Public reception – February 21st, 6-8pm at Memorial Sloan Kettering
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Both artists make very different work - but both capture different elements of their surroundings, in this case Monmouth County. Like all artists we exhibit at the Monmouth Gallery, these two are locals - Ellen lives and works in Red Bank, with Mike living and working just down the road in Fair Haven. Literally one turn and a quick few blocks away.
But as artists, what they take and reflect back to us couldn't be more different.
Mike Quon’s work in “Locally Known” focuses on the daily themes of a simple summer at the shore. These are things that usually bring us joy - the beach, the boardwalk, a lighthouse at the end of an island, going for a surf or a drive. However, the way he translates these ideas and motifs takes a turn from their serene and often mundane nature, instead addressing the viewer in a rather brash, quick, and energetic series of movements.
As a counterpoint to his work, the photographic work of Ellen Martin takes the discarded and forgotten, freezing them in a moment of beauty, serenity, and timelessness. Her images of abandoned buildings, reclaimed by nature, invite you to see the beauty in the scenes you might otherwise roll by. They evoke a sense of place and an unsure time - even if we aren't familiar with the actual structures. In giving us these structures and the nature they convene with, we see a new beauty in what might not be something we think of as functioning, capturing that moment, for just a snapshot in time. Many of these structures are still there, sprinkling the landscape with memories and beauty.
With both of these artists, we can see a flip side to the usual narrative of a carefree summer to come, maybe finding the balance between frolic and fun, memory and mindfulness - a necessary exercise in our daily lives.
MSK Monmouth Gallery, Lower Concourse Atrium
480 Red Hill Rd., Middletown, New Jersey
2/7/18 – 8/7/18