CYCLE & Morning Breath @ Ad Hoc Gallery

Okay seriously? 

we. love. ad. hoc. gallery.

We are LOVING what they're doing, what they're about, and who they are supporting in this community of contemporary artists. Every single one of their upcoming shows through to Jan 2010 has a sexy purple parking spot on our iCal.

*if you knew how we felt about Brooklyn, you'd understand how epic that was.

**don't get us wrong, we don't hate Brooklyn... but a gnarly roommate experience soured us on BK for a bit - we're over it ;-)  /TMI moment.

Sooooo, in the spirit of our street art obsessions this week - we got into Morning Breath & CYCLE's show at Ad Hoc on Sunday.

*psssssh CYCLE and SWOON in one week? Get into what we're into, kids. It will give you life, that's a promise.

We are loving this street art/graphic design fusion into the world of fine art. We've had numerous debates with some of our more conservative peers about the "place" those particular genres hold in the contemporary art world and artists like CYCLE and Morning Breath (the duo Jason Noto & Doug Cunningham) are the reason why. The work in this show was undeniably art. Case. Closed.

*case. closed.

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: email


SXSWerly shindig @ MoMA: Department of Eagles premiers their video for "No One Does It Like You" directed by Patrick Daughters and Dzama


Well, we love Dzama, and we also LOVE Poprally's program @ MoMA, but the enjoyment factor? Tough call. It was o.k.

To be fair, we'd come off of a late lunch after a stressful day - the last 45 mins or so of which was spent with our friend trying to convince us it was going to be a drag - even though heading to this thing was the whole purpose of our lunch:

"it's going to be like a mini SXSW.Layyme."

"you know like, what? ONE song by Department of Eagles?"

"the vid will be on youtube by midnight, and you can get the poster in the shop tomorrow."

"$50 says Patrick Daughters will have come and gone in the time it takes us to catch a cab."

"I don't feel like going."

                                  *Be that way, raincloud.

So, we went alone. Solely for the love of Dzama. We love Dzama - was this mentioned already?
Our day was kind of rubbish so free cocktails & a quickie concert? It felt prescribed, and also kind of perfect that we could hit it solo, just in case we wanted to grab a drink, our free poster, and bounce. 
Pooper Lunch Buddy's assessment was about %60 correct.

The DoE set was quite SXSW-y.    
*do you like this shade? the colour is "Not Surprised."

 The Grolsch was beer-y. The water was flask-y. The Q&A was drag-y. Patrick Daughters  was indeed absent and kicked it via satelite - but he was quick witt-y. The poster was poster-y, and the video was kook-y.


                                 *all in all? Cool set, we loved the vid, the scene was waste of time-y and Marcel Dzama? Kinda dream-y.


Photo Source: moma.org



Faces/Recent Works Aimé Mpané

Our first introduction to Aimé Mpané was about 2 years ago. We'd seen his first US show "Bach to Congo" at Skoto Gallery back in '07 and were completely and irreversibly affected by his work. One piece in particular, a woodcut print 

from his "Woodpecker Series" left us so brokenhearted we flaked on our plans the rest of that day and spent the night researching organizations that help the children of the Congo *conflict.

*it's not a "conflict." We only use the term Congo conflict because it is google searchable and we're providing a link to an organization dedicated to helping these kids. Fundamentally, this is a war and these children need as much help as they can get.

So, we'd been looking forward to seeing more from him for quite some time and we were more than ready to return to Skoto - we'd only been there twice before coming to see "Faces", once being to see Mpané's "Bach to Congo" and once before that for Obiora Udechuwu's  solo show (where we were honoured to have meet Chinua Achebe *!!!!!!!!) so Skoto has a very special place in our hearts. Each time we've gone, we've left feeling deeply touched and re-connected.

"Faces" was haunting. Haunting. 

The matchstick installations were again incredible. The series that kept our breath in particular, was the "Face" series in which he's used an adze to mine the faces of children out of wood panels - some are chipped gently into the wood and painted with detail, some so savagely hacked that there was no face left to paint. Some sad, some tragic, some serene, all powerful.  The show will be up until the 21st, it is not. to. be. missed.

Skoto Gallery:
529 West 20th Street
5th floor


Photo Source: skotogallery.com
"Untitled I, 2008"
Aimé Mpané 2008
mixed media on wood panel, 32cmx78cm


We Came for Swoon...

*and stayed for Tod Sieele, YUM.

So yesterday was the benefit silent auction for "Swimming Cities of Serenissima." We bought a crapload of raffle tickets but won't know if we won any of Swoon's work until the 26th. Keep your fingers crossed for us kiddos! 
This was seriously ridiculous amounts of fun - and we almost didn't go.
We'd begun our day mid afternoon on a belly full of coffee wandering about Design Within Reach looking for a little gift with which to bribe a friend of ours (hey Xen!) into letting us tag along with her to SXSW.

Heavily caffeinated, we went to momofuku to kill the twitches with spicy noodles, shitake buns, and considerable amounts of ginga kogen. Needless to say after that we were in no mood to trek to Brooklyn to watch a fleet of found object ships drift about.

*we don't even really like beer but sometimes it just...goes.

Long prelude short, we ran into, *get ready for this now... our friend's ex-roommate's, ex-studio mate's, ex-fiance, who was also planning to attend and we were re-motivated. Especially since we are fans of Swoon's work and we love the kooky kids of Secret Project Robot.  
*Plus they promised us a party 'til the wee hours, gotta luv that. 

get into their website and all the collaborators that made this love fest happen and try to catch their send-off party scheduled for the 21st and support support support if you can.

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: swimmingcities.org
Photo Credit: Tod Sieele


"Holy Hip Hop!" Alex Melamid

Can't lie, we were in a serious "mood" when we caught this showing.

We were feeling bratty due to some meetings that had gone nowhere and were probably not in the best headspace to take in what Melamid was trying to do with this show. It... it was a great show...
It's just that, well, we remember the heavy handed "People's Choice" series of  (Vitaly)Komar & Melamid from high school. We were "meh" about it.
*a) we were young, b) at that age, if we wanted our socialist realism diverted in any way, we wanted it done by Malevich.

So, when we heard this show was coming to NYC in January and that it was a solo exhibition by Alex Melamid only, AND that he was doing these life-sized portraits of hip hop greats? We were so there. But it just fell short for us somehow...
Firstly, these portraits were supposed to portray a series of "hip-hop icons... the wealthiest and most influential individuals of our time" with this roster:
Russell Simmons
Easy Mo Bee
MC Duke
Kanye West
Reverend Run
Whoo Kid
Lil Jon
Marc Ecko
50 Cent
L.T. Hutton
Don "Magic" Juanuhhhhhmm...

Yes, according to Melamid (or rather his music video director son "Dan the Man" Melamid, who facilitated the introductions for his father) Don "Magic" Juan is a hip hop icon.
Secondly, the portraits were done in the impressionist style, heavy heavy on the Monet brush stroke to the point where it seemed more cliche than testimonial. Again, we got the intent: these are men whose lives are larger than life - the portraits are life sized, these men are celebrities - the portraits are grandiose, and in the style of 19th century royal portraiture, these men are ambitious and pioneering - the portraits are rendered in the technique of old masters. But, it could all just as easily be construed as cheesy  mall art once you throw a pimp into the mix.

It is still worth checking out...

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: antiquesandthearts.com
"Don Magic Juan"
Alex Melamid 2005
oil on canvas


We suck.

We've been trying for a week now to dutifully blog about SCOPENY and the Armory Show.

We spent so much time basking in it, feeding on it, and digesting it, floating about on our new *yli-ness... not a picture was taken, none of our shorthand even makes sense - it's just not going to get done. 

*for what it's worth, we loved it... and we'll do better.

[ *yli ]


Jeremy Kost's "After the Party" @ the Dactyl Foundation

                                                                                                                                    aye candy.

Yes, that Jeremy Kost. The scene-y "polaroid artist." 

We were completely into this show. Seven *wait for it... "rectangular tessellations" *yESssss narrating beautiful male models in varied stages of pursuit, dissatisfaction and savage destruction of his desires. The emptiness and consequences of instant gratification translated through his relationships with a cape, a stuffed tiger, a doll, his own clothes... and Elmo - captured with the brutally honest, instantly devastating, instantly gratifying medium that is the polaroid, natch. It will be at the Dactyl Foundation until the 21st of March, make a point to go see this one, kids.
*on a shallow note we could watch eye candy destroy stuffed animals all day...

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: jeremykost.com


The Flawless Cut

  paper planes.

If it wasn't obvious enough to you by now, we are way into paper manipulation. We became obsessed with
Noriko Ambe's work at the Cutter's group exhibition currently running at Hunter College and of course ran straight to the 'net to be fed by more of her fluid paper excavations.

She calls her work "mapping the mysterious land between physical and emotional geography"


[ *yli ]

Photo Source:
"A Piece of Flat Globe Vol.4"
Noriko Ambe 2008
Cut on Yupo
Photo Credit: Mareo Suemasa


"VB64" Performance/Sculpture by Vanessa Beecroft

[1] epic rant inspired by Mr. Kanye West

We took our people-watching obsession to the next level at Vanessa Beecroft's VB64. THis being Vanessa's first show in New York since 2000, we expected to be in various states of sensory assault/ecstasy both by her work and the crowd we anticipated would be in attendance.

*we won't lie, we wanted to see the girl with the denim hotpants. We. love. her. She was there, sans hotpants...

Rows of heavily gessoed nudes, 20 live, dispersed amid sculptural casts meant to blur the line between the real and the inanimate, life and death, we wondered also if the stone faced revelers @ Deitch were somehow part of the installation because they certainly nailed Beecroft's point home. Possibly the spectating crowd made her message a bit too literal...

*ambivalence is lame.

Give the woman a break kids, she gave you nudity, a statement, and forced you to stare at vaginas to see if what you were looking at was real or sculpture - crack a smile, giggle nervously... something. The filming of the show was produced by Kanye West, where was his all-caps energy when we needed it? The show is up until April 12, please go check it out. Maybe it was just the opening crowd that had no pulse...

*well Vanessa, we loved it.

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: email
Artist Credit: Vanessa Beecroft


back to the fold.

"tessellations, tessellations, spinning, magnetic..."

"tessellations" always makes this song float through our head.

*quick 2 minute Fosse style dance break to that intro...

Our brain never shuts off, as a result, we tend to overextend ourselves professionally and socially .
*we're nothing if not honest.

To retain at least a corner of sanity, we've tried to make it to the dance studio at least once a week to work out all the creative gremlins and regain focus.
A few years back, we aggravated an old hamstring injury while showing off in a ballet class so we took up meditative origami to soothe our creative restlessness while we healed. 
*we loved it, then, we kinda fell off...

Randomly we picked up this gorgeous origami kit while procuring an emergency Starbucks from the B&N cafe and promptly motored through all the shapes, monkeys, dragons, mockingbirds, coral fish, all of them. The last part of the guide book was dedicated to origami tessellations. WOW. We've been hooked ever since. It's crazy how creating something so intricate can be so calming...

Anyway, all of that was to say please get into Andrea Russo's work

*Simply stunning.

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: Andrea Russo via flickr


lose yourself.

Rafaël Rozendaal... because we know you kids like to play on the internets.

*we unrolled virtual toilet paper. 
          what have YOU accomplished today?

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: www.jellotime.com
Rafaël Rozendaal - newrafael.com


hella crafty.

Diem Chau, let us count the ways...

We are just into crafts this month. A few weeks ago, we attended the "Forget Me-Not" show at Gallery Hanahou where we were enveloped by a small stampede of people and fabulous, cozy, savage, empowering, and fanciful interpretations of love, brilliantly translated through needle and thread.

*holy embroidered intestines, Batman!

Curated by the fun and funny Kristen Rask, founder of Plush You, the show was equal parts an embroidered study in love  and a nod to the growing crafter's movement in the contemporary art world...

[ *yli ]

Photo Source: diemchau.com
"Hair" Diem Chau
Porcelain bowl, silk thread


"Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now"

This took us back to our gradeschool days when we used to fill photo albums with collages of pretty things from fashion mags (we'd go to town on a Haprper's Bazaar, but NEVER cut up a Vogue ::wink::)

The ICP is currently running a series of four exhibitions celebrating 2009 as the ::swoon:: "Year of Fashion" and is up until the 3rd of May.

*oh ICP, you couldn't have made us happier if you tried.

Of the four exhibitions, undeniably the man event is "Weird Beauty."
Essentially a montage of tear sheets from the last two years of significant fashion photography, the most notable of course being from European mags like Numero, Doingbird, and French and italian Vogues. The US standouts being W and V magazines - go figure ;-) A collection of about 40 or so distinguished fashion photogs vandalising beauty's status quo. Knight, Lagerfeld, Klein, diCorcia, oh my! 

*naturally, we were in heaven.

[ *yli ]
Photo Source: icp.org
"Spot the Fake" by Miles Aldridge
copyright Miles Aldridge 2006