Canine Cali Reviews Karen Rempel’s Shadow Play Art Exhibit

Introducing Cali’s Corner

Canine Cali

Hello, my name is Cali and I’m a Shiba Inu—one of the oldest known breeds on the planet.  Although I was born in the South, I’ve lived my whole life in the city and am a New Yorker through and through. I practically grew up in an art gallery and have gone to nearly every major art fair from coast to coast. I like to think I’ve seen a thing or two in my time and can spot the good from the bad, the fresh from the tired and hone in on those special touches that make art great.

With that, I welcome you to “Cali’s Corner” by telling you about an opening reception I attended on March 3rd for Karen Rempel’s “Shadow Play, Multimedia Art Exhibit” at Revelation Gallery. Suffice it to say, it was a lot of fun. Karen’s vision is to create a multi-sensory experience, where varying degrees of light, exposure and color conspire to alter a person’s (or dog’s) perception, emotion, and overall state of mind. To accomplish this, Karen transforms a photograph of a seemingly mundane everyday scene—in this case a lamp sitting in a nondescript room—into a series of images that change in temperature, mood, and ambiance. She accomplishes this metamorphosis by creatively altering the image’s colors, contrast, brightness, and clarity. In all, 14 different variations of the same photo are used to conjure connections as varied as a feeling of bliss, a night in Paris, or a longing for the past. My favorite version is titled “Rain.”

Rain by Karen Rempel
Rain by Karen Rempel.

In this state, Karen obscures the image by blurring the outlines of the objects inside the room, while enhancing their brightness and contrast against the backdrop. The overall effect is to create a scene where the observer is physically on the outside, in the rain, looking into a room filled with light and life. The image creates a sense of welcomed expectation, the anticipatory feeling one gets as you are about to enter the familiar warmth and comfort of your own home after a long walk in the rain. To me, it reminded me of the many stormy nights I’ve spent, safe and warm at home, curled up on my mat looking out at the city’s lights. Karen doesn’t stop there though—she also enlists the senses of sound, taste, and touch, to add to the visceral experience. As a Shiba, I particularly liked the taste and sound pairings. Candies, cheeses, wine, and juices were placed at various tables under different pieces, all of which were designed to aid in the images’ ability to influence sensations. I found the black licorice pairing particularly effective, as the menthol jolt coincided nicely with the dark and moody feel of the corresponding art. The sound pairing was accomplished by 14 live performances, each tailored to the ambiance of a particular image, performed live by three-time Emmy-nominated pianist Steve Sandberg; singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer

Puppy Paws

Hannah Reimann; and members of the AEON Ensemble (Asia Joanna Mieleszko, Anna Wilson, Sam Trickland, Michael Resetar, and Alfonso Piacentini). All in all, it was a fun show you should all go see. I give it a very enthusiastic three puppy paws.

See the Art, Hear the Music

Visit the exhibit at Revelation Gallery until March 28. Gallery hours: Mon-Wed, 10 AM-3 PM, Thursdays 1 PM-3 PM. 224 Waverly Place (at 7th Avenue and West 11th Street).

Hear the AEON Ensemble perform at the gallery on Thursday, March 12, 7 PM. The AEON Ensemble commences its monthly synesthetic concert series with works by Hildegard von Bingen, Meredith Monk, David Lang, and music inspired by the Shadow Play artwork. The artist Karen Rempel will be reading a poem about Shadow Play during the performance. Get tickets.

Alexandra Kargin, George Sanders, Karen Rempel, Shawn Curran, Jeffrey Reid, and Tinka Harvard at the opening reception of Shadow Play at Revelation Gallery
Alexandra Kargin, George Sanders, Karen Rempel, Shawn Curran, Jeffrey Reid, and Tinka Harvard at the opening reception of Shadow Play at Revelation Gallery. Photo by Dusty Berke.

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When you visit, the artist would love to meet you there and get a photo of you with your favorite piece. Text Karen at 347-362-5677.

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