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TARA J. GRAVES, Tafoni Formations

[image: TARA J. GRAVES, Tafoni Formations ]


STEVEN STODOR, Boat Show Crazy

For his 2013 solo exhibition, Steven Stodor experiments in abstraction, drawing inspiration from his life by the water. Using imagery of nautical flags and silhouettes, Boat Show Crazy presents an alternative view of this life.

Growing up on Lake Michigan before moving to the City by the Bay, water has always been a significant part of Stodor’s environment. This upbringing is juxtaposed with his interest in geometry and linear design, inspired by his mother’s stained glass. Stodor is endlessly intrigued by negative space and the contours of maritime life, resulting in this dynamic body of work. His subject matter is brought to life through the use of a vibrant palette, a harmonious balance between organic and geometric forms, and a distinct impasto.

Stodor moved to San Francisco in 2002, and has exhibited throughout the city since 2004. Stodor’s interest in abstract oil painting was fostered during his time studying at the Academy of Art University, where he graduated in the Spring of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art, Painting.



TARA J. GRAVES, Tafoni Formations

Tara Graves is a San Francisco based landscape photographer who draws her inspiration from the natural environment of the Bay Area.  Through the use of the unconventional cyanotype printing process, Graves explores and transforms this common, everyday subject matter into unexpected works of art that incite curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Graves’ first solo exhibition, Tafoni Formations, investigates the minute details of granular rocks, which often occur in groups, shrouding a hillside or cliff. Graves’ adept understanding of cyanotype printing allows her to capture the natural forms of the tafoni, while creating the illusion of an aquatic landscape in these thought provoking prints.

Growing up in Walla Walla, Washington, Tara often spent time outdoors at her grandparents’ ranch. When she moved to San Francisco in 1997, she took solace in exploring the scenery that the Bay Area had to offer.  Graves discovered her passion for photography in 2004, and a few years later pursued studying photography at the Academy of Art University, where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Fine Art, Photography in Spring 2013.




Growing up as an adopted Korean American, Erin Mahoney sought refuge and identity in traditional Korean folktales. Her desire to fully understand her complex sense of self plays an important role in her artistic practice.

Mahoney’s 2013 exhibition Another Me reflects the artist’s journey toward acceptance and understanding of her unfamiliar heritage. By assuming various roles in the narrative images, Mahoney personally inhabits the fairytale world and explores its meanings from within. The characters in the series gain depth and complexity as their stories are sequentially revealed.

Mahoney’s hand is present in every detail of her photographs. In pre-production she meticulously crafts the traditional Korean garments displayed in her images. Embracing the 19th century photo-printing process of gum bichromate, Mahoney patiently builds up each print with successive layers of gum and pigment. By allowing the images to evolve as they gain definition, she mirrors her journey of self-discovery through the process, and brings the folktale metaphor full circle.

For this exhibition, her first at the gallery, Mahoney presents a series of self-portraits in which she has reinterpreted the archetypal narratives of traditional Korean folklore as metaphors for her own stories of personal struggle and successive perseverance. The seventeen images of Another Me represent Erin Mahoney’s final MFA thesis in photography at Academy of Art University.




Placing her figures in bleak and inhospitable landscapes, Dandan Geng explores themes of solitude and loneliness in her 2013 photography exhibition Born Alone. Geng’s introspective images suggest deeper narratives that are not immediately apparent, rising out of the gray area between the familiar and the strange.  Continuing in the tradition of her greatest influences, Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Geng approaches the camera as a window that gives glimpses into an unseen life.

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Dandan Geng showed an early interest in painting until discovering photography in middle school. Since then, she has devoted all of her time to taking pictures. Graduating from the Academy of Art University in 2012, Geng has returned to the photography department and is currently working towards her MFA degree.