Saturday, February 17, 2007

Compare and Contrast 201-- Glen Rubsamen and Ashley Proffitt

Recently Robert Miller Gallery on West 26th Street showcased a painter that really caught my eye, Glen Rubsamen.

His imagery showcases a Southern California in the throes of battle between new technology, heavy industry and old world Hollywood glamour.

Rubsamen's work is complementary in many ways to the soft hues of sunrise and sunset, but truly shows a world at war with itself.

Take the "Marijuana and Tequila" work below-- the street post is "getting in the way" of the gradient hues Rubsamen is an expert at portraying.

In order for us to move forward, we're confronted by a masking; a shaming, if you will, of the very technology we've come to rely upon.

Cell phone towers are cleverly disguised as trees... side by side with the palms of Sunset or Ventura Boulevard, amidst the calm Pacific breeze.

Many of Rubsamen's works are in diptych form; almost an altar to the world that was, and the world we find ourselves in.

Ashley Proffitt spent years living in Southern California as well-- San Diego, to be exact.

In her photographs she's able to isolate small pieces of nature against an overexposed sky-- in a way, selecting elements that frame our perception as we drive by-- perhaps at the side of the inerstate, a quick view through a sunroof, or simply a glance out the kitchen window.

Peripheral vision is under-valued by us humans a great deal-- I like how both of these artists are able to highlight the frustration we might have with such tiny elements of nature in a concrete and electronic jungle.

("Two" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)

It's in many ways a momentary glimpse into a world that is drastically changing, but at peace in each moment that we can make of it.

("Summer" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)

Fantastic elements of creativity, with an eye toward an unforeseen future.

("Ferns" photograph-- Ashley Proffitt)

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