Sherry Giryotas and Phillip Shore
Sherry Giryotas’s abstract paintings are full of vibrant colors that elicit a journey of sorts, particularly those that are predominately blue and green with pops of red overlaid throughout. The journey she takes her viewers on harkens back to her extensive travels in various continents. The deep blues amidst the bright reds draw your eye into the painting, and as your eye follows the blues throughout, you are taken on this journey that Giryotas is aiming for. One could imagine each color representing one of the many places Giryotas has lived in around the world, and the mixing of colors together signifying the influence that each of those places has had on her being and consciousness.
Her abstracts that are more subdued in tone are reminiscent of Paul Klee’s paintings with orange hues and geometrical shapes. Some of Giryotas’s abstract paintings in this tone almost take on the look of a landscape. Every year Giryotas takes a repose in the country, which inspires her more realistic landscapes. These landscapes are grey in tone and she makes a point to include real natural artifacts in these paintings, such as fern stems. She then paints over the stems to embed them into the painting. When looking at her body of work as a whole, one gets a sense of a migration process from place to place, which reflects her life, past and present.
Taking a look at Phillip Shore’s mixed media sculptures you may glean an organic vision. This is because Shore is very much influenced by and connected to the natural world that surrounds us. The inspiration he finds in nature is not as bystander, but rather as an active participant within nature. He spends a great deal of time gardening and collecting things such as firewood, leaves, dead insects, etc. when he is out in the wilderness, all of which are later incorporated into his art. This process does not happen intentionally though, meaning he does not see something in nature, or several objects, and immediately know how to combine them. It is a more of a stream of consciousness type of process where he begins working with a particular object and it evolves into a piece of art as he works with it.
Shore’s emphasis on the natural world not only fulfills a passion of his, but he also means to say something about how interconnected the developed world and undeveloped world are; that is, constructed civilization and nature. Contrary to what most might assume, he is of the opinion that they very much work in unison. Organic forms are central to his sculptural works, as insects, branches, and twigs are a recurring theme in many of his works. Also common in his works are arms outstretched to the air with hands either grasping something or open-faced and reaching upward, perhaps symbolizing man reaching out to nature.
Arturo Mallmann’s abstract landscapes radiate a shiny gloss that makes them appear as glass canvases, but they are not in fact glass. Mallmann’s process includes a complicated approach of layering coat after coat of clear epoxy resin with acrylic colors between each layer that are translucent, allowing the colors to permeate through each layer as they build upon one another.
Mallmann’s landscapes do not afford the viewer entry into them to make you feel like you are part of the space. Rather, he depicts his subject matter from a faraway vantage point, forcing you to be a voyeur peering in on the scene taking place. The scene is typically comprised of a few people with an almost nomadic appearance walking across an uneven terrain whose destination is unclear. Perhaps this is intentional on Mallmann’s part to give the viewer the opportunity to imagine and create the subjects’ end points.
Mallmann does not incorporate people as subjects in all of his paintings, like A Place to Explore #1, for example. This painting illuminates the meeting point between water and the land that rests above, which blends seamlessly with the sky in which it resides. The colors are vibrant and the combination of greens and blues representing land and sky fuse together in such a way that results in an ephemeral effect. Some of his paintings also depict tropical environments, which pay homage to his childhood in Uruguay and Argentina.
Japanese artist Tomo Mori has lived all over the world after leaving her hometown of Osaka, Japan, including the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. She now lives in New York City where she exhibits her work prolifically. Mori’s works at the Judy Ferrara Gallery are from her Internal Fluidity series, which draws its inspiration from the multitude of feelings that we have no choice but to go through, confront, and resolve one way or another; feelings like happiness, which results in laughter, sadness, which results in crying, and everything in between.
In addition to these inherent emotions serving as the basis of this series, is her interest in the individual parts that make up the larger whole, no matter how big or small they may be. This curiosity prevails in all of her work, and stems from the complexity of organic structures that make up the human body, a society that is a collective of the people within it, wonders of nature that are comprised of millions of cells, etc.
This fascination of the parts that make up the whole is represented in her work by the hundreds and thousands of small painted pieces of canvas that she then pastes onto a large stretched canvas. The color palettes of these mixed media works range from dark blue edges that explode in bursts of light blues and greens in the center, to multicolored bursts of color on one side that fade to neutral matte hues on the other side, and neutral matte hues on the edges that form almost a tornado-like surge of small multicolored canvas pieces in the center all overlapping one another, fighting for attention. Despite the vivacious nature of these works, there is a relaxing, meditative quality about them that makes you wonder about the meaning of the complex arrangement of the tiny canvas pieces collaged together. Once you know Mori’s inspiration for her art, you know they mean to exude all the minute individual elements forging together; resulting in everything that there is in our world.
Mori was recently featured on “Prudential’s Masterpiece of Love – Regeneration” as she creates a work in the memory of a young widow’s husband. In the episode Mori talks about loss and the way in which she can relate to the young woman, because while she has not lost a husband, she did have a miscarriage and remarks that she felt like part of herself died at that moment. For her, painting was an act of therapy and an attempt at recovery after the devastating event. Mori also expresses the soul’s need to recover and its will to recover, if only we allow it to do so. All of this comes to the forefront in her work, Regeneration.
I have contributed to MAKE Literary Magazine, for which I conducted interviews with artists. This series began when I was an Intern with the magazine the summer of 2015, and continued to work on the series after completing the internship because they were just so much fun to work on.
An interview with Claudia Peña Salinas