Tag Archive | "art"

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Born Just Now documentary At Pompano Cultural Center Sept. 26

Posted on 19 September 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

For Marta Jovanović, art is everything. Her medium of choice is herself, whether she is smashing eggs, being tied up, or having pig hearts pelt her body. Her performance art is entrancing and inviting, as she welcomes the viewer into what she is trying to convey. She covers topics from what it is to be a woman and an artist, to finding beauty in unique places, to the brutality and heartbreak of war and conflict.

The unfolding of her story is brilliantly told by documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto. With captivating and, at times, disturbing visuals, he follows the life of this Serbian artist, who has suffered through an abusive relationship, the misunderstanding of her work and the accusation that she has wasted her life on art rather than creating a family.

You can feel her angst, her anger brewing inside waiting to bubble out. Like a rebel punk, Jovanović is filled with fury but, instead of exploding it out, she channels it in specific and thought-provoking ways that push the boundaries. She sets fire to convention in the same way she lights her old wedding dress on fire, burning away thoughts of her ex-husband and letting that dream that once was die away, while perhaps unveiling something about relationships and what they should and should not be.

There is a certain freedom in it and that is something she seems to have in spades, but does she really? Like all of us, she struggles with her own identity, but, in her case, she holds it up, like an open wound for the world to see, throwing caution to the wind and shoving it in the faces of art-loving bystanders whether they like it or not.

Documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto.

Adanto has created another masterpiece with this film. Like his previous films: The Rising Tide, Pearls on the Ocean Floor, City of Memory and The F Word, Born Just Now focuses on art and culture and makes celluloid magic. His films have been shown in over 40 international festivals, as well as having exhibitions in museums and elsewhere worldwide. Adanto is a fellow of the Sundance Institute Documentary Program and earned his MFA in Acting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He was the head of the Film and TV Production program at NSU University School from 2012 to 2016, but now is teaching speech & debate and Model UN at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, NY.

Adanto met Jovanović in 2013 when doing follow-up interviews for The F Word, which explores feminist performance. One of the people he interviewed suggested maybe adding Jovanović into the mix for that film, but when he read a book she gave him about Jovanović, he realized that her work would be better showcased in a film all its own. He spoke with her and decided to start shooting in 2016. Production began in Belgrade and he had a small crew of locals there help him with shooting, in addition to shots he had a second cinematographer capture in New York.

Born Just Now made its UK-premiere last week in London and will be screening in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the end of the month. Clips from his past art documentaries are in a special exhibition at the Art & Culture Center in Hollywood called F.A.R. (Female Artists Revealed), which will be on display until Oct. 27.

Born Just Now is coming here to the Pompano Beach Cultural Center (50 W. Atlantic Blvd., in Pompano Beach) on Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. as part of their Montage film series. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.ccpompano.org.

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Exploring the cosmos with artist Carol Prusa

Posted on 31 August 2019 by LeslieM

Artist Carol Prusa stands in front of “Dark Light, Elegy for Rebecca Elson.”

By Rachel Galvin
Light and its absence are at the heart of Carol Prusa’s latest exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. What lies within the void is the question… what possibility lurks outside of the reach of mind’s eye? What was there before the beginning of the universe? Finding the answers to these questions certainly were within the mind of Prusa as she was creating her works with painstaking precision. Her artwork utilizes details, lines, shapes and symmetry to explore the abstract. Her “Dark Light” exhibition, which opened Aug. 20 and will be on display until Jan. 19, 2020, centers around her experiences of an eclipse.
“I got to experience the night during the day. The first was in Nebraska in 2017. It was so unsettling, so otherworldly. I had to try to grasp what I had just experienced. It knocked me backward. I had to lose my grounding. I had to try to express it the best way I could. I just went again in July 2019 to Chile. I had to see it again, to see if what I thought I saw, I saw,” said Prusa, who is now hoping to experience volcanoes. She has applied to do so at the Hawaii National Volcano Park, where they have just reopened residency.
When not creating works of art about the cosmos, she is reading about women who explored the cosmos in other ways, astronauts who have made vast discoveries, women like Maria Mitchell, who was not only the first female astronomer but the first scientist to discover a comet, among other accomplishments. Mitchell also seemed enamored with eclipses, as she led an all female expedition to Colorado in 1878 to observe one.
“I read a lot of cosmology and physics, big ideas that totally blow my mind,” said Prusa, adding that she likes to explore ideas like what was before the Big Bang, as well as string theory and more.
“It has to be that I don’t understand and then try to understand,” she said. “I need a catalyst to trigger …”
She added, “I love riding a bike at night. You think you see things. It is your mind buzzing, trying to fill the blanks. It is mind blowing. I think artists already are staring into darkness, scientists too.”
She was in Italy teaching drawing classes, and, while at the Uffizi Museum, she got to see drawings done with a process called Silverpoint, which she then began teaching her students and incorporated into her own work. She also uses graphite and acrylic working on plexiglass and wood panels. Some of her pieces in the museum exhibit are lit from within and one, called “Quintessence,” even has video, looking a bit like a kaleidoscope. The most imposing piece is a large scale work called “Dark Light, Elegy for Rebecca Elson,” who was a theoretical astrophysicist whose research focused on dark matter and who died of lymphoma.
With her “Cosmic Web (for the Harvard Observatory Computers)” piece, you feel like you are on the outside looking in.
She explained, “The perimeter is biological, a portal to the universe,” she said, adding that what looks a bit like brain matter around the edge was meant to look like “embryos before they are differentiated by gender. They are pure possibility.”
The “computers” of which she speaks are a group of female astronomers in the 1800s and 1900s who helped map the universe, including Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin.
She also has a series of smaller copperplate etchings honoring women astronomers, including Maria Mitchell, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Vera Rubin and Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The portfolio is called “Galaxias Kyklos,” which means “Milky Path” (or Milky Way) in Greek.
Kathleen Goncharov, the Senior Curator of the Museum, curated the exhibit. If it were up to Prusa, her pieces would be logical, perhaps chronological and certainly lined up. But the curator thought about it differently, said Prusa, looking more at the visual impact experienced by the viewer.
Executive Director Irvin Lippman feels the exhibit came together in the perfect way at the perfect time, being that it deals with the cosmos just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
“How timely … with the eclipse with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It is a bit of serendipity. We are also keen in the educational department to talk about the value of STEAM (science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Carol makes the best argument for arts and technology coming together. She is a brilliant example of the scientific mind and creativity coming together.”
He added, “The museum was founded by artists and it’s very important to continue to have exhibits that celebrate Florida artists. Carol has been so involved for many years judging juried shows, at the museum and art school. It is important to show her work.”
While looking over the collection of her artwork, Lippman said, “When you approach it, it’s so meditative. When an eclipse happens, everything else falls by the wayside. They last only a few moments, but, during those moments, everyone focuses together. [The center point of her pieces] draw you inside. [It has] almost meditative spots.”
This is the first solo show here for Prusa, but she has been involved in group shows here in the past, as well as elsewhere. She will be shown in the Norton Sculpture Garden next fall and has a show in Taipei in a couple of weeks. She is in many galleries and is represented in Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States.
She lives here in Boca Raton, but moved here in 1999 from the midwest after reading an article written by Bernice Steinbaum, who said that South Florida was the place to be for the art world.

“Cosmic Web (for the Harvard Observatory Computers)” by Carol Prusa. Submitted photo.

Asked if she felt that Steinbaum was correct, she said, “I felt more opportunity than in the midwest. There is more money to support art in South Florida. But it was more commercial than I understood … that was a transition. I think I have done well. I feel fortunate.”
Prusa wasn’t always an artist.
“I was the president of the math club and a chemistry major. I was happy. I met an artist at the University of Illinois. She thought in such a different way. I thought I could not become a complete person unless I studied art,” said Prusa, who received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Illinois and her Masters of Fine Art from Drake University.
She ended up obtaining a biomedical communications degree. She became a Medical Illustrator, which combines science and art. She was qualified to “make life masks, prosthetics, exhibition design, anatomy drawings” and more.
Her family was not so thrilled with her career path. She came from a very religious and iconoclast upbringing. Her father was a Calvinist, a head elder. She said she felt that tradition did give her “great rigor,” which she applied to her career, as she explored other ways of thinking than those she knew.
These days, Prusa does her work in her studio but it was not always the case.
“I used to work in my living room. Now, I have a 15 x 30 studio built in the backyard,” she said, saying she built the studio after winning the South Florida Cultural Consortium $15,000 top prize in 2003. She later received another consortium prize for $7500.
When working on her pieces, she likes to listen to NPR.
“It takes a piece of my mind away so my mind can be more Zen. The judgmental and critical mind drops away and is given over to NPR.”
When not working on her works of art, Prusa is a professor at the Florida Atlantic University teaching all levels of painting for undergraduate and graduate level. She has worked there for 19 years, but worked for 18 years prior teaching at Iowa State University. She has a husband and two children.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art is located within Mizner Park at 501 Plaza Real in Boca Raton. For more information on the museum, visit www.bocamuseum.org or call 561-392-2500. For more information on the artist, visit www.carolprusa.com.

Guests attend opening of the “Dark Light” exhibit on Aug. 20.

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FLICKS: Award nominees inspired by art, history & story

Posted on 17 January 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

One of the fringe benefits of the awards season is the emphasis upon classic movies that have won awards or have been nominated for films in the past. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will feature 31 days of Oscars, which presents 24 hours and seven days a week of Oscar-associated movies. Given that the Golden Idol is now 91 years old, you can witness an interesting visual history of humanity, themes and pop culture.

Released in 1945 and based on a best-selling novel by Ben Ames Williams, Leave Her to Heaven earned an Academy Award for Best Cinematography (Color), which featured shot composition and colorization inspired by the American Realism Art Movement (Check out the Edward Hopper oil canvas “Nighthawks.”) While nominated for two more technical awards, Leave Her to Heaven earned Gene Tierney a best actress nomination.

Top billed Tierney portrays Ellen, a narcissistic femme fatale who woos handsome writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) after dating political lackey Russell Quinton (Vincent Price). The film is incredibly dated as Cornel Wilde and Vincent Price are seen relaxing in a rustic setting wearing neckties with starched shirts and double breasted suits.

Beneath the award-winning cinematography, Leave Her To Heaven is a dark movie. You can witness a passive aggressive abortion and the drowning of the handicapped brother of Cornel Wilde. Both sequences are hard to watch seven decades after they were filmed, for the horror of the mind’s eye is filled in by what is not seen.

It is the terror of the mind’s eye that has made A Quiet Place a critic’s darling with award nominations. Directed and co-written by John Krasinski, this film stars his wife, Emily Blunt. The movie opens 89 days after the alien apocalypse and a family quietly forages for food. The alien invaders are blind as a bat, but with sonar hearing and their diet is humans. With minimal dialogue and abundant use of American sign language, we witness a family quietly adapting to their dangerous world.

A Quiet Place works on so many levels: story strength, character development and keen visualization. Like last year’s best screenplay winner, Get Out, A Quiet Place works as a metaphor for a society that is afraid to speak out.

Both Leave Her to Heaven and A Quiet Place are as diverse movies as one can see, but both films truly represent the time periods in which they were produced. Fortunately, for Broward County residents, both DVDs of these movies can be found for free at your local library.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

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On the Move with Artist Laurence Gartel

Posted on 12 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Figuring out where local artist Laurence Gartel is right now is a little like “Where’s Waldo?” After all, he is not one to sit around Boca Raton; he is more likely jet setting half a world away. Recently, this “Father of Digital Art” was in Italy for an extended stint for his Hyp Pop show showcasing his work next to Andy Warhol’s. But he came back to SoFla with a vengeance.

Gartel explained, “Since my traveling exhibition in Europe, “Warhol vs. Gartel Hyp Pop,” which has gone to several Italian cities, as well as exclusive book signings in Switzerland, I have been working on a new book and preparing for this upcoming exhibition in Pompano. Additionally, I created three new ART CARS for Art Basel and will be displaying them at various venues throughout the New Year, like at Art Ft. Lauderdale (Jan. 24-28). SuperCar Week in West Palm (Jan. 6 –14), Foto Fusion (Jan. 23-27) and other locations. People will get to see one at the Pompano showcase.”

Yes, touring all around Art Basel showing off dynamic art cars and being on the scene wherever he could, Gartel garnered quite a lot of attention. Next, he will be speaking at Art Ft. Lauderdale. And, after that, he is bringing his artistic creations right back here to Pompano Beach for a special exhibition that is going to bring not only a lot of attention to the area and his art, but also will bring in dignitaries from all around. The show is slated to run Feb. 22 – March 8, 2018 (pending approval) at the new Pompano Beach Cultural Center, but the date has already changed once, so it could be shifted again (More details soon).

After visiting all these grand locales around the world, “Why Pompano?” I asked, to which he responded, “Pompano has committed itself to be a new arts region. There will be artist housing, artist studios, the cultural amphitheatre and the new cultural center. There will be an exhibition space, a lecture/multiple use environment (hopefully, having diverse programming and cross cultural events). Included there is going to be a Digital Media Center. This is, of course, my area of interest and I hope to have great input into the direction this area goes in. As a visionary and pioneer of this field, I have clear concepts which I hope to implement. The goal is to further enrich lives through the development of art and technology.”

He added, “When I started, Digital Media did not exist, so the world has come a very long way in 40 years. It has literally taken a lifetime but it is worth the effort to change the shape of our civilization.”

Back in the day, it was Gartel who introduced Andy Warhol to digital art, after meeting him at Studio 54. His work was the official artwork for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, part of an Absolut Vodka campaign…He has created work for the likes of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears… The list goes on and on of what he has accomplished through the years.

His upcoming Pompano exhibition, he said will “include a variety of images, as well as processes that have been explored over time. From electronic images that have been photographed off the video monitor screens with a still camera mounted on a tripod, to black and white orthographic prints, Iris prints, thermal graphic prints, large scale ink-jet prints, as well as 3D ‘sculptural’ works. There will also be works created with a 3D drawing pen, so there will be a variety of images. The other ‘surprise’ will be a wall of media created from the history of my career…This is most unique.”

The title of his exhibit is a name he used 30 years ago as the title of his first book, which was published in 1989: ‘Laurence Gartel: A Cybernetic Romance.

The ‘romance,’” he explained, “is between ‘Artist and Machine,” adding, “Early on, it was questionable how a creative person could use a computer to release aesthetic ideas and concepts, as Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet and every other artist through the centuries did. This was a revolution to be sure which the entire world now embraces. It is mind blowing when you think of it — to change an entire culture through an artist’s vision.”

After this, what could be next for this artist who is always on-the-go?

What’s next,” he said, “is to work on several concepts of books. I have so much work. Meeting new people around the world helps stimulate the artistic mind. I have been most fortunate to travel to Australia, India, Spain, Russia, Austria, Japan, Switzerland and Norway, to name a few. Travel is definitely in my future and so are the ART CARS that I love so much.”

For more on the Laurence Gartel, visit https://gartelmuseum.weebly.com/commissions.html.

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Mag Chop

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

Artist Kenneth Ruiz’s collages piece together parts of life

magchop071416By Rachel Galvin

Once a graffiti artist and gang member, Kenneth Ruiz has turned his life around to become an amazing artist.

He began his journey in life in Chicago’s Humboldt Park area before moving to South Florida and attending Deerfield Beach High School. This 1995 graduate took art classes and was voted “Most Artistic” in his senior year. Little did he know at the time that art would be so powerful in his future.

The challenges he faced in his early life were nothing compared to what would happen later.

He explained, “I have lived through some things most people only read about. None of those experiences prepared me for losing my mother. I was devastated. It completely altered my life. It changed me in a way that I wish she was here to see. It made me appreciate life and the people in it.”

He added, “Losing my mom also had a strange effect. I lost the ability to draw. I used to draw freehand very well; but when she passed away, I was no longer able to do it. It was as if something turned off.”

Luckily, his wife encouraged him to turn back to an artistic style he had tried years before making collages, which came about after speaking with a friend involved with fine art back in 2008. Ruiz asked him about art and he said that art should tell a story, what the artist is about, which inspired Ruiz to create something for his wall at home.

For 4-1/2 months, everyday, when I came home, I worked on a collage that represented things about me and my life,” he said, adding, “My second piece was not until five years later when my mother passed away.”

His collages are made the old-fashioned way, by cutting and pasting. After that, it becomes a bit more complicated.

It is quite tedious. Once the piece is done, it goes to a fine art photographer who specializes in collage art and it is shot at very high resolution. The original accompanies the image to color correction, where the only adjustments made is to the colors to make sure they match the original. The final piece is a fine art giclee on canvas or museum paper. The image is sprayed on at 300 dpi making it extremely clear. None of my pieces are created digitally, nor are they touched up. They are cut with scissors and on some of the new pieces I have used razor blades,” said Ruiz.

He added, “The first piece I sold was inspirational because they were not for sale at the time. We were having dinner with a well-known person in the art world and he spotted one my pieces hanging on the wall. When he found out I made it and saw, surprisingly, that I had more, he said to me, ‘I have traveled around the world and seen collage art and I have never seen it done like this.’ He said if I decided to make it a business, he would buy the first one, and he did. I was thrilled!”

That was in 2013. He registered his business as MagChop in 2014. He has been creating a diverse collection of pieces ever since, including custom-made ones. He sells them to individuals he knows and also at events.

When people see his pieces, he gets an excited response.

He said, “A lot of my art takes them back to an era of good memories and they are thrilled about that. Some people relate right away and say, ‘This is so me!’ I have had clients call me and say, ‘I look at this everyday and I see something new!’”

When asked how he gets inspired to do his pieces, he replied, “It depends on the piece. To create, I have to relate. I have to know the inner aspects; for instance, I created “The Champions Line,” the first official fine art memorabilia for champion race car driver Ernie Francis Jr. I was never a fan of racing and didn’t know much about it, but I am an auto [and Lowrider] enthusiast so this was an exciting project. I attended the races, spoke to fans, went to the paddock with the team, stood at the pit and even helped work on a car at a race. I learned little details about racing that I otherwise would have gotten wrong. They loved it! It took about four months to complete and actually had a revision that made it remarkable.

One piece called “Ladies Touch” took seven months to complete. The influence came from different women in my life whom I have loved in different ways.”

His favorite piece is called “First Impression.”

It is my favorite piece. It is the first piece I made and it really is symbolic of aspects of my life. It is also the only piece my mother had seen,” he said.

He added, “There are “Easter Eggs” in all my pieces … little hidden things that relate to me … even in custom pieces.”

My art has opened a door for me to speak to youth through art workshops at the Boys & Girls Club in Ft. Pierce and I have spoken at youth conferences for “E.N.D. IT” at a church in Port St. Lucie. I believe in giving back to our communities,” he said.

Asked where he hopes to be in five years, he responded, “To have one of the many upcoming MagChop products in every home! It sounds wild, but think about the jobs I can give people with MagChop growing to that level. We have created movie posters and book covers and hired the assistance of local artists. The dream is more about the opportunities for my children, my community and our country.”

To find out more about this artist and his work, visit www.MagChop.com or find him on social media.

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Pat Anderson Paints in plein air

Posted on 18 June 2016 by LeslieM

anderson061616-1By Rachel Galvin

Pavilion One, just south of Pompano pier, has a perfect view of sea grapes, Palm trees, sunny skies and crystal blue waters, and it serves as the perfect inspiration for art. This is the latest location for artist Pat Anderson’s Plein Air painting class. Here, her students set up their leaf bars (easels that wrap around a column or a tree) and await instruction.

On this day, June 13 (session two of a four-week class), she has them prepare their palette with the right colors. Next, she does an outline of a shape of their choosing – either a palm tree, conch shell or turtle — with liquid rubber, which will dry and create interesting white lines in the finished product. Next, she has students “warm up” with the No. 20 brush, showing them how to move their arm while keeping their hand perfectly still as they practice their thin and thick brush strokes. Today, they will be making puffy clouds with blues and grays, softening the edges with a Q-tip. She showed them how they could paint blades of grass in quick upward strokes.

In order to save paint, which can be expensive, they do “speed painting,” working on two paintings at once. One painting is an abstract using the pigments of their paper palette

and the other one is the landscape they are creating.

Lynn Radtke came with her 13-year-old daughter Olivia.

I usually order Pat’s ornaments [which she creates every year for Christmas] and I got to an e-mail about the class and signed up. I was looking for something my daughter and I could do together. She likes art but prefers acrylics. I thought this would get her out of her comfort zone. If she wants to stick with art, it’s a perfect thing to do,” said Lynn, who has worked in fashion design for awhile.

Ramona Myrick also has a fashion background and went to school for fashion merchandise.

I thought it would be fun to do. I haven’t done it for awhile,” said Myrick, who has worked with mixed media in the past.

She added, “In the first class, last week, we had homework to paint the alphabet and we did a picture of a leaf”.

This month is on Pompano Beach, next month’s classes (July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1) will be in Harbor’s Edge Park (1240 NE 28 Ave.). She tries to change up the location. She also has classes using acrylics as well.

I want to get more use of our parks. These posts [columns on pavilion] are not used. We are making use of them. I introduced this art program for parks, to paint in plein air, outdoors. The students are learning the different elements of the painting. I give them a rough sketch of where the sea grapes are, where the trees are, etc. In the end, they will paint a picture of the park they are in and will get a T-shirt with the picture and a certificate for participation.”

Interested in joining her classes? Each two-hour class includes some supplies and access to a leaf bar easel. Cost is $200 for four weeks. Thirty percent of proceeds benefit the Parks & Recreation Dept. You must register in advance at Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6 St. in Pompano. For more information, call 954-786-4111, visit www.PatAndersonArtist.com.

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