BY ELIZABETH CARBERRY
Last week I made the exodus down to Miami and I am happy to report that DC artists were well represented with interesting, exciting, and forward thinking work. There is always a sense of pride and excitement when you encounter an artist or gallery from your hometown. While walking the rows and rows of what seemed like endless art, these five local artists really stopped me in my tracks.
For the past two years Cook has made a splash in the Washington, DC community for his portrayal of African American identity. Hamiltonian, WPA, Georgetown Washington University and Pleasant Plains are among the locations that have displayed his work. What struck me at the Curator’s Office booth at Context were his two portraits of men in their graduation robes, Regalia 2 and Regalia 3, 2014. While just as powerful as some of his earlier work, something about the expression on the young men’s faces really told the story; a sense of pride, accomplishment and maybe even a hint of cockiness. Like his other work, the size of each photograph is overwhelming and hard to miss.
Cook was also recently featured in the 5×5 project. For more information on his work click here .
Possibly one of the most recognized DC artists, Conlon’s work is hard to miss. In addition to his large scale, spray painted train cars on canvas titled Blank Canvas Series, Conlon replicates and embellishes toy train cars or G Scale Trains. Each car has its own tag and often an additional character. The toys trains are playful, familiar and seem slightly scandalous to own. Each piece is hand painted with spray paint and paint marker, true graffiti on canvas and train. At j Ferguson’s room at Aqua Conlon nearly sold out with the train cars going the quickest. A great success story for one of our local artists!
Upon entering the booth of the Adah Rose Gallery at PULSE, you’re greeted by the playful and imaginative works of Randall Lear. The works are colorful, sculptural wall installations made of paint and found objects. 19th Century landscape painting heavily influences Lear, a young artist who recently received his MFA from American University. The booth featured two larges pieces of Lear’s. One was a painting and found object installation in a cloud formation. The other was The Cube Formally Known as Frank, a square, hollow cube covered in bright, neon, colors and shapes. The work is described as “an homage and a riff to artist Frank Stella,” a contemporary “post-painterly, minimalist” artists that Lear admires.
To see some of his other work and for more information on his work click here to visit his website.
Farrow-Savos is no stranger to the Miami circuit. When chatting with Lenny Campello, co-owner of Alida Anderson Art Projects, he said that she typically sells very well at the fairs. This year at Context, it was hard to miss her unusual and whimsical work. One piece in particular caught my eye as a small girl stared, admired it and then imitated. The piece is a freestanding sculpture of a ballerina, which is slightly reminiscent of Degas’ work. Her white ensemble gives an angelic ethereal look that makes her float. The ballerina sold in the final minutes of the fair to collectors from San Francisco.
To see some of her other work and for more information on her work click here to visit his website.
Mann is 0ne of my personal favorite artists in DC right now and I have followed her work for several years. With a recent show at Project 4 Gallery, Mann debuted some amazing new work, but nothing compared to her collaboration with Joe Corcoran at the Gallery nine5 booth at PULSE. The works, shown at Gallery nine5’s booth are some of her larger scale works with small bubble like glass formations from Corcoran. Her work always takes you to an alternate universe, with the way she drips and pours over the paper and then cuts it to shape and fit perfectly in the strangest of places. This collaboration however, took her work to a new, textured, multi-dimensional place.
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