Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi - Digital Artist

Beautiful faces, strange faces, weird eyes, porcelain skin, emotional gestures, an upside-down umbrella, strange and mysterious surroundings...along with magnificent color and amazing compositional quality. Spend a few moments with the digital art of Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, who has five pieces in the Still Point II exhibition at Still Point Art Gallery. Sumayyah manipulates seemingly normal and boring digital images and turns them into masterpieces of emotion and sensuality. She feels that many of her pieces give the illusion of a fairytale or a non-existing world. Whatever they portray, Sumayyah's pieces are very personal because they come from her heart, often describing what she is feeling and experiencing.

The Girl Next Door [Larger Image]               Finally [Larger Image]               Goodbye My Lover [Larger Image]

Sumayyah's art is inspired by her day-to-day living. As she goes through her day, there are sometimes events or incidents that trigger her imagination and creativity in some way. She begins to imagine a painting in her head and, as it becomes clearer, she sketches it out on a piece of paper. She then moves to her computer and starts working in her software, digitally repainting every single element of the artwork.

Sumayyah has exhibited her work throughout her own country - the United Arab Emirates. She has also had shows in Berlin, Germany and the United States. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Best New Talent Award 2010 by L'Officiel Middle East.

The Girl Next Door (64 x 74) digital art/photo manipulation/digital painting, $1905 

Finally (74 x 74) digital art/photo manipulation/digital painting, $1910 
Goodbye My Lover (64 x 85) digital art/digital painting, $2000

Return to Still Point Art Gallery


Christine Brooks Cote 
Still Point Art Gallery 
May 20, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jay Hirschfeld - From Gigapixel-Resolution Imaging to a Bikini Swimwear Line

Jay's Hirschfeld's images are impressive and arresting. Three of his images are currently showing in Still Point Art Gallery's Still Point II exhibition. When I look at these images on the screen, I try to imagine what it must be like to see the real thing, because they are very large...seven and a half feet long and two and a half feet tall. That's big, and the size must make them even more striking and extraordinary. The images are complicated and detailed...maybe cluttered is a better word. The common thread through all of them is spray-painting. Hirschfeld's images are of architectural venues that contain spray-painting...such places are not always in the nicest parts of town...but it all combines for very interesting art.

Hirschfeld says that the subject matter of his images, these abandoned spaces and the graffiti artwork they contain, is important to him because they are truly the epitome of overlooked aesthetic opportunity. Consequently, he uses high dynamic range gigapixel-resolution imaging for these photographs because it allows the viewer to appreciate the full value of the spaces in 360-degrees. With GigaPan technology, each individual shot produces three bracketed exposures, which are then combined for the final image. And that's what makes the images so vibrant and strong. Take a look at this article for more information about Hirschfeld's use of this fascinating technology.

Abandoned Pumping Station Near Millburn, New Jersey   [view larger version]

Upstairs Walkway, Miami Marine Stadium    [view larger version]

Nike Missile Site HM-95 (Camps Krone)   [view larger version]

Hirschfeld describes his work in his Artist Statement:
I seek to obtain overwhelmingly saturated, highly detailed images of abandoned spaces that while decrepit are repurposed as communal canvases for monumental works of spray-painted art. In doing so, I hope to correspondingly elicit in my viewers new perspectives of the things that go often-overlooked, encouraging the ability to see opportunity in new, unlikely places.

The locations—their architecture as well as the ‘tags’, ‘murals’, and ‘bombs’ that I photograph-- are often immensely complicated, detailed and overwhelmingly large. To this end I utilize gigapixel-resolution photographic stitching techniques as well as high dynamic range imaging to display the space in as equally monumental a way as I feasibly can; ideally overwhelming the viewer and seducing their vision with as much color, line, and perspective that my media, equipment, and knowledge will allow.

I extrapolate from this work the idea that the opportunities granted in our lives often come from the disparate, unwelcome circumstances that we at first find impossible and worth abandoning; it is usually only upon closer examination of such circumstances that we realize we may have gleamed from those experiences more than we at first imagined.

Growing up immersed in all things creative and digital, Jay Hirschfeld spent his formative years in New Jersey and Chicago before graduating with a degree majoring in Film/Video Production and Fine Art/Photography from the University of Miami, in Miami, Florida.

Currently working as the founder of the New Media start-up Cineflock LLC, Hirschfeld focuses not only on the proliferation of gigapixel-resolution imagery to the public but more importantly on the appreciation and general widespread acceptance of cutting-edge digital technologies as tools for artistic and creative development.

Oh, yes...and about those bikinis. Hirschfeld is also well into development of a bikini swimwear line called Chiral which features fabric digitally printed from his images. The bikinis should be available for purchase in July of this year!

Abandoned Pumping Station Near Millburn, New Jersey (90 x 30) archival digital print, framed, $2450.
Upstairs Walkway, Miami Marine Stadium (90 x 30) archival digital print, framed, $2150.
Nike Missile Site HM-95 (Camps Krone) (90 x 30) archival digital print, framed, $2250.

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Most Beautiful Iris - Katarina Fagerstrom Levring

I heard someone say recently that this is the first year in 40 years that Maine has had spring. Interesting. I sat up and took notice of that statement. I moved to Maine in 1992 from Indiana, and was told at the time that Maine does not have a spring season. It has a mud season. Having come from a state where the redbud trees and magnolia trees and dogwood trees burst into bloom at the same time as so many beautiful spring bulbs, I was dismayed to discover that this statement about Maine was somewhat true...Maine has a spring, but it is very, very subtle. There is no big burst of color...no redbud trees, no dogwood trees, a few magnolia trees here and there. Spring in Maine is about guessing when the lake will finally be free of ice, standing outside in the evening to listen to peeper frogs calling from a nearby pond, gathering fiddlehead ferns for dinner, and boiling maple sap for syrup. Warm temperatures? Burst of color? Not really.

This year, however, those of us who live in Maine have been remarkably fortunate to have experienced a beautiful March and April. What little snow we had melted very early this year. The crocus and daffodils bloomed early. Forsythia bloomed, grass turned green, and the leaves came out. The lilacs and apple trees are in bloom now...about three weeks early. Most importantly, we somehow skipped mud season, and with mild temperatures, we were able to get out and enjoy the limited amount of color that we get here in Maine. So, it did seem more like spring this year.

All of this came to mind as I was browsing through the Still Point II exhibition this morning and came upon the Iris photographs by Katarina Fagerstrom Levring. Levring is a fine art photographer from Sweden. Perhaps Levring has the same experience of spring in Sweden that I do in Maine. In any case, Levring's photographs of purple Iris are worth a good look. With her camera she catches pieces of the flower at different angles, accentuating its luscious curves, deep colors, and velvety texture. The dark background and the abstract approach to the photographs give them a feeling of obscurity or mystery that lends great appeal to the compositions. Thinking about it for a moment, I was drawn to these photographs this morning because they burst with color...the purple, the gold. Once drawn in by the color, it's easy to want to just sit and enjoy the beauty.

Iris Still Leaving IIII (16 x 23), digital photograph, not framed, $575
Iris Still Leaving I (23 x 16), digital photograph, not framed $575
Iris Still Leaving III (16 x 23), digital photograph, not framed, $575

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Anselm Skogstad - Artist of Distinction in American Portraits Exhibition

Still Point Art Gallery is  extremely fortunate to be showing photographs by Anselm Skogstad in its latest exhibition, American Portraits: Diversity in Our Land. In terms of subject, Skogstad's three photographs are exactly what this exhibition is about...people from different backgrounds...positioned in different places in life's journey...some have lived their lives and some have life still ahead of them...but all contribute to the larger community. Each portrait represents a person who contributes their particular voice and their particular gift to the whole. Artistically, these photographs are amazing...superb compositional quality, very well framed, the tonal range of black and white is perfect. These images brought me to a stop. I've seen these people. Most of us have seen these people. Some of us know these people. You might even be one of these people. Part of the community...part of the whole...part of the American Portrait.

[View Larger Version]                             [View Larger Version]                              [View Larger Version]

American Portrait: Untitled 1-3 (2005-2006)
silver gelatin prints
5 x 4, edition of 10, $480
58.5 x 44, edition of 5, $2100
117 x 88, edition of 3, $7800

Anselm Skogstad is a German-American artist living and working in New York City. He was born in 1983 in Starnberg, Germany. Throughout his work, Skogstad creates images, which often implement multiple layers using mixed media, although he insists to stay away from any digital manipulation throughout all of his work. He “customized” his education choosing both, schooling and practical experience. Skogstad attended courses at the International Center of Photography, the School of Visual Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute. His practical experiences with his mentor Christopher Makos and his traineeship with David LaChapelle turned out to be a great match for his goals to gain the most suitable education. Since 2005, he has had solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Future exhibitions of Skogstad’s work, scheduled through 2011, will be on display in Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, San Francisco and New York among others.

Skogstad has had a very successful exhibition schedule since 2005, as can be seen below. 


2010    “Abstracts From Above”, Trump World Tower, UN Plaza, New York, NY
           "New York City, 2.25$ - Unlimited Ride", G5 Kultur, Munich, Germany
2009    “Inside The Conference Room”, Brock Capital Group, New York, NY  
           “NYC Subway (2005 - 2008)”, KIM, Berlin, Germany
           “Unities”, Nörr Stiefenhofer Lutz, New York, NY
           “Studio Exhibition”, New York Studio, New York, NY
           “NYC Subway”, Raum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Zurich, Switzerland
2007    “New York Photographs”, The Empire State Building, New York, NY


2010    “American Portrait: Diversity In Our Land”, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME
           “Zu Besuch Bei CONNEX”,    CONNEX, Halle, Germany
           ”SMaLL”, Corden|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009    “Third Invitational Art Show”, The Heart & Soul Charitable Fund at Reidy Friendship Hall, New York, NY
            “Zu Besuch Bei CONNEX”,    CONNEX, Leipzig, Germany
            “Innen//Aussen//Innen”, Tapetenwerk, Leipzig, Germany
            “Art Bazaar”, Lyons Wier Gallery, New York, NY
2008     “Portraits of Women”, Jeannie Freilich Contemporary, New York, NY
            “Objects of Desire II”, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, NY
2006     “Fragments of Contemporary Urban Life”, San Francisco Istituto Italiano di Cultura, San Francisco, CA
2005     “18 Jahre Galerie-Geburtstag”, Galerie Ilka Klose, Würzburg, Germany
            “6 In The City”, Galerie Ilka Klose, Würzburg, Germany
            “Fragments of Contemporary Urban Life”, Sala d’ Ercole, Palazzo d’ Accursio, Bologna, Italy


2010     “Subway-Show”, Kultur Kalendar Mai 2010, VOGUE (Deutsch), Condé Nast Verlag GmbH, Munich, German
            “Panoptikum des Lebens in der U-Bahn”, May 3rd 2010, Abendzeitung, Munich, Germany
2008     Dresdner Musikfestpiele, Dresden, Germany
            Süddeutsche Zeitung (Portrait of David Rockefeller), New York, NY
2007     Entertainment Industries Council Inc. & AstraZeneca International, New York, NY
2006     “Kloster Vinnenberg – WarteRäume” hardcover book published by Dialog Verlag, Münster, Germany
2005     “Project Happy at Hunter College”, a nonprofit physical education program for people with disabilities, New York, NY


Jennifer Gassmann, Curator, Zurich, Switzerland
Philipp Gutbrod, PhD, COO of Villa Grisebach Auctions Inc, New York, NY
Dr. Jürgen Wurst, Curator, Munich, Germany

Still Point Art Gallery
May 10, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Still Point Art Gallery Opens American Portraits: Diversity in Our Land

Still Point Art Gallery opens its unique exhibition: American Portraits: Diversity in Our Land. This exhibition celebrates diversity in America through the genre of portraiture. Artists were encouraged to think about diversity in America in its broadest sense. The result is what you see...portraits of elderly men and women, children at play, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, people exhibiting different lifestyles, different pastimes, different issues, different blessings. It's like a walk up Fifth Avenue, Chicago Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, or Bourbon Street. Lots of individuals...no two are alike. 

Great achievements are not born from a single vision but from the combination of many distinctive viewpoints. Diversity challenges assumptions, opens minds, and unlocks our potential to solve any problems we may face.  --Unknown

Residents - Brooklyn, Ara Koopelian (20 x 16) digital inkjet print, not framed, $450
Residents - Brooklyn, Ara Koopelian (20 x 16) digital inkjet print, not framed, $450
Metallically Enhanced, Jay Spilker (12 x 8) photograph, not framed, $100

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 5, 2010

Angela Young - Artist of Distinction

Angela Young is a lithographer. While the practice of lithography has existed for a long time - back to around 1800 - it is not all that common to see lithographs in art shows. Certainly painting and photography far outnumber everything else that one sees in most art shows. What drew me to Young's prints was the depth of emotion portrayed so well in the drawing of her subjects and the fact that this emotion is enhanced by the monochrome nature of the medium. I came back again and again to these pieces. In terms of subject and artistic sensibility, they provide a noteworthy contribution to Still Point Art Gallery's exhibition: American Portraits: Diversity in Our Land.

Young provided some commentary about her pieces in the show. 

The three lithographs in the show were all done during my undergraduate career at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The portrait with the finger on the chin was done when I studied abroad in Europe at a printmaking studio in Edinburgh, Scotland. The studio was called Edinburgh Printmakers. I did a lot of self-portraiture as an undergraduate to explore different emotions as well as to explore how the slightest change of movement or change in light can completely alter a composition.

The process of lithography involves a stone or metal plate from which the image is to be printed. Part of the area on the stone or plate is ink-receptive and a blank area is ink repellent. The artist covers the plate with a sheet of paper and runs both through a press under light pressure. The resultant "original print" is of considerably greater intrinsic worth than the commercially reproduced poster which is mechanically printed on an offset press. Original Stone Lithographs begin with the artist doing a drawing by hand on limestone or marble. Each stone is used to print one color. This is the oldest lithographic technique, and still the best. The best stones are Bavarian limestone; these are gray in color and have a clear complexion free of fossils and other flaws. These stones are becoming increasingly rare. Original Plate Lithographs begin with the artist doing a drawing by hand on aluminum plates. Plates are cheaper than stones, readily available and easier to transport. These factors make plate lithography a popular alternative to stone lithography for the creation of original prints. Whichever method is used, after the edition (the number of impressions made) is hand-printed, each impression is signed and numbered by the artist, and the mark, or chop, of the printer is embossed on each print. Imperfect impressions are destroyed, the stones and plates are effaced, and each edition is carefully documented.

“The real subject of many – some would say all – works of art is the artist himself.” I have always enjoyed drawing the human figure and including it in the art I create. I found a lot of inspiration simply by looking at myself in the mirror and taking photographs. I thought after the first couple of drawings of my face that I would be limiting myself and I would run out of possibilities on how I could draw the figure, but soon found how the slightest change of movement of the body or the lighting could completely change the composition. I realize now that I find excitement in the way light falls on form and I am now incorporating elements of nature along with the figure to show how the two can relate and interact with one another.  I find it interesting to discover how it will change the viewer's perception of the piece if there is an unexpected element added.

I'm currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

Self-Portrait (28 x 19.5) stone lithograph, framed $1500
Sorrow (17 x 25) stone lithograph, framed $800

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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 5, 2010