Tag Archive | Neon Colors

Modern Art Monday Presents: Robert Smithson, Untitled [Record Player]

Record Player Full View
Robert Smithson, Untitled [Record Player], (1962); Record Player with Found Objects and Collage (All Photos by Gail)

When Robert Smithson died in a plane crash in 1973, his fame as an artist was based on his creation of monumental earthworks such as Spiral Jetty, or minimalist sculptures using both Mirrored and regular, plate Glass.

But the James Cohan Gallery (in their brand new space in Chinatown) just hosted its inaugural exhibit, Robert Smithson: Pop, which featured a collection of the artist’s work from the early 1960s — including fluorescent-colored pencil sketches of both male and female nudes, collages, and found object sculptures — all of which were completely unlike anything the average Smithson fan would have been familiar with. You can read more about the exhibit and see photos in this great article over at Hyperallergic.

Record Player Side View

I went to see Pop just few days before it closed and while I loved the exhibit, there was one piece that resonated particularly strongly with my aesthetic sensibilities. In the rear room of the gallery, along with a  few drawings, there was a small portable Record Player inside a display vitrine. The box for the record player is covered in collaged pictures of men and women, tabloid headlines, and plastic trinkets and fake flowers.

Record Player Lid
Collage on Outside Lid of Record Player

Record Player top Side View

Inside, the box has been filled with twigs and dried grass, which make a nest for a small, blue bird.

Record Player Turn Table Detail

The turn table has been transformed into a hot pink pond, filled with tiny toys including neon swans, sail boats, and little plastic babies that float about on their backs across the pink surface. It is so cool and completely visually captivating; it’s hard to believe that Smithson’s early work of Pop Art is over 50 years old now! I never would have imagined, from the works of his that I  already knew so well, that  Robert Smithson had a body of work like this in his portfolio. I’m glad I was able to see and photograph it before the exhibit closed in mid-January.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Robert Smithson: Pop at James Cohan Gallery, Located at 291 Grand Street in Chinatown, NYC.

Record Player Alternate View

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Altered States Group Show at C24 Gallery

Martin Durazo Painting on Mirror
Painted Mirror By Martin Durazo (All Photos By Gail)

Altered States at C24 Gallery is an exhibition featuring the work of two Los Angeles based artists, Martin Durazo and Ryan Perez. The title of the exhibition refers to creating an altered state of reality through a narrative visualized by light, line, dimension and color. As you can see, these artists deal specifically with each of these qualities in their respective paintings.

Martin Durazo Painting

Martin Durazo paints on both canvases and mirrors using fluorescent colors and bold brush strokes. The artist explains, “I find it fascinating that these colors are in vogue fashion-wise. I also feel that they have a relationship to punk and new wave music of the ‘70s and ‘80s, my coming–of-age years.” Mine too, Martin!

Martin Durazo Painting on Mirror
Here’s another painted Mirror. I really like this one.

Durazo’s use of neon paint and metallic suggests both a hyper reality and black light illumination. Transcendental in nature, the works presented in Altered States are a part of a continuing body of work that explores the spiritual aspects of lurid and elicit behavior. The visual result is colorful and instantly attractive – it’s audacious and at times flashy, yet always loaded with complex symbolism and stratified references.

Martin Durazo Painting

Martin Durazo with Lady

I met the lady pictured above at the opening reception on September 11th, and her dress reminded me so much of the colors in Martin Durazo’s paintings that I asked if she would pose with them. Also, I was a teeny, tiny bit drunk.

Ryan Perez Installation View

Above is partial installation shot a selection of Ryan Perez’s works that you see as soon as you enter the gallery. His work integrates computer generated and hand painted elements in artist frames, which are configured to trick the eye of the viewer, merging the real and digital world.

Ryan Perez Pink and Green

In describing his work, Perez writes, “As an image-maker, I can’t help but contemplate how the majority of the visual world we experience is constructed through a series of identity systems via graphic design…” Interesting, and so true!

I really enjoyed this exhibit, and the people at C24 are always very nice, so I recommend you add Altered States to your list of shows to check out over the next few weeks.

Altered States Runs Through October 25th, 2014 at C24 Gallery, Located at 514 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion (Seventh Nightmare) at Kianga Ellis Projects

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion Teddy Bear
Does This Teddy Bear Remind You Of Anything? (All Photos By Gail)

If you pay attention to global pop culture, then you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Harajuku style and Kawaii (Cuteness) culture, where the adorable has an undercurrent of rebellious edge. For just a short time you can immerse yourself in a kind of Cuteness Overload at Tokyo-based Artist and Fashion Designer Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion (Seventh Nightmare) installation, through March 29th only at Kianga Ellis Projects. Geoffrey and I paid the space a visit yesterday and it was positively disorienting.

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion
Detail of Walls and Ceiling

According to the Artist’s statement, Masuda has, “created this work as if I was writing my own autobiography.” The small room (about 150 SF), covered on all sides with the collage of multicolored material speaks to his different reflections on “the various mortal sins I have committed, or to which I have fallen prey, through my life thus far.”

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The only props in the room besides the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling ocean of multicolored brick-a-brack is a twin size bed, which evokes the feeling that you are entering child’s fantasy bedroom.

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion

Since the space is so small, it gets crowded with, say, more that five people in the gallery at one time, especially of you are trying to get photos that show a good section of the space. But fortunately, people were being very courteous about waiting out in the hall of it got too crowded, since many visitors (including several Asian girls dressed in their full-0n Harajuku Babydoll Lolita fashions) wanted to get their photos taken against the colorful backgrounds. And who could blame them?

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Details of Colorful Rebellion

You probably won’t see another exhibit quite like this again in your life, so if this seems like your thing, don’t waste any time in checking it out.

Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion is on Exhibit only through through March 29th at Kianga Ellis Projects, Located at 516 West 25th Street, Studio 306B (when you get to the Third Floor Landing, walk through the door marked “3” and the exhibit is down the hall on the right) in the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

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Spring Blooms Utensils Set

Bloom Cooking Utensil Set

You can literally bring the springtime blooms of your garden into your kitchen all year ‘round with this really cool cooking tool set. Want!

Bloom Utensil Set Features

  • Set of 5 utensils shaped like brightly-colored flowers
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  • Utensils Size: 4″ x 13″
  • Vase Size : 6″ dia. x 8″

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Bloom Kitchen Utensil Set