Mesmerized By Monet

by Elise Pearlman, August 2012 for Village Connection

Village Connection aug-2012

In 2008, Holly Gordon, a longtime member of Huntington’s Fotofoto Gallery, traveled to France in the company of a select group of photographers.  As she gazed with wonder on Claude Monet’s lush gardens in Giverny, Holly had what she described as “the ultimate spiritual experience” of her life.” This pivotal moment and subsequent visits to Giverny provided the inspiration for a body of work entitled “Monet and Me.”  Holly considers her images showcasing the beauty of nature to be a “contemporary continuation of the Impressionist Movement” of which Monet was considered the grand master.

Prior to embarking on her journey as a photographer, Holly was a painter and student of art history. Like Monet, she is also an avid gardener. Looking back on previous work, she found remarkable correspondences between her images and Monet’s in terms of subject matter, and the delight in the fleeting dance of colors and forms that is perception.

“The camera is both my paintbrush and my canvas.  Color and light tease and dazzle my senses and sensibilities,” Holly said of her painterly images which celebrate the waltz of light across  a lily pond or the diminutive beauty of a trio of three parasol-like mushrooms.

More remarkably still, after reading Monet’s journals and seeing his work in French museums, Holly realized that she had taken photographs at the same spots which inspired some of Monet’s greatest artistic triumphs.

Holly’s images have been exhibited in the American Museum of Natural History and have graced the pages of Shutterbug and National Wildlife Magazines.  Her newest body of photographic work, “Holly Meets Hokusai,” draws its inspiration from Japanese wood block prints, which also intrigued Monet. The show takes place at FotoFoto Gallery, 14 West Carver St., Huntington Village from October 4 to 27, with an opening reception on October 5 from 5 to 7 pm.