Mini Masterpieces

November 26th, 2011
This article appeared on November 25, 2011 in the Alameda Journal. Connie Rux, editor.


Rosie Morales is the assistant to the Director of K Gallery. A recent graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, she is also a talented painter and drawer, and one of more than a dozen artists exhibiting small, reasonably priced artwork in “Mini Masterpieces,” K Gallery’s 3rd annual holiday art show and sale.

Rosie Morales, Kali. Acrylic.

Morales lived in India as a child while her mother, an anthropologist, made a film about a possession dance of the goddess Kali. Morales took photo stills from the film, and filtered them further through her childhood memories. She interpreted them in acrylic, depicting fierce masked and painted figures.

The paintings are accompanied by Morales’ pen and ink self-portraits. She describes them as “warped memories from childhood,” based on “compilations of photograph and imagination.” As they include her smiling while being held protectively by a man with horns, they are indeed a little warped.

One visitor at the reception asked if Mark P. Fischer’s set of twelve sepia oil paintings was based on a book, because they seemed so familiar. That makes the work a success, because what they are viewing is their life.

Mark P. Fischer, from Twelve Stations. Oil.

They were inspired by Barnett Newman’s black-and-white series “The Stations of the Cross,” but Fischer’s work is not religious. Rather, it is a “template for a lifetime,” Fischer said. “There’s a start, #1, and there’s an end, with 14. And in between is all these ups and downs.”

The panels depict a range of scenes, from the author Richard Yates at his typewriter to cats playing poker. “They’re not so much [about] the subject matter as trying to give the feeling of a cramped muddle that’s part of life.”

Time-lapse photography in which the camera is stationary and the artist moves through the scene with a pen light or spotlight are becoming more common. However, Pons Maar shoots videos, and he brings a cinematic sensibility to his fine art photography by carrying his camera with him as he moves, the lens open. He calls this “light gathering” or “light painting.”

His technique renders carnival scenes all the more frenetic, or amplifies street lights into lightening storms.

Maar traces this work back to his first digital camera whose low resolution made capturing large scenes difficult. “Instead of composing shots… I would just concentrate on getting elements, and then bring them into Photoshop, and compose,” he said. “Like it was all about collage. Collecting stuff.”

Jan Erion with “Bird in Paradise” at her opening reception on November 11.

Jan Erion moved to Alameda from Washington State three years ago, and exhibits her new oil on canvas California series. She paints views of the bay from Alameda, and the bird sanctuary down Broadway at Shoreline Drive.

“I just love California so much I’m like having a love affair with California, so I’m trying to paint what I see,” Erion said. “The colors are more Mediterranean. They’re lighter, they’re brighter, the sunlight here is much better.” Erion concludes, with a big smile, “I love Alameda. I think God made Alameda for me.”

I think I’ll keep a little piece of it for myself.

Mini Masterpieces runs through December 29. A second reception will be held from 6-9 PM on December 9 in conjunction with Estuary Art Attack. K Gallery is located at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue.


Michael Singman-Aste
Postdiluvian Photo

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