Baton Rouge Gallery is showing work by artist members Malaika Favorite, Ross Jahnke and John Isiah Walton, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The show runs through Monday, Sept. 29, with an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. There also will be an ARTiculate Artist Talk at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11.
In her exhibit, "I Am Everything/Everything is Me," Malaika Favorite works in a variety of different media, allowing her flexibility based on the nature and purpose of the work.
In recent years, Favorite has experimented with an assortment of surface treatments and forms to create eye-catching two-dimensional works that move beyond the typical square or rectangular frame of a single piece. Within a single series, she may employ canvas, wood, metal and more to create an elaborate assortment of shapes.
“This series of works focus on our responsibility to each other and the environment we share," she said. "I am everything and everything is me. You are everything and everything is you. Together, we owe a commitment of responsibility to each other and to our planet. When we breathe in the free air and drink clean water, we must remember to be thankful. We often fail to value the God-given beauty we have inherited in our waterscapes, landscapes, and every person we encounter."
Favorite added that this show is "a reminder to love and appreciate each other and use our natural resources with respect and appreciation by giving back to the earth and taking care of those who need our attention."
Ross Jahnke's exhibit, "Rough Style," focuses on oil painting and printmaking, particularly woodcut prints and silkscreen prints. What unifies all the works is his conceptual approach to the figure and woodgrain as a tool to invigorate and delineate space.
Jahnke is widely recognized as a printmaker and a painter, but he didn’t always want to pursue both concentrations in the arts. Having studied painting and drawing as an undergraduate and even in graduate school, Jahnke was coaxed into taking a printmaking course by another graduate assistant. By the time he graduated, he had expressively mixed the two media.
“If a painting is like a symphony orchestra, then a print is like a string quartet," he said. "The music is no less complex or compelling but it is made with more limited means, and demands more from each of its component parts. I relish the challenge of printmaking where the visual and conceptual vocabulary is dictated by the process, and I need to problem-solve steps ahead to achieve an outcome.”
In his show, "Off White," John Isiah Walton depicts subjects that are often unconventional and, at times, shocking.
His visual language is influenced by internet aesthetics, Black identity, pop culture and Louisiana history to deliver poignant social commentary reflecting the contemporary world.
In the tradition of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Walton's work often has hidden meanings and symbols, which are revealed through his neo-expressionist markings. The frenetic, choppy brushwork endows the work with the energy and intensity that the artist is known for.
“This show is an exhibition featuring works from my 'Black Painting' series I started in 2017," Walton said. "Typically I start these works with a solid black canvas and would build up a surface of lines and various colors but these selected works are dominated by the color white."
He added that ideas of global warming, internet culture and biblical references are some of the works' themes, while some address issues of identity including visibility and invisibility, presence and absence, figure, and void.
Walton calls his work "expressionist-influenced mark making from acrylic and oil stick depict scenes ranging from the mundane to the controversial."
Walton uses wit and irony to address the constructs of race and class with both irreverence and sensitivity, merging politically correct discourse with politically incorrect humor. Like the Realist painters of 19th century France, Walton exchanges the idealistic for the real in his work, continuing the avant-garde's ethos of merging art and life.
He is concerned with how contemporary life is socially, economically, politically, and culturally, which sometimes leads to portrayals of life's unpleasantries.
Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call (225) 383-1470 or visit batonrougegallery.org.