“You Are Here” at the Patchogue-Medford Library

A VARIENT OF THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE MARCH 2017 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue-Medford Library is a series of black and white, site-specific photographs by Dan Lachacz. The series of work, collectively titled You Are Here, finds the artist using the exhibition venue as his subject matter, as he alters the space until it no longer looks familiar. The photographs are similar to site-specific installations in which an artist creates a new body of work specifically for a designated exhibition space. The exhibition is the fifth of its kind with the artist previously exhibiting his site-specific photography at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, Islip Art Museum, Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company, and the Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery.

Each composition consists of multiple contrasting points that draw the viewer in as Lachacz juxtaposes light with dark, color with shadow, and space with closure. The distorted images of unreal qualities and obscure angles create a sense of intimacy for the viewer, igniting his or her desire to explore the composition and its many stimulating facets. With his photographs, Lachacz presents the exhibition space from unconventional angles, unique perspectives, and other, unconventional points of view. By distorting the perspective in which the venue is normally perceived, the artist challenges the viewer to re-evaluate his or her surroundings, making the viewer conscious of the space he or she occupies.

The settings of some of Lachacz’s photographs are easier to interpret than others. A passing glance at Site-Specific Photograph #6 reveals that the artist has situated himself within the biographical section of Patchogue-Medford Library. Two towering shelves, filled to the brim with books, recede deep within the compositional space to a point just to the left of the vertical axis. The strong orthogonal lines meet at a point well below the horizontal axis, allowing the stacks of book to loom large, well above the created point of view. On closer observation, the viewer can determine some of the Library’s extensive catalogue of biographies including books on Cy Young, Don Zimmer, and Emile Zola. Like many of Lachacz’s photographs, the work’s intriguing perspective pulls the viewer in, imbuing him or her with the desire to study the finer qualities that are hidden within.

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Dan Lachacz, Site-Specific Photograph #6, 2017

Likewise, Site-Specific Photograph #4 is another photograph where the setting is instantly recognizable at a passing glance. The picture finds the artist situated at the top of a set of stairs, which leads the viewer to the lower level of the library. The photograph is symmetrically balanced with the vanishing point found in the center of the composition. The strong vertical line of the central banister divides the photograph into two equal halves. The work has a triangular motif as the walls close in on either side of the picture plane, which opens up a space that is wider at the bottom of the photograph and narrower at the top. Although the work’s setting is familiar, the point in which it is perceived is unique to the inquisitive mind of the artist.

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Dan Lachacz, Site-Specific Photograph #4, 2017

In other works, however, Lachacz directly challenges the viewer to determine his settings and subject matter. One such example of this can be found in Site-Specific Photograph #5, which renders a section of a carved, wooden sculpture situated against a brick and mortar wall. The work is a stunning array of contrasts between smooth and rough surfaces, lights and shadows, and of curved and rigid shapes. The subject matter appears familiar, but unusual, as the artist has omitted some of its more recognizable features. The artist dares the viewer to be mindful of his or her surroundings, opening his or her eyes to the insignificant features of the exhibition space that have blended into the background.

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Dan Lachacz, Site-Specific Photograph #5, 2017

Dan Lachacz is a fine arts photographer from Patchogue, NY. He is an Assistant Director of New York Contemporary Artists Symposium and Co-President of Criterion Contemporary. He is a 2010 alumnus of the New York Foundation for the Arts’ MARK program and has had his artwork exhibited nationally and internationally by the East End Arts Council in Riverhead, Patchogue Arts Gallery, Islip Art Museum, and the Museum of Satu Mare in Romania.

The Patchogue-Medford Library is a School District Public Library serving the residents of the Patchogue-Medford community. The Patchogue-Medford Library is committed to providing resources and opportunities that empower, educate and entertain the community. The library features 12 monthly exhibitions per year in their lower level lobby that highlight the artwork of local artists and various arts organizations. You Are Here, featuring the photography of Dan Lachacz, is on display at the Patchogue-Medford Library during the month of March 2017.

Jay Schuck


Photo Credits
All images are courtesy of Dan Lachacz
© Dan Lachacz 2017

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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Fabric and Fibers: Quilted Works by Claudia Mirzaali

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

On display at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. is Fabric and Fibers, a solo exhibition featuring a series of quilted works by fiber artist Claudia Mirzaali. In this body of work, Mirzaali utilizes the vibrant colors and textures of fabric and fibers, often incorporating found natural objects, to create naturescapes that are inspired by the scenic environment of Long Island.

Mirzaali is inspired by the natural, local, and familiar, which are always in a constant state of change. As the seasons change so do the colors of the leaves from a vibrant green to an auburn red, as they slowly fall off the trees only to be reborn anew in a continual rhythmic system. The color patterning of Mirzaali’s artwork often evokes the seasonal changes or natural landscapes of her subject matter. Exemplary of this is Memories of an Autumn Day, which is a fanciful patchwork of reds, yellows and oranges that are mixed with a varying degree of greens, browns and blues. The blue patterning near the top of the composition is representative of the vivacious blue sky that one can find on any given fall day while the greens and browns near the lower third of the composition is representative of the grass and earth. In between these two sections, the artist fills the composition with a splendid mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows, which is indicative of the stunning autumn sunlight that reflects off of the changing tree leaves. Stitched over this patchwork arrangement, the artist sews in a stemming swirl of curves, which appears to be reminiscent of the veins of a leaf. Upon seeing the work, the viewer can feel the seasonal changes that the artist is expressing through her patchwork imagery.

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Claudia Mirzaali, Memories of an Autumn Day, 2013

In addition to her fabric and fibers, the artist incorporates found natural objects to further enhance the notion of representation. One such example of this is My Little Slice of Paradise, which is a seascape that could be representative of either Long Island’s South Shore, Sound of the North Shore, East End or the North Fork. In the piece, the artist uses light blue fabrics near the top of the composition to signify the sky and dark blue fabrics, mixed with lighter blues and whites, to signify the crashing and receding waves that wash up upon the shore. In the bottom right hand corner, on an inclined angle, is the beach, which is peppered with small seashells that adds to the overall texture of the piece. Upon viewing the work, one is transported to a warmer climate and to a more serene state of mind.

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Claudia Mirzaali, My Little Slice of Paradise, 2015

Claudia Mirzaali is a quilter and fiber artist from Patchogue, NY. She received a B.S. Ed. and a M.S. Ed. in Art Education from Buffalo State College in 1980 and 1982 respectively, and currently manages photography at St. Joseph’s College. Her artwork focuses on capturing the visual elements of color, contrast, and texture through fibers, fabric, and other materials. She is fascinated by the scenic nature of Long Island, often incorporating her surroundings into her artwork to create textual naturescapes. Mirzaali’s artwork has been exhibited locally at the Patchogue Arts Gallery, Islip Art Museum, ArtSpace and the Board Room Gallery at St. Joseph’s College.

The Patchogue Arts Council 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 weekly open mic nights on Fridays and a monthly poetry night on the first Saturday of every month.

Fabric and Fibers: Quilted Works by Claudia Mirzaali is on display at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. now through January 9, 2017. An opening reception for the exhibition is scheduled for Sunday, December 11, from 2 – 4 P.M. The reception is free and open to the public.

Jay Schuck


Image Credits
All images are courtesy of the artist
© Claudia Mirzaali

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3rd International Artist Residency Comes to Long Island

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

For the third time in five years, the Islip Art Museum brought a group of international artists to Long Island for it’s two-week long New York Contemporary Art Symposium (NYCAS). Unlike previous residencies, which included artists from around the world, NYCAS 2016 focused on a specific country, bringing five Chilean artists to New York from September 19 to October 3. For this year’s residency, the Islip Art Museum collaborated with International Meeting of Art, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the arts and cultural exchange while encouraging, supporting, and facilitating the possibility for artists of all mediums and different cultures to work together. The 2016 NYCAS artists included Andrés Achavar, Ignacio Castillo, Paloma Gómez, Marcela Zamorano González, and Nico Huidobro. Like previous residencies, the participants were invited to exhibit their artwork across Long Island and experience all that New York culturally has to offer.

The residency featured a group of artists working in a variety of mediums. Andrés Achavar is a fine watercolorist whose work focuses on the beauty of the everyday. His paintings capture the essence of his subject matters that occupy a brief moment of time, as each work is bathed in a rich atmospheric light that encapsulates its setting. His figures are expressionless, devoid of individualistic features, as they go about their everyday-activities in urban and sub-urban street scenes or interior settings that project a moment plucked from time, forever frozen in watercolor.

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Andrés Achavar, West 20th Street, 2016

Ignacio Castillo’s work is a reaction to the increasing industrialization of his hometown of Santiago City. His small-scale ceramic sculptures rise from the grounds in which they are fired. Some figures tower over the smaller ones, casting them in shadows. These figures, like Achavar’s, are featureless, standing representative of the everyman. His subject matter is not the figures themselves, but the expressions and emotions they project through their poses, gestures, and colors.

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Ignacio Castillo, Art Energetic Gnapo, 2016

Working in oil paint, Paloma Gómez’s subject matter alternates between the abstract and the representational. She is inspired by the relationships between man and their environments as well as their interpersonal interactions. For the basis of each painting, she uses her own sketches, photographs and imagination as references. She builds up the layers of her compositions with vibrant colors until she feels each canvas is complete. Her Headphones and Nocturno series captures sub-urban street scenes at night with her figures and landscapes saturated in the afterglow of street laps that dance across the night sky. Although painted on a squared piece of canvas, her compositions are circular as if the scene is viewed through a hole in a screen.

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Paloma Gómez, Headphones XIV, 2016

In her photography, Marcela Zamorano González turns her camera lens towards what is often overlooked. Broken bottles, graffiti riddled buildings, and the average passerby are all subjects utilized by the artist as she structures her compositions with strong vertical and horizontal lines that zigzag across the picture plane. By turning her attention to the mundane, the artist draws attention to the hidden beauty of the world around her, highlighting it for all to see while urging the viewers to be observant of their surroundings as well.

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Marcela Zamorano González, Untitled, 2015

In his artwork, Nico Huidobro utilizes expression as an interpretive medium with which he attempts to concentrate on the present moment and current happenings of his surroundings. His paintings are visual expressions of his reactions towards music, the people around him, and the conditions of his environment. His works are impulsive and whimsical, created on the fly or at a moment’s notice.

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Nico Huidobro, Untitled, 2016

NYCAS 2016, an Islip Art Museum and International Meeting of Art Collaboration, is a two-week long, international artist residency program based in East Islip, NY. The bi-annual residency seeks to encourage and improve the cultural exchange between participating artists and collaborating communities. In 2016, the Islip Art Museum hosted five Chilean artists working in a variety of mediums from September 19 to October 3. These artists exhibited their paintings, photographs, and sculpture at the Islip Art Museum, Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery in Bay Shore, and the Patchogue Arts Gallery throughout September and October. Additionally, their work is currently on display in the exhibition Made in Chile at Toast Coffeehouse in Patchogue until December 28.

Jay Schuck


Photo Credits
Images of Paloma Gómez and Marcela Zamorano González artwork courtesy of Patchogue Arts Council

Images of Andrés Achavar, Ignacio Castillo, and Nico Huidobro artwork courtesy of Islip Art Museum

Ceramics in the Community | Tina Folks

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

Tina Folks is a Patchogue-based fine artist who works in ceramics and public art projects. Inspired by primitive art, along with her fascination for rituals that honor the natural world, Folks’ art is an expression of spiritual growth and the interconnected energies between Mother Earth and her inhabitants. Folks’ artwork incorporates the ideas from various civilizations that emphasize the importance of personal growth, spiritual awakening, and community togetherness.

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Tina Folks, Reptilian Totems, 2012

Working in red clay, Folks sculpts pedestal-based Animal Totems and Kachina Dolls that are inspired by the sculptures of primal and indigenous cultures. Each sculpture is unique and has personal significance to the artist. In her totems, the Reptilian Totems, the crocodile represents the artist’s personal spiritual animal, which in many cultures signifies the primal energies of birth and initiation. Her Kachina Dolls are inspired by the kachina dolls of the Arizona-based, Native American Hopi tribe, which represent different spiritual entities that are believed to be present in all living being. Folks creates ceramic sculptures that fuse animal with man, which are then decorated with inventive color palettes and fabric textures of the artist’s own design. Her figures encourage the viewer to contemplate on the indigenous culture’s rich history as well as his or her own relationship with the natural world and those that occupy it.

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Tina Folks, Kachina Dolls, 2013

Due to working as a solitary artist in the confines of her studio, Folks felt the need to become involved in something that was larger than her. Since the turn of the century, she has been engaged in multiple community projects that promote pride as well as personal and communal growth within one’s environment. Some of her earliest community projects include the 2000 The Community Wall Mosaic completed in conjunction with the East End Arts Council in Riverhead and 2002 9-11 Memorial Mosaic held at the Westhampton Beach Middle School. Through the East End Arts’ JumpstART program, Folks initiated the WE ARE ALL CONNECTED experiential fire ceremony. The ceremony incorporated 4 ceramic totem sculptures that acted as ‘spirit keepers.’ Each sculpture was placed alongside a circle, like points on a compass, alongside a circle, of which the public were invited to occupy. The circle symbolized the infinite cycle of life and the artist highlighted the connection that one has with his or her own spirit as well as one another by having the public stand alongside its parameter. The multi-media event included a drum circle and fire ceremony where the public was invited to write down their betterments for themselves and the community onto a piece of paper that they could then throw into the fire. Folks later brought her WE ARE ALL CONNECTED fire ceremony to her hometown of Patchogue in the fall of 2014 during the village’s PAC MAC Festival.

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Tina Folks, WE ARE ALL CONNECTED – Riverhead, 2014

Currently, Folks is collaborating with Gallery North on their MAKE YOUR MARK community garden wall project. The initiative invites children, adults, families, and professional artists together to decorate their own 6-inch stoneware tiles that will be permanently installed on the grounds of Gallery North. The next MAKE YOUR MARK workshop with the artist will be held at the Community Art Center of Gallery North on September 10th and 11th from 10 – 5PM, as part of the organization’s annual Out Door Art Show. Tiles cost $100 to decorate and install on the garden wall or $50 to decorate and take home. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help expand the arts programming of Gallery North.

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Community tiles from MAKE YOUR MARK, 2016

Tina Folks is a fine artist who lives and works in Patchogue, NY. She received a BA from Marrymount College in Tarrytown, NY and a BFA from Parson School of Design in New York City. She is the Owner and Co-Founder of Fee-Fi-Faux, Inc., a decorative painting, handmade tile and wallpaper business, alongside her husband Bryan Gutman. She has served on the Board of Directors of East Ends Arts from 2010 – 2014 and was a mentor to the East End Arts’ JumpstART program in 2015. Currently, Folks is an active member of the Art League of Long Island and the Patchogue Arts Council.

Jay Schuck

© Miranda Gatewood-4331 Class shot

MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop with Tina Folks, 2016, photo credit: Miranda Gatewood Photography


Photo Credit
Photographs of MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop © Miranda Gatewood Photography
All images courtesy of the artist

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.

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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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