Masquarade by Dali Bahat Israel/USA
Well here it is, Manhood, our first ever exhibition featuring the art of men. We know you are all so very curious as to what this show was going to be about, and you are about to see.
Honestly, we took a lot of heat for going ahead with this show. Never the less, we have had a lot of fun with it along the way. But you must understand that it has taken a few years and finally several specific inquires to find out why we haven’t had a men’s show while we have presented three women’s shows.
You could say that curiosity got the best of us. The women’s show as you have seen has gotten a tremendous response, and we just had to know what the response would be if we had a show limited to only the artists of the male variety. We considered this exhibition as our contribution science as a social experiment. Because of the experimental nature of our efforts, we cannot really even say we are disappointed in the rather less than robust response the Manhood call for entries received.
That said, we can say to all of the skeptics and naysayers that gave us all kinds of flack, that we did not receive even one entry that included anything that even suggested a representation, in word or form of male genitalia. So, while we may not have been surprised by the lower than expected number of entries, we were surprised at how low in the gutter some people’s minds go just because of one single word, “Manhood”.
Enjoy the exhibition, but first read what Royce Deans, the Manhood juror had so say about the show and the art he recognized.
After three years of doing the ArtisTTable with Tali and having never jurored an ArtisTTable show other than our first show, “Let’s Get Acquainted!” that Tali and I did jointly, we thought that Manhood, of all the exhibitions-to-date, it would be the most appropriate for me to judge. As I have heard many times from jurors in the past about how difficult it is to make the decisions that are required of a juror. And they are right it is not easy, for many reasons it is not easy.
The show is good. It is a representative of artists from many parts of the world that are in all different places in their artistic journeys and careers.
After spending a considerable amount of time with all the art that was submitted, I found myself drawn to certain work that under other circumstances, I may not have perhaps hardly considered. For this experience alone I am very happy to have gone through this process.
1st Place “Fantastic Crag at Sunset” Yuriy Samarkin –
What is not to love about his painting of what appears to be an imaginative landscape drenched in was the title suggests, fantastic colors. I am pretty much ashamed to admit, but I must come out and say that historically, and when I say historically, I mean to say up until I spent a great deal of time looking at this painting, scenes that appeared to be conjured up out of the artist’s head and colored in over saturated hues were difficult for me to consider too seriously. I am sad to admit that, but now that I have it off my chest I can go on to tell you what I think about this painting. Truth is no matter where this is, if it exists on this earth at all, I want to go here. I want to go here at sunset, that magically fantastic time of day when the light is so fleeting and changing every second. Yuri captured the excitement of seeing a sunset for the first time after you realize that sunsets are something to look forward to. Not only that but the artist obviously has a very good understanding of landscape, particularly this one that features rocky crags and the trees that manage to grow from them. This experience and facility coupled together in this painting contain all of the elements that would make any of the Fauvists simply green with envy. I am not a Fauvist, neither do I pretend or aspire to be one, but this painting really has changed how I will look certain works of art from now on.
2nd Place “At Rest” Gidi Zur –
It is simply delightful that two bend nails and the head to an old tack hammer could exude such a state of relaxation and contentment. Reminiscent perhaps of Picasso’s bull from a bicycle seat and handle bars or Duchamp’s bicycle wheel mounted on a wooden stool, At Rest is a straight forward statement that speaks to just about everything that we strive for as humans. Something about this piece says that it is completely possible to be right with the world. And who doesn’t want that?
3rd Place “Rape of Europa” Anikin Vasily –
Twists on mythology and the characters contained in said myths have ever been favored fodder for artists through the ages. Anilin Vasiliy’s Rape of Europa gives us the classical image of Europa on the back of Zeus disguised as a bull. While the colors have been changed to protect the innocent or the guilty, whatever the case may be, the closely cropped composition brings us right up close and lends a contemporary bend to the attitude of this ancient tale. I actually find myself caring for the characters that Vasiliy has created here. As an aside, I feel like Vasiliy has also given us more of the colors of Crete than many of renditions that preceded this one. Alas, after all the historical comparisons, I find this painting very appealing with no association to the myth. It is great to see something so old having been made all new again.
Honorable Mention: “Angel with Swan” Eduard Zentsik–
Aside from the direct references to the many depictions of Leda and the Swan, I appreciate the stylistic motif that goes to that nearly oriental place that may or may not have paid any attention to the Greek mythology that this piece pays homage to. Zentsik has a artistic vocabulary that speaks to details and compositions like this that slide towards the awkward and beg us to ask more questions. Ingredients that make for good art.
Honorable Mention: “Sunspot” Marc Himes–
The work of Marc Himes is worthy of recognition, for one reason, unlike most art forms these days Himes has to go out into the woods to find his raw materials. I mean when was the last time a painter went out to pick the cotton to spin into thread to weave into the canvas that he or she was going to paint on? That of course is only one part of the story, his expert touch transforms chunks of wood into fantastical shapes that are somewhere between a lava lamp and the finish of a George Barris custom hot rod.
Honorable Mention: “A Heart Torn Apart” Brendan Liam–
Even with with this rather raw title, I chose this painting because it made me smile. It feels to me to be a playful piece that has an over AND under lying structure that provide this abstract painting a solid foundation to get fancy free.
Honorable Mention: “Negev’s Flower” Ilyayev Vyacheslav–
From the very first time I saw this painting, I have had a hard time getting it out of my head, and I still can’t really put my finger on what draws me in. The figures in the background are painted as to be out of focus which thrusts the central and main female figure even more into the viewer’s space. She is a beautiful young woman with a mission that she really believes in. Maybe that is what is so attractive about her and why it is so hard for me to look away.
Honorable Mention: “The Soldier” Either Eretz–
I love texture, and if the texture allows me to fabricate a story that I can lost in, then I have an image that I can spend a lot of time with. I don’t know what this is and I don’t really care, but I want to think that if I found it in the real world that I would press my own flesh against it to feel its temperature and the softness that is this obvious very hard surface.
Honorable Mention: “The Big Game” Avi Damti–
The painting is as fun as it is frightening. I don’t usually find political art very appealing. Probably because most of the time the message gets very much in the way of the artistic quality of execution and composition. The Big Game by Avi Damti could have easily gone the way most politically flavored art goes for me, but his message and sense of humor really resonated with me. Unfortunately what is being represented here is just uncomfortably too close to the truth.
Honorable Mention: “Barn in Wisconsin” Charles LaRue–
Some art works you up and some art mellows you out. This collage by Charles LaRue calms me right down. Perhaps it is my midwest sensibilities and upbringing that allow me to understand all the sights, sounds and smells that make up the scene that this piece is depicting. Even though it is snowing now and the wind is hollowing outside my window, when I look at this Barn in Wisconsin, I want to mix up some lemonade and go out and sit on the porch.
Honorable Mention: “Diving Board” Brian Broughten–
Each of the mixed media and found object collage assemblages that I have seen by Brian Broughten bring something new and fresh to this type of work for me. The colors are bright, the textures are rich and the emphasis veers away from the notion of industrial decay that so much of of found object art can’t seem to get away from. He has mashed up scraps of this and that into something that makes me want to take my old 10-speed all apart, go to the beach, spread the sprockets and spokes on the sand and then go for a swim.
Honorable Mention: “Barrier” Rami Ater–
This sculpture by Rami Ater is both ominous and beautiful. We all deal with barriers, some are really for our protection and good and others just get in the way. This piece speaks to me in a way that offers hope and the ability that we all have to find solutions. I really love that we can see through this barrier and while we know that it is made of heavy steel, it is airy and some of the parts at the top appear to be even weightless.
Honorable Mention: “Boom Boom Boom Boom” Mike Hassig–
This collage hit me in the face when I first saw it. It grabbed something at my core and shook it around. Then I learned that Hassig are heavily influenced by music that he loves and suddenly I could understand why I was assaulted in such a wonderful way. It is my opinion that all the best music is at some level a bit of an assault on our equilibrium.
MANHOOD - 2016 ArtisTTable Men's Show Artists:
Gavriel Amar - Israel
Rami Ater - Israel
Dali Bahat - Israel/USA
Brian Broughten - USA
Steven Budd - United Kingdom
David G. Burnell - USA
James Castillo - USA
Avinoam Damti - Israel
Ofir Eran - Israel
Eithen Eretz - Israel
Russell Game - USA
Ron Gianola - USA
Daniel Gimbel - USA
Micky Goldstein - Israel
Larry Hamilton - USA
Mike Hassig - USA
Marc Himes - USA
Gordie Hinds - USA
David Hochberg - Israel
Gregory Lannin - USA
Charles LaRue - USA
Ami Lebowicz - Israel
Brendan Liam - USA
Avi Matityahu - Israel
Steve McMillen - USA
Peter Reilly - Canada
A. C. Rosman - Denmark
Yuriy Samarkin - Kazakhstan
Yossef Shai - Israel
Shahar Sini - Israel
Peter Sugarman - USA
Anikin Vasiliy - Russia
Vladimir Vitkov - Israel
Ilyayev Vycheslav - Israel
Eduard Zentsik - Estonia
Gidi Zur - Israel