Portraits of husband and wife Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson by American Painter & Photographer Chuck Close. Photos By Gail.
Holy Cow, am I ever excited to tell you about a new art show that is must-see caliber material! The Jonathan Levine Gallery is currently hosting what may just be the coolest art exhibit in Manhattan! Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty is a mind blowing collection of 11-inch ‘action figure’ sculptures based on some of the world’s most popular contemporary artists, as interpreted through their particular distinctive art medium. The detail in these miniature sculptures is just amazing. I had fun examining each one and trying to guess, based on all of the meticulous details, who it was, before looking at the name – most of the time it was easy, but not always!
According to the exhibit’s Press Release, each figure is sculpted from scratch in polymer clay, surface-finished and texturized with acrylic paint and mixed media. Leavitt engineers the miniature sculptures with articulating joints, assembling moving body parts with elastic cord so that the figures can be posed. Leavitt’s Art Army is a satire on consumer culture, reducing the collector compulsion of two markets —art and product — into a miniature scale. Using the vinyl toy industry as a vehicle to convey the phenomenon of idolization and celebrity status in contemporary art and culture, Leavitt transforms the subjects into caricatures, along with the work they are best known for. Examples include portrayals of Damien Hirst as a bisected shark, Jeff Koons as a balloon animal, and Kara Walker with a paper-thin silhouette.
While Levine does not have Leavitt’s full collection on display (Ron English was conspicuously absent), you can preview what’s in store for you when you do visit the gallery at This Link. Definitely, this was the most fun I have had at an exhibit in a long time! Don’t miss it!
Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty Runs through October 8, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.