also making a big buzz, this summer . . . EVIE FALCI !!
EVIE FALCI – the rhinestone princess, I’m tempted to say, goddess – whatever !!
though funnie . . about BRENDAN MONROE at LITTLE CAKES, and EVIE FALCI at CAKE SHOP !!
the BIG APPLE must have a . . sweet tooth.
now, – if that isn’t COSMIC – I don’t know . . what is !!
EVIE FALCI, colored bead ‘mosaic’. she even showed some early compositions of her now signature, intricate, colored bead . . ‘mandelas’.
very tantric – to behold, indeed !!
and soooooo cutting edge, even now.
esp vs falling, sloppy seconds, wall-to-wall watermelon slices. ugh.
L.A. come on – give us a break. if, not a real !! . . break-dance !!
now, don’t get me wrong !!
I totally love, love, love her multi-colored pieces, but I esp love this black and white study, she showed at the time – mostly because of how . . well, ghostly – it is !!
but also because it looks like some crazy luminous tantric . . crochet !!
and yes, it’s made from craft ‘google’ – eyes.
if anybody can use simple craft ‘supplies’, and totally transform, and TRANSCEND their every-day DIY – it’s EVIE !!
yep, I did manage to score a small piece from the show – and, I adore it.
because it transcends it’s ‘arts & crafts’ heritage, and because it is GLOW-IN-THE-DARK, and because it’s an . . . EYEBALL !!
eyeball, c’est . . . moi !!
image: EVIE FALCI
it also includes close-ups . . of the ‘rhinestones’ – at play.
DAN COLEN, ‘bubble-gum’ – move, over !!
image: EVIE FALCI
and where you can find her newest work.
damn, do I love love love this, or what !!
kind-of a structured waterfall . . gorgeous !!
kind of a D.I.Y. – STELLA !!
kind-of a thinking person’s . . material ‘transcendence’.
abstract color-field, has never looked so good – since ERIK den BREE JEN, blew me away, and sill – does !!
I love ‘structure’ that has plastic ‘narrative’. and variance.
I love structure, that implodes . . . the i-m-a-g-i-n-a-t-i–on.
what can I say, I love ‘higher’ composition . . in my art.
art that sings – and then, runs – for it !!
in case you missed the link: EVIE FALCCI – website, go there !!
a great summer – breeze / browse !!
pss: w-a-t-e–r-m-e-l-o-n . . . alert.
okay, okay. lighten up !!
I guess it takes all kinds, if only to contrast the full spectrum !!
so, yeah put Evie to work on an exterior wall mural, too !! L.A. Venus.
but, the buildings got to be . . side-by-side.
falling sloppy melons vs tantric water fall.
Karma, what a Bitch.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH – unless otherwise noted.
I actually had a striking intersect . . with BRENDAN MONROE’S work, way back in the summer of 2008, when he and gf EVAH FAN . . . presented some solo pieces, and some collaborations, at Hanna Fushihara’s – Little Cakes. it was totally charming, way ahead of the curve – and I had them both pegged for big success.
the show interestingly enough was titled: ‘Bed and Breakfast’ – and, that was way before airb&b was even a thought form, let alone a phenom. that’s how fast – time f-l-i-e-s.
BRENDAN MONROE, EVAH FAN, and that’s HANNA FUSHIHARA with her back to us, at her Little Cakes gallery, merch / zine store, in the East Village, just before the visionary, alternative space was to flee the Big Apple, for the Real Apple countryside, upstate. June 8, 2008.
detail, ‘The Cook, the Thief, and the Pompost Kyle’ – a collaboration by BRENDAN MONROE and EVAH FAN – Little Cakes, NYC, JUNE 6, 2008
they had ‘nano’ down, before nano, as in ‘tech’ – was in circulation, either. in fact they had the world down, in a nutshell. like a squiggling worm on a fish hook, if you know what I mean. all the bio-warnings – were there.
detail, EVAH FAN, ‘Field Study 1′ – Little Cakes, June 6, 2008
her little ‘storybook’ figures have evolved to be more graphic, and ‘tighter’, perhaps more dramatic ? and high contrast . . . but still storybook, and tiny.
the show was quite the hit on the alternative circuit . . . among many others:
it’s a really long, post – I really got into the work.
you should check it out for yourself: EVAH FAN & BRENDAN MONROE at LITTLE CAKES, NYC, June 6, 2008
ALL ARCHIVAL PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
the BLOB MAN . . . COMETH !!
BRENDAN MONROE . . . is the CINDERS ARTIST OF THE MONTH – for JUNE 2015.
aka brendantheblob – checking out his work, just seemed to come naturally, after looking into what . . LUKE MURPHY is up to.
like LUKE, BRENDAN MONROE also cultivates . . . “a taste for the scientific, math, physics, and the surreal“, but while Luke seems to be leaving us hints, stick men, and scribbled coded messages, that go deep into unconsciousness and ancient ‘systems’, Brendan seems to have left us far behind, and has serious traveled . . far off – the ‘bio’ deep end.
BRENDAN MOORE, ‘FIZZ’, acrylic on paper, 7 x 9.75 in., signed. unique.
Photo: CINDERS GALLERY
BORN in 1980, which makes him 35, a generation younger than Luke Murphy . . . Brendan Monroe was born in Santa Barbara, California, and currently works out of Oakland, California.
just so you know, he has 36.3 K followers on Instagram.
you can read an interview Cinders just published with him, here .. 20 Questions for Brendan Monroe
not only does it boggle the imagination, but it has amazing colors, amazing color fade, and wonder-ous 3_D implications – on a purely formal ‘flat’ plane.
when I first saw the image, my response was: damn, the blob – is on FIRE !!
the letterpress print is 9 x 12 in., edition of 50, signed & numbered by the artist – and can be yours for: $50. please note there are ONLY 9 left in stock, so don’t blob, I mean .. blink !!
grab your cart, shoppers.
buy: Brendan Monroe Letterpress Print in the Cinders online store
this is is Brendan’s website: BRENDAN MOORE, so you can keep looking, . . and reading for – yourself.
though I can’t help remarking, since the current scene is SO absolutely swamped by hand-built pottery and clay, that even on that crowded playing field – Brendan Monnroe . . stands out:
BLOB SCULPTURE by BRENDAN MONROE, image via BRENDAN MONROE
IMAGE OF BRENDAN MONROE . . at work,
from . . . THE BOILER ROOM at HEATH CERAMICS, . . in SAN FRANCISCO.
where, if you check out that link, you can see a greater sampling of his ceramic work.
ps: BOILER ROOM at HEATH looks to be an amazing place – their site is worth an investigation – as well, see: EVENTS . . BOILER ROOM
LUKE: this how the red ‘wood panel’ painting – finished up !!
yep. humanity is gooey, and coming . . to get ya.
PHOTO: LUKE MURPHY
REV LUKE MURPHY – AT HIS STUDIO in HARLEM, NYC. SEPT 1, 2014.
LUKE MURPHY – MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE.
I’ve been wanting to visit LUKE MURPHY in his studio, ever since I first saw his work, cutting edge, power point chart presentations !! at CANADA, in 2000 – way back when the groundbreaking gallery was just a tiny sublet, under LEO KOENIG, who he himself was also renting from Pseudo.com, and it’s super-visionary, now bust leader: JOSH HARRIS – in a big ole building downtown at Broadway and Franklin. I was working for Josh as an artist ‘liaison, and although he, Josh, dealt with Leo personally, I was delegated to collect the rent from Canada – and, that’s how I first stumbled upon them. they were happy to just see a body – come through the door. and let me tell ya, Leo was no piece of cake either. the only way to access the fledgling CANADA was thru his gallery, and he wouldn’t let them be open on the nights when he held his openings, lest they spark some rival interest, among his own devotees.
so that’s about 14 years, that it took to get some free time from Luke, not that he wasn’t interested – he’s a big supporter of artlovers, from a tech angle – that’s his lukelab animated banner at the top of this page, but he’s a really busy guy, basically a (very cool) cat with 9 lives, but esp as a top tier code developer. he doesn’t like name-dropping, but how about . . web-founder of the MTV website, ditto Cartoon Network, and winner of a coveted webby for web design for Stephen Colbert’s show ?
among others .. !!
got the picture, yep, they don’t call him REV Luke .. for naught.
so when we say this guy is CGI . . it’s not bluffing.
I really liked this one, because it was a weirdo ‘play’ on wood / woodsy pattern, wood paneling ? organics vs tech. with great voids and . . ‘drop-off’, and what ?
maybe word / thought bubbles – like in cartoons ?
a mind map . . that looked like it started life, in somebodies 1960s den . . !!
if I got it right, Luke says he starts off doodling or drawing, and then uploads that onto a computer and then uses the computer to cut out a patch – so that the image feels more ‘random’, as as opposed to a more obvious beginning and ending, human action.
well, we are all merging with our ‘devices’, and morphing into machines, more and more – everyday.
so: check !!
in Luke’s world vision, which gets pretty darn deep, agnostics, ancient libraries, many many god systems, cosmology, and etc. etc. – all universal code for us trying to understand what we are up against. let alone, where we come from . . . there is happy, sad, and . . random.
Luke’s studio is in the lower floor of his newly renovated brownstone, smack in the middle of a rapidly changing Harlem, there is even a sweet little backyard with garden just beyond.
I wonder if he and Gavin (Brown) ever passerby each other, on the street ?
wait, is that a self-portrait ?
a sad face with a painter’s palette, yeah, the way things are going – doesn’t look so good.
does it. wait til China corners the market on memory chips. flash forward: your lifetime, your LIBERTY, erased by a gesture, or worse a hidden snarl of ‘mean’ code – in a future vision gone bad.
can I be the only one – who sees a dark future catastrophe . . here ?
forget Iran and Nukes.
and. I thought Tsinghua was a . . beer ?
and, you thought art – was just for smiley faces !!
emoji code, and other . . new age short-cuts, for communication . . l-o-v-e-r-s.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
LAST WEEK To CATCH . . .
‘LUKE MURPHY: LOSER EVERY TIME’
up thru SAT JULY 18, 2015
POSTMASTERS GALLERY – 54 FRANKLIN ST, TRIBECA, NYC
“IF THERE IS ONE THEME to my work, it is that it is a project to find a unifying system that will explain everything from unhappiness to joy, from technology to what is the meaning of randomness.”
more: on the show + images
LUKE MURPHY, ‘PLANE FEAR GRAPH’, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 56 in.
I KNEW IT – !!!
‘WHAT NERVE! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present’ . . .
curated by . . DAN NADEL, who has paid his dues, and many times over in comic-book-la-la-land . .
MATTHEW MARKS – 523 W 24th St., Chelsea
is up thru . . . AUG 14, 2015
and it is . . . BLOWING UP, BIG TIME !!
way to go, DAN !!
DAN NADEL and BRIAN CHIPPENDALE, NYC, JUNE 22, 2007
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
FORCEFIELD – MATT BRINKMAN, JUM DRAIN, ARA PETERSON and LEIF GOLDBERG . . were FORT THUNDER roommates with LIGHTNING BOLT aka BRIAN CHIPPENDALE, in Providence, Rhode Island – in the late 1990s, and the rest is now . . . history !!
in a word: explosive alternative Americana & lots & lots of comic book art – !!
the web is is just bursting / exploding . . with images – from the show !!
everybody is going crazy for it, duh. or is that: doh !!
gonna be the big, BIG BLOW-OUT OPENING & SHOW !! . . . of the SUMMER
long live the indie rebels !!
may they always re-group . . . as legends !!
DAN NADEL: “when confronted with a system that seems impenetrable, outsiders tend to band together.”
~from the Press Release
What Nerve! – Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present
opens tonight Tues July 7, 2015 / 6-8 PM
the show runs thru AUGUST 14, 2015
CURATED BY – DAN NADEL
MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY – 523 W 24th St, Chelsea, NYC
apart from the now legendary Chicago-based, HAIRY WHO, active 1966-1969 . . . watch out for, among others. . . the FORCEFIELD crew, 1966-2003: MAT BRINKMAN, JIM DRAIN, LEIF GOLDBREG and ARA PETERSON – all well known to savvy art scenesters here in NYC, though maybe a little bit before your time – my newbie YALIES !!
how time flies, and then: you are a l-e-g-e-n-d !!
more info on the show: ‘What Nerve! – MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY’
see: more works in the exhibit, . . . here
looking back, seems to be a big part . . . of looking FORWARD, right now – and damn straight. yes, I’m thinking . . .
‘Under the Volcano: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’.
What, me ?
artlovers is on instagram, now: @artloversnewyork
where you can catch ‘gems’ from the past, as well as . . breaking news.
and my mood – of the . . . momento.
yes, everybody is a JOKER !!!!!
and comic book art – is coming on STRONG !!!
super looking forward, to the new fall season, and being able to send out – gallery pix in real time, esp from the un-trampelled underground. watch out.
currently up on instagram, from artloversnewyork: a golden, really silver !! flash from the ‘storied’ past !!
‘FREE PUFFY’ – a MARK ENGER limited edition silkscreen on black t-shirt, silver ink, 1999. R.I.P. Mark
collection: Nancy Smith
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
you momma was right – save your old clothes, they will always come back into – fashion.
well, come on, great art is always – TIMELESS !!
and way to go, Puffy. or what. falls into a hole, after swinging a kettlebell ?!! damn.
diva . . . does a dive !!
but, as for his son . . . poor rich kid, or what ?
and . . . speaking of mega rockers.
DONALD CUMMING, lead singer of (now defunct) THE VIRGINS, and WES LANG, currently of KANYE WEST merch fame . . . back in the day.
at a book launch for RYAN McGINLEY, NYC, Feb 19, 2003.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
first publication: ART LOVERS NEW YORK – ARTNET, MARCH 2003, when WALTER ROBINSON was king, and Charlie Finch was the royal jester.
COMPUTER vs CLAY
my very fave moment . . . !!
at ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’ – NYC, JUNE 6 & 7, 2015
getting to introduce NICHOLAS STEINDORF to PAT McCARTHY – !!
2 young artists from totally different sides of the scene, who do totally different work.
their one big thing in . . common ?
both register: extreme awesome !!
on the . . . watch-out !! – new talent take-over meter.
ps: Nicholas says that, in his opinion . . “ED ATKINS is the best computer animation artist around right now”, so I guess – yes, art ‘worlders’ will be doing the long haul up to Gavin’s new place in Harlem, come the Fall.
pss: yes, that is my drawing behind him.
unlike 99% of the other young artists who swung by ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ . . Nicholas had the chance to meet Simon several times, and enjoyed his ‘stories’ from back in the day, as well as his ‘blue-chip’ take on the current scene. a lot of ‘oral’ history went down with Simon, R.I.P.
and in fact, although he looks like a natural born ‘rocker’, which he is !! and in more ways than one, Nicholas is wearing a vintage indie band t-shirt, STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE, from Simon’s very own collection, on loan for the occasion, and Nicholas wears the honor well, party on !! – via his daughter, Kate.
Saturdays are Pat’s ceramic days with his clay mentor – JJ PEET up at 92nd St Y.
so he had his newest, finished piece, a tablet – with him.
you might recall that Pat is also know as the Bushwick Pigeoneer, and was the young break-out star of ‘Satan Ceramics’ – at Salon 94, this past Fall. we first met him at his glorious low-down ‘Pat’s Pigeon Club’ install at Muddguts, a few short summer months before that big blow-out ceramics show at Salon 94, and we feel really lucky for that !!
me, Kate and Theo – took a spin down there to Muddguts, (no more R.I.P.) one hot summer Sunday afternoon, just on the basis of the email flyer – and had a great time. seeing the work, and having the chance to talk at length with ‘new-to-us’ . . Patrick.
learning so much about new clay work, form follows function !! but imagination takes off, as well – just like the pigeons !!
and, raising pigeons, lol. you can start with one, but soon you have a hundred !!
that’s what I mean, so fun to see Nicholas . . . meet Pat.
the big . . . cross-over !!
it’s been so fun, this past year – to careen off both. Nicholas, with whom we just posted a studio visit, a cutting edge, concept-rich, the life of ‘Zach’, the boy who would play with matches. digital animation artist – to Pat, forward-reaching, off-the-grid, but grounded. ceramics artist. clay tablets, nesting bowls, mini-coops, and of course: the life of pigeons.
both artists, seemingly a world apart – but connected by being right on the exact opposite side, of a thin line.
Nicholas and Pat – two sides of a razor thin, and very . . cutting edge.
we got it all covered now, NYC, SURF CITY, USA !!
SURF: as in ‘catch’ the wave. the ‘newbie gen’ wave.
SURF: as in ‘move’ . . thru the cutting edge underground, skimming right over the status quo – mainstream.
SURF, SURFACE as in: come up through the ‘waters’ of . . THOUGHT, and bio-human existence – whether by land (clay) (Pat) or air (digital animation) (Nicholas).
Pat’s clay tablet – is a recording grid, a ‘census’ for his so-named ‘Babylon’ pigeon coop and roof. although the tablet has been fired, he says he can write the info in, as it happens, with a special ‘pen’, and then have it, the tablet – re-fired !!
a permanent record of a . . transitory life force ?
in a word: metamorphosis.
something Nicholas is into, too.
both artists are very smart in the head, multi-dynamic, and very, very . . hands-on.
not so much into myths, or pictures, as . . into reaching out to understand the world around them.
how it breaks down, around them – on their own piece of specialized ‘turf’. computer vs clay.
well, hey: both start with a ‘c’.
like I said: ‘watch – out !!
IN HONOR OF . . . SIMON CERIGO,
whose short, “listen to it loudly”, lol, but always on-point – indie music reviews used to liven up this website, greatly.
but alas – no more.
listen to, the aptly named: ‘SINCE YESTERDAY’ – by STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE.
and . . . “play it loud”.
more background: STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE, a 2-girl Scottish ‘pop’ group, from the mid-80s.
LA LA LA LA – poppy & frothy – but, but damn – that’s ghostly !!
looking for a reason to go on, shut your eyes, thoughts of yesterday.
great . . . dot dot dot punk graphics !!
SIMON SAYS: “I FEEL VERY – ALIVE” . . . !! !! !!
COMPUTER vs CLAY – DEAD vs ALIVE.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
talking about . . . CATHEDRALS ?!!!
I wrote that our ‘Under the Volcano’ show was . . . “in the cathedral of pop-up storefronts”, in a post dated JUNE 10th, 2015.
how fun then to read, barely a week later, that GAVIN is referring to his unconventional new gallery space up in Harlem, this way: “it reminds me somewhat of a cathedral – an urban secular cathedral.”
great minds, think alike, or what !!
aka: catching the wave, as it happens. just as it b-r-e-a-k-s.
Surf City, NYC.
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
looking at SIMON CERIGO, small collage with white acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
Simon was into comic book art, Japanese art of all periods, and of course contemporary art, but esp heavy on the big and not so big, German artists of the 80s and 90s.
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER was a big big influence.
SIMON was a storyteller, but more along the lines of an observer, and an . . archivist.
we have boxes of his ripped, now vintage indie music flyers, posters and art show cards, in particular he liked to rip old flyers – off the street. he liked to put the music, and the art – that was happening, back to back.
or side by side. literally. nobody but nobody on the art scene knew the indie music scene as well as he did.
Simon was into ‘distressed’ – way before it was the norm.
SIMON CERIGO, this small painted collage on stretched canvas, approx 1-1/2 x 2 ft . . used to hang in Collin DeLand’s AMERICAN FINE ARTS gallery office, forever. Collin loved it. and even though, ART CLUB 2000 included Simon’s work in one of their early group shows, Collin never thought to look at, let alone . . . show any other of Simon’s work – and that was Simon’s life / career arc . . . in a nutshell.
he also used this ARTFORUM, SUMMER 1984 – as a journal, scribbling down thoughts, and drawing in it. he only did this once.
with this one Artforum, so we have kept it close at hand.
it’s where Kate found his scribble: ‘Under the Volcano’. the movie must have just come out, and the phrase stuck with her, and became the title of the show, the metaphor for the times.
what’s so funny – is !!
me and Theo were just watching a re-run of ‘HOLLYWOOD COP’ with EDDIE MURPHY, on TV last week, and the villain, who is also a sleazy, slick wannabe high-end art dealer, holds up this very same Artforum !! it’s very distinctive . . with that blue and orange grid – we almost fell off our chairs !!
SIMON CERIGO: ‘I hear the rain, outside . . .’
note: the Samurai warrior.
we all 3 – loved Japanese art, Japanese films, me and Dan, too.
we all 3 fought hard, to make our art in life, and to survive – making that art.
we weren’t exactly careerists, we were . . indie artists – to the end.
there was no dealer who we could totally relate to, or . . more importantly, or maybe the same / no diff . . . who ‘got’ us. we were classic ‘outsiders’, so far inside, that we flew right off . . the grid.
right over everybody’s . . heads.
SIMON CERIGO, famous last words:
“I hear the rain outside while I write and I feel SAD and very ALIVE.”
the talking dead.
walking the walk.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
A 2 DAY POP-UP SHOW PAINTING SHOW – LOWER EAST SIDE 80s ART SCENE
CURATED BY KATE & THEO CERIGO. PRODUCED BY THEO CERIGO.
169 BOWERY, AT DELANCEY. LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC.
OPENING RECEPTION, SAT JUNE 6, 2015 / 6 – 10 PM
AND ALSO OPEN, SUN JUNE 7, 2015 / 11 AM – 10 pm
PIX – FROM THE OPENING . . .
the entry – Flowers by KANA TOGASHI of SAFFRON, BROOKLYN.
DAN ASHER drawing in black ink or paint, on paper, early 80s. approx 2 x 3 ft. – on the left.
NANCY SMITH, acrylic paint on stretched canvas, early 80s. 4 ft. 10 in. x 5 ft. 3 in. – on the right.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS STEINDORF
SIMON CERIGO, detail, ‘LEMONHEADS.
this is one of my faves of Simon’s – it’s very minimalist, Simon at his best. just pencil on raw canvas, and some white acrylic paint, and an indie band t-shirt glued on. in this case the LEMONHEADS. Simon was an obsessed audiophile, and the top pencil drawing is some piece of equipment, he either just scored, or wanted.
but Simon could go to town, too.
‘Culture against US / LOWER EAST (SIDE) in SOLIDARITY’.
SIMON CERIGO, mixed media ‘mural’ on found curtain, that’s a found oil paint-by-number horse, on the lower left. he was crazy for those. he’d hunt them down in thrift shops.
SIMON CERIGO, ‘KEITH HARING by ANDY WARHOL’, t-shirt, pencil and acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
4 ft. x 4 ft. 9 in.
later at the opening, I overheard someone say, “the t-shirt is probably worth more than the painting” – !!
this is the painting, that WALTER ROBINSON – instagrammed out at the world – at the opening.
DAN ASHER, detail.
Dan went to town, on his works, too. esp the oil sticks.
but he could also do the most delicate, finely etched, almost invisible, ‘nano’ finger print, tiny trace line drawings, as well. some in pencil, some in ink/pen. we have some, but a story for another day.
all the works in the show belong to our own collection.
this one feels like a tarot card – to me.
I’m thinking: this is our art, this is our hustle.
how do we survive ? how do we prevail – in this game of ‘thrones’.
aka the cutthroat art world.
DAN ASHER, detail.
when Dan exhibited his work, he usually gave his pieces really long, really elaborate, mythical story-telling titles. but he only did that when he had some secretary to write it all down. a man with all imagination, but absolute zero, no patience – he never notated any ideas on the works themselves, not even on the backs, so that part is pretty much lost. except for in the archives of his early gallery outings.
SIMON CERIGO, detail, ‘Samurai’
THEO . . calls us, “the three samurai” – for how obsessed we were for our art, how we lived our art, how we fought to make that art & also . . live. survive, under the volcano.
meaning, survive under the intensity of our artistic vision within, and the intensity of the scene that was swirling around us, and therefore, around him, growing up among us, and in the heart of the hardcore underground that was the Lower East Side of the 80s.
he saw up close, it was a fierce battle, no holds barred.
NANCY SMITH, detail, watercolor.
what’s out there, from under the . . volcano, and into the vase.
I was really into .. MOEBIUS. Simon turned me onto him.
well, that’s what you get – when you marry someone, for their record collection.
NANCY SMITH, charcoal drawing in paper, 38 x 50 in.
from a tarot card series I made up, inspired by an old medieval Italian deck.
I think these young artists today can understand my work, because of things like, ‘Game of Thrones’ ?
medieval, uncertain. stark. swift. also the ‘hand-made’ quality, the free line. artisanal. you have to shut your eyes, and understand when I was making these, the ELI BROADS of the world were buying, and only buying (!!) CINDY SHERMAN. the hyper-realist pictures generation. which isn’t to say I don’t like her work, because I do, I just say: I was a duck . . out of water.
but maybe, that’s just the – point !!
NANCY SMITH, detail.
a lot of people were asking me if this was a . . king ?
but clearly . . it’s a QUEEN. a very androgynous one, but nonetheless.
a Queen . . with a SAMO crown.
and while I’m around, unlike my 2 old dead & grizzled king friends here, Dan and Simon, I may as well set the record straight – while I can.
NANCY SMITH, detail, charcoal drawing.
back at ya – dudes. I hadn’t lived through enough hard times yet, for Crackula to be born, yet. hadn’t meet the king of ‘clubs’. the love hate maven – burn in the fire, but still I see you, Charlie Finch yet.
but if Crackula had a ‘seed’ – this was it.
they are standing in front of a large t-shirt painting by their dad, SIMON CERIGO . . . and mostly they just wanted . . to set the record straight.
Simon, Dan and Nancy, 3 samurai artists – under the volcano.
Kate is wearing a MARK ENGER, EXPLODING SKY ‘skull’ t-shirt.
R.I.P., MARK. DAN. & . . . SIMON.
want more info .. write: email@example.com
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, unless otherwise noted
5 RIVINGTON ST, EAST STOREFRONT . . . is now a high-end Japanese ‘home’ design shop, called Green Fingers Market, with a very Japanese-through-rural American take on fresh plants & flowers, with a strong focus on retro American design, with plenty of retro American objects, new and old, like re-configured iron lamp fixtures, a wide array of very chic vintage clothes, like distressed white t-shirts from the 40s, a few old Navajo rugs, some handsome handmade trinkets, fabulous design books, and trend-setting contemporary Japanese pottery, and even some very modern wooden and lacquer vessels.
Richard Hambleton’s name is still on the top of the buzzer at the doorway into the apartments inside, but I got so spooked !! the photos I took, that I thought I took of them, don’t seem to exist. when I looked at my camera, when I got back home, they just weren’t there ?!!
flowers arranged in profusion outside, and they are not even locked – down !!
when we lived there, we had a concrete wall, like a bunker – instead of a plate glass window in front, it was so scary raw, and full of low-life that once the kids sat outside on the door stoop, and a ‘couple’ offered them ice cream, if they would come for a walk !! . . yep. that was the last time they sat outside.
the most beautiful flower arrangements inside.
it was ghostly, to think of all the flower watercolors I had painted many years ago, in that scuzzy downtown bunker – and, now to find such a lovely flower shop in place. and Japanese too. I wrote my masters thesis on Japanese art.
we lived here for something like 10 years. 1987 to 1997. we originally sublet the floor-thru space from Hambleton for $600 a month and then, scuzz-bag that he was and is, he didn’t pay our rent to the landlord, and long story short, we were in landlord tenant court for 8 or 9 years, not paying any rent at all !! all that time, and finally they had to pay us $80,000 to get out.
the area had taken a brief 10 years to gentrify enough, to make that worthwhile for them . . .
that’s the way it was, the Lower East side, back then. very raw, and really exciting, gritty, hardcore, with boarded-up windows on the outside, and often, if it was an artist home – a beautiful garden, like you would never expect, outside in the back.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, except where noted.
‘magicstance’ . . ? love it !! Game of Thrones – roll, on !!
‘JJ PEET: MAGiCSTANCE’ – OPENS TO-NITE / WED JUNE 17, 2015 / 6-8 PM
the show runs JUNE 17 – JULY 31, 2015
ON STELLAR RAYS, 1 Rivington St, at BOWERY, LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC
you can check out, 5 Rivington – the East Storefront, our old digs, from 1987- 2007, while you are there.
one word: g-e-n-t-r-i-f-i-c-a-t-i-o-n !!
but the guy, who we originally sublet the place from . . . last I checked,
his name is still on the buzzer: notorious street artist & real life .. ‘huffer’ RICHARD HAMBLETON, aka ‘shadowman’.
more info on the show: JJ PEET – MAGiSTANCE
yes, that – JJ PEET !!
you know – the wizard of SATAN CERAMICS !!
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ vs GAME OF THRONES ?
if you go by body count, per capita – then, ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ . . . wins.
it’s t-r-u-e !!
of course, there’s only 3 main players in ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’, and the 2 old kings are down, but CRACKULA still sputters on, presiding over the raw and often, thorny underground.
against the dark, she gathers an ever-growing army around her . . .
lead by a new generation of indies, and an in-house band of the fraternal ‘order’.
but who knows ?
maybe her own ‘tongue-in-cheek’, will bring her down ?
though, she’s really liking that . . CERSEI LANNISTER actress, LENA HEADEY got to use a ‘body double’ !!
some people are just born to be behind the camera, not – out in front.
some people are just born to ‘write’ – under a ‘persona’, esp street artists.
back on the far-flung turrets of the mainstream, the art scene remains every bit as gory, as ever.
while back here at home, street art, is no longer the darling.
and Muddguts is down.
it looks to be more a battle of the art schools, than a battle of the . . wills.
the young armies ?
YALE vs COLUMBIA.
and I, CRACKULA . . .
personally nominate ELI BROAD as the pretentious, and brittle . . art world HIGH SPARROW.
social media has transformed the playing field, and the established art realm, with it’s doubled-down choke-hold on so many dreams and ambitions – better be warned.
‘change’ – gathers like horsemen on the horizon.
LONG LIVE CRACKULA. LONG LIVE THE POWER OF ‘IMAGINATION’ vs the MARKET BRANDING of a few old men.
LET THE NEW AGE – ART GAMES . . . BEGIN.
here’s a brief scorecard, for those who were unable to make the show & read the posted bios:
SIMON CERIGO was born in Paris, France in 1952. He emigrated with his Greek-born parents to Montreal, Quebec, CANADA in 1958, when he was 6. Simon died after a sudden illness in Jan 2013. he was 60.
He received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 1979, where he was already known as a collector of both fellow student work, and within the gallery scene proper in Montreal, purchasing exclusively photography work, which was a very rare thing to be doing at the time. He also collected comics, big time. and indie music. Joy Division.
Simon was a studio assistant to Canada’s foremost abstract, color field painter at the time, GUIDO MOLINARI. The new painting of JULIAN SCHNABEL and DAVID SALLE is what lured him to New York, where he arrived in the summer of 1982, never to look back.
Simon quickly became a colorful fixture on the art scene, attending as many openings as he could with unstoppable passion. Through the years he gained a reputation as an art maven, but not many knew he was a painter himself.
His artist statement from June 5, 1987:
“To be an artist in this age of materialism is the height of Romanticism. My paintings are first of all about ‘being’. I am not interested in technical categories, such as, abstraction or figuration. My main concern in painting is to ‘live in paint’. Painting for me is a way to talk to myself and the world. My work incorporates toys, not only because of my own fascination with them, but because I feel that on a sublime level they reveal something about the particular civilization they belong to.”
DAN ASHER was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1947, moved to NYC in the late 70s, died April 23, 2010 after a long struggle with cancer. he was 63.
Immediately after, if not during high school, Dan took off and followed BOB MARLEY on tour and in Jamaica taking black & white photographs, which decades later were purchased by the Bob Marley estate, and are now regarded as a remarkable legacy of the time.
Dan then came and settled in New York City, where he hung out at the now legendary Red Bar, where he met Simon Cerigo in 1982, and they became life-long friends. At this point he began working in very free-handed, gestural and expressionistic oil stick on paper. He had a solo show at Club 57 in 1982, and a solo show at the Red Bar in 1983.
Simon had started his own gallery at this point, SIMON CERIGO GALLERY, on Ave A, in the East Village, and he gave Dan one of his earliest solo gallery shows there in 1986. Dan went on to show extensively in New York, LA, and Europe. One of the main galleries he was represented by was GALERIE AUREL SCHEIBLER, KOLN. By 1997, TOMIO KOYAMA GALLERY, TOKYO, was showing his work in Japan.
Dan also had a deep passion for indie music, and made several documentary videos based on his favorite bands, and musicians. Vic Chestnut.
NANCY SMITH was born in 1951 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She met Simon Cerigo in the MFA program at Concordia University, in Montreal in the early 70s. Nancy and Simon both shared an avid passion for contemporary art, and the art market in general. Simon was the first person to buy and collect her work. At the time she was working in watercolor, and doing large scale, ‘mythical’ figurative charcoal drawings on paper.
Also drawn by the energy in NYC, Nancy arrived here in Oct 1982, never to look back. She partnered in the behind-the-scenes admin of the SIMON CERIGO GALLERY, as well as in their on-going art collecting and ‘flipping’, which is how they supported their family. Kate was born in 1986, and Theo in 1988. They lived and worked in a gritty storefront on Rivington Street, right off the Bowery. 5 Rivington, East Storefront. Nancy had a solo show at the gallery, and her works on paper were included in several of its group shows.
At some point in the 80s, inspired by the many flea markets that used to be all over the Lower East Side, she developed a life long interest in restoring, by hand, vintage American quilts.
Like Dan Asher, Nancy was always into photography, except while Dan documented indie bands, and far-away places, Nancy was more more interested in documenting what was going on around her in the art scene close to home. Twenty years later her photos on the art scene began to be published on artnet.com: ‘Art Lovers New York – Photos by Nancy Smith’, 2002-2004.
While Walter Robinson, artnet’s venerable editor at the time, branded her: ‘artlovers’, you can thank Charlie Finch, artnet’s most colorful scribe for bestowing . . ‘Crackula’ upon her, a well-earned nickname, it is.
Nancy left artnet in 2005, to start her own ‘indie’ website, artloversnewyork.com – which she still runs, with a focus on the underground, and new talent.
Nancy was hired as a quilt collection consultant by JOSH HARRIS, of JUPITER and PSEUDO dot.com fame, in the late 90s which led to her being part of his million dollar ‘QUIET’ Millennium art party / social experiment / 24-7 surveillance wired project, 1999-2000. She is one of the many hardcore, downtown indie artists featured in the documentary, based in good part on raw surveillance footage from ‘Quiet’, that resulted 7+ years in the making, in the internationally well-received & critically acclaimed . . ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, a full length film directed by ONDIE TIMONER, and winner of the grand prize documentary, SUNDANCE 2009.
. . . BIO-TEXTS BY KATE CERIGO.
‘Under the Volcano: Simon Cerigo, Dan Asher, Nancy Smith’. June 6 & 7, 2015. 169 Bowery, NYC.
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
CURATED BY KATE & THEO CERIGO – PRODUCED BY THEO CERIGO
POP-UP, 169 BOWERY STOREFRONT, NYC – JUNE 6 & 7, 2015
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ . . . was a huge success – a B-L-A-S-T !!
BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT,
check out what DOUGLAS TURNER at AOT/THE ARCHITECTURE of TOMORROW had to say . . . !!!!
PHOTO: DOULAS TURNER via AOT/ARCHITECTURE OF TOMORROW
INDIE CURATORS, KATE & THEO CERIGO at the opening of ‘UNDER THE VOLCANO’ – their very first curatorial project.
and it was a . . hit !!
behind them is their late dad, SIMON CERIGO’S . . huge & wild paint & collage piece, with found artifacts, made on a found ‘curtain’.
for: WE LIVE IN PUBLIC insiders, yes !!
KATE . . is wearing a real, limited edition MARK ENGER, of EXPLODING SKY – silkscreen T-Shirt, of a skull.
skull, skull, death & bones – shiver me timbers all ye young hipsters !!
– . . for ye shall surely die one day, too.
done in his signature rebel indie style, RIP, MARK . . I miss you, we miss you – so much !!
the t-shirt was given to Kate, by Mark in person at a studio visit, we did just about a year or so, before he died, too.
a couple of years back. was he even 50 ? I don’t think so ?
no ventilation in the silkscreen studio, and a bad ciggie habit – !! and, that’s what happens.
I wanna say, ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG – but where does that leave me ?????
I guess someone has to stick around – to tell the tale, and yep: I’M TELLING IT – !!
I’M SCREAMING IT !! – FROM THE ROOF-TOPS OF THE WWW / THE WORLD WIDE WEB !!
THIS IS OUR ART, THIS OUR HUSTLE !!
the scene has been hi-jacked by lowlifes – and, the banal – for, far too long !!
LONG LIVE THE HARDCORE REBEL INDIES !! LONG LIVE THE UNDERGROUND PUNKS !!
I hear ‘love/hate’ maven, you just never know ??
CHARLIE FINCH is calling me . . the “widow” – behind my back !!
haha – love it.
CRACKULA is a WIDOW !!
LONG LIVE CRACKULA !!
but I must admit, I am a little lonely with 3 of my best art ‘buddies’ – gone, gone from the face of this dusty globe, finally free of the . . red red dust.
but, watch out . . for that ghost army !!
that surely follows close . . behind !!
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
SAT & SUN / JUNE 6 & 7, 2015 – STOREFRONT / 169 BOWERY at DELANCEY
A 2 DAY POP-UP PAINTING SHOW – FOCUSING ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE 80′s ART SCENE
yeah, a huge crowd came out.
it was a huge space, and it was packed by the end of the night.
IT WAS AMAZING.
the night before, a large scroll-like DAN ASHER goes up.
an imaginary, and powerful, mystical and archetypal, gestural and expressionistic . . . face on a long scroll of paper, early 80s.
PHOTO: DICK DEMENUS
curators KATE and THEO CERIGO grew up ‘under the volcano’, right smack in the midst of the intense, personal, explosive creative action that was the 80s art scene.
they grew up in a raw storefront on Rivington St, just a few doors up from the Bowery, when it really was, the wild frontier. flophouses, bums, druggies, junkies, and . . artists. they ran around at many a wild, crazy and now legendary opening, including the first shows of Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat in the East Village. the mid 80s shows of Schnabel and Salle on West Broadway, and Rirkrit Tiravanija on Greene St.
me, Simon, and Dan, we were all over the scene. we had it all covered.
the energy never let down.
. . . day job ? what was a day job.
pay check ? what was a pay check.
Dan sold his works hard-scrabble. their parents, Simon & Nancy . . ‘flipped’ other people’s art to support the family, and so . . the art was coming and going, in and out of the storefront, all the time.
including at any given point:
DAVID SALLE prints, a large JACK GOLDSTEIN hyper-realist lightning painting, MARIKO MORI’s ‘Love Hotel’ photograph, assorted works by MICHAEL McCLARD, paintings by WALTER ROBINSON, prints by CLEMENTE, and VANESSA BEECROFT’s ‘Amish women’ portraits.
the outlines of a huge Keith Haring crawling baby, quickly sketched in white chalk by him one day, on a found refrigerator cartoon on the street, leaned in one corner. and, of course their parents’ work, and Dan’s work, was all over the place, too. along with street posters, show invites, early zines and, stacks of artforums. it was 24/7 indie music. Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain. Built to Spill. Galaxie 500. Al Green.
there was no www, no internet. no social media. there were no personal computers, or cellphones. you got out, and you moved around. and it rocked.
the scene on the street just outside, was just bursting.
you could open the door .. . and Jean Michel would be strolling by.
if you were tough & savvy, money could be made. art works flipped FAST, and the East Storefront, at 5 Rivington, all ‘tagged’ up on the outside by the ‘writers’, was . . art city central. it was underground grit to the core,rebel indie, and hardcore, down to the very last . . drop.
just sold a Keith Haring chalk piece, $5 grand . . ca-ching !!
cut it down from the 14th St. subway, yesterday.
THEO had told us he had snagged a storefront, legit and all . . in a great location, but he hadn’t told us it was – the Cadillac, the cathedral of pop-up storefronts . . go, THEO !!
it was huge, and well-lit !! big wide open space. flat, uninterrupted walls.
no columns. no cubicles, no inner partitions, with double-height ceilings.
raw concrete floor, raw white walls, with some construction markings, but – just clean enough !!
just, the way we like it.
it was like the the mini-’museum’ of pop-ups, and in that sense it suited the show, which was in a great sense archival, but it also seems to have been timely, and relevant.
and, well, they were saying . . . it was: historic.
the energy in the room was amazing. serious, classic ‘art drunk’ – it was a hit.
a huge huge turn-out, mostly all under-30, it felt like Brooklyn !! including a big Yale contingent. and a couple of under-40s, major players, strolled in, and stayed . . like ANDREW GUENTHER. and then throw into the mix, a few veterans from way back, Charlie Finch and Walter Robinson, and . . ka-boom.
then, at some point Walter instagramed Simon’s ‘Keith Haring’ painting . . and the ball really started rolling, and did not stop.
as the opening progressed, everybody was on their phones sending out images & buzz.
the momentum just grew and grew.
it was awesome, really. I was floored. I couldn’t believe it. I was shell-shocked. I mean nobody had shown my work in 30 years, and this was my own in-house team, I guess indie, all the way, is my fate.
it was definitely over-whelming. lots of requests for stories, and first-hand info. the young artists seemed to enjoy the character both of the show, and the work.
they seemed to super dig . . the indie spirit of the entire production. but even more, they just really really rocked with the work, the flat-out expressionism, the intensity, the powerful ambition . . . to ‘own’ the era.
I’m thinking it was – something about the works having been so ‘under-recognized’, but so hardcore indie, a stubborn . . ‘so-what-stance’, this is our art – really rocked them.
this is what we do, this is our art, this is our hustle.
now, how do we .. SURVIVE !!!!!!
many said they wished the show could have lasted longer, so their friends could make it, or they could come back, for a second look.
Kate and Theo are still fielding requests for ‘visuals’ and installation shots, so they can be blasted out – into the infinite social media sphere.
the show is definite living a virtual double life, just like we envisioned.
go, indie – go, pop-up.
though we hadn’t known what to expect crowd-wise, esp with Bushwick Open Studios happening the same weekend, and we were definite anxious, and so, so surprised by the crowd.
but as one sane person told us, there is always something going on in NYC, these days, and this how they work it: they all just get on their phones, and tell their friends to get on down here, this is where the action is at !!
A SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT & THANKS TO:
Brooklyn artists, NICHOLAS STEINDORF, and JAMES MILLER . . for hanging the show.
it looked great.
it came together, right on time. and in a very short window of time. literally. very cool.
totally professional job.
. . there is no way we could have done this – without you !!
thanks to everybody who came by.
for supporting the art, art that just sort of flew by, under-the-radar, at the time it was made.
and, for supporting so warmly, the vision of these 2 young hardcore artist-kids, first-time curators – KATE & THEO CERIGO.
this is the show’s poster.
we made a short edition of them to plaster on the scaffolding, outside the storefront . . .
it is a complete reproduction of an early ‘newspaper’ piece by Simon, and from which we could get the only image of the three of us together. lucky it even exists, and that’s part of the magic behind it, I guess.
there are no other copies of the photo, at all. I mean there are plenty of digital ones now, but no negatives, no hard copy vintage prints. and, there are absolutely no other images of the three of us together.
it’s kind of fitting, that Simon ‘collected’ this photograph – he was very much into keeping ‘records’ of life – as it swirled around him. if Dan and I shared an (obsessed) interest in photography, for ‘holding onto time’ . . . . Dan documenting far-away places and indie bands, while my focus was on the art scene happening right before me, Simon was into collecting hands-on, actual ‘artifacts’, including working on newspaper pages that caught his eye, with their continuous moment-in-the-news immediacy, and gone-again . . temper.
coming to New York in the early 80s, was a really exciting time.
we all just thought, this is how it is, and – dive in !!
this is Simon’s ‘artist’ statement’ from 1987 – that I found in his old papers, while getting ready to put up this show.
“To be an artist in this age of materialism is the height of Romanticism. My paintings are first of all about ‘being’. I am not interested in technical categories, such as, abstraction or figuration. My main concern in painting is to ‘live in paint’. Painting for me is a way to talk myself and the world. My work incorporates toys, not only because of my own fascination with them, but because I feel that on a sublime level they reveal something about the particular civilization they belong to.”
this piece incorporates a small army of tiny war planes, Simon was into building model airplanes, tanks, and ships – with a narrow focus on WW II. WW II fascinated him. the ‘strip’ down the the right hand side is a piece of an actual model kit box, with ‘detailing’ – instructions.
so yeah, Simon got ‘tiny’ !!, nano, reproduction, replica – whatever.
me and Dan . . were not into ‘mini’ – at all.
I think the scientist-type nerd / character in the newspaper image, is Allan Ginsberg ?
the image of the retro 50s family on the right – probably references his own family.
his mom and dad.
his mom was very stylish. she studied medicine at the Sorbonne in Paris, and his dad was a financial newspaper reporter.
the ape on the left – ?
his inner demons !!
a lifelong battle & hence the magic of the title, ‘Under the Volcano’ – as well !!
when he died, he had left a little pink pencil eraser on the top of his diary of notes, it said – it had printed in black script on the top side:
“TIME WILL ERASE MY MISTAKES” – if only life was so, easy. Not.
but it all adds – up to great art. everybody can feel the emotion, even if they don’t know – the exact details.
war on the horizon, global warfare in the past, advanced technology warfare, and the war – within.
within the self, and within the family unit – as well.
even our goddamn genes – fight each other.
we love, we fight. we reproduce, and we start all over . . .
and here I am in . . . NEW YORK CITY.
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
CURATED BY KATE & THEO CERIGO
PRODUCED BY THEO CERIGO
DOORS OPEN SAT JUNE 6, 2015 at 2 PM / OPENING RECEPTION 6 – 10 PM
ALSO OPEN SUN JUNE 7 / 11 AM – 6 PM
169 BOWERY – STOREFRONT – JUST SOUTH OF DELANCEY, LOWER EAST SIDE / CHINATOWN, NYC