The “common objects” exhibition juried by Doug Beasley, was in the online gallery from May 12 to June 22 , 2023. Doug selected fifty five images from forty seven artist. Megan Hatch’s image “A Ladder to the Sky” received the Juror’s Award. Ralph Maratta’s image “Still A Girl” received the Director’s Award.
The “black/white” exhibition juried by Ann Jastrab, was in the online gallery from March 31 to May 11, 2023. Ann selected fifty five images from forty four artist. Sylvie Redmond’s image “Untitled” received the Juror’s Award. Rachael Short’s image “Her Reflection” received the Director’s Award.
Posted in News on 04/25/2023 | Comments Off on “black/white” juried by Ann Jastrab | GalleryTalk
The “portraits” exhibition juried by Elizabeth Flinsch, was in the online gallery from February 17 to March 30, 2023. Elizabeth selected fifty five images from forty three artist. Jeremiah Dine’s image “Anne-Marie (Head), 1990” received the Juror’s Award. Merete Lien’s image “Nataliaqua” received the Director’s Award.
Posted in News on 02/26/2023 | Comments Off on “portraits” juried by Elizabeth Flinsch | GalleryTalk
The “open | unfiltered” exhibition juried by Kevin Tully, was in the online gallery from January 6 to February 16 , 2023. Kevin selected fifty five images from thirty nine artist. Polly Whitehorn’s images “Yocelin With Sunflower” received the Juror’s Award. Lisa Cassell-Arm’s image “Between Heaven and Earth 2” received the Director’s Award.
Posted in News on 01/28/2023 | Comments Off on “open | unfiltered” juried by Kevin Tully | GalleryTalk
The “botanical” exhibition juried by Wendi Schneider, was in the online gallery from November 25, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Wendi selected fifty five images from forty two artist. Jo Field’s images “Teneramente” received the Juror’s Award. Ryn Clarke’s image “Peonies Everywhere” received the Director’s Award.
Posted in News on 11/22/2022 | Comments Off on “botancial” juried by Wendi Schneider | GalleryTalk
Beverly Conley received the Juror’s Award in the “she” exhibition juried by Sandra Chen Weinstein. She is a documentary photographer living in Benicia, California. She finds true satisfaction in long-term, self-assigned projects that focus on individuals and contemporary society. Her quest has allowed her to enter the private worlds of people living in and around the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, Gypsies & Travellers in England, the Cherokee Nation in Northeastern Oklahoma, steelworkers in Weirton, West Virginia, and the Cape Verdean Communities in Boston and in the Cape Verde Islands.
Posted in News on 11/21/2022 | Comments Off on Juror’s Award “she” : a conversation with Beverly Conley
Lesley N Blessing was the recipient of our Director’s Award for her image, “Floating, Twin Elements,” in the “she” exhibition, juried by Sandra Chen Weinstein. Here is what Lesley has to say by way of introduction:
Photography has been in my life since I was young. Street photography, editorial, commercial, non-profit, documentary, lifestyle and fine art are fields I’ve explored. After owning a fine-art photography gallery for a brief moment I came to recognize my passion for art. Like most artists my desire is to create work that tells a story and evokes emotion. People, relationships, and nature are my inspiration as well as the print. I discovered the platinum print recently and have dedicated a large amount of time printing on vellum. It has been an awakening in my work that I was in search of and I look forward to discovering more alternative processes.”
Her image, “Floating, Twin Elements” Is a wonderful example of creative alchemy. The disparate expressions on their faces — explaining two divergent personalities? The figures poised in midair – indicating the supernatural, unique place of twins in the world — objects of intense curiosity, exponentially more interesting, cuter than just one, and slightly mysterious. Folks generally love to tickle and bounce babies, twins even more so. I know, I came from a family of twins. Twinhood is much more nuanced and complicated than the two peas in a pod generalization. I think this image portrays that perfectly. The twins are printed in platinum palladium on vellum backed with silver leaf gilding. The effect if beautiful, outstanding.
Kevin: Lesley, your twin body of work is really wonderful. Can you tell us about your process of creating it technically, creatively and emotionally?
Lesley: First of all, thank you for all the very kind comments on my work! And for selecting my work, I’m honored. I’ll try my best to answer all of this!
My visual journey into twins started in 2003 when I selected a topic to photograph that was close to me. I am a twin and our relationship through the years has evolved. The project “Being a Twin” is a study on twins and their partnership as children. It was a project of nostalgia in missing the relationship I had with my own twin as kids; the uncompetitive nature, the laughing, every day activities, singing, eating, sleeping, watching tv, playing soccer and so much more. We were together, always together.
Change is inevitable in any relationship but as a twin the separation can be painful. Marriage, kids, moving across the country, other big life decisions, all of it has separated our friendship in ways that are difficult to understand. Around 2013 I started to create a photographic narrative showing our relationship as adults. Each art piece in Twin Elements illustrates some form of feeling or situation I’ve experienced.
After photographing twins in their natural setting for so long I craved something more extravagant, tangible and ethereal. I’m very influenced by the poses and mood of the Pre-Raphaelites and the romantic and ornate quality of the Art Nouveau period. I set out to create my own vision of our twin journey with twin models, nature, stylists, whimsy positions and completed with ornate detail.
I really enjoyed photographing the twins, posing them, manipulating the scene to mimic my intended feeling. The technical side was a bit trickier. My background in printing is silver gelatin. Wanting to explore more I started playing around with a few alternative processes. I chose platinum palladium for its quality in detail and lush appearance.
Transparency gave me the chance to incorporate texture and depth. I chose to print on vellum for its durability in the water and that led me to experiment with gold, copper and silver leaf as texture and shimmer. The size of each piece is determined how best it will look large and divided. I create a digital negative of each section, print, gild, varnish and then put the image back together. For me, the physical result is like a metaphor for our relationship…rich, complex, and no one person is the same.
Kevin: Lesley, I know as an artist that certain projects evolve with the time spent in creation. As a painter I never end up as I began. Very simply, the time it takes to apply paint or achieve whatever technique gives one additional time to reflect on the process and the concept. Has the act of leafing and working with the platinum palladium caused you to move in a direction not originally envisioned?
Lesley: Definitely, I’d say every stage has brought some sort of shift in plan but the platinum on vellum is what changed things the most. Because vellum has such a lovely transparency I was able to play with texture within the print and composition itself. At the very beginning of this project my first completed piece was a messy version of my final techniques for the series. I really love Harry Callahan and his work inspired the double exposure but I realized I could control this in the darkroom rather than in the camera. After experimenting with platinum on velum enough to understand the results I decided to merge the negatives in the printing stage instead of trying to manipulate the photoshoot and scene with the twins. I wanted it to be less literal, with some narrative detail but more natural and whimsical.
Kevin: Lesley you mention Harry Callahan. I think what gives much of his black and white work such immediacy is his use of contrast and black as an element of an image. I see this in your image “Floating.” Was that a conscious choice. Unfortunately, those viewing it online won’t get the full effect, but in person the wonderful silver leaf gilding both tempers and accentuates the effect.
Lesley: Yes, as a young photographer I loved high contrast in all my work, it was a bit much to be honest. I blew a lot of the detail out of the shadows and highlights.
The drama of the contrast in Twin Elements is something I aimed for especially in the printing stage. “Floating” is actually a straight single image with no double exposure or second negative. I photographed it in front of the trees because I wanted the girls to pop off the print. The contrast is definitely how I did it. At this point in shooting and printing I knew what would work and what wouldn’t. Sometimes I think my idea will be great and it just doesn’t print well. Each piece takes me a long time to put together. I have a million test prints b/c I tend to be a perfectionist. If the contrast isn’t right I’ll do it again until it is.
And yes, I agree with you. My work is best seen in person. The iridescent affect of the leaf that each piece has against the Pl/Pd and contrast has almost a three dimensional feel. You can see the pieces from different points of view and see unique detail that you couldn’t before.
I’m aiming to finish this project in the next few months. Thank you for asking me all of these questions about my work. It’s been interesting to think about why I do what I do.
Kevin: Lesley thank you very much for taking the time to do this. We look forward to seeing where you go next.
The “story” exhibition juried by Kevin Tully, was in the online gallery from September 2 to October 13, 2022. Kevin selected fifty five images from fifty two artist. Miglavs’s images “Homecoming” received the Juror’s Award. Catharine Carter’s image “Shadow” received the Director’s Award.
Posted in News on 09/19/2022 | Comments Off on “story” juried by Kevin Tully | GalleryTalk
Eddy Verloes is a Belgian photographer. I chose his image, “Apocalypse Now”, a dramatic, arresting black and white image of trees and clouds and water, for our recent exhibition, “Trees.” He first came to my attention with a black and white image he had in our “Life” exhibition, juried by Alyssa Coppleman, of Orthodox Jewish men playing on the beach. It was titled, “Losing our Minds.” Amanda and I gave it the Director’s award. It reminded me of the work of the French photographers Cartier- Bresson and Robert Doisneau, but it also had a bit of Monty Python in it.
As I was hanging the exhibit, I kept going back to it. It was truly joyful. It was a smile generator during the pandemic. In my opinion, it accomplished much of what a work of art should – it wouldn’t let you walk by and it proudly evoked an emotion. How many folks just walk by “Guernica” or can’t feel good looking at Wayne Thiebaud’s cakes?
Eddy is an award-winning visual storyteller. He asks us not to put him in a box on the home page of his website – not possible.
Kevin: Hi Eddy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to photography?
Eddy: I am a Belgian photographer and started with photography about 8 years ago after I stopped as organizer of a big musical event “Leuven Plaza Proms” in Belgium. I studied literature, philosophy and arts at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i.B. (Germany). I published four books: ‘No time to Verloes’ (2015), ‘Cuba libre’ (2016), ‘Zeezuchten’ (2020) and ‘Losing Our Minds/Buiten zinnen’ (2021).
The first time I felt like a photographer was two years ago when I took a series of ultra-Orthodox Jews on the Belgian coast who enjoyed their freedom in an unorthodox way in the storm (of their lives) and escaped the lockdown. This series has been traveling around the world for more than a year.
About my influences:
I really like the work of many photographers, and in some of them I see similarities to my style of photographing, especially when they have a kind of humour in their photographs. Martin Parr is one of my idols in street photography. He has been photographing beach life over many decades and in many countries. One of the reasons why I love his work so much is that his photographs have strong statements about society – and always has a certain viewpoint or critique. Many of his photographs are funny, interesting, or sometimes downright depressing. He interjects his own opinion and thought into his photographs and shows how he sees the world – and challenges us to see the world differently as well. When looking at Martin Parr’s photography, the viewer is often unsure whether to laugh or to cry. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary. In some of my photos I found an inspiration in him. Other photographers I like very much are: Harry Gruyaert and the surrealism of his work. I love his book “Roots” about the banality of the beautiful, the beauty of ugliness of … Belgium. Stefan Vanfleteren with his book “Belgium” which is a subjective photographic documentary about Belgium in B & W. Josef Koudelka because of his unusual point of view, the magic of street photography of Saul Leiter, the importance of composition in the work of Martine Franck, the photographs of Jehsong Baak which are a reflection of his many travels and testimony of his incisive eye. His velvety ink-like images bring to mind artists such as Bill Brandt and Man Ray, where the night, the dark and the light are surrounded by a symbolist air.
About my practice:
To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.
First rule to be a photographer, you have to be invisible. I don’t need to have a kind of relationship with my subject and I don’t need to prepare my locations. I do a lot of street photography. The essence of street photography is about documenting everyday life and society on the streets. It’s a genre of photography usually done candidly without permission and without your subject’s knowledge. The most spontaneous photos are for me the most interesting. The important thing with street photography is to have fun and enjoy going out with your camera. My goal is to capture emotion, humanity and sometimes depict a person’s character. Perception and intuition are the most important factors. Perception requires a creative eye for detail. Intuition is immediate and is not duty-bound to any attentive reasoning. These two factors are combined to create the “decisive moment”, an amazing process that takes your images to the next level. To me, the greatest moments in life are the ones right in front of you. I agree with Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of my favorites, who says that photography is the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second of the significance of an event.
Kevin: You have had significant photographic accomplishments in just eight years. Reading what you said above – are you a musician? You mention Man Ray, a personal art hero of mine. He was a creative polymath. Did you study art at some point? If so, what non-photographer artist would best define your personal aesthetic?
Eddy: I have a lot of affinity with painters as Edward Hopper, Léon Spilliaert, Caspar David Friedrich, Leszek Skurski and writers as Samuel Becket and Franz Kafka.
Aloneness is a great theme in Hopper’s work and also in my photos. Though termed a realist, Hopper is more properly a symbolist, investing appearance with clenched, melancholy subjectivity. He was masterly as a painter of light and shadow, but he ruthlessly subordinated aesthetic pleasure to the compacted description of things that answered to his feelings without exposing them. He leaves us alone with our own solitude, taking our breath away and not giving it back.
Once you’ve seen a Hopper, it stays seen, lodged in your mind’s eye. I also see a connection between Hopper and Alfred Hitchcock. The emotional tug of many of Hitchcock’s characters and all of Hopper’s requires their unawareness of being looked at. Hopper shows how, exploring a condition in which, by being separate, we belong together.
I think my photos “My eternal love” and “Mother, why are we living?” express the same atmosphere.
The inside and outside world in the paintings of Edward Hopper is a permanent source of inspiration for my photography; they are a reflection about the relationship between our ‘interior’ and ‘exterior’ lives and emotions. With my deserted, misty landscapes and isolated figures in strange rooms behind worn curtains I try to capture the loneliness, alienation and mystery of modern life. And the pandemic has given my photos a terrifying new significance. The solitary figures or even couples in my photos are often only shadows of themselves. I mostly use shadows or silhouettes to ‘hide’ or ‘keep outside’ information about the subject. Being in a room, a place or a landscape is to simultaneously inhabit two worlds: the one before us and the one inside us. The relationship of the viewer with the landscape or the room isn’t purely one of the physical dependencies, but it’s also spiritual and emotional. During these corona times, we were confronted more than ever with ourselves and with the mystery of nature. Reflection is needed more than ever.
Kevin: Thanks for your thoughtful responses Eddy.
Posted in News on 09/09/2022 | Comments Off on Directors Award “trees” : a conversation with Eddy Verloes
The “animalia” exhibition juried by Henry Horenstein, was in the online gallery from July 22 to September 1, 2022. Henry selected fifty five images from thirty five artist. Rajan Dosaj’s images “The Last Leaves of Autumn” received the Juror’s Award. Christie Goldstein’s image “A Portrait in Blue” received the Director’s Award. Boris Keller’s image “Elephants” received the Visitors’ Award.
Posted in News on 07/30/2022 | Comments Off on “animalia” juried by Henry Horenstein | GalleryTalk