Saratonin:art:blog


High Altitude
October 28, 2009, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Photography

Michael Najjar
Sept. 8 – Oct. 24, 2009
Bitforms Gallery NYC
529 West 20th Street, 2nd floor

najjar

“Exploring vocabulary of the romantic sublime, including paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, and informed by the artist’s own climb up to the 22,800 foot summit of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, high altitude features breathtaking panoramas. Picturing spaces in society driven by networked financial data, these virtual landscapes are a meditation on the global market structure, its sophistication, and vulnerability.” (from press release)

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True Color
June 13, 2009, 5:17 am
Filed under: Art, Photography

Mark Cohen
May 21st – August 28
Hasted Hunt
529 W. 20th St., 3rd Fl New York, NY

MarkCohen

Sometimes I’m a little critical of the value of Photography as fine art, until I see a show like this. Actually, every time I walk in to Hasted Hunt I feel this way.

Mark Cohen shows how content, composition, and color can be perfected to create an evocative, poignent series, depicting everyday moments of everyday life. Cohen depicts the good along with the bad; the ugly and the mundane made are beautiful through a lense of nostalgia.



Catching up
October 21, 2008, 1:37 am
Filed under: Art, BlogTalk, Collaborative, Installation, Photography, Programming, Sculpture, Video

Due to a recent cut in my free time, I am trying to spend what little is left making my own work rather than writing about others’. Therefore, I am going to hold off on my analysis of each, and instead create a list for later reference.

Eyebeam:
Untethered
– Various Artists

Smack Mellon:
Decoded Love – Shin Il Kim
Oh, Very, Yes! – Kwabena Slaughter

Klompching:
Doppelganger – Cornelia Hediger



Carny
August 1, 2008, 4:03 am
Filed under: Art, Photography

Virginia Lee Hunter
July 3rd – August 14th, 2008
Umbrage
111 Front Street, #208, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY

This small solo show by Virginia Lee Hunter depicting portraits of Carny life. She focused on the individual as well as the whole, and included a wide variety of characters, including performers, construction laborers, and carnival-goers. The images were as colorful as the characters depicted.



Burt Barr
August 1, 2008, 3:22 am
Filed under: Art, Installation, Photography, Video

Burt Barr
June 12th – July 25th, 2008
Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
530 W. 22nd Street New York, NY

“For this exhibition Burt Barr returns to his guiding premise, “that black & white are the only two colors I’ll ever need.” A believer of the single take – no matter its length – Barr’s work is the antithesis of most modern day film and video. All works were shot by Barr and mastered by his longtime editor, Steve Hamilton. The videos are all projected directly on the wall and looped for continual viewing. Using bare necessities to convey movement they hang much as paintings or, more appropriately, black and white photographs (press release).”

Though all of the pieces were intriguing, I gravitated towards ‘Donkey and Lightning,’ a two video installation piece in the back of the gallery. One wall displayed an ambiguous, darkened image of a donkey, which occasionally becomes illuminated. The opposing wall displayed a blank night sky, with occasional flashes of lightning. When the lightning flashed, the donkey image became illuminated.

It takes a few minutes to figure out what is going on in this piece. A viewer cannot see both videos at once due to the setup of the room. Looking at the image of the donkey, one would have to wait for it to become illuminated to discern what it is. Looking at the donkey while it is illuminated, one would not be able to see the lightning flash on the wall behind them. Only by watching the videos separately can one determine the relationship between the two. In this way, two simple videos, when combined, become synchronized in an installation that tests one’s awareness.



Deliverance
July 15, 2008, 3:42 am
Filed under: Art, Photography, Video

Mat Collishaw
June 19th – July 31st
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (Gallery 1)
521 West 21st St. New York, NY

Mat Collishaw’s exhibition, Deliverance, immerses the viewer into a large dark room, accompanied only by the whir of rotating overhead projectors, delivering frequent lightning like flashes. The flashes create eerie greenish white images on the walls; bright at first, then slowly fading. The images are of people in turmoil; dirty and disheveled, running, holding one another, and crying (Video).

The gallery walls are covered in phosphorescent paint. Where the projectors shine light, the paint glows in the dark, then slowly fades. Collishaw likens this to how the mind perceives images of tragedy in the media; striking one’s perception, then quickly fading from memory (Video).

This clever use of images, space, and materials was very effective. The viewer is consistently bombarded by images. No character can be studied in depth; images of real people in real danger transform into a fantastical dreamscape. As in the media, because of the constant bombardment, and the glamorization of content, what we see does not seem real… even though it is.



The Disciples/James and Other Apes
July 9, 2008, 5:43 am
Filed under: Art, Photography

James Mollison
June 12th – August 16th, 2008
Hasted Hunt
529 West 20th St., 3rd Fl. New York, NY

This show was great on several levels; the photography was beautiful, the content of each body of work was interesting, and the juxtaposition of the two series in the same room added a funny twist

The Disciples is a series of photos taken outside of concerts, of fans of various artists. The top image above is of Klaxons fans. The middle image is of Jimmy Buffet fans. Also included were fans of Marilyn Manson, P. Diddy, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, and others.

What resulted was a strange classification of radically different types of people, each forming a group identity through clothes and posture. The large size and amazing detail in the images, combined with the subjects’ straight-forward gazes, is confrontational. The frame and the white background distances the subjects from the viewer, making them look a little like specimens in a sterile white room; yet their outlandish attire brings hilarity to the images.

Also being shown was Mollison’s older series, James and Other Apes, which is a series of close-ups of various primates, showing in detail the emotive qualities apparent in their faces. This creates an interesting web of comparison; between the different groups of disciples, between the different apes, and between the disciples and the apes.