Reader review: Czech artist’s work loaded with depth

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December 19th, 2011

Omaha, NE – Eliska Greenspoon manipulates photography into multi-layered images to tell stories about humanity and nature. The artist has a new exhibit at the Fred Simon Gallery. The Reader’s Sally Deskins has this review of Visual Dialogues.

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You might not know it by looking at it but artist Eliska Greenspoon’s work is photo-based. The Czechoslovakia native earned her MFA at Clemson University by exploring the integration of photography and drawing in her work, experimenting and blending various mediums. Years later, the now Omaha resident still works in photography using layering and manipulation to create her “visual dialogue.”

Eliska Greenspoon's "Delightful Garden”

Each piece is created with various processes of layering, tearing, burning and adding wax to a collection of recycled images. But the end result appears straightforward, with elegant lines, rich colors and pleasing composition. This intentional act of “creative violence” in her work reveals aesthetically loaded final pieces with depth and meaning.

The namesake of the exhibit, Visual Dialogues are two tiny pieces that use her mixed media style and include found glass from the beaches of Connecticut where she spends her summers. Countless silhouettes of people scatter the pieces against the blue glass. The silhouettes wander throughout, as if waiting for something.

Eliska Greenspoon's “Women’s Healthcare.”

The eeriest piece, according to the artist, is “Japan 2011,” which she also created using components of Japanese print from a book. Greenspoon was in the middle of creating this piece in March, when the devastating earthquake hit Japan. The imagery of silhouettes appears again, with tiny people throughout, heading for holes to hide in, while a murky green texture drips down almost ready to envelope them. And her strength lies in her sometimes overlooked yet meaningful process. Close examination reveals her deep passion and examination for issues in nature and humanity, providing a touching, enjoyable show that can provide conversation to boot.

Visual Dialogues opened at the Fred Simon Gallery in Omaha’s Old Market on Friday, and runs through January 27th.

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