Meet This Colorful Cast Of Hamptons Talent Who Turn To The Sea For Their Eclectic Art Pieces


Art by Bill Tansey

BILL TANSEYPainter & photographer, Bridgehampton

Bread and butter: Most of my paintings have a floral theme. Because of my experience in the events industry, I’m very familiar with the vocabulary of flowers. I love that in each month, new palettes and textures present themselves.

Lore to love: Even with all the current grandness on the East End, the spirit of the original settlers is still present. Windmills, back-road farms and secluded coves can be found, which lends a sense of history.

Admirable locals: Eric Fischl for his examination of the unspoken undercurrent of suburban life, and David Salle, who is a genius at recreating visual elements of popular culture. Artist’s approach: Never remain stagnant; there is freedom in not being tied to one path.

Art by Almond Zigmund

ALMOND ZIGMUND: Visual artist, East Hampton

Primary mediums: Wood and paint, but the materials that work their way in unintentionally are what most excite me.

In her own words: I make objects and environments that challenge one’s perception and way of looking at an existing space.

Currently exploring: The relationship between the body and abstract form.

On the shelf: The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. I’m interested in the history of thought and how cultural ideology has been shaped through time.

Creative fix: I look at artists I love and work with collage.

Coming up: A large-scale public commission.

Arts evolution: The Guild Hall Artist-in-Residence Program, the residences at the Watermill Center and the Platform project at the Parrish Art Museum have created a more dynamic, diverse chorus of voices contributing to the scene.

Natural wonders: Northwest Harbor, Louse Point and the Montauk cliffs.

Art by Darius Yektai

DARIUS YEKTAI: Painter & sculptor; Bridgehampton

Comeback kid: I was born in Southampton, by chance, and while I grew up in the city, I always knew I would return to this area to raise my children.

Working in: Oil on canvas. I sculpt with traditional oil painting materials as well: wood armatures wrapped in canvas, primed and painted.

Recent foray: Opening up the layers between surfaces. I have been pouring thick coats of resin over oil paintings and then painting again over the resin. This approach forces the viewer to experience the work in relation to their line of sight. It becomes sculptural.

Sense of place: It’s the quietness and peace of life here that allows my work to be so grounded. It is painting about painting, and my subjects are mostly unassuming: A vase of flowers on an edge of a table, a landscape, a wave, a figure.

Local love: For the past 100 years, the Hamptons has had a frontrow view of art history. It makes me think that I am not totally lost in space— smile, head down, get back in the studio, work, work, surf, work, surf.

Art by John Pagliaro

Art by John Pagliaro

JOHN PAGLIARO: Potter & sculptor, Shelter Island

Naturally inclined: My artistic practice is rooted in processes that are directly tied to nature and the outdoors. Whether it’s gathering seaweed and salt peat from the winter beaches in order to fire my ceramic clay pots outdoors, or harvesting bamboo when the sap is rising, my process is firmly rooted in our seasonal cycles out east.

Happy trio: I employ three principle materials: clay (ceramic), kozo bark fiber (handmade paper) and sterling silver (jewelry).

Shaped by: Musicians. I love conscious music that enlivens and informs our collective experience. I also draw influence from visual artists such as Lucie Rie, Lee Bontecou, Hans Coper and many others.

Local treasures: The exquisite stone artifacts that reflect the incomprehensibly beautiful material culture produced by the Manhasset and other indigenous peoples here.

Must visit: LongHouse Reserve—the landmark home and institution Jack Lenor Larsen built in East Hampton.

Find him: Conklin Point in Southold, Bostwick Point on Gardiners Island and in my kayak, wherever it may be traveling.

Art by Scott Bluedorn

SCOTT BLUEDORN: Multidisciplinary artist, East Hampton

Back to basics: I’ve always considered myself a drawing person—it’s the foundation of every mode in my opinion.

Formative influences: The work of the Surrealists, especially Dalí and Ernst, as well as contemporary artists like Vija Celmins, Neo Rauch and Peter Doig. But I draw from everyone, including the early master engravers and print artists.

Summer reading: I just finished The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel about a hermit who lived completely alone in a campsite in Maine for 27 years—a perfect fantasy for our times. I’m also reading Pascal Baudar’s Wildcrafted Fermentation, a master class in preserving foraged foods.

Highlight reel: Secret coves of Montauk, Luigi’s for sandwiches and The Ladies Village Improvement Society of East Hampton for treasure hunting.

Needed now: A shared studio center would benefit the art community, creating affordable studio space for younger artists as well as a venue to show work. More exhibitions will be pop-up events in novel locations or held virtually. But art, like life, always finds a way.

Art by Sabra Moon Elliot

Art by Sabra Moon Elliot

SABRA MOON ELLIOT: Artist, Bridgehampton

Mixed mediums: I’m always looking to say similar things in different mediums. Painting is so meditative for me while ceramics is so tactile and satisfying—you can express a physical story with it.

Next up: I’ve been thinking a lot about space: outer space, inner space, compositional space, spaces we occupy, feeling spaced out. Some of the work is pretty psychedelic and might make you feel spacey—I hope.

Read up: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, and I recently saw the Donald Judd exhibit at MOMA and bought the book, so I’m reading that.

Good company: We live in the coolest neighborhood: Candace Hill Montgomery, Mary Heilmann and Steve White are all really neat artists on our block.

On inspiration: Nature, the ocean, the farm fields and the great artists and writers who live out here. I’m constantly influenced by other artists. When I get in a rut, I imagine two artists’ work having a baby and what that would look like.