Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Is Every Mobile Photographer an Artist?

This question came to mind this past Thursday when I attended a gallery event at Hamilton Galleries
Hamilton Galleries Santa Monica, California 
Skateboard Legend Tony Hawk
signs his mobile image on canvas
in Santa Monica. Hundreds of attendees shared comments about the winning mobile images on canvas.  Instacanvas, an internet based company, hosted this one-night exhibition of some of the best mobile photographers from around the world. Aside from the online selling of images on canvas and other products, the focus of this company is on the mobile photographer – allowing folks to upload their  instagram images, giving them an online gallery to showcase their work and an opportunity to not only sell their images but to get feedback through peer group voting on images. Instacanvas creates online challenges which further provides exposure for the photographers.  Among the 70 plus images on view at the event, were mobile images on canvas by famed skateboarder Tony Hawk and well known rapper, Evidence. There is something about the immediacy of the moment that inspires us to use the ever increasing quality of the mobile phone to capture our vision in a photographic image. Also, the ability to use app editing software like Snapseed increases anyone’s chance to play with their images in a creative way. Whether or not the resulting images are ‘fine art photography’ is up to the viewer, however it is satisfying to know that the mobile phone can document important and inspiring moments in peoples’ lives and with companies like Instacanvas, can share these images with the online world and ultimately to the ‘real world’ through printing them on canvas and other products.  It is also refreshing to see that the ‘artist/photographers are making money on their images(there are no fees charged to the photographers to keep images on the site) – making it a win-win partnership for Instacanvas and the artist.
Hamilton Galleries mobile images
on canvas.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Luiz Gonzalez Palma's 'Anonimo, Heros and Performers', jdc Fine Art, San Diego,CA

El Circo folio, 10" x 10" platinum print

Luis Gonzalez Palma’s photographic works pull on our heart-strings. These sepia tinted photographs feel cinematic in the drama that each conveys to the viewer. The gaze on faces and demeanor of his subjects share a particular tragic longing, haunting and sadness. Among them are subjects depicting ballerinas, and masked and crowned figures. Some are created with handpainted silver print and collage while others use a gold leaf, red paper and kodalith process.  The unique and varied processes by which Palma creates his work add a critical dimension and depth to the strong presence of his subjects. The signature large piece “Heroes” is an early work - a collage of red and blue painted blocks intermixed with repeated photographic images of a young Guatemalan boy with masks and cultural symbols. This piece may refer back to Palma himself who was raised in Guatemala, reflecting the cultural and political issues of that time. ‘Variation 10’ and ‘Variation 11’ are round photographic works joined by their time and place – in one, a young dark haired beautifully dressed woman sits alone in a dark theater looking toward the viewer while the other appears to be the same location, with only a few sets of pearl necklaces hanging over one of the theater seats. These and other works tell stories about our humanity and the performance that is our lives.

Heroes   collage  

Variation 11
Variation 10

MOCA, downtown San Diego, Liza Lou's 'Color Field' Installation

'Color Field'   20' x 20' floor piece  steel rods, glass beads,particle board
As you walk into the MOCA building, your eye is drawn to a floor art piece in the distant atrium. Liza Lou’s “Color Field” is a richly hued carpet – it is reminiscent of what you might see from an airplane flying low over a field of grasslands, divided by various crop ‘colors’.  This 20 by 20 foot work sits in an open space that visitors can view from any angle.  Created from thousands of same-sized steel rods and thousands of multi-colored beads of same shapes and sizes, they all fit neatly into equally spaced small holes drilled into white particle board. Once you get past the sheer beauty and brilliance of the color combinations as they sit neatly in various sized square, rectangular and L-shaped forms, it is mind-boggling to realize the time, focus and tedious journey it must have been to create it. Lou’s piece was not created alone – her studio in Durban South Africa where she has worked since 2005, has allowed her the opportunity to work with 30 Zulu artisans in a non-profit center to both create work as well as developing her economically sustainable projects. On the San Diego end, Lou had a large group of volunteers who helped put the installation/sculpture together. ‘Color Field’ is also experiential – as the viewer walks around it, the colors shimmer and follow a mesmerizing and reflective pattern that blurs with the movements and pace of the viewer. This floor canvas pays homage to color field painting and pop art of the 60’s with a highly meticulous attention to craft.

Marc Petrovic's 'Find and Seek' series at Madison Gallery, La Jolla, CA

'Faith'  14" x 4"  glass, air

Marc Petrovic is a hot glass sculptor whose work at its core is driven by ideas. His current series of works are called “Find and Seek”. Air bubbles in the shape of letters trapped inside glass spheres spell out hidden words. Peering through clear highly crafted tall glass bottles, the viewer takes on the role of ‘finder and seeker’, literally reading into the piece.  Each bottle work includes several clear glass spheres that together form a word. It is the romantic notion of a ‘message in a bottle’ that draws us in to an otherwise straightforward pristine and simply designed hand crafted glass bottle. It is often the colorful transparencies and sometimes organically formed glass that we think of as ‘art glass’ – but in Petrovic’swork, he has provided us with a timeless quiet elegance and meaning -  having created glass in the form of a familiar object – the bottle.  Hand cut brass stamps are created to embed letters inside of individual small clear glass spheres during the painstaking craftsmanship of these works. The words formed and ultimately placed within the bottles are messages like ship, hope, courage, faith and love –things that bear universal meaning and value. There is an additional large wall work that is Petrovic’s version of the word search game. A large grid of the small clear spheres with letters embedded challenge the viewer to locate words. His accompanying wall information gives us the clues – words Petrovic has carefully chosen for us to find. As he states in comments about his work “ (the works) simply serve as a way to contain and continue a dialogue”.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Painter Bradford J. Salamon Exhibition 'Visages' Opening at Brett Rubbico Gallery, Newport Beach, CA

Llyn Foulkes, 45" x 30"
oil on synthetic canvas
When we think of a ‘portrait’, we expect to see a realistic rendition of a person’s face, head and shoulders, often the result of that individual commissioning the artist to paint it.  Portraits are usually about the person being painted but for Bradford J. Salamon’s ‘Visages’, most are expressionistic interpretations of some of Southern California’s familiar curators, artists, art writers and friends.  The exhibition includes 22 portrait paintings and 6 small paintings of singular nostalgic vintage objects – mostly all oils on synthetic canvases. Surprisingly, this group of works were all painted within the last year as about a third of the paintings have a more traditional portrait representation while the majority are a major shift away from that approach. We are being let in on Salamon’s creative process as he explores unusual territory.  Vigorous brushwork, manipulation of surface textures together with a color palette of a range of ochres, umbers and siennas place the artist’s personal stamp on these portraits. Many of these paintings have disappearing figure/ground connections as parts of a head may bleed into a background, and drips and dribbles of thin layers of paint are scratched into the canvas and  move in and out of view. It is unclear whether Salamon is putting forth his interpretation of the subject’s persona or his own personal one. In either case, these portraits exude energy, vitality and a directness that viewers can feel and appreciate. The exhibition opens October 5th with a reception from 7-10 pm and runs through November 30th.
Peter Frank, 45" x 30"
oil on synthetic canvas, 2013

Eric Minh Swenson, 18" x 14",
oil on synthetic canvas, 2013