JJ Ohlinger, October 2006
Opening October 6 5-8 pm
Ohlinger’s About Face series, which is inspired by the artist’s graphic design background, is composed of straightforward portraits
J.J. Ohlinger’s “About Face” series takes another turn with a second installment of tightly cropped 3-by-4-foot watercolors. The show, appropriately titled “About Face Part II,” will open on October 6, 2006 at Robert Lange Studios. It is the follow-up to Ohlinger’s September 9 opening at the City Gallery at the Dock Street Theatre. In this ongoing series of paintings, Ohlinger investigates the human form, particularly the face, with tightly and uniquely cropped works.
Ohlinger’s About Face series, which is inspired by the artist’s graphic design background, is composed of straightforward portraits of very close-up parts of the body. Each portrait glorifies the smaller details of an individual by making them grand scale.
“There is an authenticity, accuracy and immediacy that J.J. has captured in this body of work,” says gallery director Megan Lange. “Perhaps because he knows his subjects he remains discreet and keeps the viewer at a respectful distance; almost protecting the subject’s full identity.”
Showing just a small piece of a person in a grand way gives the viewer an insight into something that would normally be inaccessible – the fascinating details that we can never get close enough to. This has emerged as the hallmark that Ohlinger is becoming known for. Beginning first with his leg series in 2002, where just a woman’s legs were visible out of the darkness of a room, Ohlinger has been capturing the grandeur of people’s parts.
The issue of his subject’s identity is breached not only in the work itself, but also in the playful way that Ohlinger titles his paintings after his subjects. In describing this body of work, Ohlinger states, “I give you a name and a fragment of information, the rest is up to you. The public demands information and keeping it from them only makes them want it more.”