Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gerry Giorgio Invents Another Realm of Imagery on the Spur of his Participation in ArtWalk and ArtPrize 2013

As I keep saying again and again, Grand Haven Art Walk is a community that took life in late summer 2010 and continues including more artists, families, friends and children each year. We might see the Grand Marquee that says #GHArtWalk2013 ends Saturday, October 5, 2013 and my reader is welcome to ignore it.

Thanks to the Fire Barn Gallery, which will have a show open in October, the community continues growing all year round. Look for a show in November. Look for the Christmas Invitational in December, which connects with the Wine About Winter ArtWalk.

The community also extends to openings at the Theater Bar and Jelly's on the waterfront, and I'm recalling an evening catching up with Gerry Giorgio, a cold night with a warm gathering of friends to see his art, chasing off the chills with a good glass of wine. I have enjoyed following Giorgio's development for almost six years now, four of them within the context of ArtWalk. As much as I miss Giorgio's sharp black and white fantasies on life in the brick apartments of Chicago, I had exulted in his colorful, yet muted paintings of men playing music. I had found myself making mental notes to follow a branch of his inspiration that represented sleepy industrial towns of the Midwest in a charcoal haze, towns that made me think of Gary, Benton Harbor and Muskegon as well as third-tier cities in East Germany.

The artist has freedom to follow a branch of his inspiration or to sprout another one. Gerry has sprouted a complete new domain of imagery for ArtPrize. Two of his current images leave the charcoal haze and the musical men in another compartment of his imagination. I have no idea if his men are marching into work at a blast furnace or an oil sludge refinery on southern Lake Michigan or if his men are reporting for the night shift in Hades. A man failing from the sky, evoking the myth of Daedalus, guides the reader to be careful of snap judgements when evaluating what appears inside the four borders of the scene. Getting voted off the island is a kinder corporate kiss off. Or falling to earth the way employees arrive?

In the image with the lighter, slightly cheerier colouring, men marching on a band floating upon air bring to mind the Biblical story of Jacob's Ladder. However, Biblical stories never described blast furnaces, and these catch attention in the background, dashing my Biblical theories. The use of color in the two works entertain me and mystify me, although I am left fearing the approach of nausea.

Giorgio's vision infects me with an urgency to escape my day job by buying a farm in the country and never using freshly forged steel for any purpose, recycling tools from resale shops and junkyards and driving used cars.

Kindly, Giorgio has written me to share information, and it lessens the spinning in my head not a whit.

Dear Captain,

Here are some images of my entries to ArtWalk and ArtPrize.
ArtPrize is titled Fall and Assimilation I. ArtWalk is titled Fall and Assimilation 2

Both were created with a theme from the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which is sponsoring a post ArtPrize show. Their theme is "Reimagining the Landscape and the Future of Nature"

I won't be participating in the post ArtPrize event. I did them at the request of Chris Protas who is making some connections with people at GRAM. He would have more information about that.

Thanks for the dispatch from the frontier of your vision, Gerry Giorgio. From the looks of it, Giorgio has had the good fortune to be represented by Second Avenue Arts, the newer arts and entertainment house managed by Mike Coleman. 2AA has managed to book clients into the two big shows on the west shore, ArtWalk and its larger kin, ArtPrize. Hopefully, we'll see more artist's of Giorgio's dedication making the cycle of Jelly's, Theatre Bar, Fire Barn Gallery and ArtWalk.

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