Monday, March 16, 2009

Armory Show 2009

The people at the Armory show this year weren't as beautiful as they usually are. They were wealthy, their coutures were unique and expensive, and they drank champagne but they were ugly. There were people that looked like models but not the genuinely attractive Victoria's Secret sort of model, more like the America's Next Top Model type, who are attractive only in abstract theoretical ways. People that sell art are beautiful because when you're buying home decorations that cost thousands of dollars you want to feel exclusive, and beauty is the most desirable and exclusive thing. I guess? It's more likely that pretty people are just better salesmen.

Armory Show 2008 was a flop n' a fart. I walked through the whole thing in about 20 minutes and didn't see anything that interested me. This year there were a surprising number of good pieces, although like with any art show about 80% of the things you see aren't great or bad, just unremarkable. I took photos of only the biggest WINS and worst FAILS to show you.

WINS

DAVID SHRIGLEY


Shrigley is never not awesome. This is the same sort of stuff he's always done but it hasn't lost its appeal to me.


ZAK SMITH

Zak Smith has already done this sort of painting dozens of times but it's still amazing to see in person. There's so much information in the picture you keep looking closer and closer. The detail boxes are new in his work, but I don't think they really add much.


CHLOE PIENE

Piene is so fucking creepy. She always draws nude bodies with skeleton features and misplaced body parts. It looks like someone with a severe motor skill disorder drew it with great effort. Her lines are very expressive and no one draws like her.


GERHARD DEMETZ


Carved out of little wood blocks. I love how angular it is. Also taping scissors on your hands is a pretty cool thing to do.


GUY THAT THINKS HE'S JEFF WALL

I forgot to write down his name. Jeff Wall did these giant photoshopped photos a long time ago but it's still always cool to see them done well. This was like 8' x 5'.


JULIE ROBERTS

She had one of my favorite paintings in the 2007 show. I like how she reduces things to basic shapes and heavy lines. Nice color palette.


JAMES CASEBERE

He made a city out of paper and put lights in it then photographed it. The buildings aren't so interesting but it's presented well.


FRED TOMASELLI

This guy was in the Whitney Biennial in 2004. He only paints things about drugs. It might not be clear at first but there are a bunch of weed leaves and pills in this one. Painting drugs is a pretty boring idea, and the stuff in the Whitney looked like shit, I just like the way this one looks. I didn't get it in my photo but the arteries coming out of the torso end with hands in the top corners and feet in the bottom.


IVAN NAVARRO


This guy made a box of one way mirrors. Standing inside them is boring. Everyone has already been in a bathroom with mirrors across from each other creating that repeating reflection. The fun part was that they were one-way mirrors and while you're in there taking a picture of yourself like an asshole everyone is standing outside watching you try to figure out why the art is interesting. It's not, watching people try to figure that out is. I like art that plays mean tricks on people.


STEVEN & BILLY DUFALA

I like how ridiculous this is.


GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN


I had seen this picture online before but didn't know it was a giant painting.


BEST IN SHOW
IN SOOK KIM





This is a large photo of an apartment building and through each window something is happening in each room. A lot of weird sexual stuff. Some people just hanging out. There are footsteps in the snow at the entrance of the building. The photo is titled "Saturday Night". Here's a link to a large jpg of the photo.


FAILS
There was a lot of bullshit political stuff I saw towards the beginning before I started photographing stuff. It should be included here, but this is a solid representation of the shitty art that was on display.

MAI THU PERRET

Get it? The pink flag has a pussy on it.


GIMHONGSOK

There was someone in this bunny suit just lying there. The sign next to the piece lets you know the person is some sort of political refugee from a poor third world country. People around me were gasping when they read it. I don't even want to start to deconstruct the meaning behind that because it's retarded. Performance art sucks.


STERLING RUBY

Fuck your art because it's ugly. Your name isn't "Sterling Ruby".


HANK WILLIS THOMAS

Obama make out of cereal might seem like a joke but I doubt it is to the artist. The rest of the stuff in this booth was unaware how bad it was. Vik Muniz did the technique already.


RUBEN OCHOA

There was a lot of this minimal type stuff at the show- blank canvases, readymade sculptures that were just typical objects, floor tiles on the floor, fluorescent lights (just fluorescent lights. Just lights stuck on the wall.). I took a picture of this one as an example. It's just a crate leaning against a wall? I don't get this sort of art. I need someone to explain why anyone appreciates this.


PIETER HUGO

When Spike Lee made Bamboozled he killed this genre. It's old, it's been done, and it's boring.


S H RAZA

This looks like bad student art. The color is ugly and the shapes are simple and uninteresting.


ZENG FANZHI

What is the metaphor here? I don't care because the picture is so stupid it's funny.


JOEL PETER WITKIN

This looks like it's from a bad "surreal photography" book from the 60's. Again whatever story it tells I don't care because it's ugly. The man and woman both have lots of pubes and dark penises. Fuck you for showing me that.


WORST IN SHOW RUNNER-UP
WILLIAM POPE.L

These shitty looking pages have fake-inflammatory racial statements like "Green people are white people who can't escape their blackness" and "Black people are that movie you wanted to see but you got there too late and the tickets are sold out". I guess it's supposed to be funny but I found it incredibly stupid and ugly. This art requires no skill. And why does this guy have a ".L" at the end of his name? I'm sure whatever explanation he has is the most pretentious thing ever.


WORST IN SHOW
KENNY SCHARF

This shitty cartoon grafitti was on like a dozen giant panels on the front of the building and at least three booths inside. Why is there graffiti on the outside of the show, and it's not even good by graffiti standards? It looks lazy. He didn't even color everything in completely, you can see the spray lines. That doesn't make it look authentic or hand crafted, it makes it look sloppy. The cartoons don't use any interesting shapes. It's a bunch of smiley faces with more eyes and monster teeth. Any kid that's ever seen a Hana Barberra cartoon could draw this.

That's it!

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