Meet Ivan C. – a visual artist from Mexico. Although he works commercially, his work is conceptul, believing art should now be “Cosa Virtuale,”with technology not leading the ideas, but setting free all the visual possibilities for the interpretation of reality. Ivan releases his imagery through multiple mixed-media processes involving digital photography, digital collage and experimental graphic manipulations.
Cory Arcangel’s recently published book – which originally exists on twitter as @wrknonmynovel – is a compilation of people who have tweeted “working on my novel”. The tweets come in all kinds: humorous, pathetic, emphatic, delusional. Seeing the phrase over and over again kind of makes your mind numb. I imagine these people probably NOT writing and then Arcangel completing a work of their impotent attempts. It’s the post-modern cyclical concept: I make a novel of you not making a novel, but the novel isn’t really a novel, it’s just your tweets about (not) making a novel. Maybe this is too cynical, though, as another way to look at it is that, now at least, these authors are published! In any case, the tweets themselves can be entertaining, if not sometimes painful, and from what I can tell each of the aspiring authors will receive a copy of the book from Arcangel.
Arcangel is a bit of an enfant terrible; a computer programmer, composer, and artist, his work spans a large range of media and he has received wide approval from institutions such as MoMA, Tate, and Smithsonian. What’s often interesting in work like Arcangel’s is its very serious reception from these highly respected art authorities. It presents a sort of ‘Emperor wears no clothes’ situation, where its unclear how seriously Arcangel takes himself, but painfully obvious how easy it is to buy his wares. The best way to enjoy him is to find entertainment in his projects and remember to be wary of the orbiting bullshit. (Via The Fader)
Photographer Joe Maloney revisits the art of summer slumming along the east coast in his retrospective show “Asbury Park and The Jersey Shore, c. 1979” at Rick Wester Fine Arts. Maloney, according to The New Yorker, chose Asbury Park specifically because the area was “distinctly working-class, non-affluent, semi-urban, slightly run-down beach town, with a music culture and a vibrant street life.”
Most striking about this collection, however, is not just the “Darkness On The Edge of Town” vibe meshed with beach resort kitsch, but even more so, the intense level of isolation that vacation culture embodied before cell phones, Wi-Fi, and the Internet at large. Each portrait seems quiet somehow: subjects full of secrets and aspirations. Its a trapped or estranged sort of quiet that I strangely miss . . . and maybe long to reclaim.
Don Porcella has a show of his signature, brightly hued sculptures and encaustic paintings up for one more week at Spattered Columns in NYC. The show is entitled Everything and Nothing at All. In a recent conversation Don and I had, he brought up his love of imagery that could be read in multiple ways. He talked about painting secrets, and casting shadows in multiple directions, dislocating literal time and space into a psychological time and space. He is an artist worth paying attention too. His show has a closing party on October 26th, from 6 to 8pm. Porcella will also be playing music during the closing party. Porcella has performed his music in San Francisco, Nashville, and recently at Robert Miller Gallery in NYC. Should be a very good time.
Perhaps the digital artwork of Antonio Strafella isn’t so profane as it may at first seem. His series Spiritual Hero at once compares and juxtaposes saints and superheroes, the holy and the vulgar. Comic books are often thought of as the exclusive domain of young people, rarely taken serious. However, in a strange way the superheroes don’t seem exceptionally out of place in Strafella’s work. Indeed, many of the grand story lines of the characters featured by Strafella have clear Biblical references. He goes on to say:
“These icons have various aspects in common: saints do miracles and superheroes have superpowers, both are venerated, opening the conflict between faith and zealotry.”
Jeremy Dower’s psychedelic paintings are out of this world. Every time I look at them I feel like I”m in a far away land where everything is colored rainbow bright and stuffed animals have come to life and rule the world!