Sunday, July 31, 2011

ArtOn Central Blue Woo Summer Show

View of Woo Gallery windows and gallery goers.

 BC Woo is an artist who paints mostly saltwater game fish (and water) in a very colorful, emotionally powerful style without anthropomorphosizing the fish. Their natural weirdness and wildness are beautifully portrayed. And it's not just the fish. The living energy of the entire environment is at the core of his work.

People had a great time at this opening.

Woo and ArtOn  Central know how to throw a party, opening. Actually, a summer event to bring out the friends, collectors, connoisseurs and scenesters. It was a spirited crowd. There was Woo's gallery, and in the arcade next door (very similar architecturally to the Crislip arcade, just down the street) there were several artists, with many engaged in live paint. The effect was that of several intimate, discrete spaces.

BC Woo in front of his father's painting of a pod of Orcas

Close-up detail of a Woo Yellowfin Tuna painting.
 On the right is BC Woo with his Buddha smile. When I asked him to pose in front of any of his many works of art, he immediately positioned himself proudly in front of a painting by his father.  On the

BC Woo, Dophins & water

 left is a close-up that I hope shows the life energies that Woo imbues in his subjects. Same with the one on the right (forgive the flash hotspot).

View of arcade.

On the left is a view of the arcade space adjacent to the Blue Woo Gallery. Several artists showed work there, and engaged in live paint.

Coralette Damme, Owl.

 I ran into this totemic owl painting at the end of the arcade. It looks like it just flew out of an Inuit standing totem. Coralette Damme gave it that almost mystical hyperreal yet natural look that is an integral part of her style.

Coralette Damme, Moth

On the left is Coralette with a painting of a moth in a similar palette and field color modality.  [Link]

Jennifer Chandley, [no title tag]

This beautiful painting on the left caught my eye with its realistic sky, Native American-like markings on the face, and many intensely colored abstract elements, with perhaps some influences from  street art. Themes of nature (note the "grass" in the landscape in the upper right go deep into the picture, right into a turquoise (sky?) encrusted necklace on the figure.

 On the left is a picture of artist Jennifer Chandley, with a work-in-progress of an aerial view of skyscrapers. Like the other artists, it was live painting, offering a rare view into the process. Jennifer is also a graphic designer and can be reached here [Link].

On the left is artist Saori, who has a studio in the Crislip arcade. She comes from Osaka. This realistic painting is decidely oriental thematically, but I was in her studio this evening, and can say she works in a variety of media and styles. Her dolls are extraordinary. [Link]

Dena Cardwell

 On the left is Dena Cardwell and a work-in-progress. She paints with her fingers. There's something sensuous and very direct about working like that. As you can see, the style is impressionistic, and the color gradations quite subtle. on the right, yo can see her at work. [Link]

 On the left is Kevin Brant and his painting of two snook hanging around dock pilings, as they are wont to do in nature. Kevin's realistic and detailed context of where the shallow water fish he had paintings of are found  were beautiful and portrayed in their full fish-consciousness. [Link]

Marc Levasseur [No tag on work]

On the right is Kevin Levasseur, who was painting a large and very expressive rooster. The picture doesn't do justice to the subtle colors on the head dress on that fowl. Marc's as outgoing and friendly as he looks.

This smiling gallery-goer managed to find 3-D glasses and told me some of Woo's fish had 3-D effects. Like so many at ArtOn Central/Woo's event, myself included, she was having a great time.

Congratulations to ArtOn Central and BC Woo for putting together one of the best art parties of the season. The mix of strong artists was excellent, the live painting, spaces, music, food, drink, mix of attendees, and walls of color all worked together to make a wonderful evening. 

 Blue Woo is at 689 Central Suite 100. St Petersburg.

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