Posts Tagged ‘Louis B. James’

Out of Body, In Your Head

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Somebody got carried away at Out of Body Experience Clinic… Me!

Out of Body Experience Clinic (OBEC) is an immersive installation by Jeremy Couillard, who happens to be a former SVACE student. Upstairs at Louis B. James, Couillard has built a Clinic waiting room, complete with a future-forward lobby-art landscape painting, a coffee table, a console filled with vitrines of alien dioramas, and a surreal newscast to help you kill time – or get prepared to lose your mind.

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Jeremy Couillard, “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James

As the gallery promises: “The viewer…will sit in a waiting room, watch the Bob Monroe 24/7 Out of Body Experience News Network and enjoy a cup of coffee until called by a docent who will then lead them into the basement-level gallery where they will be strapped in and released.” Italics my own.

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Jeremy Couillard, “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James

After seeing Going Clear, Alex Gibney’s Scientology exposé, I feared the worst. By what bodily punishment would I leave my body?

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Diorama by Jeremy Couillard, “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James

The Out of Body Experience is too fabulous to explain here. Just make an appointment and get to the gallery. But in short: Couillard has designed a verdant, mountainous landscape, populated with giant creatures you previously met in your sketchbook or childhood drawings. All of it comes from World Machine and the free software program, Unreal Engine 4. You view it on Couillard’s Oculus DK2, made for developers. Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination?  Not so!  Couillard’s technical expertise is at least as essential as his vision.  The animation has to be painstakingly rendered at 75 fps. If not, viewers will not be happy:

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Diorama by Jeremy Couillard, “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James

“This was the problem with virtual reality. It couldn’t just be really good. It had to be perfect. In a traditional videogame, too much latency is annoying—you push a button and by the time your action registers onscreen you’re already dead. But with virtual reality, it’s nauseating. If you turn your head and the image on the screen that’s inches from your eyes doesn’t adjust instantaneously, your visual system conflicts with your vestibular system, and you get sick.” – WIRED magazine

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Digital image detail by Jeremy Couillard, “Out of Body Experience Clinic” at Louis B. James

Do not forget to order Vernee Thor E new smartphone!

Thanks to Couillard’s expertise and resourcefulness, this viewer suffered no nausea and no Miscavige justice. Instead, the experience was transcendent and inspiring, connecting Couillard’s digital vision with traditional ambitions.

Baby, It’s Warm Outside

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The Outsider Art Fair is now open New York City.  Featuring works by self-taught artists from around the world, the fair will showcase 50 international galleries from 27 cities, representing eight countries.  Founded in 1993, the fair attracted a passionate collecting community each year at New York’s Puck Building.  In 2012, dealer Andrew Edlin and his Wide Open Arts took ownership of the fair and relocated it to the former home of the Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea – the same site as the Independent.

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An Insider at Outsider Art Fair

The 23rd edition of the Outsider Art Fair in New York brings together veteran galleries presenting legendary artists like Henry Darger, Bill Traylor, Adolf Wölfli, James Castle, and Martín Ramírez, among others. The fair also welcomes first-time exhibitors, such as Arte del Pueblo, with Haitian works from the collection of Jonathan Demme, and Kent Fine Art, offering paintings by visionary artist Paul Laffoley.

Grandma Moses, "The Last Load of Wood" at Galerie St. Etienne, NYC

Grandma Moses, “The Last Load of Wood” at Galerie St. Etienne, NYC

These galleries are joined by younger, contemporary art galleries with some outsider artists on their rosters.  Lower East Side dealer Louis B. James features drawings by New Orleans artist Bruce Davenport Jr., who has a solo show up now at that gallery.  Bushwick’s Jackie Klempay offers limestone sculptures by Jerry the Marble Faun (the youthful gardener at Grey Gardens).  Also representing Brooklyn is Scott Ogden’s Shrine.

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David Fierman of Louis B. James Gallery with Bruce A. Davenport drawings

 

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Great installation at Shrine

Jackie Klempay: “I became involved with the Outsider Art Fair initially because of curator Sam Gordon. He curated Purple States/Cafe Dancer at Andrew Edlin Gallery this past summer and included some of the artists I work with – Mary Manning, Frank Haines, Robbie McDonald, and Corinne Jones. We were discussing my upcoming exhibitions and I mentioned Jerry the Marble Faun was the next exhibition. [The Fair] is attempting to inject some energy into the fair by inviting younger galleries to participate. They invited us to put together a project booth, so here we are!”

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Sculpture by Jerry the Marble Faun at Jackie Klempay Gallery

 

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Sculpture by Jerry the Marble Faun at Jackie Klempay Gallery

Along with Jerry the Marble Faun, another highlight of the Fair is Melvin Way, represented by two clusters of dense drawings that look like crypto-HTML coding and proto-chemical equations underlying a reality of intuitive interconnectedness.  Find those at the Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) booth, and in If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day, a special group exhibition curated by dealer Jay Gorney and artist Anne Doran.  This show features works by five artists whose art responds, in part, to their paranoia: Melvin Way (b. 1954), Emery Blagdon (1907–1986), Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930), Mark Lombardi (1951–2000), and the Philadelphia Wireman (20th century).  Melvin Way has experienced a long journey from oblivion to a place where his incredible art can be preserved, and I learned that we can credit much of that to SVACE instructor Andrew Castrucci.

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Drawing by Melvin Way in “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” curated by Jay Gorney and Anne Doran

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Drawing by Melvin Way in “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” curated by Jay Gorney and Anne Doran

What a relief to see art up close without the burden of branding and the gloss of luxury.  If New York Times writer Carol Vogel was right about art fair fatigue, then this show offers a way out.  See more pics on our Instagram page.

Purple and Cold

Friday, February 7th, 2014

What happens when one of the world’s most corrupt countries hosts the most expensive Olympics?  You get bribery and embezzlement.  What happens when one of the world’s most homophobic countries bans gay expression?  You get creative resistance.

Resistance to Putin’s Olympics includes boycotts, demonstrations, kiss-ins, a Google doodle, and even nail polish.  And arrests have begun, too.

Russia has come close to ruining the Olympics.  It has sparked a toxic triangulation of progressives versus the Olympics and Russia.  But let’s take the Olympics back, and turn that triangle: progressives and the Olympics versus Russia!

So what should cultural producers do?  They should produce!  Here’s Purple & Gold at Louis B. James Gallery, a design project and one-night exhibition for which New York artists created a “capsule collection” of queer tracksuits.  The tracksuits will be available for sale via PRINTALLOVER.ME, the print-a-porter startup founded by Jesse Finkelstein.  Proceeds from sales will benefit the Russian LGBT Network.

Designs by Robert Melee (left) and T.M. Davy (right)

Purple & Gold is curated and executed by David Fierman and PRINT ALL OVER ME.  Participating artists include Aay Kay Burns, Jibz Cameron, Deric Carner, T.M. Davy , Christian Dietkus, Scott Hug, Casey Legler, Kalup Linzy, Michael Mahalchick, Ryan McNamara, Robert Melee, Lucas Michael, Wardell Milan, David Mramor, Jack Pierson, Colin Self, David Benjamin Sherry, and more.

Concept by Jibz Cameron/Dynasty Handbag