Monday, June 03, 2013


Yvonne Petkus - Deported
12” x 12”, oil on board, 2012
- repost of an article where I wrote . . .

I took a long road trip to my undergraduate home of Western Kentucky University where I hung a show of my own work, but like all trips, I actively seek out galleries, past associates, and new artists. This trip I ran across Yvonne Petkus’ lushish paintings, the theatrical photographs of George Vitorovich, and the seismic art of Craig Dongoski .

Petkus' paintings remind me of Lucian Freud, but the skin is where the similarities break in Petkus’ work. Petkus focuses on one female figure, reimaged and reworked over and over in different poses of movement. Her backgrounds almost wisp away the figure in a fast moving paint that pushes across the canvas like a storm. Petkus’ subject seems to distort like she is underwater. Body parts are out of proportion and seem to fluctuate in each painting, though the hips tend to be overly large in relationship to the smaller head. Petkus uses paint to express all the emotional content whereas the face of her subject has the same ambiguous expression of possible grief or maybe concern. These paintings are very strong paintings and very compelling.

With such a short trip, I attempted to drop by George Vitorovich’s studio, but the stars were not aligned so I missed him, however I am so familiar with his work I have to mention it here. Vitorovich creates scenes that look like a long forgotten circus, rusted out industrial site, or an abandon home. He further pushes the photos toward the look of decay through his use of browns and muted colors. Any figures are like ghosts, reappearing but disconnected to the present decay. These people act as if nothing has changed. I also see his work very cinematic, with much of the work showing visible horizontal lines cutting the scene, you pause briefly before moving to the next section. Vitorovich’s vision is apocalyptic and sublime.

Out of the blue, right before I left for Kentucky I got an email from Craig Dongoski. I showed with him in a group show back in 2010 and I haven’t heard much from him since. Well new work has exploded out of him and is on display at the Tinney Contemporary in Nashville, Tennessee. His art is dueling with the cloudy abstracts of Pam Longobardi. Dongoski will work on top of an image with marks that resemble waves of energy. He has added a kind of abstract language that resembles a proto Asian language.

I also missed my artist friends C. David and Kim Jones. Back when I ran a no-prof gallery called Local Color, I gave C. David a show. His figures are rustic and remind me a great deal of Norman Rockwell without much of the sentimentality. They both seem to be pushing into the abstract. I hope to see them, along with George Vitorovich, Yvonne Petkus, and Craig Dongoski in September when I have another show in Bowling Green, Kentucky at Skypac fine arts center. for more images.

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