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Exhibit highlights darker, erotic side of life

By JENNIFER CONWAY

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 5, 2001


Few are able to express the darker, more erotic sides of the human existence. This week four local artists will do that when they bring to life the stark walls and open spaces of the Hyde Park Fine Arts gallery Friday through Aug. 11.

Few are able to express the darker, more erotic sides of the human existence. This week four local artists will do that when they bring to life the stark walls and open spaces of the Hyde Park Fine Arts gallery Friday through Aug. 11.

Four University of South Florida-educated artists will display their pieces in Influx, an exhibition that encompasses the gallery's eclectic atmosphere.

One artist is Hector Del Campo. He's into human bones, and he uses living models. But no one gets hurt in the name of art. He uses X-rays for models. By painting in the abstract, he deconstructs the body. He buries the human skeleton into landscapes using oil and acrylic, crating areas where the skeleton can exist.

Kathryn Jill Johnson also works and thinks in the abstract, focusing on the consciousness and its connection to physical existence.

She poses the question, "Where does the thing exist that makes me know I'm me?"

Combining painting and drawing, Johnson uses acrylic, oils, graphite and charcoal to assess physical being while restrained by braces and other orthopedic devices. Her images are distorted; some could be fragments of body parts, others more like precise, scientific drawings.

Although she doesn't consider much of her work dark, she believes an undercurrent of darkness exists in the tensions that people deal with daily.

Straying from the more conventional media, Roxie Veasey creates moving images with things like razor blades, beeswax and rice paper. In some pieces, she uses wax on paper creating the texture of skin. Gallery perusers can touch her human-size works, something Veasey says can be erotic.

Veasey's work contains archaeological undertones, leaving many viewers to call it nostalgic or historical.

Joanna Coke uses a combination of watercolors and pastels to create strong images of feminity, something she believes most people are not used to seeing.

Most of her images are nudes; some painted on handmade papers and some are watercolors on canvas.

"My artist's statement is feminism no, femininity yes. It's about the joy of being a woman."

Once a graphic artist and fashion designer, Coke is now turning her artistic focus to fine arts. Using her art as an expression of her own personal issues, Coke hopes to shed positive light on femininity.

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WHAT: Influx

WHERE: Hyde Park Fine Arts gallery, 937 S Howard Ave.

WHEN: Artists' reception 7 to 9 p.m. Friday; exhibition open Friday through Aug. 11.

CALL: (813) 258-8883

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