If you happen to be a fan of character-based, pop culture collectibles — which includes dozens of items encompassing such must-haves as enamel pins, plushies, art toys, limited edition / designer vinyl toys and action figures, monsters, model kits, art prints, novelties and seemingly endless subcategories of amazing swag — then the Five Points Festival, which took place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn over the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 is the only place you want to be. There’s a lot to distill in this recap, so we are going to get right to it. If you weren’t at Five Points Fest, here is just some of what you missed!
You can’t really talk about Five Points Fest without at least mentioning Kidrobot, acknowledged worldwide as the premier manufacturer and retailer of limited edition art toys, signature apparel and lifestyle accessories. Their booth was crammed full of goodies like these pocket collectibles.
Andy Warhol Dunny Series 2
Andy Warhol Brillo Box Object Series
Post Continues, With Hundreds More Toys and Cool Things, After The Jump!
“More than anything, people just want stars, Andy Warhol once remarked. In Myths (1981) he depicts Superman, the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz, and other heroes and villains of American culture (including, on the far right, himself). Silver paint alludes to the “silver screen,” and the vertical rows of mechanically reproduced head shots suggest filmstrips or contact sheets, the sources feeding our obsession with celebrity. Yet Warhol’s title is more complex: “myths” could refer to the “mythic” status of movie stars but it also connotes falseness, the distortion of truth, and the fleeting nature of fame.
David Lyle Lampoons the Works of Pop Artist Jeff Koons in The Creative Process (All Photos By Gail)
Lyons Wier Gallery is currently hosting Everyone’s A Critic, a new body of work by artist David Lyle. Working from found vintage and vernacular photographs, Lyle seamlessly composes works that harken back to 1950’s and 1960’s America – not as they were, but skewed and reimagined by the artist.
Next Item Up for Bid
Lyle’s painstakingly reductive painting process is a very crucial element to the evolution of his final images. Each piece is rendered using only black paint and turpentine. He begins his process by priming a panel with white gesso. Lyle then paints a thin, rich, oily black veneer over the primed panel, slowly and systematically developing his images by removing some of the black paint with a cloth. In doing so, he renders layer upon layer of various values of black paint resulting in his signature-style of luminescent works.
In Everyone’s A Critic, we see how the artists’ methodology, combined with his acerbic wit, creates an altered reality rife with cynicism and bursting with humor. Lyle is impeccably faithful to the vintage photographs that inspire his work – until a point in which he instills a cultural reference so familiar, yet iconoclastic, as to leave the viewer wincing, laughing, or really thinking – often it is all three.
This series presents a wonderfully caustic commentary on the art world. Lyle, who is one part voyeur and one part participant, creates images that embrace much of what mystifies the public about the art world – art that is not made by the artists’ themselves, money as an end game, art-speak, etc.
David Lyle’s Everyone’s A Critic will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located at 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Well, it’s June 10th again and that means it’s time to chalk up another banner year here at the Worley Gig, where today we are celebrating Eleven (11!) solid years of Web Dominance! Hurray for us! This past year has seen The Gig give pause to its competition with our unequalled coverage of Art, Bacon and Things that are Pink, as well as Food and Restaurant Reviews, consciousness-expanding coverage of Design and Lifestyle topics and our wildly popular new music series, Video Clip of the Week (which just turned one year old)! I can’t believe how much we rule!
Of course, we could not have achieved this level of success without all of our dedicated and enthusiastic readers. Thanks as always for all of your support, your faithful readership, for Tweeting and Posting our links via your social media outlets, and of course for your fun and insightful comments. Cheers to another great year!
Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements Diptych (All Photos By Gail)
You can say this much about art exhibits comprised of Portraits of Pop Culture Icons: EVERYBODY DOES IT. Seriously, Ev-Ree-Bah-Dee. What keeps an exhibit of Pop Culture Portraiture from being a total yawnfest is the defining twist that the artist puts on his or her work (see Erik den Breejen’sThere’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume for an excellent example of what I’m talking about).
So, it’s a huge relief that David Datuna’s Elements – the artist’s eighth solo show at Birnam Wood Galleries – is a portrait-based exhibit with one of the coolest visual spins I’ve ever seen. Although from a distance it appears that each image is mounted behind a layer of marbled glass, on close inspection you can see that Datuna has employed a unique conceptual device of layered optical lenses to focus and diffuse his distinct visual imagery. Talk about Ways of Seeing!
Detail from Above Portrait
According to the exhibit’s press release, the title Elements is taken from the centerpiece of the show, a diptych that pairs Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements, the seminal work of mathematics written in the third century BC. Described as the second most widely published book after the Bible, the book’s findings underpin much of logic and modern science. Its influence is immense. Einstein said it kindled his interest in science. Abraham Lincoln insisted it was the most influential book of his life.
I love the little details Datuna adds, such as printing amd framing Andy Warhol in bright yellow, a color that Warhol used often in his own signature silkscreen portraits of celebrities.
David Datuna’s Elements is definitely worth adding to your next Art Crawl. Just make sure you schedule it before June 7th.
Damien Dot: Portrait of Damien Hirst by John Grande (All Photos By Gail)
Wedged between viewing rad new art by both Lynda Benglis and Herb Alpert, we popped into Jim Kempner on 23rd and 10th during last Thursday’s Art Crawl to check out a very fun exhibit. Taking Appropriation Art to a hilarious new level, painter John Grande presents his new series of portraits depicting pop culture icons superimposed with the distinctive design of Damien Hirst’s famous Spot Paintings. That Hirst himself is honored in the show is pure brilliance.
Some of the celebrities featured in the series include Whitney Houston, Truman Capote, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Garland and Andy Warhol. The portraits are borrowed from Richard Avedon and other renowned photographers. He must have had a good time dealing with all of the licensing!
Jim Kempner is the rare gallery that always has a few things going on in addition to their featured exhibit, so drop by next time you are in the neighborhood.
John Grande’s Oh You Pretty Things Will be on Exhibit through February 23rd, 2014 at Jim Kempner Fine Art, Located at 501 West 23rd Street, on the Northwest corner of 23rd Street and Tenth Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC.
When I was planning a four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP
Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit in July of 2013.
Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.
Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.
Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.
In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.
Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles
On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.
Dalek from Dr. Who
Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.
Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)
The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)
The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture
The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.