I just heard or read (who can even remember) that Elon Musk is all of a sudden the richest man in the world, but that will probably change by the time this posts. Because that is what happens. I spotted this paste-up of the Tesla creator / general psycho as Fictional Action Figure Buzz Lightyear on a boarded-up menswear store as I walked up Broadway toward the Flatiron Building. The quote, “Dream Until It’s Your Reality” is a new tag that I see all over the city now. Life is strange.
Update! See how this image changed just few days after the post went live, after the jump!
One of the more recent additions to the First Street Green Art Park is this horned skull mural, entitled Thorns, by prolific street artist K-NOR. You can see a time-lapse video of this mural going up over a two-day period in August at K-NOR’s instagram, @itskaynor.
Stephen Greene (September 19, 1917 – November 18, 1999) was an American artist known for his abstract paintings and, in the 1940s, his social realist figure paintings. Greene studied with Philip Guston with whom he remained friends until Guston’s death in 1980. During his career, Greene taught at Princeton University, where he was teacher to many well-known figures in the art world including Frank Stella and art critic / historian Michael Fried. In honor of this being Halloween, I wanted to find an appropriately-themed work of art, and I think that Greene’s painting, The Shadow (1950), suits perfectly.
Below is an excerpt from an in-depth interview with Greene conducted by Dorothy Seckler on June 8, 1968, found Here, in which he describes his state of mind at the time of painting The Shadow, and reveals his feelings about the painting:
“In Europe I just sort of went crazy. I didn’t sleep much. I wander around till 5 o’clock in the morning. I had worked very hard to become a painter and to show. I suddenly found myself in a foreign place. And I bought canvas there and it was the wrong canvas and the paint went through. Everything seemed to go wrong. I had sort of loss of nerve. And so when I got a little better, the doctor asked me if I would prefer to go home rather than staying there. Well then I came home. I had taken leave from my job. So I had no job. The Gallery gave me around $150 a month for 2 or 3 months: no, it was a little more than that. But in a very scary way. The Whitney bought The Burial just about that time. And the Gallery was so peculiar about giving me the money sometimes I’d have to call 4 or 5 times for the check. And I needed it. I didn’t live sensibly enough so I could live on $150 a month. So I finally said give me $100 a month. I tried to teach privately. And then I got a one-day job back at Parsons. And I think that psychologically I had undergone a very bad experience. And so suddenly from someone who had been known I became unknown. It was like everything I had sort of worked for for a long time was rather difficult. I was very depressed. And so I had to start off like an invalid almost. I’d put something in front and almost trace it, fill it in. I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever be able to paint. So I painted this picture. It’s called The Shadow.
It’s a setup. But it’s a very simple form easel with an actual skeleton on it, and a bone on the floor and then the shadow of the skeleton on the thing. And in retrospect I certainly am not very happy about it. You know, it’s very morbid and I think subject matter can be murderous because no painting is worth anything unless it’s formally exciting in some kind of very different way. So I think this is just some sort of – you see when anything gets so straightly autobiographical and not much else, no matter what anybody else might see, I just don’t like the picture. That is never with me, too. And I find it’s just a curio out of my existence.”
Photographed in the Whitey Museum of American Art in NYC.
Mere seconds after entering Lehmann Maupin gallery for Erwin Wurm’s latest sculpture exhibit, Synthesa, we were already smiling from ear to ear. We first became acquainted with Wurm’s delightful sense of humor when his sculpture Big Kastenmann had its residency at the Standard Hotel in October of 2012, so it was lots of fun to experience an entire gallery full of works that express the Austrian artist’s unique world view.
White Bucket (Synthesa), 2013
Synthesa is comprised of three new sculptural bodies of work. Those within the title series of the exhibition, Synthesa, continue Wurm’s investigations of volume and abstraction of the human form. For these works, the artist works with the classical figure in the manner of a traditional sculptor yet drastically deconstructs and contorts each shape, inserting unexpected ready-made objects to further the abstraction.
For Wurm, these works explore psychological conditions, manifested in the physiology of the human form. Here, Synthesa represents the synthesis of opposing forces, both physical and emotional, traditional and unexpected.
Kiss (Abstract Sculptures), 2013
Similarly, Wurm’s series of Abstract Sculptures challenge our accepted impressions of the world around us. For this series, the artist contorts sausage-like forms into bronze sculptures that evoke anthropomorphic physical qualities and movement. Pulling the reference from his daily life and childhood, Wurm re-envisions the classic frankfurter in unexpected contexts to challenge our perceptions of the objects in reality. True to Wurm’s practice, these works are both familiar yet strange and evoke pause and contemplation from the viewer.
One Minute Forever (Skull / Banana), 2013
The third series of sculptures is called One Minute Forever, inspired by his popular his One Minute Sculptures public performance art piece. Wurm evolves those works from instructive and performance-based ephemeral sculptures into One Minute Forever’s physically enduring series, in which Wurm re-imagines the original One Minute Sculptures using skeletal forms to convey the eternity of each pose.
One Minute Forever (Joghurt Cup), 2013
Through these works Wurm embraces the persistent yet fleeting nature of time and examines this force as a unifying factor of human existence.
One Minute Forever (Bucket), 2013
Synthesa by Erwin Wurm will be on Exhibit Through April 19th, 2014 at Lehmann Maupin, Located at 540 West 26th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Mondays by appointment.
Part Surrealist Biology Lesson, Part Otherworldly Natural History Museum and Part Full On Horror Show, Artist Matthew Day Jackson’s latest exhibit, narratively titled Something Ancient, Something New, Something Stolen, Something Blue is sure to turn a few delicate stomachs as it blows minds and leaves jaws slack during its tenure at the gargantuan Hauser & Wirth space on West 18th Street.
Matthew Day Jackson is a modern American frontiersman. His interdisciplinary practice is in an all-consuming campaign to chart the outermost limits of human physical experience and to locate the place just beyond those limits where the sublime might reside.
You Have No Idea How Long I had to Wait for Someone to Move so I Could Get This Shot
Working with a set of signature themes that range from space exploration and war machinery to advanced anatomy, he uses both traditional craft techniques and cutting edge computer mapping to make art that exposes the layered and often dark relationships between technology’s abstractions and the palpable effects of time.
This exhibit fills three huge galleries and includes many more unique and thought provoking works of art than what I’ve included here. It’s well worth checking out before it closes in mid-October, and may even inspire ideas for your Halloween costume or party decorations! Recommended especially highly for fans of the Hellraiser film franchise!
Matthew Day Jackson’s Something Ancient, Something New, Something Stolen, Something Blue will be on Exhibit through October 19th, 2013, at Hauser & Wirth, Located at 511 West 18th Street, NY New York.