Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Catalog essay written by : Carlo McCormick
The land of mass mediation, America is torn between its global role as the preeminent purveyor of puerile popular amusements and its own puritanical tendencies. As the germinal home of youth culture, which erupted like an amped-up Technicolor blast of hot rods, board riders, graffitists, rock and roll, naughty girls and bad boys in post-World War II United States, America has simultaneously seduced and shocked itself (along with the rest of the world) by its capacity to generate the unholy carnal spectacle of desire in ever-more polarizing terms of alternately mesmerizing and mortifying seduction and shame. We make our violence so visceral, our lust so explicit, or cute so cloying, our happy endings so impossibly pat, and our morals so unrelentingly absolute it’s as if we need to super-size mythology itself into a corporate designed fast-food mall of commodity consumption whose overreaching market share subsumes the collective imagination in an obviating deluge of titillation and terror. And we do this not simply because it brings immeasurable joy to a vast many but because conversely it manages to piss off an almost equal number into an unreasonable outrage.
This ongoing and fluid tension between wanting and denial has engendered in the split psyche of the new world capital of western consumerism an ideologically charged culture war that- much like our other follies of faith such as prohibition or the war on the drugs, the war on terror or any other number of military conflicts whose vague and indeterminate ends have more often defined only their endlessness—continues on through successive generations over only nominally shifted points of contention. We bring such an odd historical tangent to bear here because, it would seem that these pictures speak most clearly to a culture war of long ago—before the lifetimes of any of these relatively young artists- one in which the righteousness of our hysteric moral indignation temporarily won over our equally zealous passion for pleasure. Amusing for its supreme absurdity by contemporary standards regarding what is now considered appropriate for kids, a war on comic books was launched in 1954 by a vitriolic psychologist named Frederic Wertham through his immensely popular fear-raising book called Seduction of the Innocents in which unsubstantiated anecdote and bizarre reasoning concluded that the sum of our social ills then were a rise in juvenile delinquency that was directly caused by the comics kids were reading.
Much like the Hayes Code of the generation before which caused repression through an industry induced self-censorship (in that case the movie business) or the nearly concurrent hysteria of McCarthyism that it rose its ugly head amidst, the blaming of comics for the unruliness of youth (as we have done so often for everything from rock to hip hop, or television to video games) crushed so much really good art and trashed a wealth of brilliant careers. This winding parable must be cited here for not only the obvious affinity that so many of the image makers in this show have to such a besmirched legacy, nor even for the evident abject lesson we must take that—convenient politics and punditry aside—easy enemies are the least of our worries and surely not the sum of our problems—but because essentially fine art, for all its avant-garde attributes and creative liberties practices its own version of sensual abnegation and intolerant orthodoxy. The art featured in The Emergence of the Pop Imagist resists the ratification of the ruling academy precisely because it embraces the vernaculars and energies of youth in ways that you may not find so easily in the rest of the fare being offered in this year’s Venice biennale season. It is denied membership in such an exclusive club because, well, it does not enjoy aficionados nearly so much as it is awash in real fans.
We offer this observation not just as provocation suitable to the tenor of these artists themselves (for truth be told I have as many pals in the official selections as I do in this rambunctious symbiotic salon des refuses, and am surely just as proud of them) but merely as an excuse by which we might take a moment to measure what this kind of art means to us. Like the lowbrow vitalities that inspired these artists it is almost mystifying to imagine how such pictures could not appeal to us one and all. The problem it would seem is rather that as a culture we inherently distrust the pleasures proffered here as somehow too facile—as if humor, eroticism, beauty, fun and a taste of the nasty are all too recognizable and obvious to mean anything significant anymore. Well, the actual problem is that we have too long doubted the virtues of such exaggerate terms, never willing to speak clearly to one another with our tongues so firmly in our cheeks, and have missed the inescapable truth that these debased, slapstick tropes of representation matter above all because on the street, in the clubs, or wherever fresher minds congregate outside the realm of authority, these lapses in decorum represent emotions and understandings that speak most dearly to who we really are rather than to what those who are less sure of cultural identity pretend to be.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Battle of the Brush: Bryant Park
70 W 40th St New York, NY
January 20 - February 2
Opening Reception January 20th 6pm
In an attempt to playfully reconsider the historic painterly debate between realism and abstraction, "Battle of the Brush: A Civil Reenactment of Two Painterly States" draws upon Bryant Park's history as an encampment for soldiers during the Civil War. In using this little known historical fact about Bryant Park as a conceptual theme, the exhibition takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how one of the painting community's most persistent antagonists in the 20 century was itself; specifically, the aesthetic and ideological divide between realist and abstract painters. More than just a question of style, this polemic has historically symbolized the tension between tradition and innovation. One such example was the boycott of the metropolitan Museum's 1950 exhibition titled "American Painting Today – 1950" by eighteen abstract painters who claimed the show's jury was "hostile to advanced art." Their ardent opposition earned them the name 'Irascible Eighteen.' These days, we are much more civil than irascible. Therefore in the same way that Civil War Reenactors come together to imitate a moment in history when they stood apart, so too does this exhibition in order to reveal some of the more interesting directions realism and abstraction are being taken today.
Participating artists include:
The End of History.. and The Return of History Painting
The End of History... and the Return of History Painting references a long line of theories on "Ends of History" by thinkers such as Hegel, Kojeve and Fukuyama. InFukuyama's thesis "The End of History", 1989, he proclaimed the end of all ideological evolution and the world-wide triumph of liberal democracy. Departing from his thesis this exhibition analyzes the return of painting as both a consequence of a more conservative zeitgeist and as a response to historical events like September 11. Within this painting 'revival' there's a return among a group of artists, engaged in a critical analysis of today's society, to a kind of 'history painting'.
The artwork in The End of History... and the Return of History Painting reflects on the relationship between painting and our historical moment as well as investigating paintings' relationship to photography, video and television - the media that usurped its role as documenter of history.
Miguel Aguirre (Peru), Pablo Alonso (Spain/Germany), Matthias Koster (Germany), Ignacio Goitia (Spain), Ronald Ophuis (The Netherlands), Pedro Barbeito (USA), Tomas Espina (Argentina), Maryam Najd (Iran/Belgium), Nicola Verlato (Italy), Trevor Guthrie (Canada), Simeon Saiz (Spain), Pascal Danz (Switzerland), Gamaliel Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), Carlos Salazar (Colombia), Sandra Gamarra (Peru), Inaki Gracenea (Spain), Judy Sirks (Norway)
Main Art Gallery Suggestivism features over fifty contemporary artists whose work is inherently ambiguous, and organic in process. Curator Nathan Spoor believes they follow the ideals of "Suggestivism." The term Suggestivism in art was first used in the late nineteenth century describing the organic process of making art, the loose mark-making, and the ambiguous narrative. Early modern art can be seen as examples of Suggestivism. However, Spoor's contemporary examples begin with the organic process and follow through with ambiguous narratives, but the artwork is tightly rendered, and illustrative.
Conceptually speaking, the term suggestivism refers to the ability of an individual to pursue their purpose with an amplified understanding and sensitivity. The artists involved represent precisely this - a wave of purpose, working within the more fluid aspects of narrative or figurative arenas. Through the mere power of suggestion, the magic is transferred from one to another, engaging the world at large from the most vivid and evocative of visual realms. - Nathan Spoor, Curator
Featured Artists: Esao Andrews, Carrie Ann Baade, Sandow Birk, Michael Brown, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Dave Cooper, Bob Dob, Thomas Doyle, Ron English, Alex Gross, Robert Hardgrave, Naoto Hattori, Femke Hiemstra, Gregory Jacobsen, Audrey Kawasaki, Andy Kehoe, Kris Kuksi, Darren LeGallo, Kris Lewis, Francesco LoCastro, Jason Maloney, Mars-1/Mario Martinez. Chris Mars, Dalek James Marshall, Dan May, Elizabeth McGrath, Jeff McMillan, Tara McPherson, Mia, David Molesky, Brendan Monroe, Scott Musgrove, Nathan Ota, Michael Page, Kevin Peterson, James Roper, Chris Ryniak, Bob chneider, Todd Schorr, Greg Simkins, Skinner, Jeff Soto, Nathan Spoor, CR Stecyk III, Heidi Taillefer, Joe Vaux, Nicola Verlato, Oliver Vernon, Eric White, Robin Williams, Martin Wittfooth, Chandler Wood, Chet Zar
Press Contact: Krystal Glasman. firstname.lastname@example.org 714-567-7235
On January 28th I will be participating in Panel Discussion
about Pop Surrealism, with the participation of Jonathan LeVine
(of JonathanLevineGallery) and Julie Koegler (Curator and Art Critic)
My work will also be dislayed at the fair in the Bonelli Arte Galler
(Hall 18 Booth C-51 - B-54) and the Antonio Colombo Gallery
(Hall 15 Booth D-32).
Laguna Art Museum and Auction Chairs Sara Heeschen, Michele Monda, and Sarah Thorne-Markman invite you to celebrate Valentine's Day in style this year at Laguna Art Museum's annual Art Auction. This exciting event will feature works of art by premier California artists, with proceeds benefiting the education and exhibition programs at Laguna Art Museum.
This year's event will include delicious food courtesy of local restaurantsWatermarc and Pelican Hill, wine by Columbia Crest, an ice bar by Ketel One Vodka, floral design by Roger's Gardens, and live music. There will also be a fast-paced live auction as well as a silent auction during which guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with fellow collectors and artists.