Art, Events July 13, 2009 By Editors

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Art, Events June 8, 2009 By Jenna Martin
night1 David Lynch, Dangermouse, and Sparklehorse

night title David Lynch, Dangermouse, and Sparklehorse

Dark Night of the Soul – the first collaboration and installation between Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and David Lynch – explores the idea of collective introspection. Now showing at the Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, the exhibit consists of a two-room installation streaming the album written by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, accompanied by photos taken by Lynch. Inspired by the album, Lynch’s photo sets read like mini-storyboards, and resemble a series of film stills. The album features guest vocalists The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys of The Super Furry Animals, Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black of The Pixies, Iggy Pop, James Mercer of The Shins, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Suzanne Vega, and Vic Chesnutt. The interplay between music and visuals in Dark Night of the Soul heighten and confuse the sensory experience, creating a myriad of emotions and responses.
     Hauntingly beautiful and grotesque, poignant and sometimes comical images accompany lyrics about revenge, war, pain, loss and hallucinatory states. From the opening track, The Flaming Lips’ “Revenge”, to David Lynch’s “Dark Night of the Soul”, we are taken on a disturbing and cerebral journey, one that moves increasingly from the tangible to the surreal. Each track is accompanied by a set of three or four images, which individually and collectively tell a story.

Art, Events May 13, 2009 By Derek Peck
alex13 Alex Asher Daniel
Images courtesy of Kate Robinson Art

alex title Alex Asher Daniel

Beauty, as it’s been told over the centuries and engraved into our skulls, is in the eye of the beholder. Yet true as this may be, some beholders have a better eye for it. Often, the beauty in question isn’t breathless landscapes or beguiling abstracts but the universal muse and eternal mother of art: the endlessly interesting female form. This is where the art of Alex Asher Daniel begins. But as we’ve also learned, beauty is only skin deep, and Daniel is especially attuned to this, connecting layers in his work that hint at something vastly more complex and powerful hidden beneath the surface, yet without negating the essential beauty of his subject. “I’m interested in the meeting point between the inner and outer world,” he says. “The female body is such an interesting vehicle to me; it’s the most divine representation we have of that intersection.”
      Working with oilstick and charcoal on paper, the works are a combination of line drawing and rich pigments applied in paint-like clusters and rougher lines that partially abstract the figurative qualities of the work. Even though there are clear figures here, the work is gestural and expressionistic. Most strikingly, there are obvious fetal gestures central to all 19 of the drawings on display, which at first seems a strange and slightly discomforting motif to invoke through grown women.

Art, Events April 22, 2009 By Derek Peck
foster Gerald Förster
Monkey Boys, China 1996. On view through May 30 at Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Chelsea, at 521 W. 26th Street

foster title1 Gerald Förster

Gerald Förster’s globe-spanning work, LightYears, which began in the mid ‘90s and was completed mostly before 2001 (with a handful of exceptions), was a prescient photographic document of our global era. Like other photographers before him and since, the impulse to preserve the dignity of “others” before cultural erosion alters them, or even wipes them away completely, is very present here. But unlike other photographers inspired to this type of ethnographic portraiture, who usually tend to focus on one group of people or geographic location (Wilfred Thesiger, Irving Penn, and many others come to mind), Förster’s work is that of a lensman working at hyper-speed to capture a moment of utter stillness, perhaps even an eternal moment. While I suppose Förster chose LightYears as the title of his project to refer to something inexpressibly infinite in the human being and our collective mysterious existence on this rock we call Earth, for me the title also conjures the 747s he and his longtime friend and collaborator Anthony Smith sped around the world on between advertising jobs and editorial assignments, to photograph these people in eighteen countries. Whether that was the intention or not, LightYears is indeed a project made possible by the ease of global air travel that had its rise in the 1990s. It’s something we might easily overlook, so standard has it become to go everywhere and see everything — right from our desktops. Ultimately though, Förster’s work reminds us that we inhabit a world full of people not like us and yet composed of the same cosmic material. Like the great Polish writer Ryszard Kapusinski used to do through his travelogues, Förster is holding up the mirror to the other in us all.

Art, Events April 17, 2009 By Valerie Palmer
younger1 Younger Than Jesus
Bright Eyes, 2007 by Tala Madani

younger title Younger Than Jesus

No, the New Museum hasn’t found religion, unless you count the worshipful gaze an open bar can inspire or the frenetic devotion to iPhones and Blackberries practiced by many of its patrons. Younger Than Jesus, which opened officially last Wednesday, offers a glimpse of tomorrow’s art today, and on a global scale. With fifty artists from twenty-five countries, all of whom are under the age of 33, the New Museum attempts to capture the spirit of the next generation. Hailing from countries including Algeria, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Lebanon, Poland, Turkey, and Venezuela, many of these young artists are showing in a museum for the first time. As you might guess, their work is as diverse as their homelands, with mediums including photography, digital media, performance, sculpture, and painting.
     For instance, there’s New York City-based Tauba Auerbach’s almost mathematical approach to art in Shatter III, Paris-based Mohammed Bourouissa’s vibrant photograph of a boxer in La fenêtre and Berlin-based AIDS 3-D with their pyrotechnic installation OMG Obelisk. There’s a little something for everybody, even if the show might feel like it’s just skimming the surface. How can it not? Just look at the numbers. This demographic — those born around 1980 — is the largest generation to emerge since the Baby Boomers in the United States, and in India half the population is less than 25 years old.