Two new exhibits open tonight, July 22nd, at the West End Gallery. In the Main Gallery is New Days from GC Myers, a group of new work in his 10th annual show here. In the Upstairs Gallery, an exhibit also opens called Four Views which features four of the most popular gallery artists- Tom Gardner, Marty Poole, Dustin Boutwell and the late Tom Buechner– all working from the same reference photos. Each artist submitted two of their own photos with an additional two photos submitted by artist Wilson Ong who was not able to take part. The result is four differing views of the ten photos, all painted in the artists’ own distinct styles.
In one example, one of the photos (shown above), Parts, is a still life featuring auto parts on a bench. Each artist then worked on a still that remains faithful to the photo yet emphasizes their individual styles and techniques. Each version is similar yet very different.
In the first example, Tom Buechner, working on his last group of work before his death this past June, chose to imbue the canvas with light, giving the parts a clarity of atmosphere. The composition is faithful to the reference photo but it takes on a feel that is all its own.
Tom Gardner took the photo and added an element, a photo that is actually another of the reference photos. This addition, along with the compression of the space in his version and a slightly darker tone, changes the whole feel of the scene, adding a sense of it being a personal space. The bench scene becomes an extension of Gardner’s personality.
In Marty Poole’s version, the artist adds an ethereal light from above that gives the parts an otherworldly glow. He masterfully adds, with his handling of paint and light, a real sense of mystery to what might be considered the mundane.
In his version of this photo, Dustin Boutwell turns to a hyper-realistic view. It is sharp and clean and a real tour-de-force in his handling of the paint and the subject, giving it the feel of the grand still lifes of the 1800’s.
As you can see, each artist adds something of their own to their own views of the subject, making this a great exploration of how artists translate their influences. It is not a show to miss. Stop in and spend some time with these four masters of paint.