Seven years ago, a freelance writer who had written stories on both Holly Gordon and Ward Hooper suggested that Gordon check out Hooper’s work because their art was so similar, despite Hooper being a watercolorist and Gordon a photographic artist.
Ward then checked Hooper out on Facebook and noticed that yes, their work was extraordinarily similar.
“The similarities were amazing in structure, composition, color,” Hooper said.
After developing a friendship, Hooper and Ward began driving around together weekly to sites that had inspired Hooper’s paintings to see how they would inspire Gordon. Hooper would plan out an itinerary and Gordon would drive, while Hooper was the navigator.
“There was no GPS,” Gordon said. “Ward was the GPS.”
As they continued to drive around and explore different areas, Hooper, who hadn’t painted in a few years, became rejuvenated. He began painting again and enjoyed sharing his gifts with the world.
In 2015, the “Brush/Lens Project” exhibition debuted at the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery of the Art League of Long Island. The exhibit featured a photograph of a place that both Hooper and Gordon were inspired by, and then Gordon and Hooper’s interpretation of that place. Sometimes the resemblance in their work, despite being done years, apart was uncanny.
The “Brush/Lens Project” has been featured in many galleries over the last few years, including the Long Island MacArthur Airport Atrium Gallery.
It was during all these exhibits that visitors began mentioning to Gordon and Hooper that they should consider doing a book. So, in February of 2020, they signed the contract with their book printer for what would become “Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration.”
“This book is our baby,” Gordon said. “It was a long and intense labor, and now that we can hold it in our arms, all the pain and the agony and the anguish and everything that comes from authoring a book, it just disappears.”
“Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration” can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as the Long Island Author’s Group bookstore in the Islip Arts Council Gallery in the South Shore Mall.