JULY 12 – AUGUST 25, 2014
Now on display at the PAC Members Gallery is Dan Lachacz, a local digital photographer. Lachacz is exhibiting his third series of his “site specific photography.” In this current body of work, Lachacz uses the exhibition space as his subject matter, altering the space until it no longer appears familiar. The work is similar to site specific installations in which the artist creates a new body of work specifically meant to be displayed in the designated exhibition space. Lachacz first exhibited his “site specific photography” in 2012 during his solo exhibition in the Lobby Arts Gallery at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Lachacz’s compositions include multiple contrasting details that draw the viewer in as he juxtaposes light with dark, color with shadow, space with closure. His distorted images of unreal qualities and obscure angles create a sense of intimacy with viewers, igniting their desire to explore the composition and its many stimulating components.
His photographs capture the space from unconventional angles, perspectives, and other odd points of view. By distorting the perspective in which the venue is normally presented, he forces the viewers to re-evaluate the space they occupy, making them conscious of their surroundings. Despite some easily identifiable images, such as 5, which depicts several bags of coffee beans resting against a brick wall, it is almost impossible to recognize the content of these images as objects found in Roast. Without the aid of this essay, it would likely take the viewer some time to recognize 1 as a photograph of the Roast ceiling, complete with the fictive gilded tiles displayed in a stunning contrast of black and white. Or that 3 captures the space between the brick wall and the grinder turned on its side, captured at an angle in which no one could comfortably replicate in person. His work encourages viewers to really observe and absorb their surroundings, taking in details and objects that they would normally take for granted.
4 magnifies the significance of the depository funnel a Roast patron would use to dispose of an unwanted drink. A fixture located in the dark corner of the condiment counter, the funnel is a rather inconsequential feature the average Roast enthusiast would not look twice at unless they ordered two drinks and didn’t finish either. The image epitomizes Lachacz’s visual interests as an artist, blending together areas of high resolution with unfocused surfaces, areas of intense light with dark shadows, and areas of abstraction with recognizable imagery. The smooth curves of the inner funnel and the marble counter are juxtaposed by the roughly, irregularly shaped, curve of the outer lip of the object. The artist creates a mirroring echo as the funnel opens upward, facing the upper left corner of the composition, which is mirrored by the strong crescent-shaped curve that leaves a void at the bottom third of the composition and reveals the unfocused brick wall that pulls attention away from the finely captured countertop. Even the funnel projects a dualism that its real-world counterpart is unable to replicate. The mere function of the object is one of inclusion in which waste is deposited. This point is strengthened by the tube connected to the base that can be seen in the unfocused part of the photograph. However, Lachacz presents the object in a manner that evokes the illusion of projection, as if a sound will emanate from the object at any given moment. The entire piece evokes a sense of duality as the artist brings the irrelevant to the forefront of the viewer’s consciousness.
Lachacz has been a member of the Patchogue Arts Council since 2009 and is a founding member of the Patchogue Arts Council’s Photographers Group. He is a 2010 alumnus of the New York Foundation for the Arts’ (NYFA) MARK program and has had his artwork exhibited nationally and internationally by the East End Arts Council, Phoenix Gallery, Islip Art Museum, Center for Visual Arts, and the Museum of Satu Mare in Romania. He will be exhibiting a fourth series of “site specific photography” in a solo exhibition at the Second Avenue Fire House Gallery in Bay Shore, NY during the fall of 2014.
Exhibiting artwork at Roast is bound to expose the artist to a large, diverse audience. Since opening its doors in 2010, Roast has become a Patchogue hotspot, hosting weekly open mic nights on Tuesdays and Fridays and a monthly poetry night on the first Saturday of the month. They have won Bethpage’s Best of Long Island in the categories of “Best Cup of Coffee” and “Best Coffee House” in 2013 and 2014. Naturally these feats and events are sure to bring in countless people, introducing the artists and their work to many people over the course of their exhibition.
The Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company created the PAC Members Gallery at Roast in the summer of 2013 as an alternative exhibition venue where PAC members can exhibit their artwork. The Patchogue Arts Council is a non-profit corporation founded to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. In addition to the annual members exhibition held at the Patchogue Arts Gallery, the PAC Members Gallery at Roast gives members the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in town and is only open to current members of the council.
On behalf of the Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co., I would like to thank the artist for exhibiting his work in the space. I have no doubt in my mind that his work will positively engage the viewers as they scavenge the space in search of their real-world counterparts.
Independent Curator/Arts Writer
PAC Members Gallery at Roast