forward a bit to last summer, I went to Alaska for two and half months to work in construction and painted in a temporary studio. It was Alaska that really help me discover and explore the notion of found materials. A lot of it had to do with lack of resources. The closest art store was three hours away, literally, so I had to take scraps from the jobs I worked and give them new purpose and meaning.” His innovation with materials manifests itself in this new series through raw, unmounted canvases and textural media, and there’s a magnetic energy in the marks he makes.
For more information on Andrü Sisson and his works, see Tappan.