Aquatic Synthesis

WHQR Gallery

While in Wilmington, North Carolina, I managed to catch up with Charmaine Ortiz, a friend I made during my years at Savannah College of Art and Design.  Her coming from Wilmington (I have family roots there) and her ability to debate Kant and Warburg always left a sense of admiration in me.  When debating them, my brain shares similarity to a crank-start machine, it has to warm up so I could understand the material.  I also checked out Charmaine’s multimedia exhibition put up at WHQR Gallery along the work of Abby Spangel-Perry.  Both artists represented a study in contrasts.  Perry kept only to paintings and conveyed a sense of realism with her renderings of plankton and other cellular life.  Ortiz, on the other hand, renders Wilmington beach culture in an abstract state.  She said the black paint and graphite mix symbolize oil that chokes and overwhelms sea life and the very canvas itself.  On videos such as Seasonal Joy, she says she manipulates public domain footage with her own humorous take on tourism and beach culture.

Personally, the Are You Ready caption that comes at the viewer fast and done in big bold letters constantly reminds me of advertisements from the 90’s that advocate EXTREME!!! attitudes such as sports.  With that, I half expected hard-driving guitar solos and fast drum beats to come out of the video.

Another video (seen at the top) shows footage of an underwater diver from the film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea that she manipulates to make him look as though the diver dances while exploring before a turtle attacks him.

At this show, both artists essentially take little details and expand them so people can view with naked eyes.  They also call attention to the beach and sea environments and how outside influences affect them.

ETA: Changed some words.

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