Rays Every Heart Observes By Oceans Through Heaven” by New York artist Olan Montgomery.
This book contains images from the artist's solo exhibition held at Gallery 50 containing art inspired by the artist’s frequent visits to Rehoboth Beach, featuring Rehoboth locals, including CAMP Rehoboth photographer Tony Burns. The show’s campaign tag line reads "Are you in it?"
Olan Montgomery shines light on individuals and places from all walks of life through his art. A 2003 New York Times article examined how the artist created portraits of Chase Manhattan bank tellers and hung the pieces behind each worker’s booth.
"The art became this wonderful bridge that allowed people see these wonderful tellers in an entirely new light,” said Montgomery in the piece. “It was the first time many of customers stopped and noticed the person in the booth that they worked with every day.”
Yania Frias, one of the tellers in the portraits, was quoted in the Times piece: 'You see yourself in the mirror every day, and you don't know what other people see. When I (first) looked at it (the portrait), I was shocked. I couldn't believe it was me. It's a picture in motion. Its alive.'' ''You know, we all have insecurities,” she continued. “(The painting) has boosted my self-esteem. Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning and I don't feel really good, I look at my picture and I say, 'Wow'.”
The R.E.H.O.B.O.T.H show opens in conjunction with the release of Olan Montgomery’s first bound collection of his work, "POP - Art inspired by New York's own subcultures from celebrity to subway". Releasing August 18, POP combines fine art photography, hand painting, poetry and famous art quotes to explore New York's hidden subcultures including the city's homeless, its colorful nightlife personalities, and bold gay icons. The book also includes work from Montgomery's many visits to Rehoboth.
“Rehoboth represents a tiny slice of heaven to me,” said the artist this week, from his Manhattan studio. “I love the inspiring people and places, the creativity, and most of all, the tolerance. Everyone is welcome in Rehoboth. It is my hope that the R.E.H.O.B.O.T.H show reflects the love of life that makes Rehoboth so special.”
Locals will recognize many Rehoboth landmarks in the exhibit: Dolles, Sharkey's, The Blue Moon, Aqua and Shag. They may even recognize themselves – but the portraits are not the same as the bank teller portraits. In the R.E.H.O.B.O.T.H collection, Olan Montgomery attempts to capture fleeting Rehoboth moments in a perpetual freeze frame. “The locals featured in the art are part of the moment the piece captures,” he explains. “The portraits are character studies of inspiring people, living in a remarkable community that embraces all.”
R.E.H.O.B.O.T.H - “Rays Every Heart Observes By Oceans Through Heaven” will be on exhibition at Gallery 50 (50-A Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971) from August 22nd through September 26th. For more information, please visit www.lipstickchic.com.