Tag Archive | Sculpture

Modern Art Monday Presents: Paul Thek, Hippopotamus Poison

Hippopotamus Poison
All Photos By Gail

Hippopotamus Poison (1965) belongs to a series of Technological Reliquaries, which Paul Thek (1933 – 1988), began in New York after a summer spent in Sicily. The work engages the Roman Catholic tradition of venerating saintly bodies that Thek had observed first-hand in the catacombs near Palermo, and simultaneously offers a critique of the art of the time, Pop and Minimalism in particular.

Hippopotamus Poison Side View

Within a visually seductive display case made from colored Plexiglas sits what appears to be slab of rotten meat, realistically rendered in wax.

Hippopotamus Poison Quote

Inscribed on the vitrine is a paranoid quote that nods to a generation’s underlying fears. “The world was falling apart, anyone could see it,” Thek has explained. “I was a wreck, the block was a wreck, the city was a wreck; and I’d go into a gallery and there would be a lot fancy people looking at a lot of stuff that didn’t say anything about anything to anyone.”

Hippopotamus Poison Side View Front

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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School’s Out Summer Group Exhibit at Mike Weiss Gallery

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series
Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series (All Photos By Gail)

School’s Out Bitches, and the Mike Weiss Gallery has a new group exhibition that captures summer’s sense of freedom – of playfully breaking from the ordinary and letting the imagination run wild. The show, which is, fittingly, also called School’s Out, includes works by gallery favorites like Deborah Brown, Thrush Holmes, Jerry Kearns, and Liao Yibai. We saw it on opening night, which ended up being the most crowded Thursday night in the Chelsea Gallery District that we have yet seen! It was just a crazy night, and lots of fun.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series

The only bummer of the evening is that I had forgotten my camera at home, and so was forced to shoot all photos with (gasp) an iPad — which is less than optimal when dealing with a very crowded gallery and very big pieces of art. A perfect example is the fact that I had to shoot this Thrush Holmes piece in multiple parts to really show it off without a bunch of people taking selfies in front of it getting in the way.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 1
Landscape Series, Continued

But I love Thrush Holmes’ work — and you should as well — so why not cut it up into as many detail shots as possible, is what I say. Yes, more Thrush Holmes!

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 3

The panels of Holme’s take on the tradtional landscape painting are realized in shimmering neon fixtures and crude oil stick, each work containing the rudimentary elements of landscape – foreground, background, and horizon.  His work reminds me of cross between Andy Warhol and Keith Sonnier.

Thrush Holmes, Landscape Series 5

Deborah Brown, Erda
Deborah Brown, Erda

I only got one semi-usable shot of Deborah Brown’s blatantly Picasso-esque oil paintings, because of people and their damn smart phones, which they must look at while standing directly in front of the art.

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Jerry Kearns, The Big Dipper

Jerry Kearns is awesome and we’ve loved many of his previous exhibits at Mike Weiss. Here is what the Gallery says about the painting above, which I believe is called The Big Dipper:
Jerry Kearns’ multilayered “psychological pop” painting presents a panoramic view of modern culture with a very specific set of images. While the work seems ripe for a narrative interpretation, it is difficult to pinpoint if any relationships actually exist between each element. There is something disconcerting and dangerous about the Kearns’ entropic amalgam of characters – one in which square double-cheeseburgers, a levitating gun, and toucans play as prominent a role as the bikini-clad women and a joker-headed bodybuilder.” That’s right: Awesome.

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Jerry also painted these little hummingbirds, or whatever, on the walls around the gallery.

Liao Yibai, Panda Step, 2013
Liao Yibai, Panda Step

Liao Yibai’s intricately hand-welded stainless steel sculptures focus on the tangled social, political, and cultural state of modern-day China. Straddling a line between flippancy and seriousness, the dynamic figures merge the insider’s and outsider’s view — pandas and dragons tie together the artist’s own experience growing up in China and, at the same time, play with the Western (mis)conceptions of China he has experienced while living in the United States.

Liao Yibai, Wrong Food, 2013
Liao Yibai, Wrong Food

This is a pretty cool-looking sculpture of a snail. I wish I had gotten a better photo.

School’s Out! will be on Exhibit Through August 6th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Schools Out Signage

Thrush Holmes, Balcony
Thrush Holmes, Balcony

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Telephone By Randy Polumbo

Phone Booth
All Photos By Gail

Telephone is a sculpture made from a re-purposed phone booth filled with blown glass, aluminum, silver and LEDS. Anyone familiar with local artist Randy Polumbo from Previous Posts here on The Gig will recognize his work immediately.

Phone Booth Detail
Telephone Interior Detail

Photographed at the Portal Art Fair, held at Federal Hall National Memorial in NYC, May 2016.

Update: Randy informs me that this piece is on exhibit at The Hollows, located at 151 Bedford Ave. (between N8 and N9) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for most of the Summer, too!

Phone Booth

Eye On Design: Fluorescent Cactus Garden By Nobel Truong

Fluorescent Cactus Garden
All Photos By Gail

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.

Fluorescent Cactus Garden

An LED wired base can also be fitted to each cactus, illumining the sculptures in UV blacklight. All cactus styles are cut to nest the lamp base, making the design entirely interchangeable.

Fluorescent Cactus Garden Detail 2

This installation was designed and fabricated by Nobel Truong in Los Angeles and photographed at the Architectural Digest Design Show in NYC.

Fluorescent Cactus Garden Detail 3

Photographed at the ICFF in NYC.

Big Bling in Madison Square Park

Big Bling
All Photos By Gail

Wednesday night was a beautiful night in the city; so warm and clear. It was not surprising to see so many people out in Madison Square Park, many of whom were not even in line for Shake Shack. Geoffrey and I had some time to kill before heading to an event in the neighborhood, so we ventured into the park to find the new resident public art project, which they have in the park every summer. Barely into the park’s east side at 24th Street we saw what looked like a giant elephant sculpture with big gold nose ring, just ahead to the west. “There it is,” we said in unison.

Big Bling 1
Big Bling

Big Bling is a public sculpture by American artist Martin Puryear (b. 1941). This forty-foot-tall work – the largest temporary piece he has created – is built of wood, the artist’s signature material, and a chain link fence. A shackle covered in gold leaf is anchored near the top of the structure.

Puryear has described Big Bling as “an event”; it is a short-term phenomenon. Through abstract means, he has crafted an on-going dialogue with history, art history, identity, and politics. Here, “Bling” – a slang term for flashy jewelry and accessories – is rooted in the urban youth, hip-hop and rap culture of the ‘90s.  It is exceptional for Puryear to summon contemporary vernacular in titling his work. The name of the artwork and its placement in the heart of Manhattan demonstrates his recognition that Big Bling is a reflection of the character and the inhabitants of dense urban environments.

Big Bling Detail
Big Bling Detail: It Reminds Me of an Ear

Big Bling Front Shot

Big Bling is part animal form, part abstract sculpture, and part intellectual meditation.

Do Not Climb Sign
Do Not Climb Big Bling

Big Bling 2

See Big Bling in Madison Square Park Through January of 2017!

Yes, It Exists: Deer Trophy Sculpture With Breasts

Deer Trophy with Tits
Photo By Gail

There is no denying that the above sculpture is a mortifying horrorshow of excruciatingly bad taste.   Who on earth would want to own this Deer Trophy Sculpture with Tits? A misogynist hunter who’s only 12 years old? Maybe I’m just not in on the joke. See more work by artist Andres Amaya, including fish with tits and ducks with tits, at This Link!

Andres Amaya Booth
Photographed in the Andres Amaya Booth at the ICFF!

Illuminated Stained Glass Drumkit

Stained Glass Drumkit
All Photos By Gail

OMG! How cool are these stained glass drums? Answer: So effing cool! While they are not playable, they sure do light up the room — quite literally! Stained glass artist Paul Heller created this gorgeous lighting fixture by emulating a four piece kit made up of a kick drum with two mounted rack toms and a  floor tom, which appears to be a stand-alone unit. Even the cymbal is glass! Sweet!

Stained Glass Drumkit Detail

Paul’s talent is far-reaching. In addition to making glass musical instruments to be used as signage in restaurants, he has also created custom glass guitars for county music artists like Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans. See more of Paul Heller’s beautiful glass art at Stained Glass Sculpture Art Dot Com!

Stained Glass Drumkit
Photographed at the ICFF Show at Javits Center in NYC.