Ormond Beach, FL – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in the case of artist and photographer Ed Siarkowicz, it’s in the reflections.
The unveiling of his new show “Majestic Reflections: A Collection of Inspirational Images”, during a reception on October 2nd, brought Siarkowicz back to his artistic roots at the Ocean Art Gallery.
After forming a friendship with gallery owner Frank Gromling nearly two decades ago, the pair have worked closely to showcase Siarkowicz’s photography work since 2014, first at the gallery in Flagler Beach, and now, in the arts community of Ormond Beach.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ed Siarkowicz for a long time. I’ve had my gallery for over 9 years and Ed was one of the first artists in it. He was a friend of mine before that. We shared his work with the community, and it was very successful,” recalled Gromling, whose expertise recently earned him an appointment to the Florida Council on Arts & Culture.
“Ed has been able to redevelop a whole new interest in photography, a strength in photography that has a soft touch to it, derived from his experience with impressionism. It’s all reflections of water, and it’s gorgeous. But it’s very subtle, very soft, and Ed’s photography looks more as if it’s pastel or watercolor. It’s absolutely unique in my estimation.”
What Do You See?
Siarkowicz has a knack for being laser focused. Whether it’s storm chasing, photography, or historical preservation, for him it’s all about the details. Starting the “Reflections” project several years ago, Dr. Ed, as he’s known to many (a chiropractor by trade), began photographing Florida locations with reflections at the center of his attention.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime meeting that sparked up a newfound friendship, and led Siarkowicz through the lens to find inspiration in God’s work.
“In 2015 I had an unexpected chance meeting with Pierre Matisse who is the grandson of Henri Matisse, the famous French painter. We struck up a friendship and I was invited back three days in a row to talk about photography and art. He revealed a project he’d been thinking about for some time which was photography of impressionistic water reflections, so for five years, he and I, and my original photography mentor John Olivo traveled throughout the state of Florida looking for impressionistic water reflections,” explained Siarkowicz.
Capturing only the reflections as he saw them, Siarkowicz said there is no hardscape in any photo and the only editing done was to increase the color saturation to match what he saw while in the field.
After reviewing countless images taken over the years, the trio whittled down the collection to just over two dozen photos. Half of the selections are from Flagler County’s Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Bull Creek Fish Camp and Shell Bluff Park, with the remaining from locations in Volusia County and the Bok Tower Gardens.
“To get great reflection, you need the right sunlight, the right water color, right depth, so that you’re not being distracted by what’s on the bottom. Out of the six years he and I worked together to get these, there’s only 28 images that I think are show worthy, and that’s what’s here,” said Siarkowicz during the show’s opening.
As a proud mentor and friend, New York photographer John Olivo attended the opening reception.
“What I admire about Ed’s work is the fact that he has an unbelievable eye for composition, and for art looking pieces. He can just photograph things and you know how they’re going to come out because he has the eye for it first,” said Olivo.
“He is the kind of guy who listens to you. Dr. Ed, everything I told him he took to heart, he tried it, and then he would come back to me and report how it worked out. As I saw him develop, his range of composition was getting larger and larger every time I saw him.”
The collection will be featured in the book “Majestic Reflections: A Collection of Inspirational Images”, set to be released in the upcoming months according to Siarkowicz and will complement the show on display at Ocean Art Gallery.
“All the things you see here, I deliberately went out looking for God,” he said.
“In quiet places, quiet moments, serene settings, and my intention as I was driving to some of these locations was to find a quiet, meditative spot for Him to show himself to me. The meaning for me, of all these images, is that this is what He showed me. That’s why there’s very little editing that’s done. The biggest compliment that I could get other than somebody buying a piece, would be for somebody to say I really see God in this picture.”
Visit Ocean Art Gallery at 197 E. Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176
Featured Image: Featured Artist Ed Siarkowicz and mentor John Olivio