Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 saw the opening of an exhibition at Frank Atisso’s Art Korner Main Gallery that features images by two artists on a shared theme, but which are strikingly different in their style and visual impact.
The artists in question are Dannika Dryke and Traci (Traci Ultsch), who have split the gallery between themselves, with Danni’s images located on the lower floor, and Traci’s on the upper. The central theme is that of portraits, but the two styles offered by the artists are extraordinarily different.
On the lower level, Danni presents a series of large format images that might been seen as “traditional” modern portraits: the subject the centre of the image sans and background distractions, (largely) minimal visible posing, the colours clean and natural in tone. These are images that allow us to focus solely on the subject, drawing us into a study of their look and appearance and – oh, so gently – into a wider consideration of their nature as revealed (or imposed, depending on your viewpoint) by the pose they have struck.
These are picture that speak to the art of photography as form of modern portraiture that has largely taken over from the more formalised use of paint and canvas to immortalise an individual. With most images presented as head and shoulders / chest level, they reveal the avatar-as-a-person, someone who exists independently from any human operator behind the screen. Within the eyes, we can perceive life and mood, within the expression there lies emotion and and intelligence, within the choice of clothing a glimpse of character and nature. Such is the depth of life within each image, were the subject to lean out of the monitor and offer an introduction, it wouldn’t be in the least bit surprising!
Life and vitality are also very much in evidence in the images presented by Traci on the gallery’s upper level – but in a very different way. Where Danni opts to go the more “traditional” route of portraiture, Traci leans into a more expressive presentation, the images swept with brush-like swirls of light or splattered with dark tones a-la Pollock or stamped with blocks of Warhol-esque colour to present bold statement of life in which the entire image speaks – subject, colour, contrast – to present not so much the individual, but the sense of mood / emotion, and presence / vitality of the subject.
These are images in which there is a lot going on, the very depth of elements drawing us into each picture, not so much to decrypt or understand it, but simply to flow with the narrative as it forms ideas and stories that are as unique and individual as the images and their colours.
Taken individually, each of these displays of art has much to attract the eye; taken together, and they offer a marvellous juxtaposition and conjoining of style and content that is wholly engaging.
- Art Korner Main Gallery (Deju, rated Moderate)