I’m trying to sleep at the Whitney. I rest on a white pillow, a white bath towel covering me. On my head I wear a plastic grocery store bag, the handles tied under my chin, two rubber bands on either side of my head cinching the plastic into a pair of ears. I’m supposed to be a mouse.
A continuation of the seemingly impossible task of reviewing the ENTIRE Brucennial art exhibition: 51. Sam Hayes – Reminding me of the Sharon Olds poem, The Pope’s Penis; 52. Unknown – Hula Hoop art. I have no objectivity. ROCKS! …
Five minutes. That’s how long it took me to figure out that I needed not only to review the Brucennial, but that I needed to review all of it. Piece by piece by piece. I owed it to them, some kind of return gesture. I didn’t keep count. I just kept moving. Somebody else can clean up the mess. As John and Exene sang, “The world’s a mess. It’s in my kiss.” But you know what? It’s in yours’ too. So, yes, Bruces. That was my tongue down your collective throat. And now my mouth tastes like cigarettes. Thank you.
Song Zhuang is basically a dusty main road. The village’s one bus stop straddles the big street with a rusty orange awning on either side; one sides goes back to the city, the other runs still farther out to smaller villages. On either side of the road stretch art galleries, studio complexes and art supply stores, complete with figures stretching enormous canvases outside on the sidewalk, ready for sale inside. If you thought Chelsea was something along the lines of an art mass production machine, think again.
Coming across a work by Gaia on the street is a special experience. His work is intelligent, emotional, well-executed, and informed by the wider world. He looks beyond pop culture, where most street art gets stuck. His linocut prints and drawings, often of animals, are beautifully rendered and react to the intensity of the urbanscape and its manmade fauna.
There is nothing more universal than nature, but the meaning of what constitutes the term may lead to disagreement. That perceptual ambiguity attracts Gaia, who navigates the boundary between nature and artifice carefully and with apparent ease. His latest artistic mash-up in Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood, combines the myths of the Christian saint St. John the Baptist, the Babylonian general Holofernes, and a cock.
Far too often great art on the Internet gets lost amidst the clutter of virtual mediocrity, or simply gets far too buried in the “shared” list of your RSS aggregator of choice. We’ve done the detective work for you and present five great pieces of art that should be on your radar (or at least saved to a different Bookmarks folder) …
When Edward Winkleman offered his new storefront gallery on West 27th Street to artists William Powhida and Jen Dalton to “consider ‘alternatives/solutions’ to the market” they decided to organize a show titled #class. The hashtag in front of the name is a reference to Twitter and the communal tags that help users find related tweets on a given topic, event or idea. Like the online service, the #class exhibition — is it an exhibition? — is composed of crowd sourced content. Hyperallergic is taking part with $ECRET$ OF THE NEW YORK ART WORLD.
Artists jerked out of their studios, cast out onto the street by the government. Building complexes in art zones destroyed without notice, their occupants harassed by hired thugs. Little to no compensation offered for leases cut short, real estate lies and lost investments in renovation and construction. These images, formed from media headlines, blog posts and on-the-spot photos, all contribute to a shocking (and not unrealistic) picture of the displacement of artists in Beijing.
Repetition in art can be so juicy … when it’s done right. But second-rate minimalism has so deeply traumatized all us with its dull monotony and draining sense of sameness. Indeed, the fear that your favorite professor heard or saw you yawning after the 18th Judd slide in that dark lecture room binds us all together. But there is another facet of repetition that minimalism’s fierce rejection of ornament and narrative has left un-explored. The show closing tomorrow at Nurture Art, titled Eternal Return, reveals a more vivacious take on recurring forms.
For a while now, people I come across here and there have cited Dan Bergeron, aka Fauxreel, as an example of a street art sell-out. Why? Because back in 2008 he partnered up with Vespa to post 324 seven-foot-tall Vespa Squareheads wheatpaste ads on the streets of Toronto and other Canadian cities as part of an ad campaign that combined his characteristic “photograffiti” style with a very commercial addition ― Vespa scooter handles. The works caused a backlash from people who thought he went too far. It is an approach to ad marketing that isn’t as original as it may seem and it even has its own name, murketing.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being an art historian is being asked, “Who is your favorite artist?” or “What is your favorite kind of art?” These questions are always difficult for me to answer honestly in less than few sentences. Perhaps because I am a talker, or because on any given day or even hour, my answer may be different. My frustration heightens with the questioner’s following claim, “Impressionism is my favorite.” Honestly, this statement just pisses me off more than anything else about being an art historian.