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Trumbull News Detail

Brian Babb to Exhibit Portraits at Kent State's Downtown Gallery

Posted Jan. 16, 2014

Brian Babb, RENDERED: Portraits and Processes, Jan. 21-Feb. 22The work of Akron-based artist Brian Babb will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Kent State University School of Art’s Downtown Gallery beginning in January.

Babb’s show, dubbed “Rendered: Portraits and Processes,” will run from Tuesday, Jan. 21, to Saturday, Feb. 22. The gallery, located at 141 E. Main St. in Kent, will also host an opening reception for “Rendered” on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. Both the gallery and reception are free and open to the public.

Babb is a graduate of Hiram College, where he received a studio art B.A. with an emphasis in painting and a minor in photography. In Babb’s work, the two disciplines are inextricably linked, with printed reference photos often serving as the basis for photorealist paintings.

In early drawings and paintings, Babb used a grid technique to transfer the detailed visual information contained within his reference photos. “The grid helps to break down a complex combination of variable light and shadow into smaller, more manageable parts, like pixels that make up a digital image,” he explains.

By contrast, Babb’s recent work positions photography as the final product rather than an intermediary stage. One of the portraits in “Rendered” was derived from a single photograph broken into 96 squares during printing.

“Each square is slightly cropped in order to print ‘full-bleed,’ or edge-to-edge,” says Babb. “The squares were then combined on the board and the original image reassembled, but with the cropped portions now missing. The grid is therefore evident in the finished piece, a nod to the reference prints that were essential to my earlier works.”

Babb has previously shown work with the Cleveland artist collective All Go Signs and at Summit Art Space. He currently works as director of operations at a professional digital print lab in Akron.

Contact: Lesley Sickle, Downtown Gallery coordinator,, 330-676-1549