The artwork of Jillian Salik offers up understated surprises. Her new exhibit DUEL TINT features frames, window dressing, and other wall fixtures adorned with baroque ornamentation. However, the typically gilded and gaudy colors that typically accompany such adornments, the reflections and windows that should fit in such frames were no where to be seen. Salik only offers the bare structure of the frames and ornamentation. Also, Salik makes an interesting choice of material: cardboard. She contrasts high-society trimmings and embellishments with a decidedly “low” material and digital production processes.
The performance group TRIIIBE (identical triplets) hit Wall Street with a guerrilla performance just as Wall Street banks prepare to pay year-end bonuses to top management at the same time asking for government bailouts, The three were dressed as businesswomen carrying briefcases overfilled with money while panhandling the public with tin cups. TRIIIBE set up in front of the New York Stock Exchange and the American International Building, home of the insurance giant AIG.
Ernesto Neto’s installations ache of a strange dreamy womb I’m sleepwalking towards, one that promises 100 years of hibernation, an extended respite that is sensually comforting and yet also terrifying claustrophobic. It’s a peculiar feeling– a mushy feeling, a propelling and repulsive feeling, or push and pull, that I can’t stop leaning into.
I am not my body, yet I am my body.
Unintentionally echoing motifs in David Cronenberg’s psychological horror films, Neto’s “beyond abstract minimalism” worlds seem to confront the dysfunctional relationship we have with our internal and external selves, and the weeping orifices that connect us to one another on a physical and emotional level. Each path is carved viscerally, interactively– ideally, playfully, but admittedly, horrifyingly in our own image, resembling internal organs and wads of flesh and goo. We are attracted to this, and this attraction is disturbing.
Of his work, and perhaps of this feeling I’m describing, in an interview with Bill Arning, Neto states, “Do you understand the word sacanagem? It’s a Portuguese word that does not translate well. It is beyond flirting. It’s after that, in that moment when both of your faces change into something else because the erotic charge is so high, when your bodies move towards each other. I wanted the work to manifest sacanagem without talking about it. It’s all subtextual. My work is first and foremost a contemporary sculpture; it speaks of the finite and the infinite, of the macroscopic and the microscopic, the internal and external, by the masculine and feminine powers, but sex is like a snake, it slithers through everything.”
It’s a never ending summer inside Dan McCarthy’s world. The mirage created by the blue ocean and the red flesh of the bodys on the beach, captivates the eye which is enticed to stare at the warm nuances that the painting is offering. The “dreamscapes” are liberating.
The artist is not only is a painter, sculptor, messenger; he is a poet. Through his art, his desire is to create a memory. The details don’t have to be remembered; the viewer leaving with a feeling of freedom and comfort is the optimal destiny of his work.
The barely dressed women and men are expressing personal emotions and allowing the viewers to feel their fragility. Accessorized by fish, birds, mountains and rainbows they encourage a dialogue in the direction of nature and the world at large. The props such as a guitar, skateboard and surfboard are symbols used to reiterate location; these devices lead the viewer to fill in the gaps based on other clues like paint handling and materiality.
Dan McCarthy works quickly by rinsing and blotting thin layers of washed out pastel tones, allowing the paint to drip down the canvas. It’s a process based largely on intuition and working within the moment. He is stripping it all down to the essential basics, trying to let the sunshine in.
He recently started to work on ceramic sculptures that he calls Facepots. Wanting to express emotion, attitude and humour in his work, he chose faces as an obvious starting point. As Dan Mccarthy once remarked: “I’d like to include in my work something of the living spirit, something positive that can be taken away and built upon by a viewer. Certainly more a feeling than an attitude or ideology”.
Brookyln based photographer Peter Schafer sent over a few images of a series he’s been working on. Schafer says:
Specifically, it’s a series of screen captures of partially downloaded bit torrent files of webcam porn videos – young women undressing and masturbating, basically. When the files are partially downloaded, impatiently viewed prior to the video file being complete, some strangely beautiful images appear. Capturing the image degradation of video compression and finding beauty in it is a lot like my photography in that you have to catch an image at just the right time, with often the best stuff being unintentional and flawed.
He’s captured some sublime expressions with these. It’s almost as though the girls are posing only for him. The increased pixelation on the images due to their partially downloaded state blurs and distorts the girls to the point where an entirely new context is revealed; one you might create on your own.
Texas based photographer William Hundley is really proof that 1) repetition is not a bad idea and 2) practice makes perfect. His project Entopic Phenomenon (“visual effects whose source is within the eye itself”) has gotten a bit of buzz but I also liked his other domestic art experiments with cheeseburgers’ stacking potential and the neatest most efficient ways to store a nude body in the house.
Tom Sanford just might be todays urban Norman Rockwell. Like the famed painter from the mid 1900’s Sanford is concerned with American culture. From paintings of famed rappers such as Tupac to history paintings featuring sleazy right wing radio hosts, Sanford documents, interprets and comments on the American psyche.
For his latest show opening this Saturday at Kravets|Wehby Sanford painted the famous, eccentric, historical, powerful and colorful residents of New York City that inspire him. Film maker Spike Lee, street artist Steven Powers, and even Mayor Bloomberg make appearances in paintings that shift from smooth graphic rendering to impasto patterning.
“I didn’t grow up in New York City but I moved here to attend Columbia at eighteen. I remember around that time my grandfather told me that “When you leave Broadway you’re camping out.” I have been here (pretty much) ever since, and I plan to stay. I relate to Dylan Ebdus in Lethem’s “The Fortress of Solitude.” I feel like I am missing it all, between my pathological devotion to my studio and my daddy duties I can go days without leaving home at all, and sometimes weeks without getting on the subway. But I need New York City. I feed of the culture. All the amazing people who inhabit this magical place, doing fantastic things. They create an energy, or perhaps an anxiety, that nourishes me and I must be close to the source. Hopefully I am contributing that energy as well.
For this show I made New York genre paintings, portraits and scenes of ordinary life in my city. The portraits are of some of the thousands of New Yorkers that make this place so rich. These are people that I associate very strongly with New York and the city’s culture. Some of them are people I have met, some I know, some I have just seen at a deli or on the street. –Tom Sanford