It’s been nearly a month since Armory Arts Week but I’ve still got Scope and Armory I want to cover. So if you’re sick of hearing about it, TOUGH.
I absolutely adore Scope for not making me dedicate a full day to view the fair in whole. I was in and out of that place in a swift hour. Don’t even get me started with Armory, I will get to that next. Scope gets brownie points for getting closest to “a small community vibe”. Most works I saw were catchy and slightly gimmicky, cool for the sake of being cool, but there was a lightness and vibrancy there that I didn’t get at the other fairs. There were lesser known galleries, underground, alternative, second tier galleries, which is why the delightful tinge of community was prevalent (in my opinion). Highlights:
George Jenne at Civilan Art Projects
Bully head boy scout toting an ass beater and mean patches, tongue sticking out spouting sickly but cute coughs out of its mouth.
Hector de Gregorio at Opus Art
Sexy, gaudy, sadistic, fetishist, religious, fashionable, fantasty induced photographs that are highly choreographed and intoxicating.
Christian Schrader at Berlin Art Projects
Baroque meets pop meets self-portrait indulgences. His other paintings are equally witty and hysterical. The pure skill in color, light, and application is worth a look.
Grimanesa Amoros at Hardcore Art
Nipple pyramid. Because you can never have enough.
Talking Heads. Literally. White sculptures with talking heads projected onto the head of the sculpture transform them to the most eerie superreal surreal living monument.
Modern reconstructions, collage style.
Juliana Beasley at Station Independent Projects
I love these photographs by Beasley. Momentary, unbecoming, timely, unawares, warped, detritus, uncanny,goofy, somber, poignant, 90’s. Check out the Rockaways series on her website. Diane Arbus but funnier, and more awkward.
Oona Ratcliffe at Gallery Nine 5
Greenpoint’s own Ratcliffe paints in colors so lush, shapes so disillusional, you would’ve never guessed there are messages to be said in her works.
Peter Cole at Aureus Contemporary
Horses on round platform shelves, playing with balls, preparing for jump off, burdened with piles of baggage. It’s glorified kitsch.
Elena Monzo at Bonelli ArteContemporanea
Clownish, choppy, Egon Schiele figures sliced and collaged, more cheery and colorful, performative.
Tadashi Moriyama at Bonelli ArteContemporanea
First saw these works last year during Bushwick Open Studios. Super tedious and labor intensive. Topographic, obsessive, repetitive, patterns, apocalyptic, WWIII.
Antonio Santin at Wilde Gallery
At first I missed these oil on canvas paintings as large printed photographs that have been painted over, they’re that photo-realistic. But it goes beyond that diminutive field and casts an eerie, dramatic, and nostalgic glow to all the figures that makes them quite ephemeral and dreamy. The gallerist informed me the artist studied sculpture and incorporates them in his emphatic use of line and shadow that give the figures an illusion of floating. I love them.
Frank Sinatra at Symbolic Collection
Sinatra likes clowns.
Greg Lamarche at Anonymous Gallery
Hands down favorite at Scope. The artist beautifully manipulates and arranges printed materials into collages. Shapes as words, words as shapes, blasts of color within a serene setting, thoughtful additive and deductive gestures. The best was the table where mounds of cut up scraps were scattered and spilled to the floor. The gallery was selling dime bags of scraps for $10. I should have bought it just to say “I bought an artwork at the fairs, it’s a dimebag of paper scraps for $10”. Genius.
Hendrik Kerstens at Witzenhausen Gallery
The mocking high seriousness in these photographs are hysterical. The artist photographs his daughter in in bleak backgrounds, poised and lit a la old school Dutch portrait paintings. The series depicts her donning a variety of headgear, from bubble wrap and napkins to plastic bag and cafeteria lady caps. Her piercing gaze tells you she’s serious business, her attire tells you otherwise.
Titled “Conform” I initially thought it was quick dry humor. Then I browsed through the artist’s website and found the works to be a bit torn and somber.
The artist calls these sculptures Cinemallage, which is quite cheesy but highly entertaining. In his own words “Housed within each collage is a video player displaying chapters of an imaginative tale of a young mans journey through a future utopian fantasy world where he learns how the power of imagination can make a change in the world around him. This story employs the naïve language of fairytale as a vehicle to engage several real issues in today’s society evoking hope and community in a trying time of uncertain future.”
I”ve concluding this fair was most easiest to digest in terms of size and content. That could serve as a backhanded compliment. Take it or leave it.