The Orlando Museum of Art is located in Loch Haven Park with the Science Center close by. Their biggest exhibition right now is their Contemporary Art exhibit from May 13th to August 28th. When I visited recently I was pleasantly surprised to find that the the exhibition was extremely diverse, with many female and Latino artists.
Of the many artists I saw, it was Maria Martinez-Cañas who stood out to me. She is an artist who works WITH photos but does not really use a camera to take photos. My interest was captured as soon as I walked into the exhibition and saw the faded out prints. Her Vestigios Series is my absolute favorite body of work in the museum. She takes images from Gelatin silver prints or printed pages of books and manually “erases” them with sandpaper, creating a vintage look. Her whole Vestigios Series can be found HERE. I feel like she was trying to find a connection to the past in this series.
In the same exhibition room, there was a video of Dawn Roe’s Mountain Field Studies being projected onto the wall (pictured above). I almost felt like I was looking at a comic of fleeting observations of a mountain. In this series, she carefully put together details of a mountain into a series of blocked out images, and even some grids thrown in there! I couldn’t help but think about the observations I make when I’m creating a comic based on the environment around me.
When I’m making an observational comic, I’ll usually make broader “statements” at first, meaning I don’t go too much into detail with the environment. These drawings will usually be wide shots of the scene, or even quick silhouettes of the subject matter. Then, I’ll start zooming in more and capturing those details in different ways. I like holding the tempo sometimes and lingering on a subject for a panel or two and then moving on. I apply this concept to other works I make as well and it hasn’t failed me yet!
Also, on Dawn Roe’s portfolio site I found something in her statement that I completely resonated with – “This earthly presence is distinct from the seemingly stable, reproducible image – one that persists, suggesting that all matter is sound enough to endure the world’s relentless shifts, however benign or catastrophic.“
In her statement, Dawn talks about the spaces that objects in the world make and that she captures the “unique situations” these objects make. This completely applies to comics as well – not just observational, but the way cartoonists capture moments in time, opinions, a romantic scene, and just about everything you can think of really.
You can watch Dawn Roe’s Mountain Field Studies HERE.
Throwback to Sally, I also ran into a Georgia O’Keefe piece! Red Hills and White Flower was her featured painting there.
I really enjoyed my visit to OMART! There were so many galleries and exhibits there, it was a little mind boggling – but these were just some of the pieces I thought more intensely about. I went in there thinking like a cartoonist, but I also kept my mind open to new thoughts and art forms I had never been exposed to.
Art Trip is a series that features reflections on art and comics, and the adventures that transform those who seek it out.
Gabriella Tito is a cartoonist living in Orlando, FL. She is a graduate of Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers and a member of the Comics Workbook Roller Derby team. You can find more of her work HERE.