Grrrr! We collected so many awesome and unusual Pink Things for this space at the recent NY Now show, but one of our most charming finds is this Pink Rubbish Monster, which is part of the Kruselings line of fantasy dolls for young girls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This one looks like it would be very much at home as part of a Last Rites show. Very scary!
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!
This one is just lovely.
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.
The characters in Pseudosapiens By Moonlight, painted by John Harris, even have their own back-story.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Afterglow by Jessica Lichtenstein will be on Exhibit through December 15, 2013 at Gallery nine5, Located at 24 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012.
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!
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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