On Wednesday October 30th Recession Art presents
Pop Authentic explores the possibilities of pop art in the 21st century in relation to the rampant appropriation of social media self-branding. This pop appropriationist gesture—while significant for its commentary on art production, and all the more relevant thanks to retweets and reblogs—capitalizes off foreign labor, usurping credit and amassing fame. Many of the pop art greats owe much of their artistic production and financial compensation to their sources of labor and inspiration.
How does one reclaim what has been appropriated? How does performance reenact lost histories? how can we take back what is ours? In the spirit of valerie solanas’s manic attempt to retrieve her lost work, iSHOT ANDY invites inappropriate appropriations that recapture voices silenced in the name of pop.
The performances and videos in iSHOT ANDY reclaim appropriation from the passive regurgitation common in the everyday performance of social media. The resulting works appropriate in a manner that is intentional, critical, and in its own way—new. In some, marginalized voices center their cries over the words of their oppressors. In other, mimicry points a finger at the end of uniqueness in the digital age. All interventions pull a trigger.
iSHOT ANDY features videos and performances by Genevie?ve Belleveau , Andrea Crespo. Kate Durbin, HAG, Laura-Marie Marciano & Marisa Maffeo Robinson, Grace Miceli, and Tinuade Oyelowo. The night of performances is curated and produced by Ana Cecilia Alvarez, a writer and independent curator living in Brooklyn, NY.
Pop Authentic asks, when appropriation becomes so deeply imbedded in the basic ways in which we communicate through media, what makes the 21st century pop artist stand apart? How has the symbolic language of pop art transformed? Does the artist have more pressure or responsibility to make a unique statement? Is uniqueness desirable or even possible?
Curated by Executive Director Emma Katz and Anthony Tino, Pop Authentic features the work of Theatre Reverb, Brian Cavanaugh, Charlotte Emerson Fassler, Tate Foley, Chris Gideon, Matthew Scott Gualco, Khanh H. Le with Thanh T. La, Katie Mackowick, Joshua Pelletier, Dave Rittinger, George Spencer, and Joash Tuinstra. These artists make work that investigates the contradictions and possibilities of pop art in the 21st century, specifically how pop artists conceive of their identity as artists in a world of appropriation, whether this type of art making can or should create authentic experiences, and how artists come to terms with profiting from the pop aesthetic.
Pop Authentic opens at the Invisible Dog, (51 Bergen Street) this saturday. Please join us at our opening reception from 7-10 pm. And in case you have yet to see it, be sure to visit the Fluctuations exhibition in the Recession Art Gallery, just next door at 47 Bergen. RSVP to Pop Authentic via Facebook.
Some selections from our exhibition.
The Fluctuations Print Exchange is now on display at the Recession Art Gallery. Consisting of nineteen artists, our exhibition showcases a wide range of print processes and interpretations on how print media can be utilized. We were very fortunate to have most of our participating artists in attendance at last night’s opening; some came from cities as far as Québec, Asheville, Lancaster and Providence.
In case you missed last night’s opening, Fluctuations will be on view through October 20th. Congratulations to our participating artists and a special thanks to our guest jurors Kyle Simon and Jon Irving. Check out some photos from last night’s event.
Photos by Emma Katz
In Pop Authentic, Recession Art’s 9th group show at the Invisible Dog Art Center, we prompted artists with questions about relevance, symbolism, and the identity of the 21st century pop artist. The result was a group of 12 artists who are examining their identity as artists in a world of appropriation, discussing whether this type of art making can or should create authentic experiences, and investigating how artists come to terms with profiting from the pop aesthetic.
We are pleased to announce the artists of Pop Authentic:
Theatre Reverb: Kristin Arnesen and Radoslaw Konopka | In 2006, Kristin Arnesen and Radoslaw Konopka founded Theatre Reverb in order to create original hybrid productions in the form of performances, live art, and video works. They treat commercial culture and mass media as a unifying network of resonant symbols that invoke a shared national mythology and cultural imagination. Arnesen and Konopka insert items of found culture into hyper-real associative dreamscapes. This allows re-appropriated materials to be consumed differently, providing a platform to explore the agenda of the “originals” and the mechanism by which culture is produced and consumed.
Brian Cavanaugh | Brooklyn-based artist Brian Cavanaugh is an artist whose digital art practice explores data, technology, and privacy. He received his BFA in Art and Digital Media from Albright College in 2008 and his MFA in New Forms from Pratt Institute in 2010. His artistic practice is focused on using technology to collect and analyze data. In the work on view for Pop Authentic, Cavanaugh utilizes hashtags – keywords that connect visual information, ideas, and people through a common linguistic marker. These works find the average color within public Instagram photos that use the same keyword. Cavanaugh writes, “by distilling this data as a source for new work, I believe that art from popular digital culture can exist outside the traditional norms of appropriation.”
Charlotte Emerson Fassler | Originally from Los Angeles, California, Charlotte Fassler graduated with a BA in Art History from Barnard College in 2013 with a concentration in Visual Arts. She currently lives and works in New York. Growing up at the height of the digital information age, Fassler feels a lingering nostalgia for pop culture of the past – nostalgia for an era without the omnipresence of technology. Her work investigates the role of irony in the recontexualization of mass-produced images. Fassler writes: “I err away from the comfort of the familiar and ironically reframe recognizable images to evoke a sense of displacement utilizing dark, perverse humor. In addition to the product, my process itself is rooted in irony. I find a sense of catharsis in working in mediums that veer away from the digital and explicitly show the careful mark of my hand.”
Tate Foley | Born in Millerton, Pennsylvania, Tate Foley currently lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art in the Department of Art, Design, and Visual Culture at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his BA in Studio Art from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2007 and his MFA in Printmaking from Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia in 2010. Foley’s paintcuts are created through a process of layering acrylic paint and carving through it with woodcut tools to reveal the colors undermeath. The text that is revealed represent and magnify the big ideas and aspirations of popular culture.
Chris Gideon | Living and working outside of Detroit, Michigan, Christopher Gideon is an emerging artist and designer with an extensive background in architecture. He earned his BS and MAR at Lawrence Technical University in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Gideon creates collages using baseball cards from his childhood collection. He states that, although as a child these cards signified organization and monetary value, they are now completely worthless except as symbols of nostalgia. Gideon writes: “the main objective of my collage work is to reinstate a sense of importance back into that which has lost its significance and value over time. The irony in the work comes from not only the new objects that are created, but also how they are created: through the destruction and reconstruction of what was once so precious to me.”
Matthew Scott Gualco | Brooklyn-based artist Matthew Scott Gualco earned his BFA in Painting from Kansas City Art Institute in 2008 and his MFA in New Genre from San Francisco Art Institute in 2012. Gualco writes: “My work forms an allusive hybrid between drawing and literature by interjecting the subject matter with literature and symbols. There is rawness in the manner that is within the understanding of the viewer. Based on my experiences and everyday life, I portray society with all of its imperfections that we all enjoy.”
Khanh H. Le with Thanh T. La | Born in My Tho, Vietnam during a time of conflict, Khanh H. Le and his finance Thanh T. La currently live and work in Washington, DC. Le graduated with an MFA from Syracuse University in 2008. Le explores and questions the notion of identities through the lenses of culture and memories, probing his personal and familial histories in an attempt to carve out a cultural identity for himself. Through the process of collage, Le layers fragmented photo images collected from family photo albums, digital photographs, and fashion and home decor magazines to create photogravure etchings that embody a new historical narrative reflective of the tension within his own identity.
Katie Mackowick | Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Katie Mackowick currently lives and works in Queens. Primarily working through collage, Mackowick embraces the appropriation of imagery. By deconstructing vintage images of people, places, and symbols of our collective unconscious and juxtaposing them in a new way, her work serves to both repurpose and completely recontextualize the final products in a way that reflects society’s obsessions with the manic, instantly gratifying, and visually consumptive culture of the 21st century.
Joshua Pelletier | Originally from Maine, upstate New York-based artist Joshua Pelletier received his BA from Bard College in 2000, and his MFA degree from UC Davis in 2010. He writes that his pieces in Pop Authentic are “essentially an appropriation mash-up. They are a forced collaboration between two artists: self-proclaimed “Painter of Light” Thomas Kinkaid and Kensuke Tanabe, the game designer responsible for Super Mario Brothers 2. Initially in these works, I was using the NES characters as a way to troll Thomas Kinkaid’s work, as he always seemed to me like he was a pompous master of self-promotion and schmaltz. But after a while, I began to really appreciate the naive beauty of the Mario 2 characters, their economy of form and their wild inventiveness.”
Dave Rittinger | Dave Rittinger is a Brooklyn-based artist and designer whose work is often playful, contextual, and opportunistic. Embodying a sense of humor and dueling spirit of critique and optimism, he makes work that relates to our contemporary place in time through the embrace of wry subject matter and eccentric selection of materials. His sculptures and prints use brightly playful objects like neon squirt guns and toy soldiers to touch on larger issues like the normalization of violence.
George Spencer | Originally a young street artist, under the tag name MIZER since the age of 14, Spencer draws inspiration from the street art and culture of New York City. After attending SVA and living in the East Village, this series of boxers are now Spencer’s sole focus. Since 1989 (the date of his first use of the subject matter) Spencer has created over 1,000 pieces in the series. In discussing his choice of subject with Erika Stahlman of The Aesthete, Spencer stated “I am a loner, and boxers tend to be loners. And I’m a fighter, like most of us. But sure, there are people that don’t struggle in life. And those people don’t get it, those people don’t get my art.”
Joash Tuinstra | Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Joash Tuinstra graduated with a BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2006. He currently lives and works in the West Village. Through painting, Tuinstra explores explores style and originality related to art. His work in Pop Authentic investigates the concept of branding, trends in artistic style, and the gap in communication between art and culture.
Pop Authentic will open at the Recession Art Gallery and the Invisible Dog Center (47 and 51 Bergen Street) on October 26th. The show will be open in both locations through November 3rd, and will continue at Recession Art exclusively through November 24th.
The Fluctuations Print exchange is a portfolio project consisting of nineteen artists working with printmaking, or print related media. The project promotes a reinterpretation of the role of an artist as being more than simply a laborer, but also a collector and a thinker. With this project, our nineteen artists have used print-related media as a means of communication within this small situation.
To highlight the work of the artists participating in this portfolio exchange, we will be exhibiting a copy of each print included in this portfolio in our gallery from October 11-20th. Two copies of each print included will be available for purchasing, and most of the participating artists will be present at our opening reception. We’d like to formally introduce you to each artist included in our portfolio.
John Redmann – is a Brooklyn based artist and designer, who received his degree from Pratt in 2005. While John Redmann works professionally as a designer, his claims that his work is “rooted in printmaking.” Redmann’s contribution to Fluctuations is a continuation of his exploration of the images associated with Hermes scarves and handkerchiefs. The cultural significance of these objects, especially the symbolism they have played in suggesting certain personal preferences, are some of the basic inspirations for Redmann’s current investigations.
Matthew Scott Gualco – San Francisco Art Institute, MFA alumni Matthew Scott Gualco creates work “that forms an allusive hybrid between drawing and literature by interjecting the subject matter with literature and symbols.” Working primarily in book formats, creating works on his 1970s letter press, Gualco plays with both traditional formatting techniques and the usage of contemporary and identifiable text symbols. Gualco claims that these symbols “act as both decoys and stage directions to compel the viewer/reader to determine for themselves whether these dashes, arrows and symbols serve a particular semiotic purpose or whether they may simply be placeholders, abstract glyphs alluding to some modern day Rosetta Stone.” Included in the Fluctuations portfolio, are selections from Matthew Scott Gualco’s Wingding Opus.
Ali Reid – Ali Reid is a writer, artist, and educator in Worcester, MA. Her teaching and studio practices are guided by the principle that creative practices can be rigorous methods of learning as well as production. Included in our portfolio is a letterpress print by Reid entitled Community Multiplies. Using a combination of lead typeset blocks, and relief techniques, Reid’s print humorously induces feelings related to camaraderie, and unity in her creation of an iconographic “logo” of a two headed horse, juxtaposed by the latin phrase Convocare Laborare, literally translating to “Assembling Work.”
Pierre Chaumont- Chaumont was born in Libourne, France and currently works out of Montreal, Canada and Tokyo, Japan. Chaumont says that his work “is a mix between the awareness of my existence and that feeling of capacity that being an artist brings…My themes are directly chosen from the unconscious link I share with them and throughout my work. I want to create experiences, being able to make my pieces resonate on a conceptual or physical level.” For our portfolio Chaumont has created an edition of embossment on paper. These very subtle, and delicate pieces, contain a colorless impression of a geometric design and text created by the artist. Relating to our theme of ‘fluctuating,’ Chaumont’s piece Between Us, highlights the very idea of relations amongst artists and participants.
Jennifer Dayton – Brooklyn based artist Jennifer Dayton uses vintage images from literary and film sources to collage fantastical landscapes. Dayton has worked with various media throughout her career including studio photography, cut and paste collage, silkscreen printing, photo-animation and is currently working on a series of collage inspired, large scale acrylic paintings on canvas . She is half of the collaborative duo GEEMONFIN. Dayton’s edition Red Sun challenges certain conventions of printing large editions given the unique quality of each print. In actuality, Dayton’s edition is comprised of all uniquely re-imagined compositions of basic collage elements.
Matthew Wilson- A selection of Matthew Wilson’s artist statement reads as follows; “The sound is made by a million impacts, a million minute abrasions…long, flattened oviods about a hand’s length.To pick up a rock from this beach and examine it is to examine hundreds of years of the chattering tide.” Wilson’s work explores the themes of transit, chaos and minimalism. Using repetitive mark making and scraping techniques, Wilson’s drypoint print included in our portfolio, highlights a still moment which occurs after an entity endures prolonged motion. Given our prompt, Wilson asks the question “if everything is in flux, can fluctuation itself end?”
Henry Gepfer - Gepfer claims that his work is largely concerned with how society reads “unspoken cues,” especially in body language. Gepfer focuses on the idea of “manhood,” and finds that negotiating manhood is a performative give and take. The seemingly arbitrary fluctuation between acceptable and unacceptable activity, seem to be at the essence of Gepfer’s work included in our portfolio. As a whole, Henry Gepfer’s work has roots in observations of graphic language and print media. Gepfer recieved his BSE from Millersville University, Millersville, PA.
Jonathan Sherrill – received his MFA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Since then, he has been continuously working on his practices including painting, drawing and printmaking in Asheville. Sherrill’s contribution to our portfolio is quite unique. Sherrill’s prints use a transfer method using solvents. The images of electronic schematics have been digitally altered, and then further changed through the imprecise, and chaotic process of transferring. Sherrill claims that “I often use the transfer not only as a way to print but as a way to make marks moving in and out of control and expression. The result of the transfer can not be fully predicted and I do not try but rather adapt as I allow it to fluctuate.”
Namwoo Bae – received his MFA in Digital + Media at Rhode Island School of Design. Bae’s piece, Curtain III tells a narrative of seeking more complex hidden patterns, structures and undercurrents in digital forms. Connected to both a personal experience of grieving, and inspiration given from x-ray analysis of 20th century paintings, Bae’s print remains our only strictly digital piece in our portfolio. This image comes out of a series of works reviewed by Luxury In Progress. Curtain III is supplemented by a sound portion, which can be found on Bae’s Soundcloud.
Andrew Salomone- is originally from Southern California. Andrew Salomone received an MFA from the National University of Ireland and exhibited throughout the Republic of Ireland. He’s lectured on internet art practice at Parsons the New School for Design and worked in The Museum of Art and Design’s Open Studio Program. His current work is made by using a modified, electronic knitting machine, originally intended to make home textile production take up less space. Salomone’s equipment contains custom modifications which allow him to control textile patterns from his computer. Andrew Salomone’s work allows a viewer to understand the often overlooked connection between traditions in textile production, and the developments leading up to the creation of the pixel.
Slavko Djuric - recieved his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Prishtina University, Kosovo, Serbia in 1979. While in Serbia, Djuric trained in all methods of traditional printmaking, learning first, the most important aspects of fine art editioning. Djuric moved to New York City in 2006, where he still resides and works. Djuric’s approach to printmaking has loosened up since his days of working in traditional processes. His edition in our show, also questions the idea of what it means to create a formal edition. Using printmaking techniques such as relief, digital, as well as cutting, and illustration, Djuric is producing a series of recombined collages consisting of editioned elements in hopes of creating a dialogue between the artist, the viewer, and all recipients of his work.
Heidi Lau - grew up in Macau and is currently based in Queens. Heidi Lau has exhibited her work at Wave Hill, Curious Matter, Manhattan Graphic Center, Field Projects, A.I.R. Gallery, TSA New York and New House Center of Contemporary Art. For our exchange, Lau is producing an edition of prints which she describes as “depicting the constant fluctuations of cosmic energies.” Her process encompasses using sculptural mark making elements, in an approach which mostly resembles monotype. Heidi is also an avid sculptor and ceramicist, and is currently an artist in residence at Emmanuel College in Boston.
Owen Roberts- is a performer/artist based in Brooklyn and a recent graduate from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. His work uses emerging technologies to explore interpersonal relations amongst people via media. Robert’s work for this portfolio interprets the idea of fluctuating, as a material shift within his piece from digital to analogue. Using the prototype of his Monster Cat, the subject of Roberts piece traverses a matrix of cryptic language symbols, while transforming in the process.
Jennifer Dwyer – grew up in Northern California and attended University of Washington for Ceramics and Environmental Science. Dwyer uses dark-room photography in conjunction with photogravure to create austere, monochromatic prints. Dwyer is interested in people, and their relationships with their environment, or the conversation between with society and nature. Our portfolio will contain a print from Dwyer’s series Dead Beat Angels. Jennifer Dwyer lives and works in Brooklyn. She describes herself as a “dreamer,” which undoubtedly is expressed through the sublime images created in her printmaking and photography.
Lisa Wicka – received her MFA from Purdue University and her BFA from the University of Central Florida. Her work has shown both nationally and internationally; most recently her work was exhibited in the Andy Warhol Museum, featured on Printeresting.org and in Studio Visit Magazine, Volume 21. Wicka’s work deconstructs architectural spaces, along with images of people, more specifically the human face. In her process of reconstruction, Wicka creates a set of relationships between these two subjects. Wicka is contributing an edition of multiple plate intaglio prints to our exchange.
Anna Robinson-Sweet – growing up in Brooklyn. As she watched her neighborhood transform, she became interested in how one attaches emotion to buildings and architectural structures and landmarks. Her work focuses on how the idea of “collective memory” is historicized, or not preserved, within architecture and monuments. Her most recent project, National Register of Historic Places, was exhibited at Bushwick Print Lab and received wide-spread coverage in Time Out NY and Hyperallergic. The project resonates with just about all native New Yorkers. Sweet will be in a way preserving the image of several pieces of architecture in her hand tinted silkscreen edition, premiering in our portfolio.
Yujin Lee – received her BFA from Cornell University in 2009. After having spent some time living in Berlin, Germany, Lee has returned to the states to work on her MFA in Printmaking at Columbia University. Lee has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Korea, Germany, and the US. Her work is archived at SOMA Drawing Center in Seoul and Berlinerpool Archive in Berlin. For Fluctuations Lee has chosen to use the subject of a certain kind of traditional Korean mask for an edition of photogravure prints. The idea of wearing such a mask directly engages the idea of how an identity might ‘fluctuate’ based on appearance, or through the process of acting.
Mary Pinto – is a dark-room photographer who uses photogram techniques to produce one of a kind, color photo prints. Pinto has exhibited at the Hofstra University Museum, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Safe-T-Gallery; in Spain, at Spectrum Gallery, L’Angelot Contemporary Art Association and Canal de Isabel II. Pinto’s contribution to our portfolio is unique given that she is the only participant to use strictly photographic processes. Her edition of “photo-monoprints” comes out of a series called 99¢ Botanicals. In contemplating our theme, Mary Pinto asked the question “in giving and receiving, is there always a price?”
Sarah Nicole Phillips – received her B.A, from the University of Toronto in 2003 and her MFA from Brooklyn College in 2006. From 2006-07 she participated in a residency at the Lower Eastside Printshop where she continues to teach. In 2012 she was awarded a residency at The Blue Mountain Center. She has been included in shows at the Queens Museum of Art in New York, the International Print Center New York, and BAM. In 2009 she received a Brooklyn Arts Council grant. Phillips has interpreted our theme by executing a four-color silkscreen print of an ATM machine, fused to what appears to be an outhouse, in a sense creating the blueprints for what could become a very successful business idea.
While we are still in the process of receiving, as well as documenting the pieces that will be included in Fluctuations, here are various sketches from a few of our artists which they have used in creating their work.
slideshow image, copyright of Slavko Djuric.