Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Not all shades of pink get equal attention. The glut of carnation pinks, the flood of hot pink, and the surges of magenta in street fashion, web design, and art — well, it adds up to a visual culture that leaves out other shades of pink. Cary Leibowitz’s new solo show (paintings and belt buckles) is exciting for many reasons. But what hits hard first is this rare hue of pink that covers every inch of the walls and coats the paintings’ backgrounds.
This special pink is known as sweet taffy. I guess it’s similar to the hue of those taffies children and tourists eat. Those candies can have strange, in-between colors. It’s not like the kids are going to care if the color is a little off, or failing to adhere to some exact color swatch category they don’t know about. Taffy’s chromatic je ne sais quoi is getting channeled in this show.
Sweet taffy is no ordinary pink. It’s a simmering melting pot of color, with a base of light pink, mixed in with a tad of periwinkle, hints of lavender, and maybe even just a dash of cerulean for its glow. Maybe that’s a stretch. But there is something about the lighting or the hue itself that brings in these hints of purple that you don’t normally see in pink. It shows up more in person than photos. It’s an exciting rare shot at experiencing a hue from the lesser-visited section of the color wheel.
This isn’t just about color, however; it’s also about words. In each of the paintings, Leibowitz has written witty phrases. He got the memo that brevity is the soul of wit, and their economy makes a real chuckle possible.
Some of these turns of phrase poke fun at feeling down with a sardonic smile. “Hey! I’m not deppressed [sic] anymore,” “I just got a pair of guccci for berfdorfs loafers for 50% off and I really do feel better.”
Others remind us that affection is sometimes expressed in less-than-elegant prose. “Is it great, you like Pizza, I like Pizza” or “I like your work… fuck you too.” There’s an edge and coarseness that every New York romance (or sycophantism) experiences.
There’s even a bit of ’70s queer history in one word play. “Bette Midler told me I can come” has a double meaning that can’t go unsaid. Before she was big, Bette Midler sang her heart out for gay men in a bathhouse. Whatever is meant by Beth’s permission to come … or that last words’s homophone … is left to your imagination. (And yes, that is the technical term for words that sound the same but are spelled differently.)
After that humor from below the belt, let’s segue to the belt itself. There are custom-made belt buckles on the walls, basically the only things in the room that aren’t pink. They refer to events that Leibowitz has entirely made up but would love to have attended: “Tippy Toe Tuesdays, Tuckahoe, NY 1961,” “New England Concrete Poets Picnic, New Canaan, 1981,” “Fourty-Fourth Fluxus Ice Cream Cone Lick-Off, Detroit MI, July 4th, 1976.” The buckles are for sale and will bestow moments of comic relief upon art openings for years to come. Who says you can’t have a memento from an imaginary event?
It’s all so off-color with Cary Leibowitz. He soaks the space in that sweet taffy pink that’s off-kilter and off-trend in terms of fashion’s narrow ideas of the “in colors.” The words wink at the viewer with double meanings and racy humor. And belt buckles go off script with colorful events that never happened. In both form and content, this work basks in living (off)color.
Cary Leibowitz: (paintings and belt buckles) is on view at Invisible Exports (89 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through October 13.
From commissions to residencies and fellowships for artists, curators, and teachers, a list of opportunities that artists, writers, and art workers can apply for each month.
It is one thing to be a visionary and another to be one whose work holds your attention for a sustained period of time.
“Following Sonorous Bodies” is available online. The journal also seeks guest editors for themed issues, books, and more, as well as contributors for Issue 8, “Birds & Language.” Proposals are due December 15.
Regardless of which way the camera is pointing, Wearing shows a lively — and altogether merciless — interest in how people choose to tell their own stories.
Feldschuh understands that the actions and interactions of particles can be formulated mathematically but not illustrated visually.
These multimedia works debuting on Voice include a “Death Mechanism” and allow fans to collect the artist’s origin story, told specifically for the metaverse.
Shellyne Rodriguez and Danielle De Jesus powerfully respond to the continued attacks on their neighborhoods with works that validate and uplift elements of everyday urban Latinx life that are usually devalued.
This week, I’ve included a lot of humor because with the recent news on the coronavirus variant, we can all use it.
On December 13, learn about the Sam Fox School’s graduate programs in Visual Art and Illustration & Visual Culture, as well as the university’s competitive financial aid packages.
So legendarily precious and complex are the Fabergé eggs that they have become a byword for insane expenditure.
While performing a piece for Satellite Art Show, Xxavier Edward Carter was approached by a group of officers who threatened him with ten years in prison.
Gerke Dunkhase estimates that only half of the Benin bronzes in Germany are logged on the portal so far, calling the current database a “prototype” of what’s to come.