Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bushwick Open Studios 2012

This weekend is Bushwick Open Studios and yesterday I walked around and saw a number of works. The first stop was the Loom building. Juan Miguel Palacios was showing his layered canvases. These dramatic works, of both figural and interior spaces, were impressive. Using a series of transparent panels his paintings become three-dimensional objects that provide a magical, optical effect. The two-dimensional images below do not do them justice.

Emotion 1 - 2010

 Sin Titulo


The next stop was a studio building at 56 Bogart Street where another artist, Seung Mo Park, rendered an image in layers, however using mesh rather than paint. Park's studio had only one of his mesh portraits and the rest of the room was filled with chain sculptures. I found the one of a girl folded over in child's pose to be particularly poetic.

Another artist at 55 Bogart was Casey Opstad, whose pixelated seascapes play with today's main medium of viewing....the computer screen. The romance and meditative quality of the seascape, accomplished so well in the serene works of an artist like Hiroshi Sugumoto, is turned on its head and our attention is drawn to the pervasiveness of the digital camera. Casey's canvases confronted me with how often our sole means for seeing is through these digital devices.

Of course the highlight of 55 Bogart was Oliver Warden's performative sculpture, Untitled Box (2010), which should be a must-see for everyone. I won't tell you much about it as I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!!

The last stop of the day was the Luhring Augustine gallery on Knickerbocker. The featured artist there was Charles Atlas whose video projections were playing throughout the gallery in a show called "The Illusion of Democracy." I loved these works. In one piece he animated the integers 1 through 6, and as white figures against a black background they were made to spiral, pirouette, approach and recede, and sparkle like stars in the galaxy on three walls, so that your entire visual canvas, straight and peripheral, was filled. Another piece by Atlas presented single digits in a horizontal framework, like that of a movie projection, and played with moving vertical lines so as to have you think of an old t.v. set trying to tune itself. 

 Painting by Numbers - Installation view - Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 2012

143652 - Installation view - Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 2012

These animations by Charles Atlas drew me in, like a performance, I wanted to see what they would do next. It is probably true that, as the NY Times said, there is nothing entirely new here, but for me they were a visual treat that transported me to deep space and deep within.  At times I felt immensely small at others infinitely big. I wouldn't miss it. Closes July 15, 2012.

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