September 2014: James Allen & Robert Gigliotti

Robert Gigliotti is a sculptor working in bronze and stone. He often likes to characterize his work as visual koan, borrowing a word from Zen practice. “Koans teach us that the separation of subject and object is an illusion. I approach sculpture from two different perspectives. First, I try to make each piece interesting on a truly visual level. Secondly, I attempt to use symbolism from the physical world, mythology and spiritual practices to challenge the viewer’s paradigms about our relationships to each other, to our relationships to each other and to the universe. The mechanisms that I use most often are to challenge people’s paradigms by juxtaposing elements of the design in ways the viewer doesn’t expect. And secondly, by leaving out elements the viewer does expect.” Some of the work seems to have misplaced the laws of physics. Robert will also be showing some of his stone carving work.

James Allen makes altered books, known as Book Excavations, and multi media paintings on panels. The Book Excavations are made by altering found books. He cuts into the books to reveal the content in a new way. The books are still bound, none of the pages are moved, and no images, words, or pages are added. Instead the Book Excavation is made using a reductive process to reveal the pages of the book as they were originally bound. Allen is intrigued by revisiting the old images and ideas found in books that have often been forgotten. He is especially interested in old hand made illustrations and technical drawings and how the styles have evolved though different times and places. The images cut out of these excavations often appear as image transfers in his multimedia paintings on panels. Using both wintergreen oil, and acrylic medium Allen transfers his found images onto wood panels. In all of his works Allen hopes to create hidden and poetic narratives and dreamscapes that pull ideas of the past into the present and create a sense of adventure and discovery.