Rico GatsonAfrican FractalsMarch 25-April 22, 2006@Ronald Feldman31 Mercer St.New York, NY 10013212-226-3232
Great show. The surfaces remind me of the yellow bumpy surface on the subway platform, but very clean.
The yellow bumpy surface on the subway platformAt times my shoes are thinANd I feel it.Other times I am wearing bootsAnd I move the earth.Stripes suck.
Orange Yellow Brown- these color flavors "excite" - which is why McDonalds uses them. Orange symbolizes energy, balance, heat, fire, enthusiasm, playfulness Aggression, arrogance, flamboyance, gaudiness, overemotion, warning, danger, fire...basicly energy and its side effects...and metaphoricly speaking we ascribe these energy states to people - "in your face". So in this sense, this painting is "in your face" It has been theorized that people who feel powerless speak louder and are more agressive in their interpersonal communication.this is why minorities like williamsburg hipsters paint gaudy patterns like this.People of power paint a few subdued shapes in grissaille, ideally, although their insecurities show through at times in a blush of color.
Zipthwung what is your definition of a hipster and living in Williamsburg?
hey! w-burg hipsters rule.
help I'm stuck in 1974 and I can't get out
W-burg. I include Bushwick, Greenpoint to the Pulaski bridge Ft Green north of Metro Tech. and Bushwick somewhere before the city limits.Hipsters pay attention to culture more than average but don't necessarily think about it all that much - that would be the intelligentsia.
I forgot to define "living in" - I think that means you landed there and cant get out.
what is that shape supposed to be? I'd like it if he cut out the shape and taped a glossy photo of Cheryl Teigs onto it... and sprayed it with silly string.
bb, i think it's a striped t-shirt. or some kind of cloth-covered desert home.
This painting is best seen as all paintings are in person, but at the gallery it is with 3 other paintings two are of figures and then the other is just shapes and lines. It is a very elegant show and a bit spooky.But maybe feldman gallery always spooks me. I don't understand the hipster comment at all, that seems like dumb comment coming from you Zip. Have you seen the work or know his work from before?
new blogger here ... check my selection of artists pls :)
I love Rico's work, but I just know the installation stuff with the fireplace videos... I don't know if I dig the 'paintings'. They're too conceptually designed.
I think that the paintings are new for him. He has some video in this show too. Did you see his video at the Whitney Altria last year?
Wrong side of bed.If anyone says diaspora to me I'll clock them.I like the seventies feel. he nailed it. I can dig the update, groovy. Still all this nostalgia gets to me. Reminds me of suburbia in a bad way. Maybe thats good but I've seen a lot of it and thats bad.If you dont know what I mean then ignore it and enjoy your experience.I'll go see the video and then do some fractal macrame.
jensen is way more interesting. I guess you could say he's a pre-cursor to this kind of painting.
movin' on up
I usually don't like art that relies on geometric optical tom foolery, but in this case I think I do like it. I haven’t seen Rico's work in person, but from the .jpeg I am enjoying it quite a bit. It is exciting and sublime.I like the way it takes geometric abstraction and uses it to talk about primitive mysticism. The striped shape is organic, reminding me of a bearskin, and the brown background seems like mud or wood. This, coupled with the psychedelic Dr. Who worm hole in the center has an interesting poetry to it. To me, the painting is about revisiting our mystic selves through technology. It is a confirmation and extension of what was going on in the '60s with guys like Noland and Held. It also reminds me of some of Arturo Herrera's work.
primitive mysticism is so "black", someone should be wearing it in midtown selling incense on the side of the road. i can't stand the composition or pallate.
by the way, I was googling Alfred Jensen and came across this really nice essay he wrote about his experiences and influences as a painter. It has a great feel to it and is fun to read: http://www.alfredjensen.com/writings/wayIpaint.html
In it of itself, I do not react. Is not a work of art to stand alone? This is decorative in our time.
mr wakeup.have you seen gastons videos? did you see the other paintings in the feldman show? it is NOT just decorative...there are other layers...i dont know if the swastika is analogous to our times (seems to me an easy way out) but it is there, transcending decoration.
...clem would be proud, but other than all that drama of how many years ago, formalist stuff just doesn't...um, engage that much anymore. (as evident here) i find the asymmetry kinda provoking, but otherwise...uh, well......so is the heyday of this blog already past? because I just decided to join in and that would be pity. it all looked like such fun...
http://jameswagner.com/mt_archives/005500.html#commentsFound this on James Wagner.The repetitiveness of the work begins to feel creepy and disturbed. His palette is burn into my mind. There is nothing comfortable or decorative about it.
Hello Goble,All that I am stating, is that a work of art should be able to stand on its own without 'knowing the history of the artist' nor 'having to read an essay'. The delight in discovering an artist is to see more of his or her work and discover more about their visuals. I must say that this work in it of itself looks decorative to me and I am sure to someone who is not an artist. You should be able to understand that. I will look into his work more, but honestly- why was this piece chosen? Is it one of his stronger works? Perhaps if I saw it in the flesh, I'd discover more 'layers' not visible online...Willing to look at more gladly,Mr. Wakeup
fair...i totaly agree, this image is not representative of the work i am familular with. actually i am only familular with his video work, if you can get your hands on them they are worth seeing....open to all.
...oh to pass the time...seems like too much art needs context to be understood. oh well. Guess that's why using your brain can get you somewhere, but not always...I'm learned, ma...but with the immense pluralarity(huh?) of the current state of affairs, i suppose it goes with anything that you have to do research. I mean, mondrian, who got it when you first looked at his stuff? then you read, and oh...course, back in the day, his was more of a statement, because the context, i think, was more...um, status quo, and thus his statement more obvious, if not in-your-face. I mean, how many people can arrive at this (rico's) kind of painting from totally different context? too many people. such is the situation of today's art.blow up your context, weave in good concept...and maybe you'll have it. maybe. there ya go.now someone tell me what good concept is?
mr.wake up- i completely disagree with you - this is not decorative art in the least bit- and references a million references to art history- and if there are any decorative references-it represents either a cultural or stella like stylization- which is not decorative- and very rich-maybe we should discuss the idea of decoration- because having ethinic colors ain't it-It uses the notion of decoration to turn alot of art history on it's head- i have a feeling you need to pick up a book and read about the last 60 years of art -this is the last peice for me that is decorative- and if any thing the katherine bernhardt falls a lot closer to decoration- this piece does stand on it's own-- while remaning stylized and completely undercoverthe comment by Wad Zar Xam, about this piece referencing geometric abstration while at the same time some sort or Sun Ra subversion, was right on the money and a very intellegant read.I think the correct term used was primitive mysticism- which by the way, NO-Where-Man- is not a "black" term- saying it is groups entire races together that are continents away- primitive mystisim refers to alot of peoples through out history and if anything is a completely generic term, making it specific is treading on shakey ground
bada, I suppose by context, you mean an art-historical context.Thus a 'good concept' is a concept that fits conveniently within the context of art history (or the market.). This is to say that there are plenty of good paintings out there, and good paintings with good concepts -- ones that will never show in the right places because of lack of art historical context and gravitas as established, well, by the establishment.
"I think the correct term used was primitive mysticism-which by the way, NO-Where-Man- is not a "black" term- "Well, honestly a better term might be primal mysticism. Using the word primitive in an art crit. context is dicey because of the similarity in sound to the primitivism movement, which and that has all kinds of colonial issues connected to it that are probably better left alone.Maybe that's the way Nowhere Man was reading it. But anyway you are correct that primal/primitive mysticism is hardly a "black" thing... the viking hordes, for one, would probably take exception to that notion.
yeah, talking about historical (possibly also society at large) context... but also about personal history of the artist, or of the people involved in exposing the art, or conext involved with the process... that all being beside the piece itself presented in of itself, like this piece posted here one day... and me not knowing anything about the piece...for instance, sure, i didn't know anything about gatson... but after seeing a bit of his other (static, not video) work online, then finding out he's black, listening you guys discuss this and that about mysticism/etc... only then did the painting become a bit more intriquing. So let's say he's really a post-opt transexual, who slept with ronald, went to jail for robbing a bank, and claims that the return of the messiah is coming sooner than later on a whale like those horrible gregory colbert pictures ...(all fictitious, to my knowledge)...then perhaps this piece would be vastly interesting. Isn't that what makes daniel johnston's drawings even more interesting?(zip mentioned on other thread)...or the fact that cb is a female against the macho abEx, as already discussed, doesn't it make the meanings behind her paintings that more volatile? people say this stuff doesn't or shouldn't affect how a piece is percieved/recieved...but...oh lordy...stop me please...people are idiots. they love drama. any kind of crazy drama. drama makes art sell. hello?but if an artist is inherently boring, so yahweh help him with his career...
or her career. oops.
bada,Paintings, good and bad, i feel, are almost always intriguing.So there's the context of the institution, yada yada, and that controls how the institution will 'buy in' to it.But then, there's the special (i think) context of the painting in front of you. An individual context. The frontal assault, or frontal address, like a confession. The relationship with architecture and thus the interiority of the viewer as well as the artist. This self addressing of it's history unfolds privately to the viewer.... And while, of course, the history of the artist unfolds thru personal investment. (but of course on this blog, an artist's 'history' is too easily associated with 'gossip, and thus is too easily dismissed.)This is a kind of private context is something i think that painting takes to, pretty well. It is, for the most part, a private address, one-on-one by nature. Painting seems to heighten the drama. But only when the drama is paid attention to....
sorry i ment "black" in the pop culture sense of the word - and this extends from an idea on another board, i was flowing up on. (and yes it is not my struggle). i feel there is a certain prevailing if not often reverse racism in the art-world, where most "stereotypes" (anyone but white educated men) are ghettoized into making Art about that very thing that marginalizes them to begin with.
yes wod zar xam, primal and primitive are TOTALLY different terms! that is the way i was reading it. primitive is thrown around far to often in a bamboozled context.
I'm kind of into primal mysticism, but in the gallery context, or as it is used in popular culture (burning man) it gets tamed or neutralized as they say.I liked the Kranky Klaus video at the WHitney - including the Melvins soundtrack, which complimented the documentary well.I've seen a lot of work by artists who's humor, pathos or intelligence were called into question because they were in textbooks, on TV (Egg, Art21, the News) or in poorly hung galleries.Its like thrift shopping - with experience you gain perspective and stuff starts popping out at you no matter what the context. Thats the kind of objective insight a good curator should have.This blog is kind of like the indian store where they have tribal artifacts hung in rows of ten or twenty. Made for the masses - artists like Warhol and Koons have devoted careers tot his kind of thing, in a way.What makes objects have power?
Actually, the color scheme is not all that different from tibetan mandalas... there is definitely something mystic and primal about that scheme...and the layout, of course... well, I meant black as in black, and I do think identity plays a significant role in work...particularly by ways in which cultural backgrounds against other cultural backgrounds (culture clash is inevitable, afterall) give way to necessary tension in art; and point of perspective is many times key. Identifying with a number of marginalized groups myself, it makes sense to draw from my experiences in terms of all of it. If not for any grandeur reason, for the relevance of it. Race, sexual orientation, (economic) class and all that is very much a NOW issue. (not that it hadn't been before, but not to this pluralarity huh?) Choosing not to acknowledge it can also be an advantage, but people will nonetheless take it into account sooner or later... so in that sense it factors in anyway...the red does seem to throb... objects? like a crucifix, or a monetary bill, or, perhaps a dildo...things with an overwhelming accumulation of meanings (associations)...
vomitmouth, when I look at art, i do think of historical references of all the Arts of course(!) i agree that the katherine bernhardt is 'more' empty/decorative in an overt way. just because it is abstract does not give it more depth...if i paint the color brown on canvas (and that is all); what on earth will you derive from it? mr. wakeup
how many of you will be going?10 dollars and you can get all the multiculti you can eat...
-if i paint the color brown on canvas (and that is all); what on earth will you derive from it?let's face it, the color brown has a LOT of connotations...re multiculti show....oooooooooh...too bad I'm trapped on the other side of the country. ugh.
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