BROOKLYN’S TAKE ON NY ART WEEK: MARCH 2012

Manhattan’s slew of art shows tend to dominate the art scene this month, however Brooklyn holds its’ own with a number of competing art events, on and off the island:

Art’s Not Fair / This parody of the New York Armory show resides at Like The Spice Gallery in Williamsburg. Like The Spice will be transformed into an “art-fair-like” space showcasing the gallery’s represented artists, such as: Chino Amobi, Brian LaRossa, Allie Rex, Nicki Stager, Eric LoPresti, Jenny Morgan, Reuben Negron, Hans + Gieves, and more.

Fountain Art Fair / This fair, surprisingly held in Manhattan, will specifically showcase a plethora of Brooklyn artists and galleries. A series of performances and DJ concerts will be accompanying this event’s opening on March 9th.

Williamsburg Every 2:ND / On the evening of March 10th, Williamsburg will be transformed into an art fair/gallery hopping district in honor of Brooklyn Armory Night. Various performances and video installations will be played in and around galleries, businesses and on the street. Twelve+ galleries will also stay open until 10pm to participate in this event. Among them are: Like the Spice, Art 101, Black and White, Pierogi, Front Room, and many others.

CLICK HERE FOR A LISTING OF MANHATTAN ART FAIRS MARCH 2012

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE EVENT’S WEBSITE:

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NYC ART CALENDAR – MARCH 2012

CLICK ON THE CALENDAR BELOW FOR DAY-TO-DAY DETAILS & LISTINGS

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ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SANTIAGO FORERO

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Santiago Forero is a photographer and 2010 MFA graduate from The University of Texas at Austin.

If you could calculate the exact number of times someone tells you “No, you can’t do that” over the course of your life, my theory is that it would probably end up being quite a stinking heap. “No, you’re too thin – too fat – too tall – too small,” quotes that many of us hear, have heard, and endure on a daily basis thanks to our ever-loving media/society. As such, Santiago Forero was probably told he wasn’t going to be able to do a bunch of stuff because of his physical characteristics; However, instead of succumbing to life’s so-called “impossibilities” (like many of us do), he decided to explore the realm of attainability.

Altering his physical appearance and creating custom made costumes (with designer Alison Heryer) for the series The Olympic Games (Images #1-5) and Action Heros (Images #6-8), Forero manages to transform himself into convincing stereotypes of today’s heros and villains. Combating what he calls the “superficial judgments about the “other”, Santiago allows us to observe his own physical limitations in order to question the aspects of masculinity, scale, identity and virility.

In the series A Story About Gnomes (Images #9-11) Santiago compares and/or relates his own self-portraits to photographs taken of his niece. Drawing attention to similar postures, motions and environments, Forero lets the viewer interpret each photographic situation with either a sense of humor or alarm.

Do also check out Santiago Forero’s video The Widowmaker! This video, broken up into 6 segments, portrays Forero as a slightly menacing, yet quietly ‘manly’ character. A little bit creepy, a little bit funny, The Widowmaker successfully translates Forero’s photographic mission into film. The clip below (part 2 of 6) is entitled Chapter 1: Into the Woods.

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NYC ARMORY SHOW MARCH 8-11, 2012

The Armory Show is the largest annual art event in New York City. The show is divided into two main categories: Contemporary Art (held in Pier 94) and Modern Art (which is in Pier 92 respectively). This year’s show will feature slightly fewer art galleries than last year’s 274 total, however the plan is to have larger gallery spaces and easier viewing and navigation for visitors (the two Piers will finally be connected via a passageway too this year!). At the Armory Show you’ll find a good mix of both international and national art galleries and artists at a variety of price points. This is a MUST SEE if you’re an art fan who is finding it difficult to make it out to Art Basel and Art Basel Miami.

TICKETING: Advance tickets are currently unavailable for 2012, however you can get tickets at the Box Office throughout the span of the show.

General Admission US $30
Students US $10
Groups (10+) US $15
Run of Show Pass (4 day) US $60
The Armory Show / Volta NY Pass US $40

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THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF ZAQISTAN

This past Friday Giulietta and I attended the opening ceremony of The Consulate General of Zaqistan located at 655 3rd Avenue between 41st and 42nd street – just blocks away from The United Nations. The space was generously donated by the arts organization Chashma and will be open daily from 11am-7pm through March 3rd. On Friday, March 2nd there will be a closing party that will include a special lecture by Zaqistan founder and artist Zaq Landsberg. The lecture will highlight past expeditions to Zaqistan and the recent accomplishments of the Zaqistan Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this month.

Your first two questions most likely are: What is Zaqistan? and Where is it?

It all began in the summer of 2005 when Landsberg purchased 2 acres of land west of Salt Lake City, Utah (middle of nowhere desert) off EBAY for $610 dollars. His only thought at the time was to own a piece of land in the American west before it was all gone, however that desolate plot turned out to be the start of much more.

Just a month later, Landsberg and his friend, Jake Davidson, set out on the first expedition to what would later become Zaqistan. Zaq triumphantly marked his ownership with a red flag that bore an emblem of his name on the top Zaqistan’s highest peak, Mt. Insurmountable. In November of the same year, Landsberg recruited 25 people to take an Oath of Citizenship and sign a Declaration of Succession making the Republic of Zaqistan a sovereign nation.

Zaq, fellow artists and friends have since taken annual expeditions to Zaqistan to create and document site specific art works which include: three Robotic Sentinels (aka the guardians of Zaqistan) 2006, a Victory Arch 2009, a Customs Booth/Immigration Station 2010 (all shown below) as well as other separate art installations by Zaqistani visitors and/or citizens.

Landsberg explained to me that artwork documentation is key because as expected, in a years time the works are completely demolished or swallowed up by the desert’s harsh environment (Zaquistan’s first shelter, a Geodesic Dome built by Landsberg in 2007, was just recently discovered 3/4 of a mile away from the site half buried under a pile of sand).

The Consulate General of Zaqistan features artworks, photos (like the one directly above taken by photographer Arion Doerr), videos from past expeditions as well as found artifacts and soil samples. It also gives detailed information about the founding and rich history of this awesome micronation. Zaqistan merchandise/souvenirs are for sale and you also have the ability to apply for a passport. We Did!

Past Zaqistan expeditioners from left to right: Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Jeff Sisson, Zaq Landsberg, Jon Huron, Ingrid BurringtonArion Doerr, and (front) Scott Riehs

The Consulate General was put together by the Zaqistan State Department which consists of:
Zaq Landsberg, artist, 2007 BFA graduate from New York University | Sofía Gallisá Muriente, filmmaker, 2008 BFA graduate from New York University | Ingrid Burrington, artist, 2009 BFA graduate from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

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M-ART-CH MADNESS NYC 2012

If you’re into art, March in NYC is the place for you to be! This month we’ve got those five precious art events that only happen during this glorious but HECTIC time of year: The Whitney Biennial and 5+ major art fairs. My recommendation: go to as many events as possible until you permanently see Roy Lichtenstein prints on the back of your eye-lids – true story. So get out there, buy tickets, stay hydrated and over-indulge yourself. Happy hunting!

CLICK HERE FOR A LISTING OF BROOKLYN ART FAIRS MARCH 2012

CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE EVENT’S WEBSITE:

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WORK OF ART’S MICHELLE MATSON UNVEILS SCULPTURES AT PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE

All photographs taken by Wataru Shimosato of An Unknown Quantity

This past Thursday Nate and I attended Michelle Matson‘s artwork unveiling at PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE boutique in Soho, NYC. In case you’re not familiar with Michelle Matson, she was a top contender (not to mention art critic Jerry Saltz’s fav) in Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist Season 2 TV series. Matson, who makes awesomely constructed sculptures out of paper was given the opportunity to collaborate with PLEATS PLEASE in order to create an installation for the boutique’s window display.

Inspired by PLEATS PLEASE’s own Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which was based on Kachina – the Native American Hopi spirit often depicted as a colorful doll – Matson created small, layered Totems and a flock of brightly saturated birds to fill the windows. “The totems are like stand-ins for the Kachina and the birds are physical depictions of the spirit,” explained Matson. Colorful, intricate and playful, the installation, which was entitled RISE, responds directly to PLEATS PLEASE’s bright yet technical aesthetic. “I love the way that the cut and folded paper looks next to the pleats of the garments,” exclaimed Matson. “I think my paper pieces are very much at home in the PLEATS PLEASE world!”

When I asked Michelle  whether this collaboration will influence her work in the future, she excitedly responded that “It already has!! I’m currently working on three large scale totems, they are much larger than the ones from PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE- almost 7 feet tall. I loved the small abstract totems so much that I wanted to make large versions- big enough so that they could loom over you.  These new totems look like otherworldly cacti.” I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see what a 7-foot tall version of these spunky little guys look like!

Also on view, although only temporarily, were a few of Michelle Matson’s non-collaborative sculptures, shown below:

Matson’s RISE installation will be on view at PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE until March 11, 2012 – go check it out!

PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE is a Japanese fashion label created by the designer Issey Miyake. Like Michelle Matson’s work, the PLEATS PLEASE line utilizes a material (in this case polyester jersey) which has been meticulously folded and cut. Although the pieces may seem incomplex at first, once on, the designs ironically transform into seemingly wearable sculptures themselves!

To add, the ISSEY MIYAKE USA Corp. has invited artists to exhibit their works regularly in their company’s US-based retail stores since 2001 when the company opened its new space in TriBeCa called “tribeca ISSEY MIYAKE.” Per Robert von Leszczynski of ISSEY MIYAKE USA Corp. the “tribeca ISSEY MIYAKE has opened its doors for a dynamic series of lectures, performances, and art installations [in the past]. The RISE paper sculpture installation by artist Michelle Matson was the first art feature introduced at the company’s PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE space in SoHo (opened in 1998) as an alternative to our regular TriBeCa-based art features.” Thumbs up to them!

PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE/ 128 Wooster St./ New York, NY 10012

Michelle Matson is a sculptor and 2005 BFA graduate from the School of Visual Arts.

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ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JON KUZMICH

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Jon Kuzmich is a painter, photographer and 2011 MFA graduate from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Holy meticulous! Jon Kuzmich must have a lot of patience in order to produce these minutely detailed artworks. Painstakingly working dot-by-dot, scan-by-scan, or pixel-by-pixel, Kuzmich strives to reveal the distortion of our self-made belief  systems (i.e. religion, science, capitalism) through complex coding, grids and patterning.

The first two works shown (Blue and Green, 2010; The Complete History of Capitalism, 2010) map a series of alternating, hand painted acrylic dots which Kuzmich applied with a needle. The Complete History of Capitalism, which is 56×56 inches, is amazingly comprised of 546,848 separate dots and took approximately 600 hours to create. The final work shown above (images #14-15), entitled Genesis, is actually part of a larger religion-based series called Logos, 2011.

In Logos, Kuzmich translates “every character in the 66 books of the King James Bible into a field of gold, silver, copper, pearl and bronze acrylic dots on square slabs of PVC. Each book of the Bible is then transcribed onto its own PVC slab that is sized according to the number of characters in each specific book. Additionally, the color assignment for each consonant, vowel, space, symbol and number is unique per book in order to create a subtle value gradient over the course of “writing” the entire Bible; with the first book (Genesis) having the lightest density culminating with the last book (Revelations) having the darkest color density.” Quite the undertaking!

Accompanying Logos under Kuzmich’s ‘religious’ umbrella is the following mesmerizing video called Ethos, 2011 – DO WATCH IT! In Ethos, Kuzmich arranged the bible passage “…Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” in an hour-glass structure which he then printed on a single piece of paper. That original print was then Xeroxed to produce a first copy – then that copy was Xeroxed again to produce a second copy. This process of copying the copied was repeated 2,981 times. At the end, all the copies were scanned in the order they were copied and turned into the following digital animation:

Pretty cool, eh?

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ARTIST OF THE WEEK: JOHANNA WARWICK

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Johanna Warwick is a photographer and a 2010 MFA graduate from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Quiet, understated beauty. That’s the thought that ran through my head when glimpsing Johanna Warwick’s photographs. Focusing on the contrast between lightness vs. darkness, heaviness vs. emptiness and life vs. death, Johanna Warwick is able to capture the delicate balance of life’s opposing forces. Whether it be to document an empty quarry or her own family, Warwick’s use of color and light gives one the sense of muted comfort. The last image shown (image #12) is actually a series of four separate photographs in which Warwick focuses on ceilings. These images are part of a larger series entitled The Weight of the World where Warwick tries to capture the feeling of being a young adult and trying to find out who you are:

“The pictures are portraying that internal space that we all have and I think for me they come from this time in our early 20s, where you’re trying to figure out what you’re doing and where your going and that sense of being lost….We are always going to know that place. We are always going to know that feeling and that sense of being lost. To me that’s where it came from.” -Johanna Warwick as quoted from Function Magazine. 

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CHRISTI BIRCHFIELD TO EXHIBIT AT TWO CLEVELAND ART GALLERIES FEB 2012

GN8PROJECT is excited to announce that our January 8th Artist of the WeekChristi Birchfield, will be exhibiting her artwork at two Cleveland art galleries this February. If you’re in the area, make sure you go check them out! CONGRATS CHRISTI!

CLICK ON THE FLYERS BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE GALLERY/EXHIBITION WEBSITES:

TAKE A GLIMPSE INTO BIRCHFIELD’S AWESOME PROCESS IN THE VIDEO BELOW:
CLICK HERE TO SEE BIRCHFIELD’S ARTIST OF THE WEEK PAGE POSTED ON 1/8/12
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