Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010, Andrea Carrol, Art Review Advance

Once again Gallery U pulls off a spectacular event.  The only thing predictable about this Gallery's shows is the unexpected.  Curated to perfection and pulling off fierce esthetics, GALLERY U helps us all to atone for our sins and the sins we are about to committ.  Piece by piece each image is more interesting and profound than the next.  A bevy of New York city artists spread amongst the guests only added color to the "New Jersey IT crowd".  I heard several times throughout the night, "This IS the place to be."  
The artwork!  Just incredible, from photography to sculpture to sketches and paintings, it was just stimulation overload.  Some worth noting: Beverly Kohn's white and wire mesh sculpture with amazing movement, texture and grace;  Talk of the night, Gio Black Peter, international performance artist (who's pieces were sold during previews) presented colorful circus-like portraits on used resumes that was so progressive and innovative I wanted to see so much more.  The one complaint I heard repeatedly is that Gio's pieces were already sold and that there were not enough of them!!  I agree!
images: Gio Black Peter
Moving down the wall, Iggy Berlin's self portrait as a Russian Icon, with gold layering and ornate frame was probably on of the best images in the collection.  I loved seeing the (very late arriving) Gerry Visco's new self portraits.  Her ability to capture emotion and tell a story through photography is really mesmerizing, I found myself stopped in front of her images and just absorbing them as if you were at a museum and seeing a masterpiece for the first time.  In the background, I hear her distinctive voice announcing "I'm Gerry Visco and I am fabulous!" and at that moment I thought, "You are Fabulous, You Are."  
     The crowd grew as the night went on, there was an ever circulating array of patrons, the red stickers kept going up and I learned once more that at GALLERY U, hesitation only leads to regret as both pieces I had been admiring were flagged.  There was an assembledge tryptich made from obsessivly cut micro blue/green pieces of paper creating a heavenly landscape. By the time I had decided to buy one, got the gorgeous Gallery worker over, they were all gone!  Moving down the wall once again and my second loss.  The next assemblege piece was a black canvas covered in small white textured papers which formed a christening gown, this gorgeous piece had a simplicity and charm to it like no other piece, I was stunned to find that it was done by an eight-year old budding artist!!  I loved the photo work of Robert Ordonez, so clear, concise and telling!  Photographer Robert Torres whos self portraits were beyond anything I have seen before, was on hand visiting from Germany. I learned this by inquiring about the group of men enjoying thier conversation in German.  The two very powerful photographs by artist Chistopher Stribley graced both sides of the room and helped ancor the rest of the show, the pieces were not only gorgeous but maybe even a little predicting, as one of them states , "The East Village is Dead" the other image "Release" was the poster image for the show - no doubt why Gallery Director and Curator, Robert Greco chose the image to exemplify ATONEMENT.  

Photo: Christopher Stribley

      Let me move on to the food - GALLERY U never disappoints!  gourmet sandwiches, sushi galore and treats and sweets abound.  I always love their selection of music (I wonder if they sell discs) which ranged from Classic House to Beth Ditto's The Gossip, cutting edge and progressive. I felt like it was a scene that could only be found in the most secluded -invite-only Williamsburg loft.  I most love the Gallery U philosophy and picked up a brochure from parent company "Universal Institute Rehab"  The gallery itself is part of thier vocational rehabilitaion for people with aquired traumtic brain injuries, the client's work at the Gallery to learn new skills, computers, sales and marketing and PR.  I was told that some of the clients were in attendence, I can't say I could tell who was who, which I guess is the point. I was told that some of the client's artwork was on the walls and was for sale, I wasn't able to tell that either, again, kind of the point!  GALLERY U continues to position themself as one of the country's premier Gallery for contempory art.

I understand that some of the images that were not displayed last night are for sale - California Photographer Ryan Scott, other images by Robert Torres (Germany), Robert Langdon and Photos by Robert Greco are all very affordable (Ranging from $50-$100, signed) and can be aquired by contacting the Gallery Director at

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