~IT’S AN INVASION . . !!

looks like the big blow-out summer group show . . is happening early this year,
and . . . at the NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, of all places !!

curated by: KELSEY BENNETT, JOSHUA HUBBARD, and LELE SAVERI,
all 3 artists themselves, each with work in the show – always a good sign, kudos . . 15 Warren St.

opening tomorrow night TUES APRIL 29, 2014 / 7-10 PM, the show is only up for 2 weeks – thru SAT MAY 10, 2014
. . so don’t blink.

NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
– 15 GRAMERCY PARK SOUTH – NYC
HRS: weekdays 10am-5pm / weekends 11am-5pm

and unlike that sad and dreary, all gray Whitney Biennial advert in the subways – which proclaims to a very disinterested, captive, NOT !! audience . . “see it here, or see it somewhere else tomorrow”,
this show is . . bound for glory !!

just look at some of the names in the line-up:

TODD JAMES, TODD JORDAN, ANDREW KUO, RYAN McGINLEY, TAYLOR McKIMENS, ANDREW SUTHERLAND, PETER SUTHERLAND, SEAN VEGEZZI, PETE VOELKER, and JOSHUA WILDMAN.


IMAGE: NATIONAL ARTS CLUB


IMAGE: NATIONAL ARTS CLUB




~FLUX FACTORY – looking good !!

changing gears & getting back to . . LOCAL NEWS !!

love these ‘graphics’ – coming out of FLUX FACTORY, this week.

‘YOU MADE IT’ – a group show of FLUX ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE – curated by CHRISTOPHER STIEGLER
OPENING + PERFORMANCES – FRI MAY 3, 2014 / 7PM
OPEN HOUSE + PERFORMANCES – FRI MAY, 16, 2014 / 1-3 PM
FLUX FACTORY – 39-31 29th St – LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, NY

the show, looking to lively . . . will highlight work from their 2013 – 2014 program.
“The artworks will be arranged according to the artists’ heights (!!) and the installation of the show will change throughout the duration of the show.”
more info . . .

as well, ZUZIA JUSZKIEWITZ will host a small BOOKBINDING WORKSHOP – SUN APRIL 27, 2014 / 2-4 PM
POETRY READINGS, included.
more info . . .

that’s . . tomorrow, looking good – it’s free and open to all.




~copyright wars: RICHARD PRINCE, PAUL McCARTHY / DAN ASHER vs DONALD BAECHLER

it’s not just crazy, maybe autistic, and even if . . , so what ? artists who have tragic flaws, apparently so does the legal world . . esp when it comes to almost everything COPYRIGHT and the ART WORLD – with this week being . . a stunner.

FIRST UP: RICHARD PRINCE vs EVERYBODY & ANYBODY WHO HAS A CREATIVE, ORIGINAL THOUGHT & IS SILLY ENOUGH TO PUBLISH THE ‘PRODUCT’ aka THEIR ‘VISION’ – AS A BOOK.
or poster, or advert, cartoon etc, etc.


from the RICHARD PRINCE ‘CANAL ZONE’ (2008) series – image via ART IN AMERICA

in what most artists would feel to be a major rip-off, s-o-m-e-h-o-w . . could it be BIG MONEY ?
(some of the disputed paintings sell for over $10 million, each !!), some (sketchy, at the very least) appeals court in NYC, let this obvious ‘trashing’ & exploitation of another artist’s original content – French photographer PATRICK CARIOU and his ‘Yes, Rasta’ book of photographs, published in year 2000 – get a: ‘pass go and collect the $$$$$’.
how this qualifies as ‘FAIR USE’ is beyond reason, or is that just me, esp being a photographer.
and you better damn well keep the paws – off my pix !!
I mean, doesn’t the SHEPARD FAIREY ‘OBAMA’ ruling have any relevance here.
you damn well know it’s bad, as in . . s-t-i-n-k-y !!
when everybody in the art media world proclaims it a A HUGE LANDMARK SUCCESS, with no question or thought . . must be the power of those ‘GOGO’ media mega dollars at work.

if you read between the lines, the judge left 5 pieces in the gray area, so obviously GOGO & PRINCE will shoot a lot of money at the wronged CARIOU, and that will be that, no more appeals – and voila: a landmark ruling on copyright ca. 2014.
trust me, even I know, small nobody business that I am, I’m not the only person in the world . . whose has been told by a lawyer, “it’s a business decision, it’s not about right or wrong.”

at the very least, PRINCE should have credited the photographer, if not licensed the work for his creative use.
the trouble with copyright law – is it really hit the fan – with the web.
basically: google engines brought down copyright law, copyright law was already dog-eared and arcane / but now . . nothing goes up – that can’t be seen by the original source, even oceans apart.
never mind that copyright law originated before reproduction became as easy as 1,2,3 – click ..
and, esp now with .. ‘image’ google, and it works good, too.

this quote unquote ‘landmark’ decision makes the courts look bad, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to stick, let alone be the ‘landmark’ the GOGO camp is claiming. personally, I wouldn’t rush out and buy anything as tainted and anti-artist original content as this, just on principle, if not with an eye towards . . hopefully, future righteousness. it’s definite low rent skuzzy.

further, this series of work, along with Prince’s ‘Marlboro Cowboy’, etc makes him, Prince look more and more like a gifted ART EDITOR, with an eye to a good art image – than a particularly good or talented artist.
though, thanks for bringing PATRICK CARIOU to the stage.
but, victory aside, GOGO, PRINCE & CO better watch out for those . . duppys – the Rasta Jamaican undead / as in . . ghosts !! calling on . . BOB MARLEY, y’all.
and if a blog ain’t reggae, what is it ?

GOGO, PRINCE, and DUPPY, huh. come on, somebody . . make me a rhyme.

see: Richard Prince Wins Major Victory .. ART IN AMERICA

SECOND: PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET vs GUGGENHEIM BILBOA


‘BILBAO BATTLESHIP BILLBOARD’ by artists PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET
PHOTO: CAMILO BRAU via THE ART NEWSPAPER

if the GOGO / PRINCE caper wasn’t bullsh-t – what’s this ?
just looks like: THE BIG MONEY WINS, EVERY TIME.
no matter what. end of story.
am I just jaded. autistic, stupid. I don’t think so.
if any image deserved to come out on top re ‘FAIR USE’ . . you’d think it would be this, satire. plus what is a ‘cutting edge’ contemporary art museum doing being so censorious. shame shame shame . .
plus . . it’s such a great image & such a great provocative info / image too.
and, it got taken down in like 24 hrs.
by an art museum sourced outta NYC. so, bad news. unbelievable, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.
forget Spain, put that banner up in Times Sq.

haha: PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET should do a piece ripping off every nurse painting RICHARD PRINCE ever did, by reproducing them, with a big purple ‘blotch’ over their faces, and claim: ‘TRANSFORMATIVE’ – and then sell those for – 10 million smackeroos, ea. !!
and yeah, I want 10% – for the idea.

see: Guggenheim Bilbao Fires back .. WALL STREET JOURNAL

see: Billboard work taken down .. THE ART NEWSPAPER

THIRD: WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO . . DAN ASHER ASHER vs DONALD BAECHLER !!

which makes it a . . full circle day.

well, since DAN was so unrecognized in his lifetime – ORAL HISTORY is the only way to go, and if I don’t get it on paper, trust me – DONALD BAECHLER sure as hell ain’t gonna pony up – to the time he ripped off Dan’s work – outright, and exhibited it as his own.
and, yes – he did !! !! !!


DONALD BAECHLER, ‘Self Portrait’, 1986.
image courtesy: ELMHURST ART MUSEUM

“Self-Portrait”, my foot.
well, this might NOT be an exact one of the ‘rips’, but you get the picture.
check that date: 1986.

here’s the story:
Donald was always creeping around other people’s studios, Simon always used to say . . he got his ‘primal’ flower painting silhouette from me, and we know what he did with the Enger Bros. imagery, but – to get to the point, the Dan Asher lift – was quite . . black and white, no grey areas of ownership.
no . . he said, she said. I did it first, etc. etc.

and this is the truth.

DONALD bought a whole bunch of small charcoal, or black oil-stick drawings of faces, from Dan, in the early 80’s, maybe 1984 ? he then projected them onto big canvasses, and reproduced them large & verbatim, except for the scale, and then took them to Europe, and exhibited them, under his own name, of course – for sale at some gallery booth in an art fair in Europe, maybe in Cologne ? Berlin ?
thinking, nobody would know. there was no google engine back then, and anyways that was just his modus operatus – just like all ‘appropriation’ masters, KOONS and PRINCE etc.

haha, if Dan doesn’t scrape up the dough, and fly over to see the fair.
talk about shit hitting the fan.
Dan was so crazy, you’d have to be a real fool to mess with him. and maybe that’s why he was, crazy mad. part of the downside of autism, is people thinking clueless means dumb.
and this is one time, the BIG MONEY did NOT win out.
the . . BIG RAGE won out.
and if Donald wanted to feel safe heading out to the Red Bar – on any given night – he did what he had to, he shelled out something like $60,000 to appease Dan.
that was a lot of money back in the 80s.
when the rents were cheap, sushi was not blown wide open dollar-wise . . and Pearl Paint was the go-to art supply emporium. and cheap . .

like I said, DAN wasn’t always broke, he just knew how to go broke. and, fast.
spending money was like an art form to him. he could spend it faster than anybody I’ve ever meet then or since.
well, Josh Harris comes in a close second . . oh god, just my luck, all the guys I depended on for work, were mad crazy with the money.

c’est la vie,
duppy don’t you come abotherin’ – me.
but you see that lawyer, go for the throat.
it’s the damn lawyers, rockin’ the boat.




~DAN ASHER . . BRANDON JOHNSON / ZING INTERVIEWS / ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST up-date


BRANDON JOHNSON, MANAGING EDITOR, ZINGMAGAZINE. NYC. APRIL 22, 2014.
AT THE ZINGMAGAZINE SOHO OFFICE – that’s DEVON DIKOU’S, ZINGMAGAZINE’S founder/editor/publisher . . ARTWORK on the WALLS.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

I went by the ZINGMAGAZINE very fashionable downtown office yesterday to meet with BRANDON JOHNSON, who is putting together a series of interviews with people who knew DAN, while they are still around (!!). the collected / edited interviews are scheduled to come out next Fall 2014 – in paperback format as a pre-packaged addition to that season’s ZINGMAGAZINE.

although it was great to learn of the project, and to share in Brandon’s plans – it was definitely bittersweet to remember so far back, and to miss not one, but 2 really close friends: DAN ASHER my friend and fellow high functioning (maybe !!) autistic, and SIMON CERIGO, father of my 2 kids, so-called hubby, (well it was pretty ok, for a while), and mostly – great great really missed: fellow art buddy, and talent scout.

Simon and Dan were joined at the hip, from the moment they meet, sometime in the summer’s heat of 1981 at the legendary Red Bar, in the East Village. I meet Dan shortly after, and we developed our own relationship, and we were very very close for many decades. Simon was to give Dan his first really serious shows at his short lived, but critically acclaimed SIMON CERIGO GALLERY on AVE A at 12th St. and I was to be Dan’s studio assistant, on and off during the years but esp from 1996 – 98, the years of the Iceberg photos, working for cash when he had it, or for (his) art work – when he didn’t.

how do you convey almost 3 decades of knowing someone as complicated, and contrary !! as Dan, or Simon for that matter. I esp felt the loss of Simon in speaking about Dan – as Simon had the oral knowledge, he had a mind like a huge roladex – he was a classic ‘flaneur’, and there is such a void on that level with him gone, it’s unbelievable how the art world gets up in the morning any more, without his daily ‘buzz’. Simon took a lot of stories, and even more rock solid knowledge with him, and I don’t see any . . clones. they were both severely under-estimated & under-valued by the mainstream scene in their lifetime – and maybe it is that void – that is making it more apparent just what gifts, natural born talents, and intense to the very last drop – those 2 guys had.

all I can say is, they sure don’t make characters like either one of them, any more – and how I survived it, living with them !! and how I survive their being gone – I just don’t know, my kids watch out for me, and they both know . . the legacy.

in fact I had to confer with my son, Theo (and yes, corny or not – me and Simon – did name him after Vincent V G’s younger bro – kindness to artists – and yes, apparently, he has lived up to the name . . last night to confirm a few facts – that Brandon brought up.

SPECIFICALLY: DAN & THE STOCK MARKET !!

yes, it is true that in 1995 DAN inherited, after a mad crazy legal battle with his dumb-ass brother, $400,000. yeah, I know that’s a lot of sushi !!

the deal was . . DAN was to keep $200,000 to fund living and art projects .. month long cruises to the Antarctic, & daily $400 sushi jaunts – anybody !!
and Simon invested the other $200,000, in Dan’s name – in APPLE STOCK.
the understanding being, that when the stock took off, which it did, big time !! Simon would get 10% of profits for the management/advice. so we all felt set for life, sure we would be millionaires in minimum 5 years time. APPLE was selling at $11 a share in 1995.

but, Dan just could not keep his autistic obsessive hands off the stash. despite many a screamin’ battle in the streets, and between the two, believe me Simon could scream louder . . Dan started pissing it away – on penny stocks. with Dan saying, “but it’s my money, Simon !!”.
sad story short – within 6 mos it was all gone, not just the entire $200,00 – but it’s vast vast potential. was Simon depressed, don’t even ask.
the opportunity – just flew though Dan’s ginger-stained hands like sand.
was Dan broke and starving. on the edge of apt eviction, and stressed for medical bills . . for the rest of his life ?
you guessed right, if you guessed: yes.

put it this way, Theo did the math – the $200,000 invested in APPLE in 1995 – would have been worth, easily . . $29 million, yes: 29 MILLION in 2010, the year Dan died. he could have been dipping into it, and taking out a nice chunk every year to live on, and paying us our share – and still, still he would have had – at the very least . . $10 more million in the fund.

it was a little hard for us to feel sorry for him, after that. esp when Dan had no money, we had no money, as we both worked for him in different capacities, and we, unlike him, had 2 young kids to feed and clothe. I mean we did feel sorry for him, but not as you would say . . in a ‘good’ way.

no wonder Dan had to turn to new, and younger friends, like BEN BERLOW . . who didn’t know, didn’yt have a clue, about the real bottom-line drop-off. I’m sure the hidden inner secret of his financial wipe-out, added to Dan’s inner stress, and countered any of the numerous homeopathic medications, he surrounded himself with, that’s for sure.

ah, of such stories, tragic character flaws, and major fuck-ups – Jackson Pollock had his groupie & speeding alcohol-driven car . . legends are born.

and if ‘autism-compensation’ telepathy extends to the after-life, I hope you guys are having fun up there, and . . please send a sign.
a little ‘HELLO NANCY’, sky-written across Manhattan, tomorrow – would . . suffice.

ps:

ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST, keep your grubby little paws off the content – or I swear I will sue you, and your publication for plagiarism. and up the wa-zoo. dude.
consider yourself warned . . you fake skank.
the Alfredo Martinez ‘rips’ in the New Yorker – were the last straw.

you, and . . that sleazy douchebag RICHARD PRINCE, cut from the same cloth.
landmark trademark decision re appropriation, my foot.
3 day old . . skanky ‘uni’ – is more like it.




~SIMON . . newspaper piece

likewise:

SIMON CERIGO, ‘Newspaper Piece’, early 1990s. acrylic & watercolor on New York Times, 12 x 22 in.

CURATED BY THEO CERIGO, NYC

PHOTO: THEO CERIGO




~NANCY . . watercolor

just so you know . . .

NANCY SMITH, watercolor. early 1990s. watercolor on arches paper. 18 x 24 in.

CURATED BY THEO CERIGO, NYC
PHOTO: THEO CERIGO




~BEN BERLOW . . RECENT WORK – OPENING PIX

‘BEN BERLOW – RECENT WORK’
opened SAT APRIL 12, 2014
the show runs thru MAY 18, 2014
RAWSON PROJECTS – 223 FRANKLIN ST, BROOKLYN, NYC
HRS: SAT & SUN / 1-7 PM


the gallery space was the perfect setting for viewing the work. serious, quiet, not too big. with nice clean, modern lines.
but, still lots of old time – character back outside on the street.

modern plate glass storefront windows allowed a flood of natural light to play up Ben’s nuanced color block hues, and, the seriously ‘off’ tonality of the work . . did well, in the natural light.
nice.

the plastic ‘fictional’ i.e. creative tensions on the paper, and the very real – real estate tensions . . outside in the street, kind of went hand-in-hand. the power plays of gentrification – starting to play hardball, wrecking havoc with the rents. people moving in, people moving out. some happy, some sad. like they say . . a million stories, nothing stays still for long, in this town.

just even on the very block of the gallery. you could feel it.
the contrast between the old walk-ups, the mom & pop hardware stores now shuttered, and with fading signs . . the chic hipster hang-outs, great pop-up restaurants, and the ‘rush’ of new beginnings. it’s not a matter of good or bad, it’s just . . the new wave, coming in like it always does. it’s classic New York City moment, it’s both exciting, and . . super fraught with tension.
yeah, Greenpoint was right at the tipping point, and just about to fall over on the other side, hard.
you could so feel the ‘pulse’ of change in the air, you could smell it.


the works were small, but strangely dynamic beyond their inherent scale . . each work on paper with its own ‘pulse’ . . talking bout, pulse. just saying.
the swings of their individual . . emotive and compositional range, each offering up a differing pictorial ‘focus’, or ‘story’ was clearly apparent – as the diversely proportioned selection . . ran playfully along the walls.


BEN BERLOW . . with JAMES MORRILL, a partner in the gallery.
as it happens, this gallery – RAWSON PROJECTS . . seems to have an unofficial ‘acorn fallen off the tree’ aspect, that tree being DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY in Chelsea, esp today with this show . . in that BEN BERLOW happens to be the registrar at Zwirner, while James Morrill is their Director of Finance.


meanwhile, CHRIS RAWSON, the other partner in the gallery, and from whom it takes its name . . is the archivist at ZWIRNER.
it’s always good to have a day job, when you are starting a new gallery, esp from the street up.
but when that day job provides experience, and gallery skills, not to forget the essential ‘networking’ . . it’s a no-brainer.


it was interesting to watch people really engage with the work. though the work seems simple at first glance, there is a lot of compression, both of ideas and forces . . in those defining lines, shapes, and color fields – that just open up, and, then . . like they say: game on.
as well there was something about the small scale of the work, as opposed to the huge color field paintings of many generations back by now, that brought the viewer ‘in’, as opposed to . . say, ‘taking over’.
it’s not as easy as you think, to carry that off.

so much so-called abstract art today, is just so bad, don’t get me started.
I’m talking 99% of it. I’m thinking, people who don’t know anything about art, turn to quote, abstract art because if they seriously can’t make heads or tails of it, that must make it . . good ?
when it’s really quite the opposite.
abstract art, good abstract art lays down a very very well written trail.


BEN BERLOW, ‘Untitled’, 2013. acrylic, gouache on paper. 33 x 25-1/4 in.
entrancing and tough, not too tough, and more entrancing. that’s ok with me.


the brown paper surface was an integral, intimate element of the work. it was all about a subtle universe of scale, where even the small crinkles of the paper, and its borders, including a serrated edge, played a part.
even the ‘commercialism’ of the paper, as well as the ‘found’ aspect – played into the whole story presented here. it was 24-7 pure / pictorial forces at work. no slackers.


small measures – became like tidal waves.
shadows, enter the equation, too.
it’s really, the work – not all that ‘flat’, or ‘still’ – as it appears to be on first impression.
no flat screen here.
it’s kinetic – in its own way. very subtle.
of course if you frame it, you are going to have to include a slight depth to the interior ‘box’ of the frame, and . . ‘floating’ the work – with no overlapping mat, is the only way to go.

it’s interesting to google Ben’s early work, and see just how focused, and evolved the journey has become.


BEN BERLOW, ‘Untitled’, 2013. Acrylic and gouache on paper. Two parts:
left: 25 x 7 in. / right: 25 x 9-1/2 in.
($2,250)

this piece was unique in that it was a two-parter.
the space between the two paper surfaces . . helped emphasize the contrasts, or dynamics at work.
though the color work was very very . . gentle.

it’s the opposing shapes, the way the borders, or edges get defined. and of course, the varying degree of ‘hue’ that is imparted to the paint areas.
the un-painted paper, what we call the negative space, took on an important role.
in a nutshell . .
it’s kind of a . . ‘shape-shifter’.

it struck me as very oriental in impulse, as well.
very zen. lots of opposition, but, no . . war !!


BEN BERLOW, ‘Untitled’, 2013. Casein on brown paper, graphite. 22.5 x 14 in.

I esp liked this piece, it plays out like a more apparent . . ‘puzzler’.
more straight-forward, less rounded, what can I say.
that about suits . . my mood these days.
no-nonsense, just show me the real stuff !!

and though, I was very happy just to gaze upon these works as pure non-objective abstraction . . poems without words, I did finally take the time to read an accompanying artist statement, a printed hand-out, available on the gallery reception desk, which takes the form of a ‘conversation with the gallery’. . in which you learn these pieces were done while Ben was lucky enough to be on a residency
in the rural countryside, specifically . . Steep Rock Arts, in Connecticut. and so yes there may be some residue of the sun’s orb, and the landscape in that ‘Two Parter’, or an actual barn roof rhythm in this one . . but, I think mostly what you feel, intuitively . . is that he got to really step back, and immerse himself in the solitude of being, and was able to slow down . . and really think. and . . feel. and then express that.
also you get a sense of his being so aware of how rare this is, in his life, in all of our fast paced lives, today. add to that, the super powerful feeling of knowing that this is . . just such a lucky break, such a special moment in your life, and . . yes, in such beautiful surroundings . .
going from the crazed hyper city to a sun speckled barn, with no worldly cares for the moment, is surely a transformative, powerful, maybe fleeting, but still . . zen state of mind.
but you don’t really need to know the specific background story – to pick up on the isolation, and wonder . . the focused, slowly realized energy forces that . . ‘flow’ through the the work.
the work has its voice, irregardless of what you know about Ben, or not.
but it was still very interesting to read, and all info . . is good.
but, talking about barns, and the countryside,
made me suddenly think about . . old quilts and rural quilt patterns, and I realized, maybe that’s why I can relate to these shapes – so much !!


detail.
yep, there was something, definitely .. . very quilt-like in this one !!
those early quilters even used to cut out their ‘template’ pattern pieces from common household brown paper – just like this, too.
and sometimes you can even see the pencil lines, traced on the material, some slips of the hand . . peeping out in the ‘geometry’ . . just like happens here, too.


talking about quilts, and zen-like paintings, and all things dear to my heart, including the recently departed ones, DAN ASHER and SIMON CERIGO . .

and Dan ?
DAN ASHER was like an uncle, to my kids. their very eccentric uncle !!
sushi dinners . . with booster seats – here we come !!
and believe it, they have lots of their own stories about Dan.
in fact, I hear an artists’ kid named Theo could pick up a small fortune in coins . . right off the floor, just by shifting a few books, and such . . when visiting Dan’s notoriously ‘squalid’ apt on 10th St – right across the street from the Russian baths, and nobody would know the difference, least of all, Dan.
Dan wasn’t always broke, he just always spent the money, and fast. til he did get good and broke !!
that’s Theo, looking a bit like his dad, Simon. in the face. the smile.
I hear it was: first, Dan’s – and then . . TOYS R US !!
and Simon would be like, Theo . . where’d you get all that money ?!!
he’s in finance now, something about bank derivatives and hedge funds so . . go figure, guess he liked rolling with . . lots of coins.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~BEN BERLOW . . ‘RECENT WORK’ – INTRO

artlovers is on a bit of a spring break.

as opposed to full-on ‘break down’, no holds barred, & no names left . . unturned.

next post goes live this FRI APRIL 18 – with GREAT PIX from the BEN BERLOW OPENING.

now that’s what I call serendipity !! cutting edge curatorial reporting.

I will say this, it was a fine night, the work was extremely engaging, and very focused.
it had the breath of . . new vision.
it was akin to listening to, well . . live music in some small venue, and you knew you were coming up roses.
the small crowd was so interesting, I swear you could think you saw Shoshanna, straight from GIRLS leaning against her pals, and then turn around, and she’d be gone. LENA did actually film on this street, or so I’m told.
Greenpoint is so interesting too – just starting to really free fall tumble into next wave gentrification. with it’s good and bad sides – there is no stopping the force of ‘progress’.

afterwards we strolled over to the Lobster Joint for you know what, mean and feisty lobster !!

do I recommend heading over there, to see Ben’s show this weekend, yes – I do !!


BEN BERLOW, ‘Untitled’, 2013. acrylic gouache on paper. 25 x 31 in.
the price range is roughly between $1,750 – $3,500.
very doable.


ok. I eat my words – if you want to talk to me about re-vitalized ‘abstract’ art, well you can . . start here. lyrical, and yet most def smart.
single-minded, cutting edge – and lands hard, and . . gentle !! plenty full of ‘poetic’ narrative – with an emphasis on composition, watch out . . geometry at play. to the point where it’s almost . . music. I was gonna say sushi, but maybe that’s a bit too loaded !!
and, color !! tell me about off-toned color . . with a capital ‘C’.
no wonder DAN took to Ben, like a duck to water.

‘BEN BERLOW – RECENT WORK’ . . . APRIL 12 – MAY 18, 2014.
RAWSON PROJECTS, GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN.

HRS: SAT & SUN / 1-7 PM

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~BEN BERLOW . . RAWSON PROJECTS, BROOKLYN

talk about . . timing !!
things are just spinning along, and in such good harmony.

BEN BERLOW . . the young executor of the DAN ASHER estate, who posted that wonderfully evocative interview with Dan in BOMB MAGAZINE, has a show of his own work opening . . TODAY.
SAT APRIL 12, 2014 / 6-8 PM

‘BEN BERLOW – RECENT WORKS’
RAWSON PROJECTS – 223 FRANKLIN ST, BROOKLYN / btwn FREEMAN ST. & EAGLE ST.
HRS: SAT & SUN: 1-7 PM
SUBWAY: G at Greenpoint Ave / L at Bedford

quite beautiful, serene, yet concise. fluid, elemental. rhythm.
lots of . . rhyming !!

as in: colorfield rhyming, compositional dynamic. tension. gesture. definition, feeling.

interestingly, this piece by BEN BERLOW appears to be painted on ‘found’ paper, maybe a large brown paper grocery shopping bag ?
DAN ASHER and SIMON CERIGO both worked on found, easily available . . newspaper sheets, of actual media printed newspaper . . specifically, the New York Times.
this is a way more ‘durable’ selection.
though later on, Dan did turn to some very expensive artists’ papers, often in a colored tint, whereas Simon stuck with the newspaper format, as he was always interested in the background news – the story, and its accompanying image(s) . . which would then become a starting point for his work.

Dan was very internal in his work, whereas Simon was always looking outside for what was going on . . around him. Simon’s ‘newspaper’ pieces are somewhat fragile, but if you spray them with archival ‘PAPER SAVER’ – that does stabilize them, and they will not turn yellow or brittle over time.
the process does not affect the paper in anyway, except to deacidify it.




~DAN ASHER . . GHOST gets final word

oh brother, look what I found.
this is one hell of a persistent . . undead, or what ?!!

DAN ASHER at his GBE/PASSERBY opening, ‘BIRD OF PREY’, OCT 14, 2005.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH

his t-shirt reads:

MY SHITTY ATTITUDE IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

see: DAN ASHER exhibits . . 2005

we didn’t have $2 between us that night.
end of story.

it’s not the first time in art history that “too successful” rhymes with . . “desperate”, as in no dough. zero, zip, broke. jumping turnstiles.
and, no. a chauffeur-driven Escalade ride, just doesn’t cut it.
thanks. but no thanks.
and, make your own rep. while you are at it.

I heard autistic people harbor feuds, can that be true ?
all I can say, don’t tread on – me.
might come across clueless. definite, NOT.
just flying, autistic-like – right the hell over your head.
all radar.
on telepathic . . wings.

R.I.P. SIMON CERIGO and DAN ASHER.

being caught between the two of you . . man, that was some fun sandwich !!
spicy tuna sushi roll, anybody ?
slash, slash.