(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

10 September 2011

Martha Wilson at P·P·O·W: I have become my own worst fear

Performance artist extraordinaire, Martha Wilson, plays with text and photography in her current exhibition. In doing so, the artist opens up a window allowing the viewer to peer into her wonderful world of dressing up or dressing down, rather. A beautifully curated exhibition––the show runs until October 8th. Visit P·P·O·W Gallery for more details.

Miguel Ovalle: Mural on Bowery and Delancey

If murals had boogers, I'd pick 'em?

Photo credit: Day Le

09 September 2011


September 11—October 11, 2011
Kent Avenue (between North 4th & North 5th Streets)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Martha Wilson at P·P·O·W: I have become my own worst fear

Marge/Martha/Mona 2009, pigmented ink print on canvas, 17 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches, edition of 5, 2AP

Martha Wilson

I have become my own worst fear

September 9 - October 8, 2011
Opening reception, September 9th 6-8pm

[PRESS RELEASE]P·P·O·W is proud to present new work by Martha Wilson in her first solo exhibition since joining the gallery in May, 2011. The works in the exhibition are embedded in the ideas which have concerned the artist for four decades. A new work, I have become my own worst fear, consists of a photo/text image, to be shown with a videotape made by the artist in 1974. Works on view will consist of nine new photo/text works created since 2008, and two early photo/text works, Alchemy, from 1973 and My Authentic Self from 1974.

New York Times critic Holland Cotter, in reviewing a 2008 exhibition of Martha Wilson's early work, described her as one of "the half-dozen most important people for art in downtown Manhattan in the 1970s." In Moira Roth's introduction to the Martha Wilson Sourcebook: 40 Years of Reconsidering Performance, Feminism, Alternative Spaces, being published this fall by Independent Curators International, he adds: "Wilson is a wonderful artist, whose smart and witty 1970s photographic self-portraits in various 'feminine' guises— passive beauty, punk upstart—helped very early on (way before Cindy Sherman) to demonstrate that the gendered roles we play are largely invented for us. It's the artist's job to take charge of that invention so that we see it in action, which Wilson did in those amazing and still-under known pictures."

Martha Wilson is Founding Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., an alternative space she established in her TriBeCa storefront loft in lower Manhattan which, since its inception in 1976, has presented and preserved temporal art: artists' books and other multiples produced internationally after 1960; temporary installations; and performance art. Franklin Furnace "went virtual" on its 20th anniversary, taking the Internet as its art medium and public venue to give artists the freedom of expression they had enjoyed in the loft in the 70s. Ms. Wilson lectures widely on the book as an art form, on performance art, and on "variable media art."

Martha Wilson is trained in English Literature and was teaching at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design when she became fascinated by artworks created at the intersection of text and image. In New York, she founded DISBAND, the all-girl punk band of artists who couldn't play any instruments. Since DISBAND disbanded in 1982, she has performed in the guises of Alexander Haig, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Tipper Gore. In the spring of 2008, she had her first solo exhibition in New York at Mitchell Algus Gallery, Martha Wilson: Photo/Text Works, 1971-1974.

In an essay published in Camera Obscura in 2001, Art Historian Jayne Wark writes, "In her conceptually based performance, video and photo-text works, Wilson masqueraded as a man in drag, roamed the streets with her face painted red, catalogued her various body parts, manipulated her appearance with makeup, and explored the effects of 'camera presence' in self-representation. Although this work was made in isolation from any feminist community, it has been seen to contribute significantly to what would become one of feminism's most enduring preoccupations: the investigation of identity and embodied subjectivity."

Independent Curators International will be publishing Martha Wilson Sourcebook: 40 Years of Reconsidering Performance, Feminism, Alternative Spaces which will be released in fall 2011.

Martha Wilson will give a presentation on this book at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum on September 17 at 2:00pm.

535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011

08 September 2011

07 September 2011

Evan Gruzis: Exotic Beta @ The Hole

Evan Gruzis
Exotic Beta
September 10th – October 22nd, 2011
Opening September 10th, 7-10PM

[PRESS RELEASE] The Hole is pleased to announce Exotic Beta, the second New York City solo exhibition by Evan Gruzis. The exhibition features ink paintings, sculpture, video and installation, including a collaborative installation with renowned designer Rafael de Cardenas. Exotic Beta is presented in collaboration with True Religion Jeans.

Exotic Beta fuses a sense of the exotic with the language of market research to explore the way meaning is made and the relativity of “taste”: Exotic like a tattoo of a Japanese character the bearer of which doesn’t know the meaning, Beta like a corporation’s second re-launching of a product after market research and focus groups have masticated all the language to the point of flavorlessness. Exotic Beta also refers to an alternative form of asset class in investment markets—like an art collector who starts buying baseball cards—adding extra relevance to the title.

Evan’s main goal is creating the potential for meaning amidst the post-apocalyptic landscape of empty signs. By using imagery that was once evocative and now is just a husk of a cultural signifier, Evan can foreground his real interest, which is the simple act of looking. His technique certainly suggests this as well. With methodical and painstaking execution, Gruzis uses a magician’s bag of tricks to keep the ink and paper looking like anything but; the gestalt is a now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t pictoral modification meant to present the images both as authentic representations of the object and as hand-painted images that float between photography, airbrush and digital technology.

Gruzis will also be releasing a new limited-edition book, Existential Crisis, published by Anteism, as well as a limited edition C-print and a silver gelatin print (both derived from the triptych Stratatos), produced by Signed And Numbered, a company specializing in artist-edition collaborations.

Evan Gruzis is a young artist from Milwaukee, WI who has exhibited around the world since graduating from Hunter College in 2008. He has had solo exhibitions at Deitch Projects (2008), DUVE Berlin (2008, 2010), Andreas Melas Presents in Athens (2010) and SAKS Gallery, Geneva (2011). He has been in group shows at The Swiss Institute, NYC; Max Wigram, London; The Deste Foundation, Athens; The Garage Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; MACRO Museum, Rome; and many other notable institutions. His work is in the collection of Dakis Joannou, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hort Family Collection, Artist Pension Trust, David Zwirner collection, and many other notable private collections.

Gruzis has customized True Religion leather jackets & jeans to make one of a kind wearable artworks that riff on psychedelia, available exclusively in The Hole shop during the exhibition. True Religion Apparel, Inc. is a global American made premium denim brand. The Company designs, manufactures and markets denim and denim-related sportswear, selling through a diversified network of retail, ecommerce, wholesale and licensing channels worldwide. As of June 30, 2011, the Company owned and operated 102 branded retail stores in the United States, three branded retail stores in Canada, three branded retail stores in Japan, two branded retail stores in Germany, and one branded retail store in the United Kingdom, as well as distribution in luxury department stores and boutiques in 50 countries on six continents. True Religion, which is headquartered in California was founded in 2002 by Jeffery Lubell, who serves as our Chairman, CEO and Chief Merchant.

Exotic Beta opens September 10 from 7-10PM and will be on view through October 22nd. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 11-7PM and Thursdays until 10PM. For more information email Derrick & Laura at: poke@theholenyc.com

06 September 2011

Greg Lamarche: I CAN SEE FOR MILES @ Known Gallery, Los Angeles

Opening: September 17, 2011
7-11 PM
September 17- October 8

Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

[PRESS RELEASE]Known Gallery is pleased to announce, I Can See For Miles, an exhibition of recent works by New York collage/ graffiti artist Greg Lamarche.

This show offers a wide range of styles from hand cut letter pieces to abstracted paper remnants as well as representational collages. The exhibition also features a site-specific wall drawing of hand drawn and designed letter forms.

Inspired by the dynamism of his native New York City and its role as an incubator of the outlaw art of graffiti, Greg Lamarche’s collages combine the city’s relentless rhythm and graffiti’s aggressive presence to express the power, elegance and rebelliousness of urban creativity. Using found materials and commercially printed papers from his vast collection of vintage printed matter, Lamarche abstracts graffiti’s visual language, playing with a profusion of font styles, word fragments, multiple layers, bold colors, rhythmic repetition, multiple perspective and movement. Each unique work of precisely hand-cut paper thus becomes an interplay of the directness of graphic design and the aesthetics of fine art.

Born and raised in New York, Greg Lamarche created his first collages in the sixth grade when he used fireworks wrappers found in his schoolyard. In 1981 he began writing graffiti on the streets and subways, and published SKILLS, a seminal graffiti magazine, in the early 1990s.

Lamarche has worked as both fine artist and graphic designer since 2000, and has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Phoenix, Print, Juxtapoz, Modern Painters and Arkitip among others. He recently designed the cover of WORLD PIECEBOOK, (Sascha Jenkins and David Villorente, 2011, Prestel Publishers) and is featured in CUTTING EDGES: CONTEMPORARY COLLAGE, (R. Klantin, H. Hellige and J. Gallagher, editors; 2011, Die Gestalten Verlag, publishers).

He recently completed a limited edition of Post-Pop wood boxes printed with the Krylon logo, which will be officially released this month at the Art-Platform fair September 30 – October 3, 2011, Los Angeles. He will also be exhibiting at the Pulse art fair, Los Angeles September 30 – October 3, 2011 where he has been commissioned to create a site-specific wall painting.



Murakami's Oval Buddha: Shark ish

via Flickr

Joseph Grazi: Agressive Nature

Murakami "727" X Hokusai's "The Great Wave of Kanagawa"

I think Murakami's DOB looks like a shark. Do you agree?

05 September 2011

Tomokazu Matsuyama: East Weets Mest at Joshua Liner Gallery

Tomokazu Matsuyama
East Weets Mest
9.8 to 10.8 2011

[PRESS RELEASE]Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present East Weets Mest, an exhibition of new paintings, sculpture, and installation by the New York-based Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Matsuyama’s wildly colorful art relocates traditional Japanese icons and imagery into a broader international mix of styles, signs, and symbols. The spoonerism of the show’s title, East Weets Mest, playfully mimics this relocation and subsequent homogenization of cultural material, which Matsuyama identifies as a key force in contemporary life. “Urban centers are becoming increasingly familiar, with their patchwork of intermingling cultural signifiers,” says the artist. “This chaotic mix has become the everyday, where traditions and local signifiers dissolve into one another to make a unique new shape of today’s culture.”

In his dynamic acrylic-on-canvas paintings, Matsuyama blends the aesthetics of East and West, appropriating images from art history—the Edo and Meiji eras of traditional Japanese art, in particular—fused with postwar abstract expressionism and contemporary art movements, American animation, and subculture influences such as street art. Mr. Alpha and Mrs. Omega, for example, is an eye-popping tondo diptych featuring a pair of shishi, traditional temple “lion dogs. ” These ancient figures take the form of guardian sculptures at the entrances to shrines, and are found in numerous cultures of the Far East. Signifying the beginning and the end, the eradication of evil, and the ever-expanding cosmos, the temple lion dogs are powerful symbols in Japanese Shintoism, Buddhism, and beyond. Here, Matsuyama’s friendly, Pop-style interpretation of the creatures is abstracted through the use of bright colors and patterned facets, and calls to mind the spirit of works by fellow dog lovers, artists George Rodrigue and William Wegman.

In Toys and Candy, an epic painting measuring 7-x-15 feet, Matsuyama appropriates a classic image of propaganda from the Meiji period—a woodblock from 1894 that depicts Japan defeating its other Asian neighbors. Here, the artist has transformed this nationalist message into a contest among juveniles, their swords beaten not into ploughshares but toys and candy. Awash in whimsical colors, cartoon faces, baseball caps, and popular slogans (“just do it”), the epic work nonetheless harbors disturbing vestiges of the classic print, including an exact likeness of the original composition.

In a further critique of the abuses of power, Matsuyama offers a new sculptural work entitled Money Talks. Here, a traditional Japanese sage/saint, or sennin, is depicted life-size in FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic). But instead of carrying the traditional scroll, a symbol of the saint’s redemption through Buddhist teachings, the artist’s appropriated figure carries a Western-style piggy bank and is accompanied by the figure of a resting deer, a Shinto symbol of salvation. In Matsuyama’s contemporary interplay of East and West, the artist’s relationship to creativity, culture, and commerce is an ongoing question.

Reception Thursday September 8 from 6-9pm

Living Walls Conference: Rodolfo Diaz's Diptychs

Rudie Diaz went down to ATL for the Living Walls Conference and came back with some amazing photos. Check out his interview with Lenny Correa on Curbs and Stoops to learn about the project and to see more of his photos.

ARTISTS IN ORDER: Entes & Pisimo, Roa, White Cocoa, Nanook, LNY, & Blief

All photos by Rudie Diaz via Curbs and Stoops