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.
check it out : ‘Closed Doors? Not A Problem’, by ALAN FEUR/NEW YORK TIMES. FEB 21, 2014 !!
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.
the cover for: SEAN VEGEZZI, ‘I DON’T WARNA GROW UP’.
photos by SEAN VEGEZZI, text by ABELINE COHEN.
for sure, check out: SEAN VEGEZZI / FOURTEEN – NINETEEN, for more info on the book & other projects, twitter feeds, etc
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’, SEPT 15, 2014.
WEST 24th STREET, CHELSEA, NYC.
‘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:
well, I guess that’s one thing to do, when the hole in the crotch of your well-worn jeans, gets big enough !!
the power of paint.
the power of black and white.
the power of the . . third finger !!
the power of . . nature.
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.
ANDREW GUENTHER . . at the JOE BRADLEY, ‘LOTUS BEATERS’ opening, GBE, NYC .. MAY 17, 2013.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
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 !!!!!!!!!!
the card for: ‘ONE HUNDRED ARTISTS ONE HUNDRED T SHIRTS’, DANIEL SILVERSTEIN GALLERY, 520 WEST 21st STREET, CHELSEA. JULY 16 – AUGUST 18, 2003.
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
LOREN MUNK, painter and video/archivist, at center, with . . KATE AUGENBLICK, and NICK LAWRENCE.
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’ !!
the very ‘painterly’ information graphics were set out in different ways, some like ribbons, and streamers, some like maps, some like puzzles.
LOREN MUNK, ‘Armory Century’, 2012-2013. oil on linen, 72 x 66 in.
‘Armory Century’ was presented as a American geographic-style . . ‘map’.
it held quite a bit of info . . & history.
WILLIAM DE KOONING holds his first one man show at CHARLES EGAN GALLERY, 1948.
MARCEL DUCHAMP arrives in NYC, from PARIS, 1915.
SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001 – THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS are crashed down, makes the cut !!
hello, my young friends . . at 15 WARREN STREET !!
LOREN MUNK, ‘CLEMENT GREENBERG (large)’, 2005-2006. oil on linen. 48 x 72 in.
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.
CLEMENT GREENBERG, ‘Born in the Bronx .. Jan 16, 1909.’
the timeline was fascinating. that’s more than a hundred years . . ago !!
’1933 WORKS AS A TRAVELING SALESMAN’ . . .
the next date highlighted is: ’1950 meets HELEN FRANKENTHALER.’
LOREN MUNK, ‘DEAD WRITE’, 2010. oil on linen, 60 x 36 in.
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.
JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT . . 1960-1988, 57 Great Jones St.
DASH SNOW . . 1981-2009, Lafayette Hotel, 38 East 4th St.
haha. my young friends .. at YALE !!
the painting was a chart, a diagram that opposed dead artists on the left, with living ‘writers’ on the right.
my old boss at artnet, WALTER ROBINSON . . . made the cut.
but, like the painting bold proclaims at the bottom:
“NO CORRELATION IS IMPLIED.”
LOREN MUNK, ‘The Irascibles’, 2008. oil on canvas, 26 x 36 in.
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.
I only knew the answer to one (!!) question.
the top one: JACKSON POLLOCK.
can YOU . . answer this ?
‘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.
looking back at art . . with LOREN MUNK.
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
read more about: LOREN MUNK aka JAMES KALM, the “artworld bicycling reporter-at-large.”
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, ‘Painting Must Die Painting Must Live’, 2013. oil on linen, 18 x 24 in.
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.”
JAMES MOORE . . . at the PAOLA PIVI OPENING, GALERIE PERROTIN, NYC.
SEPT 13, 2013.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
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.
see: NEON AND CANDLES – OPENS TO-NITE at MR. FINE ART
see: PIX FROM THE OPENING – NEON AND CANDLES
see: more, JAMES MOORE – NEON AND CANDLES
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.
KEITH SONNIER, ‘Mirrored Slant’, 2013. neon, glass, mirror, acrylic, aluminum, electrical wire, transformer.
9′ 6-1/2″ x 76-1/2″ x 17″.
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.
I absolutely adore how those two dashes of acid pink sit there, so exquisite.
like two . .
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.
it’s definitely: interactive.
finite / infinite.
it’s definitely: the ghost in the machine !!
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
see: SONNIER: Elysian Plain + Early Work / Gallery
KEITH SONNIER, ELYSIAN PLAIN + EARLY WORKS
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″
KEITH SONNIER, ‘Zig Zag Square’.
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.
the workmanship was precise. and very light handed.
but despite the perfection, and technicality, yes: the ghosts of art to be seen . . came out to play !!
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.
light at rest / stationary, and . . at play.
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
KEITH SONNIER, ‘Lobbed Claw’, 2013. neon, acrylic, enamel paint, aluminum, electrical wire, transformer.
93″ x 75-1/2″ x 15-1/2″
not too whimsical. nowhere near ‘sweet’.
detail, ‘Lobbed Claw’.
a tinge . . sci-fi.
KEITH SONNIER, ‘Neon Wrapping Incandescent’, 1969. neon, incandescent light bulbs, transformer.
94″ x 64″ x 13″.
this was an example of an early work.
even in the early work, the play of the elements was precise, supremely balanced.
exactly, on .. point.
graceful, playful, but not too playful.
maybe ‘entrancing’, really is . . the right word !!
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.
even in his early works, Mr. Sonnier had the technology down. precise.
not to forget the . . F-L-O-W.
the elegant, slightly twisted . . glow of the flow.
under-statement . . is a hard thing to do.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH