Sometimes an artist has the "it" talent factor-- one where they possess not only inherent ability, but also the knowledge of how to market their creations. Take the case of one Jeremy Earhart of Goff & Rosenthal Gallery. This past weekend the artist opened his Brooklyn studio space to a small group of press and led us on a tour of his inspirations, as well as his process.
Given the current state of the art market, it really is an ingenious promotional undertaking for the gallery. For not only did this give potential critics a chance to enjoy a night away from the city, but here you are no longer simply doing a "show review," but learning about what makes up the entire artistic process-- from initial design to completion. From the moment I received my hand-written Valentine's Day invitation, my interest was piqued. In this case, Goff & Rosenthal has raised the bar for other galleries.
Earhart struck me not only as quite personable, but also an artist who is propelled by an unparalleled dedication to craft. Working with plexiglass and phosphorescent auto paint that glows under black light, his labor-intensive works have a magical and theatric quality not unlike that of a sci-fi movie set, or at the very least an out of control rave, circa 1993. What I liked the most about Earhart's works weren't necessarily their glo-worm aura, but their topical humor and tongue-in-cheek references to popular culture.
The outside window of the gallery included one rocking Liberty Bell done in day-glo pink over a blue backdrop. Feeling as if you've taken one too many hits of LSD tabs on a bender walking the streets of Philadelphia, it successfully sets the mood for 2009. For herein lies an era of change in so many facets-- from the poltical, to the very makeup of the art world itself. For whom is the bell tolling in this case? Larry Gagosian, you have been warned.
Certainly the days of the mix tape are long past, but in the case of Earhart, they're still going strong. Any music-loving collector would lick their chops to get their hands on one of these. I picture these Maxells including a few Happy Mondays songs, amidst some Stone Roses gems.
I also enjoyed examining several works where layers of multi-colored arrows converged upon a circle aflame-- a nice reference to the naughty, as well as nudge to the topic of "general direction." For in a world of GPS-dictated movements, where DO we go from here?
The dragon-eyed beauty above also reminded me of the Art Nouveaux period, with undulating waves and curves seemingly referencing Beardsley's lush "Salome," as pictured below.
I liked Earhart's personal touch throughout his studio. He took time showing us his drawings and maquettes, then showed us how he cuts out the stencils, shapes the plexi, which is then pressed, painted and sealed.
All in all, a great time had by all. I highly encourage you to check out the above links, as well as see the great photographs of Tod Seelie, whose work I've highlighted in the above posts. All other images are taken from the gallery website.