Tag Archive | Mike Weiss Gallery

School’s Out Summer Group Exhibit at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series
Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series (All Photos By Gail)

School’s Out Bitches, and the Mike Weiss Gallery has a new group exhibition that captures summer’s sense of freedom – of playfully breaking from the ordinary and letting the imagination run wild. The show, which is, fittingly, also called School’s Out, includes works by gallery favorites like Deborah Brown, Thrush Holmes, Jerry Kearns, and Liao Yibai. We saw it on opening night, which ended up being the most crowded Thursday night in the Chelsea Gallery District that we have yet seen! It was just a crazy night, and lots of fun.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series

The only bummer of the evening is that I had forgotten my camera at home, and so was forced to shoot all photos with (gasp) an iPad — which is less than optimal when dealing with a very crowded gallery and very big pieces of art. A perfect example is the fact that I had to shoot this Thrush Holmes piece in multiple parts to really show it off without a bunch of people taking selfies in front of it getting in the way.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 1
Landscape Series, Continued

But I love Thrush Holmes’ work — and you should as well — so why not cut it up into as many detail shots as possible, is what I say. Yes, more Thrush Holmes!

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 3

The panels of Holme’s take on the tradtional landscape painting are realized in shimmering neon fixtures and crude oil stick, each work containing the rudimentary elements of landscape – foreground, background, and horizon.  His work reminds me of cross between Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 5

Deborah Brown, Erda
Deborah Brown, Erda

I only got one semi-usable shot of Deborah Brown’s blatantly Picasso-esque oil paintings, because of people and their damn smart phones, which they must look at while standing directly in front of the art.

IMG_3231
Jerry Kearns, The Big Dipper

Jerry Kearns is awesome and we’ve loved many of his previous exhibits at Mike Weiss. Here is what the Gallery says about the painting above, which I believe is called The Big Dipper:
Jerry Kearns’ multilayered “psychological pop” painting presents a panoramic view of modern culture with a very specific set of images. While the work seems ripe for a narrative interpretation, it is difficult to pinpoint if any relationships actually exist between each element. There is something disconcerting and dangerous about the Kearns’ entropic amalgam of characters – one in which square double-cheeseburgers, a levitating gun, and toucans play as prominent a role as the bikini-clad women and a joker-headed bodybuilder.” That’s right: Awesome.

IMG_3217

Jerry also painted these little hummingbirds, or whatever, on the walls around the gallery.

Liao Yibai, Panda Step, 2013
Liao Yibai, Panda Step

Liao Yibai’s intricately hand-welded stainless steel sculptures focus on the tangled social, political, and cultural state of modern-day China. Straddling a line between flippancy and seriousness, the dynamic figures merge the insider’s and outsider’s view — pandas and dragons tie together the artist’s own experience growing up in China and, at the same time, play with the Western (mis)conceptions of China he has experienced while living in the United States.

Liao Yibai, Wrong Food, 2013
Liao Yibai, Wrong Food

This is a pretty cool-looking sculpture of a snail. I wish I had gotten a better photo.

School’s Out! will be on Exhibit Through August 6th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Schools Out Signage

Thrush Holmes, Balcony
Thrush Holmes, Balcony

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Objects and Everyday Goods at Mike Weiss Gallery

Adam Parker Smith Installation View
Installation View: Sculptures by Adam Parker Smith (All Photos By Gail)

One of our favorite Chelsea venues, the Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently hosting a group show called Objects and Everyday Goods, which features new works by artists that we were first introduced to at Mike Weiss — such as Cameron Gray and Tom Fruin — both of whom make art that is just insane, as well as some new favorites and a few artists we’ve not seen before. It’s fun to discover new art at Mike Weiss Gallery! Let’s take a peak at this eclectic show!

Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and 1
Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and Break Time 1

If you know the work of Tom Fruin you will instantly recognize these pieces as his. Fruin creates colorful “stained glass” mosaic structures — such as his famous Watertowers — out of panels that look like the above. He is a genius. This exhibit also has examples of Fruin’s Drug Bag Quilts series and other metal work.

Tom Fruin Break Time 3
Break Time 3

Adam Parker Smith Ex
Adam Parker Smith, Ex

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, sculptor Adam Parker Smith has created a very narrative series of his crazy, mixed media structures that include everyday objects like small festive cakes, floral wreaths and  balloons. This one, seriously, I just love it. LOVE IT!

Bold as Love
Bold as Love

You might recognize Parker Smith’s very visually engaging works from when we last saw him on the Bowery as part of the Not a Painting group show at The Hole. It is good to see him in a nice place like Mike Weiss!

Hit or Miss
Hit or Miss

Any art that includes Cake, I automatically dig it. Cake Art!

Installation View 2
(Far Right) Michael Zelehoski, Incomplete Cube Series, (Center Foreground) Liao Yibai, Zhulong Dragon, (Rear Background) Cameron Gray, Must Have for Summer

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Are you wondering if Liao Yibai’s sculpture of an oversize bike chain, Zhulong Dragon is the BFD of the show? Yes, yes it is. It’s amazing.

Liao Yibai Zhulong Dragon

Big, Shiny, Beautiful.

Cameron Gray Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall
Cameron Gray, Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall

Last time we saw Cameron Gray, he had transformed the Mike Weiss Gallery into a fully immersive, psychedelic acid trip/fun house with his fantastic Gymnasty exhibit, which we went to about six times. That was lots of fun. Who knew Cameron could make realist paintings like these, which I think must be inspired by ready-to-wear fashion catalogs. Really nice.

Cameron Gray Denim Done Right
Cameron Gray, Denim Done Right

Bes sure to add a day-brightening stop at Mike Weiss Gallery to your next Saturday art crawl!

Objects and Everyday Goods will be on Exhibit Through March 26th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Objects and Everyday Goods Signage

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents Stefanie Gutheil’s The Home of Mr. Peeps

Elephant Circus
All Photos By Gail

Mike Weiss Gallery is currently hosting Stefanie Gutheil’s fourth exhibition with the gallery, The Home of Mr. Peeps and it is all kinds of crazy fun. For this show, the Berlin-based artist has delved deep into the recesses of her imagination – back where horned beasts, laser beams, onesies, a brass marching band, phonographs, multi-talented chickens, the original stooge named Krampus and a giant pink elephant all reside – and emerged with a phantasmagoric stable of characters à la a secularized and hallucinatory version of Noah’s Arc. With this herd of misfit creatures, Gutheil has left normality at the door and transformed the gallery into a sanctuary of the bizarre – a surreal, utopic landscape of chromatic and psychological vibrancy.

Asian Cat

With all their quirks and foibles in plain sight, the artist’s fantastical creatures appear to us as friends and intimates. In fact, it is precisely because of the alluring, almost childlike honesty inherent in the figures unabashed eccentricities that connection with the works is nearly inevitable. Yet there is more to these characters than their carnivalesque appearance; in each, Gutheil has instilled an emotional gravity that seems both personally derived and universally comprehensible.

Animal Onesies

Sometimes the sentiment is uplifting – for example in A Walk in the Forest, where we find two cronies strutting with emoticon-worthy smiles strewn across their faces.  Other times, the mood isn’t always so chummy.  In Safe Bet, it is impossible to say with certainty whether the winged yet dense-looking humanoid is falling down or flying upward, if it has walked the plank by force or leapt from the diving board by choice.

Aardvarks

In their peculiar features and with their hearts on their sleeves, Gutheil’s oddballs all emit a vaguely familiar sense of the folkloric, as if the artist unraveled them from traditional fables and stitched together her own.  The horned, anthropomorphic, anti-Santa Claus fictional beast of German-Austrian descent named Krampus, for example, seems to make an appearance in multiple works. Instead of a facsimile representation, though, Gutheil has flipped the idea of Krampus on its head­ – in one work it walks a man-carrying pig and in another it nonchalantly strolls through the forest with a friend – by stripping it of its menace and making it comical.

Shadow

Yet in her fairytales, Gutheil has not set a narrative.  Instead, she provides all the raw, jumbled materials – the characters, the costumes, the emotions, and the stage – and leaves us to imagine our own farfetched tales, whether somberly retrospective or curiously, whimsically, and optimistically infantile.

Pig

Stefanie Gutheil’s  The Home of Mr. Peeps will be on Exhibit Through January 30th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Gallery View

Signage

Thrush Holmes, Heavy Painting at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Homes Painting
All Photos By Gail

Do you enjoy the artwork of painter/sculptor Thrush Holmes? I sure do. His giant canvases combine techniques that range from ‘no rules’ street art to bold, classic expressionism, occasionally being embellished with bright squiggles of neon light that remind me of Keith Sonnier. The result is always something fun and fresh, and instantly recognizable as his.

Flower Grid

Right now, Mike Weiss Gallery is hosting a new collection of Holmes’ large canvas works entitled, appropriately, Heavy Painting. Let’s take a look:

Abstract with Neon

This one would look good against any décor, I think. It has a very summery vibe.

Black Flowers Blue Background

This one is also extremely great.

Neon V

Live Band Jim Joe

There are also paintings  on which he has, for no obvious reason, written the name of tagger/artist Jim Joe, who once had an Exhibit at the Hole, back in January of 2014, that I did not care much for. Geoffrey and I had the chance to say Hi to Thrush at the opening reception a couple of weeks back and he is very cute and also pretty nice. Geoffrey asked him if he knew Jim Joe, or if he was Jim Joe, and I believe his answer to both questions was “no,” but I would not swear to it.

Band

What band does this remind you of? Discuss.

Black and White With Neon

I think this one is my favorite.

Big Flowers

Thrush Holmes, Heavy Painting will be on exhibit through October 17th, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District

Thrush Holmes Signage

Jerry Kearns and Nora York Present Diva’s Song at Mike Weiss Gallery

Diva's Song Signage
All Photos By Gail

You have just one more week to visit the Mike Weiss Gallery in time to check out Diva’s Song, the second show by Jerry Kearns at the gallery, and the first in collaboration with singer/performer Nora York. The exhibition features eight acrylic wall paintings of larger-than-life size characters as high as eight feet, seemingly out of a comic book, with thought bubbles that form a coherent yet ambiguous narrative.

My Heart Was Blind

Merging his own “psychological pop” aesthetic with York’s rendition of “Vissi d’arte” from Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, Kearns and York have reimagined the aria, isolating it from the operatic masterpiece and widening its narrative scope to encompass all the intrigue, drama, and emotional weight of a full length story. Without the restraints of a canvas edge, the gallery becomes transformed into a democratized space – a stage where viewer and art, and reality and metaphor, play equally important roles.

Oh Why

The show begins with a theater banner that introduces the title character “Diva” as well as her gun-wielding cowboy boyfriend “Sugar” (or painter, if we’re following from Tosca). The cinematic effect continues from here into three “shots” of the lone diva. Thought bubbles like, “Oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, does this burden lay so heavy on my mind? Oh why, oh why, oh why?” take us into a vulnerable moment of existential anxiety, as if the distant future became suddenly, alarmingly immediate.

All My Life

The searching, introspective tone of the first room comes to boiling point in the main gallery space, visually evoking an operatic crescendo with a stark increase in scale. Two monumental close-ups – one of a tearing and/or perspiring victim and the other of a strong, enraged agent – create an emotional and psychological battleground that ultimately turns violent.

Sugar and The Devil

In the ensuing clash of good versus evil, Jesus and his crown of thorns are disconcertingly absent. Instead, we find Sugar, on his back and with a bandage around his head, in a fracas with the devil, whose own head, curiously, is the only realistically-rendered in the show. Unlike Puccini’s Tosca, the exhibition’s narrative outcome is ultimately uncertain. Definitely, however, the knife-wielding diva, in a stance reminiscent of Judith with the head of Holofernes, is the one in control.

Infused with Kearns’ archetypal cowboys, bad guys, and damsels, Diva’s Song inherits traits from the Spaghetti Western as well the opera. But perhaps the lineage can’t be so neatly partitioned. Throughout their careers, Kearns and York have had a seemingly compulsive attraction to montage, brazenly pairing the head of Jesus with the body of the cowboy (in Kearns’ paintings), or cleverly sampling the chord structures of Puccini with Pop melodic overlays (in York’s songs). While in both cases these amalgamations may initially seem discordant, their underlying foundations always reveal their harmonies. Diva’s Song operates in that same vein, translating various modes of representation – opera, film, and comic book illustration – into a single cohesive exhibition of wall painting.

The End

Jerry Kearns and Nora York are a married couple who live and work in New York City.

Jerry Kearns and Nora York’s Diva’s Song Will be on Exhibit Through Saturday, August 22nd, 2104 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents: Marc Séguin I Love America and America Loves Me

Self Portrait
“Elvis is King.” Self Portrait by Marc Séguin. (All Photos By Gail)

One of our favorite venues for contemporary art, Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently featuring new works by painter Marc Séguin in an exhibit entitled I Love America and America Loves Me. Séguin’s mostly large scale canvases examine and poke fun at viral media phenomena and celebrity culture that Americans seem to be obsessed with. It isn’t always pretty, but it is always provocative. Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the show!

Andy Warhol Snowman
Andy

Andy Warhol is a Snowman.

My Art Dealer
My Art Dealer

Just Married
Just Married

Séguin sure didn’t waste any time portraying 80 year old convicted murderer Charles Manson with his fiance /new wife Afton “Star” Burton, who is 25. Séguin‘s painting is based on a photograph of the happy couple found at This Link.

Project Love
Project Love

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

What’s interesting to note about this portrait of Edward Snowden is that, when I looked at it along with an artist friend who came to the show with me, we both knew what he was famous for (leaking NSA secrets) but neither of us could remember his name, despite the fact that he was all over the media for most of last and the previous year.

Fuck Sharks

This one is called Fuck Sharks. I love it.

Fuck Sharks
Detail from Fuck Sharks

I laughed for fifteen minutes when I saw the above! Hilarious!

Marc Séguin’s I Love America and America Loves Me will be on Exhibit Through March 7th, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Marc Seguin Signage

Yes, It Exists: Venus De Milo Aquarium

Venus De Milo Aquarium
All Photos By Gail

The Venus De Milo Aquarium was created by California-based artist Cameron Grey for his very fun exhibit, Gymnasty, at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery District. See it through January 3rd, 2015!

Venus De Milo Aquarium Detail

Mike Weiss Gallery Presents Gymnasty By Cameron Gray

Gymnasty VideoScreen Tunnel
Photo of Gymnasty Video Screen Archway Courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail!

Sometimes, you just need to visit an art exhibit that is a bit over-the-top and, well, insane. It doesn’t even have to make much sense; as long as it embraces an energetic, inspired feel and a kind of controlled, creative chaos that assures you that you are at the Most-Happening-Art-Reception in the Chelsea Gallery District at that very moment. That is how we felt when we entered the vortex of madness that is Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty, which opened at Mike Weiss Gallery on October 30th. Seriously, what a crazy fun scene!

Video Screen Archway

Please Enter Through the Video Monitor Archway! More about that later!

Friendly Greeter
Please Meet the Friendly Greeter!

Gymnasty is a multi-sensorial pop culture experience that may or may not have something to do with working out. But if you want to follow that line of thinking, then you might consider it to be more like a gym for your mind and soul than one for your body. I don’t know. Maybe Gray just dropped some acid an made it up as he went along. Please enjoy some of my photos!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer
Golden Boy Go Go Dancer – Very Popular!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer

Achiever
Here he is again!

The opening reception was a ridiculous, performance art mob scene, so it was hard to get good, clear pictures of the “Art,” but nothing was really lost in that I think I captured a good deal of the energy of what had to be the best party of the night!

Hi There
“Hi There!”

Beach Tableau

Gymnasty Goes to the Beach!

Yoga Lady

Floating Gucci Logos and a Lady ready for Yoga!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Look at this thing!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Now, take a closer look: It is a video of a waterfall inside a slab of polished marble. I want to have it in my home.

The Universe

Also, here is a close up of The Universe expanding from inside another slab of marble. It makes you think deeply about things.

Miracles This Way

What’s behind this mysterious Black Curtain? Let’s Find Out!

Venus De Milo Aquarium

Venus De Milo Aquarium!

Diver and Fish
Dive! Dive!

Video Monitor Fire Place
Yuel Log Fireplace Video!

Video Projections

All kinds of ever changing video projections!

Video Projections

Muscle Man

Also, This Guy!

OK, Let’s take closer look at same of the pop culture images flashing across the screens in that explosively psychedelic Video Monitor Archway!

David Bowie

David Bowie, I love him.

Is This Gay

Yes, yes it is!

Lana Del Rey and Elvis

I see Lana Del Rey and, also, Elvis.

Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror: Obviously a HUGE influence.

Rick James

Rick James, Bitch!

You don’t need me to tell you that Gymnasty is totally Rad. See it while you can!

Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Cameron Gray Gymnasty Signage

Tom Fruin’s Color Study at Mike Weiss Gallery

Tom Fruin Water Tower
Watertower By Tom Fruin (All Photos By Gail)

Oh, what fun it was to discover one of Tom Fruin’s  Watertower sculptures inside an art gallery instead of out in DUMBO or somewhere off the BQE! As it turns out, Fruin’s current exhibit, Color Study, over at Mike Weiss Gallery marks the very first time that the artist’s architecturally-scaled public works have been shown in a gallery context. Super fun!

Tom Fruin Water Tower Detail
Watertower Close Up

The Watertower is constructed from found scrap metal and colored Plexiglas in a patchwork design that also incorporates facsimiles of cigar bands and the word “Ecstasy” repeated at intervals across it’s colorful and endlessly captivating surface, which is illuminated from the tower’s interior.

Tom Fruin Water Tower Ecstasy Detail

Tom Fruin Cigar Band Wall Scultpture

The wall sculpture above (of which there are several on display at Mike Weiss) will give you an idea of the grid that Fruin builds on for his colored Plexiglas creations. Check out the one below:

Tom Fruin Wall Quilt

This patchwork of colors relates not only to the surface of the Watertower but also to Fruin’s earlier project series, Drug-Bag Quilts, in which the artist used found drug bags, stitched together with thread, to create quilt-like wall hangings. Talk about an interesting way to upcycle!

Tom Fruin Lanterns

Color Study also includes a set of Swings with Cigar Band Seats which are suspended from the gallery’s ceiling (not shown) and the above lanterns, one electric and one powered by a small fuel tank.

Stained Glass Flame Sculpture

And last but not least, Fruin has created this illuminated-from-within, Stained Glass replica of what looks to me like the cluster of flame from Lady Liberty’s torch. Astounding.

Stained Glass Flame Detail
Stained Glass Flame Detail

Color Study presents enchanting and unique artworks the likes of which you aren’t going to see anywhere else in the Chelsea Gallery District, so don’t let yourself miss this one!

Tom Fruin’s Color Study will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Tom Fruin Color Study Signage

Jerry Kearns RRRGGHH!!! at Mike Weiss Gallery

Jerry Kearns RRRGGHH!!!
All Photos By Gail

Mike Weiss Gallery is pleased to present RRRGGHH!!!, Jerry Kearns’ first solo exhibition with the gallery and the artist’s first show in New York since 2006. RRRGGHH!!! features 8 new paintings on canvas as well as 5 wall murals.

Skreee

RRRGGHH!!! restages the elemental conflict between hero and villain in the template tradition of this type of narrative, good versus evil, begun over 2000 years ago with The Book of Revelations and continued in different iterations today. The paintings present a layered dreamscape inhabited by a recurring cast of characters that have their roots in both the artist’s personal and our public histories. The narrative is organized around scenes from a hero’s journey, the hero himself an amalgamation of some of the most influential archetypes in culture.

Jerry Kearns Exhibit

RRRGGHH!!! Devil Detail
Detail from Painting Above

Each painting is a confrontation with one or more dangers, but the interpretation is widely open to discussion, while clues and misleading evidence are left on the canvas for discovery. These paintings reposition familiar images in a universal vocabulary, presenting a destabilized perception of our culture.

RRRGGHH!!!

Jerry’s work can be seen as history painting, charting our collective cultural mythology over the passage of the last 30+ years. His paintings employ the essence of Pop Art by using recognizable imagery culled from our culture, like the Jesus/Cowboy who was created from a 1950s cartoon and a projection of Bible belt realism. Instead of placing the characters in their typical environments, he uses the vocabulary and familiarity of pop culture imagery as a tool for analyzing the world around him.

RRRGGHH!!!

The Jesus/Cowboy is at once the outsider and the hero. He often seems lost in the action, looking the wrong way, or looking toward heaven even when danger is imminent and arriving in another direction that we, the viewers, can see unfolding. The animals in these paintings seem to know more than the protagonists do about reality. Good and evil are constantly at odds, and danger lurks everywhere. Each painting is layered with meanings, constructed so as to ask questions but evade answers.

Jerry Kearns Wall Mural

The narrative in this exhibition appears semi-coherent, familiar, and threatening to fall apart as it unfolds. Escaped prisoners are painted directly on the wall to create a didactic clash of literal versus symbolic space. These characters are closer to the actual space we live in, adding a new dimension for encounter. The exhibition plays out like a movie, unwinding its narrative through scene after scene – a painted, epic film still. The stylistic tendencies of his work speaks to the integrity of his practice and vision by allowing us the opportunity to encounter characters we know in an unguarded way, often at dynamic moments in their fictional universes.

The paintings are influenced by the artist’s childhood filled with cowboy movies and serials, newspaper cartoons, comic books, and the colorful illustrations his Preacher showed him in the Bible while growing up. In his work, Jerry is interested in exploring the fundamental relationship revealed in current exercises of power through imagery. Former President George Bush’s polarizing economic and political strategies, which were no relief after Reagan’s trickle-down economic policies, also play a role in the narrative. Jerry saw George Bush’s appropriation of the male archetype of the Cowboy realized in his approach of government policy.

Be sure and visit the Mike Weiss Gallery while RRRGGHH!!! is still up!

Jerry Kearns: RRRGGHH!!! Will be on Exhibit Through August 23rd, 2104 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Jerry Kearns Exhibit Signage