Koplin Del Rio Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Chicago artist Bill Vuksanovich. The show is entitled, “A Pairing of Circumstance” and features two arresting portraits executed in Vuksanovich’s characteristic hyper-real technique. At first glance the mesmerizing degree of draftsmanship might appear to be an end in itself but it is not about detail alone. These figures, though ordinary, have been elevated to the extraordinary through discipline, diligence and honesty. The nuance of detail has been so faithfully and completely rendered that the figures seem to be almost sealed beneath the strokes of the brush or the marks of the pencil.
In a stunning double portrait in graphite on paper, we are confronted with a married couple, a soldier in his camouflaged attire ready for deployment and his pregnant wife, their hands firmly clutched, they stand united in quiet stoicism – he with the knowledge of precarious times ahead and she with resignation and expectation, fully prepared for participation in their continuing future. Even with his looming presence she becomes the stabilizing element at this moment in their journey.
“I can still see this Marine as a small boy, running on the field when he played Park District Soccer with my son. I saw him in high school and college and fed him at my home. When he went off to war I sent him food in heavy boxes. I held my breath until he was safely home. It’s not every man who will put himself in harm’s way for what he believes but when he does it is truly heroic.”- Vuksanovich
Although primarily known as a draftsman, we are given the rare opportunity to see what an artist of Vuksanovich’s caliber is capable of in oil on canvas with his portrait titled “Young Student”. In this powerful depiction the young subject faces us with innocence. Self-protective reserve, combined with puzzlement reflecting his future challenges.
“When this student came to pose for me I met a young man with a very positive nature and a good sense of communication. We made a quick connection. I asked him to dress in the clothes he liked and would wear to school. His choices spoke for him - he liked sports, he took school seriously and was conscious of his appearance. For me it was a wonderful mix of color, texture and tone. Incongruous as it was, it worked.”
For Vuksanovich, turning subject into object is a product of continuous visual investigation. Light is the main factor in this search if realism is to be established. Containing its own mystery as it flows across the figure, light invites ever-deeper probing into detail. It is also an active contributor in directing unbiased, descriptive documentation taken beyond the subject into the realm of the object. Objectivity is an emotion unto itself. Vuksanovich’s aim is to wrap the object in the skin of realism. With photography as a tool he is able to make the correct choices in the psychological transference, avoid any sentimentality and make the most objective analysis of fact.
Bill Vuksanovich was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and earned his Bachelors degree at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. His work is included in many prominent Corporate and public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, The Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, MA, The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago IL, AT&T and the McDonald’s Corporation. His work has been featured at the Long Beach Museum of Art, The Arkansas Art Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, The Frye Museum of Art, Seattle, WA, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, and the Florida State University Museum, Tallahassee, FL.
For further information or photos, please contact Ronald De Angelis at (310) 836-9055.