Small Moments Revered: The Small Exceeds

by Julia Gray

IMG_8749.jpg

“A screen, a bench, a table, a mirror, a vessel, a key, a flower,” artist and curator Michael Childress writes in his intriguingly abstract press release for “The Small Exceeds,” a thoughtfully sparse exhibit that took place at the appropriately minimal Chinatown hole-in-the-wall, New Release Gallery. These ambiguous motifs are traced throughout the show, compelling expanded consideration. Childress’ immersive installation rejects spectacle, thereby inviting a more careful observation, a refreshing break from a typical in-and-out exhibit. The title, “The Small Exceeds,” is drawn from Hexagram 62 of the I Ching, which commends a “preponderance of the small” and a consideration for detail in the pursuit of mindfulness. Childress along with the eight other artists in the exhibition present work that encourages shared meditation.

Continue reading “Small Moments Revered: The Small Exceeds”

Small Moments Revered: The Small Exceeds

Kcirred Reswob: The Immortal Wile E.

By Debbi Kenote

KR_Sketchbook-scan5
Kcirred Reswob, Untitled Sketchbook Page

Images that seem to be evoking specific narratives cover the walls of Kcirred Reswob’s studio as I sit across from him discussing his work. Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, a cow behind a fence, Seaworld, a littered landscape, among others. On the table, next to one of his cats, is a stack of sketchbooks. As Reswob describes growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania listening to Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, and the other conservative classics, I begin to understand the genesis for much of the narrative I am seeing.

Through his explorations of the coyote, borders, humans, animals and their environments, discrete or cartoonish narratives appear that seem to also reflect a deeper socio-political sensibility. The result is a world that can at times seem both comically mundane and deeply prophetic. The common image of a barbed wire fence begins to seem like something I’ve never really looked at before. As Reswob and I discuss the coyote and his research into the attempted removal of it from parts of the midwestern United States, I begin to wonder why I, like countless other children, took pleasure in watching the many creative deaths of the immortal Wile E.  A simple act of looking, or re-looking at what we already know is there, transports Reswob’s narratives into symbols of humanity, that are both fascinating and disturbing.  Continue reading “Kcirred Reswob: The Immortal Wile E.”

Kcirred Reswob: The Immortal Wile E.

Selva Aparicio: Death & Dandelions

by Julia Gray 

IMG_1228
Image courtesy of Space 776

Taxidermy, once limited to the realms of hunting and seedy antique stores, has made its way into common art practices. The ethical gray area of cutting open and displaying a dead animal is equally foggy when used for artistic or symbolic purposes, like in the eerily flashy work of Damien Hirst or more recently Anicka Yi’s hardware-lined taxidermy coyote. Contemporary artists using taxidermy as a critique of modern society can be easily construed as insensitive, and can just as easily reinforce the sensationalist culture they’re trying to condemn. New York City based emerging artist Selva Aparicio employed taxidermy with sensitivity and subtlety to honor dead animals and criticize our society’s disregard for them during her one-night pop-up show, curated by Ara Cho, at Space 776.

Continue reading “Selva Aparicio: Death & Dandelions”

Selva Aparicio: Death & Dandelions

Nick Schutzenhofer: Egg Contempera

By Debbi Kenote and Til Will

IMG_3486a
Nick Schutzenhofer, Untitled (rose geranium 3), 24×20,” rabbit skin glue, pigment, egg tempera and oil on paper on linen over panel, 2017

Full audio interview: 

Led down an industrial alley in South Slope, BK, in the noisy shadow of the Gowanus Expressway, we found ourselves at the door to Nick Schutzenhofer‘s studio. Sickeningly sweet air wafted down the hall from the neighboring Shaheen candy distribution. We were surprised to discover the most immense painting practice we have seen in NY to date, and a distinctive surface quality developed using the ancient medium of egg tempera.  

Continue reading “Nick Schutzenhofer: Egg Contempera”

Nick Schutzenhofer: Egg Contempera

Shavana Smiley: Venus of the Milky Way

By Debbi Kenote and Til Will

Smiley_Maybe
‘Maybe’, 12″ x 10″, Oil on Canvas

full audio interview:

Last month we interviewed Shavana Smiley and Ara Cho in their shared apartment/ studio. This is part II of that studio visit, where we now turn our focus to the other half of the dynamic duo. Continue reading “Shavana Smiley: Venus of the Milky Way”

Shavana Smiley: Venus of the Milky Way

Off The Shelf: Brooklyn Art Book Fair

bkabf.jpg
Image courtesy of lederniercri.org

By Julia Gray

Held at the McCarren Park Pool, the first Brooklyn Art Book Fair, co-produced by Bruce High Quality Foundation University and Endless Editions, kept to the DIY roots of its featured zine-makers and independent publishing companies. Fair attendees moved past gym-goers and community center regulars into the shallow shoebox of a gymnasium lined with colorful booths. The squeaky-floored gym, hand-written name tags, and visibly excited participants evoked pleasant memories of the annual grade school Scholastic Book Fair. The rejection of a typical or “expected” venue resulted in a refreshing focus on the artists and publishers rather than the event itself.

Continue reading “Off The Shelf: Brooklyn Art Book Fair”

Off The Shelf: Brooklyn Art Book Fair