The Rockaway Artists Alliance has once again put on a stellar show with its latest exhibit, Vermilion, now at sTudio 6 at Fort Tilden.
Many of the artists, like M. Elliott Killian, Roger Carreau, and Janet Dever, are veterans of the RAA, but many were new. The works, which include painting, sculpture and mixed media either have vermilion, or some shade of red in them.
In some of the works red is the dominant color, in some the color is merely a spot that pulls your eye to it, and other works depict love or passion.
In keeping with the theme, everything was red at the exhibitions opening reception this weekend. Artists and visitors wore red. One woman wore a wildly red coat with a karacul lamb collar, and had a tattoo of red lips on the back of her neck. Cranberry punch, tomato canapes, twizzlers, red hots, red grapes and red wine were served. Red heart-shaped lights winked in the boughs of a fig tree. One of them was attached to a stuffed bird. A Chihuahua, who seemed to belong to no one, wandered around in a red and black sweater.
Anthony Scariolos untitled collage is a small wooden artists model, taken apart and put in a shadow box. In the middle of the figures chest theres a button that says I Am Loved.
Callie Danae Hirschs oil on wood painting Vibrant Desire is another of her delectable works jeweled with champagne bubble/plant and animal cells. In this work a beautiful red bromeliad emerges from a sea of other plants made up of bubbles and dots.
Amanda Sunderlands oil and acrylic Physgill Glen is a grove seen through a haze of fiery red, as in a dream or through a furnace. Add to that the fact that the section of the wall it was hung on was creaking and swaying a bit lent it an added intensity. Its companion piece, Sunderlands My View From Roxbury, is a cityscape scene through the same smoky red.
Shri Brahnans Anda Sarasuati is a photo of a dignified man dressed in red, while in Ralph Faillaces Romeo and Juliet a couple mug as the ill-fated lovers at least the guy had a reddish beard.
M. Elliott Killian was represented by her evocative seascapes. In her watercolor Fate of the Lady Grace, the bottom of the stranded trawler is a rusty red.
Lois Stienes Gaillardia, Standing Sunflowers and Cardinal, all oils, are flowers and a not quite red bird a female or juvenile cardinal maybe? Jacqueline Hoffsteins Tres Amigos are three enormous red feathered macaws. The one in the center seems to be giving the avian equivalent of the peace sign.
Roger Carreaus Glowing Red is a photo of a scarlet vine draped over a fence before a shadowy tree and a sunlit meadow, while Arthur Bongiornos Agita looked like drinking glasses seen from above on a red table, or bubbles of acid indigestion moving through the inflamed red of a hurting stomach.
Igor Gushchins oil painting Spring Morning was my favorite, though the color red didnt predominate. The work shows a stunning neverland that make those Edys Dreamery ice cream commercials look unappealing. The foreground was full of exuberantly blossoming ornamental bushes and in the background lavender and green fields and hills march toward a city at the foothills of the blue mountains. Tucked into the fields and hills are knots of blossoming apple trees. I wanted to just throw myself into the picture and live there.
In Maria Lambasas Swimmer In Red, a tiny swimmer in red bathing gear emerges from the surf; the paintings bright red frame helps guide the eye to her, the way a good frame should.
Nora Funaros Colin and Pensive Lucia are amazing; both are done in colored pencil, though they have the rich texture of oil paint. In Pensive Lucia, the red of a little girls shirt peeks out from her denim jacket, while Colin is a confident little boy in red tinted deadlocks and a red shirt.
Julia Kozlyanskys oil painting Reverberations looks like the interior of an exotic red flower or a uterus, and in Steve Bermans arresting Wahiba a woman stands serenely against a red background. Her skin is dark and her gown is glowing white.
In A. Irizarrys Tree on 81st Street, an oil on a 42-by-52-inch canvas, whats probably an ordinary old tree is transformed into the kaleidoscopic, glowing, sheltering mother of all trees.
Denis Macraes oil paintings of a vermillion flycatcher and scarlet tanager are in the bathroom make sure you check them out as well.
In Joseph Morales Consumed by Passions Flames, the lovers embrace in swirls of black, red and pink. Alan Cyprys Slave of Love (A1, A2 and A3) are hearts and a form wrapped tightly in silvery wire. Erica Cyprys has beautifully and simply painted watercolors of Avocado and Persimmon and Pomegranate.
Laverne Jenkins Squares in Motion and Marcy Yablonski's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner are quilts. Squares in Motion looks like an op art painting of a red and white checkerboard while Guess Who's Coming to Dinner seems at first more traditional. From a distance it looks like something youd put over a sleeping baby, though up close you see the squares have patterns of fruit and hungry ants.
Maria Lambasas Red Outhouse is a red, birdhouse-sized shed with an equally diminutive garden and picket fence. A bear emerges cheerfully from the door.
Palma Genoveses Pomegranate Server is an especially delicious piece, made of hammered copper and brass with a silver vine on one side and five little red crystals like pomegranate seeds on another. Its as sensuous as the fruit thats served in it.
Vermilion will be at RAA till March 9. Rockaway Arts Centers sTudio 6 Gallery, Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rockaway. Call 718-474-0861 or go to www.rockaw
©2003 Community News Group
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