Nicole Cohen “Water Essential,” NFT 2021.
Tatyana Murray “Willow,” refracted light, glass, plexi, LED, 2020.
From August 12 to September 12, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and HLK Art Group will present “Re-Merge,” an exhibition of recent artwork by 10 contemporary artists based locally and around the world. Curated by HLK Art Group founder Heidi Lee Komaromi, the show spotlights new technologies in art while raising awareness about ocean and ecological conservation. The show opens with a reception at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Bridgehampton on Thursday, August 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Installed in the courtyard of the gallery and in collaboration with online platform UltrArt, a curated showcase of 12 newly minted digital NFT (non-fungible token) artworks will be presented. Collectors will be able to bid in real-time via their mobile devices. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Guild Hall in East Hampton in recognition of its 90th anniversary as well as the Coral Restoration Foundation and WildAid Marine to support efforts to protect coral reefs in Florida and Tanzania, home to several endangered marine species.
“We are thrilled to present this exhibition that sits squarely at the intersection of art and technology while benefiting an organization like Guild Hall,” Markel said. “NFTs are sweeping the art world and ‘RE-MERGE’ marks the first of its kind to be presented on the East End.”
Curator Lee Komaromi explained, “By featuring these innovative works of art together, both physical and digital, visitors have an opportunity to reflect or meditate on the current state of our environment and futuristic ideals of a post-pandemic society.”
American artist, Nicole Cohen, who specializes in video and installation art, will debut her first NFT artwork, “Water Essential.” An animated image of water morphs in and out of shapes underpinning the element’s intrinsic importance to human existence. Her video installation piece, “FreshWater,” depicts liquefied movement evocative of rituals of rebirth referencing Bill Viola's “Purification” work created for Peter Sellars' staging of a Wagner opera. The works represent the prevalent themes of re-emergence and revival throughout the show.
Sagaponack-based artist Steve Miller, whose work has been exhibited at the New Museum and the Florence Biennale, experiments across varying modes of multimedia including. X-ray images of live endangered animals. In addition to his paintings and skateboards, his latest NFT, “Pour Me Another,” will be featured which calls attention to his craft as a gentle reminder that “painting is not dead.”
Also featured are two female artists-as-activists whose work draws attention to ocean conservation through their work, in particular coral barrier reefs — the “lungs of our planet.” British mixed media and light artist, Tatyana Murray meticulously etches classical images drawn from nature and the sea into multiple layers of perspex which are backlit by eco-friendly LED lights. Spanish underwater performance photographer, Aldara Ortega literally takes a more submerged approach and dives with her lens to capture perfectly timed, fleeting moments amongst coral reefs in Roatan, Honduras. Together, they present a timely conversation on ecology, climate change, the sublime and spirituality.
The digital artists hail from Canada, Russia, Iran, Hawaii and the United Kingdom including Christine Davis, Olga Ozerskaya, Firouz Farmanfarmaian, Max Lemaire and Daniel Lismore, respectively. As an added bonus, Dan Simerman’s “ZED RUN,” a digital horse stable, will be included featuring his renowned and rarified Nakamoto digital horse breed.
Screenings of the work will take place throughout the month and a panel discussion on NFT art will be held with local artists and the curator. Select NFT works will be available on Ethereum 2.0 to address sustainability concerns.
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is at 2418 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For details, visit markelfinearts.com.
One fine body…