Tag Archive | Hillary Clinton

Artist Kevin Champeny Creates Mosaic Portraits of Hillary and Trump From 1,000s of Tiny Middle Fingers

Dump Truck Full View
Dump Truck (All Photos By Gail)

Do you hate Donald Trump? I sure do. Dump (which is what I call him exclusively, with a rare exception being this blog post) sucks ass wildly, and he is destroying our country in ways few, if any, of us could have heretofore imagined possible. Dump’s outrageous suckitude inspires many artists to create art out of his likeness, because it makes him easier to mock. Yay! That being said, I was recently pitched a story on Kevin Champeny, a comntemporary artist whose medium is creating sculptures made up of other tiny sculptures that are related to whatever the larger image is all about. Watch a video on Kevin’s practice at This Link to see him in action and get a better idea of what I am talking about, because he is truly amazing. Even better, Kevin cites Kris Kuksi (one of our favorites) as a major influence. Awesome.

Staying with his favorite medium, Kevin’s most recent project includes two mosaic portraits, Defiance (Dump) and Fair Game/Defiant (Hillary Clinton), each of which are comprised of 4,000 hand-cast urethane Middle Fingers. Just being serious. Even though I am a huge Hillary fan (#StillWithHer), I knew I had to check out these artworks in person, and fortunately that this was not hard to do. A week or so ago, Kevin (with assistance from his friend, glass truck owner Chris, who formerly ran the pop up Sock Truck out of the mobile glass unit) launched the Defiance / Fair Game Glass Truck Tour in New York City. Over the course of four days (May 3rd – 6th) the truck made stops around town, targeting highly foot-trafficked areas like Union Square Park, The Oculus/ WTC, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, Times Square, and Pier 94 (where Art Fair NY was taking place). I caught up with the truck while it was parked on Seventh Avenue, just across the street from Madison Square Garden / Penn Station at 5 PM on the Friday evening.

Dump Truck
Defiance Portrait

Dump Fingers
Defiance Portrait, Surface Detail

Gail and Kevin by Dump

Here I am with Kevin in front of Defiance. Please note that I was originally posed flipping off the portrait, but this is the pose that the photographer sent to me, so, whatever. Kevin looks great and so does the art!  While I am unsure of Kevin’s political leanings, he remains completely nonpartisan when discussing the artworks, and I believe this a smart move. It allows for greater freedom of interpretation by the viewer in experiencing each piece, which is what art is all about. Art!

Hillary Truck

For example,  I support and voted for Hillary Clinton, and I still wish she was our President, because that could have prevented so many horrible things that have come to pass since November of 2016.  Sadness. I hadn’t planned on including her portrait in the post, but then Kevin explained to me that he co-titled the piece “Defiant” because of how she stood up to all of the haters and endless bullshit that was lobbed at her. And, when you consider it from that perspective, it also reminded me of this meme, which was created during the campaign by my friend Beth.

Clinton For America Meme

*Sigh* She is my Hero.

Kevin Champeny’s work is unique, intricate and thought provoking. Get more information on Kevin and his various projects at This Link and follow him on Instagram at @kevinchampeny.

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Yes, it Exists: Hillary Clinton as an Imperial Stormtrooper

Hillary Stormtrooper
Photo By Gail

To find out more about this sculpture of Hillary Clinton in a Stormtrooper uniform, which was part of Michael Leavitt’s 2013 art exhibit, Empire Peaks, visit This Link. Hillary for the win in 2016!

Will Ryman, Two Rooms at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Will Ryman Situation Room
The Situation Room (All Photos By Gail)

What we like best about artist Will Ryman is the fact that all of his projects look completely different to each other. Whether it is sculptures of Giant Roses, a big Bird made of nails, or a Golden scale replica of the Log Cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born, it is always fun to see what he is going to do next.

Right now, Paul Kasmin Gallery’s West 27th Street space is hosting Two Rooms, a solo exhibition featuring two of Ryman’s new sculptural installations.  The Situation Room (2012–2014) is a life-size installation based on the iconic photograph that captured members of the Obama administration and U.S. military leaders watching in real time the Navy SEAL raid on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Among those gathered in the White House Situation Room were President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Developed over the course of three years, the sculpture is composed of crushed black coal as a reference to industrial development and as a means to redact the specificity of the photograph, reducing the tableau to its elemental components. The Situation Room is a contemplation on war, power, propaganda, industrialization, and political theater. In its reductive monumentality, Ryman’s appropriation of the photograph becomes an anonymous fossilization of the timelessness of war.

Will Ryman Classroom

Classroom presents 12 figures from the same cast, each made of a different natural resource or composite essential to various cultures and economies including cadmium, titanium, salt, iron, oil, chrome, copper, wood, and gold.

Wax Student

Arranged in four rows of three, the figures evoke traditional classroom settings, interchangeable workers in a factory’s assembly line, or soldiers in military formation.

Iron and Gold Student

Their youthful appearance references the practice of child labor so widespread in many countries. Corporations in developed countries often refer to their employees as their greatest “natural resource,” and in one interpretation of the installation, Ryman extends the metaphor to an inexorable conclusion: workers are a material to be mined and exploited in the service of industry. They are, to the extent possible, mechanized.

Red and Silver Student

Will Ryman’s Two Rooms will be on Exhibit Through Oct 17th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Copper Student

Must See Art: Michael Leavitt’s Empire Peaks

Abraham Lincoln as Han Solo
Abraham Lincoln as Han Solo By Michael Leavitt (All Photos By Gail)

File this one under “Must See Art” because you won’t want to miss Michael Leavitt’s latest exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery, entitled Empire Peaks. Continuing with the theme he did to perfection with Art Army Royalty back in 2011, Leavitt’s latest collection of  what could loosely be called pop culture action figures takes a Star Wars theme and turns that wildly popular franchise’s characters into recognizable icons of history, politics and entertainment. The show is totally off the hook! Even if you’re not  a total Star Wars geek  (raises hand) you’re going to enjoy the high-quality representations of some very recognizable individuals, both real and fictional.

There’s not really much more to be said except that you’ve to go see this show! Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit.

Donald Trump as Darth Vadar
Donald Trump as Darth Vadar

Kim Jong Il as Jabba the Hut
Kim Jong Il as Jabba the Hut

R2D2 and C2PO
 Steve Jobs as C3 PO and Albert Einstein as R2D2

Ghandi as Yoda
Mahatma Gandhi as Yoda

Martin Luther King as Luke Skywalker
Martin Luther King as Luke Skywalker

The Sucklord

The Sucklord was in attendance at the opening reception! You may know The Sucklord from his appearance on season two of Bravo’s Work of Art, or from his line of unlicensed Star Wars parody toys, marketed under the name Suckadelic. He was pretty cool to talk to.

Hillary Clinton as a Stormtrooper
Hillary Clinton as a Stormtrooper

Obama as Lando Calrissian
President Barack Obama as Lando Calrissian

Mandela and Oprah
Nelson Mandela as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Oprah Winfrey as Padmé Amidala

You can tell even from these photographs that the detail is absolutely impeccable on all of these figures. Not only does each figure look exactly like its real-life counterpart, but Leavitt perfectly captures the essence of each Star Wars character in the melding of the two individual identities. High-fives all around on this one.

Michael Leavitt’s Empire Peaks will be on Exhibit Through December 21st, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, NYC, in the Chelsea Gallery District.