Gallery Hopping in Chelsea

It was a cold Saturday afternoon, but I was motivated to trek over to Chelsea to check out the Kitchen Girls & Toy Boys show at Rush Arts Gallery.  Artists Sindy Butz and Sol Kjok are participating artists in the show and have both worked with AFP on various projects.

It didn’t take long for me to identify Sol’s very large piece, “Strings Attached” as I walked into the gallery.  Her figurative work bursts off the canvas with great detail and her use of color brings out the emotion in her characters.  In this piece the characters are strung together and appear to be grasping and climbing over each other while still maintaining a certain co-dependence.

I was impressed with the overall quality and diversity of the work in the show.  The work of Reinhold Gottwald caught my attention. His colorful, small, abstract pieces on wood are hung/arranged as if they are a group of  planets sharing the same solar system. I found Markus Fiedler’s beeswax sneakers quite intriguing and an interesting piece(s) to be included in the show. I was impressed with the incredible detail he was able to achieve using beeswax.

I noticed Sindy crouched down on the floor, but I didn’t realize that her performance had already begun. What is she up to this time? Sindy’s not afraid to take on the not so obvious social issues of the day. Her thought provoking work continues to evolve and this performance would not disappoint.  The message on the floor read, “The West Tastes like Gold.” As Sindy began to digest glistening gold leaflets of some sort very methodically, my first inclination was that her subject matter is related to the overwhelming perception that everything that happens in the West is all great and proper.  You know the one that says America is the only great bastion of society in the world?  Sindy’s consumption of the gold tells the story of the gullable sheep consuming the narrative and everything that comes with it. Have you ever wondered why you rarely hear of anything good or positive happening in other countries around the world? Is this the subject matter? I’m not sure, but you know what they say about art, it’s up to the individual’s interpretation.

After enjoying my conversation with Sol about an upcoming collaboration this summer, I decided to stop by a couple of other galleries while I was in the neighborhood.  I came across Pavel Zoubok Gallery and decided to take a peak. I am familiar with the gallery as one of our friends, Max Greis is represented by Pavel Zoubok.  Their current exhibition is featuring work from artists Raven Schlossberg and Bradley Wester.

Schlossberg’s collages are created from clips of vintage magazines and take a stab at the manipulation by the mass media, while Wester’s work was eye catching with it’s wide range of mediums, color and sheen. I also stopped in to check out Mixed Greens Gallery which is currently featuring some photography work from artist Julianne Swartz. Swartz utilizes a mirror as a creative tool for juxtaposition in her work. The result is intriguing connections and iter-actions between her family members.

– Frank Jackson