(Martin Jones) #1

152 http://www.AmericanArtCollector.com


n the upcoming group exhibition
Spring Ahead..., at RJD Gallery in
Bridgehampton, New York, five artists
paint narratives depicting youths. The
works of art—by Margo Selski, Lesley
Thiel, Bryony Bensly, Jantina Peperkamp
and Juan Béjar—tell stories as adulthood
approaches. Many of them are familiar
scenes of a time when there was a bit of
innocence, learning and introspection.
“A thread of light grows greener; nature
awakens to the sound of children, and
again echoes through the air as spring
approaches. These paintings commu-
nicate joy, exuberance, curiosity and a
desire for stability in an uncertain world,”
says RJD Gallery curator MAGO. “The
artists’ relationships to their adolescent
subjects are intuitive, inquisitive and
self-awakening for the viewer. Their self-
reflection becomes a recurring theme, as
their feelings and memories take us on
a joyous journey. Each artist assumes
the role of observer, creator and visual
commentator with semi-surreal environ-
ments. Each provides their signature
style; sharing motherhood, familial love,
permanence, impermanence and most
importantly the beautiful, ephemeral

nature of childhood.”
In describing one of her paintings for
the show, titled The Fall, Thiel says, “Our
children will inherit our world. I dressed
my young model, Addie, in a collar that
is reminiscent of court portraits of Queen
Elizabeth I of England. I see her inheriting
the power that will change and guide us.
I see strength, compassion and intelligence
in her gaze.”
The Mirror, by Peperkamp, is a work
symbolizing the coming of age—that time
when teenage years come to an end and
the person is at the start of a new journey.

“When I first met the model for this
painting I was struck by her vulnerability,”
Peperkamp recalls. “Because of her age,
on the border between child and adult, she
looked sensitive in a way that I recognized
and that moved me. I wanted to capture
this. In this portrait she looks through the
mirror into the future and sees a touch of
the young woman she will become.”
According to Béjar, “My artworks have
often been described as ‘Poisoned Sweets,’
with their alienated swollen little faces,
generous double chins and dark eyes that
show little or no emotion. I am obsessed

Spring Ahead

3/9-4/6 Bridgehampton, NY

1 2
Free download pdf