June 2017: Tamae Frame & Dave Benz

Dave Benz’s primary media for these works is walnut ink, although there are a few experimental watercolor paintings in this mix. At first glance, the haunting paintings of Benz and Chang appear to be vintage sepia photographs. Upon closer examination, they reveal themselves to be walnut ink drawings rendered by hand on watercolor paper. The figurative paintings portray mysterious narratives that are largely left to the imagination of the viewer. An artist and collector of vintage photographs for decades, Benz wondered when his two interests would eventually meet, and was pleased when they finally did. The paintings utilize the image vocabulary of early 20th Century photographs, and reward a second or third look with details that can be easy to miss. The figures with crowns, wings, ghost limbs, lights and shadows are meditations on the topics of spirituality, shifting identity, and transformative experiences. 

Tamae Frame "Coming Into Being" ceramic Tamae Frame has chosen ceramic arts as her medium. She explains that she is intrigued by a certain degree of unpredictability in the ceramic arts: “the effect of the glaze firing often surpasses my calculation and result. It is my nature to create through touch. I attempt to create vital forms that derive from within my subconscious, which is stimulated by the tactile sensation of the clay.  The world’s sacred arts, especially the old Japanese Buddhist art, has influenced my work. The aspects of the Buddhist statuary fascinate me: the stylized facial and bodily expressions, the faded colors of the original paint, and the natural luster that was caused by being handled since ancient times. These attributes of the statuary appear refined and seem modern to my eyes. My work portrays various spiritual and psychological states. I observe and examine my emotions, moods, feelings, and epiphanies. I use the female figure as my primary subject. My figures are nude, bald, ageless, and not spotlighting any particular race: I aim to transcend the stereotypes of femininity and present the essence of humanity."