This week Gallery 30 South opens the first-ever exhibition of famed photographer Eric Minh Swenson’s paintings. This body of floral abstractions is titled, Succulents, and he will be joined by sculptor Betsy Enzensberger, whose melted ice cream cones perfectly compliment Eric’s flowers.
The show will run from April 18th through April 28th. The opening reception will be held Sunday, April 23rd 3-6pm, followed by a closing party on April 28th from 7-9pm.
Eric Minh Swenson
April 18 – 28, 2017
Eric Minh Swenson (often abbreviated to EMS) is an autodidactic multi-disciplinarian. A product of the Vietnam War, Eric is the son of Army Lt. Colonel, Lou Swenson and Vietnamese national, Trinh Thi Thu Van. The elder Swenson was a fine-art master photographer in the vein of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and the f.64 group. Under his father’s tutelage, Eric took award-winning photographs throughout his late-teen and college years, earning scholarships and ultimately relocating to Hollywood.
Between 2004 – 2007, EMS directed three films: Match, Hollywood and Vine, and Jealous. In 2008 he launched a music video division, and in 2010 he embarked on his most ambitious project, the Take 1 Art Series, an ongoing oeuvre of “docu-promos’ that as of this writing number over 600.
Succulents is a collection of abstract expressionism paintings that center around floral themes. Swenson uses his paintbrush as an antithesis to his camera work, which (because of the meticulous nature) involves laborious equipment, travel, and hours of darkroom work. His painting is free, impromptu and spontaneous. Most noticeable is Eric’s use of texture and color, which developed from symbolizing marine algae and iron rust from his Hawaiian an Texan upbringing, to more representative forms in fauvist colors and onward to metallic and iridescent, almost jazz-themed paintings that balance the delicate, physical composition of flower petals with thick, bold brush strokes that evoke a palette knife.
Though well-known as a filmmaker, photographer and curator, this is Eric Minh Swenson’s first exhibition of his paintings.
April 18 – 28, 2017
Eric Minh Swenson personally selected this collection of resin sculptures by Betsy Enzensberger to complement his Succulents, transforming Gallery 30 South into a bacchanalian paradise of flowers and ice cream for eleven wonderful spring days.
Resin looks like candy. It looks delicious and sweet. The shiny exterior has a wet, melting quality. This surface is what inspired the Melting series. The child-like lure of sweet, sticky ice cream in combination with the frustration of a dropped cone, creates an intense desire.Likewise, the resin gummi bears beg to be eaten. Monumentalizing that lust and frustration is the essence of these sculptures.“Resin–I love it. It’s beautiful, sexy, mysterious. It’s also highly toxic, messy, and annoyingly exhausting to create. There’s just something about it I can’t resist. I dream about it. I want to touch it. I want to eat it.” – Betsy Enzensberger
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