Scope Art NY is a fantastic art fair that completely surprised me with its broad representation of pop surrealist art — my favorite! I discovered a bunch of cool new galleries including Haven Gallery, located in Northport, Long Island, whose represented artists reminded me fondly of all the amazing shows I used to go to at the late great Jonathan LeVine Gallery. While I was visiting their booth, I was naturally drawn to this very pink oil-on-wood painting of a fox and deer, engaged with each other in a sort of magical clearing. This stunning piece is entitled The Mischievous Heart Returned and it is by Jennybird Alcantara, a Contemporary Surrealist painter. Aside from being totally visually rad — because, pink — if you take a very close look at the heart (which has legs, interesting) being cradled by the fox, you can see that it has teeny, tiny . . . vagina.
Do you love the art of humorist /painter David Shrigley? I sure do. Confession: I have a little crush on him. He is amazing, and I worship his art. Anton Kern Gallery is currently hosting a show of new paintings by David Shrigley, the opening reception of which Geoffrey and I excitedly I attended on Thursday, April 16th. I recommend you go see this show while you can.
First, I want to show you what the gallery looked like with people in it, so you can see how the works are hung and get an idea of why all of my photos had to be cropped at weird angles. Because I am not 15 feet tall. In case you are not familiar with why David Shrigley completely rules, here is some background on his deal, which I cut and pasted from his Wikipedia entry.
David Shrigley is best known for his mordantly humorous cartoons released in softcover books or postcard packs. He finds humor in flat depictions of the inconsequential, the unavailing, and the bizarre, although he is far fonder of violent or otherwise disquieting subject matter.
His work has two of the characteristics often encountered in Outsider Art: an odd viewpoint and, in some of his work, a deliberately limited technique. His freehand line is often weak (which jars with his frequent use of a ruler), his forms are often very crude, and annotations in his drawings are poorly executed and frequently contain crossings-out.
In authentic outsider art, the artist has no choice but to produce work in his or her own way, even if that work is unconventional in content and inept in execution. In contrast, it is likely that Shrigley has chosen his style and range of subject matter for comic effect.
In addition to the 78 drawings on display, the exhibit includes two sculptures, one of which is this Subtractor; a calculator with limited function keys.
They sell this book at the gallery. Just thinking about opening its pages makes me squeal.
David was present at the opening party and he is very easy to spot because he is about 6’5″ at least and also very, very cute. I had brought with me this cartoon of his that I love, which says “No Speed Limit Anymore Go As Fast As You Want Like in Germany” and I asked him if he would sign it, so he signed it “in German.” I love him.
New Works By David Shrigley will be on Exhibit Through May 23rd, 2015 at Anton Kern Gallery, Located at 532 West 20th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
While on an Art Safari at The Met this past weekend, we discovered the rare Glass Bambi, which is actually called PixCell-Deer #24, created in 2011 by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa as part of his Heisei period works. Glass Bambi was realized by covering a full sized Taxidermied Deer with variably sized artificial crystal glass beads, called PixCells, a term coined by the artist. PixCell combines the idea of a Pixel — the smallest unit of a digital image — with that of a Cell. Clever.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the part of Nawa, PixCell-Deer #24 resonates with a type of religious painting known as a Kasuga Deer Mandala, which features a Deer — the messenger animal of Shinto Deities — posed similarly, with its head turned to the side, and with a round sacred mirror on its back.
In Japanese art, the Deer is often depicted as a companion of ancient sages, and has auspicious and poetic associations.
PixCell Deer #24, AKA Glass Bambi is Part of the Permanent Collection of Japanese Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC!
New Photos Were Added to This Post On March 13, 2019!
If you love Skulls and Taxidermy Bats as much as I do, you will flip out over NYC-based artist Joseph Grazi’s new collection of sculptures and drawings, God Complex, up for just three short weeks at Joseph Gross Gallery. Seriously, it is pretty awesome.
According to the shows official press release, these artworks, “illustrate man’s increasing dominion over the natural world. With the human brain being the most complex structure existing in the known universe, we have been given the ability to manipulate the environment as we please and, ultimately, bend nature itself to our insatiable needs.” I can’t say that I disagree with that statement.
As Grazi frequently points out, “nature has been tamed and the animals that once posed threats to us are now predominantly under control. In addition, we can rearrange and re-engineer our bodies, create new species, and explore other planets. This capacity, along with the eradication of our former enemies and fears, can have a subconscious calming effect.”
Grazi’s new work revolves around the often inconsistent and irrational relationship that we have developed with nature over time, and how are new technologies have begun to give us godlike dominion over the planet and its animal inhabitants. It is through the realizations of these new powers that the artist hopes to lead to a more aware and responsible approach to managing and maintaining the kingdom of Earth.
Joseph was present at last week’s opening reception and, let me tell you, he is not only extremely easy on the eyes, but also could not possibly have been nicer to Geoffrey and me as we chewed his ear of about how rad his art is. I asked Joseph where he gets the bats he uses in his sculptures, and I think he said he gets them from various taxidermist sources, but who knows. He is so hot, it was hard for me to pay attention to what he was saying. Just kidding. Sort of. Not really.
Joseph Grazi’s God Complex will be on Exhibit Through May 2nd, 2015 at Joseph Gross Gallery, Located at 548 West 28th Street, Suite 232, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Hey what’s up. The annual Affordable Art Fair, which officially opens today, hosted a super crowded preview last night with free drinks and lots of amazing art that is, admittedly subjectively, priced to own. To the Fair’s creators, this means art priced up to $10,000, so your mileage may vary. I know that I admired perhaps a dozen works that I’d love to have in my collection, priced from between $400 to $3,000, so that certainly fits my budget — and that’s exciting!
This 3D Lenticular print depiction of a Hot Pink Giant Bambi wandering along a NYC street is by artist Paco Raphael, represented by the Ronen Art Gallery in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and sells for just $2700, which is a steal! There are also versions of this artwork where Bambi is Orange, and one where he is Purple. So, something for every taste!
What’s extra cool about AAF is that it hosts galleries from all over the globe, so you can see works from Europe and Asia that you otherwise might not be exposed to, all in one place.
Affordable Art Fair takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street in NYC, through Sunday March 29th, 2015. Visit This Link for more information!
On the same evening that we visited Bethany Marchman’s collection of anthropomorphic animal oil paintings, we saw a remarkable exhibit from a sculptor exploring similar themes.
Come Undone, the new body of work by Beth Cavener Stichter, features large-scale works made from clay. Cavener Stichter cajoles the viewer into looking at the darker side of the human condition by cloaking it in animal skin. Her subjects elicit empathy, expressing complex emotions and relationships while permitting us to finally examine humanity closely enough to fully consider it — and to connect on a rare personal level.
A life-sized sculpture of a lamb makes for an unexpected chandelier, lit from within and suspended from the ceiling.
A sensuous hare dangles a tattooed leg suggestively over the edge of its sculpture stand, all the while sustaining the piercing eye contact Cavener Stichter’s works are known to possess. Each work heightens our visual interest while dramatizing states of grace, fear, desperation and beauty.
The White Hind (The Bride) reminded us very much of This Piece.
In Bocca al Lupo (We call it Wolf with Pink Vomit)
Each piece is testimony to Cavener Stichter’s truly innovative studio practice. While the properties of her chosen medium enable her an eloquence of form and surface unavailable through other media, she pushes the process further through a construction both delicate and time consuming. She begins with a solid block of terra cotta, taking care to create her signature “painterly” sweeping strokes in the clay. She then cuts the work into small, manageable sections re-work and re-articulate the musculature, skin, and fur. The next step is to painstakingly hollow out each section until it is very thin and thus fires to an extreme strength. After the kiln, she re-assembles the pieces and paints the finished work.
While the Come Undone exhibit takes up the main floor gallery, downstairs you’ll find a diverse collection of pieces by other Claire Oliver represented artists, which is just another reason a visit to this gallery is always enjoyable.
Beth Cavener Stichter’s Come Undone will be on Exhibit until October 20th, 2012 at The Claire Oliver Gallery, Located at 513 West 26th Street (Street Level) New York City.