Heads of State
September 9th., 2016 to October 27th., 2016
Opening Reception – Friday September 9th. – 6 to 9 pm
In recognition of the upcoming presidential election Hamilton Street Gallery is watchfully anticipating the face
of things to come. So, in accordance, this juried exhibition focuses on the portraiture of infamous leaders, both
political and non political, humanitarian or tyrannical, good, bad or ugly, who have left their mark on history.
Twenty Six Artists display work in a variety of media and viewpoints reflecting the past, present, and a peek
into the not so distant, future.
Luis Alves Collage
Natalya Tali Margolin
Caitlin T. McCormack
Jeleata Nicole Putty
Abby Elizabeth Schmidt
Laura J. Spector
Luis Alves Collage
1 “WAR” 24x36 Framed Handmade Collage $650.00
2 “CHOCOLATE CHEERIOS” 12.5x3.5x8.75 Handmade Collage on actual 3D cereal box $450.00
3 “TYRANT” 14x17 Framed Handmade Collage $275.00
Media and Art exert powerful influences over all of us through continuous, evolving processes of reflection and creation. They shape our hopes and fears, our notions of beauty and ugliness, our ideas about the primitive and the civilized, our conceptions of the honorable and the shameful. My work uses juxtaposed images to comment on the deep and delicate role the media plays in the shaping of our complex lives, identities, and consciousness. Each collage is hand-manipulated with the goal of transformation as a way of commenting on, satirizing or criticizing the source material.
Title: Heads of Steak, 56″ W x 14″ H x 14” D, mixed media, 2016, $25 each or $125.00 for the group Heads can be sold separately or as a group.
Steak: The longer it’s around the more it rots.
When these animals are fully intact and alive some are full of it, some eat it, some roll around in it, and some throw it.
HEADS OF STEAK is a visual pun rooted in the words of John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton,
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Title: “The Gravest Show on Earth”, Acrylics on Canvas, 34″ h x 27″ w, 2016, $375
What hasn’t been said about our upcoming Presidential race and candidates?
My painting is an expression of the tragicomic and systematic unraveling of one of our political parties in the form of a circus poster. Hope you can identify the main acts.
While researching public images for the caricatures I was struck by abundance of tight lipped visages of the main characters. That and the doom and gloom of the acceptance speech of their candidate
prompted me to name the piece “The Gravest Show on Earth.”
Title: “Make America Great again” acrylic, 24” x 24”, 2016, $300
My work transforms the familiar primarily via color selection and the painterly qualities present when painting by hand. Popular culture is a vital reference for me throughout the creative process. I am drawn to working with acrylic paint and through silk screen printing. Punk music, hip hop and skateboard and surf culture are all huge influences of mine. I prefer complementary, vibrant colors and lines. I enjoy creating tension for the viewer visually and intellectually. I am interested in the tension a composition holds when seemingly contradictory elements are present–tension created through specific color and semiotic creative decisions in my compositions.
1 Title: “Genocide Report Cards” 9” x 12”, ball point pen on paper, 2016 $150.00
2 Title: “America’s Apocalyptic First Family” 9” x 12”, pen and marker on paper, 2016, $150.00
Richard Gessner “Heads of State” Statement “The Genocide Report Cards” “America’s Apocalyptic First Family” These satirical drawings speak for themselves. They are cautionary scribbles, reminding us that in our catastrophic wasteful excess, we as a species will be join-ing the DoDo bird, Passenger Pigeon and Pine barrens tree frog in eternity. When we are gone, the plankton, Jellyfish and algae won’t mourn us. Until that time, vapid texas cheerleaders, bible thumping hermaphrodites and the progeny of false prophets, vulgar vain and rich Will proudly extinguish our fellow species to remind them who is at the top of the food chain.
Title: “Born” Acrylic and newspaper on canvas, 47” W x 58”H, 2016, $800 or b/o
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay, but he gave birth to a nation under his new name Ali
Title: “Man of Steel” 8″ x 10″ hand cut paper collage, 2016 $200.00
The subject matter of Joseph Stalin certainly dictated the design direction. I employed a Russian Avant – Garde style, influenced by Suprematist graphic design masters El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich. I imagined as if they could have designed such ‘negative propaganda’, without fear of government reprisal. Which is something most artists now take for granted. In our current political climate here in the U.S., we may be reaching a tipping point, that if we are not thoughtfully placing people into power positions, ‘dissident thoughts’ of artistic freedoms could once again be out in the cold…….
C H E R Y L B. H A R P E R
Title: “Hillary Bride Doll” (Inspired by American Girl Dolls) Hillary is a bride on one side and a politician on the other) ceramic 21″h x 10″w x 13″d, 2008, $3,000.
As in many preceding cultures to our own, the public demands its leaders be icons, stepping into necessary roles acceptable to the masses. My inspiration comes from combining the reputations of these personages with historical references and metaphors. I document my observations of popular media, and draw from my experiences as a voter and global citizen with occasional spurts of political activism. I have been documenting American presidential politics since 2004, starting with the party conventions, through the 100 days until voters make their choice (and sometimes have it contested). I am very interested in the personalities and every four years, they give me the gift of much inspiration.
Richard Joseph Isolde
1 Title: “Donald Trump” oil, 11”W x 14” H, 2016, $200
Title: “Ronald McDonald” acrylic, 16” W x 20” H, 2016, $200
Ronald McDonald is one of the most recognizable and beloved food mascots on Earth. His appearance can cause thousands of children to descend on a restaurant for a chance to meet him. In his commercials, Ronald is never seen eating McDonald’s food nor does he disclose the ingredients that can be found in McDonald’s food. McDonalds hires highly paid, highly trained, highly polished actors to portray Ronald McDonald and every show and commercial is a performance with a mandate to get a message out there to children. Ronald McDonald is a powerful icon for a huge multi-national corporation. He is a Head of State in the Modern World.
My father, God bless his soul, used to love to hunt the bargain bins and he would always find weird things and give them to me as a gift. One time he gave me an “Easy Button.” You hit a button and it would say “That was easy.” Another time he found the Donald Trump action figure for $2. You pressed a button and Trump would say “You’re fired.” My young son found the figure somewhere in the garage and it soon became his favorite toy. He would hit the button and Trump would say “You’re fired.” My cousin asked my four year old son who his favorite superhero was and of course Anthony said Donald Trump. Then he ran into his room and eagerly brought her his superhero Donald Trump action figure. She asked him what his superpower was and of course Anthony said “He fires people.” Then remarkably the action figure ran for president. Only in America. Some people think Donald Trump is a loud mouthed bigot. Is he a superhero, a loud mouthed bigot, an enigma, all of these things, or something else entirely? I will let you be the judge. One thing I can say with certainty is that you cannot have the Heads of State exhibition without Trump.
Title: “Tipping Point – 4th Stage Capitalism” wax, foam, street trash, paper, fabric, wood, doll parts, detritus, epoxy and paint, 42” H x 28” W x 13” D, 2016, $6,500.00
Statement for Tipping Point – 4th Stage Capitalism
My inspiration for this piece came from Karl Marx who predicted Capitalism, based on greed, would in the end devour itself.
Rising out of a plentitude of misinformation I aim to unearth a hybrid of current trends and the mythological to reflect narratives we all find common among ourselves. As we wade through our information based world and pick and choose what we believe to be ‘real’ or ‘truthful’ we often find instead a heap of beliefs that don’t satisfy our spirit and do little to make us complete.
Through allocation, modeling, casting and paint I form shapes that question our belief systems, and look to investigate where we find ourselves in today’s world. As our world continues on its disjointed and fragmented path, my work looks to come full circle using any medium or tool at my disposal to create my end goal- Reflections of our predicaments, and how these predicaments have so much to do with what we are made of/with.
Portraiture circles around and intertwines with my finished works; pieces of the actual world, along with the meanings we place on them bring a collective pause that I use to tell a narrative.
I invite you to investigate, ponder and smile at our human condition today. Largely, we are no longer connected to each other in real, simple human terms. Short-term convictions and lack of sound ethics have crippled us as a species; and this leaves an empty void, a void I try to put into visual terms.
I feel allocation is especially affective for portraiture. My portraits are internal, so using objects allows me to bring in historical references without creating a physical likeness.
Some of my portraits are created with a particular person in mind; some of them come from a portrait study of the collective unconscious. Using visual mapping I celebrate us, and our absurdity. We are beautiful, horrid, tragic, and profoundly funny.
Title: “The Bridge to America” Oil on canvas, 36″x36″, 2016 $2,500.00
As I’m sure is true of many Americans, this year’s election process has led me to become more involved than usual in politics. A longtime strong supporter of of Bernie Sanders, I nonetheless see a similarity in values between followers of Sanders and those who support Trump- Americans frustrated with the status quo and ready for a decisive and radical change. Therein may lie the only such similarity.
As an artist who generally finds inspiration in magical impossibilities, dream-scapes and the personalities of food items, I was surprised when the inspiration for “The Bridge To America” arrived. On the other hand, given how many thoughts I’ve given the radical, inspiring, depressing and other superlative events of the last 6 months, perhaps it simmering and waiting to emerge all along. In this piece I hope to create a new narrative while staying close to a well known cultural reference. In Return of the Jedi, Princess Leia annihilates her captor by attacking him with the chains of her enslavement. Without chains, can my Leia escape or is she just as captive under the effects of Trump’s rhetoric, and his divisive vision of the future? Does my Hutt live under a bridge like a Fantastical Troll, personally devouring anyone who attempts to cross it? The space underneath the I-95 overpass in South Philadelphia is the most reliable place for me to park my car, and so I do.
Title: “Watch the World Burn” watercolor on cut paper, 12” x 15” 2016, $100.00
David LaMorte is an artist and educator from Metuchen, NJ who has shown both locally and internationally. He make work that creates a personal narrative and a playful pop art sensibility. He draws from cartoons, comic books and contemporary art history.
Natalya Tali Margolin
1 Title: “Abraham,” Acrylic on canvas board, 13”x17”, 2014, $400.00
2 Title: “Elie Wiesel,’ Pencil on paper, 9” x12 “, 2016, $400.00
3 Title:‘Mao Tse-tung”, Pencil on paper, 12” x15”, 2016, $400.00
Caitlin T. McCormack
Title: “L. Ron” Mixed media, 3D/Digital, 8” x 10” 2015 $50.00
I graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2010 with a BFA in Illustration and a penchant for ambiguity. Although I strive to generate works that have comprehensible narrative properties, I find that I am more comfortable producing material that reflects my own vague sense of self.
Through the process of photographing the characters and environments I have created, I hope to provide visual indications that something has transpired in a fabricated reality. I would like to relay the impression that a subject is, or has been, responsive to its empirical surroundings, which may or may not operate according to the same parameters as our world.
Title: “seven deadly sins, 2016″, 7 piece polyptych , each piece 10″ x 8″ or 8″ x 10”
acrylic & enamel on plywood $1500 (individual pieces $300)
In my painting, I am influenced by street art. I paint objects, people, animals, and abstract forms. I use color and form to communicate mood, to convey emotion, to express feeling. I usually paint people, animals, and objects disentangled from their usual environments. I find this isolation highlights their intrinsic human made or natural beauty. Iconic cultural, social, and religious images, outside of their expected surroundings, are freed to be reconsidered and reinterpreted. I seek to provoke thought with unusual or unexpected compositions. My work is political, religious, and spiritual; rooted in the human experience. My work at times prods viewers to discomfort and at others generates a smile, it is rarely neutral. My pieces are usually open ended. In many ways each piece is completed with the viewer’s experience. I am keen to explore my connection with the viewer through my work.
Title: “Amerika” found objects, plastic bank, doll arms, lowercase letter, flag wood base,
14” w x 10.75” H x 7” D, 2016, $550.00
My work explores the world of the lost object: obsolete, cast off, and discarded.I take the objects found from the past that have lost their usefulness, and combine and alter them in such a way that they rise up, like a phoenix from the ashes ﬁnding a new language, new meaning and a new form.
Title: “Honest Abe” media : many pieces of duct tape, 18” W x 20” H, 2016, $750.00
My work can be made from thousands of pieces of duct tape. My pieces can take up to hundreds of hours to complete, as I very carefully and delicately cut and place each piece of tape down, the piece then has a sealant over it to preserve it. My work has won numerous awards including four People’s Choice awards. I also have pieces in Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museums. My duct tape artwork is completely unique and continually expands the frontier of experimental art. Other than portraits, I do landscapes, cityscapes, and animals and objects.
1 View West: Alexander Hamilton, 2014 oil on panel 10 x 10 inches $1,000
2 View East: Aaron Burr, 2014 oil on panel 10 x 10 inches $1,000
I explore the dynamics of power, class and social identity by using painting to reconfigure historical moments in American history. Social characters interact in a field of culture, vying for status and prestige within intersecting groups. I am interested in how we personally identify with characters and “types”, particularly the magnetic celebrities that are so prevalent in contemporary America. I choose figures whose stories exemplify the function of identity in groups, and resulting friction between groups, which is often considered “tribal”. After extensive preliminary research I will often paint them in a purposefully simple or direct way that evokes folk painting as well as American Regionalists. I aim to create works that embody the contradictions in human nature that most relate to social authority and class relations, and to raise paradoxical questions about social equality. The Beer Summit is a painting based on heavy research into the 2009 event with the same name, and the surrounding circumstances, from the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, to President Obama’s inadvertently controversial comments that the arresting officer had “acted stupidly”, to the subsequent reaffirmation of male identity during the Rose Garden “Beer Summit”. As I learned through research that each participant was a “Jr.” and has family ties to Ireland, the painting developed into a multi-generational story of the human experience, albeit one where women were consciously excluded.
The dynamics of social hierarchy are often played out by characters in intimate ways, where people from different social groups interact in ways that suggest both hatred and shared humanity. By studying racial and economic friction in the U.S. I have learned how individuals and groups operate in relation to the larger system, and I am working towards an understanding of how identity must function in the current chapter of American race, gender and class relations.
Title: “The Commissioner”, 2011, *Styrofoam, resin coating, acrylic paint. 19”x13”x12”, $6,500.00
A state of denial of the adverse effects of outsourcing exists among policymakers and corporate CEOs who champion the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries. Doing so greatly enriches the heads of massive
corporation and their shareholders by offering cheaper labor, lower operational costs, tax breaks and cheaper locations, thus increasing profits.
Outsourcing has brought about record unemployment, a reduced presence in the consumer market, erosion of product quality, shuttering of American manufacturing and industrial base, and a major drop in university
enrollments in the technical and scientific disciplines.
The tragic result of outsourcing jobs is the rusting away of the “American Dream” and the United States economy by creating incurable unemployment and a steady economic decline, all at the expense of the Middle Class.
Title: “3 Generations of the Kings”Media: Oil , 20″x34″, 2016, $2000.00
Being a Philadelphia native, art is a common subject. My love for creating art began as a child and I have been obsessively honoring my skills ever since. Capturing the character and emotion of my subjects has always been key. I am a professional self-taught artist specializing in graphite, colored pencil, and high contrast paintings.
I love working in all mediums, to express my interpretation of my subjects. You can see my artwork in private collectors’ homes internationally. To be able to take a blank canvas and transfer it to a captivating piece, is an amazing process. It’s about rendering the character and essence of my subject, merely creating a likeness. Portraiture fills me with a sense of contentment and gives me a way to express my inner vision. As an artist it gives me great satisfaction knowing I can create something for someone to cherish for a lifetime.
Title: “We Can Do It Jenner, 2016
Charcoal, Gesso. and Pastel on Raw Canvas, 36 x 24 inches, $200
Contemporary society has been conditioned to label the world in black and white terms. Because we are all interconnected, blended, and affected by each other, such simplicity is often unattainable. In one way or another, we can all be viewed as a shade of gray. Regardless of socially constructed labels and physical differences, we are all human.
We are one.
My work, a series of charcoal and gesso drawings (paintings) on canvas, addresses this broad spectrum of gray. Although I focus on gender, identity, and sexual orientation, my art provokes an honest conversation that evokes empathy and serves as a visual reminder of the human condition. By openly discussing our differences, the similarities begin to surface. Each small change in perspective contributes a step forward to creating understanding and connection.
We all deserve to live and love authentically; it is for this reason that I am an artist for social change. It is only with acknowledgment of the vast spectrum of gray that we are able to truly understand color.
Title: “I will bring Jobs Back to America,” 40x40 inch, oil on canvas, 2016 $5,200.00
There are those that will say that knowledge is a power, but to me knowledge is a tool that I use to explore the world around me. During my years of traveling with the military and with art mentors in my time since serving in the military I have gained an interest in the history of people and cultures.
I have especially been fascinated with the transitions of cultures through their art, music, and language. I explore those cultures not just through reading and research, but through traveling to and visiting the countries current cultures as well as visiting dig sites which explore the cultures past.’
My Paintings a combination of Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter and POP they are strongly inspired by the great master artists I have studied and come to admire for their expressions of the world around us, and their exploration of even the most common of things in life through the use of color and lines. It is for this reason that I have come to believe that “Even ordinary life can be immortalized in art” and have explored these relationships between the known and unknown aspects of life.
Abby Elizabeth Schmidt
1 Title: “Feel The Bern,” barley & spray paint on wood, 9″x9″, 2015, $400.00
2 “W,” sand and military toys on wood, 4’x6′, 2005, $1,400.00
ABBY ELIZABETH graduated in 2004 with a BFA in Crafts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has since exhibited her work both national and internationally, including group exhibitions in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and South Korea as well four solo exhibitions in the Philadelphia area. In January of 2009, she won First Place in the Bucks County Gallery of Fine Art’s annual juried art competition. In May of 2010, she was awarded the highly competitive New Courtland Artist Fellowship through The Center for Emerging Visual Artists as well as the Maplewood Manor Artist Fellowship the following year. In October of 2011, she completed a commission for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society that was unveiled at their annual Light the Night Walk at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Over the past three years, Abby has exhibited her work during Miami Art Basel Week with Paradigm Gallery + Studio as part of SELECT Fair 2013 and SCOPE Miami Beach 2014. In June 2014, she was a featured artist with Lugano-based Five Gallery during Art Basel Week in Switzerland at SCOPE Basel. In September of 2015, Abby had her fourth solo exhibition taking place at Paradigm Gallery+Studio in Philadelphia.
After the birth of her first son, Abby relocated to New Jersey, where she currently lives and works.
Judy Reisen Skillman
Title: “Obama,” Mixed media collage. 22″ x 26″, 2016, $500.00
I am an art historian by training who has turned to studio art after many years of working in museums, and galleries
I study at the Montclair Art Museum’s Yard School of Art
I also lived in the Washington DC area for many years and am a self-professed “political junkie” I started the “Obama” Collage many months before the show, “Heads of State”. The very pixilated picture of him stimulated my imagination, and led me to create one of my 3-D collages, mixing colors and shapes that seemed to enhance the original image of Obama. I do have an art historical reference in the use of the Joseph Albers work. Many of my pieces have references to very famous works that I admire. Finishing this piece was a “natural” for this show. I, personally, have great admiration for Obama and I think we’re going to miss him as our Head of State.
Laura J. Spector
TITLE: “ WOMEN OF STEEL” (Golda, Indira and Elizabeth) Multi-Media 12” x 18” by 1” deep
“WOMEN OF STEEL” (Golda, Indira, Elizabeth) This piece is dedicated to these three amazing women and all women, young and old, past, present and future. Women, who in spite of adversity, use their strength and positive outlooks to make our world a little better.
Title: “Headline” String art made of sewing thread wrapped through nails on a painted white wood board.
24”x18”x1.25”, 2016, $500.00
Poramit currently works on unconventional material for sculpture using recycled household found objects such as sawing threads, nails, plastic bottles, cardboard, papers, wood, rubber, wires and computer parts. His concept is to create three-dimensional sculptures or mixed media art using density of lines, light and shadow. The visual effect of the image comes from different angle and distance.
This piece “Headline” is inspired from his favorite monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. He uses 9 different colors weaving thread and nails to form the shape of the sculpture. The image is constructed from layered color threads wrapped through a dense array of nails mounted on a painted white wood board. The layer and density of the colored thread, light and shadow create the image of Mount Rushmore.
The image is formed solely from the density of the string. Additional shadows of strings and nails are created the depth of field. The image appears clearly in the distance. The thread wrapped through nails represent the connection and unity of the 4 US President and the country.
His concept is to use the repeating and patterns of thread and nails to create the movement of image. Angle of light and shadow will project the image in different ways. It will depend on where the viewer stands.