Tonight there are a couple of shows happening in the New York area, which I’m happy to say are featuring some of the best established and up-and-coming female artists around. Check out the “Heat Beaten” show at Pandemic Gallery in Brooklyn for works by the versatile Abby Goodman and Sofia Madlonado, as they say ‘goodbye’ to the summer and ‘hello’ to fall.
And at the Yonkers Riverfront Public Library the all-female collective YOUNITY presents “GODDESShood: Our land is our jewel” an art exhibition featuring 10 artists in conversation with the themes mother earth, the hood and sustainable farming. All of the artists in the exhibition, Lichiban, Swoon, Sofia Maldonado (a double threat tonight!), Krista Franklin, Marthalicia, Diana McClure, Faith 47, lmnop, Lady Alezia, and Alice Mizrachi, were asked to utilize the idea of the hood as a metaphor for not only local neighborhoods and urban culture, but also land, nature and the natural environment at large.
It was back in early 2007 when I first laid eyes on Leon Reid IV (aka Darius Jones of Darius and Downey). He was giving a talk on on street art at The Pure Project and I was greatly impressed by the lengths that this unassuming guy wearing a cardigan and a bow tie was going to in order to bring his unique combination of humor, wit and artistic talent to the public. The idea that someone would have the audacity to dress up like a contractor and install his work in broad daylight was pretty crazy to me, but that was exactly what he was doing. Four years later, Reid is no longer busy outsmarting police but instead has a steady output of legal and commissioned public works as well as his first solo show “A Decade of Public Art” opening at Pandemic Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Saturday night.
The show is a real insight into the artist’s process, exhibiting many of his sketches, models, and photographs dating back to his graffiti days as VERBS and of his installations from around the world. And be sure to look up before entering the gallery – otherwise you might miss his site specific installation for Pandemic Gallery!
¡NO HABLA ESPAÑOL! is El Celso’s most personal show to date. This new series of works was inspired by a recent trip to Peru where the artist became obsessed with posters made in the “chicha” style. These hand-made posters line city streets all over Peru and generally feature an eye-popping neon color palette and commercial graphics-inspired lettering. They are generally used to advertise working class concerts and other events. During a recent trip around Peru, in 2010, Celso began collecting discarded and out-of-date fragments of these posters – known as afiches chicha in Spanish – from the streets of towns such as Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, Cajamarca and Lima (to name a few).
Further inspired by their look, he established contact with the esteemed Fortunato Urcuhuaranga at the Publicidad Viusa print workshop that originated this iconic DayGlo look back in the 1980s. (Urcuhuaranga is a former radio DJ and he originally created these posters to advertise his station’s musical happenings.) Based on the outskirts of Lima, in the suburb of San Juan, Ate, this renowned family-run studio has produced posters for countless local Peruvian acts, as well as visual artists and arts organizations around the world.
In collaboration with the Urcuhuarangas, Celso created a series of posters inspired by the Peruvian chicha style. However Celso’s posters are a wry play on the idea of the advertisement: event posters created for non-events. Since last year, he has installed dozens of these on the streets of New York and Miami.
His exhibit and installation at the Pandemic Gallery will feature these colorful pieces, as well as fragments of the original Peruvian street posters that inspired them. Also on display will be a series of intricate collages on wood that recreate the feel of the way these posters inhabit the street. Most importantly, the show will feature a diminutive discotheque – a free-standing structure that will feature light, sound and wild graphics. All of it will serve as a tribute to contemporary Peruvian nightlife culture.
¡NO HABLA ESPAÑOL!
New works and an installation featuring Peruvian vernacular posters – and a diminutive discotheque
March 11 – April 2, 2011 Opening Reception Friday, March 11, 2011, 7-11pm
Please join the Street Spot for the closing of Veng’s Identifiable Reality show and a free screening of Florian Gaag’s excellent Wholetrain film at Pandemic Gallery this Friday at 7:00pm. Internationally renowned writers Neon, Won, Cemnoz, Pure TFP and Ciel produced artwork for the rolling stock in the film – the finished whole train gliding across the screen is something to be seen! Drippy marker tags, hot aerosol on steel action, writer beef, trainyard ninja stylings, police drama – this is hands down one of the best fictionalized portrayals of the graffiti lifestyle that I’ve seen to date. Come see the film and stay to celebrate Veng’s work – see you Friday.
Pandemic Gallery 37 Broadway (between Wythe and Kent) Brooklyn, NY 11211
As a follow-up to Becki’s post from earlier this week about Veng’s upcoming show at Pandemic Gallery, here is a preview of the pieces he painted on the gallery’s back wall. His technical proficiency with a spray can cannot be denied – it is a defining strong point of his street work – Friday’s opening promises to bring his more public side together with his equally as finely crafted studio work.
Identifiable Reality Works by H. Veng Smith December 17th – January 8th Artist Reception December 17th, 7 -11pm
Pandemic Gallery 37 Broadway b/w Kent & Wythe Brooklyn, NY 11211
This Friday, Veng of Robots Will Kill will be exhibiting the first solo show of his work at Pandemic Gallery. Since The Street Spot’s own Luna Park wrote the press release for Identifiable Reality, I am happy to be able to share her insight into Veng’s work along with my photos previewing the show.
“In his first solo show, Veng takes us back to simpler times, to an era when things were made to last. Inspired by the artistry and work ethic of his grandfather, who hailed from a family of Swedish carpenters, Veng’s detail-rich paintings focus on the craftsmanship of the handmade. Embracing the handmade aesthetic to the fullest for this exhibition, Veng had custom mahogany panels built and crafted his own paints from simple pigments and linseed oil. Blurring the lines between the substantive and the imaginary, his paintings depict a world populated by a cast of stoic characters and whimsical winged creatures that interact with wooden contraptions more phantasmagorical than real. Drawing equally on the Old Masters and modern-day illustrators, Veng’s work possesses a timelessness not often captured by his contemporaries.
Born on Staten Island in 1981, Veng began studying painting as a young kid at a local art league. Since then, painting has remained an integral part of his life. With his work, he looks to capture the feel of something made long ago, be it characters with old-fashioned appearances or objects with Old World designs. He depicts ideas in his paintings in a representational and faithful manner, yet conveys them visually with a whimsical touch.
Borrowing from techniques of the Northern Renaissance, Veng paints by building up multiple layers. His thought process for painting, however, is less traditional and very much informed by his background in street art. He aims to make surreal impressions, with characters whose square heads are on the one hand very unreal, yet whose facial features are eerily familiar. He enjoys depicting scenes showing the viewer fictitious landscapes of an Old World interspersed with contemporary qualities. Nature also plays an important role in Veng’s work. He shows animals in a more traditional manner, painting them with realistic colors and textures. Often he’ll couple animals with imaginary devices that they control.
Identifiable Reality works by H. Veng Smith December 17th – January 8th Artist Reception December 17th, 7-11pm
Pandemic Gallery 37 Broadway b/w Kent & Wyth Brooklyn, NY 11211 www.pandemicgallery.com
The fall art season is in full swing with numerous openings this weekend alone.
Tonight Seenoevilseenoevilsee Evil featuring Jeremiah Maddock, Daniel Trocchio & Amanda Wong opens at Factory Fresh in Bushwick.
Also opening tonight at Exit Art in Chelsea is Alternative Histories: a History of New York City Alternative Art Spaces since the 1960s.
The Dumbo Arts Festival 2010 starts today and runs all weekend. Saturday afternoon, Mighty Tanaka will be presenting 2 art battles in The Rumble Room: THE ELC BATTLE: Abe Lincoln Jr vs Royce Bannon and THE URNEWYORK BATTLE: 2Esae vs SKI.
While you’re in Dumbo, be sure to check for murals by the likes of Chris Stain, Imminent Disaster, Jordan Seiler and others on Plymouth, Main and Washington Streets.
Finally, Saturday night Pandemic Gallery opens Split Personality: A Solo Show byVilaykorn Sayaphet.
Now get out there and support your local artists and art galleries!
Seenoevilseenoevilsee Evil Friday, September 24th: 7pm-10pm Factory Fresh 1053 Flushing Avenue (btw Morgan and Knickerbocker)
Alternative Histories: a History of New York City Alternative Art Spaces since the 1960s Friday, September 24th: 7pm-9pm Exit Art 475 Tenth Ave (at 36th Street)
In conjunction with the Northside Music & Arts Festival in Williamsburg this weekend, Pandemic Gallery is having a live silk screening event at the gallery. Featured artists include Royce Bannon, Celso, Buildmore, Darkcloud, Deeker, Keely, Matt Siren and Gay Sex. Bring your own shirt, paper, and anything else that you would like silkscreened or buy one of the many items at the gallery – but hurry up, because the fun ends at 6pm today!
You know summer is in full swing when there are too many events to chose from on a single day. Case in point, this Saturday in Brooklyn: check in with some ‘Old Tymers’ as they put paint to walls creating an outdoor mural arts gallery for the new Phun Phactory in Williamsburg starting at 10am. At noon, the festivities kick off for Crest Fest, my favorite annual hardware-themed show. If you’re overly ambitious, hop the G to the F to Coney Island to catch the 2pm start of the annual Mermaid Parade with King Neptune Lou Reed and Queen Mermaid Laurie Anderson. And once the sun’s gone down, head back to Williamsburg for the Shock Therapy opening at Pandemic Gallery. Saturday promises to be a heady mix of sun, fun, and art (with a healthy splash of ice cold beer).