Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rob Dougan

Furious Angels

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jeph Gurecka

Jeph Gurecka - Shiny Bright Souvenir
up at 31GRAND (143 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002) through October 5th
My Fathers House, 2008
75 x 36”, Molded and cast resin, and lights (detail below)

Monday, September 22, 2008


i feel you

Taken from the Aberdeen Bestiary,
Folio 55v

Sunday, September 21, 2008

James Jebusa Shannon

Magnolia, 1899
oil on canvas
71 5/8 x 39 1/4 in.
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jeph Gurecka

Still-life Souvenir, 2008
dimensions vary, cast resin, automotive enamel, wire. (detail below)
From"Shiny Bright Souvenir" at 31GRAND

Hans Albers

La Paloma (Filmausschnitt) 1944

Thanks Pet

Monday, September 15, 2008

Amon Tobin

Proper Hoodidge

Friday, September 12, 2008


Take Me Into Your Skin (live)

Show to check out

Kate Kretz, "Thicket", 2008
gouache, collage, hair, medal on colored paper, 24 x 18".

I love Kate Kretz's work, and she's in a show opening this Saturday in Miami. If you're in the area, definitely check it out.

"Pushing the Envelope: New Concepts in Drawing & Painting" at Chelsea Galleria in the Wynwood district of Miami. Opening reception from 7-11 pm.
Chelsea Galleria, 2441 NW 2 Ave. Miami, FL 33127

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cornelia Parker

The Distance (a kiss with string attatched), 2003

Shared fate, 1998
Objects cut by the guillotine that beheaded Marie Antoinette

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I saw an amazing show last night.

Alicia Ross' Sacred Profane is a smart, well executed, and beautiful exhibition. Highly recommend stopping by Black and White Gallery in Chelsea to see it. Runs through October 4th.

Motherboard_6 (A Chicken Waits for a Good Cock), 2008
cross-stitch on cotton

Rockwell’s a Surrealist, 2008
excerpt from mixed-media installation

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Tonight's the opening of Jeph Gurecka's "Shiny Bright Souvenir". Hope all can make it.

image: My Left Nut, 2008
Taxidermy form, molded and cast resin, photograph, mounted on faux finished distressed wood panel

at 31GRAND (143 Ludlow St. New York, NY 10002)
September 4 – October 5, 2008
Opening reception: Thursday Sept. 4, 7-9pm

31GRAND is pleased to present SHINY BRIGHT SOUVENIR. Roughly based on Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life painting series and 18th century Romanticism, SHINY BRIGHT SOUVENIR is a nautical passageway from the past, both in an art historical context and from feelings and expectations associated with the romantic period. Cole’s Voyage of Life (1840) series of paintings is the allegorical story of a voyager who travels in a boat on the river of life with an angel. This combination of the sublime with religious, philosophical, and contemporary socio-political themes is prevalent in Gurecka’s SHINY BRIGHT SOUVENIR.

Brought home by the traveler, souvenirs and tchotchkes function as physical manifestations of the memories associated with the journey. Likewise, history itself is a souvenir of the past that is glamorized and glossed over by indulgent radiance in the present. Gurecka finds humor and absurdity in how easily memory devolves into nostalgia, which in turn degrades into consumerism. For Gurecka, the souvenir is a hopeless projection and a representation of fear; in this, his vision accords with Nietzsche’s description of nostalgia as the longing for the past, the contempt for the present, and the fear of the future.

“The Voyage of the Crystal Symphony” shows the Crystal Symphony cruise ship retreating from the constellation Aquarius at its rear and entering the eye of a fantastic, sublime storm. Immanuel Kant talks about the sublime and how the safest way to the sublime is through the idea of the subsidiary venues, which for the contemporary traveler translates into our present day cruise lines, amusement parks, casinos, and video games.

In the wall relief, “Sleeper,” a siren floats along on a similar journey. Romanticism was loaded with mythic stories of the mystic relationships between men, women, and water. In their desperate loneliness, seamen believed that lighthouses were kept by sirens, who lived on rocky islands where they lured ships to their destruction. Similarly, the goddess of beauty herself, Venus, was born of vengeance: the severed genitals of Uranus, who was castrated by his son, Cronus, fell into the sea and fertilized the water from which Venus arose. As an amalgamation of beauty and destructiveness, perhaps the danger of Gurecka’s siren is her somnolent, latent wrath.

In the illuminated sculpture, “My Fathers House,” biblical, mythological and personal attributes contrasted with the artist’s homage to his birth father and their struggles for individuality. The softly illuminated cast Lincoln log house atop a rough, sinewy, trunk-like pedestal is both welcoming and subtly menacing. Here Gurecka melds the iconographically powerful image of the lighthouse—with its references to solitude, the sea, sirens, and the Christian symbol of divine guidance—with the struggle for autonomy.

Personal memory flattens into a collective and anonymous past: consumer culture takes advantage of a lack of awareness through mythologizing and fetishizing experience. In Gurecka’s cast sculpture of an SUV tire sinking into the gallery floor (“We Will Never”), this type of patriotic consumerism creates a falsely empathetic slogan.

In past work, Gurecka relied on the organic material and its relevance to the idea, a heterogeneous entity where the material was actually the host to the idea. In much the same way, Gurecka now deals with a very organic material in our natural world: plastic. Arguably, what once was nature/natural persists in the contemporary world, equally present in the dyad of city and country or in the contrived in-between; the simulacrum of suburbia is as manifestly “real” as other experiences.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Farewell Bill

Peanuts clip from "It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown"
Bill Melendez
November 15, 1916 – September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lykke Li

Breaking It Up