Lucid Dreams: New Work from Rafeal Francisco Salas

Lucid Dreams, photo courtesy of Rafael Salas

If you are in Milwaukee, take time to stop by Rafael Francisco Salas’ new exhibit, Lucid Dreams.

Salas describes his inspiration for the new exhibit as an exploration of “the intersection of portraiture, representation, landscape, and architecture.” He feels that “historically these traditions elicit specific contextual and also visceral responses from viewers, and in combining or exploring them in oblique ways, new responses might arise.”

Lucid Dreams builds on Salas’ past work, which was created from an “emotional or atmospheric place […] that evoked a sense of dreams or nostalgia.” Salas worked to discover how adding new elements to his paintings would change how others reflect on them. Drawing from ideas and elements seen in small towns of the Midwest (Salas’s current home), Salas felt that “our current economic climate and position in the world has created an emotional [and] psychological key that complements themes I have previously explored.”

Presented by Portrait Society Gallery, you can see Rafael Francisco Salas’ newest creations January 20 through March 10, 2012. You can see more of Salas’ artwork in Issue 8.

 

A Visit to the Barnhart Studio

Barnhart Studio, a castle of metal and cinderblock, is tucked into a Mesa residential area. When I ring the doorbell, an unassuming man in a t-shirt opens the door: William Barnhart.

After a brief introduction, I am given a tour of the studio. William starts from the foundation of the building. From the tile work on the bathroom walls to the welding on the doors, most of the fixtures in the building are made from recycled materials, and they are all William Barnhart’s handiwork.

The very studio where William works is a reminder that art sometimes requires more than a table and chisel or paintbrush. The studio resembles a mechanic’s garage, a zone under construction, where a plaster sculpture waits to be completed. When I ask how long it takes to finish a project, William says, “It takes as long as it takes.” He shows me the swinging cranes that lift heavy materials, the giant fan he traded a painting for, and a room he is working on.

We walk and talk, and then we sit down in his office and talk about his work and about art in general. The following is a recreation of part of our conversation:

Superstition Review: Have you worked with art galleries?

William Barnhart: I did for a time, but not anymore. Art galleries insulate the artist from the clients, because if the client and the artist are communicating, there really is no need for the art gallery. I like the communication with my clients. I can put my studio down anywhere, and my clients will come to me.

SR: That’s true, you have an actual client-artist relationship. What kind of mediums and materials do you work with?

WB: I do prints, paintings, sculpture. I like working with bronze, making sculptures. You know, bronze, it’ll be around for generations.

SR: I read that the sculpture you recently finished has gold on it. Do you think the value of the materials you use adds something to your work?

WB: I definitely want to use quality materials in my work. It’s not necessarily the value of the materials but the quality of them.

SR: I know some artists try to make social commentary with their art. What would you say is the message you are trying to convey with your art?

WB: Social commentary is definitely not the focus of my work. I want my art to be universal, to transcend the bounds of time. It’s more about relationship issues, about human emotions and the drama of the figure. It’s about the human experience.

We discuss other things, such as his creative process and why he chose that particular area to place his studio. But when I take leave of William Barnhart, print-maker, designer, painter, sculptor—with “more stripes than the tigers,” to use his words—what lingers most in my mind is the image of the high-domed building, the living space, the vibrant place of craft that is itself a work of art.

For more information about William Barnhart’s studio and his work, visit his website.

 

Launch of Issue 7: Art

Superstition Review Issue 7 has launched and to celebrate we will be featuring blog posts about our artists and authors. To kick off launch week we will be highlighting a few of the talented artists who are featured in Issue 7.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 15-year-old artist and photographer who won the National Geographic Kids Photography Contest and the World Photography Organization’s Photomonth Youth award in 2010. She was the only person from the UK to be placed in National Geographic’s See The Bigger Picture Photography Competition and the youngest person to be exhibited with Charnwood Art’s Vision 09 exhibition. She has had her photography exhibited around the world in galleries in Europe, Asia and America and has been showcased in many magazines including the most popular children’s magazine in the world, NG Kids. View her photography featured in issue 7. Eleanor Bennett’s Website

Christy Puetz uses beadwork as her main medium. Her 3-dimensional beaded forms have surfaces covered with colorful, organic patterns. Her current work focuses on shape-shifting. The work subtly addresses the issues of the different faces we each put forth given our current surroundings and the eventual effect it has on who we become as a whole – a conglomeration of parts of different creatures. She uses taxidermy animal forms and transforms them into creatures, not yet in existence, but in the process of changing form, color, and purpose. View her creations in issue 7. Christy Puetz’s Website

Cyndy Carstens’ paintings of expansive skies & infinite distances represent an ultimate freedom of the soul grounded by images beckoning sensations of breath & struggles, rest & trials. Subject matter fluctuates between the recognizable & the abstract using color & texture to move the eye across a horizon of musical notes singing of peace and harmony. Carstens’ paintings can be found in private & corporate collections across the U.S. & Canada. Her work has been featured in many exhibitions including Manhattan Arts International’s “The Healing Power of Art” (New York, NY) and most recently has been honored with an Artist of Distinction Award & representation from Stillpoint Gallery of Brunswick, ME. View her painting, “Solitude” in issue 7. Cyndy Carstens’s Website

Sabrina Peros is an emerging artist in Phoenix, AZ. Ms. Peros began drawing and painting at a young age, eventually studying and graduating from The School of Visual Arts (New York) with a BFA in 2002. Some of her highlights include Featured Artist of the Month at The Paper Heart Gallery, Phoenix, Mills Pond House Gallery, St. James, NY, and resident artist at Space 55, Phoenix. View her four paintings featured in issue 7. Sabrina Peros’s Website

William D. Hicks is a writer who lives in Chicago, Illinois. His poetry appears in LITSNACK, Amaranthine Muses, Highland Park Poetry, Cannoli Pie Magazine, Outburst Magazine, The Legendary, Horizon Magazine, Breadcrumb Sins, Inwood Indiana Literary Magazine, The Short Humour Site (UK), The Four Cornered Universe, Save the Last Stall for Me and Mosaic. Cover art is on The Blank Page Handbook and Anti-Poetry. View his photographs in issue 7.

 

 

The full magazine with featured art and artists can be found here. Check back tomorrow to read about the fiction authors featured in Issue 7.