NOTE: extensive BRUCENNIAL 2014 opening nite – pix . . will start posting – this THURS !!
but first . . .
SENASPACE GALLERY PRESENTS:
A SOLO EXHIBITION BY . . CHRIS UPHUES – ‘NITE LITE’
curated by MELISSA McCAIG-WELLES.
the show opened MARCH 6, 2014
and runs thru . . APRIL 6, 2014
so, no – it was NOT just a one night stand, for the ART FAIR WEEKEND !!
you can STILL head downtown . .
to see what a true ‘alternative’ ‘underground’ storefront space looks like, today.
SENA SPACE – 229 CENTRE ST – JUST NORTH of GRAND.
GALLERY HRS: TUES-WED, FRI-SUN: 12-8 PM
the minute I caught sight of the storefront window . . I KNEW, I was in the RIGHT place.
so ‘pop’, and c-h-e-e-r-y !!
so, on-the-other-side-of-the-street . . from what everybody else is shoving down your throat.
f-o-r-e-v-e-r keep me FAR, FAR from the MADDENING . . ART FAIR MASSES !!
so, off-the-wall, re: all the so-called & predictable ‘cutting edge’ art they are non-stop . . shilling right now.
so simple, and yet so . . flat-out one-of-a kind.
so playful. and, so .. well, POP !!
FUNNY. and way, way VULNERABLE. like being ‘artistically’ . . naked.
YOU, did get . . that, that when I referenced HANNAH HORVATH aka LENA DUNHAM – it was a GOOD THING !!
that was the over-all deal breaker . . with all the art fairs. and the WHITNEY.
rooms and rooms of too many MARNIES !! and not . . . enough LENAS !!
too much ‘packaged’ goods, and not enough, CRAZY LIKE HELL . . LIVE WIRES !!
A GOOFY LIVE WIRE – but I like that.
like playing stupid, when you are really really smart.
kind of goofy, but WATCH OUT.
GOOFY . . got it all over YOU !!
also speaking about . . 80s art !!
funny, how all everybody talks about now is, JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT.
what happened to his twin from another planet . . KEITH HARING ?!!
back in the day, HARING over-shadowed Jean Michel.
what happened, why the big turn-around eclipse ?
HARING too played out, commercially ?
I’m thinking this work brings . . KIETH HARING, and his brand of pop art – back to the table.
CHRIS UPHUES . . ‘SWAN’.
note the table corner at the left, I put this in just so you could get a sense of the scale.
note how the colors – very rainbow-like, very Spanish ices on the hot summer city street corner, echo the colors in that storefront ‘a flower grows’ . . assemblage.
have you ever scratched a ‘black’ waxy pad, and made the colors underneath . . come to light.
I have. have you ever seen ‘black’ light paintings on velvet.
have you ever wondered about . . the human condition ?
have you ever wondered about walking the earth. your path, and trying to make sense of it all. especially, if you veer towards the peaceful. and gentle. and are . . a bit of an outsider.
okay. a little competitiveness, like nudity – can be a good thing.
it’s all about finding the right ‘scale’. balance. measurement.
it’s a painting that tries to ‘signify’ . . more depth, than at first appears to be on the surface, just like LENA.
LENA is so hot right now.
NEW YORK is like the center of the world. and it’s not even a crime show.
that being said.
prepare yourselves for this . . flight of the imagination:
I look at this painting today, and I see a message.
a map . . from another planet.
a ‘construct’, a diagram with no words, no text – universal language / pure image ‘fonts’ . . from a faraway, and more highly evolved cosmos !!
a map on how to locate . . missing AIRPLANES THAT DISAPPEAR OVER . . WATER.
specifically, MALAYSIA FLIGHT MH370.
yeah, forget about a map on the human condition, and how maybe, maybe to fit in.
this is a map on the strange geometry of trying to locate, ‘finding’ a huge airplane lost at sea, and how all our hi-tech tracking fails us. so we got to fall back on . . gut-feeling and instinct, and trying to connect the dots.
yeah, play dominoes.
seeking conclusion, seeking answers, seeking . . humans so need ‘closure’.
step after step, the info seeps into the ‘tabloid’ consciousness.
~ bearers of stolen passports . . who look like BLACK EUROPEAN SOCCER STARS with double diamond studs in their ears, NOT !!
~ 2 bearers of stolen passports, one of whom is an IRANIAN teen seeking asylum in Germany, bye way of China ?!! made me think of that massacred Brooklyn band ‘THE YELLOW DOGS’ – the very vocal Iranian ex-pat band that fled to Bushwick, only to be gunned down here. ‘cool cats’ – who were driven by oppression, to become fugitive yellow dogs. got a feeling something very wrong, is going on down, here. but you sure as hell know – we are not going to know the whole truth. covert is covert is covert.
~ 20 hi-tech ‘invisibility cloak’ engineers and super communications defense contractors out of TEXAS on their way to . . China / were on that plane ?!! who’s afraid of China getting their hands on future-world hi-end weaponry, anybody ? everybody !!
~ so, if someone told you: ‘Flight MH370 was lost in an aeronautical black hole’ – seriously, would you believe that ?
~ likewise, it’s wrapped ‘in a future-world hi-tech cloak of invisibility’ . .
~ and last, but not least, so far: 2 chicks come forward with the pix to prove .. they sat in the cockpit on a past Malaysia flight – with the party-boy co-pilot of this . . doomed flight.
damn, what a glorious range of options.
it’s like . . a riddle. a game of sidewalk hop scotch. throw your stone, see where it lands.
where the rainbow . . begins, and ends.
CHRIS UPHUES, ‘POP’ . . to ‘TANTRIC’ !!
funny how a little ‘happy’ faced flower springing it’s many petaled bobble head . . out of a friendly child-like computer can grow so . . w-o-n-d-e-r-o-u-s.
a reality check ?
not quite sinister, more like: everyday life or cosmic truth. take your pick.
life is stranger than . . fiction.
and no – they will cover it up, if they can.
so stick a ‘smiley’ face on it, and go back to watching . . LENA !!
back to earth, ground control . . calling.
DAVID SENA, the gallery’s founder, a fine artist and a tattoo artist himself, stands beside a CHRIS UPHUES painting in his shop, the back of which is a tattoo parlor. I would go so far as to say, an artist-run . . tattoo parlor.
DAVID SENA showed me a wall-sized series of pieces he had recently made – and exhibited in his gallery space, on his computer screen. Born and raised in TEXAS, he came to NYC to study at COOPER UNION, and after graduating, he stayed, “cultivating his fine art while simultaneously working as a tattoo artist, in NYC and abroad.”
he has a wonderful artist statement on his gallery website.
YOU should: read it for yourself !!
apparently those large scale cut-out, and burnt (!!) wall pieces get stacked up on top of each other – and become a kind of 3-D ‘tantric’ portrait !!
could that be a . . self portrait.
dare I ask.
so, WHO . . would guess seeing how self-involved the maniac art world is, but last weekend was also a big TATTOO COMPETITION / CONVENTION.
this 1st place trophy was just brought home by DAVID SENA – it was won, I think he said by a girl wearing one of his tattoos. it says:
NEW YORK CITY TATTOO CONVENTION 2014
BEST COLOR TATTOO – 1st PLACE
art mirrors . . life.
art is a mirror that catches life, by the random glance ?
ever changing, depending on your perspective ?
and, from whence you . . stand ?
don’t get me started . . art is ‘the’ only real eyeball on the world.
I’VE GOT MY EYE ON YOU.
just keep me far, far from the maddening crowds.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
continues . . .
~CHRIS UPHUES – NITE LITE . . OPENS TO-NITE !! & !! HANNAH HORVATH . . where are you when we need you .. most !!
NITE LITE – !!!!!!!!!!
yo, 15 WARREN ST, here’s your Whitney Week . . home boy.
or as close as it’s gonna get. talent-wise.
Brucennial chicks. aside. (maybe).
though a guy who outright states that . . he “lives (in Brooklyn) with his monkey, Del, where they spend their nights singing to the moon” . . . really needs someone like HANNAH HORVATH (!!) – to h-e-l-p get him, across to the . . sophisticated masses.
‘NITE LITE’ – A SOLO EXHIBITION by CHRIS HUES
OPENS TO-NITE – THURS MARCH 6, 2014 / 7-11 PM
the show runs thru APRIL 6, 2014
SENA SPACE – 229 CENTRE ST – just north of GRAND ST
CURATED BY: MELISSA McCAIG-WELLES
from the press release:
CHRIS UPHUES . . presents to us a new series of mixed media paintings titled ‘NITE LITE’. Inspired by art affected by black light, ‘NITE LITE’ is heavily influenced by the art of rock album covers, t-shirts, black light posters, neon lights, U.V. rave gear and finally, religion. (!!)
UPHUES, notorious for his fine art paintings comprised of densely detailed arrangements of shapes, faces, flowers and finite imagery. His high pop street art, adorning the walls of cities around the world, come in the form of wheat pasted hearts, radiating with color, charismatic, sanguine and buoyant. In UPHUES’ new ‘NITE LITE’ series, we are introduced to these same aesthetics, yet with an added background element of black, raising the topic of how our culture interprets darkness versus light. (!!)
“BLACK LIGHT accompanies the most negative of psychic experiences but also the most sublime, resonating with the mystical experience of negative theology, the Kabbalah, the Buddhist notions of the void, and the ‘black light’ of the Sufi Mystics. Black light, as the darkness in individual lives and life alone, has not been treated hospitably in the modern world. Although modern psychology has seen darkness primarily as a negative force, it actually has an intrinsic importance to the human psyche. In this show I wish to examine the paradoxical image of of black light and the meaning of darkness as a positive and possible salutary notion towards self-illumination.” ~ CHRIS UPHUES
even better, see: CHRIS UPHUES/ ARTIST WEBSITE – great detailed pix & background artist text
it’s that . . big sapphire blue maniac detailed . . circular, many-petaled FLOWER – that first turned me on to his work.
and, yeah .. check out the VENUE: SENASPACE . . . TATTOO SHOP & GALLERY.
the artist/owner . . DAVID SENA, calls his drawings: FIRE DRAWINGS !!!!!
I’m not gonna argue . . with that.
the guy seems . . totally off the grid.
and, apparently, he likes . . to play with MATCHES !!
LENA DUNHAM . . is hosting SNL – tomorrow !!
THIS SEASON of ‘GIRLS’ – is just so, well . . HOT !!
real true grit NEW YORK-Y . . LOVE THE STREET SHOOTS.
JENNA LYONS & . . CONDE NAST, BAREFOOT in the . . HAMPTONS & all !!
GO, LENA !!
PUT A ‘BIRD’ – ON IT !!
it’s an all-girl par-tay !!
VITO SCHNABEL & THE BRUCE HIGH QUALITY FOUNDATION PRESENT:
THE VERY LAST, EVER . . . BRUCENNIAL
opening THURS MARCH 6, 2014 / 6-10 PM
the show runs thru APRIL 4, 2014
837 WASHINGTON ST, NYC – at 13th ST
A, C, L trains to 8th AVE/14th ST STATION
more info: BRUCENNIAL WEBSITE
really like the ‘header’ . . aluminum beer ‘cans’, they are super cute !! great graphic. fresh, original. right now, I’m lovin’ anything red and white, but mostly shiny and . . light reflective.
nice hi-def photo / reproduction too. good size. the works. all good.
and, not too far off-base, context-wise, either !!
I guess one could say: put a ‘beer can’ . . on it !!
go back & check out that: website !! . . . for graphics & visuals.
for sure, HIT . . ABOUT & PAST / left, top navigation bar.
I guess one could make a bunch of ‘cracks’ !! about . . hordes of ‘girls’ and Vito, but I’ll be elegant and, NOT !!
but, I remember when I used to hang out with Alfredo, yeah that Alfredo, ALFREDO MARTINEZ the Basquiat forger !! and big gun maker . . back in the late 90s, and every time we showed up at an opening, CHARLIE FINCH would call out at the top of lungs: ALFREDO LOVES THAT MOTHER’S MILK !!
ya just gotta love it, and roll with the jokers. Alfredo was like 18 years younger.
. . and, boy did that get under Simon’s skin.
in which case – best thing I ever did.
plus Alfredo brought me to . . Josh.
follow the breadcrumbs, is all I can say.
it’s a rough and wild world, life in the ‘fast’ lane.
also noticed on BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART – A FLEETING MOMENT OF . . PURE, RADIANT TRUTH & SHEER GENIUS !!
was that your beautiful, subversive, hand-scripted dance that played over Maya’s carefully scripted wall mural – SERF ?!!
damn that MAYA HAYUK, for losing a brilliant moment !!
she can be so brilliant, but so a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g.
MAYA HAYUK, detail. HOUSTON WALL, NYC.
PHOTO: JAIME ROJO .. BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
was that SERF, who jumped the shark ?
. . tagged the unfinished mural ?
I’m thinking: YES !!
here’s a modern day riddle.
what’s a tag . . if not a street bomb ?
ANSWER: a photo-bomb !!
a priceless impromptu jumping in & taking . . advantage of a great opportunity !!
and ps: JARED LETO, can you believe he’s 42 . . and he is the big winner at this years Oscars. duh !!
thank that Anne Hathaway photo-bomb and, day-old hair !!
and p.s. supposedly . . 30 SECONDS TO MARS is playing in the UKRAINE in a week or so ?!! that’s what the tabloids are . . ‘crowing’ !!
MAYA HAYUK, HOUSTON WALL, NYC
PHOTO: JAIME ROJO .. BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
note: the subversive SERF (?) tag / street bomb . . on the lower left of mural.
well .. actually, if you REALLY want to talk about re-vitalizing ‘abstract’ art – MAYA HAYUK definite deserves some credit and some . . media play. in fact she seems to carry the total sum of her ancestors . . with her, you know those crazy passionate Ukrainians, and their way detailed Easter eggs / this wall took on some real life with her color management. and simple pattern.
but the deal is, it was going to be street bombed/tagged anyways, and the SERF (?) tag was absolutely ‘luminous’.
it was a perfect blend of the pre-determined vs the impromptu . . but also, visually . . there was a beautiful dynamic that happened, on her ‘studied’ compositional field . . a ‘space’ play between the solid criss-cross bars, and the . . ghostly ‘enemy’ tag.
between the purely abstract and the purely . . INFORMATIONAL ‘TEXT’ font.
she should have left it.
MAYA HAYUK, HOUSTON WALL, NYC . . ‘restored’ ?!!
PHOTO: JAIME ROJO . . BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
re-stored ? NOT !!
ya . . lost the magic of the moment, MAYA !!
re-stored, NO !!
some other guys just came along and bombed it, but with far less .. FINESSE.
too bad. too bad, MAYA lost the faith !!
the tags that are up now, bombing the piece are . . so mundane and so solid. b-o-r-i-n-g.
though love how . . BSA street photog JAIME ROJO – caught the ‘light’ reflecting the MAYA HAYUK mural . . in the rain slicked city street !!
and of course, after years of painting the sides of barns in Philly . . MAYA knows how to throw down . . some light, herself !!
very radiant mural.
but, damn . . she should have left the ghost !!
the ‘magic’ is in the details, n’est pas ?
‘PAPARAZZI’ FLASHBACK – to FEB 11, 2006 !!
JASON AARON WALL aka SERF !! at the CANAL CHAPTER, ALFREDO MARTINEZ SHOW.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH, NYC. FEB 11, 2006 . . artloversnewyork
yep. the infamous ALFREDO MARTINEZ . . is how I backed into THE CANAL CHAPTER, and then SEAN VEGEZZI.
ALFREDO had just gotten out of prison for the phony BASQUIAT CAPER . . word to the wise: never sell a phony piece of art to a drug dealer . . from Columbia (!!) . . and the street dudes, SERF and MINT, later to be coined as MIRF . . gave Alfredo a show, when nobody else would touch him. that is actually a hand-made, couple of feet long, ‘paper’ by Alfredo that SERF is holding. that he . . SERF painted on, with his graceful brushwork.
and which, bye the way, is now in the collection of .. YOURS TRULY !!
ALFREDO even managed to get some major major MEDIA PLAY . . in the NEW YORK POST, at the time.
he put one of his improvised big ‘guns’ . . on the street, you know in that small street triangle/island .. before Canal enters the Holland Tunnel, and the cops came and hauled it away.
another priceless photographic moment, or what !!
I think in fact .. Alfredo dropped the dime on his own street sabotage, and was hiding in the area waiting to take the shot, or more likely he had the Post photog lying in wait. as he, Alfredo . . doesn’t ever pick up a camera. something like that.
I bet SERF knows the details .. !!
it’s actually a ‘TWO-FER’ . . !!
FARING PURTH, WALL THERAPY. ROCHESTER, N.Y.
PHOTO: FARING PURTH via BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
the article continues on to re-late the ‘cautionary’ tale of . . FARING PURTH, another woman street artist, bye the way (!!) & her bout of . . graphic ‘public’ attack.
and NO !!
this is, NOT – ‘JESUS SAVES’ . . !!
this is more like, JESUS . . KILLS !!
and, yeah, YOU CAN FILE THIS . . UNDER: WOMEN ARTISTS !!
that link, again ?
read: ‘Tagging Somebody’s Painting’ . . BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
oh boy . . .
you know your ‘mainstream’ art world is in trouble, when the best image of the 2014 WHITNEY / ART FAIR WEEK . . comes up from, the streets !!
and, the streets of I-T-A-L-Y, to be exact !!
via BSA . . BROOKLYN STREET ART !! GO BROOKLYN !!
talk about ‘magic’ . . in the way ‘art’ rears up her pretty little head, and screams, back: NO !!
this was the lead-in image . . that caught my eye.
MP5. for ARTE INATTESA. FORMIA, ITALY
PHOTO: FLAVIA FIENGO, via BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
MP5. for ARTE INATTESA. FORMIA, ITALY.
PHOTO: FLAVIA FIENGO via BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
detail . .
what they say ?
‘magic’ . . is in the details ?
I’m thinking . . 15 WARREN STREET – ALICE IN WONDERLAND. PETER PAN POSSE.
timeless-ness. to be exact !!
plus: graphic art. information . . loaded.
MP5. for ARTE INATTESA. FORMIA, ITALY.
PHOTO: FLAVIA FIENGO via BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
don’t even get me started !!
let’s see, to begin with: there’s a murder of crows – !!
then, there’s crows in Science, and SCI-FI, fairy tales, and ole deep south black Folk Tales, and damn, what about those . . walkin the walk, talkin the talk, animated ‘crows’ in WALT DISNEY/check out ‘DUMBO’ !!
listen up: they didn’t call them segregation laws . . ‘Jim Crow’, for naught.
then of course, since way back: crows in Japanese art & crows . . talking to the dead in Norway !!
I’m thinking crows are a good way to symbolize the . . underground cultures, n’est pas ?
as in: caw caw call ya out !!
MP5. for ARTE INATTESA. FORMIA, ITALY.
PHOTO: FLAVIA FIENGO via BSA/BROOKLYN STREET ART
yep. MP5 pretty much . . caught the ‘mainstream’ culture: time, crow, carrot, art world and all.
and, yes: MAGPIES are a species of CROW !!
and yes, ALICE IN WONDERLAND aside, guess who’s Chinese Horoscope Animal sign is . . a rabbit.
yep. yours truly !!
and, just in case you are wondering . . a flamin’ pure bred ARIES, too.
rock on, world !!
RABBIT meets RAM . . head-on collision !!
rock on . . all ye wise old, ancestors !!
JENNIFER LAWRENCE meets LARRY DAVID at the VANITY FAIR OSCARS AFTER-PARTY, 2014.
PHOTO: KEVIN MAZUR/VF14/WireImage via US WEEKLY
two incredibly talented nut cases, at heart !!
who both love to laugh !!
LARRY . . must have had her in stitches !!
and, FILE UNDER: ok, I know, I know . . already !!
everybody in NYC . . knows. where the hell are you – if you don’t.
must be something about famous fathers, and sons. I dunno.
the glam road . . beckons ?
file under: dark ‘arts’.
come on, life is hard enough – I hope they at least . . . talk ‘art’ ?
PHOTO:X17online.com via MAIL ONLINE
read: HEIDI KLUM ‘tries’ to sneak out of Oscars party . . with ‘toyboy’ VITO DAILY MAIL, MARCH 4, 2014
their words in quotation marks, not mine !!
oh boy, oh boy . . .
you know your mainstream art world is in TROUBLE, when the biggest media buzz you are getting . . is VITO and HEIDI.
like I said, LIFE IN THE FAST LANE is .. funnie ?
how about . . addictive ?
I wonder if VITO . . still represents RENE RICARD ?
if so, he will have his own fast lane . . soon enough ?!!
and we do mean . . the CUTTING EDGE !!
JARED LETO . . PHOTOBOMBS ANNE HATHAWAY at the OSCARS . . PIX !! – GOING VIRAL !!
see: still pix
what a comeback kid, the ultimate American cowboy/rebel/dreamer, jerk ? . . or what !!
& so C-U-T-E. day old hair !! HASH HALPER . . eat your heart out !!
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT . . move over, you fake bastard.
in your . . dreams.
I mean . . talk about ‘celebrity’ photography !!
as Simon would say, play it l-o-u-d.
don’t know why his so-called MTV ‘fans’ dropped off, after this . . ?
it’s pretty good. or, maybe it was the .. the filmmakers !!
because .. yeah, the rest of his music, is well: yeah . . he was a loser on the music scene, but he had his moment at the Oscars – last night, sometimes that’s all you get . . a moment.
a moment . . to catch a photo.
a moment to bomb . . one !!
the way he danced around Anne Hathaway . . was fab.
also: TALKIN BOUT . . CLAIRE DANES !!
well, what can I say, there was more magic in that ‘photo-bomb’ – then there is to be found in the entire collective mainstream art world . . this week.
WHITNEY BIENNIAL, and ALL the art fairs . . big and small.
I dunno . .
I guess that’s what . . I’m really saying.
I mean, just sayin’, but you k-n-o-w . . I’m right.
‘revitalizing’ abstract art ?
gimme a break.
MIRO to ROTHKO, be rollin’ in their graves.
WILL THE REAL !! . . FAB FREDDY !! . . PLEASE STAND UP !!
LISTEN UP: LAST WEEK TO CATCH . . PUTTING ASIDE, JOSH HARRIS !! & RENE RICARD !!
AN AMAZING SLICE OF NYC ART WORLD HISTORY . .
FRED W. McDARRAH . . ‘SAVE THE VILLAGE’
JAN 30 thru SAT MARCH 8, 2014
STEVEN KASHER GALLERY – 521 WEST 23, CHELSEA, NYC
FRED W. McDARRAH (1926-2007) was the “first picture editor and only staff photographer at the VILLAGE VOICE for decades” . . so, GO FIGURE !!
this wonderful, amazing, archival show . . presents over 130 rare & original VINTAGE PRINTS that span 1958-1979, in short: the height of when NYC truly was the center of all.
art world included !!
so, listen up, all you digital geeks, these are the original hard copy black & white prints !! many of which are . . signed, dated and often accompanied with Fred McDarrah’s own notations, in his characteristic squiggly script – scribbled by hand, in thick black ink – across the bottom white border.
this is a big week in NYC – BUT this jewel box of a show should go to the top of YOUR list, no matter who you are, and . . what your interests !!
the show’s card, says it very well:
“Before the Internet there was FRED W. McDARRAH: the most curious, knowledgeable, and indefatigable photographer of the New York downtown scene in the second half of the 20th century. NOBODY did more than FRED to save Greenwich village in our collective memory.” !!
read more: FRED W McDARRAH – BIO & background
I’d snap that up in a nanosecond – if I had the dough.
damn, if NORA EPHRON wasn’t such a foxy, cute chick, back in the day.
this is such a famous image, it played at the top of the game, when essayist Nora (sadly) passed away a few years back. it makes you realize the huge impact digital photography has had on the proliferation of pictorial material & images. back in the day, there was no way to get photos out there, except though print, newspaper & magazines – mostly.
an indie ? forget about it !!
and, when a photographer caught a moment, it was a real ‘catch’ – there weren’t that many people out there, going for it.
you can also see that great ‘characteristic’ of the most gifted event photographers, very plainly here in this image.
you have one chance, one second . . to catch the moment, and then: time was up !! so you had better be . . quick & g-o-o-d.
and, if you are too much of an art world purist to be interested in NORA EPHRON, who was NOT well served by that stupid Meryl Strep cinematic characterization, what about:
ED RUSCHA . .
a young and super, super hip, cowboy: ED RUSCHA !!
taken in 1968 – when most people, even those in the art world, and esp those on the East Coast !!
still hadn’t heard about him, ED RUSCHA. . to become known as possibly contemporary art’s most influential . . ‘sign painter’ – !!
just in case you live under a rock, or are too young to know . . or most likely, just plain eschew mainstream media ?!!
art world character, painter, poet, and influential mover and groover, i.e. ‘art junkie’,
RENE RICARD . . died at the start of this month.
there is an excellent obit in the NEW YORK TIMES, penned by BRUCE WEBER . . that captures the loss, and all the poetry . . of the proud, colorful, and, yes even . . legendary era that RENE strode through.
the article seems to state that Rene coined the phrase . . ‘RADIANT CHILD’ . . for Jean Michel.
in which case, for me, that’s reason enough to mourn his passing and salute his singular art ‘eye’ . . the poetry. and his lyrical, narrative . . painting.
very information-based, bye the way.
see: RENE RICARD, ART ARBITER – NEW YORK TIMES
in fact . . this obit, is really a nice and very telling ‘slice’ of how things work in NYC, the movers and groovers, the players – the ‘art junkies’ who break the art down, and set up the stars.
the super fans, the real power brokers, the king makers. oh . . yeah !!
I crossed paths many, many times with RENE since arriving on the island in summer 1981 or was it, 82. but we were not friends. he had already drawn his close circle of friends around him, and he was jealous, petty, and super territorial, and competitive, and aren’t we all . .
but, he was also bitchy in that super queen gay way. I mean all the power to him, he had a hard life . . but, that’s the truth. he also liked really girlie girls in his entourage – if there were to be any girls at all. I’m talking about the early club days, and that was not me, tomboy to the core . . clueless. guileless. that was me. he liked girls in towering, even crystal heels.
I marched around in . . work boots. I was super super shy, all friggin radar . . and no way to express it. borderline gifted, but slightly autistic – in a nutshell, you get the picture.
cut to the truth . .
well o.k. we had a run-in right off the bat. I went to the first KEITH HARING opening at FUN GALLERY, and all my pals, well Simon and his pals (!!) went in, and then Rene slammed the door in my face and said . . “no more”.
whoa . . do not underestimate the inner power of a fellow, natural born art junkie. even if they look . . clueless.
I definite pushed that door open, and entered, but I was mad.
lo and behold, the very next weekend I’m in line to enter some hot party at MARY BOONE’S gallery when it was downtown on West Broadway, and who the f . . . is behind me ?
damn if I didn’t slam that huge, heavy 2 ton plate glass door right in his goddamn face, and . . hard. It was sheer instinct, no thinking. and, looking back: I’m friggin lucky I didn’t break his nose.
after that we maintained a healthy respect for each other and always checked each other out, but definite stayed 10 feet away !!
years later . . like about 20 !!
you can see, in this photo I caught of him, the respect we had for each other.
I was only mad that he had shut me out.
and, as for him ? what’s NOT to like . . about the now, very influential, and trend-calling . . event photographer for artnet ?!!!!!!
the poignant poetry of . . ships that pass in the dark, or what ?
and, p.s. yes. I do consider this one of my best shots. come on, look at his expression, those huge white shades !! and damn, if there isn’t a ‘light’ source, a light refection, a ‘twinkle’ in both . . lenses !!
perfecto mundo, if I don’t say so – myself.
the original artnet report, edited by WALTER ROBINSON . . was titled, by him as: ‘Goodbye to Summer 2003 and the Shining Stars of the NY Artworld’ . . so it’s nice for someone who was initially dissed by Rene, and who then . . in return slammed a door in his face . . to be able to google him, and see a great photo of him at what was surely a high point in his life, posted under my name . . and see that, thanks to that photo . . he got branded as a “shining star”.
a recognition, he surely deserved. and most likely very much enjoyed at the moment it posted.
it’s these characters who make the art scene, there is no other way to put it.
life, in the fast lane . . sure is funnie.
that summer 2003 artnet report also caught a few other art world super stars, and even some ‘baby’ super stars . . in the making:
for starters, there’s some chick . . named EMILY in that notorious anti-Bush, KAYROCK T-Shirt from the ‘HUNDRED and ONE T SHIRT’ . . show !!
then, check out: CLAIRE DANES, P.S.3 grad (!!) . . on the streets of SOHO, and . . KARA WALKER !!
there’s an ALFREDO MARTINEZ ‘HUNGER STRIKE’ T SHIRT, it’s printed with a drawing smuggled out of prison. something about a little art fraud caper. haha. Alfredo ran that big ‘gun shooting gallery’ . . in ‘QUIET’.
moving on, up pops – the very first published photo of JOE BRADLEY, with his band CHEESEBURGER, MISAKI KAWAII, MICHAEL WILLIAMS, and DEVENDRA BANHART.
not a bad haul for . . a severely under-estimated, socially clueless, tomboy chick on the scene, when the big party glammazones ruled, & the mucho serious art critics & ‘reviewers’ of the NEW YORK TIMES and ARTFORUM, thought . . they reigned !!
like I said, life is funnie – in the fast lane.
I prob won’t even get . . an obit – when I die.
I so . . don’t get it. I run this huge website and catch all these guys, and make all the calls and set things into motion, just like Rene, and I’m ‘volatile’ too (!!) though in a different manner, and he at least got some real mainstream ‘love’ . . . and art exhibits.
I have yet to see one, ONE !! of my photographs on a gallery wall.
I dunno, man.
I just don’t know. I know so many things, and I just don’t . . get that.
I guess there is a price to pay for being rock solid . . hardcore & indie to the very last drop ?
New York . . is a really strange place.
since it looks to be we are all stuck inside . . polar vortexing, today !!
not to worry . . boredom, NOT !!
JOSH HARRIS . . has sent in a link to the long lost, ORIGINAL !! MUCHO RAW !! & UNCENSORED !! . .
ROUGH CUT of . . . ‘QUIET’
. . . as in, ‘QUIET’ – ‘WE ARE ALL WATCHING’ !!
the $1 MILLION DOLLAR+ MILLENNIUM NEW YEAR’S EVE / YEAR 2000 – 2 WEEK ART PARTY – that shook downtown New York City to the rafters, and whose live streaming 24/7 surveillance videos . . became the basis for ONDI TIMONER’S . . SUNDANCE AWARD WINNING . . ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, (2009).
SO, HEADS UP, 15 WARREN STREET, haha. if you think you were . . WILD !!
this was . . INSANE, CRAZY, and completely – OFF THE WALL !!
and held in, yes . . 2 warehouse/abandoned storefronts in . . . TRIBECA !!
you guys came after . . 9-11 – we called it !!
so, new wave / new gen . . 15 WARREN STREET, meet . . your predecessor, your brother from another mother !!
the NEW YEAR’S ART PAR-TAY . . . to end all art parties.
so, hold onto your hats. cause, hello . . ‘WOLF ON WALL STREET’ – !!!!!!
meets . . the REAL !! DOWNTOWN art scene !!! NYC. JAN 1, 2000.
talk about: climbing high & dangerous places . . !!!
THIS WAS . . . JAN 1, 2000 – downtown NYC !!
ladies and gentlemen,
here .. is the raw archival link – WATCH: OMG – * * the 2001 rough cut of . . ‘QUIET’ – !! * *
hello. for . . all ya newbies !!
here’s a few key players, who pop up . . in the first 10 seconds of the raw footage:
YOURS TRULY !!
yep, me . . NANCY SMITH. aka artloversnewyork.
hardcore downtown artist, quilt repairer/consultant & ‘art world groover’ . . . to JOSH HARRIS, and yes, damn it . . . he paid well !!
and well, damn it . . YES !!
I’m still terrorizing the mainstream art world !!
and, calling the . . shots & the REAL TALENT !!!!!!!!!
so, boo-ya !! all ya wannabes, fakes & posers !!
JOSH HARRIS. the head honcho.
CEO. and .. not to forget: LUVVY !! / the CLOWN – or, how to put it ?
the art world’s ‘WOLF’ . . before there was … a ‘WOLF ON WALL STREET’ – ?!!
JOSH HARRIS, mad brilliant . .
Internet guru, futurist . . and well, GENIUS !! ARTIST !! VISIONARY !!
who funded !! & founded !! it all . . and, set it all in motion.
just as SEAN VEGEZZI . . is a (far-out) ‘product’ of his unique time . . and place.
so was JOSH.
JOSH HARRIS . . left sunny U CAL in the mid 90s . . and came to NYC with only a second-hand car, and big dreams. he promptly sold the car for $750 . . and, with that small seed of dough – he started JUPITER.COM – the very first internet web trend tracking company – which he then promptly flipped, as they say: IPO’D !! . . for $81+ million dollars.
so yes. he was . . a mad crazy 90s dot.com CEO, for real.
and so – yes, ‘WOLF ON WALL STREET’ drugs, sex and $$ collides . . with the hardcore art scene, NYC style !! it was . . the dot.com era.
ok. maybe not quite as much .. drugs. but almost. but def, more ART !!
so, yeah. this is . . the stuff of legends. he is also know as the ‘Andy Warhol of the web’, and the ‘father’ . . of social working, by the way.
(just saying. google: ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ – the movie)
he, JOSH . . then pumped all that money, $81 million !! o.k. he bought a few antique quilts along the way (!!) . . into PSEUDO.COM.
OMG — Pseudo.com !!
live streaming video, comedy, culture, gaming, hip hop & soft porn, of course !! while most people were still on dial-up, if that !!
and the rest . .
is history !!
SEAN VEGEZZI . . . one of the 3 young curators of ’15 WARREN STREET’ . . . that huge blast of an opening, of fresh air & talent !! . . . that opened the 2014 NEW YEAR, with a rush of raw energy . . . and was featured on artlovers for all of JAN 2014 !!
scored a remarkable write-up in the NEW YORK TIMES, this weekend !!
the article, titled . . ‘Closed Doors ? Not a Problem’, was penned by ALAN FEUR – and was featured in both the print and online editions, in the Metropolitan section – ‘ALBUM’ column.
and, for sure: check out the slide show !!
the ‘kids’ in the pix – are SEAN and his pals.
I believe in the hi-vantage point photo, ‘A View from the Top of the Manhattan Bridge in 2009′, that is SEAN VEGEZZI himself . . on the top rungs of the bridge, at an alarming, mother-killing heart-stopping (!!) height . . .
hey, just local kids from the hood. the hood of TRIBECA !!
also, NOTICE THE DOMINANT ROLE of ‘LIGHT’ . . in all the pix !!
and it goes without saying, from the ashes . . . rises !!
the World Trade Center towers were crashed down, right in front of these kids – 8 years earlier, 9-11-2001.
I guess most of them would have been, what ? . . 10.
it would be wise, never to under-estimate the power of that destruction, but esp on the young kids of NYC.
ARCHIVAL PHOTO, 2006:
SEAN VEGEZZI, at THE CANAL CHAPTER, an early SERF and MINT / MIRF venue/project.
CANAL STREET, TRIBECA, NYC JUNE 2006.
yes. that’s a DAZE painting he’s standing in front of. DAZE another local, straight out of a NYC hood, a couple of generations earlier.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
SEAN . . was 15 at the time I took the photo. that was the first time I met him.
I guess that makes him all of . . 23 now.
and with a big NYT profile, under his belt !!
read the original post: SEAN / NYC EXPOSED – artlovers archive
SEAN VEGEZZI, TODAY – LOWER MANHATTAN, NYC. FEB 20, 2014.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
street photographer SEAN VEGEZZI, has also put out a book, manned a couple of solo photo shows, and recently co-curated . . with ABELINE COHEN and ANDREW KASS, the huge ’15 WARREN STREET’ 2014 New Year blow-out . .
it would be a mistake to pigeon-hole any of these guys, or their friends.
Sean in particular . . doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed as simply a ‘street photographer’ . . or even, ‘photographer/curator’. the dug-down, illuminated site specific piece he installed for ’15 WARREN ST’, definitely says this local kid is not only an ‘ARTIST’, who wears many hats . . he’s a force to be reckoned with . .
emphasis on . . reckon !! / see: Urban Dictionary: reckon .. !!
look out NYC !!
look out world.
R.I.P. JEAN MICHEL, STAY HIGH, DAN ASHER & all other dead downtown gods.
and even SIMON CERIGO, and incl. the recently departed . . RENE RICARD !!
NYC is still . . king.
for all my . . ‘insider’ writers !!
and p.s. YES, I think I was the first to substitute ‘tagger’ for ‘writer’ . . re street artists, esp those who purely ‘wrote’, or ‘tagged’, their custom scribbles and codes . . all over town. . . . to avoid confusion in a mainstream media.
I mean writers were not exactly ‘literary wirters . . byt they werent exactly v artist either. taggers made sense.
I’ve actually got a pretty big 35mm photo archive of ‘pure’ and, mostly undecipherable tags, mostly from downtown Lower Manhattan . . going aall the way back to 1981 !!
maybe some day, I’ll put out a book.
maybe I’ll call it: tags I have known . . !!
‘JESUS SAVES’ and ‘STAY HIGH’ are two of my favs . . just because they come straight up from the native-born hoods . . before they were gentrified . . and they never or haven’t yet, received huge success or recognition.
STAY HIGH passed away a few years ago, and was as hard core as they come. but JESUS SAVES, of a slightly younger generation, is still out there.
and apparently, he’s still interested in the art scene, proper !!
maybe he caught the LOREN MUNK show opening, because that’s when I caught the tag.
LAST WEEKEND . . to CATCH !!
ANDREW GUENTHER’S SOLO SHOW – ‘POPCORN ILLUSIONS’ . . at RIDLEY HOWARD & MITCHELL WRIGHT’S . .
ARTIST RUN GALLERY . . 106 GREEN in GREENPOINT.
the show runs thru SUNDAY, FEB 23, 2014.
Gallery Hours are on Sundays from 12-5 PM / or by appointment.
106 GREEN – 104 GREEN ST, Greenpoint, BROOKLYN.
SO, IF . . LOREN MUNK’S current show . . is all about LISTS !!
lists, and maps, and diagrams of text / i.e. written historical information . . .
ANDREW GUENTHER’S show here . . is all about LISTS . . of purely visual images / implied information.
ABSOLUTELY . . . NO TEXTS, no words !!
can you get your head . . around that ?!!
some images from the show:
from the press release:
“GUENTHER’S new body of work began in February 2013 with a conscious choice, made by the artist, to limit the color choices to flat black and unbleached titanium. The result is a highly graphic image, which recalls the film tinting process of the silent film era. Like those films, the paintings make the most of the limitation, high contrasts that burn into your memory and engage in a sort of sequential slapstick of events.
A book titled ‘POPCORN ILLUSIONS’ will available at the gallery in concert with the exhibition and features a series of photographs and paintings that may be seen as an active sketchbook of thoughts both completed and beginning.”
also while you are at the gallery . . look for a book, ‘ORANGE PEEL BELIEVER’, a small artist book . .
of haikus by musician LUKE RATHBORNE – with art work by ANDREW GUENTHER.
check out: ANDREW GUENTHER – online portfolio . . while you are there check out his TWITTER FEED, it’s good, real good.
see: TWITTER – EAT THE LEAF
the last time . . I ran into Andrew was at the JOE BRADLEY SUMMER 2013 opening. Andrew’s wife, TIFFANY . . had just given birth to a son, a brother for little, big sister . . EASTER LILY.
I first meet . . Andrew when he was hired by dead hubby/art maven Simon Cerigo . . to be the gallery intern at DANIEL SILVERSTEIN GALLERY, when it was on 21st St. in Chelsea, sometime around the summer 2000. Danny and Simon gave Andrew his first real exposure, in several shows, and they also let him curate a few shows too, including the huge blow-out ‘ONE HUNDRED ARTISTS ONE HUNDRED T SHIRTS’ group show, that ran JULY 16 – AUGUST 18, 2003.
some of the participating artists: SIMON CERIGO, NANCY SMITH, ALFREDO MARTINEZ, MARK ENGER/EXPLODING SKY, WALTER ROBINSON, KAYROCK, LAUREL NAKADATE, SCOTT HUG, MICHAEL MAGNAN, ERIC DEN BREEJEN, SURFACE TO AIR, UNITED BAMBOO, MADASKI, SUSAN CIANCIOLO.
was it .. PETER COFFIN who made an “I’M WITH … IDIOT” t shirt, that ended up being parodied on . . PAGE SIX.
KAYROCK’S anti-Bush t shirt ended up gracing the pages of BLACK BOOK.
my . . ‘ANDY WARHOL’ tank top with a real fur collar from a thrift shop . . got coverage incl a photo – in WWD / WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY !!
so much, for 15 seconds . . of fleeting media fame.
talk about . . . POPCORN ILLUSIONS !!!!!!!!!!
LOREN MUNK – ‘YOU ARE HERE’
opened SAT, FEB 15, 2014
the show runs thru MARCH 15, 2014
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 WEST 24th ST , CHELSEA, NYC
also at the opening, ERIK DEN BREEJEN.
Erik Den Breejen is also a ‘brute’, as in high contrast colorist, and he also works with hand-lettered fonts, and diagramming ‘cultural’ info / via pure ‘text’, so . . it was interesting to see him here.
Erik told me . . . he has a show of new work coming up at FREIGHT+VOLUME in about 2 months . .
interestingly, he also told me he had visited LOREN MUNK’S studio, and that . . “Loren has painted a pretty good ‘map’ of the cutting edge / ‘contemporary’ artist scene in Williamsburg”, or as he put it . . . “well, I mean, I’m on it.” !!
I’m taking that . . as a ‘yes’ !!
‘Armory Century’ was presented as a American geographic-style . . ‘map’.
it held quite a bit of info . . & history.
I found this one, particularly interesting, mostly because of the overall composition, which centered on the simple, but spirited . . cartoon-like portrait of CLEMENT GREENBERG, and the way the pictorial/narrative focus on .. a single, individual ‘player’. . evolved.
although all the work in the exhibit pulsed with an ‘outsiders’ obsession, and seemed infused with a American folk art-like character, this one seemed to have an almost ‘Russian’ revolutionary poster ‘feel’, and alluded well to the European roots of modern art.
the color and ‘font’ work was also . . very compelling.
‘insider/outsider’ . . is harder to define these days, so it was also intriguing to look back with Loren Munk . . at the days when the art world was so much ‘simpler’, kind of a big . . ole boys club.
one of the smaller pieces in the show, it also was the only one to reference 2 cutting edge, but yes, DEAD !! superstars.
splayed out . . on a map of Manhattan.
this was also a very unique piece, in that it centered on an almost primitive / photographic rendering of a ‘group’, and took the form of a ‘riddle’.
I mean, who the hell . . were the Irascibles ? and I do (!!) have a masters degree in fine art & and decades of being immersed in the art scene !!
so, in a way, this piece was the most . . ‘interactive’ to me, in that, I wanted to rush home, and do . . some research !!
what a bunch of . . characters.
‘As of this date, December 2007, the last surviving member of “the Irascibles’ and the only female. Unfortunately her work has been excluded from the canon of postwar American art.’
answer: HEDDA STERNE, and yes, checkout: HEDDA STERNE
wow, she lived to be . . 100 !!
she died in NYC in 2011.
check out: her work, Loren .. is right. unfortunate x 100,000.
a lot of ‘dead’ stuff . . comes vividly back to life, with renewed relevance – and hopefully a new . . ‘take’.
these paintings are as colorful & inventive, as they are ‘informative’ . .
for sure, they take . . ‘flight’ – as ‘art’ in their own: right / write.
& yes, you want to check out: The Irascibles, a group of American abstract painters . . who in 1950 wrote an open letter rejecting the MET exhibit ‘American Painting Today’, and set .. NYC and, art history . . into a tail spin !!
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
MICHAEL DeFORGE . . . BOOK SIGNING TO-NITE, SAT FEB 15, 2014 / 8PM
BERGEN STREET COMICS – 470 BERGEN STREET, BROOKLYN
BERGEN STREET COMICS PRESENTS THE DEBUT OF MICHAEL DEFORGE’S GRAPHIC NOVEL . . ‘ANT COLONY’, with a slideshow presented by the author/artist, and a book signing to follow.
MICHAEL DeFORGE, ‘ANT COLONY’
published by DRAWN & QUARTERLY, JAN 2014
11 x 8.5 in.
112 pages, full color with hard cover
from the press release:
‘ANT COLONY’ follows the denizens of a black ant colony under attack from the nearby red ants: from its opening pages, DeForge immerses the reader in a world of false prophets, unjust wars, and corrupt police officers.
On the surface, ‘ANT COLONY’ tells the story of this war, the destruction of a civilization, and the ants’ all-too-familiar desire to re-build. Underneath, though, ‘ANT COLONY’, plumbs the deepest human concerns – loneliness, faith, love, apathy, and more.
DeForge’s striking visual sensibility – stark lines, dramatic color choices, and brilliant use of page and panel space – stands out in this volume.
MICHAEL DeFORGE, ‘ANT COLONY’ page – via DRAWN & QUARTERLY.
yep, I think MICHAEL DeFORGE, and LOREN MUNK . . have some similar painterly . . characteristics !!
they both want to say . . . something !!
and, they both make great use of ‘diagrams’, informational graphics, and BOLD, BOLD COLOR !!
there is a great . . VISUAL RHYTHM to both their works.
LOREN MUNK . . ‘YOU ARE HERE’ – OPENS SAT FEB 15, 2014 / 6-9 PM
the show runs thru MARCH 15, 2014
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 W 24th St, Chelsea, NYC
check out: THE JAMES KALM REPORT
my take ?
above all, LOREN MUNK is a great colorist, a painter . . . whose diagrammed canvases hold a huge amount of data . . a narrative that bursts forth with great energy. he is not so much skating on the slippery, sliding cutting edge, as he is obsessed with marking territory and linking history. animating the directions, rays and plays of . . of inspiration and influence.
make that histories.
of art. of New York City. of the . . scene. yes, even of . . the galleries that led the way.
and, obviously: he’s got to have some pretty incredible video archives.
he can paint, and he definitely has something . . to say.
his loud, joyous color sense, and the bright fluid patterns, remind me of early satin and silk ribbon quilts, esp log cabin confections, bold Amish quilts, and eccentric, dynamic turn-of-the-century . . crazy quilts.
in other words, I find in his work a great Americana !!
it’s about time, more artists from the great vivacious 80s . . get their due.
LOREN MUNK, ‘Colliding Timelines of Minimalism’, 2012-2013. oil on linen, 60 x 72 in.
LOREN MUNK at the PETER HUTCHINSON opening, FREIGHT+VOLUME, NYC.
MARCH 7, 2013.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
PAINTING MUST DIE . . to live ?
wow, how did we get from ‘light’ and ‘science’ . . . to SKULLS & CROSS BONES ?!!
I guess via, JAMES MOORE.
did you catch, that he serious rides . . high performance motorcycles ?!!
I wonder if his friends call him: TRON.
I know bad joke .. but still !!!!
funny, how deeply the ‘science of art ‘ . . resides on the dark side !!
LOREN MUNK is having a major show of his work at FREIGHT+VOLUME, opening tomorrow SAT FEB 15, 2014 / 6-9 PM
more on the show soon. just want to enjoy the ‘pure’ image for a while.
great ‘info graphics’, or what ?!!
Mr. MUNK, he’s also . . a GREAT, GREAT (BRUTE) COLORIST.
BIG LAW COUNTRY CLUB at the SILENT BARN – 603 BUSHWICK AVE . . .
PRESENTS ‘CRYSTALLINE MIND’ – A SITE SPECIFIC ART INSTALLATION – by JAMES MOORE
OPENING THURS FEB 13, 2014: 7PM – 12AM / FREE 7-8 / 8PM-12AM – $5-$7 SLIDING SCALE / OPEN TO ALL AGES
THE INSTALLATION RUNS THRU . . MARCH 13, 2014 / SEE: BIG LAW COUNTRY CLUB
CURATED BY: ALISON SIRICO
WITH OPENING NIGHT PERFORMANCES BY: RASPBERRY FIELDS, BEEF, and HAIR JAIL.
haha, UNDERGROUND PLAYERS !! – PICK . . YOUR EYEBALL !!
CAN I HAVE – BOTH ?!!!!
from the press release:
“ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS overwhelm the exhibition space in an arch, simultaneously attracting then repelling those who enter. CRYSTAL SHARDS emanate from FLUORESCENT LIGHTS. Omnipresent, they inhabit all corners of the gallery acting as space generators and PSYCHIC extensions. Interconnected, they intertwine like a HUMAN NERVOUS SYSTEM. On the back wall, a mural depicts a powerful woman garnished by a crown of thorns, the PURE WHITE CRYSTALS which form an iron maiden around her. HALF HUMANOID, HALF CYBERNETIC ORGANISM, she staggers between an ORGANIC and TECHNOLOGICAL STATE. Imagery pervades with questions about the possible decline of the AMERICAN EMPIRE, while at the same time exalting images of classic American idealism and power. Illustrations allude to haunting eagles, the Illuminati, and alien cover-ups.
Like much of MOORE’S practice, ‘CRYSTALLINE MIND’, is a rhizome of dichotomies – it is an INVESTIGATION between the divergences of the natural and artificial world, the past and the present, the KNOWN vs the UNKNOWN. It reflects upon OUR BREAKING POINTS – the moments in which a situation can teether in either direction, but at that moment is caught fighting forcefully somewhere in between. It researches our sensory endurance and our primal systemic triggers of fear. The title, ‘CRYSTALLINE MIND’, eludes to our microbiological compositions and to our macro spiritual quests; the crystals are a metaphor for the sharp mind full of awareness and the wish for a more UTOPIAN society. ‘CRYSTALLINE MIND’ is about overcoming sacrifices made to a potential corrupting force and is an investigation into the possibility of evolution psychological states that lead to immortality.
JAMES MOORE . . . born 1986, Atlanta, GEORGIA currently lives and works in BROOKLYN, NY.
. . . is an interdisciplinary artist who creates work inspired from scientific models involving cosmic exploration and biology, horror and science fiction films and literature (and their function as psychological gateways for transformation), occult mysticism, American experience, and also . . enjoys riding high performance motorcycles, an action he sublimates into his art making practice.”
I’ve followed JAMES MORRE’S work ever since I first met him at a BROOKLYN COMICS and GRAPHICS FESTIVAL – a few years back, where he was manning a small table of his works on paper. including some pretty intense & ‘gothic’ . . mushroom cut-outs !!
the most recent show I posted for him was 2 summers ago, a pretty ‘psychadelic’ pop-up at MR. FINE ART.
check out: JAMES MOORE – ONLINE PORTFOLIO
I’M THINKING . . it’s somewhat pretty ironic – he hails from Atlanta, GEORGIA !!
the epicenter of that huge, killer winter storm just about to devastate that area, again !!
well, you have to give James credit, proof is in the pudding.
with all his new age ‘science’, crystals, ‘light’ games, and intuits . . he did get himself !! one friggin step ahead of . . murderous, treacherous, ole analog ole school . . mother nature.
must be some mighty bad karma . . down there in GEORGIA.
forget your crystals, light, and micro-future science . . KARMA is a bitch.
ya . . gotta be good. talkin bout: BIG LAW !!
the BIG LAW, if it isn’t Karma, I don’t know . . what else it could be.
BIG LAW COUNTRY CLUB – great name, for an art gallery.
there’s so much going on out there . . this month.
some real good stuff.
but before we move on, ONE LAST LOOK.
ONE LAST ‘TRIPPIN’ the light, lightly !!
ONE LAST ‘TRIPPIN’ . . the light fantastic !!
KEITH SONNIER – ‘ELYSIAN PLAIN + EARLY WORKS’
JAN 24 – FEB 22, 2014
PACE – 510 W 25th ST – CHELSEA, NYC
KEITH SONNIER, (left) ‘Neon Wrapping Incandescent’, 1969. and, (right) ‘Mirrored Slant’, 2013.
this is an interesting juxtaposition of .. an early work, and a later, as in ‘happening . . right now’ piece.
we lose the incandescent bulb, the roping neon tube . . and gain instead, as dancing partner: a shaped flat mirror, and a shaped flat acrylic surface. more ‘ghost’ in the machine . . less ‘drawing’.
more . . ‘scientific’.
it’s also pink and blue, though the pink is more acid, but that sharp rind . . yellow – nails it.
the neon light elements move further back into the ‘distance’, and decrease in ‘volume’ – but their dynamic, the visual play of their ‘sharp’ color hues, and minimalist spacing . . is just as strong – wherein lies the great beauty of this piece.
reflection, refraction. transparency, hue. dot dot dash.
what I also love about this piece, is . . how anthropomorphic – it is !!
it looks just like a little robot man – from a future planet !!
or maybe even us, when our bio/wired digital integration is . . complete.
what . . they say: a brother from another . . mother.
I was thinking, too bad it’s not wireless, but then again, maybe it’s just ‘charging’ !!
I mean there is always going to be the ‘juice’, the energy source, even in TRON.
but if you also read about the inherent ‘fold’ and ‘open’ power in micro bacteria, you know what.
maybe . . NOT !!
yep: energizer bunny !! Bacterium !!
see: BACTERIA as GENERATORS of ELECTRICITY – WALL ST JOURNAL
(if the link doesn’t work for you, just re-paste ‘THE ENERGIZER BACTERIUM’ in your browser / as if we all don’t want to get paid for content . . )
it’s interesting to ‘integrate’ with the piece, even though it’s flat and structurally ‘finite’ on the wall, as you move, you can see different depths of field in the reflections.
so, go on: break that . . ‘plane’ !!
it’s also interesting to compare the ‘mirror’ to the ‘acrylic’ surface . . very subtle, but quite the game changer.
and then .. how the bottom acrylic panel extends slightly outward, with almost human balancing stance, and then, how the yellow neon tubing was put against the back wall, instead of up against .. that jut forward.
it’s all those little details that bring great humanity, and beauty, to the piece.
it’s like the opposite of ‘brutality’.
it’s like the hand of god, the presence of man .. in its most graceful aspect .. that you would follow, and hope could change the world, and it does . . for the brief moments you spend with it.
it’s the opposite of ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’
that’s . . the take-away.
some people trade in hedge funds, penny stocks, and IPOs . . and others / in dash dot dash . .
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
KEITH SONNIER – ELYSIAN PLAIN + EARLY WORKS
JAN 24 – FEB 22, 2014
PACE – 510 W 25th ST – CHELSEA, NYC
left: ‘Lunar Slice’, 2013. neon, acrylic, aluminum. electrical wire, transformer.
11’1″ x 9’3-1/2″ x 4″
right: ‘Zig Zag Square’, 2013. neon, enamel paint, glass, aluminum, electrical wire, transformer.
96″ x 9’11″ x 9-1/2″
after being so entranced by the use of light, esp neon light – in the raw 15 WARREN St. underground pop-up show, I was drawn to see this exhibit by KEITH SONNIER, one of the the founding fathers of neon light . . wall sculpture.
and it did not disappoint !!
damn, if I wasn’t entranced, all over again.
yes, it was blue chip. yes it was white boxed, but yes, it was also . . supremely – on the ‘edge’.
right at the very point of: well, basically . . great art.
totally abstract, it was evocative of . . nothing except, the subtle intersection of art, creation and man.
it was evocative of ‘nothing’ . . except: supreme creative judgement.
it was living .. zen. perfectly balanced, perfectly at ‘play’.
just like 15 WARREN . . colored light reflected and refracted like a 4th dimension . . playing with you, as you took a foot forward, or changed viewpoint. dancing, ever so lightly, but dancing, yes.
an interactive plane, from a stationary art piece, yes.
I found myself wondering what ARSENIY, and all the other young, new age & ‘under-budget’ artists of 15 WARREN, would be thinking of these sleek ‘corners’ !!
all this hi-budget and very pro handling, including the sleek metal wall mounts.
Mr. Sonnier (now 72) “gained recognition in the 1960s as part of a group of artists, among them RICHARD SERRA and BRUCE NAUMAN, that experimented with nontraditional materials for sculpture – from found objects and organic matter to video and light.” – a quote from a very appreciative review by ANNA RUSSELL, that posted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, a few weeks, ago.
most interesting, also vis-a-vie the 15 WARREN ST show, which included much ‘light’ – but also dialoged so insistently . . on the childhood influences . . of these young downtown NYC artists, many of whom who grew up in the shadow of the Twin Towers inferno, was the last 2 paragraphs:
“The artist said his fascination with neon began in his hometown of Mamou, Louisiana, about three hours outside New Orleans. ‘I grew up in the dark – when it was dark at night, it was dark,’ he said. ‘You had the stars and the moon and the neon sign of the roadhouse,’ one of the few bright spots after sunset.
‘We always seek out the light and the warmth,’ Mr. Sonnier said. ‘Even if it is this artificial light.’ ”
read the article: ‘An Artist Who Is Always Looking Toward the Light’ – WALL STREET JOURNAL
not too whimsical. nowhere near ‘sweet’.
pink and blue are such American colors. such early colonial, founding colonist colors. if you study early American quilt arts, and, the big revival of the form, in the 1940s, and including decorative embroidery from that time – you well know, this shade of pink and blue. it backed many a quilt. it livened many a threaded & hand stitched nursery ‘sampler’.
if you have ever stopped to watch a North East American sunset, then you know, why . . these are the colors of American folk art.
this early piece plays the colored neon tubing . . around incandescent light bulbs.
electricity, and the light it produces is just as much an American folk tale, as . . quilt stitching.
the innovation of the founding fathers.
under-statement . . is a hard thing to do.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH