Sunday, October 19, 2008

Extracts Show Review in Maine Sunday Telegram

The day after my show opened at Addison Woolley Gallery, the owner, Susan, called me, saying excitedly that Philip Isaacson, the art critic from the Maine Sunday Telegram, had stopped by the show and was quite taken with my work. He asked for a picture to be included with a review he would write about the work. We waited a couple weeks and today the review is finally in the paper! Jim Kelly's work gets the lion's share of the review, talking about his abstractions of walls. Here is what he said about my "Extracts" series,
"I also make note of the digital photographs of Rebekah Younger. Titled generically "Extracts," they appear to do for paintings what Kelly does for walls, but in a more assertive manner. The color is bold, nearing violent, and the sense of movement is intense. These are strong, emotionally charged photographs created from the abundant forms Younger finds within paintings."
Well he almost got it right... It would have been a more powerful and accurate review if he had noted that they were all Extracts from the same painting and that painting was also my creation. But it is a mention, a beginning.
My goal for this show was to put my name on the map of the Maine art scene and this will certainly help me as I go forward. I hope it helps sell some of the work, as well, both for the gallery's sake and my own. In these tough economic times, as a newer gallery, Susan is struggling to keep her doors open. Please do take the time to see the show before it comes down on November 1. I am sure you are in for a treat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Addison Woolley Gallery Opening and New Web Show site

For those of you who couldn't join us in Portland on Oct. 3 for the opening of my show at the Addison-Woolley Gallery here are a few pictures of the scene. The show is up until Nov. 1, so if you are in Portland, ME visit the gallery at 87 Market St. Check out the gallery website for show hours. All of these images were taken by my husband, Guy Marsden.

The gallery was brightly lit and ready for the artwalk crowds

The proud artist in front of her work. Dressed to make a statement and coordinated with the artwork, right down to the new streaks of red in the hair.

An early arrival checks out the images. The Extracts series certainly is a powerful statement when viewed all together.

An intrigued viewer questions me about my process. Each of these artworks, except for the one on the left of this image, are extracted from the same painting, by photographing cropped segments of my original mixed media painting with a macro lens. See the statement in the last post to learn more about these works. The piece behind my head is by Jim Kelly (see next picture)

Jim Kelly talks with a professor from the University of New England in front of one of his works that was part of the show. Jim starts with photographs of graffiti and other textures and then blows them up and paints on the surface. The other two artists in the show, Arunas Bukauskas and Paul Brahms both used photographic references to make drawings or paintings that were on display. Hence the title of the show was "Camera as Artist's Tool".

The crowd begins to fill in a bit as the night wears on.

The dialogue picks up as fellow Buddhist and artist, Peter Spano and I discuss Color energies and how they relate to this work. Clearly there is a lot of fire in these images which relate to both passion and compassion.

Talking with another guest about process.

All talked out and ready for dinner, the weary artist smiles for the camera.

The gallery hound, Rufus, looks ready to head home too.

You can now find my work in an online show of Maine Photographers. For a non-juried show the work is quite impressive and quite a range too. Amazingly few seashore or landscape shots and I don't recall any lighthouses, although there is at least one of lobster buoys. Don't get me started on the tyranny of these Maine icons on the art scene here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Camera as Artist's Tool: Artwork by Rebekah Younger, Jim Kelly, Paul Brahms and Arunas Bukauskas

Well it is happening! I am exhibiting a whole collection of my photographs at a gallery in Portland, ME along with 3 other artists. The show is entitled, "Camera as Artist's Tool" and opens on Friday, October 3 - November 1 at the Addison-Woolley Gallery at 87 Market St. The opening is from 5-8 pm on October 3 and there will be an artist talk on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 2pm. Come see the show if you can.

The show
features work that either blurs the line between painting and photography like Jim Kelly's and my own or uses photography as a reference, like Arunas Bukauskas and Paul Brahms.

I will be showing my "Extracts - Firestroke series". These pieces are extracted photographs from an original mixed media painting. What do I mean by extracted? I used my camera to explore the painting in close detail with a macro lens, much as I have done with flowers. They are about examining the textures, lines and colors independent of the larger context. What emerges is a series of distilled compositions that are strong and richly layered.

Here is the statement I wrote for the show.

Is this a painting? Or is it a photograph? Are these distinctions relevant in an age where most art experiences are mediated by digital technology? In this series each medium was part of a creative process of discovery. In painting there is the urge to make a mark, to leave a trace of myself through the expressive line. My ego, or sense of self, expresses in layers of complexity, building up associations as the hand moves across the page. I use the camera to frame the image, separated from the physical act of making, looking with fresh eyes. In the process of perception, the composition is deconstructed and distilled by the act of photographing it. Fragments were extracted, as the eyes moved across the image, capturing lines, a shape, a color.

These images digitally record the process of looking, a process that creates new worlds of wholeness out of the fragmented impressions of an original composition. In our daily lives, do we not extract our vision of the world out of the whole in our effort to make sense and order out of the chaos of stimuli, seeking beauty and wholeness in the fragments?

If you can't make the show and would like to see more of these images visit my website, You will find them under the digital mixed media category in artwork as "Extracts".
Comments always appreciated...