Sunday, July 18, 2010

Endless Arts in Chelsea

Being "based" in LA (whatever the hell that means) I write about LA arts here at TTINLA blog. But, last weekend I had a bit of an NYC art trip so I thought I'd write about it. I was mainly out east to see my mates who I was in a band with in the 90s (pitchblende). But, I had enough time to go arting too.

I had never visited the Chelsea gallery area in Manhattan's lower west side so I took an afternoon to peruse it. Vast! I had no idea. In about an 8 square block area it seemed like almost every building was a gallery, or a building full of galleries. It took me 4 hours and I was passing up probably two thirds of the spaces. My head was spinning and my feet were aching. 100 degree temperatures accompanied me.

I can't begin to start writing a review of this, it's just too much. So, I just picked some things out that seemed interesting to me. At the Carolina Nitsch Project Room was a fantastic show of strange artworks. Richard Dupont had some bizarre and compelling figurative sculptures. Honestly, this shit just kind of freaks me out. Little naked and bald men on a table all contorted in slightly different ways. I would assume in a 3D program and then somehow cast in polyurethane resin. Want to try some DMT? No need, just check this stuff out.

My favorite show in Chelsea ironically, featured an LA "based" (there it is again) artist, Tim Hawkinson. I've always loved his inventive and complicated work. He's a true mad scientist. The Pace Gallery was displaying Tim's "One Man Band" series. These are works that are musical in nature and have scores sort of like old player pianos. But, the scores are on plastic film, a row of beads, or screws in an old thermos. When the pieces are activated by a motion detector they spring to life and start making "music". It's mostly dissonant patters as far as I could tell. Fantastic!

At Slag gallery were some bold and slaggish busts by Kristian Kozul. They were sort of emulating classical busts of Roman generals and politicians but they had a modern twist looking like they were dripping in crude oil and featuring contemporary clothing. One called Guardian of Prosperity appeared to be a cop in riot gear including a gas mask. I thought these were brilliant.

Ok, I think I got a couple more episodes for this trip so stay tuned for parts 2 & 3.

Slag Gallery

The Pace Gallery

Carolina Nitsch Project Space
534 W. 22nd St. New York, NY 10011

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