Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present P H O T O ‘1 8, our annual exhibition focusing on contemporary photography.
Adrien Broom is storyteller. Rather than photographing the world as it is, the artist creates her own realm and tells the stories she imagines. Broom’s work is deeply rooted in fairy tales and mythology, her vivid childhood imaginings focused through a sophisticated adult lens. In her most recent series Broom travelled to Yorkshire’s 18th-century Wentworth Woodhouse, the largest private home in Britain. For two weeks, the artist and a small troupe of models and assistants worked in the lavish home’s labyrinthine rooms to create a series of magical images. In one, a lone woman stands in an empty room, her ethereal, glowing gown lit by 1100 LEDs that the artist sewed into the fabric. In others, fog drifts and settles indoors, conflating reality and dreams; light and atmosphere become characters as essential to the narrative as the human figure.
Broom earned a BA in Computer Animation at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, studied Fine Arts in Italy, followed by Fine and Decorative Art History at Christie’s in London. Her work has been shown in the US, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy. It has been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post and numerous other publications.
Lisa A. Frank’s large-scale photographs are kaleidoscopic multilayered images of nature, architecture and man-made design. Each composition’s complex patterns are composed from the artist’s deep archive of her own photographs; the images are digitally collaged and arranged in patterns that take cues from historic wallpaper designs, sometimes including elaborately constructed trompe l’oeil mouldings, wainscoting, friezes, borders, swags and other architectural detailing. Densely ornamental, the work draws upon the artist's background as a textile designer as well as the archives of Britain’s Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century. The ability of these patterns to endlessly tile creates the potential for multiple sized works ranging from large individual prints to full room installations.
The artist was awarded the MacDowell Colony’s Evelyn Stefansson Nef Fellow in photography. Frank was a Senior Research Fellow at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was the first artist/collaborator to be given this distinction. At the University of Wisconsin, Frank is currently part of the Discovery to Product (D2P) incubator program, through which she’s developing virtual reality content based on her two-dimensional photography. Frank has an MFA in Design Studies from the University of Wisconsin and has completed extensive graduate work at Yale University, New Haven, CT and School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. The artist lives and works in Wisconsin.
For this exhibition, Carlos Gamez de Francisco presents his project The Power of the Powerless. Shot entirely in Cuba, this work is an inquiry into the problematic and subjective notion of power and the historical role of portraits in society. For centuries, portrait painting was a status symbol used by the bourgeoisie to demonstrate and preserve their image as wealthy and powerful. The models, posed in classical postures with majestic lighting and apparent sumptuous costumes, are in fact ordinary Cubans wearing everyday objects found in their homes. This series is born from the artists need to recast the people of Cuba, people who live in poverty, people with special needs, and people of diverse races and genders. The images present an uncertainty of what real power means and where it lies. Through these critical issues, often unspoken, Gamez de Francisco deconstructs the symbols of power, replacing them with hope: the hope to be, the power to succeed, and the desire to be remembered.
Carlos Gamez de Francisco was born in post-revolutionary Cuba in 1987 in a climate of art censorship and limited access to information. The artist was educated in an academic style heavily influenced by the Russian Academy. Gamez de Francisco earned degrees from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and The Jose Marti Fine Arts School, Holguin, Cuba. The Art Institute of Chicago honored Gamez de Rodriguez with an Ox Bow Merit Scholarship, a Distinguished Scholarship Grant, and a Travel Scholarship. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Cuba and the United States. Gamez de Francisco has work in the permanent collections of 21c Museum, Louisville, KY, Metro Hall, Louisville, KY and Cuba Ocho Museum and Performing Art Center in Miami, FL. The artist lives and works in Cuba and Louisville, KY.
Jeffrey Sturges’ photographs focus attention on the singular presence of familiar objects. Sturges arranges objects such as a potted plant, venetian blinds or florescent light fixtures into formal, still life photographs with a minimalist aesthetic. Scale plays an important role in Sturges photographs, his objects are depicted life-size. This adherence to reality amplifies each object’s presence and affirms the connection we have to familiar objects in our lives. Sturges’ photographs are technically masterful, their absolute clarity bestowing a cool and rational lucidity to his work.
Sturges earned his MFA at SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY and his BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. His work has been shown widely in the US, in Switzerland and New Zealand.