Here are the winners for the 2020 annual group exhibition. Scroll down further to find out more about each artist.
Gold > Janie Samuels and Steve Ettlinger
Silver > Kunio Suzuki
Bronze > Kumi Hirose, Randy Zamuco and Phil DeSantis.
Gold Winner: Janie Samuels and Steve Ettlinger
We held an exhibition of these two artists at OSSAM gallery in Summer 2021.
"My painting, although derived from the media and personal photos, is intended to reference broader topics. The work is a dialogue, often a response to recurrent global or contemporary issues. The works are simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. The work captures a glimpse of a provocative or emotionally charged moment, and as such is either situational or narrative. Something happened before the depicted scene and something will happen after, the work being the key to both. My intent is to remind people of our similarities- not our differences, that which makes us all human.
The “refugee paintings” have been a regular thread running through my work for the past thirty years. They are in response to what I see is the lack of justification for war, the lack of consideration for loss of life and the personal loss of those left behind – often mothers and their children or just the children.
Technically, I am interested in how color, pattern, line and form break down abstractly and how I can manipulate them to create cohesive expressive qualities, such as rhythm and movement. I manipulate line and color so that the image works narratively and abstractly, and the canvas has an intrinsic balance. The effect I want the painting to have is mirrored in its color, its drawing, and application of the paint. I believe, like Kandinsky, that color and form have inherent expressive qualities. Like Matisse, I am interested in how color, pattern and form break down abstractly.
My photographic gel transfer and oil on panel works grew out of my interest in manipulating both my drawings and photographs on the computer and reworking them by hand in pastel or oils. The subject is landscapes both urban and rural, an intimate portrait, a microcosm from everyday life. The photographs are manipulated in Photoshop, printed and transferred to panels, absorbed by the gel medium and the remaining paper stripped away. The panels are then painted in oil and varnished.
I love Brancusi, my inspiration for abstract sculpture. My work now is a blend of past and present influences, including boatbuilding, home renovation, and the individual aspects of each log. I work from scaled-up sketches using a chain or demolition saw and many hours of power sanding. I work on an island in Maine and in Brooklyn. When working with cedar I show more of the beautiful grain, emphasized with highly polished surfaces often contrasted with rough exteriors and bark; spruce lends itself to more basic shapes and a less tooled surface. I love it when people touch my smooth surfaces; it brings joy. I post signs on my work saying, “Please Touch!” My work is divided roughly into several contrasting descriptions: Small vs. large; meticulously planned vs. free form (primarily following the particular characteristics of a given log), and rough vs. highly finished.
Silver Winner: Kunio Suzuki
We held a mini solo exhibition at the BBFL lounge in 2021.