Monthly Archives: July 2010

Talking to Warren Thomas King

Question: Tell me about “Man of the Year”

Man of the Year” appropriates an image of a military officer from a Frans
Hals painting. Hals painted a lot of these commissioned officer portraits.
I love paintings like this one from the Dutch golden age because they
often feature guys hanging out together in the proto-country clubs of the
time. These officers wore extravagant outfits with lace collars and cuffs.
And it was a straight guy thing too. They’re some of the earliest and
best-documented instances of bromance. These paintings are just a bunch of
dudes hanging out with other dudes priding themselves on their ability to
dominate, all the while sporting these ornamental getups.

The other thing about these Dutch golden age paintings is that they all
have mustaches. I want to think about the social pressures as a male to
compete and dominate but want to ask what kind of role biology plays in
all this. So I hung the awards on his ‘stache. A mustache is not socially
constructed; It’s biological. And biology is completely removed from the
discussion of gender roles these days, as if it isn’t even a factor.

To express this overwhelming social pressure, I gave him more awards than
a person could expect to receive in a lifetime. It’s too much. When I look
back on this piece I think I really could have loaded him up with more
awards to drive my point home. I couldn’t imagine a person receiving both
military medals and a Nobel peace prize. I thought that would be enough.
And the juxtaposition was supposed to be ironic. But then Obama got the
Nobel Prize in 2009 and subsequently allocated 37 billion to funding the
war. Real life is more surreal than anything you can make up.

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Talking about “Something Good”

“Something Good”

Curated by Chloe Gallagher and Jeffrey Pena

The show includes pieces in a variety of media from a wide range of the world’s brightest rising talents including: Aaron Nagel, Ashley Zelinskie, Carlos Donjuan, Chor Boogie, Hector Hernandez, Jeffrey Pena, Korakrit, Lapiztola, Pep Williams, and UR New York. The show will serve as a visual manifestation of the publication’s  curbs and stoops goal to provide exposure to stellar talents.

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Talking to Sean Ripple

Question: Tell me about “Tagging”

This project started after my wife and I bought a house. I was looking at all the wooden slat fencing in my neighborhood and thought that I should start tagging it. But instead of tagging it in an obvious manner (you know spray-painting a couple of eyes and a mustache on every fence in my neighborhood), I photographed the fence, had multiple prints made and taped cutout shapes of the photos to the fence to photograph… the tag is a virtual tag since it occurs within camera and is shared onscreen.

I saw this act as my signature… my proper tag. Shortly after starting this work, I realized that if I shared this work on the internet, it could very easily meme to the point where my signature would be stolen or copped or aped or whatever.

There’s a lot tied up in the work for me… below are a few things:

1) the impossibility of owning an idea in the virtual age (that’s the reason I’ve included the Norbert Wiener quote… it’s meant to ward off my anxiety about this work being ripped… I mean, my work becoming a meme could be the ultimate form of flattery right?) BTW, I don’t think this work has memed in the slightest… in fact, I’m probably memeing myself.

2) Identity coming about through subjective interpretation of objective/concrete/external reality… my act being a crude sort of interpretation of reality, whereby the altered snippet takes the place of the whole… I see this being a practice common to the human experience… we’re constantly interpreting what is presented to us in a subjective manner such that we crudely alter objective reality to suit our own needs.

3) Concrete reality being the ultimate form of graffiti (oh brother I know, but really, tell me Wal*Mart isn’t a pretty substantial tag… not many entities can mess with it… maybe Target?).

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William Hundley at work

Today’s Headlines Wrap Tomorrow’s Fish

A recycled goods installation by William Hundley
TONIGHT
Closing Reception: Saturday, July 24, 7-11 PM
Please contact Co-Lab or visit www.colabspace.org for further information.

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Talking to Curbs and Stoops .com

Tell me about “Curbs and Stoops”

curbsandstoops.com

Curbs and Stoops is only loosely an art collective. I coordinate public art projects and put up street work with other small groups of artists but it is not formally working together. The Curbs and Stoops idea at large, however, is to make art more accessible. That is, art doesn’t have to be for a certain group of people it needs to be more democratic than the way art is shared now. So the name came from picking the thresholds, both physical and philosophical that define our cities; curbs and stoops. It is at these thresholds where art should impact our daily lives.

We have a lot of really fun things coming up from Curbs and Stoops including prints with the Lapiztola Collective in Oaxaca Mexico and another print edition with Cartrain the young london based street artist who took on Damien Hirst in a legal battle (as well as a battle of wits) regarding the appropriation of images by other artists.

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Talking to Jeffrey Bienvenido Pena

Question : Tell me about “Bust of SAMO”

The “Bust of SAMO” piece is an homage painting to one of my favorite artists of all time, Jean Michel Basquiat. The painting itself was a bit of an experiment with color. I started layering colors that might not normally be seen near each other – this complex relationship of colors are something I get from Basquiat paintings. The image is then “ghosted” over and his portrait is drawn into the remaining silhouette.

Basquiat is also known for his SAMO graffiti. Samo, short for “same ol’ shit.” was often followed by a message. The SAMO writing series ended with the epitaph “Samo is dead.” This painting includes small symbols that are often found in Basquiat’s paintings such as the triple point crown. Embedded within the grain of the wood you can find many of phrases Basquiat scribed through out the city. These sayings include: “SAMO for the so called avant garde.” “SAMO as a neo art form.” SAMO a pin drops like a pungent odor.” ” SAMO as an escape clause.” and “The whole livery line , bow like this with, the big money all, crushed into these feet.

I see myself making more homage pieces in the future but moreso I see myself studying the techniques. I think that Basquiat was one of those artists that makes you question not only your technique but your approach to creating works.

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