Photography

Photography

Vignette: Mia Hanson

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Ida Disa” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

To begin at the beginning, photographer Mia Hanson has a first memory of a camera: “While my parents were away, I sought out a 35mm film camera from a glass case and held it to my right eye; instantly, the world around me had space and definition unlike before. It was a new way of seeing, I realized.”

Today when Hanson teaches digital photography for Louisville Visual Art, she keeps this important “first time” in mind. “We’re not just  taking fun pictures in class, we are learning how to see in a new way.”

Hanson’s images often discover an otherworldly quality, a view of human figures that escapes the mundane details of corporeal existence. One is tempted use the word ghost, and while it is true that a ghost might appear in a Mia Hanson photograph, we must be open to a more organic and ephemeral relationship between the artist and her subject. As Hanson explains in a 2006 interview:

“I'm always searching for the soul of my subject. As a photographer, I try to tap into some other frequency of mood and emotion that is there, yet hidden. Unlike the painter who creates from imagination, I'm fascinated with the thought of lifting the veil from our given reality.”

All art can investigate this thin place of transition between Illusion and Reality, Life and Death, posing questions about different planes of existence, if not always answering them. Photography occupies a special place in this territory, because it plays on our expectations that the camera is capturing an objective reality, when the truth is that it is another tool in the artist’s box. Even when Hanson is using natural environments, such as in “Disturbance in Central Park”, the location is suggestive of a fantasy world. The pensive pose could be anywhere in the world, and only the title ties it to a few yards from a busy Manhattan street. And the image is timeless. It looks to me like a frame enlargement from an early silent film. Look at stills from F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise for a comparison.

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Disturbance Central Park” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

Hanson has lived in Stockholm but returned to the states with her partner, painter Hawk Alfredson to live for several years in the fabled Chelsea Hotel in NYC. While in residence there she, “Created portraits utilizing the light and charged energy of the hotel atmosphere while careful not to disturb or “document “ what is not entirely capable of being captured. The ghosts are best left alone.”

We can venture a guess how much the Hotel Chelsea influenced Hanson’s images, but it may a rhetorical question. If we entertain the notion of an artist connecting to other realities, then both she and Alfredson might have arrived at the Chelsea guided by unseen but always present forces. That may sound eccentric and picturesque, but, after all, we are talking about connecting to an ethereal plane.

Hanson’s work has appeared as cover art illustration for publishing houses such as Random House, Houghton & Mifflin, and Simon & Schuster, as well as magazine editorial work for Psychology Today and New York Black Book. She has exhibited internationally and is currently teaching for Louisville Visual Art.

Photo: Hawk Alfredson

Photo: Hawk Alfredson


Hometown: Santa Monica, Ca.
Education: Studied film theory and photography in San Francisco’s Bay Area before leaving to pursue a photographic mentorship with influential photographer/ videographer Matt Mahurin in NYC in the 90’s.
Website: www.miahanson.com


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“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Jennica” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Balance” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR

“Terezka the Betrothed Shrew” by Mia Hanson, Photograph, POR


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Painting, Photography

Feature: John Brooks

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

“An Abyss Of Thighs” by John Brooks, 37.5x33.5in, Oil on canvas, 2019, $3800

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John Brooks has work all over Louisville right now. He is a part of the Imagined Monuments exhibit at Metro Hall, he is showing with Letitia Quesenberry at O Gallery, and some of his paintings from a just closed show at Moremen Gallery will remain on view in a space adjacent to the main gallery (he’ll be showing there again this summer). On top of all of that, his Quappi Projects exhibition initiative, in which he shows other artist’s work in his studio in the Portland neighborhood, is going strong in its second year. He is especially articulate about the foundations of his practice and the imagery he creates, so we will let his most recent Artist’s Statements speak for themselves:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter. This new and developing body of work represents the first time I have integrated two other areas of my creative practice - collage making and poetry - with my painting practice. This solution evolved out of what was primarily a crisis of composition: after nearly a decade of almost exclusively creating expressive faces, my painting practice had reached a standstill. I did not see a way forward until it occurred to me to utilize my collages - during the making of which I do not suffer from compositional frustrations - to help facilitate composition in my painting. Through this change in method and approach, I feel unbounded. The addition of poetic text into my painting has also made my work more expansive and allows for a more comprehensive representation of my artistic conceptions. In the past, I have mostly resisted incorporating text into my visual work out of a fear that it could be too leading, but as a person who writes constantly in my head as I move throughout the day, the appeal of joining my poetry practice and my painting practice was undeniable. The way in which I have incorporated text into these paintings provides a narrow window into an idea or feeling but bewilders more than illuminates.”

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Fizz Of Hornets (Betty)” by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“For the last decade, my work has explored themes of identity, memory, death, and place, and has been centered around questions of contemplation, the expression of emotion, the transformative power and the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as “the deepest feeling about the mystery of being.” These paintings are a continuation of those notions. Something seems amiss in the zeitgeist; a mood of uncertainty and disquiet has seemingly overtaken the world. We find these moments before in history: in 1929’s Buchmandel, Stefan Zweig wrote: “Something had gone irrecoverably wrong; he was broken; the blood-red comet of the war had burst into the remote, calm atmosphere of his bookish world.” Are we living on the cusp of such an era or has it already begun? Collage is the perfect metaphorical representation of the disjointedness of contemporary life, of this exact moment in the twenty-first century. We are at once both so interconnected and so siloed; we are so fortunate and so starved; we are so inundated with knowledge and information that we ignore it in order to remain ignorant; our societies are unimaginably diverse and complex yet we fear the stranger, the other. “

“In most of these works, I have chosen to leave expanses of canvas unpainted. This is both an aesthetic choice but also a reference to the paintings’ relationship to poetry. Good poetry says the most it can with as few words as necessary; the impact of one correct word far outweighs the impact of several incorrect words. What a poet leaves out is as important as what he or she includes. Rich and luscious, oil paint has inherently excessive qualities; many colors are made from amalgams of precious minerals and metals, and others are made from earth pigments and charred animal bones. Throughout the process of making this series, I became entranced with the challenge of working with materials that dared me to be excessive while trying to employ the restraint of a poet’s eye. In that sense, these paintings are an exercise in spareness.“

“While these works contain some personal references, experiences and particular depictions of extant LBGTQIA+ life, their objective is ultimately not concerned with the specific; rather they are meant to evoke tantalizingly unreachable atmospheres and to engage with nebulous answers to queries about the search for and ambiguity of meaning and the powerful desire for connection and sense of belonging; they approach an attempt to make sense of the constant disparate noises, voices, and directives which contemporary life seems to exist amidst.”

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Stinson” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

Brooks offers separate thoughts on his photographs:

“I consider myself foremost an oil painter, and it is in my painting where these fundamental themes are most  rigorously probed, but my creative practice encompasses work in a variety of other media including collage, sculpture, poetry, and photography. While painting mostly happens only in long, designated sessions, I live with and work with poetry and photography on a daily basis. I consider them to be essential to my work as an artist.”

”These works were taken with my iPhone 8 Plus and represent the first time I have exhibited photography. Locations include Louisville, Miami, the San Francisco Bay area, New York City, the Hamptons, Athens and other parts of Greece. Even as a writer, I think visually. I see in images; I look in frames. Before the proliferation of mobile phones and the vast improvements made in their camera lenses, I often carried around a Nikon 35mm camera, and later a Leica X1. In the last several years I have become inseparable from my iPhone - less so for internet access than for wanting to have the camera with me at all times. In case a bird comes; in case the light moves. It isn’t documentation of occurrences that I am compelled to capture, but rather what I feel, or see, or what I think I almost see. Permeated with an atmosphere of loss and longing, or what the Germans describe as Sehnsucht, these meditative and emotionally resonant images do not posture a sense of knowing, but rather disclose themselves as unknowing, even unknowable. Joy is present, too, and praise for the ephemeral delicateness of existence. In thinking about this joint exhibition with Letitia Quesenberry, she and I came to understand that what binds these two bodies of work together is the subtle tension between the promise of an attainable understanding and the elusiveness of the answer. There is never any arrival; understanding is just out of reach, tantalizingly beyond what is within grasp. These non-arrivals are, of course, what compels us to revisit works of art time and time again.”

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

“Statement of Other History” by John Brooks, 72x96in, Oil on canvas, $2200.00

Jim Zimmer / Often the Content is Impenetrable is at Quappi projects through March 3.

Non-Arrivals, with Letitia Quesenberry at O Art, 1000 Swan Street, runs through March 9.

“Statement of Other History” is a part of Imagined Monuments, an LVA exhibit for Metro Hall, 527 West Jefferson Street, runs through July 12.

Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA in Political Science, Minor in English literature from College of Charleston, SC 2000; continuing education at Central St Martins, Hampstead School of Art, Camden Art Centre, London, England 2006-2009
Website: johnedwardbrooks.com
Instagram: narcissusandgoldmund

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“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Wind Is Wild Now”by John Brooks, 42x56in, Oil on canvas, 2018, $3800

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)

“Mother(Darrell)” by John Brooks, 8x10in, Digital photograph, 2018, $250 (edition of 5)


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Photography

Vignette: Patricia Brock

“#6356” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6356” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

The pastoral experience can play a role even in the formation of abstract art. In point of fact, it might be fair to say that most abstract work draws from nature. Photographer Patricia Brock describes a recent moment of inspiration:

“One morning this spring, after finishing some garden work, I sat in our swing on the deck to relax. Glancing around the yard I suddenly became hypnotized by the glass orb ornament slowly spinning at the edge of the garden. Sunlight fractured by the orb was scattering bright shards of reflected light and creating shadows within the orb. Bright vivid colors emerged from the glass shining through the prism the orb created. The longer I watched I began to see various shapes come alive.”

Inspired by this discovery Brock named her new photo series, Brightly Through the Glass.

“#6363” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6363” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

Brock is a natural and available light photographer but she uses various materials such as archival photo paper, metallic papers, canvas, acrylic, and brushed aluminum to achieve her highly structured abstract images. The play of lights, shadows, and colors is organic, yet filtered through one artist’s sensibility.

“Naturally curious and observant,” is how the artist describes herself. “Consciously and subconsciously, my mind stays alert to discover images to photograph. Flickers of light and shadows, quick movements and intense colors catch my attention.”

Brock will be having a Solo Show at KORE Gallery in the Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center, December 2 through 30, 2018

Recent Exhibits

2018

Art Comes Alive, Purchase Award, Art Design Consultants, Cincinnati, OH,
Kentucky Visions at the Capitol Exhibit, Frankfort, KY 

2017
Artists in Our Midst, Kaviar Forge & Gallery, Louisville, KY,
Line, Form, Color, KORE Gallery, Solo Exhibit, Louisville, KY
Ways of Seeing Kentucky Arts Council Traveling Exhibition

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Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BS,Education. Eastern Kentucky University; MA, Education, Eastern Kentucky University
Website: PatriciaBrockPhotography.com
Gallery Representation: KORE Gallery (Louisville)

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“#6349” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6349” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6373” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6373” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6297” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550

“#6297” by Patricia Brock, Photography on Green Edge Acrylic, 20x20in, 2018, $550


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.

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Photography

Vignette: Judy Rosati

"Lubec Lighthouse, New Brunswick" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2015, $125

"Lubec Lighthouse, New Brunswick" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2015, $125

Hand coloring photographs is a vintage technique; originally used before color negatives became commonplace, it is often associated with picture postcards – “Greetings from…” emblazoned across the image to identify that the sender was actually present at the locale. Think of them as the progenitor of today’s cell phone “selfie” minus the self-absorption.

Judy Rosati plays on that sense of nostalgia in using the technique. Her subjects include landscapes, water scenes, landmarks, city scenes, etc. In this recent series, she traveled the upper northeast coast of the United States photographing lighthouses.

"Bodie Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

"Bodie Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

Rosati is usually very traditional in her application, so that there is little to no evidence of marks made. Yet on occasion she pushes a painterly touch. In her image of the “Lubec Lighthouse” the sky is rendered as it might be by a water colorist, the artist’s hand treading into impressionism.

“The photo paper that I use for the darkroom prints, is Ilford RC portfolio Multigrade pearl. I use Marshall photo oils and pencils to color the photos by hand. I experiment with coloring techniques and often leave black, white and gray areas to show the original photographic areas of the print.”

Rosati worked as a Jefferson County Public School art/photography teacher for 30 years, and also taught Digital Photography for 13 years in Bellarmine University’s Continuing Education program.

Rosati has been featured in many juried exhibits, many private collections, and by several professional artist organizations. She has been published in national art magazine as an award winner in the category of art photography. Locally, she participated in the 2017 and 2018 Photo Biennials.

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She just completed a six-week solo exhibit of hand colored silver gelatin photographs at the Roberta Marx Gallery in Louisville, and Rosati will have a booth in the 2018 LAG Holiday Showcase.

 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA in Arts education, Western KY University, MAEd Arts education, Eastern KY University, Rank I in Arts education, University of Louisville
Website: judyrosatiphotography.com
Gallery Representation: Edenside Gallery (Louisville)

 

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"Roanoke island Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

"Roanoke island Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

"Chatham Lighthouse--Cape Cod" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2016, $125

"Chatham Lighthouse--Cape Cod" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2016, $125

"Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

"Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2017, $125

"Currituck Lighthouse, Corolla, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2016, $125

"Currituck Lighthouse, Corolla, NC" by Judy Rosati, Hand colored silver gelatin photograph, 16x20in matted & framed, 2016, $125


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Photography

Vignette: James R. Southard

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

Most recently, James R. Southard has started to turn the lens around towards himself, altering his regional material gathering technique into a biographical survey of his late father’s experiences in the 1970s. The resulting work has been a digital collage of still and moving images along with life action shots building a body of work that hopes to open a dialogue with his young father and himself.

“These (untitled) images were created from the thousands of slides my father shoot 40 years ago on his return from a tour of duty during the Vietnam War. He was actually at a similar point in his career and life as I am now, so I found this material very relevant to my current studio practice.”

Although we can assume that there is some degree of manipulation in the three images included here, it is not always clear what is the separation between the elder Southard’s original and his son’s contribution. But there is an unmistakable yet subtle incongruity that demands a close inspection, drawing the viewer into a close relationship with the work. Even the magnificent, apparently natural view of a city from between two high hills may not be what we assume.

The other photographs presented here are the latest example of Southard working with small community groups in the hopes of building collaborative digital photo and video projects. Each series has been catered to the issues and concerns of each region though documenting local habits, patterns, rituals, language, history and so on. 

“In the summer of 2018, I spent a month in rural northern Vermont working with local dairy farmers. I was interested in documenting the changing state of affairs up there due to milk prices and costs of farming. Farms that have been in the family for generations are now going broke. This landscape looks to fade away soon and many of the farmers were interested in my capturing their lives before it disappears.”

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

Farms and cattle have been photographed ad infinitum, but Southard’s take is fresh and unique. Perhaps in part because the rural landscape has come to seem so foreign and removed from modern life, yet there is a delicate and irresistible tension in the cow caught in mid-turn, as if he has been arrested in the first stage of a much more dramatic action. Is he about to fall, or about to confront the photographer intruding on her haystack reverie?

In fall 2018, Southard will have a solo show at Vermont Dairy, Working Title, University of New Mexico-Taos, Taos, NM. Since 2014, he has been a Full Time Lecturer for the School of Art & Visual Studies at University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Hometown: Middletown, Kentucky
Education: BFA University of Louisville 2005
MFA Carnegie Mellon University 2011
Website: www.jamesrsouthard.com

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"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x12in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 18x28in, 2018, $750

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x16in, 2018, $500

"Untitled" by James R. Southard, Archival digital print, 16x16in, 2018, $500


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved

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