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Secret garden: Art show in flower shop merges city life and plant life • Brooklyn Paper

Secret garden: Art show in flower shop merges city life and plant life

Brooklyn debut: Artist Gerald Janssen will show off his photographic work of arranging extreme closeups of flowers and trees into grids in his first DUMBO exhibit.
Photo courtesy of Gerald Janssen

A new art exhibit in DUMBO unites nature photography and design — and it does so inside a flower shop-turned-art gallery.

Artist Gerald Janssen combines disparate sensibilities by taking close-ups of flowers and trees and arranging them in grids that resembles the city’s cross streets.

“I am fascinated by the absurdity, complexity, and contingency of modern life,” said Janssen in his artist’s statement.

But his fascination with city-dwelling hasn’t quelled his love for nature, and has in fact only made him more sensitive to plant life.

That explains the flower shop.

Expressing his love for trees in particular, Janssen admitted that most of his photographs were from Central Park, saying he rarely ventured into Brooklyn, but that his recent trips to DUMBO had made an impression on him.

“The whole aspect of forms and shapes are essentially flying overhead,” said Janssen of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. “That really is the salient charm of DUMBO, almost like a gravitational pull.”

And much like his adoration of the architecture in Brooklyn, his work on exhibit at the DUMBO micro gallery Art by the Arch shows a keen awareness of beauty in restricted forms, using tightly cropped, cinematic shots of plant life. He places each image beside one another in a grid of twenty five “blocks,” yet the individual detail shots of petals and snow-covered branches seem even more vibrant and expressive in their confined spaces.

Gerald Janssen’s “Grid Series 2012,” at Art by the Arch [28 Adams St. between Water and Front streets, (212) 475–4989]. Starting Oct. 4 through Nov. 2.

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