This wall mural, located at the First Street Green Art Park, in NYC’s east village pays tribute to the late firefighter and street artist Jef Campion, aka Army of One.
Explanatory Tag by Fumero
Army of One Mural Detail
Two of Campion’s signature images are featured on the mural. One is the very recognizabe Bride of Frankenstein, while another is Grenade Boy, which Campion appropriated from Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. (1962), possibly the most famous photograph by Diane Arbus. Suffering from PTSD, along with the physical affects of having been a 9/11 first responder, Jef Campion took his own life in January of 2014, at the age of just 52. RIP.
All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail
While some purists may argue that the actual streets provide all the gallery space that street art needs, one venue in the East Village, Dorian Grey Gallery has become the go-to space for formal exhibits by some of the most popular names in the movement.
Currently, Dorian Grey is hosting Street Artists Unite, an unprecedented set of collaborations featuring Hank O’Neal (aka XCIA)’s oversized photographs of classic street art compositions in collaboration with 13 artists including Army of One, AV ONE, BTA, COPE2, CRASH, ENX, Fumero, Kid Lew, Screwtape, SEE One, Chris Stain, Robots Will Kill and TMNK (The Me Nobody Knows). If you’re even a casual fan of street art you will recognize most of the iconic images in these works, many of which we saw plastered on mail boxes, fire hydrants and convenient doorways during our 10 minute walk to the gallery from East 14th Street!
This past Wednesday’s opening reception became quite the scene as fans and artists alike flooded the gallery and the sidewalks outside to socialize and enjoy a common interest. If you’ve not yet been to an exhibit at Dorian Grey, consider Street Artists Unite to be your open invitation to check it out.
Street Artists Unite will be on Exhibit through August 5th, 2012 at Dorian Grey Gallery, Located at 437 East 9th Street, just West of Avenue A, NYC. (NOTE: The Doran Grey Gallery Has Now Closed for Good.)
With a background as a graffiti artist who progressed to cartooning and illustration – studying at NYC’s School of Visual Arts where he developed the distinct style he calls, simply, Fumeroism – local painter Fumero has joined the ranks of up-and-coming artists currently creating a buzz on the New York City art scene. While Fumero made an impression at last winter’s Art Basel contemporary art fare in Miami, and he has participated in a group show at NYC’s Art Bazaar space, his work officially graduates from the streets to the Gallery with his first solo exhibit now on view at Phantom Audio, just a few blocks east of the Chelsea gallery hub.
Show Curator Frankie Velez Poses with his Likeness
Curated by artist Frankie Velez, Fumeroism showcases nearly two dozen of Fumero’s portraits on canvases of various sizes. Fumero explains that his preferred palette of vibrant colors and the definitive line details of his portraits are directly influenced by the shapes and colors of “wildstyle” graffiti lettering to create an abstract yet recognizable human likeness. The work is really quite remarkable and each portrait invites a trail of possible conversations which must be blazed. For example, his portraits of iconic figures such as Gandhi, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe could not be mistaken for anyone other than their subject, but through Fumero’s eyes and brushstrokes their expressions transform into something almost otherworldly.
Jim Morrison’s mouth has a noticeable feminine pout while Monroe looks more gaunt and menacing than voluptuous and inviting. Marley’s portrait embraces such a sense of movement in the way the colors interact with each other that, to be quite blunt, it reminds me of how one might “experience” the paining while frying as hard as possible on LSD. Fumero has a unique way of seeing the face that is undeniably hallucinatory but also very effective.
My favorite piece in the exhibit is a portrait of Fumero’s grandfather, entitled “Grandpa,” which flaunts equal parts abstraction and realism in how the loving, aged character of Grandpa’s face is represented not by wrinkles but by colors. Needless to say, this collection of portraits is extremely compelling.
“The Family Portrait” (Table Series)
“Table Series Logo” By Fumero
Also on display at Phantom is a representation of the artist’s semi-autobiographical paintings, The Table Series. This series of works in progress depicts an Italian American family (reflecting Fumero’s heritage) congregated around and socializing at the kitchen table. In this way, he brings his life experiences, traditions and nostalgic memories directly into his work. The Table Series also spawned the well-known “Table Series Logo” sticker, which has become one of the most famous, iconic street tags in urban settings from New York to Los Angeles. Clearly, for Fumero the story behind the painting is just as important as what goes on the canvas. We should all look forward to hearing more of the story.
Table Series Logo Sticker
Fumeroism is on exhibit now at Phantom Audio, Located at 48 West 25th Street (East of 6th Ave), 10th Floor in NYC. Viewings are by appointment only, so please call (212)727-0452 if you plan to stop by.