Art, Events July 26, 2011 By Thomas Beale

All images: Benjamin Heller

All images: Benjamin Heller

Artist and Honey Space director Thomas Beale has been a friend of PLANET for several years. When he recently wrote to ask if I would consider covering an exhibit that was showing at his space, one that he felt was truly extraordinary, I was so struck by his compelling description of it that I suggested he write it himself. Conflict-of-interest concerns aside, I felt no one could write as intimately about how his gallery space had been transformed by this unique art piece and the various emotional dramas and resolutions that have unfolded there through it. – Derek Peck

I honestly didn’t know if it would work. I knew we could pull off the installation, and that the artists were prepared to step into their performance roles. Yet the question remained in my mind: would New Yorkers take 45 minutes out of their day to step into a private exhibition experience, with no more indication of what lay on the other side of a door than the vaguely suggestive title Panties For Diamonds– A Psychodramatic Audition For Love In The Age Of Abandonment? And would enough people do this to keep the space active for five hours a day, five days a week?

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Art, Features October 9, 2008 By Thomas Beale
swoon Swoon
Photography by Thomas Beale

swoon title Swoon

A Child overlooking the Hudson River at the right time and place during the late summer of 2008, may catch a sight that to most eyes will appear, at least for an instant, as either enigma or hallucination. Seven boats, crafted from scrap wood, metal, foam, barrels, bottlecaps, fabric, and a host of attendant detritus are due to leave port from Troy, New York in mid-August and arrive in New York City during the fi rst week of September. Titled Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, the craft resemble less boats or cities than fantastical hybridizations of tree houses and shantytowns, playgrounds mixed with refugee rafts — Miyazaki-like contraptions woven together from bits and pieces of a known world, though seeming to arrive from some imagined past and headed fully prepared toward an uncertain future. Swimming Cities is the vision of Swoon, a 30-year-old artist who first came to attention nearly four years ago for her ambitious, expertly skilled prints and cut-paper portraits that she was pasting on derelict walls and construction sites around New York City. The simultaneous beauty and ephemerality of her work — the focus apparent not only in her attention to detail in the portraits themselves, but also in their contextual placement — brought her wide acclaim and quickly set her apart in the genre of “street art”. In 2005, Swoon made her New York gallery debut with an installation at the infl uential downtown gallery Deitch Projects.

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