Tag Archive | Diorama

Roxy Paine’s Farewell Transmission at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Meeting
Meeting, 2016, Scale Diorama By Roxy Paine (All Photos By Gail)

Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently hosting Farewell Transmission, a two-venue exhibition of recent sculpture by Roxy Paine, for the artist’s first major New York solo exhibition in three years and the first of his sculpture with Paul Kasmin.

Over the past 25 years, Paine’s sculptures ruminate upon the clash of the human and the natural worlds, and the warring of chaos and control that result from humanity’s attempts to manage the process.  Farewell Transmission presents two distinct series, Dioramas and Dendroids; each express the artist’s anxieties about the human impact on our habitat and the mechanized tools that seek to impose order and control, often to disordered and unpredictable ends.

In his Dioramas, Paine adopts and adapts a format familiar within the natural history museum, but instead of employing human artifice to represent the natural world, Paine’s Dioramas use organic materials to represent quotidian environments where the fundamental states of the Homo Sapien can be observed. Rooted in the Greek language, diorama translates to “through that which is seen.” Paine’s Dioramas are a device through which one can examine our own habitat, culture and society.  Seemingly innocuous at first, each Diorama presents a room devoid of actual figures, yet charged with their psychological dilemmas.

Meeting Detail

Meeting (2016) is the artist’s most intimate in scale from the series, and implies through attentive details such as a ring of non-descript office chairs, the community space that hosts one of the variety twelve-step substance abuse programs.

Meeting Coffee

Experiment
Experiment, Installation View

Experiment (2015) the only diorama of an actual historical event, though one for which we have no photographs, depicts the setting of a 1950s-70s CIA surveillance program examining the effects of LSD.

Experiment Detail

Looking at this hallucinatory experience through another surveilling environment heightens the paranoid feelings of control, manipulation and misguided forensic observation. Personal associations and past encounters with these familiar spaces inevitably creep into the imagined scenes of the Diorama, collapsing the distance between the viewer and that which is on view.

Experiment Detail

Desolation Row

In Desolation Row (2017) a remarkable new work, Paine synthesizes the tree silhouettes of the Dendroids, the simulation of the Dioramas and the expansiveness of his earlier Fields series to replicate nature in solitude and at its most poignant moment.

Desolation Row

Returning to the motif of the tree, Paine presents them in Desolation Row as charred, barren, and destroyed. Positioned across a 13-ft table, Desolation Row is an unflinching portrayal of the infinite cycle of control and chaos reaching its devastating yet paradoxical conclusion where Paine leaves the question of renewal to be resolved.

Dendroids Installation View

Fusing organic forms, such as trees, flowers, and fungi with man-made structures and materials among which include stainless steel, epoxy, and polymer, Paine invents, distorts, surprises and confounds our perception of the natural and inorganic and the real and artificial.

Dendroids

The new Dendroids, Paine’s first iteration in over 5 years of his iconic stainless steel sculptures, further expand upon this multifaceted, yet imperfect, transformation of the industrial into the natural, with even more daring grafting, beguiling engineering, and wild experimentation.

Organ Tree

In the new works, tree trunks, branches and roots intertwine with lungs and hearts, or with electricity poles and debris and detritus.

Utility Pole Treet

Ground Fault (2016) poetically melds a tree’s roots and trunk with two transformers that are used to circulate electromagnetic energy.  Paine’s Dendroids continue to reveal the intrinsic affinities and twisted connectivity of a tree’s form with other plant, human and man-made systems.

Dendrils Triptych

Roxy Paine: Farewell Transmission, will be on Exhibit Through July 1st, 2011 at Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Locations at293 and 297 Tenth Avenue, at 27th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Roxy Paine Signage

Dendrils

 

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Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Dog Thing By Rafa Macarron

Pink Dog
Photos By Gail

Last month, I went to see an exhibit over at the Allouche Gallery in the Meatpacking district by an artist called Rafa Macarron. I’ve seen his work at the gallery previously and was very attracted to the almost fluorescent colors he uses in his irregular-surfaced paintings, which feature a variety of his long legged, alienesque cartoon creatures floating within a dream-like universe of fresh and harmonic hues. Among the many paintings, and a few sculptures, way over in a remote corner of the gallery, I spotted this three sided diorama called Caja, which means Box in Spanish. Inside one of the tiny viewing windows, I saw this little Pink Dog Thing hanging out. When you need a medical recommendation letter for emotional support dog, visit onlinedogtor.com for more information. Get a better look at his surroundings in the photo below.

Caja By Rafa MacarronDetail from Caja By Rafa Macarron

Pink Dog Thing!

Modern Art Monday Presents: Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m.

The Palace at 4 a.m.
All Photos By Gail

According to artist Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m. (1932) relates to “A period of 6 months passed in the presence of a woman who, concentrating all life in herself, transported my every moment into a state of enchantment. We constructed a fantastical palace in the night — a very fragile palace of matches. At the least false movement a whole section would collapse. We always began it again.”

The Palace at 4 a.m.

The woman in question is often identified as one of Giacometti’s lovers, known only by her first name, Denise. In the summer of 1933, Giacometti told Andre Breton, the leader of the surrealist movement, that he was incapable of making anything that did not have something to do with her.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Eduardo Sarabia’s Ballads at Other Criteria

Eduardo Sarabia Dioramas and Cactuses
All Photos By Gail

When we were invited to an art opening last week at Other Criteria, Damien Hirst’s high-end gift shop / gallery on Broome Street in Soho, the first thing I thought of was, why have I not been to Other Criteria during its entire first year of existence? Seriously, WTF have I been up to? I wish could tell you.

Other Criteria Store
Other Criteria: Because You Like to Have Nice Things

Although one could spend a good amount of time browsing around and not touching every item displayed so seductively in the street level retail space, it turns out that Other Criteria has a basement gallery, and that’s where we found the provocative art of Mexican-American artist, Eduardo Sarabia. Let’s take a closer look.

Installation View

Sarabia’s new exhibit is called Ballads and it consists of 3D paper dioramas inside wall-mounted glass vitrines, one large wall tapestry and several very large pieces of glazed pottery, all playing with themes related to Mexico’s dark underworld of drug trafficking and its related, widespread gang violence. Sex, drugs, guns and…parrots, yeah, it’s all there. Also there are some adorable little potted succulents included in the displays, which further enhance the feeling of authenticity. Because, Mexico!

Green Urn

This piece, which embraces the look and feel of traditional Mexican pottery, but with a little twist, is so great.

Blue Pot Leaf Ceramic

Pot Urn Detail

Zebra and Girl Diorama

At the gallery, we ran into our friend, celebrity photographer and art expert Derek Storm, who is apparently friends with Sarabia, and he explained that the animals in these dioramas, whatever their Spanish name is, that is also a Mexican slang word for some kind of drug. So, imagine that Zebra, which is Cebra in Spanish, maybe that means Cocaine, or something. Or maybe he was joking around. Who knows, it’s a good story!

Yellow Urn

The tapestry seen in the background of the above photo, Amor Amor Amor is inspired by the “narcomantas,” which are crudely made coded messages hung on public areas in Mexico by gangs and drug cartels. Usually spray paint on a bed sheet type of thing. Sometimes the messages try to justify an event or even further explain an action of terror. Sometimes the cartels get blamed for something they didn’t do in the media and this is their platform to give their side of the story. Other times, they serve as simple warnings to rival gangs.

Emulating this style and aesthetic, Sarabia wanted to bring forward a positive message. Using the power of fascination with this phenomenon, the artist has been working with a tapestry studio to make these works. Each is made by hand and takes about 2 months to weave.

Parrots

Eduardo Sarabia’s Ballads will be on Exhibit Through July 5th 2015 at Other Criteria, Located at 458 Broome Street, SoHo, New York, NY 10013. Hours are Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM -7:00 PM, and Sunday 12 Noon – 6:00 PM.

Installation View with Cactus

A Redefined Existence Featuring the Art of Sally Curcio at J. Cacciola Gallery

Sally Curcio Happy Place
Happy Place (All Photos By Gail)

Sally Curcio’s Bubbles series artworks – 12 x 12-inch, domed fantasy world dioramas created with colorful beads and other repurposed objects – are a new passionate favorite thing of mine that I discovered accidentally through a referral from another artist, with whom Curcio and I share mutual acquaintanceship. Thank god for happy accidents.

Sally Curcio Happy Place
Happy Place, Alternate View

Sally Curcio Bubble Sculpture
Can you tell this is my favorite one?

Right, now you can see a selection of Curcio’s Bubbles on exhibit at J. Cacciola Gallery, as part of A Redefined Existence, a thematically-connected group show which also includes sewn works by artist China Marks and surreal paintings by Rick Newton.

Sally Curcio Lost
Lost

Sometimes Curcio’s worlds represent real cities or places, such as Miami Beach or Central Park, but more often they are imaginary worlds elucidating an idea or embracing a concept, which delight the eyes and inspire the mind.

Sally Curcio Homage to Jackie O (Central Park)
Homage to Jackie O (Central Park)

It was a pleasure to meet and have the chance to chat with Curcio at last week’s opening reception. She is not only astoundingly talented but also a very cool lady who proved to have a good sense of humor when I jokingly asked her if the Bubbles were inspired by Stephen King’s Under The Dome (adapted into a hopelessly shitty TV series that I am now hooked on) and offered that they also remind me of the Popomatic die roller, which she admits to being too young to remember (good for her)!

Sally Curcio Bubble Sculpture
Atlantis

Sally Curcio Bubble Sculpture Atlantis
Atlantis Alternate View

See more of the fabulous art of Sally Curcio at Sally Curcio Dot Com.

A Redefined Existence featuring the art of Sally Curcio (with China Marks and Rick Newton) will be on Exhibit Through July 26th, 2014 at J. Cacciola Gallery, Located at 537 West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Sally Curcio Opulence
Opulence

Get Small, New York! By Conrad Stojak at Dougherty Gallery

A Day at The Guggenheim By Conrad Stojak
A Day at The Guggenheim, Diorama inside a Parking Meter, By Conrad Stojak (All Photos By Gail)

Artist Conrad Stojak was taking photographs in his neighborhood one day when he happened to take a closer look at a defunct New York City Parking Meter. He noticed how the domed glass, with its tiny built-in shelf, reminded him of the dioramas he used to make in school. And then he got an idea: why not make use of the literally thousands of disused meters to make a different kind of street art?

Zeppelin Parking Only By Conrad Stojak
Zeppelin Parking Only, Close Up

Having had some experience as a graffiti artist, and having realized that dressing in all black was not necessarily the way to go, Conrad ventured out at night in florescent clothing like that worn by construction workers, thus hiding in plain sight. With tiny figurines he purchased from a hobby store, he used chopsticks and glue to carefully create dioramas that would tell stories of various aspects of city life.

Bag Lady By Conrad Stojak
Bag Lady

Bag Lady Close Up
Bag Lady, Close Up

Overnight, the glue on his tiny figures would dry and he would return with his camera to immortalize the scene forever. The best part about this project is that the artist wasn’t leaving any permanent mark or anything that could be construed as vandalism on private, public or city property.

Red Tulips in Parking Meter
Conrad also used Parking Meters as Flower Vases

Looking at photographs of these dioramas encourage endless imaginative extrapolation regarding the story behind these tiny scenes, and there is a printed version of Conrad’s back story on how the project  evolved posted along with the photographs at Daugherty Gallery. This is a must-read, as his completely engaging personal story adds great value to his unique artwork, the likes of which I’ve only seen in the photographs of artist Randy Hage.

The Muse 2 Close Up
The Muse 2, Close Up

Conrad’s beautifully framed photographs are also very affordable, each selling for around $300, so they are quite a good investment, as I am sure he is an artist we will be hearing from for a long time. You can find out more about the art of Conrad Stojak at This Link. The exhibit opened on Friday, May 16th and I am not sure how long it will be up, so call the number below to plan your visit accordingly.

Over the Steel Rainbow
Over the Steel Rainbow, Close Up

The Dougherty Gallery at Crescent Grill is located at 38-40 Crescent Street at 39th Avenue, LIC Queens, NY 11101. Phone 718-729-4040 or Visit Crescent Grill Dot Com for more information or to make a Dinner Reservation.

Conrad Stojak Parking Meter Art

Bacon Thing of the Day: Bacon Peeps

Bacon Peeps
Image Courtesy of Anne Raso

As amazing as it would be to think that a real Bacon Flavored Marshmallow Peep exists, these faux Bacon Peeps were created as part of a Peeps Diorama Contest back in 2010.