Friday, March 9, 2007

Scope New York- Part 3 of 3

Winding down, I'm faced with the daunting challenge of finishing up this series of reviews on the New York art fair weekend.

It's been difficult given the multiple number of galleries and talent involved in this process.

Next week I vow to tie up any loose ends, but for now, let's just say I'm proud of these final three inclusions in my "Best of Scope New York" finale.

First up, from Charlie Smith London comes painter John Stark's lingering moment of terror, "The Loss of Innocence."

This piece clings to our basic instinct of fear and showcases the utter fragility of humanity against nature's penultimate power.

I'm reminded of the haunting imagery of Sir William Blake, or the perspective of Aubrey Beardsley's Dragon illustrations.

All elements of life and hope is drained from this work-- the tonalities of grays and charcoals descend upon us attached to the talons that are sinking into the victim's soul.

It is a survival of the fittest scenario gone terribly wrong.

I must say this was the darkest piece I could have dared to have found at Scope.

I feel lucky to have encountered this work before I left-- after all, my being the ultimate Goth girl-- play any Bauhaus, Siouxsie or Smith tune along to this work and you'll get this picture.

Next up, an artist I actually met at Pulse, Christian Maychack.

Maychack was working the booth for Manhattan's Jeff Bailey Gallery on 25th Street, but I'm choosing to include his work instead in my Scope review for one simple reason: Gregory Lind Gallery is Maychack's primary gallery in his home of San Francisco, AND the works that Lind displayed were far superior in quality and "scope" to that at Pulse.

The wood molding seems to cradle the modeled end piece as a mother would a child-- the angle makes it feel fleshy and earthy-- though futuristic at times with the space-age magic sculpt, it plays on finding new formations and crevices in each turn.

The tiny "arm" included at the end is a nice touch-- an arm desperately holding on to another arm.

Perhaps given the geographical emulation of Cape Cod in the above work, it also brings to mind the work of Boston artist Greg Mencoff's minimalist wooden sculptures.

(to see my comparison, click here)

But Maychack goes a bit further into the realms of Matta-Clark and construction principles.

I also find several elements of Matthew Barney thrown in as well.

This ribbon-like quality is so sensual in its makeup.

It is like the folds of a lover's skin on his side, a gentle collapse into each other intersecting as one.

The captive moon rock formations are locked in-- to never be released.

In a way, this could be the work of Rodin if he lived today-- a permanent embrace never to be escaped.

Finally, my Best of Scope 2007 award, performance artist Jason Metcalf.

Next week I plan on uploading video of this artist in action.

In the meantime, this will have to do.

Metcalf, a 2006 recipient of the Scope emerging artist grant performed in a portable "A House on Wheels."

Locked safely inside a small house the size of a child's toy car, at one side is a sort of vending maching slot where you purchase the transaction-- in this case, a limited edition of an actual piece of art created by Metcalf in process.

Just like an angry Coca-Cola mahine, sure enough your dollar bill is spit right back out.

Upon smoothing it out, over and over, it will slightly pull in, then back out... eventually clicking through.

Then, racing to the other side of the house, through a small window you can see Metcalf feverishly at work.

Down a chute comes your purchase-- a tiny piece of modeling clay sculpted into a curl locked inside a plastic container.

It felt almost like a gumball machine, but in this case, I was the collector in the process of commissioning my artist to be a kind of personal two-minute interval slave.

An exceptional idea and execution as well.

I now am the proud owner of a tiny piece of expertly-fashioned modeling clay, and I paid only $2 bucks.

Eureka!--The folks at Sotheby's and Christie's don't know what they're missing!

See you next week.

Lamgelina over and out.

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