Travis LaMothe and the Uncanny Domestic

"Phenolic Birch Chair," 2013 (all photos courtesy of the artist)

“Phenolic Birch Chair,” 2013 (all photos courtesy of the artist)

WhoTravis LaMothe

Where: Travis is a traveling man. He lives and works in Dallas, but travels to NYC for exhibitions and to visit friends in Bushwick. What: From hand-crafted furniture to minimalist paintings, Travis borders the fine-line between product and artwork. A master of mediums, Travis chooses materials as ideas transform into full-force projects. This mixed-media artist does not shy from unconventional materials either, as he often works with utilized inkjet prints, steel furniture, soap, cotton clothing, and drywall compound. He creates paintings and sculptures and all things in between, but one theme continually emerges from his art—his interest in what defines a ‘domestic’ space.

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Sugar, Baby: Kara Walker at Domino

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See this review published on Metro New York June 9, 2014

The public art organization Creative Time joined forces with Kara Walker to create her first large-scale project on view in the industrial relic of Williamsburg’s 90,000-square-foot Domino Sugar Factory. Kara Walker is best known for her black stencils of antebellum scenes that critique Civil War-era ethics.

Ripe with gallows humor, “A Subtlety: or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” tackles the powerful topic of race politics. The installation is homage to the unpaid and overworked laborers who refined sugar in the factory from its conception in 1856 to its closure in 2004.

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The Mind of and Artist: Kurt Vonnegut’s Drawings

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See this published on Metro New York

Kurt Vonnegut is known for his satirical novels. Most are unaware this famed writer is an equally talented artist who first published his humorous graphic art in novels “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Breakfast of Champions.” His drawings are now bound in the book “Kurt Vonnegut: Drawings,” which features an introduction by his daughter, who is also a writer and author, Nanette Vonnegut.

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Eat Your Art Out in Bushwick

Installation views, Storefront Ten Eyck, BR: Jerry Blackman, “How to Disappear a Tiger: Genealogy of the White Tigers of Siegfried and Roy,” 2014, mixed media

Installation views, Storefront Ten Eyck, BR: Jerry Blackman, “How to Disappear a Tiger: Genealogy of the White Tigers of Siegfried and Roy,” 2014, mixed media

Read this article published on Bushwick Daily

Seeing art is like drinking a bold glass of red wine—it’s never too early in the day to enjoy. 

So I’m not biased or anything, but Storefront Ten Eyck never disappoints. Nothing is better than perusing a warehouse stock-full of art so engaging you have to take a few laps around this stadium-gallery. Perusing the space on a Sunday afternoon was much quieter than maneuvering your way through its packed openings—this solitude was a refreshing way to really spend time with the art, which is necessary when viewing the current exhibition showcasing 2014 Yale MFA sculptors (on view through May 18). 

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Everything is Art. Everything is Politics: Ai Weiwei at the Brooklyn Museum

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See this review published on Metro New York May 5, 2014.

Political activism manifests in many forms, and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei perfected the craft of activist art. Featuring over forty works spanning twenty years, Ai Weiwei: According to What? explores topics of culture, history, politics, and tradition, showcasing the artist’s interdisciplinary career.

“Everything is Art. Everything is Politics,” stated Weiwei, and his mesmerizing artworks take on grander meaning than their meditative designs. Growing up during the Cultural Revolution (1966-75), the protests that defined an age of relentless reform took shape in his aesthetic protest-art. Weiwei’s installations and surveillance video and photography are intertwined with the global political landscape. In the guise of minimalist art, Weiwei appropriates China’s historical past—and the events of this communist country’s present—to create large installations that beautifully bring awareness to China’s future.

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The New Franco-phile: James Franco “New Film Stills” in NYC

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Chameleon actor-thespian-writer James Franco can add artist to his resume. His new exhibition at Pace in Chelsea—the second with the esteemed gallery—showcases his new photography series “New Film Stills.”There is more to his black-and-white silver gelatin prints than Franco dressed in drag secluded amidst noir landscapes. His series is an hommage to famed photographer Cindy Sherman’s 1970s series of the same name.

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Tuning into artist Paul Weston’s TV testimonial “Conduit” at GCA Gallery

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An ordinary day: You wake up to missed text messages, at breakfast you answer emails, at lunchtime you catch up on Twitter, before you go to bed you update your Facebook status while watching Scandal, you fall asleep to your favorite podcast, and you wake up to a continuing tech-cycle that is your life. Phones, computers, televisions—these are the 21st century limbs we cannot live without. Paul Weston‘s exhibition Conduit at GCA Gallery explores the omnipresence of technology in our lives.

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Art’s Night Out: A Cozy Date at The New Museum

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Beat the Winter Blues and post-Valentine’s Day chocolate highs with that special someone at the trendy New Museum. Get cozy on Thursday Date Night with your long-time love—or that cute new flame—while satisfying your cultured core viewing the first U.S. exhibition of Polish installation artist—Pawel Althamer: The Neighbors. Be artsy—and thrifty—during this chic art museum’s free hours from 7:00 p.m.—9:00 p.m.

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Aural Ecstacies and Arts in Bushwick

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A day trip to Dia:Beacon one early autumn afternoon unearthed from my art historical vault 1960s era Minimalism that conceptually critiqued the commodified art world. However, it was not the gargantuan “Torqued Ellipses” by Richard Serra that stuck it to the man—his work is sold by world-renowned powerhouse Gagosian Gallery—but the cackling faux-bird audio “Birdcalls”  (1972/1981) by pioneer sound artist Louise Lawler resonating throughout the cherry blossom west garden that really put the art market in a quandary. Trending this month in Bushwick artists continue to investigate the ear over the eye. Stop, collaborate and listen as Sound Art takes center stage transforming art into aural adventures.

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Getty Station, a new Public Art Program in Chelsea

François-Xavier Lalanne "Sheep Station" at the Getty Station: owned by Michael Shvo, curated by Paul Kasmin Gallery

François-Xavier Lalanne “Sheep Station” at the Getty Station: owned by Michael Shvo, curated by Paul Kasmin Gallery

I am happy to say that I was not completely wrong in my hypothesis that the transformed Getty Station was an art platform. It is, in fact, a temporary exhibition space until Michael Shvo develops this plot into high rise luxury condos. Until construction begins and produces enough debris and noise raucous to overwhelmingly stir the tranquil atmosphere of the High Line and Chelsea (excluding Thursday Night Openings, those are potentially rambunctious), the plot will wonderfully be an open forum for public art.

Sheep Station showcases 25 of François-Xavier Lalanne’s iconic epoxy stone and bronze “Moutons.” If familiar with his work, Lalanne transformed everyday objects and animals into sculptures: he did not seek to manipulate their original perception in reality, as did artists like Claes Oldenburg who transformed objects of the everyday into dilapidated, plushy sculptures only reminiscent of original forms. Instead, Lalanne sought to demystify art by transforming animals and objects of nature into timeless sculptures that encapsulate the objects physical being. We can think of Lalanne’s Mouton Sheep as signifiers to the (signified) sheep that graze the meadows and fields on farmlands around the world.

The fantasy of this exhibition is the backdrop. What fun to transform a once busy, polluted, and loud corner of Chelsea into a beautiful, surreal landscape filled with undulating hills, populated with grazing Simulacra Sheep stoically standing about the grassy planes. I am excited to see this space utilized for art purposes until construction begins for this luxury high rise. We all know that once construction begins, the plot will be back to its raucous origins.

For more information on Marcel Duchamp, visit Artsy’s Marcel Duchamp page

THE SHEEP STATION: FRANCOIS XAVIER LALANNE, on view until October 20

THE SHEEP STATION:
FRANCOIS XAVIER LALANNE, on view until October 20