Posts Tagged ‘Paul Mpagi Sepuya’

Cover Version (LP)

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Above, signage at BAM; below: Eddie Martinez, Rolling Stones Flowers, 2011

“BAMart is pleased to invite you to the opening of Cover Version (LP), an exhibition in which diverse artists reimagine the cover art of albums they find influential. These unique reinterpretations of the iconic LP bring new life to the art that covers vinyl, highlighting the intersections of art and music.”

Cover Version (LP) Curator Timothy Hull

On the eve of yet another blizzard – anticipated blizzard – scores of artists assembled at BAM for the opening of Cover Version (LP), curated by artist Timothy Hull.

For an artist, the mission of the show is really the best assignment imaginable.  Pick your favorite album and customize its cover.  Cover the cover.  But that’s also a difficult challenge.  Pick something too simple, and you look like a philistine.  Too obscure, and you look pretentious.  Your art object will be evaluated for its referent, and not just its inherent qualities.

Keegan McHargue, Uncarved Block, 2011

(l) Scott Hug, Deep, deep, deep in my eyes there's a round, round, round circle of lives, 2010; (r) TM Davy, I do not want what I haven't got, 2010 , TM Davy (r)

And aside from your selection, can you really top the original album cover?  Taking on an iconic cover – one instantly recognized by the masses, replicated into posters and apparel, hunted in a jukebox – could be so intimidating that you move on to something else.  Can you really improve on Dark Side of the Moon?  Another Green World?  Nevermind?  Abbey Road? Nightclubbing? Anything by Iron Maiden?  And finally, the project seems quaint in its focus on an industry almost obsolete.  Record-store point of sale is a thing of the past, except for specialists more likely seeking an imported 12″ than a popular LP.  Music is increasingly purchased in the text-based ether of a search engine.  The cover seems only remotely relevant if you know the name of the band or track you want.

Elizabeth Huey, Neutral Milk Hotel/Aeroplane Over the Sea, 2010

Luckily, in a tight scene of Brooklyn artists, your peers are supportive and really just happy to see what you came up with.  Curator Timothy Hull manages to attract circles of earnest, bright, and clever artists working in all media and performing in all continents of the art world.  Many of the artist in the show have sterling curating resumes, too: Scott Hug (K48), Denise Kupferschmidt (The Apartment Show), Josh Kline (EAI),  Glen Baldridge (Forth Estate), and Michael Mahalchick (lots), for example.  So relax, iTunes artist; you are among friends.

Butt Johnson, Persuasive Percussion 2, 2010

Featured Artists: Glen Baldridge, Kadar Brock, Colby Bird, Jessica Cannon, Mathew Cerletty, Devon Costello, Justin Craun, TM Davy, Langdon Graves, Joseph Hart;

(l-r) Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Brian Droitcour, Jim Gaylord

Elizabeth Huey, Scott Hug, Butt Johnson, Faten Kanaan, Denise Kupferschmidt, Josh Kline, Erica Magrey, Michael Mahalchick, Eddie Martinez, Dave McDermott;

Artist Keegan McHargue

Keegan McHargue, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Nolan Simon, Colin Snapp, Jennifer Sullivan, Nick Van Woert, Ryan Wallace and Will Yackulic.

UPDATE: Flaunt magazine has an interview with Timothy Hull!

Round 3

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Greetings from chilly North Beach!

Nicole Eisenman at Leo Koenig booth
Nicole Eisenman at Leo Koenig booth

We braved the rainy morning and cloudy afternoon, and pernicious hangover to travel north to the NADA fair at the Deauville Resort.

(l-r) Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Conrad Ruiz, Jessica Silverman
(l-r) Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Conrad Ruiz, Jessica Silverman

Kiss the Sky: Conrad Ruiz with his painting (SOLD!) at Silverman Gallery
Kiss the Sky: Conrad Ruiz with his painting (SOLD!) at Silverman Gallery

It’s a much different vibe than previous NADAs at the Ice Palace. Smiling beauties at the front desk welcomed us and directed us to savory Cuban sandwiches and empanadas just outside. Delicious!

Kirk Hayes at Sunday L.E.S.
Kirk Hayes at Sunday L.E.S.

Much ado about NADA. The fair looks great. Opposed to the shimmering gloss at the big fair, NADA warms our cold hearts with handcrafted sculptures and paintings, cardboard and wood grain, tattered edges, glue gun assembly, and folked-up, Johansonfied brushwork.  The Zeitgeist was apparent, and crystal clear at some of the fair’s best booths.  Sunday L.E.S. kicked ass with trompe l’oeil paintings on panel by Texas-based artist Kirk Hayes, all sold. While the paintings appear scrappy, layered, and held together by masking tape, they are oil all the way down and meticulously drafted and crafted.

George Herms, Ida Elkblad at The Journal
George Herms, Ida Ekblad at The Journal

And Brooklyn’s The Journal gallery offers table-top assemblage pieces by L.A. legend George Herms.  Jack Hanley’s booth was full of playful, tiny paintings. I loved David Scanavino’s ABC (Already Been Chewed) copies of the Financial Times at Klaus von Nichtssagend, also in Brooklyn.

Pickles by Erwin Wurm at Jack Hanley
Pickles by Erwin Wurm at Jack Hanley

The director from a big gallery at the Big Fair was inquiring about the Scanavino work, which has begun to sell, even though the individual pieces themselves can’t actually be removed (nor sold).

Simon Watson and the Invisible-Exports family
Simon Watson and the Invisible-Exports family

Art advisor and curator Simon Watson cheered this year’s fair action as the best since 2003.  “The attitude is much different, much more joyful” he says.  “The work looks much better and everyone is ‘over grumpy.'”  Word on the street is he scored a two-million dollar sale, which would make me less grumpy, too.  Not that I’m really that grumpy here.

John Connelly with Scott Hug work at NADA
John Connelly with Scott Hug work at NADA
IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough

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