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Thursday, July 23, 2015

AMP Gallery--July 24 through August 12 | Opening Reception, Friday, July 24, 6-9 pm Steven Baines | Karen Cappotto | Michael Cunningham + Richard Dorff | Mimi Gross | Heather Kapplow | Laura Wulf

Birds Can't Laugh, oil on canvas, by Steven Baines

 Steven Baines: Did You Get What You Came For? Steven Baines’ paintings can act as metaphors for the passage of time, the brevity of human life as in Vanitas and Momento Mori paintings. However they are not heavy or morbid. They are optimistic and humorous, like sad, dark lyrics in a catchy lighthearted melody. Sometimes within romantic settings and other times within bright bold abstractions, figurative images have been chosen for their symbolic value to represent the fragile and transitory nature of life: luxuriantly plumed birds, moths, monkeys, ripe fruit, bubbles, bones and UFO’s. Baines’ work also aims to encourage an escape, aiming to be beautiful, tragic, dramatic, even romantic, but something about it seems to have an innate sense of humor which can question the sincerity. This line between sincerity and the absurd is something we find also creeping into his work. Sincerity wins but it’s just a little wobbly.
Grey Honey, oil and mixed on paper, by Karen Cappotto

 Karen Cappotto: Entering Meadowville
"Entering Meadowville is a series of new paintings about the idealized notion of summer, youth, and unique qualities I see disappearing. My aim is to create a fictionalized landscape comprised of collaged elements taken out of time from this actual town at the end of Cape Cod and from my own personal narrative…vapors that still seem to exist, albeit in tag sale set of dishes or a bench seated quietly over time…against the historic seaside structures still standing amongst us. MY humble attempt at visually opening a gate to a lane leading us back towards those magical “meadowville” moments we all carry within us."

Michael Cunningham + Richard Dorff: Dis/Enchant, a collaborative sound story installation
(Sound engineer: Sue Metro)
"As a child, I was never quite satisfied with “happily ever after.” That is, I was always baffled by the phrase, “And they all lived happily ever after,” which my mother or father delivered, with evident satisfaction, at the end of almost every fairy tale they read to me. I inevitably asked, “What do you mean, ever afterDid they live forever? And were they happy all the time, like every second?” Being five years old, I had no idea how irritating a five-year-old can be. I don’t remember how my parents answered, or dodged the question. I just know that it can’t have been answered to my childish satisfaction, because it has remained unanswered, in the back of my mind, for decades since. A Wild Swan, my collection of fairy tales, is essentially a body of riffs on the question: What happens after “happily ever after?” What happens after the spell is broken, after the prince carries his true love off to his palace, after Beauty marries the Beast, after Jack has gotten rich by climbing the beanstalk and stealing all the giant’s treasures? These are, after all, stories unto themselves. They’re the secondary stories, the ones spawned by the initial ones. I mean, Happily? I mean, Ever after?" - Michael Cunningham

 Mimi Gross: August Afternoon, 2 1/2 D
Atmospheres; illusion; illusive moments; time and light, changing.
Installation: a portrait; a group; a park; a beach; a road.

Days After the Darkest Day, (detail), Polaroids by Heather Kapplow

 Heather Kapplow: Days After the Darkest Day
Created in the early mornings of the last ten days of 2014, these daily images capture the (supposedly) brightening sky following the Winter Solstice. The series involves 10 images and the medium is FP100c 3.25" x 4.25" instant film, multiply exposed on a Polaroid (250) Land Camera.

0420059, hand-etched color photogram by Laura Wulf

 Laura Wulf: Hand-Etched Color Photograms
"When photography was invented in the mid-1800's, it effectively freed painters from the responsibility of representation and paved the way for the modern exploration of painting materials and of the painting process. Photography today finds itself in a historically parallel moment, due to the development of digital photography. Some artists are currently investigating the fine line between fact and fiction, creating fictional "documentary" images, while others are exploring how photographic materials can be used, other than for strictly reproductive purposes.

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