New Work by Julie Blackmon!

We are excited to share three new images by Julie Blackmon!

South & Pershing St., 2017
South and Pershing St., 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Those familiar with Julie’s work will recognize the Midwest scenery as well as her children, siblings’ children, and the children of friends and neighbors. Blackmon, herself the oldest of nine children, balances her role as a mother of three and an artist, referencing family life and the circumstances it creates. Chaos, disorder, fantasies, social gatherings, game playing, all of these scenarios continue to dominate Blackmon’s work, which we first witnessed in her series, Domestic Vacations (Radius Books, 2009). Elegance, triumphs, dangers and solace mix with fantasy, where nothing is quite as it seems. Like Alice in her wonderland, Blackmon’s children appear in reality and fantasy, engrossed in their fictitious worlds.

Weeds, 2017
Weeds, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Influenced by Jan Steen and 17th c. Dutch paintings, Blackmon also credits Edward Gorey, Tim Burton and Federico Fellini, who stated, “the things that are most real to me are the ones that I invented… even lies are interesting, eloquent and revealing, just as much as what is considered the truth.” By looking at her family through the lens of fiction, Blackmon reveals her own truth and one that seems to resonate with audiences’ worldwide.

Sidewalk, 2017
Sidewalk, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Since 2005, Julie Blackmon has received overwhelming critical acclaim. Her works are part of numerous collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), George Eastman House International Museum of Photography (Rochester, NY), Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Museum of Art and The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL). Her newest book Homegrown is available from Radius Books.

All images, from 2016 to present, are available as 22 x 29″, 32 x 42″ and 40 x 53″ pigments prints made in editions of 10, 7 and 5, respectively. Pieces range in price from $4000 to $15,000, depending on size and availability.

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New “Heroes” by Francesco Pergolesi

After a busy summer for the artist, Francesco Pergolesi has released new images from his series Heroes. Each of the photographs in this series reference a character from paintings, literature, film, and the artist’s own memories. Thus, the titles are not actually his sitters’ names: “I always work with the real elements present in the locations, the subject in the portrait is the real owner, I absolutely leave intact the essence and the history of the shop, but I make a sort of meta-dialog between the reality and my memory to create a new atmosphere.”

Bonfé, Barcelona, 2017
Bonfé, Barcelona, 2017 © Francesco Pergolesi

Francesco Pergolesi was raised in Spoleto, a small Italian village filled with artisan shops and small businesses. Splitting his time between Spoleto and Barcelona, Pergolesi creates photographic tableaus inspired by memories from his past: narrow cobblestone streets, the sound of a hammer coming from the open door of a shoemaker; the smell of fresh bread from a baker, the steady beat of a sewing machine from an open window, the smell of old paper in a used bookstore. In Pergolesi’s world, these sights and smells drive his art making, as he seeks to preserve the past, before big-box and chain stores arrive.  As he says:

“When I was a child, I used to walk free, exploring my village streets. I loved to spend time in the little cobbler or the grocery where my grandmother sent me to shop. Time seemed to be extended and gave me a sense of freedom. I grew up loving neighborhoods where human relationships were the center of life. I understood these places were disappearing, pushed by a mysterious force, and a new era was coming.”

Delia, Roma, 2016
Delia, Roma, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi

Delia was the flower shop owner in Spoleto, where I went when I was a child to buy flowers for my mom, and after for my girlfriends…”

Fausto, Barcelona, 2016
Fausto, Barcelona, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi
Murphy, Barcelona, 2016
Murphy, Barcelona, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi

Murphy is [in reference to] the actor Alex Murphy in the 1987 Robocop movie.”

Francesco Pergolesi sees himself as a guardian of a vanishing world where people congregated to talk about families and daily activities. The artist presents his work as traditional photographic prints and as 5 x 7 x 2” / 9 x 12 x 3” photo boxes, lit from within. These small pieces force the viewer to stand inches away, creating an intimate interaction with strangers – it is what inspires Pergolesi every day, as he continues to wander the streets looking for a connection.

Niki, Spoleto, 2016
Niki, Spoleto, 2016 © Francesco Pergolesi
Pio, Torino, 2017
Pio, Torino, 2017 © Francesco Pergolesi

Francesco’s images made 2016-present are available as 4 x 6″ or 10 x 15″ pigment print mounted to plexi, framed and backlit with LED light and 23½ x 35½” pigment print in an editions of 7 + 2 AP’s and 3 + 2 AP’s, respectively. Pieces range in price from $1500 – $4000, depending on size and availability. You can see the entire Heroes series on our website here.

Saturday at Expo Chicago

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It’s Saturday at EXPO CHICAGO! Spend this weekend enjoying the photography on view at booth 257. The fair is open until 7 pm today, and reopens again tomorrow at 10 am. Three of our eleven featured artists who we have yet to highlight are Clarissa Bonet, Serge Najjar, and Gregory Scott.

Clarissa Bonet
The concept of place, and our relationship to it, is at the heart of Clarissa Bonet’s work, who was born and raised in Tampa, Florida – a coastal port city known for its amazing climate, sports teams, national defense outposts, and healthcare businesses. While the city is currently undergoing a population growth, it used to be a quiet place dominated by the warm gulf water.  In 2010, Bonet moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at Columbia College Chicago. She immediately noticed the density of the city, its people, and its traffic. As she wandered the city, she was stunned by the isolation she felt among the throngs of people rushing along the sidewalks. It was this feeling that led her to City Space, an ongoing body of work about individuality in a large city.

Fortress_2016
Fortress, 2016 © Clarissa Bonet

Walking for hours, Bonet uses her phone to photograph the interactions between people, architecture and light. Later, she would revisit these places and recreate the feeling she had first experienced, hiring models to play specific roles at the precise time of day when the light was perfect. The resulting photographs are carefully staged memories that appear to be snapshots of everyday city life. As she states: “The urban space is striking. Its tall and mysterious buildings, crowds of anonymous people, and endless sea of concrete constantly intrigue me. The images I create provide a personal interpretation of the urban landscape.”

Serge Najjar
Five years ago Serge Najjar started photographing the interaction of people and architecture in his native Beirut. Influenced by the work of Kazimir Malevich, Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, and Alexander Rodchenko, Najjar took to the streets, focusing his lens on daily routines: construction workers sitting on a building ledge during lunch break, the sharp lines of a high-rise facade, a man looking out an open window, and children sitting on a windowsill. Whether working in Beirut, Munich or other places he visits, Najjar’s vision is unwavering – to show other people what they may not see themselves.

As he states: “There is no such thing as an ideal place to photograph, or an ideal city. Architecture inspires me, but my whole approach towards photography is to focus on what people consider as common… the people I photograph are complete strangers. I never plan where I go and what or who to shoot. My images are faithful to what I see. And every single Saturday morning I am convinced that I will never capture the picture I had the chance to capture the week before…. It is a thin line between the ugly and the beautiful, the ordinary and the extraordinary, between chaos and order.”

Gregory Scott
In 2008, upon graduating with an MFA from Indiana University, Gregory Scott stunned the art world with his mixed-media video works that combined installation, photography, performance, video and painting. As more and more artists blur the lines between medias, Scott has taken the idea to a whole new level, presenting video-based wall pieces that are humorous and poignant, contemplative yet accessible. Symbolic, 2017 is Scott’s most detailed piece to date.

Gregory Scott builds sets in his studio that serve as his subject. In these sets, he records himself performing a variety of scenarios that are then edited into 6-10 minute videos. The sets are then photographed, and the resulting wall piece is a mounted photograph with a cut out for a monitor on which a video plays, and a painted element appears on the photographic surface. In each video, he shows how he constructed the set that he photographed, breaking down the barrier between maker and viewer. All of the hardware is attached to the inside of the frame, making his works self-contained.

Continuing to use himself as the model, Scott creates narrative pieces that reference specific artists (Mark Rothko, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Frank Stella) that have had an impact on his life. Using illusion and surprise, he challenges the definitions placed on photography, painting and video, expanding its discourse and creating a dialogue with the viewer.

You can see all the photographs on view at Booth #257 on our website here.
Read more about CEG’s EXPO 2017 programming
featured on Chicagoist and The Reader.

EXPO CHICAGO
Festival Hall, Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Saturday, September 16
11:00 – 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 17
11:00 pm – 6:00 pm

For tickets and more information about the fair, visit expochicago.com.
Follow along with us this week on InstagramFacebookTwitter and here on Cyclopsblog!

 

New Work by Jess T. Dugan!

We are always excited to share new work by our artists, and Jess T. Dugan sent us new photographs this week! Jess has had a busy summer teaching workshops and making new portraits. Below are four new additions to her series Every Breath We Drew.

 

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Jen, 2017 © Jess T. Dugan

Jess writes that Every Breath We Drew “explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of myself and others. Working within the framework of queer experience and from my actively constructed sense of masculinity, my portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others. I photograph people in their homes, often in their bedrooms, using medium and large format cameras to create a deep, sustained engagement, resulting in an intimate and detailed portrait.

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Michael, 2017 © Jess T. Dugan

“I combine formal portraits, images of couples, self-portraits, and photographs of my own romantic relationship to investigate broader themes of identity and connection while also speaking to my private, individual experience. The photographs of men and masculine individuals act as a kind of mirror; they depict the type of gentle masculinity I am attracted to, yet also the kind I want to embody. Similarly, the photographs of relationships speak to a drive to be seen, understood, desired through the eyes of a another person; a reflection of the self as the ultimate intimate connection.

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Jamie, 2017 © Jess T. Dugan

“By asking others to be vulnerable with me through the act of being photographed, I am laying claim to what I find beautiful and powerful while asking larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.”

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Rafael, 2017 © Jess T. Dugan

Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. Jess earned a BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, a Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University, and an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Portraits from this series are currently on view in the 2017 Aperture Summer Open On Freedom, at the Aperture Foundation, in New York City, NY, until August 17 and in The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today at the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, TX, until September 10. You can see more of Every Breath We Drew on our website here.

 

New Work by Ysabel LeMay!

We are excited to share new work by Ysabel LeMay! Ysabel has been hard at work on a large-scale commission as well as these additions to her series, Gracia.

Eden I, II and III  are designed to work as a diptych, triptych or individually. They are available in two sizes, 48 x 48″ and 59 x 59″ in editions of seven and five, respectively.

Eden I, 2017
Eden I, 2017 © Ysabel LeMay
Eden II, 2017
Eden II, 2017 © Ysabel LeMay

 

Eden III, 2017
Eden III, 2017 © Ysabel LeMay

Combining her technical expertise with her deep-seated roots as a painter, LeMay continues her exploration into the power and divinity of nature through a unique process she calls “Photo-Fusion”. At first glance, you might think you are looking at a hyper-realistic painting. However, LeMay’s innovative technique is a lengthy process during which hundreds of photographs are taken and light and visual properties are attuned. She then assembles one detail at a time in a painterly fashion to form a single composition. In 2011, LeMay was selected the winner of KiptonArt Rising Star program in New York. Since then she has exhibited in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and The Netherlands. Her upcoming solo show “WOW: Wonderful Other Worlds” opens at the Morris Museum in New Jersey on September 16, 2017.

Ysabel LeMay is presently living and working in Austin Texas. You can watch an Artist Talk we recorded with Ysabel in 2015 here, during her solo show “Wonders” at the gallery in Chicago. See more of her work on our website.

New work from Jack Spencer

Somewhere along the back roads of small towns dotting the American landscape is Jack Spencer, a self-taught photographer, capturing the country and those he finds within it. Throughout his travels, Spencer looks for the unexpected, waiting patiently for images to emerge.

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Two Wild Horses, Cumberland Island, 2007 © Jack Spencer

Driving through forgotten towns, lush bayous, overgrown cotton fields and visiting weathered porches filled with the sound of authentic country blues, Spencer watches and listens, always looking for that one moment, interaction or ray of light that inspires him to take a picture. His photographs illuminate a singular mood, person or place, exposing us to the raw beauty etched into the faces and landscapes in the South, as he returns time and again to his subjects, peeling away layers, offering us a glimpse at another facet of their character.

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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2016 © Jack Spencer

From the moss hanging on Cypress trees in Tomotley, South Carolina, to the crumbling ruins of an old church, or an abandoned tire swing swaying in a humid breeze, Spencer’s work emanates with the heat of a southern summer where everything grows like wildfire and the air feels like an extension of your skin.

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Miscanthus, Iowa, 2008 © Jack Spencer

These are but a few of Spencer’s most notable images from Native Soil, his first monograph, which solidified his place as one of the most gifted photographers working today. Whether photographing people or the landscape, Spencer manages to draw us in, searching for stories in the silhouettes of children on a beach or the haunting eyes of an older man staring directly into the camera. In his latest book This Land; An American Portrait, similar stories are being told. The photographer broadens his scope, invoking imagery from New England cityscapes to coastal towns in California, and most everywhere in between.

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The River Rouge, Dearborn, Michigan, 2016 © Jack Spencer

Whether traveling the roads of Louisiana, New Mexico, or Montana, Jack Spencer is on an endless quest for beauty — to capture small moments and freeze them for all to wander into. It is here, within his images, that we grasp his magic, as each image reveals its own meaning. Spencer is an artist whose vision is unquestionable, as is his commitment.

New work by Julie Blackmon

 Julie Blackmon shared with us her two newest images: Fake Weather and Trapped.

Fake Weather, 2017

Fake Weather, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

Fake Weather is the more comical of the two, the kids’ faces flaunting Julie’s skill of direction. It’s Christmas in July, or an unseasonably warm winter (not unlike what we experienced in Chicago this year).

Trapped, 2017

Trapped, 2017 © Julie Blackmon

As evidenced by the signs in this garage, Trapped hearkens to the distress felt by much of the country during and after the U.S. 2016 presidential election. Multiple skateboards, an energy drink, and the lone hand etching a lewd word across the door’s four windows hint at the extent to which the current political climate affects even young members of her community.

Those familiar with Julie’s work will recognize the Midwest domesticity as well as her children, siblings’ children, and the children of friends and neighbors. Blackmon, herself the oldest of nine children, balances her role as a mother of three and an artist, referencing family life and the circumstances it creates. Chaos, disorder, fantasies, social gatherings, game playing, all of these scenarios continue to dominate Blackmon’s work, which we first witnessed in her series, Domestic Vacations (Radius Books, 2009). Elegance, triumphs, dangers and solace mix with fantasy, where nothing is quite as it seems. Like Alice in her wonderland, Blackmon’s children appear in reality and fantasy, engrossed in their fictitious worlds.

Influenced by Jan Steen and 17th c. Dutch paintings, Blackmon also credits Edward Gorey, Tim Burton and Federico Fellini, who stated, “the things that are most real to me are the ones that I invented… even lies are interesting, eloquent and revealing, just as much as what is considered the truth.” By looking at her family through the lens of fiction, Blackmon reveals her own truth and one that seems to resonate with audiences’ worldwide.

Since 2005, Julie Blackmon has received overwhelming critical acclaim. Her works are part of numerous collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), George Eastman House International Museum of Photography (Rochester, NY), Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, MO), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Museum of Art and The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL). Her newest book Homegrown is available from Radius Books.