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At black maria gallery
June 16 – July 15, 2007

Opening Reception: Saturday 16th June, 7:00 – 10:30pm

3137 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
323.660.9393 & 818.613.9090
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat 12 PM-6 PM or by appointment

Featuring new works by painters Jane Gotts and Ron Velasco, “Twisted Portrait” is an exploration of storytelling through the art of portraiture, according to Black Maria Gallery director Zara Zeitountsian.

“This is an entirely fresh take on the age-old tradition of portraiture,” Zeitountsian explained. “Though working from different thematic and stylistic perspectives, Jane Gotts and Ron Velasco share a passion for both subverting and honoring portraiture.

“Storytelling and psychological insight are key elements here, marked by unfettered imagination – by contrast, most portrait artists of the past lacked creative freedom as they were commissioned to present a literal rendition of their subjects.”

Zeitountsian said that Gotts’ new series of portraits pays homage to the characters that populate children’s literature and imagination. Evoking Renaissance art, Gotts casts children as beloved fairy-tale characters, in portraits that reflect typically childlike behavior: Sleeping Beauty awakes looking irritable; Alice holds the pig grudgingly; and Peter Pan appears mischievous, even deceptive. Behind them are background renderings of patterned Victorian wallpaper, a further reference to past eras, to decoration and the portraiture wall. Gotts’ series also includes smaller depictions of fairy tale-animals, painted on bark-framed wood slices.

“Ron Velasco’s approach is to take a portrait as a gateway to explore several layers of storytelling, several hidden realities, pertaining to a given subject,” Zeitountsian said. While he experiments with lines, textures, and subject matter in his drawings, Velasco expands the compositional definition of portraiture through the juxtaposition and overlapping of abstract images. Such images, which take the form of character study through narrative, might depict or symbolize personal memories, actual events, and mythic creatures harking back to childhood.

“Personal transformation is perhaps Ron’s overarching interest,” Zeitountsian continued.

“Twisted Portrait” will remain open until Sunday, July 15.

Jane Gotts, Alice, acrylic on board, 11x9 inches, 2007

Jane Gotts

Jane Gotts was born in Worcestershire, England and attended the Cheltenham College of Art and Design in Gloucestershire, England. Gotts began her working life in animation in Bristol, and then London, and was eventually shipped out to Los Angeles to work at DreamWorks. She worked in various guises as head of the color model department, head of 2d-cg, and compositing supervisor. 

Gotts is currently exploring portraiture, and its ability to challenge a viewer's perceptions of its subjects.  Her recent works juxtapose the often-overlooked denizens of modern urban society with the courtly trappings, poses and techniques seen in traditional, centuries-old portraits of royalty and the clergy.


Ron Velasco, Untitled, acrylic, gouache & graphite, 11x17 inches, 2007

Ron Velasco

Ron Velasco was born in the Philippines, in 1975. His interest in Art was spawned by a fascination with animation and comic book designs, which then inspired him to begin focusing on character centered concepts. Velasco’s first set foot in the working artist’s industry when he joined Nickelodeon. In 2002, he was accepted in the Illustration program at the renowned Art Center College of Design where he was able to explore and form a sense of aestheticism through various courses in painting and drawing.

Since graduating in 2005, Velasco continues to gear his art towards portraits of his subjects’ character and personality, in an attempt to convey each person’s emotions, thoughts and persona in his work.





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Black Maria Gallery is locted at:

3137 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039

Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12-6 pm or by appointment.

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Designed by: Karmen Z. karmeny@iname.com
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