“Step Right Up: The Colors of Coney Island” by Riley Vann
New Jersey based Riley “Andy” Vann’s show, “Step Right Up: The Colors of Coney Island” is on display at the Art Emporium throughout the month of December. Vann’s show of digital photographs printed on metallic paper capture the “strange and beautiful” carnival atmosphere of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Vann, formerly of the Quarrier Collective, got his start as a photographer here in West Virginia, but took a non-traditional route. “There are so many fantastic nature photographers in West Virginia. I just couldn’t seem to capture the beauty they found in these gorgeous places. Ironically, I was able to find beauty in the places where no one else thought to look.”
Vann, who draws inspiration from ground breaking photographers like William Eggleston, finds existential beauty in such images as “I Scream, You Scream” an eerie portrait of a ice cream cone floating in a beautiful blue summer sky, or “Caught in the Net” which has a lonely, melancholic vibe. But it is the off the chart “namesake” colors which steal the show. Vann chose to print these digital images on metallic paper, which serves to amplify the already saturated color palette to a blinding spectacle (how appropriate). “Army of Elmos,” “Post Card” and “Fishy Rainbow” simply vibrate with energy, while the subtler tones in “Clams, Oysters, Cash” and “Alien Nation” are no less stunning.
The Art Emporium is located at 823 Quarrier Street and gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 to 6 and Saturdays 10 to 4. The show begins December 1st and runs through December 31st. An artist reception will be held Thursday, December 17th from 5-8pm during the December ArtWalk.