Digital

Vignette: Joyce Goldin


“The dog is the perfect portrait subject. He doesn’t pose. He isn’t aware of the camera.” – Patrick Demarchelier


"Murphy" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2013)

"Murphy" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2013)

Drawings of domestic animals may not reach the loftiest heights of fine art, but they connect with the wider population in important ways. Dog lovers are famous for commissioning portraits of their beloved companions, and, in her latest work, Joyce Goldin has been rendering them digitally.

Goldin has been drawing and painting most of her life, but her love of dogs has led her into a series of digital canine portraits rendered with the plasticity of paint. After layering color in loose, organic fields reminiscent of watercolor, Goldin applies a very kinetic line to define the shape and give the image some detail. A translucent aspect lends the images the quality of having been painted on glass, which makes the warmth and expressiveness given to each individual canine all the more striking.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS, Occupational Training and Development, University of Louisville
Website: http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/joyce-goldin.html

"Beagle" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2017)

"Beagle" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2017)

"Frenchie" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2014)

"Frenchie" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2014)

"Starr" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Starr" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Tom" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

"Tom" by Joyce Goldin, digital painting (2000)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: Garin Horner

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

A Photo-ethnographic Study of Personal Spiritual Shrines & Altars

Most people likely think of religion and spirituality in monolithic terms: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islamism, Judaism, etc., but by some estimates tally as many as 4,200 different religions existing in the world today. And spiritual practice is often a very individual and private action. Garin Horner seeks out and documents what he calls, “…intimate connections people have with places and objects that serve as focal points, where subjects feel strong links with transcendent beings, ethereal energies, and/or supernatural realities.”

‘The subjects I collaborate with are a combination of artists, actors, and spiritual practitioners who want to give voice to and celebrate their own distinct views as part of a multitude of spiritual beliefs. They are believers in a supernatural meta-ecology, or structure of subtle dimensions that co-exist with our reality comprised of various beings (or forces). Part of this view recognizes altars to be microcosms and/or nexuses of those subtle dimensions.”

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

It should come as no surprise that Horner sometimes encounters resistance from his subjects. He turns his lens on a topic that is sensitive even in the mainstream, so to ask people to reveal themselves in such specific, confessional terms requires delicacy.

“I contact my subjects through calls for collaboration and word of mouth. It’s a fairly complicated process that doesn't always work out. Whenever I am traveling to a city (for a conference or exhibition) I research spiritual organizations in the area and reach out to people. I also use a catalog from the Parliament for the World's Religions.  Sometimes I get positive responses and people invite me to photograph them, but when I get there they have a change of heart.”

Horner keeps the identities and locations secret, and in some cases where the subject has refused to be photographed, Horner has, with permission, recreated what he has witnessed from detailed notes and sketches. So far, in the last 18 months he has produced about 25 separate images in the series.

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

“Most people don't want me to photograph them, but some do. Some are very excited to show other people their connection to their spiritual practices. Some are excited in the beginning and change their minds in the end. If someone goes as far as being photographed and signing a model release and then asks me to not show their photos - I don't.”

Horner exhibited photos in Louisville a few years ago as part of a show curated by the Midwest Society for Photographic Education. He was recently named Director of the Adrian College Center for Effective Teaching. Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.

Horner’s newest exhibit, Otherworldly Signs / Unworldly Believers will be at the Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria Ill, in October 2017.

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Education: BFA, Sienna Heights University; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art
Website: www.garinhorner.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garinhorner

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Sharon Matisoff

"For the Roses" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, oil on canvas (2017)

"For the Roses" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, oil on canvas (2017)


“Painting allows me to transform my perceptions of the world into portraits and figurative compositions.” — Sharon Matisoff


"Self-Portait" by Sharon Matisoff

"Self-Portait" by Sharon Matisoff

Sharon Matisoff likes to paint portraits, but as an artist in Kentucky, the temptation of thoroughbred horse racing as a subject is inevitable.  “Although I’ve always painted people, recently I discovered the joys of equine painting. Now I primarily divide my artistic attention between these two subjects. Horses are poetry in motion and I aim to capture their grace and power when I paint them. It is gratifying to me that my portraiture skills are also useful in portraying the myriad ways in which people interact with horses. I feel as though my life as an artist is just beginning.”

Matisoff has been painting for years, but being newly retirement affords her the time to double down on her studio practice. Her slightly heightened sense of color is grounded in naturalism, and her sensitive observation of detail, which has always been a key element of her portraiture, is put into good use in her behind the scenes images of the world of horses. Her perspective on the racing form of the horse and jockey are adept, but the fact that her sensibility is drawn to the more workaday aspects of the equine world is telling.

"Catching Up" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Catching Up" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Chillin'" by Sharon Matisoff, 27x19in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Chillin'" by Sharon Matisoff, 27x19in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

“I often work in pastel when I’m so inspired that I don’t want to stop and mix colors or stretch a canvas. The desire to paint is so strong that I must immerse myself in a painting all at once. Pastel painting allows me to be fearless with the elements of art in the most lyrical way. Oil painting is a language that I learned later in life, and so demands a more considered approach. With the elaborate preparation that oil painting requires, I work in this medium when I feel very deeply about a subject and pastel is too ephemeral to convey the depth or complexity of the subject. Armed with these media, I feel as though I can interpret the subjects that touch my soul.”

Matisoff will be one of the featured artists in the Fall Equine Show at the Brown Gallery in the Brown Hotel. The show will be on display from September 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

Hometown: Oak Park, Michigan
Education: BA in Psychology from California State University-Northridge; Studied art at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California)
Gallery Representation: Jessie's Art Gallery and Custom Framing (Frankfort, KY)
Website: http://www.sharonmatisoff.com/

"Before the Race" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Before the Race" by Sharon Matisoff, 19x36in, pastel on sanded paper (2017)

"Wild Blue" by Sharon Matisoff, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

"Wild Blue" by Sharon Matisoff, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Erik Orr

Artist, Erik Orr

Artist, Erik Orr

Flipping Reality On Its Head

Writer William Goldman once opined that the difference between art and popular entertainment might be that entertainment comforts, but art should unsettle us; prompt us to ask questions. Erik Orr’s paintings immediately prompt us to wonder what we are looking at: is this a painting or a photograph? When you take into account that his subjects are primarily iconic figures in popular entertainment, music, culture, comics, and videogames, then Goldman’s proposition comes under challenge. The familiarity of celebrity faces may seem to offer accessible pop pleasures, but the presentation of the artist won’t quite allow us such a cushy perspective.

In his most recent artist’s statement, Orr describes his intentions: “My more recent works use techniques that blend traditional painting through a filter of digital technology, the works create optical illusions that will make you question your own eyes. At a time when we experience our world through screens of all sizes, these works flip that reality on its head and present paintings that look as if they are digital images from afar.”

"Anthony Michael Hall" by Erik Orr, 2.5x3.5ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Anthony Michael Hall" by Erik Orr, 2.5x3.5ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"River Phoenix" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"River Phoenix" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

Orr builds his portraits with organic vertical lines that suggest a photograph enlarged beyond what its quality should allow, yet such a question is made almost moot in the limitless digital resolution of the moment. His work straddles the divide between digital and analog both functionally and conceptually.

“In my current show, New Work, at Revelry Boutique Gallery I intend the work to showcase the culture that has influenced me to become the artist I am today.”

Orr resides in the Highlands of Louisville Kentucky with his wife and two young children. He is employed as a Graphic Designer at a marketing company and plans to continue to grow and show his work more frequently in the coming years.

New Work runs through September 6 at Revelry Boutique & Gallery.

Age: 37
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Education: Associates Degree in Communication Design, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA); BA, Art and Visual Technology with a Minor in Art History George Mason University
Website: www.erikorr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erik_orr/

"B-Boy" by Erik Orr, 3x3ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"B-Boy" by Erik Orr, 3x3ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Twiggy" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Twiggy" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Mixed Media

Feature: The Value of Being Knocked Off Your Axis

Panoramic shot of the Pairellels exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Panoramic shot of the Pairellels exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Complacency is the enemy of creativity. The very real and honest expression that authentic artists require of themselves demands challenge and occasionally it is important to upset the apple cart a little bit in order to rediscover the muse.

Curator & Artist, Stacey Reason

Curator & Artist, Stacey Reason

A 2013 exhibit at The Patio Gallery in the Jewish Community Center illustrated the idea in pointed fashion. As curated by Stacey Reason, the show, which was titled Pairallels, was described as a “collaborative exchange” in its prospectus materials, a sharing of work in the form of a hand-off from one artist to another, with virtually no restriction on what the second artist would bring to the effort. The prospectus used the word “subtract” to suggest what might be allowable for one artist to do with another artist’s unfinished work, and what resulted in some instances was a complete deconstruction of the original piece, as well as a sharp lesson in how two different generations of artists tend to define the word collaboration.

Artists who contributed to Pairallels were Brandon Bass, Andy Cozzens, Sarah Duncan, Mallorie Embry, Linda Erzinger, Meghan Greenwell, Brandon Harder, Phillip High, Mary Dennis Kannapell, Shohei Katayama, Keith Kleespies, Sally Labaugh, Kathy Loomis, Kacie Miller, Karisssa Moll, Jacque Parsley, CJ Pressma, Kelly Rains, Lelia Rechtin, Alli Wiles, Jenny Zeller and Suzi Zimmerer.

Ms. Reason is a founding member of The Louisville Artist’s Syndicate, an ad hoc group of young and primarily visual artists whose mission is to inspire and promote networking between what they felt was a disparate collection of painters, sculptors, filmmakers, musicians and writers, all working in the Louisville area but lacking the connectivity necessary to accomplish greater things. The group, active at the time, has become dormant in the years since.

Dead Machine, Jenny Zeller & Mallorie Embry, digital photography printed on mulberry paper dipped in encaustic wax, vellum, sewing patterns, thread, canvas, nails, paper, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Dead Machine, Jenny Zeller & Mallorie Embry, digital photography printed on mulberry paper dipped in encaustic wax, vellum, sewing patterns, thread, canvas, nails, paper, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

By contrast, an older generation of Louisville artists, many of them members of the informal “Artists’ Breakfast Group”, had for many years enjoyed a camaradarie and interconnectivity that might be a model of what the Syndicate hoped to foster among its core constituency: a flow of energy and understanding that makes it easier for creative individuals to support each other. The Patio Gallery’s director at the time, Bette Levy, had been a long-standing member of this group and invited Reason to mount her exhibit there.

In today’s creative culture, it is more difficult than ever to characterize any group of artists collectively as having a shared sensibility, but the more prominent members of the Syndicate were preoccupied with art that is of the moment: ephemeral, fluid, and at times limited in its concern for archival survival. Another exhibit that year at Spalding University’s Huff Gallery featured two Syndicate members, Andrew Cozzens and Brandon Harder, whose bold sculptural forms relied on the effect of the elements and the passage of time for their full impact. Some of the pieces, for all intensive purposes, existed only during the duration of the opening reception. A delicate assemblage of wires frozen in pieces of ice and suspended on string, for example, were allowed to slowly descend off of the string while they melted. What remained for the subsequent run of the exhibit were the underwhelming remnants of wire and string that lighted onto the gallery shelf beneath. What interests these artists is the specific process of change and deterioration, not a final, marketable, objet d' art. The approach is fascinating but it risks occupying the same place in the cultural memory as a good joke badly-retold: I guess you had to be there.

C.J. Pressma & Kelly Rains discuss the project in front of their piece. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

C.J. Pressma & Kelly Rains discuss the project in front of their piece. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Whereas the breakfast group, for the most part, makes art in a more traditional context, paintings, prints, and sculptures created, at least in part, with an eye on the marketplace. Most have been doing this for many years, and their body of work can often define them in very specific terms, a signature style that might be immediately recognizable when you enter a gallery. Jacque Parsley's assemblages and C.J. Pressma’s photographic quilts are but two examples of art that is sought after by collectors and marketed at premium prices, reflecting the quality of the work and the esteem in which these artists are held.

Both are valid perspectives, but once artists from both pools were drawn into the Pairallels project, perhaps it was inevitable that some level of disagreement would follow. "My idea was to let the art speak for itself," explains Reason. "It was supposed to be about the object, but it wound up being entirely about the artist."  By design, there was no input between the individuals sharing the work, and apparently none of the artists saw the final results before the opening reception in June.

Grocery Store Mandala II, Kathy Loomis & Kelly Rains, grocery packaging, paper, chili peppers, found objects, fabric, wire, panel, paper, ink, acrylic, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Grocery Store Mandala II, Kathy Loomis & Kelly Rains, grocery packaging, paper, chili peppers, found objects, fabric, wire, panel, paper, ink, acrylic, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Among the breakfast group there were mixed reactions, including shock and outrage from a small number at what must have seemed a violation of their personal artistic integrity. In a few instances the piece from the first stage was physically deconstructed and enough parts discarded to render the source nearly unrecognizable. Elements were identifiable but the hand of the receiving artist might be said to have obliterated the original creative intent. Some tempers flared and some heads were scratched, mostly from within the breakfast group.

When, a few weeks later, there was an opportunity to sit down and talk it out, what was interesting was how much the conflict had turned into an opportunity for most of the participants. Creative types often like to indulge in a certain amount of denial that there is any gap between artists owing to generational differences, yet the reality of two distinct mind-sets about how visual artists approach their careers was obvious. During a meeting at one of the artist’s studios, the outrage was absent, replaced by an admission of recalcitrance from some, an expansion of perspective from others, and, arguably, enlightment all around. Some of the younger members spoke of the lack of attachment to the objects that they had fashioned and how they were sometimes excited to see the drastic alterations that had been employed once they passed off their work, while some in the breakfast group emphasized how they had chosen to dive into the project because, “...doing the same thing I had been doing”, wasn't good enough.

Synthesized Fang, Shohei Katayama & Alli Wiles, enamel, snake skin, beer cans, hot glue, wood, black primer, polyurethane, tracing paper, ink, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Synthesized Fang, Shohei Katayama & Alli Wiles, enamel, snake skin, beer cans, hot glue, wood, black primer, polyurethane, tracing paper, ink, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Coming away from the experience, the lessons may be as varied as the individual sensibilities that populate both groups of artists. Breakfast members had come together out of an attraction to build a social context for like-minded artists who were rarely critical but always supportive of each other, while the Syndicate reinforced an aesthetic that embraces the notion that being knocked a little bit off your axis is sometimes a healthy thing.

Four years later, Reason reflects back on Pairallels: “The project was a great learning experience for everyone involved, myself included. I had no idea what kinds of outcomes to expect, and what happened was far more than what I could have anticipated. The dialog that was created surrounding the project was very productive - it gave a fresh look at individual studio practices, reminded us all of our potentials, and pushed everyone out of their comfort zone, which invariably made us all more comfortable in our individual practices. It was very rewarding to serve as the catalyst of this conversation that I think is still being carried out today in some form or another. If nothing else, it brought together two important groups/generations of artists in Louisville that hadn't intersected before.”

Pairallels was on display June 16 through July 16, 2013, in The Patio Gallery at the Jewish Community Center, Louisville, KY.

Stacey Reason is now the Director of the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky.

"Localized Cosmic Reactions (snapshots of the universe)" by Karissa Moll & Philip High. Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

"Localized Cosmic Reactions (snapshots of the universe)" by Karissa Moll & Philip High. Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Time and Space, Sarah Duncan & Jacque Parsley, photography, fabric, lace, trim, found objects, clock, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

Time and Space, Sarah Duncan & Jacque Parsley, photography, fabric, lace, trim, found objects, clock, Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Rains.)

"Orbit" by Mallorie Embry & Shohei Katayama. Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Philip High)

"Orbit" by Mallorie Embry & Shohei Katayama. Price not available. (Photo courtesy of Philip High)

"Untitled", 12x20in, collage and gold paint on acrylic plastic. Price not available (Photo courtesy Kelly Rains)

"Untitled", 12x20in, collage and gold paint on acrylic plastic. Price not available (Photo courtesy Kelly Rains)


This Feature article was written by Keith Waits.
In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, www.Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.


Entire contents are copyright © 2017 Keith Waits. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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