An acclaimed photographer and mixed-media artist both have work on exhibition at the Bill Lowe Gallery through Aug. 27. Greg Lotus: Aspiration & Artifice – The Constructed Visage and Thornton Dial: Disaster Areas showcases both new and old work from both artists.
Renowned for his editorial point of view, Lotus’ work regularly appears in international editions of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, L’Uomo Vogue, and W magazines. His subjects include international celebrities Penelope Cruz, Mary J. Blige, Katy Perry, Milla Jovovich, Eva Longoria, Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Chris Brown, Channing Tatum and Elizabeth Hurley among others. He has also developed world famous campaigns for Escada, L’Oreal, Swarovski, Cartier, Neiman Marcus and Van Cleef & Arpels.
The collection of photos spanning his 20-year career draw inspiration from classical paintings, international travels and life experiences. Lotus has developed his own evocative way of using light and shadow, playing with angles and composition to enhance the graphic quality of his images. Aspiration and Artifice captures the human desire to move beyond the common experience, often resulting in a constructed exaggeration of natural beauty. Nature is a recurrent motif in his photography; wild surroundings and exotic animals link the rarefied atmosphere of the fashion industry to the organic beauty of the natural world.
From childhood on, Dial built “things” using whatever he could salvage, recycling even his own work to reuse materials in new creations. Dial referred to what he made only as “things,” though late in life he found out that others call them “art.” Having developed during the era of racial segregation, Dial’s style is both personal and culturally rich, and it speaks with a resolute voice that was denied him through the years as a black factory worker.
In Dial’s art, intense surfaces, multi-layered narratives, shifting compositional relationships and a metaphysical concern with issues of recycling and ancestry exist hand in hand with an ironic, earthy wit and an almost religious determination to make art’s complexities and mysteries central to the human understanding of reality. Dial works from within southern African American vernacular traditions, the same cultural impulse that gave birth to blues, jazz, and rock n’ roll. From these roots has emerged an epic, twenty-first-century art whose sophistication and ambition confound all aesthetic categories.
The Bill Lowe Gallery is at 1555 Peachtree St., Suite 100. For more information, visit www.lowegallery.com.