RJD Gallery presents “Surreal Alternative,” on view through May 13. Painters Faith Gurbuz, Alexander Klingspor, Jorge Santos, Armando Valero, and Margo Selski will be displaying their work, which challenges viewers to question the human experience beyond the confines of realism.
Indy spoke with namesake gallery owner Richard J. Demato, along with artists Margo Selski and Armando Valero. Selski received her Master in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota and creates oil and beeswax paintings reflecting intricately detailed characters frozen mid-gesture. Colombia native, Valero, studied at the National University of Colombia School of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid.
Does any work In the Exhibit stand out?
Richard J. Demato: Reminiscent of Salvador Dalí or Rene Magritte, Jorge Santos causes us to plunge deeply into the human mind. As a master representational painter, Santos offers unique narratives that create an artistic roadmap to liberate perception and invite us to contemplate the human experience beyond the confines of rationalism.
We are mesmerized by the windows he creates and enables us see through, into an intriguing and otherworldly place. His artwork summons us to escape and liberate our thinking, explore our imaginations, and discover beauty beyond the boundaries of our perception.
Tell us about your approach to art. Can you give examples?
Margo Selski: I am wired to explain my thoughts in visual analogies. I was an extremely imaginative child, and I would use my imagination to transform my mundane and often difficult life into one that was fantastical, beautiful, mysterious, and extraordinary. Making art has been very cathartic for me.
Essentially, I entertain my viewer with my work, distracting them from their daily lives for even just a short while. Hopefully, the time spent with me leaves them energized, challenged, or just amused.
Vitality: While traveling in Greece in the early ’80s, I learned that the pomegranate is a symbol of life and death, as well as prosperity and ambition. It is commonly given as a housewarming gift or a wedding present. It embodies a duality of both life-giving and death-dealing at once.
Nox Imperium: It only makes sense that if one feeds their planet, it will in turn play a song. The Earth is both a child’s treasured pet and the captive. Fed on fresh moss, the planet glows and plays a beautiful enigmatic tune filled with moths. When I was working on this piece, I was collaborating with Andrew Brassard, a young talented musician in the Twin Cities.
What is your definition of surrealism?
Armando Valero: It was at a very early age that I understood that in order to develop an original body of work, I should walk away from realism. At 14 years of age, I was thinking, “How can I be better than so many great artists?”
My conclusion was that I would not have to be better, just different — to work with elements in my imagination, not the ones I see with my eyes, to forget about the real world and invent a new one — that way my paintings would come out different, fresh, and if I work hard, unique.
RJD Gallery is located at 2385 Main Street in Bridgehampton. Visit www.rjdgallery.com or call 631-725-1161 for more information.