Marilyn Minter, Heavy Metal (2011). Image via Salon 94.
“Marilyn Minter” at Salon 94: I have been a fan of Minter ever since discovering her mesmerizing Green Pink Caviar video on display at MoMA last year. The large scale photographs and videos at Salon 94 are equally riveting with their dirty glitz and glam, viscous fluids, and slow motion movement. The central video, Play Pen, features a gargantuan baby splashing sensuously among silver paint. There is a dream like quality to Minter’s works, which merge the everyday (high heels, babies) with the surreal (slow motion, entire worlds of goo), but with unexpected clarity and striking vividness.
Nan Goldin, The nap, Paris (2010). Image via Matthew Marks Gallery.
“Nan Goldin: Scopophilia” at Matthew Marks: Consisting of nearly 400 photographs and a 25 minute long slide show, “Scopophilia” is rife with unforeseen juxtapositions and thought provoking comparisons. Goldin was given free reign to photograph works in the Louvre during non-public hours. She then paired these photographs with those taken of her friends and lovers during the 1970s and 1980s. The results are uncanny in their similitude and reveal the deep sense of intimacy among Goldin’s social circle. There is a sense of tender revelry between the masterful oil paintings and marble sculptures of the Louvre and the Bohemian cast of characters all captured by Goldin’s photographs.
Rashaad Newsome, 37th Chamber (2011). Image via Marlborough Gallery.
“Rashaad Newsome: Herald” at Marlborough Gallery: Rashaad Newsome elevates hip hop culture to fine art in his colorful and densely ornamented works. Combining traditional forms of heraldry and a baroque aesthetic with hip hop imagery and bling, Newsome has created a new vocabulary for representing hip hop visual culture with all its female flesh and flashy jewelry. The sculptural frames, specially designed and commissioned by Newsome, are as fascinating as the works they display. Only one is dedicated to a specific person; the bubblegum pink frame with Barbie doll details references the female rapper, Nicki Minaj.
Zachari Logan, Go to Hell, detail (2011). Image via Daniel Cooney Fine Art.
“Zachari Logan: Trauma and Other Stories” at Daniel Cooney Fine Art: This Saskatchewan artist offers an extraordinarily detailed, quasi-fantastical, yet deeply realistic insight into his gay identity. Finely drawn self-portraits of the artist invoke the damage wrought by society through its condemnation of homosexuality. Some portraits are entirely composed of various sizes of faintly drawn text, spelling out phrases and personal thoughts of self-loathing. Likewise, one large scale work features Logan as a Gulliver figure with smaller Lilliputian Logans taunting and tying him to the ground. The artist manages to craft a haunting vision of personal struggle while balancing it against the strength of his imagery and imagination. As a result, the works impart a nuanced look into issues of identity on both personal and societal levels.
Jim Hodges, Untitled (2010). Image via Gladstone Gallery.
“Jim Hodges” at Gladstone Gallery: Jim Hodges’s new installation provides a novel take on the expression “drip painting”. The artist has constructed a three-dimensional canvas in which a colorful melange of colors is dripped, sprayed, and unleashed from holes in the ceiling. The falling paint is orchestrated to create a myriad of effects: sometimes singular drops are interspersed with long pauses, and other times a veritable waterfall of pigment rains down. If nothing else, the work is a delight to watch, as it merges saturated color and spontaneous movement with thrilling results.