This exhibition is a quiet contemplative walk through visual poetry. The photographic subject of death and mourning has its roots planted firmly in early history of the medium. Many historic photographers wanted to capture a lasting keepsake of dead loved ones or use photography to envelop those raw emotions and channel them into something tangible, able to be processed. This exhibition is a contemporary look at this practice. How do we mourn in the 21st century? Has the development of the technology and accessibility of photography altered our interaction with the craft? Photographer and guest co-curator, Jesse Guillory, has produced a profound and introspective exhibition developing this theme.
Smash! : Baton Rouge's International Pop Fusion, is a survey of contemporary Pop artists that puts the spotlight on Pop art by local creators. Some say that Pop art is decorative, void of both content and depth. The reality is that Baton Rouge contemporary pop is more of an authentic response to the increasing supersaturating of sensory-overloading media in everyday life with the ability to feature popular culture’s issues and tackle them in a straightforward way, creating a greater discussion. Its imagery is visually appealing while still being provocative. This show is hung salon style (with emphasis on the flow of the room and how the works relate to each other by subject and color), giving the viewer a rich understanding of the popular culture our artists are synthesizing. The Healthcare Gallery plans to have an international scope for a future Pop Fusion exhibition.
The reception will be celebrated with a Soiree held August 29, 2015. Guests will enjoy hors d'oeuvres, an open wine bar and live entertainment. This year's exhibition is open to the public July 25th, running through October 7.
"I chase the moments where the absurd leads to enlightened thought," says Miami, Florida native Lily Betancourt. Betancourt filters her view of popular culture and distills her dreamlike environment through a surrealist lens. After studying at Florida International University, Betancourt moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she has shown in local exhibitions and volunteers with local arts and cultural organizations. Betancourt's fanciful illustrations portray an otherworldly take on a place manufactured by dreams and ascended thought. The deeply narrative portrayals cause the viewer to introspectively give meaning and relation to Betancourt's imagery.
Clean, bright, bold colors, flat, sharp edges and integration of pop culture imagery, cartoons, comics, icons, and sometimes actual consumer products such as candy wrappers and packaging are indicative of the distinct works of Blaine Breaux. The New Orleans, Louisiana artist and illustrator received his BA in Fine Arts/Studio from the University of New Orleans and has been exhibiting work in shows and illustrations ever since. Breaux's works are simple but a visually striking approach to exploring the power of pop culture and mass media. Commenting on the imprint of pop culture in his own life, King says, "I have a hard time remembering what I ate yesterday, but will never forget the day I received my first pair of Air Jordan’s. I’ve always been drawn to pop culture."
Sarah G.’s haunting figural works uniquely develop pen and marker lines on transparent film, unexpectedly achieving great depth while developing a lush, saturated work of art. This Baton Rouge local displays work throughout the region. G. is a strong supporter of developing the local arts as a regular featured artist. She has participated in several community centered exhibitions and works at the LSU Museum of Art.
Damian Georgiev, Illustrator and graphic designer, has developed designs for many commercial products spanning band posters, skateboards, album covers, t-shirts, and more. Georgiev pens bold lines, pared-down color schemes, and understated compositions. This gives his works striking focus, presence, and movement.
Ashley "Eyerratic" Hall is a Bossier City, Louisiana native and visual artist. She uses her talents within classrooms and other realms, such as fashion shows, photo shoots, and weddings. Hall uses a particular style of line and bold colors to draw audiences into her world. She is in creative matrimony with paint, markers, and makeup; 'til death do them part. Eyerratic artwork is a visual wonderland best described as outside your normal perspective.
A once-discarded book of antique photographs has served as a ceaseless well of inspiration for New Orleans based contemporary pop artist Brent Houzenga. Houzenga reinterprets these faces, reinvisioning the image and imbuing life into these once loved photographs. Houzenga’s spray and stencil artwork is vibrant and full of dynamism. His star shines both on and off the printed page: a movie based on his life and work, Brent Houzenga: Hybrid Pioneer. Hugely prolific artist, Brent Houzenga has been shown all over the U.S. and has been featured in many exhibitions, periodicals, and through commissions.
Amanda James, Portland, Oregon native, draftsman, and printmaker creates a world of a modern Sasquatch living and interacting as the cool kids do. James graduated and received her MFA from LSU and has exhibited throughout the country. She has been featured in several print and digital periodicals.
"I am interested in art theory, as well as contemporary popular culture and my work sometimes draws from both." says Natchitoches, Louisiana artist Chris King. Massachusetts born King graduated from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth with a BFA in Sculpture and Art Education and Masters Degree from The California Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles. King uses unexpected manipulation of familiar text images and materials through the filter of humor to draw in his viewer to embrace topics of pop culture in broad terms such as femininity and masculinity, materiality, and dispelling the illusion of high and low culture. King has exhibited nationwide, executes many noteworthy commissions, and completed illustrious residency programs. Chris King is currently the head of the Visual Arts Program and Gallery Director at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts and is a Founding Fellow for Louisiana A+ Schools.
Savannah College of Art and Design graduate Nathaniel A. Landry is a master of sequential art. This educator lends his creative characters on and off the printed and digital page. His works can be found on apparel throughout the region.
Pat Phillips was born in Lakenheath, England. When relocating to Louisiana, Phillips spent his early teenage years painting and photographing train boxcars. Traversing culture and subculture, Phillips maintains a strong balance between his street and studio work. He uses this highly visible medium to stimulate deeper conversation through his personal experiences. Phillips' work has graced many magazines, galleries, and has granted him a fellowship at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont. Accomplishing the goals of exploring personal experiences, engage viewers through literal subjects and satirical themes, and displaying those ideas through historic/social interoperation has been the key to the successful arc of Phillips' work.
Fine artist and musician Gabriel Saint, a Baton Rouge native, studied multimedia art at The Art Institute of Seattle. Saint works hard to develop his craft, continually being true to his inspiration and developing themes that range from portraits with strong evidence of the artists’ stroke to popular culture to gestural figure studies. Creating opportunities to show works locally, Saint has developed inclusive Arts Market events and displays through traditional venues.
“Distorted Reality” is an exhibition of jovial caricature, digital manipulation, and illustration by Baton Rouge native Rodney Pike. Since he believes that cameras "may not be able to fully capture a person’s personality," Pike’s goal is to capture and display the character essence of his subject, to enhance traits that show their true nature without prejudice or political agenda. The goal of the artwork is to celebrate the fun in each individual and create a joyous experience when engaging with the work.
From childhood Pike loved art. Looking up to his older brother’s artistic ability he made it a goal to improve his rendering skills. Through the art of Norman Rockwell, Pike discovered the strength of still images to carry a narrative. In recent years through artists such as Sebastian Kruger, Max Sauco and Jason Seiler, he learned that a caricature can be more than just photo-manipulation but can illustrate a narrative theme. Feeling like Photoshop manipulation had been the medium he had been searching for his entire life, Pike set out to create hundreds of photos and illustrations and devotes up to 14 hours a day every day of the week creating images. He is a member of both the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the International Society of Caricature Artists. His clients include companies such as FreakingNews.com, FHM Magazine, Tennis Magazine, The Village Voice Magazine, Corbis, The Sun, Cater's News Agency, The Huffington Post, Bauer Media, Bauer Excel Media, Mashable, EMagazine, Global News, Metro World News, Miller Publishing Group, New Coast Productions and Catchphrase Entertainment.
A once-discarded book of antique photographs has served as a ceaseless well of inspiration for New Orleans based contemporary pop artist Brent Houzenga. He reinterprets these faces, reinvisioning the image and imbuing life into these once loved photographs. Houzenga’s spray and stencil artwork is vibrant and full of dynamism. His star shines both on and off the printed page: a movie based on his life and work, Brent Houzenga: Hybrid Pioneer, will be shown during the run of this exhibition.
Critically acclaimed professional body painter Angela Roberts is known for her intricate detail and strong imagery, which will be on display at The Healthcare Gallery during the months of January through May. Roberts has reached critical acclaim in the world of body painting, winning at the RAW New Orleans Regional’s Natural Born Artist Competition. Roberts is also the U.S National winner as Makeup Artist of the Year in 2014. The artist’s largest audience was reached as a contestant in the Game show Network's inaugural season of the body art painting television show “Skin Wars”. The exhibition will feature stunning photographs of Roberts’ creations in large format.