The Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire, motivate and engage young people on how to peacefully resolve conflicts. It holds violence prevention and nonviolence education programs for schools and sports clubs around the world. NVP’s signature logo is the Non-Violence, also known as the Knotted Gun. It was created by the Swedish artist, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (1934 – 2016) as a memorial tribute to John Lennon after he was shot and killed on December 8, 1980, in New York City. Ambassadors of the Non-Violence Project include Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono, among others. This Shell Pink Knotted Gun sculpture was spotted for sale in the Non-Violence Project’s booth at the Fall 2018 Affordable Art Fair in NYC.
I feel no shame in confessing that the highlight of my day — and I do mean every single day — is the moment I slip into my bed after being swept away by too much TV and snuggle in the darkness with my pillows and comforter until I achieve full comfort, and drift off into a marvelously dream-filled sleep. Because sleeping is my jam. I once had a dream where my bed became a car, and I took to the streets for the day’s adventures with no one seeming to even notice that my vehicle was, in fact, a bed. Unlike those stress-dreams where you are either naked or sitting on a toilet in public, it was awesome.
It is surely no surprise then that the video for “Yoko Ono,” from a brand new LA-based musical duo called Moby Rich (because those are their names) sold me at around the 50 second mark, as Moby (and) Rich take the John-and-Yoko-Bed-In theme to a delightful extreme. I predict you will also sit totally rapt as the duo – still clad in color-coordinating blue pajamas — cruise in their tiwn beds out onto the streets of downtown LA while singing about their dream of finding an ideal other — a “Yoko Ono Muse” if you will — who completes them. Can you even imagine how much fucking fun this video was to film? I can’t even.
Aurally, “Yoko Ono” is a stone groove: a wistful love song floating in on a trip-hop beat that’s just the perfect mix of electronica and blue-eyed soul that would turn Daryl Hall green with envy. I fucking love it, and I think you will as well. “Yoko Ono” the single is out now on TaP Records, and it will eventual show up on the duo’s forthcoming debut EP. Enjoy!
99% of the time, Yoko Ono is a subject that just takes too long to talk about. Whether you love her or hate her, few would deny that Ono is one of the more polarizing Pop Culture figures of the past fifty years. Most people likely know her as John Lennon’s second wife, as well as his primary post-Beatles artistic/musical partner, and have probably based their opinion on the couple’s various collaborations — which are quite well known. But before Yoko Ono even met John Lennon, she was a groundbreaking visual artist whose extremely unique and original ideas about what constitutes a viable work of ‘Art’ were fucking with people’s heads. Just being serious.
I first visited Yoko Ono’s One Woman Show 1960 – 1971 at MOMA way back in May, and it’s taken me this long to write about it because I had no idea of how to distill the experience. While I am not at all a fan of Yoko Ono’s music (more about that later), I’ve been conflicted over my intense desire to make hilarious jokes about certain works that I saw in this exhibit, and an equally strong urge to find many aspects of her artistic output not only brilliant, but wildly thought-provoking. The exhibit is only up for another month at this point, so I’m going to post a selection of photos I took at MOMA of various works that caught my attention for whatever reasons, and make comments about them.
One of the highlights of the exhibit is Yoko’s book of artwork concepts, which is called Grapefruit. Grapefruit is a book comprising over 150 distinct artworks. One of the preliminary editions of the book is displayed at One Woman Show in its entirety. The instructions for each work range from the possible to the improbable, often relying on the viewer’s imagination to complete the work. For example, Earth Piece (1963) asks the viewer to “listen to the sound of the earth turning,” whereas Line Piece to La Monte Young I (1964) gives a more literal instruction: “Draw a line. Erase line.”
During the year leading up to the publication of Grapefruit, Ono created this manuscript of 151 typewritten texts with handwritten ink additions, each one transcribed onto the back of a postcard. She then mailed the postcards from Japan to George Maciunas in New York, who hoped to publish her collected works as a Fluxus Edition (Ono ultimately self published the volume in 1964). Many of the artworks presented in this exhibition are based on instructions from this Grapefruit typescript.
Here are a few random pages of Grapefruit from the exhibit:
These works may seem absurd and silly, but consider the fact that she had to think of all of these different, mostly abstract ideas, fully conceptualize them, and then write them down. And that’s kind of intense and impressive, I think.
There are 150 of these ideas and you can read them all! It is pretty crazy.
This photo is from Yoko’s 1964 performance work, Bag Piece, where essentially she is on stage inside a bag. It is considered to be a revolutionary work of performance art. Also, it is a joke that writes itself. Art!
This spiral staircase is part of a new work which was created just for this show, called To See The Sky. To participate in the work, you climb up to the top of the staircase — which is a bit wobbly, and only one person is allowed on it at a time. Some people were actually afraid to climb it, but I had no such issues, heights have never been a Massive Phobia of mine.
You can see that the staircase goes up pretty high.
I took this photo when I was almost at the top. You can see my friend Jamie looking up and waving at me. Hi Jamie!
When you get to the top of the staircase, you look up, and you See The Sky. Art!
This piece is called Three Spoons, but you can see there are four spoons.
This piece is called Ceiling Painting, which is famous for being the artwork that convinced John Lennon that Yoko was the woman for him. What you are meant do is climb to the top of the ladder, stand fully upright on it, and use the magnifying glass to read what is printed on the canvas, which is mounted to the ceiling. Of course, there no way the museum will allow random visitors to do this, because personal injury lawsuits, but I will just tell you now that the canvas is printed with word, “Yes.”
In 1970, Yoko made a short film of a fly crawling on a man’s face.
The exhibit also features a separate gallery inside of a soundproof (thank god) room, where you can look through memorabilia from Yoko’s “musical venture,” the Plastic Ono Band. In this room, you can have your eardrums excoriated by sounds that cannot accurately be described. No me gusta.
This White Chess Set is the most straightforward piece in the entire exhibit.
Half-A-Room is a group of domestic objects cut in half and mostly painted white. The installation was part of Ono’s 1967 exhibition, Yoko Ono Half-A-Wind Show, at the Lisson Gallery in London.
The exhibition was the first to include a collaborative work made by Ono and John Lennon, Air Bottles (1967, pictured above). That work came about when Ono told Lennon about this ‘half’ idea that she had for the show. He responded, “Why don’t you put the other half in these bottles,” and thus Air Bottles was conceived as the installation’s counterpoint.
This is the first occasion in which Half-A-Room is exhibited as it was originally displayed, installed directly on the gallery floor.
Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971 may not be everybody’s Bag (see what did there), but if you’ve got an open mind and a pretty broad taste for contemporary art, you may find that Yoko’s art changes your perspective a bit. And you know that can’t be bad.
Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971 will be on Exhibit Through September 7th, 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street, Between 5th and 6th Avenues, in NYC.
James Cohan Gallery is currently hosting a diverse a group exhibition entitled By Proxy, which Geoffrey and I stumbled upon during our most recent art crawl.
The exhibit title, By Proxy, referes to what Marcel Duchamp called “aesthetic osmosis” — the process by which an artist transfers responsibility to a viewer, empowering them to complete the work out in the world. This idea, of art as shared enterprise, is the theme of this exhibition. Here, the word proxy encompasses the tools and techniques that complete artworks away from the artist’s hand. This exhibition is concerned with those tools and techniques, the effects they can have, and the instances when an idea calls for more than just the artist to take form.
By Proxy includes Duchamp’s assisted readymade With Hidden Noise, a ball of string with an unknown object rattling inside it; embroidery works by Alighiero Boetti; three drawings from John Cage’s 1990 series River Rocks and Smoke, in which chance operations are performed by smoke settling in the fibers of the paper; Oliver Laric’s Yuanmingyuan Columns, a new work created with 3D scans of Chinese cultural artifacts ensconced in Bergen, Norway; Yoko Ono’s seminal chess set and war allegory Play it By Trust; and a work from Xu Zhen’s recent Eternity series, which juxtaposes the East and West by mounting headless replicas of key Hellenistic and Buddhist sculptures neck to neck.
Play It By Trust, Chess Board Detail (above) and Sign (below), which appears on the backs of each chair.
The exhibition incorporates work from the past century to the present day. Participating artists are Francis Alÿs, Alighiero Boetti, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Wade Guyton, Oliver Laric, Lee Mingwei, Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono, Jon Rafman, Mariah Robertson, Siebren Versteeg and Xu Zhen. Definitely worth checking out.
By Proxy will be on Exhibit Through January 17th, 2015 at James Cohan Gallery, Located at 533 West 26th Street, in the chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
Summer weather has finally come to NYC and – after hiding in your apartment for six months – it’s the perfect time to get outdoors on the weekends, explore the city, and even get to the outer boroughs, which I hardly ever do. This past Saturday, Geoffrey and I went exploring in the far off land of Queens to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park and its current exhibit, Do it Outside! Woo!
Do it Outside is a very fun and thought-provoking exhibit conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, in which a selection of artists’ instructions are interpreted by other artists, performers, community groups and the public. It is pretty cool and exciting to see what people come up with based on just a printed sheet of instructions and the projects that come out as the result. Art!
To fully appreciate this art exhibit – which also includes elements of performance art and installation – you really need to see it in person, but I have included a selection of my photos here so you can get the idea of what Do It Outside is all about.
Most of the exhibit is under a shaded walkway, so that helps to deflect the sun, but fair skinned peeps should still wear sun block and a hat or bring an umbrella to protect you from burning or passing out from heat stroke, because a little sun goes a long way.
After you are done walking through the exhibit you can also visit the small Green Market where local growers sell stuff like fresh vegetables, baked goods and cheeses. The Market is open Saturdays from June through November 16th, 2013, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
There are some nice gardens also.
They also had a shaded area set up for children’s crafts, which you / your child can participate in. Saturday’s craft was called Heads on Sticks. Which, yes.
Do it Outside will be on Exhibit through July 7, 2013, at Socrates Sculpture Park, Located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens NY 11106. Phone (718)956-1819 or visit This Link. Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10:00 AM to Sunset.
An installation of doors and figurative transparent sculptures form the nucleus of multi-media artist Yoko Ono’s second solo exhibition at Galerie Lelong, Uncursed.
Yoko Ono says:
“When we were children, we learnt at our elementary school how the warrior, Shikanosuke Yamanaka, vowed to endure seven misfortunes and eight sufferings, thereby giving all the negative things to him that would have been given to the people of his city. I was so impressed with his selfless devotion to people; I wanted to be like him when I grew up. Then I realized that so many challenging situations were given to me in life. Much later, I wondered if it would not be better to ask for seven good fortunes and eight treasures….which I promptly did. It changed my life.
In my recent exhibition, The Road Of Hope in Hiroshima, the city of the only country which suffered a nuclear disaster twice in the same century, I offered blessings to the people of Hiroshima and prayed that they would be given seven good fortunes and eight treasures.”
Ono now envisions these same blessings for New York as a reminder of our global connectedness and the universality of human experience. “These are the doors that we opened and closed to go through life,” the artist explains. “There were many doors that blocked us. But we opened them, and we went through. This is the journey to uncurse yourself.”
Uncursed will run through December 10, 2011 at Galerie LeLong, located at 528 West 26th Street, New York NY 10001. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.