Saturday, September 12, 2009

Opening Night | Mark Dean Veca 'As Cold As They Come' and D*FACE ' Ludovico Aversion Therapy/All Your Dreams Belong To Us"

I have had Mark Dean Veca's and D*FACE's gallery opening marked on my iCal since May. So tonight I made sure that I found way over to 529 West 20th to Jonathan Levine Gallery for opening night.

I have for quite sometime followed artist Mark Dean Veca, though tonight was the first time I had the opportunity to see his handy work first hand. Mark studied Painting at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, the city he currently calls home. Mark is an extremely accomplished artists showing his paintings across the globe from MOMA to The Brooklyn Museum and has had his worked published in The New York Times, Juxtapoz, Artforum and Art In America.

The exhibition 'As Cold As They Come' includes over 20 new ink and acrylic paintings ranging in size from a 7 foot canvas depicting a hot rod monster to a series entitled 'Popeyeconography' featuring the beloved characters from the classic comic strip Popeye. Mark's technique creates a surreal psychedelic vibe that is consist throughout his works.

You can stand mesmerized looking at his work and still miss small underlining details. I wanted to post each of the 20 pieces but as I saw the work first hand it made me realize how the Internet does not do his work justice (I don't know if the Internet does any one's work justice).

The shows title refers to a line form the classic film The Godfather in which a leading character, Al Pacino, is presented with a .38 Special pistol - specifically, a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver Subnose - described as being impossible to trace.

Mark's partner in crime for the four week long show is non other then D*FACE. D*FACE is a well known London based sculptor and street artist. His works often revolves around the reoccurring theme of celebrity, fame and mortality. His work is featured throughout 2/3's of the gallery and includes a site specific installation that can be found at 200 Clinton Street at the corner of East Broadway on a series of storefront shutters.

The show title, Ludovico Aversion Therapy, references a futuristic human behavior reconditioning treatment from A Clockwork Orange (the 1972 cult-classic film by Stanley Kubrick), in which the patient’s eyelids are forced open to watch disturbing footage containing subliminal messages.

Paintings and etchings in this exhibition feature the artist’s signature tongue-in-cheek aesthetic, known for creating two and three-dimensional work using a variety of mediums and techniques. Re-interpreting the exquisite corpse concept, each piece in Ludovico Aversion Therapy features a singular composite subject created using an amalgamation of various branded corporate identity mascots combined with classic superhero characters, interspersed with typography derived from comic book art and advertising. Having spliced these elements into thin segments of recognizable information, the artist scrambles the pieces then stacks them vertically, re-assigning features to form mismatched conglomerate faces and deliver a powerfully graphic impact.

I could post all 90 photos I took tonight but it would not do this show any justice. Jonathan Levine Gallery (9th floor of 529 W 20th) is open Tuesday through Saturday - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the show runs until October 10, 2009.