Collaborations in Cabo Verde: Art Across the Atlantic

Cape Verde Map

Greetings from Cabo Verde, Africa! RANY has been engaging in fantastic collaborations on another continent with artists, curators and diplomats.  Below are previews for two upcoming shows that deserve international recognition!

 

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iSolAIR launches Artist Residency Program in Cabo Verde with Inaugural Solo Exhibition “Agora: Fantasia (Part 1) Featuring New Works by American Artist Peter D. Gerakaris

peter-d-gerakaris-isolair-agora-fantasia-invite

US Embassy Praia Facebook page

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Shades of Morna, A Photographic Journey of Celebrated Musicians and Dancers of Cabo Verde, Photographs by Joe Wuerfel

SOM inviteJW Shades of Morna preview

 

Stay tuned for more updates!

Potential Energies: Work in Progress, Sneak Preview at BAM Fisher

 

 

 

 

PE promo NCP SP '14

Last night RANY joined a formidable group of dancers, designers, musicians and critics to watch a work in progress at BAM Fisher by The Nouveau Classical Project entitled Potential Energies.  Conceived and directed by NCP Artistic Director Sugar Vendil (who is also in the piece), choreographed by Barbie Diewald and composed by Trevor Gureckis the project delivers a modern twist on ballet in which musicians transcend their conventional roles. Inspired by the emerging adulthood of the Millennial Generation, the arduous journey of artists, hope and rude awakenings, Potential Energies is a daring undertaking by artists who are not only creating this work but are also living it each day.

To read a review of last night’s work in progress, please (yes you should :-) click here for the NCP blog.

I highly recommend watching the trailer (you must!) for Potential Energies on NCP’s Kickstarter page.

 

 

 

New Art City: Armory Arts Week Preview 2014

whitney biennial 2014

With the onset of Armory Arts Week, New York City once again becomes the irresistible muse in the art world. Ten art fairs and the Whitney Biennial all vie for undivided attention, each promising to herald new artists and ideas, while preserving the old guard. Highlights include Bad At SportsBedroom Booth, featuring a series of live interviews conducted in bed by soft sculpture maven Amanda Browder at VOLTA; an uplifting installation in Central Park by Swiss artist Olaf Breuning in collaboration with Public Art Fund; a curatorial remix of the Whitney Biennial (perhaps a grand gesture toward the space before the museum permanently relocates downtown in the spring of 2015); and “The Monstrous Self” exhibition curated by Benjamin Sutton which explores our obsession with self-documentation aka “the selfie” at Spring Break Art Show.

Below is a brief overview of events and activities. Have fun!!

 

Tuesday March 4th

Opening Reception & Exhibition Preview for Olaf Breuning’s Clouds, Public Art Fund

ADAA The Art Show Gala Preview

Spring Break Art Show Preview

Olaf Breuning, Clouds, installation shot in Central Park

Olaf Breuning, Clouds, installation shot in Central Park

Wednesday March 5th

The Armory Show Vernissage Preview

ADAA The Art Show general opening

Zhao Zhao, Constellations No.1, on view at Chambers Fine Art Booth 552 at The Armory Show, Pier 94

Zhao Zhao, Constellations No.1, on view at Chambers Fine Art Booth 552 at The Armory Show, Pier 94

Thursday March 6th

The Armory Show general opening

Moving Image general opening

Spring Break Art Show general opening

The Independent Vernissage

Scope NY VIP Platinum Preview and First View Benefit

VOLTA NY general opening 

Bad At Sports, Bedside Chats Booth, VOLTA

Bad At Sports, Bedside Chats Booth, VOLTA

Friday March 7th

Whitney Biennial 2014 opening

Fountain Art Fair opening

Scope NY general opening

The Independent general opening

Guggenheim Art After Dark

 

 

 

 

Renaissance Redux- A Night with the Performa Visionaries

Performa Visionaries Dinner

photo credit: Elise Gallant

photo credit: Elise Gallant

Last Tuesday, February 25th, the Performa Visionaries (a unique membership group of Performa) delivered a true Renaissance evening with a sensational Rustic Mid-Winter Supper at Coburn Projects. Hosted by Tali Wertheimer, David Clements, Joseph Levinson, and Lia Chavez, the night was a delightful explosion of colors, music, conversations and home cooking to launch the Visionaries’ first event for 2014.

Heather Zises, Karen Ruenitz,  Luisa Gui and  David Clements

Heather Zises, Karen Ruenitz, Luisa Gui and David Clements

Abigail Alathea & Brandon Coburn, photo credit: Elise Gallant

Abigail Alathea & Brandon Coburn, photo credit: Elise Gallant

A surplus of dinner guests cozied around a long, red and white checked dining table that sprouted wildflower centerpieces nestled in beds of kale, soft white pillar candles, and beautifully arranged platters of charcuterie and artisan bread. Guests who were unable to secure a seat at the main table congregated around a large sofa in the adjacent lounge area, rubbing shoulders as they nibbled on hors d’oeuvres.

Luisa Gui, Performa’s Development and Special Events Coordinator, introduced herself to the well-populated room and offered a brief overview of the evening’s pageantry: a special concert of Renaissance and Baroque music performed by musicians Elizabeth Weinfield and David Ross, and hearty cuisine crafted by “culinary artista” Marja Samsom.

Gabi Asfour & Luisa Gui, photo credit: Elise Gallant

Gabi Asfour & Luisa Gui, photo credit: Elise Gallant

Attention then shifted to Roselee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa.  A renowned figure for heightening the appreciation and awareness of performance art, Goldberg spoke enthusiastically about launching a historical theme for Performa’s programming for the next two years. “It is a whole other way of thinking about art history. Renaissance artists always thought about different ways of executing performance…We will readjust the time machine. By examining an incredible history, there is an opportunity to bring education (about the past) back into our contemporary world.” Goldberg graciously thanked all the members of the Visionaries Steering Committee for making the evening so special, and flashed a warm smile.

Roselee Goldberg, speaking at the Performa Visionaries Dinner

Roselee Goldberg, speaking at the Performa Visionaries Dinner

Lia Chavez & Jessica Mitrani, photo credit: Elise Gallant

Lia Chavez & Jessica Mitrani, photo credit: Elise Gallant

Soon, a fleet of large cast iron pots began to dock themselves at open ports on the dinner table. Once uncovered, clouds of steam evaporated to reveal savory stews of potatoes, kale and sausage. As guests began to serve each other, co-host Lia Chavez stood at the center of the room to introduce the musicians who were ready to perform.  Flutist David Ross, who is currently a master of music student in Baroque flute at Juilliard and holds two bachelors of music degrees, and violist Elizabeth Weinfield, who is the artistic director of New York-based viol consort, Sonnambula, holds a Master’s degree in music from Oxford and is a PhD candidate in historical musicology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Quite aptly, Chavez surmised, “We are really in the presence of world-class musicians tonight.”

Musicians Elizabeth Weinfield (viola da gamba) & David Ross (flute), photo credit: Elise Gallant

Musicians Elizabeth Weinfield (viola da gamba) & David Ross (flute), photo credit: Elise Gallant

Performing “Alamaines and Sarabandes” by English composer John Jenkins,  Ross and Weinfield cast a beautiful spell over the gallery with soft sounds from the past. The sonic pairing of the viola da gamba and the flute instantly transported me to a 17th century European ballroom, where guests were waltzing in ornate gowns and velvet breeches amongst regal architecture. As my mind bounced in and out of a Baroque fantasy, I enjoyed watching other guests casually surf their thoughts along coastal waves of music. Both Ross and Weinfield played exquisitely; it felt like a privilege to watch them perform in an intimate setting. Conversation continued to ebb and flow throughout the evening at a harmonious pace. A delicious dessert of baked apples with creme fraiche served as an earthy counterpoint for a richly layered evening. Congratulations to the Performa Visionaries for a fantastic first event of 2014. It was a wonderful way to meet other artists, curators, gallerists, and contemporary art enthusiasts. Encore!

Marja Samsom, a.k.a. "The Dumpling Diva," photo credit: Elise Gallant

Marja Samsom, a.k.a. “The Dumpling Diva,” photo credit: Elise Gallant

ABOUT PERFORMA VISIONARIES: Performa Visionaries are a dynamic and unique community of art enthusiasts, artists, and performance ambassadors in New York City.  As a membership group of Performa, the leading organization in the field of visual art performance, the Visionaries enjoy insider access to Performa, the artists and freewheeling minds with whom they work, and key contemporary art players in New York City and worldwide.  Members engage in an array of exclusive social and educational events where new ideas around live performance and contemporary art are explored and generated in unconventional ways.

ABOUT PERFORMA: Performa is a multidisciplinary non-profit arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Part of Performa’s mission is to present a biennial of visual art performance in New York City that illuminates the critical role of performance in the history of art as well as its enormous significance in the international world of contemporary art. Performa is the brainchild of RoseLee Goldberg, whose definitive book, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present (1979 & 2000), pioneered the study of performance art and has been translated into nine languages. Ms. Goldberg’s writing, as well as her activities as curator at The Kitchen in the late 1970s, has shaped the public’s view of live performance as a visual art form for almost thirty years.

Art Matters! at Bergdorf Goodman for NYC Fashion Week

 

BERGDORF GOODMAN Art Matters! Hosted by Linda Fargo and Kyle DeWoody

On February 4th, art bloomed in the windows of Bergdorf Goodman like early spring flowers.  Art Matters!, a new, ongoing series of art-inspired windows and events, kicked off NYC Fashion Week at the legendary Fifth Avenue department store.  Bergdorf’s collaborated with Kyle DeWoody, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Grey Area, to inaugurate Ten Artists for Ten Spaces, a platform in which ten emerging contemporary artists create installations in ten locations throughout the store. Ten Artists for Ten Spaces features paintings, sculpture, video, and site-specific installations by participating artists Christopher Astley, Mattia Biagi, Kristin Cammermeyer, Sebastian Errazuriz, Lionel Estève, Peter D. Gerakaris, Andrea Mary MarshallAdam Parker Smith, Kasper Sonne, and WXYZ by Laura Wass. Site-specific locations include the iconic Fifth Avenue Bergdorf’s (Women’s Store) windows, Fifty-Eighth Street Bergdorf’s windows, and on the Main and Third Floors. A series of Art Matters! projects will run from February through May of this year.

Grey Area’s Kyle DeWoody worked closely with Bergdorf’s Creative Team to select artists and supervise the Art Matters! project.  Linda Fargo, a revered gatekeeper of style and SVP of Fashion Office and Store Presentation, states in Bergdorf’s official press release, “It’s exciting to turn a new generation of artists loose in our windows. We have a great following of both New Yorkers and visitors who might not get to see the work of these incredible artists otherwise. We like the idea of using our windows as an evolving gallery to reflect the synergy of art and fashion.” Bergdorf Goodman President, Joshua Schulman adds, “Bergdorf Goodman has a long history of artistic collaborations from window displays, to events, to limited edition merchandise. By partnering with Grey Area we hope to extend the reach of contemporary artists and create surprising retail product.”

Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman SVP of Fashion Office and Store Presentation, and Grey Area's Creative Director and Co-Founder Kyle deWoody and and Co-Founder Manish Vora

Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman SVP of Fashion Office and Store Presentation, and Grey Area’s Creative Director and Co-Founder Kyle deWoody and and Co-Founder Manish Vora

A Perfect Ten, from Left to Right: Christopher Astley, Adam Parker Smith, Peter D. Gerakaris, Kristin Cammermeyer, Linda Fargo, Kasper Sonne, Andrea Mary Marshall, Sebastian Errazuriz, Laura Wass, David Hoey

A Perfect Ten, from Left to Right: Christopher Astley, Adam Parker Smith, Peter D. Gerakaris, Kristin Cammermeyer, Linda Fargo, Kasper Sonne, Andrea Mary Marshall, Sebastian Errazuriz, Laura Wass, David Hoey

On the evening of February 4th, Kyle deWoody (Grey Area) and Linda Fargo (Bergdorf Goodman) hosted a private reception to celebrate the creative laurels of the ten artists who made installations for Art Matters! Guests like style maven Robert Verdi and Teen Vogue’s Amy Astley populated the Third Floor boutiques, mingling in the “Andrea Mary Marshall-mosphere” which was stippled with provocative videos and sumptuous splatter-paint installation works (those Chinese fans!) by performance artist Andrea Mary Marshall.  Harmonizing with the avant-garde environment was a fabulously fashion-forward crowd. Highlights include Linda Fargo’s technicolor fur dream coat, Laura Wass’s violet and chartreuse colored locks with a matching iridescent dress, Kyle deWoody’s urban cool black and white checked shoes, the monochromatic punk chic style of Zuzu Griffin and Khary Simon, and Peter D. Gerakaris’ Rappaccini Origami Terrarium inspired necktie and pocket square.

Linda Fargo and Laura Wass

Linda Fargo and Laura Wass

Kyle deWoody, Acme shoes

Kyle deWoody, Acme shoes

Zuzu Griffin and Khary Simon

Zuzu Griffin and Khary Simon

Peter D. Gerakaris, Rappaccini Origami Terrarium necktie & pocket square

Peter D. Gerakaris, Rappaccini Origami Terrarium necktie & pocket square

For those of you who live in New York and have not yet visited the Art Matters! project at Bergdorf’s, find time for this visual feast of art and fashion!  And for those of you who live out of town (or just in a neighboring borough, ah-hem Brooklyners) come visit! Like individual chords, each installation has a different pitch. Some are soft and sensual, some are sharp and spiky. When viewed altogether, the works deliver an enticing melody that recalls recent interdisciplinary museum shows like Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and/or Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Currently, Art Matters! is the best free exhibition in town, and after you are done viewing the works, you can visit Manhattan’s best natural installation, Central Park.

Peter D. Gerakaris, Rappaccini Origami Terrarium Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Peter D. Gerakaris, Rappaccini Origami Terrarium Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

WXYZ by Laura Wass Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

WXYZ by Laura Wass Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Adam Parker Smith Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Adam Parker Smith Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Kasper Sonne Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Kasper Sonne Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Mattia Biagi Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

Mattia Biagi Installation, photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman 5/58 http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/windows

TEN ARTISTS FOR TEN SPACES: Christopher Astley * Mattia Biagi * Kristin Cammermeyer * Sebastian Errazuriz * Lionel Esteve * Peter D. Gerakaris * Andrea Mary Marshall * Adam Parker Smith * Kasper Sonne * WXYZ x Laura Wass

ABOUT BERGDORF GOODMAN: Bergdorf Goodman, founded by master tailors Edwin Goodman and Herman Bergdorf, is located on the corner of New York’s Fifth Avenue and 58th Street, the former site of the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion. Bergdorf Goodman: The pinnacle of style, service, and imagination, since 1901.

ABOUT GREY AREA: Grey Area works in the space between art and life, producing collaborations, experiences and editions that provoke a re-contextualization of where art can exist.


Jomar Statkun at Garis & Hahn

Jomar Statkun

Opening Reception: Sunday Janaury 19th, 2014, 6:00-8:00PM

Location: Garis and Hahn, 263 Bowery, LES

New kids on the block Garis & Hahn will debut their first solo show with artist and This Red Door co-founder Jomar Statkun.   The survey will feature the artist’s complete work to date. The collection will be installed in the lower gallery, leaving the upstairs space empty, until work is introduced through weekly “decorations” that will slowly transform the main space. Through participation and performance, visitors will be invited to the basement a.k.a. “Public Viewing Room” to interact with Statkun, as well as look at, examine, and handle the works of art.

An opening reception will be held on January 19th, 2014 from 6 to 8 PM at Garis & Hahn (263 Bowery), to be followed by a weekly roster of programming developed around Statkun’s work. At the start of the exhibition, the gallery’s upstairs space will be empty. As a result of various prompts, interactions, games, and activities, the upstairs will be gradually “decorated” with works from the collection that reside in the basement. A new prompt, interaction, game, or activity, which addresses a ‘Presentation,’ will be introduced on select days throughout the duration of the exhibition (a total of 5 weeks). A history of these weekly “decorations” will remain on the upstairs gallery walls in varying forms of reproductions. Throughout the exhibition Statkun will assume the roles of art handler, curator, dealer, and artist on a daily basis.

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Weekly Programming Schedule:

“Art Presence: A Buyer’s Feathers” (Reception: Sunday, January 19th from 6 – 8 PM)

“Players: An Artist Ready to Retire” (Performance: Sunday, January 26th, starts at 5 PM)

“Labor of Love: A Fabricator’s Hamburger Helper” (Reception: Tuesday, February 4th from 6 – 8 PM)

SNEAK PREVIEW FOR FABRICATOR’S WEEK:

Chinese artist painting a "painting inside a painting"

Chinese artist painting a “painting inside a painting”

"painting inside a painting"

“painting inside a painting”

“Think Inside of the Box: A Gallery’s Gallery” (Reception: Sunday, February 9th from 6 – 8 PM)

“Take it to be Framed: A Critic’s Tail” (Sunday, February 16th – Sunday, February 23rd)

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About the Gallery: Garis & Hahn is a gallery-cum-Kunsthalle that mounts exhibitions focused on conceptual narratives and relevant conversations in contemporary art. By displaying an array of carefully curated artists, the gallery endeavors to provide accessibility, education, awareness, and a market to the art while engaging both the arts community and a broader general audience.

About the Artist: Jomar Statkun was born in Freehold, New Jersey in 1972. His official/birth certificate name is Joseph Marino Statkun. Legend has it he was born in the same hospital as Bruce Springsteen (aka “The Boss”). He was raised in a small town called Allentown (that’s Allentown, New Jersey, not Pennsylvania). He is a quarter Filipino, a quarter Chinese, a quarter Polish, and a quarter Lithuanian. His father used to be a missionary priest. Growing up, his greatest mentor was the cosmologist and geologian, Thomas Berry. In high school he held the school record for the 400 meter hurdles at 55.5 seconds. He loved to organize and invent games for his friends in the neighborhood where he grew up. He can play the theme song to E.T. on the piano. He was awarded the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn award at Boston University where he received his MFA degree. He is a founding member of the project This Red Door. He has worked at Art Crating and Gagosian Gallery. He has been a professor at Columbia University and Pratt Institute, and has been a visiting artist at numerous institutions.  Jomar Statkun currently lives and works in New York.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Best Wishes for a fantastic 2014! RANY looks forward to another sparkling year filled with art, culture, music, and more!

happy 2014!

January 06 / 2014
Author Heather Zises
Category Art
Comments No Comments

Spotted! Painters on Mars…

painting impossible flyer

Painting Impossible, Life on Mars, November 8- December 22nd

Group Show featuring Todd Bienvenu, Katherine Bradford, Jim Herbert, Arnold Mesches and Karen Schwartz

For centuries, society has wondered if there was life on other planets, but what about painters? Perhaps there are both. If you visit Life on Mars (LOM), a.k.a. a new gallery in Bushwick, you will discover that their program orbits solely around painting. On November 8th, LOM launched a dynamic exhibition entitled Painting Impossible, curated by their Director Michael David.  The show features works by Todd Bienvenu, Katherine Bradford, Jim Herbert, Arnold Mesches and Karen Schwartz.  Although the age range between the artists spans over 60 years, the show’s cohesive element is a collective collage of life experiences.   Not only are the painters in this show committed to painting’s many processes and materiality, they also are examining the continued relevancy and ongoing meaning of the medium.  Curator David remarks, While their work in some cases uses irony, sarcasm and humor (and can share the “mash-up” of the first generation of Post-Modern Painters with the current trends of Meta Painting), what separates these painters from the current trends of Meta Painting—such as New Casualism, New Mannerism and Provisional Painting—is that there is absolutely nothing ironic or casual about their immersion in the act of painting, in both its process and material matter.”

RANY's Heather Zises speaking with Life on Mars Curator and Director Michael David

RANY’s Heather Zises speaking with Life on Mars Curator and Director Michael David

 

Arnold Mesches

The eldest of the group, Arnold Mesches is a renowned, Bronx born painter who creates Abstract Expressionist style works, which depict social and historical tropes. By combining unlikely juxtapositions–both in painting techniques and disparate imagery–the artist aims to recreate a “sense of utter instability and sheer insanity” that he feels has so often permeated his life experiences. Since he first started painting in the 1940s, Mesches has been regarded as a controversial figure. In 1945, the FBI targeted him as a subversive and placed him on a Person of Interest list, along with thousands of others. In the mid 50s, Mesches studio was broken into, and over 200 of his paintings were seized. It is still unclear who remains responsible for this act.  Coming Attractions 5 (2005), is part of a new series which focuses upon Mesches continued explorations of the absurd. Rendered in a retro palette, the painting is executed with the artist’s signature loose brushstrokes and yoked with provocative content. The composition depicts a worms-eye view of a church interior with a frescoed dome, outfitted in baroque-style architecture. A double row of heavily populated clotheslines hangs asymmetrically in the foreground for an audience of unoccupied pews.  This unusual pairing of images nudges the viewer to question deeper meanings that surround a modern day “theater of the absurd”– specifically, where do we fit in, and more importantly, who is watching us? Mesches works have been exhibited at prominent galleries and institutions for over sixty years; notable shows include a 26 year survey of collages at MoMA PS1  entitled The FBI Files (2002-03) and a comprehensive retrospective at the Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design earlier this year entitled Arnold Mesches: A Life’s Work (2013). Next sping (April 2014) LOM will be hosting Mesches first solo show in thirteen years.

Arnold Mesches, Coming Attractions 5, 2005

Arnold Mesches, Coming Attractions 5, 2005

 

Todd Bienvenu

The youngest of the lot, Todd Bienvenu holds strong in a sea of veteran painters. Before moving to New York to get his MFA from the New York Studio School and experience the art world at large, the artist spent his formative years attending Catholic all-boys high school in the Little Rock, AR. Unsurprisingly, elements of repression and sexuality are at the main thrust of his compositions. Bienvenu comments, “I’m interested in making paintings about sex. It’s a hard thing to do without them being merely pornographic or sentimental.” However, the process of painting itself is tactile, messy and never the same thing twice–not unlike sex–which lends a certain forgiveness to Bienvenu’s compositions. In Constellations (2013) various body parts, sexual positions and sexual acts present themselves like neon x-rated zodiac symbols in the night sky.  Nestled beneath the titillating twilight stand two teenagers who gaze in wonder at a vista of unorthodox cosmic pictograms. Perhaps this work is a form of self-portraiture for Bienvenu who is gladly no longer in the dark about notions of sexuality.

Todd Bienvenu, Constellations, 2013

Todd Bienvenu, Constellations, 2013

 

Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford is a prolific painter who creates playful works that are simultaneously abstract and representational.  Bradford’s compositions frequently depict waterscapes that feature figurative elements rendered in bold colors, which seemingly float up against monochromatic backgrounds. In Night Divers (2012), Bradford wonderfully defies perspective by bisecting the picture plane with a pair of massive ships occupying the same body of water.  Whereas the upper half of the canvas depicts a close up, detailed view of nocturnal divers leaping off of a violet-tinted vessel, the lower half of the canvas portrays a distant sketch of a second ship, whose ghostly frame appears to be vaporizing into the night.  The overall compositional divide and surface tension in Night Divers make it seem as if Bradford collaged two different paintings into one. Perhaps this was the work that inspired the exhibition’s title, Painting Impossible. Bradford’s paintings have been exhibited numerous solo exhibitions and she is the recipient of several awards and grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn.

Katherine Bradford, Night Divers, 2012

Katherine Bradford, Night Divers, 2012

 

Jim Herbert

Jim Herbert is an internationally acclaimed American artist and filmmaker who enjoys pushing the boundaries between digital media and painting.  His compositions and short films are known for their obsession with the nude figure in romantic and erotic figurations with an emphasis on the role of sexuality and scene context. Herbert mines the bulk of his subject matter from pornographic films or magazines, which he then abstracts with personal narratives. All of his paintings are executed with a “hands-on” technique, a process that inherently makes his works slippery in the sense that he is literally using his hands to recreate graphic images. Toes (2013) depicts two nude men situated in an erotic pose which has one of them sucking on the other one’s toes. The men’s faces and frames are alarming gaunt and pale, which is further pronounced by a pattern of primary colored psychedelic swirls in the background. Perhaps what is most unsettling about this provocative painting is its sweeping scale that looms over the viewer when standing in front of it. Herbert’s paintings and films have been exhibited in numerous solo and major group exhibitions including two Whitney Biennials, the Walker Art Center and the Los Angeles County Museum. The artist has also received two fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: one for film, and one for painting.

Jim Herbert, Toes, 2013

Jim Herbert, Toes, 2013

 

Karen Schwartz

As a painter and a psychotherapist, Karen Schwartz regularly encounters shadow play. The American artist has likened the occupation of psychotherapy to another form of painting, considering both are multifaceted and complicated arenas.  Working both abstractly and figuratively naturally sets up a tension that helps to generate multiple meanings in her artwork. As a matter of course, Schwartz’s compositions primarily depict human figures. Formally, the artist employs cropping techniques like Degas in order to create visual angles that situate the viewer.  This perspective allows Schwartz to hone in on the most important part of her figures.  In her painting Shadow of His Former Self (2013), the artist offers a diaristic account of her life experiences. Schwartz notes, “I wanted to find out what was inside of me. I was in despair about something going on in my life. So this [painting] is an abstract expression of my internal state.” The artist revealed that her husband had a double knee replacement and that Shadow of His Former Self is a reflection of her own subjectivity during that time.  The painting is a diptych, which led me to ask if the panels were representative of her two selves, or her and her husband, or even his knees—none of which were the reason.  Rather, the two panels refers to a multiplicity of meanings, such as knowing and not knowing what we know, depending on state of mind and degree of access to the multiple states of being. As a final anecdote, Schwartz confessed to having an expansive nature which generally leads to her running out of room on the canvas…I wonder what Freud would say about that?

Karen Schwartz, Shadow of His Former Self

Karen Schwartz, Shadow of His Former Self

 

 

 

A Fierce Bliss Swells in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle…

Realm, 2013, Joel Carreiro, heat transfer and milk paint on birch panel. From the collection of Marcy Rosewater and Mark Gibian

Realm, 2013, Joel Carreiro, heat transfer and milk paint on birch panel. From the collection of Marcy Rosewater and Mark Gibian

Joel Carreiro Fierce Bliss, Solo Exhibition

Presented by Openings, Curated by Michael Berube

Opening Reception: Thursday November 7, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm

Location: Church of St. Paul the Apostle, corner of W60th & Columbus 

 “The central concern driving my explorations in the visual arts is the notion of transformation. I am interested in how one thing can turn into another and what changes in meaning occur along the way, as something is coerced out of its customary identity into a new, uncertain life. My process involves selecting source imagery and reproducing, manipulating and recomposing it to create new images, which then function as paintings, although arrived at through a collage process.” – Joel Carreiro

From John LaFarge to Stanford White and Bela Pratt to Lumen Winter, The Church of St Paul the Apostle has had one main goal since its inception – to combine the artistic ideals of the past with the American genius of the present day. On Thursday November 7th, The Church of St Paul will present Renaissance and Baroque collages created by American artist Joel Carreiro.

In an age where ideas of beauty, the sublime, or transcendence are looked at with some degree of suspicion, Joel Carreiro’s work embraces these concepts.  Rejecting the mythological narrative of the untamed, wild artist expressing his angst with abandon on each canvas, Carreiro elicits and achieves a strong emotional resonance in his work via structure, content, and transformation. Carreiro’s approach is firmly grounded in collage but the works he creates operate as paintings that vacillate between abstraction and narrative as one changes their physical relationship to the work. Carreiro fragments reproductions of various works from the Renaissance and the Baroque Era, work mainly produced in service of the church, and puts them in what he refers to as a conceptual Cuisinart, reconfiguring the elements to create new and exciting compositions that are contemporary, abstract, and complex yet still retain a strong sense of the spiritual. With this exhibition at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the source imagery that Carreiro chooses comes full circle, reconstituted, reimagined, reinvigorated and back to the church but in the service of us all. (Text courtesy of Openings).

As a collage artist, Carrerio mines and appropriates images and from classical Western Art-specifically from Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods–and transcribes them into pixelated tapestries. Each collage image is carefully selected, transferred onto heat transfer paper, trimmed into uniform square shapes, and then ironed onto a canvas that adheres to a “grid format” that was derived from the artist’s studies at Hunter College. The overall result of these compositions are compelling organic shapes that occur within a geometric grid. Their visual fusion is similar to Indian painting that has been combined with Renaissance painting, producing a contemporaneous effect.

Carreiro received a BFA from Cornell University in 1971, and an MFA from Hunter College in 1982.  He has taught at Hunter College since 1986, and is currently Director of the MFA Program. Carreiro has been based in the New York City area since the mid-1970s.  His work has been shown extensively, including the Brooklyn Museum, the University of Richmond Museum, the Alternative Museum of New York and MoMA PS1 as well as in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Providence, England, Germany and Ireland. Carreiro has been a visiting artist at many colleges and universities, including The Anderson Ranch in Colorado and Haystack Mountain School in Maine, and has completed residencies at Artpark in Lewiston NY, Yaddo in Saratoga Springs NY, and the Cill Rialaig Project in Ballinskelligs Ireland.  The artist has received grants from the City University of New York, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  As an independent curator, he has curated exhibitions at the Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn, the Hopper House Art Center and the Rockland Center for the Arts in Nyack NY, and the Intar Gallery and the Lab Gallery, both in New York City.  Recently, Mr. Carreiro has shown work at The Wooster Space, The Lab Gallery and The Lesley Heller Gallery.

Laughing All the Way to the Banksy

Ghetto 4 Life

Known to most of the world as Banksy, the renegade street artist has been enjoying a thirty day “residency” as he uses the city streets as his canvas. From controversial tags like “Ghetto 4 Life” in SoBro, which cheekily play upon motifs of inequalities, to humorous stunts like the “Sirens of the Lambs,” a slaughterhouse truck packed with stuffed animals that noisily tours the meatpacking district, it is clear that Banksy enjoys flexing his artistic muscles for the media.  The street artist has appropriately titled his current guerilla art project Better Out Than In, and one can track images of his latest artwork on his website.

Sirens of the Lambs Meat Truck, Banksy

Sirens of the Lambs Meat Truck, Banksy

The “hat trick” of Banksy’s project rests on the heads of the general public; mainly how to determine the target of his next location. This extended performance piece has sparked a firestorm within the local media and as a result, Gotham City has become divided on their opinions of the street artist. Many private property holders are weary against Banksy’s next calling card, not wanting their walls and doors spaces to be vandalized with street art.  In response, Bloomberg has attempted to crack down on the artist, stating “…running up to somebody’s property or public property and defacing it is not my definition of art…it may be art, but it should not be permitted.” Conversely, other property owners whose spaces have already been tagged by Banksy are going to great lengths to protect the artwork from being defaced by other graffiti artists. The bottom line is, whether you view Banksy as a hero or an antihero, the art world is certainly a more interesting place with him in it.

A recent Banksy tag at The Hustler Club in NYC

A recent Banksy tag at The Hustler Club in NYC

Up until 2003, Banksy was better known in the UK for his controversial graffiti. By fall of that year, the mystery provocateur made worldwide headlines with an outrageous prank that involved gluing one of his own paintings to a gallery wall in the Tate Britain…and not until the painting fell off of the museum wall did anyone notice that the work had been installed! Over the years, Banksy has used his art as a vehicle to send subversive messages—anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment—to the public. Whether it’s a stenciled image of paradise on the Gaza Strip barrier wall in Palestine, a rendering of gay cops kissing, or a Guantanamo Bay-inspired dummy installation in a Disney Theme Park—he consistently captures the attention of the media. Banksy’s art is a form of “brandalism” that continually picks at the scab of social consciousness. And despite his notoriety, his works sell for millions at galleries and auction houses. So how did this all come to be?

Paradise on the Gaza Strip barrier wall, Banksy

Paradise on the Gaza Strip barrier wall, Banksy

Historically, the term “street art” originated out of graffiti. In the 1960s and 70s, graffiti was interpreted as a form of unsanctioned visual art often executed outside the context of traditional art venues. Not only was graffiti considered to be “low brow” art; it was (and still is) a form of vandalism. By the 1980s, particularly in New York City, graffiti became ubiquitous, appearing on streets, on subway cars and in public murals. Graffiti also started to gain traction within various circles such as the art world (paintings of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat) and the music industry (album art for Beastie Boys, Public Enemy) and mainstream culture began to take notice.  As graffiti continued to develop, our collective society swiftly ushered it from the margins of culture into a center of power. What was once a singular art form had become multidimensional discipline, and as a result “graffiti” became repackaged as “street art.” Thanks to this shift, landmark buildings like 5Pointz, an outdoor art exhibition space and graffiti mecca in Long Island City came to support this new movement. Quite tragically, the future of 5Pointz is rather bleak and is currently facing demolition.  Ironically, it is the only place in New York City where artists can legally paint graffiti.

 

Jean-Michel-Basquiat

Jean-Michel-Basquiat

 

Public Enemy Album Art

Public Enemy Album Art

This “new graffiti” was driven by a new generation who used stencils, stickers, posters, sculptures and even video projections to make their marks. Given that the nature of this art pushes the boundaries of legality (technically street art is a form of vandalism) most street artists work at night. Many aerosol artists found this “graveyard shift lifestyle” alluring, and the practice quickly elevated within creative circles. Not since punk had a movement become so influential within countercultural society. However, it’s important to note that these artists were not looking to change the innate meaning of art, but rather to question the existing environment within the context of its own language.

5Pointz, Long Island City, Queens

5Pointz, Long Island City, Queens

As street art gained momentum in the 1990s in America, the underground movement quickly spread worldwide. In France, a group of street artists known as Monsieur Andre, Space Invader, and Zeus were tirelessly tagging the streets of Paris by any means necessary. Not only did these artists lay the groundwork for future generations, they also pioneered the concept of an outdoor gallery (which is essentially what Banksy is doing now with his month long artists residency). Coinciding with the arrival of the Internet, these once temporary artworks could now be permanently archived and shared online with an audience of millions. Additionally, these technological advances fostered a digital community for artists, which allowed them to create a digital gallery as well.

Space Invader mosaic

Space Invader mosaic

By 2000, street art had become viral. Leading the new wave of artists was Shepard Fairey, who was known for his Andre the Giant Has A Posse (OBEY) sticker campaign series but became a household name after designing Obama’s campaign poster, HOPE, for the 2008 presidential election. In addition to Banksy, other street artists such as D*Face, KAWS (who currently has a new exhibition on display at Mary Boone), Swoon (who just unveiled a Hurricane Sandy-themed mural on the Bowery), Neck Face and Faile, began to redesign the outdoor landscapes of NYC and LA through their individual tags, stencils and sculptures. Like most underground movements, there was an unspoken code amongst its members to protect one another. Despite the renegade nature of their work, it was imperative to retain a certain level of discretion around project and collaborations. Like a secret artists society, it is not surprising that many of these paint-wielding players deliberately fly below the radar i.e. working at night or protecting one’s identity like Banksy and Neck Face.

OBEY Andre, Shepard Fairey

OBEY Andre, Shepard Fairey

The beautiful irony of Banksy is that the general public does not know his true identity. All we know is the persona of Banksy. Similar to Warhol, half of Banksy’s art is about the art of being Banksy. Subsequently this anonymity has allowed him to inhabit the role of the “other”—such as gender, race, or class—and make art from underneath a protective cloak of neutrality. Banksy’s superpower is invisibility and he has taken the very visible profession of “artist” and has cleverly inverted the role, to the point where he is immaterial yet omnipresent.