When I first met Kim in March 2004 in Munich, I was very intrigued by her materials as she explained her work to me. I had no idea what her work looked like, but was intrigued by her choice of material—dust. So I asked her to send me visual samples of the works, which she did. What I saw was extraordinary and left me with a sense that I had encountered something magical. We started writing daily emails to each other, which turned into a dialogue, exchanging thoughts and ideas about the world, about life, about art, about everything. I realized after a few months of this exchange that there was this artist in Alaska with whom I had a connection based on words, images, and objects—something I had never really experienced before. So it was natural for me to ask her to come to my studio in Miami to create work together because I felt that through all this exchanging of life-things, we were already collaborating with each other.
excerpt from interview with Ricardo Viera, FOTOFEST2006 catalogue
MARIA MARTINEZ CAÑAS & KIM BROWN Dustograms
Dustograms are testament to the potential of two artists who trust and believe in each other’s work. Dust is evidence; fragile and ephemeral evidence of life’s presence. The English dictionary describes dust as being ‘the particles into which something disintegrates.’ It is so small and so big at the same time; ceaseless like time - a reminder of the beginning and the end. It comes from everywhere and nowhere and goes everywhere and nowhere.” Dustograms are unique prints of dust placed directly on photographic paper and exposed to light. The dust is then stitched onto the paper itself and results in a sculptural photographic object.
María Martínez-Canas was born in Havana, Cuba, and currently lives in Miami, Florida. She received a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and an MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. An artist who works with innovative, non-traditional photographic media, she expands the boundaries traditionally associated with the medium of photography. One of her most celebrated works is 'Años Continuos', a public-art commission from Miami-Dade Art In Public Places permanently displayed at Miami International Airport’s Concourse D. The 40’ x 40’ sandblasted photographic mural on glass was completed in January of 1996. She has exhibited extensively, with 33 one-person exhibitions and 175 group-exhibitions in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of a Cintas Fellowship; a National Endowment for the Arts award; and a Fulbright-Hays Grant, among others. Her works are included in the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco; The Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; the Museé du Centre George Pompidou in Paris, France; the Miami Art Museum in Miami; and the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; among others. She is represented by Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, Florida; Julie Saul Gallery, New York; and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.
Kim Brown's current work involves collecting and sewing dust and detritus. Brown’s recent exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida; Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Alaska; Art Basel Miami Beach, Florida; International Gallery of Contemporary Art, Anchorage, Alaska; Decker/Morris Gallery, Anchorage, Alaska; Kimura Gallery, Anchorage, Alaska; University of California, Berkeley; Otis/Parsons and Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, California; and on going work in Washington DC, New York NY, Munich Germany, Los Angeles CA, Seattle WA, Portland OR, and Anchorage AK. Selected public artworks are included in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alaska; South Anchorage High School, Alaska; Anchorage Jail, Alaska; Mirror Lake Middle School, Alaska; and is currently working on a public art commission for Eastern Washington University. Brown lives and works in Seattle, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska.