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Archive for October, 2009

Sculpture club at 688.

79 Gallery was a perfect start for the ‘first Thursday gallery-hopping’ with friends. 625 Sutter and a couple of detours later I can assertively offer one single tip. LEAVE EARLY! For our clique, the 688 Gallery opening reception never saw the light of day.

I had to go back the next day to bring you the latest. Be sure not to miss one of the most unusual exhibitions at the AAU galleries.  688 Sutter hosts a show organized by the Sculpture Club featuring 14 individual styles and personal statements from graduate and undergraduate students. The spirit of the club finds itself channeled into an exciting show born out of popular demand. The work ranges from jewelry to bronze casting and everything in between.

Gallery assistant Amy Vazquez reveals that sculpture is a welcome change for 688 Gallery, “Being the Sculpture Club’s first group exhibition, I think this show does a great job at demonstrating to the public the wide range of works that are being produced in the Sculpture Department. It was also very nice to see how excited the sculpture students were to have their work displayed, and their anticipation in preparing for a future show. “She further states that displaying the diverse styles was a challenging but interesting experience.

The actual physicality of three-dimensional works often calls for a tempting tactile response from viewers who steal a moment from the alert gallery representative to reach out and touch the forbidden. Not always a good idea especially if you’re considering a brief encounter with Michael Barrett’s interactive sculpture titled ‘Punchline’. An interesting take on the absurdity of life, the installation mimics a boxing ring, an environment that symbolizes the endless struggles that mankind faces. A video of the artist getting punched by a left hand glove aka Alter ego, as he attempts to paint a straight line with his right hand could save you from a first hand experience. Check it out.

http://web.me.com/creepypeepyroom/iWeb/Creepy%20Peepy%20Room/Video/B43CE231-F09F-408A-895C-A497F60E8E64.html

Bobkidu series - Bob Carpenter

Bobkidu series - Bob Carpenter

Bob Carpenter’s ‘Bobkidu’ series creates an environment of original characters in a plot.  The artist and his ‘shadow’ or alter ego leap into life and narrate incidents to the viewer who in turn gets as deeply involved in the experience as the characters themselves. Almost animated in their appeal, the highly expressive figures do not fail to grab a great deal of attention.

A mélange of delicate materials, gleaming surfaces, roughed up textures and solid structures creates a unique visual indulgence. A personal favorite, ‘Anatomy of Kisses’, by Sonya Zuniga is as delicate as it is dangerous. Interesting dichotomy and skilled craftsmanship make this sharp-edged, welded steel holly wreath an instant success. Look but don’t touch!

A quick look at the 625 Gallery Jacquelyn Vierra and Carina Lomeli’s painting show. The former explores the beauty of nature in female nudes rendered in a representational style. In an attempt to bring classical realism to the contemporary art world, the artist paints an unconventional rear view of the model. Carina Lomeli prefers to paint her impressions and experiences in San Francisco. Drawing parallels between her personal relationships and the pace of vibrant but complex urban life, she realizes how deeply connected we really are.

Director of galleries Hillary Welde makes a special appearance next week. A super exciting event juxtaposed with an absorbing insight into the gallery world.  Stay tuned…

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Identity issues

SheSpeaks - SolaSawyerr

She speaks - SolaSawyerr

I am at work, occasionally glancing at a sporty Sola as she hangs paintings up for her thesis show. It is easy to categorize Sola as a bright-eyed, pleasant acquaintance; essentially strong and  enthusiastic. Still in the process, she has already managed to lure passers-by into inquiring about her work. It fails to surprise me though. The striking black and white imagery is highly charged with universal emotion and direct appeal.

The show is an ode to Sola’s family as she explores interpersonal relationships immersed in the yearning that physical displacement creates. The unusually large format of these portraits, the archaic palette and the choice of technique evoke a sense of history that unfolds her untold story of multi-ethnicity .The process of art becomes a platform for Sola to reach out and to redefine the elusive family ties that are in fact so deeply embedded in her heart. She contemplates with poems that cradle the paintings and reveal to us a completely different facet of her personality.

At the opening reception Sola metamorphizes into a fashion statement, charming her way through the impressed audience. It is delightful to watch one of us cross over in style with a load of talent . No prizes for guessing that her parents are the proudest in the room. I was instantly smitten by a sense of nostalgia for the people I call home and the places that never cease to exist in the mind’s eye. Not to mention the countless sacrifices and  endless hours of work that are essential ingredients of a successful graduation show. What better occasion could I possibly ask for, to photograph Sola with her loved ones?

The Sawyerr family

The Sawyerr family

Opening night

Opening night

Another appealing series of multi-layered photographs by Justin Borsuk explore the American landscape. As a refreshing change, the artist deals with the identity of a place, rather than his own. Colour, texture, layers and composition team up to record a highly personal and unique moment. The layers not only enhance the image visually but bring to life the inherent emotional layers associated with the memories that each place evokes. The process creates a complex image loosely reminiscent of Picasso’s cubism; it is the portrait of a place from several different points of view, visually and metaphorically on the same picture plane.

Fox Theater - Justin Borsuk

Fox Theater - Justin Borsuk

Bowling ball - Kimberly Mowbray

Bowling ball - Kimberly Mowbray

Kimberley Mowbray’s haunting and arguably daunting photographs portray the artist’s introspective nature. Ironically she searches for answers to her inner turmoil in external spaces. Immersing herself in landscapes or man-made structures, she makes an attempt to come to terms with life and its challenges.
With the use of the traditional wet plate collodion process and a pinhole camera the artist intermittently transforms herself into a ghostly apparition. Some landscapes are not shy to absorb her existence while others let her emerge into a distinct being. These effects add greater significance and mystery to her work. It gives the viewer a sense of clear intent and yet leaves adequate room for interpretation.

It is interestingly coincidental that all the three artists at the 79 Gallery this month, share a sense of history and exploration of roots in their work. I take you on a tour of another AAU gallery next week. Are you ready?

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