Artist Jeff Schneider’s take on the West brings in overlapping themes of nature and persona that question both the nature and possibility of unity, by making unlikely connections between different types of images, signs and visual languages. Irish Times Art Critic, Aidan Dunne, commented, “Cowboys in saddles, smoking models, posed fruit and drapery are given room and strength to claim their own identity within a single canvas. In Schneider’s paintings, independent fields of unlikely imagery pulsate. Foreground and background vibrate off each other, switching roles. Sophisticatedly staged, the artist utilizes color to create frictional, fictional, interchangeable relationships among the paintings components. Schneider’s colors separate and engage elements of his paintings in active play for presence, dominance and the favor of the crowd’s eye”.
Artist Charlotta Janssen’s work comments on the societal issues of race, the culture of the era which her subjects are depicted and the American lifestyle in general. This can be seen with paintings of the recent housing and loan scandal, (starting in 2008), to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, to a man at a lunch counter. Whether painting a marching band group portrait or solitary cow in a field, the viewer feels they are taken on a “slightly altered reality tour” with the use or her color palette and her technique, while all the while letting the honesty of her subjects shine through. As Charlotta states: “I rummage through flea markets and photo archives or I hit up friends for old family pics. I make large scale paintings of them in a color palette limited to black, white, aqua and iron oxide, which I rust after I finish the piece. I love the time before people were aware of their photo persona: from the teens through the forties. In 2009 I reintroduced collage and this element created a real conversation that keeps evolving. This is my ‘thang’ for a while now.”
About Artist Tracy Helgeson
Artist Tracy Helegson paints the classic subject of America’s rural culture and agricultural community,capturing a era once forgotten, yet preserved at the same time. There is a modern, other-worldly take on her subjects and locations. Tracy explains it best, “In creating a painting, my intent is to capture an evocative feeling and an essence of a landscape, structure or person that I feel a connection to. The images that I choose usually have a basis in reality, but I often alter composition, color and light to more accurately express my feelings about how and what I see. I truly appreciate the process of painting; the texture of the surfaces that I prepare, the richness of the colors and glazes that I choose, the softness of a brush, the smell of the paint, medium and solvent and the excitement of creating an image”.
About Artist Ralph Gabriner
Photographer Ralph Gabriner captures his iconic images by chance and does not set out with the purpose to make a statement on society. His interest lies in light sources and with people in motion. He reacts to what he see and documents it. When I asked him why he photographed his topics of, for instance, the series, “Night Scenes” which depicts night time in the Bronx, his answer was, “Just because”. If something or someone grabs his eye, he shoots it. Ralph feels that photographers have lost or are losing their connection to their impulses and set out to photograph with an agenda. Ralph lets others find the meanings in his photos. In Ralph’s words, “These photographs are no act of imagination. They exist only as the accidental result of shoe leather meeting subject matter. This is my way of saying at the outset that I approach without preconception. Anyway, life is much stranger than I could ever imagine. It is an odd fact, but for me the act of stumbling around is more effective as a method for taking pictures (even though it’s a tiresome process) than it would be to hire some actors and stage a play for the camera.”
About the 7th Heaven Design Party
We cordially invite you to experience 7th Heaven. Join us on February 5th, from 5pm – 9pm to explore and celebrate the spirit of great design on the 7th floor at 200 LEX. All of the showrooms on the Seventh Floor of the New York Design Center will be open and full of surprises to make your evening magical. Each showroom will be presenting their own innovative designs, unique displays, crafted cocktails and heavenly culinary indulgences. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of New York’s finest furnishings and catch a warming drink with wonderful company on a cold winter’s night.