This year Jessica Porter and the artists of Porter Contemporary had moves like Jagger, which they boldly displayed during A Rolling Stone exhibit. Just as sexy and unique as the dancing of good ole’ Mick, A Rolling Stone offered a stunning visual homage to the bad boys of rock ‘n roll.
Jason Bryant is a man with a subtle disposition and an exquisitely beautiful soul. During his openings you can find him with a glass of wine in his hand, humbly chatting in the corner or in a circle of guests; traces of his southern roots are hardly recognizable in his accent. It is almost as if he has forgotten that the night is about him, instead he allows his work to speak volumes. Devoid of eyes, Bryant’s work challenges the viewer to see the world through his point of view. The realistic quality of the closely cropped images unearth an alluring elegance and symmetry that otherwise might not be seen if the entire inspiration of the work had been simply replicated on canvas. In this way, his artistry gives direct insight into Jason Bryant the man.
Trilogy, Bryant’s latest solo exhibit at Raandesk Gallery, provides further entrée into the mind of this talented artist. Using three diverse concepts, Rubric, Merging Iconography and Symbolic Portraiture, Jason Bryant offers an intimate view of classic Hollywood, skateboard culture and the exhibition of the human form.
Rubric is a series of four paintings whose source images are derived from vintage Hollywood movies such as Wild One with Marlon Brando. Although the eyes are edited out, one can clearly see from the lifelike quality of the paintings that faces belong to Brando, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and others. Instead of becoming just a painting from a movie scene, Bryant transforms the images into something else entirely through thought-provoking copy. The paintings like the films that inspired them are black and white and are no less as crisp and captivating as Bryant’s works in color. Evoking nostalgia and social commentary, Rubric is a luscious addition to Jason Bryant’s body of work.
Merging Iconography are two paintings that successfully blend the realms of skateboarding and film stills. Bursting out of the frame are bold, colorful graphics. Both chic and cheeky the pieces grab you and shake your ideas of pop culture to the core. Equally beguiling as Rubric, Merging Iconography create an elevated, symbiotic union.
Music is as important to who we are as the foods we consume. Symbolic Portraiture cleverly offers viewers a human profile without a face. Instead, the audience sees the back of two women, one dressed in a hoodie, the other in a t-shirt. Album covers on the back of the clothing replace features and expressions. Although, the faces are hidden, viewers see a deeper perspective of the women in the painting. By revealing the album cover that best represents their personality, you get a more profound understanding of who they really are.
Not even torrential rainfall could keep me from attending the opening of Trilogy on September 16. I found myself doing laps around the gallery space constantly changing my mind as to which piece was my favorite. Time after time I find myself entranced by the meticulous, flawless art of Jason Bryant. Trilogy will be on exhibit at Raandesk Gallery, located at 16 W. 23rd Street, until November 12 so you still have time to introduce yourself to the art of Jason Bryant.
Art plays a pivotal component in the chromaticity, aura, composition and overall look of a space. Generally when we see art, it is in a museum or gallery with white or bricked backgrounds and minimal furniture; a curator designs the space to tell a story about the art and the artist. But when bringing art into our home, the task can be a bit challenging. Most people approach buying art with the same methodology used for buying clothes, shoes and accessories, purchasing separate pieces and afterward attempting to create a chic look. Rarely, does one obtain a complete ensemble at one time.
Karen Chien, Jessica Porter and Dominic Lepere
Stylists are hired to create memorable looks for their clients and interior decorators do the same for rooms; however the look is expected to last a lot longer than a 15 minute photo op. That is why it is essential to blend the right art, lighting, furniture, textiles and other decorations in order to produce a room that is reflective of the owner’s personality. But in today’s economy not all of us can afford to hire an interior decorator. Luckily, three of Manhattan’s connoisseurs of creation have produced an exhibit that combines stunning works of art and sleek, modern pieces of furniture. Art & Living: Emerging Interiors opened May 13 and combined the talents of Karen Chien (Cheeky Living), Dominic Lepere (Lepere showroom) and Jessica Porter (Raandesk Gallery).
Art & Living: Emerging Interiors is comprised of several mini-room installations and is a unique display of style and function. Walls of the intimate spaces are adorned with artwork from Juan Astica (Buenos Aires), Anne Marchand (Washington D.C.), Teresa Pereda (Buenos Aires), Matej Sitar (Slovenia), Laura Viñas (Buenos Aires) and Roy Wiemann (New York City). Massachusetts sculptor Andrew Maglathlin’s three dimensional pieces were featured on end pieces and tables. Raandesk Gallery owner Jessica Porter chose to showcase artists whose art was more abstract; their color palettes enhanced the furniture. The furniture was comfortable and contemporary. During the opening reception, guests mingled, sipped glasses of sparkling wine and turned the showroom into a real living space. Watching people bring the exhibit to life truly illustrates how a beautifully designed area assists in promoting good feelings.
December in New York City guarantees three things – hordes of people at Rockefeller Center, a steady drop in the temperature and the occasional cold. While fears of the H1N1 virus have the whole country in the grips of fear contemplating whether to get a flu shot, I am waging my own battle with the common cold. Since the topsy-turvy weather and my cold have kept me indoors this week, I unfortunately was unable to go to any galleries, parties or shows. Then I remembered, thanks to Jessica Porter I have a gallery right at my fingertips.
In 2006, Jessica launched Raandesk Gallery with an accompanying live exhibition in Chelsea. Raandesk Gallery is an alternative to viewing art in a traditional venue allowing anyone with access to the internet the chance to broaden their visual horizons and expose potential art buyers to an experience that is less stodgy than the traditional gallery visit.
Jessica has always dreamed of owning a gallery. The dream was present when she attended the University of Delaware where she studied Art History and French Language & Literature with the intent of becoming an international corporate curator. A dwindling market prompted Jessica to become a consultant for an international fine arts shipper. She also attended at the University of Maryland and received her Juris Doctorate in 2001. Throughout her various career paths, Jessica never abandoned her original dream and in 2005 she began to turn her dreams into a virtual reality.
Raandesk Gallery currently represents over 30 artists and their work is only a click of a mouse away. Along with the virtual gallery, Raandesk conducts several live exhibitions in venues throughout the city including Vino Vino and Gallery Bar. In fact, my first introduction to Raandesk Gallery and Jessica Porter was at Gallery Bar. From our first meeting I could tell that Jessica is passionate about what she does as well as the artists her gallery represents, which is always a good thing for an artist.
Laura Salierno MARCH 3:42 PM (2005) C print, shot on 645, 220 Fuji film, printed on Fuji crystal archive paper with a luster finish
ART2Gift, Raandesk Gallery’s latest exhibition, can be found at 16 W. 23rd Street and online. ART2Gift is a multi-medium marketplace that allows consumers to buy cotemporary art at extremely affordable prices ranging from $35 to $500. The exhibition will be on display until January 2010. So if you’re stumped for ideas for Christmas this year, a piece of art might be the way to go. Whether you are viewing the work in person or online Raandesk Gallery always delivers the opportunity to dive headfirst into the world of contemporary art, stuffy nose and all.