Photo Feature: Gauntlet Gallery, “Contemporary Contemporary”

by Admin on 08/14/2014

From the beginning of the Pop-Art movement in the 1960s to the recent inclusion of art from the streets by artists such as Basquiat and Banksy, it would be easy to say expressions in modern and contemporary art has changed rapidly and includes a multitude of approaches and styles in just the past 50 years, quicker than a typical person’s lifetime. Using this increasing awareness as font of inspiration, Gauntlet Gallery’s current group show “Contemporary Contemporary” invites a select group of emerging and mid-career artists to create new artworks that are either a reflection upon or pay homage to iconic works of art by those who they believe have been the most influential artists of the past five decades.

The artists’ works reveal the wide variety of approaches to the open theme of this group exhibition: from “No. 19” by Kareem Rizk, which all audiences can tell just by style and form is a touching tribute to artist Kurt Schwitters; Syd Bee’s solemn tribute to Frank Stella’s line drawings, inserting in an intriguing juxtaposition of figure and abstraction one of his own unique memento mori; to Bethany Marchman’s somewhat tongue in check reference to Wim Delvoye’s tattooed taxidermy pigs, showing the face of Delvoye tattooed on the piglet’s arm as it lazily smokes a cigarette with a sly grin.  Many of the works also reveal how art has changed and will continue to change with the advancement of technology, and specifically the internet to social media in just the past ten years. It has allowed artists and art to reach a new level of popularity, and even perhaps even commodification, that seems to have only been in its nascence 30 years ago. “Johnny Bass” by Jaime Cervantes shows how graphic design, like those by Saul Bass in the 1960s, is now a significant facet of contemporary art, as does Johnny Ruzzo’s “Daffodills” pay tribute to English fashion designer Alexander McQueen. For these young artists at the beginning their careers, social media and technology has changed the way they look at art and the facility of inspiration; making it easier for artists across continents and styles to influence one another.


“Contemporary Contemporary” will be on view at Gauntlet Gallery, 1040 Larkin Street through August 19, 2014 and includes artwork by Adam Ziskie, Bethany Marchman, Brooke Grucella, Cam Floyd, Christopher Blackstock, Dan Christofferson, David Blake, David Natale, Emily Burns, Epyon5, Famous When Dead, Gene Guynn, Graham Curran, Isaac Pierro, Jason Hernandez, Jimmy C, Johannah O’Donnell, JoKa, Jonny Ruzzo, Justin Hopkins, Kareem Rizk, Kieran Collins, Marcos LaFarga, Michael McConnell, MJ Lindo, Mr. Frivolous, Robert Bowen, Ruben Ireland, Serge Gay Jr., Shannon Freshwater, Syd Bee, Vincent Cacciotti and William Arvin.