Wonderworld Space was an attraction that existed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a few months this past fall. Located in a big pink warehouse, Wonderworld was fitted with multiple, Instagram-able rooms, each housing a themed-fantasy scenario in which selfie-obsessed young ladies could stage impromptu photo shoots. Yawn City. In other words, it was a total waste of time for normal people like me to go there unless you could get in for $5 (regular admission price: $25), which we did. Because anything is worth $5. I got a few blog-worthy snaps out of the visit, so it was money well-spent. These Pink Neon Roses floating around the word Love were part of a room with different neon art on each of its four walls. I’m not sure how good selfies come out when taken in a room that is mostly dark, but I think this shot looks pretty cool without people in it.
Unless I am in some kind of crazy hurry, getting temporarily lost or misdirected in NYC is always a blessing, because it allows me to stumble upon amazing finds like this fantastic Neon Tiger. I spotted this beauty, from the sidewalk, inside a casual-menswear boutique called Blue In Green, which is located on Greene Street, one block north of Canal, in SoHo. Grrr.
On a very rainy Sunday in NYC, the ideal indoor activity turned out be a ferry ride over to Randall’s Island for the Frieze Art Fair! Because what’s a little mud on your shoes compared to the joy of browsing for hours through thousands of prohibitively expensive artworks?
Looking back through the digital archives, it appears that my previously most recent Frieze recap dates all the way back to 2015 — wow — for reasons that take too long to talk about. One thing that is abundantly clear though is that my skills as a photographer have improved greatly in the last four years! Let’s take look around this year’s Frieze Art Fair and check out a selection of my favorite art!
Carlotta (2017) is monumental 3D-effect stiles steel sculpture by Juame Pensa, found at Richard Grey Gallery. That’s an Alex Katz abstract painting at the left.
It didn’t take me long get distract by shiny things, because I neglected to note the artist of this installation of Colored Spherical Shaped Mirrors, which is just fantastic.
It might look like a weed has sprouted up though a crack in the wall at the booth for the Marlborough Gallery, but that weed is actually a metal sculpture. Clever!
Quartz Eroded Newspaper Machine (2019) by Daniel Arsham.
Here’s the view of another side: Coffee Cup included! Spotted at Perrotin Gallery.
Two colorful, feathered bears wrestle playfully in this sculpture by Paola Pivi entitled You Drive Me Crazy, also at Perrotin Gallery.
You know how it is when you have to wait so long for all of the people to clear out of the shot that your forget to make note of what you were photographing? This is one of those times.
Mermaid Sculptures by Olivia Erlanger at And Now Gallery sell for $8,000 each!
Alyson Shotz created this iridescent suspended soft sculpture made from interlinked, dichroic-dyed aluminum discs, found at Derek Eller Gallery. Check out two detail views of this work, below.
Surface of Discs. Exterior.
Surface of Discs, Interior.
Here’s a unique blown-glass work by Gabriele Beveridge called True Bone. It’s so lovely I am compelled to offer a side view from which you can see how the glass ‘weeps’ over the chromed Steele frame, or bone.
Men Who Cannot Cry (2018) Neon Sculpture by Alfredo Jaar.
Mark Thomas Gibson, The Snowman (2018) at Fredericks and Freiser.
This neon sign switched up its timely message by having the “ed” in “Empowered” flicker off and on. Nice.
This reflective wall sculpture made from the lenses of sunglasses was also spotted at the both for at The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd.
Colorful Acrylic Sculptures By Marta Chilindron (Above and Below).
Now here’s a modern sculpture that has everything! Max Hooper Schneider’s Shiatsu takes a custom acyclic vitrine — that an observer might easily mistake for an ordinary household aquarium — and creates a surreal habitat filled with hand tools scattered among the lush terrarium plant life and accented with a vintage neon sign! Let’s take a closer look.
Spectacular! Hooper Schneider’s work is represented by Maureen Paley Gallery of London.
Avid readers of The ‘Gig might recognize this freeform abstract sculpture as the work of sculptor Tony Cragg from This Post, though the one above, entitled Gate (2017) is of a much, much smaller scale!
Look Up: It’s one of Nick Cave’s Sound Suits!
Raked Leaves (Apparition) (2019) by Patrick Jacobs is a tiny diorama that was embedded into the wall of the booth for Pierogi Gallery of New York.
Check out this fabulous silk flower and bead-embellished hoodie sculpture, February (2018) by Devan Shimoyama. I would wear it.
Well that about wraps up this year’s Frieze coverage. If you dig the photos in this post please share the love and share the link on your social media! Art!
If you happen to live near, or be visiting, the city of Glendale, California — as I was over the Christmas Holidaze — and you also love Neon signs and other types of neon-based artworks, be sure to stop by the Museum of Neon Art. MONA is small museum, just one big room basically, with a rotating collection of vintage neon signs and other neon artworks, as well as temporary exhibits, and its admission price is $10 well-spent for this non-profit venue that also hosts Neon Art Making classes! Towards the rear of the museum gallery is small niche that’s easy to miss if you don’t explore thoroughly (it was pointed out to me by a docent) where you can see vintage plasma tubes and spheres, including the one seen in this post, on which the ubiquitous commercial Plasma Balls that we all owned in the 1980s (I still have mine) were based. Neato.
MONA (Museum of Neon Art) is Located at 216 S. Brand Blvd. (Corner of Caruso) in Glendale, CA 91204
Andrea Bowers is a Los Angeles-based artist working in video, drawing, and installation that combines art and activism in order to draw attention to the struggle for social justice. For the High Line, Bowers presents a continuation of her ongoing work supporting the DREAMers, individuals who came to the United States at an early age without documentation, who have assimilated to U.S. culture, and who have been educated in the U.S. School system.
Here’s what the sign looks like at night.
The message is written in Spanish on one side and in English on the other.
Bowers invited the immigration activist group Movimiento Cosecha to write a slogan in support of DREAMers, realized as a neon sign reading “Somos 11 Millones / We Are 11 Million,” which is the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Part of the Agora Project, Installed on The High Line (Under the Standard Hotel) Through March of 2019.
Bruce Nauman’s neon sculpture, Human Nature / Life Death (1983) is a circle of words corresponding to the defining contradictions of human existence — life and death, love and hate, pleasure and pain — are trisected by the words “Animal,” “Human” and “Nature.”
In the aggregate, the words form a colorful, illuminated peace symbol. Human Nature / Life Death is anything but serene or amicable, however, and not only because of its content. As the words flash and darken erratically, Nauman’s neon devolves into a jumble of disjointed signs that break the continuity of the composition and jerk the eye across the wall.
Photographed in The Met Breuer in Manhattan.
Hey Bitches, everyone’s Favorite Thing, The Video Clip of The Week, makes a hard comeback for Spring with an awesome tune to get you movin’ and groovin’ on a Sunday morning — and if you don’t quite feel like moving just yet, you have something cool to look at — with Djustin’s neon-infused video for their uber hot synth-pop dance track, appropriately entitled “Dancing”! Because, Dancing!
Djustin is an unstoppable power duo comprised of Sweden’s Johan Angergård and his American partner, Rose Suau, and together they create something truly primal. “Dancing” wastes no time at all getting right to the heart of the club experience, putting the transcendent power of dance floor right in your head. Lyric videos have never looked as spectacular as this visual bombardment of Hot Pink and Bright Turquoise Neon signage delivering the message directly to your cerebral cortex against a backdrop of mirror-ball rays and tiny reflective shards of glittery stuff, all buoyed by Suau’s seductive vocal hooks reminiscent of Shannon’s 1983 smash hit, “Let The Music Play.” Resistance is futile.
“Dancing” can be found on Djustin’s upcoming full-length album Voyagers, which will be released on May 5th, 2017. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link! Enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago, we made a run by Chamber on West 23rd Street to check out their newest collection of functional, limited edition artworks and home goods. As usual, more than a few items piqued our interest. We especially like this lamp by London-based blown glass artist and designer, Jochen Holz.
The Neon Desk Light is a unique, freestanding light sculpture made of free formed borosilicate glass tubing. Each is one of its kind and part of a small edition. Says Holz about this creation, “I am using much bigger tubing diameters and wall thicknesses to create shapes which couldn’t be achieved with conventional neon making. The forms play with the light emitted by the different rare gases, the undulating tube subtly manipulates the light, softening and intensifying it in turns. There are no coatings or filaments, just the pure light radiating from within the tube. The lights have an estimated lifetime of about 30 to 40 thousand hours.”
This fun modern lamp also comes in Red. Contact the store at email@example.com for pricing.
Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Tenth Avenue space is currently hosting Mute Parade, an exhibit of light installations by Chilean-born artist Iván Navarro, for his second solo show with the gallery. Mute Parade transforms multiple gallery rooms into a synesthetic environment continuing Navarro’s ongoing use of light, sound, and language to engage with issues of power, migration, and propaganda.
Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is faced with a series of new works by the artist including Tuning (2015), a pyramid of six towering drums.
Navarro combines the drums with mirrors and the words High, Tone, Tune, Bass, Mute, and Deaf to create a visual representation idea of sound (or noise) while at the same time removing and negating the original function of the instruments. This is a way of “playing a song” without making any sound.
In the center of the adjacent room, there are two freestanding 6-foot diameter drums that incorporate neon, LED lights, mirrors, and electricity. Circular texts written in light repeat the words KickBack and KnockKnockKnock – giving the appearance of an endless loop. Throughout the exhibition, the new works employ silence and stillness to create an uncanny perception of sound and movement and to explore the relationship between seeing and hearing.
In the last room gallery, the viewer enters a labyrinth of four 6 x 6 foot structures that together make up the Impenetrable Room (2016). This new body of work co-opts the materials and format of portable “road cases,” which are customarily used to transport and protect musical instruments. Refitting the cases with mirrors and neon light, Navarro transforms these static objects into deep spaces that appear to recede towards infinity.
In this installation, undulating lines of green neon diagrammatically echo the propagation of sound waves through a medium. Silent and monolithic, these self-contained rooms resonate with unspoken narrative power.
Black and white paper squares are scattered across the floors of both galleries. The words Read You and Loud Unclear, printed on opposite sides of the cards, call attention to the disjunction between the visual and auditory aspects of communication. Informed by the aesthetics and rhythms of military parades, the exhibition contemplates the juxtaposed feelings of celebration and intimidation that martial music is intended to create.
Iván Navarro’s Mute Parade will be on Exhibit Through December 23rd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, located at 293 Tenth Avenue (Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Laser cut from fluorescent green and fluorescent red acrylic, the Cactus Garden acts a both a day and night lighting fixture. The sculptures offer a subtle glow when in light thanks to the fluorescent material from which they are cut.
An LED wired base can also be fitted to each cactus, illumining the sculptures in UV blacklight. All cactus styles are cut to nest in the lamp base, making the design entirely interchangeable.
This installation was designed and fabricated by Nobel Truong in Los Angeles and photographed at the Architectural Digest Design Show in NYC.