An Artist’s Architecture

I hope everyone had a lovely St. Patrick’s day and that there aren’t too many cases of the Irish flu going around! My weekend has been busy, but wonderfully productive. Big grownup stuff going on, man. Also, I was super excited that my cupcakes recipe was posted on my favorite food blog! And to top off this wonderful weekend, I have another local art review for you today!

I recently attended a gallery show, “Day Job”, at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and wrote a review about a couple of pieces that caught my attention. I strongly recommend the show overall as it is very interesting, especially for people who are in the position of being a working artist and having to work a day job to pay the bills. So, most of us. In any case, the show runs until March 24th and I have linked the gallery website below for more information. If you are in Atlanta, don’t miss out! Enjoy the review.

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center’s exhibition, “Day Job: Georgia” showcases the work of fifteen Georgia artists whose art is closely linked to their different jobs. The pieces shown vary in medium and style, but each, from a textile designer’s drawings, to a landscaper’s photographs, shows how the work that the artists do to pay their bills effects how they create the work that they love.

Two of the paintings shown were by architect Valentina Custer O’Roark. These pieces, 004 of 999+ and 008 of 999+, are imaginative, whimsical, and engagingly detailed, incorporating abstracted architectural elements with vibrant color to explore structure, thought, and emotion. O’Roark warps recognizable objects and images, such as windows and building-like structures, into swirling, organic shapes. Upon closer inspection, however, these shapes are as carefully drafted as an architectural design, having beams and walls and windows to support the larger look that first draws the viewer in. The precision of the pieces is astounding. It is obvious that every line, every brush stroke, has a purpose and this endless detail brings one to study every millimeter of the work. It almost mimics the experience of travelling in an unknown city – the traveller is compelled to try to commit everything he observes to memory, from the way the sky was reflected in the windows of one building, to how small he felt next to the imposing height of a skyscraper.

O’Roark aims to visually combine ideas of order and spontaneity by breaking down and reconstructing architecture to free it from the real world limitations of current technology and building materials. The vibrant colors and dynamic patterns inspire the viewer to visit, but the details prompt him to stay. These paintings are like a city for the mind, where there are no building codes and the laws of physics are secondary to the power of the imagination.

Check the ACAC’s website for more information on the gallery and the show. I hope you get the chance to attend! Scroll down to see the other O’Roark painting and some details of the pieces that I shot at the gallery.

-DH

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

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