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March 12, 2006

Chelsea Gallery Walk Part II

Simon_mooseSorry for the delay in Chelsea Gallery Walk Part II.. but NYC and the writing staff has been a bit crazed with ArtFairs galore.  Too many to visit in just one weekend.. with WAY too many galleries to see.

Add to that, several art openings that we just must be seen at  attend.. and then there's always that day-job thing !! Oh.. and by the way.. if anyone was wondering.. MAO prediction.. Interest Rates, and Mortgage Rates are going way up..you heard it here first!!

Simon_stagAnyway.. we did make it over to the

Yossi Milo Gallery - To see the new show for Simen Johan, "Until the Kingdom Comes". Many MAO readers may already be familiar with Simen's photography from his past show at Yossi Milo. Or possibly you may know him from his last book "Room To Play" published in 2003 by Twin Palms which consisted mainly of Johan's wonderful magical dream like photographs of young children.

As for the new show.. there's no children this time. It's all animals, animals, animals!

These super large scale digitally manipulated photo's (with equally large price tags $15k) are all of diorama looking animal fantasies.  I took a few photos of the show, (pic #1 - Untitled) there are more on Simen's own website

I was a bit disappointed that there were only about 6 photo's in the show.

But this time Simen has included 2 sculptures.

Picture_007I guess taxidermy is popular this year in the art world.  These 2 sculptures, one free standing white arctic wolf(photo #3), and one wall mounted stag (photo #2) both have long flowing hair extensions.  Can you say.. The Adams Family - Cousin IT scupltures??

Well..they were interesting, but, I have to admit.. I liked the photography much more than these 2 hairy figures. The show is on display till April 1st.

Next stop :

The Charles Cowles Gallery. Their new show is a first solo exhibition for SVA teacher Jil Weinstock tittled Waistline.

Picture_019These very colorful pieces were mostly from the artists grandmother's original vintage dresses cast into rubber. (photo #4)There are both wall and floor pieces and while they all do give the viewer a certain sense of nostalgia, I felt they lacked further depth and thought. There was little additional material or color brought, by the artist, into these flat rubber compositions.

I found myself (and most of the other visitors) taking more time to look at the amazing George Nakashima table, and Edward Burtynsky China Series photos on the gallery office wall! This new show is on view till March 25th.

303 Gallery - Inka Essenhigh, Amazing!!

Picture_024_1

I've been a fan of Inka's paintings for a long time. Too bad the MAO art acquisitions department can't figure out a way to swing one of these!!  Hey... It's only $80k for each of these new works. Ouch!

I love her fantastic hybrid figures, and wonderful strong colors. Whenever I look at one of her paintings I always think, "How did she come up with these figures and this scene?" What a great drug she must be on imagination at work!

In Inka's new work, "Spring" 2006 (photo #5), her extraterrestrial like creatures truly dance on the canvas.  My photo doesn't do it justice.. go see them for yourself! The show is open till April 8th.

Then.. saving the best for last.. I went to the opening/after party of The Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery..

They have 2 great shows going on at the same time..

Picture_030The recent work of highly celebrated artist Kara Walker.. which presents her second film titled "Eight Possible Beginnings..."

I already went back to see this film a second time. It's both funny and a powerful commentary on race, and sexuality in our society. 

Also.. Opening March 21st at The Metropolitan Museum.. Kara Walker at the Met : After the Deluge. So I'm sure we'll be seeing lot's of press on Kara!

In the main gallery, they have, a fun group show of 6 young, up and coming artists. Curated by Michael Jenkins, "Turn the Beat Around" is a show which features both several paintings and sculptures. I found the witty sculpture work of

Chris_dorlandartist Ryan Johnson (Photo #9), and Todd Knopke (Photo #7) plus the great paintings of Chris Dorland (Photo #8) to be the true highlights.

Todd Knopke ( first solo show, June'03 at I-20 Gallery) has both a sign with the phrase "Everything is Beautiful Here" lit up along with this hysterical furry white tusked elephant.. Which I was most emphatically corrected.. "It's a Mammoth, not an elephant silly!" when I took this photo.

Ryan Johnson's handmade modern shopping cart in the shape of a huge spear was perhaps one of the more amusing works I've seen in a long time.

Ryan_cartI believe this is one of Ryan's first gallery group shows.

I was also impressed with the 3 acid colored paintings by Chris Dorland. I've been a fan of this artist ever since his feature at ~scope Miami this past Dec.  Both Art Papers and art blogger Ed Winkleman have written about Chris Dorland's work.

It's my understanging, as a starting inspiration for his painting, Chris uses 1960's architectural photos which he digitally manipulates to create his own idealized urban settings.  As a photography collecting nut enthusiast, just the concept of a Post-Photographic painter, got me hooked on his brilliantly colored, haunting modern landscapes. Chris Dorland is represented by The Wendy Cooper Gallery in Chicago, and the Plus Ultra Gallery in NYC which I believe will have the next show for Chris in this Fall.

Don't miss this show.. it's genuinely impressive in this "Golden Age of Art Merchandising" (and the Mr. Greedy Art Dealer Awards) to see a major Chelsea gallery showcase all works by emerging artists which they do not represent.  Very refreshing! "Turn the beat around" is on view till March 4th.

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