Thursday, October 21, 2021


Design and Made by Nusi Quero

As a practicing artist of 40+ years, it is very seldom that another artist comes along who innovates beyond the known-conventions of ‘making art’. When one does, other artists, regardless of their discipline, immediately sit up and take notice. It’s the sheer audacious ORIGINALITY of that hitherto unknown creator that shines like a beacon …

Predominately, there are two principal artistic modes used for interpreting ‘reality’ – realism and abstraction. For those determined to relay what their eyes see outside of themselves, the on-going aim is to meticulously recreate perceived objects in Time and Space.  For those determined to relay what they feel and think about assorted IDEAS in Time and Space, explorations - (using assorted mediums, methods and geometry) - are quintessential until the finished ‘abstraction’ resonates with the artist. Both are now accepted means of ‘interpretation’ that articulate the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ worlds that we all inhabit. Examples follow:

When an artist, especially a young one, suddenly emerges BETWEEN these two ‘disciplines’, it’s really worth a second look.  

Grimes' 'tattoo'

Nusi Quero is the name ...

... and ‘fractal-generated fluidity’ seems to be his game.

This Floridian-born, California re-settled, lapsed-graffiti-artist and former architectural student first came to my attention a month ago when he was linked to Elon Musk’s punky-goth wife, Grimes, as a collaborator on her nasty-looking back tattoo. 

That body marking, in and of itself, did nothing for me  -  BUT - I was intrigued by the ‘realistic precision’ of that scarring ‘abstraction' ... 

I began to investigate further …

Currently, Nusi Quero is experiencing some global acclaim within a fringe of the ‘haute fashion’ world as a bold innovator who sculpts what are essentially bodice garments onto nubile nymphs. The ‘garments’ themselves are provocative, bizarre - and titillating. Well-placed luxurious metal swirls amplify the seductive curvatures of the female forms. Some bodices border on a kind of kinky S&M ritualism. However, the garments really are applied-sculptures that revere an idealized female form with a new kind of mythical power and potency. They bespeak of a new interpretation of the ‘female form’ that jettisons it FORWARD as a harbinger of an evolving ‘futuristic imperialism’. These  fetish-ized girls are generally portrayed as alluring bejeweled nymphs - (often with exceptionally long “I-don’t-use-my-hands-for-anything-except-theatrics” fingernails). These dazzling damsels are seldom depicted as mature QUEENS in any sense of the word. Rather, they are crafted as seductive PRINCESSES. (That’s a small jejune flaw that can be rectified, or built upon, later.)

Empress Mask by Nusi Quero - $8000

Inherent to Quero’s exuberant extravagance is a demanding 'cry for attention', not only the wearer, but for the artist himself. 

Quero definitely wants seduced viewers to RESPOND to the intricate perfection that exudes from these stylized creations. The body-cladding certainly does elicit ‘shock & awe’.

For myself, (as a mature and elderly women within the field), as much as I do find Quero’s execution and interpretations both exceptional and extraordinary, I sincerely hope that he doesn’t stop here and become forever snared in the fidgety world of ‘fashion’. There is a very unique and emerging talent in this young man that could EXPLODE onto much greater and dynamic ‘social’ art works.

This young fella has oodles of talent. The question is: can he step-it-up to step-out of his current interest in vapid Game-of-Thronesy punky-baroque 'elitism' and enter other artistic realms that manifest his evolving understanding of the FUSION of the two primary disciplines of ‘realism’ and ‘abstraction’? 

If he can, and if he does, he could well become the in-demand Julie Taymor of his generation - or even GREATER ... Definitely ‘One-to-Watch.'

Follow  - Nusi Quero - on Instagram, his preferred platform.  Read his 'voice' in links 1 & 2 below. Link 3 has been posted on his Twitter account, it's a mind-blowing clip!



3. "Multi-track audio-reactive body-dysmorphia-simulator DEMO" - You definitely want to see this clip!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

5-Star Book Review: STICKS and STONES by MLHolton

Thrilled by this first formal book review by the former CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington of my new short story collection, STICKS and STONES, published in The Bay Observer in Hamilton, a former print and now fully on-line news resource for the Greater Hamilton Area. 

STICKS and STONES will be available as an ebook on Oct 16th via Amazon and non-Amazon platforms. A paperback is coming in the Spring of 2022. 

Here are Mr. Steven's choice words: 

Sticks and Stones, the new collection of previously unpublished short stories by prominent Burlington-born artist/writer/filmmaker Margaret Lindsay Holton, is surprisingly unsettling.

That it would be unsettling is no surprise: the author clearly articulates in the introduction her objective to entice readers away from their settled beliefs and ideological certainties into unfamiliar cognitive spaces in the hope that more empathetic and fluid communication might develop across today’s social and political divides.

The surprise is in just how many different and unexpected ways Holton finds to destabilize the inherent cognitive bias of the reader. Poetic word choices, plot twists, and shifts in perspective are to be expected in the short story format, but Holton combines and recombines these with familiar settings and seemingly familiar characters to the point that even the most ordinary scenes can become hallucinatory experiences.

Holton’s sensibility as a visual artist is evident in the extraordinary number of indelible images that these stories evoke. However, I feel I must refrain from describing in too much detail any of these striking moments lest their impact within the reading be diluted.

The collection includes ten stories, mostly set in the Golden Horseshoe region. Some are simple and touching sketches, some involve fantasy and romance, and some are disturbingly puzzling, while others are puzzlingly disturbing. To reveal more would just spoil the fun.

Although these stories are all newly completed, Holton explains in the introduction how their original drafts were written at various stages over the past forty years, and how the experience of the 2020/21 pandemic inspired her to revisit these works. These reworked stories resonate deeply in this period of isolation and uncertainty. They evolve with a kind of organic accuracy that amplifies an on-going contemplation of the grandeur and significance of the passage of time. (Worth noting, this ability to ‘mark time’ parallels her deft handling of multiple generations throughout her 2019 award-winning novel, TRILLIUM, a 250-year epic saga set in the Niagara Peninsula.)

Sticks and Stones offers the reader an insightful glimpse of the aesthetic voice of Margaret Lindsay Holton. It rewards the reader with several enduring images and provokes profound questions as it subtly reflects on the beauty, horror, heroism, and hubris of our shared experience, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. It is a good read. I highly recommend it.

Ebook, 107 pgs. - Paperback, 126pgs, - via Acorn Press Canada.

Pre-order e-book on Amazon –   - Paperback coming January, 2022.


Robert Steven is former President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington, and the former Executive Director and Curator of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie.