No. 15 ~ Parlor Gallery celebrates our 15 Year Anniversary
Michael Wayne Hall’s abstract paintings are grounded in his love of the flat-color
aesthetics of screenprinting. They feel, at once, familiar and new, and are
simultaneously both calming and energizing. The paintings often suggests transitions,
like the shifting of light or the passing of time. He makes use of color gradients to imply
motion, shadows, and depth. His work is always created by hand, painted without the
use of tape or masking- allowing wobbles, smudges, and other imperfections to remain.
It is important to him that while each piece is extremely precise, a close examination
reveals the handmade nature of the process. Mistakes are left to be seen.
Michael is a self taught painter, muralist, and woodworker and His paintings are held
in many private collections. His commission clients include Facebook, Austin City Limits
Music Festival, Still Austin Whiskey Co, Nordstrom’s, Natiivo, Downtown Austin Alliance,
Austin Energy, the City of Smithville Texas, Austin Daily Press, Blackfeather Vintage,
Batch Craft Beers, the Little Darlin, Beautiful World Syndicate Records, East Side
Glass, and many others. Michael was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and lived in
Philadelphia, PA for thirteen years before relocating to Texas in 2012.
An Asbury Park Legend, Denis Randall, is a gallery staple, and his newest works are
created from vinyl records, and vintage ephemera including children’s books, coloring
books, and porn magazines.
This collection is a visual exploration of the journey from childhood through adulthood,
and all of the messiness in between. The deconstructed pages are reassembled into
patterns that create a dueling perspective between playful innocence, curious
experimentation, and secretive voyeurism.
“My intension is to first catch the viewers attention with familiar images of youth, then
lure them in to discover the recessed adult content. I want to share my experience of
discovery with others who may or may not have gone through similar moments in their
lives.” ~ D. Randall
Born in 1976, currently based in Akron, Ohio, owner of art and clothing company
Thirteenth Floor, self-taught contemporary artist Billy Ludwig is best known for recreating
history with his SWvsWWII (Star Wars vs. WWII) series. From photo
manipulation to guerrilla marketing inspired mixed media pieces, Ludwig’s work
revolves around pop culture and science fiction themes conjuring a diverse following.
His digital work has a creepy romantic aura while his mixed media pieces highlight the
beauty of destruction. Much of his work will garner a second look, as you may have
missed a small detail and/or “Easter egg” on first viewing.
For years he has been traveling and selling and exhibiting his work at numerous
events across North America and East Asia. In October of 2018, Billy accepted an
invitation by the U.S. Marine Corp. to exhibit his work at an exhibition in Okinawa,
Japan.Ludwig’s art and clothing company, Thirteenth Floor , celebrated its 13th
anniversary July of 2023.
David Wallace is a collage artist, painter, graphic designer, illustrator and musician
living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
His work has been called “intelligent and impeccably crafted” by the Bethesda
Gazette and has been said to “speak volumes about history, humanity or both” by the
Tribune-Review. His illustration work has been featured in the Communication Arts
Illustration Annual and his collage work has been published in Cutting Edges by
Gestalten, Masters: Collage by Lark Books and Exhibition 36 by North Light Books.
As guitarist and contributing visual artist with performance troupe Squonk Opera, he
tours across the U.S. and internationally. His Artwork has been shown in many cities in
the U.S. and overseas including Pittsburgh, Nashville, Atlanta, St. Louis, Columbus,
Long Beach, Asbury Park, Brooklyn, Cork and Berlin.
Ray Sell’s crushed beer can series is a deeply personal and evolving exploration of the
artist’s relationship with alcohol and its impact on his life. The series, which began two
decades ago with large-scale charcoal drawings, initially focused on childhood
memories tied to negative connotations of alcohol abuse. The act of crushing the cans
served as a symbolic gesture, breaking away from a heritage centered around drinking.
Over time, the artist’s perspective has shifted, influenced by becoming a parent. The
series now seems to be more about the future and less about dwelling on the past. The
crushed beer cans may represent a departure from a legacy of alcohol-related issues
and a commitment to a different, more positive future for the artist.
The technical aspect of the series, described as a “study of reflection and light,” adds an
interesting layer to the narrative. The play of light and reflections becomes a metaphor
for the complexity of the artist’s relationship with alcohol, providing a visual
representation of the emotional and psychological dimensions involved. Reflections
being found “meteorically and literally” suggests a dynamic and impactful presence in
the artist’s life, further emphasizing the transformative nature of the ongoing series.
Overall, Ray Sell’s crushed beer can series seems to be a rich and multi-dimensional
exploration of personal growth, familial responsibility, and the interplay of light and
reflection in the context of a complex relationship with alcohol.
Born in Cape May, New Jersey in 1977, painter Victor Grasso is an architect of new and
uncanny worlds. Grasso’s distinctive and rich oil paintings, while realist in technique,
transport the viewer to uncharted territories. Painting familiar objects and forms in
surprising compositions, Grasso tells a story through his works, often with dark or quirky
overtones. “My paintings reflect situations that don’t often exist in everyday life…but I
strive to make it as real as possible to bring you into my world.”~ V. Grasso
Grasso has exhibited in numerous exhibitions across the United States and abroad.
Rose Freymuth Frazier
“My work deals with issues Gender roles, sexuality and societal conditioning. Early
training in theatre, where I studied Shakespeare and Greek Drama, gave me a template
for a stylized and theatrical exploration of the human condition, which in my case is
done from an American woman’s perspective, through paint.
I paint in oil because of its superior ability to represent flesh and blood. Through
painstaking application my leading ladies, theatrically lit and often engaged in some sort
of mini-drama, are brought to life. They tell a story that the viewer may recognize, or
depict a point of view that may be new to them. Whatever the case, I intend to hold up a
mirror in which the viewer finds relevance to their own experience. I’ve come to accept
my obsession with detail and pursuit of unattainable perfection in my work.” ~
Michael Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Asbury Park, NJ.
Michael’s process is contemplative and his practice aspires to virtue; patience,
temperance and fortitude. Apollonian in nature, Michael makes art that demonstrates a
clear state of mind, visualizing metaphysical systems of order as an antidote to the
illusions of chaos. The study of philosophy, theology and poetry inform his pursuit. He
operates with the passionate belief that art is a way to expand the potentials of human
perception. The function of an image is to open up the inner self of the viewer to a
shared state of recognition, assimilating the senses into a raised awareness of mind.
Oscillating between abstraction and representation, a recurring motif in his work is a
relation between geometry and the natural world. Drawing from a vocabulary of
symbolism and allegory, the paintings resonate on levels of both immediate vibrational
impact and far-reaching thought, transmuting energies of the material world to bring
them into grace.
Rob Santello is a local artist, chef and creator. His work may initially resemble a
Basquiat or an Art Brut/ Naive Artist in it’s gestural, black mark-making, and floating,
“simplistic” forms and images; but upon closer inspection, one realizes there is much
more beneath the surface. Santello explores literature, music, food and contemporary
culture in his works. Contained within its layered imagery and acrylic paint, each piece
contains some combination of literary quotes, song lyrics, poems, recipes and
ingredients, patterns and free form text, which all combine to represent the internal mind
of this highly creative artist.
Ray Geary is a self taught mixed media artist whose large scale work in resin and
acrylic feature graphic abstraction and iconic, obtuse faces in equal measure. His
process-driven works being with pours, which become the subjects of his compositions,
seemingly acting of their own accord. Blending European traditions of “primitivism” and
a pop-inspired sensibility toward the abject, his anthropomorphized spills and puddles
offer a playful investigation into materiality.
An American painter and Stencilist, Amanda Marie creates small works on paper and
larger works on canvas for indoor exhibition. She also paints large scale murals in
outdoor and urban and garden settings. Her use of nostalgic storybook like imagery is
an invitation for viewing allegorical and highly painterly compositions . Signature in her
very graphic work is the use of children and young adults as imagery tools to deliver
clever often subtle messages that can straddle a line between comforting and spooky.
Other signature and recognizable traits in her work are the common use of ‘twin
imagery’ and the consistent use of vintage sewing patterns as backgrounds to inform
the compositions of her paintings.
Amanda’s paintings use a combination of mediums and techniques In most works,
some elements are screen printed, some are wheat pasted, and some elements are
drawn out and then made into hand cut stencils and spray painted. There is also acrylic
paint applied by brush and splatter techniques, and of course the trademark use of
vintage sewing patterns is present in most of her paintings. The complex use of multiple
techniques in each piece lends to the depth and subtlety of her work.
Hyland Mather is an American assemblage artist and abstract painter best known for
his use of found materials, Mather collects discarded objects and reassembles them to
help them regain purpose. Mather has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions
in galleries and public spaces around the world. Accompanying his studio practice,
Mather creates murals and urban art installations in various cities primarily in the United
States and Europe.
“I make stuff from junk. I pick up messes and try to make them into something I think
looks good. I use the junk from the city, I use the stuff from the field, I use the bits in the
forest, and the things in the trash. I hunt, collect, and gather, but only what I need for the
work, for the play. color, shape, composition. Some lost stuff gets found again.” ~ H.
Jill Ricci is the Co-Owner and Co-Director of Parlor Gallery.
“One of the most arresting visuals for me is an old wall layered with papers, graffiti and
text – our modern hieroglyphics. I try to re-create this beauty in my work, the layers of
time and decay are what interest me. I hope that the person viewing my work will linger,
trying to discover hidden imagery and text and depending on their life experience, find
their own meaning or interpretation.
Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective
experience. By incorporating materials that are linked to the realities of daily life, I strive
to establish an immediate identification between the viewer and the work of art. I am
exploring the place between “high art” and popular culture, text and image, figuration
and abstraction, past and present , and two and three-dimensional space. By combining
elements of advertising ephemera, hand-stenciled papers, global motifs, design and
abstraction, I find a way to create work that feels both ancient and modern. I begin
working without a final vision in mind and use collected materials and allow pattern,
texture, color and structure to emerge organically.” ~ J. Ricci
Gunnar Wray uses collage to appropriate and reinterpret found imagery, which he then
handpaints to provide a consistency and fluidity to each fragmented work. Each
figurative piece from this series has a corresponding smaller abstract work, for which
the artist uses leftover scraps from his original printed imagery. They’re an intriguing
juxtaposition and thoughtful reinterpretation of his larger figurative works.