BELLPORT VILLAGE

Color, humor, fantasy, real bodies in ‘No Body Like This Body’

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“Attic,” a 72-by-60-inch acrylic on canvas painting by Adam Lowenbein, is mesmerizing. A gorgeous display of colors surround a man in an attic who decides to try on a red and white dress.

That’s the simplistic version.

But stand there for a while. There are caramel-tinged attic rafters, frothy pink and yellow tissue spilling out of boxes, dresses in fabulous hues of pink, green, gold, red and turquoise, and shadows shaded with navy, purple and marine blue. The man is wearing only his white boxers and is about to step into the dress. It is one of Lowenbein’s COVID summer paintings. He lives and works in East Moriches, as well as New York and Florida.

“It’s luminous,” said The Gallery at Marquee Projects owner Mark Van Wagner of the painting. “Light is coming in from the window on top. It’s like a discovery.”

Lowenbein’s painting is among 13 in the “No Body Like This Body” exhibition featured at Marquee Projects, 14 Bellport Lane in Bellport, through June 22.

“The premise was basically to choose artists who examined the human form and unabashedly depicts the body’s functions as portrayed, or questions the many variables of identity and what we perceive as beautiful,” Van Wagner said.

The exhibit is colorful, humorous, thoughtful, truthful, graphic and vibrant, with fantasy mixed in. Take Bell Fullana’s “Puti Alien in the Sky” (30 by 24 inches, oil and spray paint on canvas). This fun girl alien has attitude, with her black-lined, turquoise eyes, heart-shaped nose, gorgeous thick braid with pink bands. She’s surrounded by small planets and stars that zing by. Oh, and she’s holding in her green hand—nails painted purple, of course—maybe a flare or ray gun shooting off fire. There’s a smile on her face and a cigarette dangling from her mouth.

In other words, you want to hang out with her.

“This came all the way from Majorca, Spain,” said Van Wagner of Fullana’s home base.

Hunter Potter’s “Self Portrait” (acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 40 by 40 inches) presents a smiling construction worker with a yellow hard hat, white T-shirt, blue pants and brown construction boots with his hands out in a welcoming stance against a red background. The colors are mostly primary shades, but there’s subtle writing in the background to muse, “A Mind That’s Weak and a Back That’s Strong.”

“That’s what people perceive of construction workers,” explained Van Wagner. “It pre-sold before the exhibit opened to a collector in Hong Kong.”

Gary Schneider’s 42.5-by-30.5-inch “Carly’s Legs,” categorized as photography utilizing pigmented ink on canvas, is beautiful in its presentation and shading of a woman’s legs, thighs down, legs gracefully crossed at the ankles. “He’s a photographer who’s painterly,” said Van Wagner.

Schneider and Hugo Guinness, who painted “The Exhibitionist,” are locals. Guinness’s piece (oil on canvas, 16 by 24 inches) is, to put it mildly, a hoot. It’s of a woman in a bar bending over for the camera, or in this case, the artist, showing off white panties, white sheer stockings held up by a red garterbelt under her crinolined dress.

This is Van Wagner’s third exhibit of the season at this storefront gallery, run by Van Wagner and his wife Tonja Pulfer, who’s skilled at mounting the artwork as well as at being their business manager.

Their first opening on March 6, “Rememnant,” offered a welcome relief after a COVID winter with 13 pieces. “Eight Days in Yemen,” April 17 to May 8, was a solo showcase for Peter Schlesinger and the photos taken in 1976 when he visited the Yemen Arab Republic at that time. Schlesinger captured the architecture, countryside and people of Yemen shortly after their Civil War and the exhibit coincided with the debut of his book. Van Wagner selected 21 photos; Schlesinger’s book was also sold. (Not surprisingly, it sold out.) “Peter has a house out here, so there were a good amount of people who came,” he said.

About 70 visitors came to the “No Body Like This Body” opening reception last week (with doors open, masks on, access to the back yard), but you have time to see it until the end of June.

“I’m also looking to do a sequel,” Van Wagner said. For more information, visit MarqueeProjects.org or call 631-803-2511.

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