Aaron Smith and Sloan Fine Art would like to invite you the join the “Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter,” a bad-ass neo-dandy beardo brigade from beyond time. Part reality, part invention of the artist, the “Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter” exemplifies a convergence of spectacular subcultures – from Dandyism, Freak Folk, Steam Punk and Bear Culture, to Beard and Mustache enthusiasts – that revel in the exaggeration of masculinity’s archetypes and encourage men to play freely with past forms of male identity.
Mixing images of Victorian and Edwardian gentlemen with those of men in his immediate circle, Aaron Smith paints with irreverent swagger. In each impasto portrait, woozy colors and aggressive surfaces act as a foil to the sitter’s stoic pose, maintaining a giddy ambivalence to nostalgia. Rounding out this collection of dapper gents are still lifes infused with historical and cultural references to the beauty and delight of a natty man.
Aaron Smith attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he is now an associate chair. Galleries in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have mounted multiple solo exhibitions of his work and he has been included in group shows at galleries and museums nationwide including Laguna Art Museum, Frye Art Museum and Museum of South Texas. He was the first artist in residence at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Smith currently resides in Silver Lake, California with his husband Tom and their dogs Flora and Miles.
Running concurrently with “Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter” in the project room, Sloan Fine Art is pleased to present “Victor Victoria,” new photographs by Anthony Iacono. Anthony Iacono’s interest in miniatures began as a boy. Gazing into his grandmother’s China Cabinet, he became infatuated with her collection of porcelain figures and decorative party favors. With his new body of work, “Victor Victoria,” the artist repurposes inherently androgynous Victorian miniatures, incorporating a variety of found and handmade elements to create fetishized, narrative portraits. The use of Play-Doh acknowledges the artist’s painterly hand, while the plasticity of the medium suggests ideas of the sensual. Fragments of toys, craft supplies and collectibles interrupt the gestural quality of the sculpted elements with gaudy embellishment. The artist’s formal concerns with baroque lighting and decor saturate the compositions with insistent indulgence. The unconventional quality of Iacono’s chosen mediums refreshes his traditional influences, paying tribute to classical references through a contemporary vocabulary. And his apparent fixation with obsessive collecting and staging, paired with a fascination with theatrical performance and impersonation through costume and disguise become seamless partners within each decadent, ambiguous sculpture.
Anthony Iacono was born in Nyack, New York and currently resides in Brooklyn. He studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York where he received his BFA. While he has exhibited his painting, sculpture and photography in group exhibitions at Daniel Cooney Fine Art/ iGavel Auctions, CultureFix, Visual Arts Gallery and Greenpoint Gallery, Victor Victoria is Anthony Iacono’s first solo exhibition.
Sloan Fine Art is located at 128 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6, and by appointment.