Monthly Archives: July 2008

Yale MFA Photography @ 339 Gallery


 The Yale MFA show at Gallery 339 is amazing, crystal clear imagery of manufactured reality, hyper-realism and narrative experience design. What is real and what is staged?  Which part is Photoshopped and which part is documentary?  Photography isn’t just a “snapshot” of a moment any longer, it may take as long to create a great photo as a great painting.  Sarah Stolfa’s photographs are cinematic in scope, packed with narrative creativity.  Stolfa’s goal was to make “…something, real and big.”  Glendale TX, a powerful image of a young man in jeans standing in a scorched field with a fire truck nearby is serene yet ambiguous, did this saint-like boy/man win or lose this battle against nature?  There’s a photo of logging that is so scary and brutal yet honest.

339’s Martin McNamara told DoN, “Yale offers reality versus fictional pictorial.”  Marley White has several large images depicting a reality which is so perfectly perfect that it looks impossible yet what DoN is seeing is so real, so detailed, so authentic – this image is a good example of how White interacts with emotional engrams; residual cuteness is creating “Aw!”-inspiring moments in art from photography to painting to constructions.Marley White @ Gallery 339.

Marley White @ Gallery 339.

Ed Bronstein & Martin McNamara

DoN chatted with artist Ed Bronstein whose “Old Dog” painting is featured on Twenty-Two Gallery’s art card for “To A Good Home: Animal Art“, a group show to benefit Main Line Animal Rescue.  Ed mentioned a plein air competition for next Spring.  Ed is a painter and DoN had been painting with Paul DuSold in Laurel Hill Cemetery that day, so our painterly eyes are most comfortable with the softer edges –  we both commented on the incredible detail of the photographs; the photo Mike, Del Reo, TX, 2008 by Jen Davis really feels like you’re being stared down by an urban cowboy. 

Thanks to Julia Koprack for introducing DoN around to the art stars, the evening was so exciting – the Yale MFA show is a great sampling of the future of photography and manufactured hyper-realism.  

All photography by DoNBrewerMultimedia Photography

LoVe DoN 

Second Thursday @ Crane Arts Center – The Gray Area

DoN posted a 30 second video on YouTube of the Super Mario Brothers music which is enchanting and magical; using the score from the video game soundtrack and sound effects from character/avatar interaction with puzzle elements in the game, the music is post-post-post modern.  The video is just part of the Golden Calf exhibit in the fabulously dark installation of paintings, photography and sculpture about decay, destruction, nausea and mysticism.  DoN found the art to be emotionally raw and psychologically dismal with elements of claustrophobia, isolation and estrangement; Hagit Barkai’s “Vomitous” is awesomely powerful, the paintings are Bacon-like in their facility, the subject charged with feelings of fear, powerlessness and despair, the paint application is expert.  The artists of Golden Calf are establishing New Philadelphia as the art center of the region, unafraid to tackle the more difficult apects of modern life.Brian Billingsley’s “Homage to Me” video and “Untitled (Saturn Devours His Son)” oil on canvas in the Golden Calf Show at Crane Art Center.

Brian Billingsley’s “Homage to Me” video and “Untitled (Saturn Devours His Son)” oil on canvas in the Golden Calf Show at Crane Art Center.


Weird little blobby things were all over the place.

Super Mario

Super Mario Music!!! 

Susan Abrams @ The Enclaves Gallery (short video clip)


Susan Abrams exhibit @ The Enclaves Gallery featuring Shoshana.

Susan Abrams makes her own paper, applies emulsion and exposes them to light in her darkroom; working with negatives she captures a wash-like effect, distorting reality, repurposing each line and shadow. Abrams is a teacher in her former life and watching her interact with the kids, explaining her process in simple terms, was a very enjoyable experience.  The Enclaves Gallery looks just beautiful with Susan Abrams’ work energizing the space with nature, science and impeccable presentation.   

Susan Abrams @ The Enclaves Gallery Susan Abrams (left) @ The Enclaves GallerySusan Abrams (left) @ The Enclaves Gallery.


During Susan Abrams reception, DoN met Stephanie Yuhas of Project 21, a collaborative project bringing together film makers, artists, designers, actors…to create teams and make a movie in 21 days, followed by a film festival.  Stephanie and DoN dished about local viral video star, Nora the Piano Playing Cat and Angry Video Game Nerd.  This is a geat opportunity for the New Media community to get to know each other better, the way the Philadelphia Sketch Club, the Plastic ClubPANMA and DaVinci Art Alliance bring together creative people. Maybe Comcast will put some videos on all those blank “public access channels”?  Or on that faboo screen in the lobby? 

Second Thursday @ Crane Arts Center – Nexus Summer Community Arts

Second Thursday evening’s @ Crane Arts is very cool; from the very end of The Avenue of the Arts across town via Passyunk Ave, Sho & DoN drove North to Fishtown.  Nexus Summer Community Art Series presents Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future; this unique exhibit features an artistic collaboration between Rwandese children from Rugerero Survivors Village, Rwandese hand-crafter, Patrick Sentama, and Jefferson Medical students, Komal SoinKaren ConnollyJennifer Heckman, and Dana Johns.Rawanda

Combining photographs, handicrafts and children’s art, the exhibition offers a glimpse into another world that is sadly beautiful.  The drawings by kids aged 5 – 13 displayed with photos of the conditions the kids live in is really bold, so much narrative with so few words.  DoN likes seeing photos and paintings, crayon and camera, hanging together, it creates temporal distortions, photos are fast/crayon drawings are slow; Nexus is so cool to host this frank, easy-going, accessible show filled with deep cultural resonances.

Landscape paintings of Rawanda

Landscape paintings of Rwanda @ Nexus Gallery 


UArts @ URBN

UArts @ URBN

Shoshana & DoN attended a show of recent graduates of UArts photography majors at the Urban Outfitters headquarters in the Navy Yard, a wonderfully cavernous, bright space with hip, modern amenities for workers and visitors, repurposed from an industry long gone.  The occasion was a first for Urban Outfitters, to include art from outside their own studios, a coup for UArts photography majors to have their work hanging in the ultimate New Philadelphia. The display wall was installed especially for this exhibition permitting the artists to exhibit large scale works or groupings in a salon style fashion. The art is superb, the level of skill is extraordinary with unique uses of tools and technology producing fine art photography from staged magic realism to documentary realism to intimate glimpses into childhood memories.Artist Anna Tas

Artist Anna Tas with two examples of her Linticular Prints, the collection will appear in the Please Touch Museum.  Tas taps into cultural stereotypes with the shifting shades of humanity playing out cheerfully in simple plastic shapes.  The technical term for the type of linticular print used is a “flip” which is really only two images divided into strips, the lens lets the mind’s eye create multi-cultural blends.

Stephanie Ricci

Stephanie Ricci with photos of the carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort; an homage to her grandfather this sampling is from a group of 26.

Dustin Ream

Photographer Dustin Ream with “Fukayama Japan 01, 2007”.  The view is under a Japanese rail line with amusement sculptures, Murikami-like in their super-flatness.  DoN & Dustin discussed the similarity to Zoe Strauss’ Under 95 projects, the Shin Honsen train system in Japan and traveling with a rail pass.  Ream is going for an MFA @ Tyler.

Christos LoutovoulisPhotographer Christos Loutovoulis with “In the Name of Cha Ching, the Crucifixtion“, created by applying liquid emulsion to paper then exposed to light from an enlarger, the four sheets of paper are nailed directly to the wall.The exhibition space @ Urban Outfitters HQ @ The Navy Yard.

The exhibition space @ Urban Outfitters HQ @ The Navy Yard.  All photography by DoNBrewerMultimedia Photography.LoVeDoN