Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Works: Rocky Bridges @ Salt Creek Artworks

Rocky Bridges, "Velocity"

I first reviewed Rocky Bridges at the Gasparilla Art Show in Tampa [Link]. He's a native of Tarpon Springs, who works in mixed-media, usually involving metal. In the early 2000s he received a three year National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts grant. He teaches at the Harrison Arts Center in Lakeland, and graduated from Cooper Union in NYC. He won Mainsail in 2009, and has been exhibited broadly around the state and in this area.

Rocky Bridges, "Untitled"

 Salt Creek Artworks is one of the premier art spaces in the Bay area. Beautifully laid out and roomy, rich with tradition and also housing 30+ artists' studios. This new show is of new works by Bridges, and what works they are. Bridges is the kind of artist who makes many variants on a theme, though each is an individual work on its own. They tend to have high belt lines, overlays, and color and textural fields. Some have what look like clasps.


Salt Creek Artworks, Rocky Bridges Exhibit.

In spite of the prominent features, these works are exquisitely subtle. Note in the larger illustrations the subtleties of color and texture in the abstracts. Bridges says that his work reflects on " Florida's raw and natural honesty and beauty." One can sense that in these works.


Rocky Bridges, "Bound"

On the left is "Bound". There's a kind of compressed layering leading from the top metal piece that forms a "T" connecting all the other elements. I see white, red and green layers tied together by the top mental piece, which could partially be interpreted as the spirit, the flesh and life, corrugated and rusty. 

The artist has said that the work takes discarded objects that have accrued a history and recontextualizes them into new forms. There are analogues between the way objects and people are processed by this culture, and a lot of us find ourselves in a similar situation. By reinventing these broken or outmoded forms, he is making a metaphorical positive statement about celebrating the beauty, experience, history, meaning and strength in each of us.

Rocky Bridges, "Bound Arrangement #2"


Rocky Bridges, "Brainstorm"

There was one figurative piece in the show, titled "Brainstorm". On the left is a close-up showing about 25% of it. It was a mixed media piece, and a foray into the figure while retaining his usual style. Very interesting.

Congratulations to Rocky Bridges and Salt Creek Artworks for a good show and insight into the latest works from Bridges.

 --- Luis

 November 18th to December 24th, 2011
 Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11AM - 4PM    

1600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

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