On going Group show, “Black & White” at New Image Art is characterized as a, “celebration of absence of color.” Collectively, yet with distinction, artists Tofer Chin, Misha Hollenbach and Brett Cody Rodgers represent works that explore on canvas the possibilities and restraints of black, white, and grayscale. Graphic repetitions, female nudes and industrial hybrid landscapes, create a depth and profoundness that, dazzle and perform. This exploration of “Black & White” is done in a manner that is so enjoyable the presence of colors and hues are hardly missed. Although presented within a group survey, each artist is best left to be observed on their own – Tofer Chin, Misha Hollenbach and Brett Cody Rodgers prove that from limitations meaningful explorations can be sustained.
Within Hollenbach’s “Hut” series, several solitary female subjects are the grounding focus within each frame. Sitting, standing, laying and kneeling, the curvature of each woman is coupled with a glossy splatter of rich black ink. Gliding over the surface in a bulbous mass, the media intersects each subject’s body and face. One piece in particular, “In my Hut IX”, 2013, utilizes this technique in a jarringly deep advantage. Upon first look the viewer is confronted with the power of this woman’s stare, unlike the others within this series whose faces are masked by the ink, eyes and stance are as provocative and confrontational as the ink that conceals her womanly curves. The subject of “Hut IX”, seems to hold a gaze from beyond the frame, magnetic and unapologetic.
Hollenbach’s nudes give way to a presentation of what are seemingly industrial landscapes of Brett Cody Rodgers; each frame in fact are his Grandfathers’ sculptures, photographed and collaged. One instance is “Raze”, 2010, here the structure is a cross between an Egyptian obelisk, soaring dagger shaped slabs and a Neo Bauhaus structure. The object within Raze hovers above a mirror-like pond, reflecting ad-infinitum, its angles. This reflection within the pieces is only further manifested in the aluminum frame that encompasses it all. These abstract industrial landscapes segue impeccably into the graphic repetitions of Tofer Chin.
The work of Tofer Chin is often seen as captured glimpses into a psychedelic journey of ones self. Chin’s pieces within “Black & White” resonate with this characteristic i.e. “17 Rays (black and white)”, 2012, while simultaneously presenting a departure into the foray of monochromatic. “1 Peak (white)”, 2013, is a vast canvas that hovers over and around the viewer. Presented here is a collision of black and white and the full, unbridled tension that can occur amongst these opposite spectrum hues. Cutting vertically is the centerline of impact that holds the tension of the San Andreas Fault Line; two opposing oceans with their symbolic weight on the brink of collision. “1 Peak (white)” is a confident presentation of the full potential black and white can create.
New Image Art’s “Black & White” delves into the dense terrain of the two most opposing colors in existence. The challenge is as much for the viewer as the artist: How does something so deceptively simple maintain intrigue? Quite easily in fact, this trifecta of artists proves that “absence of color,” can be a good thing.
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-Contributed by Bianca Guillen