Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Envoy Enterprises, Split; Catherine Tafur Solo Exhibition

(c) Catherine Tafur "Filter", image courtesy of the artist

Envoy Enterprises

131 Chrystie Street


Split; One Night Only, Solo Exhibition

Catherine Tafur presents works on canvas, paper and a live performance at Envoy Enterprises.

“Cha- Cha- Cha Changes, turn and face the strange...” Catherine Tafur’s works explore ideas surrounding gender, sexuality and loss of innocence through images of androgynous figures painfully mutated and transformed.

These “changelings” bare their innocence, pain, sexual pervasiveness and mutations openly to the viewer. Both Beautiful and disturbing, some recall mythical combinations of human – beast not made from divine sources but rather painful interventions. “Bisters”, drawing on paper depicts the boy- girl figure with small horns, a snout and blisters forming on the small chest. The body language also ambiguous seems alarmed at s/he’s discovery reacting as if caught off guard poised to run for safety or making a defensive stand towards the unknown pursuer.

(c) Catherine Tafur, "Blisters" image courtesy of the artist

“Family” drawing on paper, depicts two larger pubescent figures with gas mask-like head gear holding the small child off it’s feet as they wrangle a tiger mask over it’s head. The suspended child hangs motionless with arms revealing more of a startled fear of an unknown result similar in feeling to stories of forced clitorectomies on young girls. Though the older figures clearly possess both gender physicality’s it is more the stance that suggests the more masculine of the two alluding to the offense of the mutation is from both genders.

(c) Catherine Tafur, "Family", image courtesy of the artist

Catherine Tafur’s performance, a minimal set up consisting of a drawing easel with a drawing of a window with a tree outside. On a small pedestal; charcoal, lipstick, hand mirror, eraser, knife and clear large lidded jar. Tafur plays a soundtrack comprised of therapy sessions, phone messages, readings from the SCUM manifesto by Valerie Solanas and sounds sampled from online pornography layered onto a guitar piece. She draws, erases, re-draws, cuts, and strikes out, the figure and structure of the work continually redefining through process. Her acts are synced with the recording. One memorable act in particular was watching her applying lipstick to her mouth as she kisses the figure’s groin area that is left blank. She then kisses the torso as if healing the wound in an act of love.

And so it begins...

The sound begins with Tafur saying, "Once upon a time, I lay naked, trembling and crying on a bed. I had nothing. I looked out the window and I saw a tree."

Tafur states, “the performance takes as it’s initial narrative, an autobiographical account of past sexual trauma. It then morphs into a hateful rage that becomes directed to the self. The piece is a metaphor about the creative process and the transformation of conflict in art. “

This was Catherine Tafur’s first performance piece. The audience gathered around sitting on the floor or standing. My knee cracked a bit getting up and well worth the effort. I’d gladly do it again to catch her next performance.

How it ends....? I’ll leave that surprise to see for your self.

You can find the performance in it’s entirety on You Tube or right here on the side bar.

For more information on Catherine Tafur’s work check her website;

Friday, March 20, 2009

Greene Contemporary: Welcome To My World

image courtesy of the Gallery
Billy Maker, Platform-outpost-level-system, Installation view, right wall, view 1, 2008-2009

Welcome To My World; Group Exhibiton featuring Kevin Cyr, Andrew Junge, Billy Maker, Shawn Pettersen, Jean-Pierre Roy

Worlds great and small invite the imagination to wander through diverse environments and situations. Billy Maker's work immediately drew my attention. Maker's multi-dimensional dioramas made from delicate sticks of wood inserted directly into the wall with small platforms and miniature spots of grass at times no larger than your pinky nail kept my focus. Fragile connecting structures intersecting with the shadows cast were reminiscent of high dive platforms and ancient indigenous cave cities were transformed into a contemporary or future scape. Curiously, one large shadow cast underneath loosely formed a folding gate. Intentional or not, it presented another direction to explore. Though the process of construction is delicate, the structures issue an underlying presence of strength.

Greene Contemporary
9 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002
T (212) 228.8282
F (212) 228.7738
Th-Su 12 pm - 6 pm

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Purgatory Pie Press, Postcard Exhibit

Purgatory Pie Press
Postcard Exhibit - Closing Party
Square One Gallery
1 Union Square West

The Postcard show at Square One Gallery presented small works by artists and writers with readings by collaborators at the closing.

The concept peaked my interest, and rightly so. Unlike the usual small works or post card shows, it was not packed to the brim causing your eyes to flinch at the massive visual display. An array of themes and materials could be found including quite a few with a sense of humor.

The readings were a wonderful added bonus, in particular Bob Holman's reading "the box" piece. Jeff Wrights "plan b" which he let me read will be available soon. You'll have to wait to order through the site like me. Such is life, all good things are worth the wait.

Readings by collaborators include: Bob Holman, Holly Anderson, Bob Herman, Jeff Wright, Georgia Luna & others...

To purchase works including box sets of mixed works or for further information and schedule.
19 Hudson Street #403
NY NY 10013

Sick Love: Inaugural Exhibition

Catherine Slip Art Space

22 Catherine Street, 2nd. Fl.

NY NY, 10038

SICK LOVE: Inaugural Group Exhibition curated by Gillian Sneed.

It took a bit of wandering around china town with my friend to find the space, but I have no sense of direction and neither did he so it was expected. From the little crowd that had gathered in front of the building, it was obvious we’d found the place.

The title says it all. Works exploring all manor of interpretations through text, video, works on paper paintings, photographs...could be found. Featuring the works of artists, writers and curators a mix or viewpoints is presented. Packed crowds slipped and slide around the space as they tried to get a good look at the work. Of note was Jason Osborne’s works on paper with notes. His mixed media piece “Untitled”, depicted a cloud made from small-collaged pictures of breasts with a red blood like rain pouring down. The works were installed with his notes in various areas. Though he explores fear, fantasy, fetish, I wanted to take some of the notes and place on or next to the works according to my own feelings of what goes where.

All the chat made it hard to hear the video screening, but worth going back on a quieter day. All in all, I look foward to seeing what this new space produces in the coming year.

Check their website for upcoming events and get a map of the area if your not familiar with the area unless you’ve time to wander.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Run Don't Walk -Art Day Feb 3 in Albany, NY

Yes, our legislators are going over the books trying to cut the fat from the budget. Art Funding is under attack both locally and nationally. New York State is meeting February 3 in Albany to cut funding for the arts drastically. The republicans fight the recovery bill "siting funding for the arts is a pork barrel project, or miss-use of necessary funds in this urgent time."
If you own a car, van or motorcycle, car pool, invite all your friends and take a drive and kick some ass in the name of art. Considering the mass exodus of artists which continues from New York City and New York State due to high costs it is even more frightening that the organizations which promote art and culture in our state may now loose funding imperative to keeping their doors open. now is the time to Open Your Mouth !

If you're worried about state funding for the arts – well, you should be. Governor David Paterson has proposed a budget deficit reduction plan that cuts $7 million from the New York State Council on the Arts, and that's on top of a 10% reduction in the NYSCA budget that happened last fall. Hundreds of arts groups will be left out in the cold. Sounds like a job for…