Who: Patricia Izzo, Martine MacDonald
What: Virgo Rising
When: November 22-December 31, opening reception on Sat. November 22, 6-10pm
Where: River's Edge Gallery 3024 Biddle Wyandotte, MI 48192
Two Virgos Share Love of Art, Creating
On Saturday November 22nd, 6-10pm, River's Edge Gallery at 3024 Biddle will host artists Patricia Izzo and Martine MacDonald for "Virgo Rising." The show features both painting and photography inspired elements, landscapes, and the drive of creative forces. The show title was inspired by shared aspects of the artists' lives. Both artists were born under the zodiac sign Virgo and both feel they are currently on an artistic quest.
Interesting enough, neither artist sees the other's work before the show. "There's going to be lots of surprises," laughed Izzo. "We're not just sharing physical space," says Martine. "We're being bold together." Both artists were raised in a Catholic household where the concept of vocation was instilled in them. Because of this, they feel compelled to spend time in their respective studios each day no matter if it's five minutes or five hours.
Patricia Izzo is an internationally collected photographer whose work was recently featured at Sotheby's Auction House in Chicago. She is known for her iconic black and white images with hand painted elements. For "Virgo Rising," Izzo turned to her innermost thoughts for inspiration. "Working with the senses from a place within, conjuring up images that raise and celebrate the human being, that is what inspires me," says Izzo. "It is important to create works of art that sit on the edge of comfortable. My desire is to force my viewer feel."
Patricia's work for the current show does not have as many humans as in her past work. However, one photograph in particular, that does feature a human, captures the spirit of optimism the show represents. The piece is titled "Beyond the White Gloves." It is a photograph of an African-American woman crossing her arms over her torso. Her eyes are closed and her face bears an expression of content. On her hands are antique white gloves Izzo found at an antique store. "The message I wanted to convey was that this beautiful woman is free from the confines of the past and can choose her own path," says Izzo. "During slavery, black house servants were forced to wear white gloves when they served food and drinks because their hands were thought of as dirty. It was degrading. But we as a society are past that. The model in the painting is proud and confident. Those gloves are hers, not theirs. She has laid claim to the gloves and wears them because she chooses to, not because someone is forcing her." Izzo was so pleased with the model that she asked the model keep the gloves as a gift.
For "Virgo Rising," Martine MacDonald's work focuses heavily on the essentials of nature for: fire, water, earth, and air. Like Izzo, her work draws inspiration from her inner voices and feelings. "Regardless of the media, the work begins as an insistent inner voice," says MacDonald. "As I refine my life experiences, dreams and memories into a visual essence, I strive to move my work towards spirituality--one that reconciles issues of mothering, home, place and identity. Perhaps such a pursuit has its foundation in a chaotic, disruptive childhood, or perhaps it is just the very human need to know home and belonging."
The paintings are meant to focus on minute details of the world, as if one is looking through a telescope. Her piece "For This She Was Born" looks like a close up of a fire. "It's really a portal," says MacDonald. The painting was inspired by a quote from Joan of Arc, "I am not afraid. I was born for this." MacDonald could not explain why she painted an image of fire, only that she felt compelled to. "I'm just a co-conspirator with my tools. The paints, brushes, canvas, by themselves are nothing. They need me to make them alive and I need them to give me voice."
Gallery Director Jeremy Hansen is excited for the new show. "It's always a pleasure to work with Patricia Izzo and Martine MacDonald," says Hansen.
"They are uninhibited when creating art. It is truly inspiring. I think when you see the show, you'll feel it too."
"Virgo Rising" will run November 22nd through December 31st.
1) "For This She Was Born" by Martine MacDonald
2) "Beyond the White Gloves" by Patricia Izzo