At Untapped Cities, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront and showing you what’s happening now, whether in architecture and urban planning, art and culture, dining and nightlife and more. This month marks my one year anniversary as editor of Untapped New York, and exploring and promoting the New York art scene has always been my personal cause. Now, in the form of a photo essay, I want to share with you the artworks that caught my eye at SCOPE and the artists that I think you should look out for. I noted a couple of divergent trends at SCOPE. The first was homage paid by young artists to their predecessors, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Maurizio Cattelan, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Chuck Close, to name just a few. Some of the works imitated their predecessors so closely they could almost be mistaken for their originals. The second trend was the innovative use of technology to create optical illusions and other surprising effects. We’ll definitely be watching to see what these artists do in the future.
One hundred natural laws of the clit by Sophia Wallace. Wallace, a graduate of Smith College, was trained as a photographer, but felt that for a project like this, photography would be distracting. Rather, the point is to bring a highly personal issue into the public realm through conceptual art that appeals to the intellect instead of the senses. The “natural laws” address politics, psychoanalysis, medicine, religion, visual culture, history, architecture, pop culture, pornography, etc.
Cliteracy is artistic, intellectual, political. Using the language of lawmakers, Wallace declares, “Orgasm is a fundamental inalienable human right.” When I asked Baang + Burne’s director Charlie Grosso why she chose to feature Cliteracy at SCOPE, she replied, “Because I believe in it.”
Two paintings reminiscent of Basquiat by TMNK Nobody, represented by Amstel Gallery in Amsterdam. The painting on the left is by Michael Anderson, who did a street art sticker mural in the Ace Hotel, which is one of our favorite bars where a drink is served with a work of art.
Works inspired by Andy Warhol represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami. Portraits by Nick Gentry (on the right) are made of oil and used floppy disks on wood. “Campfire” (the sculpture in the foreground) is by Paul Russo, whose sculptures play on the act of throwing away money, magazines and other objects. The satire is born out of the sculpture’s inescapable proportions.
In the foreground, birdcages by Troy Abbott, represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery.
For this birdcage series, Troy Abbott used archival and original film footage to depict the natural world through coldly engineered technology in a trompe l’oeil effect. The work is surprising, amusing and thought-provoking as we begin to analyze the way technology replaces nature in our everyday lives.
Paintings that juxtapose Roy Lichtenstein’s distinctive pop-art style and ornate frames that one might expect to see on Old Master paintings.
These humorous sculptures by Alex Podesta (represented by Untitled Art Projects in LA) look like they could have been created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, who had a retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2011 full of lifelike wax sculptures in outlandish scenarios, like an old woman in a refrigerator and the Pope being struck by a meteor. Cattelan also took over VICE Magazine with a series of quirky, bizarre and controversial photos. Podesta creates works that explore adult preoccupations with life, human nature and metaphysical impossibilities through childhood daydreams, experiences and misconceptions.
These paintings, especially the one on the left, reminded me of portraits by Chuck Close.
But upon closer inspection, you can see that the artist painted this large portrait on bubble wrap!
This hyperphoto by Jean François Rauzier looks like the abandoned Street Art Haven in Pantin.
Do you ever imagine what archeological relics we might leave behind? Shiro Masuyama, represented by Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, created “Concrete Works 2013” after the disaster in Japan and the subsequent crisis of radiation. His archeological relics include chopsticks, an alarm clock, slippers, receipt book, tea strainer, toothpaste, DVD player, jacket, headphones, electric drill, etc.
Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn‘s “Railroad Nostalgia” was impossible to miss. Face to face with the work, the railroad tracks seem to stretch endlessly into the distance, thanks to the mirrors, which may be an old trick but nevertheless create an appealing optical illusion. Ahn, whose other works explore infinite space and “the poetics of emptiness” through neon lights, color and illusion, is represented by C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore.
The only sound installation at SCOPE was by CNNCTD+ 100, who compiled sounds by 100 people and made them available to visitors using iPads. In just a few minutes, I listed to clips by Azealia Banks, Cat Power, and Cindy Sherman. CNNCTD specializes in sound graffiti and murals.
Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.