Jimmy James Kouratoras Solo Exhibition: The Classics
Black and white. Dance Hall. Beautifully Coiffed hair. Music from an era that will never die. Suits and Tuxedos. Close-ups. Star-crossed lovers. Strangers. Psychos.
Jimmy James Kouratoras has always been fascinated by the characters created on the silver screen, and of course, those who fill their shoes. From stars like Humphrey Bogart and Greta Garbo to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the King of Fear himself Alfred Hitchcock, Kouratoras has created a fascinating series of portraits to explore the classic film makers, directors, actors and designers across a century.
His collection is bold, vibrant and striking and has his trademark pop colours. During the process he remarked, “Creating this series has been inspiring. I have had the opportunity to reflect back some of the most faces famous from the film industry but also, I’ve been able to delve deeper into their history, their story, their psyche.”
Fresh from a highly productive 2016 which saw him participate in three group exhibitions (one in Wellington and two in Auckland); create a mural outside Ponsonby Central, win the People’s Choice Award for the Brisbane Contemporary Art Prize 2016 and launch his own calendar with images of sold works in private collections around the world - Kouratoras is excited to showcase his latest solo at Ponsonby’s Sapphire Room.
Keeping in line with the Classics, Kouratoras is also excited to host renowned American playwright Glory Kadigan whose play When the Party’s Over will have a stage reading at 6.00pm prior to the exhibition formally opening. Based in New York Kadigan is the founder of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity has presented 207 productions, 75 Staged Readings, 47 films and 67 bands over her six season. In her latest play Broadway actress Anna takes her mother Adriana on an Alaskan vacation in the hope of repairing their terse relationship. It’s “all aboard” as the ladies sail off, but Anna and the other passengers get more than they bargained for on their magical glacial adventure as Anna encounters ghosts from the past.
Considering the current political climate and the increasing rigidity on the freedom of expression, bans on the media and heightened bureaucracy Kouratoras believes it is important to be welcoming of artists from America so that ongoing exchange and collaboration can continue. The staged reading will be directed by Dione Joseph, writer, director and dramaturge and the first New Zealander to be accepted into the Lincoln Centre’s DirectorsLab (2014).
The play reading is free and open to the public with a small koha encouraged to support the actors. The exhibition will formally open at 7:30 and will include light refreshments.
For images, interviews and further information please contact:
Sam Ryan, Director of Colours...
Jimmy James Kouratoras is a New Zealand artist of Māori (Ngati Tiipa, Tainui) and Greek heritage whose work has received critical acclaim both at home and internationally. Over the past 25 years Kouratoras has developed his own unique style: a combination of surreal expressionism with vivid pop colour combinations to create powerful visual narratives. These range from abstract landscapes to sublime surrealism, all of which are laced with a subtle drive that reframes token conceptions of Māori culture. He has worked in the film industry as a scenic for almost two decades on a number of New Zealand and international films as well as television shows. Versatile with a range of different mediums (including canvas, paper, wood) he has exhibited his work across New Zealand and internationally including work at the Santa Monica Art Studios in Los Angeles and Ora Gallery in New York City. He is also the People's Choice Award Winner for the Brisbane Contemporary Art Prize 2016. www.jimmyjamesk.com
Glory Kadigan founded Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and served as the Producing Artistic Director for six seasons. Under her leadership, Planet Connections has raised over six figures for 260 different charitable organizations including Safe Horizon, City Harvest, Amnesty International and more. Although no longer the Producing Artistic Director of the entire festivity she still serves as the Artistic Curator and Executive Producer of the renowned Playwrights For A Cause benefit. Under “Playwrights For A Cause” she has presented world premieres by Regina Taylor, Dominique Morrisseau, Israel Horovitz, Erik Ehn, Halley Feiffer, Wendy MacLeod, John Patrick Shanley, Winter Miller, Neil LaBute, Jose Rivera, Lyle Kessler, Penny Jackson and Catherine Filloux. She is a freelance stage director and is an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, La Mama Directors and Playwriting Symposium and of The Labyrinth Theater Company’s Master Class. Kadigan is also member of the Actors Studio PDU and of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and has been the recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award in Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Dione Joseph is a New Zealand based writer, director and dramaturge. She has an academic and practical background in live performance and her work has an emphasis on Indigenous, migrant and refugee narratives. She has held various residencies, teaching positions and fellowships in Canada, China, Mexico, UK and the USA and is the first New Zealander to have been awarded a place at the prestigious Lincoln Centre DirectorsLab in New York. She has directed over thirty works including new work, adaptations, classics, dance in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She is a regular contributor to The Big Idea, DANZ (Dance Aotearoa NZ) and The Theatre Times and her reviews can be found on Theatreview, The New Zealand Herald and Radio NZ. She is also the author of Towards a New Zealand Dramaturgy: A Maverick Undertaking in 2016, a seminal work that explores contemporary dramaturgy in Aotearoa, New Zealand. In 2017 Dione choreographed her first dance theatre work for NiaVal Ngaro’s solo glass sculpture exhibition at Bergman gallery in Rarotonga heralding a new way forward for performance based contemporary art exhibitions. www.dionejoseph.com