Heather James Fine Art has some new works in they’d like you to see. This Spring-like, exuberant abstract oil-on-canvas entitled Revised and Expanded, is by contemporary artist John Millei (b. 1958). He’s a Los Angeles painter, a native to that city. His work, often whimsical, caught my eye, and I did a little lookin’ around.
Millei’s paintings are expansive; this work measures 36 x 42 inches. Writer Donald Kuspit, in writing about Millei’s “Maritime” series of works—painted some five to ten years after this work—described the artist’s canvases as “enormous, magnificent paintings, mural-like in their panoramic scope and imposing scale, and executed in what can only be called a grand Abstract-Expressionistic manner.”
The gallery describes Millei as a prominent figure of Los Angeles’ abstractionism movement, that flourished in the 1980s.
“I don’t believe in style,” says Millei. “It is a byproduct of intent. My work changes a lot.” He is an avid surfer, and his 2002 series, “For Surfing,” incorporates visual interpretations of the ocean’s rhythms. Another 2002 series, “The Real Life of Flowers,” is an exploration of a repeated floral motif. Millei’s canvases “are a unique synthesis of earnest abstractionism and the artist’s palpable love of painting.”
Heather James also has a new Picasso, Painter et Modele au Fauteuil a Bascule, a linoleum cut engraving; Rockettes, an acrylic on canvas that brings to mind flaming hot lava, by Ed Moses; and Royal Reception, a gouache, pen and ink on paper by Peter D. Gerakaris.
“Through his photography, Joel Sartore has the ability to capture and share the natural beauty, magnificence and rareness of our planet in a way that translates easily without language, across artificial boundaries, between cultural divides and from one species to another.”
So says Crista Valentino, the Murie Center’s Director of Programs and Communications. On Thursday, March 1, the Murie WILD Series, a joint project of The Murie Center and the Center of Wonder, will sponsor a presentation by photographer, speaker, author, teacher and 20-year contributor to National Geographic magazine, Joel Sartore. Sartore will speak at 7:00 p.m. in the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Cook Auditorium. The event is free to the public.
To launch Sartore’s visit, the Murie WILD Series will sponsor an interactive photography project. Through Friday, February 24, the Murie is inviting photo submissions from the public. Anyone may submit original photographs depicting a visual interpretation of their answer to the question: “What Is Wild?” A compilation of this collaborative photographic effort will be featured as the opening of Sartore’s talk. Submit photographs through The Murie Center’s Facebook page (facebook.com/themuriecenter) or at [email protected] Limit one photo submission per person.
Sartore’s presentation, “Grizzlies, Piranhas and Man-Eating Pigs: On Assignment for National Geographic,” shares stories from the field, supplemented with stunning photos and video. “From the steamy Amazon to the high Arctic, Joel shares a lively, intimate and humorous look at what could be the best – and worst – job in the world as he plays expedition leader, psychologist, medic, accountant and coach, as well as photographer,” says the Murie Center. “It’s all just another day at the office when you’re on assignment for National Geographic.”
“It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity,” Sartore says. “When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.” www.muriecenter.org
CIAO Gallery’s 5th Annual “Naturally Nude” exhibition opens at the Pink Garter Theatre on Friday, February 24th, 6-9pm. Nothing but figurative nudes in this show that is open to all artists. Works range from the traditional to the highly interpretive; all manner of media are used. Drinks will be served at The Rose Bar, inside the Pink Garter. Free, open to the public. For information, phone 733-7833.