Any weekday that I walk south on Wall Street towards Water Street to catch a bus home, I pass by this otherwise unremarkable Dollar Sign-Shaped Bike Rack, which not everyone knows was designed by Talking Heads frontman, Fine Artist and Avid Bicyclist David Byrne. Until some time last year (I didn’t pay attention to exactly when this changed) there was an inverted paper coffee up — which no one would stop long enough to remove –covering the upward end of the ‘S’ shape. The cup was there for about two years: I swear I am not even exaggerating that point.
The Wall Street Dollar Sign is one of nine custom Bike Racks created by Byrne in 2008, whose shapes pay homage to specific NYC neighborhoods. You can read more about them at This Link.
Here’s another one of #TheNewAllen project murals, this one being located on the west side of Allen just above Delancey Street. This one is a collaboration between two street artists, Patch Whisky and Ghost Beard, who have worked together previously on murals in other US cities.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also really loved the way Jackson references other works of art within his paintings, such as the homage to Rodin’sThe Thinker, above.
And of course you cannot talk about Balloon Dogs without thinking of Jeff Koons.
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