Counterpoints to the Narrative

05/23/2017 01:04 pm ET Updated Jun 06, 2017
      Sparky Campanella, <em>Jawbone Canyon Looking East</em> (2014), color photograph, 40 x 50 inches
Sparky Campanella, Jawbone Canyon Looking East (2014), color photograph, 40 x 50 inches

The combination of Sparky Campanella, Mark Sharp and Martin Weinstein is much more than a contrast in method and style. With each artist, we have intense and thoughtful visceral observations that relay the near shocking diversity the human brain has in filtering visual stimuli. Each artist offers a totally different aesthetic, yet they all have one thing in common: they look deeply and curiously at their surroundings with an endless desire to react to and record optical sensation.

For this exhibition, Lichtundfire gallery presents three very distinct and incredibly thoughtful messages that will garner a multitude of previously unfelt responses.

 Sparky Campanella, <em>Waterworks Drive</em> (2014), 4 x 5 camera color photograph, 40 x 50 inches
Sparky Campanella, Waterworks Drive (2014), 4 x 5 camera color photograph, 40 x 50 inches

In the photography of Sparky Campanella we see a bisecting, decisive horizon line that succinctly and abruptly defines its center as a focal edge. His compositions can often make us feel trapped, even afraid to move. He shows us how our surroundings constantly present boundaries or mental controls that can be man-made and physical, limited by light or defined by the curvature of the earth. These limitations can direct us, cause us an anxious moment or make us wonder where we stand in the big picture of our endless and overwhelming universe. Yet, with all the barriers and tension there is hope here in the pristine skies, the promise of the next morning or the endless possibilities presented by place and environment. It is at that moment that an overpowering silence comes and we are mesmerized, fixated by something we know too well but can not completely come to terms with as free thinking human beings – producing something like the yin yang of instinct versus knowledge.

    Mark Sharp, <em>Untitled 2230</em> (2016), mixed media on canvas, 28 x 24 inches
Mark Sharp, Untitled 2230 (2016), mixed media on canvas, 28 x 24 inches

Mark Sharp bundles his observations into a network of random rhythmic passages, patterns and textures that reside in the subconscious. What we see around us is constantly changing - not just in the easily observable but also in the periphery - which can sometimes be hidden in multiple levels of awareness and memory. How Sharp represents this amalgam is his gift, whereby complements of color, diverse fabrics and alluring texture make curiously profound connections in exciting and stimulating ways. We sense the familiar, we feel the life and we embrace the interchange as it emerges from the artist's mind while the emotions he incites triggers our own experiences and memory. Sharp's materials are varied and his approach malleable though his focus remains the same. He wants us to understand that place between abstraction and representation that constantly runs through our lives and minds is here to stay whether we embrace it or not.

  Mark Sharp, <em>Untitled 2217</em> (2016), mixed media on canvas, 28 x 24 inches
Mark Sharp, Untitled 2217 (2016), mixed media on canvas, 28 x 24 inches

Martin Weinstein’s paintings are produced over long periods of changing times as he records his very intimate and enticing earthly observations. From day to day, season to season and year to year, Weinstein follows his natural and quite bucolic surroundings through its endless cycle of loss and rebirth, capturing the natural elements in all their grace and grandeur. As each individually painted layer of clear acrylic sheet covers the previous one, a multi-magical world unfolds with calming visions of windswept sunny days, cold winter afternoons or gloriously clouded over skies as details fade and reappear from the depths of his compositions. His painting style, which is quite refined and a joy to behold, finds its muse in his openly expressive subjects from spring's first and most furious, blooming flowers to the bursting array of fall colors as it all coalesces into a symphonic array of mother nature's great and vast powers. As a result, Weinstein’s art feels like a series of distant memories connected and coming together like a beautiful and peaceful dream.

    Martin Weinstein, <em>Kenoten, 2 Winter Sunsets</em> (2017), acrylic on multiple acrylic sheets, 11 x 14 inches
Martin Weinstein, Kenoten, 2 Winter Sunsets (2017), acrylic on multiple acrylic sheets, 11 x 14 inches

Counterpoints to the Narrative can be seen at Lichtundfire from May 31 to June 30, 2017. Lichtundfire is located at 175 Rivington Street on the lower East Side of Manhattan. The opening reception is Saturday, June 3rd from 5:30-8:30pm. The exhibition is jointly organized through Lichtundfire and Katharine Carter & Associates, D. Dominick Lombardi, Curator.

        Martin Weinstein,  <em>Winter Mornings, 2 Years</em> (2017), acrylic on multiple acrylic sheets, 20 x 26 inches
Martin Weinstein, Winter Mornings, 2 Years (2017), acrylic on multiple acrylic sheets, 20 x 26 inches
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