Brace yourself before walking into RJD Gallery:  the art on view is bold, figurative and bound to strike up a story. This week, RJD Gallery opens three new shows: “Eat the Night,” "The Deep End" and "Strokes of Brilliance." An Opening Reception for all three takes place on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibiting artists are traveling from various parts of the country and are expected to be in attendance at the Opening Reception. All three shows remain on view through July 25, 2019.

"Eat the Night" is a solo show featuring new paintings by Alexander Klingspor; "The Deep End" introduces the art of Aneka Ingold to The Hamptons and pairs it with new paintings by Margo Selski, both who move past traditional figurative work to incorporate the surreal and the narrative into their art. "Strokes of Brilliance," a group show set in the back gallery, features new paintings by Frank Oriti along with art by Alai Vaesm, Faith Gurbuz, Pamela Wilson and others.

While all three feature contemporary realism with a twist, there are distinct curatorial differences among them.

Walking through the gallery doors, visitors are immersed in “The Deep End” where the female presence is keenly felt. While both featured artists are female, Margo Selski and Aneka Ingold both place female protagonists front and center in their narrative artworks in distinctive ways.

Aneka Ingold is a new addition to the gallery’s stable of artists. Winner of the inaugural Bennett Prize, an award designed to discover and honor figurative realist women painters, Ingold presents six large paintings in the RJD show. Seemingly combining pop, patterns with the mythical, each painting on view features one woman who seems to possess the power of the mythical set in abstract settings with surrealist details.

Ingold describes her art as depicting strong, independent mothers whose lives, and femininity, are linked to the world in explicit and subtle ways. Each figure is portrayed as being an integral part of the world and is presented through the eyes of a woman, the artist said.

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"Tributary" by Aneka Ingold Mixed media on paper, 50 x 40 inches. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

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Selski's art channels the mythical by portraying imaginary characters rendered in minute detail captured in mid-gesture in flat yet exotic settings. Selski's art explores the mysterious through tension created by juxtaposing images from reality with those culled from myth. Her work addresses motherhood, familial love, the fragility of childhood and life and communicates a desire for safety and stability in a world that can be threatening.

Selski unveils new paintings for “The Deep End” including those that make use of her unique technique of combining oil and beeswax to achieve an aged and old-time effect to her work.

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"Under the Collar" by Margo Selski, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

"Under the Collar" by Margo Selski, 2019. Oil on canvas, 16 x 24 inches. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

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“The Deep End” is rounded out with Soiree by Andrea Kowch, a signed Limited Edition Print, which depicts a picnic-tea party in process with a single female as host and a crop of crows as company.

In the adjacent gallery, the mood shifts dramatically with surrealistic figurative paintings by Alexander Klingspor. For “Eat the Night,” Klingspor takes viewers to a nighttime of entertainment where the characters compel and almost dare to be contradicted. His new works adopt an intimate scale that encourages viewers to get up close and personal with vignettes before them.

The show features works from a new series, set in New York City, that depicts the subculture of burlesque, eccentric and bohemian people of the urban scene including acrobats and performance artists of various kinds. While the series is new, the subject is a continuing interest for Klingspor who is known for his narrative surrealistic paintings where the setting is a crucial element in the paintings.

The paintings on view depart from Klingspor's sprawling narratives and shift the focus to intimate portraits of the people themselves. Most of the setting is stripped away except for what is elemental.

The art is fresh from his 2018 solo show in Sweden, at the Waldermarsudde Museum in Stockholm, where red dots claimed most of the available paintings within hours, according to RJD gallerist Richard Demato.

In addition to the new works, "Eat the Night" exhibits two large-scale narrative works: The Irresistible Force Paradox and Cult of Delusion.

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"Cult of Delusion" by Alexander Klingspor Signed limited edition print. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

"Cult of Delusion" by Alexander Klingspor Signed limited edition print. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

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Anchoring the trio is the group show "Strokes of Brilliance," which moves viewers from the surreal to the real.

A highlight of the show is a series of new paintings by Frank Oriti. Made over the last eight months, paintings include portraiture of people and articles of clothing of importance. The contemporary realism paintings on view link to Oriti's continuing interest in revealing people who are part of the blue-collar crowd, drawing upon friends, neighbors and acquaintances living in his home town of Cleveland, OH.

The portraits capture the experience of living in the wake of opportunities which have fled, leaving the belief that better days and the American dream may not actually arrive.

"Each portrait reveals the connect and disconnect between disappearing suburban landscapes and their residents, which also presenting questions such as 'What has my life become?'," Oriti explains.

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"Still Standing" by Frank Oriti. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

"Still Standing" by Frank Oriti. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Courtesy RJD Gallery.

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"Against the Grain" by Frank Oriti, 2017. Oil on canvas, 48 x 42 inches.

"Against the Grain" by Frank Oriti, 2017. Oil on canvas, 48 x 42 inches.

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"Strokes of Brilliance" is rounded out with paintings by gallery artists including Faith Gurbuz, Pamela Wilson and others.

Taken together, the shows reveal the gallery's focus on contemporary figuration mingled with surrealism, photorealism and magical realism, Richard Demato said.

The trio of shows also compliment the gallery's two booths at Art Market, taking place July 5 - 7, 2019. One booth will represent the gallery's full rooster and program with a second booth featuring signed Limited Edition Prints by Andrea Kowch, which are on permanent view in the gallery's second floor space.

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BASIC FACTS: “Eat the Night,” "The Deep End" and "Strokes of Brilliance" is on view June 29 to July 25, 2019. An Opening Reception rakes place on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. with the exhibiting artists in attendance. RJD Gallery is located at 2385 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. www.RJDgallery.com.

To see additional art on view, visit the gallery's Artsy page by clicking here.

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Copyright 2019 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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