Jack Mendenhall In the last few years my interest has turned to painting the allure in an exotic environment. I have traveled to the Caribbean and areas in the Pacific Rim searching for seductive light, lush color and gleam; all elements important to my painting style. In that most of the photographs for the paintings were taken around resorts, leisure has also become an issue. I must admit though, that as a Realist painter, at the heart of all this is the temptation to visual alchemy. When I paint water, rocks, sky, trees, chairs, etc. I must imagine touching them, convincing myself as it were, that I am creating these things in the very real sense. The magic occurs when I believe that I have done this. Jack Mendenhall, 1999
Gregory Perkel Never before in art history has an artist transformed supermarket cartons into a creative medium the way Gregory Perkel has - disassembling the design elements of cardboard boxes, creating new patterns, new relationships, new meanings - transforming them into unique works of art. Experiencing his creations can be like traveling through time. Move very close to them and all you can see are the bits and pieces of today's marketplace economy in which our lives are embedded. Step back for a broader perspective: it is as if you are viewing our society from a future vantage point, a thousand years from now, studying the serene, exquisite relics of our vanished civilization.
R.E. Penner I take my subject matter from photographs of ordinary sights in small Texas towns. The houses, and more recently street scenes, first presented themselves out of convenience. I wanted to spend most of my time painting, not driving around photographing for weeks at a time. The tract houses were everywhere and upon further observation, contained interesting visual information worth exploring. Each painting begins by carefully transferring the image to the canvas. Using cibachrome prints as reference, I divide the painting into small sections, bringing each area to a finish before proceeding to the next. The entire process usually requires two to four months of full time work. The resulting painting should present an objective, photojournalistic view of small town America.
R.E. Penner, 2000
George Ciardi Artificial Daylight
Having spent most of my working life in one factory or another, I've always found an odd beauty, a kind of accidental artistry, in places built for function, rather than form. To me, they are not just factories, but grand and magical places, full of dangers and pollutions and monotony. There's a child-like sense of mystery about them, a feeling that horrible crimes or hideous monsters are possible around every corner. Yet they are simply places of work, like second homes, and there is comfort in being there.
Perhaps because I no longer work in a factory, I began wandering these bleak industrial landscapes at night, the natural hum of traffic and machinery surrounding me, trying to recapture something. I wanted to photograph them in a way that expressed how they made me feel, in images that are simultaneously eerie and serene, isolating, but without manipulating or adding to the scenes.
By using ordinary daylight balanced slide film subjected to time exposures, I am able to achieve what I am looking for. All photos are shot at night, usually between 11pm and 5am. No filters or special effects of any kind are used, either in printing or in camera. The time exposures, from one to eight minutes, contribute a sensation of movement and crispness of detail that add to the surreal effects of the work. The intense color variations are simply the reactions of the film to the various available light sources. Nothing is added. I use only lights that were put there by the people who built or worked in these buildings, lights intended for a purpose other than my own. Every element has to be utilitarian in nature. To add lights would defeat the point. This makes workable compositions more difficult to find, but it makes the hunt more enjoyable, like searching for treasure.
Since beginning the project in 1998, many of these buildings have been razed, closed down, or renovated, and the work has taken on historical value.
Prints are made on Fuji Supergloss, an archival polyester based material, by master printer Mark Wimbley, under supervision of the artist. Every effort is made to match the prints to the original transparency.
. George Ciardi - April, 2002
Tom Pfannerstill FROM THE STREET
In my work, I meticulously re-create common objects, wrappers, packages and boxes I find on the street. I find them noteworthy in that they represent a small, but unvarnished truth; they are the polar opposites of the images hammered into all of us by mass advertising and carefully calculated point-of-purchase displays. Time, chance and the elements have affected and altered these objects, overlaid them with a patina of reality. Edges are softened; geometry is bent and twisted into organic creases and folds. No longer are they the squeaky-clean, mechanically identical images we've seen thousands of times. They have become, in effect, individualized. The objects themselves carry a visual record of this transformation to individualization; each tire mark, lipstick print and water stain depicts a part of the process. They are representations of a sometimes-harsh reality and a subtle reminder of the transitory nature of all things.
. Tom Pfannerstill, 2002
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