BK ‘Au Natural’

The Brooklyn Paper
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he diaphanous veil of civilization that we call Brooklyn will be gently, but firmly, removed as nine exceptionally strong artists, each in his or her own way, will reveal “Brooklyn Au Natural” — an exuberant and exultant salute to nature in New York’s most bodacious borough.

The show is at the Safe-T-Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 214, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn and runs June 19-July 20, with an opening reception, June 19, 6-8 p.m.

The nine artists have come from around the world, but are united by their fascination and use of the natural world (as seen in Brooklyn) in their art.

The nine artists represent a variety of styles and media. Tim Connor is a Brooklyn artist who uses digital photography in perhaps its most up to minute manifestation, as an ever-expanding Flickr photostream.

Juliette Conroy is a photographer who also utilizes the profligacy of modern digital photography. From her Brooklyn backyard she has photographed a lily hundreds of times over the course of a year. The remarkable result is a beautiful 14 foot long, color-field, photo-assemblage documenting the ever changing color and shape of that single plant through the changing seasons.

Asya Dodina and Slava Polishchuk met in art school in Moscow, are now living in Brooklyn and have been working as a collaborative team since 2003. Their paintings in this show are from a long series depicting chimeras, strange creatures that are also collaborations between different parts of other creatures.

Aria Delgado, who was born in Cuba, has photographed trees around the world, with three from Brooklyn in this show. Strong — her trees seem to stand alone against a man-made world that is at best indifferent to their existence.

Canadian artist Hugh Kearney takes a different tack. From his Dumbo studio he incorporates leaves, moss and other elements of the Brooklyn biosphere directly into his quiet, introspective and visually entrancing paintings.

Photographer Mary Pinto is also a gatherer. From the 99¢ Store paradise of Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, she has collected a “Manhattan Ave. Botanical,” a series of intense color photograms of the flowers and plants from around the world that bloom so prolifically there.

Two printmakers round out the show. Fumika Toda was raised in rural Japan, but now lives in Brooklyn and April Vollmer, the only outer-borough artist in the show (she lives in Manhattan) who has studied in Japan, and gives annual workshops in printmaking at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Toda’s work celebrates both trees and the worldwide kingdom of insects. Vollmer’s contributions, although not ignoring the insect kingdom, will concentrate on the cherry-blossom extravaganza that envelopes the borough each spring.

The gallery is open Thursday, 12-8 p.m., Friday-Sunday until 6 p.m. For more, visit or call 719-782-5920.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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