Photography by Greg Autry
ALL PHOTO IMAGES ©Greg Autry
Sin City Gallery is in the Arts District of Las Vegas. My travels , and Travails, last month took me to Las Vegas. I spent some time there looking for culture and sophistication. Yes. Really ! When I lived there 20 years ago, I couldn't find a decent art gallery, or even an art class then. And now, Las Vegas has an arts district. Who'd-A-Thunk-It ?
An artist I've long admired, Jeff Wack, had a show hanging at an art gallery called Sin City, which I had not been to before. Jeff is a very successful Commercial Illustrator, working for such companies as Coca Cola, Anheuser-Busch, and far too many others to try and mention here. Let's just say he's really good.
The Gallery is in the North end of Town, in an old building called The Arts Factory. I met the Owner Dr. Laura Henkel, her partner Claus Schmidt, and the manager of the Gallery, Lou Lou Roxy, who's also a well known Burlesque performer in Las Vegas. I found Laura engaging, articulate, and very knowledgeable about Art. The Las Vegas Weekly referred to her as " The Curator of the Erotic". Dr. Henkel started a contest, called `12" of SIN', a couple of years ago which Jeff Wack entered and won. A part of the winner's rewards was having a Solo show at the Sin City Gallery.
Jeff's Show is aptly titled ` Myth and Muses ' . A piece titled 'Oceana' was the First Place winner of the Second Annual ` 12" of SIN ' contest. From 12 countries, with nearly 300 entries, Jeff's piece was chosen by a panel of select judges.
Jeff Wack describes the `Myth and Muses' Show as `figurative works exhibiting the women as a `Muse, a source of ethereal beauty, strength, and desire', and tells me that he gets a great `sense of inspiration through the female figure and wishes to convey it with enough realism to elicit a double-take, surrounded in visual smbolism and mysticism, transcending into the surreal'. There is also a Goddess series inspired by the mythical Greek Goddesses, and commissioned by the Actor James Franco.
A couple of weeks later I was able to sit down with Jeff at his Studio in the POV Entertainment complex, in North Hollywood. Jeff told me that his figurative work began about 7 years ago. And like many commercial artist, he needed a way to let his creativity flow a bit more. As a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Jeff learned the necessity of working steadily to keep up his skills, and to meet deadlines. Another famous graduate of Art Center, Julian Ritter, once also told me that one of the most important thing he learned at "school" [Art Center], was to draw every day. Which he did, for almost 70 years.
Jeff describes himself as a Digital Artist. He develops a concept, then photographs his models in various shots to compile into one final image, usually choosing to work in Photoshop. He makes large prints on canvas, which he then paints over in gels and varnishes to create a textural component to the piece. This way he introduces a hands on touch that creates a richer and deeper image, because of the painted medium. Although I tried to get him to reveal his secret blend for his painted final coat. Let's just say it is indeed still a secret !
I see in Jeff Wack's figurative work a blend of the classic traditions of the old paint masters, a combination styling and graphic in design from the of more recent Noir and Art Deco periods, and yet the pieces are Modern and have a Contemporary feel, based on Jeff's strong illustrative prowess and working in digital medium. These pieces by Jeff Wack go a long way to expand my appreciation of new mediums and what Fine Art is, today.
Sin City Gallery has a new, THIRD, ` 12" of SIN Art Competetion ' underway. All you Artist out there, here's a chance to have your very own Solo Show in Las Vegas. Check it out at ` 12 " OF SIN ' . Sin City Gallery is located at 107 E Charleston Blvd, Suite 100, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 89104
You can also see new works by Jeff Wack at The Hillard Gallery, in Kansas City, Mo., April 4 through May 23rd, 2014.
Aside from culture , I also found some very naughty fun in a show at Caesars Palace, called Absinthe. See my Review and Photographs from the show, in my next article in Splash Magazine. For inquiries you can contact me at [email protected].
Images of the Artwork used with Permission.
The Artists retains all Copyrights to all Art.