Andrew Edlin Gallery is pleased to present TAKE-OUT, an exhibition of works by Lucky DeBellevue, Jeremy Everett, Rachel Howe, Max Razdow, Ben Schumacher, Ramon Vega, Lyndsy Welgos, Grant Worth and Micki Pellerano, curated by Scott Hug. These artists explore formal, conceptual and metaphorical ways of removing and reconsidering the relationships between the self, the real, the virtual and the other. As each new generation grows further removed and alienated from our natural environment, this exhibition offers a response to that estrangement and to the current, prevalent culture of consumption.
Since the 1990s, Lucky DeBellevue has made DIY works that involve mixing high and low art materials with an eye towards both formal and conceptual interests. Recently, he has been deconstructing found umbrellas, draping them as wall hangings that create free-form shapes. Each is printed on both sides so that the surfaces are covered and exposed according to its draping, rendering a utilitarian object useless in the service of art. The recycling of a cheap umbrella also furthers an interest DeBellevue has in re-imagining and using ready-mades from mass manufactured objects. There also remains inherent in the object an evocation of its original use; providing cover and protection.
Collaged Over Poster of a Statue of a Man on a Horse is part of an ongoing project where DeBellevue collaborates by using other artworks, usually found and anonymous, to create a synthesis with the original artist and artwork using different methods and media. Lucky doesn’t like to waste a thing.
Artist Jeremy Everett flooded his personal library, submerging volumes, manuals, and classics. Using the architecture and information of these books as raw material, Everett grows compositions of crystals and color from the existing ink in each book. “I am fascinated by books acting as systems of exchange. I want to republish these books, pass them through the filter of my studio, so they exist in a purely visual system.” As the crystals grow from the books, they become celebrated objects of information and suggest relics lost in a geological timeline.
Everett’s buried “drawings” of landmarks and figures serve as maps of decay, studies of details in a larger entropy. Each subject is photographed, printed and then buried for approximately 1-2 workdays. “I set up a grid in a garden plot and use a system very similar to that of agricultural production, but instead make drawings of a visual deproduction.”
Rachel Howe identifies the disjunction between external appearances and internal, emotional realities. Howe wrote the Teenage Art Manifesto published in K48 No. 3: Teenage Rebel. Self-doubt, inexperience and teenage angst are all themes running throughout her art. Her new works use hand-cut stencils of shapes and fonts, simulating a mechanical printing process, yet retaining her handcraft and creating a unique piece. Inspired by and sourcing from vintage fashion magazines and graphic design, Howe creates repetition of fragmented motifs, making a whole greater than its parts. A lot of the drawings use the word “NO” as a visual motif and as a simultaneous refusal of the piece itself. For A Process of Withdrawal (Occult Abstraction 4), a cutout pattern overlaid onto magazine pages makes an abstract pattern, blocking out the figural elements that would create a narrative.
In another work titled, Soft Focus (Isabel), Howe uses photography to emulate the look of photography of the past in an amateurish, homemade way — letting light leak in, allowing the camera to have some agency in making the photograph through accidents and her “inexpertness” in the same way the home-made stencils quickly fail and allow paint to leak out, creating random variations.
Pencil on paper is the most honest medium for I Heart Transylvania — an ongoing series exploring the apathy and excitement that is the teenage experience. This piece has the figurative element and lettering of the older drawings, but also a confusion of patterning and placement.
Max Razdow creates post-apocalyptic sci-fi narrative landscapes depicting the collective howl. In The D33P a series of drawings and printed poems, in his own words: “examines the neo-magical union of the human and the animal, as a way to populate the empty casket of virtuality with the lushness of nature in the depths of digital fantasy… following the choice of the self to move away from the apnea of the infinite, to find the cat mask and journey deep into the space of the bats, where the mask unfolds to become a million nested faces, a voice.” Razdow often pairs his works with poems. These ongoing and overlapping folklores tell stories of the dualities between man and nature, prophesizing doom and his own self-destruction while emphasizing reconstruction and balance.
Recent NYU MFA graduate, Ben Schumacher explores new ways to conceptualize and present art via the Internet. His work feels as if Schumacher extracted, repurposed and froze the digital experience in real time. Data sharing, 3-D Google warehouse, digital skins, and social networking capital all inform new ways of thinking about reality—mixing what is real with virtual simulations opening a “synthetic portal in-between a ‘real’ thing in the world and the creative representation of that thing. This paradox is only worked through if one is willing to think through the idea that, what one sees in front of one in the world right now may have mutated from Courbet’s day (which could be a terrifying idea to think through). The work involves a new type of ‘realism’ – a realism premised not on distinctions between real and virtual, but on the mixed reality thresholds between the two.” – Post Internet
Ramon Vega created a series of collages and sculptures that mine the language of marketing and advertising through a remix of forms. Vega describes the point where the world of fashion and sports intersects with politics and violence. Using these subjects as surrogates, Vega examines the way identity is created and disseminated in the public arena in popular culture. In Vega’s work Win, Lose or Draw, the viewer becomes witness to a fictional sporting event that is about to begin or has just occurred. The empty stage is a site of expectation, anticipation and consumption. It is a fictional place of promise where one can train for success, compete and take-out their opponents. The spectacle has been removed and the spectators, like moths to the flame are drawn to the light.
In Camino a la Sabiduria (Path to Knowledge), sculptures made of ArtForum magazines are stacked as Modernist modular units. The system of information draws the viewer in through an aesthetic experience only to deny them access to the content except for carefully selected images Vega reconstitutes and repurposes through careful cropping and editing.
Lyndsy Welgos considers the function of photography or its dysfunction within art history paying special attention to its many taboos (like being a photographer in general) and the over emphasis of time as a Heideggerian springboard to achieve relevance in a contemporary art context. The continued search for identity and the freedom to use photographic materials interchangeably are core interests of her work. Welgos’ gradients, portraits, and abstractions consider darkroom practices and Adobe Photoshop tools as one-in-the-same. Spilling Circles and Valerie are built around a framework of blurring, obscuring and avoiding implied elements of time. In Valerie, bright gradient layers separate the viewer from the subject with material abstraction, which takes the subject out of his/her time-based realism and into a meta-physical realm.
Using the Impossible Project’s “Fade to Black” Polaroid film, Grant Worth and Micki Pellerano rendered magical intentions for loved ones, the universe, and their own personal trajectories. Rituals were performed in both of their living spaces and around New York City. Combining the appropriate correspondences related to the planetary qualities of each intention, talismans were created in the form of Polaroid photographs. The title of the series is an unpronounceable string of sigils specifically constructed for the individual talismans. Left alone to develop, Fade to Black Polaroid film turns completely black within twenty-four hours. By documenting each ritual with film, the ephemeral nature of the prayer is extended, and the spell gains strength through its reproduction and the psychic energy of every observer. The complete series records the ten cast spells and the offering of the sigils at the closing of the final ceremony.
In addition to the show, Andrew Edlin Gallery + K48 have organized a TAKE-OUT after party at Youth Group Gallery directly following the opening reception. Artworks will be on view by 3 young artists: Jake Courtois, Tania Cross, and Ben Dowell. Cross and Dowell make up the experimental sound art duo, THE CRIPPLER. They will perform new work starting at 10:30pm. Courtois will perform as KOORTWAH at 11:30pm.
YOUTH GROUP GALLERY 407 Johnson Ave. Brooklyn, NY (Morgan L stop) www.youthgroupgallery.com