Discover Local Artist: Jacek Gancarz, The Last Pink Flamingo

Jacek Gancarz
Jacek Gancarz

Lake Worth photographer Jacek Gancarz’s exhibit, The Last Pink Flamingo, is on view from 7-10 p.m. November 6 at Whitespace in West Palm Beach

“The plastic pink flamingo, which had proliferated front yards during the spread of American suburbia, was elevated to iconic status after 50 years – blurring the lines between kitsch and high art,” Gancarz said. Production of the original plastic pink flamingo, designed in 1957 by Don Feathersone, ceased in June 2006 when Union Products closed the factory.

Gancarz, who saw the announcement of the factory’s closing, called Union Products and bought a pair of flamingos – he wasn’t sure why – not for his front yard, he said – but he knew that he’d use them for an art project eventually.

“The Predator,” 2007

It was during Art Basil in 2007 when he brought the flamingos out of the closet. “All the creative people walking around the fair – the artists, dealers, art connesseurs – I thought they’d make interesting subjects. I told them that I was involved in a photo project and asked if they would pose with the flamingos and they obliged.”

He let them pose themselves using the props. His subjects, from all walks of life, had little in common, but it didn’t really matter, he found. “The one prop, the flamingo, unified them somehow, and gave me the opportunity to playfully observe contemporary art as iconography.

“Palm Beach,” 2008

”In my photographs, each subject’s interaction with the simple lawn ornament implies an ephemeral equality, blurring the lines between proletariat and beau monde, perhaps a parallel to contemporary American society!”

Gancarz will be present at three Whitespace WhiteBox openings, the first is on November 6. Viewers may participate in the ongoing project and may also purchase a  unique, artist-signed 8 –by-12-inch photograph of their interpretation of the Last Pink Flamingo for $45. Partial proceeds will benefit the Community Foundation.

Featured at Whitespace are 12 of his photographs (20 by 30 inches, 20-by-30-inch framed digital archival print, signed on verso, editions of 4. $650 for first edition)

Whitespace is at 2805 N. Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach. The opening  will cost $7 and includes a drinks ticket.

Exhibits at Whitespace are available for public viewing by reservation on select days. For information, call (561) 842-4131 or email info@whitespacecollection.com

To view other work by Gancarz visit his site.

Also at Whitespace is the exhibit, Whitebox I – “Beyond Delicate,” curated by Kara Walker-Tome. It features works by Gianinna Coppiano Dwin, Georgeta Fondos, Carol Prusa and Carolyn Sickles.

WhiteBox is a small space within Whitespace, a 6,000-square-foot exhibition of the private collection of Marvin and Elyane Mordes. The Mordes collection includes major contemporary artists such as Gilbert and George, Anish Kapoor, Christian Boltanksi, Vic Muniz, Lisa Ruyter, Ernesto Neto and dozens of others that will also be on view.

Also opening on Friday, Nov. 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the Armory Art Center are Visual Conceits: Fantasy or Realty and Visiting Master Artists exhibitions, which run through November 28. Admission to the opening receptions are free for Armory Members and $5 for non-members. The Armory is at 1700 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday. Call (561) 832-1776 or visit www.armoryart.org for more information.

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