‘Portraits: Group Show:’ 4-Artist collab to grace Gallery Espresso in April

gallery espresso

portraits group show gallery espressoRachel Little, Staff Writer

Portraits of masked wrestlers, disfigured faces, and even some friendly faces will decorate the walls of Savannah’s Gallery Espresso from March 30, 2016 – May 2 for the exhibit “Portraits: Group Show.”

This group exhibition will feature paintings and drawings from four local artists: Chris D’Antonio, Gordon Rabut, Clayton Walsh and Lomaho Kretzmann.

An art gallery and coffee shop located in historic downtown Savannah, Gallery Espresso is at the south end of the most famous square in the city, Chippewa Sq., aka “The Forest Gump” square. Gallery Espresso offers over 100 gourmet teas and serves the highest quality Arabica coffee beans. Each month they display a new collection from local Savannah artists.

The four artists represented in “Portraits: Group Show” are a tight-knit group of friends who have collaborated together in multiple gallery shows, public projects and private commissions.

“We’ve done lots of shows together,” said Chris D’Antonio, “at least one every year, sometimes more.”

The four gentlemen, whose works typically reflect their shared interests in movies, video games and graphic novels, have shifted their focus to portraiture for this exhibition. Their individual works are unified by their shared dedication to lowbrow subject matter, while remaining unique in their distinct drawing styles.

Chris D’Antonio’s traditional compositions use oil paint on panel and canvas to depict the persona of masked Mexican luchedores in a muted, greyed color pallet. He also includes a group of paintings that reanimate the “trial and error” phase in the development of the jetpack after WWII. He draws inspiration from photos on the Internet and old books for both subjects.

“I found the pictures visually interesting,” D’Antonio explains, “and wanted to use their stance, facial expressions and even masks to explore their story.”

Lomaho Kretzmann draws from graphic novels and album covers to influence his compositions. His bright paintings add a pop color to the show. Kretzmann remains true to his lowbrow style of sequential art and presents his subject in a series of graphic narratives.

Clayton Walsh, on the other hand, focuses his drawings in a more direct and to the point fashion. His photorealistic portraits attempt to capture real moments in time and space, drawing friends in their natural environments.

Gordon Rabut adds a dark and eerie element to the show with his series of drawings that explore the human face as a defect or deformity. Rabut utilizes pen on tabloid-sized cardstock to create detailed images of exploding heads, faces with growths and abnormalities, gas masks and pigs heads. While the contents could be pulled straight out of a nightmare, his portraits capture something raw and startling about human vanity.

Chris D’Antonio, Gordon Rabut, Clayton Walsh and Lomaho Kretzmann invite you to experience their diverse collection firsthand while enjoying the highest quality coffees and teas in Savannah. Gallery Espresso, on the corner of Bull Street and Perry Lane, will hang the “Portraits: Group Show” for the entire month of April.