On Sunday, December 14th, artist Rebecca Allan gave a talk about her work and a demonstration of her technique at the Society for Domestic Museology. The idea was that she would discuss her approach to painting while completing a small piece that she would then proceed to hang on our wall. It was our first time showcasing a painter and a unique opportunity to observe an artist at work, a concept that Rebecca herself suggested.
Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to attend a Domestic Museology event that wasn't held in my living room. Last summer, my friend, Alessia, attended one of our openings and she was so inspired that she decided to open her own chapter in Harlem, which is exactly what I had hoped would happen with this idea. She lives in a jewel box of an apartment and had the perfect corner wall to use as her gallery.
One a Saturday night in early December, we gathered to view the work of Marco Gallotta, an Italian mixed-media artist who works primarily in cut paper. The inspiration behind his work ranges from the natural world to the world of highly manipulated images. Trained at FIT in Fashion Illustration, Marco often uses images from advertising a starting point for his work, cutting and layering them until they become something else entirely. The piece that he showed at SfDM uptown consisted of several layers of cut paper, all interacting around a portrait of a woman taken by a fashion photographer with whom he collaborates. The original image is one of standard beauty, having been manipulated by the camera and by photoshop in ways that are often invisible to the viewer. By cutting into the photo and layering it on top of a landscape, the image transforms into something that from a distance resembles a religious icon, but up close reveals a complex interplay between layers all playing on themes around the perception of beauty and what is real. I found Marco's work to be captivating and wanted to know more about the process - which is clearly labor intensive, although seems also very meditative. This short video is a gorgeous depiction of how he works and you can find more images of his artwork, ranging from watercolor drawings to linocuts to cut-paper collage, by clicking here.
Alessia did a fantastic job of hosting and gave Marco a lovely introduction. The food was delicious (as expected) and it was great to meet new people and to hear their perspective on what was hanging on the wall. As we near the end of the first year of the Society for Domestic Museology, I'm so glad that it is already expanding!
Southernscapes, Joshua's installation for the SfDM, consists of two series, one black and white, one color, both taken during a road trip through the American South in 2011. The trip was inspired by James Allen's 2001 book, Without Sanctuary, documenting the disturbing visual legacy of postcards and photographic souvenirs taken at public lynchings in the United States between 1882 and 1950. Deeply moved by this tragic history, Joshua set out to find some of the sites where lynchings had occurred in order to memorialize these now-anonymous places that have faded back into the landscape, a willfully forgotten chapter in our nation's past.
A few weeks ago, we had our second opening of the Society of Domestic Museology, featuring the artist, Neil Tetkowski. Neil and his wife, Olga, are good friends and I have long admired his work, which often consists of installations on a grand scale, like Common Ground, a ceramic installation originally created for the United Nations. So I was pleased when he agreed to participate in the SfDM. When I contacted Neil to ask him about what he was going to install, he replied with a one-line email, "It's called Flip Phone". Interesting.
Tuesday evening marked the first opening of the Society for Domestic Museology featuring the work of Ian Sullivan. Ian is the creative genius behind the exhibition design at the Bard Graduate Center and is also an artist in his own right who works across a wide variety of media. Mindful of the "domestic" context of our gallery, Ian chose to show a series of work completed over a number of years that plays with ideas of space and home.