Sunday, April 11, 2010

Two Cultures: Many Perspectives

Always during the Wilmington Art Loop something really catches my eye. This time it was Tanya Murphy Dodd’s mixed media artwork entitled Shadows of a Journey and a presentation of photography Socialism of the 21st Century by Gabriel Pilonieta and his son Esteban Martin Pilonieta Vera. Both exhibits used photography to tell the story of a people.

The muted tones of Tanya Murphy Dodd’s scenes added to their warmth and historical flavor. The artist told us she used family photographs, antique photographs as well as her own. The photographs of soldiers, farm sites, churches and other powerful icons in African-American life are worked into her art and help create images that are rich in story. Dodd often paints into, around and over the photographs, which she uses as a starting point. Be sure to visit the Christina Cultural Arts Center to see this fabulous, unique work. (See image, top.)


The Market Street Brew Ha Ha seemed the perfect location for the photography of the father and son team, Gabriel Pilonieta, editor of El Tiempo Hispano, and Esteban Martin Pilonieta Vera (EMPV) senior in the BFA program at the University of Delaware. Though I found myself wishing these photographs had been mounted or framed, the tacks holding them in place on the cramped wall seemed apropos. Immigrants from Venezuela, the men, now both living in Delaware, returned to their homeland and took bold, sorrowful pictures of the people and streets of the villages. Often, the photos included images or posters of socialist propaganda juxtaposed with blatant visions of extreme poverty. The wonderful detail of humanity and the vibrant countryside tell the story of a tough struggling people. (See image.)


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