Lost and Found Fine Art

"I'm Your Biggest Fan" in the press!

Posted on April 28, 2016

Art & Soul: Star portraits shine at new exhibit at Location Gallery

   

Over the past 18 months, Juliana Peloso has painted portraits of more than 70 celebrities, from Dolly Parton and Mr. T to Lady Gaga and Andy Warhol.

“I'm Your Biggest Fan,” the inaugural exhibit at Austin Hill Realty’s new Location Gallery, showcases dozens of Peloso’s small-format portraits, carefully crafted in oil paint.

Best known for intimate narrative works with a dark, gothic edge, Peloso turns her attention to sunnier, more accessible subject matter in her latest exhibit. Favoring ’80s musicians like Boy George, Morrissey, Prince, Michael Jackson and Cindy Lauper, “I’m Your Biggest Fan” offers a quirky, curated gallery of cultural icons.

A portion of the proceeds from the exhibit benefit One Love Animal Rescue, a local nonprofit dedicated to finding homes for abandoned, abused and unwanted pets. Peloso recently shared her fascination with star power and fan culture with the Savannah Morning News.

When and why did you start painting celebrities?

I got into painting birds, other animals and still life objects as a form of doing studies. This then led to my current series of celebrity portraits about a year and a half ago.

It’s a way to explore all types of facial features, hair and skin color without worrying about making a meaningful statement. This process has been a lot of fun, and after about 70 celebrity paintings, I can definitely say I learned quite a bit. Craftsmanship and respect for the medium are very important to me.   

My subject matter is constantly evolving. My real passion is for my larger-scale narrative works. Although I may be criticized that I jump around subject-wise, it’s all a long-term learning experience for me to become a better oil painter.

What makes celebrities such an appealing subject for you to paint?

It’s been really great to see people’s reactions and to hear their personal stories about each painting – not to mention, it’s an endless source of subject material. Without the fans, then there is no “celebrity.”

What’s the secret to nailing a portrait?

It all comes down to the subject’s eyes. If you miss the mark on that, it will never look right.

How did you decide which people to paint? Are these your personal favorites or not necessarily?

Naturally, I’ve picked several that appeal to me, but I picked them based on facial features, age and skin tone as a learning process. I'll admit there are a few thrown in for popular demand.

Can you talk about your process for creating these paintings? Were you always working from photographs?

I would love to work from real life, however, it is unlikely that I could get any of these celebrities to sit for me. Therefore, I have to work from a series of photographs. I try not to just go for the Wikipedia image, but find references that maybe have the vibe that they are sitting for me in my studio.

Do you hope your exhibit encourages viewers to reflect upon the nature of celebrity or do you just want them to enjoy seeing portraits of some of their favorite actors, singers and artists?

Basically, I really just want to have fun with the work. Any thought-provoking or meaning behind the paintings comes from the subjects themselves, not from me. I, as the artist, become secondary, in a sense, to the subject.

I would like people to enjoy my process and skill. I think the work is very approachable. By removing the intimidation factor of trying to figure out my “intentions” or meaning in the work, I hope to gain a wider audience.

 

About the artist:

Juliana Peloso is an award-winning artist who has exhibited her paintings in galleries and museums across the country. She earned a BFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design and lives in Savannah, where she also works as the gallery director at Gallery Espresso.

 

If You Go

What: “I'm Your Biggest Fan,” celebrity portraits by Juliana Peloso

When: through May 7

Where: Location Gallery at Austin Hill Realty, 417 Whitaker St.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment

More information: 912-354-2100 or www.locationgallery.net

Gallery Espresso exhibit "House Blend"

Posted on January 12, 2016

Here's a great article about the exhibit "House Blend" that I curated and had my work in, December 2015

ART & SOUL: Gallery Espresso group exhibit celebrates Savannah talent

Posted: December 19, 2015 - 10:29pm  |  Updated: December 20, 2015 - 7:26am
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From the "House Blend" exhibit at Gallery Espresso.
From the "House Blend" exhibit at Gallery Espresso.
 
 

Gallery Espresso, a popular downtown Savannah café, has served as a hub for creativity for more than two decades.

“I believe the coffeehouse culture in general has always promoted a bohemian or artistic atmosphere,” says artist Juliana Peloso, a longtime Gallery Espresso employee who curates monthly exhibits at the venue. “With SCAD in town as well, the majority of our employees are students or alumni.”

“House Blend,” a group show on display through Jan. 4, unites 14 artists who work behind the counter, bake pastries or simply hang out at Gallery Espresso. Armed with college degrees in fields ranging from fine art to geology, the café’s talented employees don’t just grind beans, steam milk and pull espresso shots.

“It’s always nice to show the talent behind the faces you see making your coffee everyday,” says Peloso. “I hope people enjoy the diversity of the work.”

Highlights include Rachel Roswell’s edgy mixed-media collages, Matt Lim’s gravity-defying glass sculpture, Peloso’s exquisite oil paintings, and Christine Forbes’s meditative photography.

The exhibit offers a breezy mix of whimsical and thought-provoking work, appealing to various tastes. On the lighter side, Simon Cooper’s music-themed paintings, like “Piano Bar” and “The Afternoon,” are defined by clean geometry, vibrant primary colors and angular black outlines.

By contrast, Aaron Unser’s prints and pen and ink drawings explore the dark side, invoking symbolic imagery like coiled snakes and daggers in richly detailed compositions. In a nod to neo-gothic style, Nea Hannah embellishes tiny black canvases with white thread hand-stitched in the shape of skulls, butterflies and moons.

Although the “House Blend” artists are based in Savannah, their subject matter ranges far and wide. William Palmer takes viewers on an architectural photo tour of Germany’s U-Bahn subway stations in Munich and Stuttgart, while abstract artist Christopher Kubick offers a more internal journey, using acrylic paint and charcoal to craft raw, kinetic fields of color.

With a range of styles and media, “House Blend” offers a wide selection of original work to start an art collection or to infuse new life into an existing portfolio.

“I like to encourage clients to take a chance with purchasing art and supporting up and coming artists,” says Peloso. “It’s a critical part in the completion of the creative process for the artist and helps drive the creative culture of our city.”

 

IF YOU GO

What: “House Blend,” group exhibit featuring Gallery Espresso staff and friends

When: Through Jan. 4

Where: Gallery Espresso, 234 Bull St.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

For more information: 912-233-5348