Photographer Chris J. Russo is happy to be one of six artists whose work is featured in the virtual art exhibit Darkness/Light being presented by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, there have been no physical exhibits in the popular space that opened in 1998 within The Village at Ed Gould Plaza. This is the Galleries’ second virtual exhibit to open in recent months.
“My hope is that the virtual gallery experience offers an opportunity to those seeking some of the connection to art and community we were all used to in real life,” Russo tells LGBT News Now. “I’m grateful to be able to share my work however I can, even if it is with a link.”
Darkness/Light features photography and paintings by artists who broadly interpret the conflicts, harmonies, and the interplay of darkness and light. Some look inward to personal experiences and some outward to the forces at play in the world around us.
Russo says of his images: “I experimented with my camera to create dream-like, impressionistic forms I hoped would evoke the emotions conveyed through the abstract language of love and loss.”
In addition to Russo’s creations, the exhibit features the work of British artist, curator, archivist, and activist Ajamu; mixed-media artist Jo Ann Block; photographer, artist, self-portrait artist Dannywolfchild; photographer, director, and cinematographer Mark Dektor; abstract painter and photographer Marian Jones; and transgender artist Leon Mostovoy.
During normal times, the Galleries would host an average of eight exhibits a year. A new exhibit would kick off with a small wine and cheese reception with the artists, hoping guests buy their works. As a bonus, the galleries would be open to the public during events taking place at The Village.
“It is a little bittersweet to not physically be in the gallery space where memories of dialog and community fellowship have been so nourishing,” Russo says. “But those times will return again.”
Center Cultural Arts Program Coordinator Matt Walker sees a bright side to the current situation.
“The work in the galleries is mostly seen by folks who come through The Village whether they are there for group meetings or attending a show,” he says. “But there is the potential for far more people to see this current exhibit because it is online. As with all of our exhibits, we always hope that people will want to purchase the work of our artists.”
View Darkness/Light at lalgbtcenter.org/gallery.