Rowan University Art Gallery

Janice Krasnow & William A. Ortega

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 9th 5:00-7:00pm

Janice Krasnow-Portraits:Undone presents a unique, intimate, and behind-the-scenes look into an artist's distinctive working process. In addition to finished text paintings, Portraits:Undone will present polaroids, notes, typeset text, and ephemera that the artist has gathered over her many working sessions with her portrait subjects. Through Janice Krasnow's private thoughts and methods, an artistic identity is revealed as much as she divulges her subject's individuality, character, and personality in her distinctively worded portraits.

The physical working space (the artist's studio) and especially the mental associations and thought patterns of artists in relation to their subjects are invariably hidden from the public's eye. Portraits: Undone attempts to draw back the curtain regarding these personal, intimate details as they relate to one artist, Janice Krasnow. Her artistic identity is displayed in full view, as is her creative output as it relates to constructing the identities of her portrait subjects. This exhibition exposes the many internal and external variables, factors, and processes that exist in fashioning an identity, both artistic and personal

In 2005, Janice Krasnow was awarded a New Jersey Print and Paper Fellowship in printmaking from Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. Krasnow has exhibited throughout the New York City region in group and solo exhibitions for the past 12 years. She has also exhibited overseas in Paris; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Basel, Switzerland. Krasnow is the author of six books with three more pending publication this year. She earned a B.F.A for the University of Wisconsin of an M.F.A from Rutgers University.

Through his varied photographic projects and creative video works, William Ortega continues to conduct a very private and intimate search for his unique personal identity in a very public way. The different series that comprise this exhibition all speak to an investigation into this very slippery concept of identity: how it is formed, the role and primacy of different cultures and their stereotypes in shaping it, and how the factors of ethnicity, family, gender, memory, and nostalgia work on a process that shifts continually through time.

Ortega's history: familial, personal, and cultural, is a rich source of inspiration to him artistically, as his autobiography and search for identity through three disparate cultures is the main focal point of his inventive output at present. Ortega was born in Columbia and came to the United States to live when he was four years old. His heritage is a mixture of both Spanish and Columbian. Drawing on an abundant family and ancestral history, Ortega has crafted a body of work that melds the intensely personal with ubiquitous cultural stereotypes that characterize representations of American gender roles and peoples of other cultures.

William Ortega's work has been seen in New Mexico, New York, Virginia and throughout New Jersey. He has taught photography at Rutgers University and various community colleges. He is currently the education coordinator at the City Without Walls Gallery in Newark. Ortega has a B.F.A. in Photography from New Jersey City University and an M.F.A. from Rutgers University.