North Fork Art Scene: Alex Ferrone Gallery

Like the South Fork art scene, galleries on the North Fork have come and gone. Even so, it’s still exciting to visit new venues, especially those that show a lot of promise. The Alex Ferrone Gallery in Cutchogue is a good example, especially since it’s the only photography gallery on the North Fork. It also distinguishes itself because of the work on display: images of aerial scenes by Ferrone herself who has a special talent taking pictures of real estate from the air.

But make no mistake about it. The pictures in this exhibit are fine art to be sure, presenting striking images that stop viewers in their tracks. What’s more, Ferrone notes that none of the photos are digitally produced. This is perhaps their most notable quality because we are so used to seeing unusual images created by digital technology. There are certainly other traits to be admired, however, including the fluid nature of the images. (The pieces themselves are arranged in a flowing pattern adding to the idea of changing relationships.) This fluidity also contributes to the painterly and textured look of the photographs.

That Ferrone is a “purist” leads to another important aspect of her work. Because no pictures are manipulated, the subject matter is real, proving once again that abstractions of nature, not technology, evoke the most extraordinary imagery. And since the images are seen from the air, conveying a bird’s-eye perspective, we experience these images in extraordinary ways.

For example, the water creates designs alongside the stone jetty in “Formation One.” It’s a pretty picture, but the details of the
environment are what make it noteworthy. And again, it’s the fluidity which creates the impression that the jetty is moving in space. The same is true of “All Blues,” a shot that contrasts the blue water with a white sandbar, complete with small birds flying across the horizon. The beauty lies in the details as well. Canoes placed in a row on Georgica Beach also enhance both the details and contrast between man-made boats and the natural water. The flowing quality derives from the viewer as she/he scans the canoes.

Ferrone applies her details, naturalism and fluidity to other landscapes besides water. Consider her shots of vineyards recalling weavings with contrasting fabrics. Again, our eyes scan the setting, picking out the tiny vines hanging in a row. Symmetry is at work here which becomes an outstanding compositional element. Fields with red flowers and twig patterns also evoke noteworthy compositions.

Moreover, there are Ferrone’s visuals that we’d swear are close-ups of natural formations rather than aerial shots. Some images resemble dunes, others cliffs. Yet we conclude they are shot from the air, still providing a special viewing experience.

One particular image appears to be a metaphor, according to Ferrone, featuring a shape that looks like a woman with flowing hair. This is fluidity at its best.

The Alex Ferrone Gallery is located in Cutchogue, 25425 Main Road. Call 631-734-8545 for hours and dates of the exhibit. See works by Alex Ferrone at The Rosalie Dimon Gallery at Jamesport Inn from May 3- August 2. Call (631) 722-0500.

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