Bridgehampton gallery examines modern interpretation

Love & Passion

Dell Cullum’s “Poolside Perfection”

Love is a complicated word that has been perplexing men and women for centuries. It could be said that, amid the tweets, half-truths, alternative facts, and altered-images, love is facing a paradigm shift. Have the days of grand gestures and eloquent, handwritten letters been replaced by convenience and colloquialism?

This Saturday, March 9, Karyn Mannix Contemporary presents the opening of the 15th annual Love & Passion exhibit at Kathryn Markel Gallery in Bridgehampton. With this year’s theme being Modern Love, the show implores onlookers to question within the artwork: “Where is the love and passion from yesteryear and where will it be tomorrow?”

Karyn Mannix explained more.

How did you come up with the concept for Love & Passion?

This began 15 years ago with my friend Vito Sisti. I had gotten a storefront on Main Street in East Hampton Village in the month of February. I thought, “How can I bring the community together in this bleak weather?” It was nearing Valentine’s Day, and the entire concept just worked. We scrambled it together within two weeks and had 60 entries. It was a smash!

Now in its 15th year, what’s been the key to its success?

It’s all about the community coming together. Any artist can be in this show, if you have a gallery representing you or not. I have found a few hidden talents in this group show that I have come to represent in my gallery. It’s a night out amongst the local creative types. Beyond being just local artists, I also receive many submissions from afar, which is great for variety.

How has the message of the show changed over the years?

With the current social situation happening in America, we have distanced ourselves as humans and as a society with tweets and texts. Personal communication is at an all-time low. Most of the younger generation rate themselves according to how many likes and shares they received. There is very little “true” human correspondence or interaction.

You can see it in restaurants. Everybody is on their phones looking at the world around them and rarely at their personal present moment. If this is the new way to communicate, how will future generations experience love and, more importantly, passion? They are both extremely important to succeed, and to be happy and healthy in life.

What have past themes been?

Sex, Drugs, & Rock n’ Roll; Venus Envy; Peace, Love & Understanding; Walk on the Wild Side; The Naughty Show; Size Matters (Small Works Show).

How did you choose the theme Modern Love?

I always relate and simplify my shows to some sort of music theme. Of course, “Modern Love” being David Bowie.

How many artists submitted work and how many do you choose? Has it increased over the years?

I average 30 to 40 artists. The space I use has been getting smaller each year, which limits me. But, it’s all good. The work is always incredible.

What are certain criteria you look for?

Because of the small space, I do have two jurors helping select works this year. Art dealer James Bacchi from ArtHaus San Francisco and Susannah Perlman from ArtHouseNYC. My favorite part of all of this is discovering new talents.

Participants’ names that have been released are Mac Titmus, Georgia Griffin, Donna Corvi, Jody Gambino, Durell Godfrey, Lily Singer, Michael Cardacino, Rosalind Brenner, Dell Cullum, and Jackie Fuschs, with more being announced each day.

Kathryn Markel Gallery is located at 2428 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. Visit www.karynmannixcontemporary.com for more information.

nicole@indyeastend.com