~’SURPRISE PRIZE’: CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER, NICK PAYNE & JAMES ULMER
‘SURPRISE PRIZE’ . . . CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER, NICK PAYNE & JAMES ULMER
opened: FRI OCT 23, 2015
the show runs thru NOV 28, 2015
GREENPOINT TERMINAL GALLERY – 67 WEST St. #320 – GREENPOINT. BROOKLYN, NYC.
CAUGHT MANY, GREAT PIX – FROM THE SUPER FUN !! OPENING . . . !!
BRIAN WILLMONT opened a Pandora’s Box – with this show.
3 really diverse artists – hitting the most divergent sweet spots – and blowing up !!
in a funny visual, musical chairs . . . curatorial game of: who am I, and what’s my world . . .
touching on human communication in the digital age, self-awareness, self-expression, bio codes, bio behavior codes, bio gender codes. avatars, icons, glyphs. neo-glyphs, and one-touch emojies !!
an on-going inter-active list of questions, passions, and . . warning.
JOE GRILLO . . a walking one man enigma . . emoji !!
his show ‘#%@&?!!!’ – is currently up at THE HOLE.
fracturing the unconscious and turning the ‘glyph’ into a multi-faceted mirror !!
there is no ONE man, here.
which is to say, maybe there is – and he’s an outsider ????
tell me about it.
DREW GILLESPIE on the right, with LINDSAY.
I first encountered Drew at the very first BOBO, the now defunct Philly art band, performance in NYC. just backed into it. will never forgot the night, thought fer sure the old wooden floors of the forgotten dive bar on the Lower East Side, were going to give way any moment, what with the mad, throbbing, thrashing jumping crowd. the 3 person band were all dressed as . . newspaper boys !!
you can catch up with Drew, now NYC-based, at CONNOTATION CHUMP !!
CHRIS WATTS, another Young Turk. this is what happens . . in the ‘no photo zone’ !!
so, don’t listen to Nicholas Steindorf, unless you want to come across as a street artist !!!!
just joking !!
my old apple keyboard don’t have single stroke emojis – damn !!
and yes, that is in essence, what this show is talking about, expression – in short hand !!
and in fact,
that is also what this show is talking about:
SURPRISE: this is who I am, this is what I do.
detail, JAMES ULMER, ‘Black, White, Red’.
one got the feeling this was a distinctly . . . male world ??
an existential. . man cave ?
the Greek drama of life – reduced to a short list of 3 basic & bold colors . . . a comic book genre – gone expressionistic.
taking my temperature, as the world turns, and tossing ya – a ‘sign’, a smoke signal.
a 9 square glyph grid ?!!
you know, almost Egyptian . . . !!
JAMES ULMER, ‘I Feel Good About Myself’, 2015
acrylic on canvas, 32 x 40 in.
so, can you see how this black, white and red – road map is . . happier ?
in expression. still very introverted, no (obvious) women, or children ? bio-speaking-wise. vs James Brown . . ‘it’s a man’s world … but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl’ ???
or: why write a novel, when you can lay it out, in 6 easy steps. hieroglyphs.
the beginning, and end .. of language ?
by contrast, Caroline Wells Chandler’s work was all about: gender bender.
cut-out shapes vs the stretched canvas square. multi-colored soft fibers vs hard surface acrylic primary color paint. thematically, it was about ‘dancing’ on the edge vs ‘looking inward’.
but: it was still – all about the glyph, the basic symbols that tell . . a story, in short bursts. our story. vs history.
now, that’s a . . head shot. all warm, and fuzzy, yes it’s a glyph, one that has gone from detached, to . . . all intense with (human) emotion.
a bio-bearing encoded . . animated popular media cartoon character.
go figure, it’s way too complex & vast a subject – for these brief notes.
I was really glad I went to see this show in person, just for the opportunity it afforded to get to see the real ‘gist’ technically – of Caroline Wells Chandler’s work.
pictorial, photographic images alone don’t do it. there is real hard-core skill-set to how the fibers are handled. very consistent, tight. almost more like clay or metal sculpture, or even hard-molded plastic. the surface dynamic is very honed, as opposed to the easy ‘gait’ of . . ‘crafts’. in these pieces, DIY that has most definitely crossed-over – into the ‘artist’ zone.
detail, CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER, ‘Super Painter Impersonator’.
this iconic Superman logo was exceptionally well done.
was this – the very first: emoji ?
super hero glyph. a brand-ing.
it was also speaking to how comic book artists really inspired us, and influenced the course of our culture.
like I said . . dancing on the edge. the male / female conundrum. the snake that eats its head.
catch me . . if you can.
define me . . if you can.
particularly liked the subtle technical skill in this rendering . . the part where the yellow section – is over-worked, over-stitched: to bring the temple of the head, to life. to model it, make it more 3-D, less flat. but still very much on that . . sharp flat plane.
so if, James Ulmer is all about . . simple locked-down primary code, for taking the internal temperature of a ‘man’s world’, and Caroline Wells Chandler is all about the gender bender dance, well I guess NICK PAYNE is .. BIBLICAL ?!!
the great drama, life-force, confusion, outta control, shape-shifting, messy. organic cell splitting world. free-form, wild pastel drawing. gestural, but not bold. per se. not flat.
‘in motion’ . . might be the way to say it. splitting cells. with atomic force.
James Ulmer is defining his world, in as much as he can contain the variables (!!) in a very straight-forward, albeit expression-istic & primal black and white, and (passionate) red way. he’s observing. he’s locking it – down.
Caroline Wells Chandler is skipping rope between the sexes. and the stereotypes of both the social, and the external world.
and how that defines us, if we let ’em !!
and Nick ?
well, Nick . . is just off the wall !!
caught up in the lust and confusion of the outer forces of the eternal war of the human bio cells, I mean . . sexes !!
SO, in this strange trio which is the surprise . . prize ?
I think it all depends on which corner you’re sitting in. you might think it’s Nick. but actually from James and Caroline’s point of view – he might just represent . . the status quo !!
and so it goes, round and round, the room.
ps: NICK PAYNE was a member of BOBO, too. well I remember him from that night too. he had ashes all over his face, you know: poor boy !! and a newsie cap on.
and, with a nod to TAYLOR McKIMENS – it’s still about . . . HEADS !!!!!
I mean all 3 artists, here are about . . portraiture !!
imaginary bio – portraiture.
as opposed to landscape, or abstract gestures, or patterns, or color field, or even graphic retro signage.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH