Tag Archive | Horror Art

William Basso Mise En Scene at Last Rites Gallery

Installation View
All Photos By Gail

If there were ever an art gallery that offered a fully immersive sensory experience reflective of the art it most expertly represents, that would be Last Rites Gallery. Hitting its stride as the perfect comforting /disquieting mutation of a Victorian Gothic sitting room and an abattoir, Last Rites showcases the best of contemporary Dark Pop, Surrealism and Horror Art like nobody’s business. Brooklyn’s Stephen Romano Gallery certainly mines a similar vein (and we are, of course, huge fans), but there is only one Last Rites. Also: there’s a tattoo parlor in the basement.

Adam Wallacavage Octopus Lamp
Octopus Chandelier by Adam Wallacavage

A while back, Last Rites escaped the impending urban sprawl of its former neighborhood — a windowless loft space in the West 30s (just inches from the West Side Highway) — and moved locations to a Hell’s Kitchen-adjacent street level storefront that transforms the gallery into clearly bisected realms of darkness and light. While the ground floor gallery space is flooded with natural light pouring in from floor to ceiling windows (quite advantageous, for an art gallery), the upstairs bar/lounge and basement level tattoo salon maintain the incredible vibe of fabulously seductive gloom. Let’s take a look.

Staircase

Skull Wallpaper: Classeh!

Lounge

Lots of room to relax and drink, blood or whatever.

Door with Gate

Keep Out. You don’t have to tell me twice.

Cardboard Prop with Injury
Cardboard Prop with Injury

So, the facelift was all for the best, and while a few wrinkles were smoothed over, Last Rites is still quite recognizable as the place we love to see scary art and bring straight friends to freak them out. And there sure is some good art there right now, in the form of William Basso’s exhibit of mixed media assemblages, Mise En Scene. Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!

Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

Smile
Smile

Of his work, the artist offers, “The characters in my work exists in a distant, half-remembered place, where even Halloween can last forever.” We like it.

Tea Time
Tea Time

Models
Collection of Models Used for The Series

Very Fun! Welcome back Last Rites! For detailed information on William Basso and the works in this exhibit, visit This Link. Or, you know, just go check it out in person.

William Basso’s Mise En Scene will be on Exhibit Through May 16th 2015 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 325 West 38th Street (Between 8th and 9th Aves) in NYC.

Signage

Maria Throne By Sylvia Ji

Maria Throne By Sylvia Ji
Image Source

I admit that this awesome chair first caught my eye because I have this very same signed print by artist Sylvia Ji hanging on my wall in a very conspicuous place, so I stare directly at it multiple times a day. The Maria Throne, as its called, is a limited edition single-person sofa made using hand-shaped mahogany frames, with hand carvings and a black gloss lacquer finish.  It’s upholstered traditionally, using high-density foams, with a faux suede fabric bearing the Day of the Dead-esque print on the seat back and rear of the chair.

If suede isn’t your thing, you can request a special leather option with the exact same print (at an extra price, of course). Manufactured in a limited edition of just 33 pieces, each one with a sequentially numbered Certificate of Authenticity printed on the bottom,  this is not only a gorgeous piece of furniture but a highly collectible work of art, because Sylvia Ji is hot stuff!  The Maria Throne can be yours for £1,595, ($2,522.65) with shipping free to UK addresses. Click through to This Link for purchasing information!

Maria Throne By Sylvia Ji

Last Rites Gallery Celebrates Amazing Interior Renovation with Two New Exhibits!

“If it works, don’t fix it” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, and with good reason. It seems like as soon as you get comfortable with something, or figure out how it operates, it changes – and usually not for the better (see: FaceBook). Those who read this blog regularly know that the Last Rites Gallery is my favorite art space in Manhattan. Also home to the tattoo studio of artist Paul Booth, visiting Last Rites has always felt like going to an art Theme Park or the abandoned set of a horror movie. Aside from the cutting-edge artists they represent, the space has such an engaging vibe that you want to just hang out there, enjoy the art and talk to people for hours. I had no idea that Last Rites was undergoing an extensive renovation that is simply breathtaking. A combination of ambitious visual design and expert execution has come together to make an already unique space even more impressive than you could imagine.

Previously, one entered Last Rites through the dungeon-like tattoo parlor before encountering the brightly lit, white walls of the rear gallery space. With the new redesign, a larger, more open gallery space is now upfront, putting the emphasis on the fantastic art featured in this one of a kind gallery. At the rear of the floor you’ll now find tattoo stations set amid a large and comfortable lounge space, which picks up the darker, Gothic theme with its cathedral-like architectural features, marble finishes, candle-it illumination and dark red fabrics. They’ve also added a separate bar area for serving drinks during opening receptions, promoting a nightclub feel which very much reminds me of the late great Limelight, especially during the era when that club featured a collection of Clive Barker-esque horror art. Paul Booth and his renovation crew from a small basement renovations Toronto, ON have done a simply fantastic job transforming Last Rites into an inviting new venue that must surely exceed their expectations, vastly improving on a space that I never even thought needed to change a thing. Great job guys!

Friday July 22nd marked the gallery’s grand reopening, where the scene was lively and welcoming. In the crowd we spotted Martina and Frank Russo from the MF Gallery and Kevin Wilson of Sacred Gallery on lower Broadway, as well as artists Michael Mararian and Jason D’Aquino (both of whom have previously exhibited at Last Rites), hot artist Martin Wittfooth and the wildly talented Eric “Eyeball” Richardson – who assisted with the renovation and told me that they had only just finished painting the walls a couple of hours prior to opening the doors that evening.


“Racecar” By Chet Zar

In what was a fantastic atmosphere to talk with artists whose work I love and to catch up with friends, it seemed like everybody on the Manhattan art scene was there to congratulate Paul and to enjoy two new exhibits: Chet Zar’s Faces of Death and Craig LaRotonda’s Eternal Consequences. Faces of Death fills the front of the gallery with Zar’s collection of gruesome yet compelling portraiture featuring an otherworldly group of subjects – alien to us but somehow not unsympathetic nor entirely unfamiliar to each other. Zar’s paintings are bold and disquieting but, much like Travis Louie’s Curiosities series, they encourage imaginative extrapolation in the viewer as to who these beings are, what kind of world they inhabit and how they came to sit for these portraits.


“Pink Elephant” By Chet Zar

Craig LaRotonda’s Eternal Consequences consists of portraits of anthropomorphized primates painted in a religious or renaissance style; very provocative and quite a departure from the artist’s previous works. With Last Rites extended evening hours, escape the heat and head over to check out the new space before these exhibits end.

Chet Zar’s Faces of Death and Craig LaRotonda’s Eternal Consequences will be on Exhibit through at August 18, 2011 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 511 W. 33rd Street, 3rd Floor, New York City. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 2 – 9 PM and Sunday 2 – 6 PM.

Must See Art: Tribute To The Haunted Mansion Group Art Show!

As a huge, geeky fan of Disney’s The Haunted Mansion ride and all folklore and legend surrounding it, I would literally die and come back from the dead to be able to see a group art show that opened this past Saturday in Los Angeles; A Tribute To The Haunted Mansion. Seriously, I can’t even live. This second annual group show, where artists interpret themes from the ride, features William Basso, Brian Boskind, The Creep, Curioddities, Dienzo, Asia De Vinyl, Frank Dietz, Darren Frydendall, Hideousboi, Noah K, Abigail Larson, Bob Lizarraga, Eric Pigors, Queenie, John Rozum, Bill Rude, Dan Szczepanski, Richard Terpstra and Zombienose among others. Judging from the video below, it looks totally amazing!

I wish I could be out in California to see this exhibit, but I don’t think that is going to be possible. If you live in the LA area and manage to go before the show closes, please send back a report from the other side!

Tribute To The Haunted Mansion will run through July 3, 2011 at the Parlour Gallery at Halloween Town, Located at 2921 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. Please phone 818-848-3644 for exhibit hours.


Photos Below By Charlie Rengel


Dark Pop 3.0 Opens at Last Rites Gallery

The third installment of Last Rites Gallery’s annual group exhibition Dark Pop 3.0 kicked off this weekend in New York, with a gala opening party on Saturday night. This show brings together eighteen intriguing pieces from a diverse group of artists, whose work is at least somewhat synonymous with a pop art aesthetic within their various genres. With Last Rites being known for its consistently thematically dark collections, participants were given a guideline to err on the darker end of their aesthetic, with truly remarkable results!

The Autumn Kings by Brian Despain

I always love attending shows at Last Rites because I enjoy the combination “House of Horrors” meets Fine Art vibe I get from the space, which is also a tattoo parlor owned by renowned artist, Paul Booth. It also seems that Popaganda artist Ron English – whom Geoffrey and I both adore – often shows up for opening parties. Ron was there on Saturday and it was fun to have a chance to speak with him in such an intimate setting, because Ron English is awesome. My favorite pieces in the exhibit are Brian Despain’s The Autumn Kings, Beau Stanton’s Gasp and Mark Garro’s very clever Serpentine Suppertime, which is accented with a custom frame that really sets the picture off. More photos from the opening can be seen over at According 2 G Dot Com at This Link.

Gasp by Beau Stanton

Dark Pop 3.0 Runs through February 12, 2011 at Last Rites Gallery, located at 511 West 33rd Street (West of 11th Ave) in NYC. Gallery Hours are Tues-Fri 2-9pm, Sat 2-9pm, Sun 2-6pm.

Serpentine Suppertime by Mark Garro

MF Gallery Presents the 2010 Toys Show Exhibit!

For the eighth year in a row, MF Gallery proudly presents a Holiday Season Art Show of hand-made Designer Toys. The pieces in this show are produced in very limited quantities by some of today’s top Underground Artists. Each item is a one-of-a-kind work of art, making them highly sought after collectibles. These toys make great unique gifts, because no two are exactly alike! Most of the items in this show are priced between $10 and $100, making them affordable to all collectors. Not sure what to buy for that friend of yours who has everything? Want to get yourself something extra special this Holiday Season? Why not pick up a collectable Art Toy from The 2010 MF Toys Show? Or you can also get some spinning toy to pass time from Top9rated fidget list, is really fun.


“Blibby” Plush By Jenny Harada

This year’s show includes pieces by: MF Toys, Jennybird Alcantara, Christine Benjamin, Sheri Debow, Jacqui Gallant, Heather Gargon, Jenny Harada, Moses Jaen, Abe Lincoln Jr., Enrico Macchiavello, Drew Maillard, Matt Maguire, Angie Mason, Bianca Panzram, Julie Pinzur, Veronika Rabinovich, Carisa Swenson and many others!

“Make Of Our Hearts One Heart” Doll by Sheri Debow

The 2010 MF Toys Show will be open by appointment only until Thursday December 23rd. You can contact Martina or Frank at (917)446-8681 or email info@MFgallery.net for an appointment, questions or press inquiries. The toys in the show can also be viewed and purchased online at MF Gallery Dot Net and can be shipped anywhere in the world in time for Christmas!

MF Gallery is located at 213 Bond Street (Between Butler and Baltic Streets) in Brooklyn, NY. Take the F or G to Bergen, (Exit at Bergen and Smith, walk 2 blocks east on Bergen. Turn right on Bond. Walk south on Bond for 3 blocks), the A to Hoyt/ Schermerhorn, (Exit at Schermerhorn and Bond. Walk South on Bond for 8 blocks), or the R to Union. (Exit at Union and 4th Ave. Walk west on Union for 3 blocks. Turn Right on Bond. Walk North on Bond for 4 blocks.)

Last Rites Gallery Presents Jason D' Aquino and Lead Poisoning Exhibits

The Dimming Room By Chris Mars

One thing really stands out when I look back on this past weekend: it was an amazing couple of days for checking out rad, edgy new art in New York City. Sometimes an art exhibit is made all the more impactful by the space in which it’s displayed. This is definitely true when it comes to a venue I visited for the first time on Saturday night. If you can remember back to the time, about ten years ago I think it was, when the Limelight nightclub was in full swing and much of the club’s interior resembled something from the most horrific pages of a Clive Barker novel, then you will want to check out an art space called the Last Rites Gallery. Like your darkest, Halloween-meets-Hellraiser nightmares, Last Rites, which is also a tattoo parlor, is a trip in itself before you even get into the gallery space, and really must be experienced to be fully appreciated. People who really know me know that I like dark, fucked up shit, so I just fell in love with the place immediately and will absolutely be returning for future exhibits.

Right now, Last Rites has two cool shows running simultaneously. The first, curated by Jason D’Aquino and entitled Lead Poisoning, is a group show with contributions from over forty artists who work in a black, white and grayscale palette. A few of my favorite artists including Greg “Craola” Simkins, Ron English, Robert Williams and Michael Mararian have pieces in the show. This exhibit definitely fits into the realm of dark art that Last Rites is reputed for. Loved it.

The second exhibit is a solo show by D’Aquino featuring drawings and sketches in his whimsically twisted signature style, executed in graphite on ledger paper and other unorthodox canvases such as actual matchbook cover interiors. D’Aquino’s passion for mixing almost storybook innocence with violent, sexual or otherwise disturbing images reminded me a lot of the amazing work of Mark Ryden. My favorite drawing was one depicting a sailor who has just harpooned a mermaid under the watchful eye of a smiling full moon. Unbelievable! Jason has also made some interesting modifications to Milton Bradley’s classic Operation board game that you will appreciate if you ever owned that game as a child.

Photo By Geoffrey Dicker (Click to Enlarge)

The Brave Words heavy metal news site has a super informative post which will go into a lot more detail about both exhibits than I am going into here, so I suggest you check that out at this link if you have any questions about what you are going to see. But mostly, I would just suggest that you don’t miss these exhibits.

Last Rites Gallery is located at 511 W. 33rd Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10001. Both shows run through July 25th, 2010.

One Night Only: Pint Size Paintings at The Sacred Gallery!


All Photos By Geoffrey Dicker

If you weren’t at downtown New York’s Sacred Gallery (located at 424 Broadway at Canal Street, 2nd Floor) on Friday July 9th, then you missed out on the happening art party of the summer, Pint Size Paintings! Curated by Durb Morrison (who also contributed works to the event), Pint Size Paintings collects over 400 original works of art by 350 artists, all painted on canvases measuring only 2 by 3 inches in size (each artist was given two canvases)! Geoffrey (read his review and see more pictures here) and I could not believe the fine detailing and originality of these paintings, which ranged in subject matter from conventional portraiture and well-known celebrities to the surreal, the visceral, the horrific and the fantastic.

Besides the sensorially overwhelming effect of the dozens and dozens of captivating miniature canvases (we circled the room a half dozen times at least, noticing new details of these tiny masterpieces on each successive pass) the show was also a great party with tons of cool people to chat up and free-flowing, ice-cold PBRs – so important with this ridiculous heat wave we’ve been having! We had a fantastic time and got completely wasted for free – Art!

Don’t get too bummed though if you missed the exhibit here in NYC, because you can purchase a copy of Pint Size Paintings Volume #1: Miniature Paintings By Big Artists, featuring a large selection of the Pint Sized images, for just $29.99 from the Hell City store at This Link. Thanks to Durb Morrison and gallery manager Kevin Wilson for a truly memorable evening!

Paintings by Durb Morrison

This is what the Paintings Looked Like After A Few PBRs!