Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

VENTURA COUNTY CULTURE

Schaf's Far-Flung Photographs Celebrate the Commonplace

June 20, 2002|JOSEF WOODARD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The artist currently known as Schaf has shown his photography regularly around the area and is well known for his use of the reality-filtering visual effects of infrared film. Often, he has drawn on the dreamy effect to romanticize roadside Americana, in the Midwest or in Ventura.

With his one-person exhibition "Part of a Bigger Picture" in the Upstairs Gallery, Schaf spreads his wings a bit, presenting images from far-flung locales. The softened edges and blurred lighting of infrared film lend further exoticism to sites that may need no extra help in the direction of mystery. Among his reports from Europe are images of a wind-blown lawn chair on a sprawling park green in London, an outdoor book vendor in Paris, backed by the Seine and an affectionate view of a toilet in a Munich apartment.

Little things can count for a lot. Interior shots of a slip of a kitchen in a Paris apartment or a tight shot on a kitchen sink in Munich are not site-specific pictures from those cities, but they nonetheless convey a sense of place.

As seen in a shot of cookware in Casablanca, caressed by selective sunlight, one of Schaf's strong suits is his consciousness--and essential celebration--of commonplace objects and scenes. It therefore comes as no surprise that, despite all the more remote travelogue-like scenes on display here, one of the boldest pieces is "Strong Shoulder," a close-up portrait of luminous Mason jars.

It could be in Munich, Casablanca or Anytown, USA, anywhere where the profundity of the trivial can be found.

* "Part of a Bigger Picture," through July 13 at Natalie's Fine Threads, Upstairs Gallery, 596 E. Main St. in Ventura. Gallery hours: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon-4 p.m., Sundays; (805) 643-8854.

*

In Memoriam: The Ventura art scene lost one of its cherished denizens with the recent passing of Carol Rosenak. Although debilitating strokes in 1994 interrupted her creative activity, she resumed her art-making, in a style more abstract than the warm, realistic still-life paintings seen in various galleries in the area over the decades. One of her paintings can be seen in the Ventura City Hall's second-floor display; it is in the city's permanent collection.

The Chicago native studied at the Chicago Art Institute and worked and showed in New York and elsewhere, but she landed in Ventura in the early '70s. For the last several years, she was the wife of composer John Biggs, and both were actively involved in many corners of Ventura's art community. She died June 1 at age 76.

*

Nostalgia Ahoy: In the tradition of shows about putting on a show, "Dames at Sea" is a '60s-vintage musical with the '30s--particularly the world of Busby Berkeley--on the brain. With book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller and music by Jim Wise, it's the tale of tap-dancing chorus girl Ruby and Dick, forced to take their show on the water, making for a farce replete with seasickness and foibles. The Conejo Players Theatre is putting on the show starting this weekend, directed and choreographed by Tami Moore and starring Mary Sheridan and Arryck Adams.

* "Dames at Sea," Saturday through July 6 at Conejo Players Theatre, 351 S. Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks. Performances on Saturdays through July 6 and Sundays through June 30 at 2 p.m. and June 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8; (805) 495-3715.

*

Al Fresco Cinema: The annual "Music Under the Stars" series at the historic Olivas Adobe is one of the trusty diversions each summer, in an evocative location. The series begins Saturday, although on more of a cinematic note than a strictly musical one. The Buster Keaton classic "Steamboat Bill Jr." will be screened, with Dan Redfeld supplying the live original score.

* "Steamboat Bill Jr.," at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Olivas Adobe. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under and seniors; (805) 658-4726.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|