Friday, July 31, 2009

Laura Parker Honored With Pasadena's Individual Artist Grant

After receiving top scores, Laura Parker was awarded the Individual Artist Grant and $4000 from the city of Pasadena as part of their 2009 - 2010 Annual Grants Program. The award money will go will towards a solo show which will include photographs in filmic-sequence and new animations by Laura Parker, and will be shown at Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts to be scheduled in 2010.

Laura Parker's exhibition, From the Range: pot bottoms and Naked Eye Objects, was shown at DNJ Gallery from September 13 - October 25, 2008. For more information about Laura Parker, please visit our web site or stop by the gallery!


Laura Parker, Naked Eye Objects (Aqua),
digital c-print, 26 x 26 inches

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jane O'Neal Featured in WHITEHOT Magazine

July's issue of WHITEHOT Magazine features a review of Jane O'Neal's Environmental Memory: Part - I Home Grown, which was on display at DNJ Gallery from April 25 - June 20, 2009. For more information about Jane's work, please contact the gallery.

Jane O'Neal, Orchid Cactus Flower #3,
2009, archival inkjet print, 44" x 30"

by: Shana Nys Dambrot

Jane O’Neal acquits her flatbed scanned portraits of flora and root systems with whiffs of the semi-clinical, sexualized near-abstractions of Edward Weston—an obvious comparison if for no other reason than subject matter. Due to advances in technology, the feats of the flatbed scanner, and her eye for fleshy, saturated palettes, her images are undeniably literal and escape all sentimentalism. There remains a bit of a lepidopterological feeling due to the march across the wall of mostly same-size/scaled, identically-framed specimens. There is also a definite anthropomorphism to her images of roots, flowers, and vegetables, which is hardly a scarcity in art’s big book of thematic tactics, yet never gets old. In this thread are the gnarled root-fingers of Root Ball (44 x 30 inches), and the clitoral character of Blue Java Bud (44 x 30 inches) with its cauterized umbilical stem nub and enfolding husks like a carved wooden mask or tribal talisman. But many aren’t about people at all. In Orchid Cactus Flower #1 (44 x 30 inches), the waxy texture of the leaf, like star fruit, is inviting rather than threatening. It has a bit of magic to its luminosity that seems to radiate from within, its translucent flesh refracting light like glazed pigment might in a painting. The flushed and ruddy, royal purple parchment skin and dynamic fling of glistening, intense spring green on Red Onion (44 x 30 inches) is impossibly gorgeous and hasn’t a thing to do with the human body. The approach to color and texture here is a painterly one, while the detail, the sheer amount of mass and surface, that it is possible to achieve in digital photography both supports and supplants that element of her style.

O’Neal’s subjects (aside from the fact that her real subject is photography itself,) in any case her “sitters” or pretexts are, so to speak, natural models, photogenic at every instant and from any angle. But eerily, it is also clear that nothing on display is still alive. It’s all been plucked, pulled from the earth, harvested in some way; it may be ripe and even edible, but it is all already dead and dying. That’s where some of the most humanity in the work reveals itself—not on the explicitly formal level of a Weston, but on the spiritual, existential level of an organic life. Orchid Cactus Flower #3 (44 x 30 inches) is the only picture that captures movement—there are petals photographed mid-fall; very sexy hot pink petals, seductive and alluring, on their way to hitting the ground with a dramatic flair, the up-arching stalk and face/center of the bloom straining toward the “sky” with poignancy; the humanoid stance to its bodily form and pose hinting at consciousness. This image is Romantic almost to the point of the tragic, chronicling the closest activity these inanimates can claim to a narrative arc. The diptych Cavendish Floral Bud and Cavendish Floral Stalk (2008, 44 x 30 inches each) adds the fraught energy of relationships to this equation with its male-female pairing. A richly detailed, multi-faceted bronze, muscular husk with its disheveled mop of curly “hair” and sweet cap of green stalks rests on one side, and a more feminine form of the same species, its dusky pink flower still modest but emerging from under the protective chastity of the husk rests on the other. They are separate but eternally linked, like sides of a coin, or the gender divide they represent as metaphor and metonymy—and there is more material for sexual projection in them as any Rorschach test-giver could dream of. But then again, people seem to love to see themselves in pictures.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jona Frank's Upcoming Exhibition and Book Review in THE Magazine

This September, DNJ Gallery will be showing images from Jona Frank's new series "Boys." A selection of images from this exhibition are on the DNJ website.


Frank's monograph Right: Portraits from the Evangelical Ivy League,
published by Chronicle Books in 2008, was recently reviewed by THE Magazine.

The book and series documents a group of students from Patrick Henry
College, known as "Harvard for Homeschoolers" which was created for young right-wing Evangelical Christians. As reviewer Julia Schlosser says about the book:

"Her insightful views allow the students to articulate their religious
values and aspirations, broadening our view of their lives."

To read the full review, click here for a downloadable version. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, please contact the gallery.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Jane O'Neal: Environmental Memory: Part - I Home Grown Reviewed in art ltd. Magazine

Jane O"Neal: "Cavendish Flora Stalk"

Art ltd. Magazine features Jane O'Neal's Cavendish Floral Stalk in Marlena Doktorczyk's review of Environmental Memory: Part I - Home Grown, which was shown at DNJ Gallery from April 25 - June 20, 2009.

by marlena doktorczyk-donohue

my brain harvests - then constructs - fabrications - of irony - delight - fear and dread – Excerpt, Jane O’Neal, artist’s statement

To analogize Jane O’Neal’s recent incursion into backyard fauna to Georgia O’Keeffe’s distantly similar content seems to completely miss the point; namely, the fresh technical aspects and innovations that make this work unique in a sea of still-lifes and a decade of digitally-based photo images. We know Jane O’Neal for her naturally lit, night cibachromes capturing people-less motel facades, abandoned shopping carts, and backyard swimming pools in the incandescent high pitched hues of backlit neon. What made these stunning—besides O’Neal’s impeccably eccentric eye and dead-on technical instincts—was that the absent humanity was like a breath over the scenes, always suggesting a human presence.

In her new work, O’Neal presses backyard plants—onions, bananas, flowering cacti—onto her scanner then makes nuanced, calibrated ink jet prints on archival paper. Although once again we humans, bursting with what Deleuze called all our “overwhelming versatility of desire” are absent, our generic need and our irreversible decay is suggested in absentia via things related to us: a turgid, red-orange persimmon caught both from the stem-top and in profile such that tiny dots of over-ripening suggest living flesh, or a mature star cluster about to birth a few more universes. Because the scanner renders such unusual and unpredictable relationships of depth/light, because the digital medium provides for an array of intense, tinsel-y saturated color, and because O’Neal is so skilled at what is left in, removed or exaggerated, each work looks like an enlarged page from those medieval hand-drawn botanicals, either created or viewed on really mellow acid. Due to the light of the scanner and the artist’s skill, many images get this sort of Kirlian aura around them, reminding us of studies that purported to “photograph” the life force around plants. Others are crisp with a radioactive luminosity and 3-D sheen, calling to mind gardens propagating out of control and glowing oddly after a nuclear catastrophe. The works swing from the intensely erotic to the sadly senescent; they speak indirectly to the complex relationship between lived life and dues ex machina, and they point to the heart of what is human though no humans are spied.

For a printable version of this review click here!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

20% off DNJ Gallery Inventory Through July 31, 2009

Please stop by, or search our web site for DNJ Gallery artists. There is something for everyone, so please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to expand, or start ones photography collection today. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the gallery via email at or by phone at 323-931-1311.


Jane O'Neal, Ponderosa Lemon

Friday, July 3, 2009

DNJ Gallery is closed for the 4th of July holiday. We reopen on Tuesday, July 7th.  Have a fantastic weekend!!