My Hero - Superheroes In Contemporary Art Opens January 27

Elisa Contemporary Art presents My Hero, Superheroes in today's contemporary art. The exhibit runs Jan 27 - Mar 31. We see the influences of 1960's Pop Art and explore how five contemporary American artists bring modern heroes to life in a new w

Elisa Contemporary Art presents My Hero, a new art exhibit focusing on Superheroes in today's contemporary art. The exhibit will open on January 27th, 2012 and run March 31, 2012.

From the days of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddess through today's X-Men, Dynamic Duos, Fantastic Four and many others, we are captivated by the Superhero (male and female). Is it their superhuman strength and power? Or their seeming selflessness to put the greater needs of others ahead of their own wants and desires? Or the fact that they may embody and magnify a single aspect of the human potential in each of us? They captivate, engage and inspire us in print, on the big screen, under the Broadway lights... and now in Contemporary Art.

In the latest Elisa Contemporary Art exhibit, we see the influences of Pop Art from the 1960's and explore how five contemporary artists bring modern heroes to life in a whole new way. You'll see Superheroes including Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain America and meet some new characters.

We're featuring the undulating, architectural paintings of (New Orleans born and now California) Artist Don Morris whose series "Our Heroes" was inspired by the Pop Art of the 60's. Using comic books as his medium, Don creates canvases which at a distant appear to be an interplay of colors and textures, but upon closer examination come to life with comic book superheroes who fly, struggle, and climb before us in small fragments and vignettes. Words bubble from the comic book text and are clearly visible throughout the pieces, so the viewer can read the stories of our action heroes.

The energetic and complex mixed media paintings of Water Mill resident Oliver Peterson draw their inspiration and sources from graffiti, structural decay, literature, Victorian era medicine and the pages of comic books.

Emerging artist Jerome Walford combines Pop Art with Asian print-making styles to create fluid illustrations of his own new heroic characters. We'll be exhibiting artwork from his latest series.

The mosaic and mixed media paintings by New York artist Peter Buchman. According to Peter, "My art is really serious business with a sense of humor." He pulls from a range sources that span the cultural spectrum, and often tackles the differences between men and women, religion, film, music, sexuality, infidelity, and American machismo.

Houston artist, Mitch McGee's artwork bridges the space between painting and sculpture. In this latest series, he illustrates, cuts, paints and stains layers of birch to create highly dimensional scenes and characters.

We're hosting several special events during the My Hero exhibit.
* Opening reception on Saturday, January 28th from 4-6pm. Meet Houston Artist, Mitch McGee
* A Valentine's Day Toast to your Favorite Hero on Saturday, February 11th from 5-7pm
* Two Art Workshops for Children (age 5+). Each workshop will be led and inspired by the work of one artist:
- Saturday, February 25th from 1-3pm Super hero Collage paintings with Oliver Peterson. (ages 5+)
- Sunday March 25th from 1-3pm. Super hero in action illustrations with Jerome Walford (ages 8+)
RSVP Required. Limited Space. Further details available at

What My Hero, Superheroes in Contemporary Art at Elisa Contemporary Art
When: January 27 through March 31, 2012

Special Events:
Opening reception on Saturday, January 28th from 4-6pm. Meet Houston Artist, Mitch McGee.
Valentine's Day Toast to your Favorite Hero. Saturday, February 11th from 5-7pm
Art Workshops for kids (5+) led and inspired by our artists. Saturday, February 25th & Sunday, March, 25th 1-3pm

Where: Elisa Contemporary Art, 5622 Mosholu Avenue (near 256th Street), Riverdale NY 10471.
Hours: Friday/Saturday 10 am - 6 pm (Sunday March 25th 12-5 pm) and by Appointment

Meet our artists:
Peter Buchman
According to East Hampton (New York) artist, Peter Buchman "The human condition plays itself out in my imagination, in my sketchbooks, and in my created pieces....My art is really serious business with a sense of humor. I freely pull from a myriad of sources that span the cultural spectrum, and I'm often tackling the differences between men and women, religion, film, music, sexuality, infidelity, and American machismo."

Peter's artwork has been exhibited throughout the US since 1981 including the Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY), Cooperstown Museum (NY), Delaware Museum of Art, Kidder Smith Gallery (MA) and Vered Gallery (Easthampton). His work is included in the portfolios of collectors including Kathleen Turner, Nicole Miller, David Yurman and Howard Schultz. Elisa Contemporary Art is exhibiting the work courtesy of the Sara Nightingale Gallery.

Mitch McGee
Houston artist Mitch McGee's artwork lives between painting and sculpture. In his current Birch series, he uses layers of wood, each illustrated, hand cut and stained to create dimensional pieces. On average, each takes 35-40 hours to complete.

His influences include Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. According to Mitch, "I have always been fascinated with Pop Art and the ability of artists like Lichtenstein and Oldenburg to take everyday objects we are bombarded with and make them fascinating. Roy Lichtenstein took comic strips and repositioned them as lithography. In an almost tongue in cheek fashion, I wondered how I could take one of his pieces and recreate it in another medium."

Mitch has exhibited his work throughout Texas since 2001.

Don Morris
Best known for his Our Heroes series, Don Morris's constructions with comic books recall memories of the Pop Art of the sixties. In Our Heroes the ever popular comic book is transformed into energetic architectural elements that are highly textured and brightly colored.

Don Morris was born in New Orleans in 1935 and obtained his doctorate degree at Louisiana State University. He recently moved his studio from Coral Gables, Florida, to Rancho Santa Fe, California. According to Don, "Although there are many aspects of my work that can be intellectualized, the fundamentals still require that inner aesthetic sense. But in the final analysis, it is the viewer that deems my work either 'art' or 'folly.' I ply my trade before a thousand critics."

His art is in numerous collections and museums in the United States, Europe and Asia. He currently has a solo exhibit in Palm Springs, CA.

Oliver Peterson
Sag Harbor resident Oliver Peterson reveres the bucolic nature of his hometown, but finds inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. Graffiti, structural decay, the pop zeitgeist, literature, politics, history, and his personal experience drive the artist's work to challenging places one might not associate with the East End's beaches and bountiful reputation. Peterson's paintings are very much about the media from which they are built. The artist frequently experiments with paint and patinas and often applies random studio detritus to compositions that have been described as energetic, complex, dark, and even gentle.

Since late 2005, Peterson has embarked on developing his ongoing series of mixed media work and he recently began exploring modern heroic figures cut from the pages of comic books and other sources. Pieces often contain burlap culled from the large bags used for coffee beans, as well as other fabrics. Carefully cut paper and a variety of scraps and remnants surface from all facets of Peterson's world.

Other common elements like newspaper and advertising reflect the artist's travels or ground the work in Sag Harbor and other local towns and villages. All aspects are visible throughout the portfolio, which continues to evolve. A diligent survey of each painting will prompt observers to consistently discover new things. For Oliver Peterson, interaction with the work is paramount.

Oliver was born in New York and received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He has exhibited his work in exhibits throughout New York since 2006.

Jerome Walford
Jerome Walford is an emerging New York artist. He is an illustrator and founder of The Blue Griffin Design Studio.

His style is a fluid combination of Pop Art, Asian printmaking and many other artistic traditions. In July of 2010, he began working on a series of graphic novel stories. According to Jerome, "I am personally drawn to character driven narratives that contrast sci-fi or supernatural elements, with the timeless traits of being human. It is my hope to capture super-but-human moments in the stories that I create."

Jerome has exhibited in several shows throughout New York.

About Elisa Contemporary Art
Elisa Contemporary Art represents a portfolio of both emerging and established contemporary artists, many of whom have work in the permanent collections of major museums and corporations.

Founded in 2007 by Lisa Cooper, Elisa Contemporary Art is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and collection of art as a way to enrich and heal our lives, our communities, and the world. The Riverdale gallery opened in September 2008. Elisa Contemporary Art has participated in high end art fairs in New York, Miami and the Hamptons, and curated public art exhibits in Manhattan, as well as an online exhibit for 2011 CurateNYC. Owner Lisa Cooper also provides art consulting services.

A portion of every sale is donated to philanthropic organizations that help children and families within underserved communities heal and grow through their experience with art. Free Arts NYC, Arts to Grow and Creative Arts Workshops for Kids are supported.

For more information, visit the website at or contact Lisa Cooper at or 212.729.4974. The Riverdale Gallery is located at 5622 Mosholu Avenue, Riverdale NY 10471.

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