“Progression” is designed to show the conceptual character of dnj Gallery artists. The pieces are based upon certain notions and ideas. Art is an outlet for innovation and reflection. The different series are an alternate way to show their views. As a continuation of the previous exhibitions, since September, these artists’ thoughts and beliefs, or fundamental ideas are revealed in a gradual advancement of their artwork through the years.
Sia Aryai defines beauty in his pieces. As he explains in one of his artist statements, “[t]his is the moment -- today, tomorrow or yesterday -- when innocence opens a window to eternity.” Aryai prints on painted, water-color paper to begin his aesthetic. But even though his images present the color, the shape and other outward features, it is the personality and spirit, the gestures and passion, and the overall inward sentiments that are apparent. Aryai causes us to witness the actual soul and humanity, a timeless quality, and stresses that there is more to see than ones’ first glance. In describing Aryai’s pieces, Gil Garcetti remarked, “we who love the magic of photographs are compelled to own and display photographs- photographs that somehow stop us, linger with us, emote feelings unique in our daily lives, and demand that we thank the artist.”
Ray Carofano’s photographs highlight the intersection between nature and the designed, man-made environment. Carofano plays with the specific visuals created by the natural world, then mixing that environment with what is created by humanity. As Carol McCusker, Associate Curator of Photography at The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA comments, Carofano engages in, “ … reconciling the forces of nature with man’s optimistic attempt at permanence ….” Taking 'less-picturesque' portions, Carofano's carefully framed images reveal the not-so-hidden majesty of the situation. Conditions that could be considered appalling, on the contrary, appear alluring and serene. Also, Carofano furthers that he, “… had the idea of making what seemed to be mundane into something beauteous.” Sophisticated facades, atmospheric light and mood, and rightness of scale give these images a painterly quality that requires close observation in order to determine that the pieces are indeed photographs.
Dylan Vitone accentuates man’s participation in his environment. Vitone makes extended portraits of communities through intimate observations of their everyday rituals. He confronts the viewer, yet still alludes to the sincerity of the documentation. In capturing the separate personality of each individual, he creates a conversation among the people. Vitone combines numerous shots from a single location to create his panoramas, sometimes up to eight feet long. He employs a multi-exposed, panoramic process to create a layered documentary-style picture that eventually dissects his subjects from varying angles and perspectives. As he states, this method “… allows [him] to show simultaneously details and relationships at multiple spatial and perceptual levels….”
Melanie Walker generates a kind of personal expression and reflection. She evokes feelings of mindfulness and thoughtfulness in her images by combining and manipulating images. Her work combines landscape images and glimpses of daily routine in ways that address the layered passage of time, sense of place and memory. She mentions that her artwork is, “[c]onnected by metaphor, place and association, disparate images are woven together as are life experiences in dreams.” Walker continues this dialogue with her deceased father, Todd Walker (a leader in the Los Angeles art scene from the mid 60’s through the 70’s): a harmony between time and place. As Todd Walker expressed, “Upon closer examination of the photographs I have made over the years, I now see a few that reveal moments when my camera saw far more clearly than I did.”