After a press preview of the 2016/2017 International ARC Salon at the Salmagundi Club Victoria, Selbach shares excerpts from her impressions.
It’s quite an ambitious undertaking to distill 3100 open call submissions into an exhibition of 82 works when juggling multiple categories through multiple jurors. Not an easy recipe for a discerning point of view. As you walk through the exhibition you can feel the tug and pull of realisms varied clans, academies, philosophies and the occasional arm wrestling with ghosts of painters past. What prevails can be seen as either a cacophony or a miraculous symphony when different individuals consider the accumulated works.
This assemblage, although a mammoth task, is digested by individuals one viewer at a time. Each visitor calibrates their response through specific preconceptions and perspectives. Every Realist aficionado, opinionated artist, critic or collector will take exception at some chosen inclusions and dismissals. We are an opinionated lot.
I arrive on a quest; surfing, swimming, deep diving. Show me something gripping. Take my breath away. Contemporary Realism has to speak to the viewer. Meet her where she is today.
Building a realist painting to resonate today? Make it contemporary and real.
I narrow into depictions of women. First and foremost what are you saying. Show me strength, clarity, honesty, presence and depth. Don’t waste my time with wistful, demure, passive, lilting, contorted. Where are the powerful compositions, the breathtaking perspectives, the gorgeous paint handling. What does the painter see? Pull me in. What do I feel?
The Whale Watcher
Duffy Sheridan | The Whale Watcher | oil on linen | 40 x 24
Sheridan paints power and presence personified. The Whale Watcher is stripped bare of pretense and melodrama. Grounded, strong, radiant; just what I need to see today.
Heather Theurer | Crimson Ribbon | oil on artists board | 36 x 18
Theurer's masterfully composed and executed Crimson Ribbon demonstrates how in the right hands Imaginative Realism can speak to contemporary issues and with a contemporary esthetic.
The Twilight of Venus
Ruben Belloso Adorna
Ruben Belloso Adorna | The Twilight of Venus | pastel on wood | 39 x 47
Adorna captures strength and beauty with a dedicated hand that lovingly sculpts all that the eye and heart can see. The Twilight of Venus draws you in to the reality of this moment.
Below are partial edited clips of the exhibition showing for context several additional surrounding works.