Hannah Wilke (1940 – 1993) was a leading artist of the feminist art movement that began in the 1970s. Her primary subject was her own body, explored in sculptures, drawings, photographs, and performance as part of a larger investigation of femininity and sexuality. Venus Pareve (1982 – 84) comprises twenty-five sculptural self-portraits, hand-modeled and then cast in plaster of Paris or edible kosher chocolate.
Wilke often presents herself in the role Venus, the Roman goddess of Love, sex and fertility. These figures, like many celebrated classical sculptures of the goddess, lack arms and legs — their beauty is without agency; they are helpless objects of desire.
The title, too, mimics the names of famous Greek and Roman states: Venus de Milo, Venus Pudica, Venus Genetrix. Pareve, however, is a Hebrew term from Jewish dietary law, signifying food that contains neither dairy nor meat and that therefore may be eaten without restriction. Venus Pareve critiques the perception of woman’s bodies as objects of consumption.
The Painting on the wall in the background is Double Portrait (Gay Flag) by Ross Bleckner.
The Venus De Milo Aquarium was created by California-based artist Cameron Grey for his very fun exhibit, Gymnasty, at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea Gallery District. See it through January 3rd, 2015!
Photo of Gymnasty Video Screen Archway Courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail!
Sometimes, you just need to visit an art exhibit that is a bit over-the-top and, well, insane. It doesn’t even have to make much sense; as long as it embraces an energetic, inspired feel and a kind of controlled, creative chaos that assures you that you are at the Most-Happening-Art-Reception in the Chelsea Gallery District at that very moment. That is how we felt when we entered the vortex of madness that is Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty, which opened at Mike Weiss Gallery on October 30th. Seriously, what a crazy fun scene!
Please Enter Through the Video Monitor Archway! More about that later!
Please Meet the Friendly Greeter!
Gymnasty is a multi-sensorial pop culture experience that may or may not have something to do with working out. But if you want to follow that line of thinking, then you might consider it to be more like a gym for your mind and soul than one for your body. I don’t know. Maybe Gray just dropped some acid an made it up as he went along. Please enjoy some of my photos!
Golden Boy Go Go Dancer – Very Popular!
Here he is again!
The opening reception was a ridiculous, performance art mob scene, so it was hard to get good, clear pictures of the “Art,” but nothing was really lost in that I think I captured a good deal of the energy of what had to be the best party of the night!
Gymnasty Goes to the Beach!
Floating Gucci Logos and a Lady ready for Yoga!
Look at this thing!
Now, take a closer look: It is a video of a waterfall inside a slab of polished marble. I want to have it in my home.
Also, here is a close up of The Universe expanding from inside another slab of marble. It makes you think deeply about things.
What’s behind this mysterious Black Curtain? Let’s Find Out!
Venus De Milo Aquarium!
Yuel Log Fireplace Video!
All kinds of ever changing video projections!
Also, This Guy!
OK, Let’s take closer look at same of the pop culture images flashing across the screens in that explosively psychedelic Video Monitor Archway!
David Bowie, I love him.
Yes, yes it is!
I see Lana Del Rey and, also, Elvis.
Rocky Horror: Obviously a HUGE influence.
Rick James, Bitch!
You don’t need me to tell you that Gymnasty is totally Rad. See it while you can!
Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.