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Howard Beach artist weaves physics into paintings

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The answer that was two answers at the same time, and yet not really either one. Well, Howard Beach artist John V. Gioia's "weave-painting" technique is as intriguing and as mysteriously dual as that answer. His pictures are partly painted and partly embroidered; flat with a three-dimensional aspect. Their originality made him one of the eight winners of the recent 22nd Individual Artist's Showcase competition in Queens, leading to his current solo display at the library in Woodhaven, running from through March 14. "The Alliance of Queens Artists was very helpful to me," Gioia said. "I had a great response the first time I showed the weave-paintings in their show and they encouraged me to enter the library competition." His novel technique originated due to his wish to combine the painting he did as a hobby with his occupation: Creating software used to manufacture embroidered logos. (To reach his company, "Keep Me in Stitches," call 718-847-9146). His pictures contain superimposed images that look as if they were cut up but derive this illusion from the basket weave design added to the painting. And speaking of answers, they're all answers to a couple of questions Gioia asked himself: "What if a painting had a subtle embroidery image on top of it?" and "Is there any way I can combine my artwork with my interest in quantum physics?"Yes, quantum physics. And, yes he did. The first two sentences of this article relate to the principle in quantum theory of superposition, proposed by Erwin Schrodinger. Another analogy: Did you ever get that all-important letter from a college, the one that tells applicants if they've been accepted or rejected? Did you take your time about opening it, temporarily stuck between the pain of rejection and the joy of acceptance? You were like the famous imaginary feline of physics, "Schrodinger's cat," who illustrates superposition by existing simultaneously in two separate states, and yet not really either one. Gioia illustrates this concept in his artwork with his superimposed images.First one image and then another contrasting image captures the viewer's attention, as in his weave-painting, "Intelligence," featuring representatives of the opposite extremes of the spectrum of intelligence: Reknowned physicist Albert Einstein and a gorilla. This one features a transparent weave. Another weave-painting, "Creation" includes an elderly man and a monkey. The first one he did is a portrait of a musician friend, while two serve as memorial images of a photographer acquaintance, and Gioia's cat, Milo. Two other weave-paintings, "Nude One" and "Nude Two" were converted from sketches drawn with black markers that Gioia did of models. Other works feature images of his daughter and his grandfather, Vincent Stancarone, and one was done from a photo his father took of his parents in Italy. "The weave-paintings would definitely have more of an impact if they were larger," said Gioia. "I'm planning a project that would involve having someone sew four paintings together." Okay, one last example of superposition: Ever watch Family Feud? Remember those occasions when they get to that last question and one family is soooo close to winning $20,000 (the possibility is just a few points away) that they're practically jumping out of their skins? Well, that's an analogy right there: People existing in a state exactly halfway between two things, in this case joy and disappointment, not really experiencing either one yet.Now you can tell people that you weren't just watching a game show, you were learning about quantum physics.Gioia's work will be on display at the Woodhaven Branch of the Queens Public Library, 85-41 Forest Parkway, through March 14. Call 718-849-1010 for more information.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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