This wall mural, located at the First Street Green Art Park, in NYC’s east village pays tribute to the late firefighter and street artist Jef Campion, aka Army of One.
Explanatory Tag by Fumero
Army of One Mural Detail
Two of Campion’s signature images are featured on the mural. One is the very recognizabe Bride of Frankenstein, while another is Grenade Boy, which Campion appropriated from Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. (1962), possibly the most famous photograph by Diane Arbus. Suffering from PTSD, along with the physical affects of having been a 9/11 first responder, Jef Campion took his own life in January of 2014, at the age of just 52. RIP.
Following a five-day preview run, ideally located at the New York City Fire Museum on Spring Street, artist Alexander Millar’s firefighter portrait series, Everyday Heroes NYC moves on to a two-week run in a popular pop up space in SoHo. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, but now living in the north of England, Millar is a self-taught contemporary impressionist with a particular interest in late 19th and early 20th century blue collar workers.
Portrait of Wesley A. Williams
Millar now brings his critically acclaimed artwork to Manhattan with his series of original oil paintings and pencil sketches of New York Firefighters, some of whom have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The series is, not surprisingly, very moving, includes a portrait of Wesley A. Williams. Born in Manhattan in 1897, Williams became only the third African-American to join the New York City Fire Department, at a time of segregation and discrimination. He became the first African-American to be promoted to the rank of officer, when he became a lieutenant in 1927. Williams (now deceased) retired in 1952 with the rank of Battalion Chief.
A Group of Firefighters Raise the Flag at Ground Zero in A New Dawn (2018)
Everyday Heroes NYC is a collection of original oil paintings and limited edition prints which pay tribute to firefighters both past and present; fathers, brothers, songs, daughter, mothers and sisters. Everyday heroes. These portraits were inspired by and honors the men and women of the New York Fire Department; some of whom perished in the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks.
The subject of Forever in Your Arms (2018) is modeled after Keithroy Maynard, who was one of twelve African American firefighters to die at the WTC on 9/11. Maynard was just 30 years old.
Painted in a similar style is We Can Be Heroes, seen here as the original oil painting from which a limited print series will be available. The final version of the print will not feature any reference to the FDNY, but will reference New York only, and it can be customized by Millar with any name of your choosing added to the jacket.
Fuerza Y Honor (Strength and Honour), 2018
I like this one a lot.
Power and Glory (2018)
This one is great, too. This lady was at the opening reception.
No One Left Behind (2018)
Alexander Millar’s Everyday Heroes NYC will be on Exhibit Through Saturday, April 20th, 2018 at Millar Fine Art Gallery, a Pop Up Space Located at 138 Wooster Street, NYC 10012. 20% of the profits from sales of these artworks will be donated to the city’s Fire Museum and the Vulcan Society. Visit the Exhibit’s Website at This Link!
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.
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.
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.
Photo Still from O’Say Can You See
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.
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.
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.
2002 Memorandum from George Tenet, then Director of the CIA, on increasing the agency’s cooperation and information sharing with the NSA.
Animated Close Ups of Intercepted Signals Collected Through ANARCHIST, a classified program run by UK Intelligence.
Line drawing by an NSA employee explaining an Internet surveillance method called “Shaping.”
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.
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 (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
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 Souvenir Postcard Available in the Gift Shop!
All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail
David Zwirner’s cavernous space on West 19th Street is currently hosting To Wit, an expansive exhibition of new works by Southern California-based artist, Raymond Pettibon. A wildly prolific artist and illustrator – for whom To Wit is his ninth exhibit at Zwirner – Pettibon is also famous for having designed flyers, album covers and the iconic four bar logo for LA Punk Rock legends, Black Flag. (Trivia: Pettibon’s birth name is actually Raymond Ginn, and Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn is the artist’s older brother).
Pettibon’s work embraces a wide spectrum of American “high” and “low” culture, from the deviations of marginal youth to art history, literature, sports, religion, politics, and sexuality. Taking their points of departure in the Southern California punk-rock culture of the late 1970s and 1980s and the “do-it-yourself” aesthetic of album covers, comics, concert flyers, and fanzines that characterized the movement, his drawings have come to occupy their own genre of potent and dynamic artistic commentary.
To Witpresents a wide range of drawings and collages unified by their bold, vivid lines and striking compositions. Fragments from American society have been distilled into key images, which often incorporate texts of varying length, from one word to several paragraphs. The selection of texts, spanning a broad array of influences from popular media to Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Henry James, Gustave Flaubert and the Bible, relate both rhythmically and narratively to the visual content of his drawings, although their relationship may not always be immediately apparent.
As the exhibition’s title, “to wit” introduces the works without an antecedent, as an interrupted thought followed by something spontaneous: to wit, this body of work. The words also convey Pettibon’s long-standing interest in the way language moves through its many registers: formal, literary, lyrical and spoken. It is also a dedication to Wit, the broad principle of humor that pervades this work. In keeping with Pettibon’s prolific practice, the works in this exhibition alternately address violence, humor, sex, evolution and sports.
In some drawings, the subject matter is easily recognizable: No Title (I wonder at…) shows the comic strip character Bazooka Joe, distinguished by his eye patch and baseball cap, blowing bubble gum.
You still have nearly a full month to see Raymond Pettibon’s To Wit, so get yourself over to West 19th Street while you can!
Raymond Pettibon’s To Wit will be on Exhibit Through October 26th, 2013 at David Zwirner Gallery, Located at 519 West 19th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Confession: Most of the time, I can barely recall what Netflick I watched last night or what I ate for lunch earlier in the day, but ask me what it was like to be in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001, and I remember that day like it was still happening. I remember seeing the smoke from the first tower as I stood at the corner of 19th Street and 5th Avenue, walking to work that morning and thinking “Something’s on fire.” I can tell you what the weather was like (the most beautiful late summer Tuesday, ever).
I recall the most minute, bullshit details of numerous conversations I had with people that day. I can tell you what I made for lunch (pasta with chicken in red sauce). I even remember what I was wearing. It’s been ten years since that day and for me it’s like it was, as they say, just yesterday. I’m sure I’ll have the same clarity about September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. If you were in NYC at the time, you can’t ever forget. But think about this: what is that day like for people whose birthday is on September 11th? That’s something I hadn’t really considered until I read this fantastic story in The Awl built around first-person testimonials from10 people who are unfortunate enough to have 9/11 as their birth date. Ten People Who Observe Birthdays on 9/11 is by far my favorite remembrance piece of the too-many-to-mention that I’ve already read over the past few days. It captures just the right balance of candor and uncomfortable humor that feel appropriate after a decade of 9/11 anniversaries. The piece starts out like this:
Jotham Sederstrom, 34, freelance reporter: On September 10th, my friends took me out for birthday drinks in Chicago. I was out until three or four, I think, at a place called “The Hideout,” among other places. I didn’t wake up until about noon, at which point everything had changed.
George Spyros, 44, executive producer: I got married the weekend before. We had a bunch of friends and family from out of town, and went out Monday night for dinner. My wife and I were supposed to fly out on September 11th for our honeymoon. On top of that, it’s my birthday.
Michael Wright, 44, editorial director: September 11th has always been the best day of the year for me — and then it all goes to shit.
Allison Spensley, 31, mid-career change: It was my 21st birthday, so of course I had plans to go out.
And it just gets more engaging. You can read the rest – and I strongly recommend that you do – Here.
Hey what’s up. You’ve probably noticed that the blog posts have been a little sparse over the past few days, since I’ve been distracted writing the forward for my friend Chris’s tell-all book about a famous Hair Metal Band. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be talking about it yet though, so that’s all I’m going say, other than it’s a really good read. Even if you hate the band it’s about (and you probably do) you’ll enjoy getting a face full of behind-the-scenes dirt. Because everybody loves the dirt.
Speaking of dirt, with tomorrow being the anniversary of the World Trade Center attack, I doubt I’ll be putting anything up, just to honor the memory of all the people who died or had their lives otherwise ruined by that particular occurrence, and in memory of my friend John Heffernan, a NYC firefighter who lost his life on that day. Rest in peace, Johnny.