CONGRATULATIONS to the 18 winners of b.j. spoke gallery’s national, fine art competition – EXPO 38, juried by ERICA COOKE, Research Fellow, Museum of Modern Art, Department of Painting & Sculpture.
Jessica Alazraki, Yanika Anukulpan, Lawrence Baker,
Karlyn Berg, Genevieve Cohn, Connie Dillon, Sarah Frieberg, Andy Harris,
Thomas Jackson, Ji Hyun Jeon, Jacob Lunderby, Anna Tsontakis,
Scott Mossman, Stewart Nachmias, Alexandra Opie,
Karen Francazio Sanders, Pamela Waldroup, Michael Zolnowski
WINNERS EXHIBITION: March 1-29, 2019 OPENING RECEPTION: March 2, 2019 from 6-9pm
As a fine art photographer, my camera gives me the ability to reveal to others the details I find in everyday subjects that often go unobserved. My passion for capturing the interactions between human, environmental and industrial elements is realized through a geometric approach evident in the repetitive patterns and shapes frequently appearing in my images. I use extreme angles and heightened contrast to prompt the viewer to take a closer look and come away with a deeper appreciation of the “ordinary.”
Primarily a black/white photographer, I am inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Edward Weston to use exaggerated perspective and dramatic light and shadow to create images full of dynamic movement and peaceful stability. The absence of color in my photographs allows the viewer to become immersed in the place, the mood and the time depicted but leaves room for personal interpretation. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
The Dreamscape and Firmament series is a further development from my previous series Veiled Places. The work uses watercolor and acrylic on paper or canvas sometimes including digital prints as a background layer. Many of the ideas from that series I transferred to canvas. I create layers to build an atmospheric depth. I am interested in creating the effect of a space ranging from the micro-biological to the macro-astrological. There are also references to the way the surface of the earth is transformed by geology and weather.
The work I produce is motivated by a confluence of intensities linking space, architecture and the psyche under the influence of late capitalism. Throughout my work, themes such as control of observation, problematic utopianism and mediated environments have appeared, mutated and returned in differing forms. The production of my work includes the use of digital photography and inkjet printing, but I consider the finished object to be a painting. By locating my work in the expanded field of painting, and through making use of images and processes that gesture towards methods of concealment, containment and protection, I use painting to address the image-painting-object in its complex relationship to time, labor and context.
My work is about my childhood and exotic dreams and fantasy. The style is very kitschy and childish but it has distorted and cruel parts. I invite people to join my fantasy, exotic world by doing a big installation.
Years ago I worked on a series of abstract watercolors based on divisions of space observed in ancient Egyptian funerary art. To create these artworks I painted through torn rice paper shapes to stain watercolor paper. While they were used in the process, the rice papers were not part of the finished watercolors. I stored them – many for over a decade — thinking that some day I would use them in some way.
In 2015 I began to use the rice papers in collages. Color is important, sometimes suggesting warmth, other times a cool atmosphere. Some colors are opaque and solid, while other colors suggest a translucent field. The irregular edges create spaces like light shining through. Smaller shapes suggest motion. These compositions feel like scale models of sculptures or architecture, and I have titled them Maquette.
My collages read as simple objects. Articles of trash floating down the street are portrayed in a way that compounds the true nature of their existence. I’m drawn to producing gravity and dimension while creating work that is playful and energetic. I walk, I collect, I produce.
My art is an exploration of meditation innately influenced by the tangible and intangible aspects of our natural environments. It seeks to uncover unseeable moments of stillness; an enveloping quietness of a calming unknown. I work in both two and three dimensional media, as paper, wood, clay, tea grounds, eggs and decomposed plant matter. In my observations of nature, I focus on rhythms, cycles, patterns and repetitions; lines, texture, light, and hues. Abstraction of these elements provides the visual vocabulary while the instability of raw materials frees my controlling nature to let go and capture fragments of stillness and express a quiet moment. Where within the stillness, distractions of life fall away; worries, concerns and fears. In that moment through my work, I am afforded and offer up to a viewer the possibility or inkling to relate to a moment of stillness on their own.
My style of painting has evolved over the years but painting marbles has brought me much joy. Like the friends they represent, they are each unique. They are reclusive but are the center of their friends’ existence. They are members of a full, sweet box of creamy goodness but life may have taken a bite out of that serenity. They may simply be looking for a way home. They jump at chances but also might choose to conform. Each is a tiny, intricate work of art in themselves: transparent, classic, innocent, original.