Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spotlight on John Heino (Part 2)

Heino by Perfetti
When John Heino and I began assembling our proposal for the Phantom Galleries Superior project last year we were required to create an artist statement. We took a lot of approaches to this task before zeroing in. Here's an excerpt from a portion of what John had written initially regarding Red Interactive, our collaborative show/event.

Why red? It has a richer, wider array of connotations than any other color. It has powerful meanings in different cultures—emotion-triggering semiotics that come to us through time and space from the earliest moments of human history. Red grabs attention. Red elicits responses. We are catalysts for adventure, tapping the imagination of all who come along for the ride. 

We relish the challenge of sorting through what at times may appear to be chaos to integrate, synthesize and, in a sense, orchestrate this adventure. The glue that holds the images together is the light, the presence, or absence of, the chiaroscuro dance, the crepuscular hour between dog and wolf, the darkness holds the mystery, the light holds the truth. 

The scenery changes, but John's fascination with light continues. Here is the second half of yesterday's interview, with more of his imagery to experience. 

EN: What’s your take on what is happening today in the Twin Ports arts scene?

Eye of the Velociraptue
JH: The scene is exploding. Look at all the new galleries in the past couple years--it's really exciting! More people are engaging, the stream of new work is impressive and I think momentum is still building.

The facet that's lagging, in my opinion, is turning creative success into real economic benefits for artists, galleries and arts organizations. When I go to an opening, I still do not see many (if any) buyers with the financial wherewithal to purchase one or more pieces priced above say $100. Personally, I sell far more prints, mostly through Facebook and the client decides how to mat and frame the piece based on their budgets. It's rare that I sell a matted and framed print or a large format dye-infused aluminum piece at a local show.

We need to find out what it would take to entice more affluent art buyers in the region to buy local art. Is there some real or perceived lack of quality or vision in local art? Real, I don't think so; perceived, maybe. If that's true, how can we change that perception? Perhaps it's just collectors' interest in buying "names" -- artists with established profiles in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or some other major market. The dialog has improved since Art Works, I think, but we need to get to a point where we really understand the dynamics of the regional art market and build from there.

EN: What are you currently working on?

On the Rocks
JH: One of my highlights of the year so far was a recent shoot with dancer/model Nicole Bedard, featuring mask and costume designs by Steampunk artist Richard Rosvall. His work has tremendous visual interest and Nicole wears it well. I think we've barely tapped the potential and I'm excited to do more.

In mid-July, we also had one of the best aurora displays I've ever seen in the continental United States. It was paradise for a photographer.

I'm also very excited to be negotiating with a large hotel interested in featuring my photographs in guest rooms. We're having some large format demo prints produced now. If the results are satisfactory, I hope to finalize that arrangement in the next couple weeks. This is exactly the kind of initiative we began talking about with Art Works a few years ago. When an area hotel, restaurant, office building--whatever--is being built or remodeled, why not choose local art to decorate? It keeps money circulating right here in our local economy and showcases art that has real significance and connection to the area. Certainly, most visitors to the Twin Ports would prefer to see fine work done right here instead of some generic warehouse art from Los Angeles.

EN: Where can people see more of your work?

JH: The best place to see my work as it unfolds is my John Heino Photography page on Facebook. I also have more than 600 images on the Capture Minnesota web site along with images from hundreds of other shooters across the state. If you're not familiar with the site, it's definitely worth checking out.

In terms of physical displays, I have a dye-infused aluminum piece called "Ascent" hanging in the Duluth City Council Chambers and another one called "Arms" at Z Studio.

EdNote: You are invited to follow Red Interactive on Facebook as well.

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