White Gallery: The First Review Is In!

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

“From Commercial to Fine Art

 By Leon Graham

“Raindrop” is currently on display at The White Gallery. photo by Joe DiMaggio

“Crossing the Line,” now at The White Gallery in Lakeville, is a collection of work from three talented commercial photographers, good friends with award-winning credentials, who now make fine art  for their own pleasure. Throughout their careers they created images for magazine publishers, advertising agencies, major companies. Now they bring the same eye and originality to these very personal photographs.

Dennis Wheeler is best known for the many Time magazine covers he created. And created is the right word, because he made covers that were collages designed to grab attention on newsstands as well as comment on the cover subject in powerful ways. Four silhouetted male profiles — red, yellow, white, black — overlapped for a story on leadership in America. A cover on the sex explosion showed a young man and woman facing each other with much of their bodies covered by a giant fig leaf zippered down the middle.

At the White, Wheeler shows complex mixed media collages of carefully arranged objects, drawings, little photos, slashes of paint both long and short, all on brilliantly colored backgrounds.

“Pasture” stands out for its evocation of land and horses and the suggestion of fences. Made in browns and blues, the work is focused on a central black-and-white image of horses eating in a pasture. A gentle horse face peers at us from behind the pastured animals; there are small pictures of lakes too. All lie on swirls of thin, colored lines that suggest fencing wire.

JoAnne Kalish was the first woman photographer at Sports Illustrated. She is known for her ability to capture light and motion, as well as for the sensuality of many images. Her pictures of vegetables — two bell peppers at the White show — are luscious, rounded, inviting. Her pears are erotic and painterly. Even the two dogs meeting in “Venezia” seem about to begin a romance.

Kalish’s “Eiffel” is a pyramid of luminosity as if reflected in water. Her “Reflections” catches a small boat to the left tied up on a narrow canal, while buildings are reflected abstractly in the water on the right, which has the sheen of a mirror.

Kalish’s partner, Joe DiMaggio, is also a former Sports Illustrated and Time magazine photographer. (His and Kalisch’s images of professional hockey are now shown at the NHL Hall of Fame in Canada.) He worked for many advertising agencies, won many art direction awards. He is a master of suggesting motion in still photos. “Chevelle” shows a bright and shiny wheel cover that seems to be catching a passing landscape on its surface. In “Frankfurt,” a group of people are blurred so they appear in motion.

“Raindrop” catches a pearl of water as it is about to fall from the wide brim of a black cowboy hat that glistens from the moisture. We see only the nose and mouth of a man, who sports a marvelous neck bandana studded with white stars. “Infinity” is made of double yellow highway lines stretching into the distance between hazy trees and road shoulders that appear to converge up the road. It is wonderfully composed.

“Crossing the Line” continues at The White Gallery, 342 Main St. in Lakeville, Conn., through Sept. 9. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 860-435-1029 or go to http://www.thewhitegalleryart.com.

“The Lakeville Journal, COMPASS,” August 4, 2016″ 

© Dennis Wheeler

© Dennis Wheeler

Yukiko Launois and Thomas Sobolik’s Show – Silent Season Photos of Winter

© Tom Sobolik & Yukiko Launois Silent Season -Photos of Winter

© Tom Sobolik & Yukiko Launois Silent Season -Photos of Winter

Joe and I Recently went to Show at Martin Stankiewicz Gallery in Tarrytown, New York featuring the work of artists Yukiko Launois and Tom Sobolik  The show was called Silent Season.  Yukiko was our former editor at Corbis, & The Stock Market who we love dearly. She was a great editor and really knew her stuff. She was also a pleasure to work with and would always help & encourage you to produce your best work.  She also was editor of Black Star Photo Agency.  It was a fine show and we enjoyed it immensely.

Yukiko Launois  © Joe DiMaggio

Yukiko Launois © Joe DiMaggio

Tom Sobolik © Joe DiMaggio

Tom Sobolik © Joe DiMaggio

Yukiko Lis  s© Joe DiMaggio

Yukiko Lis s© Joe DiMaggioSee Below Artist Statements –

Artists’s Statement: Tom Sobolik

This exhibit is the result of artistic larceny.  The exhibit also grew out of the 34-year photography friendship between Yukiko Launois and me.  We met in1980 when Yukiko was head of the photo library at the Black

Star photo agency and I, a fledgling photojournalist, went to work for her.  After a career as a photo editor for Black Star and Corbis, Yukiko became  a photographer herself in retirement.  My career was a photojournalist and a corporate photographer through Black Star.  About 10 years ago I began switching my emphasis to landscape photography.

I was inspired to winter scenes by Yukiko occasionally sent of snow in Central Park.  Photographing purely for her own enjoyment, she would “publish” them by home-making greeting cards and sending them to friends.  I loved the photos and was drawn to the harmony, simplicity and grace in them juxtaposed to the stark contrasts and harshness of winter.

Without knowing the Picasso quote, “Bad artists copy.  Good artists steal”, I began unconsciously pilfering the sensibilities I drew from my friends photos.  After seeing the early results I became much more aware of Yukiko’s influence on my winter work and I began unabashedly helping myself to all I could of her vision.  This show is some of the evidence of that thievery.  It is a collaboration because Yukiko is complicit in my embezzlement.

Artist’s statement: Yukiko Launois

I am first and foremost a photography editor.  That was my career and I never took a photograph myself until after my retirement 10 years ago.  Then I began editing the real world and putting my choice on film.  I am an observer of nature and I try to choose the purest beauty in it.

My idea of beauty is influenced by my upbringing in Japan.  As a girl I learned classical Japanese arts including calligraphy and flower arranging.  I rebelled against the classics and fell in love and married a French/American photojournalist, moving to New York.  But Japanese aesthetics remained in my DNA.

Taking photographs is my pleasure.  I do it for my own enjoyment and could never have seen myself as one of the many world-renowned photojournalists whose work I edited for Black Star and Corbis.  Pressure and deadlines are not for me.

Even so, when I am happy with a photograph I like to share it.  So I make note cards with my favorite images and send them to friends.

I was flattered when Tom asked me to do a joint show.  I was blown away when I saw some of his snow pictures.  His less-is-more kind of approach looked very Japanese to me.  I didn’t know I inspired him to do the work but my old editing instincts told me our photos would look good together.

Yukiko and JoAnne Kalish © Joe DiMaggio

Yukiko and JoAnne Kalish © Joe DiMaggio

Will Barnet A Beautiful Man, A Great Artist and Friend -1911-2012

Will Barnet ©JoAnne Kalish

We were taking a flight to Austin, Texas to photograph their first F1 Grand Prix. I was reading The New York Times and a painting of Will’s caught my eye, as I was turning the page.  It was the Obituary Column – Will had passed away the day before (November 13.) We all knew it was coming but it really really hit me hard. I had spoke to Will the week before in hopes of getting together but sadly it did not work out.

I first met Will Barnet when I had an assignment to photograph him for ART & ANTIQUES MAGAZINE,  back in 2005 and we’ve been friends ever since. He was an exceptional person – warm, generous, extremely talented yet humble. He’d  always go that extra mile to make you feel special. With all his accomplishments and stature he never failed to ask how I was doing,  what kind of art I was making, and how was Joe? He always made me feel special.

For those of you not familiar with his work, Will’s body of work ranges from universal family scenes, often but not always, using his wife, children,and pets as they connect with each other. On the other hand, his paintings go in other directions as well, exploring abstracts and the connection that can be made using bold colors & form. During this time, he was influenced by the artwork of American Indians. Will’s been a Printmaker, as well as being an Art Educator for many years. I’ve heard stories of how he’s influenced a generation of young artists. His kind, generous nature is not common in the art world  but Will was his own person. It did not take away, from who he was, to share with others. He welcomed the opportunity. After the Great Depression he was very involved in the federal art project heading up the WPA, which helped artists sustain a living while continuing to make their art. He has been the recipient of many awards. This past February 2012, President Obama Awarded him the Medal of Arts for his lifetime achievement.

One Saturday, I called and asked if I could stop by to say hello. He said that he was sorry but he was going to a friend’s gallery opening and we’d have to make it another time. Joe and I decided to check out some shows ourselves that weekend and who, did we stroll into but Will. It was so important for him to see what was going on at all times.

On another day, I was in the neighborhood and called him to see if I could stop by to say hello. He said, “give me a few minutes I’m coming down, meet me at the entrance of my building.”  His son Todd who I met for the first time was with him. It was a beautiful day and we sat in Gramercy Park talking like old friends reminiscing and sharing how we met. We had a good laugh about  how, after I had done his portrait,  I did not realize, until just before I left, that my face was covered (and I mean covered) with blue paint. All during the shoot he had found it very amusing but never said a word to me. That same day sitting in the park, he told me, that of all the famous photographers that had photographed him over the last eight decades, my photograph was his very  favorite and truly the best. He then followed this statement with – including the portrait that Arnold Newman had done of him. I wish I got it on tape!  Over the years, Will requested that my portrait be used alongside his work and it has been used in many museums and galleries and I’m truly honored. Recently it was used as the iconic opening photo in the book WILL BARNET AT 100.

This past New Year’s Day my cell phone rang and it was Will calling to wish Joe and myself a very Happy New Year.  It was a wonderful surprise!  I will cherish that phone call forever.

Will Barnet & Photographer JoAnne Kalish 2011