fix

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.

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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


Face.jpg

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

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