~STUDIO GOLD . . at MY PLASTIC HEART, curated by STUDIO MINERS, L.E.S.

‘STUDIO GOLD’ – a group exhibit of over 25 artists
curated by .. STUDIO MINERS
opened this past SAT, APRIL 16, 2016 / 7-10 PM
the show runs thru MAY 14, 2016
MY PLASTIC HEART, 210 FORSYTH ST, LOWER EAST SIDE, NYC

a zine will be released at the opening, which includes a “glimpse at the spaces, collections and objects artists surround themselves with . . .”

all pieces are size 12 x 12 ins. or under.
all pieces are unique – they are not prints.
& they are priced – to SELL.

read more: ‘STUDIO GOLD’ at MY PLASTIC HEART

STUDIO-GOLD-FLYER

flyer image:
TOUGUI. ‘Peaceful’. 12 x 12 in., engraving on wood.
($300)

studiogold_oblvn
OBLVN, ‘Ride The Lightning’, 6 x 6 ins., enamel on wood.
($250)

studiogold_guerrero_250
MIKE GUERRERO, ‘GOOD DOG”, 12 x 12 ins., acrylic gouache on watercolor paper.
($250)

studiogold_kato_175
PETER KATO, ‘My Honey Bunnie’, 12 x 12 in. acrylic on wood.
($175)

studiogold_rockafeller
Clams Rockefeller, ‘Moondance’, 12 x 12 ins., enamel on steel.
($150)

see: STUDIO MINERS – WEBSITE

STUDIO-MINERS---BANNER




~’Our Comics, Ourselves’ . . last week – INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE, BROOKLYN

last week to catch . . .

‘Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art’
JAN 21 – APRIL 17, 2016
INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE, 131 8th Street, No.4, Brooklyn, NY.

for more info, see: ‘Our Comics, Ourselves..’ . . INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE

OurComics_WebImage600-e1449754517313
illustration for the catalog, by EDIE FAKE
http://interferencearchive.org/catalog-our-comics-ourselves/?

among the offerings, two very graphic, very different, but both stylistically speaking, minimalist-leaning comic books – caught my eye.
one from 1984, and one from: now.

snow---tumblr_o552bwW0H31v46ntmo3_500
SNOWPIERCER by JACQUES LOB & JEAN-MARC ROCHETTE
first published by French publisher Casterman, in 1984.

“The original story is quite philosophical and very dialogue driven. It imagines a frozen globe cursed by eternal winter, where what’s left of the entire human race inhabits a train that never stops, a train that is 1,001 carriages long. The elite inhabit the carriages up front, and the lower classes are left with little to no services in the carriages at the far rear.” – GANZEER
read more: INTERFERENCE ARCHIVE – COMIC ART BLOG
http://ourcomicsourselves.tumblr.com/

and, a more contemporary offering:

‘COUNTRY DARKNESS’ – by K.L. RICKS, published by HAZLITT, 2016
see: COUNTRY DARKNESS/HAZLITT

tumblr_o4tn7yZazX1v46ntmo1_1280

tumblr_o4tn7yZazX1v46ntmo4_1280

tumblr_o4tn7yZazX1v46ntmo2_250

K.L.RICKS---photo---HAZLITT-MAG
K.L. RICKS – photo via HAZLITT
K.L. RICKS . . is a freelance illustrator & cartoonist who lives & works in Massachusetts, and who is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

MOST DEF, check out: K L RICKS – website
http://klricks.com/

don’t miss, her about page . . with links to recent interviews, & clients.

on Instagram, see:
@karlrix
@hazlittmag




~THE APARTMENT by The Line . . SOHO, NYC

I was so, so lucky to catch the small screening of the brilliant & game-changing . . JAMES CRUMP feature documentary . . ‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ last week at THE APARTMENT by The Line in Soho, NYC.

the film was so intense and terrific, but so were the surroundings, design being such a close sister to contemporary art, esp in these digital days.

THE-APARTMENT---door
the doorway to THE APARTMENT is on a very posh street, but it had the ironic, and very whimsical feel of a country porch screen door, at least to me. I guess it was the proportions of that large inset window, and that crazy grab handle on the left ?
the fun part was, you immediately step into an elevator & you push the button for floor 3. and, up you go.

clothing-rack-at-THE-APARTMENT
THE APARTMENT by The Line, offers ‘curated’ well-styled, minimalist-leaning clothing, within a curated ‘apartment’ setting, of which all the surrounding furniture and accessories, shoes, artwork, books and framed photographs – are also for sale.
you know, the whole NYC lifestyle – at your fingertips.

shopping-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line
this is not your ordinary shopping experience.
yeah, break down those white box walls.

bedroom-&-photograph-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho
the bedroom at . . THE APARTMENT by The Line, Soho, NYC.

bathtub-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line-Soho,-NYC
oversize bathtub at . . THE APARTMENT by The Line, Soho, NYC.

soho-window-view-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line-SOHO,-NYC
typical Soho NYC window view !!
I bet you wish, you could buy . . that.

storage-solution-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
great storage solution.
a whole row of those sweet design shelf carts . . would work for anybody, but esp for me.

comfy-chair-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
super comfy chair, nice lamp.

fragrance-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
fragrance, at THE APARTMENT by The Line . . presenting ‘collections’, is what it’s all about.

accessory-arrangement-w-flowers-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
simple but elegant flower arrangements go hand-in-hand with lovely displays, in this case: kitten heel shoes. love that glossy wood grain.

books-on-JEAN-PROUVE---THE-aPARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
books on the master of timeless, modernist design & architecture . . JEAN PROUVE.

kitchen-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho-NYC
the kitchen / dining room . . at THE APARTMENT.

IMG_297lighting-fixtures,-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
totally enchanted . . by the overhead lighting.

beautiful-food-spread,-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
the beautiful food spread for . . the ‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ screening.

wine-by-ABE-SCHOENER-at-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho-NYC
ABE SCHOENER of the Scholium Project . . . generously provided the wine for the event, and let me tell you – it was DELICIOUS, absolutely some of the best wine I have tasted in a long time. no doubt about it.

ABE-SCHOENER,-winemaker-at-THe-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho-,-NYC
winemaker ABE SCHOENER . . of the Scholium Project.
read more about Abe Schoener & his Scholium Project: The Fearless, Risk-loving Winemaker. . NYTimes

doggy-area--THE-APARTMENT-by-The-line,-Soho,-NYC
there was even a little doggy . . home ‘collection’.
of course with my new pup. . named ZORA, I noticeeverything doggy, now.

dog-collar-&-brush,-THE-APARTMENT-by-The-Line,-Soho,-NYC
and wouldn’t you know, that smooth wood-handled, super luxe dog brush, for only $20 something dollars, showed at my home the very next week, a present from Kate. and, wouldn’t you just know . . . it works like a dream on my shaggy-coated, long-haired, drama-loving ZORA . . #puppylove #AmericanAkita !!
yeah, I named my pup after Zora Neale Hurston, of course. wild, strong, smart. and magic.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~’TROUBLEMAKERS: THE STORY of LAND ART’ – by JAMES CRUMP / feat. MICHAEL HEIZER

‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ (2015) – A FILM BY JAMES CRUMP
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH – APRIL 5, 2016

ATTN: ALL ARTISTS, DESIGNERS, ART HISTORY BUFFS, ART STUDENTS, COLLECTORS, FILMMAKERS & FANS, you need to do everything within your power to see this film. it’s available commercially via popular digital venues, and will also be shown on AMERICAN MASTERS, on PBS in early 2017.

It played recently in NYC for like 3 weeks, and it did not get the buzz it needed to get the crowds out – and, I missed it, but luckily I was able to catch it after all, last week at a small screening at THE APARTMENT by The Line, in Soho, NYC

amazing. ground-breaking, literally.
game changer. rule breaker & setter of the record straight, this full-length documentary is vivid, and more alive than you might think, Land Art having been over for awhile now.
or, so you thought.


JAMES CRUMP, with Stephanie Murg, Editor, THE APARTMENT by The Line, NYC.

JAMES CRUMP, filmmaker, curator, and art historian (!!) wrote, produced and directed this gem of a documentary. Not only is the full length film engaging and factual, but it really revisits the era, both the exhibits, and the popular artist ‘watering holes’ in New York and Europe, at the time, but mostly focuses on the American Southwest, where these projects took shape . . and more importantly, instead of just repeating the mainstream ‘script’ it actually digs deeper, and totally sets the record straight.

based on the visual strength of the film, and with it’s new ‘eyeballs’ . . . unearthing layers of new, and/or over-looked characters and information. I’m betting on a big wave of renewed interest in the subject, for sure.
with this film, history is being re-written, and all . . for the better.
somehow, against all odds . . the real talent, always outs.

it was also, thank you to THE APARTMENT, a very special opportunity to get even more behind-the-scenes info from JAMES CRUMP personally, who was there at the small screening and did an enchanting Q&A.
about . . the making of film, its subjects, its priorities, and quite a few other random, but golden tidbits did scatter.

name one: re VIRGINIA DWAN, the chic & prescient gallerist/art dealer, who offers a living first person narration to the film, and who supported these guys back in the day . .
“she was a ‘3M’ heiress, and had all the money in the world to do it”.
3M, translate as . . scotch tape, bye the way.


MICHAEL HEIZER . .

so turns out a relatively unknown MICHAEL HEIZER is the true star of this film, and of Land Art. it took over 30 years for this truth to be brought to light, and this is solely because of James Crump & this film. and that, in a brief few words, is the summation of the utter game-changing, and deepest importance of this film.

besides making a no-brainer platform for Michael Heizer, which included taking new and extensive photographic documentation, which speaks for itself / Heizer himself is the archetypal American rebel/cowboy – a man of few words, the film also delves into why HEIZER missed out on the mainstream spotlight: he was considered ‘tempermental’, and more importantly he didn’t like or encourage the use of ‘photography’, to get his work ‘out there’. he also, unlike all the other so-called Land Artists, was the only one who actually lived out there, in the desert. he did not network in the bars, duh. yeah, turns out all the others were NYC-based, and only went out to their remote desert sites to ‘make’ their art, & then of course, return promptly with the photographs to prove, and promote it.
though this was ‘supposed’ to be in theory, (I guess) . . ‘art outside the gallery’.

but, from all the first person accounts of the time offered up in the film, it’s pretty clear that to those on the inside track, MICHAEL HEIZER was the ‘man’.
but hey, nobody was going to give up their Artforum cover . . to him.
what else is new ?

HEIZER was not only a hardcore, truly underground loner, but he was also a kick-ass, redneck bad-ass rebel, an all American cowboy. as American as they come. they say in the film, that he greeted the few visitors who made it out to visit him, with a pointed rifle.

But, VIRGINIA DWAN totally got him, and so does JAMES CRUMP.
if Land Art – is truly to be recognized as verifiable. indelible ‘landmark’ art history, it will be because James Crump made this film. Heizer’s projects, and life take on a trajectory very different from the rest of the more ‘established’ Land Art crew, whose primary focus seems to have been ‘academic/conceptual’, and whose main intent seemed to have been . . getting into the ‘books’, climbing the gallery ladders, and selling pre-packaged dirt, err I mean . . work.

which is probably why so many following generations of artists, who didn’t know about Heizer, found ‘Land Art’, played out. strong>dated, and in truth, lame. I know I did. it was supposed to be . . outside the system ? nobody took it seriously, except the usual . . mainstream jerks. it was packaged, patterned dirt, and sold through the same old same old. give me a break.

also, before you get too carried away by the thought of an ‘unschooled’ cowboy carving out the desert – in the name of art, NOT. the film circles back at some point, to tell us Heizer’s dad was a professional archaeologist who took his young son with him on his many digs, at important ancient / monument sites, I think Egypt. South America ? I was so transfixed by this time, cinematic information was just flying all around me, that I was living ‘inside’ the sensory spell of the film, so to speak, as opposed to minutely recording it. but the deep roots of Heizer’s drive to create land ‘monuments’ just doubled up . . with the film’s archival snippets of his early travels . . with his dad.


MICHAEL HEIZER, ‘Double Negative’, somewhere in the Southwest desert, USA. 1978.


MICHAEL HEIZER, hauling desert dirt.

some folks in the audience were asking James Crump – where is land art now ? is there land art now ?
I think one of the reasons for the current ‘lack of’ . . might be that today you just can’t take a dump truck out into the desert, and do that.

I mean you have Burning Man, now. you have Joshua Tree. and you have VIHLS, lol.
you have the young SEAN VEGEZZI. both of whose art projects might better be classified as ‘urban’ desert – Land Art.

also our 21st century ethos . . would be to ‘conserve’, not carve up.
to photograph, film, manipulate digitally perhaps, but certainly not to carve into, our top goal . . is to not leave ‘footprints’. let alone dump truck – tracks.
which makes Heizer’s world, and his ‘monuments . . even more special, and visionary – in my eyes.
don’t blink.


MICHAEL HEIZER and friends . . kicking up that desert dust.

of course kicking up dust is an American rebel cowboy’s dream – and, guess what – they still do it.
just check out the work of JIM MANGAN, and his book: ‘BLAST’. in fact if ‘rural’ land art lives on, as opposed to ‘urban’ wasteland/infrastucture art – it would be in the hands of contemporary artists like . . PETER SUTHERLAND and JIM MANGAN, both with roots in the deserts of Utah and Colorado.


VIRGINIA DWAN, the 3M heiress who made it all happen, esp on such a large scale.

if she isn’t a household word, she sure gonna be an art world mega-legend, now. after this film.
glamorous, 70s chic, and as copper-penny brilliant – as the artists she bankrolled, exhibited and collected. she’s still alive, and offers up priceless personal knowledge, opinions, and insight – as the film rolls on.

and roll on it does. ‘TROUBLEMAKERS’ is one those rare films, that circle back and forth, eddying around different bits of subtext. it is not strictly chronological, but delivers up info like a small pool of weaving water. leaving you afterwards to wonder at the seamless creative editing, & fluid story-telling.


LAWRENCE WEINER in ‘TROUBLEMAKERS’.

LAWRENCE WEINER . . also provides a lot of the ‘been there-done that’ oral history for the film.
wow, I never knew that . . that he had his roots in Land Art. of course his reputation, already renown, is going to shoot up, double-up now, too.


WILLOUGHBY SHARP . . in the early 70s.

and, oh my . . who knew WILLOUGHBY SHARP, had once been so cute, so young, and at the very forefront of the Land Art movement – with his, what we would call today, a zine . . the independently published & forward pushing . . ‘AVALANCHE”. who knew, Willoughby Sharp was Land Art’s truest poet , and first voice.

you have to give profound credit to JAMES CRUMP, not only for putting MICHAEL HEIZER on the Land Art mainstream map, but ditto in his own ‘reverse – prescient’ . . tracking for Willoughby Sharp.

if only I had known this back in the 80s and 90s, when I would see him around the East Village all the time, and just thought he was a crusty worn-out, worn-down dude. in fact – he was a hero, who got beat by the game, hey Artforum is NOT going to give credit to the true movers and groovers, let alone say: hey, Willoughby saw it first !! wrote about it first.
tell me about it !! damn !! my life flashes before me, and it’s not such a pretty picture, the word bitterness – comes to mind. so does under-recognized, and broke.

plus, I would have been all over him, “can I take your picture ? can I visit your studio ? apartment, whatever” !!

how Willoughy’s hard-core, all too true story un-spools, and rings so true, if not for you, James Crump: it breaks my heart.

well, so you can’t move that desert earth by the truckloads anymore, but Willoughy, if you were still here, you could be whipping out your cellphone and showing that thinks-he-knows-it-all, twenty-something Brooklyn millennial . . a thing or too.

not to mention handing out a re-vamped ‘Avalanche’, which has just been re-leased, big time.

JAMES CRUMP, has not just written, directed and produced a wonderful documentary . . he has re-written . . history and re-told the ‘real’ grit, true grit story behind Land Art, and long may it live, now.
talent, always outs in the art world. eventually.
carve that into a desert rock, somebody.

see: JAMES CRUMP /wiki

see: JAMES CRUMP – FILMMAKER

definite, see: ‘TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art’ – official website

DEFINITE, watch: the ‘TROUBLEMAKERS’ – trailer on YouTube

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
grabbed with my iPhone from the screening, except of course, for the photo of . . . JAMES CRUMP and STEPHANIE MURG, at the Q&A.
the screening was at: THE APARTMENT by The Line, Soho, NYC. MARCH 28, 2016.




~JIM JOE VS LEWY – PIECE OF DIRT

MOST DEF, check out: JIM JOE VS LEWY / 2014 – 2016 – ‘PIECE OF DIRT’
http://www.jimjoevslewy.com/

JIM JOE VS LEWY: ‘YOU’RE NOT PERFECT EITHER’.




~GREGORY CREWDSON . . CATHEDRAL of the PINES – OPENING PIX

GREGORY CREWDSON – ‘CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES’
opened Jan 28, 2016
the show ran Jan 28 – March 12, 2016
Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st St, Chelsea, NYC

more background info: Gregory Crewdson, ‘Cathedral of the Pines’ – Gagosian Gallery
http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/gregory-crewdson–january-28-2016

the thing about GREGORY CREWDSON is . . he weaves a mighty fine spell.
who wants to break the MYSTERY, and the ENCHANTMENT . . . by posting the opening pix right away ?
not me.

PIX FROM THE OPENING: THURS JAN 28, 2016:


GREGORY CREWDSON, with his son, . . and KNIGHT LANDESMAN of ARTFORUM.


JARED LeBOFF . . will be a producer on Gregory Crewdson’s next project, a full-length fictional narrative . . film.
“Oscar-nominated ‘Bridge of Spies’ producer MARC PLATT has optioned CARLA BUCKLEY’s novel The Deepest Secret, with the plan for renowned art photographer GREGORY CREWDSON and his partner JULIANE HIAM to adapt it for the big screen. CREWDSON will be making his feature directorial debut.

The book, published in 2014 by Bantam, is an intimate family drama that explores the profound power of the truths we’re scared to face: about our marriages, our children, and ourselves. PLATT & JARED LeBOFF are producing for Marc Platt Productions.”
source & read more: DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD: GREGORY CREWDSON’S NEXT PROJECT
Photographer Gregory Crewdson Taking Shot At Movie Biz With ‘The Deepest Secret’ & Producer Marc Platt


ZOE KAZAN, and PAUL DANO, made the opening . .
so did . . .


PETER SARSGAARD . . .


and, WES ANDERSON. (!!)


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘Woman in Living Room’, 2013.
Digital Pigment Print.
45-1/16 x 57-9/16 in. framed.
Edition of 3.

I overheard at the opening, that the show was completely sold out before it had even opened.


there was a lot of nudity in these photos – even more notable, as nakedness per se . . is not being seen too much in the art world these days, maybe on some critics’ IG pages, but not in the exhibited works. but it is a very characteristic, and very important tool for Crewdson. the nakedness reinforces the vulnerability, & the sense of alienation and loneliness that seems to engulf and swallow up whole, his rural, small town North East Kingdom lonely hearts characters.
it’s not a sexy or erotic nakedness, it is a kind of scientific, social study nakedness. a visual code – for human behavior . . that is just not going right. It draws you in, esp in the way the vignettes are staged . . . for sure. and that’s part of the magic.


the retro details, are also part of the magic, the mystery, the atmosphere . . and that hard to define . . but definitely tension-filled, wavering Crewdson ‘reality’ . . his signature ‘staged’ or ‘artificial’ narrative & absolutely fictional reality . . contrasting with the authenticity of the tiniest of ‘real’ details.
it’s a strange poet’s naked world, a world of lost dreams, rather than any real steamy passion, or desire. it’s about desire, but not of the erotic vein. desire of the . . soul.


the vintage retro details also serve to set the emotional stage, and the time window. somewhere between post-Woodstock, and . . pre-digital. the landline vs the wireless social media web. communication is there, or rather the device is: but nobody is talking – on the phone.

and you wonder why melancholy seeps up like a toxic invisible force – from these gorgeous, somber photos, that’s one of the answers.
tangible visual symbols, and cues . . at play.
and, on another level, if you ever wonder why ‘vintage’, is so in vogue now / here’s one of your answers.


Gregory Crewdson’s ‘cinematic’ photographs are also about . . ‘scale’. the fragility of the human existence within the broader picture. the singular . . failure of hope ? joy ? family ? infrastructure ? the erosion of ‘organized’ faith ?

which bye the way . . allows the photographer himself . . to reside in a converted local church, which is presumably no longer relevant in its original role to the community – it once bound together.

on another purely technical level, it’s also of interest to note that although these photos are indeed gorgeous, and spaced-out most generously within the gallery, only one to a wall . . and still capable of provoking deep & profound emotions in the viewer – and although the gallery defines them as ‘large’ format – Crewdson’s previous photographs were quite more epic in size/scale. for example in Crewdson’s – ‘Beneath the Roses’ exhibit of spring/summer 2005 – some of the photos were as large as walls, themselves: 56-1/4 x 94-1/4 in. time to evolve, time to move on.


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘The Shed’, 2013.
Digital Pigment Print.
45-1/16 x 57-9/16 framed.
Edition of 3.


light sources, artificial and controlled, along with tightly ‘posed’ subjects – help tell the ‘anonymous’ yet universal, unspoken human story. which sees to be quite the . . tragedy.

the light & the posed bodies .. create the ‘focus’ – amid the seamless clash of . . detailed fictional reality vs hidden but deep, and forlorn . . human emotions.
for me, as for many others . . these photos act as ‘one frame’ films – and the effect is not, any less chilling . . than a recent full-length film, not any less violent in its take on the sad Bio contemopary human condition / the void / the spiritual void. and that would be: ‘THE REVENANT’, which also featured giant Pine trees.
what is it . . about Pine trees ?
how they can morph from Christmas – to desolation . . in a split second.


some more gorgeous, vintage detail. they add a real depth, a profound character to the images. they stand in for: wisdom ? experience ? lost skills ? lost lives ?
lost – ways.


falling into a . . Crewdson, is easy.
and that’s what makes them so EPIC, nothing to do with the actual scale of the photographs themselves. it’s the details, the theatrical set-ups, the lighting. the care. the aim. and in these photos: his aim is true.


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘The VW Bus’, 2013.
Digital Pigment Print.
45-1/16 x 57-9/16 in. framed.
Edition of 3.

yeah, time-wise: somewhere between Woodstock . . and Facebook.


GREGORY CREWDSON, ‘Woman in Parked Car’, 2014.
Digital Pigment Print.
45-1/16 x 9/16 in. framed.
Edition of 3.

my favorite CREWDSON photo projects, they all involve production crews . . have always been his . . snowy, snowy snow scenes.
the atmosphere, the chill, the warmth of light sources, the coldness of existence.
bleak beauty. almost: brut.

watch: GREGORY CREWDSON talk about his filmmaking esp the technical aspects, including getting all that detail !!

if you have not seen the unbelievably fine, feature-length documentary on CREWDSON, & which includes many epic snow scenes & is all about . . intense behind-the-scenes peeks at his way of doing things . . the amazing ‘Brief Encounters’, 2012 . . by BEN SHERMAN, than that’s – at the top of your to-do list, as of right now.

see: the ‘Brief Encounters’ trailer & the official film site


the beauty of the . . artifice.


PABLO SCHLUMBERGER, a visiting artist from Hamburg, wears an appropriate coat . . a faux / artifice . . cold/warm ‘fur’.


CREWDSON – in a nutshell: just as crazy as a ‘faux’ fox. or a lone wolf. or a grizzly bear.

the Millennials . . taking it all in.
‘Cathedral of the Pines’, lived up to its name – and was un-doubtably, the most important blue chip show of the year.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~TAYLOR McKIMENS . . heads West

“well, you know – I am from the South West.” – TAYLOR McKIMENS.


TAYLOR McKIMENS at the ‘TOMMO GOKITA – BILL BRADY NYC POP-UP’ opening, MARCH 4, 2016.
Taylor will be leaving in a month or so, for a 3 month residency in Greece, and then he is re-locating to L.A.
I’ve know Taylor since about 2002, when I first started working as an event photographer at artnet. that’s about 14 years now. that’s a long time, by any count. I knew him when he was just pretty much arrived, and working as a studio assistant for DONALD BAECHLER. KENNY SCHACHTER was the first person to seriously promote his work, and include it in his early NYC group shows.
I watched him grow, through some twists and turns for sure, but ultimately: bloom.
and . . finally in the past few years, achieve considerable success.
not a small thing, in this hard-nut-to-crack . . town.


Taylor told me a nice story about this ‘soft’ sculpture by MISAKi KAWAI, behind him in the Johnson Trading Gallery space, in Tribeca.


he told me it was actually part of a much bigger piece . . that Kenny had exhibited and almost sold to IGGY POP !!


but when the deal fell through, storage became a problem, tell us about it !!
and Misaki had no option but to dismantle the piece into smaller parts. the logistics headaches & turnabout of a contemporary NYC artist. but it still looks great – just like this.


recently TAYLOR has been doing a lot of sketches from life, and posts them to his Instagram page .. @taylormckimens.
he also gathers them up, well really photo images of them . . into – DIY books.


TAYLOR used to be really into carton-inspired ‘vignettes’, like western bar scenes & lonely psycho all night diners !! but now he seems to be really into . . heads. portraits. from life, as opposed to the fevered imagination.
though obviously, the imagination is not out for long, esp when it come to color.

check out his official website: mckimens.com


this book, of sketches from Sept 2014, often feels like a ‘flip book’.
this page is particular harkens back to his earlier work. you know, the down & out scrubby western character hanging out at the desert gas station, an old pick-up truck, and some scratchy, weedy cactus – nearby.


the ‘hot’ colors also speak to Taylor’s early desert roots.


those are Tomoo’s buttons on the side. they have been friends for quite a while now, too. Taylor included Tomoo – in an early show he curated in Chelsea, called ‘Stranger Town’ – it’s still spoken about.

I most certainly was at that opening, it was back in Jan of 2005. it was an incredible incredible night, very high energy. Taylor turned the whole scene onto a lot of new work. the opening photos are no longer online – a casualty of switching to a new online format to accommodate mobile devices, & the new internet routing formats.
lol. maybe I should make a small DIY book – of those pix ????

Taylor . . we will miss you.
I’m just now realizing what a gentle vibe Taylor has always had. always very straightforward, but very tender. ambitious, hungry to get his voice heard, & recognized – but always . . down-to-earth. he always marveled at the visual richness of New York, growing up as he did in a small town in the deep south west. he seems to have unleashed all his inner demons, dreams, and nightmares . . in his work.
and now he’s the riding the wave – back to the west.
packing up and heading . . west. it will be interesting to see what kind of western trail, what new opportunities, and people he will intersect with.
I feel like he’s a smoke signal – already. I’m sure I’m not the only one – who will be watching out for the new works, and shows.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~TOMOO GOKITA . . BILL BRADY – NYC POP-UP at JOHNSON TRADING GALLERY

BILL BRADY PRESENTS . . a TOMOO GOKITA – NYC POP-UP
the show of 12 black and white paintings on paper – opened MARCH 4, 2016
and runs . . thru March 31, 2016
JOHNSON TRADING GALLERY, 72 FRANKLIN ST, TRIBECA, NYC

see: BILL BRADY GALLERY

BILL currently has a big TOMOO GOKITA show on, up – at his new MIAMI space.
the show, called ‘Damage Control’ (is that an inside joke, lol ?) . . is the inaugural show for the gallery’s new permanent home at 7200 NW Miami Court – in what I hear is Miami’s very happening, Little River District.
and which same space I heard is, way large & tres beautiful, bye the way !!
congrats, Bill.


TOMOO GOKITA, painting on paper.
yes. the world needs a nurse. and, not a jolly one. a big, mean one.
start to put this place in some kind of global order, a kinder holding pattern – with a big, big . . time out room.

TOMOO GOKITA . . is the only artist I can think of, who is showing in NYC right now, who is hardcore enough to bring to the table, after the recent terror events. in Brussels, yesterday, and in Turkey, was it last week ? losing track – not a good sign.


TOMOO GOKITA, painting on paper.
yes, it’s a harsh world. and not in the R CRUMB context either.
outcomes uncertain, but still the same human bio drives: love, or at least sex. family, drama.
the human bio-reproductive circus – in all its gory, I mean . . GLORY !!


TOMOO GOKITA, painting on paper.
what is: sensuality ?
what is: the life span of a flower ?
is it . . too much to: hope ?
the questions they ask are precious, but the paintings themselves are . . not.
they verge on brut, and then circle right back again, to the timeless, universal human . . tale.
black & white – just dials it up.
to a whole new level of . . raw.


there are 12 paintings on paper that circle the room, and, most effectively. as they tell their open-ended, never-ending stories. we can all relate.
they look to be 16 x 20 in. – something like that.
each one is very unique, and very striking.


Tokyo-based TOMOO GOKITA – at the opening.
Tomoo Gokita (b. 1969) has been showing with Bill Brady since 2003, 2004 ? I do well remember the stir his openings always created at the cutting edge Bill Brady – ATM. Tomoo has gone on to huge success, among many other exhibits – in 2014 he was the honored subject of a large-scale solo exhibition, Tomoo Gokita: The Great Circus presented at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan.
re: going onto success, seems like so has . . Bill.


BILL BRADY . . . looking good, and doing even b-e-t-t-e-r.


PAUL JOHNSON of JOHNSON TRADING GALLERY – the GOKITA POP-UP / NYC host.
it was a really interesting venue, in and of its own, but also as a stage for Tommo’s stark, edgy work.
design + vision.
great pairing.


TAYLOR McKIMENS fresh off his big success with those huge head paintings at THE HOLE – Taylor told me he’s off to a 3 month residency in Greece and then . . omg, he’s moving to LA !!
oh no. we will miss you.
and yes, that’s a MISAKI KWAI piece behind him, on display in the Johnson Trading Gallery venue.


KAWS . .
I’m liking KAWS even more, be-KAWS !! I hear he’s been going around buying up young NYC artists’ work.
name one ? a very happy ANDY CAHILL, who painted those wild, crack-crazy pieces in the recent ‘Anthem of the Sun’ group show at CANADA.


TODD JAMES – REAS.


BRIAN WILLMONT, had some crazy big shows of his own work going on recently, and he owns/runs the totally trippin’ GREENPOINT TERMINAL GALLERY, in Brooklyn.


ERIC SHAW . . had a great piece in that way-ahead-of-the-curve, big ‘DUCKS’ group show, RYAN TRAVIS CHRISTIAN curated at GREENPOINT TERMINAL, last OCT 24 – NOV 29, 2014.
Eric’s piece was a crazy flat rendition of Donald . . Donald Duck, lol – called ‘DuckDuck’.
wtf, here’s the link – it was a great show.
see: ‘Duck’ – artlovers archive

~DUCKS . . PIX FROM THE EXHIBIT


PETER SUTHERLAND, with TOMOO GOKITA, at the opening.
you can begin to see how interesting the Johnson Trading Gallery venue is.
preservation, history, architecture + cutting edge design + painterly vision . . on this night, with: TOMOO.


I mean, where else would you get to just casually lean up against a classic, mint condition .. JUNZO SAKAKURA lounge chair from 1957 ?


or check out the contemporary .. ROBERT LOUGHLIN painted chair ?
yeah, I want that.


collector EUGENE HU . . looked comfy in a FELTRI armchair.


he had brought Tommo’s huge book, ‘TOMOO GOKITA – 777’ . . for Tomoo to sign, which he did.


table by – WILLY RIZZO
just . . . BE-KAWS !!!!!!

yep, that’s KAWS’ reflection in the mirror.
I used to see this guy walking the streets, in Bushwick in fact. way before he was famous. 16 yrs ago.
now, it’s funny to see his original, raw ‘roofies’ in Jersey, coming in off the tunnel. pure gold and nobody here much knows it. ain’t that the truth. was really so outraged when the city didn’t go crazy over his MACY’S balloon, too. remember writing a big rant about it. but, now . . it’s Tomoo coming up = big.
I wonder if they will give Tomoo – a MACY’S Thanksgiving balloon . . as if !!
‘they’ would never be cool enough, but just imagine – what a world it might be, if everybody were just that much more . . cool ?


TOMOO GOKITA, painting on paper.
ah, Tommo. you have us – in your black and white . . cross hairs.
oh, the drama.
of the hardcore romantic imagination.
yes – you do !!

realism – takes a swipe.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




JR . . via FRESCO / bring on the nurses !!


Fresco Magazine – Winter/ Spring 2016 . . features cover art by JR / @jr
image via Instgram . . . @fresco_art

see: Frescoartgallery.com

yep. the world needs a nurse. a big, scary one.




~NEWSSTAND MoMA . . CLOSING PARTY – tonight !!

THE NEWSSTAND ZINE SHOP, which existed throughout 2013 in the LORIMER St. subway station . .
has spent the past 5 months resurrected – in MoMA’s . . ‘New Photography 2015’ exhibition.

today is the last day of the show, and MoMA is allowing THE NEWSSTAND to stay open after hours . .
until 10 PM, tonight !! !! !!

COME ON BY !! !! !!
PAR-TAY ON !! !! !!

SPECIAL: HALF-PRICE / AFTER-HOURS ACCESS / 5:30 – 10 PM / TONIGHT, SAT MARCH 19, 2016

‘THE NEWSSTAND / LELE SAVERI’ . . installation is on the 3rd FLOOR
in the . . . ‘OCEAN of IMAGES: New Photography 2015’ exhibit
MoMA / MUSEUM of MODERN ART – 11 W.53rd St., Manhattan, NYC


PHOTO courtesy: PAT McCARTHY