Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Japan. He moved to the US when he was around ten years old, not speaking any English, and being overwhelmed by the culture shock of 1980s Los Angeles. His work is a reflection of this upbringing. Matsuyama’s paintings envision traditional Japanese imagery through the lens of American pop art, creating a unique and beautiful hybrid.
New York sculptor Thomas Doyle works in miniature, creating detailed scenes capturing specific moments in his tiny people’s lives. Some of these moments are rather mundane, while others are epically dramatic. What all these sculptures share however, is best put in Doyle’s words:
The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
A nod to the passing of prodigious asinine youth culture documenter, Dash Snow, who reportedly fell victim to the same choice of poison as his photographic subjects. Most of his images are too gnarly (snorting cocaine off a penis, sexual escapades, general urban debauchery) to post on this blog but I’m sure you’ll find them very well & easily if you just Google him. Here’s some of tamer ones after the jump…
Inspired by the recent photography book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, commercial illustrator Bryan Christie has begun posting some new recreations of NYC storefronts on his blog. The illustrations are done in his familiar style – very slick and clean 3D stuff, which creates an interesting disconnect from these stores’ urban environments. There are three of them so far, hopefully more to come.
This series, entitled Babel Tales, is a recent work of Danish photographer Peter Funch. To create each photograph, he sat at an NYC street corner with a tripod and snapped away, eventually finding common elements amongst all the pictures and compositing those elements into one shot. The result is something familiar yet very artificial – feeling almost as if each photo is staged.
New York-based photographer Oliver Wasow works mostly with digital photography, having taught it at Bard and SVA. He creates hyperrealistic, crisp landscapes that at times can look like portals into another world. And while he’s refrained from it recently, his composite work from the late 90s is my favorite.
In these difficult economic times, with decreased support from corporate America, Gen Art is looking to its loyal supporters of the past 15 years to help it celebrate its successes while looking forward towards insuring another great 15 years of programming. This is your chance to personally help save a company we hope you believe in.
I ♥ Gen Art: 15th Anniversary Benefit will feature an exhibition of the works of over 60 of today’s most exciting emerging/mid-career artists working in mixed mediums who either are Gen Art alumni artists or have been affiliated with or supportive of Gen Art programming over the years. Artwork will be exhibited and available for sale.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Gen Art Foundation, whose ongoing mission is to support undiscovered talent and providing a platform for emerging artists to garner increased exposure to a loyal audience of consumers and media.
June 24, 2009
*7-8pm VIP Preview
7 W. 34th St.