(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

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


13 March 2013

COBY KENNEDY: IN THE SERVICE OF A VILLAIN


The Fighting Mullatoe of Fort Greene Hill 
Last May, for Bushwick Open Studios, I visited Coby Kennedy and saw the illustrated studies of what would soon be composite, large-scale paintings executed in a classical style. So, naturally, when I arrived at "In The Service Of A Villain" I looked for these paintings, but found something else: this show is only a partial narrative to a much larger story and body of work.  Coby's "trans-media narrative" builds upon the story he has already started to tell, one which examines the "concept of history repeating itself through the ever present faults of human nature." In turn, the "series explores worldwide issues of class and power as it exists today, has existed in the past, and as it will exist tomorrow." Kennedy uses elements of Brooklyn neighborhoods as materials (as one sees in Coat of Arms),  and as microcosmic examples that bring light to the power and socio-cultural issues that exist worldwide.  His work examines the dynamics of that which is unspoken and unaddressed: Exactly how much influence does the media have on modern social entitlement? How is the ever changing, dynamic media-scape problematizing the image we have of ourselves? 
Adoration of the Albino

In Adoration of the Albino, all eyes and hands are focused on the seated, blonde woman––some bearing gifts, others pulling away at the woman's clothing, exposing her right breast. Conveying the essence of innocence, its title partially references that of an art history classic. The fist at top is a common symbol of black power, yet here it is inverted and encompassed by a golden crown. Rich in symbolism and classical motifs, Albino, a Kodak archival metallic print, holds its weight in the conversation and grand scheme of art history. "In The Service Of A Villain" is up until April 8, by appointment only at 548 W. 28th ST, second floor, New York. 

Coat of Arms (New Lotts)
Image from Bushwick Open Studios
Image from Bushwick Open Studios

Zip Gun (Prince of Canarsie)




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