Thursday, April 23, 2009

Musings update

(Above, Rafael Perez gets him some morning Joe. Mr. Budgie, you make me feel better already!)

Since all the other bloggers are talking about their lack of posts, so will I. Yes, I've been sick this past week as well, and taking care of things I really need to take care of, including something to do with SVA and getting ahead in life by no longer writing reviews for free. So rather than hold a fundraiser to ask for your hard earned cash and start flame wars like some of the other blogs have done, I'm just going to get my stuff together on that end and still write here on the Musings more SELECTIVELY when I feel the need.

In the meantime, posts to come...

1. Spotlight on Rafael Perez-- SO worth getting to know. Get ready for some seriously cool stuff. Cute animals and plenty of nekkid chicks, oh, my!

2. The something nothingness of Henning Bohl (heeelp, I'm peeeeeeling away) at Casey Kaplan.

3. Studio visit with Mia "RockMyWorld" Pearlman.

Muse away, my pretties.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When you've changed, but the artist has stayed the same

Having spent ten years of my life in Boston-- the last six of which I regularly attended the Fort Point Channel Artist Open Studios-- it was deja vu when I noticed Virgil de Voldaire is currently showing one of my all-time Beantown favorites, David Palmer. But this story unfortunately does not have a happy ending.

Palmer is an artist best described as being at the top of his game for that time and place (the late-'90s, Fort Point being the new "it" artist loft neighborhood in transition.) He would gesso giant canvases soft as silk, with a ground so smooth you'd think they were touched by gods instead of human hands. The key to Palmer's work is a giant swoosh of blue paint made from a single brushstroke. To some they may appear to be the perfect wave, but to me they're more likely akin to the abstracted biomorphics of Carroll Dunham.

So how has Palmer changed in the past decade? Unfortunately, not much, if at all. Sure you can take the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, but this time, I'm woefully disappointed. Palmer's 27-inch brush must be losing its bristles faster than Trump's hairpiece right about now.

Now I'm all for artists finding a niche, achieving financial freedom, as well as establishing a dedicated collector base. But when there's no risks whatsoever taken for over a decade, I sadly must say, "Keep chasing that wave, Dave. Keep chasing that wave."

Palmer's solo exhibition runs through May 16th. If you've never seen the artist's work before, I encourage you to check it out. If you are familiar with it, skip it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Artist of the day - Mia Pearlman

(above, Whorl, 2008, paper, india ink, monofilament, 24 x 36 x 8)

It's been a while since I did the Musings' Artist of the Day feature, but given the continued gloom and cold we've been entrenched in here in the Northeast, I've been thinking fondly of the work of Mia Pearlman. Pearlman is like the kid you always envied in elementary school-- you know the one who'd be able to make the most intricate paper snowflakes ever that put your little concentric diamonds and hearts to shame. Pearlman's complex paper vortices spin voraciously, appearing to engulf their viewer all while showcasing their fragile structure. An artist to keep your eye on in 2009. This author hopes to one day curate a show with Pearlman, Michelle Manley, Christopher Saunders and Michael Paul Miller and title it End of the World Road.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Now that I've seen it in person, Koh's work is best part of the Boone show

Last week ArtCat published my one-on-one email interview with Terence Koh. In it, Koh was his ever-loquacious self, but there was something different about him. Perhaps it's the new era in which we now find ourselves, but Koh came across as humbled, and perhaps a bit fearful of what may come next. With the inclusion of his 21-foot long urinal in the KKK (Kelley, Koh and Koons) show curated by Javier Peres at Mary Boone, he might just be the first successful Humpty Dumpty of the art world. He can take a heavy beating, cracks showing on the surface, but then put himself back together in a stronger new formation.

I love the feeling of reinvention, and strength shown here. Koh's answers to many of my questions showed a vulnerability I certainly did not expect and am quite grateful for. But truthfully, in terms of art with meaning, Koh is doing a great job in this show compared to the more whimsical objects de arte of Koons and Kelley. Of course there will be R. Mutt comparisons, but I don't necessarily see that. Dig deeper and what you'll find is a replica of an upscale Chelsea nightclub bathroom fixture, exposing its damaged goods for all to see, much like its many patrons. The pristine white surface shatters before us with every crevice in spider-vein-like detail. The fissures seem to be more a commentary on what we take with us-- experience-- each crack symbolizing a piece of us gradually wearing away.

Kelley and Koons, on the other hand, seem to be channeling Paul McCarthy's butt plugs and 1950s kitsch more than anything with their new works. As always, Koons works with the hyper shine of stainless steel-- this time serving as the bartender friend in the corner making us the best mojito your money can buy, if Frisch's Big Boy was your waiter.

Kelley, below, conjures up images of the Ice Queen's castle in Narnia, or far more likely the offerings of a Lower East Side sex shop. The show runs through May 16th at Boone. It's definitely worth checking out.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Experimenting with the cam

A blogger's camera is their lifeline. And it's funny that every single one of us seems to have the Canon Powershot Digital Elph in many different editions. So enjoy my forray into vlogging.

Without further ado, here's Tony Oursler at Metro Pictures and Celeste Boursier-Mougenot at Paula Cooper Gallery.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PA-POW! with Rosemarie Fiore

Rosemarie Fiore really needs to be an artist at P.P.O.W. Gallery. Now why would I suggest her amazing Pyrotechnics: Firework Drawings exhibition be held at P.P.O.W. instead of Priska Juschka? Well, because this blogger eternally pronounces P.P.O.W. as "PA-POW!" No, really. I do. And what better exhibition to ever be held at PA-POW!! than this. But unfortunately, that monaker stands for the names of the owners as abbreviations. So instead, the equally hard to pronounce Priska Juschka has a real firecracker on their hands here. (Yeah, I so totally just went there.)

Fiore's luxurious saturations are brilliant in color, form, and design-- letting the residue of the 'works bleed into their paper's surfaces. It's basically similar to the method used by Cai Guo Qiang, if he actually appreciated the use of non-sepia toned color in art. Fiore has it all over him and other explosive-based artists in that she has a true appreciation of the emotions that color can convey to a viewer, as well as continuously highlights the intricate patterns made by chance, when born by fuel and fuse.

Just make sure if you go to the opening tomorrow night to leave your matches and lighters at the door. We don't want the fire department to shut this one down. The show runs through May 16th.