Robert Indiana (1928 – 2018) was closely associated with the hard-edged painting and Pop Art movements. Using the formal vocabulary of advertisements, his work often explores the power of words and numbers. In Purim: The Four Facets of Esther II (1967), he represents Stars of David and elements of the Biblical story of Esther, who was Queen of Persia in the fifth century BCE. Esther saved her fellow Jews from destruction, the feat to which Indiana refers in the fourth panel.
The Jewish Museum (where this photo was taken) commissioned this print in an edition of ninety for its annual Purim fundraising ball in 1967.
Before attending the Royal College of Art in London, Peter Phillips (b. 1939) studied graphic design and technical draftsmanship. He applied his skills to establish a style marked by the juxtaposition of images, like the Pinup Model and Car Part in Custom Print I (1965), which were sourced from magazines and other mass media in montage-like compositions. The title of this print — the first in a series three — refers to custom auto-body shops where a polished enamel sheen is appleid to cars. Phillips worked with Chiron Press, a screenprinting studio that produced posters and greeting cards. The press encouraged him experiment with nontraditional materials such as silver foil and glossy inks, which complement the artist’s brash and vibrant style.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Russell Young (born March 13, 1959) is a British-American artist. In the late 1970s, while living in London, he gained recognition photographing the early live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and The Smiths. During this period he shot portraits of Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman. In 1986, he shot the Faith sleeve for George Michael. In the following ten years he directed more than 100 music videos during the heyday of MTV.
In September 2000, while living in New York City, he began to concentrate on art and to devote himself to painting. Young is best known for his enamel, screen-print paintings on linen, which explore celebrity, rock and roll, death and history. His earliest notable works as an artist are his “Pig Portraits” – life-size Police mug shots of celebrities screened onto canvas. First shown in 2003, they proved a critical success and were exhibited in London and the United States.
Russell Young is represented by Taglialatella Galleries in NYC and you a can see a good selection of his large, glittery portraits any day, just by popping in during regular business hours. I took this shot of Young’s portrait depicting a stunning Liz Taylor at the opening reception for the launch of his new print of Jackie O. You miss so much when you don’t live in NYC.
Thanks to Geoffrey’s incredible talent for scheduling an evening that includes multiple events located across town from each other, we were able to make an extended pit stop at Pace Prints for the opening night of Shepard’s Fairey’s amazing new exhibit, Harmony and Discord, wedged between attending a Kehinde Wiley opening on 29th Street and a lovely evening seeing Brendon Benson perform at the Bowery Ballroom. Timing!
Shepard Fairey is one of my favorite contemporary artists and this latest exhibit is the most exciting collection of his work that I’ve seen so far. Fairey created the works for Harmony and Discord in the Pace Editions studios in New York, which provided him with the opportunity to scale the work to a larger size, so the exhibit includes the largest screen prints he has done to date. If you are familiar with Shepard Fairey’s work you know that he started out as a street artist, creating the global “Obey” sticker campaign and continued his politically-themed art (Fairy’s best-known work is the iconic and much-copied Obama Hope poster) as he moved from the street into the galleries of New York, Los Angeles and Europe.
On view in Harmony & Discord are a number of silkscreens done with collage and spray paint, as well as handmade paper (his first works with this medium), embossment and relief prints, and large metal plates with screen print. Relating to the surfaces of his street work, the hand painted multiple (HPM) works in this series have backgrounds of stenciled pulp, collage, screen print and embossment, allowing the image to pop off of its vintage, layered surface. The Pace Prints exhibition also marks the first time Fairey is presenting metal relief plates as art pieces, layered with silkscreen, furthering spatial extent within the work. The metal plates are so finely detailed, and these were definitely my favorite pieces in the exhibit. You have to see them up close to appreciate how beautiful they are. I also really liked the pieces that were heavily influenced by the Comic Book Art motif of the late pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein.
Shepard was in attendance at Saturday’s opening and he was so nice and attentive to his fans! He will sign anything you have with you, pose for a photo, give you stickers and even take the time to thoroughly and thoughtfully answer any questions you ask him, even though many people were waiting to have five seconds with him. So nice! Thank you Shepard Fairey for your wonderful art and for being such a cool person!
Photo of Gail and Shepard by Geoffrey Dicker
Harmony and Discord will be on exhibit through June 16th, 2012 at Pace Prints, located at 521 West 26th Street, 3rd & 4th Floors, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday -Friday: 10: 00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM