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David Lyle’s Everyone’s a Critic at Lyons Wier Gallery

The Creative Process
David Lyle Lampoons the Works of Pop Artist Jeff Koons in The Creative Process (All Photos By Gail)

Lyons Wier Gallery is currently hosting Everyone’s A Critic, a new body of work by artist David Lyle. Working from found vintage and vernacular photographs, Lyle seamlessly composes works that harken back to 1950’s and 1960’s America – not as they were, but skewed and reimagined by the artist.

Next Item Up for Bid
Next Item Up for Bid

Lyle’s painstakingly reductive painting process is a very crucial element to the evolution of his final images. Each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. He begins his process by priming a panel with white gesso. Lyle then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, he renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.

The Forgery
The Forgery

In Everyone’s A Critic, we see how the artists’ methodology, combined with his acerbic wit, creates an altered reality rife with cynicism and bursting with humor. Lyle is impeccably faithful to the vintage photographs that inspire his work – until a point in which he instills a cultural reference so familiar, yet iconoclastic, as to leave the viewer wincing, laughing, or really thinking – often it is all three.

The Genius
The Genius

This series presents a wonderfully caustic commentary on the art world. Lyle, who is one part voyeur and one part participant, creates images that embrace much of what mystifies the public about the art world – art that is not made by the artists’ themselves, money as an end game, art-speak, etc.

The Masterpiece
The Masterpiece

David Lyle’s Everyone’s A Critic will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located at 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

The Dealer
The Dealer

Robert C. Jackson’s Tinkering With Reality at Gallery Henoch

Pairings Feast
Pairings Feast (All Photos By Gail, Click On Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Robert Jackson’s Tinkering with Reality is a disarmingly fun exhibit of contemporary pop-realist paintings whose everyday subject matter lends them an element of the absurd. More than anything, this exhibit reminded me of the paintings of Robert Deyber, but without the obvious visual puns attached.

Pop Betsy Ross
Pop Betsy Ross

Pancakes
Pancakes

Robert Jackson’s paintings offer tightly contained theaters of absurd impossibilities that speak to the very act of creating itself. Jackson’s regular cast of characters includes unbelievably tall stacks of pastries and hamburgers, anthropomorphized apples, Oreos and balloon animals, as well as colorful wooden crates whose graphic faces flatten the picture plane even as they enhance the painting’s ‘trompe l’oeil’ effects.

Pop Floral
Pop Floral

More Donuts
More Donuts

Jackson paints scenes that delight in their illusory spectacle as they navigate through painting’s loaded history. Jackson’s props lack traditional sophistication by designs – the silliness of a balloon dog or the artificial sweetness of an Oreo cookie lend a playful spirit to the philosophical conundrums that Jackson explores in his narrative-driven paintings.

Dollar
Dollar

Robert Jackson’s transfixing work makes it easy for the viewer to suspend their disbelief. But there’s an element of self-awareness in Jackson’s paintings that makes the viewer conscious of Jackson not trying to simply fool, but to make the viewer think about the process of being fooled.

Props
Props

Painted at human scale, Props looks like scene the viewer could walk into, pick up a burger and walk out of again. Jackson finds a way to cleverly imply his own presence in the work through the bitten red delicious apple on top of a Pop Kola crate, and the tiny green Fisher Price figurine on the stack of crates to the left.

The Thinker
The Thinker

I also really loved the way Jackson references other works of art within his paintings, such as the homage to Rodin’s The Thinker, above.

Art Project
Art Project

And of course you cannot talk about Balloon Dogs without thinking of Jeff Koons.

Icons
Icons

How many “Iconic” works can you identify in the painting above? Tinkering With Reality is one of my favorite current exhibits, and I recommend very enthusiastically that you check it out in person!

Robert C. Jackson’s Tinkering With Reality will be on Exhibit Through November 29th, 2015 at Gallery Henoch, Located at 555 West 25 Street, New York, NY 10001

Gallery View

Robert C Jackson Tinkering with Reality Signage

Must See Art: Jeff Koons Retrospective at The Whitney Museum

Jeff Koons Retrospective Signage
Jeff Koons Retrospective Signage Depicting Michael Jackson and Bubbles Sculpture from the Banality Series (All Photos By Gail)

It is no secret that Jeff Koons is one of my most-loved artists. A lot of haters take issue with the fact that Koons is so rich and successful, like that is a bad, thing. I say, if a billionaire wants to pay $58 million dollars for one of his Balloon Dog sculptures, good for him. Good for everybody! If I had $58 Million to blow on some rad artwork, I would do the same thing. Jeff Koons!

Jeff Koons is currently the subject of a retrospective at The Whitney Museum, surveying the full scope of his career, and it is a must see show. Comprised of almost 150 objects dating from 1978 to the present, this exhibition is the most comprehensive ever devoted to Koons’ Artwork, his first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entire Marcel Breuer-designed Whitney building with a single artist’s work. The Koons Retrospective will also be the final exhibition to take place there before the Whitney opens its new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015 — but what a way to go!

Mail Box with Gazing Ball
Gazing Ball Series (2013)

The Koons Retrospective fills four floors of the building including the lobby, plus the lower level (adjacent to the restaurant) and the small outdoor “garden.” The work is organized chronologically with his newest work, which includes the Gazing Ball series that debuted at the David Zwirner Gallery last year, in a lobby adjacent gallery. Geoffrey and I started on the 4th floor and worked our way down.

Non-flash photography is allowed (thank god) and I took about 100 photos. Here are some highlights from the show!

Inflatable Flowers
Inflatable Flowers

The Inflatables Series (1978–79) features works that look like weightless, air-filled plastic flowers, though the works are made of stainless Steel.

Light Mounted Toaster
Toaster Mounted on Lit Base

Pre-New (1979–80) includes a series of small, counter top kitchen appliances mounted on deco-style lit bases.

Red Telephone
Red Telephone, Pre-New Series

I never thought I would live in an era where some people will neither know how the above object is used, nor understand the significance of its red color.

Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuum Cleaners, New Series

The News Series (1980–87) features billboard-sized product adverts as well as a large collection of sculptures comprised of early model vacuum cleaners encased in vitrines lit by fluorescent tubing.These works reminded me favorably of  old The Carousel of Progress attraction at Disneyland.

Vacuum Cleaner Gallery View
New Series Gallery View

Basketballs in a Tank
Three Basketballs in a Tank, Equilibrium Series (1983–93)

Frangelico Ad
Frangelico Ad, Luxury and Degradation Series (1986)

Baccarat Crystal Cocktail Set
Baccarat Crystal Cocktail Service Set, Luxury and Degradation Series

Mermaid Sculpture
Mermaid, Statuary Series (1986)

Bob Hope Statue
Bob Hope, Statuary Series

Banality Series Gallery
Banality Series (1988) Installation View

Surprised Bather
Surprised Bather, Banality Series

Gilded Mirror
Gilt Mirror, Banality Series

Made in Heaven Signage
Made in Heaven Series (1989–91)

Between 1989 and 1991, Koons and his then wife, Italian Porn star and Politician Cicciolina, posed for a series of sexually explicit artworks that became the Made in Heaven Series and Coffee Table Book. While Koons and Cicciolina are unbelievably hot and fun to look at, some of these photos show lots of Peen and Vajayjay, so you are going to want to keep any kids out of the galleries that are labeled “Sexually Explicit Material/Not for Children” or something similar.

Made in Heaven
Made In Heaven Series

Koons Bust with Crystals
Koons Bust with Crystals, Made in Heaven Series

Made in Heaven Amethyst Sculpture
Made In Heaven Series Amethyst Sculpture

Pink Cake
Pink Cake, Celebration Series (1994 Onward)

The Celebration Series gallery is probably my favorite in the entire exhibit.

Purple Heart
Purple Heart, Celebration Series

Giant Pile of Play Doh
Play-Doh with Balloon Dog in the Background, Celebration Series

Pink Button
Pink Button with Random Gallery Visitor, Included for Scale, Celebration Series

Purple Giraffe Mirror
Purple Giraffe Silhouette Mirror, Easyfun Series (1999–2000)

Mirror Reflected in a Mirror
Easyfun Series

Betty Page and Dolphin
Easyfun-Ethereal Series (2000–02)

Lunch Meat Faces with Mustache
Easyfun-Ethereal Series

Beach Chairs and Seals
Seal Walrus (Chairs) Sculpture (Foreground), Elvis (Background), Popeye Series (2002 Onward)

Inflatable Lobster
Lobster, Popeye Series

Hulk Organ
Hulk (Organ), Hulk Elvis Series (2004–14)

Yellow Mirrored Sculpture
Pluto and Proserpina, Antiquity Series (2013 Onward)

Balloon Venus
Balloon Venus (Orange), Antiquity Series

I know there are a ton of photos in this post, but consider that they represent only one tenth of what’s in the exhibit and you know you gotta go check this out! I’ll be going back at least once more. Helpful Hint to Avoid Crowds: Try to get to The Whitney by 12 Noon or earlier on a weekend. Although crowds are unpredictable, an early arrival made the difference between waiting on line just inside the lobby when we arrived versus a line that went outside and around the block by the time we left!

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective Will be on Exhibit Through October 19th, 2014, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Located at 945 Madison Avenue (at 75th Street) in NYC. The exhibition then travels to the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (November 26, 2014–April 27, 2015) and to the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 5–September 27, 2015).

Pink Thing of the Day: Pink Art From Frieze 2013!

Pink Mirrored Disc at Frieze
Pink Convex Mirrored Disc (All Photos By Gail)

The Frieze Art Fair took over Randall’s Island in NYC this past weekend and it was quite an event! Here are ten awesome Pink Artworks I saw there.

Hot Pink Canvas at Frieze
Fluorescent Pink Canvas

This was the first art work I saw when I walked into the tent. Wow, what a great first impression!

Pink Optical Illusion at Frieze
Pink Optical Illusion

Pink Bars at Frieze
Pink Bars

Pink Papers Bars at Frieze
Pink Paper Installation

Pink Balloon Dog by Paul McCarthy at Frieze
Pink Balloon Dog By Paul McCarthy

Trio of Pink Lips at Frieze
Trio of Pink Lips

Pink Cone at Frieze
Pink Cone

Pink Tulle at Frieze
Pink Tulle

Pink Mountain at Frieze
Pink Mountain

Gazing Ball By Jeff Koons at David Zwirner

Gazing Ball Birdbath
All Photos By Gail

It’s been a decade since the art of Jeff Koons – one of the contemporary art world’s wealthiest, most celebrated and undeniably wildly polarizing figures – has been the focus of a solo exhibit here in Manhattan. This week, he has two: a series of new works at David Zwirner and a retrospective (opening this evening) at the Gagosian Gallery.

Gazing Ball De Milo

The David Zwirner Gallery-hosted Gazing Ball opened last night and, even though the doors opened exactly one hour behind schedule, it was well worth waiting for.

Gazing Ball Head

For Gazing Ball, Koons has filled two conjoined spaces of the Gallery (located at adjacent addresses) with more than a dozen Las Vegas-style reproductions of ancient Roman statuary, each adorned with a strategically placed, royal blue stainless steel sphere flaunting the mirror-finish surface that has become so identifiable with Koons’ sculptures.

Jeff Koons and Peter Brant
Jeff Koons with Art Collector Peter Brant at Wednesday’s Opening Reception

In each piece, the juxtaposition between the classic and the kitsch, to me, is conceptually fantastic and very visually appealing. But of course there are fans and then there are people live to talk smack about Jeff Koons, which I find puzzling.

Gazing Ball Lyre

It’s been said in Other reviews, and I tend to agree, that people who dump on Jeff Koons’ art must be suffering from some kind of misplaced envy or inferiority complex. If you don’t like Jeff Koons, and no one says you must, you are free to stay away from his art shows, but don’t come to a Koons’ exhibit and talk loudly about how much the art sucks, because it just makes you look pathetic and desperate to seem cool.

Gazing Ball Centaur

Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball will be on exhibit through June 29th, 2013 at David Zwirner, Located at 525 West 19th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 AM – 6:00 PM.

Jeff Koons Gazing Ball Signage

Gazing Ball Reclining

Gazing Ball Beowulf

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Pink Thing Of The Day: Geometric Balloon Dog Sculpture

Pink Geometric Balloon Dog By Aakash Nihalani
Image Source

Street artist Aakash Nihalani often references the work of other fine artists in his colorful, geometric sculptures. Here you can see an obvious homage to Jeff Koons iconic, oversized, painted steel balloon dogs. Love this!

Balloon Dog Jello Dessert Mold

Red Balloon Dog Jello Mold

Hey all you Jeff Koons fans out there! Are you dying to make a Jello gelatin dessert molded in the shape of a Balloon Dog? I know I am, and now it is possible to do just that with this awesome Balloon Dog Jello Mold that you can buy at This Link for just $9.95! (Sorry this item is sold out!)

Balloon Dog Molded Jello