Fresh Perspectives

fresh-perspectives mark moore gallery

As a sneak peek to the knock-out exhibition “Fresh Perspectives” at Mark Moore Gallery surveying a selection of young, emerging artist opening September 12th, Beautiful/Decay conducted an exhibition preview extravaganza. Read an interview with Catlin Moore about her process of selecting artists, putting the exhibition together and more, as well as five mini interviews with each of the featured artists. In keeping with the theme “Fresh Perspectives,” we gave each artist the same three questions- with surprisingly different answers from each artist! Full article after the jump!

CATLIN MOORE, GALLERY MANAGER

Can you talk a little bit about how you put this exhibition together, and why you chose each individual artist?

Ultrasonic originated from a concept Mark Moore developed in 2006 that afforded the gallery an opportunity to survey an expanse of emerging artists on an annual basis. It’s the perfect model for both MMG and the artists we showcase, as it allows each party to have a professional “first date” kind of experience before embarking on future projects together, and also illuminates each artist’s work within both a new context and in relationship to a collection of his/her peers. The show has given way to working with some of our most renown artists, including Kim Rugg, Kiel Johnson, Ben Weiner, Julie Heffernan, and Ali Smith among others…it’s a great symbiotic opportunity for all involved.

We chose the artists for Fresh Perspectives based on a myriad of elements – the foremost of which being their distinctive take on subjective realities, followed by our convictions in their work as both relevant and fresh within the emerging-arts niche.

Each artist brings a highly individualized aesthetic and commentary to the exhibition, yet they all work in tandem with one another:

Josh Azzarella’s videos are incredibly astute in their ability to make us evaluate the components of memory. The viewer becomes so engrossed in his imagery that it becomes both unsettling and intriguing to discover how he has manipulated the content; the brash realization that what you thought were blurry flowers in bloom are actually explosions from “Shock and Awe” makes you second guess the framework that dictates our perceptions.

Tim Barber brings a very stark voice to the exhibit through his photographs, a characteristic that lent itself well during his years at Vice Magazine and in turn makes us consider the intersection between the seemingly mundane and popular notion of beauty.

Matthew’ McGuiness’ work is incredibly haunting, given his confrontation of disasters and their subsequent emotional realities – which are oftentimes divorced from one another when being perceived from “the outside.” His depiction of such is deeply moving, but not cumbersome, which offers us an accessible means of grasping a reality that has previously been diluted through socio-political filters.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz create microcosms that are simultaneously eerie and striking. Their initially “cute” medium – Sno Globes – pulls us in with the hopes of innocent playthings and holiday fuzzies, whereupon we discover miniscule scenes of dystopia. The events unfolding inside these worlds are oftentimes as commonplace as they are surreal, which only adds to their peculiarity, as well as a sly sense of dark humor.

Mario Ybarra Jr.’s adapted installation perfectly exemplifies his ability to craft a fictional space or subculture that is actually derived of social “norms.” His ability to tweak an institutional concept here and there, combined with his meticulous attention to detail leads to the creation of an other-worldly experience, despite their foundation based on the day-to-day.

I can’t emphasize enough how very excited and honored we are to be working with such a dynamic and accomplished group of young artists.

The theme of the exhibition is the ways in which individual artists perceive reality, through multifaceted media and approaches. Can you elaborate on how you came to this theme, and how you think it plays out within each of the artist’s works?

We arrived at the theme for this exhibition given the nature of our featured artists’ work, and their shared discussion on the subject, but also because of how the course of the past year has shaped popular reality. Between a global recession, a change in administration, the furiously-paced development of technology and communication – there’s an overwhelming pressure to adapt, interpret, survive and account for these dramatic shifts in our immediate communities. Our values, ideologies and experiences have inherently been affected, as has the way we decipher and apply information to the most fundamental components of our lives. If that doesn’t make us question what is real, then I don’t know what can.

How do you think this exhibition fits within Mark Moore’s aesthetic?

Our gallery makes a point of maintaining a fluid aesthetic. That said, all of these artists are intriguing to us in that they challenge our program – which is something we value deeply. They bring something fresh and unprecedented to our audience, which is self-evident through their distinct voices and conviction in the work; qualities that all of our artists share.

WALTER MARTIN & PALOMA MUNOZ

Traveler CCLVII (2009) Glass, water, wood, plastic 9 x 6 x 6 inches

Traveler CCLVII (2009) Glass, water, wood, plastic 9 x 6 x 6 inches

1. How do you perceive “real and authentic” experience in the world around you, and how does this unique perspective inform your work?

This sounds like a question for Marcel Proust, I can only say that the experiences that stick are the ones that resurface later. That once buried or at least shelved in a dark cool corner they may over time filter back up to the surface in unexpected ways that may in an art practice become something useful.

2. What do you think an artist’s role is within our current society?

If society is to be spoken of as a single entity then, I am lost. To me it seems like a big amorphous blob. A thing that cannot be talked about except in its parts. Our current society is not like some shaman society; a neat little dead world that can be easily dissected with a special place reserved for the talent… Basically I’m stumped by the boundless perameters of the question.

I don’t know what an artist’s role is within our current society, but I imagine the on the ground challenge for a would be artist in any society would be to find and develop something with special significance that provokes something deep and unexpected in the viewer.

3. What is one of your favorite pieces in the exhibition, and why?

I like the snowglobe that pictures a fat country woman sitting beside a tree in which someone is apparently held prisoner. There is a vague and distasteful sexual element that makes the situation ambiguous. Is this interaction a game , is it real, does it matter? It’s dark, and maybe funny. I don’t need to understand it. I trust it though partly because its neither polite nor particularly flattering as a representation of the artists’ state of mind.

TIM BARBER

Untitled (wrapped in plastic) (2008) From the series Mystic Heather & Virgin Snow Digital c-print Edition of 4 20 x 24 inches

Untitled (wrapped in plastic) (2008) From the series Mystic Heather & Virgin Snow Digital c-print Edition of 4 20 x 24 inches

1. How do you perceive “real and authentic” experience in the world around you, and how does this unique perspective inform your work?

Real and Authentic walk into a bar.  “Ouch” says Real. “You’re mother is so fat..” says Authentic. “Why the long face?” says Real to the horse behind the bar. “She’s on both sides of the family” says the horse. “A talking horse?” says Authentic. “I don’t know that one, but i make a mean mojito” says the horse. “Check please!” says Real, falling backwards. “Ha ha (bonk!)” says Authentic, laughing his head off.

2. What do you think an artist’s role is within our current society?

disco ball.

3. What is one of your favorite pieces in the exhibition, and why?

This one because I took it in a dream first and then recreated it and the real one turned out better than the dream one.

Tim Barber's favorite piece from the show showing a dream he recreated

Tim Barber's favorite piece from the show showing a dream he recreated

JOSH AZZARELLA

Untitled #27 (Unknown Rebel) (2006) Video, edition of 7 + 3 APs Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Untitled #27 (Unknown Rebel) (2006) Video, edition of 7 + 3 APs Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

1. How do you perceive “real and authentic” experience in the world around you, and how does this unique perspective inform your work?

An unmediated experience is always going to be the most authentic, however I think that it’s very rare that we have an unmediated experience and my work draws on that condition. More so now than ever we, as a society of image consumers, have begun to scrutinize and question the veracity of the images put before us. To that end my work is less about simply manipulating an historic record in an effort to ask “what if the event had not happened or had happened differently.” Rather, it’s an investigation that focuses on how memories, both personal and collective, are initiated, formed, and recalled.

My manipulation of historical moments prevents the viewer from quickly recognizing and contextualizing the image, and moderates the image, as cathectic energy, while retaining a trace of that energy in the new image, as substance. By preventing the contextualization of the image and moderating its cathectic energy, a contemplative space is momentarily created. This space allows for the opportunity to amend or confuse a previous memory of the event, and perhaps the occasion to create a memory of an event where one did not previously exist.

2. What do you think an artist’s role is within our current society?

I think the definition of the artists role is up to curators and those that write about art. Each artist’s project is ultimately a personal one, even when they are commenting on the culture as a whole.

3. What is one of your favorite pieces in the exhibition, and why?

Regarding this group, the piece I’m most interested in is Untitled #8. This work exists in between my obfuscated works and my manipulations. Further, it’s of an anonymous person who is potentially impossible to identify in an event that one cannot identify without being told. Yet even in it’s anonymity the image has an intense and saddening presence to it a presence that the other works don’t exude in the same way.

MATTHEW MCGUINNESS

Pick a Side or Pick a Spot (2008) Silkscreen on canvas Edition of 5 30 x 30 inches

Pick a Side or Pick a Spot (2008) Silkscreen on canvas Edition of 5 30 x 30 inches

1. How do you perceive “real and authentic” experience in the world around you, and how does this unique perspective inform your work?

I have been thinking of this question and it is grand. I could be on it for some length of time… and I have, as I have been thinking about it for many days mortar & pestle’n it about. BUT I am pretty sure that to start anything, real or authentic, one must draw from their proverbial word bank of personal experience. I have only ever been adding all my life’s happenings into a deep bowl and whisk…SO IN BRIEF/SORT OF, Last night on my way home from the studio I rode past a beautiful billboard. The advertisement is located on London’s Jamaica Road, just over the Thames, in the South East-which is a major thorough fare for commuting cyclists. The car ad stipulated that if I drove around in one I would make people jelous. Apparently that is an incentive for buying  a vehicle. Oh bother! What captured my curiosity was the life placed upon a thick smoke sans mirrors message, in a field of blurred green, GET A BIKE.! The I in bike was dotted with a heart, how fun. An anynomous op-ed author decided to promote a healthy conversation for passersby-be it, cyclist, automobile/lorry driver or buss passenger. A very well respected American, once car dealer told me: ” People need to dance, we are a dancing people. We need to get out from our homes and offices and automobiles and interact and move with each other.” -KV, RIP. Some one had been dancing, thus a smile.

2. What do you think an artist’s role is within our current society?

I am not entiely sure if it should be more Art as Social Action or art in Viennese Actionism… I have absolutely and profoundly learn to re-recognize recognize my relationship to art and action say for instance referencing a moment in my seventh grade listening to the Dwarves and sitting on top of a 8 foot vert ramp waiting to drop in and days later volunteering to administrate youth against drugs dance. I like the idea of the artist as being a contrarian. I like the artist to be a bit punk rock, but these days I am unclear if punk is really dead I mean I know that punk is dead, but…. But when I like something I cant help look upon it as if it where punk rock-still. Damien Hirst selling his work at Christie’s and making a killing in the illest recession in 70n years, I think was really punk. Wes Anderson’s brother Eric having designed or drawn the designs for the Louis Vuitton luggage-In The Darjeeling Limited-  which is by Marc Jaccobs for LV I think that is kinda of punk too. I say this cause at the same time of the Darjeeling Limited’s arrival in cinemas, I was awakened and way  excited about comercial airwaves too, Pharrell had done a track for Jay Z on his Blue Magic thing that ripped through all those NY payola stations…Punk. That it was a solid Eric B and Rakim reference from days of old, had me thinking about Bob Dylan speaking to reporters once, saying that there are enough songs out there, young musical artist dont need to make new work, there are a ton of songs to make better… and all the while I was looking at Richard Prince from his nurse painitngs and drawings to  his Dekooning works…After saying all this I am unclear what I think an artist should be. I used to think they should be some one you would not mind getting arrested with, now that I am older I think they should be a person you would not mind having dinner with.

3. What is one of your favorite pieces in the exhibition, and why?

Shoot! Was this coming, besides Mine? You mean? on the Mark Moore website… I like Josh Azzarella’s still Untitled #27 (Unknown Rebel) Tim Barber Untitled (central park) (2008) Matt McGuinness‘ Pick a Side or Pick  a Spot… because it is punk rock. With a pun attached you dont mind, there is a movement of civilians stuck in the Iraqi war-not fighting but working to live- who are so frustrated by the persistence of carbombs, roadside bombs and suicide bombs-they throw rocks at the smoldering artifacts, the burning memorial of wonderful second am-Bush administration. I mean between Pick a Side or Pick a Spot and All My Thought are From a Foreign Host it is hard to decide who is with us or against us-if you will…and maybe my favorite is Mario Ybarra Jr. Take Me Out…No Man Is An Island (Stadium) (2008) Because living in a City, the stadium is a grown man/womans paradise, theirs to escape to, a  forested field retreat amid bricks and mortar… It is a time, devoid of actual real world time. the moments inside a stadium escape from all other relations. The happenings inside that particular stadium are also truths. There are things nothing more honest than the work or lack of, inside a sports arena. Politics may one day wish it had this amount of transparency. Or rather we, one day may wish so!

MARIO YBARRA JR.

Mario Ybarra Jr

Take Me Out...No Man Is An Island (Stadium) (2008)

1. How do you perceive “real and authentic” experience in the world around you, and how does this unique perspective inform your work?

A “Rawthentic” experience is fleeting and hard to capture by the time you realize your are having one it is gone and the best you can do is try and recreate it in story telling.

2. What do you think an artist’s role is within our current society?

There isn’t just one role for the artist today. gone is the mono role of artists in culture. every artist has to define their roles for themselves it is an individual sport your competition is yourself

3. What is one of your favorite pieces in the exhibition, and why?

I am too biased to answer this question so i plead the fifth.


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