film

Photography

Vignette: Brett Sutton


“The natural world is truly remarkable and we are an intimate part of this environment.” — Brett Sutton


"Neighborhood Runoff" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2016),   f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Neighborhood Runoff" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2016), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

Photographer, Brett Sutton

Photographer, Brett Sutton

Even a casual study of these photographs from Brett Sutton reveal the common thread of patterns in nature. The black & white images of the city illustrate humankind’s imprint of construction on the urban landscape, the latticework reinforcement of a fire escape and the shadows cast by the late afternoon sun. Sutton crops the main support of the structure out of frame, lending it an unexpected tension.

“While working at Luna Lodge, an eco-lodge retreat on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, I was granted the opportunity to truly connect with the landscape, flora and fauna. The natural world is truly remarkable and we are an intimate part of this environment.”

Sutton’s images of the natural world share that same fascination with pattern, but the color places a greater emphasis on texture, and there is a more epic sense of composition in many of the pictures. He also seeks out unique vantage points; as he explains: “(they can be) hugely important when considering how one connects to and interprets reality, location, and relationship.” He achieves some mystery through abstraction, just as he cropped the fire escape, we here see two runners moving across a mercurial landscape that we can’t quite place, a scene bisected by an indefinable graphic element that visually appears to stop the joggers in their tracks.

"Costa Rican Leaf Cutter Ants" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Costa Rican Leaf Cutter Ants" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

“Not only is my zest for life and vitality enhanced through my creative pursuits but to my connections with others…location, and the environment as well. Whether working in film or digital photography, oil paint, or collages of the bark of decaying trees, I attempt to deliver messages of local-ism, connection to the land, and textural nuance.”

Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Age: 29
Education: BA, History & Fine Arts from Xavier University (Cincinnati)
Website: https://brettmsutton.wordpress.com

"White Sands National Monument" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), f  rom $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"White Sands National Monument" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

"Fire Escape" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Fire Escape" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

"Central Bridge: Newport, Kentucky" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up |  BUY NOW

"Central Bridge: Newport, Kentucky" by Brett Sutton, size made to order, film photography (2017), from $85 and up | BUY NOW

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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Photography

Vignette: Judy Rosati

"Buffalo (Custer)" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Buffalo (Custer)" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

Hand coloring black & white photographs may seem quaint or old-fashioned, yet in a time when we are inundated with digital imagery in our every waking moment, the virtues of such an approach are not difficult to understand: occasionally we need to rest our overexposed, weary eyes. Judy Rosati’s use of the technique has the effect of allowing us to view the busy world in slow motion and ponder what it must have been like before we were swallowed up by the media age.

"Old Faithful (Yellowstone National Park)" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Old Faithful (Yellowstone National Park)" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

Rosati’s approach has shifted recently to an even more informal, subjective use of color that introduces abstraction to what are determinedly representational images. In “Old Faithful” the familiar geyser in Yellowstone National Park is less tourist image than a study that blurs the distinctions of the natural world, rendering the kinetic motion as a surreal curtain being drawn across our field of vision, the subdued tones evoking nostalgia while simultaneously reducing depth and dimensionality.

Rosati shoots both film and digital, but her hand-colored photographs are printed from film negatives. “After the print is made, I use Marshall's Photo Oils and Prisma pencils, “ she explains. “My attempt to personalize my interpretation of the subject matter is evident by the spontaneous use of color, as well as the retention of some of the natural aspects of the original black, white and gray areas.  No two photographs are exactly alike, making each one unique.”

"Geese in Winter" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2016), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Geese in Winter" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2016), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

The artist is the owner of Judy Rosati's Fine Arts Photography LLC, a juried member of Louisville artisan's Guild--co-liaison (photographer) to web curator, Jury committee member; scholarship committee juror.  Rosati is a Juried member of Kentucky Crafted--regular juried artist in Kentucky Arts Council shows, and an Artist member of Louisville Visual Art.  She was a digital photography Instructor in Bellarmine's School of Continuing & Professional Studies for 11 years, and still gives private digital photography instruction.

Rosati’s work will be a part of the Kentucky Arts Council exhibit, Kentucky Visions at The Capitol, January-March 2017.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 72
Education: Bachelor’s Degree (Art education; Health & Physical education), Western Kentucky University; Master’s Degree in Arts Education, Eastern Kentucky University
Gallery Representative: Edenside Gallery (Louisville)
Website: http://www.judyrosatiphotography.com/

"Wildflower Walk in the Parklands" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2016), $125 (matted & framed) |  BUY NOW

"Wildflower Walk in the Parklands" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2016), $125 (matted & framed) | BUY NOW

"Parklands of Floyd's Fork in Winter" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015)

"Parklands of Floyd's Fork in Winter" by Judy Rosati, 16x20in, hand colored silver gelatin photograph (2015)

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.

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Vignette: James Bixler

"15 More Minutes" by James Bixler, 14x11in, relief print (2015), $100 |  BUY NOW

"15 More Minutes" by James Bixler, 14x11in, relief print (2015), $100 | BUY NOW

“My affinity for the color black started when I started growing into myself,” states James Bixler. “I realized recently that my attraction to the color noir was because it is a grounding, calming color. It should come to no one’s surprise that I utilize black in most of my artwork.”

"Self Portrait" by James Bixler, 12x9in, digital media print (2015), $100 |  BUY NOW

"Self Portrait" by James Bixler, 12x9in, digital media print (2015), $100 | BUY NOW

Included here is a self-portrait that shows Bixler emerging from liquid black; inky, impenetrable, and leaving a film on his skin, the image recalls at least one famous portrait of an African American immersed in milk, - a negative reversal of sorts. It somewhat obfuscates racial identity, blurring the lines of pigmentation by removing color and forcing the viewer to rely on the supple tones and textures of the black, white, and gray tones of the photographic medium.

The play of the viscous black liquid on Bixler’s skin also reminds us that he is a Tattoo Artist at Uncle Bob's Tattoo Studio and Body Piercing in Clarksville, Indiana. It should not be surprising that a working tattoo artist would study fine art, since the medium, once considered, at best, subversive, or, at worst, cheap and trashy, has become more and more accepted in the mainstream culture, with 1 in 5 Americans sporting one or more examples of skin art, and tattoo parlors now as likely as not including a gallery space.

The dense black also dominates Bixler’s upside down Ouija board print, which, alongside his drawing of a gracefully ‘unraveling’ human skull, is suggestive of the occult, and a preoccupation with the ephemeral spirit that once resided in the latter, and may communicate with us through the former; themes of identity and mortality that never feel exhausted because there is never a definitive answer.

Age: 26
Hometown: Scottsburg, Kentucky
Education: BFA candidate, Painting and Drawing, Kentucky College of Art and Design (KyCAD), Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky

"Untitled" by James Bixler, 19x15in, dypoint print (2015), $100 |  BUY NOW

"Untitled" by James Bixler, 19x15in, dypoint print (2015), $100 | BUY NOW

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

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Painting, Illustration, Mixed Media

Feature: Michael John Braaksma


“What I’m doing 25 or 30 years later is an echo of what I did as a four year old…”
– Michael John Braaksma


Michael John Braaksma in his studio.  Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis for LVA.

Michael John Braaksma in his studio. Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis for LVA.

Michael John Braaksma is a sculptor, puppeteer, and a scenic and costume designer for theatre. In a curatorial statement, Braaksma described his practice; “His multidisciplinary approach to art-making blends drawing, painting, sculpture, illustration, puppetry, mask-making, theatrical design and art direction together to create spectacular visual narratives. Folk tales, oral narratives, and mythologies linking inhabitants with their land and culture are of particular importance to Michael’s work.”

Still from 'Unicorn Xing' Tyler McDAniel cinematographer. Puppets and Set by Michael John Braaksma.

Still from 'Unicorn Xing' Tyler McDAniel cinematographer. Puppets and Set by Michael John Braaksma.

He recently wrapped his first short film based around his puppetry, and is beginning to work on a children’s book. 

“I’m a visual story teller. That’s a description that fits the all encompassing approach to my work,” said Braaksma. 

In his studio, there are characters hanging from the walls; some are fully formed, some are just heads or faces. Many actually are puppets, but others are stand-alone art objects, some sized to be affordable at art fairs and events like the Flea Off Market.  Regardless of the artistic purpose of each character, they all seem ready to spring to life at any moment. “All my work has a strong sense of narrative,” said Braaksma. “They are all named, with rich back stories, and complex rationales as to why my little entities are here.”

The artist was born in Wisconsin, and comes to Louisville by way of Chicago, and time spent at Hope College in Michigan for a BA in scenic and costume design. In between Braaksma’s story takes a bit of a turn. “It’s essentially Mean Girls,” joked Braaksma, citing the popular film about a young American girl who grows up in Africa. 

"Memories of places I've never been" by Michael John Braaksma, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas, $400 |  BUY NOW

"Memories of places I've never been" by Michael John Braaksma, 18x24in, acrylic on canvas, $400 | BUY NOW

“When I was two, my parents decided they loved Jesus a lot, and became missionaries. They move the family to the Kenya-Somalia border, with no electricity or running water.” Braaksma lived in Kenya from age two to age nine and he says the time affected him greatly. “I’m doing some clay sculpture right now and it ties me back, there was a seasonal river where all the local children would sculpt animals, so what I’m doing 25 or 30 years later is an echo of what I did as a four year old kid in remote Africa.”

Braaksma believes in free sculpting each piece rather than casting his work. “I do everything free sculpting. Especially for the work I do, and the voice of the characters I’m drawing out, the idea of each form having its own shape and angle,” said Braaksma as he worked on a series of small unicorns he was preparing.  “Even though the work I’m doing now is related, it’s unique in a way, and I think there is a movement to those precious things.”

"Celestial Nymph" by Michael John Braaksma, 12x10x6in, paper mache, fur, found objects, $300 |  BUY NOW

"Celestial Nymph" by Michael John Braaksma, 12x10x6in, paper mache, fur, found objects, $300 | BUY NOW

Braaksma says “precious things,” and one can almost hear the capital letters; his ideas about precious things key into his belief that there is a reaction to large corporation and the “Big Box” lives of many Americans. They want smaller hand made items - Precious Things. 

In addition to informing his practice of sculpture, Braaksma says his time in Kenya changed the way he imagined. “Being so young and having such totally different extreme experiences of reality, it sort of shapes the imagination and what you see as possible. Reality and your existence seems more fluid when you’re used to stretching your brain at an early age, being bilingual and all that.”

"Wilbur the octopus" by Michael John Braaksma, 16x20in, mixed media on canvas, NFS

"Wilbur the octopus" by Michael John Braaksma, 16x20in, mixed media on canvas, NFS

For his recently wrapped short film, Braaksma, worked with local filmmaker Tyler McDaniel. Braaksma says the film reflects his own inner life. “It’s funny, but there’s some cynicism, as makers, people interested in our own narratives and our own sense of value, do we lose the context of seeing our selves as directional, are we missing the boat on where we’re going? I feel that way.” He added, “Sometimes my world become small and isolated.”

Braaksma believes that strong images, such as the handmade creatures and characters of his work, are necessary to reach modern audiences. “Strong visuals are so critical for pounding through this facade, the sarcasm or cynicism, or dismissive nature of story telling that has erupted because of our over exposure to constant media.” 

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 32
Education: BA in Theatre, emphasis in costume & design, Hope College, MI
Website: https://lamaland.carbonmade.com/

"Terrence the Turtle" by Michael John Braaksma, 5x7in, acrylic on paper, $100 |  BUY NOW

"Terrence the Turtle" by Michael John Braaksma, 5x7in, acrylic on paper, $100 | BUY NOW


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This Feature was written by Eli Keel.
Eli Keel is a Louisville based freelance journalist focused on arts and culture. Nationally he’s written Salon.com, The MarySue.com, Howlround.com, and Pointe Magazine out of New York. Locally he’s written for Louisville Public Radio’s news division, both the radio and the web (wfpl.com), Insiderlouisville.com, LEO Weekly and Leoweekly.com. He’s also contributed to Louisville Magazine, The Voice Tribune, Modern Louisville, Churchill Downs Magazine, arts-louisville.com, and thecoffeecompass.comHe also writes plays.


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

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