By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor
Spring is a busy time of year in the OBU art building, as many senior students present their final art show.
This month senior graphic design major Matthew Giudice II’s art show is on display in the building’s gallery April 13-25.
Initially, many of the works in the show might seem simplistic, however, many of the pieces in the show carry a magnetism hidden in them that draws and keeps the viewer’s attention.
According to Giudice II’s artist statement, “I am always striving to portray all things through my lens in their most positive light. […] I use my camera as a means to learn about the world and the people around me.”
These little insightful hints at the nature of subjects, gives Giudice’s work its compelling depth.
The show poses a clear contrast with the other shows that have been recently displayed in the building, with its darker, bolder color scheme and emphasis on photographic work.
Giudice II has been a photography enthusiast long before his time at OBU. According to Giudice, “I have always had an interest in photography. Any family trips we took I always brought a camera and made sure I took plenty of photos.”
Across from his artist’s statement, a collection of nature photography is shown.
This collection includes two works – “Sunflower” and “Leaf” – close-ups of simple golden plant life, they are brought out from their backdrop through camera focus, leaving the green nature that surrounds each work’s subject in a haze of green, brown and pale blue-grey.
In the next room, however, Giudice’s artwork truly comes into its own. Here his photography showcases his use of negative space.
The silhouette work of “DNA Picasso” on one side presents the shadowy figure of a person against a white backdrop, and in the other neighboring image by the same title, a similar figure can be seen – however, this greyscale image contrasts the light striking the subjects face with surrounding darkness.
Nearby, Giudice’s “Luke Garner” photography captures the movement of a motorcycle rider in black and white panning photography.
The streaked back-ground of the image permeates the sense of movement in the photo.
While these works feature the contrast of black against white, other works play with the contrast of color – especially red-oranges – against darkness.
“Luke Garner Silhouette” places the black outline of a motorcycle rider against a blazing orange sky.
This darkness that permeates much of the artwork, draws the eye instantly to a few sparse features that leap outward from the plainness of the backgrounds.
In “Strange” spirals of brilliant golden light show against a black background, while “Colorado Sunset” displays a lowering sun outlining a few sparse colds in liquid gold as orange light floods over grey hills.
Sprinkled amidst these works are several sports action photos, shot with a skill that suggests his preference for sports.
“My main focus is in flash photography and sports,” reads his artist statement.
Several of these sports images are also shot as brilliant full-color figures against a black backdrop, returning the pattern of negative space visible throughout the show. Yet while the display emphasizes Giudice’s digital photography work, it does not limit itself solely to photography. An example of his graphic design work can be seen in a packaging mock-up titled “Aunt Ginger.”
Nearby on a table in the center of the gallery, examples of Giudice’s screen printing skills can be seen beneath several samples of his film photography.
On another wall, a painted portrait can be seen, that captures with loving detail “Mr. G” in the form of oil on canvas.
Throughout his senior show, Giudice’s sparse and selective use of color controls the viewer’s focus, and creates a sense of energy and vibrancy that engages viewers imagination.
In his artist statement he wrote, “I hope you enjoyed it and feel inspired.”
This show is certainly one that viewers will leave full of energy and perhaps a little inspiration.
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