Monday, November 21, 2011

Hyper-America: Cookies, Wires & Landscapes
New Exhibit at TAG Gallery
November 29 - December 24, 2011

Featuring John Clendening, Cameey McGilvray, Joan Vaupen
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 3, 2011, 5-8 PM

John Clendening, The Lake at Sundown, 2011, oil on panel, 24 x 18 in.

American Landscapes
John Clendening
Combining still life images with landscapes in a form he calls the “Stillscape”, artist John Clendening forges a connection between the traditions of American landscape painting and those of European still life. As the former Smithsonian Chief of Design, Clendening has an intrinsic relationship with American art and history. His current show, American Landscapes, surveys American national parks, including Zion, Joshua Tree, Snow Canyon, and Indian Canyon. He reveals how the natural world can inspire on any scale, bringing the majestic together with the commonplace, juxtaposing monumental natural imagery with traditional still-life imagery. From stunning mountain peaks to crates of apples on a desk, John Clendening’s work emphasizes how the smallest detail is ultimately just as important as the large whole.

Camey McGilvray, Haywire 2011 Acrylic, wire and wood 36 x 26 x 6 in

WIred, Camey McGilvray
In WIRED, Sculptor Camey McGilvray challenges the multi-faceted, scattered, high-speed nature of contemporary culture. Using wires and wood in her kinetic constructions, McGilvray shows that twenty-four hour access to information is the blessing and curse of our time. A constant stream of communication may allow us to do more, send more, and process more, but ultimately, will expect more of us in return. While being wired informs our personal energy, it also limits the depth of our connections. By capturing individual slices of life in hyperdrive, McGilvray’s sculptures force us to realize that despite the benefits, digital communication is no substitute for the quality of an unedited, face-to-face interaction. While more words reach, fewer touch.

Joan Vaupen, Red Fortune Cookie, 2011, Plexiglass and mixed media, 12 x 12 x 6 in.

Fortune, Joan Vaupen
Fortune Cookies. Plexiglass. What do they have in common? Mixed-media artist Joan Vaupen revels in the two, in her new exhibit, Fortune at TAG Gallery. Vaupen brings the kitschy cookie into the realm of 21st century art - molding the the soft plastic of plexiglas into the hardened, sensual shapes of that frustrating, sweet paradox: the fortune cookie. We want to eat it, but we don’t want to eat it. We want to open it, and we want to keep it closed. The circuitous forms of Vaupen’s plexiglas cookies simultaneously hide and reveal, are feminine yet hard. Larger than life, they suspend themselves from the wall, requesting us to open them and discover the platitudes of life. Fortune forces us to recognize that even though the unknown shall always be unknown . . . it will always be enticing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Interview With Cheryl Medow

Cheryl Medow 
Great Egrets of the World, Ed of 5 
Digital Pigment Print, Deckled Edge 29 ¼ x 24”

Of all the animals and birds you photograph, do you have a favorite?

The birds are the most difficult to shoot and I love a challenge.  When they are in full mating colors it's the best.  Their feather, beaks and eyes can be unbelievable.  The cats are amazing as well.  I have to travel a far distance to see them in the wild.  Where they live is as spectacular as how they dress.  The leopard is the most beautiful with his coloring and incredible eyes.  When I am eye to eye with these cats, I stop breathing. And I have to remember to press the shutter.

I know you often travel to search out birds and animals to photograph. Where are some of the places that your work has taken to you in the past year or two?  

For the birds, they live everywhere.  I have been shooting them in Kenya, Botswana, and the Pantanal in Brazil and as close as the Malibu Lagoon.

Have you noticed any changes to the conservation areas that you visit, or in the numbers and/or varieties of animals?  

The numbers of animals depends on drought and of course loss of habitat.  The oil spill in the gulf certainly disturbed the ecosystem there.  Malibu is in the process of wanted to change the lagoon.  I for one have been against this so as not to disturb the habitat and as well, keep the lagoon in the wonderful state it is with great wooden bridges going thru the marsh, rather than only have a walkway around it.

Cheryl Medow 
Elusive Leopard, Ed of 5 
Digital Pigment Print, Deckled Edge 29 ¼ x 38”

What are some of the challenges you face in your work? (Technical, scheduling or time constraints, distances, weather, etc)  

Technically, the challenge is to be able to carry all my camera gear whether it be 1 mile or taking it on board a flight.  The gear is heavy.  My camera and 600mm lens weighs approx. 20-25 lbs.  Kenya and the continent are not close to Los Angeles but the Malibu Lagoon is.   Unfortunately I can't find the big cats in the wild in Malibu.  So making arrangement to fly across the world almost once a year for the past 15 years has been exciting and challenging.  

Is there a particular season, or time of day that you find better for finding your subject matter?  

I try not to go places in the rain.  Certainly not good for camera gear.  Early morning and late afternoon light are the moments that photographers relish.  The light is incredible when the sun is out of course.  The lions (morning light), the leopard (afternoon light) and the Great Blue Heron Of The World (morning light) are examples of the nature of light.

There is a new quality to your latest images, a texture. Have you learned any new techniques? If so, can you share them?  

My newest work began as field notes and postcards. I wanted to tell people about my travels so I incorporated an envelope pattern on the photographer's canvas. The envelope I used was one I found amongst my father-in-laws love letters to my mother-in-law from December 1930.  And here we are 81 years on. Life has texture and maps show us where we are.  In other words, the textures explore the fabric of life.  The maps are another means of travel and worldliness.  The images are placed in their world as a snapshot of time.  

Cheryl Medow's exhibition begins November 1.