‘Breaking Surface’ opens at The Flatz June 30

On Thursday, June 30, “Breaking Surface” opens at Gallery @ The Flatz in downtown Peekskill. Breaking Surface consists of photographs and moving image artworks which explore the border between water and air.

“Each work offers the viewer a stillness through which to search the complex curves and reflections of water’s surface, to weigh the tension between asymmetrical elements against the overall balance these elements yield within the frame,” according to breakingsurface.net. “Within this context, images range from the fanciful to the abstract.”

Breaking Surface Opening reception is from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at Gallery @ The Flatz, 1008 Main Street, Peekskill, NY 10566. The show runs through Aug. 30.

Prices for fine art photographer Aldara Ortega’s work have more than doubled since the show opened in New York City last year. Ortega draws a circle around a map of the region on her computer screen.

“A lot of people who live more than 30 miles outside of Manhattan never go to Manhattan,” Ortega said. “They may love art, they could potentially love my work but if we can’t reach them where they live, they will never know about us.”

For The Flatz owner Erik Contzius, it is not a moment too soon.

“We want to promote area artists. There is so much talent in Upper Westchester and the Hudson Valley,” Contzius said. “And now, we are starting to see some artists from New York City notice the thriving art community up here—how much we both love and buy art. We’re thrilled to have such a powerful show in our space. I think people are going to get lost in the images. We could not be prouder or more ready for this.”

For one “Breaking Surface” artist, this is a trip home of sorts. Matthew David Wachsman is a lifetime resident of central Westchester. “Our opening reception in New York City last year drew over 300 people but hardly anyone made the long drive through rush hour traffic to be there. A lot of my friends are planning to see the show this time. This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us.”

Established artist Holger Eckstein, whose work, “Seascape #1” was the centerpiece of last year’s show, is happy to give a new audience the chance to see it.

“My work has been in museums around the world, you know and every time I go to a new place then new people can discover it,” Eckstein said. “When someone looks and then stops in their tracks I get the feeling like I am looking through the lens and seeing the image again for the first time.”

There is increasing evidence established artists are looking to exhibit in Westchester. Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) is a museum a few hundred yards up the road from Gallery @ The Flatz. The museum’s current exhibit, “Word”, features work by Ann Hamilton, whose late 2012 show at the Park Avenue Armory, “in the event of a thread” was one of the most popular art shows in recent memory.

Jo-Ann Brody, HVCCA’s communications director, says the benefits to outside artists showing work have never been greater.

“In the past few years this area has been a place for finding an artistic community—Peekskill has some 200 artists living and working here,” she said. “The coffee houses, HVCCA, the Paramount, First Monday Salon contribute to the cultural life here.”


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