Richard Barnet’s works on paper are energetic statements that are an outcome of his strong emotional responses to the complexities of the world today. In the three drawings and watercolors that he is showing, Richard allows his attitudes toward global ecological destruction, the current state of politics in our country, the blatant cruelty of racism, to come across in work that is constructed out of sadness and outrage. Yet, through imaginative and colorful imagery, Barnet permits us to have an optimistic insight into his mind: private metaphors (“Sweenyism”), sculptures as objects to play in, and a persistent will to find hope within the craziness of everyday life.
Karen Gibbons makes artwork that is inspired by her personal explorations. She says, “My outer explorations are satisfied by my love of nature and travel and are continually integrated with inner explorations through yoga and meditation.” Karen is showing three pieces, each produced using a combination of collage, paint and drawing techniques. Gibbons’s specific, concrete imagery is both ethereal and engaging. The viewer initially sees an overall impression and is then drawn in deeper by the paradox of materials and pictorial elements that the artist manipulates in surprising and intimate ways.
For her first piece in the project space as a member-artist of 440 Gallery, Doris Rodriguez is showing “Rachel,” a large-scale figurative triptych. Rodriguez’s work often portrays political and social commentary; her multi-media painting portrays a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, before she is molded to societal expectations. Says Doris, “I met Rachel while visiting my hometown of Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Rachel walked in to talk to her mother and I could see the love and bond that they shared. I painted her as I saw her: sweet, free and innocent; learning to be independent and making her own choices.” Each masonite panel measures 30” x 30” and is created with copper leaf, photo transfer and acrylic paint.