Saturday, February 16, 2008

Joy Garnett at the Winkleman gallery

27th street, West of 10th avenue in Chelsea, NY is a funny neighborhood. Next to a nudie Scores club with pictures of nubile girls looking for more clothes, you have a swank Lamborghini dealership abutting art galleries past 10th avenue. The point may be that for someone who might want to satisfy a majority of their hedonistic fantasies, you have some if it here - fast cars, women and great art. Funny, I did not spot a wine store, but what the hell, I guess one gets it at Scores. The objective of this post was to talk about the art aspect and not about the other facets of hedonism. Joy Garnett is showing at the Winkleman gallery and I had gone by to see the offerings. I had been drawn to Joy's works ever since she painted the Molotov Man and from listening to her arguments on appropriation and augmentation of found images at Columbia University. A lot of my paintings also have been worked from images that I ‘found’ (I know that some of you might find umbrage with that) on the internet and I remember striking a chord with her approach early on (blogged here, here and here).

This show consists of four large scale oil paintings done in a very expressionist style (unlike some of her previous works that have a tendency to lean towards the representational). The aspects of internet based image appropriation are largely absent. Although, in retrospect, only talking to her and understanding the motivations behind this current crop of paintings would one clearly understand her current creative drives. The brochure hints at the motivations in the following sentence “The images Garnett paints are culled from digital mass media outlets and then archived for sometimes months at a time, permitting their context to evaporate. Returning to the image with a fuzzy at best memory of what it reportedly documented, Garnett’s process highlights the role misremembering plays in this new dubious "reality."

The brochure also tells us that these paintings were of images taken of places at about the same time spanning different corners of the globe on the same day. A cityscape in China, the rubble of the World Trade Center, a South American seascape and the high noon painting of an unidentified place is what the show is all about.
While ‘Morning in China’ and ‘Noon’ are superbly executed, the painting of the seascape (‘Harbor’) and the dark imagery evoked by the ruins of WTC (‘Night’) could have done better (just my view). I did stare at ‘Noon’ for such a long time that the gallery assistant (a great and an interesting individual named Max) came by to check out on me and see if all were OK. Put together, the paintings complement each other very well with the stated theme – images of different aspect of the marks of our existence on the disparate global locations. No question, definitely worth checking out.
The show opened yesterday, but the reception is slated for next Thursday, 21st February (might be a good chance to meet Ms. Joy and the effervescent Mr. Winkleman whose blog is a must read).

Morning in China, oil on canvas

Night, oil on canvas

Harbor, oil on canvas

Noon, oil on canvas

Detail of Noon


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Hungry Hyaena said...

Hi, Sunil.

I'm looking forward to seeing the show. The pics you took suggest good things.

I hope all is well, and that this "jason" fellow is helping you make lots of cash!


JafaBrit's Art said...

Very interesting read, thanks for the links.