EXHIBITION * KAWASAKI • SOTO • SUPINE IN NY

by Redazione DATE*HUB

I BEAST NY!

La Jonathan Levine Gallery è una di quelle gallerie che diventano nel giro di pochi anni dei luoghi magici, dove tutto può succedere, dove entri e magari incontri artisti del calibro di Mark Ryden, Ray Caesar, Tara McPherson, Victor Castillo, Gary Baseman e ti ritrovi a parlarci come li conoscessi da sempre.

L’occasione è ghiotta: lo scorso 8 settembre Jonathan Levine ha inaugurato una triplice mostra eccezionale. Tre nomi di quelli che uno solo basterebbe per creare una fila chilometrica fuori dalla porta che neanche quando i negozi di elettronica fanno gli sconti di esaurimento scorte: la dolce Audrey Kawasaki e le sue bamboline inquiete, l’eclettico Jeff Soto e i suoi mondi fantastici popolati da teschi e robot e poi i folli ritratti tra la pop art e lo street style di Justine Supine.
Per farvi un po’ allenare con lo slang abbiamo deciso di pubblicare qui di seguito il comunicato stampa, nome per nome; voi usatelo come una sorta di artistico ed inusuale corso di inglese, sempre meglio di “the cat is on the table”!


Audrey Kawasaki – Midnight Reverie  Solo Exhibition
September 8—October 6, 2012 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 7—9pm

Kawasaki’s work conveys the subtle intrigue and mystique of feminine sensuality through contrasting themes of innocence and eroticism. She paints sultry, seductive female subjects posed provocatively and often gazing suggestively at the viewer. Their graceful gestures, delicate features and direct eye contact exudes a combination of melancholy and desire.
Kawasaki creates finely detailed imagery by applying thin washes of oil paint onto wooden panels, accentuated by sharp organic lines drawn with control and precision, in graphite. The natural wood grain adds a warm glow to her enigmatic subject matter, complementing the curves and contours of the female form, flowing hair and floral adornments.
Midnight Reverie marks a new direction in Kawasaki’s imagery, in that—for the first time—the works in this exhibition feature flat, graphic shapes, painted in layers of solid black acrylic. Incorporating these dark, crisp, bold elements adds a stark contrast with the soft, delicate quality of the artist’s signature female portraiture. Additionally, Kawasaki rendered her figures and their environments in this series with much more vibrant hues as compared to previous works in which she employed a subdued, muted color palette.
The subject matter in this exhibition has a surreal, whimsical, dream-like tone. In the artist’s words: “Some of the pieces have windows, like passage-ways into another world, yet it can also feel like limbo or static—wanting to walk through to the other side, but not being able to. Others are deep in the make believe, magical, mystical realm. In these, the black parts represent a void, emptiness or the unknown, yet they can also be something real and solid, like holes or shadows.”


Jeff Soto – Decay and Overgrowth – Solo Exhibition
September 8—October 6, 2012 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 7—9pm

Expanding upon the themes explored previously in Lifecycle, Soto’s solo 2010 exhibition, works in Decay and Overgrowth deal with the passage of time, early man and life after death, as well as primitive myths and legends attempting to explain the unknown.
Two of Soto’s grandparents passed away within the last year, prompting the artist to research how different cultures explain life and death. Attempting to celebrate their lives rather than mourn their deaths, he has been working these ideas into his paintings. A connective thread of mortality runs throughout the work, conveying themes such as the transient nature of life, brevity of the average lifetime and inevitability of death.
Soto selected symbols of hope and growth to symbolize the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Organic shapes and elements such as mountains, plants, flowers, rocks and crystals are juxtaposed with manmade objects such as cell phone towers, weapons, polished gems and modern architecture. The resulting imagery combines a bit of magic, unanswered questions and a glimpse into the unknown.
In the words of the artist: “I’ve been thinking more than ever about how our lives are short, fleeting and unexpected. I’ve been researching man’s migration across the planet, our domestication of plants and animals and the slow evolution of different cultures. I find it interesting that each generation adds their own small part to our collective human experience. I’m continually fascinated by mankind’s relationship to nature and how humans have been bending the environment in good and bad ways for tens of thousands of years.”


Judith Supine – Too Much For One Man – Solo Exhibition
September 8—October 6, 2012 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 7—9pm

Using his mother’s maiden name as an alias to keep his identity anonymous, Judith Supine has become renowned in the street art scene for his distinct style, unique wheatpastes on building façades and impressive placement of public interventions in daring locations throughout New York City. In 2007, he hung a 50-foot figure off the side of the Manhattan Bridge, in 2008 he left a piece floating in the East River and then in 2009 he left one in a Central Park pond, one in a Queens sewer and another on the highest point of the Williamsburg Bridge.
In recent years, Supine has focused more on studio work and elaborate gallery installations. His process involves a pastiche of printed ephemera. Supine describes the collage technique as “combining seemingly disparate images to reveal something that wasn’t previously apparent.” Procuring visuals from found materials such as salvaged books and magazines to form his inventive assemblage, the artist uses a photocopier to create figures with odd proportions and dramatic scale in high-contrast black and white. He then applies vibrant washes of his signature color palette in psychedelic fluorescents (mainly neon greens, pinks and purples) before finishing with a seal of high-gloss resin.
There is a poignant quality to Supine’s surreal subject matter, likely the result of his effective skill in manipulating and combining image fragments—altering them so far beyond their original intention that they transform completely. These visual contrasts highlight class issues, twisted ideals and culture clashes. Supine turns airbrushed fashion and cosmetic beauties into monstrous creatures. Subverting sexy into scary, innocent into depraved and privileged into pornographic, children’s faces are superimposed onto adult nude bodies as luxury brand supermodels merge with the world’s impoverished. Supine’s work exposes the grotesque vulgarity of its advertising sources yet also manages to touch upon core truths of humanity, posing profound questions that resonate.

WEB * jonathanlevinegallery.com