Leonardo da Vinci Art Talk at Patchogue-Medford Library

I’ll be leading a discussion on the High Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci at the Patchogue-Medford Library on Wednesday, February 1, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM. The talk is designed for those with little to no prior knowledge of art history and for those with an interest in the art produced during the High Italian Renaissance, specifically the artwork of Leonardo da Vinci.

Artists of this period are known for their close observation of the natural world and the human body, their sophisticated use of iconography, and their innovations in composition, perspective, and design. Come learn about the quintessential “Renaissance Man,” as we examine his paintings and discuss his artwork in an informal setting. This seminar will examine select works of art by Leonardo da Vinci including: the Virgin of the Rocks, Lady with an Ermine, Last Supper, Mona Lisa, and more.

More information regarding the talk can be found here.

For those interested in registering for the event, please find the registration link here, or call the Patchogue-Medford Library at 631-654-4700.

Decadence | Soft Pastels by Courtney Young

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on display at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. is Decadence, a solo exhibition featuring a series of still life, pastel paintings by Courtney Young. In this body of work, Young focuses on the rich decadency of comfort food. For the artist, these photorealistic, larger-than-life depictions of her subject matter convey the emotional significance that we as a people place on food in our everyday lives.

Choosing subject matters that are rich in color and texture, Young takes her photographic references and brings them into the studio where she crafts inspiring compositions that serve as faithful representations of their real-world counterparts. Young strives to recreate the memories of her favorite childhood foods, while evoking hunger in others. Sections of her paintings are consciously blurred, which consequentially sharpens other aspects of her works. This conscious blurring, for the artist, creates a sense of emphasis while also conveying a loss of clarity that often occurs if one is an emotional eater and uses food to fill a void.

Her painting Breakfast for Dinner depicts two, larger-than-life, fluffy waffles that are overrun by butter, jam, and maple syrup. The painting is such a faithful depiction of its subject matter that it becomes challenging for the viewer to believe that the work is not a photograph. The accompanying plate and fork are rendered out of focus, allowing the viewer to tantalizingly study the hyper-realistic food that is presented. The composition is bathed in light, creating a stunning array of depth within the work. The viewer is instantly pulled into the painting, and becomes lost in the mesmerizing coffers of the waffles that ooze with melting butter, savory syrup, and succulent jam preserves. Young’s painting has a tranquil quality, inspiring notions of a simpler time such as Sunday brunch with one’s family or, as suggested by the title, the childhood treat of having breakfast for dinner.

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Courtney Young, Breakfast for Dinner, 2014

The viewer often craves the food depicted in Young’s paintings. Another work in the exhibition, Guilty Pleasure, portrays three powdered, jelly-filled doughnut holes stacked atop one another. In the blurred background, the viewer can observe several more jelly-filled pastries alongside a tall, thirst-quenching, glass of milk. The work is so detailed, with the artist going through the trouble of accurately rendering the flaky pockets of dough, the minute specks of powdered sugar, and the translucent, sticky texture of the jelly that oozes out of the fried dough. There is a notion of defined elegance within the painting as Young’s low-pointed perspective establishes a monumentality that is not typically accustomed to unhealthy, junk food. Still, by carefully arranging her constructed composition, coupled with the artist’s masterful lighting and attention to detail, Young emphasizes the dominant role food, especially comfort food, has in some people’s daily lives.

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Courtney Young, Guilty Pleasure, 2015

Courtney Young is a fine artist from Bay Shore, NY. She received her MA in Art Education from Adelphi University and is currently a MFA Candidate at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Her artwork has been exhibited across Long Island with select exhibitions at the Heckscher Museum of Art, Islip Art Museum, and the Anthony Giordano Gallery. Young is an active member of the Pastel Society of America, the Art League of Long Island, and the Patchogue Arts Council.

The Patchogue Arts Council (PAC) is 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 Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company created the PAC Members Gallery at Roast in the summer of 2013 as an alternative exhibition venue where PAC members can exhibit their artwork. In addition to exhibiting artwork and brewing award-winning coffee, Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. hosts a monthly poetry night on the first Saturday of every month.

Decadence: Soft Pastels by Courtney Young is on display at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. now through March 5, 2017. An opening reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Sunday, February 5, from 2 – 4 P.M. The reception is free and open to the public. For more information on Courtney Young, visit http://www.courtneyyoungart.com.

Jay Schuck


Image Credits
All images are courtesy of the artist
© Courtney Young

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Elemental Exposures

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JANUARY 2017 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

On view in the Museum Store exhibition space of the Islip Art Museum is Elemental Exposures, a solo exhibition featuring a selection of abstract photographs by Scott Farrell. For Farrell, photography provides an artist the ability to capture the veracity of an object, while also allowing that artist the opportunity to create abstract representations of his or her subject matter. Although his photographs in this exhibition are abstract representations of real world objects and natural landscapes, Farrell is concerned with capturing the integrity of his subject matter through the object’s texture, tone, lighting and compositional arrangement within the camera lens.

Farrell’s images are not digitally manipulated, but by removing the notion of setting through an elaborate technique of cropping and framing, the artist abstracts his images while challenging the viewer to determine and interpret what he or she is observing. The photograph Antediluvian 3513 is one such example of this technique. The image appears to render a frozen body of water of which the sheet of ice has fragmented and fractured throughout the composition. The cool palette of the photograph shifts from a pale, white-blue hue, as seen in the bottom left-hand corner of the composition, to a deeply rich dark-blue that is found in the top right-hand section. The color scheme and almost metal appearance of the body of water could easily lead the viewer to determine that, on first glance, he or she is examining a detail of a metallic surface or some other reflective object.

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Scott Farrell, Antediluvian 3513, 2015

Farrell turns to nature for his abstract revelations. His artwork emphasizes his subject matter’s exposure to the elemental forces of nature over a period of time. Another work in the exhibition, Great Plains Genesis 3104, is the artist’s abstract representation of the formation and evolution of the Great Plains and grasslands of the American Mid-West. Four-fifths of the photograph is composed of a pale, concrete sky consisting of white, brown, and blue-ish hues, which has chipped, cracked, and eroded over time. The lower fifth of the composition comprises of a rust-brown earth color that offers a nice juxtaposition against the pale, craquelure-like surface of the section above. By focusing on the fractures in the surface of his subject matter, Farrell invites the viewer to contemplate the causes of these reactions, whether they are natural or man-made.

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Scott Farrell, Great Plains Genesis 3104, 2015

Through light refractions, Farrell turns his attention to the cosmos. Supernova 1723 is the artist’s abstraction representation of the stars and other interstellar bodies that occupy the Universe. The image captures refractions of light, emitted by the sun, as seen off the pond waters of Cape Cod. The sunlight reflect and dance off the water as shadows are cast and seen through the crystal, clear surface onto the sea floor. Although the artist turns his lens away from the sky, Farrell reminds the viewer that forces outside the Earth’s atmosphere have a great influence on shaping its environment.

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Scott Farrell, Supernova 1723, 2015

Scott Farrell is a fine arts photographer from Long Island, NY. His subject matter varies from natural and urban landscapes to abstraction. Since 2012, his artwork has been exhibited across Long Island, including select exhibitions at the North Shore Arts Guild in Port Jefferson, Southampton Cultural Center in Southampton, and Alex Ferrone Photography Gallery in Cutchogue, amongst others. He is an active member of the Huntington Arts Council, East End Arts, and East End Photographers Group.

Museum Curatorial & Exhibitions Assistant/Jr. Curator Eric Murphy curated Elemental Exposures. The exhibition is the result of Slide Slam 2016, an Islip Art Museum initiative that invited artists to present and discuss their artwork with an audience of artists, curators, and other arts professionals. Farrell, among a select group of artists, was invited to exhibit his artwork in a solo exhibition at the Islip Art Museum in 2017. The exhibition runs in conjunction with the museum’s main exhibition, The Structure of Things, curated by Beth Giacummo. Both exhibitions are on display at the Islip Art Museum from January 15 to March 12, 2017 with a reception on January 28, from 7 – 10 PM.

Jay Schuck

Image Credits
All images courtesy of the Islip Art Museum
© Scott Farrell