society

Photography

Vignette: Julius Friedman (1943-2017)

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Peony" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photograph by Sarah Davis.

Once when Julius Friedman was delivering an informal lecture for Louisville Visual Art, he noted how the cover of his most recent book at the time, “Images & Ideas”, was a shot of the condensation on his shower door, and how he had once waited 2 hours for a car to move off a particularly fascinating oil and water puddle in a parking lot so he could photograph it.

Friedman’s images are characteristically so expertly constructed and expressive of a stringent graphic discipline that the randomness at the root of this anecdote seems surprising, but I think the lesson is that an artist does indeed see the world differently; at all times observing their environment on a fundamentally different level than the average citizen.

Art is communication, so if the ability to share that point-of-view is the most important measure of an artist, then Friedman must be counted as a Modern Master. His commercial work, most notably the posters that made him famous in the 1970’s, are brilliant in capturing the appeal of art in terms so vivid as to command the attention of all levels of society. In effect, he established a brand for the arts in Louisville, designing iconic images for so many important arts organizations: The Speed Museum, Louisville Visual Art, the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra…the list goes on and on.

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

"Erica de La O 1" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photography printed on aluminum (2010)

He did no less in his personal work, exploring technique on an esoteric level that always translated to fun and fascination for the viewer. He photographed Louisville Ballet dancer Eric De La O exhaustively but never exhausted the subject, producing dozens of potent images over several years. He photographed flowers, a prosaic and common subject that in Friedman’s hands become an astonishing example of his own relationship with nature. The same observation applies to his Becoming Wisteria series, images of model Alli Wiles positioned among the wisteria on his 200-acre farm.

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

"Toe On Egg" by Julius Friedman

In 2016, Frazier Museum in Louisville hosted a vital retrospective of Friedman’s work, showing more than 200 posters and also incorporating The Book, a project in which he deconstructed a collection of discarded books and which was his last published work. There was also a dazzling installation of color photographs on aluminum that, in and of itself was impressive enough to represent his creative vision, but what most excited the artist was an immersive screening of his most recent film work, flowing, abstract images of water in nature.

It was just water running in a stream – or it was simply peonies, or a painter’s palette, or an old book, but Julius Friedman always made us see the commonplace in a new light.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Website: http://www.imagesol.com

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

Nathan Felde, Fred DeSanto, and Julius Friedman (c.1970) outside Images studio. Photographer unknown, courtesy Tad DeSanto.

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

"Untitled #10" by Julius Friedman, 20x30in, photograph printed directly on raw aluminum (2015)

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

Book cover for "Images & Ideas" by Julius Friedman

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

"Fresh Paint" by Julius Friedman, photography

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

Artist, Julius Friedman. Photo courtesy of John Nation.

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.

Painting

Vignette: Barry Burcaw

Burcaw standing next to one of his sold paintings.

Burcaw standing next to one of his sold paintings.

Geometry is the mathematical method of understanding specific spatial relationships and forms through numbers. Humankind requires it to build the society they occupy, but is also can be applied to less concrete forms, such as the construction of music. In the paintings of Barry Burcaw, architectural vistas are rendering in abstract terms that are schematically precise, but the structures don’t seem bound to bedrock.

The connecting forms could be the levels of skyscrapers stretching out to the far horizon while simultaneously obscuring that line, but Burcaw cites music as an influence as well, so that one is forced to ponder the shapes and forms as elements within a symphony; layers of notes and phrases meticulously constructed on the page in an academic method. Yet, when played, the score lifts away from the cold, analysis of the blueprint to become something that feels organic and heightened. Musical and visual harmony become metaphorical companions as Burcaw’s strategy with color and composition do the same for the viewer.

"Blue Plateaus" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016)

"Blue Plateaus" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016)

Burcaw recently exhibited work at Jenkins Eliason Interiors.  He is now preparing to offer a selection of his paintings as giclee reproductions. Burcaw paints on a large scale, and he hopes making them available on a different scale will be a smart marketing choice. “I have realized that if the price of an original isn't a problem the size often is and vice versa.”

Hometown: Palisades, New York
Age: 73
Education: BS in Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport, CT

"Vanishing Point" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $3200 |  BUY NOW

"Vanishing Point" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $3200 | BUY NOW

"Global Warming" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $2800 |  BUY NOW

"Global Warming" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $2800 | BUY NOW

"Parthenon" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $4500 |  BUY NOW

"Parthenon" by Barry Burcaw, 50 x 50in, oil on canvas (2016), $4500 | 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.

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

Painting

Vignette: Debra Lott

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 |  BUY NOW

"Virtual Reflection" by Debra Lott, 36x72in (diptych), oil on canvas (2017), $2400 | BUY NOW

Lott in her studio.

Lott in her studio.

When painter Debra Lott observes that we live in a, “…world where the virtual and authentic collide and confuse,” the degree of understatement is not meant to be sarcastic, but simply a way to explain the foundation on which she has built her newest work. Self-portrait has not been such an overt theme in her previous work, although she has been focused on a woman’s existence in the contemporary society in a fashion so personal that it nearly passes as the same thing. Such is the nature of art that it always reveals something important about the artist.

Now Lott places herself unmistakably front and center to speak to the narcissistic tendencies of modern communication:

“My inspiration and influences are the popular mass media. This source became the tipping point for my experimentation into painting this series. The absurdity of the media images prompted me to take my work in a new direction. The paintings form satirical statements that incorporate figurative distortion and exaggeration while mocking the media’s use of photo- shopped, erotic, and often implausible poses.”  

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  |  BUY NOW

"Going to Great Lengths" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2016), $950  | BUY NOW

“My techniques include distortion, elongation, detachment and segmentation. The expressive brushstrokes and fantasy color schemes are symbolic of the theatrical and sensational drama of cultural media. My expressive and quasi abstract style combine color, form and texture to convey the illusion of beauty that is often construed as reality.

“My goal is to move in a direction toward further experimentation and abstraction. I began experimenting with the concept of ‘authentic’ versus ‘virtual’ especially as it applies to cultural media. To communicate this idea of counterfeit, I chose a complementary color scheme and ‘like values’ that allow the subject and background to overlap and create some uncertainty as to what is positive and negative space. My goal was to increase the abstraction of the content and cause the body to become part of the surrounding space.”  

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 |  BUY NOW

"Yes I Can" by Debra Lott, 30x48in, oil on canvas (2017), $1400 | BUY NOW

Lott presently has 2 pieces in the Owensboro Art Guild 55th Juried Exhibition, up through April 14th, 2017, and a solo show titled, Collections, runs through April 16, 2017 at the Pigment Gallery at Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville. There will be an Artist’s Reception, March 31st 6-9pm

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 |  BUY NOW

"Self Love" by Debra Lott, 30x20in, oil on canvas (2017), $775 | BUY NOW

Selected Adjudicated Exhibitions:
2018 - Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, OAG 55th Juried Exhibition, Owensboro, KY, February 25-April 14, 2017
2017 - Lexington Art League, Demographically Speaking, A Figurative Exhibition, Lexington, KY, January13-February 12, 2017
2016 - Art Comes Alive 2016, ART Design Consultants Inc. Cincinnati, OH, July 23-August 29, 2016 Figurative Artist of the Year Award
2015 - The Chautauqua National Exhibition, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 1/26/2015-2/20/2015
2013 - The Art at the X National Juried Exhibition, Xavier University, Cincinnati, 'Multicultural Expressions of Faith', Award of Excellence, August 23-October 11, 2013
2010-2013 - National Art Education Women Caucus Juried Art Exhibition, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
2011 - 55th Mid-states Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, December- March 2011
2010 -  Manifest Gallery International Drawing Annual- Exhibition in Print, Cincinnati Ohio, art work selected - Seasons of Grace, Charcoal on Paper
2010   Water Tower Regional, Louisville Visual Art Association, KY, January 24-March 7, 2010
2009   54th Mid-States Juried Art Exhibition, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana, Dec 7-January 18, 2009.
2007   Mad Art Gallery, St Louis, Missouri, Contemporary Women Artists XIV, International Juried Exhibition, Sept 7-29, 2007, St Louis Chapter of the National Women’s Caucus for the Arts
2006   Kniznick Gallery of the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University, Boston, Vital Voices: Women’s Visions, 2006, (National Juried Exhibition in conjunction with National Women’s Caucus for the Arts)

Hometown: Lake Worth, Florida
Age: 65
Education: MAT with a concentration in painting, Florida Atlantic University, a BA in Art Education, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Gallery Representation: PYRO Gallery
Website: http://www.debralott.com/

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 |  BUY NOW

"Original Selfie" by Debra Lott, 24x24in, oil on canvas (2017), $675 | 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.

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

Installation, Mixed Media, Painting

Vignette: Lennon Michalski

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

"Ghost Bike" Installation by Lennon Michalski (2016)

In a body of work entitled Ghost Bike, Lennon Michalski explores the relationship between man and machine, expressing a complex array of themes, most importantly, the tyranny of technology and the fragility of the human form.

“Ghost Bike takes a specific look at Motorcycles, considering the uniqueness that describes the machine, the man that chooses to indulge in that machine, and the nature of their relationship,” says Michalski. “The imagery in the series considers motorcycle accidents to represent their dangerous cultural association. I specifically chose the motorcycle, the imagery, and popular icons to reflect my personal engagement with this idea. My grandfather was killed on a motorcycle, and this has largely inspired these pieces in the hopes of bringing attention to the motorcycle to provide an understanding of their own distinctive culture.”

"Wrecked Bike"   by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) |  Photograph by Brian Campbell

"Wrecked Bike" by Lennon Michalski, 36 x 48 x 84 in, Honda Motorcycle and paint (2016) | Photograph by Brian Campbell

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

Michalski in his studio | Photograph by Adam Brester

“Even when these tragedies strike, society often places blame on the cyclist, for they, have willingly put them selves in harm’s way. Motorcycles are largely considered unsafe and rebellious in the eyes of the public because of the sense of vulnerability and danger associated with motorcycles. In an effort to define the broad spectrum of this machine’s interaction with the human condition, I sought to understand why so many individuals crave to connect with it. I realized that engagement with motorcycles cultivated an undeniable sense of community. Motorcyclists feel passionately about their investment in this machine, creating a strong bond between, not only the machine and its owner, but also everyone who rides. In order to incorporate this idea of community, I created works that also represent this aspect of motorcycle culture. I examine the documentation of a group of cyclists traveling cross-country to pay tribute to the fallen. Rather than viewing the death of the biker as a careless rebel, he is considered a fallen hero, who deserves the greatest of respect. Within the motorcycle community there is boundless devotion, which allows for the machine to act as a tool in eliciting genuine human interaction.”

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Wreck" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

In his paintings, Michalski often uses his hands directly in applying the medium, building transparent layers that evoke a passage of time. “My paintings are not objects assembled by machines or other individuals; I develop a bond and communicate through the development of each work. This technique is based on a physical language; by pushing the paint with my hands, I am infusing my energy into the gestures. I learn something new from each piece allowing my process to open doors I would have never thought to walk through. Through the creation of digital work, paintings, and sculpture, I hope to bring attention to the motorcyclist so that the sense of community motorcycle culture creates can continue to thrive. The motorcycle acts as a metaphor to represent the motorcyclist himself, with the engine acting as the heart of the individual, and the community. While many have fallen victim to the unpredictability of this machine, it uniquely acts as a tool to cultivate relationships, activate commitment, and instill a sense of community.”

Michalski also just self published a children's book called "How Penguins Save Television," a story that explores what it means for society as it attempts to evolve with the aid of science and innovation. The book engages children with the natural world around them through technological modifications, such as the jetpack.

Since 2008 Michalski has been an Instructor of Digital Media, Drawing, and 2D Design at the University of Kentucky.

Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Age: 36
Education: BFA in Painting, Eastern Kentucky University 2004; MFA in Painting and Digital Media, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2006
Website: http://www.lennonmichalski.com

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Stoplights" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mix medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

"Heart" by Lennon Michalski, 72 x 108 in, water based pigment and mixed medium on canvas (2016)

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.

Fiber

Vignette: Kathleen Loomis


“My flags are somewhat the worse for wear.” Kathleen Loomis


"Fading" by Kathleen Loomis, 59x99in, fiber (2016) $8000 |  BUY NOW

"Fading" by Kathleen Loomis, 59x99in, fiber (2016) $8000 | BUY NOW

Political art can be a misnomer; on some level all of art is, by its very existence, ‘political’, and more overt statements are often best realized in simple terms. In her most recent work, Kathleen Loomis has been working with the American flag, appropriate both in that she is a fiber artist, and that there is arguably no symbol that carries more emotional and thematic weight than the Red, White, and Blue.

"Flagging" by Kathleen Loomis, 98x54in, fiber (2016) $7000  |  BUY NOW  

"Flagging" by Kathleen Loomis, 98x54in, fiber (2016) $7000  | BUY NOW 

“The flag is a stand-in for our country, so flags in distress convey feelings about the state of our democracy. Even beyond the disturbing recent elections, it seems that so many things in government and our legal system are going downhill. Maybe our nation and its democratic ideals aren’t as crisp and bright as they used to be; as a nation we are getting weary and have lost our mojo, so my flags are somewhat the worse for wear.”

Loomis’ statement may reveal a particular position, and the images are equally straightforward, yet they do not limit themselves by pointing to cause or solution. There are protocols for flying the flag that reinforce that it is also a vital tool for communication – flown upside down it is a symbol of distress to approaching forces, so co-opting it as a motif in visual art feels natural. “Kentucky Graveyard” and “Postage 3 Memorial Day” powerfully comment on the cost of freedom by echoing the flag-draped caskets of deceased military returning from foreign wars, while “More Equal Than Others” speaks to the inequity that has always been a struggle in American society. Loomis may have current events on her mind, but these themes are forever with us.

You can keep up with Loomis through a lively and informative blog on her website. Loomis joined Pyro Gallery in 2016, and is currently a part of the New Year, New Pyro Artists exhibit that runs through February 18, and will be participating in an Artist’s Gallery Talk there on Saturday, January 14, at 12:30pm.

"Fading" (detail)

"Fading" (detail)

Recent Exhibitions:
·      Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, Dialogues, 2016
·      Dairy Barn, Athens, OH, and on tour throughout the US, Quilt National ’15, ’11, ’09, and ’03 (Quilts Japan Prize, 2009)
·      Jasper Arts Center, Jasper, IN, Annual Juried Art Exhibits, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2015 (award of merit), 2011, Best in Show, 2015).

Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan
Education: BA in Journalism, Syracuse University; MSJ Northwestern University
Website: http://kathleenloomis.com

"Kentucky Graveyard (Iraq)" by Kathleen Loomis, 71x60in, fiber (2006) NFS

"Kentucky Graveyard (Iraq)" by Kathleen Loomis, 71x60in, fiber (2006) NFS

"Kentucky Graveyard (Iraq)" (detail)

"Kentucky Graveyard (Iraq)" (detail)

"Postage 3: Memorial Day" by Kathleen Loomis, 86x100in, fiber (2008) NFS

"Postage 3: Memorial Day" by Kathleen Loomis, 86x100in, fiber (2008) NFS

"Postage 3: Memorial Day" (detail)

"Postage 3: Memorial Day" (detail)

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.