Studios > 2007 Residents
Gianluca Bianchino is a painter whose large-scale series, Spatial, has expanded to drawing and video.
He writes: "Nature is my platform of study. Specifically, I work with telescopic images of celestial bodies (galaxies, nebulaes and planets), and panoramic/satellite images of extreme conditions of our planet’s landscape (hurricanes, tornados and volcanic eruptions).
My paintings, which are crafted in oil, most often consist of dyptics and tryptics incorporating both abstract and representational images. The use of dyptics and tryptics in formal compositions is influenced by religious art, strongly present through my Catholic upbringing in Southern Italy."
Bianchino's intention is to evoke both macro and microcosmic space, causing the viewer to reflect upon their own sense of placement, and to question conventional notions of linear space/time.
He will be creating studies for further additions to the series.
Kevin Darmanie, born in Trinidad, is a longtime Newark resident who makes paintings, prints, and comics. He was the co-curator of 2006's Black Rock. During his residency Darmanie has created a series of oversize comic pages that each functions independently but can be read as part of an ongoing narrative. The series features an alter ego, Kedar, in a minutely observed city not dissimilar to Newark, caught between neglect and gentrification.
Darmanie has also continued to work on a series of paintings of varying scale, based on features of his own body. The series is suggestive of the contribution of historical lineage, as well as the idiosyncrasies of personal appearance, to an ongoing identity.
Last Night I Kissed an Angel (off Rt. 21)
Working in mixed media, Jerry Gant is a self-educated visual artist and performance poet whose signature murals can be found in large urban centers including Newark, New York City, Boston, and London England. He works in canvas, metal, wood, fabric and wire, constantly.
Recent exhibitions include My Brother’s Thread: A Retrospective of Fiber Works by and for Men of the African Diaspora curated by Harlem Needle Arts at Lincoln Center, and But I was cool…, a three man show at Aljira. Jerry has been a fixture of the Newark arts scene for the past 15 years. As an installation artist, unofficial and official mentor to young artists, entrepreneur and MC, Jerry’s activities and creations can be seen as a single unified expression of his perspective. The viral quality of his imagery allows it to move between the street and the gallery, as visitors to his exhibitions recognize design motifs they may have seen on the back of a jacket or on a wall years ago.
According to the artist, "In every individual lies a wall of expression and culture; the acknowledgment of the artists that came before stimulates the construction of new walls that are greater than their struggles, pain and shortcomings."
Reviewing the Aljira exhibition, critic Holland Cotter wrote in the Times, “It is Mr. Gant who offers the most abstract and positive take... in the form of a mediating remedy through art. For the occasion, he built a thin, high throne made of plywood and equipped with halo-like headphones and a crown. The throne, at once regal and fragile, is actually designed as a listening station.”
Julia's First Dream
Sebastián Patané Masuelli
Sebastian Patane Masuelli’s (Argentina, 1978) installations and actions are recognizable by their startling degree of beauty, and by minimal arrangements suggestive of a complex thought process. He attempts to make visible connections between the physical limitations of objects, and their imaginative possibilities. His work has been seen recently in The Mistake I Make is To Try and Think, a solo show at 58 Gallery in Jersey City, NJ and El Museo del Bario's S Files in New York, NY.
Founder of the Fease art collective, which took over abandoned storefronts with performance and exhibitions, he has been the instigator for many art events in the tri-state area since 1999.
Recent work sample
Ana de Portela
Ana de Portela has described herself as a sculptor who produces video and performances as well as someone who writes and motivates.
She has worked yearlong volunteer commitments in Paraguay through Amigos de las America and as Director for Video-in-the Community through Peace Corps/VISTA, organizing “community related spectacles” in inner city barrios such as outdoor movie nights.
She has found the space for her own art making with residencies at the PS. 1 Clocktower and at the International Women’s Foundation Die Hogue, as one of 3 Americans invited to Germany, along with Laura Cottingham and the Guerrilla Girls. After her time at Gallery Aferro, she will travel to Prague to the Center for Alternative Culture at the Meetfactory by invitation of David Cerny. Her most recent solo exhibtion was at Bronx Haven Arts in 2006.
Jesse Wright (American / Jamaican, 1974) lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. His work relies heavily on a background in painting and design. It often incorporates materials found while walking on journeys between Jersey City and New York City (what's left of messages found in ripped posters and half painted over billboards, clipped newspaper headlines lying there on the subway's floor, the pop-up windows, textbooks, Scriptures, and intuition). Switching technique to reflect the many ways in which we communicate and the layers of meanings. These elements are re-purposed to reflect a spiritual connection underlying daily experience and observation. Traveling internationally gave a respect for iconography that transcends language. Working in technologies gave an awareness of the various ways we are able to communicate and how fragmented the messages can become.
Recent work has involved large scale (mixedmedia) paintings referencing the chaos of the "Book of Revelation" along side the peace of the "Transfiguration" found in scripture.
This approach is carried over to (if not inspired by) several "books". During a difficult time the artist began to gather scraps of paper heading to and from work to arrange in the evening as an immediate outlet to record and collage random scraps of conversations, thoughts, and found papers. These arrangements evolved into several books. The processess of gathering and arranging carried over into large scale paintings as the energy could no longer be contained within the space of the page. They eventually begin to develop an "arc" of a story and often evolve from slap-dash collage to full-blown paintings / compositions.
During his time at Aferro, Wright plans to move from the "wall to the floor" to explore stand alone objects and sculpture, and to work with materials like asphalt, plaster, and tar.