Press release from Grand Bohemian Gallery:
Grand Bohemian Gallery celebrates the animal kingdom with Animalia Chordata, an exhibition featuring wildlife rendered in different styles and mediums by select Grand Bohemian artists Mitch Kolbe, John Mac Kah and introducing Evan Kafka, Mohamed Sabaawi. The exhibition runs September 7-October 7, with two meet-the-artists receptions occurring Friday, September 14 and Friday, September 21, 5:30-8 p.m.
About the new debuting artists:
Evan Kafka grew up on the Maryland side of the DC Beltway, attending a technical school for electronics in the mid-’80s, then working for the Associated Press in Washington as an electronics technician. He later studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, earning a BFA there. He ran a successful photo studio Williamsburg, Brooklyn, traveling throughout the U.S. and internationally, creating editorial and journalistic photography for Metropolis, Entertainment Weekly, ESPN, Fortune, The New York Times, New York magazine, Inc., Barron’s, Forbes and other publications with 32 cover images.
Just under five years ago he moved his family to Asheville and concentrates on commercial and artistic photography. His animal portraits are imbued with nuance, beauty, humor and the true personality of the beings he photographs.
Mohamed Sabaawi began his art studies as a young man in Alexandria, Egypt with Seif Wanly, who introduced modern art to Egypt. Under family pressure, he interrupted his formal study of fine arts to become a medical doctor, practicing psychiatry for almost 30 years in the United States. In the last decade he revived his focus on the arts, studying with noted painters in Asheville, North Carolina.
Sabaawi’s work has been characterized as emotionally resonant, uniting the truth of a realistic representation with psychological and spiritual intuition. Exquisite sensitivity to color value and light and the expressiveness of his brushwork are the foundation of his appealing and characteristic style.
Today he works from a studio and gallery space in the historic center of Bordighera, in the Liguria region of Italy, and spends considerable time in Asheville as well.
Kessler Signature Artist Mitch Kolbe created a new series of works for the exhibition. (His textured impressionist oil paintings hang permanently in the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, and five other Grand Bohemian Hotels and Kessler Collection properties nationwide.)
Well-known Asheville-based traditional landscape realist John Mac Kah showcases a small collection of delicately-painted animal portraits rendered with oil on paper, panel and canvas.