culture

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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Photography

Vignette: Marcia Lamont Hopkins


“Time, memory, and the natural world always play a key role in my work.” – Marcia Lamont Hopkins


Photographer, Marcia Hopkins

Photographer, Marcia Hopkins

By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language to her photographic images, Marcia Lamont Hopkins opens the door to the unknown, to multiple realities, both real and artificial, so that one questions what is really happening.

Her images establish a link between the landscape’s reality and the artist’s imagination. While this could, to some extent, be said to be true of any artist using landscapes, Hopkins pushes the limits of our perception of what is real. Each object or environment seems entirely natural and plausible, yet the juxtaposition within the artist’s gauzy, dreamlike atmosphere creates an uneasy sense of mystery. Is our understanding shifting in relationship to time, memory, or some other reality that we can’t quite define?

"Casaubon" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |    BUY NOW

"Casaubon" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

In her artist’s statement, Hopkins explains it this way: “The series, Causabon’s Illusion, crafts a series of metaphorical vignettes rooted in elements of magical realism and the mind’s tendency to search for all-inclusive answers. In George Elliot’s Middlemarch, Edward Causabon spends his life in a futile and absurd attempt to find a comprehensive explanation for the whole of civilization’s knowledge and mythologies. Deluded, he believes that he alone has the key to humanity’s searching, an illusion which may be reflected in our culture today.”

"The Beekeeper" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"The Beekeeper" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

As part of her 60WRD/MIN project, Art Historian and Chicago Tribune art critic Lori Waxman wrote of Hopkin’s work: “We like to control animals and nature, but when they get beyond our understanding things tend to get interesting. Hopkins envisions overgrown forests, historic graveyards, farm animals, and occasionally people, often in combination, in impeccable digital prints that blend multiple shots into believable wholes. The weirder and more convincing, the better: a sheep enmeshed in a dense forest seems as if it and the trees are made of the same stuff, a lama in a rolling meadow becomes one with the horizon and the clouds.”

Hopkins currently has a solo exhibit at Gratz Park Inn in Lexington, KY.

*Burnaway: The Voice of Art In The South, March 27, 2017

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Education: BFA in Film and Fine Art and a Ph.D. in Psychology.
Website: http://www.marcia-hopkins.squarespace.com/

"Cemetery Sheep" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Cemetery Sheep" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

"Wedding" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Wedding" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

"Pyramid" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"Pyramid" by Marcia Hopkins, 17x22in, digital archival print (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

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

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

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Painting, Drawing

Vignette: Sunny Ra

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 |  BUY NOW

"Radiate" by Sunny Ra, 32x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1300 | BUY NOW

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

Artist, Sunny Ra. Photo by Dan Lubbers.

In striking abstract compositions, painter Sunny Ra uses the landscape form to investigate questions of identity in both a social and highly personal context.

“The foundation of my work originates from my experience of growing up Korean in Louisville, Kentucky. I did not have any Korean friends and since I spoke little Korean and could not read or write Hangul, I was an outsider in the Korean community. Similarly, I never quite identified myself as American since I was not white, and was living among majority white Americans.  I remember people would ask me where I was from or comment on how well I spoke English. I grew up feeling and eventually believing that I did not belong anywhere - perhaps nowhere. It is from this limbo that my night landscapes emerge and my journey into the obscure and the unknown began.”

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #3" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

It is a common, and let’s be honest, lazy assumption to confuse an individual artist’s racial and cultural identity. Ra makes paintings with no overt ties to traditional Korean pictorial forms, and her formative culture was Middle American, so it is fascinating to hear how she connects the luxurious darkness of her imagery with an evolving personal journey. 

“In these night landscapes, I revisit my childhood memories - what has been lost and what remains. Through the application of layers of paint, the images at first recognizable, slowly evolve and merge into the abyss of the dark palette. But through the darkness emerges light and color, a new image surfaces, perhaps this is where I belong.”

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 35
Education: MFA, Hunter College, CUNY, 2011; BFA, University of Pennsylvania, 2005; Painting Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2005
Website: http://www.sunny-ra.com

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Harvest" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #2" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Kinetic" by Sunny Ra, 14x11in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Untitled #1" by Sunny Ra, 9x12in, pastel on paper (2016)

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Might" by Sunny Ra, 11x14in, oil on paper (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

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

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

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Photography

Vignette: Charles Mintz


“Hardware stores are about self-reliance and culture that values results rather than shiny new things. In today’s world, they are survivors.” — Charles Mintz


"Cedar Center Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Cedar Center Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

As we make the world shiny and new with urban renewal and fashionable shopping malls, there is still a network of old-fashioned hardware stores located in American communities. The counters are aged; once sharp corners worn to a nub, yellowed tile floors, the glare of fluorescent lights on plastic packaged merchandise filling every square inch of space, so that the color of the walls remain a mystery. Photographer Charles Mintz has been documenting these archetypal exemplars of the American character for the last few years, searching out the rustic and utilitarian businesses wherever he travels.

As is his custom, Mintz uses a large format film camera with interior exposures ranging from one to six minutes. He explains how it serves to break the ice with his subjects:  “Though ungainly, the camera is appreciated by the owners, who gave their permission for the project, and allows some control over focus and perspective. The project is a continuation of work exploring the Great American Dream and the meaning of home. Hardware stores are where we go to fix things - to make things. They are about self-reliance and culture that values results rather than shiny new things. In today’s world, they are survivors.”

"  Heuser Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Heuser Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

“All of my work is about things that are important to me. It is built around my biography but is not about me. Rather it is about the culture of my time and place. It is intended to make you feel and to make you think, though it is not didactic. While this project is not traditional portraiture, it pictures the people that own, operate and shop in these stores. In addition, we can see both common elements and hints of where we are. There is a sense of belonging, a sense of place. To the extent possible, I want the subjects to speak for themselves with a minimum of my interpretation.”

Since becoming a full time photographer in 2008, Mintz has explored portraiture through objects and locations: The Album Project, Precious Objects and, still in progress, Costumes. Even Every Place – I Have Ever Lived, where people in the images are largely unrecognizable, is uniquely personal, beginning with my childhood home that was in foreclosure and continuing in all my lifetime neighborhoods the work has become less traditionally photographic both in form and method.

"  Hollywood Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Hollywood Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

Mintz was Artist in Residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley CA in March 2016, and he was was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2015. His work can be found in museums, including the Smithsonian Museum of American History, private and corporate collections in North America, Europe and Asia.

Trillium Books, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press, published his latest book, “Lustron Stories”, in 2016. The Lustron series was exhibited at LVA’s PUBLIC Gallery in Louisville in 2015.

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Age: 69
Education: Mintz studied photography at Maine Photographic Workshop, Parsons School of Design, the International Center for Photography, Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College. He has a BSEE from Purdue University and an MSEE from Cleveland State University.
Gallery Representation: 1point618 Gallery
Website: www.chuckmintz.com

"  Krays Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Krays Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

"  Rodeo Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Rodeo Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2016), $1000 | BUY NOW

"  Rutledge Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 |  BUY NOW

"Rutledge Hardware" by Charles Mintz, 32 x 40in, Inkjet Print From Scanned FIlm (2015), $1000 | BUY NOW

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

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

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

Painting, Drawing

Vignette: Jenny Shircliff

"Creekside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2017), $1500 |  BUY NOW

"Creekside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2017), $1500 | BUY NOW

Artists turn that introspective gaze towards themselves; it’s not at all unusual - most art reveals something of the person who creates it. Jenny Shircliff makes herself the subject as a way of investigating age and, by implication, mortality.

"Cavea" by Jenny Shircliff, 18x15in, pastels on paper (2016), $650 |    BUY NOW

"Cavea" by Jenny Shircliff, 18x15in, pastels on paper (2016), $650 | BUY NOW

Her earlier paintings were naturalistic renderings of the figure, but her new work is a departure, in which she dramatically abstracts human form nearly beyond recognition, and equates it with landscape forms.

“Our culture's idea of figurative beauty is predicated on youth, smooth skin, and rosy complexions,” observes Shircliff, “I am inverting that tenet and looking at my own aging flesh as a recording of my life, much in the same way that time is visually marked on the landscape. Thus, I have turned to viewing various parts of my own body as elements of land formations and use them as a derivation for abstract landscape. And I draw my color from nature itself. In a way, this new body of work could be described as ‘flesh-scapes’.”

What results from this focus are images of startling graphic impact. They appear to be abstract but are, in reality, intense, close-up views of the human form that embrace and reveal their humanity. The discovery of organic pattern and shape is so universal that we mistake them for images of other animals or natural rock formations. Through this highly candid, nearly forensic self-portrait series, Shircliff reminds us that we are a part of a larger natural world.

"Outcrop" by Jenny Shircliff, 20x24in, pastels on paper (2016), $950 |  BUY NOW

"Outcrop" by Jenny Shircliff, 20x24in, pastels on paper (2016), $950 | BUY NOW

Shircliff has returned to painting after a long period devoting herself to the studying and teaching art history. “One of the most important things I learned from that experience is that assumptions should be challenged, inverted, and viewed in a different light.”

Shircliff has taught previously at Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University, KSAH, Bellarmine University, University of Louisville, IUS, JCTC, and Midway College.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 62
Education: PhD in Art History, May 2014 University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; MA in Painting, 1994 University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; BFA in Drawing, 1976 Murray State University, Murray, K

"Cavern" by Jenny Shircliff, 31x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $3000 |  BUY NOW

"Cavern" by Jenny Shircliff, 31x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $3000 | BUY NOW

"Gorge" by Jenny Shircliff, 48x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1500 |  BUY NOW

"Gorge" by Jenny Shircliff, 48x48in, oil on canvas (2016), $1500 | BUY NOW

"Cliffside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $750|  BUY NOW

"Cliffside" by Jenny Shircliff, 24x36in, oil on canvas (2016), $750| BUY NOW

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

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

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