SHEBA SHARROW, "Don't Look Now", 2001, 56in by 89in, acrylic on canvas
"Don't Look Now" is "painted in layers of pale blues, purples, pinks and white. At first look the surface has the abstract luminosity of the surfaces of Monet's late Waterlillies. Then we see: on the left panel a figure hanging from a trapeze is about to fall, while on the lower right of the right panel another sits hunched over…and a third figure is falling from a cross. In this beautiful and haunting painting Sharrow tells us that without solidarity we are alone and lost."
Alejandro Anreus, former Curator, Jersey City Museum
The artist, Sheba Sharrow, was born in Brooklyn in 1926, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents and was raised in Chicago. While in high school, she was awarded a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and where she ultimately earned a BFA. She said: "The smell of oil paint was like perfume to me" and that the very high praise she received in that era was that she "painted like a man."
She went on to become a 1951 Alumna of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), and to earn an MFA at the Tyler School of the Arts at Temple University. Among the grants and awards received were those from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the N.J. State Council on the Arts, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in over 30 solo shows at museums, universities and galleries.
SHEBA SHARROW, "Annunciation", 1990, 60in by 60in, mixed media on paper
Sheba Sharrow, "Annunciation," 1990, 60in x 60in, Acrylic, mixed media on arches paper.
Sheba Sharrow's "Annunciation" was not to quote a Christian event in particular or Christ but more likely a reference to the Renaissance painters to explore in a painting the "announcement" of the unnameable mystery that we all live within -- and what many call God. The biblical story of the Annunciation is beautiful and there are similar revelations in all religions. The artist consistently challenged herself to get closer to the truths of the human condition.
MARK LUDAK, "Cathedral of Leon", Nicaragua Series, 2014, 40in by 53 in, photograph
Mark Ludak specializes in wide-format digital photographic printmaking, digital photography, color management and digital asset management. "Ludak's sophisticated images reflect technical expertise that carries over into his printing at a level rarely reached by many photographers," comments Yarosh. "His gentle sensitivity and elegant artist's eye create imagery presented in large-scale that favor beauty in the battling dichotomy of our surroundings to capture at cusp." Ludak, a college professor, explained how his work deals broadly with the complexities of the human condition: specifically, the intersection of humanity and the natural world.
(5 pieces) TATYANA ZHURKOV, "Artist Portrait Series", 2013, 11in by 8.5in, photo collage
Tatyana Zhurkov, (b. 1948), New York City
The Russian-born and -educated Zhurkov's small scale sculptures, drawings and portrait works reflect her fine artistic training, Russian sensitivities, modern materials and new world perspectives. Her original photo collages and marker drawings collectively form a modern-day self-portrait. Each work is individually iconic and as interesting as a page pulled from an artists' diary. She is represented in prestigious collections such as The Hermitage and The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg; The Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C.; and The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
(6 pieces) TATYANA ZHURKOV, "Artist Portrait Series (Non-Portrait)", 2013, 11in by 8.5in, photo collage
TATYANA ZHURKOV, "Venice", 2009, 21in by 14.75in, paint marker on paper
TATYANA ZHURKOV, "Sevilla", 2008, 21in by 14.75in, paint marker on paper
DANIEL BARKLEY, "My Brother's Keeper", 2012, 60in by 60in, acrylic on canvas
Daniel Barkley (b. 1962), Canada:
The human figures prominently featured in Barkley's works are characters captured in a split-second in theatrical narratives. Alluding to myths, legends and to the history of art, these figures—often represented in the nude to strip them of preconceived notions of social class, period and age—present inherent truths about the human condition in a broad context that often leaves the viewers to discern their own speculations.
The artist considers Brother's Keeper one of his best works: "I grew up along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, exploring, swimming and boating in the summer; skating and sledding in the winter. As teenagers, my friends and I would lie on the black ice at night and stare at the stars."
In this work, the figure of the handsome blond man refers to the Archangel Michael. Locked in a frozen prison below is his brother, Lucifer, who is represented by the gold leaf. "Flemish and German painters always considered Lucifer the most beautiful angel—the "Golden Angel," Barkley explains. ARTIST
MICHAL SPARKS, "Red Chair", 2015, 36in by 48in, oil on canvas
JOSHUA GABRIEL, "Blue Man On Red", 2012, 9.25in by 10in, gouache on paper
JOSHUA GABRIEL, "Man in Blue", 2012, 18.5in by 24in, acrylic on wood
EDWARD YASHIN, "Red Gate/ Harlequin", 2002, 19.5in by 18in, oil on canvas
SHEBA SHARROW, "52 Pick-Up Series", 1983, 26.5in by 38in, mixed media on paper
CHARLIE ROBINSON, "The Reset Codes have Changed" with Ken Santos, 2014, 30in by 60in, Art Poster with graffiti embellishment.
Illustrator Charlie Robinson's images are excerpts from a collaborative comic project with writing partner Ken Santos titled "The Reset Codes Have Changed!" The artists worked in tandum with the writing and drawing even switching roles to influence the final product as uniquely collaborative. On the sheets, seemingly despondent images jump and visually dazzle, transporting us to a different time, space, world. Robinson's exquisite attention to details rendered as complicated chatter on the page gives an empathetic nod to an obvious missing piece in the comic's puzzle. But as you examine the works for meaning, a clue starts to emerge within the dreamlike images. Your confusion lifts and you realize that it is you, the reader, who is the main character. You are the one lost in the artist's rollercoaster of a narrative illustrating the fine lines that separate us from those who are lost and homeless on the streets. And as readers, we snap with the weight of it all. The comic medium transcends to high art in Robinson's sensitive hands and connects us at a primal level as we recapture our youthful imaginations and discover thoughts of potentially unspoken human stories
Andrey Skripka, "Angel," 1994, 39in x 43in, oil on canvas
The intense colors in Andre Skripka's Angel painting may not jibe with our typical ethereal angel visions, but the artist gives us exactly the more textured, brave perspective we need: that universal forces, beings, gyrations, shapes and emotional ignitions can be every bit as intense as the ones we expect from Hell. Here, Skripka shows us some syrup of watermelon and dark cherries and the rinds of blood oranges poured over that still-elusive angelic form. Angelic tomato sauce, if you get more of a sense of savory than sweet. The angel "smoothie" languishing down one's gullet in order to reach the deepest of depths. Yet the slightly timid expression in the eyes, and then the raging blues and other juxtaposed colors and shapes take us to a very exciting Heaven, where angels dance and bump into each other and relish a chaos viewers rarely dream of as an environment of the afterlife. The artist knows this Heaven, for as a child he no doubt peeked from behind a settee and remembered the happy tumult he saw there. Text by art critic Tova Navarra