Saturday, March 28, 2015

Art Story: Shelley Lazarus

Shelley Lazarus, "The Mah Jong Ladies of the Catskills circa 1950's" Watercolor and Limited Edition Giclees, 22 x 29 in
"Although I never met these 5 ladies, I know them so very well.
My mother and they played the game every Wednesday afternoon, rotating houses.
When it was my mother's turn, I was in charge of cutting the pineapple (in winter) or the watermelon (in summer) for the fruit plate. It had to be a new design each time. In the summer we all went up to a bungalow colony in the Catskill mountains, where the game continued.
As a teenager I watched them bet, flip the tiles and concentrate on their hand.
And while they played they gave me wise lessons on life, love and the art of growing up.
They were my mother's best friends and my adopted aunts.
Bertha, Helen, Belle, Sylvia and my mother Rose.
This is my tribute to them."

See this and other works by Shelley at TAG through April 18, 2015.

Artists' Reception: TONIGHT, Saturday, March 28, 5-8pm
Artists' Talk: Saturday, April 11, 3pm

Monday, March 23, 2015

Coming Exhibition: Daniel Janotta, Shelley Lazarus, Betty Sheinbaum

Tues. March 24 – Sat. April 18, 2015

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 28, 5-­8 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 11, 3pm

STREETS OF LA, Daniel Janotta 
Daniel Janotta, LA Night 1, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 24 in
LA is a city of commuters. We spend countless hours getting to and from our jobs. Dan Janotta’s interest is in these hours. We drive as the sun rises and sets, yet we generally only appreciate this when the backdrop is a panoramic view of the ocean, city or mountains. Janotta’s paintings illustrate the beauty and serenity in those moments that the rest of us just try to rush through. He see’s what most of us can’t wait to get past. Streets of LA reintroduces the viewer to his/her surroundings. The work reminds us to take everything in and see the beauty that is all around.

Dan’s painting style and compositions reflect the Southern California environment of strong sunlight, dense vehicular movement, and beautiful landscape. His oil paintings have distinct brush strokes that help to define the areas of color within the composition and provide a level of abstraction for the realistic content.

FIGURING IT OUT, Shelley Lazarus
Shelley Lazarus, 3 Women, Watercolor on Paper 31.5 x 44"
The figures that Shelley Lazarus captures in this show are very personal to her. Models who have become friends over the years, family, or just people she may have met or seen and photographed on one of her many trips. She captures their emotion and involvement at the time, through various mediums and styles. The painting methods for these figures are varied depending on how she wants to portray them. She never hesitates to experiment with new papers and media.

Shelley was born and educated in New York, where as a teenager she attended classes at Pratt College while still in high school. As a founding member of TAG she takes great pride in the gallery and her ability to present her work there. Her works have received numerous awards and her paintings can be seen in both private and corporate sectors here and abroad.

All proceeds from this show will go to the Robert David Lazarus Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit at Cedar-­Sinai Hospital.

STRIKE A POSE, Betty Sheinbaum 
Betty Sheinbaum, GQ, Acrylic on Canvas, 28.5 x 22.5 in
Betty Sheinbaum’s current series, Strike a Pose, features acrylic studies on canvas with an emphasis on drawing and painting figures. Sheinbaum spent the past year concentrating on works where her subjects were live models with an emphasis on the use of black, white and gray. Rather than her usual tack of capturing people in public places, she has chosen to explore figure painting with more attention to the form. She still conveys a certain mood or air to each figure, expressing the feelings of the models through the tone of the moment captured in time. Immediacy is not a focal point in this series. This time out, Sheinbaum reveals a different side of her work; one of calm, pensive and thought-­filled subjects.     

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spotlight On: Elizabeth Szymczak

Choreographed Color, Elizabeth Szymczak at TAG Gallery, 24 February – 21 March 2015
Elizabeth Szymczak, Repose, Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in 
Elizabeth Szymczak's current exhibition at TAG is entitled Choreographed Color.  It features representational figurative oil paintings celebrating the human form using compositionally vague atmospheres, anatomy, light and expression.  Following is text from her Artist Statement.

"I have always had a passion for dance, particularly the juxtaposition between the physicality of the discipline and it’s expressive aspects. Dance is a technical art with its own vocabulary, it takes so much control and rehearsal to achieve the beautiful results seen on stage, and tickles the boundaries of careful thought with unfiltered expression. I see the process of painting the same way, this body of work is a direct mirror of my love for both disciplines. Just as a dancer is trying to find their artistic voice, a visual artist is trying to do the same; yearning for that delicate balance between technique and expression. 
Elizabeth Szymczak, Behind Every Great Man, Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 in
My painting style and process takes root in the classical painting principles of the Renaissance. I primarily focus on the contemporary dance genre, as this is the discipline I am most familiar with and less costume gets in the way so that I can study more anatomy. I draw and paint dancers as they move in rehearsal and on stage, which helps keep my brushwork fresh. Because of my dance training, I can choreograph dancers into compositions, which allows me to control the costume, concept and lighting conditions. In addition to working from life and photographs, I rely on anatomy books, invention, travels, thumbnails, drawings, and color studies for referential material. But the real magic happens in the unplanned moments of painting, when I find the right balance between technique and expression.
Elizabeth Szymczak, Reflection, Oil on canvas, 32 x 48 in
As a semi-professional dancer, I toured with small dance companies in the Midwest. I have chosen to continue my passion for dance with figurative painting. I choreograph strong and purposeful figures with emotion and energy. I like to dance on the boundary between which emotions are acceptable to see in public, which is why some of my paintings seem “dark.” For me, the figure can metamorphose into so many conceptual directions, so I try to convey common emotions of the human psyche."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Spotlight On: Christo Brock

Unwonted Eye, Christo Brock at TAG Gallery, 24 February – 21 March 2015 
Christo Brock, Blue Ripples #3, 2015, Photo on metal, 20 × 30 in
The Unwonted Eye is photographer Christo Brock’s latest exhibition of work on view at TAG Gallery.
In his latest work, Brock continues to explore unwonted (unusual, unexpected) imagery from everyday life. His eye ranges from the languid rolling ocean in Blue Ripples #3 to the macroscopic Tortured Orange Line and the enhanced fantastical forest-scape of Christmas Trees.
Christo Brock, Christmas Trees, 2015, Photo on metal, 20 × 30 in
In all his imagery, printed exclusively on metal, Brock shows the unique vision that has characterized his work. It’s this metal surface that provides a medium to complete Brock’s abstraction of image. These photographs don’t merely sit on the metal as a photograph - they seem to live in the metal. His images shimmer and glisten, and the metal often adds a welcome element of abstraction to his work. At times, Brock plays with the metal, as if daring to evoke the molecules to speak. Dew Drops become glowing orbs, waves become undulating stripes of blue, trees become lines of color and depth.
Christo Brock, Pearl Harbor, 23 December 2011, 2011, Photo on metal, each 20 × 30 in
In his triptych Pearl Harbor, 23 December 2011 Brock pursues this approach in photos taken only minutes apart at the Hawaii National Park that memorializes the horrible attack that brought America into war. The oil floating on the surface above the sunken monument USS Arizona has an eerie visual shimmer to it. It’s like looking at a series of demon clouds conjured from a 70 year old monument eager to speak its secrets. In the piece entitled Tiny Bubbles, tiny bubbles appear arranged with a hidden logic, and the piece looks to be a close-up view of piebald crocodile skin. Brock reveals that it was shot it was condensation on a fruit bowl’s saran wrap.
Christo Brock, Tiny Bubbles, 2015, Photo on metal, each 20 × 30 in
“I don’t like to reveal to people what the image was,” Brock says with a wry smile, “because when I took the image, it was one thing. Now it’s something else.” When pressured, Brock will reveal the provenance of the original image, but he much prefers to let the viewer decide. “People ask me all the time what the image “is”. … when what they really mean is, what did I aim my camera lens at. Now, it’s something else, and I want people to feel that new thing.”
Christo Brock, Squiggly Lines, 2015, Photo on metal, 20 × 30 in
UnWonted Eye is on display at TAG Gallery from Tuesday 24th February through Saturday 21st March.

Join Christo at TAG on Saturday 7 March at 3pm, where he will part of an Artists Talk.