“Messy, Real, Human: Welcome to Hollywood Beach” Art Exhibit Reception
A Broward County Grant Funded Art Reception featuring paintings and photography by Laura Atria and Andrew Urban.
Expanding on her love of storytelling through visual representation, “Messy, Real, Human: Welcome to Hollywood Beach” focuses on voyeurism and showcasing humans in their vulnerabilities. Vulnerability is most often thought of in a derogatory light; however, Laura Atria views the art of being vulnerable as an innate gift. Without vulnerability, there is no love, passion, experimentation, or art. She constructs these paintings as silent witnesses of time documented through thick, impressionistic, vague mark-making, channeling old masters. The vague stroke application is used to reference a disassociation between the voyeur and the subject as if the subject is saying you may watch but you can never fully know. These paintings allow the viewer to engage actively in these secret relationships but still remain the watcher. Displaying vulnerability through disconnection, the paintings also reference humans’ inability to be fully present and society’s addiction to social media and inaptitude to form natural, organic human connections. She finds herself close to the subjects, even sometimes closer than the people they are directly interacting with, creating background stories in her mind of how the person came to be where they are now. A look into her own eyes viewing the world around her, Atria’s goal with this series is to welcome the viewer into this world as a fellow watcher in hopes to gain new perspectives on their own personal interactions.
In order to create authentic and genuine subject matter, Atria worked with Andrew Urban who captured candid images of humans all over Hollywood, Florida. Although the photographs were used as references for the paintings, Atria would like the viewer to experience them as separate entities. Atria and Urban are two separate voyeurs witnessing the secret lives of people in Broward County.
This series is made possible with support from the Broward County Cultural Division. This is the first phase of the series and will be on display at ArtsPark from August 1, 2023 through November 17, 2023. The second phase, which includes additional paintings and photography, will be on exhibition at The Frank Art Gallery in Pembroke Pines, October 19, 2023 – January 11, 2024.
Live music performance by Shawn Qaissaunee and Jamie Newitt.
About the Artists:
Laura Atria is a professional artist based in South Florida. Much of her artwork focuses on the female, self-healing, and self-definition. She often creates personified characters in her paintings as a way to document her desire to process past traumas and better understand the world. She was awarded a Broward Cultural Division Artists Support Grant in 2023 and 2022 for her studio work. In 2020, she was commissioned by President Joe Biden to create multiple banner murals for his South Florida Presidential Campaign. In addition to her studio work, Atria is a public art administrator for multiple municipalities. Throughout her years as a Program Manager, Atria has also received multiple grants including a one-million-dollar Bloomberg Philanthropies Grant for the City of Coral Springs’ Public Art Challenge.
Andrew Urban is a professional photographer originally from Arizona and now based in South Florida. A left handed Aquarius who enjoys long walks on the beach, he creates visually stimulating imagery for advertising and editorial purposes. Some of his clients include Adidas, Fendi, Vovlo, Zumba Wear, and Lacoste.