Thursday, July 30, 2009

Resistance of Frieze: Offers Refusal to Apprentice Show

Revolt, She Said

written by Peter H. Duhon Jr. in New York

Thankfully, London's Frieze Art Fair said no to the reality TV show The Apprentice. The Guardian's coverage of the refusal, quite biased against Frieze one must all admit in this article, reports that the TV show wanted to have a reality contest amongst dealers to see who could sell the most work at the fair. Rather seriously, that is akin to offering to film someone while they are in the shower, and posting the resulting footage on ABC here in the U.S. or BBC in the U.K. Hell no, shouts the blind man.

Of course, many would argue why not? But assertively, Frieze offers the appropriate word to The Apprentice, that statement that Freud suggested as the word which signifies the stance of adulthood, the word that gives birth to it, the word that postures it: no. Yes, in fact, the blind man can see through the trees, beyond them, revealing the ignorance, the absurdity of the instigator, revealing the brazen motives of the iniquitous beast.

I've always lauded Frieze as one of the most important contemporary art events of year and with this bold decision, Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp (founders and active decision makers at Frieze, respectively) do not disappoint.

Those accustomed to, and seduced by the culture of the spectacle are perhaps puzzled by the refusal, but my personal hope is that by their decision to resist this mindless, frivolous forbidden fruit of contemporary culture (to say that reality TV shows present distorted and manufactured reality is an understatement, no apologizes), if you will, those unaware of the significance of Frieze and it's distinguished difference will perhaps investigate further why Frieze exists as a beacon of provocative thought and discourse today. Yes, open that book, hop on that plane, book that ticket, and visit Frieze. No cameras allowed, please.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Verfall: Decadence and Decay- at 150 Bay Street in Staten Island, NY.

written by Don Porcella in New York City

Verfall: Decadence and Decay
Curated by Ginger Shulick
07/25/2009 - 08/28/2009.

Exhibiting Artists:

Mikhael Antone, NYC
Brendan Coyle, NYC
Christopher Frederick, NYC
Michelle Sciumbato Keller, Nashville
Scott Lewis, New Jersey
Reggie Manning, Milwaukee
Keren Moscovitch, NYC
Mona Oman, NYC

Studio 150
150 Bay Street
Staten Island, NY 10301

Verfall: Decadence and Decay

The 18th century view of language is largely based on the concept of “decadence and decay”, words which are synonymous in many languages, including German (verfall). This exhibition focuses on decadent yet banalized behaviors – smoking, excessive drinking, over-eating, sexual promiscuity – and examines whether these over-indulgences are just another part of living a contemporary existence. However, these decadent lifestyles can lead to physical and moral decay and ultimately, death. Installations by Brendan Coyle and Mikhael Antone deal with fatality itself, and question viewers’ responses to and fascination with the everyday occurrence of death. Coyle’s sculpture “Candy Corpse” will simultaneously address death and decay; this installation will be altered throughout the course of the show as the materials respond to temperature and climate changes, but will never fully decay.

The opening will be on Saturday, July 25th from 7pm-12am, and will be open for regular hours Thursdays and Fridays 5pm-9pm, Saturdays 12pm-8pm, and Sundays, 12pm-5pm through the close of the show. Studio 150 is located at 150 Bay Street in Staten Island, NY. Take the Staten Island Ferry in downtown Manhattan. The boat ride is 25 minutes. Then walk 5 minutes to 150 Bay Street from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

Curator Ginger Shulick in front of a wall painting by Reggie Manning an artist from Milwaukee, WI

This exhibition in Staten Island is very important because it is another significant moment in the continued evolution of the Staten Island Art Scene. Verfall: Decadence and Decay curated by Ginger Shulick, brings together artists from Staten Island and artists from other parts of the country. Given the importance of the show, I was very impressed with the variety and dedication each artist represented in their work. I thought all the art in the show was extremely provocative and alluring.

A fantastic piece of art by Scott Lewis, New Jersey. He is currently having a solo show at The Puck Building in NYC.

Brendan Coyle's magnificent "Candy Corpe" made out of candy lying in dirt. I was very impressed with Brendan's Candy Corpse (see which allows people to participate in the ongoing project). Coyle put a lot of time and effort into handcrafting his corpse and integrated that into a decaying mound of dirt. During the opening, the corpse sinks ever so slowly into the ground. Go see it!!!

Studio 150
150 Bay Street
Staten Island, NY 10301

The Staten Island Art Scene has many interesting and talented artists living and working in the borough. Many of those artists came to the opening last night and I tried to take photos of as many of them as possible. There are many more artists who are doing interesting work here and it is worth coming to "the island" and meeting these exciting artists.

Tattfoo, an artist living in Staten Island was there taking photos of the Candy Corpse. Tattfoo is having an exhibition at The Bronx River Arts Center in the Bronx. see

Stephen Lapcevic and his wife - Lapcevic is an animation artist living in Staten Island. see

Brendan Coyle and Amanda Curtis are artists living in Staten Island and they also operate The Assembly Room, a gallery in Staten Island, NY. see

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leo Kesting Gallery Presents: Ray Sell : Ya Gotta Be Tough

written by Don Porcella in New York City

Leo Kesting Gallery Presents:
Ray Sell : Ya Gotta Be Tough
July 9 – August 2, 2009

Ray Sell : Ya Gotta Be Tough - installation photo

Limelight, 12" x 12", mixed media on canvas, Ray Sell

Hold Your Horses
Mixed Media Sculpture, 10 x 21 x 7", Ray Sell

Ray Sell : Ya Gotta Be Tough - installation photo

Easy Target, mixed media sculpture, 45" x 18" x 20", Ray Sell

Leo Kesting Gallery Presents: Ray Sell: Ya Gotta Be Tough is a mixed media and collage exhibition. What I think makes it sucessfull is the use of mixed media and the three dimensionality of the collage mixed media process. The work by Ray Sell at Leo Kesting Gallery is pushing collage, through the use of mixed media, in a different direction than most 2 dimensional collage based works. I appreciate the painted parts of his work and I think for the price these have a lot of time invested value in each piece. Most of the work has already sold in the two weeks the show has been open but there are many more gems still available at very reasonable prices.

Leo Kesting Gallery is located at the southern end of the New High Line Park at Ganesvoort St. in the Meat Packing District of Manhattan.. Full of trendy boutiques and restaurants this area is ripe with vacationing europeans and a swanky upper crust crowd. Leo Kesting Gallery provides a ground floor art experience in this vibrant section of Manhattan.

Anyone walking into the gallery is met by Johnny Leo and David Kesting two very likable and enthusiastic art gallery owners. Johnny Leo and David Kesting are doing something really special by providing a lot of these artists their first major solo show in New York City. Leo Kesting Gallery is very committed to introducing these talented artists and helping develop them into art stars. They work hand in hand with their artists and they expect their artists to be professional. Check out Ray Sell's latest works and meet the people at this great ground floor gallery.

ALSO > Leo Kesting Gallery presents:
FOUNTAIN ART FAIR in Miami and New York
2505 North Miami Ave - Fountain Miami Dec 3 - 6, 2009
Pier 66 the West Side Highway - Fountain New York March 4 - 7, 2010

Tue - Sat from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm Sun & Mon 1– 6pm
Admission is free to the public
phone: 917-650-3760