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david slader
art letter | no. 2. 2019 | february
InkBodySkinPaint+Fire, March 2019, Gallery 114
having too much fun
David Slader, Owen Carey
I have admired the work of photographer Owen Carey (the older looking dude above) for over twenty years. Now I finally get to share a show with him—this March at Gallery 114. If you are a lover of local theater, you've seen Owen's work. He has been shooting actors and performances for years, bringing to each job the eye and heart of an artist. To see the world of Oregon theater through his lens, check out this engaging profile on Oregon Art Beat.

The theme for InkBodySkinPaint+Fire was sparked by a remark that the figures in my paintings were tattooed. Owen picked up on that thread, creating a series of intimate portraits of people whose body art is their personal journal, expressing their stories, dreams and longings. Drawing out these passions is Owen's artistry. His images are stunningly beautiful.
the faerie queen
Domeka Parker, photo by Owen Carey
She wears a sea turtle on her chest. It is her breastplate, a symbol of good luck, endurance and long life. Domeka Parker is the Artistic Director at Deep End Theater, and a survivor of breast cancer. Owen put her on a pedestal in admiration of her courage—and of her wicked sense of humor.

When I look at this image and Owen’s other shots of Domeka, I can’t escape the thought that her courage and humor must be one and the same.  
semper fi
Gwyn LaRee, photo by Owen Carey
Two years in Afghanistan in a HAZMAT suit cleaning up the toxins of war. This is Gwyn LaRee, now an actress, teacher and seeker, woman of a joyful adventurous spirit. After her first husband died, she incorporated the dust of his cremated remains into the ink in her tattoos. An image of the two of them embracing is on her sleeve.

Owen has captured her mix of playfulness and tenacity. Perhaps that is why those who know her say: “She is the one you want in charge after the robot apocalypse." 
protector of the generations
Daniel Steward, photo by Owen Carey
That’s what dragons do: They guard the children and the spirits of the dead. This is Owen’s portrait of the actor, Daniel Steward, who carries his family protectively on his back. A daughter was born in the year of the rabbit, the monkey with a welder’s cap is for his father, the masks on his butt recall his departed grandfathers, and the lotus blossom and skull connect him to the memory of a beloved cousin. All are linked by beads, tying together souls and generations. 

And, for a bit of added spice:
a little risk for the reward
On March 7, the First Thursday opening of InkBodySkinPaint+Fire will be enlivened by the boundary-pushing performance art troupe Risk/Reward. Posing as animated art models, the company's tattooed actors will lend a beating heart to the works on the gallery walls.

I'm not entirely sure what they will do—and I suspect they don’t know either. I do know that the performers will be glad to interact with you. That’s how it is with performance art: You are welcome to become part of the show.

Please join us at Gallery 114:

Preview & Artists' Reception
March 6, 7:00 p.m.
And of course for:

First Thursday
March 7, 3-9:00 p.m.

InkBodySkinPaint+Fire runs through March 30.
The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday, noon-6:00 p.m.
Art is where we
find ourselves
by losing ourselves
Learn more about my art
Learn more about Gallery 114
Artist member of Gallery 114 Portland Oregon
Copyright © 2019 David Slader artist, All rights reserved.

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