THE WHITE ROOM GALLERY Presents “ALL the PIECES”
May 22nd- June 16th 2019
Opening Reception Saturday, May 25th 2019 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The White Room Gallery, 2415 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932
“Uma Thurman? Basquiat? A bicycle built out of points? A painting made from notes? A Vivienne Westwood on canvas? For this exhibit we wanted to start small to end big.
Torn photographs from celebrity photographer Andrew Schwartz, who studied under Aaron Siskind, are skillfully reassembled to create a distinctly personal, non-photographic narrative. Inspired by designers Valentino, Jacobs and Westwood, Susan Washington’s mixed media paintings create, through colors and collage, a fashion show of their own.
Images from dots that interrelate and culminate into something that’s larger than the sum of its parts is perfectly executed by Stephen Bezas, a neo-pointillist who studied under Chuck Close. Abstract splatter paintings by Steve Cohen, Billy Joel’s renowned lighting designer, let color and movement make the viewer feel like they are at a concert. The composition becomes the soundtrack.
Four artists. Four points of view. With All The Pieces falling delightfully into place.”
- Andrea McCafferty & Kat O’Neill/Co-Owners & Directors
Born and raised in New York City. He attended the High School of Art and Design and then the School of Visual Arts where he greatly admired and was influenced by artist Chuck Close, first as a student of Close’s and later as a friend. Bezas has had a career as a painter, photographer, and designer.
A neo-pointillist, Bezas has also been inspired by historically important pointillist artists such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Bezas’ distinctive trademark is the vertical and horizontal stacks of dots contained within a grid, which he sometimes places on a diagonal. Another distinct narrative of his art is the alternating dot pattern achieved by the smaller grids within larger ones and the two alternating dot sizes. He has created a contemporary hybrid using his design sensibilities, photography and painting talents, blurring the lines among the three. The dots in his art interrelate and culminate into something that’s larger than the sum of its parts.
The viewer is utterly transfixed to realize that the work is created from a mélange of meticulously placed dots of varying sizes into an underlying grid in an artistic, mathematical process, whereby the actual composition comes alive with exciting recognition.
Bezas’ keen eye and sense of imagery would prove him to be fruitful neo-pointillist artist in his own right. The nuances of his imagination and portrayals of myriad aspects of the human form and objects allows him to create fascinating collections such as Nudes, Americana, Flora, Urban Themes and more.
Bezas sees himself as a contemporary artist rooted by his early pointillism and grids. He jokes about how his art has been influenced navigating the street grids of Manhattan to the grids of his designs.
In this collection of work, I deconstruct my original photographs, and then alter the narrative of these photos by using dots and grids. I’ve always been aesthetically interested by the mass grouping of dots and the combination of those dots to create an image. In some of my earlier works as a young artist and photorealist, I used rapidograph pens and ink as my medium. As an architectural designer, the use of grids as an organizing means has always played an important part in the planning of my design work and aesthetic. I now combine these dots and grids to create my current work.
Up close, each piece has its own dot ratio and is an abstract of these varied sized dots within an invisible grid. For example, the “Ionic Columns” has a dot ration of 7:9, white the “Rose” has a more severe dot ration of 5:9, making the image more abstract up close. As one steps away from any of these works, the dots begin to connect and bond, solidifying and clarifying the composition.
There is a strong narrative running through Susan Washington's work that references her long involvement with collage, textiles, fashion and art. She comes from a family of artists and by age 5 Susan was tutored in the art of origami and Sumi ink drawing by her Japanese godmother as well as water colors from her father. She spent her teens deconstructing dressmaking as a punk fashionista.
Washington then went to work in the NYC fashion industry for 15 years until relocating to the Poconos where she commuted into DUMBO Brooklyn, working for an art publishing company. After several years she decided to pursue her own love of the arts and creating and began working towards her degree in fine art after which she traveled to London where she spent her time working under the guidance of artist/photographer Stephen Washington. They fell in love, married and both relocated to the States where they have a studio together in the Pocono Mountains.
My work is in a constant state of evolution. I create to bring my own visions into the physical world to share with others & for the challenges I face when doing so. What I visualize often changes as it progresses into reality. It gives me problems to solve, unknown territory to charter, decisions to make and consequences to face from those decisions. I like exploration and discovery and my new series of works gives me these opportunities.
My current series explores the balance of shape and space, some of the pieces are informed by my past working in fashion, large tailoring patterns are painted onto the surface: arm holes, bodices, necklines. I deconstruct them, rather than creating a garment, I keep them separated and then pull them together with another past infusion of memories of ripping origami paper and creating collages with my Japanese Godmother. Only now I use oil paint through the dress patterns, in a way to “sew” or connect them together.
Other works in the series are based on the same concept where I connect to my subconscious and each mark informs the next. I accomplish this with larger, expressive and intuitive mark-making using thick oil. After my marks are down, I reinvestigate the canvas with elements of collage using my own old ripped paintings and textile. Many of these paintings are monochromatic as I focus on my composition with large confident marks, without the distraction of color. Eventually small vibrant strokes of color do find their way into the painting but only as reinforcement to the overall composition.
Andrew Schwartz is an internationally published, award winning photographer. Based in NYC, he is an alumni of The Rhode Island School of Design, and a veteran member of both The International Cinematographers Guild, ICG and The Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers, SMPSP.
His work is on permanent collection at The Margret Herrick Gallery at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and has served as Unit Still Photographer on more than 75 films including “School of Rock,” “Men In Black,” “Fatal Attraction,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Wall Street,” “Working Girl” and “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Among his awards is the 2017 ICG Publicists Award for Excellence in Motion Picture Still Photography.
“The Torn” series is part of “The Likeness Project,” which is the reconstruction and reworking of my original celebrity portraiture. Works from “Torn” are intended to subvert and redefine the cult of celebrity and the wholesale marketing of our arts and culture. All copyrights to the reproduction of “The Likeness Project” and “The Torn” Series works are retained by the Artist ©2019 Andrew Schwartz.
Steve Cohen has been a professional lighting and scenic designer for four decades. Envisioning some of the most spectacular productions in the music business.
Starting a lighting company in LA in 1974, he is one of the originators of the “lighting for music” discipline which has been the foundation for the creation of emotions that pervade the live concert experience.
Billy Joel, The Eagles, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Lenny Kravitz, The Global Citizens Initiative, Britany Spears, Paul Simon, and countless festival installations, and Television specials, have all been the soundtrack for his elaborate, emotional and creative lighting design.
14 years ago, he picked up a set of oils.
“I have been painting with light my whole career. Lighting for music is ephemeral. My goal has always been to give the concert experience a visual sense memory.
When you hear a song, after the concert, your awareness of color and composition of the lighting and visuals from that moment plays in your mind. Painting is my exercise to create those emotions in the physical realm.”
My process is to let the negative space drive the creation. The painting takes me on my journey. It is my music soundtrack. Alternately Meditative and bold in color and composition, the work evokes the abstract, and the figurative. Hidden shapes that shift and emerge.
BASIC FACTS: “ALL the PIECES” is on view from May 22 to June 16, 2019 at The White Room Gallery. An Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, May 25, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is located at 2415 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.thewhiteroom.gallery
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