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October 26, 2006

Chelsea Gallery Walk - Last Sat Night

So being super busy last week, Dr. Quiz & I hadn't a chance to spend "Quality" time together. So last Sat night, I dragged her ass to a few dozen art openings in Chelsea.  She hates these things, mostly due to the crowds of pretentious people, and of course, the serving of really bad wine is always unsettling.  Plus Dr. Quiz is never fond of the amazing art work I bring home.. so you can image touring the random sea of crap new art in Chelsea... Yes.. she's such a princess harsh critic.. let's just say, Dr. Quiz had a face like she was going to a funeral.  Surprisingly we did manage to see two shows which past the Dr. Quiz sniff quality test.. so you may like them too...

Stop #1 : Postmasters Gallery - "The War in Iraq" new paintings by Steve Mumford.
Steve_mumford_at_postmasters_1Some of you may already know the work of Steve Mumford.

from either the Greater NY show at PS 1 last year, or his water color book.

Baghdad Journal. I blogged about it last year as an Art Book Pick of the Month.

Most certainly this artist is well trenched in the school of Photorealism, but these paintings take the typical Chuck Close portrait, Charles Bell, pinball machines, Ralph Goings, dinette counter tops, or Richard Estes street scenes a bit further. These hyper-realist works look much like an action packed photo journalistic essay than a photo-realist still life.

It's all very refreshing..possibly even a new direction in painting. Well worth checking out. This was our favorite from the show (Photo #1, Duel, 2005, oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches ). Just to wet your whistle.. Here's an artist quote from the press release..

These paintings are based on experiences and impressions from 11 months in Iraq. I went there four times, from April 2003 to October 2004, spending about half of my time embedded with various US military units throughout Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle. I also got to know many Iraqi artists in Baghdad, who I hung out with on each trip.

I was drawing and painting in watercolor throughout these trips, but looking for compositions for oil painting that might go beyond simply recording daily life and tasks. I wanted to distill something essential about the drama of war, beyond right and wrong.

These aren't anti-war paintings. They aren't political. I'm not trying to address the morality of war, or George Bush's foreign policy agenda. I went to Iraq because I wanted to know what being in a war zone was like, and paint about it from my own subjective experience. The events in the paintings are either things I saw or things that happened nearby.

-Steve Mumford

The show is up till December 2nd.

So, we made several other stops Sat night.. Sikkema Jenkins & Co, Roebling Hall,and Nicole Klagsbrun... Their new shows are all somewhat dull boring sadly unimpressive, not the norm for any of these galleries.. The only other pleasant surprise of the night was :

Stop #2 : The Lehmanm Maupin Gallery - Jennifer Steinkamp, Digital Animation.

After seeing this one.. we both realized.. this is the future of video art.. very impressive, and most certainly cutting edge Digital Video Art. Check out Jennifer's website!
I took this photo in the gallery main room.. .It doesn't do the work justice.
Jennifer_steinkampBut, the picture is of "The wreck of the Dumaru."

It's huge!! With digital water and waves..crashing together.. lots of psychedelic colors.. as you can see.

All I could think.. Dude.. this would be even more amazing if I was stoned very trippy. How did the artist ever think of and make this??

Apparently, this work references her great uncle who became delirious and died at sea during World War I.

There's additional work in the back gallery.. also digital projections.. very creative! The show is up till November 25th.

It's cool and filled with those gee whiz moments, not easy to come by in Chelsea today..So go check it out for yourself. It might have even changed the Dr. Quiz funeral face to a brief smile, and that's no easy feat!

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Hey MAO..
Sounds like you've spoiled Dr. Quiz.. too much good Art and Wine!

I heart Dr. Quiz.

This show was a great surprise. The cascading fabrics were quite beautiful.

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