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Thursday, June 23, 2016

John Riegert Curated By Brett Yasko

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Last July I visited Millvale to meet John Riegert. I was contacted like many Pittsburgh artists to partake in an exhibition about a man I did not know, curated by a person I had never met. The idea of this mystery exhibition started to take shape revealing a great concept with a whole lot of heart. I requested that John provide me with some photos of his life and show me the most important images of his youth. I wanted to get an idea of who this person was, not just what he looked like but his whole journey.  

My mixed media portrait of John will be on display at Space Gallery starting this Friday, June 24th. For my piece I chose to illustrate John's existence and story through photography and portray his struggle through the use of a video clip of John experiencing pain from his 1999 performance of Spray, a piece he did with Edgar Um Bucholtz while they were classmates at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art.  I really enjoyed working on the project and can't wait to see what other artists have created.  The press release is below:

In February 2015, Brett Yasko asked 252 Pittsburgh artists to create a portrait of the same person: John Riegert. What followed has been a journey through studios, restaurants, group sittings, museums, universities, parks, cemeteries, fishing holes, artists’ homes and John’s own home. The culmination will be an exhibition at SPACE in the summer of 2016 where, among the portraits, John will act as docent—telling stories of each artist and their work, as well as stories of his own.

A Tumblr of the project’s progress is here:

A full-color catalogue will be produced. It will feature all 252 portraits, an essay by Eric Lidji (who has followed the entire project as a fly on the wall), photos of the interactions between John and the artists, as well as a section dedicated to John’s art and writing.

The Artists:
Edith Abeyta Cate Rassman Afrooz Andrew W. Allison John Altdorfer Scott Andrew David Armbruster Stephanie
Armbruster David Aschkenas Genevieve E.T. Barbee-Turner Patricia Barefoot Jennifer Baron & Greg Langel
Mark Baskinger Mary Bates Kim Beck Robert Beckman Pat Bellan-Gillen Gavin Benjamin David Bernabo Aaron Blum
Brandon Boan Cory Bonnet Paul Bowden Robert Bowden Terry Boyd Jeremy Boyle Danny Bracken Lauren Braun
Dee Briggs Jeff Brunner Edgar Um Bucholtz David Burke  M. Callen John Carson Nick Caruso Tony Cavalline Ashley Cecil
Kim Chestney Angelo Ciotti Kevin Clancy Richard Claraval Seth Clark Lenka Clayton Brian Cohen John Colaric
Matthew Conboy Sandra Conley Lisa Considine Lex Covato Chris Craychee dadpranks Doug Dean Kathleen DePasse
Sean Derry Dave D’Incau Jr. Amy DiPlacido Christiane Dolores Laura Domencic Ron Donoughe Tracey Donoughe
James Duesing Jim Dugas Cecilia Ebitz Ian Finch Matt Forrest Kim Fox Toby Atticus Fraley Mark Franchino
Abby Franzen-Sheehan Craig Freeman April Friges Jon Funari Paul Leroy Gehres Fabrizio Gerbino Bonnie Gloris
Scott Goldsmith Jenn Gooch Sarika Goulatia Elizabeth Raymer Griffin Jamie Gruzska Steve Gurysh Peggi Habets David Hahn
Kate Hansen Adrienne Heinrich Aaron Henderson Ryder Henry Lori Hepner Ben Hernstrom Al Hoff
Deborah Kiss Holtschlag Christine Holtz Mundania Horvath Deborah Hosking Jennifer Howison Leo Hsu Robert Huckestein
Tate Hudson Andi Irwin Lisa Marie Jakab Natiq Jalil Delanie Jenkins Tom M. Johnson Rob Katkowski D.S. Kinsel
Paula Garrick Klein Kristen Letts Kovak Yelena Lamm Ryan Lammie Rick Landesberg
Jill Larson Judith LausoZack John Lee Eric Lidji Tom Little Cara Livorio Michael Lotenero Carolina Loyola-Garcia
Dale Luce Duncan MacDiarmid with Scott Hunter & Terry Young Julie Mallis
Peter Mandradjieff Maria Mangano Ross Mantle Penny Mateer Anni Matsick Christopher McGinnis
Jeannie McGuire Dale McNutt with Mike McQuaide Clayton Merrell Constance Merriman Kyle Milne Travis Mitzel
David Montano Heather Mull Julie MullJennifer Nagle MyersRisë Nagin Stephanie Neary James Nesbitt Celeste Neuhaus
Matthew Newton Leslie Nutting Meghan Olson Annie O’Neill Chris Pacione Mark Panza Leah Patgorski Donna Penoyer
Terri Perpich Kurt Pfaff William Pfahl Greg Pierce Debra Platt David Pohl Susan Laansma Pollins
Linda Price-Sneddon Dylan Priest Deborah McLaren Priore Jack Puglisi Heather Joy Puskarich Robert Qualters
Shawn Quinlan Robert Raczka Caroline Record & Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson Jake Reinhart
Martha Ressler Fiona Riegert Larry Rippel John Ritter Rachel Rodkey Steve Root Elizabeth Claire Rose Paul Rosenblatt
Renee Rosensteel Ann T. Rosenthal Philip Rostek Christopher Ruane Jon Rubin Jim Rugg Benjamin Saks Diane Samuels
Tom Sarver Jason Sauer Paul Schifino Elana Schlenker Janice Schuler Travis K. Schwab Kurt Shaw Phiris
Kathryn Sickels Blaine Siegel Rabecca Signoriello Louise & Sarah Silk Carol Skinger Kara Skylling Susanne
Slavick Becky Slemmons Shaun Slifer Sarah Smith Jason Snyder Richard R. Snyder Julie Sokolow Lizzee
Solomon Joshua Space Ivette Spradlin Emilie Stark-Menneg Julie Stunden Andy Sujdak Mia Tarducci
Benjamin Thomas Lenore Thomas Sam Thorp Mark Threefortyseven Anne Trimble Laurie Trok John Tronsor
Judy Tulley Kristin Turcsanyi Scott Turri Jude Vachon Laura Vinchesi Justin Visnesky Dylan Vitone
Andy Vogt Lorraine Vullo Susan Wagner David Wallace Kent Wallisch Norene Walworth & Rob Capaldi Mary Weidner
Barbara Weissberger Hannah Welsh Carolyn Wenning Susanna Weyandt & Ian Brill Diane White Lauren Wilcox
Debra Williams Sharon Wilson-Wilcox Teresa DallaPiccola Wood Alisha B. Wormsley Bec Young
Paul Zelevansky Bob Ziller Kathleen Zimbicki
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Thursday, June 16, 2016
My new work, Untitled 2  is part of White Stone Gallery's new Considering Creation Exhibition.  The show runs through July 1st.
Below is a video version of the piece as well. Check it out if you are in the Philadelphia area.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Imaginary Murals For Pittsburgh Events

Here are some fun advertisements I created for my Pittsburgh shows.


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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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