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The Open Gallery

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Jerry Hanzl

"While attending the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, I often visited the Dali Museum in the neighboring city of Beachwood. One image on display there was his painting, ‘The Hallucinogenic Matador,’ and I would sit for hours watching people look at this painting. It is a very large image with a Roman coliseum and repeated images of the statue of Venus de Milo. Superimposed over this is the face of a matador, which pops out at you after you look at it for a few minutes. People would actually jerk their heads back when this happened for the first time, and I always felt that if I could ever create a visual image that powerful— that it could cause a bodily reaction— then I would finally be creating the kinds of images I wanted to make.

"We now live in a very scary world, so I try to create images out of dreams and fantasies because that is where I believe we will finally find the answers we all seek. I aspire after the surreal visions of my mentor. Digital photography has given me the ‘real,’ and the computer has allowed me to create the ‘sur.’ I want people to travel through my ‘surrealscapes’ and search for whatever they can find— just as I am searching with my life and art to find the best way to live and express my dreams and visions. What I do can be best expressed as ‘painting with photography on a digital canvas.'"

Jerry Hanzl's website