I don’t remember what day it was. I didn’t notice what time it was. All I know is that I noticed a pair of Googly Eyes on a Mailbox. Soon, I was seeing Googly Eyes everywhere.
These stickers from Trumpo Collective — featuring the likeness of Drumpf wrapped in bullet belts and wearing a sombrero — were seen all over various light posts, street signs, distribution boxes and other surfaces near Pier 94 over the weekend. No me gusta El Trumpo.
After a leisurely, scenic walk on the High Line, Geoffrey and I showed up fashionably late at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery for the opening reception of Erik Jones‘ new exhibit of collage paintings, Twenty Sixteen, which is the name of the year that we are in right now! By the time we got there, the place was really packed. Scroll down to see a photo of the hot crowd action!
Erik Jones challenges viewers to see beauty in his chaotic, mixed-media works that merge nude subjects with nonrepresentational, abstract elements. Describing the human figures in his compositions as “aesthetic anchors,” they are the calming foreground upon which bursts of color, stenciled shapes and custom-made stickers create surreal landscapes. Using multiple mediums, such as watercolor, acrylic, colored pencils, wax pastels and oil paint, Jones’ portraits are technically complex and express a heightened sense of realism.
The relationship between Jones’ subjects and the abstract motifs that engulf them can be interpreted as conceptual fashion design. His portraits are dressed in a stunning hurricane of color and geometric patterns, suiting the needs of the individual while also maintaining their own autonomous beauty.
Along with Jones’ hypnotic portraits, Twenty Sixteen features a selection of works where the human form is removed, creating purely abstract environments. Sporadically placed symbols, silhouettes and a unique coded alphabet created by the artist fosters a subjective narrative he refers to as dialogue aesthetics.
I really liked the ones with all the fun stickers, more than the nudes, because I am five.
While this body of work may appear like a dreamlike universe, Jones does not view his paintings as depicting fantasy; they exist in front of the viewer, placed on canvases and paper with skill and thoughtful reverie, as if looking at a real living being.
Twenty Sixteen reminded me of a cross between This Exhibit and This Other Exhibit, and you may understand why I would make that comparison, if you can be bothered to click on those two links; which is something I never count on.
Erik Jones’ Twenty Sixteen will be on Exhibit Through April 30th 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
David Zwirner’s 19th Street space is currently hosting Give Me Love, the New York gallery’s second exhibition with our favorite living artist, 86-year-old Yayoi Kusama. On view are new paintings from the celebrated My Eternal Soul series, new polka-dotted pumpkin sculptures, and the artist’s seminal installation The Obliteration Room from 2002. Whether you are a long-time Kusama fan, or even if you are new to her work, Give Me Love is a Must See Exhibit!
Yayoi Kusama Fan at Opening Reception!
In this show, Kusama continues her recent series of large-format, square My Eternal Soul paintings with a group of canvases conveying extraordinary vitality and passion.
With titles such as Fear of Youth Overwhelmed by the Spring Time of Life, I Who Have Taken an Antidepressant, and My Longing, the Unseen Land of Death, the compositions acquire an autobiographic, even confessional dimension.
The bold brushstrokes and swirly shapes seem to hover between figuration and abstraction; vibrant, animated, and intense, they transcend their medium to introduce their own pictorial logic, at once contemporary and universal.
As such, while they continue Kusama’s innovative exploration of form, subject matter, and space, they also represent a connection to her work from the past six decades.
The sculptures on view include new stainless steel pumpkins featuring either painted or perforated dots. Their exaggerated sizes — the tallest being approximately 70 inches (178 cm) high — seem measured after human proportions, and their mirrored surfaces are thus able to contain viewers’ full body reflections.
While pumpkins have appeared in Kusama’s work since her early art studies in Japan in the 1950s, they gained increasing prominence from the late 1980s onwards. The juxtaposition between the lush organic shape and its shiny, steel materiality here creates a psychedelic impression, but ultimately the bulbous forms emerge as celebratory and animated, absorbing viewers and their surroundings in their own image.
This very whimsical exhibition also marks the United States debut of The Obliteration Room, an all-white, domestic interior that over the course of the show is covered by dots of varying sizes and colors.
In a departure from earlier iterations of the work, which have involved one or several rooms, the present installation is built like a typical, prefabricated American suburban house.
As visitors are handed a set of stickers and step inside, they enter a completely white residential setting where otherwise familiar objects such as a kitchen counter, couch, and bookshelves are all painted the same shade.
Gradually transforming the space as a result of the interaction, the accumulation of the bright dots ultimately changes the interior until it is eradicated into a blur of colors. A sense of depth and volume disappears as individual pieces of furniture, floors, and walls blend together.
Consider that these photos were taken less than two hours after the exhibit opened to he public. Now imagine how it looks right now, or will look at the exhibit’s close on June 13th? Pretty crazy!
Give Me Love by Yayoi Kusama will be on Exhibit Through June 13th, 2015 at David Zwirner, Located at 519 & 525 West 19th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
The Baby Head is Back, Bitches! Artist Paul Insect has been rocking the iconic Baby Head since around 2008, and I spotted these two stickers — Eyeball Baby Head and Microchip Baby Head, respectively – displayed on a sidewalk Mail Box right outside Jonathan LeVine’s temporary Pop Up Space on West 22nd Street. I hope I can find more of them…
All Photos Courtesy of Juxtapose Dot Com
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!
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