A Preview of Downtown Art Gallery’s Newest Exhibition: Makeover
Next week, April 10th, the Downtown Art Gallery will open its doors once more for its new exhibition, Makeover. Makeover is a radically different exhibition because for the first time, the exhibition contains two unrelated artists. These artists, Bill Domonkos and Elliott Anderson, were picked by curator Rick Rinehart because both artists nicely fit with the exhibition’s theme: remixing traditional and new media art. Each artist has revamped, in completely different ways, ‘aging art forms’- that is to say landscape paintings, black and white film footage, etc.- by utilizing modern technology to generate a totally new visual experience.
Bill Domonkos’ art presented in Makeover primarily focuses on experimental film. In general, his art resurrects black and white footage and still photography by adding in computer animation. When he juxtaposes these two extremes he makes room for new experiences and new abstract relationships between visual and sound. Anderson is interested in how these two sensorial experiences can create something indescribable. For this specific show, Rick Rinehart has selected videos in which the artist has combined film from archival collections and Domonkos’ own computer animation. This innovative combination yields footage that upholds a surreal, or dream like quality. These ‘bizarre’ videos however successfully balance the surreal and realistic qualities to fascinate the viewer for the entire clip. Intellectually and visually stimulating, his work is hard to confine into words. The best way to understand Bill Domonkos’ art is to watch and analyze it yourself.
When comparing subject matter and method, Elliot Anderson’s art is radically different from Domonkos’. Anderson explores landscape snapshots and presents layered still images onto light boxes. His layered images range from the fantasized landscape paintings created in the 19th century to the basic Kodak snapshot taken by the average tourist in the 21st century. In Makeover, Anderson’s art takes these two extremities and “averages” them together. This produces an “average” picture of these tourist sites. These landscapes typically are of natural phenomena like the Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon. Anderson has selected these sites because these are the landscapes that had attracted the romanticist painter and continue to draw in the average American in modern times. These sites have been marketed and visited for centuries now and therefore the mere names of these places can be associated with idolized image created by tourism. Furthermore, by analyzing images layered over images of the same site, the viewer can see the byproduct of mankind’s presence. Anderson indirectly highlights how man has altered, or made over, this site over the past centuries. Lakes and mountains that had once dominated the area have been altered; although this environmental issue is just a byproduct of his work, it is interesting to see how Anderson incidentally displays the makeover man has imposed, for the better or worse, on nature.
Interested? Join us for the opening April 10th and analyze for yourself how these contemporary artists utilized traditional and new media resources to create a totally new experience for the viewer.