Story and photos by Xochilt Andrade
Debuting on a palindromic date, 02/02/2020, artists showcased their work that touched upon ideas of dreams, reality and pop culture.
In the dimly lit Dennis W. Dutzi gallery, John Fingerhut created an atmosphere that tied together his passion for art and graphic design. As you enter the gallery, you are met with Bodies of Water, a looped video of waves drawing you in like the tide being drawn in by the moon. To the left of the entrance along the wall, Fingerhut’s Black Water transitions in a way that could almost be synonymous to television static.
John Fingerhut (Black Water)
Fingerhut wanted to portray dreams opposite to the “black void” that is often depicted in popular media. By creating an image that moves as if it breathes the same air as you, an inviting allure makes it seem as if you have been transported into a new world.
“The main guiding theme was of daydreams and getting lost in thought,” Fingerhut said. “I wanted to create a piece that you can step into.”
In the East Max L. Gatov Gallery, Tara O’Gorman, a BFA major, drew inspiration from her own personal experiences to create her multi-figurative artwork. By assessing her family, and in particular her brother, she portrayed how middle class culture holds pop culture icons to an overly idealistic light.
With an art style that encompassses aspects of fantasy and hyperbolic realism O’Gorman adds humorous angles to her pieces that are riddled with details easily missed if not paid close enough attention to.
In her piece False Idols O’Gorman uses a muted color palette to represent middle class life, and a more vibrant spectrum of colors for artists such as Ariana Grande and Lizzo who are depicted as the Virgin Mary and a cherub respectively.
Tara O'Gorman (False Idols)
O’Gorman said it was a challenge to use a more muted color scheme to show the divergence amongst the two worlds.
“I like to look at what’s around me and heighten it with a more expressive palette,” O’Gorman said.
Located in the West Max L. Gatov Gallery, Brad Kahabka’s piece Nowhere to Go reminds on-lookers of a scene they may or may not have passed at some point in their lifetime. Triggering nostalgia to a place you may have never been before, Kahabka’s oil painting is an image of a motel alongside a disappearing American landscape.
“My aim was nostalgia for a place you may have passed when you were younger, or things that go unnoticed,” Kahabka said.
Brad Kahabka (Nowhere to Go Pt. 2)