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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Artomatic 2008 - Bloggers' Night

This past Saturday, I had the great pleasure of participating in Artomatic 2008's first annual Bloggers' Night. Angela Kleis organized the gathering, and kudos to her and everyone else behind the scene who made this possible and provided (and guarded from vultures!) the Uno's Pizza for all of us before we began our evening of art gazing.

(Above: Jennifer Beinhacker talks with one of the bloggers (and me!) during our pizza hour before the art tour)

What is Bloggers' Night, you might ask - put a bunch of artists and a bunch of bloggers together in a space. Have artists talk about their work. Have bloggers blog about it. Partly this stems from the fact that there's soooooo much art at this year's event that it can be daunting to wade through it all. As a blogger AND an artist, I talked about my art and also took some photos and mental notes to provide a starting point in what will be an ongoing look at Artomatic. My hope is to get a series together to highlight some spaces that I've come across that I think are worth a look.

So, on to the participating artists...

1. Jennifer Beinhacker [12SW A5]

Jennifer is a collage / assemblage / mixed media artist. Her wall has been dubbed "the lime green beast" by fellow artists. She is showcasing a "blood" series. She does not always know where her piece is destined to wind up when she begins, but creates as the spirit moves her.

2. Paul Roe + Cyn Rudzis / Britishink [12]

(Above: Paul and Cyn at work - the tattoo parlor is fully functional. And what a view!)

In the corner of the penthouse of Artomatic 2008 lies the Victorian Tattoo Parlor. It is decorated impeccably, and it's occupants can be found dressed in Victorian garb on the weekends (jeans and t-shirts during the week though!). Paul can explain all about tattoos and the history behind them in his British accent (hence the BritishInk name). These guys know their stuff, and all work is custom designed for each client (nothing off the wall here!).

3. Jack Whitsitt [8SE D6]

Jack's installation for this year's AOM is fascinating on many levels. He explains that his work is really two different pieces depending on how you look at it. From far away, you see a 6 foot self portrait. Up close, you see a couple of different small self portraits repeated over and over at different densities to create the larger piece. The code used to create this piece was written and generated by Jack himself, tying in his coding background to the visual nature of the piece. I love the use of space, lighting, and just about everything here. If you see this, make sure you follow the arrows on the ground to view both aspects of this piece.

4. Michael Auger [8NW A4]

Michael sports his trademark style of offbeat artwork that is whimsical and at times freakish. The thing that really makes these pieces unique is the lighting - these are showcased under black lights to show how they glow! Michael uses a special type of acrylic paint to achieve this look, and carries a battery powered black light to accentuate each piece during the daylight hours.

5. Angela Raincatcher [8SW A7]

Angela is showcasing 10 digital collages that represent a spiritual mission that she has embarked on. In the Kabbalah, the Sephiroth represent the archetypal man. Each force has an opposite, a balance point, and need to be considered. Each collage represents one of these opposites.
(wow, I hope I got all that right! If not, someone please correct me!)

6. Kerri Sheehan [7NE C3]

Kerri is making a departure from her usual photography at this year's Artomatic, and is instead choosing to exhibit sculpture. The four faces are all cast from the same mold, and 3 of the 4 are wearing bandages over their eyes. The fourth is bandage free, but eyes are closed. This piece reminds me of recurring dreams I had for a while, centering around various themes of blindness and losing my vision. Maybe I'm biased in that way, but what is art, if not something that can reach out to someone else out there...?

7. ME!!! Erin Antognoli [9NW A4]

Okay, what can I write about my own work? There's my artist statement on my art site HERE, but that doesn't really address as closely the work I am showing at Artomatic this year. In 2008, I started to focus more on making portraits in my signature style with the Holga camera. I miss the human factor in my personal work, and am trying to bridge the gap between my cityscapes of the last few years and my more commercial wedding and portrait work. I started the original Holga project to make peace with DC, and now am expanding on that by embracing the people.

And that's all for part one of my look at Artomatic 2008. Check back, because I will be noting a few other exhibits / artists with each visit to give readers a starting point if they plan to visit and want to know which are my picks!


Cynthia Rudzis said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, enjoying my British buddy's dissertation on the art of tattooing and taking the fantastic photographs. :)

Anonymous said...

Great write-up! Looks like it was a lot of fun. :) Wish I had been there..

Anonymous said...

Erin - what a great post! I'm going back and editing my post on Jennifer (yesterday) to include a link here - great photos!

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I am a sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist based in the Washington, DC metro area. I sculpt with steel and glass, and enjoy people and holga / alternative processes photography best, although I experiment with many different subjects and media where I find them.

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