Now that the holiday season is winding down, you may find yourself with a few moments to yourself. In case those moments become too frequent, here are two shows that look worth a cold, wintry walk through Chelsea.
Alison Brady, An Uncertain Nature
On view January 8 to February 28th | 526 West 26th Street No. 519
From the Massimo Audiello site:
From The exhibition opens on Thursday, January 8, and runs through Saturday, February 28, 2009. The opening reception is Thursday, January 8, from 6 to 8 pm.
An Uncertain Nature is the artist’s continued exploration into conventionalism perverted, and introduces her latest series of “historical” portraits, as well.
As in her earlier work, Brady contorts banal landscapes and interior scenes of quotidian domesticity into arresting surrealistic tableaux. Meticulous consideration is given to setting, wardrobe, and props to manufacture the uneasy effect of besmirched pleasantness: an elegant young woman seated for a stiffly formal portrait is defaced by a featureless mask of rosebuds; a vacation snapshot is rendered awry with the subject mysteriously inverted, plunged up to her waist in the sand of a lakeside shore. The images toy with issues of feminism, sexuality, and body image and invite the viewer to contemplate new perceptions of the mundane.
In an extension of this examination of subverted familiarity, Brady’s historical portrait series is a tongue in cheek interpretation of Northern Renaissance portraiture. Her courtly attired subjects pose somberly, their visages uncomfortably distorted by ungainly quantities of spaghetti overflowing from their mouths.
By unabashedly marring all that is deemed demure, ceremonious, or insipid, Brady’s work proves that our common reality is merely a springboard to propel oneself into alternate realities.
Teun Hocks, New World
On view January 8 – February 7th | 511 West 25th Street Room 301
P.P.O.W Gallery is pleased to announce New Works, our eighth solo exhibition of the Dutch artist Teun Hocks. This new series of photographs, drawings, and videos continues Hocks’ adventure into the absurd and confirms his dexterity and mastery of the process he pioneered, ‘constructed imagery.’
Hocks’ photographs are cinematic in their process and mood. First, he constructs scenes in his studio and takes a black and white photograph. He then hand colors the photographs with transparent oil paint, taking precise care in the coloring in order to create specific emotions and atmosphere. The accumulation of these elements makes the environments seem like surreal portals. His films and drawings additionally reveal and delve into these worlds and also give greater insight to his storytelling and creative process.
Performing as the ‘everyman’ in his photographs, Hocks invents scenes that are confrontations with failure, puzzlement and wonder. The staged scenes show the man being thwarted, trapped, and frustrated with seemingly no solution. The mundane becomes heroic, the trivial task becomes a Sisyphean ordeal. Through it all, Hocks, acting as a stand-in for the viewer, endures with a Buster Keaton-inspired performance.
Teun Hocks has exhibited internationally for over twenty years. There are many publications of his work including the “Teun Hocks” monograph published through Aperture in 2006 with an essay by Janet Koplos and also “The Late Hour” a monograph published by De Geus with an essay by Donald Kuspit published in 1999. His work is included in museums and private collections and has been reproduced in major publications worldwide