Bryan Gutman | Mindscapes

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE AUGUST 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Bryan Gutman is a fine artist from Patchogue, NY. In this series of work, reviewed here, Gutman creates immersive, multi-planed paintings that seamlessly integrate diverse visual images that are overlapped on top of one another and rendered in highly glossed enamels in conjunction with traditional oil paints. Since the early 1990s, Gutman has developed a personal iconography; incorporating images grounded in reality and imagined imagery stemming from the subconscious mind. Inspired by newspaper photographs, neon signage, and elements of the urban landscape, the artist layers his imagery into a singular mindscape that blurs reality with the fictive, through imposing lines that travel throughout multiple layers of vibrant colors.

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Bryan Gutman, Chris’s Dream, 2008

Exemplary of Gutman’s style is Chris’s Dream, which blends together several different visual motifs into one composite scene. Encased in a border of repeating bands of blue, orange, and beige rectangles, the visual representation in the center of the composition appears to be that of a couple in the act of love making. The pair appears not grounded in reality, but is rather surrounded by a sea of green and pink polka dots and a multitude of pink-hued bands of white, arranged in a variety of forms that is resemble of neon signage. Within the yellow-orange silhouette of the female figure, one finds the contours of a seated man sitting amongst a rocky landscape with a shovel resting on his shoulder. This overlapping of the rural man within the silhouettes of the sensual couple offers a stunning juxtaposition between the communal and the intimate, the public and the private, of virtue and vice; the didactics of man. What is revealed upon close observation is often lost in the initial glimpse. Gutman’s mastery in fusing together his diverse subject matters through form and color allows him to hide details within his paintings, which are only revealed when one carefully digests each piece.

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Bryan Gutman, Highway Dreaming, 2014

Likewise, the painting Highway Dreaming utilizes imagery that, on first observation, may be lost on the viewer. What is immediately recognizable, however, is the nude female figure that is situated just above the center of the composition. The figure is rendered in a deep dark blue with her contours marked in neon-purple sign-like delineations. She inhabits a shape reminiscent of a rearview mirror and, paired with the title of the painting and its relatively bare surrounds, which consists of a gradual transition of yellow-green to red-orange, one can adopt the perspective of a man that is lost in thought while travelling down a barren desert highway. Gutman’s paintings transport the viewer to another world, to one that flawlessly fuses fantasy with reality.

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

If one is well versed in art history, the subject matter of Gutman’s Olympia is easier to identify. The center of the composition features the reclining nude of Édouard Manet’s Olympia, reduced here to a series of black contour lines that outline the figure and the setting in which she is situated. The outer boundary of the painting, consisting of ambiguous abstracted forms rendered in varying degrees of cool blues and purples with hints of red and yellow, is inspired by the work of Parisian avant-garde artist, Jean DuBuffet. What may be overlooked on first observation is the silhouette of Vincent van Gogh as seen in his painting Self Portrait in a Straw Hat. The silhouette of van Gogh, which contains Manet’s Olympia, is only noticeable when the viewer disregards its nude inhabitant and the painting’s elaborate peripheries, opting instead to focus on the yellow coloring that fills the area of van Gogh’s portrait. Layering these works together, Gutman offers the viewer a timeline of artistic achievement spanning roughly 150 years, which highlights three pivotal art movements and three innovative artists.

© MG Bryan Head Shot-BEST

Photo of the artist (c) Miranda Gatgewood Photography

Bryan Gutman is a fine artist who lives and works in Patchogue, NY. He received a BFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and a MFA from Brooklyn College in New York. He is the Owner and Co-Founder of Fee-Fi-Faux, Inc., a decorative painting, handmade tile and wallpaper business, alongside his wife Tina Folks. His artwork has been exhibited across Long Island at the Patchogue Arts Gallery, Heckscher Museum, East Ends Arts Council, and Guild Hall. Gutman is an active member of East Ends Arts and Patchogue Arts Council.

Jay Schuck


Photo of Bryan Gutman © Miranda Gatewood Photography

All images courtesy of the artist

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JULY 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Wood, Waves & Words a solo exhibition highlighting the recent works of sculptor John Cino. Upon invitation from the Patchogue Arts Council’s Board of Trustees, Cino showcases his sculpture in the exhibition space of the Patchogue Arts Council as he introduces his artwork to the community. The exhibition features a dozen sculpted works completed by the artist within the past year, including several pieces completed during a recent artist residency at Stony Brook University. Several sculptures in the exhibition incorporate a variety of sounds and languages, creating three-dimensional structures that stimulate not only the viewer’s sense of sight and space, but also one’s sense of sound as well. The viewer becomes fully immersed within the exhibition.

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John Cino, Wafting: Padouk #1, 2016

For the artist, a carved wooden sculpture recounts the story of a tree’s life through its unique grain patterning. By highlighting the unique grain pattern from each piece of lumber he uses, Cino gives his source material new life. Through his sculpture, the artist also simultaneously recalls memories of his childhood. As a boy, Cino would often spend hours climbing trees and reading books in them. Many works included in the exhibition, such as Wafting: Padouk #1, are slender, freestanding, wave-like sculptures that ripple and flow vertically toward the sky. For this body of work, the artist draws inspiration from the natural flow of the ocean’s waves that ascends and recedes on the many shores of Long Island, an action that often fascinated the artist as a child. Cino renders his sculptures as if each piece is dancing to its own song or is drifting among the ocean’s waves.

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John Cino, Song Wave, 2014

Several pieces in the exhibition incorporate hidden speakers that project different sounds and languages. For his sound pieces, the artist craves into his rectangular slabs of timber, creating rhythmic waves-like gestures that are seen through the voids that are left behind. The carved works are then embedded into bases that conceal the artist’s sound system. One such piece, Song Wave, was created with the aid of a New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Grant that was administered through the Huntington Arts Council. For Song Wave, the sounds that are projected are songs sung by humpback whales. Likewise, the artist includes four sound sculptures from his recent residency at Stony Brook University. Entitled, Dialogue with each individual sculpture taking the subtitle of its respected material, the works are composed of freestanding slabs of wood with two incised lines that runs through each piece. For the current exhibition, the voices projected from each of these sculptures recite random passages from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and Reverend Dwight Lee Wolter’s “Peace Chant,” which were originally incorporated into Song Wave’s whale song recording.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple, 2016

John Cino is the Chair of the Patchogue Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee as well as its Director of Programing. He has been the lead curator of the Patchogue Arts Council since its inception in 2008 and has introduced many artists to the Patchogue community over the years. He received his MFA in Sculpture from CUNY Hunter College and his BFA from Stony Brook University. His artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout the New York area at venues such as the Islip Art Museum, Omni Gallery, and the Vanderbilt Museum. His public sculpture, The Library of Babel, is currently situated outside of the Patchogue-Medford Library.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple (detail), 2016

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. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in addition to an annual juried members exhibition.

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino is on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery from July 9 to August 21. An artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, July 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The reception is free and open to the public.

Jay Schuck

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