While at the landmark exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the Brooklyn Museum, I realized I had to start my review with a statement that will look simple and quite possibly stupid: Hide/Seek is more than David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire In My Belly.”
Keith Haring: 1978-1982, the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-loved American artists of last century will be presented at the Brooklyn Museum from April 13 through August 5, 2012.
Evacuated from my Lower Manhattan apartment and hiding from Hurricane Irene, I find myself thinking about anonymous street art and what it means to art-viewing practices. Different from traditional art and even graffiti, the anonymous works that are found on construction walls, corners of the street and shop grates pose a difficult yet exciting problem for the street art or historian enthusiast that comes across them.
The artist t-shirt is a development we’ve known here at Hyperallergic for some time, but we thought it’d be good to let our readers explore it further. The blurry line demarcating art and fashion is obfuscated when artists have a hand in designing clothes. Is it just a cheap ploy to stock the gift shop full of more merchandise? Probably. But bearing an artist’s creation in your personal presentation potentially imbues clothing with a lot of meaning.
Drawn by an over-900 people attending Facebook events page and a plug on GAYLETTER two months ago, I wandered into the opening of 🙂 by FriendsWithYou at The Hole and left feeling a mixture of what Dr. Hunter S. Thompson described as “fear and loathing.” Now, a few days before the exhibition’s closing, I revisited 🙂 to see if my opinion of the art would change without the unseasonable near 100 degree heat, crowded gallery and drunkenness. It didn’t.
Checking out the Chelsea gallery scene last week, my results were surprisingly mixed — from overly offbeat summer shows to nonsensical group exhibitions, the galleries just didn’t seem to have it together. But one thread did emerge in my wanderings. I discovered that Chelsea was having a brief love affair with big abstraction, wall-size pieces that dominated their respective art spaces. Works by Sol Lewitt, Keith Haring, Li Songsong and Garth Weiser all packed a refreshing amount of visual punch, brightening a hazy summer day.
David Lachapelle has returned to his career. Much like the similarly-named Dave Chapelle, Lachapelle retreated to a farm after his documentary Rize flopped. But evidently nature wasn’t quite thrilling enough for him, and so he’s back in New York, with a retrospective at the Michelman Gallery and a show of new work at Lever House. I attended Lachapelle’s talk on his new exhibition at the Michelman Gallery, a retrospective of early works from the 1980s. Lachapelle spoke thoughtfully, choosing his words slowly and with great care for how each phrase would be perceived (a good choice, given the reaction to his recent New York Times profile). He was gracious, soft-spoken and polite. The gallery’s tiny audience hung on to his every word. I did not. I fell asleep.
On November 30, 1994, choreographer Bill T. Jones’s experimental dance piece “Still/Here” opened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The work featured live dancers performing in front of video footage of terminally ill people discussing their sicknesses. Nearly a month later, dance critic Arlene Croce blasted the piece in a now-infamous essay in the New Yorker. Announcing that she had never seen “Still/Here” and had no intention of doing so, Croce wrote, “By working dying people into his act, Jones is putting himself beyond the reach of criticism. I think of him as literally undiscussable.” She went on to classify that category of undiscussability as “those dancers I’m forced to feel sorry for because of the way they present themselves: as dissed blacks, abused women, or disenfranchised homosexuals—as performers, in short, who make out of victimhood victim art.” In many ways, the National Portrait Gallery’s current, controversial, and excellent special exhibition Hide/Seek feels like a resounding rebuttal of Croce’s thesis.
According to Brokelyn, one North Brooklyn hospital at the corner of Flushing & Broadway, Woodhull Hospital, is offering artists a means to barter art for healthcare.
As the reality of Deitch’s appointment to MOCA sinks in, let’s take a step back and look at his role as a street art advocate. Was he the prophet for the scene or just one of many fans? And where could this all lead?
In the world of graffiti, Martha Cooper is a cult figure. She’s an old skool photog who, along with Henry Chalfant, documented the fast-changing world of New York graffiti and unintentionally helped make it sexy and digestible for public consumption. Her book Subway Art, co-authored with Chalfant, kickstarted the graff book genre that has ballooned (for better or worse) into a full-blown field that witnesses hundreds of books published a year.
Since the influence and impact of Subway Art is well-know, I chose to focus this review on two more recent works by the graff photography veteran which were published in that last few years, Tag Town: The Evolution of New York Graffiti Writing and Going Postal.