THE BUZZ: WILD SPIRIT
It’s no secret that wolves are an endangered species in New Mexico, making the Land of Enchantment a little less enchanting
In 1991, artist Jacque Evans, herself a wolf- and wolf-dog-lover, recognized this and created The Candy Kitchen Wolf and Wolf-dog Rescue Ranch, where she sold fer artwork to support animal rescues. Evan’s ranch later became a nonprofit organization, now known as Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and headed by Leyton Cougar. Sponsors, volunteers, staff, and others at the sanctuary compose Team Wild Spirit, whose mission is to rescue displaced, unwanted, and unreleasable captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species.
This month, Gérard Vachez Gallery assists the animals through Wild Spirit, an art fundraiser for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. With a variety of artistic pieces and mediums from Nathalie Fradet, McCreery Jordan, Jonathan richards, G. Michael Smith, Darren Vigil Gra, Antonio Weiss and Vachez himself. Fifty percent of the show’s profit will be given to the sanctuary. There will be live music by Roger Sequoia, while Clafoutis French Restaurant, Bakery & Café will provide food to accompany champagne. A wide range of raffle prizes, including a weekend at the sanctuary, will be available. Flurry, a tame Arctic wolf, will also make a special appearance.
Cathy Vachez, co-owner of Gérard Vachez Gallery and wife of Gérard, says, “It is a cause that resonate for us. …We want to help restore the good name of wolves in everybody’s subconscious, where wolves have been mistreated for centuries.”
SAVE THE DATE
Wild Spirit Fundraiser & Art Event, Gérard Vachez Gallery, Santa Fe.
Exclusively for Las Campanas residents and their guests!
Mark this date on your calendar right now! You and your guests are invited to a very special evening hosted by Gérard and Cathy Vachez, at the Gérard Vachez Gallery. Opening their gallery in October 2015, Gérard and Cathy represent some of the most sought-after artists desired by collectors. Their presence in the art world is international, and they are two of Santa Fe’s most significant art community figures.
On June 17, from 5 to 8 pm, residents of Las Campanas and their guests are invited to an exclusive preview at the Gérard Vachez Gallery, 418 Montezuma Avenue, Santa Fe. The preview precedes the two July fundraisers in support of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, a non-profit dedicated to the rescue and care of wolves to support the species’ recovery. Featuring works by Gérard Vachez, McCreery Jordan, Antonio Weiss, Nathalie Fradet, Jonathan Richards, G. Michael Smith & Darren Vigil Gray, the evening promises stunning works by well-recognized artists. Light refreshments will be provided by Clafouti’s French Restaurant, Bakery & Café.
This unforgettable evening would be memorable enough, with just the featured art. Most of the featured artists will be present, and Leyton Jay Cougar, the Sanctuary Director, will be in attendance as well as Flurry, an Arctic Wolf and one of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s residents. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of us, seeing this beautiful, regal and fascinating animal will make the evening memorable in a way not otherwise possible.
The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary’s roots run deep. Established in 1991 as the Candy Kitchen Wolf and Wolf-Dog Rescue Ranch, in 2003 the Sanctuary was reorganized under Executive Director Leyton Cougar as the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. The Sanctuary’s mission is three-fold:
“Rescue displaced, unwanted, and un-releasable captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species. Provide permanent, lifetime safe sanctuary for those that we rescue and provide the highest level of care, enrichment and habitat. Educate the public about wolves, wolf-dogs, and other related species, our eco system and how we all play a part in it, and the excellent, ethical care and treatment of all animals domestic and wild.”
Cathy and Gérard Vachez are passionate about the support and preservation of the wolf, an amazing animal with social life as complex as any human family. They offer this private opening to the residents of Las Campanas, and will follow with two additional community fundraisers events to be held July 8 and July 29. Fifty percent of all profits from the events will be donated to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. Of course, additional contributions will be welcome.
Multimedia artist Gérard Vachez’s grand-opening exhibit at his new gallery location continues through Nov. 29, Vachez is an award-winning photographer, painter, digital artist, and founder of Exposure Advertising in South Florida. A Santa Fe resident since 2012, Vachez and his wife, Cathy, opened the gallery in the Railyard district following a successful exhibition on Canyon Road in 2014. The show includes paintings and 3D graphic art.
A Frenchman by birth, Gérard Vachez has created and shown work in Paris; the former Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo); Guadeloupe in the French Antilles, southern Florida; and other far-flung locales.
The artist settled in Santa Fe in 2012. Following a successful show on Canyon Road, he and his wife Cathy chose to open their own gallery in the Railyard District, which had his grand opening October 30th. The opening exhibition will continue through the year and features a selection of Vachez’s work, including three-dimensional digital rendering printed on canvas, then accented by hand with acrylics.
THE ART BUZZ
Santa Fe welcomes two new galleries to town! Gérard Vachez Gallery opened October 30thwith a reception to honor Gérard Vachez, the co-owner and fine artist who works in photography, drawing, painting and digital art. At 418 Montezuma Avenue in the Jean Cocteau Building. Gérard Vachez Gallery features his work, which have been exhibited in Europe, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and several African countries. The native of France settled in Santa Fe in 2012 with his wife and business partner Cathy. After a successful show on Canyon Road in 2014, Cathy and Gérard decided to open their own art gallery in downtown Santa Fe. Vachez is a winner of a 1989 AGFA prize for creative photography. His work has beed published and reviewed in prestigious French and American magazines. Early in his career, Vachez won a commission from the French government to organize the Bujumbura Cultural Center in Burundi, Central Africa. Burundi proved to be a powerful source of inspiration for the young artist’s first black-and-white photo exhibit, a show that latter traveled to Rwanda and Zaire. Africa was the stepping stone to a successful artistic career in Burundi, Guadeloupe and the United States. Head to gerardvachez.com or call 505 577 8339.
“Creating powerful 3D characters is a lengthy process.
Using a 3D software, I first create a “skeleton”, then the warrior feature’s and textures (face, expressions, hair, skin…), lightning, camera lenses, etc… Once a high resolution rendering is done, I work more on the lights, shadows and colors. Then, I print the final image on canvas and start on the actual painting part, working over the print with Acrylic colors and varnish.
My goal is to show the inner strength and intensity of Native American Warriors’ faces”.
Although the French artist Vachez does have a unique style, this show is also intriguing because of his diverse résumé: He was once tapped by the French government to organize Burundi’s Cultural Center in Africa, he has worked as an ad agency director in Paris and the Caribbean, and he has been a friend and associate of both Miami party promoter Michael Capponi and South Beach nightlife impresario Chris Paciello.
In this solo show, Gérard Vachez has divided the work into four parts. To create BODIES, he painted a glass partition while a model danced behind it, then photographed the results. In IMAGINARY MAZE OF THE BARE SUBSTANCE, he also mixed and scratched, using Rhodoïd plastic slides as the base of the image, then altering and adding materials to the works and painting them. Inside a container, a series of large-scale dancing figures will cover all the walls, while color photographs will fill another vessel.
Four different ambiances of Gérard Vachez’s artwork have been created for this show, allowing the viewer to explore and understand better the unique world and vision of this unusual artist. A huge series of red dancing figures covers entirely the inside of a container, another series of color photographs is on display in the second container, paintings and black and white photographs are on view in the gallery space.
“BODIES reflects the creativity of blending painting and photography. I have always been inspired by bodies in motion and wanted movement to transpire in my pictures. With this intent I used a large tempered glass pane on which I mixed paints and lights while a model moved behind it. The light coming through the colors created a new atmosphere while the model’s moving body was constantly altered by the colored wall of glass. It also took her in and out of focus, accentuating the painting effect. The results were almost unsettling. Where did the photo end and the painting begin?”
It’s very easy to take a good photograph with a good camera. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the image will be creative and even less a true work of art. “I decided to rediscover creativity related to the act of painting. I wanted the results to look like a painting without having to use computer techniques”, explained the artist, photographer, painter, and graphic designer Gérard Vachez. To reach his objective, his mixes shadows and colors, and uses small glass panels on which he writes, draws, and paints, playing with the light that hits them. The majority of slides were painted while inside their tiny frames: true works of art, surprising and majestic.
Bridging the gap from the minute to the grand, artist Gérard Vachez tampers with traditional approaches to painting and photography to reveal microcosmic worlds that are dynamic and compelling. Vachez toils meticulously upon slide-sized acetates, creating rich layers of topography with paints, raw fibers, and a diversity of media he then scratches, burns, and alters with fire before scanning into large-scale prints that evoke dreamy landscapes teeming with interior tension and complexity.
IMAGINARY MAZE OF THE BARE SUBSTANCE
The current work of French artist Gérard Vachez consists of intricate compositions that are interesting mainly for their conceptual value. He begins by blending mixed media (oil paints and India inks, plus fibers and wool) on square-inch acetates, sometimes scratching or burning the surfaces, then digitally scanning the pieces to create large-scale prints that magnify the miniature paintings as if seen through a microscope. The show is thoughtfully installed, guiding the viewer by hanging the original plastic slides in preservation glass (Altuglass) near the prints. Imagination runs wild while examining the amount of detail and nuance that results from such a huge boost in scale.
VUE DU PONT
… The pictures are free from any anecdotal narration in order to encourage spectators to create their own story.
The repetition, the composition, the light and shadow, the depth of the shades, the tasteful nudity yield a dreamlike mood.
The fuzziness of the elements, blurring the diverting details, increases the imaginative drift. The technology seems to vanish behind the ambiance. An exhibition to see.
CORPS À CORPS
Gérard Vachez is a young photographer who thinks about the human body in relation to the art of photography. The human body, according to Vachez, is both composite and medium just as a roll of film or a canvas. But this idea of the body is not only based on the image, it is also grafted from his participation in sports and modern dance, and especially from his affinity to Buto dance.
Originally, while displaying bodies, Buto intended its audience to “experience a certain reality.” Its creator, Tatsumi Hijilata (1928-1986), used to say: “It is not the shadow who is the slave of the light; it’s the obscurity who cheers the light to be the light.”
Influenced by the work of choreographers and set designers, Vachez paints his own background scenery in addition to directing his models who are body builders or dancers. His techniques include drawing and incorporating it into photography.
Vachez’s interest in bodies, specifically those of comic-book heroes, began in his boyhood, and then came his fascination with the physiques of body builders and dancers. Preoccupied by shapes and materials, he operates coldly as an artist, never allowing his emotions to show when facing a model’s nude body. The models are tools for his work. Devoid of any eroticism, they are indispensable, omnipresent, even if fragmented in the final image.
His series on body builders is notable for its static poses and the dominant black background. Body builders painstakingly sculpt their bodies through a series of exercises. In the case of the photographer, he carefully reshapes those same bodies through the use of light.
According photographer Alain Fleischer: “Behind the camera, the sexed entity of the photographer vanishes, whereas, in front of him, the model’s naked body is dressed with a controllable, measurable light which becomes fabric, garment, ornament. We can adjust it, redirect it, spread it, the naked body exposes itself in it, takes hold of it, dresses itself with it.”
Today, Gérard Vachez works with dynamic models as well as on the backgrounds (painted by him) of his photos. Beyond just a photographer, he is a painter, make-up artist, set designer. Later, in the lab, he becomes a printer, editor, retoucher. The human body is both composite and medium just as a roll of film or a canvas. Luminous, immaterial body, getting us to doubt the carnal nature of the bodies we can hug, kiss, caress…
CLOWN OF GOD
“Les Rencontres d’Arles” (Arles’ Meetings) fosters several satellite events such as ”Festival Off”, which brings together up-and-coming artists and displays the work of innovative young photographers. Gérard Vachez presented his photographs at ”Festival Off” in a show called CLOWN OF GOD.