44 posts categorized "Artist SpotLite"

November 19, 2014

Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing a public kiss, naked.. Is this Art or just bad Taste?

Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing, an oh too public kiss, naked..on a Billboard size image?   Is this Art or just bad taste? Really for a straight Gagosian Artist, this is the best you can do, "Sweet Liberty"?

Well.. Maybe MAO is just a total prude being honest. But, am I the only person who thinks, some artists, should probably learn to paint better keep their clothes on if they want attention by the art world ?

There's almost nothing original about doing this,  it's been done more tastefully so many times before. Like here, here and here, just to name a few.

In this Post-Gay world.. does anyone even care? If a Gay Tree Falls in the disco, no one even hears it. As an art gay mao-self, I'm a bit sadened by this PDA,  aka.. Public Display for Attention!

 And... Please... Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy try going to a gym puting some clothes on for your next exhibition!

Well, anyway,  just click here to see the story and the pathetic photos. 

Dan-Colen-Kalup-Linzy-kissTwo Artists Kiss in the Buff on London Bridge



Artists Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy shake up the narrative of romance

November 5 is a national holiday in the UK, commemorating Guy Fawks' failed attack on the Parliament House, in London. But today, the British capital became the stage of a different kind of celebration.

Displayed as a billboard-size image, the picture of Brooklyn-based artists Dan Colen and Kalup Linzy sharing a kiss, naked, in front of the Statue of Liberty, was unveiled on the city's London Bridge. "We feel it is our birthright to love without oppression or racism, things that have historically separated us," commented the two artists. "I think Kalup and I had a synchronised, inspired moment," Colen added. 

The work, entitled "Sweet Liberty", hopes to disrupt familiar issues of identity politics and instead represent romance in its rawest, most rudimentary form.

November 30, 2010

Great New Photobook #2 - Conditions by Andres Marroquin Winkleman

Great New Photobook #2 - Conditions, (2010) by photographer Andres Marroquin Winkleman.

Well.. this book might be the best kept secret of the 2010 photobook publishing world.

Hardcover, Left & Right Binding
128 pages, 56 full color plates
26x21cm (10.2x8.2in)
offset printed
edition size: 300

Winklemann_Conditions02 This is the very first amazingg project of the newbie emerging photo art book publisher Meier und Müller.



Yes...  that was.. 

Meier und Müller a new photobook publisher, and you thought this business was DOA.  (We guess, the company name, it's like "Smith and Jones" but in German.. a la.. photobooks for the common man. We can't wait to see what they do next.)

Winkleman_Conditions3 Anyway.. this new publisher is the brainchild of Photographer Andres Marroquin Winkleman and from the Godfather of the photo blog world.. Dr. Jorg M. Colberg..aka.. Conscientious.com. And all we at MAO have to say.. it's one super damn impressive first attempt. Congrats Gentleman!

Astutely edited by renown photographer Adam Bartos, Conditions is actually not just one nice photobook, it's more like 2 brilliant photobooks in one smart and thoughtful designed package. We found this presentation both totally fresh and innovative, plus we have never seen such a cool, very Japanese Provoke inspired Belly band included with this package! I bet, you'll find yourself flipping through these books so many times because each reading tells a slightly different story. 

But, the nifty design is not just for design sake. In this photobook's case the physical exterior packaging harmoniously supports the interior image meanings and concepts. Making for a melodious photographic project.

Well.. first off, before I go one gushing anymore, to understand what the hell MAO is talking about, you just have to see how special this book is. So check out this cute video....

"Conditions", Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann from Meier und Müller on Vimeo.

Pretty Cool? Right?? Who would have thought a bunch of rigid well studied Germans could have pulled this off! So Move Over Little Brown Mushroom Books.. there's a new smarter german kid in town!

Winkleman's images explore the concepts of "us" and "them", and they truly show the reader, 2 fractions of a place, and how people can co-inhabit a community but living parallel lives. This is strongly explored by flipping through both sides of this dual book. It allows the reader to create numerous diptychs, and hence every reading tells a slightly different story, just as each individual experience different realities within society.   

So.. Yes.. We enjoyed this photo project, the dark and quiet images even reminded us of work by some of our favorite photographers... Wolfgang Tillmans, Laura Letinsky, and maybe even a little Paul Graham.

So just 2 additional MAO picky thought/suggestions to the publishers, if when they do a second edition..

1. While we liked the informative essay by the Godfather of the photo blog world.. Dr. Jorg M. Colberg. We really would have loved if this book had included a list of photo titles/credits.. cause we're still guessing about some of these images. Which I guess was totally intentional....

2. It could have used a printed title somewhere on the spine of the case. FYI.. Once you put this wonderful little black book on a bookshelf.. you may never find it again!!  It's just a solid black unmarked spine/edge.. so we totally lost this book for a week in our messy NYC loft. OUCH!  

Anyway... Conditions is an edition of only 300 books.. all numbered.. so if you have any interest in this wonderful book.. you better get one very soon!!

 You can order it here.  

It's sure to sell out fast because we herd they make outstanding stocking stuffers.

May 13, 2010

Ryan Humphrey's New Show, with a work in the coming DPA Charity Auction!

Artist Ryan Humphrey's New Show at DCKT Conemporary Gallery is his best work to date, and he's even got one of his works coming up at Monday's DPA Re:FORM Charity Auction!

So, you might remember Ryan.. as the precocious Bad Boy Contemporary Artist who was featured on the first tragic season of America's Top Design Reality TV Show.

If you have a chance, be sure to stop into see Ryan Humphrey's newest show "Early American" at the DCKT Contemporary Gallery on the Lower East Side. It's an amazing installation of high art meets new american hip-hop design with a bit of Witty car culture thrown into the mix. Each piece in the show will leave you with a smirk on your face, and you might even get a giggle out of it.  but over all MAO left the gallery thinking, Ryan has found his true artistic voice, and he probably has produced his best work to date for this show.

Here's a short part from the official gallery Press Release..

Early American, RYAN HUMPHREY’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. HUMPHREY explores duality through an altered, customized version of an 18th century American interior. The installation hijacks the format of a formal and affluent interior, infusing it with cast-offs and objects more likely found in a rural garage than an antique shop. Class and taste are called into question and the hierarchy of materials associated with social stratification is discarded.

We particularly loved Ryan's painting, "UnderTow, 2010."  (photo #1) Which we were told was made from 100% old NY City 1970's Black and White Junked Police Cars. It's just a wonderful appropriation of the Ryan_Humphrey_UnderTow_2010 famous Hokusai, "The Great Wave of Kanagawa", of the 1820's.

So, if like MAO, you're a Ryan Humphrey Fan, then you have a great chance to get one of his cool works for a songat this Monday night's Drug Policy Alliance's Re:FORM Charity Auction at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery.

Ryan has donated this mutli-image 2 panel work.. tying in his Evil Knievel Bad Boy Biker, with a whole lot of Art History. it just resulted in a  wonderful and Witty work.


(Photo #2, Ryan Humphrey |Hearts of Darkness 2, 2009|Mixed media on fabric, linen, and canvas |2 panels, each 20 1/4 x 15 inches|Courtesy of the artist and DCKT Contemporary, Inc., New York| Estimated retail value: $3,500 )

Even if you're not a in the know, hip Ryan Humphrey Fan.. at the DPA event

there are also some great donations from a number of super star artist to consider.. Kara Walker, Donald Beachler, Fred Tomaseli, John Waters, William Wegman, and Ross Bleckner. So, there's still time for you to place absentee bids here...

See you all at Sikkema Jenkins on Monday Night!


April 08, 2010

Artist Spencer Finch to Speak (Parsons Lecture Series) at The Aperture Foundation

Artist Spencer Finch to Speak at The Aperture Foundation (in cooperation with Parsons New School for Design) at 6:30pm on April 20th.

Some of the best things in Life are Free.. and as far as the art world goes.. this is one of those events.

Spencer_Finch_2009_Venice_biennale2 We've been a long time fan of Spencer Finch and his super Witty sensory perception art creations.

(Photo #1, Images taken of the 2009 Venice Biennale room featuring 2 Spencer Finch artworks, Moonlight (Glass Window) and Moondust (light Sculpture))

If you've been on the New High Line Park in NYC.. you've no doubt marveled at Spencer Finch's Creative Time sponsored "The River That Runs Both Ways" (aka.. The English translation for the Native Indian name "Hudson") work, which looks like a huge stained glass wIndow installation at 15th Street and 9th Ave. In MAO's not sohumble opinnion, it is possibly one of the most perfect public art works we've seen in years!

So here's you chance to meet and listen to the brilliant mind who created this amazing public artwork...  

Here's the note from the official press release..

Aperture and the Photography Program in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design present a talk with Brooklyn-based artist Spencer Finch. In his renderings of light and color, Finch unites scientific method with a poetic sensibility as he explores the mechanics and mysteries of perception. Working with a variety of media, the artist examines how people experience, remember, and represent an array of visual and sensory phenomena through a studied investigation of his own observations of subjects ranging from the color palette of his dreams to a Monument Valley sunset. Finch is interested in the physical, cultural, and psychological factors that shape perception, examining the effect of light on an object's color, the boundaries of the human field of vision, and the influence of language, memory, and the subconscious.

Spencer Finchwas born in 1962 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Hamilton College, and Doshisha University in Kyoto, and has exhibited internationally. Finch had a major solo exhibition, What Time is it on the Sun?, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, which was accompanied by a monograph with essays by Susan Cross and Daniel Birnbaum. His recent solo exhibition, As if the Sea Should Part and Show a Further Sea, was exhibited at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, in 2009. Finch was also included in the Making Worldsexhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale, and has a solo exhibition forthcoming at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in September 2010. His work is held in important museum collections, including those of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and Guggenheim Museum, New York

So the lecture starts at 6:30pm.. I'd suggest you get there early.. cause everyone MAO knows will be there...to oooh.. and ahhh.. over Spencer Finch and his amazing art!

Artist Talk with Spencer Finch
Parsons Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
6:30 pm


Aperture Gallery & Bookstore
547 West 27 Street, 4th floor
New York, New York

April 06, 2010

Last Chance to see.. Ruben Natal-San Miguel's "NY, NY Concrete Jungle" Show!

This is your last chance to see.. Ruben Natal-San Miguel's "NY, NY Concrete Jungle" show at +Kris Graves Projects!

The show closes on April 10th, and the gallery is at 111 Front Street, Suite 225, Brooklyn, NY Miguel-Duo_once_upon_a_time_Harlem_2007 11201. Plus, this show was curated by photography great, and MAO favorite, Matthew Pillsbury.

OK.. We know.. going all the way out to Brooklyn is not going to happena small hassle. But, you will not be sorry. This is one show not to miss. Many of you might know Ruben Natal-San Miguel from his hyperprolific art blog, "ArtMostFierce." But beside being an obsessed contemporary photo collector, Ruben is also quite a skilled street photographer. The show, his first solo project, and is packed full of strong hit you right where you live images. It is NY street grit and glam at it's best. (Photo #1, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, "Duo- Once Upon a Time, Harlem, 2007," C-Print)

If you like the work of photographer Zoe Strauss, you've got to see this show.

Miguel-Apollo_MJ_Memorial_Harlem_09 Here's a small overreaching thoughtful note from the show's press release...

Like Ruben's Philadelphia friend and influence, photographer Zoe Strauss, he elevates these "UNSEEN" people and places with poetic vision, working to create an endearing meaningful life lesson of what it's like when the human spirit makes the best of what others may consider to be so little. This photographic project captures the beauty and struggle of everyday life which resonates as a social document of our time, and as a sheer and powerful visual art" - Mike Hoeh

The show includes a total portfolio of intriguing images, taken on the streets of Harlem over the last 5 years.

(Photo #2, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Apollo M.J. Memorial Harlem 2009, C-Pint)

So the show is only up for a few more days.. so get out your subway maps.. and check it out the show.

March 16, 2010

MOMA Event - An Evening with Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

MOMA Event - An Evening with Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Monday March 22nd at 7:00pmin the The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2.

OK.. so I'll bet most MAO readers don't know this artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, too well.

Up until a year ago.. MAo didn't either.. But we have to say.. you should take a close look at this artist's work if you've not seen it before. Singer, Songwriter, writer, and artist, Genesis is a cutting edge British born gender bending artist from the 60's and 70's who's still working, and relevant today.

Here's the MOMA comment for this Monday Evening's event...

New York–based artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (b. Great Britain, 1950) has been testing the limits and conventions of music, language, art, and identity for almost forty years. As a founding member of the seminal industrial band Throbbing Gristle, P-Orridge made music history. More recently, in collaboration with his partner Lady Jaye, the artist started an ongoing experiment in body modification aimed at creating one “pandrogynous” being. For this discussion, P-Orridge focuses on works created with the 1970s British avant-garde performance collective COUM Transmissions. The group’s collaboration culminated in the 1976 retrospective PROSTITUTION at London’s I.C.A. Gallery, which was vehemently attacked by the press and even debated in British Parliament. P-Orridge will show rare footage and images of COUM’s performances. Please note: This program may contain explicit material.

MAO was impressed during Armory Week, we got to visit the collections and homes of some of NYC most well respected art collectors (think the posh, stuffy, and polite society of NYC!), and we saw the work of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge proudly on display. WHat??  ...Who??..   Really? ....Genesis! YES!!

So, We were a bit surprised to say the least to see such smutprovocative Artwork on the walls of an Upper East Side Mansion.. what would the neighbors Biff and Buffy say??. But there it was, for all the VIP's to see!


Well.. Here's just one example...
Photo #1 by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Sigil (Full Strength)/B-Right-On, 1985/2002
Mixed media
20 x 14.75 inches
on 23.5 x 19.5 inch paper
MAO has never been a big art collage fan.. It always seems a bit too crafty and some times childlike..
but when
we saw how powerful and a bit shocking, the works of Genesis can be, we were intrigued.
It's certainly worth a second look.
The first show of this artist's  work we ever saw was in a small bleeding  cutting edge Lower East Side Gallery..
Invisible--Exports.. which is where you'd think this type of Art work would stay.
But we guess some smart people on the Upper East Side in High Society have an dark adventurous side! YEA!
So, My little MAO-ettes, get your tickets for this MOMA lecture today.  This event is going to be popular.. and if nothing else, it's bound to be very interesting!!
Photo #2 by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
English Breakfast, 2002-2009
Mixed media
14 x 11 inches
Edition of 3
See you MONDAY at MOMA!

December 02, 2009

Art Miami 2009.. VIP Opening Night! A Nice Big Crowd...

Art Miami.. VIP Opening Night! A Nice Big Crowd...

So.. MAO and the MAO-ettes were doing the elite Miami Art Basel circuit party thing last night.

Last night was the posh VIP opening of 2 of the long time fairs.. Art Miami, and Design Miami.

We went to both of course.

Both were buzzing.. with people... lots of people!

So we guess the nights were successful for the art dealers....we shall see how today's main fair opening goes!

As for the Art Miami Fair.. we have to say.. we were all a bit disappointed by the galleries at this fair.

We herd one person say.. There's Lot's of "Decorative Work" being shown here at Art Miami.  FYI.. that's Art Snob code for terrible mall art!  But we did notice several dealers were showing only older not so interesting secondary work.

For us the standout booths of the fair were the Stux Gallery booth.. and the Amador Gallery booth. Congrats!

Both took a chance brought some new contemporary work by New Artists we hadn't seen before.. 

Robert_voit_halfway_Gardens_south_Africa From the Amador Gallery...

Robert Voit (these are a series of photographs of Cell Tower that are made to look like "Natural Trees")

Photo #1 By Robert Voit.


24" X 20" Edition of   4

60" x 50" Edition of   6

Type C Print

These images were all very cool.. a little Ed Ruscha.. and a little Karl Blossfeldt.. but updated for the year 2009.

From the Stux Gallery..

We liked the new works by Don Porcella, and photos from Rudd Van Empel..

Here's one example of Don's work.. (Not in the Miami booth)

..but our pics of his work didn't come out well enough to post..

He made scuplture out of pipe cleaners..

Don_Porcella_Dealer_2006 But you will get the idea..

Photo #2,

work by Don Porcella, "Dealer, 2006", Pipe cleaners, 10 x 7 x 1.5 inches

It looked like works were selling.. we saw red dots!!

Which might be a good sign for what's to come the rest of the week!

Anyway..MAO has to get ready for the Big ABMB opening!!

So catch you later....coming to you from Miami SoBe.

February 26, 2009

Kamrooz Aram.. A MAO favorite artist makes the Cover of Art In America

Kamrooz Aram.. A MAO favorite artist makes the cover of Art In America this month.

So we've long been a fan of the bright colored exotic Persian influenced paintings of Kamrooz Aram. Kamrooz was by far the biggest up and  coming star, of the now, just Gallery Road Kill of the Great Art Recession of 2009 a fond memory, but uber cool, Oliver Kamm 5BE Gallery .

While this will not be a big surprise to many wise long time MAO readers. We've blogged about Kamrooz before. But this month, Kamrooz Aram's art career hits a new high, with the opening of his solo show at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, as well as his huge feature story on the cover of Art In America this month.

Kamrooz_Art_in_America The solo show, now up until April 9th at the Perry Rubenstein Gallery, is probably his strongest yet. You'll also see that he's a man of many talents. For this show, Kamrooz has also produced some amazing drawings along side his paintings. If you're not into paying the huges prices for traditional oil on canvas type paintings, these drawing are well worth checking out!

Congrat's to Kamrooz! We love your work.. and we should probably take the lovely painting of yours we have in the MAO collection out of storage and actually put it up for auction up on the wall for all to see in the MAO loft.

If you don't subscribe to Art In America.. you can read the full 11 page story here!

Art in America (March 2009)
Kamrooz Aram: Uneasy Delights

The lush paintings in this Iranian-born artist's current exhibition draw on a global range of imagery both sacred and profane, as well as a deep well of dream-born hybrids. BY GARY INDIANA

November 10, 2008

MAO Interview with Photographer Taiji Matsue, Part 2

MAO Interview with Photographer Taiji Matsue, Part 2

Taiji_Matsue_ECUADOR_70346 So before we complete the interview.. we just wanted to point out a great new hardcover photobook that just hit some of our favorite bookshops from Taiji Matsue. Cell, Taiji Matsue, published by Akaaka sha, 2008. The book is well worth checking out, cause it has many more images which couldn't make it into the show.  Matsue's Nest show is up on 57th street at the Cohen Amador Gallery, till the end of the year.

Mao.. Matsue...Interview Part II

6. MAO : One of your key trademarks in your past work, has been the successful use of survey-use aerial photography, how is this current body of work connected in concept to that work? How is this current work an extension or departure from that work?

Matsue : The aerial photography is only a small part of my works. Most of my works are taken by a large format camera and a tripod.

The new series "cell" are chosen from all my color photography including the aerial photography.

The new series of large-sized color photographs does not include aerial photography.

(Photo #1, Taiji Matsue, "

ECUADOR 70346" 2008, C - Print )

7. MAO : Why did you choose the title Nest for your current show? What was the specific inspiration and message for this show and work?

Matsue : There are 2 series shown at this current show. One is the new series of large-sized color photographs. The another is the "cell" series.

The new series of "cell" is created by the trimming of a tiny part of all of my color works.

"Nest" is an exhibition showing both zooming "out" and "in" works at the same time, hence constructing the "nested" relation ship.

The word "Nest" was inspired from the technical terminology of computer programming.

8. MAO : When you were making the original source photos, were you thinking about creating these cell images or was it only a post photo inspiration ?

Matsue_Cell_50BCNMatsue : The "cell" images are the new discovered details by zooming in the original photographs.

(Photo #2, Taiji Matsue, "50BCN" 2008, 19" x 19", Edition of 5, C - Print )

9. MAO : As I've looked though your new book (which is totally wonderful..congrats) several of the cell images look almost like they were created and paired as "Dypticks" ?

Taiji_Matsue_27SVQMatsue : The "Dypticks" kind of images were actually decided with the editor, in the process of editing the new book.

10. MAO : When you're not working on your photography, what's your favorite recreational activities?

Matsue : I like, "Observing" (not just watching) TV programs, web surfing, and exploring cities.

(Photo #3, Taiji Matsue, "27SVQ" 2007, 19" x 19", Edition of 5, C-Print)

Note : All photos: (c) Taiji Matsue and Courtesy of TARO NASU and Cohen Amador Gallery

FYI.. If you missed Part I of the Matsue Interview..click here....

November 04, 2008

MAO Interview with Artist and Photographer Taiji Matsue (Part 1)

Today we have the first part of an interview with Japanese Artist and photographer, Taiji Matsue.

Some of you may have already seen Taiji's amazing new show, "Nest", up currently at the Cohen Amador Gallery on 57th street. If not.. you need to see this show ASAP!

Some of the smart MAO Photobook obsessed readers, may also know Taiji Matsue by his book Taiji Matsue, 2001 which was included in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's The Photobook: A History, Part 1, and is frequently listed among the most "significant" Japanese Photography books.

Here's Part 1 of our MAO Matsue interview...


Taiji_Matsue_JP_03 1. MAO : As a Japanese artist, you have been brought up in a rich culture of photography, which

Japanese artists have been your biggest inspirations? Which Non-Japanese Artists?


Matsue :  Within Japanese, it's Daido Moriyama. With, Non-Japanese they are Carleton Watkins and Lewis Baltz.

(Photo #1, Taiji Matsue, "JP-22 03" 2005, C Print)


2. MAO : Your photographic projects almost span the globe..your photographic body has included many urban, and well as several rural settings. What was your favorite location to work, and why?

 Matsue :  There is no favorite location in particular. My ideal is to homogenize the whole world, that's why.  In my opinion, artist's personal and private feeling against the location have no influence over spectators.


3. MAO : Do you have a "Matsue" signature style to your photographic work, is this something you particularly strive for or is it more organic.. can you describe this "Matsue" look?


Matsue : The "Matsue" look ... I think this is what the spectators decide, not myself.

(Photo #2, Taiji Matsue, "CHI 0254" 2002, gelatin silver print)

4. MAO : For your last show in

New York City at the Cohen Amador Gallery in 2006, the New York Time's critic Benjamin Genocchio, described your work as ".....scientific precision that gives his pictures a diverting presence and analytic crispness. But there is little emotional engagement."

Do you agree with this analysis? Is this the type of reaction to your art you were looking to achieve? (FYI, here's a link to the Aug 11, 2006, NY Times review..click here)

Matsue : I agree with the half of it, but not all of them. I take the photo by feeling a passion for "sunlit" surface of the earth. That gives the scientific precision to my works. 


Taiji_Matsue_BJX_41115 (Photo #3, Taiji Matsue, "BJX 41115" 2008, C Print)


5. MAO : Many purist, "old world art photographers," regard the use of Photoshop as almost cheating.   Can you tell us how and why you use Adobe Photoshop in your work?

Matsue : Denying the use of Photoshop for digital photographs means the same thing as denying the darkroom for analog photographs. Contradicting digital photography is nonsense. It's just nostalgia for the good old days, I think.


Note : All Taiji Matsue photos courtesy of  TARO NASU and Cohen Amador Gallery.

August 29, 2008

A Tsunami of Damien Hirst Art Works....

It's not just a flood of Damien Hirst art works...it's the Katrina of the Art World!

There are several reports out that his art dealers are already choking on having trouble "selectively placing" tons of unsold art works by Damien Hirst.

Plus.. Let us not forget, the famous 100 million dollar folly diamond skull was never sold.

Like lambs (or sheep) to the slaughter, Now, Sotheby's is also holding a 100% Damien Hirst art selling marathon in mid September at their London Offices.

Damien_Hirst_TheBlack_sheep Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, a major auction of works by Damien Hirst, will include an important series of new pieces which have been created over the past two years, including monumental formaldehyde sculptures; paintings which expand on the artist's classic themes such as butterflies, cancer cells and pills; exquisite new cabinets and insightful preparatory drawings.

56 Lots on September 15th at night.

Lots 101 to 180on September 16th in the morning

Lots 201 - 287on September 16th in the afternoon.

(Photo #1, Lot 9, Damien Hirst, 1965 The Black Sheep with The Golden Horn, Executed in 2008, sheep, 18 carat gold, glass, steel, acrylic, silicone and formaldehyde solution, 43 x 64 x 25", price est 2 - 3 Million Pounds Sterling..about $4 million USD)

Sheeps, Sharks, Butterflies, Pills, pok-a-dots..etc.. you name it.. there's at least one or 2 of freshly made Hirst works for sale... so much for scarcity! I guess Damien's army of art "collaborative artists" have been very busy make his art to sell.

If MAO was rich enough to be, stupid enough to be, fortunate enough to be a collector of Damien Hirst works... we would be very worried!  It looks like this auction may become the watershed Big Fall benchmark event for the contemporary art world.

August 01, 2008

The Life of a successful artist... Jennifer Bartlett

The Life of a successful artist... Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer-bartlett_house_dots_Hatches We've always loved the work of contemporary artist Jennifer Bartlett. We've written about her several times, Here, and here. (Photo #1, by Jennifer Bartlett, House: Dots, Hatches, 1999, print, 38 x 38")

In today's Wall Street Journal, there was a somewhat revealing story, of how good life can be, when you're a rich over hyped successful contemporary artist.

By living in NYC, and being an active collector, we've been lucky enough to know several artists. Sadly none of the artists we know live this large!

But we wonder, do stories like this totally shatter that image of the starving tortured artist doing everything for the love and devotion of their art work? 

Well...We guess times have been too very good for over hyped successful contemporary artists. Sadly, MAO aka..debbie downer would guess, things are probably not staying this good for most successful artists for much longer. As Bob Dylan once said...The Times.. they are a-changing !

Here's the story that was in the paper...

Artist Bartlett Sells NYC Townhouse for $17 Million 2008-07-30 22:06:24.170 (New York)

By Laura Marcinek

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Jennifer Bartlett, a realist painter whose work is in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art, sold her townhouse in Manhattan's West Village for $17 million, according to public records.

The five-bedroom home at 134 Charles St. has 12,800 square feet of interior space and 2,500 square feet of multilevel gardens and terraces, according to its listing on Sotheby's International Realty's Web site. The house also has an indoor lap pool, wood- burning fireplaces and views of the Hudson River.

Built as a warehouse in 1911, the building is the former residence and art gallery of Walter P. Chrysler Jr., according to Sotheby's. Chrysler, the son of the founder of the Detroit automaker, was an art collector and theater producer and founded Air-Temp, the first manufacturer of automotive air conditioning.

Bartlett bought the building in 1989 and redesigned it into living space, offices and studios, Sotheby's said.

The townhouse was listed in May 2007 for $17.9 million, according to StreetEasy.com, an online real estate listing service. In September 2007 the price was lowered to $17.5 million.

The price was increased in January to $19.5 million.

Roberta Golubock, the Sotheby's broker for the property, would not comment on the sale or the buyer, who was listed as 134 Charles Street LLC. She said the information listed on StreetEasy.com is not related to the listing on Sotheby's Web site.

`Post-Minimalist Style'

Bartlett is a realist painter with a post-minimalist style who is known for her landscapes and interiors. She made her mark in the 1970s along with artists such as Elizabeth Murray, Richard Serra and Chuck Close.

The highest price her work achieved at auction was the $176,000 paid in 1991 for a 1978 wall-sized canvas-and-steel-plate painting titled ``At the Lake,'' sold by collector and art investor Charles Saatchi at Sotheby's in New York.

That work is currently for sale by the buyer, a private collector from Texas, at the New York- and Chicago-based Richard Gray Gallery for $385,000, said gallery director Paul Gray.

Bartlett's work usually sells for $100,000 to $200,000 and her highest private sale was about $500,000, Gray said.

The deed for the townhouse sale was posted today on the New York City Department of Finance Web site. Bartlett was not immediately available for comment, said her assistant, Joan LiPuma.

May 06, 2008

Natasha Kissell, Artist Interview - Part 2

Natasha Kissell, Artist interview Part 2.  For those who didn't read part 1..you can go here and check out.. Natasha Kissell Interview Part 1.

Natasha_kissell_pinkcanyons So before we continue.. here's a brief description we found about one of Natasha's recent paintings.. Pink Canyons.. (Photo #1, Natasha Kissell, Pink Canyons, 2008, 48" x 42", oil on canvas)

PINK CANYONS transports Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion to an Arizona canyon calling to mind Monica Ramirez-Montegut’s comments in the current Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art show 'Painting The Glass House', "Perhaps for Kissell, only nature is the true companion and owner of modern architecture".

Instead of Harrap's peopled places, the psycho-geography comes in the form of the landscapes that the buildings exist in creating a double utopia, the two in conversation with each other. The usual crowds of tourists that would swarm around Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion are emptied out, in a desire to allow the building to exist in tranquility matched only by the sun gently going down in the Arizona outback. This also creates a surreal juxtaposition, two far away places united in one canvas.


MAO Q6.. So your husband Peter Harrap, is also a successful painter.. has he been a huge influence on your work? Both of your paintings are going to be in the new show together..Why?  Do you work closely together.. or far apart? Are you guys co-dependent artists? What other artists would you say have been the biggest influence on you?


NK : We work back to back. Furniture flies, we shout and out of the creative furnace, new ideas come. We challenge each other and point out weak areas. I don't think I would be able to accept this from anyone else, or rather they wouldn't accept the shouting match that would follow! We are independent artists but often arrive at ideas together so it is interesting to show together. There is also the difference in figure/non figure compositions making the works create a dialog that is interesting.


MAO Q7.. In your new work as well as your last show, there were no people. For the most part, everything in your paintings are always very neat and in an unusually orderly setting.. At most there's a bird or a wolf in your paintings.. Why? Are you making a specific political statement, or do you have a specific social message you want to express?


NK :  I do believe I’m making a kind of political statement, if not in your face. I am influenced by the Natasha_kissell_minimalistwithmarsh Siennese painters of the 14th and 15th centuries. Their idea of the Republic was tantamount dictating their perspective on the cities they depicted. Because everyone had a say in the way the city was run, there is a democracy of viewpoint, not the single view point of power, of the lord of the manor, the leader or the war lord, but the multiple perspective of the collective. This is why I combine many perspectives in one picture. The neatness comes I guess because it is more the idea of place, the concept of holding an ideal, a utopia in mind than the loved experience. I use not just one utopia but two - that of the beauty of nature, and also that of the beauty and perfection of design, hence the modernist architecture, not the modernism of 60's high rises but the modernism of exquisite design where architects compete with the natural world to create something spectacular.

(photo #2 Natasha Kissell, Minimalist with Marsh Marigold, 2008, 30" x 40", oil on canvas)


MAO Q8.. So you guys don't live in NYC (the center of the Art World Universe). Do you spend much time going to London museums, or local galleries? How do you think living in the trendy Notting Hill has influenced your painting?


NK :  If I could live in New York I would be there in a shot! I love the energy of it. London's not so bad though, also full of buzz, and allows me to remain well connected with the contemporary art world which is becoming increasingly international. You’re more likely to see an English artist exhibit in Berlin say than London, and London’s full of Romanian/Russian/etc. so you really get to key into the international perspective. Go very regularly to the museums, once a week to look and study old and new. In Notting Hill we work next door to the playwright Harold Pinter, great modernist writer and have others like the fashion design Paul Smith live a couple of doors down, a really buzzy place full of people who have done really interesting stuff with their lives. Also Lucien Freud is a neighbor, he once asked me to sit for him, but I couldn't’t do the commitment of a whole year of giving up painting to pose for him every day.


MAO Q9... Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as the "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals."[1] A more straightforward definition is "a slightly stuffy term that's been applied to a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities.

Where did you find this word "Psychogeography"? And why did you choose this as the title for your new show?


NK :  Both Peter and I were using places as representations of an internal, emotional place. Painting is about reflecting our experience of living in the world, how we imprint our own individual identities on the places in which we find ourselves. I guess as a painter you try and stamp this individuality in an act of will, that I exist and I matter, however misguided this may be. Peter’s spaces may be more urban Natasha_kissell_inthetreetops and mine more wildernesses, but each is huge and uncontrollable in its own way. This is what leads us to try and control our little bit of world allotted to us. We’re not interested in ownership, one response to the problem of being “small” in the world, but more interested in this act of the will and how it drives us, and the expressions this takes.


(Photo #3, Natasha Kissell, In the Treetops, 2008, 48" x 42", oil on canvas)


MAO Q10.. When you're not painting.. what's your favorite thing to do? What do you do for fun?


NK :  Breathe! Fresh air is always refreshing after a day stuck in the fumes of oil paint. Love films, we’re addicts, love the stories which I guess we both try and infuse in our work. People have said my work is quite filmic. Otherwise hang out in Soho bars, haunts of the art world and overdose on cigarettes and alcohol, escape from the intensity of our thoughts. A little holiday away from our selves!


Natasha's show opens this Thursday night,

Opening: Thursday, May 8th 6:30-8:30pm at the Gallery 10G, located at 222 East 19th Street #10G between 2nd/3rd Avenues. MAO of course will be there!

FYI... We think all the paintings in Part 2 of this interview will be in the new show (and available)..

Fortunately for Natasha...sadly for us art collectors.. we've been just told that all the paintings in Part 1 of this interview have already been sold/spoken for. Like who says the art market is crashing??? NOT MAO...now will someone please pass the Kool-Aid!

Congrats Natasha !

May 05, 2008

Artist interview with British Painter Natasha Kissell

Artist Interview with British Painter Natasha Kissell.

Natasha_kissell_the_vertical_hour So it's been just over a year since we first saw the work of painter Natasha Kissell at the Scope'07 NY Art Fair.

And while we have to first confess admit..  we're generally totally turned off by almost all the current figurative and photorealistic paintings..

But, there was just something about Natasha's work that caught our attention.

So, a lot has been happening for Natasha Kissell..

Including a show at the Haunch of Venison's founding director's new gallery, Eleven Gallery in London..

and her work was recently included in Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture at Connecticut's Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. The Aldrich show was co-curated by Jessica Hough, and Monica Ramirez-Montagut.

(Photo #1, Natasha Kissell, The Vertical Hour, 2008, 60 x 66, Oil on canvas)

So before her new show opens up this week at the 10G Gallery in NYC.. we thought we'd check in with Natasha, and see how things were going. Here's the first part, of a 2 part artist interview..


MAO Q1. Why did you decide to become an artist?

NK : I felt the need to express my innermost thoughts and unable to do this through other means, the Natasha_kissell_bubblerock_2006_3 thing that came most naturally to me was scribbling with felt tips, crayons whatever I could get my hands on as a child. It all took off from there.

(Photo #2, Bubble Rock, 2006, 48 x 48, Oil on canvas)

MAO Q2. Painting... ? So, with such a huge expansion of the contemporary art world into new media, why choose did you choose the "traditional" brush, oil, and canvas ?

NK : It's like a kind of alchemy, something happens when you play around with paint. You start off with your ideas, but then something completely different happens as the materials respond to your touch and you arrive at a completely different destination. This tactile quality leads to surprises which keep the whole process fresh and unlimited, taking me out of what I know and think to other thoughts and ideas. For example, I may be painting a mountain as an expression of hugeness of space, but this may be done in an ethereal wispy way or it could be concrete and heavy, both would be saying different things.

MAO Q3. Would you describe your paintings as photo-realistic or even figurative? What style would you most strongly classify your paintings? And which artists would you most like to see your art work hung next to in a museum, or along side in an art text book?

NK : Magical Realism. Don’t like photo painting as such, being limited by the photographic source Natasha_kissell_bibbidibobbidiblu_3 material and deconstructing it, about flatness and the lie that manipulates us. Realism can be more real than the world outside, more intense in feeling and alive. The magical element is my desire to transcend the physical reality of the everyday and represent the things we can't see. In this sense I love Caspar David Friedrich. His work is so understated in scale, working sometimes on quite small canvases, but always conveying a sense of something bigger and loftier, a huge expanse of Germanic mountain ranges and a single tree standing solitary like the human presence. Of contemporary painters, I love Peter Doig in his daringness of colour and painterliness, not apologetic for being a painter but boldly exploiting every trick in the book in the whole range of mark making.

(Photo #3, Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue, 2007, 42 x 48, Oil on canvas)

MAO Q4.  Ever since photography, painters had the need to react to it. The Modernist movements in 20th-century painting has frequently been thought of as a reaction to the increasing possibilities of photography. Today, many contemporary painters get their inspiration from photographs.  Where do you get your inspiration from and why do you choose to make paintings that combine Modernistic architecture with idealist landscapes?

NK : Photography has definitely been a major influence from the early 20th century onwards, but the lens as a tool in painting has I would argue always been there. Take Caravaggio’s camera lucida, Cannalletto used one as well, Velasquez, all the great artists of the past, Vermeer have had tools to help them to translate the world out there, 3D and moving onto the 2d canvas. So in a sense photography is nothing new and certainly not a threat to the validity of painting as an artistic medium today. I use many ways of looking at the world, plein air as the old masters did, most recently on a trip to the Himalayas, Switzerland, all over in rain snow and sun, but also from photographs found in magazines, newspapers, and the web. Source material from films, even books (described images can sometimes etch themselves even stronger on the brain). So this with your internal vision, your drive of what you see in your mind’s eye combines with the real world to create new morphed images, combining fantasy and reality. Something utterly new and never seen before. This is what I hope.

Modernist architecture is a device I have found useful in adding to the long tradition of English landscape painting. Turner and Constable painted their cottages, ships, horse drawn carts, and faced with depicting nature you can go two ways, accept that everything that can be done has already been done, or try something new, to update and add to the tradition, to try and add your own personal vision. This is what I am trying to achieve.

MAO Q5... Which painting (or paintings) that you've made are you most proud of? Why?

NK : I don't have any favourites as such, each is given equal attention and labour. Having said that Natasha_kissell_deepanddarkandbea_3 breakthrough paintings are always satisfying. When you take risks, and go places you haven’t been. So 'Deep and Dark and Beautiful' was an exciting venture into the gothic with the spooky car headlights which lead to a whole series of works exploring the darker side of the sublime.

(Photo #4,

Deep and Dark and Beautiful, 2006, 48" x 42", Oil on canvas)


OK... be sure to stop by tomorrow for part 2.. of the MAO - Natasha Kissell Interview.

You can also see more of Natasha's work here.

Her show along with her husband, Peter Harrap's, show.. opens up this Thursday May 8th.. at the 10G Gallery

Opening: Thursday, May 8th 6:30-8:30pm
Gallery 10G is located at 222 East 19th Street #10G bet. 2nd/3rd Avenues
Show Artists:

April 07, 2008

Seminar with Ellen Harvey at the Whitney this Thursday night

Super Star of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Painter Ellen Harvey will give a free lecture (with regular admission) at the Whitney this Thursday night.

Ellen_harvey_whitney_paintings At MAO, we've blogged several times, (here and here) about how much we love the work of Ellen Harvey.. but this time you get to hear it straight from the artist's month.  Actually Ellen is a super speaker/presenter as well as an amazing painter. So this will be one event to check out. (Photo : a part of Ellen's Museum of Failure - The Collection of Impossible Subjects & Invisible Self-Portraits, 2007, installation at the Whitney 2008 Biennial)

As a trained Painter and a Lawyer, it should be fun to hear what insights Ellen has about her Whitney Biennial performance experience. During the early weeks of the show, Ellen did a series of 15-minute portrait drawings in exchange for the subjects responses to a questionnaire criticizing her efforts. Sadly MAO didn't get to participate cause it booked up way too quickly.

Here are the event details...and we think you may have to reserve tickets in advance.

Thursday, April 10 at 7pm.

Seminars with Artists : Ellen Harvey - Thur April 10, 2008

Trained as both a painter and an attorney, Harvey balances an artist's sense of faith with a lawyer's skepticism, as she investigates art's simultaneous potential for beauty and failure. 

Seminars with Artists
Launched in the late 1960s as one of the Whitney Museum's first public programs, Seminars with Artists is an open forum for conversations with some of the most notable American artists.  This season each Seminar explores a topic or theme central to an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art.

Admission is FREE for members; $6 for senior citizens and students; $8 for general admission. Members must make reservations by contacting [email protected]. For all others, advance sales recommended. Space is limited. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum Admissions desk or online by clicking the link at left. Inquiries: [email protected] or (212) 570-7715.

March 20, 2008

Josh Azzarella, Artist Interview Part 2

Josh Azzarella interview Part II.. For all those who missed part I...you must read here first.

Before we continue with the MAO/Josh Q & A. We just want to mention.. Josh's new show opens up tonight and runs through May 17th at DCKT's new posh  gallery space on the Lower East Side (at Bowery and Spring Street), just a block and a half down from The New Museum.

FYI..on Thursday and Friday nights the New Museum is open till 10pm.. And it's totally FREE admission on Thursday nights!!

Josh_azzarella_untitled_ssg_fredric Also for all those poor young collectors.. While there's no better bargin art program than Jen Bekman's 20x200 print program.. Josh also has this bargain much less costly edition print available from DCKT Contemporary.

(Photo #1, Josh Azzarella, Untitled (SSG Fredrick), 2008, archival digital c-print, edition of 50, 8 1/8 x 12 ¼” image, 11 x 14” paper..Abu Ghraib original source material here )

So if you like the work.. Act fast cause we think it will sell out fast. Oh.. and be sure to tell those DCKT people.. MAO sent you.. and they'll give you the special MAO discount  a free set of steak knifes from the Restaurant Supply store next door.  We now return to part 2 of the Josh Azzarella interview...


MAO : What's your starting point for the art work? And how do you choose your source material? How difficult was it for you to get a good quality starting image or video from?

JA : I don't know that there is an identifiable starting point for any of the work. When I look at the Josh_azzarella_u39_kent_state lineage of the work I find that it's reminiscent of footnotes. I'll begin researching one event that I consider recognizable and it will lead to another event and so on. Somewhere in there I find an image, or perhaps another event, and consider making a piece. As the body of work has progressed it's slowly moved further away from the iconic image. I've become increasingly interested in the context of the images: where they come from, what is being shown, what is being conveniently left out and why we as a society choose one image over another to label as the identifying image of an event.

(Photo #2, Untitled #39 (265) 2007, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", Note.. this image takes its source from John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the 1970 Kent State shootings)

As for source material, everything I use is about the worst possible copy I can get. In the beginning, I set in place a rule for myself that the only images, video, etc., I could use had to originate from the internet because this is where everyone else has access to them. This means that for most of the video work the beginning resolution is, at best, half that of a DVD. The still works usually begin as an image that is 2" x 3" at 72 pixels per inch. Because of this rule, I've spent a considerable amount of time developing a method to enlarge images while maintaining maximum quality.

MAO : Some of your images (4) have been modified twice. Can you explain why you did this? What was different about these works?

JA : The pieces you are referring to - Untitled #14 & 22 and Untitled #17 & 18 - are pretty early in the Josh_azzarella_untitled_18_tania body of work (even if their numbering doesn't indicate that). When I made them I was learning and problem-solving and interested in how these images retained cathectic energy with and without the figure.  For a while I would use the images in the pair interchangeably under one title and which one showed up would depend on the works surrounding it. But it became frustrating for me and for others so I officially added them as individual pieces to the body of work.

Josh_azzarella_untitled_17_hibernia (Photo #3 & #4,  Untitled #18 (Tania) & Untitled #17 (Hibernia) both archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", Note.. this image takes its source from this security cam photo

I think this practice of removing the figures entirely from one piece and altering their actions in its companion could be successfully applied to almost all the works. However, I don't know that I would gain any additional knowledge by doing so.   

MAO : Many of your images involve different US crisis... such as war, assassination, social unrest, murder, crime, and even catastrophic scientific failure.. Nothing too happy.. why ? Do you have some specific fascination, or is there a social/political statement you want to make about the media coverage of these events? 

JA: One aspect that draws me to this type of image is that they are records of specific events that have shaped or helped to shape everything we know and how we live, whether or not we were alive at the time or involved in the event. And what happens if, by slowing down and obfuscating or altering the image to create a new outcome, I affect our memory of the event? Can I affect a viewer's memories by offering a new possibility, confusing their previous memory or perhaps creating a memory of an event where one didn't previously exist?

The doctoring of images is nothing new. Altering, inventing or manipulating still photographic and moving images is a phenomenon that has accompanied photography since arranged or manipulated photographs of the Civil War affected the perception and consumption of the war. In recent history, these falsified images are proliferated by some of the most trusted sources; The LA Times, Washington Post, etc.

MAO : So Josh… You have a kick ass blog.. why did you create a blog? Has it been a help to you as an artist and professor?

JA : Let's be honest, it's less than stellar right now and has been for about the past 9 months. I started it for two primary reasons:  as a depository for some of the things I found while spending time on the internet and I wanted to learn more about content management systems, php, mysql, and all the nerdy things that come with it. Much to my surprise I found that it has been helpful when planning shows, mostly because I use it as a reminder of technical things I've tried, haven't tried or tried and failed at. However, after The Aldrich show, I found that it was more a source of anxiety than a problem-solving device. Then I began teaching 5+ classes a semester and simply haven't had time for it. In terms of helping me in the classroom, it plays no role. On occasion, a student will mention that they found it online and I either ignore them or respond that it came free with a “value meal” at some fast food chain (which really confuses them).

March 13, 2008

New Young Artist to Watch.. Yoon Lee - Opening at Pierogi

Painter Yoon Lee.. solo show opening at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg..

Leeyoon_jfk_2 We first saw Yoon Lee's amazing high energy paintings at Pulse Miami 2006 at the DCKT Contemporary booth.

(photo, Yoon Lee,  JFK, 2007-08, Acrylic on Sintra (PVC),84 x 240 inches )

Our first impression, was Yoon Lee's paintings were a more interesting fresh new exciting expansion of the work by Julie Mehretu. What do you think?

Her first NYC show is opening up tomorrow night at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and will be up untill April 14th.

If you had any question of how impressed we've been with Yoon Lee's paintings.. Believe it or not.. MAO was actually thinking of crossing a river for an Art opening tomorrow night.. !!!

March 07, 2008

Ellen Harvey At the 2008 Whitney Biennial

Ellen Harvey at the 2008 Whitney Biennial...Don't miss it! 

Due to terrible work problems, and a major family illness.. MAO has not yet made it over to the 2008 Ellen_harvey_museum_of_failure_whit Whitney Biennial.. We just hate it when life gets in the way of Art!

And while it's general NYC Art Critic Sport to bash the Biennial.. So far everything we've heard is pretty good, and certainly much better than the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

(Photo, Ellen Harvey's The Museum Of Failure, illuminated plexi-glass mirrors in aluminum frame hand-engraved with a salon-style hanging of empty ornate frames, 8 ft (2.44 m) x 12 ft (3.66m), 2007)

We just wanted to point out that one of MAO's favorite artists, Ellen Harvey, is featured in BOTH locations of the 2008 Biennial..!! Sweet ! So Ellen's amazing work can be seen at the main museum.. and at the Armory location. Congrats to Ellen!

The ever insightful, Robert Ayres.. just wrote a positive article, giving the major high points not to miss on your visit to the Whitney 2008 Biennial... Of course Ellen Harvey was his first pick!

January 23, 2008

New Work by Spencer Finch

We at MAO have been a long time fan of Artist Spencer Finch..ever since the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Art_in_america_spencer_finch_on_cov His show up at Mass MOCA "What Time Is It on the Sun?" is amazing (now extended through Spring 2008)..

The D.A.P. Monograph book..a total WOW!

And now, finally he's got some well deserved attention by Art In America this (Jan 08) month. FYI... They don't have the story on-line.. so you'll just have to buy the deadwood media magazine!

But Spencer now has a new show opening up in Germany!  And the work looks as thought provoking as ever! 

Spencer Finch: In Praise of Shadows, Berlin, Galerie Nordenhake, Now through January 26.

The gallery has almost every work up on their website..very nice.   Aaaah.. there's nothing like German engineering !

The dusty old Black and White photography maven in MAO just loves the Atget references! Bravo Spencer!

Here's a brief description from todays ArtKrush :

In Spencer Finch's current exhibition at Berlin's Nordenhake, the American artist explores the nature and inadequacies of perception. In a diverse array of works — twelve serial photographs, nine drawings, a light installation of color-filtered fluorescents, and five glasses filled with progressively darkening liquid — Finch aims to replicate the measurement, memory, and color of specific shadows. Each work reproduces the spectrums of light that Finch has encountered while visiting historic locations, including Goethe's home and Parisian alleyways photographed a century earlier by Eugène Atget. By revealing the precise inspiration for his pieces, Finch reminds viewers of their present circumstances, creating works that are both chromatically beautiful and absurd in their attempt to reproduce a fleeting sensory experience.

September 12, 2007

Phillip-Lorca diCorcia and the MAO Collection

We at MAO have long been fans of photography by Phillip-Lorca diCorcia.  Sadly we didn't get up to Boston to see his new retrospective at the ICA.

So we thought it's worth pointing out 2 gallery shows many diCorcia fans might not have known about.

1. A new body of work which was on display at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in East Hampton, NY. (Sorry this one closed on Sept 10th) Printed Matters. New Work by Philip-Lorca diCorciaPhilliplorca_dicorcia_compound_imag

The show featured several one of a kind multiple exposure images, as a "random output" from doing some test printing.  The images were mostly derived from images from his last major project.. My Storybook Life.  So, while we're not sure how we feel about photographers re-using old images to make new work..  seems a bit too lazy easy to us,  there were some provocative narrative combinations. FYI.. Almost nothing from the show was sold as of this weekend.. but that maybe just due to the show's images all being small and over priced at $25,000 each.... more here...

2. ClampArt's new "Friends from the Boston School" show.

Philliplorca_dicorcia_everlove This show is actually the back-room show to a much larger, amazing Mark Morrisroe retrospective.

But the smaller Boston School show packs a punch.. and includes works by Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, David Armstrong, Gail Thacker, plus paintings by Tabboo. You'll also be happy to know..  This show includes 2 kick-ass favorite Phillip-Lorca diCorcia photographs generously on lone from The ModernArtObsession.com collection !!

Yes.. my little MAO-ettes..The MAO Family collection is available for loans to curators of group shows.

So go check it out.. and be sure to tell Brian... MAO sent you!! The show is up till Oct 6th.

June 29, 2007

Ryan McGinley and PUMA... Not Exactly ready for Prime Time TV.

OK.. I know.. We Apologize.. it's been weeks since we at MAO have drooled on and on about the great work of photographer Ryan McGinley.

  So to make it up to all of you.. we bring you something very special... a little McGinley Summer Fantasy Frolic. SWEET!!

Here's Ryan's latest work...

Click Here to Watch Ryan's Short Film Will his genius ever end.. God we hope not!


It's  A short film created for PUMA...Yet another artist selling out?

Does anyone actually collect Video or short films?? Can't we just rent/or buy them at Blockbuster Video??

FYI.. It's brought to us by a our blogging friends at  V-Magazine.

May 17, 2007

New Work by Edward Burtynsky

Burtynsky_iberia_quarries_1 Well..everyone in NYC is clearly Contemporary Art Auction crazy. Here's just one out of control story..

Download Christies_May07_Contemporary_Art_auction_results.txt

FYI.. Our "spider senses" were more than just tingling while we were at the Phillips auction preview.. cause none other than super moviestar Toby Maguire was walking around right next to MAO. Toby was asking several questions about the 3 Baldessari's up for auction tonight! Oh brother.. now Hollywood is even buying!! Will the madness ever end?

Anyway.. we got to see some new Edward Burtynsky work this week. Some of these images were presented a few weeks ago at the AIPAD booth of Art Chicago. So we thought we'd share them with our MAO readers.  (photo #1, Iberian Quarries #1, Borba, Portugal 2006)

Ed_burtynsky_iberia_quarries_2 On the surface, the new work has a very similar look to some of his earlier Vermont Quarry work.. but these were all taken in Portugal at the Iberia Quarries in 2006. While they all have that signature hyper size queen big grandiose look... we thought Burtynsky's new quarries project looked a little bit romantic and maybe even a bit sentimental when compared to his previous quarry images. What do you think? (photo #2, Iberian Quarries #2, Bencatel, Portugal 2006)

By the way.. if you haven't yet seen Burtynsky's Manufactured Landscapes Documentary..it's winning all sorts of film awards. We got a DVD copy last weekend..simply mesmerizing work! By the way.. you'll have to have someone smuggle it over the Canadian boarder..cause they won't ship this DVD to the USA.. very strange, but well worth the effort!

May 10, 2007

Art Chicago - Artist Find - Ai Kijma

Art Chicago was really a wonderful party fair with lots of great galleries. But, we didn't see many new artists. And new photography was almost completely absent. In fact, several of our favorite photo dealers actually had the exact same booth (with the exact same images) as they had presented at AIPAD in NYC.

So, while we did see and like some new works from Edward Burtynsky, and Robert Polidori, many galleries took few risks. Honorable mentions go to: an entire box of Amy Stein's work we saw at Paul Kopekin Gallery, and blogger Ed Winkleman (Ed's gallery) did show cool photographs by Rory Donaldson which look very promising.

Ai_kijima_night_is_young_2005 But one the one new artists who's work really did catch our fancy was Ai Kijima which was shown in the booth of Franklin Parrasch Gallery from NYC. It's fun and AMAZING...and a little bit trippy. Maybe they just brought out a ton of our childhood memories. What do you think??

(photo #1, Ai Kijima, The Night Is Young, 2005, Fused, machine quilted. Recycled materials including curtain, pillow case, bed sheets, clothes, apron, handkerchief, tablecloth. 75”x136")

Ai_kijima_erehwon_29 This Tokyo raised artist's work is a collage of old fabrics sew together to create an amazing visual narrative quilt. Very impressive and done in such a thought provoking fresh way. We just loved these. We can't wait to see more!

(photo #2, Ai Kijima, Erehwon 29, 2007, 21" x 21.5', Fused, machine quilted. Recycled materials including bed sheets,curtain, pillowcase, clothes, apron, handkerchief, tablecloth)

Here's a quote we found from her last show...

Ai Kijima's fabric collages celebrate this cultural bouillabaisse. They range in scale from intimate to enormous, and draw on images as diverse as the '69 Dodge Charger from the American television series Dukes of Hazard to elaborate, stylized dragons from Japanese kimonos. Meticulously stitched and quilted, her work is exuberant and refined, whimsical and thought-provoking.

Oh.. and if any thoughtful, generous MAO readers were wondering what MAO would like for his big Oh-my-God we're getting old birthday coming up in a few weeks... we think this cute Ai Kijima, Honey Bear with the crown (Erehwon 29) was still available !!

May 04, 2007

Photographer Find at Art Chicago - Melanie Schiff

Melanie_schiff_beer_bottle_dusted1_Photographer Melanie Schiff at Kavi Gupta Gallery was one of the MAO artist finds at Art Chicago'07. (Photo #1, Untitled - bottles, 2005, 45" x 30")

You probably don't know this young Chicago Photographer yet...

but you will soon!

We first spotted her work at the NADA Miami'04 fair..

but it's great to see the development of her art.

She's got a new show opening up at the MCA tomorrow

which is running only through May 27th. Melanie has been recently featured in :

Artforum, Timeout, Chicago Reader, and Art net. Just to drop name a few.

Melanie_schiff_psq3_full Melanie Schiff's new project, Underwater Photographer, which included video as well as still photos, really remind us of the current youth culture work of Ryan McGinley, Wolfgang Tillmans, and maybe even a bit Catherine Opie. But it's clear, she's already developed a photographic look all her own. (Photo #2, Video Still, Perfect Square, 2006, DVD Loop)

So what do you think of these images?

  • A wonderful "underwater project" or just  All Wet ?
  • All flash and no folly, or a brilliant use of light from an up and coming fresh young visionary?

And her photos are ever fairly priced at $4,000 each in editions of only three.

April 18, 2007

Alexandre Vitkine photos at AIPAD 07

Alexandre_vitline_serrage_bride_jui Alexandre Vitkine's Industrial Silhouette photographs were shown in the HackelBury Fine Art booth at AIPAD 07.

We at MAO had never seen the work of Alexandre Vitkine before. But, in fact,  this photographer is 96 years OLD!! He was previously an electromechanical engineer but created these images in the 1960's and 70's.  So while we're late to discovering this work, you might say we still got a real charge, or maybe sparks flew when we saw this engineers photographs!

(Photo #1, Alexandre Vitkine, Serrage bride, Sous station Les Acqueducs, Juillet, 1970,Gelatin silver print, dry-mounted to archival board. 120 x 160 cm, Signed and editioned in ink, frame verso)

At first these images almost look like black and white ink drawings. Actually, the work of DCKT artist.. Mario M. Muller came immediately to what's left of the MAO mind, but upon close inspection these turn into sublime graceful photographs like you've never seen before.  They manage to achieve a graceful eloquence that B&W masters Aaron Siskind and Lewis Hine might have even envied!

(photo #2,Alexandre_vitkine_ferrailleurs_1965 Ferrailleurs, Sepeaux, Avril, 1965

Gelatin silver print, dry-mounted to archival board. 120 x 160 cm
Signed and editioned in ink, frame verso)

We found them refreshing and totally lovely, these silhouette photographs show what a camera can really accomplish when in the hands of a talented artist.

So, What do you think of the work of Alexandre Vitkine??

  • Total Pleasure on the eye... or just a total photo terror?
  • Industrial monster or Industrial masterpiece ?
  • Undiscovered dreamy images or yet another engineering nightmare?

FYI.. they were priced.. starting at 3,700 to 7,000 sterling for modern editions of 5 or 8, 120cm x 180cm.

And don't worry my little MAOettes even if you don't like these.... there are more MAO AIPAD Picks to come...

April 17, 2007

Michael Wolf, his Copy Artist Series at the AIPAD Fair

Michael_wolf_copy_artist_35 Michael Wolf's new work at the wrong coast San Fran - Robert Koch Gallery booth at AIPAD 07.  This is the first of several MAO picks from the AIPAD fair. The thought here is to pick either new artists.. or work (new to MAO) by well established artists.

One of the first things to catch our eye, were these new small works from photographer Michael Wolf. We've seen may of this artists work before.. we loved his China Architecture of Density Series cityscapes.. but this new copy artist series just stuck a cord of beautiful harmony with the contemporary Art Appropriation lover in MAO.  (Photo #1 Michael Wolf, Copy Artist #35, 2007)

So what do you think of this new series by Mr. Wolf??

  • Cool Cat? or Dead Cat..
  • Love it, or seen it again, again, and again.. just yet another in-appropriate-appropriation...

Michael_wolf_copy_artist_16 (Photo #2 Michael Wolf, Copy Artist #16, 2007)

FYI.. Michael Wolf did a very informative interview with the always photo brilliant  - Conscientious Blogger Joerg Colberg .. last year.

The artist has his own website, but this Copy Artist series has yet to be posted.

The Goethe Institute in Hong Kong will be showing photographs from Michael Wolf's Copy Artist series this spring.

The not nice people at Robert Koch Gallery told us they're going to have a new show of these Michael Wolf Copy Artist photo's this summer. We're looking forward to seeing them.. now if there was only a nice NYC photography gallery who represented Mr. Wolf...hmmm...

March 15, 2007

Ryan McGinley Wins ICP's 2007 Young Photographer Award

Ryan McGinley wins The Young Photographer award from ICP.

Ryan_mcginley_morrissey_25 OK.. we know, we've probably talked up the work of photographer Ryan McGinley way too much already.. but you have to admit.. this kid is getting some serious recognition!

(Photo #1, Untitled, Morrissey 25, 2006,

10 x 8 inches)

Some of the past ICP Young Photographer awardee's include... Tomoko Sawada, Elinor Carucci, Lauren Greenfield, and Nick Waplington.

Congrats to all the 2007 ICP Award winners..

Tracey Moffatt - Art Award

William Klein - Lifetime Achievement Award

Milton Rogovin - Cornell Capa Award

Christopher Morris book My America - Photojournalism Award

David Levi Strauss - Writing Award

By the way.. For those McGinley Obsessed like MAO, there's a new Ryan McGinley Book coming out from Twin Palms with a Slip-cased Limited Edition very soon...

March 13, 2007

The Size King!! New Works by Andreas Gursky

We wish we could go to London... cause there's a new show of some newer works by photographer Andreas Gursky at Monika Spruth Philomene Magers Gallery. We know.. We know.. Huge photo's are already considered out of vogue, tacky and passe.. like..  they're just soooooo last year!!

So, anyway, we were expecting to not like the new Gursky work.. Cause..When you've had the amazing success that Andrea Gursky has enjoyed..  what could he possibly do better than this image or this image?  Right?? Well..think again..check out the show...

Gursky_kuwaitexchange There's just something about his image (Photo #1) of the Kuwait Stock Exchange, 2007 that made us smile.. Which given the total shit performance of these US financial markets the last few weeks that hasn't been happening much over in MAOville!

And yes, yes.... we know he's done these exchange photo's many times before, again, and again.. but this one just has a great little current (political) bent to it.. very witty!

So, anyone know what the prices are on these new puppies are? I'm afraid to even ask..maybe $100k each? more?

Thanks Andreas.. you're still the size King in the art world according to MAO.

FYI.. There's an announcement of the show sent out by Re-Title via email..  And Wallpaper.com has a short posting on the show as well.. Enjoy!

March 05, 2007

Ellen Harvey.. one artist to watch!

Ellen_harvey_invisible_self_portrait_bluYou may not know NYC based artist Ellen Harvey yet.. but we think this is one amazing woman to watch. 
We first caught a quick glimpse of Ellen's work at Pulse Miami this year.  At Pulse, she was one of the featured project artists, and where we witnessed four of her Invisible Self-Portraits sell to three important  collectors within the first 10 mins of the fair preview.

(Photo #1, Invisible Self-Portrait, Blue Bathroom, 2006, Oil on wood panel each 22" x 24")

These Polaroid looking paintings are all self portraits painted from actual Polaroid photo's. We found these self portrait paintings simple, but yet elegant. They provoke a mysterious feeling of modesty or possibly shyness from this painter. Immediately they clearly had distinct references to numerous works by famed female photographers Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman, but with a painters eye and flare.

If you find these somewhat familiar...you may have been lucky enough to see Ellen Harvey's work. It was recently displayed and quickly purchased by one huge collector at
The Armory Art Show (by the shockingly unfriendly people) at Galerie Gebruder Lehman. There were a few more of her paintings at Pulse with the very insightful Magnus Muller Gallery from Berlin .

Ellen_harvey_luxe_galleryBut they are also currently featured in 2 different shows around NYC.

- Frist, Ellen Harvey has a new solo show "The Museum of Failure" at The Luxe Gallery at 57th street. It's up till March 20th. (Photo #2, The Collection of Impossible Subjects, 8' x 12', hand-engraved mirror)

The show features a large rear-illuminated Etched Mirror light-box. AMAZING! You have to see it to understand it!  We previously saw some of her Mirror work at a show in Philly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art last summer. This project totally blew us away impressed us.. But if you missed it (like who'd ever go to Philly to look at art!!).. there's also a cool book out by DAP of this project.

- Secondly, you can also see several examples of Ellen's Invisible Self-Portrait paintings at "The Unsung Show" which has been astutely curated by Dan Cameron at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery.. (in NYC Chelsea). It's a pretty big group exhibition.. but Ellen's work completely steals the show! IMO!  The Unsung show is only up till March 16th, You don't want to miss it!

February 14, 2007

Love through the Lens of a Great Woman Photographer - Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!! With A little love from Nan Goldin.

Nangoldin_valeris_and_gotscho_embracing__1 In keeping with our Great Women Photographers obsession theme this week.. Whenever we think of Hugs and Kisses.. No female photographer has done it better than Nan Goldin.. So while everyone knows her most famous "The Hug" image.. here are some of our other MAO favorites.. from NAN.

Photo # 1.

Valerie and Gotscho Embracing, Paris, 1999


Photo #2.

Valerie and Mel Maternal Embrace, St Remy, France, 2002

Nangoldin_simon_and_jessica_in_bed_faces Photo # 3.

Simon and Jessica in Bed, faces half-lit, Paris 2001

Nan_goldin_simon_and_jessica_in_shower Photo # 4.

Simon and Jessica in The Shower, Paris 2001

And then there's always this classic from her amazing book, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

Nangoldin_rise_and_mondty_kissing_nyc Photo #5

Rise and Monty Kissing, NYC 1988

It's very impressive how many great loving embrace photo's Nan has managed to make over the years. I love them all.

FYI.. There's a current show at Matthew Marks Gallery of early Nan Goldin's work.

Nan Goldin: 1972-74 And The Other Side, A Slide Installation.

The Show runs through April 14th.

February 06, 2007

Photographer Jill Greenberg.. Monkeys, and Children, and Now Bears, Oh My!

We've written about photographer Jill Greenberg aka..."The Manipulator" before.. And while I'm sure not sure Jill_greenberg_headache if her photography will ever be considered "high art".. They are always fun to look at. (photo #1, Jill Greenberg, "Headache," 2005)

Thanks to the Cool Hunting blog... There's this new video of Jill Greenberg at work...it's worth checking out.

The Video, covers the ClampArt Show of Monkeys, some of the crying children "End Times", and now some of her new work of Bears in Canada.

FYI.. Her book Monkey Portraits has been a huge success.. I hear it's already sold out and on it's second printing!

January 31, 2007

Ryan McGinley Madness - and a MAO Reader, Buyer Beware

No one can deny the fever pitch of Ryan McGinley hype buzz Media Love as of late.  Yes, MAO readers.. We too have fallen hard for McGinley. Rumor has it, our very own MAO family collection recently spent a small fortune acquired a couple amazing McGinley photographs.  They really just go so well with our furniture (ie..Goldin, Tillmans, Phillip-Lorca diCorcia, and Larry Clarks, just to name drop a few). 

Ryan_mcginley_morrisseyFor those clueless few who don't know, there's an über-hip show at the TEAM Gallery, of photographs featuring our main man, Morrissey. (Photo #1, Untitled (Morrissey 17) 2006, 14 x 9 inches, edition of 3)

In addition to a MUST READNew York Magazine "Chasing Dash Snow” cover story, the McGinley's media madness has been spilling all over with :

Yes, the height of hipness is giving even MAO a nosebleed.  (Hey Chlöe, can you get me a tissue?)

However, less known is the fact, McGinley’s old dealer, Peter Hay Halpert, the man who can claim to have discovered the photographer when he was still in diapers back at Parsons, is also currently hosting a show of older work.

Ryan_mcginley_tree_number1 The show is titled "The Kids Are Alright" -a reference to McGinley’s 2003 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of the same name for which McGinley wears the crown as the youngest artist ever to receive a solo show at the institution at the tender age of 25.

(Photo #2, Ryan McGinley, Tree, #1, 2003, Edition of 6)

Sharper and more financially stable MAO devotees might be thinking,

“Hmmmm. . .  Maybe I can swing a better deal on a McGinley print at Halpert’s tiny 3rd Floor place than at TEAM Gallery’s new SoHo location which is probably just bursting with overhead.” 

Well... Think again, my sweet, little MAO-ettes. 

This is where the juicybuyer beware” part of our story begins. . .

We received this email tip last week, apparently after a few too many cocktails, we at MAO were overheard boasting the wonders of all things McGinley..

Hey MAO :

      Great Blog.. !! It was nice to see you & The Quizling out and about in the East Village last Saturday night.. but next time your cocktails are on me!

       So, I'm happy you finally took the plunge and joined the McGinley fan club.

But, FYI.. Visible claw marks  All sources indicate that McGinley and Halpert split on very bad terms. (I would pay for the details on that cat fight.)  Halpert claims to be selling work that he purchased directly from McGinley years ago, which sounds plausible until one learns there is a definite problem obtaining signed labels for these prints!  (Yes people, unsigned McGinley prints are worth no more than the paper on which they are printed.) 

      I purchased a nice photograph by McGinley from Halpert in late 2005, and I know of a sucker gentleman who bought one a year before that - - and neither of us has yet to receive signed labels. . .  Whether these were not prints from the editions of six as was claimed or whether McGinley refuses to provide labels to Halpert because of bad blood, no one knows.  But let it be known that Halpert now refuses even to respond to emails or telephone calls on this matter, and he cannot provide edition numbers on some photographs hanging in his current show.

To reference the title of that Whitney show - - hey kids, this all bites! 


A disgruntled McGinley & long-time MAO fan

Thanks for the email.. but, Ouch!  So, Sorry to read that..

But if anyone knows the name of a good lawyer.. let MAO know.. and We'll pass it along!

Well...  the Ryan McGinley TEAM show is up till February 10th.. Don't miss it!

January 29, 2007

Photographic work by Ukrainian Artist, Arsen Savadov

The work of Arsen Savadov is on display at the "Post-Inaugural Exhibition" group show at the new Daneyal Mahmood Gallery. The show is up till February 3rd, at this 511 25th street gallery.

Arsen_savadovcollectivered4_b_1 We saw his work only once before at Scope Miami.. but upon seeing some of his additional work a second time.. they immediately sparked what's left of our memory.

His powerful photography work from the "Collective Red" series 1998  (photo #1), has a visceral physicality you won't soon be able to forget.  Our understanding, from the surprisingly friendly and engaging gallery staff this weekend, was these are straight photographs. They are obviously significantly staged images, but they are made without any computer enhancement.  Very impressive. Apparently, from looking at his bio, he's had some notable success in Europe..but, we think the artist is somewhat unknown to most NYC collectors.   

So, what do you think of Arsen Savadov's work?

  • Looks like Oscar material, or more like something out of Rocky Part XVI ?
  • Grade-A prime choice photographic work.. or where's the Beef??
  • Less filling, tastes great?
  • Too much Andres Serrano want-to-be, or a true original artistic vision?
  • High quality unsettling moving work.. or just a whole lot of bull?

Arsen_savadov_bloody_mary It's certainly work worth checking out.. we were told the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery will have a solo show of his work in April of this year, which will consist of mostly painting....so, we're looking forward to seeing more work from this artist...

We certainly will also keep a close eye on the smart/nice people at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery  and their up and coming gallery program..

January 11, 2007

Kevin Cooley Photography...

Kevin_cooley_newark2 Thanks to Jill over at Gallery10G, I've recently been looking at the photographic work of emerging artist Kevin Cooley, and I have to admit... these are very seductive images. They even look more impressive in person. Check them out.. What do you think??

At first glance you might even think these are photo-realist paintings, but in fact they are rich/lush time-elapse photographs. Pretty impressive... (Photo #1, Newark 2) Kevin's got an opening tonight at Massimo Audiello Gallery,the show is called.. Night Shift. He's also got his own website..where you can see more of his magical work.

Kevin_cooley_longyearbyen_svalbard_1His work reminds me a bit of Gregory Crewdson.. It has most of the drama, but without the contrived staging, media hype, crazy high prices, or the freakin elitist attitude. (Photo #2, Longyearbyen, Svalbard)

Kevin's show at the Massimo Audiello gallery, runs through February 17th...Its one not to be missed.. and more of Kevin's work can be seen at Jill's 10G gallery.

December 01, 2006

Chris Dorland Interview - Part 2

I hope everyone enjoyed the insightful thoughts from painter Chris Dorland in Part 1, here's Part 2.

Oh.. and for all those young pushy,opportunistic "enterprising" artists who emailed me asking to be the focus of a MAO Artist Interview.. please take a number.. and you've got to satisfy AT LEAST ONE of 3 requirements....

  1. Be the chosen focus artist of a major American Contemporary Art Fair
  2. Have your work featured on the cover of a significant national art publication
  3. Make an appreciative art donation to the MAO Family Private Art Collection (which reminds me, Chris, I need to talk to you.... )

MAO Q5: Last year, your work was on the cover of the Nov/Dec Issue of Art Papers, and you were the featured artist at the ~Scope Miami Art Fair 2005. That's a lot of attention for a young artist, has it had any impact on your life and artwork?

C. Dorland A5 : Well it’s made me more ambitious with my work. That’s for sure. It’s a very powerful thing to have people believe in you. But other than that my life has not changed. I’m not Chris_dorland_untitled_whiteheat driving a Benz or anything. And that’s a good thing. I’ve been extremely fortunate with my career so far. My success in the world and my successes in the studio have developed organically alongside each other. That’s been a tremendous gift and I’m extremely grateful for that. (photo #1,Untitled (white heat), 2006,oil on linen,44"x66")

MAO Q6: How is the new work in this show different than "The Crystal World" show you had in 2005 ?

C. Dorland A6 : It's better.

MAO Q7: Do you work mostly with B&W photo's? In many of your paintings you have used strong acid toned colors, with ominous toxic glowing horizons. They all have a Sci-Fi feel, it's probably one of the strongest characteristic which immediately identify a painting as a "Dorland." Why have you chosen this signature palette?

C. Dorland A7 : I’ve never intended to have a signature palette or look. Perhaps I do but it’s not something I’ve aimed for. It would be the by-product of something else. Not an end in of itself. (Photo #2, Untitled 2006,ink/enamel/color mylar/photocollage on paper,30x40)

Chris_dorland_untitled_photocollage I work from both color and black and white sources. They each have their own specific qualities. For this body of work I tried to give each piece it’s own distinct color saturation. Most of the works are duo-chromatic. Each painting has it’s own color logic. I try to avoid decorative choices. I can’t just put a blue next to a yellow because it looks good. Instead I set up a restraint: like for instance the color yellow, it’s a given and a constraint. Then I do my best to work around the limitation it imposes. So even though each painting has one or two overwhelming colors, I try to break it up and use other colors to subvert or complement the dominant ones. But it takes time to see the other colors. It’s a slow burn 8.

MAO Q8 : In your new work as well as your last show, these rotunda's and plaza's have no clear people, with no faces or identity. The occupants seem to move and melt into your utopian landscapes. Why? Are you making a specific political statement, or do you have a specific social message you want to express?

C. Dorland A8 : Dedicating one’s life to making objects of little practical use is itself a political act. I am completely engaged with the world I live in.  What I make is a direct response to my dreams and disappointments. But I don’t have any clear political agenda or position. I don’t draw the line. It’s not my job. Activists and politicians do that. Artists observe. We are more like philosophers in that sense. My goal is to find ways of creating meaning out of seemingly irreconcilable contradictions.

MAO Q9: Many artists get inspiration from their friendships, cities, private lives and environments. Impressionist painters were inspired by Paris, Warhol from US Mass Media, Nan Goldin from her friends in the Village, Edward Hopper from his wife & Cape Cod, etc.. You now live in NYC, the home of museums, galleries, grand architecture, and tons of colorful people. What from your life here (people, places, hangouts) has inspired your work?

C. Dorland A9  : I live in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a dead end dirt road. I try to do good things. I listen to music all day. Richard Prince said that. Most days that’s how I feel. I like the Chris_dorland_untitled_color_mylar Internet. I like driving at night. I had dinner on the 72nd floor of the Time Warner Building but the battery on my camera died. Nothing is more inspiring than sunsets and rainy days. Sometimes they can be so beautiful it hurts and I don’t really know what to do with all that feeling. My friends and I like to go to a go-go bar in Queens called the Mermaid. (Photo #3, Untitled 2006
ink/enamel/color mylar/photocollage on paper,30x40)

Chris Thank You very much.

For everyone.. Chris Dorland.. he's one young artist who's keeping the tradition of Contemporary American Painting alive and well in NYC, keep your eye on him.

June 28, 2006

Photographer Jill Greenberg Controversy!.... Time to Buy?

Over the year I've used some stupid gimmicks hysterical Monkey face photos by Photographer Jill Greenberg to add a little levity to this site. Lord knows.. the art world can be all too serious enough.. and sometimes a little monkey business humor is badly needed!

Jillgreenberg_nucular But this week, some controversy has erupted over her newest show "End Times" at The Paul Kopeikin Gallery in LA, which is open till July 8th.

This show is a series of close up shots of distressed and crying children.  Many of these images are slick, large but also very powerful, almost everyone who sees them is bound to have an immediate reaction. 

But, the shit started to fly when first off, in April, blogger Thomas Hawk, A total Nut Case, posted a flat out condemnation of the work as sickening, and child abuse. Thomas has gone so far as suggesting the photographer should be arrested and charged with child abuse. Jill Greenberg has stated, no abuse to the children ever took place, and parents of the children were always monitoring the photo sessions.

Secondly the story was picked up by American Photo, in their story Cry Baby, and Thomas Hawk further commented a few days ago.

Today, the all self important website BoingBoing.net joined in, reporting that Jill Greenberg and her husband have threatened to sue Thomas Hawk for libel and contacted his employer to suppress his writing. Oh..such drama!  Plus Thomas Hawk, has yet another insane post on Jill Greenberg today. Too funny.. You couldn't make this stuff up to be any more amusing!

So, while the photo's are probably too filled with visual gimmicks and over dramatic lighting to be considered serious art. But given their "Implied Political" message, the work has an appeal with many photography collectors.  I just love, LUV, Loved her funny Monkey pictures!  But, as both Andrea Serrano, and Chris Ofili can both bank on a test.. nothing helps art sales like some good old fashion controversy!!  So the net of all this, Thomas Hawk, is probably the best thing to ever happen to Jill Greenberg's Art Career.

So after something like this .. it probably just increased the value of Jill's art work significantly!!  For anyone who'd like to buy her photography....The prices are still very reasonable...for now!  Both Brian Clamp and Paul Kopeikin are her art dealers. I believe ClampArt will have a show of Jill's work in the fall.

Here's a brief review of her new book, Jill Greenberg:End Times

June 10, 2006

Richard Serra @ Gagosian, Size doesn't Matter!

Chelsea Gallery Walk.. Part I.
The New Richard Serra show, "Rolled and Forged" at Gagosian Gallery, NYC, Chelsea...it's on view till Aug 11th.Richard_serra3

First off.. here's a few pictures.
This first photo is of "Elevations, Repetitions, 2006"
Lets just say.. it's big, very big.. like,
It fills a room the size of a football field..

Richard_serra_1The second photo is of "Equal Weights and Measures, 2006"
Probably the most impressive and moving work in the show.

Richard_serra_closeupHere's a detail shot of, "Elevational Mass, 2006"

Trust me.. This work is more thought provoking close up. The random mix of blues & rusts are actually beautiful.

Richard_serra_vantagepointOK, One last photo, this is one prospective of "Elevations, Repetitions, 2006... " Maybe it would look a bit more interesting at a lower or a different angle....  No?

There are 2 other huge works in the show, each presented in their own football field sized room...but both are too boring to even bother posting photographs.

So.. after reading all the reviews... you'd expect something great from Richard Serra..??
No?? Because you can't help but be a fan of Richard Serra after seeing his works at the Dia Beacon, right?  Like Wow! Now, No Joke, Those works at Dia, "Torqued Ellipses," are perhaps the greatest sculptures of the 20th Century.   In fact, They are not to be missed if you ever find yourself anywhere near Beacon, NY this summer.

But, this new show at Gagosian... Yikes! It is such a big disappointment.. and as with Serra, the emphasis is on the BIG!

Well..The show is worth checking out.. even though there's nothing new or original here..
After all.. in the Art World, you only get to see failure on such a large scale every once in a few years... so.. like.. When is the next Christo event?

Well..  OK.. with the G.W. Bush Administration...we see failure, maybe once every few days! But that's not in the art world..thank god!

OK.. and as always with any over hyped Gagosian show.. there was lots of puffy, fluffy, bribed press to gush foolishly over the show... Like, does anyone, ever have anything critical to say anymore??

More Chelsea Gallery Walk to come..

May 19, 2006

Laurie Simmons @ MOMA

A pioneer in the world of staged Art Photography, Laurie Simmons' will have her NYC Film Premier next week at MOMA (May 24 and 29th).. An event not to be missed!  TimeOut NY had a great interview by Andrea K. Scott with Laurie this week. The new film will feature super movie star Meryl Streep. I loved Laurie's new book "Walking, Talking, Lying" so looking forward to seeing her first movie.

Lauriesimmons_camera Laurie Simmons's "The Music of Regret"

is showing at MOMA!

The Music of Regret. 2006. USA. Directed by Laurie Simmons. Cinematography by Ed Lachman. Music by Michael Rohatyn. Produced by Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Donald Rosenfeld, Salon 94, and Performa with RoseLee Goldberg. Associate produced by Fabienne Stephan. A mini-musical in three acts, this 35mm film grew out of distinct periods in Simmons’s photographic work. Vintage child-craft puppets enact the pain and regret that erupt between two feuding families. A female ventriloquist dummy sings about the failures of attachment and communication to her six dummy suitors. Walking objects—including a gun, a house, and a pocket watch—dance their hearts out in order to be noticed. 40 min. World premiere.
Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 and 8:15. T1; Monday, May 29, 1:00. T2

Well.. It's nice to see an "AOACA" (an "Artist of A Certian Age") doing something new!!


What can we say.. ??? Break a Leg THIS GIRL's GOT LEGS!! Congrats Laurie!

May 15, 2006

East Hampton & Jackson Pollock

So Picture_040_1spent the weekend hosting friends in East Hampton (aka.. Pupschwitz) with JG and These Fun Bloggers.  It wasn't warm or sunny.. so luckily we had lots of alcohol made an appointment to tour the near by Pollock-Krasner House, the home and studio of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.

Jackson's old studio is a work of art unto itself. The art history just breaths from every splinter of the old cedar shingled studio (Photo #3).

Unfortunately they don't allow any tourist photography in the Studio Barn. So you'll have to go see it for yourself.

But, just the experience of walking on the same floor where Pollock dripped his paint is almost a religious event for the Modern Art Obsessed.

The floor of the old studio looks just like his painting Lavender Mist.  After taking our shoes off, and putting on the little foam booties, we were able to walk  on this original old wooden studio floor during the tour.


Our docent (a retired EH Local Resident..photo #2) Myrna Klein was both entertaining and full of local gossip & moral opinions information on the lives of Krasner and Pollock.Jackson_pollackstudio Which of course kept even Dr. Quiz satisfied!

While they don't have much of Lee or Jackson's art work at the center, it's really an amazing piece of art history.  It's well worth a vist, if you find yourself in the Hamptooons this summer.

Also.. The Guggenheim Museum in honor of the 50th anniversary of Pollocks tragic death will have a show this summer  No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock Paintings on Paper
May 26–September 29, 2006


April 27, 2006

Vik Muniz "Pictures of Junk Series"

Vik_muniz_sisyphus Vik Muniz' new show "Bulfinch's Recycling Yard: VIK MUNIZ Pictures of Junk" at the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Fran opened a few days ago.

His ability to take total junk, spread it out over the floor of an airplane hanger sized warehouse, and turn it into expensive high art (reinterpretations of stuffy Old Masters Paintings) is hilarious. 

Of course, I fell totally in love with these works the first time I saw them.  But then again I'm a total idiot sucker for anything that makes fun at today's state of the Art Market, and our wasteful "throw away" society.

They've put together a short film with Vik talking about how and why they made these works.. (Photo : Sisyphus after Titian.. here's the original painting)

It is a must see for any other Vik Muniz Obsessed Collectors.  Here's the SHORT FILM. This show runs till May 27th.

Also there are 2 current Vik Muniz shows at Museums around.  A big Reflex : A Vik Muniz Retrospective which is in Miami at the Miami Art Museum and will be touring (San Antonio, Seattle, San Diego, and Montreal)

And then there's another show currently at the NY Long Island's Nassau County Museum of Art. Believe it or not, there's actually an art museum in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island, NY....who knew!!! and Yes.. Dr. Quiz, we MUST stop there on our drive back from Pupschwitz this weekend !

Lastly, Vik has a scheduled show at Sikkema, Jenkins and Co in NYC opening September 9th.

April 13, 2006

Marcel Dzama Film Premier at MOMA

A Cheap Night Out in NYC!!

Dzama Film Event and Garden Party At MOMA.. Sat, April 22nd @ 7pm, Tickets are only $10

PopRally is a new program of events at MoMA and P.S.1
     created for young
New Yorkers. PopRally will feature musical 
     acts, performances, film
screenings, receptions, and special
     viewings of exhibitions at moderate prices


The world premiere of Marcel Dzama's The Lotus Eaters and
    Sad Ghost
, a
collaboration with Spike Jonze, Patrick Daughters,
     and Michael
Wadsworth, will feature live musical accompaniment
     arranged by
musician/composer David Driver, and a reading by the
     actor Josh Hamilton
of the classic Tennyson poem The Lotos-Eaters
     (1832). Also presented are
the Dzama Radio Shorts, a series of film
     vignettes dating from 1996.
Four acclaimed musician-composers
     provide accompaniment for the films:

     David Driver, a star of the off-Broadway musical People Are Wrong!

     Chris Anderson, a guitarist for the bands Muckafurgason, Moi?
Last Car

     Marty Beller, drummer/percussionist for They Might Be Giants

     Jon Spurney, who has performed off Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry
     and with David Byrne and John Cale

     Josh Hamilton, who will read
the Tennyson poem, was nominated for
     a Drama Desk award in 2005 for his
performance in The New Group's
     off-Broadway production of Hurlyburly
and has also starred on
     Broadway in Proof and in Noah Baumbach's debut
film Kicking and

The night will conclude with a garden cocktail reception
Dzama, Driver and Hamilton

March 29, 2006

Rock Star Popularity for a Figurative Painter!!

Went to see John Currin talk at the New School last night... I guess I was right.. it was a MAO Must See.. cause every seat in the huge auditorium was taken!! There was even a line of 20+ poor ticket-less people waiting on stand-by in the lobby!!

Johncurrin_wife John is a very fun and entertaining speaker. While, I don't think I learned anything new.. John was everything you'd hope for from a over-hyped painter with such rock star celebrity status.

One of the most representative lines of the night was when John put up a slide of his painting "The Wizard" circa 1994 (pictured here).  He stuttered a bit, then grinned.. but managed to sheepishly say.. "...I shouldn't say this.. but, this was the first painting I made when I first met my current wife!"

Well.. I guess that's enough said on Mr. Currin!

I'm looking forward to hearing Vik Muniz lecture tonight at ICP.. no doubt it will also be standing room only..   But hopefully Vik will fill the room with a little more talk of artistic insight, and a bit less T & A!

January 06, 2006

An Evening with Duane Michals & ICP

Last Night Duane Michals gave a very entertaining lecture to the ICP Trustee/Focus members at Pace/MacGill 57th street.Duanem010506_009  Too bad the show closes on Jan 7th.

At 74 years young Duane is still going strong. This Yoda looking photo legend was full of energy, funny stories, and very forthcoming with his views on the state of modern art photography today.

  • 1.Cindy Sherman - So Over rated,
  • 2.Bigger is not better, it's just current fashion and
  • 3. Who wants to look at photo's of empty parking lots, where's the passion.
  • He also discussed his 2 new bodies of work, "The Adventures of Constantine Cavafy" and his first ever color art work "Ukiyo-e:Pictures from the Floating world."  Both works I found wonderful.

    It's interesting to see an artist who at 74, after working in B&W for some 30+ years, is now using color for the fist time. Duane, like what were you waiting for???

    December 20, 2005

    Peter Norton's Vik Muniz Christmas Gift

    Vik_ashtray1MAO does Ceramics..better known as Chachka?? Well. sometimes.. if it's by one of our favorite Contemporary Artists. Hey, At least it's not Video Art (aka.. The New Ceramics).

    In this weekend's Sunday NY Times there was a
    story about The Peter Norton Christmas Gifts.

    What Carol Kino failed to mention, in 1999 Vik Muniz was brilliantly commissioned to design a Peter Norton Family Christmas Project gift produced by Bernardaud in Limges, France.  Vik made an ashtray with an image printed on the inside of a man standing on a mountain ridge looking into a misty valley.  Vik's image named "Wanderer Above the Sea of Ashes, after Caspar David Friedrich"


    In 1818 Caspar David Friedrich, the 19th century German romantic painter, created "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog."  MAO is not sure where the original painting currently lives, We've never seen it, but it's pretty funny for Vik to put his appropriated version on the inside of an ashtray!

    What make MAO really howl...

    Vik puts at the base of the image a few very lifelike used cigarette butts.  So at first when you see the ashtray, it looks used and dirty! Totally Hysterical!

    Vik_ashtry2Now we know, many of you may find it hard to believe... But no one on the MAO staff is important enough to be currently on the direct Christmas mailing gift list of the Peter Norton family!  Clearly a clerical over-site!  But, as a total Vik Muniz addict we just had to have this one! 

    After about a year of searching, Thank you EBay! We finally found it up for sale a few weeks ago. There were only a few smart bidders, who clearly were not as Vik crazed dedicated as MAO. We it's ourd!! Yea!! 

    But, the interesting story was the EBay seller was a prominent, now retired, NY city museum curator, who swore MAO to a lifetime of secrecy never to divulge their name in public (private email only please)!

    Now... if anyone has a Vik Muniz Medusa Marinara Plate they'd like to sell...??? MAO is a buyer,  we need to complete our Vik Muniz Chachka Ceramic's collection. 

    And if anyone reading has the 1997 Norton Kara Walker "Freedom: A Fable" pop-up book..or any of the other wonderful Norton Commissioned Art Works, Christmas is only a few days away.. so please contact MAO's partner, Dr. Quiz quickly, cause MAO has been a very good boy this year!