Tag Archive | Art

Objects and Everyday Goods at Mike Weiss Gallery

Adam Parker Smith Installation View
Installation View: Sculptures by Adam Parker Smith (All Photos By Gail)

One of our favorite Chelsea venues, the Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently hosting a group show called Objects and Everyday Goods, which features new works by artists that we were first introduced to at Mike Weiss — such as Cameron Gray and Tom Fruin — both of whom make art that is just insane, as well as some new favorites and a few artists we’ve not seen before. It’s fun to discover new art at Mike Weiss Gallery! Let’s take a peak at this eclectic show!

Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and 1
Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and Break Time 1

If you know the work of Tom Fruin you will instantly recognize these pieces as his. Fruin creates colorful “stained glass” mosaic structures — such as his famous Watertowers — out of panels that look like the above. He is a genius. This exhibit also has examples of Fruin’s Drug Bag Quilts series and other metal work.

Tom Fruin Break Time 3
Break Time 3

Adam Parker Smith Ex
Adam Parker Smith, Ex

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, sculptor Adam Parker Smith has created a very narrative series of his crazy, mixed media structures that include everyday objects like small festive cakes, floral wreaths and  balloons. This one, seriously, I just love it. LOVE IT!

Bold as Love
Bold as Love

You might recognize Parker Smith’s very visually engaging works from when we last saw him on the Bowery as part of the Not a Painting group show at The Hole. It is good to see him in a nice place like Mike Weiss!

Hit or Miss
Hit or Miss

Any art that includes Cake, I automatically dig it. Cake Art!

Installation View 2
(Far Right) Michael Zelehoski, Incomplete Cube Series, (Center Foreground) Liao Yibai, Zhulong Dragon, (Rear Background) Cameron Gray, Must Have for Summer

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Are you wondering if Liao Yibai’s sculpture of an oversize bike chain, Zhulong Dragon is the BFD of the show? Yes, yes it is. It’s amazing.

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Big, Shiny, Beautiful.

Cameron Gray Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall
Cameron Gray, Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall

Last time we saw Cameron Gray, he had transformed the Mike Weiss Gallery into a fully immersive, psychedelic acid trip/fun house with his fantastic Gymnasty exhibit, which we went to about six times. That was lots of fun. Who knew Cameron could make realist paintings like these, which I think must be inspired by ready-to-wear fashion catalogs. Really nice.

Cameron Gray Denim Done Right
Cameron Gray, Denim Done Right

Bes sure to add a day-brightening stop at Mike Weiss Gallery to your next Saturday art crawl!

Objects and Everyday Goods will be on Exhibit Through March 26th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Objects and Everyday Goods Signage

The Button Show at Rush Arts Gallery

Installation View
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

I have to thank my friend Andrew for turning me on to The Button Show; a super fun exhibit that’s up now at Rush  Arts Gallery. Curated by Peter “Souleo” Wright, The Button Show features sculptures and other artworks created using regular clothing buttons, incorporated with other found objects, to create unique art that is delightful to behold.

IMG_5137
Io Palmer, Buttoned Up Cloud

On display are the works of 11 artists who each work with buttons either as the dominant medium or a featured element in their sculpture, photography and wearable artworks. Participating artists include veteran Button Artists Amalia K. Amaki, Beau McCall and Lisa Kokin.

Lisa Kokin Sleep
Lisa Kokin, Sleep

Lisa Kolin uses buttons, chicken wire, thread and spray paint to create sculptures that obliterate the surface of otherwise easily recognizable objects.

Lisa Kokin, Rescue
Lisa Kokin, Rescue

Clown Head
Lisa Kokin, Party Hat Diabolique

I think this is my favorite piece by her. It’s easy to see some of the other tiny objects — 45 RPM records, doll parts, toys, belt buckles, tiny souvenir license plates, clock faces — that are part of these very fun artworks.

Lisa Kokin, Piecework

This one, called Piecework, actually takes on more shape when seen from a distance.

Detail From Lady
Detail From Piecework

Curator Souleo offers, “I am proud to help highlight the medium of clothing buttons in visual art. Clothing buttons occupy a familiar but seemingly insignificant presence in our lives. Each artist forces us to reimagine this everyday object as a viable tool for communication and self-expression through visual art. In these works, buttons become signifiers of issues of class, politics, race, beauty and personal narratives in ways that are visually stimulating and highly engaging.”

Camilla Taylor, They’ve Already Left
Camilla Taylor, They’ve Already Left

These spider-like sculptures, covered with iridescent black buttons, remind me very much of the work of Louise Bourgeois.

Beau McCall, World Spinnin’ on a 45
Beau McCall, World Spinnin’ on a 45

When I look at this oversize Record Adapter, I wonder how many people under 20 even know what this is, or what it was used for. Nostalgia!

World Spinnin Detail
World Spinnin Detail

Red Bath Tub

This gorgeous Red Bathtub is called Dark Musk Oil Egyptian Crystals & Florida Water/ Red Potion no.1 (but in all lower case letters, and no spaces between the words), and it is by Beau McCall. Created from Buttons, fabric, and thread over a cast iron tub, this is the show stopper.

Red Bathtub

Bathtub Interior Detail

So beautiful.

Kool Aid Man
Domino Kool (Hood Classic I)

Beau McCall also created this stunning representation of a Pitcher of Kool-Aid Dink Mix being poured into a glass.

Kool-Aid Pour Detail

I love how he uses clear buttons to represent the ice.

Button Desk
Tablet Arm Desk

ABCDEFU

The Message: ABCDEFU. Yes.

The Button Show will be on Exhibit Through March 12th, 2016 at Rush Arts Gallery, Located at 526 West 26th Street, Suite 311, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Button Show Signage

Stephen Romano Gallery Presents: Saint Bowie Group Show, Coming March 2nd!

Saint Bowie Art Exhibit
Image Courtesy of Stephen Romano

Save the Date: Stephen Romano Gallery is very honored to be presenting the group exhibition Saint Bowie, opening March 2, 2016, with a reception from 5 – 9 PM. Saint Bowie will be comprised of artist-made devotional mementos, Ex Votos, Santos, Spirit Photos and other reliquaries which mourn the loss of the Starman, and also serve as a means by which to commune with Bowie on the other side.

Saint Bowie will feature art by some of our very favorite artists including Sas and Colin Christian, Nyazhul Blanco and Lori Field, among many others, listed below.

Saint Bowie Art Exhibit

See you there!

Eye On Design: Raymond Loewy, Lawn Chef Portable Grill

Lawn Chef Portable Grill
Photos By Gail

This week we are introducing a new, reoccurring feature, Eye on Design, with  American Industrial Design Legend Raymond Loewy (1893 – 1986). Loewy was a French-born American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries.

Among Loewy’s designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. He was involved with numerous railroad designs, including the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 and S-1 locomotives, the color scheme and Eagle motif for the first streamliners of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a number of lesser known color scheme and car interior designs for other railroads. Raymond Loewy’s career spanned seven decades.

Loewy’s popular design for the Lawn Chef Portable Grill revolutionized outdoor cooking and greatly enhanced the leisure time of the American family of the 1950s.

Lawn Chef Portable Grill 2

Raymond Loewy’s Lawn Chef Portable Grill (1950) was photographed at MOMA in NYC, where it is on currently view on the 3rd Floor, in the Architecture and Design Lobby.

Cobi Moules, New Kid at Lyons Wier Gallery

NKOTB in Hell
New Kids in Hell: Jordan, Cobi, Donnie, Joey and Jonathan (All Photos By Gail)

An adoring fan’s childhood dreams of being part of the music group he once worshiped come to life in a most engaging way in Cobi Moules new body of work, New Kid, which opened last week at Lyons Wier Gallery. Working with existing images of the wildly popular early ’90s boy band New Kids on The Block — all taken from his collection of fan magazines, fold-out pin ups and trading cards — Moules has meticulously reproduced photographs of  the group —  Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight, while inserting himself into these contrived poses in place of fifth member Danny Wood. Thus Cobi Moules becomes the New Kid of the New Kids. Genius.

NKOTB Brick Wall

Growing up as a transgender boy, Cobi reveals that his love and admiration for NKOTB involved passionate fantasies of both being them and being with them; especially his favorite New Kid, Jordan. Because let’s face it, Jordan was the uber hottie, for sure.

New Kid Jordan

Let the homoeroticism begin!

New Kid Hot Dog

New Kid Bike

How fun is this? I mean, who among those reading this didn’t have crazy childhood fantasies about a band you loved? I know that when I was five years old, my plan was to marry Paul McCartney and join the Beatles. I was five.  Obviously that didn’t really work out for me, but that’s all the more reason that seeing Cobi’s adorably ecstatic face peering out from his terrific realist paintings, as he cuddles and cavorts with his favorite childhood band, is secretly thrilling. Because imaginative extrapolation allows the viewer to live through him.

New Kid Joey
Cobi and Joey

New Kid Bus
Cobi and Jonathan

There’s also this fun little animated gif!

New Kids Trading Cards 5

I especially loved the re-imagined collection of NKOTB Trading Cards!

New Kids Trading Cards 1

The one on the right is just insane.

New Kids Trading Cards 3

New Kids Trading Cards 4

So seriously great.

New Kid Group Ladder

I spoke with Cobi at the show’s opening reception, and he is a really nice guy, and obviously hugely talented. I will be interested to see what he does next.

Cobi Moules New Kid
Artist Cobi Moules Photographed at the Opening Reception with One of His New Kid Paintings

Clever, original, uniquely hilarious and very, very sweet, Cobi Mueles’ New Kid is our favorite exhibit of 2016 so far!

Cobi Moules’ New Kid will be on Exhibit Through March 5th, 2016 at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

New Kids Street Sign

Modern Art Monday Presents: Christo, Package on Wheelbarrow

Package on Wheelbarrow
All Photos By Gail

In his early twenties, Christo (Born Christo Javacheff in 1935) escaped the oppressive Communist regime in his native country of Bulgaria and wandered in exile throughout Europe, supporting himself primarily by painting commissioned portraits.

He has related his early wrapped-package works to the isolation and sadness of his coming of age in Bulgaria; the wheelbarrow, in particular, suggests a stateless, nomadic life. The package’s contents are suggested in the forms bulging beneath their cloth wrapping, but never revealed, for opening it would destroy the work.

In 1964, shortly after making Package on Wheelbarrow (1963), Christo relocated to New York. Since then, in partnership with his wife Jeanne-Claude (1935 – 2009) he has created many large-scale, temporary installations, wrapping buildings, bridges, trees and islands in fabric.

Package on Wheelbarrow
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Laura Poitras, Astro Noise at The Whitney Museum

Exhibit Signage
ANARCHIST: Israeli Drone Video Signal, 2016, by Laura Poitras (All Photos By Gail)

Laura Poitras wants you to know that you are under surveillance at all times. At all times. The artist, journalist and documentary filmmaker, who won the 2015 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award for Citizenfour, the story of Edward Snowden and the NSA Spying Scandal, has her first solo museum show opening at the Whitney Museum on Friday, February 5th, and it is an immersive, installation-based exhibit unlike anything I’ve seen previously. The show’s title, Astro Noise, refers to the faint background disturbance of thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang, which is also the name that Edward Snowden gave to an encrypted file containing evidence of mass surveillance by the NSA that he shared with Poitras in 2013.

Anarchist Series Drone and Satellite Surveillance
Selections from the ANARCHIST Series of Drone and Satellite Surveillance Images (Pigmented Inkjet Prints Mounted on Aluminum)

As you move from one gallery to the next, Astro Noise  may elicit reactions that vary between enlightening, sobering and extremely personally horrifying, but I doubt you will leave it feeling unchanged. Her work starkly documents the complex realities of the post-9/11 world, focusing on US polices concerning indefinite detention, pre-emptive war, targeted killing, torture and mass surveillance. The “War on Terror” as these strategies are collectively known, is obscured from many Americans’ daily lives, but Poitras has worked to document its complexities, primarily through her celebrated 9/11 Trilogy of feature-length documentary films.

Yankees World Series Surveillance Woman
Photo Still from O’Say Can You See

The first darkened gallery off the exhibit’s entryway features O’Say Can You See, a double video projection on a two-sided screen. The first side presents a visually seductive short film depicting slow-motion shots of people gazing at the unseen remains of the World Trade Center in the days following the 9/11 attacks.

Yankees World Series Surveillance Man
Photo Still from O’Say Can You See

Detainee Video
Photo Still from O’Say Can You See

In the same gallery, the backside of that screen shows grainy U.S. Military footage of the interrogation of two prisoners in Afghanistan, taking place during the same post-9/11 time period. This footage was so disturbing, I had to leave the room after a few minutes.

Bed Down Location Still
Photo Still from Bed Down Location

The next gallery features an immersive video installation called Bed Down Location, where the visitor can lay back on a carpeted platform (very comfy!) and gaze up at a ceiling projection of the skies where drone wars are conducted. The title of the work refers to the military term denoting where a targeted person sleeps, which is fucked up! If the exhibit is crowded when you visit, it will be worth your time to wait until a space on the platform opens up, so you can flat-back it for the 15 minutes or so that the video plays, because it is pretty crazy. I took a video, but it did not come out.

Disposition Matrix Corridor
Disposition Matrix

From Bed Down Location you will enter the L-shaped corridor of Disposition Matrix. The walls of the corridor are lined with window-like slits, each of which you can peer into to see that it contains a video or classified document. See examples below.

Memo from George Tenet

2002 Memorandum from George Tenet, then Director of the CIA, on increasing the agency’s cooperation and information sharing with the NSA.

Intercepted Signals

Animated Close Ups of Intercepted Signals Collected Through ANARCHIST, a classified program run by UK Intelligence.

Shaping Line Drawing

Line drawing by an NSA employee explaining an Internet surveillance method called “Shaping.”

Infrared Footage of AT&T Building

Infrared Footage of AT&T Building, Downtown NYC.

There was a lot worse stuff than the above, some of which I could not even look at.

Last Seen 2016

Exit the Disposition Matrix and get a face-full of Last Seen, a live-feed infrared video of everyone currently in the Bed Down Location gallery. SURPRISE!

November 20 2004
November 20, 2004 (2016); Black and White Transparencies in Light Boxes, accompanied by Digital Color Video, and Sound Narration

In 2006, Poitras was placed on a secret Government Watch List; consequently, while traveling she has been detained and interrogated more than fifty times. In the installation entitled November 20, 2004, Poitras retraces the events that lead to her being placed on that list, evoking the hidden surveillance she has experienced.

November 20 2004 Video
November 20, 2004 Video

Laura Poitras at Whitney

Laura Poitras addressed the press at the the exhibit preview held on February 3rd. She seems really cool, and I have deep respect for her work.

Laura Poitras’ Astro Noise Will be on Exhibit From February 5th Through May 1st, 2016 at The Whitney Museum of American Art, Located at 99 Gansevoort Street in NYC. This Exhibit is Not Appropriate for Children Under 15.

Astro Noise Postcard

Astro Noise Souvenir Postcard Available in the Gift Shop!