I must not be looking up very often when I am in Union Square, because I just noticed the mural painted on a water tower at 127 Fourth Avenue at 13th Street, which is by the UK-based street artist STIK. Apparently, it’s been up there for two years already. Gee Wiz.
Jeff Bark’s newest body of work, an exhibition of new photographs he calls GOLDENBOY (now at Hasted Kraeutler), instantly appealed to both Geoffrey and me, but for entirely different reasons. Geoffrey was wildly smitten by the bare-chested hottie who is the subject of half of the photos in the exhibit. But I was more intrigued by the moody, lost-weekend vibe of the yellow-hued still life scenes, and the recreation of what I correctly took to be a southern California backyard – mostly because it reminded me so much of the backyard of my own childhood home located in Orange County.
This backyard (which was recreated for the project inside Bark’s NYC apartment!) provides the setting for many of the photos. When you couple the erotically charged images of a handsome young man with what looks like an environment of leisurely suburban decay, to say that these photos encourage imaginative extrapolation is a huge understatement.
As the exhibit’s Press Release details: “GOLDENBOY is sited inside and around the young man’s California abode, offering a glimpse into the spaces and routines of his seemingly idyllic daily life. But something is always awry: near-appealing symbols of his languid existence are juxtaposed with disturbing, even macabre details. As he sits in a chaise lounge eating popsicles, a dead plant studded by sharp spikes hovers ominously behind him.
An elegant arrangement of yellow roses is corrupted by the remains of a keg-party, their roots flooded by empty plastic cups. It’s a disturbing clash of idyll and decay, the indulgent and the morbid. The question persists: will he live up to and embrace his own potential for greatness? Or perhaps he will turn away from it, choosing instead to pursue a darker destiny.”
That passage describes a lot of guys I knew when I was living in California, especially right after college, in the 80s, which is the timeframe that Bark aims to capture in GOLDENBOY. Although the theme of GOLDENBOY seems tightly focused, I think this is an exhibit with which viewers can have a highly personal experience, depending on individual tastes and backgrounds. Highly recommended.
GoldenBoy by Jeff Bark will be on Exhibit through June 14th, 2014 at Hasted Kraeutler, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
This colorful and fun mural by Peelander-Yellow of Peelander-Z, the Japanese Action Comic Punk Band based in NYC is located on East 2nd Street, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. It’s evidently been up since February, but the heinous weather has kept me from doing much exploring, so I just spotted it for the first time this past weekend, when the temps soared into the high 60s! Woo! This looks like some kind of Space Pig, to me. Space Pig!
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) currently has on site this 1990 sculpture entitled Penetrable, by the late Venezuelan artist, Jesús Rafael Soto. On loan from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros collection, Penetrable consists of innumerable suspended plastic hoses (which look like long, yellow noodles) that visitors can walk through and interact with. Speaking of a loan, a lot of people are taking the loan to have their own houses. It’s helpful especially for unfortunate people who don’t have enough money to buy property in cash. In fact, a lot of people made a post about its convenience in terms of dealing with financial crisis, and how being able to get tenant guarantor loans has helped them.Kids I saw at the museum on the day of my visit really seemed to be into it, and it’s a lot of fun for adults as well.
LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036.