May 3 – May 31, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 4, 2-6 pm
Third Thursday Reception
and artists’ talk: May 16, 6-9 pm

Atlantic Works Gallery presents two side-by-side solo shows from two member artists who have been using images and text throughout the course of their careers, but in entirely different ways. Amore, a former academic who taught for many years at the MFA Museum School, uses text in a poetical form, both in streams and bits and pieces. Kopec, who worked as a graphic designer, in his words, “…explores language (semantics and wordplay) and graphic iconic imagery and offers laconic commentary (toeing the line between the comic and tragic) on the doleful and farcical wallow of our Humorassous.”

In Chance Encounters, Amore delivers the span of her work combining disparate materials into a sculpturally artistic whole. With her series, Stepping Stones, Amore starts with photographs of faces that she made over a span of many years in Boston, New York, Singapore, Paris, Japan, along with photographs from old history books.  “No one is famous.  Everyone is anonymous.  The panels were created during the Gulf War and made in protest against that war and in sympathy for the destruction of life,” Amore said. Her text address immigration, a political flashpoint that continues today, as people were displaced from their homeland during the Middle East war. “These panels seem very relevant to me today as the Israeli/Hamas war drags on,” Amore said. “Day after day, the death toll rises and more people are displaced.  The words that stream across the panels still ask the same eternal questions, ‘Where is home?’ ‘Are we so different if we lie buried next to each other?’”

Additionally, Amore is exhibiting work from her new series, Chance Encounters, from which her exhibition takes its name.  “Just as the faces of the Stepping Stones panels have found their way together by chance, all of the elements of the new series have also found their way through chance,” she explained. “I am constantly observing the sidewalks and streets where I walk and picking up the flotsam and jetsam of what has been discarded.  The old saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” is true in my case, as all of these finds have made their way into a piece of art.”

Whereas Amore views events from a distance that gives the viewer room for contemplation, Kopec employs immediacy and starkness, like the pop of a string of firecrackers, leaving us in the end with an emotional, world-weary viewpoint. “How did it come to this? This place where much of the most “advanced” culture in the history of the world has seemingly become a society of muddle and murk?” Kopec asks. “Where many seem to crave the spotlight as stand-up comics, where answers to serious questions are lip-synched or sunk into sound bites, jargon, and jokey one-liners?”

Still, the artist, despite all odds, remains hopeful. Humor, no matter how dark, can act as a shield. “Constructed using concept-appropriate materials, my work explores language (semantics and wordplay) and graphic iconic imagery and offers laconic commentary (toeing the line between the comic and tragic) on the doleful and farcical wallow of our Humorassous,” he said. “While the individual pieces don’t suggest answers, the work references the frolic of contemporary “reality” and “reasoning,” commenting with a droll yet serious eye on issues from “Books Behaving Badly in Florida” to “When Evangelicals Speaketh…” and the “Lament” of a hopefully bluer sky ahead.”

Shown above: Walter Kopec, Glutton (left), B. Amore, Stepping Stones (detail, right)