In a layering of styles and content, east and west, Iran and America, past and present, Farsad Labbauf has used imagery from his youth in Iran combined with iconic imagery from mass media and commercialism in America to comment on global economics and society. Speaking about his paintings at Blank Space Gallery, in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, in his solo show, “From My East to Your West,” he emphasized the constant bombardment of images from western entertainment media: television, comic books and toys while being exposed to Persian arts including calligraphy, Persian miniature painting, tile works and poetry. Resultantly, he has merged these images in his paintings. He comes from a background of sewing, so that stitchery is translated in his work to a series of lines ranging from the thinness of threads to thicker lines on the canvas, comprising faces, figures, backgrounds, … [Read more...] about Farsad Labbauf: From My East to Your West
Seeming to reference Edward Hopper’s interiors and Gerhard Richter’s “Woman Descending the Staircase” (1965, after Duchamp), with a bit of Vermeer’s Dutch Master technique and figurative expertise thrown in, the Safarani sisters’ video paintings, in their solo show “Reincarnation,” surpass and contemporize these past masterworks. Presented by Roya Khadjavi Projects, Iranian twin sisters, Bahareh and Farzaneh Safarani, master of fine arts graduates from Northeastern University with bachelor of art degrees from Tehran University in painting, literally set the stage for the slow contemplation of domestic scenes featuring themselves. The video projection of wavering sheer curtains onto the oil paintings doubles the doppelgänger effect of two sisters appearing in and simultaneously painting the canvas. From the earliest paintings shown, layers of curtain increasingly part and cover to … [Read more...] about From Two, One.
Boston, MA - Venturing down the 10 or so stairs to Galatea Fine Art at 460 Harrison Ave. in Boston’s SoWa District has always held the promise of discovering a new favorite artist, whether through its monthly spotlight exhibitions of collection of members work that sometimes threatens to steal the show in its own right. The three exhibitions on view through October 28: Philip Gerstein’s “Sometimes There Is Bliss”; Barry Margolin’s “Play of Wakefulness” and “Ronni Komarow’s “Tender Mercies” have lots to deliver, so plan on a second or third walk around the gallery space to see what revelations you missed the first time around. The first work in Gerstein’s collection as you turn into its viewing area, “Count O’Litski,” has the immediate feel of process thanks to the sharpness of his drawn lines and the marking and filling in of space on the canvas. In “After the Humans,” you can … [Read more...] about OCTOBER TREAT: GERSTEIN, MARGOLIN & KOMAROW AT GALATEA
Philadelphia is an art city. When I first encountered Philadelphia’s City Hall on a bright sunny day in early October, I was enchanted by the extent and excellence of the installations and sculptures I encountered, beginning with bronze statues of historical figures that included John Wanamaker, President William McKinley, General McClellan and William Penn. Penn’s statue, created by Scotsman Alexander Milne Calder and installed in 1894, graces the top of the tower of Philadelphia’s City Hall. The city’s website claims it is the largest, at 37 feet tall and heaviest, at 53,000 pounds of any statue worldwide. Challenging the size of Penn in the same plaza is Claes Oldenburg’s “Clothespin,” which is joined by Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture, with red letters, and blue sides mimicking his 1976 painting. Jacque Lipshitz’s “Government of the People” (1976) looks like a tangle of human … [Read more...] about PLAY ON PHILADELPHIA! JANET ECHELMAN’S PULSE & DAVID BREWSTER’S ROGUE WAVES AT GROSS MCLEAF GALLERY SHARE THE LOVE
On September 20, I found myself outside Brighton Music Hall for the first time in my six or so years of living in Boston, in line to see Idles, a punk band from Bristol, England that was in the midst of a tour for its sophomore album, Joy is an Act of Resistance. When a band releases a second album, there is a high level of anxiety that it will suffer by comparison to a successful debut album and the band will fade into obscurity (and join the ranks of other one-hit wonders). This is not the case for Idles; the new album has already received high ratings from critics that are claiming the album as a fresh take on the punk genre. The album delivers social commentary on the toxicity of the punk scene as well as the right wing’s take on immigrants. When the band started playing their set, its singer, Joe Talbot, slowly paced the stage staring down the crowd like a shark circling … [Read more...] about CONCERT REVIEW: IDLES AT BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL, SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
Lennie Peterson’s “Synesthesia,” on view through October 15 at the Narrows Art Center in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a must-see exhibition of over 40 original mixed-media drawing-paintings (and a few reproductions of originals in Giclée on board), a hanging sculpture and a behind-the-scenes video of Peterson at work. In the video, we see Peterson creating with a live-performance format, which he is now famous for doing, and get a glimpse of some of his lesser known and fascinating practices. There is a revelation in the video: he takes a substrate and places it in water and sand in a beach environment, allowing the materials to arrive at a natural unrehearsed condition. This act is important because it is Peterson’s fundamental guiding force — flow. The exhibition itself features some of Peterson’s best-known and best-loved portraits of many iconic musical figures, including … [Read more...] about Synesthesia: Music-Inspired Art and Mindscapes by Lennie Peterson at the Narrows Art Center