I was lucky enough to catch the showing of Brett Amory’s new “Dark Light” series of paintings at the Jonathan Levine gallery in New York City this past weekend. Quite amazing stuff. I was completely hooked by Amory’s use of shadow and light — scenes of lonely denizens drifting in and out of the lamplight, past rundown stores, as they move down rundown streets. Think Edward Hopper’s darkest hour.
Chalk it up to one of those lazy Saturday’s when most of the galleries in Chelsea had shut down for the summer. Not much was open. And what was, for the most part wasn’t worth seeing. Opting to give it one more try, we walked down 26th Street. Again, not much open. Heading east, the Claire Oliver Gallery seemed our only option. We were drawn in by Gosha Ostretsov’s homage to John Romita, spun on its head as a political statement in “Action Packed Super Heroes II.” Seeing steps that led downstairs, we wandered, and then stopped abruptly. Sitting on the floor, not hung, but leaning against the wall, were a series of what at first appeared to be collages. All of the pieces featured strange, absurd characters, some beautiful, some grotesque that made up an unknown mythology. The colors were almost alien, faded in a strange technique. It was only by crouching down, peering closer, that we realized the pieces had layers – drawings, bits of loose debris — separated by what we would soon learn was encaustic. Then someone behind us said, “Aren’t they great?” We agreed. We asked who the artist was. The owner of the gallery said, “Oh, that’s Lori Field, do you know her work?” We didn’t. She then said, “These are for her new show that opens in September; she just dropped them off and I haven’t done anything with them yet.” Thus, we were lucky enough to get a private sneak peek at Lori Field’s work. Continue reading →
In the first week of June, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched “Starved for Attention,” a multimedia campaign exposing the neglected and largely invisible crisis of childhood malnutrition. Working with the photographers from the VII Photo agency, MSF has created a series of documentaries that combine stunning photography and video that depict the realities of malnutrition around the world. Having seen all the documentaries and photos at the VII Gallery in Dumbo, I could only stand in awe of the footage. The images can be haunting and chilling (see Marcus Bleasdale’s images below). But there is a direction and purpose to the campaign: that malnutrition in many third world countries is actually a solvable and treatable condition (even relatively inexpensive to address). Also, it questions current methods for treating malnutrition, including the two-standard US approach for providing food-aid both within and outside our borders. In the end, one is left punched in the gut by the images and video footage, but also realizing that MSF and the photographers were able to deliver a distinct, clear and powerful message.
You can view the first two videos that have been released on the Web below. Watch the footage and then sign the petition demanding that governments provide food aid that meets basic nutritional standards. Also, if you live within New York City, you can view the full exhibit now at the VII Gallery in Dumbo.
I was lucky enough to witness an exhibition of Siah Armajani’s art at the Max Protech gallery in Chelsea this past weekend. I was immediately intrigued by the Iranian-born artist’s pencil and ink drawings which paid homage to Goya while focusing on the current political unrest in Iran. They were neo-classical and yet completely modern at the same time (as #7 reveals above). Iranian police forces torture, beat, and kill characters right out Biblical drawings, highlighting the fact that violence of this nature has happened throughout human existence and yet it is no less disturbing to witness now.
Click here to view images from the rest of the exhibit.