Sunday, April 07, 2024

Artomatic Review: The 6th Floor

Yesterday was my fourth opportunity to spend some hours looking at the work at ARTOMATIC. As I've noted many times over the last two decades, it is impossible to "see" this show in one or two visits. Any and all visits are welcomed (and free), but if you are serious about "seeing" the work of nearly 1,000 artists - then plan to return multiple times!

That's what folks who visit Art Basel week in Miami in December do - they know that they cannot visit all 26 fairs or so, and they also know that they can't even see the hundreds of galleries and thousands of artists in the two or three larger fairs, and thus they plan a week-long visit in many cases.

ARTOMATIC is in many facets, better than any hoity toity art fair on the planet, because an "open" show allows for a certain degree of freedom that no exhibition venue on this planet can match; more on that later.

Read and see my fifth floor review here.

Read and see my fourth floor review here.

Read and see my eighth floor review here.

First impressions: there's a LOT of really good photographers on this floor! A fucking lot of them! I liked Jose Valcarcel's "City Aperture" small photos with triangular compositions, also Khalil D'Jmaal's great out of control and entertaining room at 6106, Redeat Wondemu in room 6001, and Kathleen Weis in 6000. 

Also... whoever the photographer is with the SPECTACULAR photo installations dealing with slavery in room 6016! They are not only clearly a work of love, but also an important statement - this photographer can teach lessons in presentation and design! WOW! On purpose I have no images because I want all of you to go to room 6016 and see them!

Having said that, I have no idea who this photographer is... if it is the same photographer on the opposite wall (most rooms at ARTOMATIC are shared by two artists), then two things:

(a) You need to ID yourself on the left wall

(b) Your gorgeous landscapes photography identify you as a photographer of many skills and a superb eye for presentation!

If (B) is a gent named Damien T. Taylor, then I bow down to you sir!

Update: I am told that it is Taylor!

Michael Enn Sirvet is one of the region's best known artists and his skill in delivering awesome sculptures that flow and interact with the eye and light, etc. are well documented, and thus no surprise that his work in room 6108 is another brilliant delivery of talent and skill!

Room 6105 is another great example of why you can't do ARTOMATIC unless it is the ARTOMATIC model - not gonna bust it here: go see it and it's by catseye2thecosmos.com 

When you get out of the elevators on the 6th floor (yep! they're working again!), there's a wall on the side with a floor map - good luck with that! I started to the left of the map and was immediately greeted by this in wall 653:

Katie Flack Wall at Artomatic 2024
Katie Flack Wall at Artomatic 2024 on the 6ht floor

These are gorgeous landscapes, superbly presented and because they're smallish, can get away with the salon style hanging scheme. They're brushy and fresh and showcases an artist with an enviable eye for nature and mastery over the brush. By comparison, I also liked the landscapes of Jim Halloran in room 6037, who is 180 degrees away from Flack on painting styles, but nonetheless delivers impeccable work done more in the classical realistic style. Both are terrific painters of the landscape (in Halloran's case his ten paintings have been inspired by Four Mile Run Park in Alexandria) and highly recommended! 

In room 6052, e.l. briscoe transforms Star Wars imagery into really good paintings and excellent and really deep thoughts - I really liked them! I also liked (room 6051) Shelley Picot's super clean presentation and talented wall sculptures in clay. Also loved the recycled material sculptures in room 6044 by Phil Charlwood.

Charlwood's "natural" work is perhaps another of the great success stories of ARTOMATIC. Here is a clearly talented artist who uses metallic scrap that usually gets discarded to create and recrate artwork and pieces and forms that echo his own ideas and channels what we all absorb as we grow. Go buy one now - this artist will hit the main stream soon.

Soon afterwards I walked into Bud Wilkinson's strong presence at the "end" of that side of the building is the area marked as 647.

Brandon Hill at ARTOMATIC 2024
Bud Wilkinson's Artists' Portraits at ARTOMATIC 2024

The screens show Wilkinson's portraits of dozens and dozens of DC area artists whom he has photographed over the years! A photographic catalog of Who's Who in the DMV Art Scene - the stickies on the wall are the names of the artists.  It is a wonderful project that generations from now will deserve a museum home in the DMV!

Opposite from the above wall, Brandon Hill showcases other and different artistic muscles in these elegant and intelligent wall sculptures - this is clearly a multi-faceted artist with lots of skills at his disposal.

Brandon Hill at ARTOMATIC 2024
Brandon Hill at ARTOMATIC 2024

In 6049 artist T. Rudis gets my award for Best Use of Light in a presentation of a work of art, which uses simple nature sculptures married to intelligent lighting to deliver a really cool work of art.

T. Rudis at ARTOMATIC 2024
T. Rudis at ARTOMATIC 2024

In room 6047 Sarah Wardell has some really well done and (most of them) tiny landscapes that nonetheless showcase a really skilled painter - and the pricing is one of the best art deals at ARTOMATIC! Buy some of them!

Sarah Wardell landscape at ARTOMATIC 2024
Sarah Wardell landscape at ARTOMATIC 2024

Sarah Wardell at AOM 2024
Sarah Wardell wall

In room 6000 I really liked the pencil portraits by Todd Messer.

Todd Melsier pencil portraits at ARTOMATIC 2024
Todd Messer pencil portraits at ARTOMATIC 2024

I also liked the work by a young (judging from his photo) and subject-daring young artist named Brian H. Zambrano. I liked the way that he explores unusual subjects that most of us are not courageous enough to explore. No doubt that this young artist is one to keep an eye on! He also gets my Best Sardine Art Award

In room 6125, Michael Pacheco adds evidence to my thesis that no other exhibition venue or process in the world can do what ARTOMATIC can do. Here, Pacheco, like dozens of other hard-working artists have done at ARTOMATIC this year and over the past two decades, takes his painting skills to the room itself and delivers a painted room that takes us into the jungles of Apocalypto. Do not for a moment think that it is easy to accomplish this! Pacheco has some serious painting skills which make his hard work deliver... more evidence next.

Michael Pacheco in room 6125 at ARTOMATIC 2024
Michael Pacheco transforms room 6125 at ARTOMATIC 2024

Evidence submission: Look at the below details from one of Pacheco's paintings in that room; this is a painter's painter, as my art school professor Jacob Lawrence used to say. He manipulates, seduces and commands the brush in what appears as a frenetic (but is in reality a superbly controlled) process to create the illusion of a Native American figure simply based on hundreds and hundreds of separate and individual strokes!

Detail of painting by Michael Pacheco in room 6125 at ARTOMATIC 2024
Detail of painting by Michael Pacheco 

For decades now I have been observing and admiring the evolution of DMV √úberartist Pat Goslee, who has some gorgeous paintings in her unique and inimitable style in room 6090. I say inimitable because Goslee has refined her work process in such minute, hard-to-define style that it would take celestian intervention for someone to try to copy her spectacular works!

Pat Goslee at ARTOMATIC 2024

Over those decades, I have also always found something really sensual, sensitive, and bordering on erotica in her marriage of abstraction with forms and shapes and geometric designs, and stencils and colors...

Ages ago I dubbed that work as "vaginalism" in some review for some magazine or newspaper,  I also called it "vaginalia", and just outside the door from room 6090, is easily the greatest example of this field of art ever produced!

Vaginalia style art by Patricia Goslee
Vaginalia style art by Patricia Goslee

In room 6030 Mike Price wins the Best Wire in Art Award. These are not only intelligently designed, some kinetic, works of art, but also work to fool the eye as paintings!

Side view of Mike Price's wire artwork in room 6030 at ARTOMATIC 2024
Side view of Mike Price's wire artwork in room 6030 at ARTOMATIC 2024

The sheer genius in these works, is that in the elegant presentation, Price installs the wire sculptures within a solid painting background, where at first view they meld and blend to fool the eye!

"Werther's" by Mike Price
"Werther's" by Mike Price
"Scissors" by Mike Price
"Scissors" by Mike Price
Also in that room there are some impressive flower paintings by Peri Turns -- easily, and together with master artist Michal Hunter, the best flower paints so far!

My fave sculpture on the 6th floor? How about this precise and elegant and super cool assemblage of organic things (the wings are tree leaves) titled "Reluctant Predator" by Lee T. Wheeler in room 6002.

"Reluctant Predator" by Lee T. Wheeler in room 6002 at ARTOMATIC
"Reluctant Predator" by Lee T. Wheeler in room 6002

Time for another award: The "Most Touchable Ever Award" goes to the cool (pun intended) flowing, moving and touchable sculptures in room 6054 by recycledworksart.com - and next a brainfart! I missed noting the name of the artist in room 6032, who deserves a shout out for his/her coooool paper installation and paper art skills! You rock! This is the ARTOMATIC 2024 Paper Room!

Does this room rock or what?

Every once in a while, a work of art speaks to the viewer as if coming from another dimension. Yesterday that was the case with this gorgeous painting by Adam Chamy in room 6040 and titled "Blood Bath."

BLOOD BATH by Adam Chamy at ARTOMATIC 2024
BLOOD BATH by Adam Chamy