Dystopia and Disruption at NYFW

Dressed head-to-toe in silver sequins and a lamé turban to match, famed beauty influencer Patrick Starr picked up a miniature, pink faux fur-adorned puppy and puckered for a photo. I ducked from the cameras aimed at an it-girl in front me and watched a kidfluencer in sunglasses take a seat in the first row. It was the middle of New York Fashion Week and I was at Spring Studios waiting for Kim Shui, a popular Instagram brand, to show.
Taylore Scarabelli reports on NYFW 2020

Tiziana La Melia and geetha thurairajah’s Ozone Gleaners

If gleaning involves ascertaining, or, more literally, collecting information or materials, gleaning ozone, an unstable gas, seems hella scary. Ironic, then, that Tiziana La Melia and geetha thurairajah’s show “Ozone Gleaners,” at Montreal’s Projet Pangée, produces an atmosphere of pastel repose. In the press release, an excerpt from La Melia’s OAKWALKDRONE poem refers to “gamma rays on everyone’s marigolds,” and indeed a slippery proximity between twee habitats (two paintings are even shaped like gable-roofed houses) and sinister, electromagnetic undertones permeates the show.

Henry Gunderson’s It’s A Great Time to be Alive

Gunderson harnesses ciphers from the collective visual vernacular to exemplify the potential and limits of identity and transformation of self, as dictated by the overbearing weight of preconceived socio-political frameworks. A self-portrait (and perhaps the catalyst for connecting the exhibition’s disparate heroes) It’s Hard to See from Where I Am Standing exists as a visual echoing of repeated selves, each figure’s vision obscured by another’s, though each ultimately bearing the same identity.

Tunji Adeniyi-Jones’ Patterns & Rituals

Patterns & Rituals marks Tunji Adeniyi-Jones’ second solo exhibition at Nicelle Beauchene for the young British-Nigerian artist. Adeniyi-Jones’ work feels at once fluid and solid. Liquid-like figures move through a tornado of pink and purple foliage, yet the work is flat, authoritative. In a way Adeniyi-Jones’ work feels like music – pulsing, repeating, transporting us to another realm. The scale and uniformity of the paintings causes reverberations throughout the space. Visions of stain-glass come to mind, in this artist’s place of worship.

Kyung-Me & Harry Gould Harvey IV’s Coniunctio

In Christian theology, it connoted untethered passions, sin, anger, sexual passion, and the devil. It’s a carnal, somatic hue so synonymous with the life within us, though, that to see it as evil seems like a misunderstanding. This dichotomy is mirrored in Coniunctio—an alchemic term for the merging of two opposites—the title of Kyung-Me and Harry Gould Harvey’s two-person exhibition at Bureau, New York. The show features meticulous pen drawings by Kyung-Me, their intricacies executed over the course of hundreds of hours. Expansive interiors test the confines of the picture plane, featuring familiar furnishings that reference architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s obsessive design practice. This metaphorical pilgrimage across space and time is mirrored in Harvey’s slow-burning wax works—eloquent spires and ambiguous figures rendered with painstaking precision. Harvey’s illustrations also adorn the walls, their sacred geometries seemingly a metaphysical map of the viewing experience itself. The wax, red and dripping, seems almost a gothic ode to the passionate idiom of blood, sweat, and tears. We toil, we tire, and we evolve. Challenging the notion of secularity, Coniunctio invites us to speculate on the human desire for spiritual wholeness, outside of what we already thought we knew.

Maya Fuhr’s Tec Style

Frequent Editorial Magazine contributor Maya Fuhr debuts her latest solo show Tec Style at new Toronto gallery 10 Years Ago. Pivoting from fashion photographer and brand ambassador for the likes of Chanel, Fuhr unpacks her career, and perceived culpability through sculptures, light-boxes and a pair of 3D-rendered boots. Tec Style is a meditation on the life of a garment; Fuhr walks us through the manufacturing process behind the clothes we wear. While the idea of environmental or resistance art can seem futile, sanctimonious, Tec Style comes across as a sincere effort. Fuhr worships her wardrobe, ritualizing the washing and caring for each item. Her simple “Washing” photographs are the stand-out works in the show, intimate, familiar, and mediative. 

Alan Belcher’s Friends

Photos courtesy of the artist and Downs & Ross, New York Alan Belcher’s Friends, which recently closed at Downs & Ross, feels like a nursery for unreleased Pokemon mishaps, eulogized as misunderstood stuffies. Wishing to create a “very friendly object,” Belcher hand-stitched each sculpture from acrylic plush. Disparate features, colours, and forms—visual cues—are pastiched together…

Mike Kuchar’s Broken Gods

Mike Kuchar’s work is a joyful blast of colour, sex and humour, in an art world that needs it. The first time I saw his drawings was after a long, jading day of Material Art Fair; they were a welcomed surprise – crass, playful, and funny. Mike says his aim is to put “a bit more fun to viewing pictures.” His latest exhibition Broken Gods, currently on view at Ghebaly Gallery, is invigorating, no holds barred. Mike and his twin brother George made their name as iconic figures of the burgeoning underground film community in 1960s New York. The twins’ over-the-top, Romance-sci-fi movies were shot on 8mm film with little to no budget. John Waters sources the Kuchar Brothers as a source of inspiration, calling them “complete crackpots without an ounce of pretension.”

Cassie McQuater’s Archive of Female Fighters

Level 1: A free falling blue flame descends from a smoggy sky filled with pink flamingos. Landing in a sudden burst, I emerge in the form of Chun-Li, to begin a long, poetic journey. Chun-Li, of Street Fighter II fame, was the first female fighter in video game history. An expert martial artist with thighs of steel, Chun-Li was born in the 90s, first in pants, later in a cropped qipao and white combat boots. Despite Nintendo’s eventual censorship of her up-skirt moments, Chun-Li was named “Hottest Babe of 1992” by Electronic Gaming Monthly.

Matthew Wong’s Blue

Some might say to be blue is to be sad, but it is also to be moved. Matthew Wong sought to explore the “blueness of blue,” symbolically and literally, through his exhibition, Blue, on view now at Karma. Its fluidity, its affect, and its uncanny ability to “activate nostalgia, both personal and collective,” Wong renders blue moments—repose, speculation, longing, gloom, hope—in various shades of blue, imparting memories for moments we cannot recognize, yet seem altogether too familiar. A resonating legacy of color, of what it means to be blue.

Fumiko Mogi by Monika Mogi

“Don’t Stress” was shot over the course of a ten-day cruise around Japan and Korea in which Monika Mogi attended with her mother and grandmother. This is a story about letting loose within the abstract weirdness of cruise culture. Published in Issue 19  

I’ll see you in the ether at HSFA

Frequent Editorial Magazine collaborator, Jonny Negron unveils his latest show at HSFA, not only as painter, but this time as curator as well. “I’ll see you in the ether” features the work of five different artists—Cécile di Giovanni, Nina Hartmann, Benjamin Kellogg, Lisa Signorini, and Jonny Negron himself—whose work unpacks iconography on the material plane, and subsequently where such symbolism intersects esoterically. Occupying the ambiguous limbo between light and dark, these works question the nature of temporal subjectivity, and whether each of us is uniquely complicit. “The mind is the limit of reality, the imagination its forge.”

Breana Geering in Her Own Words

Breana Geering is one of our fav skaters right now. Here she gives us the scoop on some of her favs, and not giving a fuck. Photos by Dustin Henry.

Amy Brener’s Consolarium

Amy Brener’s exhibition, Consolarium, on view now at Jack Barrett Gallery in New York, seems to parallel this AI phenomenon—each work a collection of data, a definitive, though at times ambiguous, form. Ethereal towers in cream-bush ivory and purple—as vivid as the smooth interior of a mussel shell—bolster an air of ceremony, made informal through their unique features and counterparts. Brener’s works seem to be the resulting, physical manifestation of opening a foggy mind, shaking loose its conspicuous ephemera for the sake of more easily reaching its subterranean core. These loose artifacts are entombed in resin, their psychic baggage eulogized in sculpture—a totem bearing the insignia of memory. Its objective significance psychedelic, its subjective legacy deeply intimate.

An Interview with Hui-Ying Tsai

A giant shell hangs upside-down from the ceiling, when touched it emanates sounds of war, collision, and violence. Another shell quietly sings fragments of Taiwanese lullabies, increasing in volume as the viewer approaches. These are a few of the ambitious new works from artist Hui-Ying Tsai currently on view at Red Bull Art’s Resident Artist Exhibition in Detroit. For the past three months, Hui-Ying has been in residence, building these sculptures activated by touch and movement. Her practice reflects the bustling mind of someone in a state of wonder, seeking to answer questions of existence, spirituality, and history. Working with non-profit sustainability organizations, and initiating her own site-specific project that focuses on eco-activism and community, Hui-Ying’s work is very much a response to her environmental surroundings. I talked to Hui-Ying about the influence of Detroit on her work, and the possibility of art to carry us beyond the material world. 

Fin Simonetti’s Head Gusset

The centerpieces of Fin Simonetti’s solo show “Head Gusset,” at Cooper Cole, are two bear traps made of stained glass. I crept around the traps as if they were functional, circling them like an animal curious about a new addition to its territory. Intrigued, but wary. I fantasized about them snapping shut and the resulting havoc. I pictured a demolition video on YouTube: there one minute, gone the next. Intrusive thoughts suggested that an act of violence would be even more breathtaking than the two traps, in ethereal greys and earth tones, sitting serenely.