Shortly after his first son was born, artist Jonathan Viner naturally had fatherhood and his own childhood on his mind. As children, Viner and his twin brother spent hours visiting the robotics lab at the New York Institute of Technology, where their father taught and worked. Faded memories of “computer nerds” playing Dungeons and Dragons, sharing ideas, and celebrating on New Year’s Eve came back to him as the artist shuttled between infant care, painting and conversations with artists, critics and enthusiasts over Facebook.
Inspired by the stunning impact these unlikely heroes from his childhood have had on the world, Viner began hunting online for class photos of computer science majors from the 1970′s. Those old photos, mined through Google on an iPad, became the starting point for “COMPUTER SCIENCE.” Further influenced by great portrait painters from the canon of art history, including Ingres and Currin, Viner set out to recreate these symbolic figures from his youth, infusing them with all of the idiosyncratic humor and thoughtfulness from his memories. Google, Facebook and Apple are blended with hog hair bristle brushes, oils and turpentine. By merging contemporary content and high tech resources with the centuries-old tools and methods of oil painting, Jonathan Viner pays homage to his own father and to the prophets of Computer Science from his childhood who went on to shape the world in which his own son will grow up.
See Jonathan Viner’s Computer Science exhibit in New York at Sloan Fine Art from March 31st- April 30th.
Bill Cunningham is arguably the ultimate fashion trend forecaster. For decades he has been photographing not only what the people of NYC are wearing on the street but how. He is loved and celebrated by his coworkers at the New York Times and the entire New York fashion world as being the ultimate source for what’s happening in fashion right now and where the trends are going next. Not caring about class, his subjects range from strangers on the street jumping over rain puddles to high powered Fashion bigwigs such as Vogue‘s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour. This type of professional clout would surely provide most photographers wealth and access to the powerful but Bill Cunningham will have none of that. Not only does Bill detest money but he refuses to be a slave to it. Having turned opportunities to cash in on his talents he prefers a simpler life of traveling around town on his old crappy bike, wearing a street sweepers jacket, and living in a tiny studio apartment with no bathroom and kitchen. Bill’s level of dedication and high level of ethics is unbelievable and should make all of us press the pause button and question the things we do to get ahead. He is a simple man doing extraordinary work that future generations will look back at for many years to come.
If you’re involved in the fashion world or work in any creative field then this is the movie for you. I rarely see a movie twice but I will be sure to watch Bill Cunningham New York again and again so I can be reminded of why we sometimes have to make great sacrifices for our art. Watch the trailer for the movie after the jump.
I’ve been eyeballing Michael Velliquette’s ultra-detailed cut paper reliefs for a while now and they continually get better and better with every year. Having started with surreal landscapes and figurative narratives his new works pictured here have morphed into self contained, ornamental abstractions that look more like rainbow bright totem poles or stretched out musical instruments that have just been painted by a psychedelic poster factory.
Catch these and other works by Michael in NYC from April 2nd-May 8th at DCKT Gallery.
Sarah Small’sThe Delirium Constructions series is an ongoing body of work exploring disassociated themes and characters brought together into the same space. Small brings models into improbable, close interactions to examine the social and graphic contrasts of youth and experience, hysteria and discipline, tragedy and hilarity, and sexuality and desexualization.