Tag Archive | Takashi Murakami

Jonathan Levine Gallery Presents Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty


Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Julian Schnabel Are Part of The Art Army Royalty

Holy Cow, am I ever excited to tell you about a new art show that is must-see caliber material! The Jonathan Levine Gallery is currently hosting what may just be the coolest art exhibit in Manhattan! Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty is a mind blowing collection of 11-inch ‘action figure’ sculptures based on some of the world’s most popular contemporary artists, as interpreted through their particular distinctive art medium. The detail in these miniature sculptures is just amazing. I had fun examining each one and trying to guess, based on all of the meticulous details, who it was, before looking at the name – most of the time it was easy, but not always!


Chuck Close

According to the exhibit’s Press Release, each figure is sculpted from scratch in polymer clay, surface-finished and texturized with acrylic paint and mixed media. Leavitt engineers the miniature sculptures with articulating joints, assembling moving body parts with elastic cord so that the figures can be posed. Leavitt’s Art Army is a satire on consumer culture, reducing the collector compulsion of two markets —art and product — into a miniature scale. Using the vinyl toy industry as a vehicle to convey the phenomenon of idolization and celebrity status in contemporary art and culture, Leavitt transforms the subjects into caricatures, along with the work they are best known for. Examples include portrayals of Damien Hirst as a bisected shark, Jeff Koons as a balloon animal, and Kara Walker with a paper-thin silhouette.


Matthew Barney As Depicted in His Cremaster Series Films

While Levine does not have Leavitt’s full collection on display (Ron English was conspicuously absent), you can preview what’s in store for you when you do visit the gallery at This Link. Definitely, this was the most fun I have had at an exhibit in a long time! Don’t miss it!

Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty Runs through October 8, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

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Google Doodle for June 21 by Takashi Murakami

This explains why my other Murakami posts are getting so much traffic today. Happy First Day of Summer, Everyone!

Joshua Liner Presents Tat Ito’s Memento Mori


“Lotus Flower and Goldfish” (2011) By Tat Ito (All Photos By Gail)

At a time when the hearts and minds of so many are concerned with the welfare of the people of Japan, it’s extremely compelling to see an exhibit by a Japanese artist who is clearly dealing with the quest to integrate both eastern and western artistic motifs into his work. Tat Ito’s Memento Mori (Latin for an object, such as a skull, intended to remind people of the inevitability of death) is anything but morbid, but the artist uses whimsical characters and a palette of bright colors along with distinctive characteristics of traditional Japanese artwork to comment on his native culture’s surrender to a relentless onslaught of Western pop sensibilities (see also Takashi Muyrakami’s theory of the “Superflat”). As with Nir Hod’s Genius exhibit, Memento Mori is about so much more than just what appears on the canvas.

“Lobster and Shark”

As a Japanese-born artist who studied art in the United States, the exhibit’s press release confirms that “the artist and his paintings are a dynamic confluence of East and West, traditional and contemporary. The poetic analogy of “oil on water” describes Ito’s approach to both imagery and cultural references; in his vibrantly colored work, traditional Japanese aesthetics are a foundation upon which floats a contemporary (i.e., Western-influenced) viewpoint. Like a skim of oil on water, the beautiful, reflective surfaces of his paintings fascinate viewers. These top layers never mix but, rather, are presented in dialogue with the substance beneath.”

“Cosmos, Chrysanthemum and Dalmatian” (Section, Click Image to Enlarge)

Memento Mori includes works on both round (tondo) and rectilinear canvases. In Lotus Flower and Goldfish, an acrylic on canvas tondo, Ito appropriates the pools-and-waterfalls motif from medieval Japanese painting as a palette for a contemporary overlay of Warholian silver leaf, purple polka dots, and miniature frolicking swimmers with scuba fins. Cosmos, Chrysanthemum and Dalmatian — a scroll-like, rectilinear painting in acrylic, gouache, and gold leaf on canvas— combines a running floral motif with running Dalmatian dogs (“nearly 101 of the variety made famous in Western animation”). At 20” x 180” in length, Cosmos covers a full wall of the Liner gallery. When examined closely, one can find tiny, hidden representations of the work of “Factory Pop” artists such as Andy Warhol (The Campbell’s Soup Can) and Jeff Koons (Balloon Dog) while two other pieces, Shark and Lobster and Butterfly Primavera pay discreet homage to Damien Hirst’s “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (shark in formaldehyde tank) and “For the Love of God” (Diamond-Encrusted Skull), respectively. According 2 G has a couple of nice photos with detailed close ups that reveal where these little “bonus” images appear.

Tat Ito’s Memento Mori runs through June 11, 2011 at the Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at  548 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor (between 10th and 11th Avenues) New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11 AM – 6 PM

“Butterfly Primavera” (Section, Click Image to Enlarge)

Art on Art at Adam Baumgold Gallery

Suicide By Modernism By Mark Kostabi (2005/2011) Photo By Geoffrey Dicker

The Adam Baumgold Gallery on New York’s Upper East Side is currently hosting a group show called Art on Art, in which each artist references other artists or artworks in his or her own creation. This makes for a diverse collection full of humorous touches that inspired a lot of lively conversation at last night’s opening. My favorite painting in the exhibit is Mark Kostabi’s Suicide by Modernism, which has the artist’s unmistakable imprint while managing to reference nearly a dozen of his famous peers. Suicide By Modernism very cleverly depicts one of Kostabi’s iconic figures hanging limp from the arm of an Alexander Calder mobile, from which highly recognizable works by Piet Mondrian, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Yves Klein also dangle. Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel sculpture appears, overturned, in the painting’s foreground. Mark Kostabi was at the opening party and he seems like a really cool guy. It was nice to be able to shake his hand and tell him how much I loved this painting in particular, and his work in general. Mark Kostabi!

You can read the exhibit press release and see a preview of many of the included paintings, drawings and sculptures online at Adam Baumgold Gallery Dot Com. I’d recommend making the trip uptown, however, to see the works in person, and make sure you take a walk up or down Park Avenue while you’re in the neighborhood to see Will Ryman’s “Roses” sculpture installation (57th to 67 Streets on the Avenue’s central traffic island), which are just amazing, and on display only until May 31st.

Art on Art runs through June 25, 2011, at Adam Baumgold, located at 60 East 66th Street (Between Park and Madison Avenues) in NYC. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM. For additional information, please contact Adam Baumgold at (212) 861-7338, or email abaumgold@aol.com.

Takashi Murakami Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Most Rocking!

Me and Geoffrey!
This is Me and Geofffrey at the Brooklyn Museum’s Murakami Exhibit! Just Kidding!

Today Geoffrey and I went to see the Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. OMG, this show was so much fun; gallery after gallery fully saturated with Murakami’s colors and shapes; paintings, wallpaper, sculpture; extremely fun. I recommend checking this out! Admission is $10. Afterwards go get some delicious Mexican food and a big margarita! Enjoy your day. Enjoy your life.

Mushroom

I call this one “Mushrooms on Mushrooms.”

Skull and two Little Dudes

I would totally like to have that wallpaper here in the Chickpad.

Flower Power

“I am totally not on Acid right now!”

OH YEAH

I would like to have this in my house as well. First, I need a house…

Crazy!

Geoffrey and I called this one “Vagina Mouth” for reasons we cannot explain here.

Me!

It’s me!

Geoffrey!

It’s Geoffrey!

DOB

D.O.B