Press Release: Director’s Choice - FROM VIRTUAL TO ACTUAL 4

September 8- October 3, 2015
Opening reception Thursday, September 10, 6-8pm

Angelique Anderson * Craig Cheply * Cynthia Fleury * Peter Hiers * Jun Ogata * Srividya Kannan Ramachandran *
Len Rosenfeld * Kimberly Rowe * Christopher Ruane *Jimmy Salmon * Shawn Saumell * Michael Wolf * Jave Yoshimoto * Renna Mae Zimmer


Chelsea NY: Viridian Artists is pleased to present ” Director’s Choice: From Virtual To Actual 4″, curated by Vernita Nemec, the gallery director, featuring a selection of artists who entered our 25th International Juried Competition in 2014. The exhibit extends from September 8th to October 3rd, 2015 with an opening reception Thursday, September 10, 6-8PM.

Each of the 14 artists in this diverse exhibition has her or his own personal obsession that serves as the starting point of their search to transform their inner concerns into reality. The results of transforming these realities into art, remains open to each viewer’s interpretation and becomes another translation of the virtual into the actual.

Although these artists were not “winners” of Viridian’s 24th International Juried Competition, their art is uniquely interesting. Viridian’s Director’s Choice Exhibitions arise from one of Viridian’s primary missions: to provide meaningful exposure to under-known artists of all ages whose art merits wider attention.

For Angelique Anderson art is zen. She is inspired by the world around her, but perhaps the strongest influence comes from the computer which frees her to experiment with layering and dimension, allowing her to morph realism with fantasy. She is a digital artist particularly fascinated with the developing interactive games. The work in this exhibit is part of her portrait series. Her “Orishas Garden” project is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Craig Cheply considers his ongoing “100% Natural” Series that he began in 2006 to be “Contemporary visual statements of the observed socio/polit/enviro/econo/relig/geo/natural landscapes playing out on the domestic and world stages daily as subject matter. ” He goes on to say “my artworks are rendered with the triple entendre entity “Natural History (Certified)” being the classification, subject matter and medium. Natural History tells the story of our living earth. It comprises the systematic observation, classification, interpretation, and description of the biosphere and its inhabitants. Natural History is a primary component of culture.”

Cynthia Fleury’s “Morning After the Night Before” is from a Series of Images taken in New Orleans in 2015. The image was captured at about 7 am in the French Quarter after a boisterous night in March. The machine in the middle of the street, the man in the chartreuse jacket with the hose, and the bleak surroundings made this scene other-worldly to the artist who felt it to be an important moment in time to capture. The early morning light adds much to the bleakness of the moment.

Peter Hiers is a cultural observer, questioning our ultimate future as we humans consume increasingly while our resources decrease. Since 2004, he has gathered the remnants of tires from highways to create sculpture from the detritus of transportation, symbolically making statements about our vulnerable networks, using the fragments of ripped rubber to metaphorically illustrate the tensions between nature and our consumer culture.

Jun Ogata’s “Shadow of Flower”, an acrylic on canvas painting, was inspired by the beauty and philosophy of Japanese gardens. For the artist, the world of Japanese gardens – “Zen Garden” or “Karesansui (Japanese Rock Garden) – shows the various changes created by time and the flow of the seasons. Here, the artist is expressing in a new way and untraditionally, the legendary Japanese colors that appear through aging.

Srividya Kannan Ramachandran’s photograph “Standing alone Amidst the Crumbling Ruins” appears deceptively simple in its composition and focus. When asked, the artist’s comment forces the viewer to look more deeply into the image, stating “as the stage decays naturally and awaits a final collapse, a small transparent object stands defiantly waiting for deliverance. ”

Leonard Rosenfeld who died in 2009 was associated with a group of artists known as the New York School. A narrative artist whose art consistently reflected the news and events around him, he studied at the Art Students League and showed at such prominent galleries as Ok Harris.  This piece was created during the Mad Cow epidemic, so features a mad cow.  The blue angel of love adds a note of whimsy, or perhaps that love and life go on, even through the pestilences of our times.   That said, Rosenfeld was also an Expressionist – in his words “painting with a combination of abandon and discipline.”  Supposedly, all that mattered to him was the material and the craft of message, not the message. But in the end, his art nearly always carries a strong message as well.

Kimberly Rowe states “My paintings are derived through an attitude of exploration, improvisation, and experimentation; they are sort of like visual jazz, but with elements of funk, blues, rock, alternative, punk, classical, and world music all being part of the vocabulary.”

Several years ago Jimmy Salmon began a series of photographs based on the 16thcentury still life paintings of the Dutch master Pieter Claesz.  He says “I tried to photographically replicate his use of light, shadow, composition and muted pallet.  The Berkemeyer and the quill were gifts from my wife, intended to be used in the series.  Because of the quill, the idea for this photograph, The Letter, came into being. ”

Shawn Saumell‘s photograph, “New World Order is a photograph of a constructed tableau landscape, assembled in his studio from found objects within nature. For the artist, “This hyper real image breaks [away from] the traditional purpose of photography, while questioning perceptions of reality.”

Michael Wolf‘s “Hermes” is from a series of sculpture in which the artist re-contextualizes Greek myths. As the god of transitions and borders, and the patron of invention, moving freely between the worlds of the mortal and the divine, Hermes corresponds with the pursuit of artistic vision. The artist says “Pushing borders is an area in which artist(s) reside. The cast of my foot represents the corporeal realm. The painted block of wood that connects the two pieces is from an old shoemakers workbench that relates to the winged sandal that Hermes is associated with. The shoemaker’s block separates the divine portrait of Hermes from the worldliness of the cast of my foot with the steel chain connecting the two images.”

Jave Yoshimoto says “My work takes on the ephemerality of news and information and how the emotions we bring to each tragedy in the news cycle are swept away by the wave of information that floods the media. I address this social amnesia through my art with the work acting as a social memory for tragic events so quickly forgotten in our information age.” In his Disaster Series, he re-explores his Japanese heritage through the depiction of events such as Fukishima by creating his images with traditional Japanese woodblock print techniques inspired by 18th century Japanese artists. His art can currently be seen in numerous exhibitions in the US & Germany.

Renna Mae Zimmer sees the act of collaging to be akin to painting with paper. The work in this exhibit entitled “The Hand”, is based on an old family photograph.