Do you like Buff Monster? I sure do. If you are familiar at all with this world-famous street artist’s extensive body of work, then you know that his key creation is Mr. Melty, which is an anthropomorphic ice cream cone. This Hot Pink version of Mister Melty was a limited edition that was selling in the Clutter Magazine booth at last years Five Points Festival for about $275, I think. That sounds like a big chunk of change, but consider that this piece is also a highly-collectible work of art, and, you know, it’s kind of a bargain. Plus: Pink.
You only have a few more days to check out Strani Incontri, an exhibition of new works by Italian artist Alessando Gallo over at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. This is Gallo’s first exhibit at LeVine, but his work will probably look very familiarly if you know the art of Mike Leavitt, who also shows at LeVine.
Gallo merges elements of the real world to create a surreal one teeming with the possibility of strani incontri, or strange encounters. His hybrid sculptures embody human behavioral patterns and physical attributes from the neck down while unseemly animal heads mock the human disposition and comically question our relationship with the natural world.
Gallo’s artistic process is deeply rooted in realism and he begins by photographing a model from all angles. He then uses those photographs, as well as images from his sizeable archive of animal wildlife books, as references while sculpting.
The mutant species Gallo creates are then placed in typical human circumstances, such as riding the subway or checking their tablet on a park bench, and are so accurately crafted that their presence is unsettling yet familiar.
Themes of loneliness, isolation and boredom are abundant in Gallo’s work due to the inclusion of an animal presence in the mundane minutia of urban life. Every culture has associations between animals and emotions, which are evident in adages such as ‘happy as a clam’ or ‘stubborn as a mule’, and Gallo views his sculptures as psychological portraits relating to these emotional states.
Regardless of their distortion, Gallo’s characters exemplifying human nature by humorously embodying our values and vices.
Alessandro Gallo’s Strani Incontri will be on Exhibit until October 4th at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 W 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Here at the Worley Gig, we are especially fond of the contemporary art that embraces both the dark and the darkly humorous. Perhaps this is the reason we are really digging the latest exhibit over at Bold Hype Gallery: Bethany Marchman’s Bless Your Heart. According to Marchman’s bio, the artist aims “to create parallels between innocence and influence / history and popular culture. [Her] paintings are reflections of the awkward changes we experience as individuals and as a society, while questioning whether or not growth is synonymous with improvement.” Interesting!
Dealing largely with the anthropomorphism of animals, this new series is both playful and morbid. We just love it! Marchman’s use of traditional oils in a primarily dark color palette lends a renaissance feel to her work; one which is further enhanced by each painting’s ornate, gilt frame. So gorgeous! Each painting tells a story that the viewer can make up in his or her head. Here are some of the thoughts I was thinking while I looked at them.
Are these actually High School Year Book pictures of Goats? If so, what kind world do those Goats inhabit? I want to know.
Are these the skulls of animal characters that populate literary legend? Do they adorn the walls of a museum in a parallel universe? I want to go there.
Are these bunny rabbits in Victorian collars honored pets or regal children immortalized on canvas?
Does this distracted young scout realize that the Yeti is fast encroaching on her? Scary!
How can I get away with not paying my rent so that I can afford to buy the three paintings above?
Bethany’s paintings recall elements of the works of some of our favorite artists including Travis Louie, Ken Kearns and Mark Ryden. If the images in this post resonate with you, or if you dig any of the aforementioned artists, you should not miss this show.
Bethany Marchman’s Bless Your Heart will be on Exhibit Through October 6, 2012 at Bold Hype Gallery, Located at 547 W 27th St, 5th floor, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 12 Noon – 5:00 PM