~ANDREW GUENTHER . . curated by DERRICK B. HARDEN
Andrew, Andrew, Andrew !!
THE JAMIE PROJECT . . .
with ANDREW GUENTHER, curated by DERRICK B. HARDEN aka ‘DEAR DERRICK’
opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
the show ran until SEPT 21, 2014
SHOW ROOM GOWANUS – 460 UNION ST, BROOKLYN, NY
I’ve known Andrew from pretty much the day he landed here. born 1976 and raised in Wheaton, ILLINOIS he split for New York City the moment he graduated with his MFA from Rutgers (2000) – and immediately landed a gallery assistant job with DANIEL SILVERSTIEN GALLERY, then cutting edge and located on 21st St. in Chelsea. SIMON CERIGO was the creative director, and he took on Andrew right away. from my point of view, the brains went in the following (inverse) order: Andrew, Simon, Danny.
I’ve been following his work ever since, what’s that . . 14 years.
actually, it’s very interesting to follow ROB PRUITT’S new show at Gavin’s . . with Andrew’s.
there are a lot of parallels, mostly of mind-set & use of materials.
separated by a little more than a decade in age, Rob is 50, Andrew is 38 – they both dialog about a hurt ‘bio’ world, the huge ‘smart-ass media culture’ surrounding us, and they paint surfaces that are graphic-driven, mostly fine, shallow planes with a dominant tendency to the minimal, except of course when they are . . texting & collaging !!
in fact . . the biggest difference between these 2 shows is that the prices are public & up-front in Andrew’s underground venue & absolutely off-limits in the upscale mainstream GBE.
as par for the course, the rationale being, they “don’t want the higher prices of the established artists – to detract from the work”, and why they are up on the walls, in the first place. big biz.
also another telling factor is that the hard scrabble underground venues run shows that used to last 2 weeks, but now mimic pop-ups, and sometimes run just for a day, a weekend or as in Andrew’s case: 9 days.
whereas Rob’s show runs for almost a month and a half.
I guess the web, social media, how busy the bigger galleries are, esp behind the scenes, with their gallery artists in shows across the globe – and, the buying habits of the rich and famous all factor in.
on the other hand, re buying . . it’s all the same across the board: don’t blink, get your hands on that art. there is a big shake-down going on, for sure – but talent . . always OUTS !!
just follow the bread crumbs.
that sad smiley face of a brain could just as easily be on a Pruitt “Studio Lunch Table” !!
details, ‘Ice Channels’.
though Andrew has a funny sub-genre fascination with bio spurting organs, just like Rob, Andrew has two young children, a girl and a boy – and his portrayal of genitals tend to be more functional as in ‘biology’ chart, and, less in the nature of Pruitt’s ‘fashionista’ shooting stars . .
though both do love . . a nice heady dose of MAGIC & MUSHROOMS served alongside their trademark Pandas (Rob), and Dolphins (Andrew)..
so check out that: new ‘ombre’ sensibility in Andrew’s work, yes, I’m talking about that blue/white swoosh streak in the background.
immediately I’m connecting to, you know, you guessed it, those Pruitt ‘Suicide Paintings’. fab fab ombre-graded . . mirror-like flat-grade surface ‘planes’
I’m thinking digital graphics, and the light-emitting screens we are looking at 24/7 . . have a lot to do with this new (painterly) fascination. ombre. yeah.
did it come up with the street artists, spray paint and . . stencils ?
for sure it’s all ‘bass’ . . and no lines !!
for all you slow ones:
the art world equivalent of ‘voluptuous’, no doubt about it.
ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Early Dive’, 2014. acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.
ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Blue Sunshine’, 2014. acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 in.
ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Sick Dolphin (cadmium)’, 2012. acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 in.
does ‘Blue Sunshine’ . . as in Sing the Blues ?
rhyme with ‘Suicide Painting’ – or what.
‘reflection’, as in a finely painted surface, and ‘inner reflection’, as in the perusing of the human soul within and looking out upon the mysteries of the infinite universe . . seems to be in the New York City air, the water ? the smart screen beeping, and clicking onto light-based matrix images . . in the palm of your hand.
ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Chemical Ride, level 2’, 2014. (with Richard Cowan), acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 in.
somewhat parallel to Rob Pruitt alluding to his studio assistants, ‘RP Studio Love Seat (Studio Assistants)’, 2014 – Andrew Guenther goes one step further and actually gives credit to painter RICHARD COWAN, who helped him with the technical ‘wash’ (on the face) – in this painting. if you know Andrew’s past work, which tends to be very flat and uber-graphic – you can see how how much his friend has inspired him . . throughout this show.
painting dialog is . . GOOD !!
just like in . . music. and most everything.
is he talking about . . evolution ????
seriously, past evolution ?
or corroded, or at least changed, maybe even electrified . . mutated, into a future electric bio being.
ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Splitting Off’.
it’s got the bio despair, the intelligence, the ombre. it’s creepy and alien . . too.
you think we are going to look the way we do now in 500 years. guess again.
put your hands together for the show’s curator: DERRICK B. HARDEN aka ‘DEAR DERRICK’.
as the press release states:
born and raised in Brooklyn, Derrick is a “Renaissance man” and we get it . . “he’s an art curator, rapper, film director, actor & writer . . motivated by his will to self-education and self-betterment, he’s done work for H&M and DIESEL in visual merchandising, PR & marketing” . . for such as Wu-tang Brand.
DERRICK and ANDREW meet in their local neighborhood coffee shop in Brooklyn, and so . . goes life in NYC.
‘DEAR DERRICK’ – DERRICK B. HARDEN with GARY SALMON.
Mr. Salmon runs a music studio out of Brooklyn – BUSHWICK SOUND LABS.
he says Bushwick is just like the Lower East Side used to be in the 70s, DEBBIE HARRY and the RAMONES, the hood is teeming with musical talent, absolutely diverse too. any kind of studio musician you may need . . is just a stone’s throw away, if not sitting in the local coffee shop.
making sweet counterpoint, just as ROB PRUITT had parked his very low-fi Americana DIY water fountain / pick-up truck . . in front of GBe, ANDREW GUENTHER had his DIY wind chime hanging in the back garden of SHOW ROOM GOWANUS.
and the wheels inside the brains, go round, and round.
take a little spin on that wicked wild cultural ride, and serve up some . . ombre with that future vision.
then add a little side of DIY, NYC style, to help beat down all those psychotic, glass ceiling fascist walls, pretenders and wannabes.
water on the wind chimes, water in the fountain, like spilled brains, water was falling all around NYC, from the posh cobble-stoned downtown streets to the alternative banks of the muddy Gowanus canal, on this way, way magic – night.
must have been the ‘wheels’.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH