‘IDENTITY’ | Oct. 24, 2014 – Mar. 6, 2015
IDENTITY is the perceived character of a place or a people, based on cultural and social manifestations. It is both inherited and constantly evolving. It creates local distinctiveness and a “sense of place.” Curated by Patrick & Holly Kahn, this exhibit features the works of eight national / international renowned fine art photographers and painters. View exhibition installation.
Formento + Formento
Formento + Formento. BJ Formento was born in Hawaii and grew up in the Philippines. After receiving his BFA in Photography from the Academy of Arts University of California, he moved to New York and assisted Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark, and Annie Leibovitz, and studied with Eugene Richards and Arnold Newman. Since 2001, he has shot for a host of publications and advertising clients while continuing his personal work. Richeille Formento was born in London and attended the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art before working as an art director and designer in the fashion industry. For this series, they draw their inspiration from 1950’s Japanese cinema, Akira Kurosawa, Araki and Moriyama, as well as Edo woodblock prints and erotic imagery of Ero Guro paintings.
Zun Lee is an award-winning photographer from Toronto, Canada who was named onto PDN’s 30 List in 2014. His intimate visual storytelling centers on uncovering unseen aspects of identity and representation in marginalized communities. Questions around identity play a pivotal role in his latest project Father Figure, for which Zun used his personal journey of discovery and identity formation to examine manifestations of Black fatherhood largely ignored by mainstream media. Lee was born in Germany to what he thought was both a Korean mother and father. As an adult in his 30s, he learned the truth: his black father left his mother upon learning she was pregnant. Zun Lee will be joining us from Toronto and discuss his series ‘Father Figure’ and sign copies of his newly released book ‘Father Figure – Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood’ (September 19, 2014). The hardcover book to Father Figure was featured in the New York Times as well as shortlisted for the 2014 Paris Photo Aperture First Photobook Prize.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura earned a B.F.A. with Distinction at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts in 1991. His artwork has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London, England; galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada; and he was short-listed by the Royal Surveyor of the Queen’s Picture Collection for a commissioned portrait of the Queen of England. Okamura’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Toronto Congress Center, Standard Chartered Bank, and the Davis Museum in Massachusetts, as well as the private collections of celebrity clients such as John Mellencamp, Uma Thurman, and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Tim Okamura is courtesy Yeelen Gallery.
Mei Xian Qiu
Mei Xian Qiu is a Los Angeles based artist who creates staged tableaux that reflect Cultural Revolution Propaganda imagery. Growing up in Java as a third generation Chinese Diasporic minority, Qiu reconstructed the unknown, fantastical notions of culture, self invented and — by dissecting essential archetypes. After her family immigrated to the U.S. in response to genocide, Qiu visited China five times only to learn it was eagerly shedding its own past culture viewed as outdated in order to embrace modernity. Ultimately Mei seeks, in her words, to “recapture cultural legacies in a fantastical way.” Mei’s body of work engages the constitution of the future, specifically with respect to globalism, the identity of the self and self view, the social landscape, post-colonialism, and that of the larger national body politic. Mei was a featured artist at Snap! Orlando 2013 ‘MOTION TO LIGHT.’ Her works are in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Cesar Chavez Museum.
Los Angeles native Mike Saijo is influenced by media culture (i.e. books, television, movies, magazines). He takes the approach of “open text” which takes an object, such as a book, transforms the material from sequential to spatial order, and opens up a space to create new meaning. Mike explores the notions of “representation and history” by forming constructions and site-specific installations—with the text of actual book pages juxtaposing imagery of historical incidents and events which have had significant local impact. His unconventional process often involves Xerox copy technology, office supplies, and building materials to construct art with a wide range of subject matter from mid-century modern architecture, WWII photos, cinema stills, imaginary landscapes, and the history of fashion.
Nicolas Sénégas was born in 1983 in Castres, France. Nicolas studied anthropology and photography. Early on, he developed a passion for studying humans, in their physical and aesthetical dimensions, but also in their approach to spirituality, rites, customs, desires and fears. Nicolas joined us at Snap! in May 2013 for his first US exhibition.
Aaron Reichert is a New Orleans based artist whose work ‘charts the delicate equipoise of fragility, creation and decay’ (Art Daily). The internal landscapes of his celebrity portraits, as well as his modeled figures, are rich, and capable of informing not only identity, but character. Initially a sculptor, Reichert received a BA from Loyola University, Chicago. He then spent several years as a theatrical actor before returning fully to fine art. Reichert’s solo show, “Women,” opened in April of 2013 at the Meridian Museum of Art. His work was seen at Art Basel in 2013 as a part of SCOPE, Basel. He has appeared numerous times in art publications and as the cover article for “Art Voices.”
Claire Felicie photographed the faces of 20 Dutch Marines before, during, and after their tour of duty in Afghanistan. From first photo to last photo, only 12 months passed, but a great deal happened in these young men’s lives. Felicie came up with the idea for this project when her 18-year-old son decided to join the Marines. He was eager to go to Afghanistan and she spent lots of time thinking about how the experience might change him. In the end he never went— instead getting stationed in the Caribbean—but she did. Through one of his friends, she connected with a squad that was being sent to Afghanistan. She photographed them first while they were still on base in the Netherlands; a lingering shoot full of stories of their families and eagerness to depart. Nine months later, just six weeks after they lost two of their men to an IED blast, she met up with them in Afghanistan. The photo session was rushed. The men had just returned from patrol, drenched in sweat, and were eager to shower. She had time for just one portrait of each Marine. She caught them again three months later, when they’d returned to the Netherlands. Again, they had plenty of time, but something was different.
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