kiss detail

Speaking In Tongues

Jo-El Lopez
Curated by Evonne Davis

Gallery Aferro, Main Gallery
January 27th – March 12th, 2016
Opening Reception, January 30th, 7-10pm
Artist Talk and Closing Reception, March 12th, 4pm

Gallery Aferro is pleased to present a major solo show by New Jersey-based painter Jo-El Lopez. Born in Juncos, Puerto Rico and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Lopez uses the visual storytelling of traditional realism to convey complex commentary on the intersection of faith and modernity, the strength of family, and the multidimensional contemporary urban experience in his very first solo show, Speaking In Tongues. The decades the artist spent under the Pentecostal doctrine, a bold color palette informed by both abstract painting as well as older traditions of icon-making, all meld to create Lopez’s kaleidoscopic worldview. The collection of artworks on view from January 27 – March 12, 2016 reveal a restless, deeply engaged spirit closely observing not only his immediate environment, but the larger historic trajectory of national news.

Lopez asserts, “Originally, I studied business and fine arts at Kean University and at Montclair State University and was prepared for a life in the corporate arena. But my life’s journey has led me back to artmaking and my true passion. My work shows my voyage from that life choice to now.” In just four years since leaving the business world to focus on art, Lopez’s work has appeared regularly in tri-state area exhibtions at The Bronx Art Center, Gallery Aferro, The Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey City State University Gallery, Rupert Raven Contemporary, and Jersey City’s City Hall.

Speaking In Tongues assaults the senses: acid greens, bright pinks, and golden tones vibrate against each other. The artist’s instantly recognizable sense of irony, the wit that is at turns ruthless and affectionate, can be seen in works such as “The Kiss at the 16th Avenue Baptist Church,” “The Black Face Jesus,” and “The Virgin Miracle.” Yet in works like “Walking on Water,” Lopez tackles his subject with restraint and reduced composition to compliment the visceral sentiments of life’s journey. There is a willingness to reveal yearning, and a desire for emotional transparency. Racial and ethnic identity, gender and sexual politics, and parallel as well as conflicting cultural traditions and narratives all are in play when Lopez turns his attention to a new canvas.

White promo low res


Woodley White

Gallery Aferro, Liminal Gallery
January 27th – March 12th, 2016
Opening Reception, January 30th, 7-10pm
Closing Reception, March 12th

Woodley White (b. 1983) creates artwork that shows a keen eye for detail and a passion for his subject matter. It is not uncommon for Woodley to draw the same subject hundreds of times across all media and on various surfaces. Each aspect of Woodley’s work is deeply considered, from the placement on the page to the intense line quality. The repetitive nature of his work conveys Woodley’s passion for his subject matter and the focus of his observation. White’s work has recently begun to include portraits of people found in books and magazines. White has shown his work throughout Philadelphia, including exhibitions at AIRspace and the InLiquid exhibition space at Crane Arts.

Woodley White is represented by Art|Works, a program of Community Integrated Services, Philadelphia, PA, that provides professional support to working artists with disabilities.


Elevator Music 2

Curated by Spencer Frohwirth
Aferro Publication No. 24

Played on Loop at Gallery Aferro’s Vintage Elevator Installation
2nd Floor, 73 Market Street, Gallery Aferro
September 5th 2015 – July 1st 2016

Andrew Wilkinson
Lorin Roser
Spencer Frohwirth & Jacob Mandel
Laura Plana Gracia
Maggie Dubris
Sam Sebren