~UNDER THE VOLCANO . . the day after
‘UNDER THE VOLCANO: SIMON CERIGO, DAN ASHER, NANCY SMITH’
SAT & SUN / JUNE 6 & 7, 2015 – STOREFRONT / 169 BOWERY at DELANCEY
A 2 DAY POP-UP PAINTING SHOW – FOCUSING ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE 80’s ART SCENE
yeah, a huge crowd came out.
it was a huge space, and it was packed by the end of the night.
IT WAS AMAZING.
the night before, a large scroll-like DAN ASHER goes up.
an imaginary, and powerful, mystical and archetypal, gestural and expressionistic . . . face on a long scroll of paper, early 80s.
PHOTO: DICK DEMENUS
curators KATE and THEO CERIGO grew up ‘under the volcano’, right smack in the midst of the intense, personal, explosive creative action that was the 80s art scene.
they grew up in a raw storefront on Rivington St, just a few doors up from the Bowery, when it really was, the wild frontier. flophouses, bums, druggies, junkies, and . . artists. they ran around at many a wild, crazy and now legendary opening, including the first shows of Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat in the East Village. the mid 80s shows of Schnabel and Salle on West Broadway, and Rirkrit Tiravanija on Greene St.
me, Simon, and Dan, we were all over the scene. we had it all covered.
the energy never let down.
. . . day job ? what was a day job.
pay check ? what was a pay check.
Dan sold his works hard-scrabble. their parents, Simon & Nancy . . ‘flipped’ other people’s art to support the family, and so . . the art was coming and going, in and out of the storefront, all the time.
including at any given point:
DAVID SALLE prints, a large JACK GOLDSTEIN hyper-realist lightning painting, MARIKO MORI’s ‘Love Hotel’ photograph, assorted works by MICHAEL McCLARD, paintings by WALTER ROBINSON, prints by CLEMENTE, and VANESSA BEECROFT’s ‘Amish women’ portraits.
the outlines of a huge Keith Haring crawling baby, quickly sketched in white chalk by him one day, on a found refrigerator cartoon on the street, leaned in one corner. and, of course their parents’ work, and Dan’s work, was all over the place, too. along with street posters, show invites, early zines and, stacks of artforums. it was 24/7 indie music. Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain. Built to Spill. Galaxie 500. Al Green.
there was no www, no internet. no social media. there were no personal computers, or cellphones. you got out, and you moved around. and it rocked.
the scene on the street just outside, was just bursting.
you could open the door .. . and Jean Michel would be strolling by.
if you were tough & savvy, money could be made. art works flipped FAST, and the East Storefront, at 5 Rivington, all ‘tagged’ up on the outside by the ‘writers’, was . . art city central. it was underground grit to the core,rebel indie, and hardcore, down to the very last . . drop.
just sold a Keith Haring chalk piece, $5 grand . . ca-ching !!
cut it down from the 14th St. subway, yesterday.
THEO had told us he had snagged a storefront, legit and all . . in a great location, but he hadn’t told us it was – the Cadillac, the cathedral of pop-up storefronts . . go, THEO !!
it was huge, and well-lit !! big wide open space. flat, uninterrupted walls.
no columns. no cubicles, no inner partitions, with double-height ceilings.
raw concrete floor, raw white walls, with some construction markings, but – just clean enough !!
just, the way we like it.
it was like the the mini-‘museum’ of pop-ups, and in that sense it suited the show, which was in a great sense archival, but it also seems to have been timely, and relevant.
and, well, they were saying . . . it was: historic.
the energy in the room was amazing. serious, classic ‘art drunk’ – it was a hit.
a huge huge turn-out, mostly all under-30, it felt like Brooklyn !! including a big Yale contingent. and a couple of under-40s, major players, strolled in, and stayed . . like ANDREW GUENTHER. and then throw into the mix, a few veterans from way back, Charlie Finch and Walter Robinson, and . . ka-boom.
then, at some point Walter instagramed Simon’s ‘Keith Haring’ painting . . and the ball really started rolling, and did not stop.
as the opening progressed, everybody was on their phones sending out images & buzz.
the momentum just grew and grew.
it was awesome, really. I was floored. I couldn’t believe it. I was shell-shocked. I mean nobody had shown my work in 30 years, and this was my own in-house team, I guess indie, all the way, is my fate.
it was definitely over-whelming. lots of requests for stories, and first-hand info. the young artists seemed to enjoy the character both of the show, and the work.
they seemed to super dig . . the indie spirit of the entire production. but even more, they just really really rocked with the work, the flat-out expressionism, the intensity, the powerful ambition . . . to ‘own’ the era.
I’m thinking it was – something about the works having been so ‘under-recognized’, but so hardcore indie, a stubborn . . ‘so-what-stance’, this is our art – really rocked them.
this is what we do, this is our art, this is our hustle.
now, how do we .. SURVIVE !!!!!!
many said they wished the show could have lasted longer, so their friends could make it, or they could come back, for a second look.
Kate and Theo are still fielding requests for ‘visuals’ and installation shots, so they can be blasted out – into the infinite social media sphere.
the show is definite living a virtual double life, just like we envisioned.
go, indie – go, pop-up.
though we hadn’t known what to expect crowd-wise, esp with Bushwick Open Studios happening the same weekend, and we were definite anxious, and so, so surprised by the crowd.
but as one sane person told us, there is always something going on in NYC, these days, and this how they work it: they all just get on their phones, and tell their friends to get on down here, this is where the action is at !!
A SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT & THANKS TO:
Brooklyn artists, NICHOLAS STEINDORF, and JAMES MILLER . . for hanging the show.
it looked great.
it came together, right on time. and in a very short window of time. literally. very cool.
totally professional job.
. . there is no way we could have done this – without you !!
thanks to everybody who came by.
for supporting the art, art that just sort of flew by, under-the-radar, at the time it was made.
and, for supporting so warmly, the vision of these 2 young hardcore artist-kids, first-time curators – KATE & THEO CERIGO.