A bit of the surreal never goes out of style. It was there before Dada morphed into something more formal in Europe between the wars, arguably involved in Fuseli’s and Bosch’s nightmarish visions, as well as illuminated narratives from the Dark Ages and classic friezes. It’s now a standard trope of post-modern representational art, both in painting and, increasingly, in art photography.
Fanciful narratives are implied in a host of modern photos, where as much seems to be going into a piece’s setting, and atmosphere, as its plastic elements of texture, tone, and other printing attributes.
Increasingly, the work on view at Bernard Gerson’s Galeire BMG, including the latest show of new works by Czech photographer Kamil Vojnar, up since last weekend and scheduled to be celebrated with an artist’s reception next Saturday, October 15, delights in this growing segment of the photographic world. The art Gerson presents is tactically accomplished, technically fluent, yet tied to narrative forms that allow each individual photograph to work its magic on several levels, simultaneously.
Vojnar’s Flying Blind series draws from his background as both a self-taught photographer and painter, and uses its title to refer to both his methodology, as an artist, and the subject matter he’s been focused on as both metaphor and end-in-itself.
“I mix elements the way one might reconstruct last night’s dreams,” is how he describes his creations. “The work is driven by the contradictory world surrounding us. So much beauty and so much suffering meet and go hand in hand. I am trying to explore the corners of our souls, where emotions reside. Emotions as reactions to the world outside and conflicting emotions of our most private worlds within. Because don’t we cry from immense sadness, but from happiness as well?”
There are layers of imagery, and techniques…often mixing photography and paint onto a single actual canvas. Works end up varnished with oil and wax, sometimes applying additional oil paint to lend them both a singular appearance, and the patina of age, and simultaneous timelessness.
Kamil, who studied at the School of Graphic Arts in Prague before fleeing his native Czechoslovakia for Vienna and then the U.S., where he finished his art studies at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, has balanced graphic design and fine art careers in Europe and Los Angeles. Earlier this year he was honored by the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards with a prestigious Jacob Riis Award.
All for making his dreams public, as it were, and finding new super-real worlds in them…a classic goal of all surrealism.
And the reason the misused term continues to capture so much attention in our wildly eclectic worlds of competing realities these days.
Kamil Vojnar ‘s Flying Blind will be the subject of an artist’s reception from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, at Galerie BMG, then stay up through November 7. Fall gallery hours at the 12 Tannery Brook Road space opposite the hamlet’s main parking lot behind Tinker Street, are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., or by appointment.
For further information, call 679-0027 or visit www.galeriebmg.org.++