Swoon, Greg Lamarche, Oliver Vernon, David Ellis and more at Joshua Liner

Swoon, Thalassa, screenprint on mylar with coffee stain and hand painting
Swoon, Thalassa, screenprint on mylar with coffee stain and hand painting

Since 2006, Joshua Liner’s Chelsea gallery has consistently featured an amazing range of works by first-rate artists. His new venue – a huge, bright ground-floor space at 540 West 28th Street – is ideal, as the artworks beckon you in from the street. These are a few of my favorite pieces – by artists who also work in public spaces – from his current exhibit, Direct Address: An Inaugural Group Exhibitionthat closes this Saturday. It is worth a visit.

Greg Lamarche aka SP1, Free for All, Aacrylic and graphite on found wood
Greg Lamarche aka SP1, Free for All, acrylic and graphite on found wood
Oliver Vernon, Renegade Trajectories, acrylic on canvas
Oliver Vernon, Renegade Trajectories, acrylic on canvas
David Ellis, All That Glitters, kinetic sound and light installation
David Ellis, All That Glitters, kinetic sound and light installation

Photos by Dani Mozeson

While I was in Stavanger… link-o-rama

Ron English working on his mural at Nuart

For most of last week, I was in Stavanger, Norway for the 2012 Nuart Festival. Naturally, even though I was there in part as press, I spent very little time on my computer and didn’t do any blogging. So, expect a full post or two about Nuart later this week, but for now here’s what I missed writing about while I was away:

Photo by Ian Cox


Stephen Powers: A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures is Stephen Powers aka ESPO’s latest solo show. It opened earlier this month at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City. Caroline and I had a chance to stop when we were in town for the screening of his film A Love Letter for You (which is available on iTunes as of this week). At the screening, we had a chance to speak with Powers, and it was a pretty enlightening experience. I’d met him once or twice before, but only briefly. Simply having a conversation with Powers gave me a much better appreciation for his work. What you see on the wall is pretty much what you get when you talk to him. Maybe the puns aren’t hitting you at every five seconds like one of his paintings, but there’s a banter that he engages you in that carries over perfectly into his artwork.

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures is a good mix of Powers’ greatest hits from the last few years combined with some distinctly new directions. There is quite literally a “greatest hits” walls featuring some of most classic icons and phrases (plus one new design that just began appearing in this show), so no Powers fan can really go away from this show entirely disappointed. As for the new directions, I think his painting that just has a single period against a black background is something new and perfectly Powers, and then there are the ADORE pieces…

If there’s one thing I flat-out did not like at this show, it was the ADORE series. For each of these pieces, Powers got the word “ADORE” painted a bunch of times on metal, like usual, but the signs were put in a square-shaped pile and assembled them into one piece. The idea of layering the signs could yield some interesting results and it’s kinda funny to see a giant painting that orders you to adore it over and over again, but the work comes across as the sort of blah pop art that a gallery with no repeat clients would hang next to Warhol-like portraits of Tim Tebow. Like with Faile’s last show at Lazarides, it’s great to see Powers trying out something new, so there’s no need to pretend that he has succeeded in his first attempts at this new idea.

As for the rest of the show, it made me smile, so I’m happy. The jokes and visual puns are where Powers shines. He is unquestionably clever when it comes to words and simple graphics. His “metalations” are like the silly doodles that most people do in school, but developed to a level that the limits of class time and the margins of a notebook never quite allow for and (sometimes) much more serious than the typical random doodle.

I’ve never totally loved the way that Powers makes the artist’s hand so evident in his paintings, but that’s a minor detail to worry about when you’re laughing, and it’s clearly an intentional choice on Powers’ part rather than a lack of skill. I’m sure he could paint in a KAWS-like superflat style if he wanted.

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures is open at Joshua Liner Gallery through this Saturday, and it’s a great place to go if you want to laugh a bit at the fact that life isn’t easy.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery


Stephen Powers, who has a show coming up at Joshua Liner Gallery

There are a lot of shows coming up soon worth checking out. Here are some of I wish I could check out in person…

  • This week, the Iranian brothers Icy and Sot will have their first New York solo show, and it’s only open this Thursday through Saturday. Made in Iran will be at Openhouse, 379 Broome Street, New York.
  • Lush also has a show opening in NYC this weekend. His will be a show of drawings at Klughaus Gallery. It opens on August 25th from 6-10pm. Lush’s show are practically a place to expect surprises, so best get their opening night before a blog like this one ruins the shock value for you on Sunday. If you do miss opening night, the show runs through September 7th.
  • Next month, Stephen Powers aka ESPO will have his first New York solo show in over 7 years. A Word is Worth A Thousand Pictures opens September 7th from 6-9pm at Joshua Liner Gallery.
  • Galo Art Gallery in Turin has a great two-man show coming up with Bue and Chase. Brothers from Different Mothers opens September 9th from 5:30-9pm.
  • aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney, Australia has a big group show coming up with 67 artists including Anthony Lister, Askew, Does, Numskull, Vexta and The Yok. For Black and White All In Between, all the artists have painted on canvases of uniform sized and only used black ink. The show opens on August 31st from 6-9pm.
  • Jonathan Levine Gallery‘s next three solo shows open on September 8th and you will not want to miss any of them: Judith Supine, Audrey Kawasaki, and Jeff Soto. All three shows open from 7-9pm on the 8th. And speaking of Levine, I caught their current show earlier this week and it is great. Go it see before it closes.
  • Gold Peg’s Release The Wolves go-karting project in South London will have a gran-prix expo on September 1st. It’s gonna be some crazy and fun stuff. And art too, but I think that’s secondary.
  • Shepard Fairey is finally showing those paintings he did for Neil Young’s latest album. The few pieces I’ve seen photos of are impressive. Americana opens at Perry Rubenstein Gallery (which recently moved to LA) on August 25th from 7-10pm.
  • Finally, this last one is a mural festival, and it promises to be a big one… This year’s Urban Forms festival in Lodz, Poland includes Os Gemeos, Aryz, Inti, Otecki, Lump and Shida. Certainly the most-anticipated work of Urban Forms is the promised collaborative mural between Os Gemeos and Aryz. The events run from August 24th through September 30th and will bring the total number of murals organized in Lodz by the Urban Forms Foundation to 22. I can’t wait to see the photos of these pieces.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery

David Ellis @ Chelsea’s Joshua Liner Gallery

I’m a huge fan of David Ellis’s intensely rhythmic artwork. I’m especially mesmerized by his motion paintings, which I discovered almost two years ago at a brilliant street art exhibit at the Montserrat House in Washington, D.C.  Ellis’s current exhibit, True Value, at Joshua Liner brings all his amazing work together, as it features his motion paintings, his sculptures and his recent pieces on panel and tobacco-stained paper.

Here are some stills from his motion paintings:

And a small sampling of his paintings:

If you are anywhere in the NYC vicinity, this exhibit is definitely worth checking out before it ends this Friday, the 14th.  The Joshua Liner Gallery is at 548 W. 28th Street in Chelsea.

Photos by Lois Stavsky & Lenny Collado

Weekend link-o-rama

Portrait of Steve Jobs in France

This weekend I’ll be in Boston. If you have any ideas for what I should get up to, leave a comment. I’ll definitely be checking out Swoon’s installation at the ICA Boston. Here’s what’s been going on in street art while I’ve been locked in my room studying all week:

Photo by Abode of Chaos

Some NY art fair suggestions

EVOL will be at the WILDE Gallery booth at Volta

With two midterms exams tomorrow, I’m rushing this post, but here’s a simple list for some of what to check out at the art fairs in New York this week.

I won’t be in NYC for the fairs myself, but I’ll hopefully have some photos to post. Otherwise, the places I will be getting my art fair news will be Hyperallergic and Arrested Motion.

Photo courtesy of Volta Art Fair

Dennis McNett at Joshua Liner and a parade

New Yorkers, there is one place to be this Thursday night: Out with Dennis McNett making sure the rest of the city is alive. Dennis has a solo show opening at Joshua Liner Gallery, and that show will open with a parade through Chelsea with one of Dennis’ 26-foot long viking ships (shown above and below). The Passing of The Wolfbats promises to be quite the event. It’s described as a parade “to wake up the city’s sleeping spirits of creativity, expression, and personal soulfulness.” There will be costumed participants, McNett’s wolfbats, drummers and other musicians, dancers and of course, members of the public who want to join in the festivities. The parade will be taking place in West Chelsea this Thursday evening.

In addition to the parade, McNett also has a show inside at Joshua Liner Gallery opening on Thursday and I’m loving what I’ve seen from it so far. I think it is hard to dispute McNett’s technical brilliance in many things, and he’s developed a powerful and interesting iconography that he continues to develop.

Here’s a preview of the show:

I think that this show, particularly on Thursday in conjunction with the parade and the energy that should bring, has the potentially to be something very powerful. Until today, I was planning to take a bus to NYC on Thursday and another back to Philadelphia that night just to see it, but unfortunately school work has gotten in my way. Expect more photos on Vandalog next week after this has opened.

Photos courtesy of Joshua Liner Gallery

Miami Madness

In a lot of ways, Hargo sums up Miami's art fair week

With so much of the art world migrating to Miami this week in a frenzy, there seem to be too many events and parties (and I promise not to blog about the parties in detail. This isn’t a gossip site) and exhibits and festivals and everything else to keep track of. Here’s a roundup of some of the things that I’m most interested in seeing (or not seeing).

Things that have already been mentioned on Vandalog:

And things that I haven’t already blogged about:

  • Elisa Carmichael has her list of Miami must-sees, which includes a Dan Witz book signing and a Trespass book signing with Marc and Sara from Wooster Collective and Carlo McCormick.
  • Sorry to bring this up, but Sanrio’s exhibition of Hello Kitty art is just annoying. They got some great artists like Jim Houser to paint Hello Kitty characters. I’ll be avoiding this show like the plague.
  • I mostly go for Ryan McGinness’ really abstract work and this isn’t that, but McGinness fans will probably want to check out his solo show.
  • Barry McGee will be showing work and signing books at Ratio 3’s book in Basel Miami.
  • Jonathan LeVine Gallery has a pop-up show as part of Wynwood Walls. Some of the artists include AJ Fosik, Judith Supine, Doze Green, Dan Witz and WK Interact.
  • FriendsWithYou are filling a park with giant blow-up sculptures.
  • Last year, OHWOW Gallery’s It Ain’t Fair show was one of the most interesting shows in Miami. Once again, they have a killer line up for the show including José Parlá, Rey Parlá (José’s brother who is, I believe, a filmmaker), KAWS, Phil Frost, Barry McGee and Neckface.
  • OHWOW Gallery are also opening a bookstore at The Standard Hotel in Miami.
  • New Image Art’s pop-up show includes Neckface, Judith Supine and Os Gêmeos. Probably going to be a must-see.
  • Tristan Eaton and his partners are launching Contra Projects with a wide-array of events this week including a tent/lounge space, a mural (by Mr. Jago, Tristan Eaton, Ron English and others) and a TrustoCorp carnival aka TrustoLand. More info on the Thunderdog blog.
  • Carmichael Gallery, Joshua Liner Gallery and others will have booths at SCOPE, and I think Maya Hayuk is painting a mural there, which should be awesome if I’m remembering that correctly.
  • And of course there’s all the fairs I haven’t mentioned, because there are just so many. So many. Too many. It’s gonna be art overload. But if I’ve missed anything that you think is particularly special, please leave a comment.

Photo by Hargo