people

Photography

Vignette: Garin Horner

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

Photographer, Garin Horner (Photo by Colleen Small)

A Photo-ethnographic Study of Personal Spiritual Shrines & Altars

Most people likely think of religion and spirituality in monolithic terms: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islamism, Judaism, etc., but by some estimates tally as many as 4,200 different religions existing in the world today. And spiritual practice is often a very individual and private action. Garin Horner seeks out and documents what he calls, “…intimate connections people have with places and objects that serve as focal points, where subjects feel strong links with transcendent beings, ethereal energies, and/or supernatural realities.”

‘The subjects I collaborate with are a combination of artists, actors, and spiritual practitioners who want to give voice to and celebrate their own distinct views as part of a multitude of spiritual beliefs. They are believers in a supernatural meta-ecology, or structure of subtle dimensions that co-exist with our reality comprised of various beings (or forces). Part of this view recognizes altars to be microcosms and/or nexuses of those subtle dimensions.”

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"A Collection of 2016 Relics from the World's Religions" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

It should come as no surprise that Horner sometimes encounters resistance from his subjects. He turns his lens on a topic that is sensitive even in the mainstream, so to ask people to reveal themselves in such specific, confessional terms requires delicacy.

“I contact my subjects through calls for collaboration and word of mouth. It’s a fairly complicated process that doesn't always work out. Whenever I am traveling to a city (for a conference or exhibition) I research spiritual organizations in the area and reach out to people. I also use a catalog from the Parliament for the World's Religions.  Sometimes I get positive responses and people invite me to photograph them, but when I get there they have a change of heart.”

Horner keeps the identities and locations secret, and in some cases where the subject has refused to be photographed, Horner has, with permission, recreated what he has witnessed from detailed notes and sketches. So far, in the last 18 months he has produced about 25 separate images in the series.

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Ancestors Guide Us and Protect Us" by Garin Horner, 24x24in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

“Most people don't want me to photograph them, but some do. Some are very excited to show other people their connection to their spiritual practices. Some are excited in the beginning and change their minds in the end. If someone goes as far as being photographed and signing a model release and then asks me to not show their photos - I don't.”

Horner exhibited photos in Louisville a few years ago as part of a show curated by the Midwest Society for Photographic Education. He was recently named Director of the Adrian College Center for Effective Teaching. Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.

Horner’s newest exhibit, Otherworldly Signs / Unworldly Believers will be at the Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria Ill, in October 2017.

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Education: BFA, Sienna Heights University; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art
Website: www.garinhorner.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garinhorner

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"Calling the Spirits of the Fallen" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 |  BUY NOW

"rive Deep the Magic Nail" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2016), $450 | BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 |  BUY NOW

"The Souls of Four Enemies and One Friend" by Garin Horner, 24x30in, photography (2017), $450 | BUY NOW

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

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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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Painting

Q&A: Quappi Projects


“We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts.“ – John Brooks


Artist, John Brooks

Artist, John Brooks

Q&A with John Brooks about Quappi Projects

‘Quappi’ was the nickname of Mathilde von Kaulbach, who was married to German New Objectivist painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950). It was derived from the similarity of her surname to the German word Kaulquappe, meaning ‘tadpole’.

It is a singular phrase with no other formal meaning, which seems to delight Louisville artist John Brooks, and so he chose it as the moniker of his new exhibition initiative, Quappi Projects. Occupying most of his current studio space at 1520 B Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood, the mission is to showcase four artists each year from in and outside of Louisville. The inaugural show will be work of Adam Chuck, a Cleveland, Ohio native, now living and making work in Brooklyn, New York.

What motivated you to devote some of your studio space to exhibition space for other artists?

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

"Diogo In Pink" by Adam Chuck, 5x7in, oil on mylar

Running a gallery is an endeavor I've long been interested in, but it was difficult to imagine a way in which I could maintain a studio practice, run a gallery, and afford to do both. I was between studios in 2015 and spent the summer in Berlin. Part of that time was spent studying under the German artist Norbert Bisky, whose work I've admired for a long time.  We discussed a lot of things, including lamenting the difficulty of finding avenues to show and share work. He advised that I (or anyone!) should just "start my own thing;" so I've had this bee in my bonnet for a couple of years. Since January 2016 I've shared my Lytle Street studio space with another artist, and when he decided to move out I knew that this was my opportunity. The space is perfect - clean, bright, white, and with enough room to allow me to continue my studio practice and to exhibit others' work in a proper way.

As an artist, I know how difficult it can be to find arenas in which to show your work, and I am thrilled by the idea that I can provide that opportunity to other artists. Also, I've been fortunate to live in both London and Chicago, and have traveled the United States and Europe fairly extensively, so I feel like I have a broad range of art-related experiences and knowledge that I can rely on to help inform the direction of the gallery's platform.

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

"Baptism" by Adam Chuck, 4x7.35in, oil on mylar

How did you become aware of Adam Chuck's work?

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

"Hand Palm" by Adam Chuckn, 5.5x7in, oil on mylar

Adam Chuck paints primarily images from social media; fittingly, we "met" quite randomly through Instagram a few years ago. Though we've never yet met in person, we have developed what I consider to be a real friendship, which speaks both to the power and possibilities of social media but also the power and purity of his work. When it became clear that Quappi Projects was really going to happen, I knew I wanted to inaugurate the gallery with a show of Adam's work and happily he said yes. I'm a fan (and a collector) of his work and am so excited to be able to share it with the Louisville art community and the city at large. At first glance, Adam's work might seem to border on the salacious, but I think it creeps up to that line and then walks back. Most of the work is tiny, phone-screen-sized, owing its existence to social media platforms such as Instagram. The work is intimate, sensual and extremely honest. Each work is an exposure, really; it is essentially about reaching out, about the deep desire to connect, and represents an attempt to know and be known. In an age of terror and big fears, Adam's work seems infused with knowledge of those fears, but speaks more to the fundamental needs and basic human fears of need: to be desired, to be loved, to be seen, to be considered.

Tell me about the term "quappi"? I know the Beckman story, but what does it mean to you?

I believe very much in the transformative power of art. I have experienced this enough times in my own life to understand and value its merit, and I firmly believe that the highest function of art is to allow human beings to know ourselves more deeply. My own work has been concerned with the emotional resonance of particular experiences and what Max Beckmann described as "the deepest feeling about the mystery of being." Quappi Projects' goal is to exhibit contemporary art reflecting the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is mighty strange. Perhaps all times are strange, but I don't think there's any arguing that we are living in very strange times.

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

"Bildnis Quappi" by Max Beckmann

We have more knowledge than at any time in human history, yet not only do we not seem comforted or buoyed by that knowledge, we have - or some of us have, I suppose - begun to openly reject knowledge, experience and even commonly agreed-upon facts. I find that very worrying. I think the experiences of 20th Century German artists like Max Beckmann (and others) are relevant to us today.  Beckmann didn't consider himself a political person, yet his entire life was thrown into upheaval because of politics. He considered political concerns to be secondary to the concerns of the spiritual or metaphysical. Although I am a political person (and have a BA in Political Science) I agree with him and certainly find most explicitly political work too narrowly focused. At the same time, I think the best art reflects the times in which it was created, so it must have some element of the political. Take Velazquez' "Las Meninas," for example - artistically, it is a masterpiece, but it also tells us so much about the Spanish Court and what was going on at the time. I find that balance fascinating, and hopefully we can show work that is interesting in the same way. Even if we fall just a little short of "Las Meninas," we'll be very successful!

I plan to alternate non-Louisville-based and Louisville-based artists have a great series of artists lined up: Baghdad, Iraq-born artist Vian Sora, who now lives and works in Louisville; Louisville native Whit Forrester, who lives in Chicago and just graduated with an MFA from Columbia College; wood artisan Michael James Moran, a central Kentucky native who now lives and works in the Hudson Valley; and photographer Ryan Tassi.

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

"Raven Wings" by Adam Chuck, 5.5x7.25in, oil on mylar

Beckmann credited Quappi with keeping him going, keeping him on task and inspired. I think we're living in times when we must keep going, be on task, and be inspired. It's very easy to want to give into the notion of being quiet and comfortable, but I think we must resist that. We must be open, communicate, and connect. I'm hoping the spirit of Quappi can help me do that.

Adam Chuck / Instant Gratification

August 18 – September 29
Opening: Friday, August 18 / 5:00-9:00pm

Quappi Projects
1520 B Lytle Street
Gallery open by appointment only
www.quappiprojects.com

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

"Portrait of Les" by Adam Chuckn, 3.25x4in, oil on mylar

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Painting

Vignette: Joshua Jenkins

"Searching For Enlightenment" by Joshua Jenkins, 43 x 64 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Searching For Enlightenment" by Joshua Jenkins, 43 x 64 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)


“Art to me is the soul’s communication - a response to experience and life.” — Joshua Jenkins


"Summertime Contemplation" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Summertime Contemplation" by Joshua Jenkins, 24 x 18 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

Like any good Expressionist, Joshua Jenkins builds an atmosphere divorced from recognizable reality, and then populates it with figures of solidity that are often indistinct, occupying space as a mass but lacking the specifics of individual character. There is some detail in the faces he attaches to these figures, often on necks that protrude forward, so that the features often give the impression of a mask. Oftentimes the only insight provide for these figures are what they are holding: a stringed instrument is a common item, or a particular hat might give us some clue about the personality. Jenkins is more concerned with the composition and action of the paint, using setting and placement to suggest narrative.

“Some of the works in the show, like 'Summertime Contemplation' & 'Searching for Enlightenment' are an obvious transition from the body of work from my show Somewhere In Between Anxiety & Serenity,” states Jenkins. “There a lot of the paintings had more muted colors and calmer lines. A lot of these newer pieces harken back to my earlier work, the bolder style with warmer colors that I’m known for.”

"Summer Heat (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Heat (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Nights" by Joshua Jenkins, 48 x 30 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Summer Nights" by Joshua Jenkins, 48 x 30 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

For many artists, the theme of summer would conjure up images of sunbaked landscapes, perhaps a beach-lined coastline - open areas of escape. But in “Summer Heat”, Jenkins captures the claustrophobic swelter of a crowded urban environment. This artist’s summer also include a domestic scene of four figures in a modern day family in “Summer Nights”, and the detail of the faces is noticeably more developed, with hair and facial details that suggest an element of autobiography in the scene. As most of the paintings show figures of some universality, here we get the sense that Jenkins knows these people, that this is his summer, and not necessarily anyone else’s.

Jenkins’ solo show, Summertime, will be opening at Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, 3803 Brownsboro Road, August 10 with an Artist’s Open House from 5:00pm-7:30pm.

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Age: 30
Education: BA in Digital Media with a Minor in Studio Art, Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Gallery Representative: Joshua is self-represented locally, but has works available at Revelry Gallery, KORE Gallery, New Editions Gallery (Lexington, KY), and at Caza Sikes (Cincinnati, OH)
Website: http://www.joshuajenkinsart.com

"Summer Heat" by Joshua Jenkins, 64 x 59 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016-2017)

"Summer Heat" by Joshua Jenkins, 64 x 59 x 1 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2016-2017)

"Summer Nights (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Summer Nights (detail)" by Joshua Jenkins

"Nature’s Musicians" by Joshua Jenkins, 36 x 48 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

"Nature’s Musicians" by Joshua Jenkins, 36 x 48 x 1.5 in, acrylic and mixed media on canvas (2017)

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

Vignette: Julio Cesar Rodriguez


“I started to find my identity and prominence through artistic creation, and the physical and conceptual relationship between humanity and nature became the starting point.” - Julio Cesar Rodriguez


Artist, Julio Cesar Rodriguez

Artist, Julio Cesar Rodriguez

Julio Cesar Rodriguez is unquestionably a Surrealist painter, his work echoes some of the great masters of the movement, such as Magritte, and in the new images shown here, he still retains the disruption of the human form that is a common characteristic of his previous work, but there is also a  simpler, more innocent feeling here. Although the monochromatic images are rendered in acrylic, they have the graphic quality of drawings, and the merging of young girl’s heads with aviary studies are suggestive of an other worldly relationship between the two.

"A" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x12in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $500 |  BUY NOW

"A" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x12in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $500 | BUY NOW

"I describe my work as a mixture of figuration and expressionism with an air of surrealism, where I project my individuality as a creator poetically and philosophically,” says Rodriguez. “I am interested in the connection between man and nature and everything that connects to both. I recreate this in a symbolic way and convert them into a scene with characters in ambiguous situations.”

The fantastical aspect of Rodriguez’ paintings are not removed from autobiography. We have accepted that dreams are always deeply revelatory, and the artist’s imagination becomes a bridge into that alternate world.

“This sample of my most recent work is a philosophical approach to those formal-poetic visions with which I'm reviewing my life. Each work becomes an illusion of alternate reality where I have fun with my unconscious and dialogue with my memories and shared memories in order to build an illusory present.”

"B" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)   

"B" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)
 

“From that I started to find my identity and prominence through artistic creation, and the physical and conceptual relationship between humanity and nature became the starting point. My work is a recreation symbolic of my personal experiences, the reflection of my life - my joys and sorrows, my loneliness and thoughts ...like the seasons of nature. My paintings present my intimate works from silence, where with my own angels struggle to break free from everyday life and thus recreate my passage through this world. My works are the ideal medium for channeling my interiority as creator; windows that open to the world, becoming the exact connection between the viewer and the artist - and in the end, both witness the magic.”

November 5 & 6,  Rodriguez will be participating in the 2017 Open Studio Weekend, presented by Louisville Visual Art and the University of Louisville’s Hite Institute for Art.

Age: 40
Hometown: Holguin, Cuba
Education: BFA, Fine Art Academy, Holguin, Cuba
Gallery Representation: Revelry Boutique Gallery
Website: www.juliocesart.com

"G" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $400 |  BUY NOW

"G" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $400 | BUY NOW

"B (detail)" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez

"B (detail)" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez

"E" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $400 |  BUY NOW

"E" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017), $400 | BUY NOW

"C" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)

"C" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)

"F" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)

"F" by Julio Cesar Rodriguez, 8x8in, acrylic on canvas (2017)

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.

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