Wes Lang at Half Gallery

By Tom Ran

Published: October 31, 2013 under Art

Detailed of <i>The Mind of Pure Devotion</i>, 60"x72"

Photo: Wes Lang

Downtown will be making its way uptown next Thursday for the opening of Wes Lang’s latest show at Half Gallery. BLESSINGS will open November 7th and run through December 15th. This will be Lang’s second show with the gallery since 2012 and will be the first since they moved to their 78th Street location. Opening reception will be held from 6-8pm November 7th.

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By Tom Ran

Published: October 2, 2013 under Art

Banksy's first piece in Chinatown during his month long residency on the streets of NYC.

Photo: Banksy

Banksy’s latest installation is a study in marketing and stunts. Yesterday the blogosphere and twitter went bananas over his latest project, an art residency for the next month on the streets of NYC. Banskyny will attempt to reveal a new artwork somewhere in the city each day accompanied with a self guided audio tour through a 1-800 number.

His work is so much more than the piece itself. It requires attention and conversation for it to be complete. No longer is it an organic discovery from a passerby, it ceased to be that a long time ago. It’s now a well executed marketing push. A site has been created to document the exhibition and an instagram has been set up as well. This “residency” is perfect bait for any online press, us included. And on day one of its launch it has already reached the necessarily channels to generate buzz and attention for the next 30 days.

Just this morning Animal NY reported that Smart Crew has already altered Banksy’s first piece. The next thirty days will be interesting. One, to see whether Banksy will be progressively escalating his work day by day and two, to see what happens in its wake. It’s a trail that admirers, detractors, and coat tail riders will have a difficult time to resist. Which is most likely all part of Banksy’s intention.

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Barry McGee at Cheim & Read

By Tom Ran

Published: September 12, 2013 under Art

Barry McGee at Cheim & Read

Photo: Barry McGee

Barry McGee has had an incredible run this year with two museum exhibitions, one in Boston, a mid career survey of his work and the other in Fort Worth. He returns to New York City this evening for his first solo show in eight years at Cheim & Read. The exhibition will feature new work and will be on view starting today till October 26th.

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NASA Art Program

By Tom Ran

Published: August 30, 2013 under Art

Norman Rockwell for NASA

Photo: NASA

Up until yesterday, we had no idea NASA had an art program. For fifty years, NASA has been working with artists across disciplines to promote its endeavors and provide historical records of the organization. Commissioned artists were paid a paltry sum of $800 for their work during the first year. But the opportunity to take part in documenting NASA more than out weighed the payment. Artists were given free reign in their creation. Over the years the program has produced more than 2,000 works in its collection, ranging from Norman Rockwell and Robert Rauschenberg to Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz. NASA has now uploaded a selection of works from their archive onto flicker. Though there’s only 21 photos in the set so far, it’s a diverse sampling of paintings, photos and sculptures from decades past. Let’s hope they continue to add to the collection.

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Calligraffiti 1984/2013

By Tom Ran

Published: August 21, 2013 under Art

Leila Pazooki's "This Is Not Green"

Photo: Leila Heller Gallery

Various outlets have reported that Jeffrey Deitch would return to New York after his resignation from MoCA. Though he’s still with the museum he’s wasted no time in working with the New York art scene once again. And once again, he has gravitated toward a genre that is familiar to him. He is helping to update an exhibit he curated in 1984 called “Calligraffiti.” The show exhibited works that explored the relationship between graffiti and calligraphy juxtaposing artists from disparate backgrounds and mediums. Thirty years later, “Calligraffiti 1984/2013” returns with over 50 works that includes Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, el Seed and LA2. “Calligraffiti 1984/2013” opens September 5th at Leila Heller Gallery and will be on view till October 5th. (via NY Times and Animal)

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Voice Tunnel

By Tom Ran

Published: August 1, 2013 under Art

Voice Tunnel by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Photo: Summer Streets

Summer Streets returns to Manhattan this Saturday. For three consecutive Saturdays nearly 7 miles will be blocked off for bikers and pedestrians from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park running through Park Avenue. This year will see an addition to the route with an art installation from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. The interactive piece has been installed inside the Park Avenue Tunnel. Dubbed the Voice Tunnel, it consists of 360 theatrical spotlights and 180 speakers all controlled by participants. The lights intensity depends upon the volume of a person’s voice. The louder it is the more vibrant the light. Meanwhile the participants voice is recorded and looped. Up to 90 voices will be recorded and played back at any given time. As newer voices are recorded, older ones disappear, enabling the piece to be constantly changing. Voice Tunnel will be open to the public during Summer Streets from 7am to 1pm.

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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