Art by Construction Workers | 20 Years: Virtual Gallery

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Art by Construction Workers | 20 Years

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years, but it has. In 2000, a group of us who knew each other from working in the trades hung our first show at BAX. Some of us had been to art school and others of us were self-taught. Over the years, eight of us have continued to meet for dinner each month, mostly at each others’ houses. We have supported each other in our lives and in our art making.

We always look forward to the morning when we all show up at BAX and get to see what we have been up to. This year, we will have to see our work virtually, as will everyone else.

The hardest part of the whole process is coming up with a theme and name for our show. In 20 years, we still haven’t been able to agree on a name for our group. This year the title of the show was easy. “20 Years.” Some of us are now retired and some of us are still working in the trades, but we continue to make art, which we are now sharing with you.

 

ARTISTS:

Fred Becker
Art Cabrera
Chris Carlson
Greg Davidek
Shawn Gargagliano
Kent Johnson
Aki Kumono
Ron Mitkowski

 

VIRTUAL GALLERY

Fred Becker

fbeckerphoto.com

#1
Green-Wood Cemetery, New Orleans, 2020
photo printed on a map of the city of New Orleans cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14.75 x 9.75 inches

#2
Green-Wood Cemetery, Chicago, 2020
photo printed on a map of the city of Chicago cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14 x 11 inches

#3
Green-Wood Cemetery, Paris, 2020
photo printed on a map of the city of Paris cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14.75 x 9.75 inches

#4
Civil War Soldier, 2019
photo printed on a map of The Declaration of Independence cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14 x 10.5 inches

#5
Civil War Soldier, 2019
photo printed on a map of Lower Manhattan cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14 x 10.5 inches

#6
Civil War Soldier, 2019
photo printed on a map of Upper Manhattan cut from a 1941 Collier’s World Atlas
14 x 10.5 inches

 

Art Cabrera

artcab16@gmail.com

#1
Street Warrior, Battle Shield by Art Cabrera, 2019
painted wood with found objects
32 x 32 inches

#2
Welcome to Brooklyn #45! by Spike, Jr., 2019
found material: wood, bats, nails and lag screws
32 x 32 inches

#3
Rock-Metal-Wood by Art Cabrera, 2019
found metal display case, Down East stones, Jackson St. found wood cut-offs
38 x 11 inches

#4
1954 Betty Crocker Super Deluxe Blender-Buster, Spinning Reel, Sling Shot in your Face Protector of the Universe, Shirley Chisolm Easter Bonnet by Art Cabrera, 2019
found objects
17 x 17 inches

#5
Black Cloud over White Rock by Art Cabrera, 2018
stones from the Grand Canyon and New Hampshire with found burnt wood
17 x 11 inches

#6
Red Army Ballet Debuting the “Red Star Over China, Broken Pistol” by Art Cabrera, 2018
found street treasures
20 x 12 inches

 

Chris Carlson

#1
Untitled, 2006
13 x 15 inches

#2
Untitled, 2006
20 x 22 inches

#3
Will the Circle be Unbroken, 2010
25 inches diameter

#4
Future Fossils Series #2, 2019
16 x 18 inches

#5
Reflection, 2007
16 x 18 inches

#6
My Stuff, from IPhone photo series I Know It’s Here Somewhere, 2015

 

Greg Davidek

#1
Studio wall, 2016

#2
Studio wall 2, 2016

#3
Gold leaf entryway, circa 2012

#4
Owen on a snowball, 2006
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

#5
Neithercut portrait, 2019
Oil on canvas
Rondo approx. 22 inches

#6
Sewing machine drawing, 2013
Thread, colored pencil, paper
8.5 x 11 inches

 

Shawn Gargagliano

shawngargagliano.weebly.com

#1
Putting their heads together, 2020
Raytray (white plastic solar wire tray and cap), wire tie ends, cedar
H 17 x L 51 inches

#2
Two heads, One Dali mustache, 2020
Raytray, wire ties, pine, cell phone, work glove
Left: 18 x 10 inches; Right: 21 x 15 inches

#3
Two heads in conversation, 2020
Raytray, cedar, wire.
Left: 16 x 11 inches Right: 24 x 11 inches

#4
Work shoe 2, 2020
acrylic on plywood
24 x 24 inches

#5
Work shoe 3, 2020
acrylic on plywood
24 x 24 inches

#6
Two work shoes, no feet, 2020
acrylic on plywood
15 1/2 x 20 3/4 inches

 

Kent Johnson

kentbjohnson.com

#1
June Jordan, 2020
acrylic on canvas board
7 1/2 x 8 inches

#2
Mina Loy, 2020
acrylic on canvas board
7 1/2 x 8 inches

#3
No, no, this way, 2020
acrylic on canvas
14 x 12 inches

#4
Lee Morgan, 2020
acrylic on canvas board
7 1/2 x 8 inches

#5
Tomas Tranströmer, 2020
acrylic on canvas board
7 1/2 x 8 inches

#6
Roll With Me, Henry, 2020
acrylic on canvas
10 x 13 inches

 

Aki Kumono

artbyaki.wordpress.com

#1
Dawn of new era 1, 2020
acrylic paint on board
48 x 32 inches

#2
Dawn of new era 2, 2020
acrylic paint on board
48 x 32 inches

#3
Dawn of new era 3, 2020
acrylic paint on board
48 x 32 inches

#4
Dawn of new era 4, 2020
acrylic paint on board
48 x 32 inches

 

Ron Mitkowski

#1
Museum, 2018
crayon & pen on paper
5 x 8 inches

#2
Piano, 2018
crayon on paper
5 x 8 inches

#3
Nena’s mirror, 2019
crayon & pen on paper
5 x 8 inches

#4
DAR, 2019
crayon & pen on paper
5 x 8 inches

#5
Barn Repairs, 2018
SketchUp digital rendering
8 x 11 inches

#6
Study for stained glass panel, 2019
pencil on paper
10 x 8 inches

 

 

Artist Biographies

Fred Becker

I’ve lived in Brooklyn since 1978. I had my own business plastering, painting & wallpapering many a brownstone. Retired and self-isolating now more than I ever could have imagined.

Art Cabrera

Me llamo Art Cabrera. As a young child me llamo Artie, “Artie-Bobbie,” “Bobbie-Artie,” “Arturito,” “my little Mexican,” it all depended on which set of relatives I was with. I was born in the “Bay” (Flatbush Bay), a salt water marsh dry dock boatyard hamlet—a regular shanty town Brooklyn Appalachia between Mill Basin and Mill Creek. It no longer exists, having been destroyed by NYC’s eminent domain statute to accompany a city landfill, then finally the Marine Golf Course. I have fond memories of the Bay. Many of my relatives lived there. I was the second oldest child of nine, born to Irene Margaret Connors Ackermann and Arthur Cabrera, proud working class Brooklynites of Puerto Rican, Irish, German and Mediterranean descent. I’ve been a construction electrician and self-employed contractor for 48 years.

I have lived a long, unique, full and checkered life, stumbling into the anti-war/human rights movements at 19 and have had the good fortune of not drifting far from them in the last 50 years. I have no formal art training, and barely got out of high school. I took as many art classes and played as many sports as I could. I won “gold medal honors” in both high school and junior high for pieces reflecting the cultural, political times America was going through. I was great at hanging out, didn’t like school much, but I was motivated to stay alive.

My work consists predominantly of junk art—found object assemblages, Brute, folk art, recycled art, eco art, etc. I also do photos, some painting, and installations. Often my work is jovial, wild, innovative and very personal. It often crosses over into social commentary, reflecting my thinking, life journey, a deep reflection of my convictions, impressions and creative joy. I thank BAX and the ABCW for allowing me to grow and show as an artist.

 

Chris Carlson

Chris Carlson is gladly an original member of Art by Construction Workers, now in our 20th year. Friends and collaborators. Has a background in both theater and art, in recent years producing theater through his company Brooklyn Players. Uses varied materials to create conceptual pieces. Born 12/25.

Greg Davidek

I spent a lot of time framing and arranging the paintings on the studio wall in Long Island City not long before we moved up here. Hence the two images.

The gold leaf entryway was done in an apartment at 1170 5th Ave.

Owen on a Snowball is from a body of work done when the twins were small derived from cell phone pictures.

The sewing machine drawing is one of many that happened while I was making cushions. The cushions were for a built-in piece of furniture I made for our apartment on 86th Street years back. Sometimes the twins helped. I had to be vigilant that they not injure themselves. They found the sewing on the paper quite exciting.

The portrait of Geoffrey Neithercut is for the Genesee County Courthouse in Flint, Michigan.
It is a part of a larger ensemble that has to be installed. He was a Judge there for 24 years.

 

Shawn Gargagliano

So, my little studio/junk room is full of bits and pieces that I have been bringing home from job sites over the years. I also bring in the bits and pieces of ideas and images that I see or that occur to me. I combine them all in objects and paintings that help me explore my relationship to the world.

 

Kent Johnson

I became interested in painting heads of poets and writers about 20 years ago while teaching a painting workshop at Pratt’s School of Professional Studies. I had to see for myself, using paint, what the authors really looked like, and what painting could do. The reading and this practice are on-going. So many books, so little time. And lately I’ve been interested as well in painting roughhousing kids which offers some compositional differences.

 

Aki Kumono

Art by Construction Workers: 20 Years | Aki Kumono from Brooklyn Arts Exchange on Vimeo.

Ron Mitkowski

I’m a New York City dweller who loves to get his hands dirty. I’ve spent the last 44 years working in various capacities from tool-toting carpenter to project management with an architectural firm. And for 20 years, I’ve belonged to this band of merry men who support each other’s desire to engage in their craft, enjoy a good meal, good company, and share a hopeful outlook.