Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Exhibition Featuring Shelley Adler, Eve Brandstein, and Michael Knight

November 30 - December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 4th, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Saturday, December 18th, 3 PM
(Followed by Poetry Reading by Eve Brandstein)

Shelley Adler: "New Work"

In her new exhibition, Shelley Adler calls upon her love of old photographs and transforms them into small scale oil paintings to capture moments of casual sublimity that often go unnoticed in our everyday lives. Exploring human body language and vibrant juxtapositions of color, Adler breathes life into vintage black and white photographs of people unknown to her. Adler's work is the thoughtful product of her intuitive response to modes of human expression. "I do feel that I am intuiting truth about [my subjects] as I paint them, and I try to communicate my understanding of them as I work to complete a painting," Shelley says. This exhibition also includes Adler's explorations in painting contemporary still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture.

Eve Brandstein: "Word Forms"

In her new exhibition, Word Forms, Eve Brandstein blends her painting's sensual symbolism with the emotive voice found in her poetry to create levels of harmony and tension between her writing and forms of visual expression. Brandstein paints her subjects from live models before turning to rhythmic lines of poetry that are then directly layered onto the canvas to accompany her ambiguously painted figures. In light of her new exhibition, Eve reflects, "For me, making art and writing poetry come from the same place and have the same urgency that pour out of me in different ways. It was only natural for me to allow the two mediums to meet this way." By pulling together these two art forms, Brandstein extracts a vital narrative that exposes what her painting and poetry cannot express alone.

Michael Knight: "Border Crossings"

In his latest exhibition, Border Crossings, artist Michael Knight uses the ubiquitous crow as a symbol for human migration prompted by instinct, necessity, and fate. Knight creates unique works that he coins "digiglyphs;" -- a combination of hand drawing and traditional monoprint techniques with digital manipulation. Distorted maps become the backdrop of silhouetted black birds within a repetition of hand-drawn rings in-order to symbolize the rippling effects of time. "Black birds are symbolic of humans as survivors," explains Knight, "My work is communicating the rhythms of migration and the change that occurs when someone with established patterns of living moves from one place to another and has to understand how to fit in." Knight's work beckons the viewer to reflect on how these rhythms affect their own lives and our world at large.

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Interview With Shelley Adler

Honey #1
oil on gessoboard 8 x 10"
Shelley Adler

As if by clues sent through time, Shelley Adler's oils from old snapshots reveal unexpected stories.

Whom do you make art for?

Primarily for myself. I have to find subject matter that is intriguing to me. When I have a commission I try to have the client give me several images so that I can hopefully find one that is really appealing in some way, that grabs my attention so that I will want to work on it.

When I am painting to show the work or even if I intend to keep it, I always feel compelled to be very emotionally involved in the process and project. Otherwise the whole task is boring.

Do you have a favorite painting?

I love almost all of Vermeer's paintings.

What are your favorite things to look at?

People's faces, and also the way they hold or carry themselves, the way they dress. The sky with cloud formations, especially with colorful sunsets. Things that have wonderful color juxtapositions or combinations that may be either in nature or manufactured.

Are you able to learn more about your subjects, or even yourself, while going through the painting process?

Having imaginary conversations with the subjects of my paintings is exactly the process that I go through as I am painting their images. I do feel that I am intuiting truth about them as I paint them...and I do try to communicate my understanding of them as I work to complete a painting. I think I do this by carefully seeing the facial expressions and body language in the photos that I use as a basis for my work.

oil on gessoboard 16 x 18"

Shelley Adler

Are you driven to make your paintings more beautiful than the subect? Do you think such is necessary?

No. In fact I guard against making the subject more beautiful. What I try to make beautiful is the painting itself, by the selection of color and texture, atmosphere etc. The individuals or subjects in the painting need to look as "real" or "ugly" or "specific" as they appear in the original snapshot....because it is the flavor of the original image that I am attempting to expand on with the additional use of color and atmosphere. It is entirely possible to make an incredibly beautiful painting from a very ugly subject...such as a decaying structure or piles of garbage or a decrepit person. I think it is the artists' job to conjure up that transformation from what we glance at in passing and do not really what we actually notice. Naturally, if you start with a beautiful subject...either a person or scene you want to get all the beauty you can across also. Sometimes an artist can heighten the effect of a subject by contrasting the sadness or decay or fear of a subject by deliberately painting it beautifully. Something similar to the song sung by Billy Holiday called "Strange Fruit". The melody is haunting and lovely and then suddenly you realize the words refer to bodies hanging on trees. Paintings can do that also...John the Babtist's head on a platter was painted beautifully by numerous well known painters...the subject is grizzly, but the paintings are beautiful.

Shelley Adler

Shelley Adler's exhibition opens November 30th.

Monday, November 1, 2010

TAG Presents: New Exhibition Featuring Katherine Kean, Susie McKay Krieser, and Sally Jacobs

November 2 - November 27, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 5- 8 PM

Artists' Q & A Panel:
Saturday, November 13, 3 PM

Sally Jacobs, "From the Ground Up"

In her latest exhibition, "From the Ground Up," botanical artist Sally Jacobs inspires us to find the extraordinary in the ordinary with her hyper-real depictions of the every day fruits, vegetables, and flowers we find at the local Santa Monica or Hollywood Farmer's Markets. While staying true to the botanical art tradition of accurate portrayals of plants, Jacobs brings a modern edge to her subjects through her eye-popping displays of color and detail that she captures with her watercolor layering techniques. Jacobs explains, "I want people to wonder at the pattern on the skin of a strawberry, or the marvelous colors in a head of garlic; things we 'see' all the time, but perhaps don't really observe."

Katherine Kean, "Atmospheric"

As a painter, Katherine Kean seeks moments of breath-taking transition in nature - a gathering of clouds or changing tides; times when the elements of the landscape combined with memory and observation illuminate the world of heightened mood and sensation. In her latest exhibition, "Atmospheric" Kean explores the inherent beauty within the powerful forces of wind, storms, and volcanoes. "These phenomena have a huge effect on the look of the landscape," explains Kean, "whether it is the light effects caused by the reflective particles thrown into the air by a volcano, or the strange twilight caused by a storm suddenly and dramatically changing the angle of the sun's rays and for a moment, relighting the landscape." Her works capture these fleeting moments in time and reveal the serene center that can arise in the midst of nature's turbulence.

Susie McKay Krieser, "Building a Story"

In her latest exhibition, "Building a Story," Susie McKay Krieser articulates the essence of her subjects in a minimalistic fashion, placing the importance instead on the colors and shapes. The minimalistic views are filled with daring color clashing with flat, interlocking shapes inviting the viewer to explore the merging of exuberance and serenity. Using live models in the creation of each piece, Krieser often found herself using multiple canvases for each work and experimented with rearranging the positioning of the canvases to alter the effect. She explains, "Even after the work was completed, I found there was still room for the image to evolve. It's an organic process, and the viewer is invited to complete the story already started on the canvas."