|Upstream People Gallery is happy to host this year's Summer All Media International. There are some amazing works that truly deserve to be recognized. Following are some comments:
DON BERGLAND of Victoria, BC, Canada has an ingenious sensibility creating such whimsical surrealistic works that delight the viewer. His "Decoy" is wonderful seeing animal as a zephyr, held up by a kangaroo with the little boy holding a kind of jump-through hoop and offering a flower. The work "Requiem" seems quite appropriate with the broken-up doll, the wings spread out next to the doll and a floating balloon floating above. The heavy drapery and the distant ocean view punctuates the heavy mood. "The Teaching" is quite interesting using fish images inside cups and the child facing the group. To consider the lined-up fish heads attached to the three bodies wearing dresses, yet the one arm seen is very muscular. The addition of shell shapes and the child's little wings, all add to the fun and surrealism.
LEE ANDREW BIANCO of Mount Plymouth, Florida has achieved a visual precision with his realism. "Captains' Chest", "Awaiting My Muse" and "Leather and Brass" are all quite descriptive stills. Especially effective as a artist's statement is the work "Awaiting My Muse" wherein the required paint and brushes, eyeglasses and paint cloth are all ready for the inspiration to come. The work "Raggedy Ann" is contained within a broken basket setting the stage for the big smile to prevail.
KEN CLARK of Christchurch, New Zealand has a sense of elongation in terms of his pictorial space and his work "Conception" shines out. The high saturated color together with the central light effect helps to speak out about the birthing process. Ina similar format, his "Phoebe 16031" is an intermixture of the pixelated with the tighter realism suggestive of a kind of mystery woman. The intense yellow contrasting color adds to a kind of dynamism.
ROBYN COOK of Carthage, Missouri is a remarkable artist showing great skill with graphite pencil. "Blue Monday" sets a mood showing a devoted dog with a loving hand of a person with bold and decorative boots. The interplay of diagonals used in the composition adds a special strength to the high definition achieved. Another specially sensitive work is seen in "Evian" with the exceptional attention to detail as the horses head cantilevers into the picture plane. With a sense of action, the rendition of a young cow dramatically twisting around to get rid of an annoying fly. This work entitled "Shoo Fly" works well, even showing the many wrinkles of the turning cow. Then here comes the king. The work "Wicked" sets up the strong bull front and center where there's no room for anything else in the composition. The back end of a horse in "Winter's Tale" justifies the white space. The strong tonal contrast makes this another strong drawing!
PT ELLYUTT of Richardson, Texas has a strong topical, digital work entitled "Politicians". The exaggerated characters with elongated heads and the fine textures makes one think about the actors in the political scene. This signature style is also quite effective in the work "Surrender Dorothy". Herein the small and innocent-like Dorothy contrasted with the strange and enlarged head is quite weird.
DENISE LION of Plano, Texas uses the digital media together with assemblage. In "Extant with Machine" the artist successfully creates a face, suggestive of how integrated the mechanized has become in our human condition. The contrast of the exacting machine shapes with the more amorphous shaped areas is intriguing. This combining of the digital and a semblance of the human figure works well also in the work "Extant with Machine III". "Extant with Machine V" gives a sense of the human and the machine, whereby the machine is more dominant. Especially strong as a visual is the highly saturated, highly linear and highly tonal contrast in "Fabricated Dimensionality". Moreover, the digital piece "Sinister Analysis" with it's nearly symmetrical organization is visually arresting, indeed.
JACK OFIELD of Lemon Grove, California gives the show a good example of combining different software. "Waiting for the Cross Town Bus" is created with Flash, Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro. For this post-modernistic approach the work gains credibility and significance. The cityscape stage with the clown outfit may suggest the light-heartedness amidst the seriousness of the business sensed in the buildings.
ERIKA SCHAAF of Clifton, Virginia uses charcoal to her advantage especially seen in the work "Ethiopia". Here the interesting character showing the earned wrinkles in the man's face and centrally placed, is quite fine. Her work "Presidential Candidate" presents a hopeful statement. Compositionally effective is the use of the two buildings framing the young man who is the center of interest.
TONI SILBER-DELERIVE of New York, New York captures a fine arrangement in the top view of buildings in her painting "Czech Republic". The dominant orange and green helps to make this a strong piece. Also, the complementary colors of violet and yellow works strongly in the arrangement of "Midtown NYC Rooftops".
TANJA SKYTTE of Marbella, Spain has a richly expressive work entitled "Pig in a Haystack". With the light and dark yellow ochre color with the massing of gestural linear strokes gives a sense of the action.
JAMES 'JAKE' SNYDER of Groveland, California makes the media of Sharpies as his star media. The moving shapes in the polychromatic work and the sensitively controlled subtle pattern in the marks of the pen makes his work "Birds of a Feather" 5503. The abstracted bird shapes and the kind of fluttering sensed in the repeated shapes, is rather exhilarating.
RALPH WHITE of Redondo Beach, California works very organically allowing the innate qualities of acrylic help to form his expressions. "Blistering" is quite effective and the sense of heat is very apparent. On a calmer note, "Summer Solstice", although strong with the red and yellow, the smoothness here helps to give the impression of summertime in the heat of August.
SAM WILSON of Wheaton College, Illinois works digitally and his youthful approach is exciting especially in his work "Indian Fighter". The use of red is a good decision suggestive of energy and strength. The linear divisions also add to the fighting character as a kind of muscular power.
LAURA ZAZANIS of Cincinnati, Ohio remarkably captures very interesting and challenging photographs with an iPhone. "Reflections" shows a framed mirror that seems to float on water, with a flow of water floating above the mirror. And one of more favored photographs is her work "Shovel" captured as a still of the action of forcing a shovel into the blue water.
Congratulations to all the selected artists.
Professor Emeritus of Art & Art History / Curator