Artist Joe Finkleman exhibits hand-painted photos at Gallery 1855

By From page A9 | March 21, 2014

Joe Finkelman 1W

Joe Finkleman's art is on exhibit at Gallery 1855. Courtesy photo

Joe Finkleman — whose art hangs in Gallery 1855 this month — used both a camera and a watercolor brush to create the works that will been seen in his exhibit. First, he takes a black-and-white photograph and prints the image on watercolor paper. Then he gets out his brushes and watercolor paints.

“There’s a magic to black-and-white, an unreality, a power, taking away some of reality and making more of an illusion,” Finkleman told The Enterprise. “Then by putting in ‘false colors,’ you’re adding to the power of the illusion, introducing color to the tonal values of black-and-white. But because it’s not ‘real color,’ you don’t mistake it for reality.”

Of the 20-some images that will be on display, many include an animate figure — a person or a bird, for instance. And Finkleman is interested in “the gestures that people make… there are gestures that tell huge stories, in the gesture alone.”

A simple gesture like raising a camera to eye level to take a photograph can be recognized from hundreds of feet away, he pointed out.

The exhibit is titled “Yesteryear and Never Was,” reflecting the dreamy quality of the hand-colored photographic prints that will be on display. The exhibit can be seen weekdays through March 31 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the office of the Davis Cemetery District, 820 Pole Line Road in Davis. The office is most easily accessed through the entrance on East Eighth Street, just east of Pole Line Road.

Finkleman, who makes his home in Woodland, said he’s been taking photographs since he was a child. He also worked as a commercial photographer for two decades. And he’s earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute, and taught art classes for many years, including at the Davis Art Center and through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Davis Extension.

He is the curator at Gallery 1855, which will mark the beginning of its fifth year of continuous exhibits in April.

Over the past four years, Gallery 1855 has featured exhibits from artists from as far afield as England, Israel and Australia. “And we also showcase local and regional artists, because there are a lot of good artists here,” Finkleman said.

He also likes to feature works by young artists. In February, the gallery showed works by students from the advanced art classes at Davis High School; an upcoming exhibit will feature photographs from advanced students in photography classes at Da Vinci Charter Academy.

For more information, call 530-756-7807 or visit www.daviscemetery.org.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

Jeff Hudson

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