~ROB PRUITT, MRZYK & MORICEAU, AIR DE PARIS, FIAC

now that’s more like it !!

as far as I can make out, the cutting edge art scene today – is all about: STEALTH.

as in STEALTHY wily, cat-like, as in: STREET SMART STEALTHY, MESSAGE/CONTENT/VISION STEALTHY, PAINTERLY STEALTHY !!
and, of course as in: DUCK !! as in . . Duck, sucker – stealthy !!
as in: ‘BIO’/ planet-earth duck/animals/humans, life as we knew it S.O.S . . . STEALTHY.
as in, DUCK !! incoming sh-t flying right over ya !! STEALTHY.
with just a touch of grit. a bit of a cold, survivor loner – edge.
definite not too soft. smart is a good word, like a smart slap – across on the face !!

it’s certainly not: not in-your-face geezer ‘sexy’ overload and repeat after me, Paul McCarthy.


ROB PRUITT, ‘Daybreak/Twilight’, 2014
dyptique, acrylique peinture, email et pailles sur toile.
182,9 x 182,9 cm. chaque. 182,9 x 365,8 cm total.
unique – image via AIR DE PARIS – LIST FOR FIAC 2014

coming off of Rob’s recent and, gorgeous tres ombre ‘Suicide’ paintings, these are a knock-out. I was blown away the minute I saw them.
yeah, that’s what I mean by stealthy content, and ‘bio’ content – and even more stealthy . . the formal ‘painting’: smart formal elements, very fashion forward. almost a word play, game on visually, for sure.
STEALTH in this case employing digitally inspired – finely gradated & sophisticated spray paint work.


MRZYKE & MORICEAU, ‘Sans Titre’, 2014.
encre sur papier. 29,7 x 21 cm / cadre (frame) 31 x 22 cm.unique.
image via AIR DE PARIS LIST OF WORKS FOR FIAC 2014

wow, vive les native born frenchies !! these 2 artists are just so smart. in the head, in the style, in the draftsmanship, in the wit, in the down-low. in the global, in the fashion, etc. etc. etc.

so happy to be able to prove, I’m just not all about NYC, and I am for locavore cutting edge !! which this is, for sure !!
and, in double-time.

check out: MRZYKE & MORICEUA – 100 black line drawings, and counting !!

LISTEN UP, FIAC:

I’m not one to knock something and then not come up with a better alternative.
I hate negativism, it gives me nightmares after I post . . for days.

so . .

if FIAC had truly wanted to put up a giant, knock-out INFLATABLE . . that was truly ahead of the curve, and way ahead of the ‘market’ game (you damn straight, know what I mean !! McCarthy gallerists !!), that was also striking, cutting edge, super fun, super smart, very FRENCH !! and tres relevant to today, and not just A REPEAT of an old gross joke from 7 years ago, they should have / could have blown up & put up any one of the drawings on that MRZYKE & MORICEAU portfolio page link, above. in giant scale. PERIOD.

am I right ?
of course !!

in fact, here’s my top 2 picks:


MRZYK & MORICEAU – for ‘SEXY’, if that was what you were going for . . ho ho !!


MRZYK & MORICEAU – for ‘Chocolate Santa’ – if that’s what you really wanted. I mean it’s just a great image for an art fair, esp in Europe – let alone in tres sophisticate Paris !!
such a great ‘off-beat’ unexpected scenario, or what !!
plus, so super smart – design-wise.
so anti-terror, anti-war, anti-bio hazard, anti-earth, anti-market, anti-status-quo, anti bio infra-structure collapse. so sweet, and yet so powerful, edgy – but also an image everybody who came around – could embrace.

and hopefully . . transform with, evolve with – and at worse, just simply: escape and . . . dream – with.

too bad, FIAC dropped the (inflatable) ball, here’s to next time.

ok, now I can sleep better, voila !!



~I see London, I see France, I see Paul McCarthy’s underpants !! update: BANKSY ARRESTED.

file under: old geezers gather in Paris . .

to celebrate contemporary art, gimme a break.

just bye way of comparison, to how dynamo, and relevant !! the underground art scene is in NYC, right now. not to mention that is also totally AHEAD OF THE CURVE . . .
case in point: the latest “duck, sucker” image from MATT LEINES, which just surfaced from Greenpoint Terminal . . and, from a bigger venue . . the SATAN CERAMICS show !!

it’s pathetic, but check out just how old hat and desperate for attention – the Paris ‘mainstream’ art scene is. dudes, re contemporary art, rule #1 – you are supposed to be cutting edge, not behind the curve by like, about . . 7 years !!
plus, it’s a real shame considering how much great street art generates out of Europe, and Paris in particular.

but who’s surprised, the biggest adjective in the old rich guys’ art vocabulary is: sexy.
I kid you . . NOT.
as in: that THOMAS RUFF, that CINDY SHERMAN, that JEFF KOONS, that Gerhard Richter, that Anselm Kiefer concentration camp . . is so SEXY !!
am I wrong ? no.


PAUL McCARTHY – inflatable. PHOTO: AP via NEW YORK POST

is it a tree, is it a plane ? no, it’s a giant anal sex toy. a butt plug – to be specific.
thank god somebody had the brains to take it down. FIE on FIAC, what losers.
they get all this press hyping how great the contemporary art scene is in Paris, and they . . put up a giant butt plug ?!!
it’s so . . not today.

one old geezer plays a whole bunch of old geezers for saps, or is it just another case of the emperor who wore no clothes ? beats me, but it sure ain’t . . cutting edge !!
PAUL McCARTHY presented his chocolate Santa workshop at MACCARONE in NYC in the winter of . . 2007 !!
that’s 7 years – ago.
and actually – the best part of that exhibit was the chocolate shop installation itself, including the multi-colored cellophone paper they used to brightly wrap the finished chocolate gift boxes. it was pretty cool, and I guess people in Paris deserve a chance to experience it’s magic, first hand . . but don’t call it cutting edge, call it a re-enactment.

the most embarrassing part of the gig – was the anal plug in the chocolate Santa’s hand, which only your typical horny old geezer collector found . . funny. ugh, grossness in the midst of great festivity, what could be worse. and chocolate yet, let’s . . go there. I mean it was a twist, ok.

I mean maybe, just maybe . . that was the point, so we gave it a pass, but not TWICE !!
and I mean the only other rock-the-boat show in NYC at the time was DAMIEN HIRST, and his embalmed carcasses, so . . !! pick your poison. hazmat suits vs. not a gift for children, even from your pervvy uncle ?

the only CUTTING EDGE aspect to the whole thing – was how fast it got taken down !!
and apparently with NOT too much fuss, either – from the authorities.
and you wonder why the fundamentalist hordes, think we should be wiped from the face of the earth. I mean maybe as a symbol of western cultural excess, it should be re-inflated, oh give me a break – it was awful.

read: ‘Giant sculpture resembling a sex toy dismantled in Paris’ – NEW YORK POST.

p.s. as for LONDON . .

the last great thing to come out of LONDON – was the ALEXANDER McQUEEN exhibit at the MET, several years ago.
am I wrong ?
no.

UP-DATE: OCT 20, 2014 – 6:19 PM

oops, MY BAD !! I forgot about BANKSY !! – BRILLIANT STREET ARTIST & HARDCORE PRANKSTER.

the Brits shut him down, what dolts. what morons. unbelievable morons.
no wonder the world is going to hell.


“BANKSY, AKA PAUL HORNER, seen here being taken into police custody / AP PHOTO/DENNIS SYSTEM, File/AP” – photo via nationalreport.net

it’s like the complete opposite of what happened in Paris, LONDON SHUT DOWN THE ONLY really brilliant art thing they have going for them, after DAMIEN HIRST went hazmat . . on us.

see: GRAFFITI ARTIST BANKSY – ARRESTED / NATIONAL REPORT

THERE IS NO WINNING IN THIS CRAZY WORLD, DUCK !!
as IN:
DUCK, and hope the sh-t goes right over your head !!
BAD THINGS – COMING AT YA. FROM . . EVERYWHERE.

p.s.s.

do you get to the part where they say . . “Police arrested the famous artist while in the middle of finishing a piece about a mascot for a Christian organization called: ‘Fappy The Anti-masturbation Dolphin’ !! haha.

who could ever guess !!

giant anal sex toy – & – Fappy the anti-masturbation dolphin – on the same page !!

and it’s . . an ‘art’ column !!

damn, if Banksy gets arrested, then why shouldn’t FIAC & Paul McCarthy ?!!

guess they had the proper old geezer . . permits ?

I wonder if they, FIAC really submitted a ‘sketch’ pre-installation ? or did they just tell the Parisian powers that be – they were putting up a ‘modern’ art – Xmas tree !!
if there was an art god, trust me Paul McCARTHY would go to jail, and Banksy . . would be set free.
one is a fraud, and the other . . is the real deal.

LONDON vs PARIS, so exciting !! who knew.



~DUCKS . . GREENPOINT TERMINAL

as in, sitting ducks ?!!!!

‘DUCKS’ – OPENS FRI OCT 24, 2014 / 7-10 PM
the show runs thru NOV 29, 2014
a big group show of cutting edge art – curated by RYAN TRAVIS CHRISTIAN
GREENPOINT TERMINAL GALLERY – 67 WEST ST. # 320 – BROOKLYN, N.Y.

“I hate how you’re just born out of nowhere, forced to go to school and get an education so you can get a job. What if I wanted to be a duck?”

it’s a big big group show, see: artist list

there are a lot of names I am not familiar with, and I bet there are some great discoveries to be made . . but just off the top of my head, anything by any one of these 4 artists, snap up !!

BEN JONES, MATT LEINES, TAYLOR McKIMENS, CASEY JEX SMITH.


MATT LEINES, ‘Duck Hunt, A Humorous Rifle Industry Publication Aimed at Japanese Children’, 2014.
8 x 10 in. ink, colored pencil & graphite on paper



~WALTER ROBINSON . . BIG RETROSPECTIVE

‘WALTER ROBINSON: Paintings and Other Indulgences’
OCT 17 – DEC 22, 2014
UNIVERSITY GALLERIES of ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY

organized by the BARRY BLINDERMAN, this is the FIRST museum survey of NY-based WALTER ROBINSON’S work, as well as the INAUGURAL exhibit at the UNIVERSITY GALLERIES of ILLINOIS STATE – new storefront spaces at Uptown Station in Normal, Illinois.

the survey includes 80 paintings, covering the years 1979-2014.

read more: WALTER ROBINSON SURVEY

read: about BARRY BLINDERMAN, director of University Galleries of ISU since 1987


WALTER ROBINSON, ‘PICTURE PERFECT KILL’, acrylic on canvas, 2012. 48 x 48 in.
collection: MIMA & CESAR REYES, PUERTO RICO – image: University Galleries, Illinois State University

speaking of which: SIMON CERIGO.

SIMON & I were both early fans, 1981 onwards – of Walter’s work. at one point we owned almost 10 canvases, including some ‘pulp novel’ covers, a drug cabinet, a straw flower still-life arrangement, and the big ‘ape’ reporter. Simon sold them all off during the years when he needed dough, with most of them ending up in his sister Helene’s collection, one of which was lent to this show, ‘Revenge’. Simon bought it from METRO PICTURES in 1982, 1983 at the latest.

Simon had his own relationship with Walter over the years, and I of course knew Walter pretty well, from 2002-2004 when he was my editor at artnet, where I was an event photographer – with my own column. when Walter hired me, it was the very first time anybody ever took me seriously, I had been taking photos for over 20 years at that point (!!) and artnet was the very first time – a photo of mine was published, so . . wow.
but he also fired me – 3 times !!
the third time stuck. I founded artloversnewyork as an independent site, posts began APRIL 2005.
what happened ?
I was bringing in too much indie stuff, and god forbid . . musicians, name one: Devendra Banheart !! but more crucially, I had managed to hustle up a nicepaid advert platform – which made everybody else over there very jealous, long story – short: I was the only the artnet contributor to hustle up income for my content, we were all unpaid !! (except for Walter of course !!) and yes, people got very very – jealous, so when Walter told me I had to drop the paid bit
– I quit, duh. it was the classic NYC . . “you are fired for being too successful” scenario, but I was always thankful to Walter for giving me a break, and a big one.

and, anyways I really did prosper better without an editor over me, and people soon came to realize I wasn’t just a papparazi ‘go-get-Schnabel’ dog, but actually had a mind behind the camera lens.

I always thought Walter was a great painter, but I did, and still do . . blame him for sticking that nerdy ‘artlovers’ tag . . on me !! I always liked what Charlie Finch called me better: CRACKULA, Crack for short !!
Charlie actually was the one to prompt Walter into looking at my PHOTOS, and he always berated me with: “does all the world revolve around Nancy ?”, to which I always replied: “damn straight” !!
who knew, a budding spin doctor was in the making, case in point !!
sandwiched between Walter and Charlie, those were the . . days !!
very exciting.


WALTER ROBINSON, ‘REVENGE’, 1982. acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in.
interestingly – the piece still has the original METRO PICTURES label on the back.
collection: HELENE CERIGO LUPATKIN
PHOTO: HELENE CERIGO LUPATKIN



~LINE UP . .

here’s the line-up . . going forward:

1. WALTER ROBINSON – BIG, BARRY BLINDERMAN-ORGANIZED RETROSPECTIVE.

2. ‘DUCKS’ opens OCT 24, 2014 – GREENPOINT TERMINAL GALLERY – MATT LEINES DID THE INVITE ILLUSTRATION.

3. JIM MANGAN & PETER SUTHERLAND, ‘FLASH FLOOD’ – at MUDDGUTS. PIX FROM THE EXHIBIT

4. THEN, we are stopping the presses to get back to, the MOTHER OF THEM ALL, indies . . SEAN VEGEZZI & 170 SUFFOLK.



~SIMON CERIGO . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS

SIMON CERIGO – A GHOST LIVES ON, IN GREENPOINT . . .

why am I not surprised !!
to find Simon’s work, alive and kicking – where the cool kids are !!!

the supreme hipster flaneur, Simon was always to be found at the heart of every hot scene.
anything but lazy, the very definition of the ‘boss’ on the streets, Simon was better known for the 100s of gallery openings he attended each and every month, and his subsequent ‘ratings’, aided by his consummate eye and deep art knowledge, more than for his own art – but that is surely gonna change, and one day – for sure, he will get his day – !!
because ?
because . . it’s my firm belief – that indie talent always wins out, even if it’s in the long run.

Simon could definitely call talent, he gave ANDREW GUENTHER a big thumbs-up at SILVERSTEIN GALLERY, in fact he hired him on the spot – Andrew’s very first job after leaving grad school and landing in the big apple, where he (un-typically) let Andrew curate shows, and even exhibit his work. Simon remained a great fan of Andrew’s work through-out his lifetime.

SIMON was a big contributor to artlovers, bringing in the real dirt esp from uptown – way before anybody else even knew it had happened !! everybody knew him as the art world maven, if you wanted the low-down scoop on anybody – he had it. trust me, a lot of the flair and buzz of the contemporary scene has gone out – has evaporated without his colorful on-the-scene – takes, and never-ending gossip.

he loved covering the big action, mostly the blue chip auction scene, he could call the prices and the ‘futures’ pretty good, but he also came head-to-head with the cutting edge scene, esp in the 80s .. but also even in the early 2000′s. it was he who unearthed the young CANADA GALLERY – via their DEVENDRA BANHEART drawing show. did we say, he also knew music ? he wrote the artlovers indie music reviews, which truth to be told had a bigger following at times, than the art reviews – and, which although seldom more than several lines long, always ending with: PLAY IT LOUD (!!), he was a classic slacker scribbler – relayed the essence of his extensive and deep-rooted oral history of the indie music scene, at its peak, seriously . . going back through the 70s.

yep, big art scene maven that he was, not to forget consummate party crasher, and bad boy – people don’t know that he really made (and destroyed) quite a number of careers, along the way. like I said, but can never say enough, a lot of the ‘air’ has gone out at several large galleries that he used to favor, and they don’t even know why – and, no I’m not mentioning names. just look around at crashing . . Chelsea. of course the best was when he brought in the first take on a brand new space, VENUS OVER MANHATTAN does come to mind, and of course the priceless low-down gossip, such why JASON RHOADES really hit the floor, despite the white-wash gallery cover-up. and always . . way way before it hit the mainstream headlines, put it this way, JEFFREY DEITCH was a big thorn in his side, and he called that MOCA director fiasco out west from day one. which Roberta got way wrong bye the way, and for which she had turn tracks in print, later on – at least a year or so later.
that was just the he way rolled.
Simon had a take on everyone, he had a memory like a walking rolodex. not only could he tell you who was who in a room, but who bought what, and for what price, who slept with whom, (and their sex habits !!) and most fun of all – who was trying to sabotage who’s career on the slippery path to fame & fortune – and trust me, he was not above doing a little bit of that himself, bye the way. JEAN MICHEL does come to mind, jealousy and hubris, oh yeah. colorful is not the word.
he could even tell you what someone was .. worth $$ wise. he was always: right. right down to the bank account.
not always nice, but always – right.

the one thing he didn’t know how do, probably because the mainstream art world sucks, everyone knows the art world is so damn cutthroat and unethical – was how to make real money off the ‘career’ consulting. people just got him partied up, took the info, and ran with it. “how did I know to buy this work ? heard it at a party”. was the common refrain.

it’s not a joke, he seriously had a largely unrecognized impact on the fortunes of many an artist, and gallery in this town – as he advised several big collectors on the down-low. and usually just for a good time, he absolutely didn’t know how to keep his mouth shout – til he got paid. well maybe you can’t be a tight-ass businessman, and call the scene . . you can’t have it all.
but, he had the goods, that’s for sure.

SO:
if you don’t know Simon, it’s past tense – because he departed suddenly – after a brief illness last January, 2013.
OBSERVER OBIT
ARTINFO OBIT


SIMON CERIGO, toy model base – with custom paint job.
and, I think that can pretty much stand for Simon’s ‘inner-most’ artist self, his artist side kinda got crushed in the sorry NYC mix, we all love . . and hate.


his daughter, KATE, now a graphic designer – who likes to be right where the action is, just like her dad !! lives in Greenpoint, and has Simon’s art work displayed everywhere.
so funny thing, a brand new generation of artists is getting to know him, but through his work, this time, as opposed to his . . ‘footwork’.
for sure, talent .. outs.
though it’s a damn hard road, for . . some of us.

this is a portrait of Simon’s son, Theo. it’s a piece from the early 1990′s.
like many an artist Simon was profoundly affected by the arrival of his 2 children, but unlike many others he was among the first to actually use t-shirts, and to stick-on or other-wise attach other found objects directly onto the painting’s surface.
he had a big t-shirt collection, inspired by the underground music scene he loved so much, which had just started to produce them, you know classic underground ‘band’ & ‘tour’ shirts.


this is also an early piece by Simon, from the same time period. early 1990s.
Simon definitely had a love-hate relationship with JEFFREY DEITCH. the shirt definitely does say:
‘DEITCH PRO JERK’ . . like a tattoo on her shoulder, a riff on DEITCH PROJECTS, of course. I will let you ponder who the wild-haired woman was, for yourself.

the deal was, DEITCH at that time was putting on a lot of smokin’ hot shows, so there was JEALOUSY, esp because the locals on the scene, who were most definitely making it go round !! like Simon felt slighted, because they weren’t part of that agenda, and in particular Jeffrey didn’t give Simon the time of day. even though Simon was doing a lot of footwork for him, creating buzz etc. maybe Jeffrey didn’t realize that, or maybe he just didn’t care. bigger fish to fry.

but it went deeper than that.
Simon was actually the VERY FIRST PERSON, as in ‘COLLECTOR’ – to buy VANESSA BEESCROFT paintings from Jeffrey, and I do mean: very f-i-r-s-t. Three of her ‘Amish’ looking ladies, do you know them, ? so beautiful.
it was like $10 grand for the 3 of them. so Simon figured just for that – Jeffrey should have shown some respect.
a little later on, when Simon needed some cash and tried to put one of them up at auction, he felt Jeffrey had stepped in, and nixed the deal. so Simon got very bitter over that. game on, DIETCH was fair bait to bad mouth after that, and he sharply elbowed Jeffrey’s rep at every turn, turns out he wasn’t so far off-base, about Jeff’s social skills.

JEFFREY DEITCH – PRO JERK, haha – Simon liked to get in the first, and . . the last word.


flash from the past.
collector, artist, and hard-core party crasher – SIMON CERIGO in the winter of 2001, in fact – I think that’s the ROB PRUITT ‘Pandas and Bamboo’ opening behind him.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~ANDREW GUENTHER . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS


and then it was time to visit ANDREW GUENTHER, a cutting edge indie artist – if I ever did see one.
here he is looking like one big Greenpoint garden gnome . . and I mean that in a good way – with his young daughter EASTER. her full name is EASTER LILY, and I always blow it and call her TIGER, after Tiger Lily.
the Indian princess from PETER PAN.
it’s hard to tell what she’s thinking, she’s very silent – but, totally focused on observing.


right off the bat, I see a black and white painting . . that I have never seen before: it’s a riot.
Andrew works out of this basement studio in his home, and keeps a near-by storage space for the larger works, and as a more formal viewing platform.


Andrew shows me another one of his newest paintings, a collaboration with his friend, painter RICHARD COWAN.
he also had a collaboration with Richard in that recent Gowanus Canal show.
this one is even more radical. it’s the head-on collision of the formal qualities; color, composition, graphics, etc – with the non-verbal content – that knocks the work off the wall, for me.


this area was painted by RICHARD COWAN.


while this is Andrew’s painterly handiwork.


fooling around in the studio secrets – Andrew shows us a puppet he made of himself !!
talk about big, pink and fuzzy . . except as a puppet, long, wild, and bearded . . fuzzy.
but note . . the 24/7 surveillance camera monitor in the background, just to the right of that puppet.
living in NYC, or anywhere . . apparently, is no fun and games.
but it’s fun to see a serious artist . . let down his hair !!


kind of shocking, is that a ‘beheaded’ self-portrait ?
I don’t think that is what he actually had in mind, but there ya go.

actually I’m not so surprised, Andrew has a ‘craft’ side. one of my earliest photos of him – is him in the Silverstein gallery, so must have been about 2001 or so, and he has a rabbit (self-portrait ?) hand-puppet that he made – on his hand, saying hello . . to the camera.
I think of any artist I have photographed I have the most photos of Andrew, 14 years worth – if anybody wants to put on a show – you know, just ask !!

god . . are the galleries in this town mostly lame right now, or what.
and trust me, ‘Independent’ . . does not spell: INDIE !!


a ‘young’ Andrew . . puppet. kinda looking like . . Where’s Waldo !!
that’s why I have so many photos of him, one: the work is superlative, always edgy, always evolving, always original. always INDIE !! and two: he is always changing, too.

I don’t know what he thinks of the twisty path his career has taken, as opposed to the more commercial path of some of his early pals, like – name one: MATTHEW DAY JACKSON. but in my books he’s much better off for the being indie, & I have no worries that his career will catch up with him, big time.
even now, I get the feeling he is making sales, and keeping it on the low-down. storage spaces cost . . $$$.

it’s not the artists that are holding things back in this town, it’s the dealers.
no imagination whatsoever.


I brought NICHOLAS STEINDORF along to meet Andrew. and obviously, he’s having a blast.
I think Andrew is a great role model for young artists – just . . STICK TO YOUR GUNS.


haha SANTA & COLA . . a classic advert mix, thrown up, and coming back down . . radical, super smart, & funny !!
this was just a sketchbook page.
I was thinking, so where’s the silver glitter, and fake white cotton-ball snow ?!!


switching gears, I spy Andrew’s paperback book: ‘POPCORN ILLUSIONS’, 2014.


a random page said: “What do you consider your most understood endeavor either resolved or still in conflict ?”


a random page was this hot dog / man puppet in a jar, and I do mean . . m-a-n.
that’s what I was talking about, his ‘crafty’ side.


Andrew is stamping the inside cover.
wow, looks like I am scoring a copy – that I can really call – my OWN.


crazy wild, dolphin stamp.


talk about ceramics.


ANDREW GUENTHER, with 2 seminal paintings from his Gowanus Canal show – anybody . . out there ?
listening.
with, half a brain ?


just as we are about to leave I catch this NEW TIMES MAGAZINE . . on the floor.
“EVERY HOUR, AN ACRE OF LOUISIANA SINKS INTO THE SEA. WHO IS TO BLAME.”


ok, one more painting for the . . road !!


DOLPHINS: S.O.S.
HUMANS: S.O.S.

trust me the days of MARY POPPINS, are o-v-e-r.

in fact, more like PETER PAN, on steroids. laced with some very bad . . acid.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. OCT 5, 2014.



~LEVI HASKE . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS


LEVI HASKE in his studio, with his work behind him – Greenpoint Open Studio Weekend, BROOKLYN, NYC.
OCT 4-5, 2014.


LEVI HASKE’S works, acrylic paint on plywood, were (relatively) small in scale, but a had large generous feeling.
although non-objective, and without repeated patterns either – some of them did have a atmospheric landscape narrative, one could get lost in, if one wanted to visually ‘travel’, ‘trip’ or . . ‘dream’.


just so you can get a sense of the scale of the works . . Levi’s studio was longer and more on the narrow side.
that’s a slice of NICHOLAS STEINDORF, at the right – in this slice of a studio, slice of a photo.

NICHOLAS STEINDORF was artlovers’ tour conductor / curator for the weekend, where an overwhelming number of artists had generously thrown open their studios to the public, and they did indeed attract quite a good crowd on both days. I found it really interesting that Nicholas brought forward just 2 studios for us focus on, well, time was also a factor – those of JAENA KWON and LEVI HASKE. and now at Levi’s studio, I realized he had also set up a small sub-text: non-objective works on wood, where the painted surface was the main focal point, muted tones ruled – and the ‘shape’ of the wood was just as important – as the manipulated, almost waxy, painted surfaces – in both cases. though the 2 artists’ works – couldn’t be further apart . . on all other (over-all) factors.

if pressed, I would say, in a nutshell: Jaena’s work was more sculptural, often large scale and that a sense of craftsmanship and patina – was a big part of the ‘experience’. Levi’s work on the other hand was more atmospheric and compact – it brought the viewer a dreamy narrative that was both inward and outward, a pictorial fluctuation, rather than a tactile sculptural state, even though his work did also depend on (sculptural) cut-out wood, which made the perceived contrast even more interesting.


Levi’s ‘wall works’ were flat cut-outs, almost like puzzle pieces. some of which contained inner “negative” or open spaces, as part of the composition.


muted color was key. but true tonal contrasts were in play – though they were soft and organic. reminded me of late stage Turner sky scapes. Jaena’s work also had color as a key element – but Levi’s were ‘colorful’ in contrast to her minimalist surface-of-a-polished-rock sensibility. having just come from Jaena’s studio made it much more easier to appreciate what was going down in both artist’s works.
thanks, Nicholas !!


a larger and more ‘colorful’ work by LEVI, with more complex sculptural wooden elements worked into the dynamic . . very Turner-esque pushed to the 21st Century, or what ?

or maybe that’s a riff on the American landscape painters, you know, a Hudson Valley School of painters type sunset ? anyways, I was thinking, that pink and blue is a classic early American quilt / needle arts color combo – esp of the folk art of the North East, the earliest colonists. if you have ever stopped to watch a sunset over NYC, even today – you know why !!
pink and blue – just like this.


looking around his studio, a work in progress !!


also looking around the Levi Haske studio, photographer PIPPA DRUMMOND.
Levi’s studio got great natural light flooding in from that one key window.


but wait a minute.
I knew it !! – American folk art was indeed a part of the larger picture in Levi’s work !!
this was indeed, as Levi told me, a pastel transfer he had made, and re-colored !! of an early 19th century American hand-embroidered coverlet.

the most striking detail / clue which immediately gave away its origins, was that the corner blocks at the very top and bottom edge of the borders – were inverted. the right side block reads correctly, look at the eagle – while the left side images were like . . reversed stencils.
and that’s – that’s just what they were.

early American folk artists, esp quilters, or in this case a coverlet embroidery mistress – were very aware of ‘hubris’. one can take pride in one’s handiwork, but not too much.
PRIDE COMES BEFORE THE FALL.
even the very skilled . . must bow humble in the presence of the larger maker of the Universe, God. the father of all. the Puritans, the Colonists, onto the Amish, etc – retained this respect and reverence by deliberately making a ‘mistake’ in their patterns – it was their way of stating and reminding all who viewed their work – that man was not perfect, or alone. that there was a higher power. religious expression / experience was the center of their life experience as they lived it, in all ways and being.

you’ll also note, the maker’s initials, ‘E.E.’ – are stitched into the bottom left border ‘hubris’ inverted pattern block. ‘E.E.’ whoever she was, though proud enough of her work to ‘sign it’ was well aware that . . tis better to be humble in the face of God, and the greater universe / creation. she was happy to have made this piece, and to put her name, her initials on it – but she brought her ‘respectful’ world view to the process.

the stencil block ‘inversion’ or ‘mistake’ – that is, a deliberate skip in the pattern, has roots in all handiwork, but esp weaving, going all way back – in all cultures through-out the world, where a small slip in concentration, that one could not go back and fix – did not ruin the piece – but was said to be placed there – by the very hand of God. a mistake was a sign of God. and that we are only human. so a work with a mistake came to be seen as very special, blessed, as opposed to driving the weavers to endless frustration. as there is always a slip of the hand.

HUBRIS . . is a very interesting concept, esp for governments as a whole, to ponder.
as concerns military superiority supposedly based on advanced technology.
as in advanced / sophisticated American & European medical superiority vs ‘backwards’ Africa and a tiny little virus running rampant in the age of globalization.

yep, all ‘quilters’ and hand-stitchers, (just like bloggers in some big sense too), contemplate their world, as they stitch away those endless hours.


although the work says ‘DELHI’ (1847) in the right-hand bottom block, that might NOT be the local/place of origin, though it well could be .. but it also likely refers to the coverlet’s ‘format pattern’ which was derived from: Jacquard all-over pattern – repeating . . weaving.
apparently back in the day, the early 1800s – a skilled Scottish JACQUARD weaver settled in DELHI, NY.
this pattern is based on Jacquard over-all effects.
see: DELHI

though, changing the colors of the coverlet as LEVI HASKE has done, makes a . . very big big difference. in the content, re a contemporary art piece vs. the original. and in fact, even in real time / technical / digital formats. if you try to google-image the work – you see that google-image is solely based on color !! and you can get no further historically, than to pull up other images with the same ombre shades of blue !!
google-image is not subject matter – oriented. damn. and hard to believe.

the exact historical nature of this quilt is therefore not ‘fingertip’ easy to find, and – as well by changing the original colors, which would have been key to its meaning, Levi has transformed it.
for example, red and green would signify a Christmas quilt, etc. etc. pink is for (marital) engagement, yellow for happy and sunny . . red is sometimes a signifier for: danger.

just looking at the coverlet, and being influenced by the way it’s color scheme is ‘leaning’ now, which might be deceiving, but still . . I would take a leap of faith and imagine this quilt might be a ‘death’ or ‘bereavement’ coverlet. witness the somber tree of life, witness the somberness of the pattern as a whole. perhaps those birds, unlike the eagles in the end blocks – are crows or ravens, early folk art symbols of earthly ties to the dead.
see: CROW POEM


but at the end, there is renewal.
the pineapple stands for hospitality, and thus . . rooted in home, and family – the circle of life, goes on.
just like the seasons. let the circle be unbroken.

hubris, death and the eternal circle . . the tree of life. I’m on it.
folk art.
count me – in.
it struck me as as very ironic – how a visit to see cutting edge new work in Greenpoint – esp of a very abstract nature – had brought me back to my – quilt-maker ways.

something about a pineapple (open studios – !!) and . . the circle of life.

and I do mean circle of life,
quilting, and all.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. OCT 5, 2014



~JAENA KWON . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS


JAENA KWON opens her studio, Greenpoint Open Studio Weekend, OCT 4-5, 2014.


this is the piece behind her. her works are both paintings, and shallow wall sculptures.
the questions she asks, are purely theoretic – the manipulated boundaries, and plasticity games that manipulated mediums i.e. paint and wood – can play, and ultimately warp, and otherwise engage . . spatial dynamics.


fellow artist and friend, JAMES MILLER drops by – and helps the camera ‘orient’ the manipulation of space, on a more deeply curved wall ‘structure’ by JAENA KWON.


NICHOLAS STEINDORF in front of an all-white, more shallow . . ‘staging’ by JANA KWON.
Nicholas brought me over to meet Jaena, and in that sense he curated this little weekend excursion. a visit with his friend – Levi Haske – is up next.


JAENA also had pieces that were more formally ‘sculptures’ in that they stood on the floor and claimed 3-D space.
Jaena’s works are based on wooden forms that she first makes, then she paints them in mute tones with acrylic paint, and then she waxes the surface, I think ? and then finally she sands and polish rubs them into a waxy, epoxy-like, almost buttery muted leather surface.
the finished pieces look very worked, and yet not quite what they should be, re: your typical painted surface.
they definitely ‘transform’.


Jaena’s work station.
I (personally) experienced Jaena’s work, and her studio space – as very much as that of an artisan, as well as an artist – at work, in that the resultant work felt so ‘hands-on’ . . and was made so ‘hands-on’. despite the advanced minimalist theory that hung in the room, and I mean that in a good way. it’s my thinking, and most likely, not just mine – – that it’s always good when the sensuality of the materials, and the way they are worked . . overtakes the thoughts & concepts – I mean, isn’t that the point ?
whether it’s the intellectual passion in Nicholas’ work, or the workmanship passion – in Jaena’s.


JAENA KWON, hardly looking like paint and wood – by any means. I almost got the feeling, the metaphor that came to mind, was of a highly accomplished ‘shoe maker’ presenting the most fabulous pair of butter soft custom-made leather boots, that would fit like a glove. I guess the parallel is, these are objects to marvel at, to behold and wonder about . . meditate on.


and despite all the hallowed ‘formalism’ – me being me – I did spot a little bit of other-worldly ‘magic’ – !!
anybody else see those two faces, the ghostly profiles . . on the left.
not sure if that’s deliberate, or just a stage of a work in progress – guess that’s the excitement of being inside a working studio – process, thought, future – all about to take shape.
up close and personal.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. OCT 5, 2014



~NICHOLAS STEINDORF vs ANDY WARHOL . .

GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS vs SOTHEBY’S ?!!

I thought it was a pretty fun coincidence to open the Wall St. Journal the very Monday after I went to Greenpoint, to see this ’4 square’ screen print by ANDY WARHOL pop up, coming hot on the heels of just catching NICHOLAS STEINDORF’S 4 square digital ‘boy with man head playing with fire’, i.e. a lit candle. a lit pipe.
and, in almost the very same color range – bye the way.

and no, it did not make me feel good to hear 2 young boys in Queens fell victim to ‘unattended’ lit candles, esp during what is supposed to be ‘fire safety’ week here in NYC – after I had just posted: yeah, Nicholas . . go set that house on Fire !! break down the status quo walls.

it felt like a bad omen, and I gotta tell you . . I got a very bad feeling.
it didn’t help to read what the Director of the FBI has to say, and the supposed ‘competence’ of our anti-terrorist teams.
re: terrorist group will strike US ‘very very soon’ warns FRI director.


NICHOLAS STEINDORF, 4 square composition, digital imagery, approx 13 x 19 in. FALL 2014.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

no wonder this young artist is thinking: who am I, where am I, where are we going, and what the hell !!!!


ANDY WARHOL, 1974 – 4 square composition, silk-screen of SAO SCHLUMBRGER . . to be auctioned off by SOTHEBY’S this fall, it has a pre-sale estimate of $2-3 million.

first off:
who the hell paints . . SOCIALITES any more ?
I mean, not even JEFF KOONS does.
don’t mention current affairs neither – the biggest fear Andy and his pals had . . was passing out at Studio 54. don’t even bring up . . Ebola & the top-notch Dallas confidence-inspiring (refer back to FBI above) hospital ER response, NOT. ANDY died from hospital incompetence during what should have been routine gall bladder surgery.

but Andy loved reading the NEW YORK POST, it was his favorite read. no doubt, he would have loved this recent headline: SHARPTON LAWYER “HUNG LIKE A CASHEW” – !!

damn, that Warhol was such a modern guy, up on the tabloids – and killed off by medical incompetence.

p.s. it’s interesting to remember Andy’s stats: born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – in 1928 (!!), and died in New York City, in 1987 – that’s probably just before, or maybe in fact . . just when Nicholas was born !! haha. (in Wisconsin).
h-o-w the world does turn.

p.s.s. of course, the ’4-square’ – is a basic quilt pattern, called the ’4 patch’ – it is essentially, the mother of all quilt invention !!


a basic 4 patch.


and, it just keeps on – evolving !!



~NICHOLAS STEINDORF . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS


NICHOLAS STEINDORF.
I’ve been following Nicholas’ work for about 3 years now. I would place his work in the roughly defined category of those 2 crazy smart guys, ROB PRUITT and ANDREW GUENTHER. except, although this is also art made for thinking people . . Nicholas’ work diverges in the sense that he is not so much (pop) media-driven, as he is . . asking questions.
and not so much, is anybody out there listening, but more, where am I, where are we – going ?
it is soul-searching, and deeply other-wise, more internal and poetic.


the view from Greenpoint. wow, if you squint, it even looks like . . Miami ?!!
palm trees, not. but still very pretty.
there’s still a big sky left to ponder out there in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – though gentrification is making inroads slowly but surely.


Nicholas’ studio is in his floor-thru-apt. he gets more real estate for the $$$, but you also get the feeling he’s a 24/7 kind of always-on-call artist type guy. and apparently when he’s not working up his art projects, he’s cooking.
so that works well.


oh oh, out peeks a little – magic !!
whether deliberate, I’m thinking . . no, or ‘found’ I’m thinking . . yes – it’s nice to see ‘magic’ is still alive and kicking, even in Greenpoint.

in fact that unicorn storage ‘locker’ is an interesting metaphor for the artist himself. and NICHOLAS in general, in that Nicholas is unique in that he seems to be the focal point of a big new scene . . the newest wave of talent to hit our small island’s shores, and they are hitting hard. the newest wave of talent & ambition wants to definite make its mark, and take over NYC, so watch out.
ok just joking, NOT.
but seriously what I mean is, it seems in every generation of artists – there are one or two individuals who aren’t so much / as in, only . . self-involved, as they are interested in, and in dialog with their surrounding community of artists, new and established – and for sure . . for this newest generation, this is Nicholas.

whenever I bump into him, I’m sure to hear about at least 3 other young artists in shows down the street, and in fact . . we did a nice trade-off this GOS/GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIO weekend. he took me to the studios of 2 of his friends: JAENA KWON and LEVI HASKE, and I took him over to meet ANDREW GUENTHER.
for sure, that’s how I like to work artlovers – it’s pretty much, I think the only way to really break down the huge & very complicated art scene . . that is NYC.


big, pink and fluffy ?!!!!
it’s so fun to walk thru someone’s studio, as opposed to the gallery setting, as opposed to the finished ‘product’ – it’s like looking into their future arc. their inner thinking, past projects stored away, new projects just taking shape. it’s akin to entering their sketchbooks, the sketchbooks of their minds, and peeking into . . the secret closets. the ‘found’ things, and the other assorted images . . that inspire them.
as Nicholas’ work is very digital projection centered, it’s a very funny Kodak moment – to catch sight of such a funny fuzzy sharply pink – tactile thing.


I guess that was just the point, witness the background here.


another ‘working’ image – either for a projection, or an installation . . of a projection ?


SATAN CERAMICS !!
Nicholas has been out and about on the . . scene.
actually, there’s a nice background story to this. the t shirt was scored from the opening, via PAT McCARTHY, who gave it to Nancy who gave it to Nicholas. that’s the way the pigeons fly !!
we outta here, or what !!


talk about . . Satan, and the dark arts, dark magic . . delving into the dark side inside / outside.

my very favorite piece by NICHOLAS STEINDORF – was just sitting nonchalantly on the wall, nearby.

it’s funny how art is just like writing a ‘blog’. you know, you just put the stuff up, never knowing where it will land. and, on the other side – you feel so lucky to have caught a ‘flicker’ of a thought, a (created) image . . in the (casual) moment.


turns out to be a grown man’s head, smoking a pipe, seamlessly morphed onto a young boy’s body.


well, the metaphors abound aplenty – and I’m sure you can come up with your own.
what I love most – is how mysterious and profound, and questioning and internal – it all is.
no words, strong muted opaque colors and a candle flame, that catches the ‘spell’ of the very moment of physical ‘illumination’. so scientific in a real world sense, and yet so rich with narrative, it is suffused with ‘atmosphere’, and . . storyline. the word self-examination, does come to mind.

such a (serialized) walk on the dark side, the unknown of my life, is such a . . THRILLER.


visually, it’s very curious, because it is so ‘muted’, and yet so . . 3-D.
I guess it’s the extreme contrasts, the lighting that creates this illusion.


NICHOLAS STEINDORF seems to be saying, playing with ART, is like playing with FIRE.
the SATAN CERAMICS crew would be sure . . . to agree.

a little bit of fire, and a little bit of darkness go a long way, clay or paper.
no diff. big diff. go figure.

translation: no diff creatively, philosophically / big diff (fired) clay makes pottery vs paper and this is probably going on a digital non-tactile route eventually.
go figure . . read a book with a candle under the covers at night & you might just burn the house down.

ps:

file under: SAD

oops, so sad. I meant that . . as a good metaphor, as in burn down the house, as in set the world on fire, with your new ideas !! think outside the box.
not the breaking news story: 2 young boys die, unattended candles set their house on fire in Queens.

pss:

I did once buy a beautiful early American / late 1880′s quilt, cheap – because it had a big burn hole in the center. it was obviously set on fire by a kid, I’m guessing, but it was prob a boy, it was stitched in a classic boy’s bed cover pattern – a boy who had been reading in bed by the flame light of a candle. you could put the quilt over your head, and by the burn hole’s position – it became obvious what had happened. Nicholas’ use of a curious boy playing with fire – made me think on this.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH. SUNDAY OCT 5, 2014



~ANDREW GUENTHER . . GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS

you can catch more of ANDREW GUENTHER’s work, and meet him – at his open studio . . today SUN, OCT 4, 2014 / 12 – 6pm as part of the GOS/GREENPOINT OPEN STUDIOS WEEKEND.

his studio address: 228A N. HENRY ST. between Nassau & Norman.

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Gesture’, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 in.

PHOTO: NANCY SMITH



~JIM MANGAN, PETER SUTHERLAND . . ‘FLASH FLOOD’

OPENS . . TO-NIGHT: FRI, OCT 3, 2014 / 6-10 PM
the show runs thru OCT 17, 2014
MUDDGUTS – 41 MONTROSE AVE / LORIMER – BROOKLYN, NYC

from the MUDDGUTS PRESS RELEASE:



~MICHAEL BELL-SMITH . . ‘RABBIT SEASON, DUCK SEASON’

GOING, GOING, gone.
forget GONE GIRL, it’s pretty much . . gone planet.
say good bye to life . . as we knew it.

MICHAEL BELL-SMITH – ‘RABBIT SEASON, DUCK SEASON’
OPENS NEXT FRI, OCT 10, 2014 / 6-8 PM
the show runs thru NOV 26, 2014
FOXY PRODUCTION – 623 W 27 ST, CHELSEA, NYC



~SPACE 1026 – JACOB MARCINER . . ‘PIZZA SQUIRREL’

SPACE 1026 – WE ARE POLITICALLY INCORRECT . . and PROUD OF IT.
we are – as a bio-people residing on this increasingly fragile bio-sphere, ENVIRONMENTALLY . . INCORRECT !!
MUCHO – !!

I noticed this lead item in the SPACE 1026 Store, PHILLY
gotta love it.
I wonder if ANDREW JEFFREY WRIGHT is behind this ? in some zany, super consciousness way, for sure. that guy as I re-call times I’ve seen him and /or his work in NYC – has a wicked sly sense of humor, and in fact many of his art pieces – did involve animal illustrations – in ridiculous situations ?

the drawing, the cuteness of the line quality defies verbalization – is just as impressive as the subversive but eloquent message – it just screams ‘dark humor’, but so low-key. so off the wall, so politically incorrect.


JACOB MARCINER, ‘Pizza Squirrel Coasters’ – image: SPACE 1026

a little more searching in the store – reveals JACOB MARCINER to be the comicbook-leaning ‘smart-ass’ artist behind the ‘chic-est’ 4 pack coaster set, I’ve seen in along time.
it’s yours for all of $18 – set of 4.
that’s a nice punch for $18. they are screen printed on reclaimed wood paneling and there are only 5 left (!!) in stock – so go for it.

I say . . Politically Incorrect, because in reality – that cute & cuddly image is both friendly . . feed your local wildlife a slice of pizza (?) but, ultimately heart-breaking.

esp in light of how desperate things are in the world, as a whole – where we don’t feel safe anymore. and we might just regress back to placating the (Greek) gods. I was going to say, riding the subway in NYC is such a rush. like playing Russian Roulette big-time, but I mean – that is really really POLITICALLY INCORRECT !!

but also more specific to the animal world. talking about endangered PANDAS (Rob Pruitt) and sick DOLPHINS (Andrew Guenther).

the world does so dig AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, or what !!

see: Ice Melting – forces 35,000 stranded WALRUS to gather on shore neat Point lay, ALASKA – in absence of their natural habitat at this time of year: sea ice.

my . . how things have changed.
this used to be the face of POLITICALLY INCORRECT !!

vintage ‘MEXICAN’ souvenir – coasters.
bought at my local thrift shop, ($1.99 for a set of 4 in mint condition), a big ole Salvation Army a few years back, and treasured ever since. for what it says about the world we live in & how we use everyday art to express our feelings.
and NO, THIS WAS NOT . . IRONY.

just an aside:
and yep, they finally found a way to deal with all those scrappy undocumented ‘aliens’ – thank you ISIS, for the opportunity to build up our army again.
and by so doing, finally solve the thorny issue of a Path to Citizenship for all the (prob millions) young, strong-bodied South American immigrants who came here as children – with no paperwork !!
see, there always is a SILVER LINING in the . . cloud.

I’m showing you the reverse, for 3 reasons.

1. no, I did not photoshop that image – truth is stranger than fiction.
2. it’s got a great vintage background (floral) pattern.
3. and, insult to injury – it’s . . MADE IN TAIWAN.

PHOTOS Of VINTAGE COASTER: NANCY SMITH



~BEN FURGAL . . sent in some pix !!

I SEE PHILLY IS TRENDING . . . !!

‘DESCRIBE THE PHENOMENA’ – Paintings and Sculptures by BEN FURGAL
SEPT 15 – SEPT 28, 2014
SPACE 1026 – 1026 ARCH ST 2nd Fl – PHILADELPHIA, PA

and check out: MAGIC PICTURES !!

BEN FURGAL SENT IN SOME PIX OF THE INSTALLATION.
BLACK LIGHT, or what !!!!!!!
GORGEOUS, SUBVERSIVE, OTHER-WORLDLY, PSYCHEDELIC, MIND-ALTERING, VISION-ALTERING & JUST PLAIN: FULL OUT – MYSTERIOUS.

PHOTOS: BEN FURGAL

as for: ANYBODY OUT THERE ?

also trending this week.

see: the ‘CURIOSITY’ rover on Mars has spotted a rock . . . .
what’s so interesting is not so much that it looks like an earth-based ‘traffic light’, but that the ‘rock’ and the vertically (perfectly) sliced rock formations behind – look manipulated, hand-made, in effect: DIY !! organic erosion, not !!
I don’t think it looks so much like a traffic light as it does a piece of spaceship hardware – that fell off.

as for terrorism, it was just such a beautiful gorgeous light-filled, sunny, fresh Fall day, in 2001 – where you woke up, and felt anything was possible, that the Twin Towers pancaked down.
life is reading more & more . . like a 70s comic book, Moebius . . desert rats, outer space, and all.
listen, if you couldn’t play around with ‘black light’, and all your future was about, was being held back, and selling trinkets in a hot dusty flea market, with goat bells tinkling in the background & fed extremist religious tracts with no room for questioning – while jet-setting Dubai / Saudi sheiks party on . . you might be brandishing a gun too. is being able to ‘dialog’, question, confront, seek freedom – a cultural trait ? a universal aspect of humanity, a basic tenet of civilization. or is it learnt. are we hard-wired . . as much for freedom of thought, as for fighting over territory. I don’t think so.
big questions. well, at any rate comic books were in on this – forever. I was going to say comic books are so under-rated, but from a tiny comic book a huge film industry did grow.

if you ever think about how we got here, and ok there was a big bang, but where did that come from, at this point – you might be tempted to revive the ancient Greek thinking on this. like maybe we are comic (!!) cosmic ‘gladiators’ – put on this planet to battle it out – for the sake of some god’s merriment, or gambling bet.

space travel vs terrorism . . the stuff of comic books, yeah. and I hate to say this, but also if the that earlier page turner, the Bible. it’s really friggin hard to get your head around the dual polarity of the excitement of space exploration vs the primal tragedy of terrorism.
yin yang – old Chinese proverb.
something about the 2 opposing forces that makes an (infinite) CIRCLE !!

I love black light, so . . FAR OUT !!!



~BEN FURGAL . . SPACE 1026 / PHILLY / last weekend to catch . .

‘DESCRIBE the PHENOMENA’
PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS by BEN FURGAL
SEPT 5 thru SEPT 28, 2014
SPACE 1026 – 1026 ARCH ST, 2nd FL – PHILADELPHIA, PA

heads up, all you thinkers, dreamers, and SCIENTISTS !!
and, PLEASE PLEASE remain . . CALM, & OBJECTIVE !!
whilst retaining the MAGICAL !!

artist, curator, musician (EVIL SWORD) & co-director of MAGIC PICTURES BEN FURGAL is on the loose and playing with fire, er UFO’S . .
and, damn it – if he ain’t talkin . . BLACK LIGHT !!
and . . DIAGRAMS !!
for sure, BEN’S got a foot in the ANDREW GUENTHER / ROB PRUITT camp, or what / !!
anybody . . out there ?!!!!!!!

we’ll let BEN tell you all about the show – in his own words via his MAGIC PICTURES SITE.
check it out for the full text.
nice texting – BEN.

SPACE 1026 & BEN FURGAL . . also produced some great limited edition BLACK LIGHT POSTERS for the show . .
designed by BEN & printed by EMILIA BRINTNALL, it’s a limited edition of 50, with each & every poster signed by each artist.
at $25 a pop – that’s a steal. or in other words: a whole lotta BIG MAGIC !!
available online from MAGIC PICTURES/store.

REMAIN CALM & OBJECTIVE – MY NEW PASSWORD, my new MANTRA for – life !!

that should last me a day or so,
or at least until the next time I see a mushroom-shaped UFO, and all the time/space traveler/tourists inside are waving hello !! at me !! must have been a CRUISE SHIP, UFO.
yeah, instead of scribbling in black sharpie on my brand new white nylon hoodie bomber jacket,
“I just saw a UFO and so did JOHN LENNON”, I’ll definite try to remember those cautionary words, well mostly because, who knew . . black sharpie runs – in the rain on nylon !!

actually, true story: I once wore the jacket to a Rob Pruitt opening, in fact the one before his iPhoto show – and he actually asked my friend . . “who did the writing on her jacket” ?!!!!
I almost died for . . happiness.
oh yes, a little recognition goes a long way.
see – everything comes round, eventually.
life is one big hook-up – even in the Big Apple.

UP-DATE: 1:31 PM – NYC

I think Joan Rivers was right, you still gotta laugh, god forbid . . you should have to cry.
Joan Rivers, RIP. I’d like to hear her take on this.
(Kathy Griffin – a very bad idea, bye the way. just let KELLY OSBOURNE run the show, for awhile and have a lot of guests, like Jesse J and show some respect . . for one-of-a-kind talent.
E channel . . take it slow. don’t be so damn desperate.)
the next Julian Schnabel isn’t a pseduo-Julian guy’s guy, it’s . . Jean Michel. the next Jean Michel isn’t the next cute Basquiat look-alike, it’s Sean Vegezzi.

funny how the more magic the world gets, in the face of darkness.
just get . . your magic on.

I just want to have this on the record.

just to show you what kind of world we live in,
ISIS plotting . . SUBWAY ATTACK/NYC & PARIS – NYPOST

I guess it isn’t funny to say, when the going gets tough think: magical. this is,
well, this is what you get when you hard-wire a species to territorial violence. I mean these guys have nothing to do over there. no science, no music, no art. no no nada. fascist mindset.
while we are . . all culture. 110%.
as they say, big gap. big problem.
anybody listening, out there.

the fascist mindset. all black and white, no imagination – locked into a corner, cornered is not a good thing. sounds like a ROB PRUITT scenario I just saw, with the little black cat trying to get down.

in fact.
I had a cat when I was growing up, she was all black, with one white paw, and I named her ISIS after the Egyptian goddess. I was like, 7. so, boo ya. so, all my secret answers to my all os / password questions are: what was the name of your first pet, and . . you know it.
everything comes round. if NSA is scanning for passwords . . they got me.

I wanna say, maybe that’s the first step in really comprehending: the infinite. infinity.
truly thinking past the diminished ‘secular’ dimensions of the truly shallow 3-D ‘bio’ plane we currently inhabit, even though all basic cultures on this planet believe/d in other-ly spirits, ghosts, and afterlife, of some sort.
but it’s too optimistic.
I will be eating my words like a sad Joan Rivers, making fun of North West – the cutest baby on the face of the earth. knock on wood. if anything goes wrong. my kids saw the World Trade Centers go down, now they gotta send me links to this . . scheisse ?!!
I bet every parent in NYC – is thinking this.
so uncool. so un-evolved.
I brought kids into the world . . for this ?

I wanna say, where’s my ghost army.
but look what China did to Tibet.

can’t the opposing ghost armies just fight it out, among themselves – up there in the 4th dimension.
of course Bob Marley’s ghost army is gonna win ?!!
damn, I knew the taliban blowing up those 2 huge ancient rock Buddhas in Afghanistan, was a BAD IDEA.

where’s that god damn UFO tourist ship ?
come on, suck up those bad dudes, already.
or do we all look the same from a distance. we all suck, basically. art world included.
I mean come on . . 3/4 of it is a mean & nasty scam.
otherwise you would NOT be reading this.

as for the the most intimate ‘bio’ unit.
I could personally kill my thieving Aunt Piggy . . don’t get me started.
as for marriage. don’t get me started, either. we all know you kill the one you love.
don’t wish for . . does come to mind.

on a happier, more pro-’creatives’, creativity . . note,

I wanna say look what the black slaves did here, I mean they were brought here against, AGAINST their will and mistreated beyond the beyond, but they had music, ok trite but I’m trying to say it in a nutshell / blogger time . . and, they believed in God perhaps even more than their ‘oppressors’, they sought refuge in that spirituality, and expressed themselves in that powerful music – that begat SISTER ROSETTA, and JAMES BROWN . . and we all know America runs on the power, the legacy of their blues, gospel . . their music. I mean . . they became our strength. seriously.
who would have known when we brought them here. kicking and screaming, in chains.

I mean white American culture was the SHAKERS, the AMISH, the Puritans think on that !!
the mind-set of the witch hunters. the scarlet letter. repression, and hypocrisy with a capital, R and H.
the Shakers, nice artifacts, great art on many levels. but no sex, not even for reproduction. never mind no music. talk about your ‘literal ‘bio’ dead end.
so thank god for Black Americana. just compare the archival photos of Shaker elders to the ole time Br’er Rabbit folks. Shaker ‘shaking’ vs. the cake walk. jumping the broomstick. if you study quilts – you can really understand how the ‘improvisation’ mindset, in a word: Jazz, juke . . how it shook up, enriched the whole European straight-lace right angle edge thing, seriously those guys over there need a little more rock and roll, and whole lot less repression.

hey.
you said, DESCRIBE THE PHENOMENA !!
ok so, I took it for a . . a little, ok, a long and personal walk around the block, so sue me.
I’m a New Yorker.



~ANDREW GUENTHER . . is anybody out there ? ROB & ANDREW WANT TO KNOW.

ROB & ANDREW, 2 crazy guys want . . to K-N-O-W.

is anybody out there, thinking ?
listening, evolving ?


detail, ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Cola’.

it’s interesting to consider how ANDREW GUENTHER’S work . . ‘implies’ an audience.
so does ROB PRUITT’S.

I mean some work, says: LISTEN UP !! – the CINDERS’ crew.
some say: what’s up / !! – Muddguts !!
some say: jump on it !! – Johan Kugelberg
some say: WE DID IT -!! SATAN CERAMICS
and, others go the lonely lone ranger route – PAT McCARTHY, the Bushwick pigeoneer.

oh, I almost forgot, 15 WARREN / 170 SUFFOLK the SEAN VEGEZZI CREW, they say: WE NAILED IT !!
we nailed it. we popped up, and we STOLE THE NIGHT . . the scene, your world as you wish it was, safe – NOT !!

ROB PRUITT and ANDREW GUENTHER are saying: anybody . . out there (with half a brain) ?


ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Cola, Level 1, 1-UP’, 2014.
acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.
($6,480)

1-UP ?

listen up, people. honey bees are smarter than we are.


ROB PRUITT, Cardboard Monster: ‘Michele’ Baled cardboard, socks, shoes (all man-made materials), refitted electric clocks, wood, Comme des Garcons Odeur 53, wood, extension cord, 2010.
image: Gavin Brown’s enterprise

here’s looking at ya – know you out there !!
why ya gotta be so . . . dumb ?

PHOTOS of ANDREW GUENTHER’S WORK: NANCY SMITH



~ANDREW GUENTHER . . curated by DERRICK B. HARDEN

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew !!

THE JAMIE PROJECT . . .
with ANDREW GUENTHER, curated by DERRICK B. HARDEN aka ‘DEAR DERRICK’
opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
the show ran until SEPT 21, 2014
SHOW ROOM GOWANUS – 460 UNION ST, BROOKLYN, NY


ANDREW GUENTHER at the opening . . with his painting, ‘Ice Channels’, 2014.

I’ve known Andrew from pretty much the day he landed here. born 1976 and raised in Wheaton, ILLINOIS he split for New York City the moment he graduated with his MFA from Rutgers (2000) – and immediately landed a gallery assistant job with DANIEL SILVERSTIEN GALLERY, then cutting edge and located on 21st St. in Chelsea. SIMON CERIGO was the creative director, and he took on Andrew right away. from my point of view, the brains went in the following (inverse) order: Andrew, Simon, Danny.
I’ve been following his work ever since, what’s that . . 14 years.


ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Ice Channels’, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.
($9,000)

actually, it’s very interesting to follow ROB PRUITT’S new show at Gavin’s . . with Andrew’s.
there are a lot of parallels, mostly of mind-set & use of materials.
separated by a little more than a decade in age, Rob is 50, Andrew is 38 – they both dialog about a hurt ‘bio’ world, the huge ‘smart-ass media culture’ surrounding us, and they paint surfaces that are graphic-driven, mostly fine, shallow planes with a dominant tendency to the minimal, except of course when they are . . texting & collaging !!

in fact . . the biggest difference between these 2 shows is that the prices are public & up-front in Andrew’s underground venue & absolutely off-limits in the upscale mainstream GBE.

as par for the course, the rationale being, they “don’t want the higher prices of the established artists – to detract from the work”, and why they are up on the walls, in the first place. big biz.
also another telling factor is that the hard scrabble underground venues run shows that used to last 2 weeks, but now mimic pop-ups, and sometimes run just for a day, a weekend or as in Andrew’s case: 9 days.
whereas Rob’s show runs for almost a month and a half.
I guess the web, social media, how busy the bigger galleries are, esp behind the scenes, with their gallery artists in shows across the globe – and, the buying habits of the rich and famous all factor in.
on the other hand, re buying . . it’s all the same across the board: don’t blink, get your hands on that art. there is a big shake-down going on, for sure – but talent . . always OUTS !!
just follow the bread crumbs.


detail, ‘Ice Channels’.
. . nuff said !!

that sad smiley face of a brain could just as easily be on a Pruitt “Studio Lunch Table” !!


details, ‘Ice Channels’.
though Andrew has a funny sub-genre fascination with bio spurting organs, just like Rob, Andrew has two young children, a girl and a boy – and his portrayal of genitals tend to be more functional as in ‘biology’ chart, and, less in the nature of Pruitt’s ‘fashionista’ shooting stars . .
though both do love . . a nice heady dose of MAGIC & MUSHROOMS served alongside their trademark Pandas (Rob), and Dolphins (Andrew)..

so check out that: new ‘ombre’ sensibility in Andrew’s work, yes, I’m talking about that blue/white swoosh streak in the background.
immediately I’m connecting to, you know, you guessed it, those Pruitt ‘Suicide Paintings’. fab fab ombre-graded . . mirror-like flat-grade surface ‘planes’
.
I’m thinking digital graphics, and the light-emitting screens we are looking at 24/7 . . have a lot to do with this new (painterly) fascination. ombre. yeah.
did it come up with the street artists, spray paint and . . stencils ?
for sure it’s all ‘bass’ . . and no lines !!

for all you slow ones:
the art world equivalent of ‘voluptuous’, no doubt about it.


from left:

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Early Dive’, 2014. acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Blue Sunshine’, 2014. acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
($6,480)

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Sick Dolphin (cadmium)’, 2012. acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 in.
($10,800)

question:
does ‘Blue Sunshine’ . . as in Sing the Blues ?
rhyme with ‘Suicide Painting’ – or what.
‘reflection’, as in a finely painted surface, and ‘inner reflection’, as in the perusing of the human soul within and looking out upon the mysteries of the infinite universe . . seems to be in the New York City air, the water ? the smart screen beeping, and clicking onto light-based matrix images . . in the palm of your hand.


from left: RICHARD COWAN and ANDREW GUENTHER.

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Chemical Ride, level 2′, 2014. (with Richard Cowan), acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 in.
($3,780)

somewhat parallel to Rob Pruitt alluding to his studio assistants, ‘RP Studio Love Seat (Studio Assistants)’, 2014 – Andrew Guenther goes one step further and actually gives credit to painter RICHARD COWAN, who helped him with the technical ‘wash’ (on the face) – in this painting. if you know Andrew’s past work, which tends to be very flat and uber-graphic – you can see how how much his friend has inspired him . . throughout this show.
painting dialog is . . GOOD !!
just like in . . music. and most everything.


n-i-c-e.


cartoon-y & scientific, all at once, you are just waiting for it to ‘light up.’
simple shapes, speaks . . volumes.
diagrams are – basic communication. with a capital ‘C’.
write your own: caption.


ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Splitting Off’, 2007. acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 in.
($9,900)

is he talking about . . evolution ????
seriously, past evolution ?
or corroded, or at least changed, maybe even electrified . . mutated, into a future electric bio being.


ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Splitting Off’.
it’s got the bio despair, the intelligence, the ombre. it’s creepy and alien . . too.
watch out.
you think we are going to look the way we do now in 500 years. guess again.


put your hands together for the show’s curator: DERRICK B. HARDEN aka ‘DEAR DERRICK’.
as the press release states:
born and raised in Brooklyn, Derrick is a “Renaissance man” and we get it . . “he’s an art curator, rapper, film director, actor & writer . . motivated by his will to self-education and self-betterment, he’s done work for H&M and DIESEL in visual merchandising, PR & marketing” . . for such as Wu-tang Brand.

DERRICK and ANDREW meet in their local neighborhood coffee shop in Brooklyn, and so . . goes life in NYC.


DERRICK B. HARDEN with . . JEANNIE WEISSGLASS, the SHOW ROOM GOWANUS founder and director.


from left:
BL’EVE BROWN, Derrick’s brother, of BBM / BL’EVE BROWN MEDIA, curator DERRICK B. HARDEN / ‘DEAR DERRICK’ & singer/songwriter MEKA.


‘DEAR DERRICK’ – DERRICK B. HARDEN with GARY SALMON.
Mr. Salmon runs a music studio out of Brooklyn – BUSHWICK SOUND LABS.
he says Bushwick is just like the Lower East Side used to be in the 70s, DEBBIE HARRY and the RAMONES, the hood is teeming with musical talent, absolutely diverse too. any kind of studio musician you may need . . is just a stone’s throw away, if not sitting in the local coffee shop.


making sweet counterpoint, just as ROB PRUITT had parked his very low-fi Americana DIY water fountain / pick-up truck . . in front of GBe, ANDREW GUENTHER had his DIY wind chime hanging in the back garden of SHOW ROOM GOWANUS.


just as fab, crazy and funny. wicked smart, on the street sly and totally anonymous.
Rob and Andrew, what can I say, just 2 crazy guys.

and the wheels inside the brains, go round, and round.
take a little spin on that wicked wild cultural ride, and serve up some . . ombre with that future vision.
then add a little side of DIY, NYC style, to help beat down all those psychotic, glass ceiling fascist walls, pretenders and wannabes.


water on the wind chimes, water in the fountain, like spilled brains, water was falling all around NYC, from the posh cobble-stoned downtown streets to the alternative banks of the muddy Gowanus canal, on this way, way magic – night.

must have been the ‘wheels’.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH



~ROB PRUITT . . Multiple Personalities / revised MON SEPT 22

. . talk to me !!

ROB PRUITT – ‘Multiple Personalities’
opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
runs thru OCT 25, 2014
Gavin Brown’s enterprise – 620 GREENWICH ST, WEST SIDE, NYC

for sure, I caught ROB PRUITT’S opening this past Saturday.
multiple personalities ?
more like . . bi-polar split !!
I needed a little time to think about it.
a two-headed monster of an exhibit – if I ever did see one !!
it spoke with a real rush, the ‘studio love seats’ – to our collective, smart-ass media-driven ‘ups’ – and to our deeper . . ‘downs’, the ‘suicide paintings’ which captured the less obvious spiritual longings, and the secret, non-verbal . . self-reflections, we al carry within.
only YOU . . can be a mirror into YOUR OWN SOUL ?
in a word: communication.


the show started off really anonymously, if you didn’t already know Rob Pruitt’s penchant for DIY water fountains.
just another white pick-up truck on the street, no fanfare.
very Americana.


ROB PRUITT at the opening, seemed to be gathering his thoughts – harnessing the multiple personalities ?


ROB PRUITT, ‘Studio Love Seat (Orgy)’, 2014. marker on couch, 57 x 30 x 28-1/2 in.

note the ode to JEFF KOONS, at left.
and . . BART SIMPSON.

the start of the show hit you in the face, with quite the opposite smack of the soft-pedaled lo-fi water fountain, outside . . in fact it seemed to me – that this was the ‘multiple personalities’ (duh) theme of the show in action: quiet contemplation (running water), smack (wise-cracking furniture), self-therapy (free-form primitive gesture painting), and finally a good sobering dose of inner reflection, termed: suicide . . (paintings), but if suicide is that beautiful – let me in.

though just for a day, life on planet earth calls (his 2014 calendar on the front office walls).
the inner and the outer states of being . . ‘bio’, man.
being human is . . complicated.
self-expression, how we deal with the larger culture that screams around us, & finally – contemplation of the . . inner infinite.

what’s larger, what’s the bigger force ?
the huge media circus we live in, or the infinite unknown . . within/without ?


money over bitches . . right on.


ROB PRUITT, ‘Studio Love Seat (Studio Assistants)’, 2014.
marker on couch, 57 x 30 x 28-1/2 in.

this one in particular . . was talkin’ right at me.


when will mom die ?


Julian Schnabel is my life coach ?!!!


KEEP CALM & GAVIN BROWN.


. . . in pursuit of magic.


around these couches was arranged a circle, more or less, of standing lunch ‘tables’ – with pretty much the same sort of cultural wise-crackin’, the exact kind – you need to get thru life these days.


with a kind of cosmic scary – rigid fascist black and white pattern, beyond them.
in my mind – it’s a metaphor . . for the religious fascist fanatic mindset out there, in the ‘beyond’, vs the creative freedom we find here ?

Rob also seems to have adopted, maybe ‘branded’ is the better word – a more standard black & white checkerboard platform – to visually high-light the free-form & text-driven ‘creative’ on the up-right lunch tables, and also uses them as contrasting ‘foils’ aka platforms – for the collage message board ‘love seats’, too.
again, personality . . splits.

and checkerboard . . marks the s-p-a-c-e.

see: GBE archive


a little hand-built cat – looked to be carefully finding the way . . down ?


but what I really liked, in this play into the space of the gallery, were the ordinary sand bags mooring the tables from tipping over.
what did I like so much about them ? I liked how they were so ordinary, so causal, yet so functioning – so anonymous – just like the pick-up truck outside.
but I also liked them for the continuity they offered me. they made me think of the quelle fun journey into clay, muddguts, ebay bowling, and pigeons I took this summer, ending up with Pat McCarthy’s miniature cinder blocks – in Satan Ceramics. how fun. sand bags to mini cinder blocks – well, that’s how my personality breaks . . down. nice touch.
a down-to-earth detail in a prism of conceptual-ism . . . throw me a bread crumb, and I’ll run with it, any day.


well you could peruse those couches, and up-right tables . . for a few hours, I’m sure.
but damn, do I feel alone ? yes.
and does the world feel shitty, most times, yes ?!!


SHIT BEGET SHIT.
for such a successful artist, Rob sure harbors some pretty dark thoughts.
multiple personalities, anybody ?
or just the world . . how the world turns.
life is shitty, and then you die.


ROB PRUITT, ‘Suicide Paintings’, 2014.
acrylic on linen, 81 x 108 in.

well, with thoughts like that – no wonder his mind turns to . . suicide ?


ROB PRUITT, ‘Suicide Paintings’, 2014.

well, first off – I’ll let somebody else talk about the sand scattered all about, but esp I liked, and wondered about how these reflective surfaces – came across as so inward-directed ?
washing over me like . . the sea, waves ?

was infinity . . inward or outward ?
or – is that the point ?
endless circle with no beginning, no end.

also really, really liked how the outer ‘borders’ had been kept so minimal, and gray.
again, check out his archive.


though it struck me as a little off-key that these inward reflections, paintings so sophisticated in their ‘soul-catching’, as well as their rendering . . would lead into a room of free-form primal ‘dalliances’, the so-called ‘Therapy’ paintings.
but maybe – that was the point.

transcendence vs day-to-day anxiety.

maybe they were there for people who can’t understand art – unless it has a gestural arm movement ?
maybe they were there to highlight the experience of the room before ?
the room before was like looking into . . mother-of-pearl.
this room was akin to confronting inner insecurity, and bad demons ?
multiple personalities.


and then it all wraps up, with a . . 2014 calendar.
all I can say is: busy, busy, busy, esp for a guy with multiple personalities, maybe he needs to slow down.
just joking :)

loved the homage to Mr. Helvetica himself, MASSIMO VIGNELLI, RIP.


so where am I . . in this shooting star, spurting bio-ness 12 month cosmic chart ?
APRIL !!
along with . . PHARRELL WILLIAMS !!
fab fab and more fab.


looks like, MARC JACOBS shares my special day. lucky number 9.


they made some gorgeous posters for the show . . . a suicide painting.
those suicide paintings were my absolute fav.
I’d take that suicide trip-tych – in the front alcove, all 3, hands down, in a split second.
and, well . . maybe the truck fountain too.
for sure.


ROB PRUITT, and I go back a long way.
I can be a big mouth, that’s for sure.


rain in the fountain, rain in the streets – I felt like I living in a technicolor movie world, as I left the opening, and moved on to . . the GOWANUS CANAL, water, water, everywhere.

to check out . . .

ANDREW GUENTHER & DEAR DERRICK – up next !!

and, I would have been feeling mighty shitty, and pretty grouchy myself – if I had had to hoof it by foot & mass transport over to Gowanus . . which is what my past, as my ghostman DAN ASHER would say … 30 shitty years in New York as a hardcore prankster, or is that hustler – boiled down to, hoofing it. except now I have my kid with his wheels driving me around, so. so – what a difference a set of wheels make.
multiple personalities sure do melt away, on the wheels of a fast, sleek car in the rain.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH