“Two Faced” is a group exhibition featuring two portrait artists, Michael Belland Dillon Samuelson, with two very conflicting styles. “Two Faced” is meant to examine the idea of self image. Michael Bell utilizes a realist approach with his portraiture work creating art that shows idealized visions of ourselves.”Selfie” participant Dillon Samuelson, however, brings a dark and twisted look to his portraits displaying what might be hidden under the surface. This show will make you examine yourself. Are you defined by the image in the mirror or is the real you hidden beneath your skin?

This exhibition will be on display from Friday, October 6th, through Saturday, October 28th, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, October 6th at 6:00 PM. Michael Bell will also be continuing his DUAL LIVES book tour with a book signing at Lycoming College Saturday, Oct. 7th at 12:30pm and at Converge Gallery at 3pm. We hope to see you at these events!

About the Artists:

Dillon Samuelson is a painter and illustrator who currently lives and works in York, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Fine Art program at York College of Pennsylvania in 2014 and the following year was awarded the third annual Appell Arts Fellowship at Marketview Arts. His work has been shown in regional exhibitions and his illustrations have appeared in books and comics accompanying the writing of authors such as Ted Kelsey and Erik Arneson.

Samuelson’s work is an exploration of human experience and emotion through storytelling and the outward manifestation of that which is often kept internal. He is interested in expressing emotional content as well as ideas of isolation, manhood and the romanticization of violence in our culture. These themes appear in his artwork through figurative representation exploring the inner workings of man by displaying it outwardly. The imagery is often distorted and symbolic rather than that of strict realism or visual likeness and uses loose marks and obscurity to express a sense of the psyche. Most of the work is self-portraiture or portraits of personal friends which gives an intimate look into the individual’s perceived experience and shares his own self-examination and search for self-knowledge.

Michael Bell is a renowned American artist (b. 1971), best known for his cinematic, narrative series works and for his infamous portrait painting clientele, which includes reputed Mob Boss John Gotti and numerous actors from hit crime shows and mob movies such as the Sopranos, Goodfellas, A Bronx Tale and more.

Bell has always been naturally gifted in art, winning 1st Place in the first art show he ever entered at the age of five. As an emerging artist Bell spent a lot of his time in and around New York City studying art with his maternal grandmother, Violet Vallery, a self-taught artist from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. This is when Bell began to explore life’s psychological issues through his paintings.

“Bell’s works are often the mirror to a tragic world, but they deepen our humanity through psychology, ghostly brushwork and a personal color palette that draws on memories and silent echoes from the artist’s own dark, turbulent past.” – Martin Cid, Editor in Chief, Yareah International Arts Magazine.

“I believe the most important job of an artist is to draw a line from your life to your art that is straight and clear. My line can be traced back to my passion for bringing dramatic stories to life in a realistic fashion. My work serves as a medium through which the audience can safely explore the dangerous and complex world I grew up around, where innocence and morality are often blurred. While I spend a lot of time on the surface, it’s the inside of my subjects that I’m really after. Mysteries and secrets abound.” – Michael Bell

Bell holds a BFA from Lycoming College, a M.Ed. in Art Education from Towson University.

From the Streets to the Studio, Michael Bell, renowned artist and 3-time national award winning educator of the year most famous for his portraits of John Gotti, Dominic Capone and numerous actors from the Sopranos kicks off a book-signing tour through MBELLART Productions, LLC to share stories from his memoir DUAL LIVES: from the Streets to the Studio. This tour will take him to cities across the United States, often as “Dual Signings” with various celebrity clientele in his book.

Admission is free to the public. Bring a pre-purchased copy of DUAL LIVES, which is available on Amazon.com to get yours signed or purchase a limited quantity (first come first serve) DUAL LIVES copy on location the
day of the book signing. Follow the link at http://www.DUALLIVES.com or directly to Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/DualLives

Released on June 10, DUAL LIVES: from the Streets to the Studio is just as courageously vulnerable as the compelling narratives found within Bell’s
paintings. Dual Lives is also backed by an impressive list of contributors, from a Foreword by Peter J. Gotti to excerpts from John A. Gotti, Dominic Capone, World Renowned Artist Eric Fischl and Senior Art Critic for the New York Magazine Jerry Saltz, NY Times Best-Selling Authors Jay Mathews and Daniel Pink, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David J. Leeson, Sopranos star Joseph R. Gannascoli, 2-time Boxing World Champion Paulie Malignaggi and Celebrity Cook Steve Martorano, to name a few.

It was a #1 Amazon New Release in Educator Biographies and touches the lives of artists, educators, mob enthusiasts and even parents of special needs children with Autism.

About Converge Gallery

Converge Gallery was founded in 2011. The gallery, already internationally recognized for its ambitious program, has been extremely selective and focused on finding emerging or notable mid-career artists with a contemporary emphasis oriented to display the most challenging and innovative art.

What we are trying to do, without any pretense to define art, is to elevate the discussion about art, reality, and perception. Converge Gallery’s goal is to sell the meaning, cultural context, and the individual point of view of the artist. Both artist and collector are encouraged to approach a certain level of aesthetic value, clarity of content, and vision.

The greatest achievement for us would be to extend the boundaries of art, and generate a conversation between artists and the general public.

Converge Gallery is located at 140 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. For more information on the gallery, please visit www.convergegallery.com

For all press inquiries, photo requests and a PDF catalog of the exhibition, please contact John Yogodzinski, Director, Converge Gallery : john@convergegallery.com. Web: www.convergegallery.com. Tel: 570.435.7080 Address: Converge Gallery 140 West 4th Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, USA