Andrea Carrol, Art Review Advance
Gallery U propels itself with yet another explosive and cutting edge show. Promenade presented us with a mixed media collection, curated to perfection with a innovative and seductive appeal. Staying true to their formula, the show brings together the most amazing emerging artists from around the world, including people with disabilities.
Returning artists, who are quickly becoming my favorites are Gerry Visco, who's portrait work rivals some of the leading portrait photographers out there. One piece in particular, a nightlife girl who, stops for a second, dishoveled and dazed, makes for a perfect subject.
Rheekha, who hails from France and appears to be a Gallery favorite, assembled a layered and haunting portrait of a girl in a field.
Local artist, Rachel Leibman's collection of small collage works made from holy papers were a beautiful and intricate assemblage which was quickly snapped up by a local collector. Newcomers Crista Terrizzi, Daniel Gabb and Mike Mccarty, all very young (under 25) emerging artists, each presented extremely inventive, inviting and superior works. Some of my favorite works, were done by "UI Collective" which translates into work done as part of Universal Institute's art therapy program. "Clients", as they are referred by the staff, who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries. A new take on Dali, some amazing assemblage pieces and a mixed media piece which was front and center on the brick wall were superior pieces.
I was thrilled to see Scooter Laforge, East Village artist who made a name for himself creating wild t-shirts and pop culture images arrived like a rock star. His work on paper with his signature silk screen and graffiti design was also snapped up along with another work of his that was not even displayed. The progressive crowd, who loves to photograph one another went wild with picture taking and mini shoots all around the space.
Among the crowd was renown jewelry designer to the stars Gregg Wolf, Johnson and Johnson Heir, Evelyn Johnson, Photographer/Artist Walt Cessna and some other interesting artists, collectors and designers.
I arrived at the event which was part of the bi annual Montclair Gallery Tour after visiting several local "galleries". Gallery U was really the only true gallery experience to be had. A crowd of people seeping up and down Glenridge Ave was the scene at the door. At 8:30 the lively, colorful and charismatic crowd was all about picture taking, talking about art, philosophy and the next events. Once again, the music was craftedly selected, the food was abundant and the staff was inviting, accessible and a pleasure to deal with. Gallery U continues to position themselves as "the" place to be.
I was told that Gallery U will be opening a second location in the suburbs of Detroit Michigan. This ambitious happening could really only be pulled off by this Gallery.
photos (below) by Scooter
photos (below) by carole and crista