Archive for the ‘Art’ Category
By David Brickman
The exhibition Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene at the University at Albany Art Museum is a grand compendium of ideas that handily meets its purpose to “explore and inform,” but falls a bit short simply as an art exhibition.
Curated by Associate Professor Danny Goodwin, Director Janet Riker and Associate Director/Curator Corinna Ripps-Schaming, the show features significant individual pieces or bodies of work in a variety of media by 12 artists, augmented by 11 additional artists whose prints, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection by participants in a class project, create a sidebar exhibition within Future Perfect.
The anthropocene is the label now affixed to our current geological era, so named to reflect the changes to the earth’s climate and ecology that human activity has caused. Much of the work that has been selected to represent this concept here leans toward the futuristic, including animated science fiction film projects by Colin C. Boyd and Jacolby Satterwhite, and colorful, cartoonish critter paintings by Alexander Ross.
Story & photograph of Robert Cooper by Andrzej Pilarczyk
All additional photographs by Robert Cooper
Robert Cooper’s recent photography exhibition at Boho Chic Boutique in Waterford ushered into Greater Nippertown a new photographic voice worth hearing. The 25 images on display in the back room of the fashion/accessories boutique drew viewers into a wonderful, wide-ranging world of the artist’s vision, documenting Black American culture and his Pan-African ideology.
His images run the gamut from intimate female portraits to dynamic dancehall reggae stars. With his camera Cooper is able to convey the sheer excitement of a live concert performer, as well as capture the delicacy of the black female form in a nude study. His images incorporate his subjects in the widest spectrum from urban America to natural landscapes.
Originally from Michigan, Cooper began taking photographs seriously a little over nine years ago while a student in the School of Journalism at Manchester Community College in Connecticut. After graduation he worked as a free-lance writer and photographer for several weekly papers in the Hartford area. The writing took a back seat as his passion for photography took over and he was photographing everything from Jamaican dancehall parties, traditional African weddings, fashion shows, hip-hop and reggae concerts and portraiture.
Cooper currently resides in Troy, where his portrait of President Obama was recently featured in a members’ exhibit at the Photo Center of the Capital District.
Robert Cooper was gracious enough to answer some questions about his artwork and experiences:
By David Brickman
On a recent Saturday night I took a truncated bus tour of a few of the Breathing Lights houses in Albany, offered as part of Historic Albany Foundation’s annual Built fundraiser. It was good to finally get out and see some of the illuminated vacant houses, and I plan to go again soon – on foot for the real experience – and hopefully in all three participating cities (adding Schenectady and Troy).
In case you have been living under a rock, Breathing Lights is the local winner of a $1 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, part of its national “Public Art Challenge,” and comprises a collaboration among three city governments, several nonprofits and numerous neighborhood organizations. It is the brainchild of UAlbany art professor Adam Frelin in partnership with architect Barbara Nelson, and consists of a very elegant, broadly distributed installation of glowing panels in the windows of more than 200 vacant houses, which represent less than 10% of these three cities’ unoccupied housing stock.
The installation is (obviously) very ambitious, but it is also simple, which I can’t help but like. And it passes the “Is it art?” test quite easily, as the work transforms the subject matter and gives viewers a new experience of something old. All the better that this new experience comes directly out of one’s own presumably familiar local raw material. (Those who know my personal photography of some of these same neighborhoods will understand this approach is not unlike my own as an artist.)
Rock and Roll Icons: Photographs by Patrick Harbron @ Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany. An exhibition taken from Capital region resident Patrick Harbron’s body of concert and portrait photography of influential musicians and groups of the 1970’s and 1980’s, captured at pivotal moments, such as Blondie, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Elvis Costello. He followed these artists to prominence and others that were already well known including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Queen, The Who, Genesis, KISS, U2, Aerosmith, and Prince. The exhibition will include Harbron’s collection of posters and ephemera gathered throughout his career along with guitars borrowed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Opens Saturday, November 5. (Through February 12)Othering @ Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Pittsfield. Over thirty artists from throughout the Northeast examine the experience of being treated differently because of appearance or lifestyle, with works of photography, painting, video, drawing, mixed media and fiber art. Opening reception: Friday, November 4, 5-8pm. (Through November 26)