In the galleries: Every picture tells a story, but it’s up to viewers to provide the plot. Washington Post by Mark Jenkins, May 25 2018
Technically, the “Theory of Color” at Artist’s Proof is the second half of a two-part show of local and international abstract artists. The selection spotlights bright hues, following a run of all-white work. But some of the pieces from the previous grouping are still on display, so both modes coexist.
Of the part-two artists, most evoke nature. Robert Schoenfeld’s overlapping swaths of color dotted with gold grains suggest flower bouquets, as well as Morris Louis canvases. Shar Coulson’s paintings employ more muted shades and subtle contrasts among areas of opaque, watery and seemingly abraded pigment. Kikuko Morimoto works with literal blocks of color, collaging torn sheets of single-hue paper. Simplest yet rich with detail are Craig Cahoon’s bisected fields, pitting red against orange or black vs. lime. The colors are bold but applied in streaks, which gives them texture and even a sense of movement.
Of the colorless works still on exhibit, the most striking are Maja Thommen’s bas reliefs, made of fiber resin. They conjure shapes of water, including waves, ripple and bubbles. That the material is entirely white frees the Swiss artist to focus purely on form, light and shadow.
Best Art Advisor: Best of DC, DC Modern Luxury, by the Editors. January 10, 2018
When one asks art curator and advisor Peggy Sparks what she likes when it comes to fine art, she doesn’t equivocate: The woman has a gallery to showcase her passions. From pop artist John Stango to internationally renowned photographer Fred Maroon, Sparks has the most diverse yet on-point eye in the city. The good news for companies and individuals who want to populate their offices and homes with beauty? Sparks’ talent is for hire. She believes in the commingling of personal taste and timeless imagery.
Talk About the Passion, DC Modern Luxury, by Michael McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief, January 2018
Peggy Sparks is another woman passionate about her calling: art. As the owner of Artist's Proof Art Gallery & Consultancy in Georgetown, she has one of the keenest eyes for new worldwide talent in the District, and she also happens to be one of the most insightful and genuinely happy people you'll meet in the new year.
Two Shades Of War: Nenad Zaric At The Artist’s Proof Gallery, The Georgetown Voice, by Michael Bergin, December 12, 2017
In the bewildering strife and tragedy of conflict, art has always been a positive light in the darkness. Petr Krivonogov’s painting of Russian soldiers standing with their arms up on the bullet-ridden Reichstag steps has been a Russian sign of hope for peace, or even for restoration. “Guernica” is a memorial to the chaos and confusion of atrocity and violence, while “Paths of Glory” is a dismissal of glory searching for a lost generation. Those who live through times like these all have a unique experience to convey. Serbian artist Nenad Zaric is no exception. Selected works from his “White and Black” series, now on display at the Artist’s Proof Art Gallery, reflect Zaric’s feelings on the downfall of Yugoslavia, torn apart by ethnic conflict.
10 summer date ides that go beyond the typical outdoor movie or concert, Washington Post, by Going Out Guide staff, July 2017
The intimate pop-up concert series Sofar Sounds puts on shows in unexpected spaces: Think Artist's Proof art gallery in Georgetown, the Femme Fatale pop-up store on H Street, Shake Shake in Union Station and private homes across the city. Sit on blankets and listen to music from a mix of local bands, emerging artists and such headliners as Vanessa Carlton, Broods and Buika - three past acts.
Walls & Plates, DC Modern Luxury, by the Editors, December 2017
Owner and curator Peggy Sparks has one of the finest contemporary-art minds in the city, and it shows in this place.
In the galleries: Dark hues that paint unsettling portents, Washington Post, by Mark Jenkins, June 15, 2017
Even if none of Saya Behnam’s paintings included Farsi script, which a few do, the influence of Persian illuminated manuscripts would be clear just from the colors. The Tehran-born, Leesburg-based artist’s elegant pictures are abstract rather than representational, but they’re clearly linked to tradition. Her Artist’s Proof show, “Saffron & Tea,” glistens with flower and mineral pigments used for centuries in one-of-a-kind illustrated books.
In addition to the titular substances, the artist employs henna, coffee and hibiscus, supplemented by gold. Dabs of the latter dance across a series of florals on white backdrops, while other compositions include 3-D spirals of gold leaf or white and yellow paint. The juxtaposition of loosely and tightly painted forms complements the contrast between watery, overlapping tints and rock-solid hues. The results are usually delicate, which befits techniques such as the way Behnam blows saffron grains across the surface, letting them fall where they may. As the artist writes, this process yields a permanent “testament” to a fleeting gesture.
In the galleries: These are not your usual travel pictures, Washington Post, by Mark Jenkins, May 4 2017
Like Darrow Montgomery, Pedro Correa is a street photographer, but he doesn’t focus on a particular place. The pictures from his “Urban Impressions” series, at Artist’s Proof, depict multiple cities on several continents. A Madrid-born Brussels resident who trained as a painter, Correa hops from London to Tokyo to Paris. Wherever he goes, it seems, he avoids the eyes of the people he observes. He’s a poet of urban isolation, or at least non-connection.
Correa often shoots through mist, fogged and streaky glass, or from several stories up, gazing straight down. The results include a vivid snowscape in which footprints and tire tracks reveal a black surface beneath the white powder, and a red umbrella is the only note of color.
With their generic locations and blurred and hidden faces, Correa’s photos appear to seek universal qualities of city life. Yet they often have discreet local character. Tokyo’s concrete is set off by bamboo, a cogent summary of the city’s look, and a British Rail sign identifies one scene as London. Correa’s subjects may be elusive, but they’re not entirely lost.
In the galleries: Step right up and see the sideshow, Washington Post, by Mark Jenkins, February 2017
There are only four Schalk van der Merwe paintings on display at Artist's Proof, but they pack more intensity than a dozen gentler pictures. Taken from the South African artist's latest series, "Not So Funny Now," the portraits glower at the viewer through veils of drips, scratches and smears. Shadowy sockets nearly swallow the subjects' eyes, while red accents suggest both flesh and blood. But skin and underlying muscle don't devolve into raw meat, as in the work of Francis Bacon, whose style is one of van der Merwe's reference points.
These aren't renderings of particular people, and the gallery's note argues that "identity, likeness and gender are neither clear nor important." Yet the faces appear as bristlingly masculine as the artist's method. Van der Merwe uses sketchy charcoal lines to define basic features, giving graphic discipline to the layered, painterly images. In one portrait, the lower part of the face melts into a delta of drips, and yet the overall countenance remains lucid and sturdy. These pictures may depict shock, anger or despair, but never weakness.
Women of Style, Peggy Sparks, Gallery Owner, DC Modern Luxury, September 2016
If there's more effervescent or charming person in the arts community in Washington, he or she would need to overtake Peggy Sparks, owner of Georgetown's Artist's Proof Gallery (aproof.net). Maybe one of the reasons for her cheery vibe is the fashion freedom she experiences everyday. "One of the greatest job perks in the art business is that I get to wear just about anything I want and get away with it," says Sparks, a Singapore native work worked in cities like Shanghai and Dubai before setting in the District a few years ago. " I can get away with wearing a razorback form-fitting dress with ballet flats [one day] and distressed denims with 4-inch stilettos [the next]. And then I'll wear a formal white suit to a client meeting, and no one questions the appropriateness of all three styles."
Christian Develter in the cover of the Georgetowner, Georgetowner, October 2014
At Artist's Proof on Wisconsin Avenue, "Ma Da Wine Chin," oil on canvas, by Christian Develter of Blankenberge, Belgium. Develter's latest series chooses for its subject the women of the Chin tribe in Myanmar, focusing on their elaborately tattooed faces.
Featured Artist: David Kracov
David Kracov is a sculptor, painter and animator, who has worked on landmark movies such as "The Lion King" and "The Swan Princess." He has long captured the hearts of young and old alike, with work guided by the ever-evolving nature of pop culture, literature, and history. pg. 8