Art We Love – More than Meets the Eye
The first impression a piece of art makes when you walk into a gallery can be thrilling. But sometimes what’s even more exciting is discovering that what you see up close is not at all what you thought you saw from afar.
All of the pieces here had that element of surprise for me in the techniques that were used to make them. They stand alone on their visual impact but became even more interesting when I learned how they were made.
Kim Westfall, Commelina Communis Dayflower (Tufted organza ribbon, 44” x 58”), GAA Gallery
Kim Westfall’s bold, beautiful orchids pack a graphic punch from across a room. Each brilliantly-hued bloom emerges from a black void with its own distinct personality. But these are not paintings or photographs — they’re tufted tapestries made from shimmering organza ribbon. And the images are based on studies the artist made in the Korean Demilitarized Zone where a new Eden has emerged due to decades without human intervention. A feast for both the mind and the eyes.
John Brickel, Dreadnaught (stoneware, 19” x 42” x 18”), Bowersock Gallery
John Brickel’s stoneware sculptures are about as far from traditional carved white marble as you can get but boy are they remarkable. Here, what appears to be a rusty ship model is actually made of clay (stoneware). Anyone who’s ever tried their hand at pottery knows there are a thousand things that can go wrong from shaping to firing to glazing. But Brickel’s technical brilliance and singular vision combine to make art that will hold your interest a lot longer than that dusty marble bust.
David Geiger, Sunset at the Beach (high fired colored glass, 6” x 10”), Woodman Shimko Gallery
This lovely little beach scene would be the perfect souvenier to conjer memories of long walks in the dunes after the vacation is over. It’s a familiar scene but done in an surprising medium – glass. I don’t have any idea how the process of firing glass works, but that mystery add an aspect of wonder to the piece which would keep me looking at it with fresh eyes for a long time.
Adrian Fernandez, Volume 1, 2022 (Corten Steel, 23”x 19” x 21”), Schoolhouse Gallery
Elegant and imposing, Adrian Fernandez’s sculptures beg to be circled again and again to appreciate all the intersecting planes and angles. You might think they’re carved blocks of wood, but they’re crafted from Corten steel with astonishing precision. They’re a mass of contradictions. Though they must be incredibly heavy, they perch lightly on their plinths. And such beauty and grace all created out of rusty metal.
To find more Art We Love & Why from the archives go to: ART WE LOVE
George Rodgers is the ARTS Editor for ptownie.com and Managing Editor of the ptownie ART Issue magazine.