MEREDITH ALLEN and CHRIS BORS at P.S. 122
Meredith Allen employs depth of field comparable to Da Vinci’s atmospheric perspective in his portrait of the Mona Lisa. The dreamy backgrounds are instead the beautiful beach vistas of Eastern Long Island. The portraits are ice cream busts on Popsicle-stick armatures—of Bugs, Tweety, and the like. The sweet, sticky melting pops belie any malicious intent; however, the menacing image of the Tasmanian Devil’s bared teeth smarts. One cannot avoid empathy with the pitiful Tweety’s dripping yellow “fur”, and his big blue eyes wiped by the wind, leaving diagonal smudges. Indian chief portraitist Edward Curtis comes to mind: his irreverence for his subject, his sense of adventure, and the colorful headdresses that inspired him.
The pairing of Allen and Bors at P.S. 122 is fortuitous. Bors presents large laminated photographs of figurines and stuffed animals covered with dripping brown or pasted with gooey substances—a chick which appears to have recently emerged from an Easter basket stuck with cellophane and slathered with an aged yellow shellac. These are product photos or glorified tchotchkes hung on gallery walls. His I Win DVD intends to annoy. Allen’s work employs the painter’s sensitive use of color and texture; Bors’s pieces a sculptor’s focus on a specific object rather than the general scene.
Objects are presented for us to draw general conclusions from. Perhaps an ironic observation about art, “The Melting Pop” is a deadpan allusion to, what? Like Duchamp’s readymades, a single answer would not be the point. A urinal means, what? The question was fodder for cultural discourse and change. In the case of Allen’s work, a time element is added with the dripping and melting ice cream, and a dependence on atmosphere far in the background. There is a lack of presumption and prescription of problem or solution in this childhood remembrance of ice cream at the beach, save for a sort of dismay or chagrin at the impermanence of all things good and sweet.
At P.S. 122, March 1 – 24
Gaby Collins-Fernández: To A PortraitBy David Whelan
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
Gaby Collins-Fernándezs solo exhibition To A Portrait unraveled my defenses. Borders give me a sense of calm and control, but the six wall-height paintings on view at Anonymous escape these boundaries, giving a broader dimension to ones psychic, emotional, and bodily life. Words and images entwine and stretch past their limits, shattering into fragments of human desire. The work sneers at my guarded caution in its excess, passing up my small world for one with much more fascinating, beautiful complication.
four from field recordings of mind in morningBy Hank Lazer
JUL-AUG 2021 | Poetry
Hank Lazer’s poems in the Brooklyn Rail are from his forthcoming book field recordings of mind in morning (BlazeVOX), which will include links to musical improvisations with composer and banjo player Holland Hopson. Lazer has published thirty-one books of poetry, including COVID 19 SUTRAS (2020, Lavender Ink), Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), Poems That Look Just Like Poems (2019, PURH – one volume in English, one in French), Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27), (2018, Negative Capability Press), and Thinking in Jewish (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink). In 2015, Lazer received Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature.
Returning: Hank Lazer’s field recordings of mind in morningReview by Joel Chace
DEC 21-JAN 22 | Poetry
Hank Lazers remarkable new poetry collection, field recordings of mind in morning, is a sequence of chants rung upon the constants and the changes of his returns to a place that offers solace and restoration.
Daniel Giordano: Love From Vicki IslandBy William Corwin
MARCH 2023 | ArtSeen
Giordano uses moisturizing facial masks, eagle excrement, 24 karat gold, and gallons of shellac to create deeply personal characterizations of family life, Italian American identity, and in so doing overturns the entire notion of representation as an exercise in simple, comfortable, and relatable imagery.