Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Walentines Day

Happy Walentine's day, as we say in this household.  Actually, I'm the only one in this household that says it that way.

Over the weekend, Angelika and I participated at Catherine Welshman's annual Love, Lust, Erotica show at Spire Studios here in bountiful Beacon, NY.  I neglected to take any photos at all - except this one of Theresa Gooby's cootchie cupcakes, or more correctly, cuntcakes.

Everyone is an individual.  Everyone is different

Angelika presented two sculptures of deconstructed puti and faeries and such.  Again, I don't have any photos, save for this studio shot from a couple of years ago.  The blurry item in the foreground is a detail of one of these sculptures.

I served up one of a recent series of paintings I'm considering my Suprematist Paintings.  Unintentionally referencing Malevich by way of Blinky Palermo and those black rectangles used  to block out the nips and some eyes of patients in plastic surgeon newspaper ads.  The break room for the preparators at MoMA is always replete with daily newspapers.  Whenever I'm working there, I get my fill of newspaper consumption - something I never otherwise bother with.

Examples of plastic surgery ads that appear in NY dailies.
These plastic surgery ads are a throwback to another era.  The black bar has been replaced by pixelation - both rough and refined-  which essentially erases the nipples (I recall this strategy being used in scenes of  The girls next door, rendering the real life centerfolds into even closer nipple-less approximations of the barbie dolls with which they are usually compared.
Holly, Kendra & Bridget from "The Girls Next Door", photo via: tv.ign.com

As with the taboo of cursing, this graphic censorship tends to do more to focus attention on what's beneath the black bar than anything else in an image.  Since I still have a stock of material (read porn magazines) dating from the Genesis Paintings in 2007, I thought I'd play with reversing this sorry state of affairs, blocking out everything but the nipples.
Suprematist Painting, 2012, acrylic on printed paper, 10"x8"

Suprematist Painting, 2012, acrylic on printed paper, 10"x8"
These are basic, dumb works, based on a simple system; obliterate everything in an image with acrylic paint, except a rectangular border around any nipples.  The number of nipples and their placement in any given page layout results in a chance operation in constructing the composition.  The first two I did immediately called to mind Blinky Palermo's Compostion with 8 Red Rectangles" which we installed in the artist's retrospective at the Hessel Museum last Summer.
Joshua Abelow's image of Composition with 8 Red Rectangles on view at the Hirschorn, via: art blog art blog.

 It was through Palermo's reference to Malevich that I saw the connection to Suprematism (at least a connection that I'm claiming here).  These are my Suprematist paintings. Nothing holds more Suprematist power than boobs in general and nipples in particular these days.

Kasimir Malevich, Black Square and Red Square, 1915, oil on canvas. via: wikipaintings

Lastly, I was inspired enough by the theme of Catherine's Valentine's show to create two new paintings over the weekend.  Mr & Mrs S, reworkings of two previous paintings that are now portraits of a coupled couple of stars, made Superstars by the addition of gender assignment.
Mr S, 2012 oil on canvas 24"x 30"

Mrs S, 2012 oil on canvas 24"x 30"

Finally, finally, I spent most of the day of Valentine's Day installing Gillian Wearing's artwork, "Secrets and Lies" at the Hessel Museum for the Matters of Fact exhibit which is opening on March 18th.  The work consists of a constructed "confessional" chamber in which the viewer watches a video depicting various folks confessing their deepest secrets and lies.  The imagery is creepy enough with the anonymous contributors donning uncannily real, and disturbing masks sharing some equally creepy, some sordid, and some heartbreaking secrets - most of which revolve around sex and "love".  Happy Walentine's Day, indeed.

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