~CARROLL DUNHAM … last few days . .

I’m glad everybody is talking about this show – no matter what side of the line “of taste’ they fall on. it was very definitely – one of the most interesting & controversial shows of last year . . . Carroll Dunham’s work sure evokes strong feelings, one way or the other.
him and CATTELAN !!
art world roommates. just joking, NOT !!

I used to dismiss his work completely myself, mostly as being too street-image derived – but I sure got a big eyeball awakening this time around. a 360 switch like that – is always . . . something to rejoice in.

the show is closing this weekend, in fact – this Sat Jan 19, is the last day to catch it – so, don’t blink.

CARROLL DUNHAM / NOV 29, 2012 – JAN 19, 2013
GLADSTONE GALLERY – CHELSEA, NYC

see: artlovers PIX from the OPENING . . . NOV 29, 2012


CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘Next Bathers, five (dive)’, 2012
mixed media on linen, 88-1/4 x 68-1/4 in.

so you got that this was . . . LENA, right ?
the big tattoo, abstracted, apparently Ferdinand the Bull in real life, you go girl !! on her right shoulder is the . . on-the-money give-away.
really, it’s impossible to talk about this show without noting the damn straight unbelievable shooting star success and TALENT of LENA DUNHAM, the artist’s daughter – 26.
esp when you see just how formidable CARROLL DUNHAM is in person, check out those opening pix . . .

let’s face it. c’mon . . be honest. most artist offspring don’t come even a half-candle flicker close to their famous parents – in reality, or in in real talent. but this shooting star off-spring is beyond the beyond . . lumpy body and all.
awkwardness and all. yes, she carved out her ‘space’ – just like these paintings – carve out, hers and . . . theirs.

and omg, what’s with that ‘tickling’ tree fern – to the left. is that a funny metaphor or what.
sense of humor, seems to run in the family.

and yes, all of the above: that’s some of the things that really helped me turn onto this work.
the fact that they are such strict, even severe graphic and highly abstracted … portraits – that took off & flew – of course being the most heartfelt.
. . . as opposed to the ‘realist’ photographic genre – for example.
it’s intensely interesting to contemplate – that out of all this ‘reduced’ abstraction – we got served the real deal. the inner soul, we glimpsed her, Lena’s fantastic journey . . . from her father’s eyes.

CARROLL DUNHAM is reporting on the take-off, her far-out and far-flung foray into the BIG unknowing – as she makes her ‘dive’ into the primal pool – of life. of success, of being . . .
and this is before the 2 Golden Globes.
But hey, her mother, always knew it / ‘Tiny Furniture’ . . .


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘Next Bathers, five (dive)’, 2012

but I also revered, emotion aside – how ALL the paintings . . . could always break down into smaller elements, of design, of pure graphics, and yet also of … of Feeling, yes: capital F.
elements . . . that could fly on their own. play for play’s sake, alone.
you know – it’s called the art dance. and yeah in a way these hyper contemporary paintings reminded me of you know . . . the Bathers, Cezanne, and the Dancers, Mattise.
in that as a whole, and in their parts – that were just as bold and strident and expressive – as the old masters, it’s called composition, fluid.
craftsmanship, dudes.
draftsmanship.
severe artistic intelligence, dudes.

and while we are it. NO – THESE paintings are NOT about the NUDE . . . DUDE !!
they are about sexuality, and sensuality. and therein lies the (conceptual) prize !!

just as Lena, herself – is not about the beauty of the erotic form, let alone a new expose on the ‘nude’, god, how boring. . . but the beauty of the talent and mind that inhabit, and animate that very human esp twenty-something universe (!!).
so are these paintings finding a new way to map: erotic.

though we SURE could do without that recent god-awful INTERVIEW airbrushed faux glam cover – leave her alone already. just look at the trail of real life pix she has traced, and in such a short time. what a sweet, yet utterly compelling real-life/real-time fast forward trail of real girl – images, or what.


CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘Next Bathers, one (picking flowers)’, 2012.
78-1/4 x 61-1/4 in.

but whether Lena, and I’m thinking this is her youngest sister Grace (/) or no – there is an excitement and boldness to this work, that can only be amplified by the shared father/daughter gene pool . . . (!!)

but, there is also … a special craftsmanship, a unique vision, a bold flat-out vision here, apart from the specific subject matter, though they work to each others benefit no doubt, that attacks you as soon as you enter the show, and does not let go.
and this NOT something to sneer at, it is something to take in … with eyes wide open.
‘taste’, paste. forget trivializing the show – it’s way too awesome, strictly from a formal point of view, if nothing else.


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘picking flowers’.
and check out – the right hand side.
it’s not all about the – GIRLS !!
the primal sexual tension – is: equal opportunity.


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘picking flowers’.
yep, for sure, I think – that’s poetic little sis: Grace.

this small square of detail, also points up the richness & originality, the vibrancy of the images, their ‘play’, their give-and-take plasticity – it is never-ending. and breaks down – big time. wonderful.

their consistency, the consistency in the paintings tone and graphics – is also, a very striking factor. add to this: the big gesture of boldness, and bright bold color PALETTE – and Knock-out.
how can a-n-y-b-o-d-y – miss this ?


CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘Large Bather (quicksand)’, 2006-2012

Light. incandescent light – lives in these here, hard-won abstract/proto-representational battle zones . . .
the scale . . . was pretty on-spot too. not too large, no too small. right on.

it’s also interesting to note how the dates of this particular painting (2006-2012) allude to their slow evolution . . .


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘quicksand’.

and . . . just how ‘dynamic’ as in kinetic . . these paintings are … for being such severe graphic renditions. how much joy and play, play and joy vibrate against the stern compositional head-space and actual plastic – boundaries.
and esp so, since so much of this past year has leaned up against: graphic design.


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, ‘quicksand’.

portraits aside, even the landscape elements – threw me up against the wall . . . I surrender to your magic.
compacted, carved, painted, primordial, poetic . . . static, and kinetic – all at the same time.


detail, CARROLL DUNHAM, from one of the ‘Tree’ paintings . . .

the last-word deal with these works is, bottom-line you could cut a one foot square from anyone one of these paintings – and have yourself – a feast . . .
down with the mundane – and up with . . . visceral expression.

PHOTOS & COMMENTARY: NANCY SMITH




~GHOSTS and STARS . . . !!

forget of mice and men … that’s so over. that’s so yesterday.

I guess some people might think talk of ghosts and stars – is ‘mad’ crazy, though maybe not so much, on an ‘art’ site.
I mean artist means shaman, doesn’t it.
artist begins with cavemen. cavemen, in turn looked to the heavens . . . to figure out a way to survive & evolve down here, while they stuck pigment colored palm prints & fleeing bison on walls, and began to weave and bead. to record & communicate through graphics.

creativity begat civilization. and separates us from the animal tribes.
artist means branding, at base: doesn’t it. creating myths, or at least giving them form & flight. power to the people from the ground-up, or, by divine decree. your pick.
you tell me.

artist means … thinking outside the box of ‘reality’. giving form & history .. to magic.
artist means: sharing the magic bus ride, of the mind and soul.

catching the knowledge and clues … and – literally – connecting the dots.

the deal with the internet is just the way information, image-dominated bye the way, & thinking is now put out, i.e. dispersed … and the really far-out way – it is received.

instant web, search, the social network. free to connect is the biggest deal you could think of today. and yeah, I’m still thinking AARON SWARTZ. what a tragedy. what a loss.
it was like chasing down a founding father. we come from a line of rebels – what gives ? has the (American) world forgotten how precious the spark of leadership is ?

today knowledge is like an infinite aggregate, a consciousness greater than we even know. that hopefully anybody can plug into.

you write – it travels, it lands. someone hears it.

you seek info – you find it.

the platform of instant randomness. like they say in all the great philosophies, if you seek, you will find. for all the change, nothing ever really changes. like they say, nothing is really new – under the sun !!

so while it’s funny/interesting to see these topics; stars and ghosts – so in play in the art world over the past year, most recently in the DAN CASSARO FIFTY and FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT – (!!) – history (ghosts) and a few shooting stars – thrown in for good measure, more on that, to follow . . .

when they, ghosts and stars . . . simultaneously pop up on the WALL STREET JOURNAL – that bastion of the ‘suits’ – you really got to sit up, and wonder.
New Age or what.

ghosts … popping up as our more cynical/straight-shooting (/) Western businessmen are having to understand and interface with the beliefs of global culture.

is there a way to say: ghosts .. in Chinglish ?

or file under:

“Nobody taught me. It’s not my fate or luckiness, but my boldness.” ~ NG GOON LAU

READ: ‘Honk Kong’s Real-Estate Boom Conjures a Scary Development’ . . . Mr. Ng Sees Haunted-House Discount Vanish as Prices Rise ..’ – WALL STREET JOURNAL, TUES JAN 15, 2013


Hong Kong’s “Haunted-House King, NG GOON LAU has bought more than 20 properties with spooky histories … IMAGE: WALL STREET JOURNAL

of course the art world has already taken note that, ironically with the rise of state-of the-art web, esp wireless technology has come an unexpected onslaught of the cult of the ghost, in prtty much all forms, but esp as in G.Host/hacker and ghost/plasm & history. undead websites, etc etc.

THE STARS bit is even weirder. and reflects on the ghost part above, vis a vie … the power of random knowledge, aka keywords & buzz.

just as I struggle, not to lose all art world credibility, to contain my inner thoughts and fierce intuitions – regarding the burning questions of the universe, including random vs greater design/’celestial’ architect … the awesome & enduring ‘branding’ of skies by the early astronomers & astrologers – mathematician and shamans, you name it.

as opposed to the ‘sterile’ effect of our contemporary hi-tech orbital photography !!

I open the WALL STREET JOURNAL this weekend . . .

to read: ‘Outer Space Needs a Serious Makeover’ by JOE QUEENAN. Sat/Sun Jan 12-13, 2013 – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (!!)


go, JOE !!
JOE QUEENAN, MOVING TARGETS – IMAGE: WALL STREET JOURNAL

and for sure, if nothing else – check out his concluding parapgragh – it’s a keeper !!
bye the light of the silvery moon – indeed !!

though I beg to differ re naming new planets and constellations, Oprah, or KKKKardashian, … kinda lame. Joe. they are heavenly, they are inspiring, they are above and beyond our fully comprehending – as of now anyways – JOE: they should be – ‘mythic’ they should cause pause for thought.
my proposal ?

somebody get a great street crew, or even Dan Cassaro’s crew, damn just get CHUCK CLOSE !! – to make an aggregate constellation/portrait – of all those 461 brand new planets – and call it:
AARON SWARTZ – THE LOST FUTURE – IF OUR GOV’T & ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS – DON’T FRIGGIN’ WAKE UP !!
AMEN.


‘AMERICAN’ STARS / GRAPHIC DESIGN/ART . . . and GHOSTS / HISTORY.
FIFTY and FIFTY LOGO – BY DAN CASSARO.
FIFTY and FIFTY / THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT – A CURATED PROJECT BY DAN CASSARO.


SETH NEILSON – EQUAL RIGHTS – WYOMING / IMAGE: 50 and 50

YEAH, BABY !! THAT’S WHAT I’M aTALKIN’ ABOUT !!

PLUS, THIS – JUST IN, FROM:

1. ANNA KUSTERA – ‘MATTIA BIAGI’ – SEE: EXHIBIT INFO


ARTWORK BY MATTIA BIAGI – up thru JAN 26, 2013 – at ANNA KUSTERA . . .

2. SPERONE WESTWATER – WOLFGANG LAIB PRESENTS: ‘WITHOUT BEGINNING and WITHOUT END’ / MARCH 1-30, 2013


ARTWORK BY – WOLFGANG LAIB / IMAGE: SPERONE WESTWATER
“For the artist’s seventh solo show at the gallery, LAIB continues to employ natural materials, such as beeswax and rice, organic elements selected for their purity and symbolic meaning . . . juxtaposed will be 104 brass ships, some mounted on the wall and some posed in mounds of rice on the floor. These ships suggest a journey to another world …” ~ press release




~AARON SWARTZ, GHOST/R.I.P./DAMN MASSACHUSETTS

DAMN >>> M.I.T.

ghost in the machine, for real, now.
forget about Gary HOST.
now just plain …. G.HOST: AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY

see: DAILY MAIL ONLINE: TRAGIC WEB PIONEER COMMITS SUICIDE at 26 & found dead in NY . . .

BROOKLYN, Crown heights . . . to be exact. Swartz died yesterday, Fri Jan 11, 2013.
it was a heavy day – a lot of people . . . felt the ‘dip’, or fall-off from a week of high creative peak.

see: NEWSDAY/AARON SWARTZ found dead, co-founder of Reddit helped create RSS . . .

so, THIS IS THE MOTTO of the STATE of MASSACHUSETTS . . . THE STATE THAT CHASED AARON SWARTZ DOWN . . .

THINK ON IT . . .

‘BY THE SWORD WE SEEK PEACE / BUT PEACE ONLY UNDER LIBERTY’.


ARTWORK – BY MARK WEAVER
from . . . FIFTY AND FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT
A CURATED PROJECT – BY DAN CASSARO, NYC.
see: FIFTY and FIFTY


WATCH: AARON SWARTZ gives keynote address: ‘How We Stopped SOPA’ @ F2C: Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington, DC/MAY 21, 2012.
PUBLISHED MAY 22, 2012/YouTube

ps: just for the hardcore.
it was a NEW MOON IN CAPRICORN, yesterday JAN 11, 2013.
how you want to read into it – is up to you. all I’m saying is, can it be possible that . . . just like there is extreme weather now, and just as we have pretty much wrecked our atmosphere – that had protected us from the sun’s strong rays, might not the impulses from the celestial bodies, like the moon, and the planets .. be affecting us more strongly, now too.
esp creative types who are ‘plugged in’.
just saying, but the dumb ‘suits’ that run this country – don’t help.
chalk up a big loss – on our side, today.
amen.




~KEN BROWN OPENING / TEKSERVE … SAT

ART@TEKSERVE PRESENTS:

NYC STREETPOP: FILMS, PHOTOS & OTHER FUN STUFF – by KEN BROWN
OPENING SAT JAN 12, 2013 / 1-3 PM
the show runs thru FEB 24, 2013
there will also be an artist’s talk: WED JAN 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM
TEKSERVE – 119 W. 23 ST – NYC

read more: about KEN BROWN & the show !!


KEN BROWN – CONEY ISLAND GLADIATOR




~50 and 50 – PIX FROM THE OPENING

FIFTY and FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT
A CURATED PROJECT BY DAN CASSARO
DEC 18, 2012 – FEB 1, 2013
ACE HOTEL – 20 W. 29th ST – NYC

PIX FROM THE OPENING – DEC 18, 2012:


DAN CASSARO – ORIGINATOR, PRODUCER & CURATOR: FIFTY and FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT.
see: 50 and 50
see: YOUNG JERKS – THE STUDIO of DAN CASSARO


DAN CASSARO – EVER UPWARD – NEW YORK


MIKE – MICHAEL TABIE of TWO ARMS, BROOKLYN
see: TWO ARMS, BROOKLYN


TWO ARMS – IN GOD WE TRUST – FLORIDA


detail, TWO ARMS – IN GOD WE TRUST – FLORIDA


FIFTY and FIFTY INSTALLATION VIEW . . .


SETH NEILSON – EQUAL RIGHTS – WYOMING


KEN BARBER – LIBERTY and INDEPENDENCE – DELAWARE


JON ASHCROFT – IT GROWS AS IT GOES – NEW MEXICO


MATT LEHMEN – AGRICULTURE and COMMERCE – TENNESSEE


KATIE LEE – No. 00036 / ALL FOR OUR COUNTRY / RECEIVED OCT 31, 1864 – NEVADA


FUZZCO – WHILE I BREATHE I HOPE – SOUTH CAROLINA


OPENING NIGHT . . .


OPENING NIGHT . . .


RICHARD PEREZ – I HAVE FOUND IT – CALIFORNIA


BRYAN MINNICH – MOUNTAINEERS ARE ALWAYS FREE – WEST VIRGINIA


detail, BRYAN MINNICH – MOUNTAINEERS ARE ALWAYS FREE – WEST VIRGINIA

PHOTOS & EDIT: NANCY SMITH
INITIAL REPORTING: KATE CERIGO




~50 and 50 . . . SOME MORE PIX

FIFTY and FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT
A CURATED PROJECT BY DAN CASSARO
DEC 18, 2012 – FEB 1, 2013
ACE HOTEL, NYC

see: 50 and 50


CURTIS JINKINS – FRIENDSHIP – TEXAS


TAD CARPENTER – THE WELFARE of THE PEOPLE SHALL BE THE SUPREME LAW – MISSOURI


JUSTIN FULLER – NOTHING WITHOUT PROVIDENCE – COLORADO


JOSH BRILL – I LEAD – MAINE


MEG HUNT – HE WHO TRANSPLANTED SUSTAINS – CONNECTICUT


ZACH GRAHAM – THE PEOPLE RULE – ARKANSAS


detail, ZACH GRAHAM – THE PEOPLE RULE – ARKANSAS


detail, ZACH GRAHAM – THE PEOPLE RULE – ARKANSAS


LUKE BOLT – TO THE STARS THROUGH DIFFICULTY – KANSAS


detail, LUKE BOLT – TO THE STARS THROUGH DIFFICULTY – KANSAS

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~50 and 50 . . .

FIFTY and FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT
A CURATED PROJECT BY DAN CASSARO, OPENED DEC 18, 2012 and is still up !! . . . YES !!
the show runs thru FRI FEB 1, 2013
ACE HOTEL – 20 W. 29th ST, NYC.
just walk into the lobby . . . and look for the small art gallery.

for more background, see: 50 and 50 – the official website

PIX FROM THE OPENING – COMING UP – SHORTLY.




~50-50 / ‘sNice

THE DANCE of the FONTS . . .

leaving the RICHARD MEHL curated ‘untitled type 5’ – ‘sNice show, and moving onto the FIFTY AND FIFTY GROUP SHOW – a project conceived and curated by DAN CASSARO . . . there are some differences, the biggest being that the ‘sNice show was a casual presentation, with a diverse range of design aspirations and themes, mostly in that it was – a pretty much wide open . . . graphics forum.

‘FIFTY AND FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTOS PROJECT’ on the other hand is a very focused project with a mission: 50 designers were asked to create their state’s motto – in graphic form.
how they took they off on that journey – was up to them . . .

but both shows brought to the table the important role that graphic design plays in today’s world, and the big cross-over into serious art world contention. I guess you could say, when graphics ‘dance’ with such originality, life force, and … outright ‘play’ !!
red rover red rover, fine artists … move over !!
designers are here – to stay !!

overall composition, bold design dynamics, and of course, often hand-drawn fonts . . . all imbued with personal expression and serious ambition – are a big part of the game, and so . . . let the DANCE BEGIN !!


PENNSYLVANIA – by JESSICA HISCHE
where the ‘painterly’ letters of the state motto – VIRTUE, LIBERTY, INDEPENDENCE – dance out among the deer antlers emanating from deer heads, poised at either side.
FIFTY AND FIFTY – THE STATE MOTTO PROJECT


DETAIL – ‘It’s Grisly End’ – by PABLO DELKAN
a ‘painterly’ and emotion-loaded, dance of the hand-crafted letters, and most passionate ‘artistic’ font, here as well.
‘untitled type 5’

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~MINIMALIST . . . to GRISLY !! ‘sNice !!

MORE PIX . . . from the opening of ‘untitled type 5’ – curated by RICHARD MEHL
‘sNice, West Village, NYC
the show opened Dec 1, 2012 and ran thru Dec 30, 2012


KATE CERIGO, ‘STRAYED STAYED’.


close-up, KATE CERIGO, ‘STRAYED, STAYED’ . . .
guess sometimes the biggest questions . . . need the softest .. touch.


DARREN WILL and KRISTEN ABATE join KATE CERIGO at the opening of ‘untitled type 5’. NYC, DEC 2012.
KRISTEN ABATE is an aspiring actress.
DARREN WILL plays bass for the Brooklyn band . . . LUKE RATHBORNE.
their next gig is at SHEA STADIUM in BROOKLYN this upcoming . . SAT JAN 12th.
as in . . . Live@Shea Stadium BK, 20 Meadow St. in . . Bushwick !!
go BROOKLYN !!


DANIELLE LEE – ‘LEGS ARE SEXY’ – seems to feel the same way . . .
that’s what’s so cool about graphics – they speak for themselves !!


DANIELLE LEE.


friends of DANIELLE LEE, and current students in the undergrad program at SVA, from left: BRANDON ELIVAN JOHNSON and ALEX CRUZ.
Brandon is in the Fine Arts studio program at SVA, while Alex is in the Graphic Design program.


TRISH RAE WONG – ‘AMPERSAND’. . . bridging minimalist to exotic, bringing the personal .. to the generic, flat-out font/symbol . . .
check out: TRISHA RAE WONG


we’re going to give the last word to PABLO DELKAN, and his chalk artwork/poster/design: ‘It’s Grisly End’ . . .


detail, PABLO DELKAN, ‘It’s Grisly End’ . . .
somehow, though grisly it may be, whatever … whoever, the graphics say: but, maybe not too . . . tragic.


detail, PABLO DELKAN.
when you can break it down . . . to a dance .. on paper.
check out: PABLO DELKAN

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH




~B, J … and, V is for VEGAN. ‘sNice !!

MORE PIX . . . from the opening of ‘untitled type 5’ – curated by RICHARD MEHL

at ‘sNice, a vegetarian cafe in the West Village, NYC.
the show opened Dec 11, 2012 and ran thru Dec 30, 2012.


‘B’ is for … be here, now !!
this exuberant and, well – ‘kingly’ !! … ‘B’ is by … KENTON POWELL.


KENTON POWELL.


Don’t you .. ‘j’ me !!
a most wonderful, painterly . . . ‘J’ by – HAENARA IM.


HAENARA IM – with her ‘J’ . . . .


AERIAL CHEN, her contribution was more of a . . . conceptual/design/3D project.


AERIAL CHEN, at left, with her project .. of many books, which were arrayed along the middle bookshelf, and which were deeply cut into, so that the covers, now read as … numerals.
the piece is titled, ‘Pure Love Triangle’, 2012.
Found books, textured paper and foam board.


detail, AERIAL CHEN .. ‘Pure Love Triangle’.

“. . . while a love triangle is typically a socially unfavorable form of relationship, it is not the case here. ‘Pure Love Triangle’ explores the connections between the uprising of Vegetarianism, Veganism, along with ‘sNice, and expressing it through the combination of typography, form, and the environment.” ~ project statement, Aerial Chen.


detail, AERIAL CHEN, ‘Pure Love Triangle.’


detail, AERIAL CHEN, ‘Pure Love Triangle.’


close-up detail, AERIAL CHEN, ‘Pure Love Triangle’.


Designer/artists: RICHARD MEHL, the show’s curator, with AERIAL CHEN . . . at the opening of ‘untitled type 5’, ‘sNice, NYC, Dec 11, 2012.

PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH

note: more pix from the opening to follow . . .