book

Photography

Vignette: Julius Friedman (1943-2017)

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Once when Julius Friedman was delivering an informal lecture for Louisville Visual Art, he noted how the cover of his most recent book at the time, “Images & Ideas”, was a shot of the condensation on his shower door, and how he had once waited 2 hours for a car to move off a particularly fascinating oil and water puddle in a parking lot so he could photograph it.

Friedman’s images are characteristically so expertly constructed and expressive of a stringent graphic discipline that the randomness at the root of this anecdote seems surprising, but I think the lesson is that an artist does indeed see the world differently; at all times observing their environment on a fundamentally different level than the average citizen.

Art is communication, so if the ability to share that point-of-view is the most important measure of an artist, then Friedman must be counted as a Modern Master. His commercial work, most notably the posters that made him famous in the 1970’s, are brilliant in capturing the appeal of art in terms so vivid as to command the attention of all levels of society. In effect, he established a brand for the arts in Louisville, designing iconic images for so many important arts organizations: The Speed Museum, Louisville Visual Art, the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra…the list goes on and on.

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

He did no less in his personal work, exploring technique on an esoteric level that always translated to fun and fascination for the viewer. He photographed Louisville Ballet dancer Eric De La O exhaustively but never exhausted the subject, producing dozens of potent images over several years. He photographed flowers, a prosaic and common subject that in Friedman’s hands become an astonishing example of his own relationship with nature. The same observation applies to his Becoming Wisteria series, images of model Alli Wiles positioned among the wisteria on his 200-acre farm.

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

In 2016, Frazier Museum in Louisville hosted a vital retrospective of Friedman’s work, showing more than 200 posters and also incorporating The Book, a project in which he deconstructed a collection of discarded books and which was his last published work. There was also a dazzling installation of color photographs on aluminum that, in and of itself was impressive enough to represent his creative vision, but what most excited the artist was an immersive screening of his most recent film work, flowing, abstract images of water in nature.

It was just water running in a stream – or it was simply peonies, or a painter’s palette, or an old book, but Julius Friedman always made us see the commonplace in a new light.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.imagesol.com

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

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

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Photography

Vignette: Ed Lawrence


“There’s something magical about creeks for me.” Ed Lawrence


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The cold, slate gray form of dead branch isolated against the warm green tones of trees reflected in a creek; the deceptively abstract quality we find In a close up point-of-view of minnows swimming in the shallow water of a creek bed; the organic cathedral formation of trees lining both sides of a woodland stream. These are but three Ed Lawrence images that make him the epitome of a fine nature photographer. His work captures both the grandeur and the intimacy of the Kentucky landscape in a context that borders on sacred.

Lawrence has worked in various mediums, but he returned to his early love of photography after retiring, shooting alongside his oldest son, who had discovered one of his father’s old film single lens reflex cameras. The two of them traveled together shooting, the son on film and the father digitally, and Lawrence’s passion was renewed. He considers himself less of a technician, saying: “I could care less about the world of apertures, f-stops, ISOs and metering.” Ed Lawrence just uses a camera to paint what he sees.

"Beals Run, Woodford County, KY"   by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (  limited edition of 10) |  BUY NOW

"Beals Run, Woodford County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) | BUY NOW

“There’s something magical about creeks for me,” he explains. “When I am in a creek, I feel like I am in a world of my own with meandering paths of water and rock protected by canopies of trees. Surrounded by the beauty of wildflowers along the bank, the wonder of birds, fish and fascinating creeping crawling things and the dappling light make creeks my place of reflection both literally and figuratively.”

“All seasons appeal to me. The brilliant colors of autumn leaves falling and sinking beneath the water, the ice and snow formations of winter and the pinks and blues and greens of spring growth transform the same site on the same creek into a very different place. My favorite sensation is the coolness of the air drifting downstream when the summer heat is otherwise unbearable.”

"Benson Creek, Franklin County, KY"   by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (  limited edition of 10) |  BUY NOW

"Benson Creek, Franklin County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) | BUY NOW

Lawrence will be one of the photographers in a group show at the City Gallery at the Downtown Arts Center, Lexington Kentucky Creeks - paintings and photographs by four Kentucky artists, which will run February 10 through April 2, 2017. He also has published book of photographs, “Kentucky 120” A county-by-county portrait of Kentucky, published by Zedz Press.

Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Age: 67
Education: Studied fine art at the University of South Florida and Communications at the University of Kentucky but do not have a degree. My photography is for the most part self-taught.
Website: www.edlawrencephotography.com

"Hal Bryan's Creek, Franklin County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) |  BUY NOW

"Hal Bryan's Creek, Franklin County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) | BUY NOW

"Brighton Branch, Franklin County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2014) $200 / $300 framed (  limited edition of 10) |  BUY NOW

"Brighton Branch, Franklin County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2014) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) | BUY NOW

"Elkhorn Creek, Woodford County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) |  BUY NOW

"Elkhorn Creek, Woodford County, KY" by Ed Lawrence, 19 x 13 in, inkjet print on archival matte paper (2016) $200 / $300 framed (limited edition of 10) | BUY NOW

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Installation, Mixed Media, Painting

Vignette: Lennon Michalski

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

In a body of work entitled Ghost Bike, Lennon Michalski explores the relationship between man and machine, expressing a complex array of themes, most importantly, the tyranny of technology and the fragility of the human form.

“Ghost Bike takes a specific look at Motorcycles, considering the uniqueness that describes the machine, the man that chooses to indulge in that machine, and the nature of their relationship,” says Michalski. “The imagery in the series considers motorcycle accidents to represent their dangerous cultural association. I specifically chose the motorcycle, the imagery, and popular icons to reflect my personal engagement with this idea. My grandfather was killed on a motorcycle, and this has largely inspired these pieces in the hopes of bringing attention to the motorcycle to provide an understanding of their own distinctive culture.”

"Wrecked Bike"   by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) |  Photograph by Brian Campbell

"Wrecked Bike" by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) | Photograph by Brian Campbell

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

“Even when these tragedies strike, society often places blame on the cyclist, for they, have willingly put them selves in harm’s way. Motorcycles are largely considered unsafe and rebellious in the eyes of the public because of the sense of vulnerability and danger associated with motorcycles. In an effort to define the broad spectrum of this machine’s interaction with the human condition, I sought to understand why so many individuals crave to connect with it. I realized that engagement with motorcycles cultivated an undeniable sense of community. Motorcyclists feel passionately about their investment in this machine, creating a strong bond between, not only the machine and its owner, but also everyone who rides. In order to incorporate this idea of community, I created works that also represent this aspect of motorcycle culture. I examine the documentation of a group of cyclists traveling cross-country to pay tribute to the fallen. Rather than viewing the death of the biker as a careless rebel, he is considered a fallen hero, who deserves the greatest of respect. Within the motorcycle community there is boundless devotion, which allows for the machine to act as a tool in eliciting genuine human interaction.”

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

In his paintings, Michalski often uses his hands directly in applying the medium, building transparent layers that evoke a passage of time. “My paintings are not objects assembled by machines or other individuals; I develop a bond and communicate through the development of each work. This technique is based on a physical language; by pushing the paint with my hands, I am infusing my energy into the gestures. I learn something new from each piece allowing my process to open doors I would have never thought to walk through. Through the creation of digital work, paintings, and sculpture, I hope to bring attention to the motorcyclist so that the sense of community motorcycle culture creates can continue to thrive. The motorcycle acts as a metaphor to represent the motorcyclist himself, with the engine acting as the heart of the individual, and the community. While many have fallen victim to the unpredictability of this machine, it uniquely acts as a tool to cultivate relationships, activate commitment, and instill a sense of community.”

Michalski also just self published a children's book called "How Penguins Save Television," a story that explores what it means for society as it attempts to evolve with the aid of science and innovation. The book engages children with the natural world around them through technological modifications, such as the jetpack.

Since 2008 Michalski has been an Instructor of Digital Media, Drawing, and 2D Design at the University of Kentucky.

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Age: 36
Education: BFA in Painting, Eastern Kentucky University 2004; MFA in Painting and Digital Media, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006
Website: http://www.lennonmichalski.com

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Drawing, Painting

Q&A: Dorothy Kavka


“I believe in a primordial sisterhood of women that links them beyond social and territorial boundaries." — Dorothy Kavka


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Dorothy Kavka sees herself as an artist who is a chronicler of women: “…both in the roles they are made to assume within their societies and their historical reality. I believe in a primordial sisterhood of women that links them beyond social and territorial boundaries. The ‘other,’ or cultural diversity becomes the guise they assume that is demanded by their fathers, husbands, religious leaders, and lawmakers. My work explores the tension created by the existence of these forces on every woman.”

Kavka was accepted into a prestigious Women's Gallery Show in Chicago and in exhibits at the Kaviar Gallery and the Gallery Janjobe in Louisville. Recently, she won first place at the Jewish Community Center's 12th Annual Mazin Art Exhibition, juried by Joey Yates from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

"Mood" by Dorothy Kavka

"Mood" by Dorothy Kavka

When did you first think you would be an artist?

I always knew I would be an artist. Even as a young child, I was always drawing, I took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago (giving up ballet because my parents could not afford both classes), and saved a few of the drawings from those classes; it still amazes me that I could do such detailed work at that age.

Who or what inspires you now?

Knowing that people like what I do inspires me. I just won first place at the Mazin Juried Art Exhibit, and that was a real thrill.

You describe yourself as a “chronicler of women” as regards how they are viewed by society. How do you feel your representation of the human figure captures that?

I find that although I have a number of studies of men, my focus has always been on women. That may be because in the workshops I took, we usually had women models. Then again, I guess I just find women more interesting.

Among the images here are nude studies of women. How does your work avoid some of the objectification of the female form that is still so common? 

I don't know. I just draw and paint what I feel at the time I do the work.

"Nude X" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude X" by Dorothy Kavka

What are you reading right now?

I am reading a book about George Washington and about to read “The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell, who also wrote “Cloud Atlas”. I was an English teacher, and I do enjoy a good book.

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

I think that it happened as an adult, when I was able to start taking workshops with well-known Chicago artists, such as Ed Paschke and Lillian Desow Fishbein. They never tried to "fix" my work by drawing or painting over them, but would offer suggestions that allowed me to discover for myself what I need to do.

"Garden Party" by Dorothy Kavka

"Garden Party" by Dorothy Kavka

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

I need to do art; it is a calling that I cannot ignore.

Has your style changed or evolved over the years? If so what do you think
influenced this?

Yes, my art has changed over the years. Remember that I started art classes when I was a teenager. However, I did not begin to really take my art seriously until I started workshops with Chicago artists. At first I was doing realistic drawings and paintings - which were good, but somehow not fulfilling. Then, I began to work into them, changing the focus, and suddenly I found my stride. 

Does art have a purpose? If so what is it?

This may sound trite, but I feel that art is the one thing that makes life enjoyable. 

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Age: 76
Education: BA in English Language & Literature, University of Chicago; MA in English; University of Wisconsin; studied at Art Institute of Chicago and in private workshops with Ed Paschke and Lillian Desow Fishbein

"Nude III" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude III" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude II" by Dorothy Kavka

"Nude II" by Dorothy Kavka

"Ballerinas" by Dorothy Kavka

"Ballerinas" by Dorothy Kavka

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

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Painting

Q&A: Julie Rolwing


"When I am lost in my work, my mind is off of everything else and the troubles of our world seem to disappear." – Julie Rolwing


"Downtown at Dusk" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, mixed media on cold press water color paper (2016), $225 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Downtown at Dusk" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, mixed media on cold press water color paper (2016), $225 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

While she was always interested in art, Julie Rolwing only began painting about four years ago through a class at Gilda’s Club of Louisville. Rolwing had undergone treatment for breast cancer followed by a back injury that has left her permanently disabled. She endeavors to paint every day and has sold several through social media but, because of her physical disabilities, has yet to exhibit in a gallery.

You started painting only four years ago. Tell us how and why you got started.

I started painting after having participated in an art therapy class at Gilda’s Club that I became involved with after my treatment for breast cancer. I had been attending the class for a year or so before I broke down and bought some paints of my own and set up a studio. It was through this class that I discovered that I was indeed a pretty talented painter.  

I have always been artistic but never really painted. My father and brother were painters and I think I felt intimidated by them. Though I studied art in my early years at Western Kentucky University, I was more into textiles. Painting, to me seemed too messy! I regret that I did not finish my art education and wish I knew more about history and technique. Though I seldom follow rules in my painting, as I believe that the best work often comes by accident, I think it’s good to have the foundation.

Would you describe your painting as therapeutic? What does it mean to you?  

Yes, definitely! Sometimes I feel as though I go through withdrawal if too many days go by and I haven’t painted something, I try to paint every day - at the very minimum I paint on the weekends.

"Untitled" by Julie Rowling, mixed media on metalic matte board (2016), $225 (framed) |  BUY NOW

"Untitled" by Julie Rowling, mixed media on metalic matte board (2016), $225 (framed) | BUY NOW

Who or what inspires you now?

I continue to be inspired by my late father and often while I paint, I can feel his presence. Family members have told me that my work looks so much like his that it is hard to tell the difference. I consider that the greatest of compliments! My friend and mentor, Mary Scott Blake, who facilitates the class at Gilda’s Club, also continually inspire me. While most of the time I jump ahead of her instruction and go way off the page, I have learned so much from her. I would not be painting today if it had not been for her time and dedication. Watching others create also inspires me. Each March I facilitate a charity-painting workshop to benefit Gilda’s Club of Louisville and I am so inspired by the work of the participants, I spend several months painting from that inspiration. 2017 will be our third year to hold this benefit. 

What frightens you the most?   

I think what frightens me the most is the uncertain economy – while we have bounced back from the last recession, the election has brought more uncertainty.   The lack of compassion I have seen, scares the heck out of me – though in a good way it has sent me into my studio more so than it might have otherwise.  

"Water Lilies" by Julie Rowling, 9x11in, liquid water color and pen and ink on cold press water color paper (2016), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Water Lilies" by Julie Rowling, 9x11in, liquid water color and pen and ink on cold press water color paper (2016), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

What are you reading right now?

I AM A BOOK JUNKY! I have 1628 books on my Kindle and 587 on my Nook.  I easily have at least five books going at one time. I like mostly humorous novels set in the South – I just read one by Anne River Siddons that I enjoyed. That said, about every fifth book or so I feel needs to be edifying in some way – either spiritually or historically. Last week I read a biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe that I found to be extremely fascinating.  

"Tiger Lilly" by Julie Rowling, 8x10in,  acrylic and water color mix on canvas panel  (2016),   $175 (double matted & framed) |   BUY NOW

"Tiger Lilly" by Julie Rowling, 8x10in, acrylic and water color mix on canvas panel (2016), $175 (double matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

If you were given $100,000 what would do with it?

Buy a new car and then hit the road and travel the United States for a couple of months staying in Bed & Breakfast Inns in small towns across the country.  

What does art mean to you?

Art is not only a means of expression for me it is also a mean of escape. When I am lost in my work, my mind is off of everything else and the troubles of our world seem to disappear.

What do you feel is your greatest flaw?

That’s easy – I buy too many books! I also have too many projects going at one time and I am impatient with my work. I could never work on a painting for more than two days, which is why I like small watercolors. I have also been told I don’t charge enough for my pieces but the way I look at it, I do them to share with other people and not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a painting. I feel like if I invest fifty dollars in a painting and sell it for $100 - $150, I’ve made nice profit and I am not really trying to earn a living.

What's your favorite place to visit?  

That is hard to say since I am not that well traveled. I have been to NYC and Chicago and LA. I have to say I was in total awe of Chicago. Places I want to visit include New Orleans, Savannah, GA, the Carolinas, Martha’s Vineyard and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 56
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jaie.rolwing

"Nora" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, acrylic, liquid water color, pencil and coffee (2016), $195 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Nora" by Julie Rowling, 11x14in, acrylic, liquid water color, pencil and coffee (2016), $195 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

Are you interested in being on Artebella?    Click here    to learn more.

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