[Article by Bob Killen Fine Art Photography]
Calumet University, the photography and visual arts education division of Calumet Photographic, presents Merging Harmonies, an exhibition of personal themes from three graduates of the CAL U Fine Art Photography curriculum. The exhibition is open to the public at the Calumet Gallery, 1430 S. Village Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705, from April 26 to May 26— with an artist reception on April 26 at 5:30PM.
The artists, David Nelson, Gizella Nyquist, and Pamela Lagoni, present fine art photographs immersed in individual and revelatory discovery. Each artist has investigated a personal thematic with camera and fine art postproduction skills to produce prints that are visions beyond documentation. While the subject matter is unique to each artist the unifying power of light binds them into a common text of uncommon views that explore visual metaphors.
David Nelson, lives in Buena Park, CA, delivers a thematic project that explores ‘Giant’ commercial signs and business friendly sculptures from Southern California’s boom years. These huge ‘sky-punching’ works of neon, steel, and plastic are iconic metaphors that testify to the egos that drove the urban sprawl and rapid unchecked development. His work is large in capture with exquisite points of view, and the use of light isolates the images as commercial works of art. Yet, his thematic “Giants” (a solo body of work), renders deeper allegories, for each of the images tells us in two-dimensions about the three-dimensional, oversized egos that crafted bold visual statements to promote their enterprises.
Pamela Lagoni, a resident of Irvine, CA, explores mechanical detail with robust images of gears, spokes, and clutches, each of them rendered with an ‘in-close’ perspective. Her prints form a body of work entitled, “Radius’ of Motion”, draw viewers into a world of images that present the hard edges of power works as well as the soft glamour of chrome and candy apple paints. However, these tiny details are in reality huge metaphors that portray the discipline and order of mechanical construction from images of parts already in service. As viewers, we can feel the pain of wear and tear, the entropy of use, and ultimately the need for replacement and repair.
Gizella Nyquist resides in Irvine, CA, and presents an inventive exploration of form and structure derived from her study of tree bark, the California Sycamore specifically. Her eye for detail at one level and her sense of the grander meaning of nature pushed her to explore various forms “Hidden Within” the rich textures and colors of the bark. In post-production, she assembles the bark and in the process discovered new faces that are hidden within. Rabbits, birds, cats, and more suddenly reveal themselves with character and we see intricate details of man’s relationship to structure.
“Context is fundamental to reading images,” says Bob Killen, Director of the Fine Art Photography program for Calumet. “These new artists worked hard to explore a theme and then create images that relate as a body of work. Thematic approaches require one to explore and find a visual voice that presents a story that is often deeply challenging to the photographer, as well as to the viewer. As Paul Klee, a painter famous for his orientalism, tells us, “Art does not reproduce the visible, rather it makes the visible, visible.” These three artists do exactly that with thematics that merge together with visual harmonies.
Calumet University invites the public to join us as we celebrate new work, new artists, and new views of the visual world.