forget GONE GIRL, it’s pretty much . . gone planet.
say good bye to life . . as we knew it.

OPENS NEXT FRI, OCT 10, 2014 / 6-8 PM
the show runs thru NOV 26, 2014


we are – as a bio-people residing on this increasingly fragile bio-sphere, ENVIRONMENTALLY . . INCORRECT !!
MUCHO – !!

I noticed this lead item in the SPACE 1026 Store, PHILLY
gotta love it.
I wonder if ANDREW JEFFREY WRIGHT is behind this ? in some zany, super consciousness way, for sure. that guy as I re-call times I’ve seen him and /or his work in NYC – has a wicked sly sense of humor, and in fact many of his art pieces – did involve animal illustrations – in ridiculous situations ?

the drawing, the cuteness of the line quality defies verbalization – is just as impressive as the subversive but eloquent message – it just screams ‘dark humor’, but so low-key. so off the wall, so politically incorrect.

JACOB MARCINER, ‘Pizza Squirrel Coasters’ – image: SPACE 1026

a little more searching in the store – reveals JACOB MARCINER to be the comicbook-leaning ‘smart-ass’ artist behind the ‘chic-est’ 4 pack coaster set, I’ve seen in along time.
it’s yours for all of $18 – set of 4.
that’s a nice punch for $18. they are screen printed on reclaimed wood paneling and there are only 5 left (!!) in stock – so go for it.

I say . . Politically Incorrect, because in reality – that cute & cuddly image is both friendly . . feed your local wildlife a slice of pizza (?) but, ultimately heart-breaking.

esp in light of how desperate things are in the world, as a whole – where we don’t feel safe anymore. and we might just regress back to placating the (Greek) gods. I was going to say, riding the subway in NYC is such a rush. like playing Russian Roulette big-time, but I mean – that is really really POLITICALLY INCORRECT !!

but also more specific to the animal world. talking about endangered PANDAS (Rob Pruitt) and sick DOLPHINS (Andrew Guenther).

the world does so dig AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, or what !!

see: Ice Melting – forces 35,000 stranded WALRUS to gather on shore neat Point lay, ALASKA – in absence of their natural habitat at this time of year: sea ice.

my . . how things have changed.
this used to be the face of POLITICALLY INCORRECT !!

vintage ‘MEXICAN’ souvenir – coasters.
bought at my local thrift shop, ($1.99 for a set of 4 in mint condition), a big ole Salvation Army a few years back, and treasured ever since. for what it says about the world we live in & how we use everyday art to express our feelings.

just an aside:
and yep, they finally found a way to deal with all those scrappy undocumented ‘aliens’ – thank you ISIS, for the opportunity to build up our army again.
and by so doing, finally solve the thorny issue of a Path to Citizenship for all the (prob millions) young, strong-bodied South American immigrants who came here as children – with no paperwork !!
see, there always is a SILVER LINING in the . . cloud.

I’m showing you the reverse, for 3 reasons.

1. no, I did not photoshop that image – truth is stranger than fiction.
2. it’s got a great vintage background (floral) pattern.
3. and, insult to injury – it’s . . MADE IN TAIWAN.


~BEN FURGAL . . sent in some pix !!


‘DESCRIBE THE PHENOMENA’ – Paintings and Sculptures by BEN FURGAL
SEPT 15 – SEPT 28, 2014

and check out: MAGIC PICTURES !!

BLACK LIGHT, or what !!!!!!!



also trending this week.

see: the ‘CURIOSITY’ rover on Mars has spotted a rock . . . .
what’s so interesting is not so much that it looks like an earth-based ‘traffic light’, but that the ‘rock’ and the vertically (perfectly) sliced rock formations behind – look manipulated, hand-made, in effect: DIY !! organic erosion, not !!
I don’t think it looks so much like a traffic light as it does a piece of spaceship hardware – that fell off.

as for terrorism, it was just such a beautiful gorgeous light-filled, sunny, fresh Fall day, in 2001 – where you woke up, and felt anything was possible, that the Twin Towers pancaked down.
life is reading more & more . . like a 70s comic book, Moebius . . desert rats, outer space, and all.
listen, if you couldn’t play around with ‘black light’, and all your future was about, was being held back, and selling trinkets in a hot dusty flea market, with goat bells tinkling in the background & fed extremist religious tracts with no room for questioning – while jet-setting Dubai / Saudi sheiks party on . . you might be brandishing a gun too. is being able to ‘dialog’, question, confront, seek freedom – a cultural trait ? a universal aspect of humanity, a basic tenet of civilization. or is it learnt. are we hard-wired . . as much for freedom of thought, as for fighting over territory. I don’t think so.
big questions. well, at any rate comic books were in on this – forever. I was going to say comic books are so under-rated, but from a tiny comic book a huge film industry did grow.

if you ever think about how we got here, and ok there was a big bang, but where did that come from, at this point – you might be tempted to revive the ancient Greek thinking on this. like maybe we are comic (!!) cosmic ‘gladiators’ – put on this planet to battle it out – for the sake of some god’s merriment, or gambling bet.

space travel vs terrorism . . the stuff of comic books, yeah. and I hate to say this, but also if the that earlier page turner, the Bible. it’s really friggin hard to get your head around the dual polarity of the excitement of space exploration vs the primal tragedy of terrorism.
yin yang – old Chinese proverb.
something about the 2 opposing forces that makes an (infinite) CIRCLE !!

I love black light, so . . FAR OUT !!!

~BEN FURGAL . . SPACE 1026 / PHILLY / last weekend to catch . .

SEPT 5 thru SEPT 28, 2014

heads up, all you thinkers, dreamers, and SCIENTISTS !!
and, PLEASE PLEASE remain . . CALM, & OBJECTIVE !!
whilst retaining the MAGICAL !!

artist, curator, musician (EVIL SWORD) & co-director of MAGIC PICTURES BEN FURGAL is on the loose and playing with fire, er UFO’S . .
and, damn it – if he ain’t talkin . . BLACK LIGHT !!
and . . DIAGRAMS !!
for sure, BEN’S got a foot in the ANDREW GUENTHER / ROB PRUITT camp, or what / !!
anybody . . out there ?!!!!!!!

we’ll let BEN tell you all about the show – in his own words via his MAGIC PICTURES SITE.
check it out for the full text.
nice texting – BEN.

SPACE 1026 & BEN FURGAL . . also produced some great limited edition BLACK LIGHT POSTERS for the show . .
designed by BEN & printed by EMILIA BRINTNALL, it’s a limited edition of 50, with each & every poster signed by each artist.
at $25 a pop – that’s a steal. or in other words: a whole lotta BIG MAGIC !!
available online from MAGIC PICTURES/store.


that should last me a day or so,
or at least until the next time I see a mushroom-shaped UFO, and all the time/space traveler/tourists inside are waving hello !! at me !! must have been a CRUISE SHIP, UFO.
yeah, instead of scribbling in black sharpie on my brand new white nylon hoodie bomber jacket,
“I just saw a UFO and so did JOHN LENNON”, I’ll definite try to remember those cautionary words, well mostly because, who knew . . black sharpie runs – in the rain on nylon !!

actually, true story: I once wore the jacket to a Rob Pruitt opening, in fact the one before his iPhoto show – and he actually asked my friend . . “who did the writing on her jacket” ?!!!!
I almost died for . . happiness.
oh yes, a little recognition goes a long way.
see – everything comes round, eventually.
life is one big hook-up – even in the Big Apple.

UP-DATE: 1:31 PM – NYC

I think Joan Rivers was right, you still gotta laugh, god forbid . . you should have to cry.
Joan Rivers, RIP. I’d like to hear her take on this.
(Kathy Griffin – a very bad idea, bye the way. just let KELLY OSBOURNE run the show, for awhile and have a lot of guests, like Jesse J and show some respect . . for one-of-a-kind talent.
E channel . . take it slow. don’t be so damn desperate.)
the next Julian Schnabel isn’t a pseduo-Julian guy’s guy, it’s . . Jean Michel. the next Jean Michel isn’t the next cute Basquiat look-alike, it’s Sean Vegezzi.

funny how the more magic the world gets, in the face of darkness.
just get . . your magic on.

I just want to have this on the record.

just to show you what kind of world we live in,

I guess it isn’t funny to say, when the going gets tough think: magical. this is,
well, this is what you get when you hard-wire a species to territorial violence. I mean these guys have nothing to do over there. no science, no music, no art. no no nada. fascist mindset.
while we are . . all culture. 110%.
as they say, big gap. big problem.
anybody listening, out there.

the fascist mindset. all black and white, no imagination – locked into a corner, cornered is not a good thing. sounds like a ROB PRUITT scenario I just saw, with the little black cat trying to get down.

in fact.
I had a cat when I was growing up, she was all black, with one white paw, and I named her ISIS after the Egyptian goddess. I was like, 7. so, boo ya. so, all my secret answers to my all os / password questions are: what was the name of your first pet, and . . you know it.
everything comes round. if NSA is scanning for passwords . . they got me.

I wanna say, maybe that’s the first step in really comprehending: the infinite. infinity.
truly thinking past the diminished ‘secular’ dimensions of the truly shallow 3-D ‘bio’ plane we currently inhabit, even though all basic cultures on this planet believe/d in other-ly spirits, ghosts, and afterlife, of some sort.
but it’s too optimistic.
I will be eating my words like a sad Joan Rivers, making fun of North West – the cutest baby on the face of the earth. knock on wood. if anything goes wrong. my kids saw the World Trade Centers go down, now they gotta send me links to this . . scheisse ?!!
I bet every parent in NYC – is thinking this.
so uncool. so un-evolved.
I brought kids into the world . . for this ?

I wanna say, where’s my ghost army.
but look what China did to Tibet.

can’t the opposing ghost armies just fight it out, among themselves – up there in the 4th dimension.
of course Bob Marley’s ghost army is gonna win ?!!
damn, I knew the taliban blowing up those 2 huge ancient rock Buddhas in Afghanistan, was a BAD IDEA.

where’s that god damn UFO tourist ship ?
come on, suck up those bad dudes, already.
or do we all look the same from a distance. we all suck, basically. art world included.
I mean come on . . 3/4 of it is a mean & nasty scam.
otherwise you would NOT be reading this.

as for the the most intimate ‘bio’ unit.
I could personally kill my thieving Aunt Piggy . . don’t get me started.
as for marriage. don’t get me started, either. we all know you kill the one you love.
don’t wish for . . does come to mind.

on a happier, more pro-‘creatives’, creativity . . note,

I wanna say look what the black slaves did here, I mean they were brought here against, AGAINST their will and mistreated beyond the beyond, but they had music, ok trite but I’m trying to say it in a nutshell / blogger time . . and, they believed in God perhaps even more than their ‘oppressors’, they sought refuge in that spirituality, and expressed themselves in that powerful music – that begat SISTER ROSETTA, and JAMES BROWN . . and we all know America runs on the power, the legacy of their blues, gospel . . their music. I mean . . they became our strength. seriously.
who would have known when we brought them here. kicking and screaming, in chains.

I mean white American culture was the SHAKERS, the AMISH, the Puritans think on that !!
the mind-set of the witch hunters. the scarlet letter. repression, and hypocrisy with a capital, R and H.
the Shakers, nice artifacts, great art on many levels. but no sex, not even for reproduction. never mind no music. talk about your ‘literal ‘bio’ dead end.
so thank god for Black Americana. just compare the archival photos of Shaker elders to the ole time Br’er Rabbit folks. Shaker ‘shaking’ vs. the cake walk. jumping the broomstick. if you study quilts – you can really understand how the ‘improvisation’ mindset, in a word: Jazz, juke . . how it shook up, enriched the whole European straight-lace right angle edge thing, seriously those guys over there need a little more rock and roll, and whole lot less repression.

ok so, I took it for a . . a little, ok, a long and personal walk around the block, so sue me.
I’m a New Yorker.

~ANDREW GUENTHER . . is anybody out there ? ROB & ANDREW WANT TO KNOW.

ROB & ANDREW, 2 crazy guys want . . to K-N-O-W.

is anybody out there, thinking ?
listening, evolving ?

detail, ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Cola’.

it’s interesting to consider how ANDREW GUENTHER’S work . . ‘implies’ an audience.
so does ROB PRUITT’S.

I mean some work, says: LISTEN UP !! – the CINDERS’ crew.
some say: what’s up / !! – Muddguts !!
some say: jump on it !! – Johan Kugelberg
and, others go the lonely lone ranger route – PAT McCARTHY, the Bushwick pigeoneer.

oh, I almost forgot, 15 WARREN / 170 SUFFOLK the SEAN VEGEZZI CREW, they say: WE NAILED IT !!
we nailed it. we popped up, and we STOLE THE NIGHT . . the scene, your world as you wish it was, safe – NOT !!

ROB PRUITT and ANDREW GUENTHER are saying: anybody . . out there (with half a brain) ?

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Cola, Level 1, 1-UP’, 2014.
acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.

1-UP ?

listen up, people. honey bees are smarter than we are.

ROB PRUITT, Cardboard Monster: ‘Michele’ Baled cardboard, socks, shoes (all man-made materials), refitted electric clocks, wood, Comme des Garcons Odeur 53, wood, extension cord, 2010.
image: Gavin Brown’s enterprise

here’s looking at ya – know you out there !!
why ya gotta be so . . . dumb ?



Andrew, Andrew, Andrew !!

opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
the show ran until SEPT 21, 2014

ANDREW GUENTHER at the opening . . with his painting, ‘Ice Channels’, 2014.

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.

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Ice Channels’, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 40 in.

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.

detail, ‘Ice Channels’.
. . nuff said !!

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.

from left:

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.


cartoon-y & scientific, all at once, you are just waiting for it to ‘light up.’
simple shapes, speaks . . volumes.
diagrams are – basic communication. with a capital ‘C’.
write your own: caption.

ANDREW GUENTHER, ‘Splitting Off’, 2007. acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 in.

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.
watch out.
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.


from left:
BL’EVE BROWN, Derrick’s brother, of BBM / BL’EVE BROWN MEDIA, curator DERRICK B. HARDEN / ‘DEAR DERRICK’ & singer/songwriter MEKA.

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.

just as fab, crazy and funny. wicked smart, on the street sly and totally anonymous.
Rob and Andrew, what can I say, just 2 crazy guys.

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’.


~ROB PRUITT . . Multiple Personalities / revised MON SEPT 22

. . talk to me !!

ROB PRUITT – ‘Multiple Personalities’
opened SAT SEPT 13, 2014
runs thru OCT 25, 2014
Gavin Brown’s enterprise – 620 GREENWICH ST, WEST SIDE, NYC

for sure, I caught ROB PRUITT’S opening this past Saturday.
multiple personalities ?
more like . . bi-polar split !!
I needed a little time to think about it.
a two-headed monster of an exhibit – if I ever did see one !!
it spoke with a real rush, the ‘studio love seats’ – to our collective, smart-ass media-driven ‘ups’ – and to our deeper . . ‘downs’, the ‘suicide paintings’ which captured the less obvious spiritual longings, and the secret, non-verbal . . self-reflections, we al carry within.
only YOU . . can be a mirror into YOUR OWN SOUL ?
in a word: communication.

the show started off really anonymously, if you didn’t already know Rob Pruitt’s penchant for DIY water fountains.
just another white pick-up truck on the street, no fanfare.
very Americana.

ROB PRUITT at the opening, seemed to be gathering his thoughts – harnessing the multiple personalities ?

ROB PRUITT, ‘Studio Love Seat (Orgy)’, 2014. marker on couch, 57 x 30 x 28-1/2 in.

note the ode to JEFF KOONS, at left.

the start of the show hit you in the face, with quite the opposite smack of the soft-pedaled lo-fi water fountain, outside . . in fact it seemed to me – that this was the ‘multiple personalities’ (duh) theme of the show in action: quiet contemplation (running water), smack (wise-cracking furniture), self-therapy (free-form primitive gesture painting), and finally a good sobering dose of inner reflection, termed: suicide . . (paintings), but if suicide is that beautiful – let me in.

though just for a day, life on planet earth calls (his 2014 calendar on the front office walls).
the inner and the outer states of being . . ‘bio’, man.
being human is . . complicated.
self-expression, how we deal with the larger culture that screams around us, & finally – contemplation of the . . inner infinite.

what’s larger, what’s the bigger force ?
the huge media circus we live in, or the infinite unknown . . within/without ?

money over bitches . . right on.

ROB PRUITT, ‘Studio Love Seat (Studio Assistants)’, 2014.
marker on couch, 57 x 30 x 28-1/2 in.

this one in particular . . was talkin’ right at me.

when will mom die ?

Julian Schnabel is my life coach ?!!!


. . . in pursuit of magic.

around these couches was arranged a circle, more or less, of standing lunch ‘tables’ – with pretty much the same sort of cultural wise-crackin’, the exact kind – you need to get thru life these days.

with a kind of cosmic scary – rigid fascist black and white pattern, beyond them.
in my mind – it’s a metaphor . . for the religious fascist fanatic mindset out there, in the ‘beyond’, vs the creative freedom we find here ?

Rob also seems to have adopted, maybe ‘branded’ is the better word – a more standard black & white checkerboard platform – to visually high-light the free-form & text-driven ‘creative’ on the up-right lunch tables, and also uses them as contrasting ‘foils’ aka platforms – for the collage message board ‘love seats’, too.
again, personality . . splits.

and checkerboard . . marks the s-p-a-c-e.

see: GBE archive

a little hand-built cat – looked to be carefully finding the way . . down ?

but what I really liked, in this play into the space of the gallery, were the ordinary sand bags mooring the tables from tipping over.
what did I like so much about them ? I liked how they were so ordinary, so causal, yet so functioning – so anonymous – just like the pick-up truck outside.
but I also liked them for the continuity they offered me. they made me think of the quelle fun journey into clay, muddguts, ebay bowling, and pigeons I took this summer, ending up with Pat McCarthy’s miniature cinder blocks – in Satan Ceramics. how fun. sand bags to mini cinder blocks – well, that’s how my personality breaks . . down. nice touch.
a down-to-earth detail in a prism of conceptual-ism . . . throw me a bread crumb, and I’ll run with it, any day.

well you could peruse those couches, and up-right tables . . for a few hours, I’m sure.
but damn, do I feel alone ? yes.
and does the world feel shitty, most times, yes ?!!

for such a successful artist, Rob sure harbors some pretty dark thoughts.
multiple personalities, anybody ?
or just the world . . how the world turns.
life is shitty, and then you die.

ROB PRUITT, ‘Suicide Paintings’, 2014.
acrylic on linen, 81 x 108 in.

well, with thoughts like that – no wonder his mind turns to . . suicide ?

ROB PRUITT, ‘Suicide Paintings’, 2014.

well, first off – I’ll let somebody else talk about the sand scattered all about, but esp I liked, and wondered about how these reflective surfaces – came across as so inward-directed ?
washing over me like . . the sea, waves ?

was infinity . . inward or outward ?
or – is that the point ?
endless circle with no beginning, no end.

also really, really liked how the outer ‘borders’ had been kept so minimal, and gray.
again, check out his archive.

though it struck me as a little off-key that these inward reflections, paintings so sophisticated in their ‘soul-catching’, as well as their rendering . . would lead into a room of free-form primal ‘dalliances’, the so-called ‘Therapy’ paintings.
but maybe – that was the point.

transcendence vs day-to-day anxiety.

maybe they were there for people who can’t understand art – unless it has a gestural arm movement ?
maybe they were there to highlight the experience of the room before ?
the room before was like looking into . . mother-of-pearl.
this room was akin to confronting inner insecurity, and bad demons ?
multiple personalities.

and then it all wraps up, with a . . 2014 calendar.
all I can say is: busy, busy, busy, esp for a guy with multiple personalities, maybe he needs to slow down.
just joking :)

loved the homage to Mr. Helvetica himself, MASSIMO VIGNELLI, RIP.

so where am I . . in this shooting star, spurting bio-ness 12 month cosmic chart ?
along with . . PHARRELL WILLIAMS !!
fab fab and more fab.

looks like, MARC JACOBS shares my special day. lucky number 9.

they made some gorgeous posters for the show . . . a suicide painting.
those suicide paintings were my absolute fav.
I’d take that suicide trip-tych – in the front alcove, all 3, hands down, in a split second.
and, well . . maybe the truck fountain too.
for sure.

ROB PRUITT, and I go back a long way.
I can be a big mouth, that’s for sure.

rain in the fountain, rain in the streets – I felt like I living in a technicolor movie world, as I left the opening, and moved on to . . the GOWANUS CANAL, water, water, everywhere.

to check out . . .


and, I would have been feeling mighty shitty, and pretty grouchy myself – if I had had to hoof it by foot & mass transport over to Gowanus . . which is what my past, as my ghostman DAN ASHER would say … 30 shitty years in New York as a hardcore prankster, or is that hustler – boiled down to, hoofing it. except now I have my kid with his wheels driving me around, so. so – what a difference a set of wheels make.
multiple personalities sure do melt away, on the wheels of a fast, sleek car in the rain.


~am I wrong ? nope, porcelain & clay . . rule.

I got so spooked by my over-the-top enthusiasm for the SATAN CERAMICS crew, that that night I had a huge bad dream: my next door neighbor was hurling fleshy just dead pigeons . . into my yard & thus into my head !!
thud, thud, they just kept on coming, the inner body, just behind the thick muscles of those strong pigeon thighs – was evil-looking, juicy and . . red. otherwise, the evil-omen birds were all black and white.
‘death metal’ black, and scary ghostly white.

but then when I awoke, I caught sight of the new LENA DUNHAM as a classical white statue, on the cover of the NEW YORK TIMES CULTURE MAGAZINE !! and, I knew – I was right.
Lena alookin’ like . . porcelain. damn.
plus note: the background is all . . ‘death metal’ BLACK !!
ok, so – it’s marble they were going after, but still it looked pretty antique MEISSEN porcelain to me. same aesthetic, shiny white surface, voluptuous lines, classical.

and what did I tell you – you, Satan is a she-demon !!
yeah, Lena Dunham – that bad / that good.

LENA DUNHAM, photo-illustration by VICTORIA DIEHEL, modeled after ‘Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’ by ANTONIO CANORA, completed between 1804 & 1808.

read the back story: Under Cover: On Turning Lena Dunham into a neo-classical bust / NEW YORK TIMES – THE 6TH FLOOR

where they also have a super fun video of the behind-the-scenes . . transformation.

see: A Classics Curator’s Homer Renovation – Wall Street Journal

then, there was this !!
the very same weekend, a huge illustration of an antique ‘mixing bowl’, showing the killing of the Greek King Agamemnon, created around 460 BC. an Athenian vase painting. in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal.

if that wasn’t a dead ringer for MARY FREY’S pieces in the SATAN CERAMICS show – what was it ?
also note: the ‘death metal’ . . black background.

the image was used to highlight a new configuration of classical treasures at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, incorporating 250 (!!) pieces . . and, this very SATAN CERAMICS piece was chosen out of a most vast & incredible field to stand for hat would attract out attention – the most.

so there.

SATAN CERAMICS – rules. it was not just group thrill, it was street smarts as applied to classical ceramics – the ‘scale’ of objects going against the ‘functional’ grain, the individual artists’ vision superseding . . form follows function. it was about fresh raw energy meets dynamic staging, and four authentic artist voices – are set free.
hand-built clay = inspiration / juice & sets the bar, for the art season, fall 2014.

and I still really like the resonance of the youngest member of the group – PAT McCARTHY’s mini concrete cinder block – which holds down his mini pigeon coop – coming across as an homage to the group’s ceramic guru, JJ PEET, and his miniaturized tiny tea cup & one stem flower vases.

as per above, MARY FREY – is right on the cultural dot.

and even TOM SACHS rides in, a hand-built future vision hero, dare I say his NASA branded bowl – equates with cultural icon Lena Dunham ?
it’s a bit of a stretch, bite-the-dust metaphor – BUT, it is there . . . if you look for it !!


this show is just way off the CHARTS.


the show runs thru OCT 25, 2014
and features ceramic work by: MARY FREY, PAT McCARTHY, JJ PEET & TOM SACHS

omg – the opening was HUGE !! just like the good ole days !!

on the left: SALON 94 founder, JEANNE GREENBERG ROHATYN, with pal ERIN.
JEANNE looking g-o-o-d, but esp like they always do – when they have connected hard.
damn, did she just score . . and, opening game of the season.
relevancy, skills, future vision, in-your-face-punk. 3D ceramics ?!!!
death metal black glaze ? check.

everybody needs a little downtown street creed, now and then – even Salon 94.

even big daddy himself, JULIAN SCHNABEL was there, and looking spiffy, or what !!

mega-collector ALBERTO MUGRABI, keeping it on the down-low, don’t be fooled.
caught him seriously engaged with the PATRICK McCARTHY tablet wall.

we’ll let comic book artist DREW MILLER . . represent all the new kids, the electric new wave of young talent that has recently stormed onto the scene, just waiting for their next big move – to make their own big burning mark !! about to tip the island, watch out.
ever heard of ‘POOR THING – NUMBER ONE’ ?
well, now you HAVE !!


JJ PEET, apparently the master of cutting-edge clay and zen-like glazes – the SATAN CERAMICS guru himself.
what could be better, than a natural born trouble maker, basking in the limelight of achievement ?

he was sipping from a (his) tiny hand-made tea cup.
this is so . . what we mean by great art has – juice . .
though this guy looked to have a very dry, and tres sly !! sense of humor.
contrarian or what. form follows function – !! not.
I guess that’s the satanic part – stepping out.
anybody who says that contemporary art doesn’t involve skills – get outta my way.

JJ PEET, stoneware.
note . . the BIG RED BRICK.

X marks the spot.
JJ PEET, ‘BRICKVACE_3’, 2014, Porcelain, 3 x 3 x 3 in.

Clay makes bricks, bricks make houses.
when a vase has a (design) face – clay makes a brickvace !!

JJ PEET, ‘BRICKVACE_19’, 2014. Porcelain, 3 x 3 x 3 in.
really . . through the LOOKING GLASS !! ALICE et al.
note: the shadows, very magical installation. something the gallery website, which is very staid and formula uptown – did not catch.
except for that logo – the SATAN CERAMICS logo was GREAT. the T shirts were selling like hot cakes, $20 a pop.
we got it. we got 3.

Porcelain, aluminum, electronics, rubber. 6 x 12 x 8 in.
don’t tell me contemporary art isn’t . . relevant.
tribal knowledge meets modern technology . . head-on.
capital C – for communication. and, creativity.
artists and scientists, rule.
including skilled, and witty – ceramists . . who are both.


MARY FREY, ‘Catcher’, 2014.
stoneware/underglaze/carbon fiber. 5 x 5 x 5 in.
that orange, with all that black and white, in the room – is to die for.
just gorgeous. fab fab fab.

looking at MARY FREY’S . . ‘FRUIT BOWL’, 2014.
Porcelain/death metal black underglaze. 10 x 10 x 10.5 in.

Porcelain, death metal black underglaze. 8.5 x 6.5 x .5 in.

TOM SACHS, now there’s a story.

English porcelain, temple white glaze, NASA red engobe, reduction fired. 3.75 x 4.75 x 5 in.

he is SO ambitious, and he is such an easy target – sometimes we all gang-up and go a little rough on him, but if he was ever born to make art, he was born to make this piece !!
doesn’t matter what he did in the past, doesn’t matter what he does . . in the future. as far as I’m concerned – I am giving him one big pass to last a lifetime – to the genuine art strivers Hall of Fame – with this one. he has finally lived up to his future vision, pseudo fabrication dreams. what was it I read about his wedding, “ALBERT EINSTEIN meets Bart Simpson.” hmmm. yep.
absolutely BRILLIANT. beautifully rendered, perfect scale.
he should make a whole dinner set of these and send them to the President of the United States. they should make at least one of these mandatory equipment on space ships. art + science – the future of the world – in your hands.

and don’t forget the . . past. the skills, the human bio-ness of the race. the great achievements, the uneven lurches forward.
function, color red, code logo, all in the palm of your hand.

porcelain, 2.5 x 4.375 x 4 in.

speechless, who knew the guy could hand-build ?

beautiful balance, and I don’t mean just the hand-built vessel, exquisite balancing act. the imbedded branding, the fab glaze etc, etc.

I mean the whole installation itself, the wooden raw edges of the display shelves, the lighting – which threw graceful, lingering, defining and dancing delicate shadows on the 3D objects, 3D !! – after-all.
they should have posted the exhibit pix with the installation accents, not stripped them down to be so bland and bare – on white sheet backgrounds.

I mean, all the better for me !!
ace photog that I am.
I mean where would I be – in a perfect – world ?
where would any of us be – in a perfect world. hoo-ray for hand built pottery.
and zen-like glazes, tiny scales, and nonsensical form.
all inter-relating like a roomful of swaying Tibetan prayer bells.

which brings us to . . .

aka the Pigeoneer of BUSHWICK !!

the last time I saw him was in this tiny show in a tiny, but concept-wise immense !! – storefront gallery in Brooklyn called MUDDGUTS, and deservedly, so.

MUDDGUTTS to . . SALON 94, even FREEMANS ALLEY – now that’s what I call an . . ‘ascent’.
Pat, he must have been watching his birds in flight, take off. or what. we outta here.
we out.

PAT McCARTHY, porcelain hi-rise pigeons perches.

Pat told me he had made all new work for this show – in the 2 weeks since I had swung by that classic underground moment of a show, PAT’S PIGEON CLUB. ROOF SUPPLYS, FANZINES, BIRD TALK !!

we had had a huge Pigeon club talk on his, then, all-white glazed, with very zen touches – porcelain hi-rise perches, about pigeons and their amazing eye sight, all the better to soar.

and, here were Pat’s pigeon perches v.2 – accessorized with little ‘stripes’ of nicely ‘keyed’ glaze color – all the better to get back home to your own special perch. apparently it’s not just us humans that are – deathly . . territorial.

Pat told me .. “I found my color.”
we outta here – or what ?

PAT McCARTHY – mini coop !!

if you peered inside – you could just make out a miniature set of his signature porcelain hi-rise pigeon

see ’em ?

I don’t know if this was an ode to a long lost hero of the Lower East Side mean streets, or if this signaled this mini coop – was actually home to a special dude pigeon – named . . Joey, of course.

the mini coop – from the back, note that concrete block – extreme left bottom corner.

yeah, sweet. satanic !!
tongue-in-cheek sweet.
a mini concrete brick.

holding everything down. holding everything . . together.
don’t they say, god is in the details.

and so the wild rush of a Satanic circle – that is SATAN CERAMICS . . that began with a big red brick . . ends with a tiny gray one. what a nice touch, what a nice metaphoric rhyme.
all things come round.
what a nice – throw-down to the mentor, JJ PEET.

just goes to show . . like in science, like in art – like in life.
there’s always truth in real pottery, I mean !! – poetry !!
what comes around, goes around. ancient arts, new minds.



DEDICATED TO THE DARK EVENTS of 9/11/01 & the generation that grew up in their shadow.

on my way to the evening’s huge blast of a opening, SATAN CERAMICS at SALON 94 FREEMANS, pix posting tomorrow – I happened upon the shows of 2 new artists to the scene, DARJA BAJAGIC and TOM COSTA. both of whom, although young & supposedly hopeful – expressed very dark thoughts.
I also ran into JORDAN CASTEEL, another young painter recently located to NYC – in person.

Mr. Costa’s vision was more looking out, and the look was devastating. Ms. Bajagic’s dark rumblings – seeped up from deep inside.

the ironic part was JORDAN CASTEEL, a young artist whose studio I had visited a couple of years back at the YALE GRADUATE FINE ARTS PROGRAM OPEN STUDIOS. she told me she had her first solo show in New York, currently up at SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS, located deeper into the fringes of the Lower East Side. titled ‘Visible Man’, it comes down this weekend, so you can still catch it.
what struck me, looking up the work on the gallery website – was that her work was . . optimistic, and hopeful, if complicated and . . deep.

TOM COSTA, in front of his painting. he has 3 canvases in this group show.
SEPT 3 – OCT 12, 2014.

TOM COSTA, apocalyptic vision or what.

TOM COSTA, ‘Window 5’, 2014. oil on canvas.
30 x 52 in. ($3,500)
. . a startling glimpse through the crowd.

detail, TOM COSTA, ‘WINDOW 5’.

TOM COSTA, ‘DRACK’ – image via his website: TOM COSTA
TOM COSTA has an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2004, and he seems to have showed some very cool, sleek future vision paintings – at Audio Visual Arts/AVA in NYC, in 2009.
definitely check out that website.

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Come to the Dark Side We Have Cookies !!!’, 2014.
mixed media on canvas, 53 x 76.25 in.

DARJA BAJAGIC showed ‘assemblage’ works over at ROOM EAST. very graphic, very dark – her work, was about – growing up ?

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Cold Comfort’
SEPT 7 – OCT 5, 2014

detail, DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Come to the Dark Side We Have Cookies !!!’, 2014.
all about the young ROOKIE gen chicks – 2 sides of the coin, look out !!

looking very . . eerily like the Twin Towers – or what ?!!!!

yep, welcome to my world – the devil, SATAN . . is a YOUNG DEMON MEAN GIRL.

DARJA BAJAGIC . . . ‘Welcome to the Dark Side, Surprised we lied about the Cookies ?’

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘Evil’, 2014
UV print on aluminum, 50 x 35 x 0.25 in.

detail, ‘Evil’.
the photo seemed to be a blow-up of a stitched, embroidered ‘badge’, and worked very well on the aluminum surface.

detail, ‘Evil’.
the cut-out quality was really nice. too.

DARJA BAJAGIC, ‘I’m invisible Just Assholes can See Me’, 2014.
mixed media on canvas, 76 x 55 in.

detail, ‘I’m Invisible’, note small patch on the upper left side.

detail, ‘I’m Invisible’ – yep, that ‘patch’ . . says it all.

DARJA BAJAGIC – image from her website, check it out: DARJA BAJAGIC

JORDAN CASTEEL, Lower East Side, NYC. SEPT 7, 2014.
currently New York City based, Jordan was born in 1989, in DENVER, Colorado.
she received her MFA from YALE this past year (2014).

JORDAN CASTEEL has her debut NYC show up at SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS – the show, titled ‘Visible Man’, runs thru SEPT 14, 2014 – so you can still catch it.

JORDAN CASTEEL, ‘Jerome’, 2014.
oil on canvas, 54 x 72 in. – image via SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS

from the gallery website:
Jordan Casteel’s “subject .. is black men, all of whom are unclothed, both literally and metaphorically . . . she seems to ask, is a black man a black man no matter the color ?”

JORDAN CASTEEL, ‘Galen 2’, 2014.
oil on canvas, 72 x 84 in. – image via SARGENT’S DAUGHTERS

check out more of Jordan’s work on her website: JORDAN CASTEEL


Welcome to the DARK SIDE, NYC . . SEPT 11, 2014.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, SEPT 7, 2014 – unless otherwise noted.