Feature Articles
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August Issue 2010

City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC, Features Works by Charlie Bidwell & Samantha Magowan

The City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC, is presenting the exhibit, Now Showing: Works by Charlie Bidwell and Samantha Magowan, on view through Aug. 29, 2010. Sponsored by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the exhibition was curated by Chris Davis, a Charleston native and Los Angeles resident and co-curated by Erin Glaze, the City Gallery at Waterfront Park Coordinator.

The exhibit features the work of Los Angeles-based, Charlie Bidwell and Samantha Magowan. Magowan transforms herself in installations that are saturated with bright colors, psychedelic patterns and angles that create optical illusions. A photographer, Bidwell utilizes an unusual amount of negative space, providing the viewer with a different viewpoint of the monumental architecture and billboards which dominate the American landscape. In their work, both artists reflect the influence and side-effects of living in an environment saturated with "stuff" and how it affects the eyes and minds of artists living in L.A.

Magowan was born in London, England. She received her BA in Art from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from Art Center in Los Angeles in 2007. Working in a wide range of mediums and materials, Magowan uses photography, painting, and installation to create colorful and strange worlds where nature and artifice playfully collide. Magowan has exhibited her work extensively throughout the United States and internationally and was recently included in the upcoming publication, ArtNow: New Faces of American Art. She is represented by Annarumma 404 in Naples, Italy.

Bidwell is self-taught fine art photographer. The focus of his photography is the iconic architectural structures located around the world, as well as some of the remaining Americana roadside attractions from the 50s and 60s. He incorporates a minimal, negative space approach to the majority of his photographs, primarily in the black and white form. Color is used in a small portion of Bidwell's work, primarily within his series of neon roadside signs. His photographs have been exhibited in the US and Europe for the past 15 years. His latest exhibition occurred at the Galleria Philarmarino in Naples, Italy, in June of 2009, along with permanent installations at several Ralph Lauren stores and W Hotels, around the world. Bidwell also has developed a line of consumer products, incorporating his photographs within the designs of each product. Currently a line of 12 greeting cards has been developed, along with a line of high end men's and women's tee shirts. Bidwell is represented by Guy Hepner Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and June Bateman Gallery, NY.

The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, is a venue for contemporary artwork that is new, vital and innovative, with a focus on broadening Charleston's arts outlook. The City Gallery provides access to the visual arts for everyone in Charleston, visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the gallery at 843/958-6484 or visit (www.charlestonarts.sc).

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