Sunday, April 29, 2007

Art Space News: The Artist Project

This exhibit was very appealing. The Artist Project featured original works of art by over 50 cutting-edge artists. Held in the Mart's lobby- it was the first exhibit I entered before making my way to the Bridge Art Fair preview. I returned to the exhibit later for the Preview Night. Each artist was jury selected for the event. Thus, the level of artistic skill and creative ambition was high.

The environment was very amicable. Each booth represented an artist and most of the artists were on hand to discuss their work- while others traveled the floor in order to discuss work with the other artists and patrons. I was pleased to find out that most of them had heard of and several mentioned that they had accounts! It was awesome to come face-to-face with the scope of influence that has obtained.

I was really impressed with the caliber of work on display. All of the artists are worth mentioning, but I will focus on a few for now. You can find out more about The Artist Project by visiting the official site:

('Sunrise' by Jane Fulton Alt)
The photography of Jane Fulton Alt (sample above) was a joy to observe. I sense a certain spirituality about her work that is very calming to view. She is a Chicago born (1951) fine art photographer and has been very active in the Chicago scene for years. Her work is in several public collection- including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.
Themes of grief and loss are common in her work and serve as a reflection of humanity. Her series 'Mourning Light' shows her "attempt to counter the darkness that had enveloped me. These photographs speak to the light in the face of that darkness, and are an effort to memorialize all who have died thru out time at the hand of evil. " You can observe more of Jane Fulton Alt's work by visiting her website:

(A sample of an on-going project by Jeremy Tubbs)

Jeremy Tubbs booth was a crowd favorite- not so much for the work he had on display, but for the vision behind it. This artist has focused on taking a picture of himself once per day since September of 2006. His goal is to document the procession of aging upon his face by photographing himself daily.

As a greater amount of photos are cataloged, his plan is to produce a video at 15 frames per second making each year pass in a period of approximately 24 seconds. So, by the time he is 75 years old the video will be a little more than 20 minutes long.

Observers were fascinated by the life-long project that Jeremy has set for himself. I think some of the allure of his project has to do with the fact that so many of us try to deny the aging process- Jeremy embraces it. You can view the 'Random Pic-A-Day Timeline' (sample above) on his website:

('North Pond' by Hiroshi Ariyama)
The photography of Hiroshi Ariyama was a hit as well (sample above). He sold a screenprint while I was discussing his work with him! Mr. Ariyama's current series of work is called 'Our City, Our Neighborhood'. The series is comprised primarily of simple urbanscapes that enhance some aspect of reality through a very graphic manipulation of light, color and texture.
Each image begins as an original photograph which he modifies or simplifies until finding the "right moment". The image is then separated into tonal ranges for which he selects colors that he feels celebrate the moment. Hiroshi's intent is to capture an emotional point in time within each scene that can range from a nostalgic reflection, to a simple current observation to a happy glance into a moment's fleeting possibilities.
(Hair Piece 13 by Monica Rezman)

The work of Monica Rezman was also a show-stopper. Monica Rezman is a painter, textile designer, and most recently a photographer who currently splits her time between Chicago and India. Rezman has always been fascinated by ways women use personal adornment as A kind of language. Splitting time between the east and west has served to broaden her vocabulary.

Her current body of work comes from two sources: As a child, she watched her mother alter and augment her own hair with falls and wigs. Her three year old daughter is experimenting with female adornment the same way.

Using a very traditional form of oil painting techniques and charcoal she explores the subtleties, richness and mystery that the hair creations hold for her. She is struck at how much feeling and emotion is revealed in a simple strand of hair. Eroticism, hope, sadness, and disappointment exist simultaneously in these works.

When I observed her work I thought that I was looking at actual hair hanging on the wall (sample above). I was shocked to find out that the hair was a charcoal drawing! You can find out more about Monica and her work by visiting her website:

I have so many other artists to cover. I will be posting more about my trip to Chicago this week. More to come...

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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