Elisa Contemporary Art presents Immersion at The Design Studio in Bridgehampton, NY. Immersion is a deep dive into the Summer Season featuring the Swimmer artwork of Kaua’i artist Carol Bennett, New Orleans Hyperrealist Matt Story and San Francisco Minimalist, Jeffrey Palladini.

This is the first exhibit debuting our newest gallery artist, hyperrealist Matt Story. We will also be debuting a paint and video “painting” by Jeffrey Palladini. The exhibit will run from June 15 through July 27 2015. Each of our artists has a different relationship and significance for focusing on water and underwater movement. For Story, water serves as a metaphor for “a deeper self-birth, cleansing and baptism.” His paintings draw their inspiration from underwater photographs, including a recent shoot in New Orleans in 45 degree weather in an outdoor pool.

Bennett uses water as a meditative journey through space and life. Her fascination with the swimmer imagery began when she was living in Los Angeles and swimming at the LA Athletic Club. According to Bennett, “The floor beneath the pool, with its ethereal skylight, was an underwater observation room...used by Olympic coaches in the 1920's. I would feel like a voyeur, watching the swimmer's private time and drawing in their beauty. I became the swimmer I observed in the images I later created.”

Water and swimming pools specifically, have been featured in Palladini’s work for years, initially developed as part of his Hotel Series. According to Palladini, “In addition to reflecting the work of influences like David Hockney and Eric Fischl, these works also originate from my youth in Southern California, and have come to symbolize for me not only the calm normally associated with water, but also a deep sensuality and intimacy.” Palladini is also using the water in his new series of work – combining painting and video -- to focus on the duality between stillness and motion, the passive and the active, and the tension created between the two. The painted figures in the foregrounds physically occupy our tangible world, but are inert, motionless while the world and water in this case, moves on without them. They are passive in the truest sense, helpless or unwilling to effect events unspooling around them.