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Armory Show NYC 2012

March 14, 2012

The Armory show is one of the most overwhelming art fairs that there is, so it took me a few days to recover and collect my thoughts. Galleries and artists come from all over the world to show work. The artists that are shown are supposed to be most intriguing, most interesting, & “money-makers”. But over the years, I feel there is less excitement in the pieces that are shown because very few want to take risks. I understand that the economy sucks and people need to make money but, as the great artist Walter Anderson said “Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves”.

Here are the artists which I think take risks.

Bjarne Melgaard – These were the first paintings that caught my eye. I liked the combination of colors and the way the brushstrokes created thick lines of color.

Reza Derakshani – I’m not really one for abstract art but, the texture and colors worked quite well.

Tim Hetherington – These photographs were being shown at the Yossi Milo booth. (Yossi Milo also shows Pieter Hugo who I am a big fan of). Tim was embedded with an Army unit in Libya and was killed there last year. You can see in his photos that he became a part of the unit’s life there but also documented the harsh world of Libyan life. They are striking and sad but also quite beautiful.

Mahomi Kunikata – This artist comes out of Murakami’s studio, KaiKai KiKi Co. Her work is heavily influenced by the otaku culture of sexually explicit manga. Will she be the next superstar to come from Murakami or is she just another Japanese artist showing us how twisted the subculture of anime is?

John O’Connor – This piece reminded me of an 80s cartoon (maybe He-man) or some other 80s design that had fighting or explosions.

Ati Maier – I have talked about this artist before and I’m glad a year later I still like the work. It’s bright, fun, cosmic, and colorful. I definitely am never bored looking at it. To see the original post CLICK HERE

Eric Yahnker – I had never heard of this artist before but the gallery that showed him (Ambach & Rice), devoted the whole booth to him. His pieces were surrounded by baseballs (see the photos below) which I’m not sure how it relates but it was cool regardless. His work reminds me of an amusing mix between Robert Longo and James Rosenquist.

Delson Uchôa – I originally saw Delson’s work in Italy 3 years ago at the Venice Art Biennale.  He was one of the artists’ representing Brazil and I was attracted to his pieces right away.  This pieces remind me of some vibrantly colored, elaborate quilt.

U-ram Choe -This piece reminded me of Bubo (the owl from the original Clash of the Titans movies) and the robots from the Matrix movies. The wings moved slowly up and down continuously like a flying bird which got everyone’s attention. But when I looked closely at the metal, the intricate details were quite surprising because they were so beautiful.

This is some of his other work which I also found quite wonderful.

Walton Ford – Walton Ford’s pieces always remind me of something from the Audubon society or some other historical, scientific drawings about animals. I always find his drawings quite exquisite.

Teresita Fernandez – I thought this piece was really beautiful. I’m fascinated by the night sky and the northern lights so I really liked this.

Erik Parker – I became attracted to Erik Parker’s work a few years ago because it was so similar to mine (the work that I am now producing). It’s a bright, colorful fantasy.

Kenny Scharf – Always fun and reminds me of a crazy child-like world. Plus I really liked the colors in this piece.

Nathan Mabry – Still not sure what these pieces were supposed to be about, but I do like the African art and Star Wars mixture.

Ekrem Yalcindag – Simple but mesmerizing. I really liked the colors

Hansjoerg Dobliar – As I said before abstract art does not usually appeal to me there was something about this painting that was striking.

Björn Dahlem – Björn makes sculptures based on space and astrophysics out of ordinary household materials. His sculptures are usually quite large but I felt these smaller ones were quite mystical on there own.

Simmons & Burke – I have discussed Case Simmons and Andrew Burke before on my blog. When I was younger I would obsessively make collages for anyone that would take them. These pieces not only remind me of my own collages but also of one of my favorites artists, Hieronymus Bosch.

Devin Troy Strother

Geof Oppenheimer – Reminds me a bit of Barbara Kruger or some sort of 1950s black and white military film.

The Armory Show Modern wasn’t that impressive to me. I was quite tired at that point, so walking around art that I had seen before was not that much fun. It’s actually quite shocking to me that there are Calder sculptures and Picasso drawings left in this world.

Takashi Murakami – He never gets old for me.

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