Tag Archive | Art

Artist Kevin Champeny Creates Mosaic Portraits of Hillary and Trump From 1,000s of Tiny Middle Fingers

Dump Truck Full View
Dump Truck (All Photos By Gail)

Do you hate Donald Trump? I sure do. Dump (which is what I call him exclusively, with a rare exception being this blog post) sucks ass wildly, and he is destroying our country in ways few, if any, of us could have heretofore imagined possible. Dump’s outrageous suckitude inspires many artists to create art out of his likeness, because it makes him easier to mock. Yay! That being said, I was recently pitched a story on Kevin Champeny, a comntemporary artist whose medium is creating sculptures made up of other tiny sculptures that are related to whatever the larger image is all about. Watch a video on Kevin’s practice at This Link to see him in action and get a better idea of what I am talking about, because he is truly amazing. Even better, Kevin cites Kris Kuksi (one of our favorites) as a major influence. Awesome.

Staying with his favorite medium, Kevin’s most recent project includes two mosaic portraits, Defiance (Dump) and Fair Game/Defiant (Hillary Clinton), each of which are comprised of 4,000 hand-cast urethane Middle Fingers. Just being serious. Even though I am a huge Hillary fan (#StillWithHer), I knew I had to check out these artworks in person, and fortunately that this was not hard to do. A week or so ago, Kevin (with assistance from his friend, glass truck owner Chris, who formerly ran the pop up Sock Truck out of the mobile glass unit) launched the Defiance / Fair Game Glass Truck Tour in New York City. Over the course of four days (May 3rd – 6th) the truck made stops around town, targeting highly foot-trafficked areas like Union Square Park, The Oculus/ WTC, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, Times Square, and Pier 94 (where Art Fair NY was taking place). I caught up with the truck while it was parked on Seventh Avenue, just across the street from Madison Square Garden / Penn Station at 5 PM on the Friday evening.

Dump Truck
Defiance Portrait

Dump Fingers
Defiance Portrait, Surface Detail

Gail and Kevin by Dump

Here I am with Kevin in front of Defiance. Please note that I was originally posed flipping off the portrait, but this is the pose that the photographer sent to me, so, whatever. Kevin looks great and so does the art!  While I am unsure of Kevin’s political leanings, he remains completely nonpartisan when discussing the artworks, and I believe this a smart move. It allows for greater freedom of interpretation by the viewer in experiencing each piece, which is what art is all about. Art!

Hillary Truck

For example,  I support and voted for Hillary Clinton, and I still wish she was our President, because that could have prevented so many horrible things that have come to pass since November of 2016.  Sadness. I hadn’t planned on including her portrait in the post, but then Kevin explained to me that he co-titled the piece “Defiant” because of how she stood up to all of the haters and endless bullshit that was lobbed at her. And, when you consider it from that perspective, it also reminded me of this meme, which was created during the campaign by my friend Beth.

Clinton For America Meme

*Sigh* She is my Hero.

Kevin Champeny’s work is unique, intricate and thought provoking. Get more information on Kevin and his various projects at This Link and follow him on Instagram at @kevinchampeny.

Post Card

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Triathlon (Scenario) By Robert Rauschenberg

Triathlon (Scenario)
Photo By Gail

After suffering a stroke in 2002 that left his right arm partially paralyzed, Robert Rauschenberg (19252008) was no longer able to take photographs, nor was he able to transfer and arrange them into new compositions, as he had been doing since the early 1950s. As Triathlon (Scenario)  (2005) shows, these obstacles did not prevent him from making art. Relying on the sorts of collaborative processes that had fueled his work for decades, Rauschenberg invited his friends to take photographs with digital cameras that he provided. He then selected from the images they produced and instructed one of his studio assistants at the time, Kevin Pottorf , in the transfer and arrangments of these imgaes onto two panels

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: David Hockney, Breakfast at Malibu, Sunday

Breakfast at Malibu, Sunday
Photo By Gail

In the late 1980s, David Hockney bought a house on the beach in Malibu, California and proceeded to paint interiors that showcased the incredible view of the sea from his picture window. “When you live this close to the sea,” he said, “when it literally comes up and splashes the windows, it is not the horizon line which dominates, but the close movement of  the water itself. It’s like fire and smoke, endlessly changing, endlessly fascinating.” In Breakfast at Malibu, Sunday (1989) the Pacific Ocean is almost opalescent and seems to blend in with the horizon near the top edge  of the canvas.

Part of a Private Collection, This Painting was Photographed While On Loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

 

 

Vandal Gummy Bear on Stanton Street

WhIsBe Gummy Bear
Photo By Gail

Here’s well-preserved example of anonymous street artist WhIsBe’s Vandal Gummy series, for which he places an image of a Candy Gummy Bear against a Prison Mugshot Background. According to the artist’s Wiki page, “The juxtaposition between the harshness of the Department of Corrections and the innocence of the piece of candy encourages viewers to examine institutions and has become a hallmark of WhIsBe’s body of work.”

Photographed at 19 Stanton Street, Just East of Chrystie Street, LES, NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Max Ernst, The Nymph Echo

Nymph Echo
Photo By Gail

The diminutive nude female figure in the upper right area of  The Nymph Echo (1936) is often identified as Echo — a mountain nymph of Greek Mythology. Far more dominant, however, is the monstrous green vegetal creatures —  or is it creatures — in the foreground. This wildly imaginative hydra-headed creation may represent Narcissus, whom Echo loved.  Famously, Narcissus fell in love with his own beautiful image reflected in a pool and wasted away from unsatisfied desire, whereupon he was transformed into a flower. The various delicately colored floral effusions in Ernst’s painting recall this moment of metamorphosis.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC

 

Christopher Chiappa’s Compositions at Kate Werble Gallery

Front Room Installation View
All Photos By Gail

When last we visited Kate Werble Gallery for one of sculptor Christopher Chiappa’s immersive exhibits, the place was covered wall-to-wall, floor-to-celing with Fried Eggs, and that was a good time. For his fourth exhibition at the gallery, Chiappa has installed in its front and back rooms two collections of what, on first glance, appear to be brightly colored, painted wooden tables. On closer examination, however, the at once familiar table shapes of Chiappa’s sculptures transmute and metamorphose into increasingly whimsical and delightful forms as you progress through the galleries. It’s a hoot.

Front Room Partial Install

With this show, Chiappa attempts a reset from past projects by returning to the most fundamental elements of abstraction: geometric shapes, solid colors, and line. His Compositions are made slowly, by hand; and his use of bright color serves to emphasize the assembly. The junctures between individual planes of wood are heightened by the sharp transitions in opposing colors and forms.

Blue Table

This one is my favorite. I think because of the Pink leg.

Red and Yellow Stacking

Mondrian Table

These works operate firmly within the gap of the simile. In color, shape, and temperament, they metabolize a succession of art historical reference points: Suprematism, Constructivism, Bauhaus, and Memphis Group. Like the Suprematists, for example, Chiappa uses the language of non-objective abstraction. However, instead of seeking to transcend the material world, he purposefully goes the wrong way around; he directs these forms back to the familiar.

Rainbow Table

Turquoise Table Set

As the tables become more abstract, you can play a fun game coming up with ideas of what the shapes remind you of.

Fed Ex Table

In this one, the use of Orange and Purple reminds me of the Fed Ex logo!

Bicycle Table

This one reminds me of deconstructed version of a child’s Tricycle.

Twisty Table

The Red Shape at the top of this one looks like a Fish trying to swim away. If you add in that Black Shape to the lower left, it could also be a Chicken.

Tangled Sculpture 2

In this, I see a group of friends of different races playing a game of One Potato Two Potato. See? Lots of fun. And I was by myself, so imagine how much more interesting it could be if you see the show with a friend.

Now lets check out the back room, where things get weirder.

Rear Gallery Installation View 2

Chiappa’s Compositions evolve without foreseen conclusion, evidence that repetition leads not to sameness but to difference. The early works remain closest to the basic form, and they gradually deviate further from the original. Though the parameters and materials remain the same, the final sculptures feel far removed from the first. The result is an autonomous object whose symbolic reference point has broken down altogether.

Target Table

I see a big Target.

Target Legs

Look at all those Legs!

Rocking Sculpture

Sculpture Collection

Blue Spire Sculpture

Blue Table Sculpture

Stacking E Tables

Compositions is a really fun exhibit, espcially for fans of minimalists like Ellsworth Kelly and modern furniture design. And you still hove lots of time to check it out!

Christopher Chiappa’s Compositions Will be on Exhibit Through June 2nd, 2018 at Kate Werble Gallery, Located at 83 Vandam Street, Soho, NYC.

Rear Gallery Installation View
Rear Gallery Installation View

Eye On Design: Skull Cap By Sol LeWitt

Skull Cap By Sol Lewitt
Photos By Gail

A pioneer of Minimal and Conceptual art, Sol LeWitt (19282007) is known for large-scale, geometric wall drawings, often using bold stripes of pure color to create rhythmic optical patterns. In 2001, he conceived the doors of a Torah ark for Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Connecticut, with the design of a six-pointed star within a circle.  The pattern was later repeated on this leather Skull Cap. The translation of LeWitt’s signature Minimalist style into a multicolored item of Judaica is at once cheerful and graphically striking.

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in NYC.

Skull Cap By Sol Lewitt