How Insane is this thing? I stole this image from a fan of Worleyigig.com’s FaceBook Fan Page. I have no idea where it came from, but it exists, and so it much be a immortalized as a Bacon Thing of The Day!
As much as everyone is already whining about the impending hellish winter that we are surely in for again this year, all you have to do is walk into the cavernous Gagosian Gallery space on West 24th Street and get an eyeful of the 18 foot high sculptures reaching towards the celing and 30 foot long murals unfurling across the walls in Takashi Murakami’s In The Land of The Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow to realize that — Polar Vortex be damned — New York City is the Center of The Universe, and that is where you want to be.
I’m not going to go into detail here about who Takashi Murakami is and why his art is important. You either already love his work, or will be compelled to find out based on the photos in this blog post. Or you don’t give a shit, who cares? Use The Google to your advantage, is all I’m saying.
The art exhibited in Murakami’s In The Land of The Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow is about the artist telling his personal story in response to historic natural disasters; specifically the Great Tōhoku Earthquake of 2011. Since that devastating event, Murakami has explored other Japanese art produced in response to historic natural disasters.
At Gagosian, Murakami has created an immersive installation, entered through a 56-ton replica of a Sanmon (Sacred Gate), which also includes paintings of eclectic Arhats (Perfected Persons); dissolving clones of his popular creation Mr. Dob; and Karajishi, the mythic lions that guard Japanese Buddhist temples.
Here is a contemporary belief system, constructed in the wake of disaster, that merges earlier faiths, myths, and images into an amalgamated spirituality of the artist’s imagination. In totemic sculptures representing demons, religious sites, and self-portraits; and paintings that conflate classical Japanese techniques with Abstract Expressionist tropes, science-fiction, manga, and Buddhist and Shinto imagery, Murakami investigates the role of faith amid the inexorable transience and trauma of existence.
That’s right: it’s heavy.
Also, there are lots of skulls.
Not long after we entered the gallery, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked what I thought of the art. When I told him I thought it was just fantastic, he went off on an elaborate rant about how he didn’t like it at all because Murakami puts too much stuff on the canvas. Then he went on about that for a while, citing artists like M. C. Escher, who expressed sophisticated visual concepts without putting “too much stuff” on the canvas, whatever.
When he finally came up for air, I offered my opinion that perhaps Murakami’s fans appreciate the high level of detail in the paintings. That couldn’t be possible, he insisted, because there was just too much stuff going on, “too many ideas.” I’m certainly all about having a lively conversation with someone over differing opinions concerning contemporary art, but if you start telling me that what I think is wrong, well, that’s where I am going to shut you down.
Eventually, Geoffrey appeared and, after I caught his eye and mouthed the words “help me” in his general direction, I was rescued. At that moment, I admit I was thinking about that episode of Seinfeld, where Elaine and Jerry, upon arriving at a party, agree on a hand gesture that they will use to signal each other from across the room if they are being monopolized in conversation by someone who’s driving them insane. Because life imitates art.
Too much stuff on the canvas. What a bunch of bullshit. If he didn’t like the art, why was he there? I got yer Too Much Stuff on the Canvas right here.
See how Murakami puts himself in the art. So cute.
And also, this little guy.
Of course, Murakami was in the house, because he is awesome like that. Here he is standing in front of a mural depicting those Arhats I mentioned earlier. He took the time to pose for photos with everyone, what a guy!
He is always smiling and has the best hats!
Here’s some more stuff we liked!
Here you see Murakami do something a bit different with his signature smiling face flowers. The black and platinum fields on each canvas are embossed with the imprint of hundreds of skulls.
Must See Art: Go Now!
In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow by Takashi Murakami will be on Exhibit Through January 17th, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, Located at 555 West 24th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District.
What a great discovery it was to find out about the existence of the Stephen Romano Gallery when I went to one of their first group shows last June. Even though it is a teeny bit of a jaunt from Manhattan to DUMBO, going there gives me an excuse to visit a very cool neighborhood that is home to lots of amazing street art. I also appreciate that Stephen Romano has a keen talent for curating these Surreal, Dark Pop exhibits that harken back the early days of the Last Rites Gallery, and even incite feelings of nostalgia for the late, great Bold Hype Gallery. What a bummer that that place had to close.
So, it was a great pleasure to attend the opening reception last Saturday for one of Romano’s latest group shows, entitled In Missa Interfectionis; an eclectic exhibit of paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations all celebrating The Dance of Death, Hexes, Voodoo, Curses and Witchcraft — just in time for Halloween!
In Missa Interfectionis features works by some of our favorite artists such as Colin Christian, El Gato Chimney, Darcilio Lima, Eric Richardson, Matthew Dutton and Peca, as well as contributions from over thirty additional artists.
Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!
Here is a new painting from Eric Richardson, an artist whose paintings always have so much going on in them; so many fine details and so many layers of meaning. I love his art. It was fun to get to spend some time with Eric and his awesome girlfriend Joy at the reception. They are so cool.
Matthew Dutton is a sculptor who likes to make things with antlers and baby doll heads. Good for him! This piece is fantastic.
I love the colors in this painting by Lori Field.
This ornately carved box, called Haxan by Colin Christian, reminded me of The Master’s Coffin from the TV Series, The Strain. Scary!
How cool is this sculpture by Judy Chappus, with its glowing crystal orb, silver-painted Barbie Doll parts and lots of awesome skulls? I love everything about it!
Here’s a closer look. So great!
Here is a fun kinetic wall sculpture from the Hopi Dream series by the artist Peca. I love her mystical sensibilities.
This gorgeous portrait of a Voodoo Priestess is by Aunia Kahn, who is just fantastic.
This Birdhouse thing by Tine Kinderman is called Baba Yaga, after the Grande Old Dame of Slavic/Russian witchcraft. Be sure to take look inside for a scary surprise…
It might look like these three candles are in danger of setting fire to their wooden holders.
But if you take a closer look, you can see that these flickering flames are electric! So clever!
And here are two more by one of our favorites, El Gato Chimney. I love the little monkey face! As you can see, there are so many great pieces of art in this show. You really must get your art-loving self to DUMBO and see it in person!!
In Missa Interfectionis will be on Exhibit Through November 30th, 2014 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located at 111 Front Street, Suite 208, DUMBO, Brooklyn.
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Artist and Musician Joseph Arthur is back at Able Fine Art in Chelsea with another solo show featuring bold new digital prints that represent the next step forward in his ever-evolving body of work.
In this new series, fans will recognize the almost indigenous images of Joseph’s very organic and abstract style of painting combined with a distinctive angular design aspect created on his iPad. The results are simply stunning.
This exhibit also features select new paintings that were created by Joseph during his live performances; something which he has been doing for years and which is always fun to watch.
I especially love the Pixelated Skull. above.
The Cross Triptych, above, is unlike anything I’ve seen him do before, whereas the painting below it is recognizably “Old School” Joseph Arthur. Personally, I like everything he does. This is a must see exhibit which will be on view until almost mid-March, so don’t wait too long!
Every Mind is a World by Joseph Arthur will be on Exhibit through March 11, 2014 at Able Fine Art, Located at 511 West 25th St., Suite 607, Chelsea, New York, NY 10001.
You will probably agree that Band of Skulls is a thoroughly righteous band name, and for that reason alone they deserve to be featured as Worleygig.com’s Video Clip of The Week. Fortunately, their music sounds like a Brontosaurus stomping across a collection of the heaviest, most revered classic and psychedelic rock that schooled just about anyone who matters. Yeah, pretty cool. Band of Skulls’ new album, Himalayan, will be released April 1st (No Fooling), 2014, which seems pretty far away, but in the meantime, you can discover the band via this rad clip. Enjoy!
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