Unless I am in some kind of crazy hurry, getting temporarily lost or misdirected in NYC is always a blessing, because it allows me to stumble upon amazing finds like this fantastic Neon Tiger. I spotted this beauty, from the sidewalk, inside a casual menswear boutique called Blue In Green, which is located on Greene Street, one block above Canal, in SoHo. Grrr.
Putting a surrealist, almost sci-fi spin on the paintings of American ornithologist John Audubon, and recalling his contemporary Josh Keyes‘ “after man” images of animals running amok in a modern society that is strangely absent of all human life, artist Martin Wittfooth delivers Offering, his first solo exhibition at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. After being fascinated by Martin’s work for years as part of group shows in galleries like Stephen Romano and RH Gallery, as well as many shows at LeVine, it was amazing to see so many of his captivating canvases gathered in one exhibit — at a gallery that definitely knows how to best serve this artist’s work.
In Dawn, a painting that takes up one entire wall of the main gallery space, a whale glides through an underwater cityscape that, judging from glowing lights visible in distant, scattered windows, likely still has inhabitants of some kind.
In Witness, a close examination reveals that the knots on a lone, nearly desiccated tree reveals that the tree actually has eyes. Heavy.
Martin explains that the works in Offering explore the theme of shamanism and its current revitalization around the world. These paintings delve into the notion that the rediscovery of shamanistic practices, such as reaching an altered state of consciousness, is peeling away our egos and materialistic obsessions and encouraging a connection with nature and to each other.
“The great challenges of our time primarily stem from the repression, predetermined delineation of consciousness and the myriad of other ways by which our materialistic culture has lost its connection with the natural world,” he continues. “The reemergence of shamanism appears to be having a great impact on consciousness around the globe by severing individuals’ attachments to the ego-driven, ideology-based, monotheistic modality that has shaped so much of the human enterprise over the past millennia.”
Sketch Studies for the all of the paintings in the exhibit are also on display and available to own.
I love this painting of an Elephant/Octopus hybrid. It reminds me of This Painting by Robert Deyber, an artist Martin said he was unfamiliar with. The paintings aren’t that similar, but it was just an observation. Be sure to check out Offering while you can!
Martin Wittfooth’s Offering will be on Exhibit Through November 14th, 2015 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 2oth Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
If you attended the Affordable Art Fair in NYC this past weekend, you could not have missed the bright, florescent colored Tiger Mural, entitled Fiend Cub, adorning the 18th street-exposed wall of the entrance lobby at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which was created by Orlando, Florida based artist Boy Kong especially for the fair!
I think that just looking at the piece got everyone excited for the show before they even entered the exhibition hall!
Kong also created a companion piece in this sculpture, Blood Dancer. A 3D artist by trade, Boy Kong expertly illustrates, paints and then hand cuts, and layers pieces of wood or acrylic to create his signature aesthetic. His pieces usually incorporate a bright and upbeat color scheme while his subjects often portray a disquieting message.
Paul Kasmin Gallery’s Tenth Avenue space is currently hosting Watercolors, an exhibit of new paintings by Walton Ford. For Watercolors, Ford continues to explore the visual and narrative scope of traditional natural history painting with his monumental watercolors, chronicling encounters between human culture and the natural world.
Several pieces in this exhibition expand upon Ford’s longstanding practice of incorporating written marginalia in his work, and feature for the first time musings penned by the artist from the perspective of his animal subjects.
As in his previous work, Ford draws upon his ongoing natural history research, mining literary sources, folklore and historical anecdotes for inspiration and imagery. The painting Rhyndacus (2014) is derived from an account in Aelian’s De Natura Animalium. This ancient Roman miscellany of the natural world briefly mentions an impossibly large, sixty-foot serpent inhabiting Phrygia (present day Turkey) that was said to magically lure prey into its open maw. The artist has vividly realized the imaginary snake in a strikingly detailed portrait towering nearly 10 feet tall. By depicting native Turkish flora and fauna, Ford conjures a monstrously majestic Ancient Roman vision of the East.
In another work, The Graf Zeppelin (2014), Ford engages the story of Susie, the first female gorilla brought to the United States. She arrived in New York in 1929, having crossed the Atlantic in a first class cabin aboard the German airship. Ford depicts Susie mid-flight and has written marginalia from her point of view, carefully channeling her observations and state of mind.
A third recent work, Windsor, May 1829 (2014), focuses on a formidable mandrill named “Happy Jerry” who lived in Edward Cross’s menagerie in London during the early nineteenth century. In his 1870 book Heads and Tales, Adam White describes Happy Jerry sitting at table, drinking port, smoking a clay pipe and dining with King George IV. Ford, again through meticulous research, recreates this unusual luncheon at Windsor. As he did with Susie, Ford incorporates Happy Jerry’s postprandial thoughts and sensations in the watercolor, writing from the primate’s point of view.
Because the paintings are behind glass, and owing to the natural light coming into the gallery from the street, capturing glare-free imagery in a photograph is quite challenging. So, let me just add that my photos do not do the works adequate justice and it is best to see them for yourself.
Walton Ford’s Watercolors will be on Exhibit through June 21st, 2014 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Locted on the corner of Tenth Avenue and West 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Here at the Worley Gig, we love visiting the Zoo and we also love things made out of LEGOS, so it makes sense that we are excited to tell you about some super fun activities going on this summer at the Bronx Zoo. Through September 30, 2011, the Zoo will be celebrating Zoofari, with awesome life-size LEGO Animal Displays throughout the park (as seen in the pictures on this post), plus LEGO Activity Stations where you can make stuff, and all kinds of other fun features and activities taking place all over the zoo. It should be a pretty “wild” time!
LEGO Giraffe in its Natural Habitat