Gaelin Rosenwaks at the Liman Gallery
I caught a great show last week on my second visit to Palm Beach’s Liman Gallery. This time it showcased work by a young artist named Gaelin Rosenwaks. I was as equally impressed by this show as I was by the Emily Zuch show I’d seen there a few weeks prior. I’m a bit surprised to find such cutting-edge art at a gallery in Palm Beach. I expect to see work of this caliber and creativity in Miami, but not necessarily in SoFla’s sleepiest and most exclusive enclave. Here, I guess, the stereotypical notions I hold in my mind make me think I’ll find pretty seascapes and pictures of Palm trees and hibiscus flowers, not a socio-commentary on the ills and ravages of over-fishing.
But that’s what I found at Rosenwaks exhibit, “Global Catch: Portraits of a Precious Resource.” My friend Elle Schorr was with me. She’s an accomplished and innovative fine art photographer. So, I greatly value her opinion and as soon as we entered the small gallery space, she told me she was impressed. What we saw in front of us, on all of the gallery walls, and hung salon-style cascading up towards the ceiling, were photographs of fish and fish markets. This is how the Liman Gallery’s press release described Rosenwaks’ work:
“As a marine scientist focusing a majority of her academic career on fisheries, Gaelin Rosenwaks
personally witnessed the tremendous declines in fish populations and the devastation happening to
our oceans. Because of this, she set out to document the diversity of fish and how different cultures
approach their consumption of fish and other marine resources. The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations reports that 47% of major fish stocks in the world are considered
fully exploited, 18% are considered over-exploited and 10% are considered depleted. In total 75% of
the world’s fish stocks are harvested either to their maximum or beyond, an alarming statistic as we
move into the future. However what Rosenwaks found in her quest to document this consumption is
that many of the largest consumers of seafood appreciate the resource in a way she could have never
imagined. The fish are treated as precious jewels, carefully handled and displayed in vivid colors.”
There was a lot to take in, but the photographs told a story and I felt compelled by that story, even though it’s one that I had no knowledge about, or even interest in, until I saw this exhibit. After I stopped marveling at the photos, I began to marvel at the fact that Rosenwaks is a Duke-educated marine scientist. So her art is an extension and expression of her work and studies. It’s admirable that she found a way to use her creativity and intelligence to make a statement about something she clearly feels very passionate about. She’s definitely an artist to watch. She also has created a very interesting company. Please visit Global Ocean Explorations to learn more about her and to watch videos and see more photos.