April 4 – 26, 2014
It’s All About Me
My name is Michael, and I am a narcissist. I have been one all my life, I suppose, but have only recently begun to recognize the extent of my condition, as well as its (potentially negative) effects on my life and the lives of those close to me.
While not all of my work features me, every piece that I make is an expression of my obsessive-compulsive nature (narcissism is by definition compulsive), my need to record key obsessions, from movies to sitcoms and, naturally, my self. I have been drawing self-portraits all my life. I do this because (a) as mentioned I am a narcissist and (b), unlike other models, I am always there when I want to draw me. My rational self does not actually believe that the whole world revolves around me, but my imaginative life is large, and I tend to get lost in it. My use of storyboard-like grids is therefore an attempt to contain and control the mishmash of styles and themes that interest me in the moment of making.
Michael Havneraas graduated with a BFA in painting from Kingston University, UK, in 1996. After periods in Norway and the Netherlands, he moved to the US in 2012. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC.
Visit the artist’s website at polypcyst.com
KIMBERLEY PARR ROENIGK
Ellicot City, MD
Change of Place
I paint the changing American landscape, particularly real estate development, because it is constant, current, and surprisingly disappointing. This development intrudes upon the places we live, in both memory and real time. Housing units and shopping malls are often ill-placed. Planning feels incongruous, awkward and imposed upon the landscape. This discontinuity is unsettling, curious, funny, and sad. My paintings respond to this.
Construction sites and developments provide new vistas that are neither picturesque nor bucolic, as their names might suggest. Autumn River View, Autumn Meadows, The Woods of Park Place, and The Woods of Tibor Valley are gone. They are now memorialized in stone-carved entrance signage announcing the new neighborhood. Words used as signifiers for nature. I paint Maple Cliff, but I don’t paint maples.
The reality of woods, farms and rolling hills being flattened under mega-houses, strip malls, and fifty-five and older units has collided with my sensibilities as a landscape painter. Major influences for me have been the Hudson Bay painters and the Luminists. These early 20th century painters found divinity in nature. In my 21st century paintings, nature is encroached upon by man.Kim Parr Roenigk lives and works in the Baltimore Washington metro area. She received an MFA in Painting from Yale University and a BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art.
Kim’s work has been exhibited throughout the US and in Berlin. Her work is in several private collections including Nancy Dorman and Stanley Mazeroff, and David and Suzie Cordish.
Kim paints the changing American landscape. In her work the Romantic belief of divinity found in nature meets the reality of progress found in consumption.
Visit the artist’s website at kimparr.com
Cities in the Air
“Thus we did not build Castles only, but also Cities in the air.” – William Byrd II, on the founding of Richmond
During a visit to Belle Isle (a small island in the James River) early last year I was overwhelmed by an impression of many-layeredness. The remains of a Civil War prison were mere yards from the remnants of a more recent war: a Chrysler factory that used to manufacture tank doors. The hydroelectric plant that once powered greater Richmond lay vacant near the smooth rocks swarming with sunbathing college students. And the trees that provided shade were themselves shadowed by the massive suspension bridge directly overhead.
It soon became apparent that the many-layeredness I perceived at Belle Isle belonged to the city at large. It seemed to me that Richmond was not one city, but rather countless “cities in the air”: the ruins of previous centuries jumbled up with the soon-to-be ruins of our own.
These photographs are black-and-white silver gelatin contact prints from large format negatives. In other words, I use an old school film camera and a darkroom. Every print is unique. I use a paintbrush to apply silver-reducing bleach and watercolor to the surface of the print — a physical version of Photoshop. I work this way because it embodies a certain kind of looking that I find valuable. A more deliberate, more intense kind of looking. Think “slow food”, but with a camera.
Everitt’s first conscious ambition was to be a classical composer. He was three-quarters of the way through a bachelor’s degree in music at Princeton when he realized that he would never be the next Mozart, and he had no desire to be the next Salieri. He quietly put his adolescent aspirations to rest and took a leave of absence from college.
In 2001, one of Ev’s friends offered to teach him how to use a large-format field camera and how to handle photo chemicals without killing himself. Over the next five days he endured something like a boot camp for black-and-white photography, emerging at the end with a handful of finished prints and a revelation: he was a photographer. He bought his friend’s 4″x5″ camera from him, built a darkroom in his mom’s basement, and started to make pictures. Thus, Ev did manage to live out his childhood dream of being a composer, albeit of images rather than music.
Visit the artist’s website at www.everittclarkphotography.com