Tag Archive | Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto, The Sotofish Society, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

The Magic Message
The Magic Message By Jeff Soto (All Photos By Gail)

Can you believe it’s been four years since Jeff Soto’s previous exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery? You know who reminded me of that fact? Jeff Soto! So crazy! I had engaged Jeff at the reception for The Sotofish Society, which opened September 10th, to say Hey and tell him how much I loved his Oreo Cookie Subway Ad (praise which he graciously received), and comment on my excitement that he has continued to incorporate favorite identifying motifs from Decay and Overgrowth in this new body of work, and he was like, “That was four years ago.” Point: it seemed much more recent to me. Anyway, Jeff is a super nice guy who will take the time to have a personal conversation with fans at his shows, and his wife Jennifer is also very nice. Jeff Soto!

Guanajuato Mask
Guanajuato Mask

White Ghost
White Ghost

Winter Nights
Winter Nights

This new exhibit, The Sotofish Society does, in fact, include paintings and drawings that reinterpret elements of Soto’s work. Viewing the series as a rebirth, the artist continues to transplant viewers to an alternate universe, while going back to his roots and evolving iconic characters, such as yetis, reapers, robots and the Sotofish. As Jeff explains, “I always feel like an artist’s entire body of work should be fair game to use. My cast of characters and the worlds I create are The Sotofish Society.”

The Phoenix
The Phoenix

Beware Beautiful Night
Beware Beautiful Night

Soto depicts friendly creatures and personifications of earth’s forces that thrive in a dystopian environment plagued by the complexities of modern living. These otherworldly creatures roam the surreal landscape and are surrounded by overgrown greenery, deteriorating technology and overall societal decay. However, Soto’s use of vibrant colors and organic shapes evoke a sense of hope and effort to revitalize, communicating themes of family, nature, life, and death.

Jeff Soto Installation View
Installation View

For this exhibition the artist focused on creating work based on instinct and emotion, resulting in dynamic paintings with many layers, silhouettes and design elements.

Jeff Soto Installation View
Installation View

Watercolors Installation
Watercolors

Along with acrylic compositions on wood and paper, The Sotofish Society includes a selection of watercolors, which are rarely exhibited, as well as limited edition relief prints. By merging a refined selection of graffiti and mixed media techniques, Jeff Soto continues to bridge the gap between street art and pop surrealism.

Jeff Soto Crowd

Night Garden
Night Garden

Jeff Soto’s The Sotofish Society will be on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located 529 West 20th Street, 9th Flor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Jeff Soto Signage

Nightfish 2 and 1
Nightfish 2 and 1 Nightfish

The Builder
The Builder

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Oh, The Places We Have Been Group Show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Jeff Soto, Love Can Surpass All Obstacles
Jeff Soto, Love Can Surpass All Obstacles (All Photos by Gail)

Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Oh, The Places We Have Been: Rediscovering the Past, a group exhibition at their 23rd Street space, featuring work by the following 33 artists who have helped shape the foundation of the gallery over the last ten years: AJ Fosik, Alex Gross, Amandine Urruty, Andrew Brandou, Andy Kehoe, Blek le Rat, Brett Amory, Dan Witz, Esao Andrews, Fabio D’Aroma, Gary Baseman, Gary Taxali, Jeff Soto, Jim Houser, Juan Francisco Casas, Kevin Cyr, Marc Giai-Miniet, Marco Mazzoni, Masakatsu Sashie, Mike Giant, Natalia Fabia, Nouar, Nychos, Olek, Paul Insect, Rafael Silveira, Sam Gibbons, Saner, Souther Salazar, Tara McPherson, Titi Freak, Victor Castillo, WK Interact.

Kevin Cyr and Esao Andrews
(Left) Kevin Cyr, Köpenicker (Right) Esao Andrews, The Guarded Fairground

Natalia Fabia, Kate is Great and Rainbow Cake
Natalia Fabia, Kate is Great and Rainbow Cake

Oh, The Places We Have Been: Rediscovering the Past is a continuation of the gallery’s tenth anniversary celebration and highlights a diverse group of artists who have been integral to our programming since our doors opened in 2005.

Masakatsu Sashie, Toadstool
Masakatsu Sashie, Toadstool

Jim Houser
Four Works by Jim Houser

We always get nostalgic at LeVine’s group shows, having discovered so much excellent art and had so much fun at their events over the years.

Marco Mazzoni, Olek, Sam Gibbons
Left to Right: Marco Mazzoni, Olek, Sam Gibbons

Victor Castillo, Point of Entry
Victor Castillo, Point of Entry

Over the last decade Jonathan LeVine Gallery has exhibited over 300 artists. This exhibition pays tribute to the new and familiar faces we have seen along the way and showcases some significant works from our archives. Oh, The Places We Have Been is a retrospective of JLG’s past with an eye toward the future.

Andrew Brandou, Black Swan
Andrew Brandou, Black Swan

Oh, The Places We Have Been: Rediscovering the Past Group Exhibition will be on View Through May 2nd, 2015, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 557C West 23rd Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Gary Taxali and Souther Salazar
(Left) Gary Taxali, Zoom (Right) Souther Salazar, It’s Like We’re in a Dream

Oreo Subway Ad By Jeff Soto

Oreo Subway Ad By Jeff Soto
Photo By Gail

I passed this ad in the subway a couple of times before I was sure that it incorporates the original art of Jeff Soto, and wasn’t just made to look like a copy of his art. A little Googling on this end revealed that, as part of the next phase of its Play with OREO campaign, the company commissioned 10 emerging artists from around the globe “to see what happens when you put a 100+ year old brand into the hands of creative visionaries who are known for pushing the boundaries, and ask them to develop and share creative OREO expressions of play through their art forms.” The artists who worked on the project include Soto, Brosmind, Alex Trochut, Geoff McFetridge, Craig + Karl, Andrew Bannecker, Ryan Todd, Shotopop, Andy Rementer, and MCBESS.

Art Truancy: Celebrating 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

LeVine 23rd Street Gallery Storefront
Jonathan LeVine 23rd Street Gallery Storefront Display Celebrates 20 Years of Juxtapoz Magazine (All Photos By Gail)

Hey NYC Art Lovers, if you are free this evening (Thursday, May 15th) why not pop over to the two Jonathan LeVine Gallery locations (they are just 3 blocks apart!) to have your mind blown at the opening night reception of Art Truancy, the coolest contemporary art group show, maybe ever!

Featuring the works of over 40 artists, Art Truancy celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Juxtapoz Magazine at a revered gallery space that has been around almost as long. Artists whose work you will see in this exhibit include Alex Gross, Alex Pardee, Andrew Schoultz, Brett Amory, Camille Rose Garcia, Chloe Early, Conor Harrington, Doze Green, Faile, Jeremy Fish, Jeff Soto, Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Maya Hayuk, Miss Van, Neckface, Parra, Pushead, Robert Williams, Saner, Seonna Hong, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Thomas Campbell, Todd James, Todd Schorr and others. I’m happy to be able to say that I was familiar with the work of so many of these great artists after having been introduced to their work at previous LeVine Gallery shows.
Last night I attended a press preview of the show and will now share with you some of my favorite pieces.

From the 23rd Street Space:

Robert Williams

Art by Robert Williams, perhaps most famous for his painting, Appetite for Destruction, which was used as the back cover artwork for the Guns ‘N’ Roses album of the same name.

Abe Lincoln by Mark Ryden
Abe Lincoln by Mark Ryden

Obey Records By Shepard Fairey
Obey Records By Shepard Fairey

Shoes Lamp By Grotesk
Sneakers Lamp By Grotesk

Clayton Brothers and Tim Biskup

Art By Clayton Brothers (left) and Tim Biskup (right).

I did arrive on 20th Street a few minutes before they were officially open, as the two venues staggered visitors so that people would show up first at 23rd Street and then at 20th Street an hour later (I am just too quick!) so I would like to thank the Jonathan LeVine Staff (especially Malena Seldin) for allowing me to shoot while they were actually still hanging the show!

Here’s a preview of what you’ll see at 20th Street:

Gary Baseman

Art By Gary Baseman

Jeremy Geddes

Art By Jeremy Geddes

Ron English

This Triptych Mural By Pop Surrealist Ron English was inspired by Picasso’s famous painting, Guernica.

Octopus Sculpture By Scott Musgrove

One of my favorite pieces in the show is this Octopus Sculpture By Scott Musgrove, which also holds tiny tea lights. I believe it might be a study for a large painting also on exhibit at 20th Street.

Alex Gross

Art by Alex Gross.

Andrew Schoultz Alex Pardee and Don Ed Hardy

Left to Right: Andrew Schoultz, Alex Pardee and Don Ed Hardy

Art By SHAG

Art By SHAG

Art By Jeremy Fish

Art By Jeremy Fish

Olek Faile How and Nosm

Center Gallery: Crocheted Cat Habitat wth Mickey Mouse By Olek. Left Rear: Faile. Right Rear: How and Nosm.

As you can see, this is a do-not-miss event!

Art Truancy opens Tonight (5/15!) with a Reception at 557C West 23rd Street from 6 – 8 PM and at 529 West 20th Street from 7 – 9 PM, and runs through June 14th, 2014! Regular Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Jeff Soto’s Decay & Overgrowth at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

Memorial of the Forgotten By Jeff Soto
Memorial of the Forgotten By Jeff Soto

Just when you thought the art reporting on this blog couldn’t get any more exciting, Jeff Soto, one of our very favorite American contemporary artists, returns to Jonathan LeVine Gallery for his fourth solo exhibition! Having been deeply affected by the  recent passing of two of his grandparents, Soto’s new series of works Decay and Overgrowth is his memento mori of sorts. For Decay and Overgrowth, Jeff maintains many of his signature motifs while incorporating a distinctive fecundity in the  broad use of new colors, such as mossy green, and images of plants and vines that entwine through skulls in a series of paintings that seem to personify the members of Soto’s family.

Cora By Jeff Soto
Cora

Joe By Jeff Soto
Joe

Kathryn By Jeff Soto
Kathryn

Man By Jeff Soto
Man

Expanding upon the themes explored previously in Lifecycle, Soto’s solo 2010 exhibition, works in Decay and Overgrowth deal with the passage of time, early man and life after death, as well as primitive myths and legends attempting to explain the unknown. A connective thread of mortality runs throughout the work, conveying themes such as the transient nature of life, brevity of the average lifetime and inevitability of death.

Monster By Jeff Soto
Monster

Soto selected symbols of hope and growth to symbolize the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Organic shapes and elements such as mountains, plants, flowers, rocks and crystals are juxtaposed with manmade objects such as cell phone towers, weapons, polished gems and modern architecture. The resulting imagery combines a bit of magic, unanswered questions and a glimpse into the unknown.

Jeff Soto Poses with his Work
Jeff Soto at Jonathan LeVine Gallery

I found this exhibit to be deeply moving and also life affirming. Jeff Soto was at the opening reception on Saturday and he was just the nicest person you could meet, signing a card for me and also posing with his art for this post. Thanks Jeff for your beautiful art and also for being so cool.

The Bike Ride
The Bike Ride

Jeff Soto’s Decay & Overgrowth will be on exhibit through October 6, 2012  at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th floor New York City. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Jeff Soto Reception Crowd at Jonathan Levine
Fans Enjoy Jeff Soto’s Art at Saturday’s Opening Reception

The Vader Project Arrives at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh


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I am not a huge a Star Wars fan, but if this exhibit came to NYC I would be there to check it out in two seconds. The Vader Project is a jaw dropping collection of 100 Darth Vader Helmets reimagined by some of today’s hottest underground and pop surrealist painters, artists and designers. Here’s bit more information from the Vader Project Website. “The Vader Project is curated by Dov Kelemer & Sarah Jo Marks of DKE Toys. Kelemer and Marks gathered 100 contemporary artists. Each artist was given a 1:1 scale authentic prop replica of the actual Darth Vader helmet used in the STAR WARS™ films. Each helmet served as a blank slate for each artist to paint, design, mash up and customize.

Featuring work by Shag, Peter Kuper, Attaboy, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, Dalek, Paul Frank, Ron English, Jeff Soto, Michelle Valigura, Frank Kozik, Wade Lageose, Joe Ledbetter, Alex Pardee, Suckadelic, Cameron Tiede, Mister Cartoon, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell and many more, The Vader Project provided an opportunity for artists to use one of the most iconic pop culture characters in film history as their canvas.”

While the project has been around since May 2007, the collection makes its museum premiere at The Andy Warhol and will be on display from February 13 to May 3, 2009. Check out a really cool Slideshow here.


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