Wednesday, September 11, 2013

All Is Chaos - Opening 9/13/13

I was fortunate enough to be included in an exhibit at the Covington Arts gallery in Covington, KY.  It's curated by Dustin Pike (who I showed with at Synthetica-M a few years ago) and he did a tremendous job of assembling a really talented group of artists, of whom I'm honored to be a part.  Though I will neither be there (due to now living in LA) nor will I be showing new work (still in progress), the show promises to me great and the pieces I'm showing I always liked.  Here is one that will be at the exhibit:

Monday, September 9, 2013

In Greece Getting Inspired

I have been in Greece now for almost 2 weeks on vacation, but as always getting inspired and collecting ephemera for my collages.  Cant wait to get back and start some new pieces!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Autocomplete Exhibit - 5/10/2012

Last month I was asked to partake in a group exhibit called
Autocomplete: A Collaborative Coloring Book, which is being curated by Maya Drozdz of Visualingual.  The concept of the exhibit is what got me hooked.  The idea is that select Cincinnati area (and beyond) artists would be paired with a Visionaries + Voices artist, more specifically, paired with a black and white print of their work, and we were asked to "color" the piece in our style, while maintaining the integrity of the original piece.  For those unaware of Visionaries + Voices, it is a local arts organization that provides creative opportunities to people with disabilities.  From my experience seeing the work of several V+V artists over the years, I would say that really it's an organization that celebrates abilities, not disabilities.  The power of art as a tool for expression is absolutely evident in the work itself and moreso in the smiles and increased self-esteem of the artists who are a part of V&V.  I am honored and humbled to be a part of this exhibit.

I was paired with Jennifer Dowers (who I've yet to meet) to color in her piece entitled, Cincinnati Reds.  Now I hadn't "colored" anything in a while, save for helping my 3 year old niece now and again, so getting this I admit was a touch intimidating.  The piece I received was obviously a photograph, turned black and white, and not typically something I would work with, in both subject matter and in style.  Frankly, it was the whole "maintaining the integrity of the original piece" part that I was having the most difficulty with.  My natural inclination may have been to tear, burn or cover the entire thing, but again, I had to follow the rules so that was probably a good exercise for me in itself.  Anyway, having just finished my version, I wanted to post a picture of the 2 side by side, so you can see the before and after.

Here it is:

Looking at it, I think I maintained enough of the original while adding my own twist.  I really wanted to incorporate something to reference both the statistics of baseball as well as the sound of a cracking bat, hence the grids and shard of wood.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and hope Jennifer does too.  For those that can attend, the opening is Thursday May 10th, from 5-8PM at the V&V Gallery at 3841 Spring Grove Avenue in Northside, and the exhibit runs until Friday June 29th.  Thanks to Maya for including me and best of luck with the event! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Piece, New Technique

I completed a piece this past weekend that I did as a birthday present for my friend Mason Paul, gallery owner/director at Synthetica-M gallery in Cincinnati's Brighton area  I've always been a bit hesitant to give art as a gift because you just never know if it will be liked by the person that receives it.  Of course, if you know the person well enough that shouldn't be an issue.  Anyway, I've shown at Synthetica-M a couple of times and felt like I'd gotten a good enough sense of Mason's aesthetic preferences in art that I figured it was low risk doing a piece for him.  And as it turns out, he liked it!  This is the piece:

This is a small piece, around 6x8" or so and it's done on a wood panel.  I'm pleased with how it turned out and I was particularly happy with 2 things specifically.  First, I have a French dictionary from 1906 that I tore out and incorporated the entry for the words "synthetique" and "synthetiquement", in reference to the gallery name.  Synthetica isn't a real word so those were as close as I could get to the actual name of the gallery.  The other thing I was happy about was that I used an image transfer technique I'd read about but had never tried.  The image of the water tower is the one that I (successfully) tried using this method.  I think the element works well content-wise (there are a few water towers in Brighton where the gallery is) and compositionally adds balance to the abstract. 

The short description for the process I used to do this is this: First, you print out an image on a black and white laser printer/copier.  You then paint a over the image using a clear gel medium.  Once that's dry, you run the piece of paper under water allowing the paper to dissolve, leaving the image embedded into the back of the gel medium.  What you have then is a sort of translucent piece of gel medium (sort of like a fruit roll-up) with an image on in.  You then use the same gel medium to adhere it to your piece and it pretty much just blends right it.  This is not a new technique by any stretch, I'd just never tried it before.  Can't wait to try it again!

Happy 40th Mason!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Piece of 2012

Call me crazy but I think 2012 is going to be a good year.  To kick things off right, I did a new piece over my holiday break from work.  I had found some cool objects at a place in town called Building Value, that sells salvaged items.  Funny how quickly the story came together.  In hindsight, I seem to have channeled my inner Rauschenberg.  Here is the piece:

Here's to a creative, productive 2012.  Stay tuned for more work and posts this year.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Secret Artworks 2011

For the last 3 years I have been happily contributing to Cincinnati's largest arts charity event hosted by Artworks, called Secret Artworks.  I've blogged about the event and it's benefits here before but never get tired talking about it, nor participating.  So much so, that this year when asked if I'd join the planning committee, I happily accepted.  I was honored to work amongst such a dedicated team who volunteered lot of hours alongside the full-time Artworks staff to put this all together.  The event was this past Friday night and it went off perfectly!  We held it in a new space this year (the former Contemporary Arts Center) and the museum-like venue only helped the already strong work stand out that much more.  Special credit should go to Jolie Harris and Janel Carol for heading the planning committee and of course to Tamara Harkavy and the Artworks staff! 

I also submitted 3 pieces, 1 of which I know for sure was acquired.  The piece is called LA Ghost and is a study for a series of pieces I will more than likely start over the holidays.  Since it is technically no longer a "Secret" I thought I'd share it here:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Virginia Romanou

Today is my aunt Virginia's birthday so I thought I'd write a little about her. 

Virginia is my dad's younger sister (whose age shall remain forever a secret!) though she feels more like my older sister and it's very obvious that we're all related.  She's an artist and designer by education and profession, though neither of those words seem to encompass anywhere near all of how she manifests her creativity.  Simply put, she is an idea person with an immense amount of creative energy, all she needs is a medium.  Books, posters, paintings, exhibits, sculpture, interior spaces, furniture, fashion, photography, the list seems to go on.  Funny how the focused and restrained artistic drive in my grandfather was channeled so differently between his descendents.  Having just returned from a trip to Greece where I spent an unforgettable time with my dad (I'll write about that next) and regrettably a short time with Virginia, I still feel energized and inspired by my times with them.

Last year Virginia had an exhibit in Brazil that I was unfortunately unable to attend.  She had been working on a series of black and white abstract pieces that come together in what she called "stavro-lexo" which translates from Greek as crossword puzzle.  These pieces are beautiful in their subtlety and sensitivity in their own right, but curated and composed into the larger work which takes on a life of its own.  Simply amazing.  Here's a picture of the piece on the wall of her studio:

Needless to say I am a proud nephew and whether she knows it or not, she inspires me constantly to push myself as an artist and designer and to always keep following my passion, experimenting with styles and techniques and never locking myself into one medium.  At the end of the day, creativity is an energy not unlike lighting, water or wind.  All different but essential in moving life forward. Maybe nature's passions materialized.

Xronia polla theia mou!