Friday, December 28, 2012

Symphony of Color: The Trio Exhibition at Steinway Gallery by Chloe J. Roberts

By:  Chloe J. Roberts
“Music gives color to the air of the moment.”-- Karl Lagerfeld
As I entered the Steinway Gallery to see the Trio Exhibition, I walked into a cornucopia of canvas brilliantly colored with emotional intensity.  It just turned winter, and that means one thing. . .we need more color.  The Trio Exhibition at the Steinway Gallery is Paris in spring. 
The trio of local Orlando artists, Robin Maria Pedrero, Fern Matthews and Annette Margulies, are each uniquely talented artists specializing in forms of abstract expressionistic style painting. Their brilliantly colored works float above the Steinway piano collection.  The Trio Exhibition is fun-loving and feels good. Surrounded by two of my passions, art and pianos, I was in a spectacular symphony of color. 

Fern Matthews’ canvas painting “Set Yourself Free” is a shimmering abstract that hangs over an elaborately decorated red Steinway with dancing butterflies.  Her work focuses on feeling, emotion and energy.  “Set Yourself Free” is large canvas featuring mixed bright pink, red, yellow and blue.  The feeling of the painting is complete harmony.  It is like a radiant rainbow of light, but somehow even better. 

“Mysterious Forces” by Annette Marguiles features a spontaneous combination of cobalt blue, sea green divided by black and splashed in red.  The title of this painting is fitting since it evokes cubism and contemporary modern painting.  Exhibited before, Marguiles’ painting placed first at the Guild of Creative Art Juried Exhibit. 

Finally, last, but not at least, Robin Maria Pedrero’s work shines in this exhibition. She is an experienced and celebrated artist and it shows in each and every one of her paintings. Her abstracts feature simple figures, birds and blossoms, with background ambiguity. Pedrero has absolutely, without a doubt, mastered the art of blissful color juxtaposition. 
The abstract creations in this exhibit are both worth seeing and definitely worth considering as an addition to your own collection.  Also noteworthy, this is the final art exhibition being held at the Steinway Gallery, so go see Trio for yourself while it lasts. 
Chloe J. Roberts is a lawyer, art writer and playwright. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Analysis of Our Love Hate Relationship with Art Basel: Is it the Fair Worth It? by Chloe J. Roberts

Analysis of Our Love Hate Relationship with Art Basel:  Is it the Fair Worth It? 

By:  Chloe J. Roberts

Art Basel Week in Miami. Do you love it or hate it? Is the art work there worth forging through the wild week of traffic, parties and jam packed restaurants? Many popular critics have refused to attend (including two of my favorites Jerry Saltz and Carol Diehl) and have declared it overrated, dying out and losing steam. Some artists, including Adam Lindemann, have disparaged the fair, then exhibited work there, only to leave wearing a “F*ck|Art Fairs” T-shirt. Art lovers have declared it a vital source for discovering new contemporary and museum-caliber art. I somewhat agree with all the above.   

Whether you are flying or driving, the largest and most prestigious art show in the Americas is about a seven hour round trip from Orlando.  The twelfth edition of the fair hosted over a hundred exhibiting galleries featuring the most respected international art dealers.  The fair also includes special exhibition sections featuring young galleries, performance art, public art projects and video art.  During the afternoons, the Art Salon program features artist talks, panels, lectures, and performances, with the range of speakers including artists, academics, curators, collectors, architects, art lawyers, critics, and many other cultural players. 

Even if you are an experienced Baseler, you need a spreadsheet and an event planner to keep all the exhibitions, conversations, salon talks, art videos and dozens of satellite art fairs straight.  No matter how deep and wide your art appetite, it is not possible to experience all that Art Basel has to offer.  Even for an extreme, “live, eat and breathe art” lover such as myself, it is absolutely an overdose of art that leaves you with mentally drained. The experience of walking around all day viewing exhibits, listening to unnecessarily long and frequently monotone art lectures, and mingling at crowded art dinner parties is absolutely beyond exhausting.  

After many years of experiencing Art Basel, I have concluded that near death by overdose of art is a worthwhile experience.  Not only did Art Basel financially help the artists and galleries left ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, but it generated unparalleled revenue for our ailing economy and South Florida businesses. I love Art Basel. I always have. I always will. With only a relatively short drive you can experience an entire week of new art from all around the globe.  My favorites at this year’s fair include a grid of 81 Polaroids from Warhol's 'Torsos' and 'Sex Parts' series at Kicken Berlin, Andrea Bowers and Ricci Albenda at Andrew Kreps Gallery and Jon Kessler at Salon 94.  
Andy Warhol Sex Parts 2

If you did not make it to Art Basel this year, go ahead and start planning for next year’s fair which takes place December 5-8, 2013.  There is nothing more exciting than spending a week in South Beach immersed in art.  I hope to see you all there! 

Chloe J. Roberts was born in Miami, Florida.  She is a lawyer, art writer and playwright.  

By:  Chloe J. Roberts

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Artist and the Odyssey

The Artist and the Odyssey: Paintings by Tabata Ayup
By Bethany Myers

Pachamoma by Tabata Ayup (sniff this one's hair at center left)
When I walked into the City Arts Factory at 29 S. Orange Avenue on Thursday, September 20, I was immediatley drawn to the colors in the Redefine Gallery. I saw beautiful, exciting paintings of women and was instantly hypnotized. The artist was Tabata Ayup from Mexico.  She is the first international artist to exhibit a solo show at CityArts Factory and Redefine Gallery.

Tabata experiments with numerous mixed mediums. Her artwork is composed of Acrylic, oil, spray paint, crayons, coffee, sharpie markers and some 3D elements such as textured paper.  I immediately saw the influence of Gustav Klimt

Tabata Ayup and Carolina Suarez-Garcia
I walked right up to Tabata and told her I loved her vibrant work. She responded with a humble thank you. We talked about the coffee technique and she had me smell one of the paintings. Ahhh, French roast! Tabata had been invited to show at City Arts by a friend of mine, Carolina Suarez-Garcia, also an accomplished and talented artist in Orlando.

"It was an odyssey to get here." Tabata's husband Pablo Alba told me. He told me that customs employees almost kept them from crossing the border with rolled up canvasses and other items for the show. After hours of scrutiny they were free to enter the country. Tabata packed most of her smaller paintings in one box with the skill of a Tetris champion, and mailed it to Carolina. It arrived just in time for the show.


The paintings themselves are like an odyssey, each one taking you to another part of Tabata's world. A number of Tabata's works are included below.  I am particularly taken with "Fibonacci".  The use of geometric shapes above the head could represent a crown over a regal face. The shapes connect to a spray painted sun which drips on to the writing and finally back to the woman's face. Also compelling, "Donde te Escondes" (bottom picture) seems to metaphorically promise discovery and the revelation of secrets.  In "Starting My Way" (below), I imagine a mermaid under the sea. She has on her father's (King Neptune's) crown made of a spikey fish fin.

Tabata Ayup's work will be displayed through  Oct 12.

The place was packed! It was great to see a fresh, new artist on the Orlando scene. 
City Arts is a multi-gallery venue showcasing an array of talented artists. If you've never been, go on the third Thursday of the month. All the galleries in the building are open and buzzing. 

In fact, every third Thursday of the month is a great time to be downtown for the Gallery Hop. Lots of galleries and restaurants showcase different artists on their walls, so get out and enjoy! 

For more information on the show, go to Carolina Suarez-Garcia's article in the The

Starting My Way

(left) Us     (right) La Pasion

(top) Donde te Excondes

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Journey to a Surreal Dimension: The Salvador Dali Museum

Journey to a Surreal Dimension:  The Salvador Dali Museum
By:  Chloe J. Roberts
August 18, 2012

The new Salvador Dali Museum is an art lover’s paradise.  The museum is home to the largest collection of the Spanish painter’s work located in this country.  Founded by passionate art enthusiasts A. Reynolds and Eleanor R. Morse, the museum is a treasure trove of over 200 oil paintings, watercolors, prints, photos, sculptures and drawings.  Inside the Dali gallery you will see many famous works from every period and every medium of Dali’s lifelong creative career ranging from his early still life and cubism paintings to his famous surreal masterpieces to his later post-surrealist creations. 
Dali’s art captures the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and the non sequitur.  The images depicted in his art are simultaneously detailed, vibrant, deeply symbolic and hauntingly mysterious.  Inside the museum you will find his most famous painting, The Persistence of Memory, and seven of his masterworks, including Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and The Hallucinogenic Toreador.  

As you enter the museum you immediately ascend a helical staircase which leads to the upstairs gallery.  Inside the upstairs gallery you will discover a lifetime of Dali’s masterpieces and you will hear the story of the tortured artist with a flair for the dramatic.  As you view Dali’s immaculate paintings, you will learn that he was a man whose soul was filled with paradox.  At the age of 16, Dali lost his mother to cancer.  Dali felt his mother’s death was the greatest blow he had experienced in his whole life.  Reeling from her death, Dali went to art school in Madrid where he painted the still life art you will see at the entry of the gallery at the museum.  
As you stroll through the gallery you will see Dali’s soul unfold through his beautifully imaginative paintings.  Dali was a firm believer in Sigmund Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis.  Dali believed that surrealism was destructive, but it only destroyed the shackles limiting our own vision.   Like many past and present artists, he painted his dreams.  Dali’s primary inspiration was his troubled relationships and haunted subconscious. 
Inside the gallery you will see the painting that spawned the private collection which is now housed in the museum in its entirety.   After viewing the painting that started the museum, you will see Dali’s early still life art depicting fish, bread and colorful landscapes. Passing down the gallery you will see a few cubism works, mixed media dada pieces and many of his famous surreal masterworks.  You can also view an exhibition on the care and restoration of the paintings in the museum. 
Inside the new Salvador Dali Museum you will enjoy hours of viewing painting after painting brimming with extensive symbolism.   The one of a kind museum is conveniently located about an hour away in downtown St. Petersburg.  It was well worth the quick jaunt to see the beautiful and famous painter’s art and to hear the inspiring and heartbreaking story of Salvador Dali’s life.  

Chloe J. Roberts was born in Miami, Florida.  She is a lawyer, dramatic writer and an art enthusiast.

This is a Roving Oar Review  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Three’s Company: The Art of Three Local and Independent Artists Exhibition Featuring Rachael Wronowksi, Sean Conklin and Carissa Paige

 Dandelion Communitea is an urban tea room and social gathering hub for central Florida artists located in downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park District.  Dandelion is preserved historic home with three lush vintage styled seating rooms.  The exotic and almost hidden tea room is filled entirely with the artwork of three local Orlando artists: Racheal Wronowski, Sean Conklin and Carissa Paige. 
Dandelion Communitea, Orlando Florida
Bethany Taylor Meyers, another highly talented local Orlando artist, curated the colorful exhibit.  Starting on the first Wednesday of each month Dandelion features the art work of three local artists.  Not only can you enjoy new art creations by local talent, but all the pieces are for sale too.  You can kill two birds with one stone by supporting local artists and growing your personal art collection at the same time!  The artwork of Rachael Wronowski, Sean Conklin and Carissa Paige will be featured until August 8, 2012. 

As I stepped inside Dandelion on a rainy Monday afternoon, I immediately knew I walked into a sensory treat of modern art.  As I entered the foyer I stopped for an organic butterscotch rooibos tea to sip while I viewed the work of three uber creative, exceptionally talented and accomplished local artists.  As I turned and left the opening foyer, I was captivated by the exhibition of lighting, colors and textures inside Dandelion.  I was overcome with a rush of delight as I entered into a circus of design and color.  

In the front tea room the ceiling was lined with exotic silk tapestry, reminiscent of the tapestry found in European street fairs.  The tapestry gallantly hung above the tables and chairs painted with immaculately inviting detail.  The sienna painted walls are lined with the beautiful artwork of Rachael Wronowski.  According to her website, Rachael is both an artist and a licensed interior designer.  Her extensive design experience exudes in her innately crafted collage works.  Hung around the bay window lined with lace curtains and Moroccan lamps, Rachael’s collages featured a harmonious fusion of mixed media including recycled metal, lacquer, wood and tile.  Rachael’s creativity explodes in her delightfully busy artwork with unexpected combinations of design and texture.  

Art (c)Sean Conklin
 After I passed through the front room, I entered a small hallway that leads to two colorful back rooms.  The split pea green painted room to the left contains a comfy, over sized, bright yellow couch, an antique piano and the artwork of Sean Conklin.  The light hearted, pop art style work of Sean Conklin prominently grabs the eye.  Sean’s artwork is delightful and fun.  It fills the room with eye popping bright colors including pink, yellow, red and green.  In the middle of the center wall, Sean’s piece entitled, Self Portrait, hangs with a bright red background featuring his ruggedly handsome portrait with both eyes closed and a third eye open.  Sean’s painting is intriguing because it leaves so much room for interpretation about the deeper meaning hidden in his work.

Passing over into the powder blue room to the back right of Dandelion, last but not at least; I saw Carissa Paige’s artwork.  Her work is magical and whimsical.  Her paintings feature dainty, feminine silhouettes painted in contrasting black, pink, blue and yellow pastels.  As it continues to pour down rain outside the white lacey curtains draped over the large bay window, I notice a piece titled Camera Girl.  Camera Girl is intricately beautiful.  It features a reflecting girl with a camera.  The symbolism in the painting unexpectedly evoked a Picasso theme which turned to be the highlight of my visit.  This piece is a must see! 
After finishing my tea and viewing the works of three local talents, I left feeling incredibly relaxed and enlightened by the experience.  I am definitely looking forward to getting to know the works of three more artists next month at Dandelion Communitea. 

by Chloe J. Roberts,  July 18, 2012

Chloe J. Roberts was born in Miami, Florida.  She is a lawyer, playwright (Sad Stories from The Slums of Asylumville, 2011), screenwriter (Willow’s Year, 2011) and art enthusiast living in Orlando, Florida.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Francophile: All Things French

First Thursdays at the Orlando Museum of Art is Orlando's original art party. From 6 - 9 pm on the first Thursday of each month, OMA showcases a new theme with works by local artists, live music, cash bars serving wine, beer and soft drinks, and café offerings from area restaurants. June's theme was organized by Anna McCambridge-Thomas who set the stage for all things french. Artists captured what they love about the French or France itself from food, film, wine, literature, perfume, music, art and architecture, fashion, the people to the personality of the country.

When I arrived, Anna welcomed me warmly and showed me around as people were setting up. In the back gallery, Maitre Parfumeur Christian Louis was setting up. He had been flown in from France and didn't know any English. A beautiful French woman acted as interpreter. In the theater, Emotions Dance was going to perform Four Seasons, Poet Logan Anderson was going to read and models from Le Salon Zizou strutted lavish fashion.

I settled into the front gallery where artists displayed paintings with a French Theme. Artist Bernard Martin set up a small easel. He had a pink dress with him as well and I heard he might have a gorgeous model.  The model never showed, so he had to work from a photo. He was working on a loose spontaneous watercolor. I stood behind him for sometime admiring his lush and highly used pallet. Behind him were his loose impressionistic oil paintings. One was titled Moulin Rouge, another, Cabaret and The Vase. They all featured nude or semi nude women in bold impasto against a dark background.

The sculptor was Steve Piscitelli. The two sculptures he was working on were close to being finished. This made sense since so many people stopped to talk to him which meant he didn't hare time to concentrate. He added red slippers to the ballet dancer and the red clay acted as blood and intestines for the sculpture of a Bull, much to the delight of a young boy. In the middle of the room there was a crown mounted under Plexiglas made of pearls, a large coin and gems. It was titled, The Princess Kameryn Renee Parker.  Later I saw a young girl walking around wearing the crown. She must have been the artist's niece or daughter.

- Analog Artist Digital World

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The B-Side Artists at City Arts Factory in Downtown Orlando, Florida - Review by Josh Garrick

 As a writer, I love the irony of the title the B-Side Artists gave to the exhibit that virtually took over the City Arts Factory on Friday evening with crowds so thick this ‘secret judge’ had to walk sideways just to get down the hall.  The whole exhibit was called “The B-Side Artists Sell Out” and while ALL ARTISTS LOVE crowds, these ‘street artists’ did the opposite of SELLING OUT by moving INSIDE the City Arts Factory and thereby clearing the streets where they used to be found on countless 3rd Thursdays over the past several years.

photo by Leo Jamel Danielson
Petrson J Guerrier, TrezMark Harris, Peter Van Flores III, Steve Parker, Asaan 'Swamburger' Brooks,
 Morgan Wilson, Justin 'Skip' Skipper, and German Lemus