Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Helen K. Garber Featured on White Fireworks Blog

DNJ Gallery artist, Helen K. Garber and her newest series titled Venice / Venezia was recently mentioned on White Fireworks.

Helen will be showing this new body of work in a group exhibition featuring Ginny Mangrum and Bill Sosin which will run through May 1, 2010. Preview reception from 4-6pm on Saturday March 13 as well, so be sure to join us!

Helen K. Garber, Canal
Helen K. Garber, Canal, archival
digital print on canvas, 13" x 30"

Posted by: Kathleen Elizabeth
The DNJ Gallery in Los Angeles is showing Helen K. Garber's new series Venice / Venezia, and I'm smitten with her black and white photographs. So the theme is a little obvious -- Venice Beach, CA and Venice, Italy. The silence in these night shots is haunting.

Helen K. Garber said...
Thank you Kathleen. Just to let you know that my work is sugar coated with a deeper message. Pretty to look at, but there to open dialogue about globalization and corporate reach have effected the experience of living in a desirable location. We residents get to pay a fortune to live here while our local government, seeing the better value in attracting tourist or foreign dollars, cater to the day tourist rather than the needs of the residents.

We use the night to enjoy our resources without the burden of making our way through giant crowds. My husband thought my reference to unwanted crowds in my original statement was too negative, until I showed him an email I received from a fellow photographer who has a flat in Venezia. He refers to the tourists as locusts as they spend their big dollars elsewhere and then descend on his city while blocking the passages and spending little to maintain services.

Although you mention that the theme is a little obvious, one wonders why then, with Venice, CA in existence now 105 years, thousands and thousands of artists attracted to living and producing art here, that no one has ever produced such a similar body of work.

One reason would be that although they have shared a similar name and the CA counterpart was originally designed to duplicate the Italian experience, that the grand theme didn't last long and Venice, CA had been a ghetto until it began to gentrify in the 1990's. Establishing a well deserved reputation for not being a place to linger after dark.

It wasn't until very recent times that the residents have shared similar conflicts of gentrification, the rise in home values pushing out the artists and middle class and the nuisance of having to navigate daily life along with masses from around the world.

Thanks for allowing me the forum to better explain my work. My subtle approach can be easily passed over as pretty images without substance...

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