Monday, February 13, 2017

Two Cents on – Arte Povera, Raf Simons for CK, Death of Galleries, Young Pope

Sorry I was a sad puppy last week everyone. It happens sometimes, you know life. Anyways, I’m back in the swing of things, sort of, and while I would love to give you some insightful reflections, I am still on my life-WHY?! comedown so instead you’ll get a quibble of opinions about a variety of things that are hamster spinning in my mind. Maybe, hopefully, at a later date I might delve into some of these ideas later but for now it will be just crazy talk to the interwebs.

Arte Povera

I saw the Marisa Merz show at the Met this weekend and it is a fine little show to see but before this I have been thinking about Arte Povera, the movement in the Italy (mostly Turin) in the late 60s. I have been thinking about it because over the last few months I have been trying to put my finger on this new type of art that I’m seeing being made by 20 somethings of late.

The type of art that is messy, a bit trashy but has this naïf poetics about it. The work that uses thread, fabric, left over wood, messy cement and plaster. In them there is an overwhelming focus on the line, the hand and drawing, even if overt. If you go to project spaces in Brooklyn or apartment shows you know what I am referring to.

One presumably thinks about artists like Rauschenberg and Hesse but that didn’t seem to hit the mark completely. Then I delved into Arte Povera and something clicked. That movement was a reaction to post war and post-industrial materials and the aesthetics and forms of this movement introspected on the personal as the political. There is a deep formalism with a dash of private codification and even a hint of the ritual.

I think this is something that I sense on the current young art of late. This sincere throw-away quality that is mimes outsiderness but in an obviously controlled way. More on this at length at a later date.

Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Oh Raf, I can’t help but love you. I have been following him and his variety of lines and directorship of other lines for years and this past week he showcased his latest helming as the designer for the ubiquitous Calvin Klein. The line was a touch 70s, it was sexy but also Euro, it was sporty but something else too. The plastic transparencies are whip cream swoon oh-la-la. The line was impressive and a fashion beacon of light in the dead NYFW scene but what I was really interested with was his use of art in his lead-up campaign and overall vision.

His art homeboy #1 is Sterling Ruby and there is a permanent installation/backdrop in the CK headquarters, where the new line was also presented. In advance of the show they teased cryptic images of waif models in CK tighty whities looking at ‘art’ like Warhol’s Elvis and Skulls. They are actually quite boring and eye-rolling for those in the art world but that doesn’t matter does it? For someone like Raf Simons, using ‘art’ in ‘fashion’ gets some sort of pass. I don’t think it should be fully accepted but nonetheless it is and that’s an interesting conversation to have.

Death of Young Galleries

Shhhh, do you hear that?... That’s the death of a lot of young galleries dying quietly all around the city. What’s interesting about this die-off is that there isn’t the usual email release saying goodbye, thank you to all the artists jazz like there used to be. Instead they are just ghosting from the scene like so many love affairs. Galleries have always come and go but this trend of the fading away feels sad in a way. I won’t list those that have recently closed and most will probably not even register it but soon everyone will feel an absence while planning out your opening nights and talk of, what happened to … will spring up at the after parties.  I sort of respect this type of exit and for those planning on this or for those that already have I wish you luck on all your new adventures.

The Young Pope 

I watch a lot of TV now. It’s my thing recently, watching TV for hours on end. It fills the hole that is my social disease and although I have sworn to get out of it, it’s still winter and I’m still single (OMFG) and until it’s warm out my bed is my favorite place to be. This new series is silly and it’s bad in a lot of ways but I love the costumes (Georgio Armani applause!) and the set design (also Jude Law’s wigs are fab). That’s all I have to say about that.