As we do several times a year, we and the restaurants BeLo3rd have paired with our neighboring art galleries for Dine/Art a celebration of food and art. This Saturday, we’re providing edible goodies for an extraordinary opening at Davis Orton Gallery,  just a few doors down from us at 114 Warren Street. Alongside our tasty tortine di pomodoro (tomato tartlets) and arancini al granchio (crab-flavored rice balls), Davis Orton will hosting an artists’ reception and book signing with Tamara Staples and Rebecca Doughty:

Blue-Cochin-Bantam-Pullet590pxTamara Staples, The Magnificent Chicken

Tamara Staples celebrates champions of the chicken world. Her intent is to create a portrait of each bird that shows it’s unique qualities and commands respect. Staples styles each portrait using light and backgrounds of lush fabrics and papers to elevate her subjects in the same way that Dutch painters used such materials to denote wealth and prestige in society. She spends between ten minutes to a half an hour for each portrait session. Of course, it all depends on the mood of her models.

Staples’ love for these birds began over twenty years ago during visits to her favorite uncle, a chicken breeder who lived in Athens, Georgia. He invited her to her first poultry show. While today we equate chicken with food, there is an existing culture that aims to perfect these birds through breeding based on a book entitled, The Standard of Perfection, first published in 1874. At poultry shows all over the world, known as The Fancy, chickens of all shapes, colors and sizes await their judgment. Each breeder spends years creating a work of art, where genetics is key. And each bird IS a work of art, from the amount of toes on each foot to the wingspan, from the color to the weight. These birds are bred solely for show and live luxuriously into old age. (above: Silver Duckwing Modern Game Large Fowl Hen by Tamara Staples)

inky14-590vpxRebecca Doughty, Ink

Rebecca Doughty’s work is distinctive for its comic and tragic animal figures. In these new drawings she departs from her narrative line-based work, and brings her character companions to life in graphic ink silhouettes. The animals appear as anonymous and shadowy, and at the same time their edges carefully articulate the peculiarities of each individual.

In one group, Inkies, hybrid animal figures exist in white space, appearing either to act or be acted upon, as they tumble, contort, are pushed, pulled, or struggle to move forward. Her Profile drawings are oddly reminiscent of 19th century silhouette portraits, honoring and poking fun at traditions of portraiture. Decorative picture frames add to the formality, but the artist paints them uniformly white, giving a ghostly sense of disappearing tradition. (above: Profile 9 by Rebecca Doughty)

At Davis-Orton Gallery, 114 Warren Street.

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