Fabulous Forgeries article

Virginian Pilot, Jan. 24, 2013


Imagine a local art exhibit that showcases the works of Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe and other masters.

They’re all here – in tribute, anyway – as part of the “Fabulous Forgeries 2013” exhibit at The Artists Gallery.

Constance Fahey, founder and director of the gallery, said the exhibit is in its 15th year and is an audience favorite.

The gallery invites artists to submit re-creations of works by the great masters or works in the style of the masters.

They can also take a master’s work further or add a touch of humor.

“What’s important is when you look at it, you should be able to recognize the master’s style,” Fahey said.

Amy Ratliff, a resident artist at the gallery, chose to re-create Winslow Homer’s seascape, “Moonlight, Wood Island Light.”

“The benefit of re-creating a master is that you actually experience the process of how the painting was done,” Ratliff said.

Working in oils as Homer did, Ratliff used a layering process called glazing. She said this helped give the sky its glow and allowed light to show through the waves.

“I was after the vitality and explosion of the waves that Homer had,” Ratliff said.

Gallery resident artist Vinnie Bumatay took a master’s work further with his version of Degas’ “Yellow Dancers.”

“I thought about what I could bring to improve on what I want the viewer to see,” Bumatay said. “Degas’ work has hard edges, so I softened the edges and the background so it doesn’t compete with the foreground.”

Bumatay also used undertones of warm colors to brighten his painting, which took second place in the “People’s Choice” vote on the exhibit’s opening night.

Maggie Lina Kerrigan, a resident artist at the gallery since May, did a version of Van Gogh’s oil painting, “The Starry Night,” in watercolors.

Kerrigan said she had to paint the light colors first and the dark ones last, which is the opposite of what Van Gogh would have done.

“It was a challenge to dismantle that process and apply it in a different medium,” Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan also did a drawing of her dog, Nutmeg, in the style of Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, she started with a photograph, but she used ink and a paintbrush instead of screen printing.

Matt Haddaway, an Ocean Lakes resident, took the humorous approach to his “forgery.”

Titled “If Dali Was a Surfer,” Haddaway’s acrylic painting is a spoof of Salvador Dali’s famous work, “The Persistence of Memory.” Haddaway replaced the melting clocks with surfboards, turned the tree into a palm tree, and added ocean waves in the background.

“I had the idea in my head for a while,” Haddaway said. “This exhibit got it out of my head and onto a canvas.”

Kempsville resident Ken Garcia Oláes took first place in the Judges and the “People’s Choice” awards for a three-panel oil painting that was primarily a re-creation with a touch of humor.

“I love the boldness of Caravaggio,” said Oláes, who re-created the Baroque artist’s 1599 “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew.”

Oláes noted that Caravaggio often portrayed ordinary people, and that he even included a self-portrait in the left background of this painting. So Oláes replaced the figure on the right panel with his own self-portrait.

“That was just a little humor – I thought I might as well join the party,” Oláes said.

“Fabulous Forgeries 2013,” annual exhibition and art sale, runs through Feb. 3, 2013, at The Artists Gallery, 608 Norfolk Ave., Virginia Beach. Parking in the rear or across the street. 425-6671. www.theartistsgallery.org

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