faces

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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Drawing

Vignette: Patricia Watson


“All my art is in some way about other art, even if the other art is cartoons.” — Roy Lichtenstein


Patricia Watson is a highly motivated educator with a successful track record for teaching art to elementary, middle, high school, and undergraduate students. She is also experienced in coordinating and managing arts programs. As an artist, she has most recently concentrated on illustrations of famous faces.

“I have always enjoyed portraiture drawing and painting. I decided to try high contrast portraits using sharpie markers as my choice of medium. It is permanent - with no margin for error.”

The technique invests even the most ordinary pictures with an iconic sensibility. Some of the subjects lend themselves very easily to this quality – it is arguable that ANY picture of Muhammad Ali or Salvador Dali is inherently iconic and, the portrait of 1970’s songwriter and musician Leon Russell, represents the moment he transitioned from session musician to Pop Star. Watson is affecting a deliberate layer of affectionate kitsch on images of individuals who have risen to a certain status in the Pop Culture firmament, harkening back to a period in which illustration dominated the media. In an age when such things seem all but forgotten, it would not be at all difficult to imagine these images on magazine or album covers. Ask your parents.

"Ali" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Ali" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

Watson also paints traditionally, and has recently been experimenting with abstract painting, but these sharpie portraits are popular with the public, and she is often asked to do commissions using the technique.

Watson is currently teaching at Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, and she is a former Elementary and Middle Grades Art Instructor, Louisville Visual Art’s Children’s Fine Art Classes (CFAC).

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA with a major in visual communications, Kean University, New Jersey; MAT - Teaching Art K-12, University of Louisville
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artchikdiva/

"Chris" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Chris" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Dali" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Dali" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Gregg" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Gregg" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Leon" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

"Leon" by Patricia Watson, 11x14in, sharpie on paper

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

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Drawing, Painting, Sculpture

Vignette: Bailey Roman


“I understand the rules that have been presented to me, take the previous results into account, then more-or-less throw them out.” – Bailey Roman


Artist, Bailey Roman

Artist, Bailey Roman

Looking at the work of Bailey Roman raises a question: are these faces, with their contorted, lopsided visage, a deliberate deconstruction of conventional beauty? They are certainly distinctive and full of character, personalities that feel pulled from the fringe of society, malformed outcasts demanding our compassion.

Roman juxtaposes self-awareness and subconscious feelings against modern societal standards. “I also tend to take a lot of idioms way more seriously than their original intent; for example, in the past I have used the phrase ‘the lights are on but nobody’s home’ and used it as commentary for society’s various criticisms and standards for intelligence.”

"It's Only The Second Semester and I'm Already Emotionally Exhausted; Maybe I Should Eat a Burrito" by Bailey Roman, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

"It's Only The Second Semester and I'm Already Emotionally Exhausted; Maybe I Should Eat a Burrito" by Bailey Roman, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017)

“I draw influence from German Expressionism, Post Impressionism, contemporary media and, most importantly, the greats from stop motion puppet fabricators such as Francesca Berlingieri Maxwell and Henry Selick. More recently, I have been stretching the boundaries of what my chosen mediums. I understand the rules that have been presented to me, take the previous results into account, then more-or-less throw them out to see what new two dimensional effects, tactical textures, and interactions the viewer can have with my work.”

“In ‘Logan’, I use the polygons as a tool to highlight the first things the viewer would typically notice from the piece. I also take the liberty of using influences from both Pop Art and Golden Age comic book art. I use the two periods and place them into a more contemporary anatomical study.”  

"Anubis, The Dragonfly and the Warrior" by Bailey Roman, 15x7x10in, ceramic and glaze (2017)

"Anubis, The Dragonfly and the Warrior" by Bailey Roman, 15x7x10in, ceramic and glaze (2017)

Roman is featured in From the Sculptures That Look Like Drawings series at The Tim Faulkner Gallery, and she will be included in Louisville Artisan Guild's 44th annual exhibit From the Soul of the Artist that will be held at Kore Gallery July 5 through July 30. There will be an Artist Reception July 13th, 6 – 8 pm.

Age: 19
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Ballard High School (honors program graduated 2016) Murray State University (Studio Art major, currently working on my Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in art history)
Gallery Representation: The Tim Faulkner Gallery
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/RamRenard/

"Touch Of Death" by Bailey Roman, 14x14x14in, ceramic, acrylic, plaster (2015), $315 |  BUY NOW

"Touch Of Death" by Bailey Roman, 14x14x14in, ceramic, acrylic, plaster (2015), $315 | BUY NOW

"Logan" by Bailey Roman, 22x28in, ceramic and glaze (2016)

"Logan" by Bailey Roman, 22x28in, ceramic and glaze (2016)

"GPF" by Bailey Roman, 9x9.5x11in, ceramic and glaze (2017)

"GPF" by Bailey Roman, 9x9.5x11in, ceramic and glaze (2017)

"Day N Night" by Bailey Roman, 11x14in, ink on paper (2017)

"Day N Night" by Bailey Roman, 11x14in, ink on paper (2017)

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

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Sculpture, Painting

Feature: William M. Duffy


“You have to be dedicated, but also giving of yourself.” — William M. Duffy


"African Heads" by William Duffy, prismacolor on paper

"African Heads" by William Duffy, prismacolor on paper

Artist, William M. Duffy

Everybody calls him “Duffy”. You say that name to anyone in the visual art community over 30 and they immediately know whom you’re talking about. A Louisville native who earned his BFA in Painting from the Louisville School of Art during its fabled heyday in Anchorage back in the 1970’s, he turned to sculpture after chancing upon an automobile collision that freed some marble from a pillar. He was fascinated by the piece of stone and took to it with a hammer and screwdriver when he got home.

Needless to say, William M. Duffy obtained the proper tools, but the story illustrates the unpretentious, workaday touch that seems characteristic of this artist. He has distinguished himself as a sculptor ever since, and a new exhibit at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Folks and Wee Folks: The Work of William M. Duffy, puts a long overdue spotlight on the man and his work.

Duffy was raised on Magnolia Avenue in the West End of Louisville, which, at that time, was predominantly Black, but the elementary school he attended, Virginia Ave. Elementary, was more balanced racially. “In my school, I would say it was closer to 50% White/50% Black back then,” recalls Duffy. He attended Shawnee High School, by which time he already knew he wanted to be an artist. Louisville School of Art came next, where he studied painting with Bob Barton.

"Electric Slide" by William Duffy

"Electric Slide" by William Duffy

But the most crucial influence in those early years was Gloucester Caliman “G.C.” Coxe (1907-1999). The most notable African American artist in Kentucky in that period, he was known as ‘the dean of Louisville’s African American artists.’ Duffy recalls, “He ran the Louisville Art Workshop on 35th Street back in the day, and we all called him, ‘the Master.” Duffy, along with Ed Hamilton, Sylvia Clay, Eddie Davis, and several others were a loose group around Coxe that eventually was given formal shape as “Montage.”

"I Fear None" by William Duffy, silk screen

"I Fear None" by William Duffy, silk screen

“It was difficult at that time for any of us as individuals to get a show in Louisville, so we formed Montage because we thought there would be strength in numbers. Part of it was that there was a militant, political edge in much of our work, and that seemed to make it even more difficult to be accepted by traditional galleries.” Montage exhibited as a group for several years, including at The Speed Museum, before disbanding, but this was happening at a time when several young, outspoken Black people holding a meeting could too easily arouse fear and suspicion. “Ed’s Shelby Street studio was kind of our center,” says Duffy, “and one night we emerged from a meeting there to find four police cars waiting for us with questions – ‘what kind of meeting was this?’ – that kind of thing…because the neighbors had called them; and that was in a predominantly Black neighborhood!”

The group also sought opportunities elsewhere. “G.C., Ed, and myself were in a show in Atlanta, so we drove to get to the exhibit opening, and then almost nobody came because the Falcons had a big game at the same time,” recalls Duffy, laughing at the memory. They returned to Louisville the same night driving for 8 straight hours in hammering, blinding rain.

"A Little Bird Told Me" by William Duffy, 7.75x5x7in, alabaster sculpture (2011)

"A Little Bird Told Me" by William Duffy, 7.75x5x7in, alabaster sculpture (2011)

But Louisville remained home for all three men, a commitment to the community that Duffy worries is not carrying through with younger generations of African American artists. Having taught youth art classes for over 30 years now (including with LVA), Duffy has seen a lot of talent come up through the education system only to move on to other cities that afford more opportunity. “G.C. stayed here, Ed stayed here…we came together in support of each other, and I’m not certain that is happening enough with young Black artists in Louisville right now.”

“You have to be dedicated, but also giving of yourself. I still hear young people who have the attitude, ‘This is what we need – this is how you can help us… almost never what do you need – how can we help you?” It is a different ethos from Duffy’s halcyon days with Montage. “We were always encouraging each other, always working to help each other out. I built the turntable in Ed Hamilton’s studio that he still uses today. We always did for each other.”

Duffy speaks about his life with self-effacing ease, yet not without a sure sense of his place in the history of African American artists in Louisville. While arguably not as celebrated as some of his contemporaries, his legacy of teaching ensures a lasting influence on the past, present, and future of the Louisville arts community.

Duffy’s work can be found in numerous private, corporate, and public collections, including Phillip Morris USA, Brown-Forman Corporation, Kentucky Fried Chicken (now YUM! Brands, Inc.), Humana Inc., The Louisville Orchestra, and The Speed Art Museum.

"At Rest" by William Duffy, 6.5x11.6.5in, bronze sculpture (2011)

"At Rest" by William Duffy, 6.5x11.6.5in, bronze sculpture (2011)

Folks and Wee Folks

April 3- May 25, 2017

Monday – Friday, 10:00am-4:00pm

Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
1701 West Muhammad Ali Boulevard
Louisville, KY 40203
502-583-4100
kcaah.org

Hometown: Louisville, KY
Age: 63
Education: BFA in Painting, Louisville School of Art
Gallery Representative: E&S Gallery (Louisville, KY)
Website: http://www.wmduffy.com/

"On My Block" by William Duffy

"On My Block" by William Duffy

"Queen for a Day" by William Duffy, alabaster sculpture on wood block

"Queen for a Day" by William Duffy, alabaster sculpture on wood block

Artist, Duffy with his wife Sherrolyn. Photo by Jason Harris.

Artist, Duffy with his wife Sherrolyn. Photo by Jason Harris.

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

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Mixed Media

Q&A: Deborah Stanley


“Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom.”
— Deborah Stanley


Artist Deborah Stanley

Artist Deborah Stanley

Deborah Stanley has been a juried member of the Louisville Artisans Guild (LAG) since 2011 and a member of the Louisville Visual Art (LVA) since 2014 and have been a participatant in the Art[squared] project since its inception.  Her work has been displayed and featured in various art galleries and exhibitions in the Louisville area such as LAG 2016 Holiday Showcase and 2016 Annual Exhibit; Kaviar Forge and Gallery (Touched with Fire, 2016 and The Figure Revealed, 2014, juried participant); Gallery 104 in La Grange, KY (the 2014 Red Show, juried participant), 2013 Crafts of Kentucky Exhibition, (juried participant), JCC Patio Gallery Presents Louisville Artisans Guild, 2013, the 2012 and 2013 Brown-Foreman Annual Pride Fair, The KORE Gallery (former partner), 2012 September Art Fair Mellwood Art Center, juried participant, Louisville Artisans Guild Annual Art Exhibit, and The Women's Club of Louisville (2012 Annual No-Jury Art Show).

When did you first think you would be an artist?

2004

Who or what inspires you now?

Beautiful and colorful visual imagery in nature or photo images  

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 |  BUY NOW

"Lukas" by Deborah Stanley, 8x10in, polymer clay (2016) $350 | BUY NOW

Your work is unique, and blurs many lines. How did you come to work with polymer clay?

I was working on an art project with my young son and needed something different and colorful that would be easy enough for a child to make into simple shapes. However, I found an immediate connection and affinity for the feel of the clay and the endless possibilities I saw when the colors are blended. 

You describe yourself as an “abstract expressionist,” yet the images also contain representational figures and faces – talk about how you balance the two strains in your work?

I strive to express an emotion or feeling with every piece I create. While many of my creations contain representational figures and faces, my concentration is on communicating emotion or feeling rather than trying to create a technically correct replica of a particular subject. I would say my balance of the two strains is giving just enough technical detail to capture the essence of the subject and let abstract expressionism take over from there.

"  Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Gypsy Dancer" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

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

Photography. I have always had a passion for photography and previously owned and operated a photography business specializing in wedding and family photographs.

What frightens you the most?

Bugs!

What challenges you more than anything?

Coloring within the lines.

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

R&B/hip hop/rap/oldies/pop  

Vinyl or CD?

iTunes - Sorry but if I have to choose between the two, it would be CD

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

Experience will be more valuable than anything learned in the classroom. Keep working and never feel like you've "arrived". You will always improve if you keep working.

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

For my first several years as an artist, I exclusively created abstract designs, always determined to "let go/let flow" with the clay. A few years ago, I accepted a commission, which required the inclusion of a representational figure. This commission challenged me to find the most creative way to express freedom while meeting the requirement of my client. This was a pivotal moment for me and gave me the outlet to express myself or an idea or feeling in every piece I now create.

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Sheba" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

How do you feel about local art scene in Louisville? What would you change about it?

I love the art scene in Louisville. As a transplant from the Washington, DC area, I was pleasantly surprised at how art friendly Louisville is. Just walking downtown and admiring the artistic bike racks and generations of "Gallopalooza" horse statues is always entertaining. There are plenty of galleries and venues that are very welcoming for local artists of all levels. I wouldn't change a thing.

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

Yes. As I described above, my style has evolved from strictly abstract, to Abstract Expressionism utilizing representational figures or faces. It was a required element in a new commission, so I had to give it a try and have not looked back!

MV5BMzMzNzU0NzQ1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTMzOTEzMQ@@._V1_SY1000_SX670_AL_.jpg

Favorite movie?

"Something New"

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

Boy George. I would ask him where his courage comes from to have demanded to live and look his own way since childhood. His love of freedom and honest way of expressing himself has always been an inspiration to me.

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Age: 52
Education: Studied Business Administration and Sociology at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD
Website: http://www.aegalleryshop.com

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 |  BUY NOW

"Color Chameleon" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016) $425 | BUY NOW

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The People's Champ" by Deborah Stanley, 9x12in, polymer clay (2016)

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500   |  BUY NOW

"The Purplest" by Deborah Stanley, 11x142in, polymer clay (2016), $500 | 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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