The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“For real!” is a clever name for the painting show at Waltman Ortega. The three Europeans depict almost-hyper real portraits of American cities — mostly New York City. Except that there is a slightly non-American perspective to them. It’s a nice show to open up the season.
The most “real” come from Frenchman Alain Bertrand, whose oils have a poster-like quality; hectic scenes of an idealized Manhattan, with its shiny cars and neon signs, armies of yellow taxis. In fact they are a romanticized version of what the artist imagined New York looked like in the 1940s and '50s: the "new" 1950 Mercury automobile; an RKO theater with a Jimmy Cagney movie on the marquee; Pepsi Cola!
The works of Spaniard Fernando Kindelan are quieter, lonelier streets filled with filtered light, puddles on the sidewalk, reflections. In one lovely piece, the suns peaks through the urban high-rises, to spotlight a singular jogger, called “Run.”
But the most gorgeous canvases are the more abstract ones from Belgian Ronald Dupont. The large works are views through the rain of street life — barely perceptible, but still there are the pedestrians winding their way through a wet world, while the windows through which the artist paints the scene are streaming with water, dotted with rain drops. Dupont too has a large canvas of a less blurred Manhattan, teaming with people and vehicles, but not quite as clear as Bertrand’s work — something is slightly off, the view a little fuzzy.
All the artists have shown internationally, and it’s good to find them here in Miami, a bit of a break from the more conceptual contemporary works that are more of the norm.
“For real!” runs through Oct. 15 at Waltman Ortega art gallery, 2233 N.W. 2nd. Ave., Miami; www.waltmanortega.com.