(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

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

11 February 2012

#RIP Whitney

The voice of a goddess.

Rest peacefully.

10 February 2012

Starry Night: Interactive Animation by Petros Vrellis

Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo.

Happenings: New York, 1958–1963 @ Pace Gallery

It was a clusterfuck of an opening (although worth it because I got to chat with my favorite dance partner Chuck Close), but this show is highly recommended for those with any interest in this microcosmic, city-specific component of the larger realm of Performance art that we call Happenings. Well curated, these photos give you a glimpse of the show, but to truly experience it, you must see it holistically.

See previous post for more information on the show.

Sharkbites (<)

Thanks Vanessa & Rachel for photos! xx

09 February 2012

HWKN, NY-based Architecture and Design Firm, Win Young Architects Program for MoMA PS 1, Summer 2012

[Text via NYTIMES]An architectural installation meant to clean the air to a degree equivalent to removing 260 cars from the road has been selected as the winning design in a competition to transform the courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, this summer.

The New York-based architecture and design firm behind the proposal, HWKN, won the 13th Young Architects Program, which is run jointly by MoMA PS 1 and its parent institution, the Museum of Modern Art.

The project, called Wendy, features a scaffolding apparatus that resembles a three-dimensional, multipronged star enclosing nylon fabric treated with a chemical spray that neutralizes airborne pollutants. “It’s a really fun thing but it’s actually playing with brand new materials and technologies that are going to have more and more practical applications,” said Barry Bergdoll, the chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.

Mr. Bergdoll said it would also be great to look at. “It’s aesthetically unforgettable because it pops out of the courtyard and looks like this huge ornament,” he said. “It’s going to be amazing from the No. 7 train.”

Theo A. Rosenblum and Chelsea Seltzer: Two Heads are Better than One @ The Hole

[PRESS RELEASE]The Hole is proud to announce the collaborative exhibition "Two Heads are Better than One" by Theo A. Rosenblum and Chelsea Seltzer opening this February 14th. This exhibition will feature sculpture, painting and drawing by these two artists, who, working in tandem over the past year, have created a significant assortment of deeply unsettling, playfully odd, and unavoidably memorable works.

From what the artists call "a vending machine of myth, magic and mystery" comes our exhibition, ranging from the intricately finished large sculptures back to the irreverent sketches where their ideas are born. The exhibition features all manner of hybrids, puns and below-the-belt punches: large sculptures like “Sandwitch" may have started out as a collaborative doodle on a homophone, but realized in sculpture they reveal many strange nuances and details the original concept or sketch lacked. “Snow Manimal” may have come about just from the oddly relatable spheres of upper horse and lower snowman, but fit together physically so well that the visual and conceptual rupture created is all the more stark.

While the sculptures maintain the snickering subterfuge of a doodle, starting with one funny thing and evolving in all directions and sometimes back upon itself, the tiny sketches hung in the rear of the gallery are where we can watch the ideas start agglutinating. These sketches find one level more of elaboration in the poster works, oil on found images (stock posters printed on unstretched canvas) where the artists can go back and forth adding weird tidbits until the upset is complete (like a mountain erupting with cheese, a huge hat on a tree, a goat straddling its own poo pile). Here the collaborative nature of their working is most apparent and where the work feels funnest, in-between their one-upmanship of back-and-forth bizarreness.

The next level of complexity is the assisted framed pieces, where a sculpted and painted frame intersects with the odd painted intervention in the found canvas itself. A bevy of knives (kitchen and cutlass) adorn a large found painting of a penumbral tropical getaway, “Blue Hawaii”, suggesting the potential assault from both pirates and chefs, perhaps. An inexplicable assortment of fast food surrounds the romantic painting of wild horses charging across a rainbowed field titled “A Horse is a Horse”, drawing a visual line between junk art and junk food, (eye candy?) or maybe just revealing the craving for something more to "chew on" in the boilerplate painting.

In all the various types of work exhibited, the often comforting and mundane familiarity of the found objects is perverted by the input of Rosenblum and Seltzer’s handcrafted interventions, resulting in an unsettling world somewhere between laughter and horror. The parts are familiar but the forms they take are strange and new with a logic all their own: the mythical meets the merry, the religious meets the natural and supernatural; the delicious meets the deformed. Like gum stuck to your shoe, these works stick in your head (whether you want them there or not) and some details may haunt your quiet moments for a long time to come: the power cord coming out of the articulated, puckered butthole of “Snow Manimal” perhaps?

Curatorially, I see these works as "good bad": so wrong they're right. Their vibe is similar in concept to Heta-Uma (literally "Bad-Good"), a movement Japanese punk artist King Terry articulated. Something "technically" bad that challenges the notion of "bad" by being sensually and conceptually amazing: a wonky line often describes a face much more evocatively than a perfectly rendered photo-realist drawing, for example. In Rosenblum and Seltzer’s world, these hand-sculptured and not-quite-right forms—and even the "handmade" and wonky ideas that form them—are much more exciting than a fabricated (or logical) version would be.

Besides each piece creating a rupture in the viewer's sensibilities, in a larger sense the work stands out also from what is trending in galleries, from what their contemporaries are making, from what people expect them to make. The work shows them pursuing their own interests without the pressures of situating themselves within a particular discourse, without the pressure even of making work "about something". As Dan Colen wrote in his catalogue essay for Theo's first solo exhibition, the work is "honest, brave and generous... human and accessible."

Now that we mention it, the assisted found paintings have a relationship to Dan Colen's adjusted thrift store paintings in this kind of "dark Disney" world they both hang out in. Rosenblum and Seltzer’s piece with skeleton hands holding up an old bouquet is right out of Disneyland's "Haunted Mansion" ride, literalizing the idea of an Old Master painting coveted by a long-dead collector and the idea of a memento mori as a genre of painting in a kind of humorous tangle. Or “The Enchanted Picnic”, the classical painting of a nymph or dryad with an irreverently added bucket of fried chicken and some pink panties louchely twirling on her toe is wryly humorous, but combined with the detail of the painting seemingly bursting into flames, like the offensiveness of the graffitied classical painting caused it to hellishly combust, I mean it’s just, de trop.

And while the overall mood of the show involves the humor of being de trop, these artists always manage to rein in the insanity and conceptually push things just far enough, or rather perfectly too much. There are no extraneous elements in the works, everything is as it should be, the Frankensteined parts all link up perfectly and the monster springs to life!

08 February 2012

The Underwater Project by Mark Tipple

Images: Screen shots of video.

Late night at Frothers from Mark Tipple on Vimeo.

Kinetica Art Fair 2012: Time, Transformation and Energy

Images & Text via HUFFPOST ARTS [Read interview here]
Hans Kotter
The future is here, and Kinetica Art Fair is perhaps the perfect platform for presenting the world of tomorrow. Now in its 4th year, cutting-edge Kinetica returns to London this month with razzle-dazzle robotics, luminous light media, sound and electronic works. Fusing art and the latest technological trends, this one-of-a kind fair is small but stunning, with 50 exhibitors and an average of 300 total artworks offered. 2012's feature exhibition showcases the works of 18 artists from eight countries, with holographic art, robotic installations, and sound performances addressing this year's aptly-titled theme, "Time, Transformation and Energy." (Check out the slideshow, below)

The fair is the brainchild of Dianne Harris and Tony Langford, co-founders of the Kinetica Art Museum - the only institution of its kind in the UK. Spawned by the global success of the venue's new media exhibits, the duo created the annual art fair in 2009, with a green focus that's proved particularly popular in the recession. Last year welcomed over 20,000 visitors, with exhibitors producing a staggering array of works concentrating on recycling, renewable energy, and green technology.

Ahead of the fair's February 9th opening, MutualArt had a chance to chat a bit with Kinetica co-founder Dianne Harris. "Our lives are fully intertwined with technology and the Kinetica Art Fair celebrates technology, movement and innovation in contemporary art. The fair itself is a kind of hyper-sensorium of art and bodies," Harris said. In addition to works by emerging and established artists in this fascinating field, there will be live performances, screenings, and a series of talks focusing on how to promote and sell this innovative artwork.

Daan Roosegarde

Andras Mengyan

Ruey-Shiann Shyu

Sylvia Ilieva

Tom Wilkinson

07 February 2012

Dreaming Without Sleeping: New Works by Criminy Johnson | QRST

[PRESS RELEASE]The Active Space opens an all-new exhibition space in its Bushwick facility with a reception for “Dreaming Without Sleeping,” a presentation of new works by Criminy Johnson, on February 24, 2012.

“Dreaming Without Sleeping” allows viewers to glimpse the artist’s view of our waking world: a bent, slightly pessimistic and occasionally hostile place populated by animals and people who are often reluctant to be interrupted by the viewer.

“Criminy makes oil paintings in his studio but often makes wheatpastes that relate to these in some way. Many people are familiar with Criminy’s work but may have seen it outside of a gallery setting, and QRST fans might be discovering Criminy Johnson’s paintings for the first time,” says curator Robin Grearson, who worked with Johnson last year on a group show at the Active Space. “Criminy has been in Bushwick for a few years, and QRST’s street work often shows up here, so the Active Space is an ideal location to present the two styles together.”

“We opened in February of last year, so I’m happy that the first show in our building’s brand-new gallery space falls on our first anniversary,” says Ashley Zelinskie, director of The Active Space. “Robin is an accomplished writer, yet this is the third show she has curated here. Last year we discovered that we really work well together, and one thing I appreciate about my role as director of a Bushwick art space is the opportunity I have to support emerging artists and curators I believe in.” Zelinskie says.

The opening reception for “Dreaming Without Sleeping” takes place February 24, 2012, from 7-10 PM. The show will be open to the public by appointment through April 20, 2012. Email ashley@566johnsonave.com.

Dreaming Without Sleeping
February 24, 2012 through April 20, 2012
The Active Space
566 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237


Media requests:
Robin Grearson, Curator
Dreaming Without Sleeping

Gallery requests:
Ashley Zelinskie, Director
The Active Space

Liu Bolin's "Invisible Man": Missoni, Lanvin, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Valentino Act as Canvas

[Text via ARTINFO]Call it a case of disappearing designers. For the March 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Chinese artist Liu Bolin worked his magic on the creative directors of four different fashion labels — Missoni, Lanvin, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Valentino — for an editorial called “Lost in Fashion.” The artist blended Angela Missoni into her brand’s trademark colorful zigzags. Then, Liu hid Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz in front of a mix of racks of samples and Lanvin mannequins at his studio. For Jean Paul Gaultier, he integrated the designer into a sea of his sailor shirts scattered against a backdrop of blue and white stripes. For the final image, Liu fused Valentino’s Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo Piccioli into a display of nine red Valentino gowns on dress forms.

Liu, also known as the “invisible man,” began his urban camouflage works as a form of protest when he painted himself against an artists village destroyed by the Chinese government in 2005. Since then, he has become known for seamlessly blending himself into a variety of settings, among them Chinese supermarket shelves, the Wall Street charging bull, and Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium. He is, poetically, one of the most searched artists on the Internet. On March 20, New York's Eli Klein Fine Art will present an exhibition of his works.

Images: Screen shots from video.

06 February 2012

Happenings: New York, 1958–1963 @ Pace Gallery

Feb 10, 2012 - Mar 17, 2012
OPENING RECEPTION: February 9, 2012 6-8 PM
534 West 25th Street

[PRESS RELEASE] The first exhibition to document the origins and historical development of the transient, yet pivotal “Happenings” movement from its inception in 1958 through 1963. The experimental performances forever changed the definition of art and the possibilities for what it could be. The show captures more than thirty of the original Happenings and the contributions of the main participants—Jim Dine, Simone Forti, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, Carolee Schneemann, and Robert Whitman. It brings together for the first time more than 300 photographs by five photographers who witnessed and documented the performances, as well as artworks, rare film footage, and original ephemera. The exhibition is accompanied by a book published by The Monacelli Press and authored by Milly Glimcher.

Images & Text via PACE GALLERY

In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States @ LACMA


Kaye Sage
[PRESS RELEASE via LACMA]North America represented a place free from European traditions for women Surrealists from the United States and Mexico, and European émigrés. While their male counterparts usually cast women as objects for their delectation, female Surrealists delved into their own subconscious and dreams, creating extraordinary visual images. Their art was primarily about identity: portraits, double portraits, self-referential images, and masquerades that demonstrate their trials and pleasures. The exhibition includes works in a variety of media dating from 1931 to 1968, and some later examples that demonstrate Surrealism's influence on the feminist movement. Iconic figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, and Remedios Varo are represented, along with lesser known or newly discovered practitioners.

Bridget Tichenor

Ruth Bernhard

Leonora Carrington 

Frida Kahlo 

Helen Lundeberg

Ivan Navarro : Power, Truth, Hope & Danger

Text & Images: HUFFPOST ARTS––Read full interview HERE
During Ivan Navarro's childhood in Santiago, Chile, power outages were used as political threats. Because of this history, light plays a complicated role in his pieces: it is power, truth, and hope; it is also danger -- it electrocutes.

The light fixtures contain complex references to art history and politics yet stand alone as stunning neon visions. The artist works with language with unprecedented attention and care, sculpting meanings from the shape of words and shapes from the meaning of words. His pieces are poetic and political, ripe with references yet maintaining the ability to stand alone.

Indianapolis Commissions Murals for Super Bowl

This "cold-weather, landlocked, midsize burg surrounded by corn" (description courtesy CNN) added a little flavor, or art, to its streets in time for the big game.


05 February 2012

Mauricio Limón : Cotton Candy : A Project on Process

Thanks to Anne Huntington and AMH INDUSTRIES, I've been introduced to Mauricio Limón, an artist based in Mexico City, whose varied body of work includes video, drawing and installation.

Below is an installation in a subway car in Mexico City where the artist manipulates the space by simply using a cotton candy machine––transforming an everyday mode of transportation into a vessel of phantasmagoria.