Tag Archive | Guns

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

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Must See Art: Al Farrow, Wrath & Reverence at Forum Gallery

Forum Gallery Installation View
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

You don’t have to dig very deep to find a well of meaning in the works that make up sculptor Al Farrow’s new exhibit Wrath & Reverence, currently up at Forum Gallery in Midtown. In perhaps the most unique and profoundly thought provoking exhibit we’ve see in recent years, Wrath & Reverence consists of churches, synagogues, mosques, a mausoleum, Jewish ritual objects and Christian ‘casket’ reliquaries, all rendered from munitions. It brings the phrase ‘Holy War’ into an entirely new reality.

Mosque III (After National Mosque of Nigeria)
Mosque III (After National Mosque of Nigeria)

The buildings are highly detailed and faithful to reality in terms of proportion and architectural design.

Bombed Mosque Front
Bombed Mosque (Front)

One monumental sculpture, Bombed Mosque, took the artist a year to create in his California studio, using more than 50,000 disarmed bullets and shell casings. The patterns and decorations formed from patinated and polished bullets adorn the structure in hauntingly accurate turquoise and gold; but one side of the massive dome is blown open, bombed in fact, speaking to the deep chasm between religious sects.

Bombed Mosque Back
Bombed Mosque (Back)

Menorah (Fence II)
Menorah (Fence II)

A Menorah, crafted from barbed wire and machine gun shells, is clearly layered with meaning and reference, but is an object of great reverence as well, attuned to past and present while statuesque and compelling in its presence.

Gun Menorah
Menorah (Guns, Gun Parts, Steel, Bullets)

Trigger Finger of Santo Geurro
Trigger Finger of Santo Geurro (Guns, Bullets, Bullet Shells, Steel, Bone)

Farrow makes art not about a certain religion, but about the repetition of history, the inexorable battle of mankind, and the perversion of organized religion as a whole.

Trigger Finger of Santo Geurro (Detail)
Trigger Finger of Santo Geurro (Detail)

Assorted Reliquaries
Assorted Reliquaries

Sacred and profane, metaphoric and literal, gleaming and shocking, Al Farrow’s Wrath & Reverence is unforgettable and deeply moving.

Sketch Of Trinity Church
Sketch Of Trinity Church

This exhibit marks my first visit to the Forum Gallery, a legendary space that I was turned on to after being highly impressed with their various exhibits at this years Metro Curates Art Fair.

Installation View

The room is gorgeous and the people who work in the gallery are very nice and friendly, which can be a rare thing these days. I will definitely be visiting them again, and covering more shows at Forum in the future. For now, make sure you don’t miss Al Farrow’s Wrath and Reverence, which is just fantastic.
Mausoleum II
Mausoleum II

Wrath and Reverence, the Art of Al Farrow will be on Exhibit Through May 2nd, 2015 at Forum Gallery, Located at 730Fifth Avenue (at 57th Street), NYC.

Vandalized Synagogue Door (I)
Vandalized Synagogue Door (I)

Scott Hove’s Cake Gun Sculptures

Scott-Hove-Guns-and-Ecst
Image Courtesy of Spoke Art

Surrealist sculptor Scott Hove has become famous for his fantastic fake cakes and cake-like sculptures that he creates using carved foam and traditional cake decorating tools. Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco is currently showcasing his latest works in a highly topical exhibit entitled Guns & Ecstasy.

In addition to a fully immersive, single person Cake Installation that Hove calls “A Pentagonal Disco Infinity Chamber” — and which features multiple angled mirrors and a spinning disco ball — the exhibit includes a series of twelve confectionery assault weapon sculptures created in light of the recent shootings and gun violence in the United States.

Scott Hove Weapon of Choice
Weapon of Choice (Image Source)

If I lived in the area, there is certainly no way I would miss this show.

Scott Hove’s Guns & Ecstasy exhibit runs through May 25th, 2013 at Spoke Art Gallery, Located on 816 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.