INKED

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE MAY 2015 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

On view in the Museum Shop Exhibition space of the Islip Art Museum is a selection of kiln glass-worked portraits, Polariods, and a site-specific window installation by Kathy Seff. The artist is drawn to the structure of horizontal and vertical lines, using simple linear designs that are saturated with complex multi-firing techniques. Linear compositions serve as a canvas for inking, as textural elements are melted on the surface.

Kathy Self, What's Our Future: Portrait 1C, 2015

Kathy Self, What’s Our Future: Portrait 1C, 2015

Her series, entitled What’s Our Future, features a collection of children’s portraits all with stunned or scared expressions on their faces. The fear they exhibit as they contemplate their futures would be unusual for their age, but is perhaps meant for the viewer to contemplate their own future and the loss of innocence. Children are often unaware of the responsibilities that come with growing older and the uncertainty of what is to come. By giving her subjects such complex emotions, the viewer cannot help but sympathize with these children, wanting nothing more than to consul them.

Kathy Seff, What's Our Future: Portrait 5, 2015

Kathy Seff, What’s Our Future: Portrait 5, 2015

Her latest body of work, #artglasspolaroids, comes from a month long solo road trip taken by the artist in the fall of 2014. Equipped with a box of rectangular clear and transparent colored glass blanks, Seff set out to capture particular scenes of things and places she came across on her travels. After her return, Seff quickly went to work on creating a Long Island series of glass Polaroids, painting unique compositions of familiar places. Also on view is a selection of Polaroids from her latest series, completed in Ireland. Each glass Polaroid is 3.1 x 3.1 in. and is fired at 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. After this first firing, the artist then paints the work and re-fires it at a lower temperature, allowing the paint to set into the glass.

Kathy Seff, 7th and 11th, 2014

Kathy Seff, 7th and 11th, 2014

One piece taken from her Long Island series, Patchogue Bagels, depicts a street view taken from inside a local bagel shop in Patchogue, apparent by the reversal of the stores lettering on their glass window. Any Patchogue native would instantly recognize the United Methodist Church found at the corner of Terry St. and South Ocean Ave., seen here as the farthest building on the left-hand side of the composition.

Kathy Seff, Patchogue Bagels, 2014

Kathy Seff, Patchogue Bagels, 2014

The site-specific installation, Color Set: Monochromatic Yellow @ Islip Art Museum, consists of a set of linear pieces of colored glass, arranged in a manner that is reminiscent of Piet Mondrian and the De Stijl movement of the early 20th century. The installation consists of yellow, hand cut strips of glass that are mounted to the existing windows of a designated section of the Islip Art Museum. By using existing windows as an exhibition space, Seff’s Color Set installations forms an interrelationship with the location, drawing the viewer’s attention to the unique architectural details of the museum

Kathy Seff, Sunnyside, 2014

Kathy Seff, Sunnyside, 2014

Seff is a 2nd generation glass artist, who lives and works on Long Island. She has worked at Colorful Visions since 2001, and has served on the Board of Directors of Women Sharing Art. She is also a member of the Patchogue Arts Council and has had her artwork exhibited across Long Island.

Kathy Seff, Train to Jamaica, 2014

Kathy Seff, Train to Jamaica, 2014

INKED, runs in conjunction with the museum’s main exhibition, Print Up Ladies, which exhibits contemporary female artists exploring the various techniques in printmaking that are both traditional and non-traditional. Both exhibitions are curated by Museum Exhibitions Director & Curator Beth Giacummo and are on display at the Islip Art Museum from April 19 – June 1, 2015 with a reception on Sunday, May 3, from 1 – 4pm.

Jay Schuck
Museum Curatorial & Exhibitions Assistant

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Modern Iconography

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 2015 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Modern Iconography, which exhibits artists exploring the concept of iconography and popular imagery. The term icon dates back to Ancient Greece but is primarily used to refer to a specific style of painting rooted in Medieval Byzantium. Icon paintings depicting religious figures were standardized across Europe, allowing Christians to instantly recognize the images and their attributes regardless of where they were made. Despite its broader meaning in the 21st century, the term icon is still used to refer to any instantaneously recognizable image, person, or object regardless of the time or place it originated. The artists in Modern Iconography explore the concept of iconography and its underlying symbolism.

In his composite paintings, presented in his signature ‘neon-light’ style, Bryan Gutman fuses imagery from premier artists across the span of art history. His painting Olympia borrows the iconic reclining nude from Édouard Manet’s painting of the same name and places her within the silhouetted outline of Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait in a Straw Hat. Bordering this imagery are abstracted forms in various colors in the style of Jean Dubuffet.

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Rick Miller’s carnival scenes instantly bring to mind notions of Americana and simpler times. Despite cropping his photographs of Ferris wheels, fried dough vendors, and carnival plushies, there is still enough imagery to allow the viewer’s mind to recall nostalgic childhood memories of long summer nights spent at the carnival.

Rick Miller, Country Fair #4

Rick Miller, Country Fair #4, 2013

Assembling his pieces from found material, Ben Owens presents a unique view of popular imagery. His piece One Thousand Leaves Under the Tree is a take on the classic Jules Verne story depicting the climactic deaths of the Four Horsemen’s steeds on the cliff’s edge prior to Armageddon.

Ben Owens, One Thousand Leaves Under the Sea, 2015

Ben Owens, One Thousand Leaves Under the Sea, 2015

Chaltin Pagan considers the Barbie doll to be a modern-day icon revered by much of society and uses the subject to examine notions of womanhood and femininity. Like medieval saints holding objects of their martyrdom, Pagan’s Barbie dolls hold certain objects or beauty products that are associated with femininity.

Chaltin Pagan, Scissors, 2012

Chaltin Pagan, Scissors, 2012

Fran Pelzman Liscio sees the value of life in all of the world’s creatures. The photographs of fallen fowls from her Botanica Reliquaire series are reminiscent of the reliquary shrines of the Middle Ages. She memorializes the deceased, arranging their bodies with beautiful flowers, begging viewers to reflect on life and their own mortality.

Fran Pelzman Liscio, Found Bird #3, 2013

Fran Pelzman Liscio, Found Bird #3, 2013

The subjects of John Prudente’s paintings are instantly recognizable, retaining not only the uniqueness of the individuals depicted, but also the ideals of their times. His painting, Reaganing, modeled after the President’s official portrait, presents Ronald Reagan in vinyl overlay with the American flag waving behind him in red, white, and blue acrylic. Even in this creative style, Reagan still embodies the ideals of Conservatism and Reaganomics of the 1980s.

John Prudente, Reaganing, 2015

John Prudente, Reaganing, 2015

The artists in Modern Iconography explore the concepts of memory, memes, and media manipulation of iconography using instantly recognizable imagery as the basis for their artwork. In the reinterpretation of iconic imagery subjects gain new meaning while maintaining their original status. The exhibition will be on display at the Patchogue Arts Gallery from March 7 – April 18, 2015. A reception will be held on Saturday, March 7, from 5 – 7pm.

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in additional to an annual juried members exhibition.

Jay Schuck, Curator

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