See this article published on SciArt in America
Photographer Susi Brister recreates fantastical worlds usually kept secret in the realms of dreams. Her landscapes are filled with luscious fauna and through dramatic lighting and color enhancement, the everyday world becomes a sublime yet stoic scene. Taking center stage of these scenic worlds are aberrant figures draped with decorative fabrics and fully covered to the viewer as to not give a hint to the living organism beneath the dress. She dresses models in patterned textiles and fabrics to echo the natural world around them. As these playful figures mimic the world they are planted into, the photograph becomes a surreal montage that blurs the the line between the reality of the landscape and the fantasy of the rogue figure.
Read on for an artist statement by written by Susi Brister.
See this review published on Bushwick Daily
As the story goes, there are a million different ways to say I Love You. For 20th Century conceptual-performance artist James Lee Byars, it was never about saying the words. “James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography” at MoMA PS1 chronicles this artist’s lifelong career as an artist who transformed his life into an artful series of eventful acts. He played the role of artist-as-shaman throughout his life as he sought to expound on philosophical concepts of perfection, truth, beauty, and love. He intertwined his art into his life and at moments the difference is immutable—which is exactly the point. As Byars dressed daily in monochrome suits of black, white, pink or gold, the world was his stage as he theatrically transformed the mundane into the extraordinary through his visual and performance art.
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.
See my Christopher Wool review on Metro.us published Wednesday, December 24, 2013
Christopher Wool brings Painting to its extinction in his largest exhibition to-date.
The Christopher Wool retrospective on view at the Guggenheim unfolds dramatically up the museum’s rotunda, where the artist’s dominantly black-and-white paintings, photographs, and works on paper perfectly contrast with the museum’s low-lit corridors.
Wool rose as a Neo-Expressionist painter in the ‘80s and later developed into an artist critical of painting itself. Over 90 works are on view showcasing his many styles including appropriated pattern and text works, photojournalist-style photography, and his most recent abstract pieces involving collage, erasure, silk-screening, and double manipulation.
Wool’s oeuvre reaches across processes, annihilating the boundaries of painting to reexamine conventional modes of creation. His artwork is a testament to seeing, and illusive techniques force one to continually question a piece’s medium. His black-and-white “paintings,” for instance, are not quite painted, but rather a synthesis of forms: painting, drawing, digital media, graphic design, and graffiti.
This ambiguity of genre — his works’ unwillingness to be categorized — adds power to otherwise simple creations such as his chameleon trompe l’oeil works, where what appears painted is actually a silkscreen, and vice versa.
In “Trouble” (1989), large bold enamel and acrylic letters “T-R-B-L” scroll across an aluminum base, utilizing Gestalt psychology to create a total idea from simplified parts. His “Minor Mishap” (2001) is a deceptive trick; its orange abstract expressionist brushstrokes are not painted but is silkscreen ink on linen, the exact technique made famous by Andy Warhol. In “Untitled” (2000), expressive letters declare “THE-HARDER-YOU-LOOK-THE-HARDER-YOU-LOOK.” This tautology may be a statement about his witty artistic ethos; his artwork deceives, but does not betray, and remains a delight to experience.
Unfortunately, not on display is Wool’s “Apocalypse Now” (1988), an emulsion painting created with alkyd resin and flashe on aluminum and steel that announces in bold letters “SELL THE HOUSE-SELL THE CAR-SELL THE KIDS,” a line from Francis Ford Coppola’s movie of the same name. It recently sold at Christie’s on Nov. 13 for $26,485,000, a record for the artist to date and the sixth-most-valuable work ever sold at public auction.
After seeing this retrospect you will realize why Wool is ranked as one of the top ten most-valuable living artists today.
If you go:
“Christopher Wool” through Jan. 22, 2014
Fridays – Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,
1071 5th Avenue
- Peter Schjeldahl: A Christopher Wool retrospective. (newyorker.com)
- Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim Museum (galleristny.com)
- Christopher Wool (vernacularceny.wordpress.com)
- Christopher Wool (gallerygutter.wordpress.com)
- The Super-Rich Are Ruining Art for the Rest of Us (newrepublic.com)
See this review published for Metro New York magazine on Metro.us
If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” you may remember the art gallery scene when Allen meets Diane Keaton for the first time. The two share quips on personal art preferences, with Allen preferring black-and-white street photography, with Keaton deriding his simpleton taste. This scene is a satire of art world elitism, but it’s a false preconception. Gallery openings are a fun, free social activity offering a rendezvous with friends to drink wine, eat snacks, chit-chat, make brunch plans and sometimes, but not necessarily, talk about art.
Oct. 16 marked the grand opening of Robert Rotella’s second gallery, with his flagship location in Las Vegas. This 468 W. Broadway venue makes itself at home in SoHo’s posh neighborhood by embracing the quality design and chic ambiance of nearby boutiques and cocktail bars. The 7,000-square-foot gallery is two levels, with a central spiral staircase leading to a polished basement floor. Warm accents adorn the interior, which includes wooden floors, intimate buyers quarters with plush suede loveseats and oak columns restored from the space’s origins as a stable.
Replete with a VIP guest list, paparazzi, swag bags and security with high-tech gadgets, the event included catered delicatessens and bite-sized snacks like shrimp cocktail and frittata and a full open bar complete with two signature cocktails, each named after each exhibiting artist.
Robert Rotella and Art Wolfe photographs are currently on view. Both photographers’ aim is to transfigure nature, similar to the likes of Ansel Adams. Rotella’s artistic project is observing and then documenting landscapes. He targets micro photographs of overly saturated flowers and expansive panoramas. Wolfe comes from a photojournalist style through his documentation of ecological subjects. As I spoke with him, Wolfe explained his art as a way to “show commonality of all humans” and present mankind’s “resilience of spirit.” His current series, “Human Canvas,” diverges from his previous style by embracing a larger artistic license. Wolfe’s process involves painting nude models, dictating staged tableaus and then photographing the outcome. The result is a theatrical trompe l’oeil that abstracts bodies in a playful design.
The art on view is decorative and will easily adorn an apartment’s foyer. The priority lies in the aesthetic appeal, though one may lose interest over the repetition of trompe l’oeil designs and photographs of flowers.
Rotella and Wolfe will not be exhibiting alongside art market darling Jean-Michel Basquiat anytime soon (Jay-Z raps about his Basquiat in his song “Picasso Baby,” if that is an indication of his celebrated status). But, this does not detract from their mastery of the photographic medium. There is really only one difference between an Art Star exhibition like Jeff Koons and the artists Rotella and Wolfe; Koons asks questions and discusses socio-political-economic factors; Rotella Gallery’s patrons don’t care to talk about politics because they are busy gossiping about each other.
Rotella Gallery will suit those who enjoy the theatrical drama of portrait photography, such as editorial fashion spreads of famed photographers Anne Leibovitz or Irving Penn.
- Art Wolfe (heyslanejoe.wordpress.com)
- Jean-Michel Basquiat: the street-art inspiration for Massive Attack (theguardian.com)
Insta-Art: The Symbiotic Relationship between Art and Instagram
Instagram and Art is a public relations niche; it is mutually beneficial to both art institutions and visitors.
Instagram is craze that continues to grow. This photography app is why #selfies and #saturdaybrunch posts are now overflowing your Facebook Newsfeed. Instagram is more than just cute pictures of your #cats or #cookies however. Its accessibility is a beneficial promotion of Public Art in New York City. I look to the Public Art Fund and their recent exhibition “Lightness of Being” as a model example for utilizing the social media venue Instagram as a way to spread awareness about current public art projects. In turn, this social sharing project creates a participatory environment for viewers to experience exhibitions on a grander scale by allowing them to tag and share their Instagram photos to the Public Art Fund’s social media websites.
For most millennials, taking photos of activities and posting them to Instagram or other social media outlets like Facebook is a quick venue for instant gratification, where your cyber social circle can “like” your exciting, intellectual and always fun whereabouts. Plus, Instagram makes it near impossible to take an unlikable photo; with the quick touch of a finger, my “Lightness of Being” (#paflob) photos became dramatic, film noir-esque stills by using photo filters. I tagged the photo @publicartfund, and upon perusing my Facebook Newsfeed a few days later, to my utter excitement I saw my photo was shared by the Public Art Fund. I became Insta-Famous, just like that.
This is a symbiotic quid pro quo relationship and is mutually beneficial for the Public Art Fund as well as viewers. For the Public Art Fund, by promoting tagging and sharing of Instagram photos, the exhibition receives free publicity and expands their target audience to not only people that follow or appreciate Public Art, but to those who are cyper friends of art enthusiasts. For those art lovers out there, not only are they experiencing the exhibition in the flesh, but they are becoming part of the experience through direct participation by taking Instagram photos and tagging them accordingly. The end result is a swirling niche and an engaging intersection between art and technology.
“Lightness of Being” is at City Hall Park, 250 Broadway, NYC, and is on view through December 13, 2013. I highly recommend seeing this show, and if you’re down there already, you might as well take some photos. Make sure to tag them #PAFlob so Public Art Fund can share them. You’ll be social media famous in no time.
- Check Out “Playground,” the Dope New Public Art Installation Near Central Park (complex.com)
- public art debate (publicartprivateviews.com)
- Curbed Maps: Mapping Twelve Stellar Examples of D.C.’s Public Art (dc.curbed.com)
I dub October: The Month of Banksy!
Each day during the month of October this elusive street artist will be tagging (a) different spot(s) around the city.
I will be traveling the expanses of New York City to document Banksy’s “New York City Residency”. Stay tuned for Photos of his original tags and updated images during each “Restoration” phases, and of course, my 2 cents.
- The Most Iconic Banksy Works Of All Time (businessinsider.com)
- Banksy’s Tagging NYC For An October “Residency” (core77.com)
- Mysterious graffiti artist Banksy to hit NYC streets for just one month (pix11.com)
- Banksy NYC | Better Out Than In (digsandcompany.com)
- Banksy Rebuffed While Another Pops Up (animalnewyork.com)
- Banksy Did Something…In New York City (animalnewyork.com)
- Graffiti artists deface Banksy artwork on Lower East Side (nydailynews.com)
- Banksy’s 5th Work In New York Will Be A ‘Mobile Waterfall’ Inside A Delivery Truck (businessinsider.com)
- Street Artist Banksy Continues New York City Exhibit With A New Piece Each Day (laughingsquid.com)