Fountain Street Gallery’s current exhibition “PHANTASM,” feature’s paintings by Ponnapa Prakkamakul and Steve Sangapore. The exhibition explores the artists’ complimentary, multi-perspective interests in nature and science. The word phantasm connotes illusion or figment of the imagination. Prakkamakul’s paintings create the illusion of looking from above and below simultaneously. In Sangapore’s work, what appears as a figure, a face, or a landscape collapses into pure line abstraction. The artists’ collaboration led them to create an innovative joint painting for this exhibition. Combining their unique styles and executions makes for an elegant, balanced and thought-provoking show.
Ponnapa Prakkamakul describes her paintings in this exhibition as “stereographic collages of imaginary landscapes.” This luminous work, from her Beyond Planet Earth series, visually breaks the convention of landscape painting and challenges the way viewers think about space. To create this collection, she traveled to the Atacama Desert in Chile and stayed with the Likan Antai community, observing their relationship with the landscape. As a painter and landscape architect, site investigation and immersion play an important role in her work. Prakkamakul connects with her surroundings through the performative acts of searching, studying, and gathering natural materials to paint with. In the studio, the collected materials—soil, plant, groundwater, and rust from found objects— are applied to paper. She uses the painting process as a tool to explore cultural displacement and, with her experience as an immigrant, foster deeper connections to a new place. Prakkamakul is a contemporary visual artist and landscape architect from Thailand.
Steve Sangapore’s oil and ink paintings are amalgamations of realism, surrealism and abstraction. His featured series, SUPERPOSITION, asks the question, does consciousness create the universe? In striking visual terms, Sangapore explores the quantum phenomenon of wave particle duality: the discovery that particles behave as non-local waves until a conscious observer interacts with them. Sangapore captures the implications of this idea by splitting each painting in two. One side depicts the world as we perceive it, rendered using oil paint. The delivery is familiar, defined, and full of color and emotion. On the other side, using ink, he employs spontaneous line work which illustrates the unintuitive non-locality of the quantum world.
Sangapore’s unique take on composition, subjects, and structural execution has led his paintings to be exhibited nationally and published in art magazines and journals, including Art Business News, The Boston Globe, and Creative Quarterly. He is an artist at Boston’s Copley Society of Art and a Core Member of Fountain Street.
Phantasm is on view through April 25, 2021. It can be viewed both in the gallery and online in a virtual 360 tour.