FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Holly Williams-Brock, Soft Focus
February 8 April 21, 2007
Joseph P. Gerges, In God I Trust
February 8 April 14, 2007
Opening Reception for both artists: Thursday, February 8, 2007, 7-10 pm
1225 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Tel, 310-798-0102, Fax, 310-798-0039
For enquires please contact Gallery Executive Director, Nancy Silverman-Miles
Web site, http://www.galleryc.com
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. 6 p.m.
Egyptian American Artist Joseph P. Gerges Debuts in His First Solo Exhibition
Joseph P. Gerges, “The Samaritan”, 2006, oil and acrylic on canvas, 75” x 50”.
Artist Joseph P. Gerges not only emerges as a new artist, but also emerges from his studio after 1 ½ years of preparation to debut his first ever solo exhibition, In God I Trust. The much anticipated showcase of Gerges’ most intriguing and haunting portraits will be on display from February 8 April 14, 2007.
Printed as a placard on United States currency and renowned as a statement that reverberates through a country founded on Christendom, “In God We Trust” was enacted so as to “relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism” as written in a letter by Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase in November of 1861. These simple four words initially endorsed as a statement for the country to avoid the shame of the irreligious, have been subjected to exploitation by those now faithfully devoted. “God”, “We”, and “Trust” has transfigured into “God”, “Me”, and “Policy”.
Based on found imagery from the 60’s and 70’s as well as childhood memories of Gerges’ Egyptian American upbringing, the artist attempts to explore the presence of God and his own Christianity in the context of current events from an individual experiential perspective. By including early examination of Coptic Orthodox and Byzantine iconography and investigation of themes that counterbalance the tension of violence and war, these images are at once heroic and confrontational. Using the motif of the subject looking out (from ancient iconography), and a majority of family and friends as models, the individuals in turn become real human beings feeling genuine emotions communicated unabashed, unembarrassed and honestly. The subject matter in a scene does not solely emphasize the action in the scene, but also captures a moment that might be otherwise ignored. This moment, frozen on a surface yet emotionally fluid, submerges the viewer into the work. Due to the size and context of the work, the viewer is thrust into a discourse of self-reflection and investigation of one’s own poignant and frail ephemeral mortality.
Blurred Photorealistic Paintings Transcend Genres for Holly Williams-Brock
Holly Williams-Brock, “Blue Boys”, 2006, oil on panel, 15” x 15”.
Opening night with cocktail reception for artist Holly Williams-Brock’s solo exhibition Soft Focus. Soft Focus represents an exploration into painting inspired by the qualities of photography and the screen image. Williams-Brock’s interests lie both in concepts of representation in the discourse of painting and in the simulacrum of media, specifically film and television. Here photography plays a key role, the lens being the way though which information is received, understood, and manipulated. Many of the paintings are based on underexposure, overexposure, and film degradation, incorporating motion blur and soft focus.
Photography acts as an intermediary, breaking down the image into abstraction, while providing an unavoidable relationship to representation. The blur effect flattens the image, stripping it of detail and leaving only traces of light and fields of color. This loss of information makes the image evocative and universal, providing an open narrative where the viewer can fill in the blanks. The paintings are not didactic; rather they are fields for projection, venues where the viewer can explore their own attachments to the work. By keeping the subject matter simple and universal, the paintings provide an entry into collective experience.
These images come from home movies, film, television, and photos taken from the artist’s everyday experience. Paintings like “Mother,” “Music Room” and “Three Women” are based on images from home movies that have deteriorated over time and show signs of being transferred to different formats. By directing our attention to the trappings of media, photography, and memory, we are forced to question the nature and origin of true experience, and how that experience can be shifted or manipulated through technology.
GALLERY C: Located in the heart of Hermosa Beach, Gallery C specializes in original work by contemporary California artists. Just steps away from sand and pier, Gallery C, along with acclaimed architecture collaborative Graft, transformed the historical space of the once 1923 Bijou Theater into a dynamic gallery that is at once inspiring and warm. With nearly 6,500 square feet of exhibition space and soaring ceilings up to 28 feet, Gallery C has a luxury of space and light not typically offered by galleries. Founded by marketing entrepreneurs Michael E. Napoliello, Jr. and Jason Moskowitz, Gallery C was established as a unique South Bay cultural venue in June 2003.
Gallery C is located at 1225 Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach, CA. Public hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. 6 p.m. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Public parking is available in the structure that is immediately to the north of the building. For further information, the public may visit http://www.galleryc.com or contact Executive Director, Nancy Silverman-Miles at (310) 798-0102.