About the artists:
Inspired by an obsession with the ocean and a fascination with extravagant interiors of old churches, Adam Wallacavage transformed the dining room of his South Philadelphia Victorian Brownstone into something from the pages of a Jules Verne novel. Teaching himself the ancient art of ornamental plastering, Adam evolved his new found skills into making plaster cast octopus shaped chandeliers as the final touch to his underwater themed room. Not content with leaving the chandeliers to his own home, Adam continued his experimentation by making more and more. He changed the shapes and colors and even collaborated with famed jewelry designer, Tarina Tarantino, who supplied the beautiful pearls for his pink glitter chandelier featured in his first showing at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in June of 2006. The same chandelier will be included in the Juxtapoz retrospective show at the Laguna Art Museum in June of 2008, before arriving at its permanent home, in the entrance of Tarina’s new Sparkle Factory, in downtown LA. Beyond making chandeliers, Adam Wallacavage is also an accomplished photographer, documenting artists, musicians, daredevils and all things weird and wonderful. His first book,
Monster Size Monsters, was released in August of 2006 through Gingko Press and spans fifteen years of his photography.
Christine Wu is a fine art oil painter and overall image maker. Stylistically, her work is multi-layered with haunting and sensual undertones. She often depicts people in flux, capturing the vulnerability of self discovery while exploring the tangibility of memories and the way we remember. She is also an information collector, obsessive organizer and springtime murderer.
Ellen Stagg began her photography career in 1994, when she discovered her love for the medium in a high school art class. While still in high school, she began showing her first black and white photos in small art galleries in Connecticut, in 1996 she moved to New York City to receive her BFA in photography at the School of Visual Arts. By the end of her junior year at SVA, she’d signed with her first agent, setting her on the path to pursue a career in commercial photography.
Though Stagg found success in the world of commercial photography, her true passion always lay with fine art. After years of struggling to connect with models who would understand her vision, Stagg met Justine Joli in 2005; the award winning adult actress quickly became Stagg’s muse. Through Joli, Stagg was able to connect to other women from the adult industry. Stagg found it easy to create nude art with these “pros;” feeling inspired, she dusted off one of her old film cameras and some left over negative film and began working on multiple exposure images.
This current body of work blends Stagg’s love of nature with her love of the female nude form. Shooting with a Holga 120 film camera, Stagg photographs her models, making multiple exposures on the film. This process is repeated with elements of nature, as Stagg shoots images of water, trees flowers, and the ground.
Using classical imagery as a platform, Bayly discusses concepts of nostalgia, humor, and American values. By painting the everyday into the classical format, the common becomes elevated and it allows contemporary language to be part of the historical narrative. It borrows reverence and returns context.
Helens process begins with slowly building up the painting layer by layer, attempting to capture a classical technique to depict her imagery. The still life bouquets and female nudes alike are then carefully defaced with gold leaf text or brightly colored pattern. This brings into question Helen’s relationship to the background, an homage to a classical detection of beauty or something that’s part of a greater conversation.
James is a contemporary figurative painter located inn Lawrenceville, NJ. His home, a 1920s Center Hall Colonial, is also the location of his studio where
he paints daily. James believes that a painting should look like it has been painted and not like a photograph. You should see each brush stroke,each drip of paint and each layer of color. Many of James’ paintings seem like he captured a moment with a delicate woman, the last to leave the party, her fancy dress now the worse for wear as she casts a subtle glance about the room searching for something unknown. James’ paintings are often characterized by softened drips, smears or unfinished edges. He thinks his process should be visually accessible. His favorite painters are Gainsborough, Sargent and Degas.
Jay Riggio created his first collage over 15 years ago. His inspiration came from the overwhelming desire to tell a visual story without the classic ability to illustrate. Drawing on influences from a background in writing and film cinematography, Jay uses images from vintage magazines and books to create collages that explore his interpretations on life, love, humanity, humor and dreams.Using an X-acto knife, scissors, and glue, Jay’s pieces bring together unrelated images that create unique visual perspectives. His collages have been featured in galleries throughout the US and around the world. Jay currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
“Early on I saw similarities between Sculpture Foundry and Metalsmithing Jewelry. In both cases I started with an idea, and transformed that idea from concept to reality out of carved wax and burnable objects. In both cases I plaster coated the original, kiln fired it, melted metal, and poured it into the negative space. I saw that sculpture and jewelry were the same, interchangeable. The only difference between the two: one form of art is heavier, more apt to be immobile and decorative, and the other form is smaller, more apt to be mobile and functional. What was missing was a way to bridge the two, until I came up with my current body of work. Wearable art + small sculpture = Sculpturings.
I created my first sculptural ring at age 19, a large sterling silver castle ring, while attending NAU under a full tuition arts scholarship. I studied with Joe Cornett Jr., and was a student supervisor under his instruction before graduating early with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001. In 2009 at the Maitland Art Center, I also studied with Jim Hosner, and Parsons professor Paul Maltrildonno.
My methods involve a process called kit bashing, where I assemble found and burnable objects reminiscent of childhood toys, game pieces, organic materials, and imported miniatures in order to convey a narrative or story. Recycled objects and elements find their way into the mix as new life is breathed into discarded items that become precious metals. I mainly work Hunched over my trusty JH Rosberg bench from 1901, sporting chemistry class goggles to shield me from flying wax, plastic and metal shards.
An avid art collector myself, I create works with the savvy collector in mind. The precious metals used in the series retain monetary value, as sterling silver consistently appreciates in the world market, and by providing accurate and highly detailed documentation for each piece, provenance is a cinch. These unique approaches further solidify that my pieces are worth owning. The Sculpturings body of work honors eccentric collectors of silver sculpture such as Sam Wagstaff and Andy Warhol, both of whom had desires to shine an artistic spotlight on silver sculpture, but neither had the chance due to early deaths.I am an award winning artist, having won multiple scholarships and grants in the field including the highly coveted Halstead Grant in 2013, one of the largest grants available to art jewelers in the US. My work has been featured on local and national syndicates like PBS and Good Day LA. I’ve shown extensively throughout Manhattan and Los Angeles, including Madison Ave., Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood, and internationally including Beijing Design Week, Shanghai Design Week, and Art Basel Miami Beach. My work is internationally owned by private art collectors including TV producers, Fashion Designers, Emmy Award Winning Actors, and Broadway Musicians.”
R. Freymuth-Frazier was born and raised in Nevada City, California – a small gold rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan she moved to New York City to study oil painting. Seeking rigorous, technical training that most schools could not offer, she studied in a tradition common to painters of the past, through full-time apprenticeships. Her first apprenticeship was for two years under Steven Assael in his New York City studio and her second was with Odd Nerdrum in Norway. References from a broad swath of art history can be found in Freymuth-Frazier’s solitary subjects. Influences range from Balthus’s discomforting depictions of preadolescence, and the queen of Kitsch, Margaret Keane’s “Big Eyed” children and animals, to the heavy chiaroscuro and technical rigor of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. This unique combination of classicism and pulp results in something of a hybrid between Lowbrow esthetic and Old Master technique. Cultural references spanning 2000 years can also be found in Freymuth-Frazier’s work, from the Roman sculpture Sleeping Hermaphrodite, 2nd century A.D., to the recent porn video 2 Girls 1 Cup. Using a complex language of symbolism like that found in medieval religious icons or the Unicorn Tapestries, the paintings address universal themes such as child development, sexuality, loss of innocence, consumerism, domestication, gender roles, androgyny and body image in our society today.
Freymuth-Frazier’s work can be found in collections internationally such as The Seven Bridges Foundation in Connecticut and the John and Diane Marek Collection, in Tennessee. She has received attention from numerous Arts publications including ArtNews, The Chicago Tribune, Art Papers, American Artist Magazine, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Freymuth-Frazier is represented by Cavalier Galleries in New York City, Connecticut and Nantucket and Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. She lives and paints in New York City.
Victor Grasso is a self-taught artist from Cape May, NJ. Victor’s works grab your mind, spirit, senses and childhood simultaneously and immediately. It’s all of Jules Verne, Tim Burton and Lucian Freud at once. It’s dark and its whimsy. It’s sensual and childlike. Andrew Wyeth with fisherman’s muscles. It’s a jocular and hallowed family. Fusion is a word that comes to mind. It’s based in reality but vivid with alternate universes suffused with reverence for the body. There is juxtaposition of the beauty and noir that inhabit recesses of our minds, and never see the light of day until Grasso puts it on canvas. Objects, people, events, contexts that should not exist together nor imagined to our eyes are evident on the screen of Victor’s mind duplicated in oils. He rediscovers the ochre, blacks and whites of the past and re-imagines the future.
Triptychs, deserts, deep sea creatures are all found not in their neighborhood nor habitat. It’s as if Spielberg found Mallarme. Fellini found Tim Burton may be more apt. Gorgeous women, tentacles, business suits and archaic deep sea helmets with apparatus that find their way comfortably into his canvasses. Oceans, skulls, bathtubs, crocodiles and bikinis – fully sensible and natural in Grasso’s world. Panoramas, wind blown skeletonized trees; seascapes, octopi and bald men. Kitchens filled with zoo creatures and creatures of the deep. His models are the village and family – never more flattering or at risk, and bravely exposed. A ride with Grasso is a ride in the hidden areas that inhabit our unconscious, and remain repressed and denied until so provocatively exposed as natural world order in his art. It is both our fear and our lust. It is fulfillingly appealing, while revealing our most hidden secrets now well exposed – seemingly as natural as Disney – gone Louvre.
“I live and work in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I was born in Portsmouth Virginia in 1954 and earned a BA in art from Monmouth University in 1979.
Using acrylic and small brushes on wood or gesso board, I make small paintings for small spaces in the “lowbrow” surreal style. I am not heading in any specific direction and there are no significant social, spiritual, metaphysical, etc. signals behind most of what I paint. I get most of my energy from studying my favorite artist heroes and try not to let their amazing talent discourage me. I enjoy the physical process of creating a three dimensional illusion on a two dimensional surface with paint. I view my work as little frozen glimpses of non-existing time not to be taken too seriously. If your reaction to my work is “WHAT THE F@#K” then we are in complete and total agreement.”