Zoriah Miller and Roland Kulla at their Recent ZIA Gallery Opening

Photojournalist Zoriah Miller has seen more of the world in his years on Earth than most of us will see in our lifetimes. He has documented war, environmental catastrophe, political strife, famine, poverty, and disease. His work has been featured in nearly every major publication across the globe, and he isn’t done yet. ZIA|Gallery was absolutely thrilled that the ever-traveling Zoriah (who often goes by his first name professionally) was able to fly in from Brazil to join in on the festivities for the opening of his two-person exhibition with Chicago painter Roland Kulla (more on Kulla later).

Zoriah was gracious, kind, and eager to discuss his photography with gallery patrons. He shared a few anecdotes about his career, including his time in Iraq during the bloodiest part of the war. “The soldiers didn’t care that I wasn’t necessarily supposed to photograph everything that I did. They wanted me to show what was really going on, because the overwhelming majority of them did not agree with what they were being given orders to do,” he said. The goal of his work is to shed light on troubling global situations that the public at large is not exposed to via mainstream media coverage.

He gave some background information about his image titled The Road, a striking black and white photograph of three women carrying baskets of goods on their heads amidst mountainous, rocky terrain, and beneath a dramatic sky. Zoriah spent time documenting conservation efforts in Haiti in 2009, prior to the earthquake that literally and figuratively shook the nation to its core. The story focused on charcoal and deforestation, because the country has depleted all but about 3% of its forest. Most Haitians are so poor that they have no access to cooking gas, so very few trees remain, as they rely on charcoal and wood. Zoriah spent time living with conservationists trying to protect the trees, as locals enter the forested areas daily to attempt to take wood for charcoal. Although it is a difficult trek, locals carry these goods by hand to their small villages, many of the women wearing cheap plastic sandals (Zoriah said that the journey was difficult, even in his hiking boots). He commented on the overall quality and texture in the picture, the ethereal light making it one of his personal favorites. The photographs are “given an almost painted quality, due to being printed on fine watercolor paper,” he said.

Longtime Chicago resident Roland Kulla’s bridge paintings feature what he calls “obsessive” detail, as each rivet, cable, beam of sunlight, and cast shadow is carefully painted in a photorealistic manner. He often explores multiple compositions, making several paintings of each bridge from various viewpoints. “I compose with the camera and do not manipulate the images. I view the subject from various perspectives,” he explained. “Some of the bridges lent themselves to multiple views. I couldn’t decide among the photos- so I painted them all,” he continued. Kulla’s fascination with the international language of engineering is what drives his interest in painting images of bridges, which serve as figurative and literal connectors that unite people, places, and ideas. “Although people are not the direct subjects of my work, they are integral to it,” Kulla said. “The structures stand as proxy for human experience. I create places and moods that invite the viewer to enter into the work and form their own relationship to it.”

Kulla, whose paintings of industrial bridges are in stark contrast with Zoriah’s photos, was also on hand to meet with his many followers, collectors, friends, and family present at the opening. Visitors traveled to Winnetka from as far as Indiana, Naperville and Hyde Park to be among the first to see the artist’s new work, and congratulate him in person. The show, which focuses on acrylic paintings, also includes a few graphite drawings and continues to be well received by the public.

Zoriah Miller and Roland Kulla’s two-person exhibition will be on display at ZIA|Gallery until July 20, 2013. Call the gallery for hours around the July 4th holiday: 847-446-3970.roland (1 of 1) roland1 (1 of 1) roland2 (1 of 1) roland4 (1 of 1) ZoriahDiscusses ZoriahMeetsExhibitionGuestsLowRes ZoriahMillerAtZIAlowRes

Website: www.ziagallery.net

Zoriah Miller and Roland Kulla at ZIA Gallery

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Coming up in June, ZIA Gallery presents a powerful exhibition featuring two outstanding artists, renowned photographer Zoriah Miller and remarkable photorealistic painter Roland Kulla.

Expect a moving body of work from Zoriah Miller, who is listed by Ranker.com for 2013 as one of the world’s most famous photojournalist. Zoriah Miller’s humanitarianism is evident through his remarkable photography. Zoriah says of his work “I believe very strongly in the power of the still image, and I choose to focus my work on conflict, crisis and disasters because I want my work to educate people and motivate them to better the world.” Zoriah’s work has taken him to over 85 countries. He is the recipient of numerous awards, and his work is included in major publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal among countless others.

Zoriah is now the inspiration for a new movie A Thousand Times Goodnight starring Juliette Binoche. Zoriah photographed all the still images for the film and coached Binoche in her role as photojournalist. The film, directed by Erik Poppe, is scheduled to be released this autumn. Take advantage of this opportunity to view Zoriah’s photography and meet the artist at ZIA Gallery. Zoriah will be flying in from Rio for the opening reception.

Chicago artist Roland Kulla will be showing a new body of work focusing on the grandeur and complex structure of bridges. This time he chooses railroad bridges from Blue Island to Maryland, St. Louis to St. Charles. He has an eye for interesting plays of color, form and texture. His paintings are packed with detail. Of two new works depicting views of St. Louis’ MacArthur Bridge, Kulla says they are “over the top – even for me!”  Kulla is represented in corporate and private collections including having 5 large works in the Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower.

This exhibition is not to be missed. Both artists will be in attendance at the opening reception. All are welcome. The gallery is located two short blocks from the Winnetka Metra Station.

Roland Kulla New Paintings and Zoriah Miller Photography
June 8 – July 20, 2013
Opening Reception Saturday, June 8, 5:00 – 7:00pm.

See also: Mary Burke and Beverly Zawitkoski at ZIA Gallery

ZIA Gallery
548 Chestnut St.
Winnetka, IL 60093