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Keith Miller

Flav Damon for President!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/2/08

As the election winds down there is whirlwind of emotion surrounding all elements of it. Hope! Change! Maverick! But even if the candidates inspire one, it is tiring. The media saturation, the cynical use of hate and fear wears me down. While Obama’s speech on race brought me to the hope that maybe we would have a candidate who can speak to the deep troubling issues of this country in a smart and honest way, that inspired moment seems to have fallen to smart campaigning (and by smart I mean bori... [more]

Harrison Un-real   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison at Jack Shainman Gallery 20th Street October 10th, 2008 - November 8th, 2008
Posted 11/2/08

In the photo works and sculptures of Robert and Shana Parkeharrison’s Counterpoint there is a looming nostalgia that seduces as it leaves a melancholic sadness. The elegant surfaces of the photographs lure the viewer to come closer and wonder if they are brilliantly executed photorealistic paintings (they are not). The imagery is mysterious and narrative without resorting to a linear form of storytelling, instead working by nudges and implication. All this is charged by the placement throughout... [more]

Neto Play Things   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ernesto Neto at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery October 11th, 2008 - November 15th, 2008
Posted 11/2/08

Ernesto Neto has long been playing with us. He invites us to play with him and makes his work so that we can enter, interact with and be challenged by it. It is not an over-statement to say that he has done more with Lycra than any other artist. This may not sound like a compliment, but it surely is. Entering his piece The Wisdom of the Parts one feels the joy of walking into a model of the human rib cage, or in fact any mammalian ribcage. The only weakness we might feel is the adult’s aversion... [more]

Interview with Casey Ruble  
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10/12/08

Keith Miller talks with artist Casey Ruble, whose solo show opens October 16, 2008 at Foley Gallery in New York. Keith Miller: Your current work seems to have a broad range of subject matter. What is the origin and source of some of the images? Casey Ruble: Well, with the exception of the abstract Japanese crest paintings, all of the paintings are battle scenes between horsemen, set within natural environments. I grew up on a ranch in Montana, bird hunting with my dad and riding dressage with my mom. Dressage is a form of ho... [more]

Img-poster Trouble the Water   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/7/08

Trouble The Water As I write the Republican National Convention is breathing a sigh of relief that Gustav achieved so much for it: It made the unpopular president’s appearance come via satellite (doesn’t he have a jet?) and did no substantial damage thus only tacitly reminding the country of Katrina and the failures of the government’s response. But in the new documentary Trouble the Water we are reminded in a way that does not tell only how bad it was, it shows us in the most graphic way. The... [more]

Buddhist-leaf_big Slow Read   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at The Metropolitan Museum of Art July 29th, 2008 - March 22nd, 2009
Posted 9/7/08

With electronic books and iPhones, even the simple use-value of a book made of paper with a cover is called into question. Often the form of the book seems so basic as to obviate any defense over, let’s say, a scroll. But in the small, gemlike show Early Buddhist Manuscript Paintings: The Palm Leaf Tradition, alternate possibilities of physical books is made clear. While there is a definite speed and ease to electronically scrolling down a page, and expediency to flipping through real paper page... [more]

Koons_02 Dog on a Hot Tin Roof   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jeff Koons at The Metropolitan Museum of Art July 3rd, 2008 - October 26th, 2008
Posted 9/7/08

Jeff Koons’ work may make people mad, but it seems to make other people happy. This is apparently for the same reasons. His sculptural works are simple, perfectly crafted exploitations or executions of all that Pop promises, at its most fun and banal. Sacred Heart (Red/Gold) (1994-2007), the twelve foot, heart shaped candy wrapper and the Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000) seem so resistant to meaning that they can be either playful or idiotic, crass market objects or Oldenburg-inspired toys for... [more]

Bike Critical Mass   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 8/3/08

Critical Mass: Green Example and A Cop Plays Tackle Football For the past decade or so, Critical Mass has been taking to the streets of cities throughout the country. Here in New York it has become something of an infamous and celebrated tradition ever since the Republican National Convention when the police made thousands of illegal arrests (costing the city hundreds of thousands). Its numbers have since fluctuated, but it continues to be one of the best forms of participatory art and poli... [more]

Install21_02 Anish Kapoor's Funhouse   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Anish Kapoor at Gladstone Gallery - 24 St. May 12th, 2008 - August 15th, 2008
Posted 8/3/08

How to describe Anish Kapoor’s new show? In the language of the movie pitch, you might say the funhouse mirror meets Richard Serra (downsized). But that would take out the rush of excitement so unique to almost any new work by Kapoor. Even though one issue here is also scale, and this show does have its own mini tilted arc, the comparison stops there because unlike Serra’s monumentality, Kapoor’s scale is ambiguous. In front of the four pieces in this new addition to th... [more]

Scottc Phatasmagorical Thrills at Moeller Snow   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Group Show at Moeller Snow Gallery July 22nd, 2008 - August 30th, 2008
Posted 8/3/08

The thrill is gone. When BB King sang it sounded bittersweet. When Scott Campbell inscribes it into a stack of one dollar bills in Latino gang script, it feels different. Like it doesn’t evenmatter that it’s gone, because let’s just have fun anyway. And in the barr... [more]

08f0032 Sleep Dealer   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/10/08

Nestled within the array of new movies in Lincoln Center’s series New Directors/New Films could be found the odd amalgam that is Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer. Almost completely in Spanish, set in the future and made for less than most studio productions will spend on titles or a single actor, Rivera’s film is a miracle of sweat, determination and ten year’s hard work. While not as slick as a Hollywood science fiction, there have been few (if any) movies as smart in the issu... [more]

2007_dzama2211-200 A Look at Marcel Dzama   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner- 519 W. 19th March 6th, 2008 - April 19th, 2008
Posted 4/10/08

Marcel Dzama has long done what only few of the best surrealists did: reconcile apparently incongruent elements resulting in a fusion that is simultaneously impossible and poetic, poignant and incoherent. Even the Ghost of the Past continues to meander playfully between the innocent and the perverse, the political and the comic, but goes a step further. With a successful move from two-dimensional work to installation and film and video, Even the Ghost of the Past has a pairing of elements even more... [more]

Number_209 A Look at Tomas Saraceno   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Tomas Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery March 22nd, 2008 - April 19th, 2008
Posted 4/10/08

We are a domesticated lot. So often art viewers go to galleries and seek out bold new experiences and then stand in front of the work waiting for it to happen to us. In Tomas Saraceno's Galaxies Forming Along Filaments, Like Droplets Along the Strands of A Spiders Web the viewers walk to the threshold of the gallery and look in, amused, perhaps even awestruck. Many smile and walk away. But Saraceno does not content himself to make art that merely happens to the visitor/viewer. Like many of the art... [more]

Interview with Justin Francavilla  
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3/31/08

Justin Francavilla is a New York-based artist whose meticulously worked drawings examine issues of power, aggression and survival. The intense violence and emotional energy conveyed in his work makes an appropriate link to current world events. ArtSlant's Keith Miller met with the artist and discussed the current themes, influences and process at play in Francavilla's drawings. For more about Justin Francavilla, see his Artist Profile (here). Justin Francavilla, I Said You Fckn Die, 2007, Ink and spray paint on paper, 55 x 120 in; © Justin Francavilla; Courtesy of the artist and Daniel Cooney Fine Art, N... [more]

Awd A Look at Andy Warhol   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Andy Warhol at Paul Kasmin Gallery - 10th Ave February 28th, 2008 - March 29th, 2008
Posted 3/2/08

To walk in off the street and see the drawings in this show one could not be faulted for thinking that they were either the energetic output of a recent MFA grad posing as a faux primitive with skill or a collection of 50’s memorabilia that is being resurfaced in either a genuine or commercial ‘rediscovery’. The numerous drawings here, all from 1949 -1958, show a looseness and a grace which might surprise anyone who either loves or hates Warhol for his surprisingly powerful soup can... [more]

Gb3 A Look at Robert Gober   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Robert Gober at Matthew Marks Gallery - 526 W. 22nd St. February 2nd, 2008 - March 29th, 2008
Posted 3/2/08

For over two decades Robert Gober has been using the language of the banal and screwing it up with prosthetics. Sinks and candles, legs and breasts, drains and cribs, all in an inchoate mix of elements with a floating body that seems to poke fun at us. But his body parts are not the hyper-realist artifacts of Ron Mueck (Dead Dad) Duane Hansen (Tourists) or even Charles Ray (Family Romance). Gober’s appendages are clunky and silly and play with the perverse, even if only slightly. This awkwardness is per... [more]

Courbet_big A Look at Courbet   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/2/08

And speaking of Warhol: if you like reality in your art, whether in Brillo Boxes or pickled sharks, basketballs in fish tanks or photographic painting, you might want to take a look at the upcoming Courbet show. His skillful paintings may seem ‘classical’ or ‘traditional’ (to misuse the terms) but their political jab in the ribs to respectable society should not be underestimated. Like a nineteenth-century Jerry Springer, Courbet’s great works demanded attention and got... [more]

Crepe The Crepe Guy   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/27/08

The beauty of Chelsea in the Spring is unique in New York. A block from the Hudson with its bike path and riverside bars like the Frying Pan (when or if it’s open) make it a great place to meander and get inspired, annoyed, excited, etc. by the galleries. But all that walking is not easy on t he constitution so any addition to the culinary selection that does not demand you can afford a condo designed by Meier is welcomed with open arms. With that enthusiasm I say: welcome crepe-man on 25th stree... [more]

Rd12282 A Look at Rackstraw Downes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Rackstraw Downes at Betty Cuningham Gallery January 24th, 2008 - March 1st, 2008
Posted 1/27/08

Looking. The active tense, the gerund, seems to be the central activity for the English painter Rackstraw Downes. For the past three decades his paintings have taken the simple visual act and transformed it into something disquieting. The tenacity of his vision is exceptional but his signature gesture is even more so due to its simplicity. His paintings, one 15 inches tall and twelve feet wide, show a simultaneously naturalistic and extremely wide point of view. While following the rules of pers... [more]

Hh-20 A Look at Hans Haacke   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Hans Haacke at Paula Cooper Gallery - 534 W. 21st Street January 11th, 2008 - February 23rd, 2008
Posted 1/27/08

Good artists borrow, great artists steal. OK. What kind of artist gets a Guggenheim Curator fired? In 1971 Hans Haacke, the New York based, German conceptual artist did that by simply laying out the real estate holdings of members of the board of trustees. Sol Goldman and Alex DiLorenzo Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971 (1971) is made up of a series of small black and white photos next to which are the owner listings and approximate value of each building... [more]

Placeholder BQE Performance   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 11/4/07

When I first heard of Sufjan Stevens’ goal to write an album for every state –after his two records Michigan and Illinois- I laughed at the hubris, even as I fell more enthusiastically under each album’s sway. A few years later and now Sufjan Stevens has just premiered his orchestral and film work ‘The BQE’ at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) this week. Made up of a large orchestra, a rock group, five hula-hoopers (?) and a three channel film projected above the musicians, The BQE (Brooklyn... [more]

Luggage__the_new_beginning_at_the_end Oskar’s Closet   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Oskar Korsár at Yossi Milo Gallery October 25th, 2007 - November 24th, 2007
Posted 11/4/07

Made up of awkwardly scribbled pen and ink marks, Oskar Korsár’s drawings build a seductively compulsive labyrinth of a young man’s psyche, both touching and comic in its sincerity. His loves and insecurities, the skeletons in his closet, seem to spill off the page as the thin, nerdy girls who populate his fantasies and fairy tales embody an awkward tenderness that falls somewhere between fetishistic and empathic. The second thoughts and corrections in the drawings- pieces of paper glued her... [more]

Jill_greenberg_2 Bears Not Babies!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Jill Greenberg at ClampArt October 11th, 2007 - November 24th, 2007
Posted 11/4/07

A few months ago I was flipping through the free cable channels when I saw one of Jill Greenberg’s photo’s of a baby screaming. It was MSNBC or something like it and the irate family values guest was explaining how Greenberg’s work was cruel to children. In her current show at ClampArt, Greenberg has left the children alone (thank goodness!) and chosen bears instead. These photos follow up her photos of monkeys. These are not teary-eyed bears or monkeys. Instead, they seem somewhere between feral an... [more]

Cabo_rojo1 Rice and Beans   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/27/07

There are few places in the gallery area of West Chelsea that have been around since New York was dirty, scary and reckless fun. Cabo Rojo seems like it has been. If it isn’t the best coffee in the area, it is definitely the best café con leche, and that’s what really matters. For well under $10 you can have a healthy plate of rice and beans with pollo or chuleta and a café con leche. The speed of the service, the bustle of the room and the fact that eating can take as long as you like, are all just... [more]

Dscn0446 Balsa Dreams   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David Ersser at Roebling Hall September 7th, 2007 - October 6th, 2007
Posted 9/27/07

In David Ersser’s installation Nothing but Heavy Duty the artist has carved the tools and stuff you find in a woodshop, all out of balsa wood. The life-sized objects include the tools needed to make exactly what you find in the show. This Borges-like circularity is fun but it’s not the star. As you walk through the dust and see the opened cigarette packs, the circular saw or the crushed cans, the skilled craftsmanship functions to transport the spectator, as the best technique does. Ersser’s ins... [more]

Aluminumfowl Fighting Fowl   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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James Clauer at Cynthia Broan Gallery September 6th, 2007 - October 13th, 2007
Posted 9/27/07

James Clauer’s The Aluminum Fowl, a 14-minute documentary, addresses a lot of issues you are probably curious about: animal fights, protection from alien intrusion through aluminum foil, setting fire to garbage... As is natural in an art gallery setting, I walked in half way through the looped screening. When I did I saw an African American teen in boxer shorts with a chicken sitting in a bathtub, followed by a pile of garbage being set aflame. Absent an omniscient narrator and only occasional... [more]

Interview with Dana Frankfort  
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9/20/07

New York - After having opened her first solo show in New York at Bellwether Gallery, Dana Frankfort took time from her busy schedule to chat with Keith Miller about her work, process and influences.  Frankfort's show will be on view from September 8 - October 6, 2007.  For more about Dana Frankfort, see her Artist Profile (here).   Keith Miller:  In many ways, your formal vocabulary seems to come from the painters of the New York School, the abstract expressionists.  How do you see yourself in relation to their work... [more]

Interview with Nick De Pirro  
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9/7/07

New York: Ten Questions for Nick De Pirro by Keith Miller   Courtesy of the artist Keith Miller:  Your artistic practice often seems more industrial than a standard artist’s studio, yet I don’t think of you as a sculptor. From videos and installations, to objects (that are sculptures), to performance or ‘data-mining’… How do you classify what you do and how do you place it in relation to current practices, artistic, industrial or otherwise?   Nick De Pirro:  I classify my self as a... [more]

Interview with Go Sugimoto  
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8/17/07

NEW YORK - Keith Miller had the pleasure of visiting with Go Sugimoto to talk about his work and his upcoming exhibition at M.Y. Art Prospects.  The show will run from September 6 - October 13, 2007.  His work will also be featured in "Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York," Japan Society, New York from October 5, 2007 - January 13, 2008.To see more about Sugimoto, click here for his Spotlight Profile. Keith Miller: In your series, Paper-Work, you make low contrast photos of white paper... [more]

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