In its second edition, Frieze New York hit Randall’s Island with a shit load of art from about 180 galleries worldwide. According to Frieze, around 45,000 visited the enormous, sweating white tent in true Cirque du Soleil art market spirit.
Who’s this simple fellow above? Oh, it’s Johnny Abrahams, who I reviewed at Frieze London last year and in February for his first solo-exhibition at Jack Hanley Gallery New York. He and I agreed to GET TINKED and walk around stoned but the Carl Sagan junky he is did it all before sharing. Shoot.
Mr. Abrahams is standing in front of a constellation photograph by Thomas Ruff (note Johnny’s cosmos-T), who also shot these gems:
This blurred appropriation from a porn mag/web demystifies (as porn usually does) the sacred and heavily trafficked thoroughfare of porn star’s gash. Contrasting Thomas Ruff’s constellation photo with these other out-of-focus pornographs is a good example of his long career of often making distinctly different work.
Another from his “Nudes” series, these characters look directly at us, revealing their furry crevices in a way that can’t help but make us feel like dirty old men. By manipulating the image to be blurry (“Blurry n Furry”, there’s a title!), Thomas not only makes these objectified women out-of-focus but out-of-reach, reaffirming our position as voyeur, as though we are looking through binoculars and have been caught doing so.
And here’s a guy I’ve always liked, David Noonan:
I actually saw a show of David the last time I was in London too, at Stuart Shave/Modern Art gallery. His layered silkscreen collages of freaks, queers, queens, dancers and performers struck me as rebellious, extravagant, nightmarish and aesthetically clever.
These recent portraits carry the torch from that last show I saw of his. The yellowing grayscale works are roughly assembled, the halftone patterns clearly visible as its edges fray and tear, blending itself to get lost in the subjects themselves.
Cheer up, glum! Your pimp just sold you for $32k. Not sure what I can add to this piece, but I can’t help what wonder what kind of mega-zit this poor girl is hiding, and on the first day of school nonetheless. Or hell maybe it’s a backhanded joke on the zoo of an art fair. “Stop staring at me!”
It’s a little tricky to document this piece because of the monitor frequencies, but this is an installation of 9 different televisions showing fuck videos that Kendall manipulated into having a kaleidoscope-like effect. The result is when you distort wet, fleshy, rubbing orifices and protrusions the consequent shapes are abject, otherworldly and near impossible to decipher.
What is sex but a desperate swapping of spit and sin, anyway?
And last and somewhat least is of course Johnny Abrahams, whose blinding paintings graced Jack Hanley’s booth once again. Fresh out of the oven, this new piece creates the illusion of having a raised point in the center, like a shallow pyramid stud on a leather jacket. In another study on how to destroy the eyesight of your audience, Johnny creates movement and dimension on an otherwise immobile and flat surface through the simple but calculated use of line.
Not much is different from Frieze London 2012 and the one in New York last weekend, but in Johnny Abraham’s words, “The only way we’ll make any money in this place is if we slip and fall.” Sing it sister.
Contributed by Dean Dempsey.