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Monday, January 11, 2016

T.V. Dinner Featured In The Post Gazette

My work T.V Dinner  was featured in Sunday's Pittsburgh Post Gazette along with a nice write up on the Verse Envisioned project. Other works featured by Chialing Pitluga, and Stacy Innerst. Don't miss the opening at Panza Gallery January 16th 6-9pm.

Please click the link below to see the digital version of the article.

To explore the work in more detail please use the link provided below.
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Verse Envisioned: Poems from the Post-Gazette and works of art they have inspired

A few months back I was asked by Curator Rachel Klipa in conjuction with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette to be a part of Verse Envisioned. The project is a book and a gallery exhibition of poetry and art. It is a celebration of Pittsburgh’s vibrant artists and writers.

The poems were selected by a distinguished panel of poets from among more than 1,000 published in the Post-Gazette over the past 22 years. The original works of art were commissioned by curator Rachel Klipa. The results are:
• A book of 45 poems and 25 works of art, which will be available online by Jan. 15 at the PG Store.
• A poetry/art exhibition at the PANZA Gallery running Jan. 16 to Feb. 27. The public opening is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16.
• An online multimedia presentation.

To explore the work in more detail please use the link provided and read the poem and artist statement below.

Yes, its very dark! When agreeing to be a part of this project I thought, this would be a chance to do something pleasant and less intense. The idea of creating a work of art inspired by a poem brought thoughts of flowers and love to mind. Fortunately however, I was chosen to work with a poem that would force me to engulf myself in the subject of the Vietnam War, the media, and the loss of our innocence and humanity. This was a grim and heavy task, but an experience I treasure because of what it taught me about our past and the echoes that are still heard in the hearts of so many. I found the similarities and progression of this horrific side of our nature to be evident in our everyday lives, right now in 2016. What we see, what we read, and what we plug into. We don't seem to have learned from these experiences or visual horrors. We have just created different and more readily available ways of viewing them. How close can we get before getting sucked in? The contradiction of our very purpose so evident. A lot can be summed up by the newspapers strewn across the floor in the work. Images of cartoons lay next to advertisements for assault rifles as the hand of God breathes life into Michaelangelo's Adam. Have we been living in an age where we are breathing in something completely different with our obsession with power, war and hatred? If you're not sure, no worries, just google it.

Here is the poem I was given and the accompanying artist statement:

by Chris Yeager

   This is how I remember it
  from the black and white TV:  We were eating our dinner

when a Tall, White American soldier,
  a Vietnamese man dressed like the American,
  and another Vietnamese guy dressed
  in a plaid shirt and black shorts

  march to the front of the screen.

The American-looking Vietnamese turns his back to us
  aims a gun at the head of the other Vietnamese, and
  my old man bolts from his seat,
  one fist shoved straight through the air
  a butter knife clenched in the other,
  gushes over spaghetti and bread and martini
  ''Attaboy Gook! That's how we do 'em!"

The second the shot
  breaks into the brain
  the body crumples
  like paper, collapses
  like a demolition

and I feel like it feels
  when the ball carries over the lights
  in the ninth, when the kick is up
  and good!
  like we've come from behind
  with no time on the clock
  that must be it, Oh Hell Yes
  we're pulling for winners, the old man and me,
  and he knows how it's done!

On screen a small pool of blood
  circles like a comic-strip talk-balloon
  above the head of the guy in the street.

The American soldier and the Vietnamese man
  square up the TV with some sort of flag.
  They fold it between them, a little triangle,
  and the American takes it under his arm;

they march out of sight
  as my mother clears the table.

Ruane photographed each image and composed the entire scene depicted in T .V. Dinner. His visually provocative work references iconic images associated with the Vietnam War.  The man on fire symbolizes the indelible image of the burning monk, the woman pouring tea refers to the  shooting described in Yeager’s poem,  and the grotesque shadow looming in the background signifies the young Napalm Girl.  For Ruane, Yeager’s poem highlighted the ugliness of war broadcast into the safety of U.S. homes.  Watching murder on live television was now part of the dinner experience.
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Chris Sokalski: This work is amazing, and engulfs so much in its symbolism. I remember well the shooting on tv, and the photo of that by Eddie Adams, a photographer from New Kensington. The photo was on the front page of our paper the next day.   I have met Nick Ut, who took the shot of the Napalm Girl. I also saw the live broadcast when Jack Ruby was shot, and the three days of Kennedy replays and news after the assassination.  The horrors of life are brought to us each and every day by the news team on tv, and our daily paper.  We are surrounded by it, and we have become desensitized by it. Nice job, Christopher!
Friday, December 11, 2015

Sacred Art Wins The Charles Dodgson Black & White Award

I am very happy to announce that I was fortunate enough to be the overall Winner of The Charles Dodgson Black & White Award ! Sponsored by The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards. The competition was competitive to say the least.  With photographers from 29 participating countries and work from so many inspiring artists from across the globe, I am honored to be chosen as this year's award winner. As a special invitee, The Gala Awards is sponsoring up to 4 of my images from my winning portfolio to be exhibited at The 4th Biennial Of Fine Art And Documentary Photography  in Berlin, Germany in 2016 along with the winners of Jacob Riis Editorial Award, Julia Margaret Cameron Award, and Pollux Award.

For this competition I chose to do something a little different. Since the creation of my work Rebuild My Church , I have contemplated creating a special edition of black and white toned variations of my Sacred Art Modern World  series. The question I asked myself was, how will people perceive these images if they are presented in a more traditional style? For this experiment to be successful the images had to be completely reworked. Having years of dark room experience I knew that the spirit of a black and white photograph cannot be duplicated with a mere photoshop filter. Just as my color versions were created to emphasize every last obsessive element, so must their black and white counterparts be as well.

Although I must say, I am still partial to the original versions, there is something special about these works that helped them communicate to an international audience, and for that I am grateful.  Looking forward to the exhibition in Berlin 2016!

Click the link below to view the standings and gallery for The Charles Dodgson Award.

The Special Edition versions are available for purchase in an extremely limited run. Contact for details.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Exhibition @ Chatham University

Please stop by Chatham University Art Gallery through January 22nd to see the exhibition microcosm/MACROCOSM.  My work Cursed Is The Ground  will be on view and was created specifically for the show's theme.

Professor Elizabeth Roark has this to say about the exhibition. "Defined by the Ancient Greeks, the words microcosm and macrocosm propose that the same patterns are reproduced at all levels of the cosmos, from the largest scale (the universe) to the smallest (the sub-atomic). For this exhibition the students of ART 378 Curating the Visual Arts invited members of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh to explore these concepts in works of art limited in size but unlimited in imagination. The result is a broad range of meditations on the theme, from works that explore tiny worlds within worlds, to bits of nature exaggerated in size, to abstract shapes that echo systems found in nature. As part of the programming for Chatham's Global Focus Year of Climate Change,we also conceive microcosm/MACROCOSM  as suggesting that the whole can be embedded in the tiniest elements, just as the actions of one individual can impact global circumstances".

Opening Reception: December 4th, 4-7pm
Featured Artists: Skip Allen, Maggy Aston, Lauren Braun, Daniel Burke, Matthew Conboy, Bill DeBernardi, Lori Hepner, Deborah Hosking, Maura Koehler Keeney, Chris McGinnis, ChiaLing Pitluga, Shawn Quinlan, Dafna Rehavia-Hanauer, Daniel Roth, Christopher Ruane, Stephen Tuomala, Melissa Vertosick, and Hisham Youssef.

To explore the work in more detail please use the link provided and read the artist statement below.


A mix of biblical symbolism and dreamlike Cli-fi, Christopher Ruane’s Cursed Is The Ground asks many questions. Are the divers seeking knowledge or survival, meaning or power? An onlooker peers through an enclosure lined with 40 hash marks, perhaps counting the days of his ordeal. In the meticulously rendered world beyond the window, tendrils of lightening sprout from the tree, defying the laws of nature and keeping the seekers at arms length. Is this the last tree on earth, or the first? This world is engulfed in water, implying a circumstance in which humankind could not exist without assistance. Although the divers appear tranquil, greater forces are at play. The portal reveals a hidden eye with the tree at its center, demonstrating the connectivity between nature, the human condition, and spirituality. (Statement written by curator Ellen Murphy and artist Christopher Ruane)
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

From Virtual To Actual 4

My work Memory Of The Fall will be on view at Viridian Artists Gallery in Chelsea, New York through Oct 3rd. The piece is part of this season's first exhibition at Viridian, curated by Gallery Director Vernita Nemec. If you are in the New York area, stop by on Sept 10th, 6pm-8pm for the opening reception. Participating artists: Angelique Anderson * Craig Cheply * Cynthia Fleury * Peter Hiers * Jun Ogata * Srividya Kannan Ramachandran * Len Rosenfeld * Kimberly Rowe * Christopher Ruane *Jimmy Salmon * Shawn Saumell * Michael Wolf * Jave Yoshimoto * Renna Mae Zimmer

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Viridian Artists, Director's Choice 2015

My image Beauty And The Beast  was chosen by Vernita Nemec, director of the Viridian Artists Contemporary Art Gallery in Chelsea New York, to be featured as part of the "Director's Choice" portion of the Viridian Artists' 26th International Juried Exhibition. The show itself was juried by Lauren Hinkson, Curator, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum.

Beauty And The Beast  will be featured at the gallery in an ongoing slideshow. The digital presentation will run continuously during the exhibition as part of the "Director's Choice" aspect of the show.  The event runs June 30th - July 18, 2015.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Interview with Future Tenant

Check out this brief interview I did with Future Tenant Gallery at the link provided below.
The vision of Future Tenant is to become Pittsburgh’s destination for raw, innovative artistic experiences from across all visual, literary and performing disciplines.  It was a pleasure working with them.


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Kurt Shaw Tribune Review

Check out Kurt Shaw's review of the AAP 104th Annual at the link below.  I was very pleased to see my image The Nativity accompanying the article in Sunday's paper. Thank you to Kurt Shaw for including me.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bedtime Stories

Stop by Future Tenant  gallery June 5- 28 to see Bedtime Stories, curated by Sonja Sweterlitsch.  Be sure to check out the link below to see Future Tenant's interview with Sonja regarding the exhibition. This is certainly going to be a great show. Just check out the artist line up below.

"There is a time of night when we lie alone and the external clatter of our waking life is subsumed by the personal language of our dreams.  This is a common human experience, but one we experience alone, which makes it such ripe subject matter for an art exhibit.  Bedtime Stories opens a window to the seldom seen, seldom shared, personal experience of when waking life gives way to sleep, when we interpret our experiences, remember, and finally give way to dreams that take us off to completely new narratives."

- Sonja Sweterlitsch


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

AAP "At First Glance" Preview Party

The kick off event for the AAP 104th Annual was an amazing event. Featuring all 63 works at the Hotel Monaco, with only 24 hours to set up and tear down was a tremendous undertaking. The evening's success was thanks to many AAP members who worked very hard to show the exhibition locally before moving it to The Butler Institute of American Art. I was very happy to meet influential American painter Philip Pearlstein whose presence at the event was greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Dr. Louis A. Zona, juror of this year's exhibition, for awarding my work The Donna Hollen Bolmgren Award. Be sure to see the show on view through July 19th.

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