René Miville Gallery
René Miville Gallery Presents Watercolor Realist David Belling
Tranquility – The Modern Landscape Art of Southwest Florida will feature dozens of the nautical scenes and historical-based landscapes that David Belling has been rendering since turning to painting full time after his retirement in 2004. The exhibition opens Friday, February 4, with a reception that is coextensive with Fort Myers Art Walk (6 through 10pm).
Daniela Martinez born 1992 in Bogota, Columbia
At age 22, Daniela Martinez is the youngest artists featured in the opening exhibit. Just as some might be born with a silver spoon in the mouth, Daniela was born with a crayon in her hand. Every single one of her pieces is an independently produced self portrait using a remote controlled camera.
Daniela's organic artistic process can be compared to that of the legendary Cindy Sherman. The variety in Daniela's work is a result of an aspiration to use art for self-expression. The range of the characters she creates – from a Barbie Doll to a Zombie – reflects her inner diversity. Her artworks are manifestations of her daily life experiences, reflecting happiness or despair.
Daniela Martinez has an impeccable hand with light and computer editing, techniques she taught herself watching video tutorials online.
Two of Daniela's series are presented in this show. Her doll collection represents the plasticity of people's personalities exhibited on the outside, while the silver metal printed series stars her own pet tarantula, Kitten. The eerily tangibility of these self portraits with her tarantula shows us how even something that is usually viewed with hatred or disgust can be seen as beautiful and gentle.
Cesar Aguilera born 1979 in Quito, Ecuador
Cesar Aguilera wields his paint brush as if it were a magic wand, casting color spells in hopes that they may erase the venomous wounds that humanity has afflicted upon itself and Mother Nature.
The devoted environmentalist currently resides in Naples, Florida.
From a young age, Cesar was possessed by a passion to change the injustice humans have brought upon humans, animals and the environment. While he studied environmental engineering in Ecuador, it was not until he moved to the United States that Cesar realized the potential in the power of art; how he could use art to invoke a change in the environment and life itself.
Cesar's art is inspired by the preservation of life. He focuses on how there is so much beauty in even the smallest things. He wishes to amplify the beauty of human achievement with the voice of his artwork, while still engaging a sense of urgency to preserve our natural wonders.
The exhibit shows three works by Cesar Aguilera concerning the often horrific reality of what goes on in the creation of the products and food that our consumerist society so willingly embraces and presenting ideas of what to do to reverse this.
Kinfay Moroti born 1970 in Chicago, Illinois
Born to a prostitute in Chicago, Kinfay Moroti's earliest goal in life was to escape the poverty, loneliness and the sexual and physical abuse he endured while living in the city's most violent housing projects and eight foster homes. His first escape attempts were daily after school treks to the downtown library, where he encountered the painters Vermeer and Frida Kahlo. "I would imagine that I painted their works," says Kinfay. "I couldn't afford painting supplies, so I painted in my mind." Though early inspired to create, it would not be until June 2000 that Kinfay attempted to "paint the feelings" in his unquiet mind.
As a resident of Southwest Florida, it comes as no surprise that the context of his work often takes place here. For Kinfay, capturing moments in this area is both joyous and painful. Joyous in that he feels honored to share the love that fills the communities; painful in that those joyous moments are becoming more rare. Loneliness and melancholy drive Kinfay's creative state. They are his closest and truest companions. His works are visual attempts to understand these ever present feelings. "Making pictures is like cutting your veins," says Kinfay.
The exhibit presents two series of Kinfay Moroti's work, one which depicts the war abroad, the other concerning local violence and society. The images speak to the beautiful struggle that is life. Without judging, they articulate the consequences of humanity's actions and serve as mirrors, reflecting life back to the observer.
Danielle Branchaud born 1978 in Winnipeg, Ontario
Danielle Branchaud, who was born in Canada but has lived in Southwest Florida since the age of six, feels that becoming an artist was practically inevitable. A second generation artist, Danielle grew up surrounded by art, but while her mother was inspired by the landscape of Florida, Danielle's work is more introspective.
Danielle owes one of her biggest inspiration to dreams – even her nightmares. By reaching into her subconscious, her body of work exemplifies what she describes as "the things that we feel on the deepest level and often fail to acknowledge."
Through her artwork, Danielle hopes to help her audience better understand that the range of emotions from pain and sorrow to happiness and joy are universal to all. The subjects of her work are relatable in a way that we may see ourselves reflected in them. Danielle wants us to consider that "it could be me."
The exhibit shows five works by Danielle Branchaud, which reflect various states of consciousness; most of which Danielle accredits of being of a meditative nature.
René Miville born 1954 in Medford, Massachusetts
René Miville was an innovator in the process of chemical manipulation using the classic darkroom printing process. Each work consists of silver-gelatin paper with the basic chemical elements of developer, stop and fixer applied: a pure photograph as we traditionally know one. However, René painted the chemistry upon the photo paper. He created a substantiasl body of work in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the time of the dawn of digital photography, René's opposing aesthetic journey sparked a vigorous curiosity and interest among both museum curators and international collectors.
The evolution of René's journey as an artist began with his original career as a fashion photographer and transformed into the unique artistic process that is presented in his works. It was around the time that he began his first endeavors as a businessman when he met his wife on the beaches in Captiva, and since his life has been devoted to caring for his family and the island that he so endearingly cherishes.
The two pieces shown in the exhibit were created in the downstairs apartment of his mother's guesthouse on Captive, a room in which the floor was actually composed of the sand upon which the house was built. René's often used the sand in his artistic process, making the works truly a product of his environment.
René's relationship with his home is expressed in his dedication to the Southwest Florida community, including the creation of the René Miville Gallery in downtown Fort Myers.
At only 16 years old, Simone Eisenbeiss has already accomplished seriousartistic and altruistic credibility.
Her enchanting and mystically romantic illustrations feature an arrayof forest-dwelling creatures which she names asinspirations for this collection.The exhibit Guardians of the Forestat the RenéMiville Gallery is Simone’s debut in the United States, presenting graphite andcolor pencil drawings that are as endearing asthey can be disconcerting.In her own words, Simone presents to her audience an access to the bridgebetween fantasy and reality, heaven and earth.
This adept sensation of mysticism is what Simone seeks to find in her own ritual treks within the native Swiss forests that she calls home.To approach her work with admiration is to practice a form of empathy that Simone’s artwork calls attention for. These illustrations are directly forged through her deep connection with the prominently featured four-legged citizens of the wilderness.
By demonstrating the profound and overlooked natural beauty of these beings, she is raising a needed awareness to her audience’s relationship with nature.Her sophisticated style is recognizably mature for her age, but her artistic prowess is not the only thing about her age that transcends what we expect from the average teenager.
Actively aware of the state of our environment and the animals we share it with,Simone has supported her local Galgos rescue centers by donating a portion of the profits from some of her works. The sleek structure of Simone's creatures is directly inspired by that of the Galgos, or Spanish Greyhound, who annually experience a cruel and negligent genocide due to outdated traditions deeming the canines useless beyond a single hunting season. Her audience will find Simone's earnest effort to use her talent for an honorably noble cause inspiring.
This fall, the René Miville Gallery presents kinetic sculptures by Jonah Ortiz. The show “Giggles & Gears” is a complex blend of high and low-brow pop-media references, coupled with a subtext of analogies to personal stories. Ortiz’s art is grounded in concept and wild in form. It plays on noise and color to create an aesthetic style which offends the senses and challenges the mind.
Only a year ago, artist Jonah Ortiz (37) moved from Chicago to Fort Myers. The exhibition at the René Miville Gallery is his first major show in the area. Using familiar games and toys as rudimentary models, Ortiz aims to bridge the gap between the creativity of childhood, and the reality of adulthood. “The ironic message behind each piece is partially derived from my experience, but the all-inclusive style of my work allows for a unique and very personal interaction – no matter what level of fluency one has in the art world,” the artist says.
Over the last ten years, Jonah Ortiz’s work has traveled through a wide variety of events, catering to viewers outside of what some may consider the “normal” art scene. Ortiz has shown his kinetic sculptures in venues ranging from commercial galleries to a touring show out of the back of a U-Haul. He has hosted experimental shows, assisted in the installation of numerous group projects, built progressive and unique installations for activist related events, and collaborated with other artists, musicians, and poets.
Ortiz’s sculptures are designed to create awareness and dialogue pertaining to how one’s personality and predispositions are formulated during childhood. Jonah Ortiz: “I consider myself to be a blue collar artist. My work is open to a broad range of interpretation.” Operating and interacting with the sculptures, the audience can reflect on the experiences in their own past. And humor becomes a non-threatening gateway to do so.