Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lost Talent @ Eve N Odd Gallery

'Lost Talent', who used to go by the name of  'Sleep', moved from St Pete to Detroit Michigan several months ago. He recently visited and with Jennifer Kosharek of Eve N Odd gallery, put on a show of portraits of local artists. They're in the form of prints about 11x14 inches, in a smoky print quality.

On the left is a portrait of Eugenia Woods' "Red", wearing one of the beautiful handmade collars she and her sister make and sell at their Crislip Arcade space. Note the expression and all the rounded forms in the background, glasses and collar.

Lost Talent's portrait of Frank Strunk III shows his well-honed scowl, albeit aggrandized for dramatic effect.

Congratulations to Lost Talent and Jennifer Kosharek for a good show.

--- Luis

Faculty and Staff show @ HCC Dale Mabry

[As received from Katherine Gibson...]

Gallery 221 Dale Mabry Campus of Hillsborough Community College
Work by Larry Hart
Title:  FaSta a show of works by 15 Faculty & Staff members from the HCC Dale Mabry campus
Exhibit Dates: November 8 � December 10, 2012
Artist Reception: Thursday evening, November 8, 5-7pm with
Gallery Talks @ 5:45 & 6:30; Recognition @ 6 PM
Gallery 221, 2nd floor Library, Learning Resources Center, Dale Mabry Campus                                                                                    
Contact: Katherine Gibson, Gallery Director / / 813-253-7386

Between Earth & Sky: Tampa Photographers' Collective Debut Show @ Tempus

The Tampa Photographers' Collective is a group of artists, some of whom work in other media, that get together once a month at Tempus Projects Gallery to discuss the work of its members. Comprised of Adam Ekberg, Becky Flanders, Chris Otten, Forrest MacDonald, James Reiman, Jeremy Chandler, Kym O'Donnel, Noelle Mason and Wendy Babcox.The group is eclectic, has no overriding style or manifesto. Between Earth and Sky is their first show.

Becky Flanders, "Obverse and reverse"  
Becky Flanders has recently been working with things like the Presidential Seal and currency. What symbols a culture puts on its means of exchange speaks volumes. In this show, Becky showed both sides of a US Penny. A Union Shield penny, but the artist has altered it in several ways. Via digital means she removed "In God we trust", "Liberty" and the date from the front view. From the rear, "United States of America", "Pluribus Unum" from the shield, and the thirteen vertical stripes along with the "one cent" designaiton. And she added a hole through the center of the coin as well. By removing the letters and other signifiers while leaving lincoln and part of the Shield, this ubiquitous coin changes, becoming less of a specific coin and more of a type. The hole in the middle is reminiscent of Chinese coins (a string could be run through it). Coins from an empire. 

James Reiman, Princess Leia, AKA Ivy Kannaley
 Star Wars mythology and symbolism has been used by various artists in the area. There was a recent show at the BOX on 5th of Vince Kral's work, including his many installations related to Star Wars. James Reiman had two pictures involving models dressed in Star Wars characters in decontextualized settings that relate to their stories. There's Darth Vader in front of an older house (even he can't go home again), and as seen on the left, a Princess Leia on the rocks by the water holding a gun pointed at a dark plant with threatening-looking limbs. By throwing in the model's name the artist deconstructs the identity of the character.

Chris Otten, ""Teepee"

"Teepee", by Chris Otten, is a construction done in a natural setting and photographed. It has the minimal cues and form to stand on its own and suggest the skeletal form of an Indian dwelling. It suggests there isn't much left of the indigenous cultures.

The Tampa Photographer's Collective's first show was interesting in many ways. The diversity of the work, the academic aspects of it, and how most of the members are working on location. Congratulations to all the photographers and to Tracy Midulla Reller for a very good show.

--- Luis

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mario Algaze: Cuba 1999-2000 @ Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Cuba, particularly Havana, is one of the eyes of the needle for photographers. So many, from rank amateurs to very famous pros, have visited the place that it is as hard to make a standout series of photographs there as it is in Disney World or The Grand Canyon. 

Mario Algaze was born in Cuba in 1947. In 1960 at the age of thirteen, he left, but never forgot his native land. He taught himself photography and became a successful editorial photographer for Zoo World and Vanidades. He photographed rock stars, writers and celebrities, while reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Graham Greene, Paul Theroux, and, from the early 1960s onward, watching
films by Fran├žois Truffaut, Carol Reed, and Vittorio de Sicain between. He wanted to return to Cuba but could not, and traveled photographing in South America.

Thirty-nine years after his exile, he was able to return to Cuba. Algaze, now a grown man was confronting his memories and a very different and Communist Cuba with a well-worn Hasselblad and film.

This is not an innocent's vision of an exotic, beautiful and foreign place. It is a fully formed and informed vision, a highly individuated one of an exile who can't go home again, even if he can return. That estranged familiarity, concern for his fellow Cubans, and politics are palpable in the work.

Amanecer en Matanzas
Mario Algaze, "Amanecer en Matanzas"

On top of the aforementioned concerns, Algaze has a sophisticated, highly developed sense of light and composition. In "Amanecer en Matanzas" (Dawn in Matanzas) these aspects of his talent come to the fore. The dappled light cast by trees like multiple gnomons across the face of a sundial, upon two old buildings is legible as poetry, like a narrative about time. Note the modernist planes of the buildings and road, how they simultaneously diverge and come together, depending on how the viewer reads the picture, like a horizontal letter "V".  Then we see a small figure, a man on a bicycle, riding toward us. De Chirico might have done this composition if he had been a photographer.

Mario Algaze, "Por libreta"

These photographs are all done in the square format, using an old Hasselblad and medium-format film. At the time these pictures were made, one could only take 40 rolls of film into the country, meaning the artist had to be frugal. Each roll can only be a maximum of 24 exposures.

In "Por Libreta", we see four men standing, waiting. They are bathed in beautiful angled window light. The upper compartment of that light cast on the wall looks like a cross the men are bearing. This, like many of Algaze's images has a strong political element. The men are waiting to buy food -- by the Libreta de Abastecimientos -- a rationing book that limits what they can have. It is a Communist convention, and it should be said citizens pay about 12% of the real cost of the food.

Work by Mario Algaze.
Work by Mario Algaze
Algaze's Cuba is a ghostly island, sparsely populated. The few people visible are waiting like characters in an existential play. Waiting for food, the bus, a roof to be fixed, in line for something, for Fidel to die, Communism to go away, or the US embargo to end. On the left, we have "Haciendo Cola" (Making a line) and on the right, "Paradero de Guagua" (Bus stop).

There is a photograph of a pastoral plain with some hills in the background. It looks like a beautiful but otherwise innocuous landscape until one reads the title: "Sierra Maestra" . It is the location from which Fidel began the Cuban Revolution. To a lot of viewers unaware of Cuban history and politics, the pictures are merely beautiful, lyrically lit and composed, but there is a lot more here.

Congratulations to Mario Algaze and FMoPA for a very good show.

Through Jan. 6th, at FMoPA.

Museum Location

The Cube at Rivergate Plaza
400 N. Ashley Drive
Cube 200
Tampa, Florida 33602


Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm


FREE for Museum Members
$10 Suggested Donation
$8 Students/Military

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pink Art @ WTCA

The Pink Art show at the West Tampa Center for The Arts was a breast-cancer awareness raising and fundraising event. Moira Shiver and her crew put together a show in the vast 2nd floor hallways and two galleries focused on the female human body. There was a book-signing by Moira's sister, author Mackenzie Crowne, who wrote a book titled "Where Would You Like Your Nipple?". There was also a scavenger hunt, for which I arrived too late to see.

Alicia Everett, "Inside Out"

Alicia Everett's "Inside Out" , a 13x16" mixed media work using watercolor, pen, colored pencil, embroidery threads, beads, snaps, washers, o-rings, wallpaper and ceramic (!), has to do with a microscopic view of breast tissue , but as an abstraction, it is dazzlingly beautiful.

Mishou Sanchez, "Cancer Scare"

"Cancer Scare", by Mishou Sanchez. A woman looks at the viewer. Note how asymmetric the two sides of the face are. She looks between shell-shocked and determined. Around her neck, a set of keys. Look closely, that's not a flower on the black table (?) behind her, but a heart cut in two.

Curtis Sneary, "Hula Hoop"

On the right is "Hula Hoop", a smiling woman from a  viewpoint that makes her look like a little girl, wearing boy shorts, visor, sandals and a bikini top, arms extended, keeps a golden-yellow hula hoop spiritedly going by poolside. This embodiment of femininity, vitality and playfulness is Sneary's wife.

Global warming, garbage, and other despoilments of the environment are alluded to in John Gurbacs' oil painting Ms. Ozone. Note the broken sunflower in the lower right corner, the Blue BMW Isetta next to it (a minimal impact car on the environment) and a green earth. This, like many of Gurbacs' works are exquisite paintings.

There was body painting at the show. This is a SFW photo. The model was painted like those in photographs of painted models shown in the hallway of the WTCA.

Congratulations to all the artists, Moira Shiver and the West Tampa Center for the Arts for a good show about a theme affecting a lot of women.

--- Luis

Duos @ Blue Lucy

Chad Mize and Philip Clark own Blue Lucy, a combination graphic design business and art gallery. They have been steadily improving the quality of their shows since the installation at the PODS farm on Dec 31st, 2011, at First Night for 2012.

 Scratch The Surface, which was the show preceding the one being reviewed in this blog post, was very well received.

Duos is a collaborative show. The following artists paired up:.


Collaborations can be risky business. With some artists there is an intensive melding, others work independently on the piece(s) and there's everything in between. Outcomes vary from the negative, where the result is lesser than either artist would independently produce. Sometimes there's a sum zero, and rarely true synergy, where the work is something neither individual would do on their own.

A few highlights...

Work by Calan Ree and Daniel Mrgan

Daniel Mrgan and Calan Ree were in sync from the outset. Both have been working with themes along the same lines in some ways. They have independently explored the significance of life through its quirks, fragility and ephemerality. This came across to me as being about vision,
specifically insight.

Moi and Melissa Loera, Untitled

 Moi and Melissa Loera, a married duet, have had very distinct styles since I first met them. Here we see a stylized Taj Mahal-like building, with a bright feminine pink color in the windows on the back of an elephant. The Taj is a magnificent mausoleum built by an Emperor to house  his third wife. Inside, near the center, is the tomb. It rests on a more realistic elephant who bears his considerable burden with dignity and plows on. A collaboration about a duo.

Sean Williams & Joe Lemire "Two's Company"

A post-apocalyptic Adam and Eve in a dystopian paradise. She is blue, skeletal and talking, he muscled and looking more than a little like Aquaman.  Sean Williams and Joe Lemire worked well together on this one.

Philip Clark and Jennifer Kosharek worked by walking these works back and forth to each other. The result is a cluster of works as seen on left, titled collectively: "Every Day is Tomorrow". A good blend of two graphic styles.

Congratulations to all the artists and to Blue Lucy for a good show.

--- Luis


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reflections II: Ernesto Piloto Marquez @ Galeria Bohemia

Galeria Bohemia exterior view.

Galeria Bohemia on Central Avenue in St. Pete, shows Cuban artists, and not just during Hispanic Heritage month, or out of towners. This month he is featuring Ernesto Piloto Marquez, who has been reviewed here before.

Ernesto Piloto Marquez and his work.

Ernesto is a Cuban-born artist. Originally a pastry chef, he harbored dreams of becoming an artist, which he has fulfilled. His work is philosophical, reflecting on three of the big questions in art: Who are we? Where do we come from? and Where are we going? The art has the rare quality of fusing language with visual elements into complex, counter-weighted narratives, the main focus of which is being true to oneself. 

Ernesto Piloto Marquez "Juggling the World"

 Ernesto Piloto-Marquez raises questions with his paintings. In this one, a mixed media piece, a eyeless clown, dressed in a top hat, red nose, jacket and striped bankers' pants, juggles the earth. A comment on the banking debacle. Daring, political, shrill in tone, and with unbridled passion this kind of energy  typifies his work. A classic image for our age.

In "The Offer" (On left), we see one figure offering a human heart to the other two. In the giver's head is a dollar bill, and his heart is covered in dollar bills as well. There is one heart and two recipients, one has death o his mind, the other life. The words spiraling out from the top are poetic instructions for living a dignified, independent, humane life.

There is a strong surreal streak in some of the works. In the one depicted on left, "Fishing Dreams", we see a fisherman floating on dark waters on an inverted umbrella. If you look closely at the panels, you will see collaged words on each one. From the sky dangle several hooks over the fisherman, just as his own does above the fish, underwater, all below a hexagonal sun.

It was a pleasure seeing and talking with Ernesto and his wife. His work is consistently evolving and its creative energies remain at a high pitch.

Congratulations to Ernesto Piloto Marquez and Galeria Bohemia for a very good show.

--- Luis

Galerias Bohemia, 649 Central Ave. St Petersburg. 

Seen: Bill Druggan Gallery

Bill Druggan has a gallery in which he displays his own work, which is an eclectic fusion of several styles incorporating his knowledge of art history with what he picked up on during his extensive travels in Asia. Bill also teaches art and is a writer.

Seen: Eugenia Woods

On 2nd Saturday, I walked into Eugenia Woods, a very classy fashion shop full of beautiful, hand-made items designed and sewn by two sisters. Guess which one is "Red"?

Seen: Dysfunctional Grace

On the 2nd Sat. Walk for October, I ran into Liz Furlong at Dysfunctional Grace in the Crislip Arcade. Here's a few pictures from that visit...

Cephalopod hair pins...

A hybrid being resurrected by Liz.

Dysfunctional Grace has brought in Japanese toy characters.

Dysfunctional Grace.

This Cloud Atlas Weekend, Oct 25th-28th

Lots of Halloween happenings this weekend, including G-ween V 3.0, but there are arts events to see...


Leslie Neumann @ Nuance St. Pete - I have reviewed this show [Link], talked with the artist [Link] and can recommend it without reservation. Part of the proceeds go to the Trust for Public Land. All at Nuance Gallerues St. Pete., 2924 Central Ave. Open Mon-Fri 10 AM - 5 PM, Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM. Free admission.


In Vibrant Color, Celebrity Portraits @ Polk Museum - This exhibit of color portraits from the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian brings 24 prints from the Harry Warneke Studio to the Polk Museum. Opens Friday, 6:00-8:30 PM. Admission is $10 for non-members.800 E. Palmetto St. Lakeland.


Phoenix Glass Studio Ghoulish Glass and Pumpkin Bash - Saturday live glass blowing goes on from 8 AM to 10 PM. Make your own pumpkin (glass) for $65. 811 E. Knollwood st. Tampa.

BFA Photography Students Closing Reception @ USF/William & Nancy Oliver Gallery - Friday Oct 26th starting at 7 PM. 4200 Fletcher Ave. Tampa. Free admission.


Parallel Movement @ C. Emerson Fine Arts - Justin Nelson and Daniel Mrgan are shown. Opens Friday, Oct 26th, 7-10 PM. 909 Central Ave St. Pete. Free admission.


Photo: Get ready for Something Wicked... this Friday.

Sponsored by Fireball Whisky 

Something Wicked....@ The Local 662 - A carnival sideshow featuring the work of 20 artists, music by Everymen, DJ Curse Mackey, Brandon Pearce with Misguided Youth, Burlesque by Vita Devoid, live painting, carnival games, freakstyle beard contest (?) costume contest and more. Friday, October 26th, starts at 8 PM. All at 662 Central Avenue. $10 admission at the door.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Michele Tuegel Contemporary Gallery Opens on Central

 Michele Tuegel was the highly regarded and much beloved first director of the Florida Craftsmen Gallery and is a fiber artist. Her new gallery features her work as well as that of others and is located half-way between Beach Drive and the 600 block.

Work by Eleanor Mc Cain

There were several quilts by Eleanor Mc Cain, whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. The one shown on the left greeted gallery visitors as they came in.

Eleanor Mc Cain, "Moss"

 Here is another quilt by the same artist, with a square portion of the center that reverses the background checkerboard pattern. It is titled "Moss" and is a beautiful object.

Works by Josette Urso

Work by Josette Urso

Looking around the gallery I ran into several of Josette Urso's works.

Work by John de Wit

Above is a view of part of the gallery. It is presently a good mix between decorative high craft and and fine art works. I feel safe in speaking for myself and the art community in welcoming Michele Tuegel Contemporary Galllery and in wishing her and her crew the best of luck.

--- Luis 

The gallery is located at 320 Central Ave. St Pete. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leslie Neumann @ Nuance Gallery in Saint Pete.

In March 2012, I wrote about Leslie's art: "Neumann's art is about transformation, interleaving realities, unity, connections, and the realization that the same laws and forces permeates everything around us and we are but their living expressions." That was about the work in a 2-woman show at HCC Ybor. Currently, her work is being shown at Nuance Galleries in St. Pete.

Leslie Neumann, "Sovereign"
Leslie paints what she calls her cosmic paintings. Referred to as related to "the primordial soup", they are about outer and inner space. In "Sovereign", a large celestial body exerts its gravity on smaller moons and a large dust cloud behind it. The egalitarian forces of nature at play.

Leslie works in encaustic, which is basically oils in wax, which is heated and brushed, knifed or finger-painted on in layers. One of its  beloved qualities is a distinct luminosity. Click here to see Leslie talk about and use encaustic [Link].

Leslie Neumann, "Reflections # 05"
The landscapes are based on the Floridian estuarine environment that surrounds the artist's home. She is not painting literal landscapes, though there probably are impressions and memories that serve as referents. She says she paints how she "...feels about..." what she sees.

In "Reflections #05", there are trees at the water's edge. Behind them is a large orange blob. Is it the sun? Leslie has said before that some of the flame-like things in her landscapes were swamp gas lights, but I doubt that explanation here, since descriptions make them out to be small lights or balls of light. The one in this work is large and there are several smaller orbs rising or hovering around the large one. This is more magical than logical. Looking at the reflection on the water, it seems to have little in common with the landscape above it. Looking like a different mirrored landscape, there are tall wispy trees and aquamarine squares, looking like tiles. These, like some of the other things in the work are abstractions within a somewhat Impressionistic landscape/innerscape.

Leslie Neumann, "Woods 3A"

Forms rise, enjoy weightless moments and fall in these paintings, expressing their configurations as matter and energy (the same thing in different guises).  On the left is "Woods 3A". This is more abstracted than the work above. There is a tongue of fire in the center framed by two pillars of light. columns of tree trunks flank either side. The ground below is golden. Note Leslie has incised a spiral on the middle close to the left edge, and two asterisk-like forms across to the left. The former could be taken as a sign of growth, time and more. The overall feel of this painting is that of a plein-air temple. 

Leslie Neumann, "Reflections 24"

 In "Reflections 24", it can clearly be seen that these are personal reflections about Nature. Again, we see the fire burning bright, a spiritual, not literal kind. Here the water in the foreground is aboil, spewing flecks of gold into the air. In this painting, as in the others, one enters into a sacred space. The artist's reverence for Nature is expressed purely and without reservation, the nexus between fire, water, earth and air. That eruption of gold from the water speaks to me of transcendence.

Congratulations to Leslie Neumann and Nuance Galleries for a good show.

--- Luis

Nuance Galleries St. Pete, 2924 Central Ave.