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Gallery Picks of the Show

Urban Alchemy
by Betsy Phillips

 Peter Marr and Gallery Partners' have chosen their "Picks of the Show"

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All images copyright by the individual photographers

Peter Marr's Picks

Jubilation I by Betsy Phillips

Jubilation 1
by Betsy Phillips

It is important to realize that in abstract art, like some graffiti, form and other qualities may not be recognizable or understood, so it is salient to ask, what is it that the viewer sees and experiences, both visually and emotionally. Betsy has a remarkable artistic vision for both formal and non-formal design, wonderfully illustrated in Jubilation 1, in which she has creatively captured and interpreted a significant part of a much larger canvas. In doing this, the viewer’s attention is immediately directed to the central area, where there is an irregular separation of material that has been painted a vibrant pink shade, together with a diagonal white swathe of paint. Although subordinate, but of important interest to this mauve-colored area, one is very aware of striking vertical strands of green paint, which hang down like fingers, the bright green acting wonderfully as a complementary hue to the pink areas. Included in the overall image, the artist or artists have randomly added both diagonal and curved segments of white paint that have their own textured details. What I see is that the principal graffiti artwork was painted on perhaps a cardboard substrate, which besides the dramatic color palette, has interesting textured features reminiscent of such material. This is supported by the fact that the jagged tears reveal lovely colored edges one would find in such a product. Tearing open a part of the base layer reveals an almost 3-dimensional view of what was possibly another graffiti painting that had been hidden by this spectacular overlay. It is reasonable to assume that the substance used to support the artwork was vulnerable to the elements, and a combination of wind and rain could have easily created a tear in the support structure. What I would like to imagine, is that the central white shaft of paint that slopes to the right is the real malefactor. It is very reminiscent of a knife, the handle being defined by the large glob of dripped paint. It is this fairly blunt knife that is depicted as being responsible for the jagged tear. Betsy has exquisitely captured a dramatic image, full of spectacular colors and textures and even some intrigue, a great credit to her aesthetic, exciting and creative talents.

Peter A. Marr


Urban Graphic II by Betsy Phillips

Urban Graphic II
by Betsy Phillips

This dynamic print is from a series of 6 powerful studies that clearly illustrate the author’s exceptional visionary skills, creating memorable art from scenes that the majority of people would pass by without a second glance. This image has a sublime simplicity with no ambiguity, as the photograph directs the viewer’s attention to all of the important elements. The eye responds immediately to the highest color contrast, to the red, yellow and silver-white against the black background, resulting in maximum impact in the scene. It is very evident that we are looking at the terminus of a loading dock, where the yellow painted driver viewing strips have seen evidence of vehicle contact. Immediately above the dock, one witnesses the imposing side of a large warehouse that is painted black. The various linear textures indicate sturdy concrete structures and a very large industrial-powered doorway to the far right. The highlight of this black structure is a closed, brightly painted red door, its dramatic edifice being supplemented by a metal door handle and lock, and 3 barely visible hinges. The last authoritative element in this image is a large metal pipe that is firmly affixed to the central wall structure. What is compelling, is that this pipe has 3 short exit tubes attached to it, all of which are capped securely. The entire image imposingly creates an uplifting graphic design, where the yellow diagonal lines impressively direct the viewer to immediately look at the features on the side of the warehouse. Beyond the inspiring visual impact, the strong graphic design, and the imposing display of different textures that are plainly visible across the black expanse, there is the unanswered question of what really transpires at this warehouse dock. It simply could be a loading station for a liquid or material product that can be delivered to three separate trucks at once. Is it possible that there is a more sinister reason for the whole set-up? The warehouse is painted black. The majestic red door exudes danger, and it is firmly locked. The fearsome looking silver-white pipe ends in 3 mysterious outlets and it comes from an unknown source, high above. Is it possible that this tube contains some ocular device, that with the eye pieces removed remotely, can easily survey both the trucks, and who comes and goes through the red door?  Pure fantasy one would say, but a fitting piece of intrigue to complement this awesome image.

Peter A. Marr

Genesee Brewery II by Nicholas Jospe Genesee Brewery II
by Nicholas Jospe

In the East Gallery, there is a fascinating and delightful exhibition of images by Nicholas Jospe, the majority of which he has placed a red bicycle into the picture. The prints range from the calm and peaceful, right through to the comedic and mysterious, and they are all a great credit to the artistic ingenuity and photographic expertise of the author. In Genesee Brewery 2, the image has a strong graphic design quality, emphasized by the lovely side lighting on the building, together with the large area of negative space at the top, which is beautifully filled by the bright blue sky, and complemented by a few puffy clouds on the right hand side. The tilted camera angle greatly adds to the drama and sense of design. Impressively, at the top of the building, there is a brightly painted multi-hued model horse, that is reared up on its hind legs, and skillfully attached to one of its fore legs, is a can of beer, an advertising tour de force. By itself, this would be an imposing image, but the author has cleverly persuaded a colleague to vertically hold the red bicycle aloft, in a diagonal thrust that almost exactly mirrors the pose of the horse above. Judicious printing minimizes the assistant’s presence, so that all attention can be given to the bicycle, whose frame and handlebars glow a deep red against the dark gray of the building. It is interesting to note that although the rear wheel follows the left to right orientation of the horse, the front wheel does not, tilting instead into the building, as though maybe it was not supporting the beer choice. Furthermore, the water bottle on the frame appears to support the placement of the beer can. An astute advertiser for Genesee Beer might use Nicholas’s inspiring image, after first replacing the water bottle with a bottle of this beer. Other people might conjecture that rather than an endorsement of the Genesee product, it could be argued that perhaps water was a more desirable liquid to drink than beer. This image was brilliantly conceived and photographed, a great tribute to Nicholas’s fertile imagination and outstanding photographic expertise.
                                                                                                               Peter A. Marr
Peter Marr Photo
We are very grateful to Peter for his thorough review and selection for Peter's Picks. Peter was born in England in 1935 and came to live in the United States in 1968. He worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 34 years, retiring in 1998. During his employment and continuing into retirement, he has been an enthusiastic photographer. His photography has won him numerous awards throughout Kodak and in International Salons, including 5 George Eastman Medals, which is the top honor awarded to the most outstanding picture in the Annual Kodak International Salon. He has served as a judge in both local and international photographic competitions for the past 20 years, and is a Past president of the Kodak Camera Club and past chairman of many of the Kodak Camera Club organizations. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his photographic skills and interest into nature photography, notably bird photography. His bird photography has been the subject of several one-person exhibits, the most recent being at Ding Darling NWR, in Sanibel, Florida, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, and at the Webster Public Library in Webster, NY.

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