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Brian Degraw, Behead the Genre

James Fuentes LLC
55 Delancey Street, between Allen and Eldridge, 212-577-1201
East Village / Lower East Side
January 27 - February 28, 2007
Web Site

Behead the Genre is an ambitious examination of the instinct to pigeonhole and obsessively describe, an affront to the project of labeling at large. The installation will consist of sculpture, drawing and painting featuring a bevy of references that defy time and the impulse to separate.

DeGraw’s art is intimately linked to music. A member of New York’s Gang Gang Dance, and a longtime DJ and composer, DeGraw is consumed by the power music has to move an audience-its particular syntax, its ability to lift, to drop, to vary, and, finally, to destabilize us. Could a parallel destabilization in art exist only in principle-little more than a Potemkin gesture in a world in which we endlessly congregate with those of our tribe? If so, DeGraw’s exhibition, elemental in bits (it is no coincidence that the pyramid is a recurring motif), is an ode and an allusion to music’s extraordinary ability to flatten the neat barriers that define that very tribalism. His message is not a sort of trite we are the world-ism, but rather, it is largely about how we erect these barriers in the first place.

In the end DeGraw bends genre and thereby addresses the core of what it means for him to make art at large.
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