The Art of Illusion at Stephanie Hoppen Gallery

I visited the Stephanie Hoppen Gallery in Walton Street, London yesterday to see her current exhibition, the Art of Illusion, based on the work of four photographers. As with any group show in a relatively small gallery there is only so much of each artists work which can be shown, but enough to see that this is an interesting collection of artists.

My principal reason for going was to see the work of Paulette Tavormina, who I have previously featured on this blog as an Inspiring Photographer. The work is even better ‘in the flesh’ than on her website and it was really nice to see it. She has more than enough work of high quality to justify a London gallery show in her own right, and let’s hope it is not too long in coming. She also has on her website a new series of Botanical pictures which are absolutely stunning. More, please!

I was also very taken with the work of Suzanne Jongmans, a Dutch artist who constructs costumes out of recycled materials and then photographs them in manner of Dutch masters. The resulting images manage to look totally contemporary whilst still obviously referencing Old Masters. Furthermore she has a developed an ability, apparently through the use of particular paper and glass, to create images which it is sometimes hard to believe are not paintings. I would love to have any of these photographs on my walls and, again, this is an artist who fully justifies a show in her own right.

Dame met Parels ©Suzanne Jongmans
Dame met Parels ©Suzanne Jongmans
/de Berg ©Suzanne Jongmans
De Berg ©Suzanne Jongmans

The third stand-out photographer is James Ostrer. The work in his exhibition comes from a series called The Romance of Perfection. The series charts a ten year history of photographing the Russian ballerina, Maria Kotchetkova. At one level the series obviously reflects her own search for perfection, together with her very individual fashion style. But at another level, the photograph also reflect the constraints of being a world class ballerina, tied by silken chords or in this case ribbons. It is a very nice collection of photographs built around the personality and capability of Kotchetkova.

©James Ostrer
©James Ostrer
©James Ostrer
©James Ostrer

Those mentioned above are not the only artists in the exhibition but they are the ones whose work had immediate resonance with me. It is a small exhibition but if you are in the area I think it is well worth a visit.

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