“forgotten” juried by Blue Mitchell

The “forgotten” exhibition juried by Blue Mitchell, was in the Main gallery from August 24 to September 30, 2018.  Blue selected fifty four images from fifty four artist.  Jelisa Peterson’s “Haunting” received the Juror’s Award.  Michael Weitzman’s image “Silent Witness” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Susan de Witt’s “Hollow Memories #2”, Nancy Goodrich’s “Begging Bowl” and Steven T Smith’s “Lost in Thought, Frankfurt Zoo”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Ray Bidegain’s “Circle”, Melody Locke’s “20th Century Pastime”, Christopher Priebe’s “Offering” and Josh Raftery’s “Memento Mori”.

The Photographic Performance 2018 / Deborah Sfez

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2018”.  Deborah Sfez’s exhibition “The Mummies from Dresden” was in the gallery from August 3 to September 2, 2018.

“Photography, for me, means a creative research. It is a tool in the process of creating an image. I believe that the strongest and quickest way to communicate an idea is through an Image. This year I found in Dresden (Germany) a small Album with very small pictures of a German family during the years of World War II 1930-1948. I photographed them again digitally and covered all the faces with handmade red embroidery to make them anonymous and look like Mummies. There are no evidences of any war in the pictures, no soldiers, no signs of destruction, only peaceful photos of a traditional German family of those years, except one picture of 1947 showing a couple on their wedding day sitting on a bench while behind them we notice two buildings: on the right a building in good shape and on the left a completely destroyed one and this is the location they have chosen for their wedding photo to show to their children.

I have decided to give these little photos a new life and shoot them again with a digital camera, enlarge them and cover all the faces with red embroidery, first technically to cover their identity, make them unrecognizable and anonymous, by erasing their identity they become like marionettes all alike and we can concentrate on their body attitude and the way they are dressed up, their posture and the fashionable looks of their time. These members of one family become like corps with no faces like Mummies of an ancient time. In ancient Egypt they believed that when a person died it was the beginning of a long journey for her, therefore they believed the body should be preserved, wrapped up in many layers of resin coated linen cloth to keep the moist away and prevent the body from decomposing after death.

I certainly think that photography is a living evidence of its dead subjects. Therefore by “injecting” red thread into the photography paper I add a material that, like for the Mummies, preserve the photography, as a living material piece of an artistic document, that starts a journey in the eye of the viewer and goes beyond the photography and deals with the essence of the media itself. Now we have a series of unknown existences in a known historical period that lead me to asking myself many questions like: what is a Family Album? What is photography? What is the role of photography as a historical document? Can we trust it? What do people choose to show in their albums and what do they choose to omit? These are hard, disturbing questions dealing with truth, honesty, education to the next generation, memory and truthful history narrating.”

Deborah Sfez, 2017

“street” juried by Harvey Stein

The “street” exhibition juried by Harvey Stein, was in the Main gallery from July 6 to August 19, 2018.  Harvey selected fifty four images from forty nine artist.  Robert Moore’s “Faith Series No. 4” received the Juror’s Award.  Marsha Mahoney’s image “Paris Rain” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Geoffrey Agrons’ “They Wrangle Through the Night”, David Dennard’s “Entering the Temple, Tibet, 2013” and Kip Harris’ “Smoke Break, NYC”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Leigh Oviatt’s “The Procession”, Louise Pedno’s “The Market” and Terry Wild’s “Bus Stop 1968”.

“still life” juried by Kate Breakey

The “still life” exhibition juried by Kate Breakey, was in the Main gallery from May 18 to July 1, 2018.  Kate selected fifty five images from fifty one artist.  Susan Fenton’s “Untitled (WOOD) 3” received the Juror’s Award.  Ashton Thornhill’s image “Floating Still Life #1” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Geoffrey Agrons’ “Elixirs”, Evy Cohen’s “Fragments (2)” and Charlotte Watts’ image “Perhaps It Is Not Dark Inside After All”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Patricia Dudley’s “Untitled from the series DELIGHTful”, Jimmy Salmon’s “Lemon Curls” and JP Terlizzi’s image”Orange Swirl”.

The Photographic Performance 2018 / PhotoSynthesis

 

This is the second in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2018”.  The “PhotoSynthesis” exhibition juried by Kevin Tully and Amanda Smith, was in the Salon gallery from May 25 to June 24, 2018.  Participating artist in the exhibition were Jeri Eisenberg, Sherrie Posternak, Janise Yntema, Lia Rothstein, Michelle Robinson, Wayne Montecalvo and Fran Forman.

“The Oxford English Dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination…producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” The most accomplished artists have the experience and intuition to utilize the medium that most successfully contributes to the ideas they are trying to put forth in their work.

Artists must ask themselves if their preferred medium is the best path to expressing their vision. Sometimes, a combination of mediums can have a profound result that could not have been accomplished any other way. Synergy, when one plus one equals more than two, can happen when artists work with the mediums of photography plus encaustic. They take advantage of the inherent characteristics of each, but bring their work to a higher level. The viewer may have a difficult time distinguishing where the image produced by the camera ends and the strokes of wax begin, or whether one is looking at a  “real” or altered reality that represents a synergism of image and encaustic.

Applying wax to a photograph can exponentially extend the meaning of an image. The texture of the surface and the invitingly sensuous and tactile sheen of the waxes add to the visual and emotional impact of the underlying handmade photographic work.  What is revealed or concealed, contextualized or isolated and emphasized or obscured, as well as the ambiguity of foreground vs. background; all are called into play when wax, resin, pigments and other materials are used with photography.

The artists selected for this exhibition display technical mastery in both encaustic and photography and employ both mediums to their maximum expressive capabilities. They also demonstrate a wide variety of techniques and accomplish their artistic goals by utilizing luminescence, texture, translucency, opacity, color and composition effectively.”

“portraits” juried by Alyssa Coppelman

The “portraits” exhibition juried by Alyssa Coppelman, was in the Main gallery from March 30 to May 13, 2018.  Alyssae selected fifty five images from fifty one artist.  Lisa Krantz’s “Rowan Rests” received the Juror’s Award.  Dale Niles’ image “Aunt Willie’s Nursing Cap” received the Director’s Award.  Juror’s Honorable Mentions were given to Anthony Marchetti’s “Untitled (Paul)”, Christopher Priebe’s “Marcella Takes a Look” and Sandra Chen Weinstein “Into the Blue”.  Director’s Honorable Mentions were given to Jim Dratfield’s “On The Town”, Katherine Hershey’s “Garden Statue”, David Morel’s “English Lady and Her Dogs” and Project Barbatype’s “Angela Webb, World Champion Whiskerina Realistic  Moustache, 2017”.

 

The Photographic Performance 2018 / Marilyn Maxwell

This is the first in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2018”.  Marilyn Maxwell’s exhibition “At Risk” was in the gallery from April 20 to May 20, 2018.

“At Risk” is about vanishing species.  With this collection of images, I want to advance the idea of enlightened human stewardship of African species at risk of extinction.  These photographs not only celebrate the beauty and power of Earth’s great land animals, but are also meant to call attention to their plight.  They are at our mercy. My fear is that these images may depict the last decade these creatures walk the earth before Man eradicates them through poaching and habitat destruction. This portfolio follows in the tradition of Sebastiao Salgado’s Vanishing Cultures and Nick Brandt’s dark vision of African wildlife’s future. – Marilyn Maxwell

“Being Set Free” exhibition juried by Karen Divine, Melanie Walker, Amanda Smith, Diana Perkins and Kevin Tully

The “Being Set Free” exhibition juried by Karen Divine, Melanie Walker, Amanda Smith, Diana Perkins and Kevin Tully, was in the Salon gallery from February 23 to April 15, 2018.  Thirty three images from twenty four artist were selected for the exhibition.  Dorothy Kloss’ “Longing for Someone to Get It”, “Monsters Don’t Sleep Under Your Bed, They Scream Inside Your Head” and “Outside and Out of Touch  received the Juror’s Selection Award.  Eduardo Fujii’s “Uncertain Destiny” received the Director’s Selection Award.

The Photographic Performance 2017/Jim Riche

This is the sixth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2017” that were not chosen for exhibition in the gallery, yet we feel demand an audience.

Jim has worked in the film industry for many years.  He has a cinematographers eye.  He looks at his subject like David Lean or Stanley Kubrick, who was also a photographer.  The decay and rugged, salt impregnated visions of the environs around the Salton Sea are framed not unlike Lawrence heading out into the majestic, yet also vertiginous desert or Spartacus leading gladiators across the wide Italian plain towards Rome.

 

How did you come to photography?

I got a BFA in Photography as a Fine Art from RIT many years ago. During those years I interned for Pete Turner one summer and was totally immersed in the darkroom creating different techniques of developing Extachrome.  After a number of years in the business I ended up becoming a Director of Photography on a stop motion film.  From there I spent the next 25 years working in Visual Effects for films such as Tron, X-Men:First Class, Deadpool and many others as a VFX Supervisor and an Executive Producer. Now I find myself drawn back to photography as I wind down my film career.  I live in the Palm Springs area of California and the Mojave Desert and Salton Sea areas have a special appeal, a special beauty that you just need to find.

What drew you to do a series on the Salton Sea?

The Salton Sea was created by mistake back in 1905 when a dam broke and it filled with water for 2 years. In the 50s and 60s it became a resort on the water, cities were planned, marinas were built and hotels and resorts flourished.  There were yacht clubs, speed boat races, the stars came from palm springs to have fun in the beautiful water.  Communities built along the coast, Desert Shores , Salton city, Salton Sea Beach with its marina.  Then over on the east side of the lake were the North Shore Yacht Club and the resort town of Bombay Beach and Niland Marina. It has now been left to the elements and the few thousand people who still hang on to life on the edge of the sea.  Two hurricanes in the 70s ripped through the area devastating the communities.  Yet it is still a beautiful place in its own right.  It is a huge bird-way for 80% of the worlds white pelicans and 90% of the eared grebe.  It is a world with history and a beauty that deserves to be saved and to be seen by today’s generation and future generations.

What do you hope people will see in your work? 

I created this series so people can see what man has brought to the world and what nature is taking back.  The Salton Sea was a wonderland totally created by man, it didn’t exist until man made a mistake.  Nature has a way of correcting our mistakes yet the footprint of man will still remain.  It is a shame that we create things that should not have been there in the first place.  I hope people see the Salton Sea as a land that nature is trying to take back and something we need to make sure is taken care of properly.

http://www.jimriche.com

 

The Photographic Performance 2017/Paula Riff

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts, conversations, focusing on the many entries we received for our call “The Photographic Performance 2017” that were not chosen for exhibition in the gallery, yet we feel demand an audience.

Paula is an extremely sincere, generous and open individual.  Dwelling behind her quick smile and generosity is shining intellect, curiosity and creativity.  This project of Paula’s is rich.  Her images are constructions — compilations of artistic peregrination, photographic process and narrative.

How did you first get into photography?

My first career had nothing to do with photography.  I had been living in Japan for several years working as an interpreter at a Japanese newspaper and the staff photographer gave me his used Minolta camera before I returned to the states. On my way home I travelled to Nepal and the very first photos I took was during that trip, trekking in the mountains. I become completely obsessed and when I moved to Los Angeles, I enrolled in a few photo classes and set up a mini darkroom in my bathroom.  I also lucked out and was hired soon after as an intern at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the photo department and the head curator at that time was very influential in the beginning of my photographic education. I had access to an amazing photo library which I poured over and I was also fortunate to view the prints in their expansive collection.

Tell us how you got started experimenting with historical processes and why you primarily choose camera-less photography as your method?

I started in the darkroom making my own prints and loved the hands on process of making something by hand.  It was just so magical to be in the darkroom and see what happened.  Then I started hand coloring my prints, again getting really close to the print and feeling as if I were one with it.  I also loved polaroid cameras and bought a camera that used SX-70 film which I manipulated and hand colored and did all kinds of things with. The other real impetus was the wonderful Judy Sherrod, who spearhead and founded the photo based group Shootapoolza.  She always encouraged experimentation and pushed me to try new things.  So when I started experimenting with cyanotypes and coating my own papers, a whole new world opened up to me. My motto is, if you think you can coat it then go ahead and try it!   I will also say that making camera-less based art liberated my way of creating.  I no longer feel held back by anything and it is such a tremendous feeling of freedom to make art in this manner.  The piece of paper or whatever substrate I am using is now my camera. I am inspired by the artists and photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, who believed in adventure in their art making and that the possibilities within the photographic realm was limitless. I am interested in the history of photography and how images are made using photographic materials and am inspired and pushed to make art that is modern and hopefully on the cusp of the avant-garde in a way to blend the two. 

Can you please tell us a little bit about your project: “ Concerto in Three Movements”?

This project came about as a continuation of combining my hand marbling of different papers, a method of floating paints and inks on water; transferring that one time pattern or design onto the paper and then making photograms.  This time I decided to use platinum palladium as my coating preference instead of cyanotype, as the country was moving towards a darker political environment. So black was my choice for these darker times.

I was also feeling the tremendous weight of the passage of time. I am constantly  thinking about how much more or how much less of it there is. As a result, this series looks at the fragility and impermanence of the natural world. It is about mortality and how things change. It is also about our relationship to the earth, the tenuousness of beauty, and shift of the natural state of things.

This project is intended as a concerto, a piece for an orchestra with three contrasting movements, and was conceived as a musical meditation for the passage of time through one’s life. It is this connection to the earth and the sun that allows us to somehow survive the varied stages and changes in our existence.  I use leaves and bones, rocks and dust, as metaphors for these connecting but separate parts.

I am continually interested in testing the parameters of photography by using the natural world as my camera, instead of being bound by a single lens. These are camera-less images made by placing objects on hand marbled papers, which are then coated with light sensitive materials and exposed in the light to make photograms. Like the earth, these images are bound to the inherent ways of nature and like photography, dependent on light, the passage of time, and the inexplicable existence of human trial and error.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about myself and my art!

To see more images please visit my website: 

http://paulariffphotography.virb.com/a-concerto-in-three-movements