APRIL 2016: THE ART OF FASHION
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
michael ray nott
The images in the Bettie series are a recurrent part of my experience while photographing on the street. Each time I pass this dress shop, in particular, I always stop to take a few pictures of the mannequins in the window. Each visit is different: the lighting changes, the costumes change, creating, for me, a fascinating variety of compositions – imagery that compels me to return again and again to this subject. Taking photos in shop windows is a refined strategy of street photographers – from Eugène Atget to Lee Friedlander. The photographer employs a methodology to reveal, in multidimensionality, the psycho-perceptual experience of the modern city. The vintage mannequins in my photos appear to view urban life passing before them with a detached gaze. The flat photographic image is animated by building overlapping layers — reflections, transparencies and architectural detail. Unexpected juxtapositions, especially of foreground and background elements, give way to abstract fragments. Rendered in graphic black & white, the archetypal beauty of these period faces blur historical context. This is a series of portraits in which mute plaster sex symbols speak volumes about their role as fashionistisas and our own voguish, obsessive desires.
I began my art career in Austin, Texas where I became a well-known poster artist. My work appears in a number of poster retrospectives from that era, including the book, The Art of Rock (1987, Abbeville Press). During my time in Austin, I studied photography under the legendary street photographer, Gerry Winogrand. I observed up-close how Winogrand worked and absorbed his philosophy of photography, which has greatly influenced my current work.
Born in 1958, in Southern California, as an only child to self-employed parents, John spent many afternoons watching television and movies portraying perfect people, in perfect families, living in a perfect society. These shows had a profound impact on his career path. He pursued a career in advertising design, receiving an A.S. Degree in Graphic Design from Mt. San Jacinto College, followed by a B.S. Degree from Brooks Institute in Commercial Photography. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, he gained national recognition winning numerous awards, as a photographer in the area of food, celebrities and advertising. Throughout his career as a photographer any spare time he enjoyed was dedicated to creating art, building art furniture and restoring vintage motorcycles. In 2003, John closed his photo studio to pursue his passion for sculpture and began creating several diverse bodies of work. John’s art is included in both private and corporate collections, and has been shown in galleries and exhibitions throughout North America.
Since 1981, I’ve been creating art that stirs the emotions of the viewer. As I’ve grown as an artist, my work has become more of an expression of my soul.
Images in nature, art and new technology all influence me. I’m especially intrigued by the moments in life that catch my eye, random ideas that erupt in my mind and words people say that just hang in the air.
I’m constantly re-formulating the process of my creative thinking. I’ll observe something strikes a chord with me, tuck it away in my mind, and later it becomes an inspiration to me. As a result, my art can be lighthearted and whimsical or deeply symbolic.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Lauren has been an artist since a very young age. Attending Louisiana State University in Shreveport as a Fine Arts Major, she went on to design and paint scenery for theatre and founded Academy of Children's Theatre in Shreveport back in 2005. Lauren also worked as an after school teacher at a local private school for a few years until making theatre her full time job. In June of 2014, and after 15 years working as an artist/teacher in Shreveport, Lauren left to go on tour with Cirque Du Soleil where she worked as a wardrobe assistant. As an after work "hobby," Lauren went back to what she knew, ART. After years of combining theatre, costuming, and art, Lauren began to focus on the "theatrical" side of fashion. Showcasing the actual design/fabrics of clothing, she also showcases the "looks" from not only he models on the runway and backstage, but even the critics that review each fashion show.
My paintings are representative of my love for fashion and theatre. I am inspired by beautiful designs and fabrics as well as the "seriousness" of the fashion world. I really like to focus on the theatrics of fashion in an unexpected way to create a smart, colorful and bold statement. Making fashion my subject is what makes my artwork different from others. My pieces are a reflection of the different photographs I am inspired by whether from a backstage point of view or the runway.
The sculptural woodwork of Brad Sells evolves from a conviction that all living things have a soul. As he shapes and reveals the visage of each piece, he views his role as capturing then releasing the voice of each tree. From this vantage point, he carves exotic and domestic woods into the sensual, tactile, and delicate forms showcased in this portfolio.
Sells works in his own Bark Studio in his hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee. Though located in a relatively rural area, Sells’ artistic reputation, strong work ethic, and recognition of his unique skills have led to invitations to travel and carve rare woods on distant continents, have his work exhibited in museums and private collections throughout the world, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.