An Online Gallery


by Vince Bushell

gate left open – Artist Casey Bolding
Venus in The Woods – Artist Jim Picco

How timely! An online gallery when we are all stuck inside. I was contacted by John Giesa. In coordination with his sister Katherine Giesa, the siblings found common ground and a common passion to promote upcoming artists. They are from Milwaukee with connections to UW Madison artists. There is a lot of art online by specific artists and other galleries that have brick and mortar locations as well.
But why not start out with online gallery shows with a theme. The Giesa concept is to tell a story with the show of varied artists. This is their third show online and its focus will be on contemporary surrealism.
Why Hasbrook? It is named after their Grandmother (maiden name) as a testament to matriarchy as well as Grandma Hasbrook’s passion and strength.
I dropped some bait to John with a question: Is contemporary surrealism a valid form of expression in 2020?   How do young artists view the art world today?
John Giesa answered: ”I don’t necessarily believe there is a form of invalid expression. However, I do think contemporary surrealism is incredibly relevant in 2020. In fact, thinking of the word validity itself lends an insight to why surrealism is so prevalent and important today. Facts and logic seem increasingly malleable while the dichotomy between reality and illusion is fleeting. We are exploring this with the upcoming show as we note the viewer to be conscious of the web page as a space, as one moves through the gallery, the sense of reality becomes looser and the signs to ground one in actuality are pushed.
While young artists are far from a monolith, one common theme I notice is a sense of disillusionment, hence the name for the show, Optical Disillusion: Contemporary Surrealities. I think it is really hard for young artists to grapple with where we are as a global society and how we got here. The psychology of artists often leans to a place of awareness and their expression comes from internal and external experience. So, many artists seem hyper-aware of the problems we face and the uncertainty of our future, giving them this sense of disillusionment after growing up with the idea that ‘the future will be better” and a harder time grounding in reality.’
John Giesa is not calling anyplace home right now but spends a lot of time in Milwaukee. His sister, Katherine Giesa is at Carnegie Mellon University. I believe that is in Pittsburg Pennsylvania. An interesting town, home of Andy Warhol, and a drop into surreal immersion, The Mattress Factory.
Here are a couple of works from the show. On paper, if only lowly newsprint.
Check it out online:

Immersed in the surreal – Mattress Factory – Pittsburgh Pensylvania