Friday, September 14, 2007

Williamsburg Roundup-- Part 1 of 2-- The Misses

Here at the Musings, I've never claimed to be a hipster, or defender of the Williamsburg kind.

In fact, though I call Brooklyn my home (and have now for the past 4.5 years), I have rarely ventured to that 'nabe where all the "artists" or "galleries" be... why?

A little something known as I don't like commuting an hour and a half just to go somewhere in my same borough.

(Thank you, Mr. Turn-of-the-Century subway designer who made sure I had to go to another island to go back to my same one. Makes sense, don't it?)

And that literally is my main reason-- it has nothing to do with me being anti-hipster; or because it's always hot there and there's no trees or shade; or because it's really polluted; or because there's always construction; or because the few darling little brick buildings they have, they knock down; or because there's more investment bankers there now than artists; or because there's only 1 place I can get good Pierogis by the L train; or because I'm a non-smoking girl who prefers the taste of fine wine over PBRs and Camels.


Anyway, I don't claim to know how many of you might be fans of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," but I certainly hope you will enjoy my version of Guillermo's always fabulous, "Hollywood Roundup."

Instead, my take is, "Williamsburg Roundup."

Billyburg roundup
Billyburg roundup
It's my.... Billyburg roundup.

Of course, above were the many reasons I don't go to Williamsburg very often-- and let's just add the current show at Parker's Box to the list.


Artist Fabien Verschaere has a fascination with cartoonish expression mixed with political statement.

Black and white.



Should I be scared or laugh?

Is this supposed to be about "black oil," primordial ooze, death, destruction, the onslaught of the apocalypse-- or, is this an aversion to the skull scarf fashion trend that Lohan and the Olsen twins started in Spring 2006???

Okay, from skulls, to clowns.


Stephen King, "It."

Fangs, blood, disembowelment... Demon spawn.
Frustration, drippy-dippy.
Pseudo-surrealism in flat format and full length of room "Last Supper/Guernica" format.

I'm hot for you.
Let's do it.
I'm on fire.


Mickey Mouse LSD trips.

Commercial capital-- we are capital-- we are capitalists-- we are consumers-- we are consumerists... this will destroy us.

I get it.

OOOOOOhhhhh.... and I think somewhere in that scene I see a heart-appliqued Robot.


If the goal of Verschaere is to have me go into a visually-induced LSD trip, he's doing well.

At the front of the exhibit lay black protest signs with gel pen statements propped against the wall with various sarcasms stated from the art parade earlier in the day.

From whence we came, we want back into the womb.

Oh, dark soul, fulfill me.

I will say this once and only once more-- PLEASE, dear artists of the world, realize that black combined with white does not necessarily art make.

And clowns do not, will not, and have never been a good choice as artistic subject.

They're not funny, never have been, nor will ever be, and people have phobias of them.

Does Verschare really want to have my friend go into shock?
Literally she has a debilitating phobia of them, and for good reason.
I just may never enter Parker's Box again for fear that I will be eaten by a black and white clown.

Parker's Box, do you have no shame????

Can we just agree that this exhibit has absolutely no focus, the artist has too many things on his mind, is trying to say too much, and by doing so ends up saying nothing about anything?


Jack the Pelican Presents.

A completely forgettable front room solo show with some dude... oh, yeah, Matt Hansel (no Gretel in sight), "Youth is Wasted."

I agree, Mr. Hansel-- so is your talent.

The show has something to do with hipsters rediscovering nature in blurry-painted forests, clad in Brooklyn Industries hoodies and Chuck Taylors-- juxtaposing nature and modernity; wistful appreciation for a land too far away to visit daily, yet bringing to mind each and every day what we're missing out on; and FALL, glorious FALL, with leaves.

Needless to say, people stepped all over Hansel's installation of painted paper leaves and human cut-out form, 'cuz no one knew it was a piece of art and last Friday's opening was too crowded for people to realize where they were stepping.

Below, disaffected youth blowing smoke.

Mr. Hansel's background is his strength, but if he is trying to connect the viewer to his subjects, they appear just as directionless as the rest of the L train.

Part 2 shall come next, "The Hits."

The very same gallery-- Jack the Pelican Presents-- Back room-- THE SHOW OF THE SEASON, "The Fall Season," with two of the best pieces I've seen all year long.

Also, Capla Kesting's fantastic showcase of Travis Lindquist, and Like The Spice Gallery's TRIUMPH of a solo show in digital czarina Anna Druscz.

Until next time, keep reaching for the stars, and stay away from hoodies and clowns.

For more info on these shows, or to see them yourselves... (remember, my opinion is just that, an opinion), please visit...


Hungry Hyaena said...

Perhaps against my better judgment, I liked several of Hansel's works. In person, the paint handling was curious enough, if not particularly accomplished, and I'd rather see these hipster subjects "communing," as it were, with Nature than hanging out at the local club, looking cool. Admittedly, some of my attraction is rooted in wistful recollection, as I think back to chasing trails through woods, not sure which were projected and which were revealed, with only the trees, streams, birds, insects and small mammals to keep me company.

Oly said...

Come on, now, Reiger.

I'm starting to wonder whether you just have such a jones for the nature stuff that you're missing out on the quality stuff.

You should check out CRG Gallery's current show of Kelly McLane.

Now THAT is what I call a perfect combination of nature juxtaposed with pop culture and its greater societal implications.

I think Hansen really missed the point.

"Hoodies and doobies do not art make."

I think I should start making slogans here on the Musings and make them into tees-- "Black and white do not art make."


Oly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hungry Hyaena said...


Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check out the Kelly McLane show when I'm next "on the Chelsea scene." From what little I can see online, however, her work doesn't get me juiced. (Yes, I realize that's an unfair way to judge any work.)

"Hoodies and doobies do not art make."

Normally, I'm totally with you on this point; it amounts to puerile posturing - your Dash Snow post sums up the field well. However, in the case of several - not all - of Hansel's paintings, I think the images are nostalgic celebrations of a contemporary rite of passage for a certain percentage of the adolescent population. Sure, they're a little too hip, but the rite they depict is an important one, one that ties us to the search most of the adult west would deny.

I'm not really thinking "dobbies" here, mind you; I'm only interested in hallucinogenic experience and any "spiritual" significance tied to it. If this all sounds a bit "new agey" to you, it's only because our culture is so divorced from the roots of such searching (both within and without), that we reject it off-hand. Those that do "buy into it" tend to do exactly that, loading up on charm necklaces, dream catchers and other "New Age" kitsch when what they seek is right in front of them...and requires no trinkets to be tapped.

Sure, the paintings at Jack The Pelican don't forefront these ideas, but that's what they're about for me - at least the few I liked. So, HUZZA!