Danielle O’Brien
(Falls Church VA)
Contraption I is a collage by artist Danielle O’Brien. This piece has flow and energy. The undefined background contrasts with the protruding cut and reassembled images. O’Brien’s style is weird, “fleshy fragments, slimy entrails and artificial simulacra” is how she describes her work. But contemporary art should be weird. O’Brien’s created a unique formula that defines design in her own terms and does so with elegance. Weirdness is a virtue for O’Brien. One can sense a rock star like quality to her work and persona.

Robert Mullenix
(Oxford OH)
Mullenix’s piece fallout presents energetic angles and bold contrasts. With a warm color pallet juxtaposing against dark purples and near black, Mullenix presents a camo flora stamped or screen-printed and created with noble ideals of a strong concern for the natural earth. Ecosystems are vital to all living organism and Mullenix’s concern and even impatience with watching the world crumble comes from a sincere environmentalist perspective. Clean water to drink, clean air to breath, clearly these are issues that effect us all. fallout appears as if it might be a forest on fire. It brings to mind the unsettling global effects of a shrinking tropical rainforest.  One can take in this piece appreciating its pleasant colors, composition, and the unnerving natural concerns of the artist who created it.

Norah Lovell
(New Orleans LA)
With her piece Mysteries of the Palais Royal, Lovell has developed what can be called an eclectic retro-mesh style. With influences that include stereoscopic viewers and antique French wallpaper, Lovell created her diptych using three images sliced and positioned with a staggered yet sensitive effect.  The Diptych itself is a curious format. From Andy Warhol to Jan Van Eyck celebrated artists have used the Diptych construct. With Mysteries Lovell has resurrected methods of the past into reformed, born again creations.

Joe Fish
(Fairfax VA)
With the piece Strength of One, Joe Fish shows a resolute cantilever arch structure. His tangible constructs and original glyph designs solidify physical manifestations of his new subject. A new, not yet fully defined religion and art hybrid. Fish’s new subject interlocks highly designed artifacts with conceptual mantras and philosophical ideals. With a focus on identity and a quest to become ever more self-aware, Fish aspires to represent a people and ultimately help shape their future.

Daniel Atyim
(Eau Claire WI)
Atyim’s piece Crevice presents paint in a thick pill like encapsulation pattern. Paint as relief, textural even semi-sculptural.  Yet the colors in this piece are also bold and pixelated in appearance. Atyim’s work and titles hint at the art of pornography. The naked figure has a long and colorful history in the traditions of Western art. With a focus on the nude, more specifically a glorification of the nude as a reference point, Atyim has in some ways diffused the naked figure. Yet he lets us figure out the tradition of adoration. With Crevice we experience the mingling and sexualizing of color and textural relief.

Arthur Grau
(Boston MA)
Grau’s experimental Type Bar is an interesting take on performance art. His SLOW COMMUNICATION MANIFESTO bucks the seemingly unquestioned ideals of always on and rapid response. A thought provoking gadfly to social media, smart phones, emails and texts, the end product of this SLOW COMM group performance is a gathering of artifacts that display type and graphics with handsome semi-collage like flair. Grau shows us old tools can be reused in conjunction with modern instruments such as a website.

 All of us have witnessed the dinner couple out to eat with one or both engaged with their smartphone and seemingly overlooking their partner of the here and now. Grau questions this social coldness with the unexpected beauty of spirographs, novel ink and press stamps, various typed languages, antique and international postage stamps, unique type placement, and overall esthetically pleasing arrangements.

This is one of many experiments for Grau. A look onto his website reveals works associated with time lapse photography. His Kinetic Umbra reveal traces of the human figure, strange movements in the dark create x-ray like visuals that deliver with great appeal. Grau’s Mojave Labyrinth is a majestic earthwork that can be viewed from space and offers its audience a “time tested tool for reflection”. A chameleon of creation, Grau isn’t afraid to experiment. Yet his strong sense for design and gentle earthly-edifications unite what might at first appear like an eclectic body of work.

Soo-z Mastropietro
(Westport CT)
This Italian American contemporary artist creates sub-mediums such as cloth tubes, nuggets and shreds that she manipulates into form. Beautiful, unique, spirited and vibrant Mastropietro’s pieces can be viewed as an evolution of the mosaic.

Chimaerrow, with one side red, the other side blue, with their bases the opposing color and the center of the piece a mixture of the two. The end result is an almost purple. It doesn’t quite make a purple but it doesn’t need to. It’s a fabulous piece that brings to mind the present political experience in the United States. We have red states we have blue states and those purple states… they aren’t really purple. In the end those purple states fall into one camp or the other.

PILE, is a more illusionary peice, this work skillfully represents a pile of clothes illustrated in fiber. It’s attractive, like shinny twizzlers, black liquorice or well-packaged candy. Similarly, it produces a mouth watering reaction. It is really important that artists such as Mastropietro work in less conventional mediums such as this. This is the residence were you will find that evolutionary spark of contemporary art. Mastropietro’s sub-mediums deserve great recognition as they “represent the parts of the sum which inevitably become the sum of bigger parts”.

Tony Lazorko
(Mesilla NM)
This former art director for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has two pieces in this show: Crossroads and Going Home. Both pieces were created with a wonderful eye and a spectacular sense for absorbing composition. Something about both pieces really pulls you in. There is a sense of solitude or isolation, even loss. Both pieces feel as landscapes of Lazorko’s current residence in New Mexico. Yet both Crossroads and Going Home hint at additional subjects more vast than the southwest itself. All of Western society may be at a Crossroad. The West may have recently realized that it must rebuild its home. In Going Home...one can abstract… like a drifter, a hobo or a desperate traveling salesman, in this age of non-Western globalization…the indigenous Westerner might not have a home to go to?