opened Tues Feb 3, 2015
the pop-up show runs thru TUES FEB 17, 2015
BRIGHT LYONS POP-UP – 455 West 19th St, Chelsea, NYC


the 2 week pop-up show takes place in the former ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATION building, so that was very elegant and spacious. and unexpectedly, had a real traveling in Japanese countryside temple look. super nice. if not plain: straight-out magic. for a NYC snowy side street.

what looked like they had been former industrial garage doors, had been re-worked (previously) – with a real Japanese feel to them, which suited the work.
and, the night.

TAYLOR McKIMENS greets guests . . at the opening.

even though this painting was most obviously NOT a selfie, there were signs that the paintings were a kind of 3rd party . . . ‘selfie’, as in self-reflection.
biographical: where I’ve been.

TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Victory’, 2015. 84 x 110 in.
although the paintings are right on the cutting edge, many art historical references inform them. they have a very strange & flat composition, despite many shading details . . that is very Japanese, esp as regards Edo Period woodblock prints, whose influence is also seen in the way the colors are used so flatly, and yet also so ‘decoratively’. there’s also often a throwback narrative to Taylor’s southwest roots, comic books, and . . retro advertising.

pops of florescent color, like over-the-top sharp pink, help define the mood, and contour the objects, that’s what I meant by . . ‘decorative’ color. if there is a light source, it is going to get some fantastic painterly play.
as well, small details take on a very animated comic book-like character – the whole background is alive, just as much as the subjects. the truck is just as alive as the girl.
also, note the girl’s leg is modeled by brushstrokes, as opposed to shading per se. it took me a while to get what was so haunting about this, VAN GOGH, of course !!

above all, this is painting that depends on drawing. you can see that not only in all those small details, that pop and squirm, and drip !! but also in how larger color fields have linear boundaries, and the superb, humorous calligraphy – is a big tip-off to the draftsmanship that rules the ‘chaos’.
above all these are . . stories.

PAUL BRIGHT, in front of TAYLOR McKIMEN’S . . ‘Sundown Somewhere’.

TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Sundown Somewhere’, 2012.
60 x 84 in.
kind of a very painterly EDWARD HOPPER meets VAN GOGH, by way of Edo Japan, while taking a giant step into the nature of mankind, via comic book ethos.

a distraught, lonely man in a dive of a diner – we’ve all been there, down and out.

the giant ‘decorative’ face in the background, left-hand side, very: flat, very comic book.
but, still kind of . . buddha-like ?
a touch of .. sci-fi ?
a street art . . sticker/decal ?

every element – has a . . ‘life’. a ‘take’. a visual ‘philosophy’ starts to bubble up . . everywhere.
it’s the equivalent of our 21st century . . frenzy of existence.
gears, germs, micro-germs, nano organisms, the hidden life of DNA everywhere.

Taylor often uses ‘food’ and small ‘graphics’ / ‘logos’ – to add to the storytelling gestures, and mood.
symbols, they add up to a . . ‘decomposing’ humanity ?

there’s even a signature, retro sign / ‘calligraphy’, snaking by . . a fluid but funky hand gesture that rides across the canvas plane, on the outside of the glass plate window, realism.

artist JAMES MOORE, at the opening. his work also plays heavy with symbols, but more on the dark side, purple crystals, stalagmites, secret mushrooms, forbidden forests with elfin inhabitants, in a word: the mystical dark side of the woods vs the jumpy neon-lit street diner.
in a word: cave vs. booth. choose your weapon.
while one is goth, the other . . is comic book narrator. James might be said to dwell on the darker arts, black magic and ritual, while Taylor is catching everyday . . psycho-drama.

PHIL COTE . . of the notorious, now-disbanded cult art band BOBO, which increasingly morphed into a seriously creative, lurking on the fringe, definite ahead-of-the-curve, always looking forward art collective/gallery. the 4 member group used to storm into NYC, from Philly, every now and then. always guaranteed to blow you away. apparently Phil Cote has re-located to NYC, so . . let’s see what’s up on that.

the ghost in the room – DREW GILLESPIE !!
another BOBO member who is also re-locating to the Big apple – he’s been in San Francisco, he just sent word of his new art website: CONNOTATION CHUMP (!!).
yes, hit that . . link.

a guest . . in the room.

artist JUSTIN SAMSON is also returning to NYC, after a long stint in PHILLY.
when everyone else seems to be going to, and from LA – it’s a Philly invasion.

CHE MORALES, the director of new I.M.A.G.E. Gallery & community/venue space in Bushwick, is putting on a big show of cutting edge artists, 26 in total, this FRI FEB 13, 2015. it’s called ‘ARTISTANCE’ and aspires to . . hardcore ‘visionary’.
looks to be a big Valentine’s Day . . blast.
see: I.M.A.G.E.

is that . .


detail, TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Greek Head’, 2015.
14 x 11 in.
this is the direction in which, Taylor told me – he is currently going, portraits based on classic Greek mythology and art.
what ? no dive bars. no pick-up trucks. less drippy and more plaid ? just j-o-k-i-n-g.
maybe – not !!
love . . the detail on the EYEBALLS !!

another very narrative / hyper graphic, comic book-influenced, linear draftsman-infused, edgey ‘formalist’ painter . . MATT LEINES.
says he’s “doing good” and working in the studio all the time.

with Matt Leines, freelance illustrator, artist: LEIF LOW-BEER.
he showed in Matt’s short-lived indie gallery, deep in Brooklyn.
I didn’t know his work, so it was fun to do a quick peek. I could see right off why Matt would be attracted to this almost deck-of-cards quirky, minimal . . slyly humorous building block vocabulary work, in 3d as well.

. . but, it’s his show, we’ll give Taylor . . the last word !!
TAYLOR McKIMENS, ‘Catching Hell’, 2014. 14 x 11 in.

hello, humans, I am . .

. . plant LIFE !!