Pink Thing of The Day: Nir Hod’s Genius Nicolai (Pink)

Nir Hod Genius Nicolai Pink 2013
Photo By Gail

PK SHOP is pleased to introduce an exclusive new edition by Nir Hod. Inspired by the artist’s Genius series of paintings of precocious and portentous children, the 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch chrome-plated sculpture is produced in editions of seven in four bold colors: gold, pink, and two additional colors that will be announced at a later date.

A meditation on beauty and loneliness, Hod’s poised and alluring young geniuses dwell in a world of paradox, where their cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and lit cigarettes. Philosopher Roy Brand describes them as “…little demons without disguises. But they are also yearning, beautiful, and charming, and their narcissism is more a sign of internal happiness than of vanity.”

Entitled Nicolai, the series accentuates the vulnerability of these child prodigies by pairing the knowing expressions and eerie self-possession of the painted geniuses with the sculpture’s three-dimensional diminutive body. Referencing the seductiveness of luxury materials, Hod implements chrome for the first time with this series. The shiny high-polish of the chrome is transformative; the cutting edge medium transforms the traditionally-rendered sculpture into an object of the modern world. The mirrored surface of the work appeals to the viewer’s inner narcissist, while the rich colors reflect the vivid imagery of contemporary life.

Airan Kang, The Luminous Poem at Bryce Wolkowitz

Asian Wall Scrolls
All Photos By Gail

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is currently hosting The Luminous Poem, a new body of work by Korean artist Airan Kang. If you’ve seen Kang’s work before (she’s previously shown at the Wolkowitz Gallery), then you know that she makes these fantastic illuminated sculptures of books.

Luminous Poem Book Shelf

This show has lots of her illuminated books (and it seems also what look like VHS Cassette Boxes – nostalgia!), but it also explores other printed mediums, such as scrolls and room-sized projections. My favorite part of the exhibit was a small room where shelves of softly glowing books lined the walls.

The Beatles Murakami Jaws

It’s great fun to browse the shelves and spot your favorites, now transformed into objects of light and enhanced wonder.

Jeff Koons

There are Art Books and books that have been made into Movies and books about Pop Stars and Pop Culture Icons. All very fun!

A Clockwork Orange

Bob Dylan Hitchhikers Guide

Marilyn Monroe

This one hangs on the wall, and changes color.

England's Dreaming

As you can see, the book – its boundless possibilities and its cultural significance – is central to Airan Kang’s work. In The Luminous Poem, she opens up the idea of the book from a concrete, self-contained object into a virtual space for the imagination.

The Luminous Poem Installation

In the galleries’ rear space, The Luminous Poem, the central interactive installation, features texts from classical poetry that project across the surface of a massive mirrored book that the viewer can enter. The texts are poems from the Romantic canon of Western literature. Kang’s immersive installation situates book and text as an interactive experience, an unfinished work entered into and transformed by the reader or viewer’s imagination or memory.

Asian Scroll Flat

Kang has also created a new iteration of her Digital Lighting Book series in the form of Asian scrolls. The pages of the transparent cast-resin books have been replaced with light, that multivalent symbol of wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment. By upending the idea of the book as a familiar object, she encourages more free-floating associations with the book and its subject matter.

Luminous Poem Book Stack

Make sure to see this exhibit before it closes!

The Luminous Poem by Airan Kang will be on Exhibit Through June 13, 2015 at Bryce Wolkowitz, Located at 505 W 24th St, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Airan Kang Signage

Modern Art Monday Presents: George Tooker, The Subway

The Subway George Tooker
Photo By Gail

For The Subway (1950), George Tooker used a claustrophobic, labyrinthine subway station to portray the alienation and the isolation of contemporary urban life.  These urban dwellers — all of whom seem to have the same face — seem frozen, trapped by the architecture of the subway station. Tooker rendered this distinctly modern subject in egg tempera, a medium associated almost exclusively with the Renaissance. The technique creates a smooth, matte surface and is ideal for making sharp, clear lines, which together lend the anxious scene an eerie placidity. The artist said that he attempted to paint reality in a way that would impress it  “on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream.” I love this painting.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, now in its new home at 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014, in the Meatpacking District, adjacent to the Highline.

 

 

 

Video Clip of The Week: Penguin Prison, “Never Gets Old”



My choice for this week’s Video Clip was influenced heavily by Geoffrey, whose favorite local music act is a “dance band” in called Penguin Prison. Chris Glover is sort of the Trent Reznor of Penguin Prison, in that it is a one-man outfit with a hired band for live shows. Because doing it yourself means never having to compromise, and we respect that.

The video for “Never Gets Old” features Chris and his real grandpa, Ross Glover, packing in every type of activity one can think of doing at a retirement community (aqua aerobics, bingo, racing around on a golf cart, karaoke, croquet and bocce ball) and ending with Grandpa Glover on the DJ decks.

Says Chris: “I wanted to make a music video with my 90-year-old grandpa who lives in a retirement community in Florida, since the song is called “Never Gets Old.” He is a really cool guy — he was in World War II and received three purple hearts and now he plays bocce everyday and rides around in a two-person bicycle with his wife Alice.

Chris elaborates: “The concept is that I live at the retirement community in the house next to my grandpa and we do all kinds of crazy activities everyday. Later on we bust out in a convertible and drive to Miami and crash a pool party. Making this video was a good excuse for me to go visit my grandpa and do a bunch of crazy things with him and document it all on film. When we were driving around Miami in the Mustang, the top was down and then there was a torrential downpour out of nowhere. My grandpa got drenched but he thought it was funny to tell everyone about it later.” I love that story

Penguin Prison’s latest album, Lost in New York is available now where all fine music is procured. Enjoy!

Never Gets Old Still

George Segal: Walk, Don’t Walk at the Whitney Museum

Walk Don't Walk
All Photos By Gail

The past weekend, Geoffrey and I paid our first visit to the new and — dare I say — much improved Whitney Museum on Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District, and we had the time of our lives! I took hundreds of rad photos, some of which I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks. I am especially smitten this installation/sculpture thing by George Segal (1924 – 2000), which is called Walk, Don’t Walk (1976). I  saw Segal’s work in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last summer and I think his stuff is pretty cool.

Walk Don't Walk

Movie Review: The Film Critic (El Critico )

FILM CRITIC Poster

A film critic whose intolerance for cliché-ridden, formulaic Hollywood romances has earned him a reputation as a merciless film curmudgeon experiences a kind of existential crisis when he falls hard for beautiful, mercurial woman in Writer/Director Hernán Gerschuny’s Argentinian comedy The Film Critic (El Critico). This fast paced, sharply written and well-acted film will entertain anyone who loves movies but also enjoys a hilarious, insider jab at the filmmaking industry.

The Film Critic - 5

Victor Tellez (Rafael Spregelburd) is a popular film citric who feels that the main responsibility of his job is to help the audience discern “Art from Schlock.” Tellez spends his days in dark screening rooms with his fellow critics, with whom he then retreats to a favorite local café to discuss what they’ve just seen ad nauseum. Tellez is so pretentious that, while he speaks Spanish, he thinks in French (thus the film is in both French and Spanish with English subtitles), which is hilarious in itself.

When Tellez goes to see an apartment that he hopes to rent, he meets the very enigmatic and sassy Sofia (played by Dolores Fonzi, who bears a striking resemblance to Mila Kunis), who has beat him out as the next potential tenant by arriving on the scene before him. Through his relentless attempt’s to convince her to let him have the apartment, Victor is unexpectedly charmed by this lady, the likes of whom he’s not met before.

The Film Critic - 2

As Victor finds himself falling hard for Sofia, a woman who playfully challenges his beliefs and tastes on almost every level, he struggles to reconcile this new relationship with the profound disdain he has always felt towards the romantic film genre.

Ironically, when he is commissioned to write a short screenplay in exchange for some easy cash, Victor bases his story on the seemingly formulaic trajectory of his relationship with Sofia, with hilarious results. Will Life imitate Art? You’ll have to watch to find out!

The Film Critic is marvelously meta, but engaging subplots that include Victor’s relationship with his snarky teenage niece (also an avid cinephile whose idea of a great film is Jerry Maguire); and his increasingly agitated interactions with a young filmmaker who takes Victor’s scathing criticism of his own film a bit too personally, keep the action lively. We loved this movie!

The Worley Gig Gives The Film Critic (El Critico) 5 out of 5 Stars. See it in Theaters and on VOD starting May 15th, 2015!

Yes, It Exists: Pentagram Hedge

Pentagram Hedge
Photo By Gail

If you’re paying attention here, then you might recognize the above Pentagram Hedge as a work by artist Joseph Grazi, from his exhibit, God Complex, which we reviewed here on The Gig last month. But the Pentagram Hedge is such a marvelous thing, that it deserves an encore appearance. Because, Pentagram Hedge.