Contrasts in Style

By Sari Scheer

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Contrasts in Style
“Solo Final New York,” by photographer Patrick Ramsey, is part of a first-time collection of his black and white photographs.
Monochrome Realism and Colorful Expressionism juxtapose at the Topanga Canyon Gallery when visitors have a unique opportunity to see two very different yet complementary solo shows, “Pounds” by new Gallery acrylic artist Ksenia Sadavodava and “Unequivocal” a first-time collection by Gallery veteran photographer Patrick Ramsey. Patrick Ramsey’s collection is the first show of his black and white photography together. Patrons may be familiar with his past collections like “Woman at Work” and “Fragile Links.” This body of work includes only monochromatic work driven by a strong perspective. The show is arranged around several themes—social/political commentary, intensity of women, poetry of city dwelling—and the uncompromising nature of each image. “Black and white is my preferred medium because it brings the entire focus to the subject,” states Ramsey. “The subtleties of the infinite shades of gray, which is what we call black and white, gives form and dimension without distraction.” All of Ramsey’s work has a strong narrative; it is what motivates his art. His interest is in people, often those one might otherwise not notice or even see, captured in their daily state of being. Every image has a story, which he intends to be open to the viewer without explanation. For “Unequivocal” Ramsey is sharing the background of each image, to enhance the experience. Ksenia Sadavodava’s work is an interesting contrast to Ramsey. Her acrylic canvases are colorful, harmonious, and energetic. She reconstructs the world in her work, isolating things from their context, parts, and elements. Her intent is to reduce everything to what is essential, so that the subject will look as if it had been there for a long time, natural, expecting to be seen as she has created it. Sadavodava is new to the gallery and comes to Los Angeles from Belarus. Her show, “Pounds,” is a statement of clarity—like pounding on a table to assert her point of view. “In an environment and time where art goes hand-in-hand with social rhetoric and narratives, I create something that does not carry a message of protest or satire,” explains Sadavodava. “Simplicity is valuable to me. Ideas come from everywhere, but they grow best in solitude. Awareness is important, also the way you think and observe the world. I like contradictions, and I think freedom is not something we can achieve; it is what we choose to have from the start in creating unconventional distinctive works.” The shows run January 28 to February 13 on Fridays 2-7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12-5 p.m. Opening reception on the outside deck is January 29, 4-7 p.m. A safe environment is provided: masks are required with distancing enforced inside and on the heated outside deck. The Gallery is located at 137 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga, CA 90290, Topanga, CA 90290.
“Godfather,” acrylic on canvas, by gallery newcomer Ksenia

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January 21, 2022