Archive for the ‘fine art’ tag

Chelsea Galleries September 2017

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There are plenty of strong exhibitions in Chelsea this September into October. And the fancy blue chip galleries are presenting a racial and identity social consciousness as black artists receive recognition at at least a few major galleries. Here are a few that I enjoyed this past weekend.

Sanford Biggers: Selah, Sept 7th through October 21st at Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins & Co

Mark Thomas Gibson at Fredericks & Freiser through October 14, 2017

Galleri Specta in Copenhagen

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Andreas Schulenberg

Crumpled $500 bill featuring Angela Merkel made from felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Today, my second day in Copenhagen, art work in the gallery Specta caught my eye while wandering about the city, so my son and I walked in. The gallerist immediately greeted us and even gave us a tour of the show (as a New Yorker, I was immediately taken aback). The woman explained that the exhibition titled “Money Makes the World Go Round” (May 9 – June 13, 2015) features four international artists that use money as the subject of their work. All of them with a critical bend toward the power of money and yet featured in a swank art market gallery, of course.

Carlos Aires

Money Makes the World Go Round II by Carlos Aires

The central piece upon walking in to the space is “Money Makes the World Go Round II”, by Spanish artist Carlos Aires who cuts iconographic silhouettes from the currency of the 30 wealthiest countries to create a sphere strewn with what appear to be fruit flies. The sphere is formed by pining the cutout silhouettes and flies to a white canvas surface.

Also by Carlos Aires are a grid of collages that cut news print figures into the country’s currency.

Carlos Aires

Money Collage by Carlos Aires

In his multi-tiled piece titled “Domino” Swedish artist Lars Arrhenius represents the flow of a piece of currency from an ATM withdrawal to any number of exchanges until it is redeposited in to a bank.

Lars Arrhenius

Domino by Lars Arrhenius


Lars Arrhenius

Domino by Lars Arrhenius


Lars Arrhenius

Domino by Lars Arrhenius


Lars Arrhenius

Domino by Lars Arrhenius

South African artist Frances Goodman has created bills from woven beads, beads once functioning as currency in various cultures. And in a separate series Goodman creates drawings from fake eyelashes.

Frances Goodman

South African currency made from braided beads by Frances Goodman

Frances Goodman

South African currency made from braided beads by Frances Goodman

My favorite and most striking work is by Danish/German artist Andreas Schulenberg who has created giant dollar bills from felt and in them replaced the portrait of a president with that of the “losers” in American society.

Andreas Schulenberg

Paper airplane bill featuring Osama bin Laden made from felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Andreas Schulenberg

Dollar bill featuring poor man made in felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Andreas Schulenberg

$50 dollar bill featuring Sitting Bull made in felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Andreas Schulenberg

$20 – Slavery, $10 – Burglary, $5 – Drug Addiction bills made in felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Andreas Schulenberg

Felt chicken holding $1 bill while laying a money egg made in felt by artist Andreas Schulenberg

Interview with OBTRUSIV

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Last Saturday, I met with Keith Estiler and Edgar De La Vega of OBTRUSIV MAG to discuss art. They’ve put the interview on their Art & Culture column, the article is titled – Pricking the Public. Here’s the video:

Undocumented Drones at New York Hall of Science

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Last Thursday, October 25th was the celebration for the opening of ReGeneration, an exhibition at the New York Hall of Science in Corona Park, Queens that will be on view through January 13th. I will be writing one or more extended articles regarding the works in the exhibition. Meanwhile, I am posting a video of the Undocumented Drones being installed at the Hall of Science as part of my installation titled “a geography of being : una geografia de ser”. This is an installation comprised of a video game and three wooden figures with screens and motors that are networked to the game. The figures or undocumented drones help the player along through the game at specific points. Each figure has a corresponding icon on the game screen that tells the player that the small robot has a message. If necessary, the player may step away from the game to view the undocumented drone’s embedded screen for instructions.

FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT

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As greater bandwidth allows for higher quality video, I’ve posted a 7-minute single channel edit of a 14-minute 3-channel video installation commissioned by the New Museum in 2004 for an exhibition titled “Counter Culture.” The installation presents three animated portraits reflecting on the history and the future of the Bowery neighborhood. The monitors presenting the animated portraits are installed within a sculptural work made of a series of large steel ducts that have been interwoven together.

The exhibition “Counter Culture” occurred before the ground breaking for the new New Museum building at Bowery and Prince. My contribution to the show focused on capturing three alternate perspectives on the transformation of the Bowery neighborhood at the time. The three animated portraits are based on interviews with three long time Bowery personalities – Anton Bari, manager of the Bari Restaurant Supply and Real Estate, Bruce Davis, a resident of the last “flop house” in the Bowery, the Sunshine Hotel and Pedro Bisonoro or Morocho a 30 year resident of the Bowery, originally from the Dominican Republic.

Here are images of the original installation in Freeman Alley:
FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT
FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT
FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT
And a link to the site documenting the installation: FROM DARKNESS TO DAYLIGHT

On Transmitting Ideology

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On Transmitting Ideology

My installation “On Transmitting Ideology” opened this past Friday at the artist run, Philadelphia gallery Vox Populi. The installation presents eleven wooden guns outfitted with radios broadcasting declarations on freedom and transformation in our society.

As I was listening to famous historical speeches concerning U.S. politics, I primarily became interested in the rhetoric that has established “Conservative” vs. “Liberal” ideology in the United States. Unfortunately due to the quality of sound of early 20th century speeches such as an excellent speech by Calvin Coolidge declaring the need for an imperial reach by the United States in the name of liberty, I narrowed the selection to speeches since the second half of the 20th century.

On Transmitting Ideology

The broadcast is 18 minutes long and begins with the famous declaration by Barry Goldwater “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” The broadcast includes an excerpt from a debate between Buckley and Chomsky, and excerpts from speeches by Reagan, Martin Luther King, and Obama. For the most part I left the excerpts intact; it is only with King’s speech in opposition to the Vietnam War that I withdrew “Vietnam”, because his arguments against our intervention in Vietnam parallel all to well the current war in Iraq.

On Transmitting Ideology

Pictured above, in the upper right corner of the gallery on a shelf sit a CD player connected to a miniFM transmitter. On each table are five hand-crafted wooden AK47s and Uzis (one is also mounted on the wall), each gun has an exposed pocket radio tuned to the transmitter.

On Transmitting Ideology

The exhibition also features two recent video commissions that question the outcome of popular notions of freedom, liberty and the power of capital. “Arbol que nace torcido, nunca su rama enderece” (“Tree that is born twisted will never straighten”) is an animation created for the public commission “Carreta Nagua, Siglo 21” (2007) that tells a tale of immigration, aging and cultural and familial loss. Two aging television super heroes, Ultraman and El Chapulin Colorado take the voices of my parents as they look back upon their lives and consider the price of immigration. The video “El Rito Apasionado” (2007) (commissioned for 50,000 Beds) takes place in a hotel room where three Guevarrian Neo-Marxist Latino Terror Revolutionaries from Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico gather to prepare an act against the history of U.S. intervention.

On Transmitting Ideology

“On Transmitting Ideology” will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday noon – 6pm. For more information please contact Vox Populi: 215 238 1236

Written by ricardo

March 10th, 2008 at 10:09 am

Mark Bradford at Sikkema Jenkins

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For his second solo-show at Sikkema Jenkins & CO., Mark Badford has created a series of large scale (approximatel 8′ x 12′) collage works. What I really enjoyed about these wall pieces is that they initially look like giant maps – intricate topographies of cities – and as one approaches them, tiny colorful details become apparent. Carefully looking at the works creates the effect of zooming in from an arial view to a street level view of a cityscape. According to the press release, these large scale rectangular collages are entirely made from found materials, materials that Mark gathers as he goes out into the city. In practice the works are commodified step children of the dadaist and situationist city expeditions – dérive – a “technique of locomtion without a goal.” However rather than drifting without motive, Bradford drifts through Los Angeles with the goal of gather materials to assemble precious art works.

Mark Bradford collage

As one studies the collages up close, the content appears to be primarily from comic books as Spider Man and Hellboy begin to pop out.

Mark Bradford collage

I’d love to know Marks process in creating these pieces. In studying them it looks as if he layered pages from comic books and magazines onto a large canvas and then topped it all off with reflective silver foam board. Once all the materials have settled down, he creates the topography with a router. Of course, I’m just guessing, I’d be surprised if this is his process because of how well the details show up in the final product.

Mark Bradford collage

There’s a much better image on the Sikkema Jenkins site, but here’s a detail:

Mark Bradford collage

As much as I enjoyed these large scale, attractive collages, in considering Mark’s work, I remembered what he did for inSite05 (a biennial-like exhibition that exits between San Diego and Tijuana) and recognized why I’m so drawing to work that exits in the public space and functions through a network of people.

With inSite05 Bradford organized the “Maleteros” project.  On the Tijuana side of the border, there are people who sell their service as bell boys for pedestrian border crossers.  These men will carry ones things from the point of entry to the nearest taxi for a small wage.  In collaboration with these guys and the Mexican border police, Mark organized these disparate workers into an institionalized version by giving them vests that would identify them as border bell boys and got them stations to place their hand carts and shopping carts.

Bradford’s “Maleteros” brings up all sorts of problems – is this a positive intervention, is it merely a brief imposition onto a foreign labor space by an artist for the length of an exhibition or does it propose a more organized system to a labor space that may be adopted or at least considered?  Either way such cultural work is adventurous for these reasons, by creating a situation in a social space, all sorts of consequences become possible and to me that is art.  I view this as art because it’s not a closed or individualistic process that ends as an object to be sold to a wealthy patron, rather it is an idea advanced into a situation with all sorts of possibilities.

Written by ricardo

February 28th, 2008 at 8:23 am

Posted in fine_arts

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