Anthony Lister had an extremely well received show earlier this year at New Image Art in LA. Here’s a little look at how it came together along with an interview with Lister. I always love to hear what Lister has to say, because he seems like a smart guy who knows a bit more about art in general, his own work and just about anything else than your average artist.
This wild week of L.A. gallery openings started on Thursday with Anthony Lister at New Image Art in West Hollywood. Although I’ve always admired the movement Lister conjures up in his pieces–in his superhero series or his street faces–I had come to expect still figures in Lister’s work, and, because of that, I had no idea what to expect from a show focusing primarily on the figurative movement of dancers. What I found was impressive indeed.
Lister’s decision not to back or frame his canvases enhanced the gallery atmosphere considerably. Instead, they hung flat on the wall and had a textured, organic feel. Perhaps because of this, visitors were encouraged to touch some of the pieces, and more than a few visitors shuffled through the canvases that had been stacked on top of one another and affixed to the wall, giving a sense of a flip-book without the sequential art component.
The effect came off as straightforward and intimate, as modern in the best possible way, and this was aided by Lister’s humorous strings of sentences, penciled onto the white walls above, around, and even underneath the works. In one, he suggested that an immovable load-bearing girder be moved to better accommodate his work, and in another he provided guidance on how his art needed to be lit. Beneath his portrait of van Gogh, he wrote: “Id like to think van gogh wouldnt agree with making his work into a laurel if he had a say in it”. Continue reading “Anthony Lister at New Image”
Herakut are exhibiting at LeBasse Projects‘ Chinatown location with a show titled After the Laughter. The show will include sculpture, photography and wall installations. After the Laughter will open on February 25th from 6-10pm (with Herakut signing copies of their new book from 6-7pm) and runs through March 17th.
Os Gemeos’ show Miss You will open on Saturday the 25th from 6-9pm at PRISM and runs through March 24th. Miss You is almost certainly LA’s most anticipated show by street artists or graffiti writers so far this year. Do. Not. Miss. This. (sorry Herakut). If you are not sure about seeing this show, just have a look at someofOs Gemeos‘ previous installations.
Photos courtesy of New Image Art Gallery, LeBasse Projects and PRISM
The SCOPE art fair’s Miami iteration should, as always, have a few booths of interest to Vandalog readers to year. SCOPE opens on the 29th and runs through December 4th. Make sure to stop by these booths: Mallick Williams for Skullphone and Love Me/Curtis Kulig; Jonathan LeVine Gallery for Olek, WK Interact and Aakash Nihilani; Dorian Grey Gallery for Richard Hambleton (and maybe LAII); and New Image Art Gallery for Maya Hayuk and Retna. Of course, all those galleries will be exhibiting other artists as well, those are just some highlights. And there should be plenty of else of interesting. For the last two years, SCOPE has been where I’ve seen some of the most interesting indoor art in Miami.
The new space is deep and somewhat narrow, and feels a bit like being in a giant service hallway. Up the right wall, Neck Face’s work progressed from sketches to ink and gouache, while the left wall included the show’s mural, a series of Fuck This Life’s collages, and two large collaborative pieces.
Ranging from playful (a piece featuring wigged and rouged demons) to ultra-grime (a skeleton peppering a grave with feces and a demon vomiting colorful chunks into a toilet), Neck Face’s pieces delivered the skeletons and demons aesthetic that owes much to heavy metal–with plenty of pentagrams to spare, and even a detailed disemboweling piece–but what I particularly liked about Neck Face’s demons was his attention to detail in their tattoos.
The artist seemed to be suggesting that humans can be demons as well (or at least act that way from time to time), and although this isn’t an earth-shaking statement, it did add another layer of a meaning to a series of pieces that read like one-frame cartoons and featured a few dull jokes, like the exchange in “Untitled 7”.
Having only previously seen his lines in aerosol, I was impressed by Neck Face’s purposeful chaos in his sketches, especially in “Untitled 2”. The heavy charcoal mixed with scraggly fissure-lines of pencil skillfully evokes a creeping decay.
For his part, Fuck This Life created a series of rectangular collage works on white backgrounds with layouts reminiscent of Internet image searches. The artist could easily have created these by digital means, but the smaller images were clearly cut from newspapers and glossy magazines, and had a zine-like feel as a result.
The imagery most frequently tackled in each collage revolved around sex and death, with occasional appearances by hip-hop icons (Jay-Z, Chuck D, Little Wayne), celebrities (mostly women), and the odd transformation sequence from film or television (e.g. Bruce Banner becoming The Incredible Hulk or Michael Jackson becoming a zombie from the “Thriller” video). When mixed in this way, it was easy to wonder what kind of search word (or words) could create each grouping.
The two collaborative pieces were the most interesting part of the show. Done on square board, each featured Fuck This Life’s collage work, Neck Face’s character sketches, spray paint, and deliberate burn marks. “Lights Out!!!” was the stronger of the two.
The series of portraits that anchors its lower right corner–and rises up the right edge with Neck Face’s signature, hairy-clawed hand–appeared to be still frames of security camera footage (the lone color image in this grouping appears to show a defenseless man getting punched in the back of the head), mugshots, and police sketches.
This grouping was unsettling enough on its own, but when surrounded by Neck Face’s trademark imagery, it seemed as though both artists were unified in pursuing a visual representation of evil. The combination truly worked. It was haunting stuff and the highlight of the show.
Yet, I couldn’t help thinking that–rather than relating to the artists–this was a better expression of “Amerikas Most Wanted” in the show’s title, and perhaps even a missed opportunity for a stronger overall concept.
Neck Face/Fuck This Life, “2 of Amerikas Most Wanted”, runs through October 14th at New Image Art, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046.
New Image Art has a two-man show opening on September 18th with Neckface and Weirdo Dave/Fuck This Life. 2 of Amerikas Most Wanted sounds like the perfect name for a show including Neckface. Neckface is one of my favorite writers and sticker artists and a great artist indoors as well. He makes things that appeal perfectly to the misbehaving 12-year-old boy inside all of us and disgust our mothers. Also, he was just on the cover of Juxtapoz. Fuck This Life is a zine that I frankly don’t know much about, but now I’m curious. Vice did an interview with Dave about it a couple of years ago, which is worth checking out.
Last week I had the chance to check out Judith Supine’s solo show at New Image Art. While it probably doesn’t quite live up to the hype, Ladybody is definitely worth checking out. Supine’s head is a mysterious cacophony of strangeness, and the installation mostly left me confused, but I’m not sure if that’s my fault or Supine’s. Either way, it was interesting to see his art in the environment that he seems to prefer showing it. One part of the installation which is an exception and a highlight is this sculpture:
Smoke creeps out of the baby’s open mouth, and when you look inside, this is what you see:
Photos can’t really do justice to the creepiness of this piece and it is worth checking out Ladybody for this sculpture alone.
And then there were the more traditional pieces:
Whoever has the balls to hang the image of a doughnut dripping syrup onto a waffle in their home has my respect. It’s one of my favorite images from Supine in a while, but it’s definitely one of his most difficult to hang.
Judith Supine is one of my all-time favorite street artists, both for his indoor and outdoor work, which is why I am overjoyed to write this post. Supine has a solo show opening next week at New Image Art in LA. I’ve never been to a Supine solo show before, but by all accounts they have been something very unique. I expect this to be the case once again. Ladyboy opens on April 13th and runs for a month. While most people will say that the highlight of art in April will be MOCA’s street art show, I think Ladyboy may turn out to be almost equally unmissable.
Last time I was in NYC, I had the chance to speak with Supine, and he’s definitely got a few things up his sleeve for this event… One thing I saw when I met with him was an unfinished work that had me simultaneously laughing my ass off and absolutely disgusted, but in a good way. Arrested Motion has a preview of Ladyboy which I highly suggest checking out in full, but I’ve taken one image from their post because it is the completed version of the image that I found so interesting. It’s called “Cream Pie in the Sky”…