It is appropriate that we were on our way to eat after checking out Beyond The Streets, when we passed right by this Warby Parker eyewear store, the exterior of which just happens to be completely covered with the distinctive artwork of Stephen Powers (aka ESPO), whose work we had seen in the exhibit!
The attention-grabbing two-story mural by the graffiti and sign-painting legend (which covers all four sides of the building) makes the store very easy to spot from a distance! We didn’t go in, but I understand that Powers contributed to the store’s interior decor as well.
Check your Instagram feed now for shots of your friends posed in front of this wall.
Warby Parker By ESPO is Located at 124 North 6th Street (Corner of Berry Street) in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY.
Claire Oliver Gallery is currently hosting Rules to Live By, new works from Australian artist Matthew Sleeth. This is Sleeth’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.
In Rules to Live By, Sleeth seeks to draw attention to how signs program us to behave in a prescribed manner. By adopting their form and aesthetic while misappropriating their ideology, the artist has constructed a series of sculptural works that question the dogma of a politically correct society.
With this new body of work, the artist suggests we delve beyond superficiality for a deeper meaning in life. The texts featured in these works are sourced from a combination of found, combined, appropriated or completely invented signs or instructions.
Rules to Live By builds directly from Sleeth’s pivotal 2011 installation, The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization (And Other Obvious Metaphors), which was also exhibited at Claire Oliver. The Rise and Fall encompased a 120 foot, three-ton concrete and plywood sculpture, representing a freeway system arcing through space (and rising from knee height to over 12 feet in the air) with a road surface populated with various signs, images and objects. Inspired by the public response to the messages portrayed in that installation, Sleeth choose to expand on the irony of the impact mass media has on the population at large.
Sleeth explains, “Over many years, I have explored concepts of ‘algorithmic control’ in my work. I have been particularly interested in signs as a cultural iconography; I am both seduced by their elegance and uneasy with their Orwellian effectiveness.”
“These roadmaps of sorts are the rules we live by; they are the software that controls the way we negotiate our environment. I have long been fascinated by these sets of instructions that hold such sway over us. Why is it so difficult to ignore a sign?”
The contested behaviors being negotiated in each sign are either encouraged or discouraged by the assumptions embedded or coded in the text. Many of the conventions explored in these works depend on a range of cultural assumptions in order to function. Part of the rationale of this project is to make these assumptions visible through the process of pattern recognition within and between the insignias.
The images in Rules We Live By appropriate the formal qualities and exacting methods of fabrication of their cultural referents. The viewer is meant to recognize the codes of persuasion being used in each work and how these refer to the social contexts from which they are drawn.
Matthew Sleeth’s Rules to Live By will be on Exhibit Through December 3rd, 2016 at Claire Oliver Gallery, Located at 513 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
All Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)
I think I can safely say that every single time I’ve stumbled across a cool exhibit at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, located just off 11th Avenue on 20th Street, it’s not only because I’m on my way to a gallery located a bit further east, but because I recognize a piece of art in the window as one I’ve seen at Frieze Art Fair. This indicates that the artists they represent are truly memorable, because Frieze is massive. My point being, I stopped in to Elizabeth Dee on Saturday because I recognized the artwork of John Giorno, who creates text-based paintings of bold, thought provoking slogans originally sourced from poetry that the artist has written, or lines that never made it into a final poem. It’s amazing to see that, at age 79, John Giorno continues to create works that speak so poignantly to a contemporary audience.
In this series, entitled Space Forgets You, Giorno presents his paintings in three different styles: in vibrant, rainbow-hued paints, as pastel water colors, and earth-toned graphite drawings. Although many of the sayings are repeated over the various groups, the method by which each was created definitely affects ones perception of the message.
One gallery room is dedicated to the water colors.
Another displays all of the smaller, graphite drawings.
My favorites in this series are the rainbow colored paintings. This one I’ve seen at Frieze, but done with black paint on a white canvas.
It always gives me great satisfaction to use this phrase, for some reason.
This one is great. It should be on a T-Shirt.
John Giorno’s Space Forgets You will be on Exhibit Through May 9th, 2015, at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, Located at 545 West 20th Street at Eleventh Avenue (West Side Highway), in the Chelsea Gallery District.
In 2011, American artist Eve Fowler began A Spectacle and Nothing Strange, which quotes fragments of Gertrude Stein’s groundbreaking feminist prose works Tender Buttons (1914) and How to Write (1931) on twenty–one posters produced by the Colby Poster Printing Company.