Tag Archive | “Fantasy”

Jonathan LeVine Gallery Presents Infra Real: The Art of Imaginative Realism

Bedtime Story
Bedtime Story by Greg Hldebrandt, 2015 (All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting a huge Myth and Fantasy-themed group show, curated by collector and historian Patrick Wilshire, which fills both of LeVine’s popular Chelsea Gallery District spaces.

Patrick J. Jones Darkdreamer
Patrick J. Jones, Darkdreamer

Infra:REAL – The Art of Imaginative Realism features a variety of paintings and sculptures by the following artists: Allen Williams, Anthony Palumbo, Billy Norrby, Bob Eggleton, Boris Vallejo, Brad Kunkle, Gerald Brom, David Palumbo, Donato Giancola, Dorian Vallejo, Eric Velhagen, Greg Hildebrandt, Ian Miller, Jeffrey Watts, Jeremy Mann, Jim Burns, Jim Pavelec, John Harris, John Jude Palencar, Julie Bell, Justin Sweet, Kirk Reinert, Laurie Lee Brom, Marc Fishman, Matthew Stewart, Michael C. Hayes, Michael Whelan, Patrick Jones, R. Leveille-Guay, Rick Berry, Robh Ruppel, Scott Burdick, Stephan Hickman, Thomas Kuebler, Vincent Villafranca, Virginie Ropars and Wayne Haag.

Imaginative realism is the cutting edge of contemporary realism, combining classical technique with postmodern narrative subjects.

John Jude Palencar Pagan
John Jude Palencar, Pagan

Focusing on the unreal, the unseen, and the impossible, this genre offers visions of humanity’s mythic past, its unexplored future and, in some cases, its terrifying present.

David Palumbo Moon Children
David Palumbo, Moon Children

Just as science fiction serves for many as the archetype of postmodern literature, with its fascination with the “other” and the unknown, imaginative realism brings this same narrative to the figurative arts.

Dorian Vallejo Passages
Dorian Vallejo, Passages

Curator Patrick Wilshire offers that “Infra:REAL is a group exhibition in the most classical sense, presenting the width and breadth of imaginative realism under a single banner. The exhibition features the work artists who share a fascination with the narrative of “What if?” and have a strong connection to the mythic taproot that burrows deep into our collective subconscious.

Lair of the Absinthe Fairl
Laurie Lee Brom, Lair of the Absinthe Fairy

He continues, “[These artists’] technical approaches vary, from academic to avant-garde, but all are among the finest realist artists in the world, turning your vision “infra-real” and giving a glimpse above, below, and beyond the reality that both comforts and restricts us all.”

Here are few of our favorite works from the show!

Gerald Brown Lord Kashaol
Gerald Brown, Lord Kashaol

This one looks like it would be very much at home as part of a Last Rites show. Very scary!

Taken from Moreau's Island 1896

Thomas Kuebler’s Taken from Moreau’s Island 1896 was definitely one of the more popular pieces during the opening reception. I am sure it found its way into many an instagram feed!

Stephen Hickman Moon Gazing
Stephen Hickman, Moon Gazing

This one is just lovely.

Michael Whelan Harbinger

Michael Whelan’s Harbinger rings true to its title, as a desolate intersection, marked by a pendulous traffic signal enveloped in a wasp’s nest, foreshadows the approaching doom.

Michael Whelan Harbinger

Really amazing.

Pseudosapiens By Moonlight

The characters in Pseudosapiens By Moonlight, painted by John Harris, even have their own back-story.

The Red Dragon Tree
Ian Miller, The Red Dragon Tree

Virginie Ropars Gathering
Virginie Ropars, Gathering

Donato Giancola Breaker

And now we come to my very favorite piece of the entire show, a painting by Donato Giancola called Breaker. It looks like an almost typical, stormy sea-scape right? But no, something else is going on here. Something heavy.

Donato Giancola Breaker

Who is this silvery dude and what is he up to? What is he pulling out of the surf? Seriously, WTF is going on here? Holy Cow, this painting is so great. I want to own it.

Infra Real: The Art of Imaginative Realism Group Exhibition will be up Until August 22nd, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery’s Two Locations, 529 West 20th Street and 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Infra Real Signage

Afterglow: New Works By Jessica Lichtenstein at Gallery nine5

Jessica Lichtenstein Afterglow
All Photos By Gail

Fans of Japanese Anime, Manga and the Superflat school of Pop Art founded by Takashi Murakami won’t want to miss Jessica Lichtenstein’s latest collection, Afterglow, on exhibit now at Gallery nine5 in Soho. Afterglow is the third solo exhibit by the artist at the gallery.

Jessica Lichtenstein Pink Tree
Spring

It’s worth noting that when I first saw photos of Jessica’s work, I assumed I was looking at Asian Landscapes depicting flowering trees. But it only took a cursory look once we were in the gallery to notice that the abundant “blossoms” clustered around the tree branches are actually tiny naked ladies!

Jessica Lichtenstein Pink Detail
Detail from Spring

Known for her large acrylic word sculptures that serve as a playground for frolicking female figures, Lichtenstein  juxtaposes these works with new sculptures that present a contemplative environment for her signature, lascivious heroines. While still examining facets of femininity and fetishism, Afterglow offers an emotional lens through which to examine relationships. According to the show’s press release, the current exhibit at  nine5, “manifests sexuality in a delicate and sensitive way and thus invites the viewer to bask in the ‘afterglow’ of desire.” I would agree with that sentiment, as the show seems more sensual than sexual, and it is also full of humor and playfulness.

Jessica Lichtenstein White
Winter

Jessica Lichtenstein White Detail
Winter Detail

Afterglow features four circular sculptures of the Seasons series that are inspired by nature as a metaphor for the cycle of relationships – pink blossoms bursting from the trees in Spring, or the iced over world of Winter (both pictured above). These works also highlight the tension between the individual vs. the collective. Each girl is poised in a different position and is reacting to the environment, however together the figures unite in a singular image of a tree and its leaves, thus describing the collective strength of women regardless of differences in emotions and reactions.

Jessica Lichtenstein Bliss
Bliss

Alongside the Seasons are Lichtenstein’s word sculptures, which, again in text taken from the Press Release, “toy with the pornographic world of Japanese-inspired comic books. Creating her own imagined fantastical landscapes infused with a highly sexualized environment, Lichtenstein places appropriated heroines in scenes that are reminiscent of Renoir’s, Cezanne’s or Picasso’s “nude bathers”; scenes that harken back to a time of “female as muse.” The works, layered behind a thick buffer of acrylic, take a critical distance from their own content and in fact, beg the viewer to do the same.

Jessica Lichtenstein Wet
Wet

Through this intermediary, the viewer is asked to engage with and question whether Lichtenstein’s characters are depicted solely to satisfy an insatiable male-dominated gaze, or if such a theory is too narrow, neglecting to address the complex nature of women and their agency in terms of sexuality and desirability. To me, it seems much less complicated. I just think her artwork is lovely and fun.

Jessica Lichtenstein Wet Detail
Detail from Wet. Yes, I See Boobs.

Ultimately, you can interpret Jessica Lichtenstein’s works as having a deep socio-sexual resonance, or you can appreciate them as gorgeous, lighthearted and colorful works of Contemporary / Pop Art that also challenge you to think while you look at them.

Jessica Lichtenstein Pop
Pop

Afterglow by Jessica Lichtenstein will be on Exhibit through December 15, 2013 at Gallery nine5, Located at 24 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012.

Must See Attraction: Seattle’s Experience Music Project

EMP Building Exterior
All Photos By Gail

When I was planning my recent four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.

Space Needle Reflected in EMP Building Exterior
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP

Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit this past July.

Hendrix Experience in London

Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.

Hendrix Experience Costumes

Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.

Nirvana In Utero Prop

Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.

Kurt Cobain Green Sweater

In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.

David Bowie Costume from Labyrinth

Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.

Wizard of Oz Guard Uniform

Captain Kirk Chair and Tribbles
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles

On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.

Dalek from Dr. Who
Dalek from Dr. Who

Lure of Horror Films Signage

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.

Creature from Black Lagoon Mask

Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!

Pretenders Kim Gordon EMP
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.

Rihanna Awards Outfit EMP
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.

If Six Was Nine Guitar Sculpture
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture

The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.

Gene Loves Jezebel: "Desire"

Everyone’s favorite Pacific Northwest music source, the East Portland Blog has once again dug deeply into the Worley Gig archives from the (pre-blog) Year 2000 and come up with this tasty morsel where I dissect the song “Desire” by one of my favorite Rock of the ’80s bands, Gene Loves Jezebel. Come and Get It right now by clicking This Link!

Bold Hype Presents Nathan Spoor's Phantom Passport


Click Image to Enlarge and See Detail

Take a look at any of the dozen or so paintings by LA-based artist Nathan Spoor on view now at NYC’s Bold Hype Gallery, and it’s obvious that you never, ever have to grow up if you don’t want to. Phantom Passport is the artist’s latest collection, featuring new paintings created by Spoor over the last two years. When you examine the image density in these paintings, which depict characters from storybooks or the artist’s own fecund imagination, toys, games and strange, dreamlike interactions and landscapes, you can see how it would take months for Spoor to fine tune each canvas. His pictures are amazingly complex and I enjoyed trying to pick out familiar images in each one; from the “Cootie” plastic bug assembly toy I enjoyed playing with as a small child, to characters from Alice In Wonderland and various Fairy Tales. I continually discovered new elements for the first time, even after multiple viewings.

Nathan was at Thursday night’s opening party and he was super nice (and, oh, so handsome). I asked him if, like Kenny Scharf, he outlines each image before beginning to compile the layers of visual montage that will fill his canvas, and he said that yes, he always has a carefully planned outline before he even gets started. You can also tell that his paintings are extremely personal to him. Spoor also writes for acclaimed art publications like Hi Fructose and Juxtapoz magazines, so you know his writing, like his painting, marries passion with an understanding of the arts in context. I’m looking forward to keeping an eye on his future endeavors. With Nathan Spoor’s Phantom Passport, Bold Hype Gallery has hit another one out of the park.

Phanton Passport is on Exhibit until June 4, 2011 at Bold Hype Gallery, Located at 547 W 27th Street (Between 10th and 11th Aves) 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are 12 – 5 PM, Tuesday – Saturday

Video of the Day: Aldo Nova’s “Fantasy”

In honor of singer/guitarist Aldo Nova’s birthday today (11/13), the Worley Gig is excited to bring you the video for his band’s awesome hit song “Fantasy” – a hot mess of ’80s metal cheesiness. Everything gets going at about the 1:20 point, so feel free to fast forward until you can see Aldo break down the door of a locked warehouse with laser beams shooting from the neck of his guitar. Innovative! I especially love Aldo’s form-fitting, leopard print bodysuit, which I would surely be wearing right this minute if I had his figure.  Seriously, can you believe rock stars ever dressed like that? I sure do miss it. I also love the part where the girls in the audience mob the stage, because they cannot resist Aldo’s hotness. So, happy birthday Aldo, and thanks for offering us your words to ponder, “life is just a fantasy, can you live this fantasy life?”

Fairytale Clock


Image Via Ffffound.com

I like it.