Eddie Martinez and José Lerma have a two person show up at Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton NY. It’s only up until this Wednesday, August the 29th, I know it’s just two days to get there, but these are two of the best drawing/fabric/paintslingers of our generation. The colors in Martinez’s paintings can’t be replicated in a photograph because the paint is physical, like a thick smear of deep red oil paint that looks like martian roofing slate, or maybe a crack inside an antediluvian sea cliff containing some strange fossil reminding us of how old thinking is, and how we are only here for a little while so we should be kind to each other. Yes, red paint can say all that. Lerma’s pirate-like-figuration feels musical, and reminds me of the Clancy Brothers singing a sea shanty “Way haul away, haul away Jose.” History comes up to us and then recedes like the tide in Lerma’s work, you recognize something and then it is and isn’t what you thought. This is a good summer trip, like the first time you went to a water slide park after noticing girls/boys for the first time, an expanse of wave pools lapping lazily against a big breasted life guard and tower slides of pure unadulterated joy.
Miranda July, author, director, actress, photographer, master of capturing pre and post pubescent awkwardness, and as a character who has risen to status somewhat similar to that of a cult icon…has done it again. Our friend Graham at Future Shipwreck has written a nicer summary of her project than I could ever…so here it is! “In the language of cinema, extras are designed to be forgotten. Miranda July’s recent series of photos (a collaboration with Roe Ethridge), in which she unthinkably excavates background players from historically popular films and poses herself in homage to these bygone human props, is a declaration of war on the finality of culture. She dares to reverse the mandate of natural selection.” I wonder though, how she chose the particular films and extras that she did. Were they just arbitrarily picked? Or did she think aesthetically about which movies and which scenes from those movies that the most interesting looking extras?
Canadian artist Keith Jones is a prodigious muralist who makes illustrations that remind me of those in Business Weekly or Reader Digest magazines. In them are scenes detailing the updated version of battle scenes on cave drawings or Greek urns. They are also sort of Where’s Waldo-ish.
Take a stroll along the High Line in NYC and you can’t help but notice Chelsea’s very own eye-popping mural by Eduardo Kobra on 25th and 10th. This towering piece of street art infuses a rainbow bolt of color into Manhattan’s skyline, emoting nostalgic imagery: re-imagining Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 classic photograph “VJ Day in Times Square.” Likewise, if you live along the west coast in LA, you might have noticed Kobra’s psychedelic Mt. Rushmore redeux at 1255 La Brea Ave, exposing the art of democracy.
Interestingly, this artist is not from America, but São Paulo, where his passion for blending vintage or classic iconic imagery into contemporary settings first emerged in the late 1980s and has traveled internationally ever since. The intention was and is to pay homage to the parts of a country’s past or remind the city inhabitants of their historical precedents– emphasizing a certain level of romanticism.
Philadelphia-based Armando Veve‘s impressive body of work shows his ability, and eagerness, to explore several different drawing methods, from the naive to the refined. In doing so, he leaves no doubt to the viewer that he makes a choice, and executes that choice with clear intent. He doesn’t seem to have many limitations. He also dabbles in ceramics, curation, and digital abstractions. At this pace, his work will only get better and better, and endless gifts will be bestowed upon us just for looking.
Tegels is an animation made of a large photographic collection of street tiles. By viewing this collection of photographs as a sequence, different movements and processes become visible within the frame of the tiles. Both music and animation are trying to find a balance between a thought-out arrangement and an arrangement of ‘chance’ deriving directly from the tiles. Watch the full video after the jump.